Saturday, October 06, 2012

Prep Work

Prep work

As much as I love stir-fry and appreciate its healthiness, I dislike the prep work—all the chopping. Green pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper, onion, broccoli, celery…it takes forever. But, without the prep work there’s nothing to stir.
There’s a need for prep work in us too. It’s nothing new—Moses spent forty years in the desert. Jesus went forty days in the wilderness. Joseph spent time in prison. Paul was prepared in Tarsus. And, the Israelites wandered for forty years. It’s just that we don’t like the idea of a wilderness, of being set aside. Finding ourselves alone shakes us up a little—maybe a lot. But, anytime we face ourselves in solitude, we discover Christ in a fresh way. The wilderness experience gives us time to reassess our focus and draws us nearer to His heart and purpose.
The wilderness, or time on the shelf if you will, is often the prep work for His next step. It can be lonely or uncomfortable, but it’s never unfruitful. It has a way of burning away the dross so our hearts burn pure again.
Since breaking my foot on September 22nd, I am facing some prep work. I assume it has something to do with how I move forward with writing and speaking. I left my job to pursue ministry “full-time” but not sure what it’ll look like. Instead of being home, ripping into fall cleaning, I am resting as my foot heals. I think God knows I’d fill my time with other projects—too busy to be still and listen. I don’t know. But, for whatever reason, He’s decided to slow me down—for some prep work. Now, to be honest, my feet may not be moving but my mind sure is.
So, my prayer has been to slow down my whirling thoughts so I can hear His whispers. I am confident. He will accomplish in me what He intends and prepare me for the work that’s coming next. Through the prep work, He’s getting ready to stir something new in me.

How about you? Share a time when you felt set aside…what prep work did He do in you?

Waiting to be stirred,

PS: It’s not lost on me that my six-week recovery time is about 40 days. I love God’s sense of humor!


  1. Great post.

    I have been in a long, long desert time. But in a way all of life here is desert, as we long to see Him face to face and to know him fully, even as we're fully known.

    But above that normal desert stuff, I've been through some hard things. Physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial needs have been constant, overlapping trials for many years.

    What was the prep work? Wisdom and patience. They can't be had without time invested.

    And now...I think God is moving to use me in a new way, after all those years of preparation. Time will tell.

    In once sense, he's used me all along, where I was, with a small circle of influence. But it seems that maybe he's about to enlarge my circle of influence.

    Not sure. But maybe.

    The trick is to be content wherever, I think. To joyfully speak and leave it to God to decide if you speak to few or many. If you do that, it doesn't matter if you're in a desert place or not. You just praise him and he brings the people who need to hear.

  2. Great advice, Sally. I do think he uses us right where we are in the midst of our desert. Our lives are always in a state of being prepped--to be more like Him.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to seeing what He has in store for you.


  3. Thanks for posting this, Jeanne. My husband has often said that each part of our journey is a "stepping stone" for the next. Everything is prep work for something yet to come. Good reminder. I love where you write about slowing down your whirling thoughts. That is where I often get stuck. My thoughts get to swirling and whirling so much that I become incapacitated. I need to learn more how to "be still and know that I am God." and then to hear the still small voice - or whisperings - the comes next.

  4. Being still is the hard part, Sue. We can be physically still but to really still our hearts and minds is so difficult.
    Praying for your whirling thoughts too.



  5. Jeanne, I feel like God kind of has me on the shelf as I'm doing all kinds of things right now that are absolutely necessary, but not at all what I feel I need to be doing!

    I need to be working on the next CCC, the next BlogTalkRadio, the next speakers' page, the next phone appts with the recent grads, the next event...the next...the next...

    I'm making it a priority to help friends who are dealing with serious health issues. And I'm thankful I can.

    But for some reason, I'm also cleaning up messes and backtracking, while everything piles up.

    What have I learned? I'm not sure. I have discovered that I do have to sleep, take real breaks, and spend time with family, even in the midst of the chaos.

    And I see that the world isn't falling apart just because I don't have things done yet. Maybe I'm learning...again...that I am NOT in control...

  6. Vonda,

    Constant battle, isn't it. It is easy for me to be in over my head. It happens so subtly...a little at a time so I don't "get it" right away.

    Praying for you as you sort things out.


  7. Hey Jeanne,

    Well said.

    My time of prep has been several years of migraines. The worst times are six week stretches. They vary in intensity but have absolutely changed my life. I have often said, "God clipped my wings" because I can't do all the things I want to. I've even missed family times because of them. One Thanksgiving, I sent my hubby and 4 of our 5 kids to Grandma's house without me and my one son. I wanted my hubby to be with his folks. It was important.

    I absolutely would love for God to heal me of the migraines. But until then, I ask Him to use me where I am, clipped wings and all. :)

    Enjoy your "forced" down time. I think God has something special in mind for you. :)

  8. Mary,

    Thanks for sharing this with me. Migraines are awful--that kind of pain...

    May I pray for you now?
    Father, I lift my sister to you. She struggles so with these headaches. I pray for wisdom, given to those who treat her, that they might find clues on how to diminish their effect on mary's life. Whether it's dietary, hormonal, structural...shine a light on the area of weakness so that healing can begin. I ask that you be close to Mary and give her peace, especially when the headaches descend. In Jesus' name.

    {{HUGS to you}}


  9. Jeanne,
    I was blessed by your post and can so relate. I remember a time when the Lord set me aside because ministry became more important than spending time with Him. A time of brokenness, followed by restoration and fullness of joy. Grateful for the things He taught me back then and especially for His loving faithfulness and mercies. They are new every morning! Praying this time sitting at His feet while your foot heals, will be blessed with the solitude and joy of His presence.
    Love you,

  10. Thank you, Glenda. As someone said to me recently....we are human beings, not human doings.LOL

    I am looking forward to what He has planned


  11. Jeane, my stomach issues are causing me to do more prep work. I believe God is preparing me for the next level where He needs me. And He needs me doing better than I was doing.

    BTW, you are the winner from last week's Colonial Quills' review of Carla Gade's new release. But I had no email.

    Blessings! cfpwriter (@) aol (dot) com

  12. Thank you, Carrie, both for leaving your comment and for the alert that I won the drawing. My email is:

    I will pray as the Lord prepares a new thing in you :)


  13. Thank you for posting this! It confirms in my heart what God has been saying to me. In February, He asked me to step down from a volunteer position that I held for several years that I loved. Then He asked me to set aside my blog for a season. I have made some other positive changes in my life healthwise. I am going to Allume (Christian bloggers conference) next week...not really knowing why I'm going since I'm not blogging right now. But I am praying and trusting God for His direction. As a friend recently put it, I am in a Chrysalis stage. Only God knows when He will allow me to emerge. Until then I am learning to be content in the waiting.

  14. Alicia,

    Thanks for stopping by; I will look forward to hearing about the blogging conference--I have never heard of it before. Being content is HUGE!! Often, waiting can be maddening.

    Will you keep me posted?



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