Thursday, February 20, 2014


I started teaching history to my middle school students yesterday, and as we started with creation we discussed what being made in God’s image means. Odd how things in my life keep underscoring what God is trying to teach me through this study… The thing that always blows my mind when I think about being in God’s image is the fact that I have free will—the ability to choose whatever I want in my life. God often allows the consequences of my actions to fall on me so I can learn, but He won’t ‘hover’ over me and send a divine e-mail or light up the skies when I’m about to do something that is not in my best interest.

Isn’t it ironic that while we all clamor about making our OWN choices and running our OWN lives thank-you-very-much, we tend to choose what is not best for us? Left to my own devices, my choices usually add up to a very little good and a lot of pain. I need to start evaluating my choices a bit better and not just asking, “What do I want to do?” but “Is what I want to do beneficial to me?”

Who hasn’t tried to drown their sorrows in chocolate or chips? Who hasn’t tried to cheer themselves up with Facebook time, a book, or huddling in front of the TV? Goodness—I even use knitting time to cope with stress! While these things are not evil in and of themselves, are they really benefiting me when I turn to them instead of God? I still tend to reach for my knitting when I want to come unglued, but I’m learning to take those quiet moments of forming the stitches to pray for the situation and my raging feelings instead of stewing over it. When I hear the cupboards screaming my name I’m learning to stop and ask myself, “Why? Why do I have this urge to eat?” Pretty crazy, isn’t it, to think that we can fix a broken and hungry heart with food for the stomach!

Imperfect progress, learning to make the choices that are beneficial instead of what I think I want. Lord, help me to desire Your ways above my own, and help me to rest in the assurance that Your ways are best. May I learn to use my free will for Your glory and to become the person You want me to be.


  1. Good Luck <3 praying for a wonderful day!

  2. Lina ~ I really enjoyed this look at how we choose "coping" and "control" to manage ALL forms of stress. Thank you!! Miriam of

  3. 'Left to my own devices, my own choices usually add up to a very little good and a lot of pain." That sentence smacked me right between the eyes! That was the story of my pre-conversion life. Now to just apply my submission to God's will to all areas of my life. I am loving this study! God bless!

  4. PS In 2011, I spent 2 weeks on a short-term trip to provide teacher training to community school teachers near Lusaka. I loved my visit to Zambia, and love the Zambian people!

  5. I love your new question: “Is what I want to do beneficial to me?” I pray that you would continue to ask that, and listen to the answer! That's the part I trip up over! Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts :)
    Blessings, Sarah Travis (OBS Small Group Leader)