Manna from heaven.
My heart has been changing today just by thinking about that one word. Manna.
Let me back up.
This weekend at Hearts at Home was simply put: life-changing, life-affirming, encouraging, CONVICTING, and brought my heart closer to God.
Yet, a weekend of such intensity has left me exhausted, overwhelmed, eager to change but not always knowing where to start. It leaves me hungry and thirsty for more of God.
However, reality QUICKLY can set in after such a time. How many of you come home from a vacation just overwhelmed with the let-down that comes? How many brides have you heard talk about the let down after everything has settled post-wedding?
What about after a HUGE spiritual high? Doesn't Satan typically come in faster than lightning and try to steal your enthusiasm and derail you?
Oh yes. For me, anyway.
Few things seemed to go as planned yesterday. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a total "waste" of a day. Good things DID happen. Make that GREAT things. However, I easily found myself coming down from that "high"so quick my head was spinning. "Little" things grew into big things faster than I felt like I could control. Mountains out of molehills.
Maintaining my focus on what I want to change become hard. Virtually impossible it feels like. The incredible marriage growth and spiritual growth of the last several weeks seemed to be non-existent.
Where did I go wrong?
I didn't really do anything wrong except in my attitude. I let my focus drop.
I tried to HOARD manna. I tried to LIVE today on yesterday's manna.
The Bible says that Moses told the Isrealites to "not keep any of it until morning." Of course some didn't listen and they quickly learned that what they tried to "hoard" was full of maggots and had a terrible smell.
In my heart I learned a powerful, VERY powerful, lesson this morning.
My attitude was I was ready to give up because I didn't feel what I was feeling earlier in the weekend or even earlier in the month. Little irritations or obstacles grew REALLY large in my heart and I was ready to completely quit. Little hurts, unintentional ones, seemed to grow until I took it personally. "Why bother? " seemed to quickly become my attitude.
Then the word MANNA keep entering my heart. Out of the blue. (Which I KNOW was the Holy Spirit speaking gentle reminders to my heart!).
I wanted to "eat" the manna from yesterday---meaning I wanted to just function on the encouragement, inspiration, and connection of the weekend at Hearts at Home. I wanted to just soak in the incredible connection my husband and I have been seeing happening day after day, more than we ever dreamed possible.
I was hoarding. I was trying to live on yesterday's manna.
It doesn't work that way.
It's absolutely vital to remember those feelings, cherish the connection, and hold it close to heart. Yet, I can't LIVE on it.
I have to pick up what I need for today....today!
I'm not sure what that might mean for you and where your heart is today, but this is what it means for me and where I am right here today.
- It means telling my husband I love you today. I love who you are right now. I cherish where we've been and where we are going, but right here, right now, I accept you and love you dearly. Don't we all need to hear these words?
- It means telling my kids the same thing. Yes, we have things we need to change. Yes, we have things to learn. However, I love YOU. I love you completely and unconditionally.
- It means that I pull out my notes (I literally took an ENTIRE new notebook full of them!) and continue to rewrite them (I do a lot of short hand, abbreviations, and it's hard to understand if too much time goes by and I've not rewritten them neatly and in full). It means writing out the scripture that I made notes of. Begin the process of getting it DEEPER in my heart. It may mean posting notes all over the place to keep them in my view (I'm a visual learner! and thrive on seeing notes of encourgament, scripture.)
- It means I take those notes and begin to make another set of notes of things I want to change, implement, or focus on. Then GIVE THAT LIST to God. Let him lead in the directions I need to go first. Let HIM control the overwhelmed feeling by showing me HIS purpose and HIS direction, one step at a time.
- It means spending time with Him. Reading His word. Not counting on what I read yesterday to fill my heart today. Not letting what I learned from a previous session of B90 be the bulk. Read it for today. Focus on it for today. Fresh. New. Alive.
- It means spending time communicating with Him. Praying and listening. Not counting on yesterday's prayer to cover today. Starting over right here, right now. Praying without ceasing.
- It means laughing and enjoying this moment. That was a predominant theme of our conference. Living in the MOMent. Just taking today and focusing on it. Yesterday may have been great or it may have been horrible, but today is my focus.
- It means purposely fixing my eyes on Jesus---over and over. As many times as it takes.
- It means surrounding myself with things, people, etc.. that encourage me right now.
I need to go gather today's manna. I can't gather for tomorrow. I just gather for today! I focus on today. I get my head and heart in line with where God wants me, right NOW in THIS moment. Yesterday can't be my focus and neither can tomorrow. TODAY. Today's manna.
Once the word manna kept going through my head this morning, I did a couple of things that God had already put in my heart and then I sat down to dig deeper about manna. I went back and read about it in Exodus and looked up some different aspects on biblos.com. I also did a few searches of what some others had said. I read this from another blog called "Make Yourself at Home" (one I had not visited before, but I definitely will be visiting more often) and what she said really touched my heart and gently convicted me (for those of you that attended Hearts you may have learned the difference between conviction and condemnation in Julie Barnhill's Imperfect Mother workshop):
We should remember yesterday’s manna with thankfulness, but never hold on to it. We must beware of the corruption that comes from hoarding yesterday’s mercies. For, if we aren’t careful, God’s provisions can become more precious to us than God Himself. We can hold on to the things He gives us even more tightly than we hold on to Him.
How sad when we put our trust in His gifts rather than in Him.
Ouch! It's easy to do just that!