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 #4 and we’d like to introduce you to Dottie. She is the wife of an Air Force Pilot for the past 14 years, stay-at-home mom of four wonderful children, and a follower of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Her oldest son is 10, two daughters 7 & 4, and youngest son will be 3 at the end of this month. She stays sane by crocheting, knitting, and sewing in her spare time, which she hasn’t had a lot of lately.
We are an Air Force family. My husband is currently deployed for a year and we are seven months into his deployment. While things haven’t been peachy the whole time, it has gone better than I expected. My biggest struggle is taking a few moments out for myself to do my bible study and work out. These two things keep me level headed and thinking straight when it comes to the millions of other decisions I make daily. I have given a lot of my daily struggles over to God and frequently pray for enough time to get the essentials of that day done. My motto for this year that my husband is gone has been — God is bigger and stronger and He will carry me through this year.
I pray for my husband, my kids, and our extended family — for our health and wisdom on how God wants us to live our lives. My kids have been and always will be on my heart. I pray each day over them to grow up to be strong, influential Christian men and women. I pray for their future spouses and families that they be equally yoked and live for God as well.
Over the past few years, I have been able to make my faith my own. What I mean by that is I’m not reading my Bible, praying, and trying to live a “good” life because someone else wants me to (i.e. pastor, mentor, husband, parents). I have really dug deep into God’s Word through my personal Bible study along with other Bible studies that I’m involved in (Bible Study Fellowship International & community group through our church). I’ll give you the reason behind my heart being changed in this way — I was raised in a Christian home and anytime our church doors were open, my family was there. It didn’t matter what day of the week or how late the service or event went, we were one of the first families to arrive and one of the last to leave. So, I knew how to “do” church. For the most part, this taught me a lot on how to go through the motions of church, but not a lot on how to make my faith my own. Over the past two years, I have had to step up and answer the question, “Why am I going to church?” I’ve had many Sunday mornings to get four kids out the door and to church on time by myself. I have the choice to go to church and zone out because I have two hours of free child care or to plug in and hear what God wants me to hear that day. Initially, and honestly, I zoned out in church. It was a battle on Sunday mornings that I often gave in to. I got us into a good routine on Sunday mornings where we weren’t a frazzled mess by the time we got to church. God is so merciful that He gives us chance after chance to come back to the feet of His throne and ask for a new start. He opens his arms and allows us to take refuge in His presence. I have learned to swallow my pride and appearance of a “perfect” Air Force life and ask for help from my Heavenly Father.
During my BSF study this year, our leader who gives the lectures each Wednesday, challenged us ladies to give our best to God. What she was meaning was to not wait until the last minute of the day to do our daily study/devotional not only during the BSF year but through the summer as well. Each person is going to have a different time of day to give their best to God. For me, I keep my Bible and BSF study out on my hutch in the kitchen. I see it every time I walk by and know that it is waiting for me each day. I can give my full attention to my Bible study in the afternoon while my little ones are napping and before my older two get home from school. I am not a morning person…..I never have been and I never will be I have tried to get up early before the kids woke up, but it never failed that 10 minutes after I walked down the stairs, I had little feet following me. It didn’t matter how early I got up. I have tried to wait until they are in bed and do my study, only to fall asleep most of the time. We have to find a time that works best for us individually. When we make it a priority, God will bless our time with Him.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
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