This past Tuesday, our connection group with our church started up and since our church is between a sermon series, we decided to start out this semester in group asking the question, “Where are you at in your relationship with Jesus?” The idea is to evaluate where we currently are in our relationship with Jesus and how we’d like to grow by the end of this semester.
Now I have to say, this question was super convicting to me. I have to admit, since I’ve had Titus, I let my quiet time with Jesus fall to the waste side. Having a newborn has completely changed the routines I was used to and because of that, I feel that I have been in survival mode and just trying to learn how to re-route my life as a mom. A new routine hasn’t come easily for me. Many mornings I’ve chosen sleep or getting housework done while he sleeps instead of sitting down and enjoying the peace and quiet time with Jesus. The less and less I’ve spent with Jesus, the more I think I can do everything on my own without him. But, that is so not true! I now have a little boy who will soon be watching and taking in every move I make. I want Titus to see how much his mother loves Jesus through my actions. So, bottom line… I need Jesus every day! So how do I do this?
I guess that brings me back to the question- Where am I with Jesus? To be honest, I have A LOT of growing I need to do. I have been unloving, I have been selfish, I have been hateful, I have been prideful, I have been anxious. The list goes on. Without Jesus, I am nothing. I can’t grow until I start taking charge and changing things. So, this week, I’ve made a list of things I’d like to improve on so that I can grow closer to Jesus this semester (and semesters after). My list looks like this:
- Be in the Word daily. My goal is to read my Bible every single day, even if that means I only get 5-10 minutes. Last year, my church did a Bible read through in a year. Well, embarrassingly, I never completed it so my goal this year, especially since I realistically won’t have a lot of time for studying scripture, is to actually read through the entire Bible.
- Memorize scripture weekly. It’s amazing how the more you memorize scripture, the more opportunities Jesus gives you to use the very scriptures you’ve memorized. So, my goal is to bring out the spiral notecards and begin memorizing one verse per week. Eventually, it’ll add up.
- Spend time in prayer daily. Prayer has always been hard for me. I’d say I’d pray for people, then I’d forget or I’d spend a ridiculously long time trying to pray for every single thing that it became unfeasible for me to pray efficiently everyday. So, later last year, I made a prayer journal outlining every day of the week and praying for specific things on each day. I found that the prayer journal helped me organize my prayers for people, things and situations and allowed me to pray more efficiently with the time I had available. It was amazing how much closer to Jesus I felt after spending that time in prayer consistently.
- Read Biblically saturated books. I am not a born reader. My sister could read a book in a weekend and I mean a 300 page book. I never could. However, in the last few years, I’ve tried to improve my interest in reading. I’ve actually enjoyed reading books that are biblically saturated and provide me with tools to grow in my relationship with Jesus. So, this semester, I’d like to read the books A Mother After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George and the Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. I’m excited to see how God challenges and teaches me through these books!
- Read parenting books on how to raise Godly children. The heaviest thing about being a parent is realizing that God has given us this little person, who is sinful and needs Jesus, to disciple and share the Gospel with. It is our responsibility to raise him in the ways of the Lord. If I’m honest with myself, looking at the way I live my life right now and how I represent Jesus, it terrifies me that Titus may never visibly see how important Jesus is to have in his heart. So, Zach and I have started reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. This book outlines how, as parents, we are to discipline our children, not out of anger or frustration, but by identifying the heart issue and redirecting their heart towards Jesus. I think it will definitely be helpful in redirecting my heart also. I pray everyday for Titus’s salvation and that he comes to know and love Jesus but ultimately, he has free will. I just pray that Zach and I can raise him with the proper tools to grow in his relationship with Jesus and that he realizes he needs Him in his heart. I hope this book will help us succeed in that!
Those are my goals for this semester (and I’m sure it will pour over into the next semester as well). I’m praying that committing to this list will bring me closer to Jesus! It will be tough to stick to these goals but hey, no one ever said growing was easy! Feel free to hold me accountable because I’m sure I will need it, especially since I’m still working at forming a new consistent routine. So, I ask you, where are you with Jesus? Is there room for improvement? I challenge you to make a list of areas you’d like to personally grow in in your relationship with Jesus. Let me know about it so I can pray for you and hold you accountable as well! Let’s make this year a year we can both grow spiritually!