Thursday, August 28, 2008

Be encouraged...

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."- 1 Peter 5:10

"Monet's painting [The Water Garden] has much to remind me about the water garden of my life, and of it's Artist. First, it encourages me that there is a purpose and design to my life, and that perhaps, at times, I focus too exclusively on the darker portions of my painting.

It also reminds me that my Lord, the Artist of my life, has intentionally allowed the blue, green and, yes, sometimes even the gray and black hues to be brushed on my canvas for a reason. God uses these shadows to make my life richer....The Artist uses a multitude of techniques in our lives to help us become the people he created us to be.

Finally, I am reminded that just like the water lilies in Monet's masterpiece, God keeps the leaves and petals afloat through the muck, wind and rain that are part of the storms of life."

-Beth Donigan Severson,
Women's Devotional Bible NIV, Thursday devotional, "Weathering the Showers"

Be encouraged sweet friends, for He is near and will strengthen you to accomplish His will. I've struggled greatly the past few weeks, carrying a load that has seemed much bigger than it is and each time I feel like I'm at my breaking point, He lifts me up (be it through His children or a prayer meeting...) and puts it all back in perspective.

"We'll get through this, it's just a season, but how are you going to handle this while going through it? Will you rest in me, bring your worries, fears, heavy burdens to me or will you hold on to it and lash out at everyone else? Will you try and carry it by yourself or let me help you? I am right here, my child, I am right here...may I help?"

--Oh yes Father, please help, I can't do it on my own, teach me, forgive me, strengthen me, bless you, I love you my dear Lord. Guard my ears, heart and mind from the lies of the enemy. Guard my family, my marriage, our home. Teach me your ways, Lord, that you may be glorified by this season and by my heart and actions to this time. You are my refuge, my rock and my strength, for in my weakness your mighty strength is glorified. It is not by my will or might, but only by Your Spirit, Father. Thank you Lord! Amen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Please Pray...

Please pray for this family and little girl...and thank the Lord for His mighty provisions, grace and the goodness we've taken for granted...

God bless you~

Sunday, August 10, 2008

something to think about...

This week in our online Bible study we are reading the book of Micah. In my Women's Devotional Bible (NIV) while reading, I read the devotional they have in there for the day of Thursday, written by Diane Head. The title is called, "His Light" and refers to Micah 7:8

"Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be my light."
The author starts off the devotional with,
"There are some days in a mother's life when the sun just doesn't seem to rise. We may have been disappointed by someone. Or maybe we're not feeling good about ourselves or about our relationships with others. Maybe we're just lonely. Whatever the reason, a cloud settles in..."
Huh? I've never had one day like that?! Ohhh...oops, I've had many...
And yes, my response, more times than I'd like to admit has been, "poor me, let me sit here in my gloom." Don't get me wrong, there is a difference between sadness and self-pity. I'm talking about the self-pity part, which the author refers too.
The author points out our own spiritual mood affects not only us, but also those around us. Hmm, that saying of, "if mama ain't happy, nobody's happy." I guess I've always thought about that saying in a selfish tone of, "if I'm not happy, no one should be happy" instead of, "if I choose not to be happy, everyone else is going to be miserable too."
We have to make choices. We have to listen really hard when the Holy Spirit is calling us, letting us know how we're going to feel better and then decide if we're going to do it (kicking and screaming), with a happy heart or not at all and sit in our own misery, allowing the enemy a foot hold.
Just today, after a truly lovely day that the Lord took hold of, my four year old decided to act like the four year old little boy he is (imagine that?!) I was praising the Lord during worship time and he (bless his heart) was ramming his head into my arm (you're laughing now right...me too:) ) Well, I can just say that after a few gentle, "please stop's" my lovely heart of praising became filled with not so lovely emotions and more of anger. And I became upset with my son for disrupting my praise time and the joy I was feeling. He did stop after a talking to, but I continued to hold onto that anger (even though it mellowed), even up until bedtime. I was ready to come sit down in front of the TV, because my sweet little boy had "given me such a hard time and I needed a break; I just want to veg." Well, praise the Lord. He gently tugged at my heart, "read my Word, bring it to me, I can help." So, I reluctantly, with some grumbling sat down, stopped from turning on the computer and turned the TV back off and opened my Bible. How His grace is sufficient. To read this devotional, to read His Word, to ask for forgiveness, to pray for my little ones. His gift of forgiveness, patience and peace...exactly what he knew I needed and I was blessed, simply by choosing to obey (even though I didn't even start with a happy, humble heart-another moment of repentance and His mercy.)
God is so amazing! Praise His name! Bring it to Him. Praise Him in the good and bad times, resting it at His feet, relying on His strength. Jesus will help us, even when our faith is little...trust and obey...
"But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
"If you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
-Mark 9:23-24
something to think about...
God bless you~

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Studying His Word...

Three friends and I have started studying the Bible together online (being that we are in
WA, CA, VA and ME-almost the 4 corners!)

We've started with the minor prophets, reading a book (or two) a week and then taking turns posting on the book and all of us commenting. Can I just say what a blessing it has been! We've turned it into a blog (thanks Terri!) and kept it private for now so we're able to post prayer requests.

My desire for this has been to read the Bible completely through and accountability. But oh how much more I've gotten out of it. Reading the different thoughts and opinions from my friends have been such a blessing. And to read these Old Testament books and be able to discuss them instead of just reading it to meet the "goal" of reading the Bible-how awesome the Lord is to allow the opportunity to study His word.

I so encourage everyone to do this, be it online, in your home, hey even by phone (unless your like me and can't talk for short periods of time--not a good idea with children! :) or being part of a small group or other Bible study.

Sharing in the Lord's word with others and having that accountability is truly an encouragement and I pray something that will bring you closer in your walk with the Lord and in the calling He has upon your life and your family. Our heavenly Father didn't intend for us to live our lives without accountability and fellowship. This is something I finally learned after believing for so long that I didn't "need" church because it was man made, oh the lies of the enemy! A solid church with sound biblical doctrine, is a place to be fed, to feed and grow in the body of Christ, glorifying the Lord. I can say how my "family" has grown by huge numbers because of the special friends we've made through our churches. We are currently in a church that is going through much change but the Lord is there working greatly in hearts---so we persevere for His glory, knowing He brought us here for a reason, not for our glory we must remember, but for HIS. I desire for us to be in His will, wherever that may be:)

Bless you!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

school days are nearing...

So the time is coming...school.

Curriculum, lesson plans, schedules, co-ops...the list goes on...

Homeschooling days are upon us, time to take a deep breath...maybe a few...

Not by my power or might, Lord, but by Your Spirit...

Daily life=thrive

This journey of life-daily routines... sweet one, do you see the sun peeking through? The Lord is always present, perfect in His steadfas...