Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wisdom from Julie Meyer

Earlier this week I was looking through my day planner and found a handful of notes that I had taken from a Mom's Meeting at IHOPKC over two years ago.

I have attempted to make quotes from this meeting many times in speaking to my mom friends, quotes to encourage. The seasoned mom who spoke that night (as you have probably guessed by now) was Julie Meyer, the very prophetic worshiper from IHOPKC. She has three boys, two of which are twins. They are grown now, but she was sweet enough to share what she learned in her season of motherhood with a group of us younger moms, who were just starting out.

Here are a few of the things that she said (my comments and thoughts are in parenthesis):

Julie Meyer - IHOPKC Mom's Meeting 4.21.2010

As women and mothers, we are often so busy moving around that we can only get a few drops of the Lord's presence throughout our days. But if we would just learn to sit still before Him, He could fill the whole glass of our life, which would sustain us for longer.

She also encouraged us to make a list of our callings, giftings,  and goals and to keep them in a place where we would see them often. (that was huge at the time for me, but since then, I have heard many Christian leaders repeat this very wisdom about goals and visions - keep them where you can see them often.)

She emphasized that the Lord has a tailor made journey just for us, so we can not, and should not compare our journey to others. She then said we should ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom in how to live in our calling in the midst of our current season. Motherhood does not mean that our dreams and life-goals have to sit on the shelf until we are 'free' to pursue them again. We can walk in a measure of our callings even as mothers, even with small babies. Ask the Holy Spirit how.

In reference to that point, she told of how when she was home alone with her babies, that was the training ground the Lord used to grow her in the place of the prophetic. In the season of motherhood, she learned to hear His voice more clearly and to speak His words out prophetically and with boldness! (I want that to come forth while I'm mothering, oh, how wonderful to be able to speak the Lord's words over my family and myself in the season of being hidden in motherhood.)

So she instructed us to listen for Holy Spirit's voice throughout our days and to look for those divine moments. Even as mothers, we are offered glimpses of what the Spirit is doing, if we look for it.

In the training ground of motherhood, Julie learned to be still, listen & trust the Lord's voice at a new level. From there she was able to train her children from the wealth of Holy Spirit revelation she was gathering.

To make your season of training easier, she gave a list of four things to try and do:

 1. Look out for the spirit of fear - fear will be a big enemy, and will try to blindside you. To combat fear, step back, talk to the Lord about what you are experiencing, and trust the wisdom He offers.

2. Don't grumble & complain about your season (look for the joy in what the Lord is doing, even in the midst of pain, suffering, or persecution - I have found that worship is warfare against the desire to grumble.)

3. Don't compare your life/ministry/mothering/giftings, fill in the blank, to that of others. Just don't compare! The Lord is working a unique work inside of you, and it will always look a bit different from everyone else you know. (if you can't compare, it either helps keep you humble, or helps you keep from feeling discouraged)

4. Sing the Word/speak the Word - sing it in your house, over your kids, over yourself, in the car, shower, etc. The Word brings life and joy and peace. (We need those things a lot in motherhood.)

Near the end she gave some practical ways to learn to prophesy, here are her three tips to get started:

1. Set your heart toward the Lord, and attempt to sing the Word out loud as often as possible (it connects our hearts with His)

2. Sing prayers from scripture out loud (not a great songwriter? the out of IHOPKC, sings a lot of scripture, so a good place to get started)

3. Turn it around and sing what you hear the Lord saying over you, sing it back to Him.

Lastly, she gave us hope of what we might expect on the other side of motherhood.

In a practical way, there are some parts of our callings as women and leaders, that can not be fully realized in motherhood, but she says, do not worry. And I quote:

"When this season is over, the Lord will open doors and make room for you to move back into the fullness of your calling."

Even still, she encourages us to expect the Lord to meet us and encounter us right where we are right now. Right in the midst of the nitty gritty of motherhood. In the midst of dirty diapers, discipline, and dishes. Be confident. He sees it all, and every time we set our hearts toward Him in the midst of our daily work, doing it unto Him. He sees it, and it counts. It all counts!

Lord, encounter our hearts with the truth of who You are, and how You have been working in our hearts. I speak encounter, not just to mothers, but to women who have lost sight of the biggest goal. The biggest goal is You, Jesus!!!!

Amen. Be blessed.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Trees of Life

That is what we are....trees of life.

A woman at prayer today said this, "we are trees of life, we change the atmosphere." She was speaking out of a revelation the Lord gave her when she first arrived at MorningStar.

Yet when anyone starts talking about trees, plants, or flowers, I always begin to dig back in my horticultural training and try to make spiritual and natural parallels. So what is a tree of life in the natural....a tree that is alive!

We are all trees that are alive. Even the smallest in our midst are just young trees growing up under the canopy of the mature trees. Trees were meant (in the natural) to live in community. They grow in forests for a reason. When trees grow in forests they are stronger, they grow to be much older, and they support a whole different kind of ecosystem under their canopy than singular trees.

Note: an ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

Now, why do they do better in families (forests). Because they were designed to grow best when they are growing up, vertically; NOT horizontally. When they reach toward the light of the sun (in the natural) there is room for them all to grow together into a strong and protective canopy for the younger ones around them. They reach for the light, focused on the light, and grow taller than trees that grow out in the open on their own. They also are stronger because of all their fellow trees around them offering support from the roots, but also from all sides. In a storm, the winds blow, but they rub and lean against one another, and do not fall over.

The beautiful trees that we see planted out in a field by themselves are usually not healthy trees. They may look nice with their long, horizontal flowing branches, but they are under a lot of stress. They waste so much energy putting out those beautiful horizontal branches. They grow horizontal instead of upward, because there is no lack of light, therefore they are not forced to focus on growing in any particular direction. So they grow all over the place, aimlessly sending out branches that will later weigh too much for them to hold up in old age.

Singular trees in the open also aren't enough on their own to create their own atmosphere. They only create just enough shade to cover their root system, but not enough to cool the air around themselves significantly. Therefore, their roots dry out quicker, which causes them more stress in trying to get enough water to all those crazy horizontal branches.

Trees growing out in the open do not create a home for creatures to live in. A creature may stop and admire the trees beauty, or stop to take a break in its shade, but it will not live there because it is not a protected place. One tree does not offer enough safety on its own.

It isn't even safe for the lone tree. They are easily damaged in storms and are more susceptible to lightening strikes out in the wide open. With all that working against them, lone trees don't tend to live that long, they just can't stand against all those elements on their own for years and years and years. Rarely will you see a lone tree live much past 50 years, which is a very short life for a tree.

Forests, however, create a different atmosphere. It can be 100 degrees out in the sun, but the forest is cooler, and quieter. In the winter, the forest is warmer too because the many trees together block out the force of the winter wind.

Storms don't destroy whole forests because the trees together take the force of the winds as a united body. They are rooted into each other. Wherever a tree root touches another tree root there is the potential for a root fusion to take place (with trees of same species). With a root fusion, the two tree roots can then share water and nutrients and support one another. And back to the storms, you can't knock down just one tree in a storm because of those roots. The only way one tree can fall in a forest is if it is already dead and the roots are rotten.

Oh, the spiritual pictures we can draw from trees, eh?

It goes on, though.

So if we are trees of life, and we do best in community, then who do we create that atmosphere for? For the younger trees growing up beneath us, yes, but many, many creatures, big and small, find shelter and food in the midst of the forest. We are to create the atmosphere for ourselves as well as all those who need shelter in the world, not just for other trees, but for every creature that needs a refuge (the lost, the broken, the weary).

The world is full of storms, and we are TREES of LIFE, standing firmly together to make an atmosphere to shelter those around us. In the midst of that community of living trees, people will find that it is cooler in the heat of summer, warmer in the cold of winter, and full of water and life for all those who hunger and thirst.

Be blessed. We are the trees of life!