Share-Your-Story Friday. Carol from TX

Carol alone
I was sitting in the audience as Janet Pope was speaking. It was perfect timing, just the way the Lord does things. I’d been challenged for some time by Jackson, our 3-year-old grandson (now 4), and the way he was memorizing Scripture. In fact, our favorite Christmas gift last year was a DVD of him reciting 5 Psalms with great expression (1, 8, 19, 23, and 96, I think – he also has down 46 and 100). There’s nothing quite like hearing your grandson say,

“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger”! (Psalm 8:2)

It took me a few months to get moving, but I finally decided in August that I could at least catch up with Jackson – and even went public with my intention.

But it was slow going, partly because … oh, there are always excuses, aren’t there? Mine was sheer tiredness and a lack of motivation to do much of anything. In fact, I started a sabbatical in July from my ministry role, which has required a lot of travel. My (professional) counselor friend and prayer partner diagnosed it as burnout; my doctor – after running many tests – called it chronic fatigue, and told me to go home and rest. It’s been a challenge to learn how to do just that! But the Lord has given me grace to disengage from work, which was amazing in itself, and to focus on getting healthy in every way, as well as learning to be quiet with Him in a new way.

That’s when Janet showed up. I bought her book and read it through. I have continued memorizing and meditating on “Jackson’s” Psalms, and should finish up Psalm 96, my last one, this week. I have some other Psalms I’d like to work on before tackling Titus, but I’ll get there. I totally related to the part in Janet’s book about being disciplined and I loved the cleaning-the-oven story—so encouraging to me.

There’s something strange that I’ve been noticing this past week. The more time I spend memorizing and reviewing the Psalms I’m working on, including in the middle of the night when I sometimes can’t sleep, the less tired I feel.

I keep thinking of Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul,” and

Psalm 23:2-3 “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”

And I wonder if in restoring my soul, He’s going to restore my energy? Whether or not this leads to renewed physical strength, though, I know that this is the path on which the Lord is taking me to strengthen my soul and to deepen my relationship with Him. I love Janet’s focus— that this isn’t about memorizing Scripture, this is about getting to know Him more intimately.

17 comments to Share-Your-Story Friday. Carol from TX

  • Paulette

    THANK YOU, I can relate with the phisical issues you are not alone thank you for being transparent. I also have begun to memorize God’s word. His word is a healing balm to my soul,I agree I enjoy getting to know God more intimately with each verse I commit to memory. Thank you again for being transparent beautiful story.

    • Carol McKee

      It’s encouraging to hear how the Lord is using His Word as a healing balm to your soul, Paulette. Thanks for your response!

  • You have such a beautiful smile, Carol, which drew me into your story.
    Yes, God’s timing is always so perfect in our lives to bring us closer to Himself.
    Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story, and giving your friends in Christ
    encouraging words.
    Jesus’ Joy, Hebrews 12:2

  • Sue Bond

    Amen, Carol, Amen! We are getting to know our Lord and receiving from Him strength and blessing and encouragement along the way! It’s so exciting, isn’t it? 🙂
    Your grandson is going to have (has) a priceless treasure stored up in his heart and mind for his life ahead and he now has this in common with you too. What joy!
    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    • Carol McKee

      I loved watching Jackson listen carefully to his (grand)Papa as he recited Psalm 96 last time we visited – wanting to make sure he was doing it right! When I’ve shared Jackson’s story, SO many people have commented on Scripture they learned as a child. Makes me want to cheer my daughter and son-in-law on! Thanks for your note, Sue.

  • Chérie

    Thank you Carol. I identify with so much of your story. I encourage you to do whatever it takes to stay on the path of memorizing. It will get you through this time of burnout. Psalm 8:2 in the NIV84 (my fave—don’t care that its getting harder to find–) has fascinated me for sometime. I remember the first time it “jumped off the page” at me. I stared at it forever and a day.
    I’m so glad you have latched on to the truth that Janet has written about— “this isn’t about memorizing Scripture, this is about getting to know Him more intimately”….

    This has to be the foundation of our memorization process.
    —Who was it that Jesus was constantly bagging on about their hypocrisy?
    The Pharisees.
    —What were they famous for being able to “accomplish”?
    Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy EVERY WORD OF THOSE 5 BOOKS MEMORIZED!
    Memorizing scripture without the intent of knowing God better is well,…. being a stinking Pharisee?
    You are on the right track little missy! Keep at it and please keep us posted on your progress so we can encourage you. 

    • Carol McKee

      Thanks for cheering me on, Cherie – and for the challenging reminder about how even the Pharisees memorized Scripture!

  • Shari Blodgett

    Thank you so much, Carol, for sharing your story! It greatly encourages me. I love how the Lord meets us right at our point of need and in perfect timing! Thank you for this sweet reminder. : )

  • Richie

    Hi Carol. How cool that your 4 year old grandson was your encourager and motivator! God can use anyone and he knows how to reach us. I am really proud of you for stepping out in faith to memorize scripture even when you are trying to disconnect from your ministry role for a while in order to reboot. As those words become so familiar to you after repeating them over and over, I think they will be a source of great comfort and will give you some inside scoop on knowing God’s heart even better! Press on!

    • Carol McKee

      I love your encouraging words! These words are already a source of great comfort and strength – may this continue for us all, Lord!

  • Carol, I really appreciate your story. I believe when we’re in the Word we’re content, even with the energy level we have. I posted a quote by my desk, that I got off of Janet’s blog a while back, by Hudson Taylor, “God chose me because I was weak enough. God does not do His great works by large committees. He trains somebody to be quiet enough, and little enough, and then uses him.” I think that statement goes for you and your sweet grandson. I’m also thinking of the words in “Jesus Loves Me” – we are weak, but He is strong!

    • Carol McKee

      That’s my prayer, Vickie – that I’ll be content, even in weakness, because HE is strong! I need to sing “Jesus Loves Me” more often!

  • Carol McKee

    Thanks, new friends in the Lord, for your kind responses to my letter to Janet. The Lord’s timing was perfect again last week. I started memorizing an old favorite, Psalm 63, which was especially precious to me when my dear mother-in-law was on heaven’s doorstep a few years ago. “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” (Verses 3-4). Those verses were sweet reminders when I got the news on Thursday that my dad has cancer – and he appreciated hearing them as well. The Lord is good!

  • Cheryl

    It’s so strange to see you here saying what we have talked about several times. A friend and I both bought the book and are reading it. It is so powerful. We both are convicted with many of Janet’s statements. We are being accountable to one another, starting in Titus. There — I too have gone public. I know Jackson will run circles around me with his memory but that’s not the important thing. DOING it now matter how slow is what is important.

    • Carol McKee

      It’s exciting to hear that you and your friend are going to memorize Titus together! I bought the book for all of our kids for Christmas and am putting out the challenge to them to memorize Titus with me starting in January. Whether or not they do it, though, I hope to be right behind you! (For anyone else reading this blog, Cheryl and I are dear friends separated by several states. When Cheryl heard about how the Lord used Janet to encourage me, she went out and bought her book right away.) I love what God is doing!