A major focus at ETCH is that we want to do life together. Jesus did not intend for us to live in isolation, but rather to share in each other’s joys and struggles — to encourage each other and walk each step with people who can pick us up when we fall.
Because of this, over the next few weeks we are going to hear from some of our readers who live all over the country. They are going to share their hearts with us (1 Thessalonians 2:8). We pray it will encourage you to see that we all fall short (Romans 3:23). We all need Jesus and we are all a work of heart (Philippians 1:6).
Today is Day #2 and we are excited for you to meet Christy. She has been married to her husband, Mike, for almost 30 years and a stay-at-home mom for going on 25 years. Before that, she worked full-time as an Occupational Therapist until right before her second child was born. She and Mike have 6 kids (2 boys, 4 girls) who range in age from 12-26. Their oldest three children were all married within 11 months of each other. Christy has been a full-time homeschooling mom for almost 18 years and had the blessing of her first grandchild 3 months ago.
Hear Christy’s heart and how the Lord is working in her life —
I try to read a chapter from the OT and a chapter from the NT each day, as well as a Psalm and a Proverb for my daily reading. Sometimes, I just read a passage or chapter that I’m needing wisdom or comfort from. I’ve started a journal in which I may write down a particular verse which stands out to me or encourages me. I also like to write down commands God has given us from Scripture, things about His character, or things He has done. I also just started memorizing Titus 3:3-7. In addition, I have been listening to a 6 part John MacArthur sermon series from Ephesians 4:1-6.
The Ephesians sermon study I have been listening to has really been on my heart, and I have been very convicted by Ephesians 4:1 “…to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” I fail daily in the way that I conduct myself. As John MacArthur says, “Until you walk worthy, God is not glorified in your life.” Knowing the Word of God is how I can protect myself, resist sin, and strive for righteousness. Doctrine, theology, and prayers for wisdom are key to walking worthy. Also, 1 Thessalonians 5:12 says, “…walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” He alone is worthy!
My biggest struggle and area I long for God to change is my prayer life. I know that I do not pray enough! It grieves my heart that this is an area of struggle for me. I have come to the realization that I become overwhelmed sometimes because there are so many people and things to pray about. I have started a prayer journal so that I can keep track of mine and other peoples’ prayer requests. I have also been trying to pray for people as soon as I hear of a prayer request so that I do not forget to pray for them.
I have a growing desire to disciple and come alongside other women in our church family. God has given me a heart especially for college, young single/career women, and young mothers. I was never really discipled as a 30-year-old new believer and did not understand how much it would have helped me in my growth and walk with the Lord. Our church has been really encouraging gospel-centered discipleship in the last few years and I have seen how vital it is to be involved in one another’s lives: iron sharpening iron, encouraging, rebuking, mourning and rejoicing with our sisters in Christ, and modeling Christ-like behavior through example and study of the Word. I feel especially convicted to encourage my married daughters and daughter-in-law in their walk with the Lord, whether through texting, phone calls, having them over for dinner, or meeting them for coffee or lunch. And now that I have a grandson, I desire to be a godly influence in his life! I also have a high school senior this year to whom I am very close and discipling to help her prepare for college and her future. Not far behind her is my 13-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter who also need teaching, training, and discipleship on a daily basis. I am a sinner saved by grace and struggle every day, but my heart is for my children’s salvation and for them to walk worthy. For my own encouragement and growth, I’m trying to meet with a dear friend as often as possible to challenge one another and hold one another accountable.
I sorrowfully admit that I’m not always faithful about prioritizing my time with Jesus. I used to read my Bible more at night before bed, but have more recently tried to read in the morning before I start my day. Then I’m more awake and able to focus and write in my journal. I also like to listen to sermons while I drive (if I’m alone in the car) or doing other solitary activities when I can focus on the sermon.
I am a sinner saved by grace, not by any works that I have done to try and earn my way to heaven.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
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