Birthday Favorites: Spiritual Growth

Hey, Friends! It’s that time again – this week is my birthday, and it’s tradition around here to share everything I’m loving right now, and the things that have made this last year enjoyable/delicious/successful/positive in any way.:)

Leave a comment sharing YOUR favorites, and you’ll be entered in a draw for a prize….

Today I want to talk a bit about the spiritual growth opportunities I’ve been exposed to over the past year. Some exciting, uncomfortable, awesome things happened in my 35th year of life! Here’s what impacted me the most:

1) Taking a Prophesy Class at Church of the Rock

I’ve written about this a number of times before (like here and here), but I’ll say it again: This class changed me. I didn’t want to go at all, but I’m so glad I did! Here’s to taking risks. Let’s see what this next year holds!!

2) Leading a Prayer Class at my Church

Another uncomfortable experience that ended up being one of my favorite things this year! I’ve led that class for a year, and by the time it ended in June, I still didn’t feel like I had a clue what I was doing. But God is so awesome, and did so many amazing things in that class, we were just all glad to be a part of it, I think.

3) My “December Challenge”

Another one I wrote about a number of times in the past (here and here). Probably the most life-changing experience of my year. If I hadn’t taken that leap of faith, I would not be sitting here today with our little baby boy in my belly, kicking me repeatedly as I type! Still can’t believe it – God has done what seemed impossible, and I’m blown away by it all!

4) Beth Moore’s Bible Study on “Jesus, the One and Only”

This was such a powerful Bible study! It’s always hard for me to drag myself out of the house on a cold, dark winter night, to get over to our church for a Bible study. But every time I do, I’M SO GLAD I WENT!! Learned a ton from this one. If you ever get the chance to do it, go for it!!

Jesus, the One and Only

5) Speaking About Moses at a Ladies’ Retreat in Spring

You know how they say the one teaching always learns the most? True, yet again! I loved learning about the life of Moses and Egyptian history as I prepared for this retreat. There was an absolute TON on information I devoured but never shared, and I would love to find a way to share it at some point. Not sure how. But much of what God taught me during that time about faith and believing God to do the impossible held me together in the months after that retreat.

Any awesome classes, Bible studies, or books you took in this past year? How has God been challenging you? Give me some new book ideas!!

God’s Awesome Sense of Humour

For my prayer class yesterday, I wanted to spend some time talking about how to “pray Scripture”. It’s a term that we’ve been throwing around in class a lot, but have never stopped to define, or discuss how that term might mean different things for different people.

Before digging into that topic, however, we spent a little bit of time sharing about the week, and bringing up some prayer requests. It was a much smaller class than usual, and it just felt comfortable to talk about where we were at and what God had been doing.

My class knows about my little December challenge, and someone asked how I was doing. It’s a hard question for me to answer – I feel as though everything is still very much “in progress”. I’m learning how much I need to learn, and finding out how much more I need to trust God. I’m experiencing pain, but not as much as I thought I would be, which almost disappoints me, because I kinda wanted to be forced to depend on God more than I have been!

I told them about how I’m learning that I need to get my butt in gear, and do the work it takes to feel better. I absolutely believe in miraculous healing, but I also believe we are called to make good choices, and take care of ourselves. I’m learning how to take care of myself.

That’s a difficult combo – learning to trust God more, and learning how to take better care of myself. Sometimes I just feel confused, and I don’t know what to think or feel or believe, or pray. But I keep going along, waiting and learning, and we’ll see what happens!

After sharing all of this with my class, we spent some time praying for each other, and then we began to talk about praying Scripture.

I shared about how a speaker I heard once described praying Scripture as being extremely powerful, and very easy.

Powerful, because we take God’s words and promises, and we pray them back to Him. When we ask God to do the very things He says He will do, we can’t really go wrong!

And easy, because she described how all you need to do is grab your Bible, poke your finger in, and flip it open. The whole thing is God’s Word, so anywhere you land, you’ll find something to pray for.

As I was sharing this with my class, I picked up my Bible to demonstrate. We ended up at 3 John, and I started reading:

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health….

3 John

I felt a sudden, overwhelming urge to burst into tears, but before I could, we all began laughing. We laughed and laughed, and it was the most incredible moment!

What are the chances???! Seriously!! How can I possibly doubt God ever?!

There’s something amazing about God speaking to me when I’m all by myself, but there’s something even more powerful about Him speaking to a group of us together. I felt as though we all sat there sharing in the experience of seeing what God can do.

Some moments are really just “You had to be there” moments. Yesterday, our little prayer class had a “You had to be there” moment together, and it was such a joyous, truly funny experience. For the rest of the morning, I felt as though joy would just burst right out of me.

God sees me, hears me, knows me, loves me, and cares about every single little thing. I don’t understand this, but I love Him for it.

Let Him speak to you today. Let Him make you laugh with sheer joy and wonder! I think the reason we don’t experience it far more is because we don’t give Him the chance….

So for today, I wish you many moments when  you choose to stop and listen.

Has God been saying anything to you lately? Please share, so we can all share in the joy of hearing Him speak!