Planning Our Course, The Lord Directs Our Steps
“Before we go, let’s pray,” I said, and Van and I clasped hands. Lord, to us, this seems like the right thing to do. But we don’t want to run ahead of You. We have hopes and dreams about the new chapter of retirement. But we want our dreams to glorify You. As we look at homes, help us keep open minds and hearts. I claim Proverbs 16:9, Lord, In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps. We planned our course; direct our steps, God. Help us make wise decisions. Amen.
A year of talking, thinking, praying, and we agreed we would retire in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Leaving California meant huge change and lots of unknowns. Although Van was born in Phoenix, he moved to California when he was eight. In my sixty-two years, I never lived further than seventy miles from Los Angeles. All of my family, including our daughter, Erin, and three grandchildren, live in California.
I never dreamed I would leave the community where our friends, ministries, and church home were centered. Twelve years of unforeseen change and sorrow settled like a heavy dark cloud, and weariness seemed more and more part of my life. Van worried discontentment fueled my desire for change.
Search my heart, O God, I pleaded. I want to please You and serve You. Show me the way. If I am discontent, forgive me. Fill me with Your peace and joy.
Van and I prayed and talked and prayed some more, together and independently. Now we stood together, hands clasped, and asked God to direct our steps before we started searching for a new home.
Seeing How God Directs Our Steps
God answered that prayer over and over. We found a new house we liked and that fit our budget. Our home in California sold in less than a week, and the buyer agreed to a longer escrow, and let us rent the house back for a month. That way, I could finish my last year of teaching and our under-construction house would be closer to completion. Judy and David, my sister and brother-in-love, went above and beyond what we asked, sending pictures every, single day while we stayed in California. Then, they graciously opened their home for the month we needed before our house was ready.
During the construction of our new home, we visited several times. After one visit, I posted a picture of myself sitting on my front porch and on the fireplace while the house was being framed. A friend who saw those pictures on Facebook recommended we choose a favorite verse and write it on the threshold. “It will be covered with drywall and painted,” she said, “But you’ll always know it’s there.”
Both Van and I loved the idea. Again, we prayed about what verse to use. We each made a list. However, we couldn’t get to Prescott in time. We thought about writing on the drywall, but somehow, that didn’t seem right.
Inviting God into Our Home
Finally, we thought about writing directly on the foundation of the house. But the drywall dust prevented the marker from working. Van got a bottle of water and a towel. Kneeling on the foundation, he washed the cement. Now the writing could be seen clearly and easily.
As I watched Van prepare the floor, I realized God again directed our steps. We wrote on the foundation, and Christ is the foundation of our faith. Van and I want Him to be the foundation of our home. Jesus washes us so we stand whiter than snow before God. Washing the dirt and grime from the floor reminded us of Christ’s sacrifice, and that we must come before Him with clean hearts. In humility, we kneel before Him, with thanksgiving for His gift of love and mercy.
Our hearts’ desire is to make God the foundation of our new retirement life and our new home. Mark Batterson’s books, Draw the Circle and The Circle Maker, influenced us to pray throughout our home. We chose verses for each part of the house and prayed them. Every verse we chose became a prayer that God be glorified in this home He provided.
Now that we live in our new home, we continue to pray the verses, reminding us that our home belongs to God, and we want to use it for His glory.
Proverbs 16:9, In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps, was the first verse we wrote in our entryway. A reminder that every time we go through the front door, we are on a mission for God, whether going out into our community or staying at home. No decision should be made without looking to God and expecting Him to work in us and through us. We need to remember, the Lord directs our steps.
Prayer that God Directs Our Steps, Proverbs 16:9
Lord, Thank You for Your faithfulness. That You know how to take my plans and desires and make them into something good. I ask You to direct my steps in everything I do in this home You provided. Let me not run too far ahead of You, but to listen for Your voice and obey You in all things. I ask for wisdom in every decision. Help me remember, this home is not mine, but Yours. Use it, use me, for Your glory. Amen.
JOIN ME IN PRAYING FOR YOUR HOME FOR 31 DAYS
Every day for the next thirty days, I will share one verse, where we wrote it in our home, and the prayer of our hearts. You can use these verses in your own home as you seek to make God the foundation of your home and life. Because our home was under construction, we could write directly on the foundation as a symbol, but there are many ways to make these verses part of your home:
- Write them on the underside of a piece of furniture or inside a closet
- Print the verses, frame them, and hang them where you can see them (free printable available on Day 31)
- Keep a prayer calendar. Write the verse on the calendar, then every day pray the verse (free printable available on Day 31)
- Keep a prayer journal. Write each verse on a different page of the journal. Every time you pray that verse, write the date. Also, write how you see God answering your prayers as you faithfully dedicate your home to Him.
However you choose to use these verses, I pray God blesses you as you seek to glorify Him in your home.
This is Day One of #write31days2017. For an index of all the posts in the series, click here.