Labor Pangs + Purpose from Prison + World Day Against Trafficking + ABC's The Bachelorette
Timing is everything, right? And, I have gotten a huge dose of this lesson this week. At just shy of 35 weeks pregnant, I started having contractions about 15-minutes apart. Then 10.
No biggie, I thought.
This is baby number 5 - this is just my body’s way of preparing for the weeks ahead. Until I found out these contractions, that still have not stopped, were doing more than preparing. All of us pray for healthy babies and the threat of a premature birth obviously concerns my family and midwife. But, how do I stay on bedrest for this precious baby when there are so many others that need you and I to champion the important anti-trafficking message? I want to be first in line for celebrating July 30th, World Day Against Trafficking. Are you with me? So, I wonder how to live in the tension of wanting to do so much and having to be so still...literally.
Trying to relax this baby, I got into a bath this morning. I sat with my half-drunk, tepid water bottle negotiating which of the many ill-tasting supplements I should take first to help. I opened up my Bible praying either Jesus’ words or Calgon would “take me away” to relaxation - whoever wanted to be first.
Lord, I know your timing is perfect, but there is still so much to do with the launch of Able Moms, Vigilant Families, our house for sale, life...and even if the hectic schedule were cleared, this baby is truly where it needs to be.
We know His timing is perfect, but we don’t always feel it. I feel like I want to jump into the ring, be the first to volunteer, say yes, and lastly, fulfill a conviction to not let things slide. To work hard, to be good at what I do, and to try not to let people down. Now, I know God does not place unrealistic standards or perfection on either of us, but it doesn’t mean my flesh doesn’t yearn to live this one short life I have to the fullest...and then catch up on all my sleep in heaven.
I got out of the tub and noticed a page of my Bible had somehow come undone from the spine and lie on my floor in the doorway. I legitimately had to step over it or pick it up. Perfectly positioned so what was written was clear, I crouched down over this belly to focus on the text the green scrawls at the top of the page pointed to:
“15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the
most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:15-17 NLT
We live in the days of evil, for sure. God knows our hearts want to make the most of every opportunity in the midst of it. But, His Word says you and I cannot live unwisely in making opportunities.
Hmmm...Your timing really is perfect, Lord -- placing this right at my feet.
We live wisely amidst the chaos and not thoughtlessly by understanding what the Lord wants us to do. Oh, how I needed this today. I want to live every day, every moment, understanding exactly what the Lord wants me to do. I don’t want to live in the overwhelm of doing more, or even less, than what He wants of me. It takes the unrealistic pressures off us when we know our feet can only go as fast as God needs them to. He has plans for exactly what He wants “each of us to do.”
And to know exactly what God wants, we need understanding. We need the Holy Spirit.
We cannot separate the Holy Spirit from understanding and guidance. Scripture won’t let us. Listening to the Holy Spirit and learning from His Word brings understanding. A formulaic way of living with do’s and don'ts will never satisfy the anxiety everyday life can bring. Even with the unshakeable truth of God's Word, its daily application is not one-size-fits-all. Living listening to the Holy Spirit is the only way to ensure we are careful about how we live and doing what the Lord wants of us. We rest in knowing just the next step. Who doesn’t want to live in the peace of being exactly where you are supposed to be?
Do you feel the massive weight of the injustice of child trafficking or does even the thought of managing your kids have you exhausted? Do you feel like you can’t really make a dent or a difference unless you run 1,000 miles per hour? Seek to understand what He would have you do and do just that. No more. No less.
In closing, I think the perfect example of God’s ability to work in whatever He’s asking us to do is found in the context of this passage. It’s titled “Living by the Spirit’s Power” and written by Paul. As I held this thin, little page in my hand, I remembered how long ago it was written and yet, how immeasurable Paul’s impact has been on the Christian church and the world. His platform, his great microphone to the masses, was actually a small, dank, forgotten jail cell. Paul understood just what God would have him do. He accomplished no more and no less. Not running 1,000 an hour, but from an underground corner of the world.
All the best,
“Before my head knew and my eyes had seen and my heart understood the bigger picture of what God was doing, I had to walk out my Achilles heel of this injustice while I patiently waited on what I thought the Lord should do next.”
"Unraveled is an indispensable resource for every intentional mom I have met while serving in this industry. Amanda not only brings awareness to child sex trafficking, and in an approachable, peer-to-peer manner, but she preemptively addresses the concern every mom has for her child's safety and points them back to the truth necessary to combat evil. Five stars!"
O.U.R. Jump Team Member
“This is an incredibly important book for all moms to read. Amanda has done a beautiful job of helping us ponder questions in our own hearts, while also giving us an honest look of her own family’s experiences. Her story helps to equip us so that we can better protect our children in this fallen world. You will be riveted.”
CEO of And Then There Were None and inspiration for the major motion picture, Unplanned
“The crimes I have seen against children makes Unraveled a necessity for today and
Florczykowski’s bold voice draws parents to both truth and triumph.”
-FBI Child Exploitation Task Force Officer
Have you ordered your book? Click the link below.
I was sent an article just today of a victimizer with 60 counts of child sex abuse crimes against him. He was sentenced to one-year, deferred, offender treatment, and given a 384-day credit with all but one charge dropped. I’ll spare you the gore of the specifics. But, he, among others, will be released with nothing to deter them from repeating these crimes against other children. And undoubtedly,
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