Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Next stage of life

Our little man started Kindergarten last Wednesday.  One of our friends put it so well - bittersweet.  My baby is growing up.  I am excited for him to make new friends and learn new things.  But everyday as I take him to Kindergarten, my stomach is in knots.  I miss having him at home with me.  I will miss so many things as he grows.

It is also complicated by the fact that I will be having a partial hysterectomy soon which means no more babies.  I started late and my body never recovered from having our little man.  It has been giving me nothing but trouble since I had him five years ago.  So I will have a part of myself removed and hopefully get back to feeling good.  But this too is bittersweet.  And all at the same time.

Which has made me cherish all the things I love that he still loves to do.  I love that he still loves to hold my hand when we walk together.  He still loves to cuddle in the morning when he wakes and in the evening before bed.  He still gives kisses and hugs before he heads into the classroom and pretty much any time you ask for one.  He laughs with abandon at breakfast.

I will continue to pray for God's perfect timing even if I do not understand.  The following is from an email a good friend sent:

"Hebrews 4:9-10 says:  There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his."  That doesn't mean "works" as in your job and housework etc..... it's ALL "works" .... everything we do including worry that we're supposed to let God take care of!  :)"

In His Grace...

Monday, August 12, 2013


I wrote this last year in June and it was posted on my original blog which I am no longer using.  It seems to fit again in my life at this time as well.

I am not sure why but lately I just keep hearing/seeing the word overcome.  In songs on the Christian radio station I listen to, in the Bible as I read through God's word. It seems to be a very important concept but one which I did not think much of previously.

I have struggled with many things since becoming a Christian - depression, fear, anxiety.  And with God's help, I have overcome.  I think this is why the term has come to mean something to me.  Following Christ has enabled me to overcome things that for a time were disabling.  I had allowed depression to overcome me, to keep me from reaching out to others, to stop me from leading a full life in Christ.

I had allowed fear to freeze me in my tracks and prevent me from fulfilling God's dream for my life.

I had allowed anxiety to prevent me from following God's leading in my life.

But I know that "God did not give us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline" 2 Tim 1:7.  And so each time I encounter these things that threaten my relationship with Jesus, I try to remember to look to the Lord and have verses memorized that relate to each.  Obviously, I look to the verse in Timothy to assist when I am fearful.

I look to a verse in Phillippians to assist when I am anxious "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" Phil 4:6-7.  This has been a favorite of mine for quite a few years.  I think it was the second verse I ever memorized after giving my life to the Lord.

And the Psalms that David wrote are particularly helpful whenever I feel that I am falling into the hole of depression "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame" Psalm 34:4-5.  There are numerous Psalms that encourage me and lead me toward Jesus instead of into the darkness and self-centeredness that is depression.

I pray that one of these verses might be a help to someone reading this.

In His Grace..

Friday, August 9, 2013

In Our Own Strength

It is so easy, isn't it, to try to go through life in our own strength?

I don't know about you, but I fall into this periodically.  As I do, I find that life gets more and more difficult whenever I try to go it on my own.  I certainly don't plan to do it on my own.  But periodically, when our family gets really busy (or I get really lazy) I find myself not reading my Bible daily, not talking to God regularly and as a result, I find myself in a downward spiral.

In my life application study Bible, I have been reading the book of Colossians.  In the midst of the second chapter, there is a chart that puts it well and I have included it below:

                    Religion by Self-effort                                        
Goal        Please God by our own good deeds.                

Means     Practice, diligent service, discipline and obedience, in hope of reward.                          

Power     Good, honest effort through self-determination.                                                  

Control    Self-motivation; self-control                              

Results    Chronic guilt, apathy, depression, failure constant desire for approval.    

                  Salvation by Faith
Goal        Trust in Christ and then live to please God.

Means     Confess, submit and commit yourself to Christ's control.

Power     The Holy Spirit in us helps us do good work for Christ's kingdom.

Control   Christ in me; I in Christ.

Results    Joy, thankfulness, love, guidance, service, forgiveness.
This sums up my findings quite well.  When I try to do it in my own strength, I find myself feeling like a failure, seeking the approval of those around me and not finding it, practicing negative self-talk which leads me down the road toward depression.

But if I remember to live in God's strength, remember Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength", I find myself with a much more positive outlook on life.  I can give thanks in all things which guides me to lead a life filled with much more joy.

I don't have it all dialed in...I am a work in progress...but I pray that I can continue to seek His joy through thankfulness.

In His Grace...