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Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Sitting here with a tinge of the stomach bug, I am thinking through why God allows things to happen. I know in my mind can go round and round and I will never really know the answer to this aloof question. It reminds me of a conversation I had the other day. A friend said to me, “I bet when we get to heaven, we will take one look at God and realize we got almost everything wrong here on earth.” We kind of chuckled of a minute and I thought, “I bet she’s right.”
However, I have become convinced of this one thing, the Lord never relents in growing those He loves. And I have to personalize it like this: God is constantly allowing challenging circumstances into my life, not randomly, not to make me mad, or to prove some point, but because He loves me. He knows that every hard situation, whether it was me finding out Adam has cancer to our family getting the stomach bug, has the potential to draw me closer to Him, showing me just how deeply I need Him. He knows in every trial, He is working out endurance, character, and hope in my life.* Out of His great love for me, He never abandons His concern for the condition of my heart, never leaving me alone in a place of not needing Him.
It has taken me a long time to really view my life like this. In fact, just through the past few months has it really become rock solid, this new theology. In the past few years, through other excruciating circumstances that seemed to hit one after the other, I often wondered, “Does God really love me, or is this all a big joke?” But recently, through this last big trial, He has confirmed in my heart, all has been allowed through His lens of love. He has a plan for me, a story that has included all kinds of wonderfulness, a handsome and loving husband, beautiful healthy children, fulfilling opportunities to serve. The same story having some very sad pieces, including miscarriages, abuse, and cancer. It seems obvious to me that through clinging to Him in the latter things, through the hard times, this is when I have come to know Him as my shield, my portion, and my deliverer and He has grown in me a grieved heart of gratitude these things.
Through difficult seasons, His word has become alive to me, much needed oxygen on days that were hard to bear. Philippians 4 has resonated in this soul of mine. It says, “11 Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. 12 I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. 13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
Have I reached this lifestyle of continuous contentment? No. But with every trial, God is taking the opportunity to teach me I can be content, I have all I need in Him. And I have learned, no matter what is thrown my way, that He lavishly loves me admist the hurt, pain or confusion, no matter how big or small. Knowing He promises to use all for my good and His glory and resting in the presence of His love, I know I can be and am “ready for anything through Him. He alone has the power to “infuses inner strength and confident peace” into the fragile places of my heart.
I realize now that being a Christian doesn’t spare you from heartache in this world. As we were sitting in the West Clinic, waiting for Adam’s appointment with the oncologist, I just kept thinking, “We are too young and too healthy to be here. This is a dream.” Most of the people there looked “sick.” But cancer is no discriminator. Heartache isn’t reserved for some; it’s reserved for all in one way or another. Sadly, it’s part of this broken world.
One day, when I see Him face to face I believe I will understand a little bit more about my story here on earth, but until then, I am grateful that He won’t relent in growing me, pruning me because He loves me. And I am thankful He provides everything I need, every single day without fail.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Can you relate?:
*Have you ever wondered, "Does God really love me?"
*What are your thoughts on Romans 5:3-5, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
*What do you picture when you think about seeing Jesus face to face?
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
"Kindness. This pulls right to the front...knowing every type of person, the one that shine outstanding in our memories are the kind ones. We so deeply want you to be tender toward people. Empathizing is key to a wholehearted life. I pray for your kindness more than your success, because the latter without the former is a tragedy. God measures our entire existence by only two things: how we love Him and how we love people. If you get this right, you can get a million others wrong."
Monday, February 22, 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016
He who called you is Holy-be Holy for I am Holy. 1 Peter 1:16
I'm digging into holiness this morning. Holiness to me can either seem unattainable (so give up now right?!) or can feel like a grit your teeth and be a good person mentality. This verse however doesn't elude to either of those extremes.
Holiness in this passage means our lives and characters should right now be in the process of becoming conformed-both inwardly and outwardly to God's standards. (Reading my bible, spending time with Him, praying to Him-taking seriously rom 12:1-2 and begging Him to transform my mind to look more like His.)
Holiness here means being totally devoted and dedicated to God-opening my heart and life up to what He has for me today....remembering that He has plans for me- his hands and feet on earth- to accomplish His purposes today. It also means anything that is pulling me away from my walk with God-anything that distracts me or takes away my focus must be walked away from today.
He is holy and wants me to be holy because I can glorify God best by being like Him. -McArthur
Saturday, January 16, 2016
A friend sent me "A Screwtape Letter for the Unappreciated Mom." When, I read it I was blown away by how well the author identified the lies us moms believe. I decided to write a prayer in response to this Screwtape Letter. Here it is:
A Prayer for the Unappreciated Mom
God, you know, see, and understand all. Today, please protect my heart from feeling over-worked, unappreciated, and discouraged. God, please give me extra energy today. Remind me Jesus, that “the labor I do for you is never ever done in vain and that you are delighted in servant acts done in secret.”
I’m coming to you now and begging for your help. I want to be filled with joy, peace, contentment and a servant heart. I need you Jesus; I know I cannot muster this stuff up on my own.
Lord, protect my marriage, please God. Unify my husband and I on all fronts, and when an issue comes up that threatens to disunite us, make it clear, give us eyes to see the issue for what it is and not see each other as the enemy.
Remind me that my husband is my friend, my best friend. One who has seen my ugliest flaws and loves me anyway. Enable me to look over his faults and love him deeply with “the love that covers a multitude of sins.” Give me the power to easily forget when he wrongs me, liberating my mind to give him “grace upon grace upon grace.”
Oh good Father, rid my heart of bitterness and resentment towards my husband. Instead of bitterness, give me a heart of contentment for the life you have given me. Holy Spirit flood my heart giving me the things of you- joy and sweetness, a calm that seeks to comfort others.
Condition my heart to only see the best in people- especially my husband. To always assume he has good motives, trusting you to take care of him when he doesn’t. Give me eyes to see his strengths and give me the words to encourage him.
Instead of focusing on my pain or trouble today, empower me to think on and pray for others-considering others more important that myself. Help me to apply this truth first and foremost with my family- my husband and children. Give me the heart to joyfully serve them expecting nothing in return.
Please Father, give me the clarity of heart and mind to follow the path you have for me today. “Show me your ways, lead me in your truth, guide me Lord.” Help me not to become so task focused that I don’t see the people you want me to love on today. On the reverse, help me not to be lazy, but give me the diligence I need to complete the tasks before me, no matter how unappealing they seem. I trust you can direct me moment by moment today Lord.
And Jesus my children. Oh Lord, give me eyes to see how much beauty my children add to my life. When I feel absolutely depleted, bring to mind, the eternal value of raising children who love you and want to serve you is priceless. Remind me of how valuable it is to my children that I am available for them when they have a need. Give me small glimpses into the future enabling me to envision what wonderful adults my children have the potential to be with their unique personalities and giftings. Recall to my mind that there is no greater calling than to be a mom.
Today, please Jesus help me to find the affirmation I need from you, in being obedient to the calling you have for me now. Today, please bring to mind scripture and songs that echo the message: “You are enough for me.”
God, I was recently reminded that the most valuable thing in the world is truth. I know as a stay at home mom there are many hours of brain blank space where my mind needs to focus on truth and good or it can go down slippery slope. Help me, no matter what my circumstance, to discipline my mind to dwell on truth. Grant me the discernment to decipher lies thrown my way and equip me to dispel them with your truth.
I need you every second today Jesus and you know it. Thank you for your constant presence and for the beautiful life you with which you have blessed me.
Saturday, January 2, 2016
"By 'wisdom' James is talking not only about knowledge, but the ability to make wise decisions in difficult circumstances. We as Christians, do not have to grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble on answers. We can ask the God who knows everything, for wisdom to guide our choices." -Life Application Bible
I don't know about you, but there are many things vying for my time these days. I desperately need God's wisdom to know how I am to spend my time this year! I'm thankful I serve a God who knows what is best for me, and wants to "show me which path to choose." His path for my life will not only be the best for me, the most fulfilling and the least stressful (because I won't be taking on talks I wasn't supposed to!) His way, His path for my life, will also be most glorifying to Him!
God give me a heart of wisdom this year for your glory alone! Amen!!