Wow, I can't believe I haven't written since September.
Busyness has consumed me this past semester.
Busyness has consumed me thus far this Christmas break.
I'm even feeling a little guilty writing this post right now because I hear my mom vacuuming and I feel I should be cleaning my room or doing something that appears "productive," even though to me, right now, THIS is productive.
So, here are some thoughts I have right now...
First of all,
I am sick of Christmas parties. I feel like everyone to some extent puts on a mask, we stuff ourselves full of food, and after multiple days in a row of socializing and eating, all I want to do is hide in my room or jump on an elliptical, not go to yet another party. I'd much rather spend quality time with a friend, cousin, or grandparent shopping, taking a walk, or having a cup of coffee--one on one in a setting where we can open up and not getting fat and feeling gross after enormous amounts of food. But that's just me. And I know Christmas parties are inevitably going to happen for the rest of my life. And I can deal. Just in small amounts, please.
Second of all,
I leave for Ethiopia in 9 days....and I am nervous, anxious, feeling inadequate, unprepared, and honestly, not excited right now. And I know spiritual warfare is playing into those feelings...I know the devil has a hold because I have not been intentionally praying against those feelings and in the Word. And busyness (often in the form of Christmas parties!!!) has prevented me from really taking time for serious devotion, thought, prayer, reading, and journaling. I have voiced these feelings to a couple friends, and was surprised and so encouraged to hear both of them say something to the extent of, "Julie, God has been preparing you all your life...for every work He will have you do"...wow. I am grateful for friends that speak truth into my life.
I'm realizing ramifications of spiritual warfare in a broader context, both in the world and in members of my family. Things that I used to think of as separated from the "spiritual realm," I am now realizing are connected...everything is. If God is sovereign over the world, at work in it, and has made us in His image, then surely he knows, understands, and is deeply involved with every human condition we find ourselves in....laziness, busyness, materialism, inadequacy, lack of confidence, feelings of insignificance, apathy, our responsibility to discipline and correct, and so many more. All of those things I have just mentioned I have seen firsthand this Christmas break from people around me and some in myself, so I wanted to bring those at the forefront. There are undoubtedly spiritual forces within all of these "conditions," for lack of a better word...and we are called to fight against them. They don't go away if we are not aware of them and actively praying against their presence in our lives.
Ephesians 6:12: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Be in prayer for my team now, and as we travel and are in Ethiopia....the power of prayer is real and true and will be a weapon against the spiritual forces of evil that are going to try to penetrate our minds and hearts.