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Category: Encouragement

On My Nightstand

On My Nightstand

Finding time to read has become a little bit of a challenge lately, but I do have one book that I wanted to share with you that I have been enjoying!

For my husband’s birthday back in May I purchased a book for him that he had wanted to read.  We are always on the lookout for good books on the home and Paul Chappell is a trusted author we know. He and his wife have raised all of their children up anthd they all love the Lord and are serving Him with their lives!  A beautiful testimony of godly parenting and we want to learn all we can from older godly parents who have raised their children up to love the Lord.  My husband and I have both been enjoying this read.  It challenges us and encourages us.  I’m sure it will be an encouragement for you as well!

Up next on my reading plan are two books by the same author actually!

First is her new book soon to be released, Uninvited. I think there are times when we have all felt left out and lonely. We feel the burn of rejection and believe the lies the enemy hands out to us when we are.  I love the points listed on the back of the book:

  • 636ff06c2a1f0ae7a1fa3ea180df0febStop feeling left out by believing that even when you are overlooked by others you are handpicked by God.
  • Change your tendency to either fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process your hurt.
  • Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady your soul and restore your confidence in the midst of rejection.
  • Overcome the two core fears that feed your insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. 

Sounds like a good book doesn’t it?  I have always walked away from Lysa’s books encouraged!

Second, my husband bought me this one a little bit ago and I am looking forward to diving into it soon!  I was drawn to this book just by the title! th (1)

I look forward to sharing with you all about these two new books soon!

 

Many blessings,

 

Wendy

 

Encouragement for Moms, pt. 3

Encouragement for Moms, pt. 3

As a mom there are times when I honestly feel like I’m just not sure if I am doing this parenting thing right! How do I raise my kids in Christ? What does that mean? How do I handle different parenting moments?  Discipline?

There have been moments in my life when the reality that is parenting overwhelms me!  I want to do this SO right. but how do I do that?

My third and final encouragement in this mini series is this, seek after wisdom!

Proverbs 2:1-5 says, “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

I don’t know about you but I need that wisdom and knowledge from God! We only have one shot at raising these kids up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. One.Shot. That adds all kinds of pressure!  We have one opportunity so we had better do it right!

The good news is, Christ says that if we seek after God’s wisdom, we will find it!

What does seeking after wisdom look like?

I’m sure this won’t surprise you when I say it but, getting into God’s Word daily and spending time in prayer are your top two ways to seek for wisdom!  That alone time with God is invaluable! Pouring over God’s Word and spending time in prayer will help to better equip us as Mom’s! We need a lot of wisdom raising these children, so let’s get on our knees and ask God for it!

Another way to seek after wisdom and find encouragement is to stay faithful to church. Pastor’s spend hours studying God’s Word each week and the Lord gives them messages straight from Him for us! How are we going to hear what God has for us if we are not faithful in attending services?  I remember a time when my dad was not living with our family and we had no other vehicle but the one he drove off with.  We lived maybe 1/2 a mile from our church and my mom was determined that she and her children would be faithful to church no matter what.  Even though our lives were full of uncertainty, our home was kind of a mess, she wanted her children in God’s house. So you know what we did? We buckled on our church shoes and we walked all the way to church. It didn’t matter what was going on at home, we would be in church every time the doors were open. I do not look back on those times and resent my mother for making me go to church.  Instead I am thankful she loved me enough to take me, even if it meant we had to walk there.  I think that is a beautiful testimony of my mother.  It was never a guessing game or even a question if we were going to church Sunday and Wednesday.  Rather a, “we are leaving for church at this time and you had better be ready by then.”  Our children need to know that Sunday is different than any other day of the week. It is the day we go to church and everything else can wait.  I want this kind of testimony in my family!

Next, seek out godly council from older, godly mothers who have raised their children well.  This council can come in a few different ways.  One is through actual relationships with other women in your church or that God has brought across your path who love the Lord and all of their children love the Lord as well and are living for Him.  Ask them questions!  Invite her over for coffee and ask for wise council on child rearing.  This is actually a Biblical thing to do. Titus 2:4 states in reference to older women, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”  Seek godly advice from women who have been where you are and survived to talk about it!   Wisdom from older godly women is priceless!

Another way to seek out godly wisdom is through listening to or attending conferences on the home.  I often turn to Sermon Audio and search out sermons on the home because I oftentimes crave messages like that! {You can find some great messages on the home by any of these speakers listed in my precious post here.} Listening to them helps me keep my focus, realigns my thoughts, gives me insight and helpful tools that I can practically put into use in our home. Also, investing in good books by trusted authors on the home are very beneficial.

Ladies, being a godly mom will take discipline and work on our part but these things are worth our time and energy!  We are investing in the lives of our children and we only have one chance to raise them right! We will never have it all down perfectly, and God never requires that of us. However, we can run to the One who is perfect and knows how we ought to raise our children. Keep asking, seeking, knocking! God wants to help us be the best Mama to our children that we can be!  Let’s draw closer to Him!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

PS: If this has been an encouragement to your heart, please feel free to pass it on!

When The Miracle Hasn’t Come…. What Then?

When The Miracle Hasn’t Come…. What Then?

 

Have you ever had something you have been praying about, pouring your heart out to God over, even pleading with God for a miracle?  You long to see God perform a miracle right before your eyes!

My husband and I have had several different occasions where we pleaded with God for a miracle and He answered!  It was incredible to see God work in our lives!  There have also been other times when we have done the same thing, we cried out to God for a miracle, but the miracle never came.

What happens when that miracle does not come?  What then?

This is the question I have been mulling over in my own mind the past several weeks.

What happens when suffering remains and the miracle just isn’t there?

Earlier this year my husband and I discovered we were expecting another baby.  We were pleasantly surprised and very hopeful! My doctor had run all kinds of blood work and we begged God to let us keep this baby.

Appointment after appointment, a strong steady heartbeat could be heard. A growing little baby was forming inside of me and God was performing a miracle right inside my body! We were at the doctors office quite often and I was continuously poked and prodded, but I didn’t care! Anything to help us keep this baby alive was fine by us!

One particular afternoon we headed to the Dr again, it was an appointment simply for peace of mind and to hear the heartbeat. There is nothing quite like that sound, is there? A beautiful rhythm of life beating inside causes both comfort and hope to wash over an expectant mother!

Day after day my husband and I pleaded with the Lord on behalf of our baby and before we went in to see the Doctor we prayed in our car.  My heart was beginning to feel a bit anxious but taking my fears to the One who can help calm me is exactly what we did. On  this particular day however, when the doppler was placed on my stomach, there was only silence.

Deafening silence.

Just as there is nothing quite like the sound of a beating heart on a doppler, there is nothing quite like the sound of silence when all you long to hear is a heartbeat.

All the hopes and dreams we had for this sweet one, lay shattered in our hearts. Again.

Our sixth baby was in the arms of Jesus instead of still growing in my womb.

This was a tough tough place for me. I really wanted that baby!

My heart began to battle with the Lord. Questions of “why” and “what am I doing wrong?” were now what my prayers were filled with instead of expectant hope. This loss filled me with a brokenness I had not known for a long while.  A grief so deep it would take something only God could do to pull me out. I just could not believe we found ourselves in this place again, for the 6th time.

Have you been there before?  Expected a miracle from the Lord, heart full of faith, and yet that miracle did not happen.

During this time I had been reading in the book of Psalms and as I read through Psalm 119 one particular morning, I was struck by one verse.  I stopped, re-read it, underlined it, and wrote it on my bathroom mirror so I would see it often!

Verse 28 says, “My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

This verse was written just for me!  Seriously though, isn’t it incredible when we are reading through Scripture and a verse we have read numerous times before suddenly seems to jump off the pages and it is exactly what we need.

My soul really did feel like it was melting. I was so discouraged and hurting, but the latter half of that verse reminded me of where I needed to find my source of strength. In His Word.

The past few months I have slowly been taking my time reading through the book of Psalms and have been finding a balm for my heart in the Word of God.

I still have days of struggle, more days than I care to admit!  I still get tripped up and battle with the flesh and spirit, but the Lord always has a way of reminding me what I need to get back to. Where I can find my encouragement and my true source of healing.

Two months ago we said good-bye to our expectant little baby boy, and though tears still tend to be numerous because I miss him terribly, though my heart still aches to know him here on earth, to kiss his soft little baby cheeks, to love on him as only a Mama can do, I trust. I know that our little guy is being loved on with a love so much greater than mine!  A love so much more perfect than I ever could give. I trust in our good God because He has proven Himself time again that even when I do not understand, even when I hurt, He is so worthy of my trust. I can run to Him with all the cares of my heart and let His ever capable shoulders carry my hurts.

Psalm 116:2 says,Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.”  That verse tells me that God is leaning in, just to hear my prayer! The God of the Universe is interested in hearing the prayer of my heart. The incredible truth of this verse is something I cannot even wrap my mind around!  How can I not help but pray, when His ear is turned towards me?

The verse currently  on my mirror is one that the Lord recently reminded me of.  Lamentations 3:24, “The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” 

When hurts come our way, when life seems to not be turning out how we anticipated, when our miracle is taking a little bit longer to happen than we anticipated, we can hope in Him! We can find rest in Him while we wait {Psalm 37:7, Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him} but keep on hoping in Him!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

 

ps: If this post has been an encouragement to you, please feel free to share it with others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Life Hurts and the enemy is Bearing Down

When Life Hurts and the enemy is Bearing Down

It had been a long night that had accompanied an even longer day.  Sleep was evading me and I quietly slipped out of bed, found my favorite cozy pair of slippers, and silently tip-toed my way into our living room.

Curling up in my familiar spot on our brown micro-suede couch I reached for my Bible. With puffy eyes I cracked open God’s Word, not really knowing even where to begin reading.  My heart was so broken.  I had a desperate need to pray but no words could even form on my lips or in my head!  I needed to hear from God!  I needed to know that He saw every tear that had trickled down my cheeks, the heart-wrenching sobs that wracked my body.  I needed that reassurance of knowing that He understood and was close by.  At the moment all I was hearing was the lies the enemy was telling me.  “Failure. Disappointment. God doesn’t really love you.  If He did, then why does He continue to not answer this one simple request? You say you know He can, so why doesn’t He? He doesn’t care in fact He isn’t even listening!”

My world had been rocked.  I had had so much faith in God, I believed with every ounce of my being that He was going to answer the pleas of my heart.  But on this particular day, it became evident that His will and my prayers were not matching up.  My heart was shattered, again. prayer

I began searching for a familiar verse that I often share with others who are hurting, but in my search for the particular reference, I landed in Psalm 143.  As my eyes scanned the verses tears pooled in my eyes and I thought, “Yes, this describes exactly how I feel!”

Psalm 143:1-4, Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.”

Everything David was saying in this passage could be echoed in my heart.  I felt beaten down by the enemy.  The weight of the burden felt impossible to bear.  My spirit truly was overwhelmed and yes, my heart felt desolate.  “God, where are You?” was the question racing through my head.

Trials, they have a way of knocking the wind out of us sometimes, don’t they?  We long to hear from God just as David exclaimed in verses 7-8, Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”

While in the midst of our difficulty that is when the enemy most often strikes.  We are worn out, weakened by our affliction, and more prone to the  attacks of our enemy.  That is just how cunning and low our enemy really is.  He delights in kicking us when we are down and doing his best to drive a wedge between us and our Savior.

I really believe David knew this and recognized the fingerprints of the enemy throughout his trial.   I love how David ended this precious chapter. Read these next few verses with me, will you?Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.”

Even though David was going through such heartache and felt utterly defeated, he remembered Whose he was.  He remembered that no matter the lies the enemy fed him, he fought back and spoke truth to his soul and proclaimed “God, I am YOURS! Reveal that to my enemy!”

Friend, even when we don’t feel like it, even when our flesh wants to believe the lies the enemy whispers (and even shouts!) in our ears, we must remember, if we have claimed the free gift of salvation we are HIS!  We must speak truth to ourselves first, even if the feelings aren’t there.  Sometimes our feelings need a little bossing around, don’t they? This is something I am still learning myself!  When the enemy speaks lies shout back with TRUTH!

God is there.  He is here!  He is with me in my trial just as He is with you in yours.  He is on your mountain top and also in your valley.  When we can’t sense or feel or see His presence, remember, He is still there.  He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.  He will make beauty of our ashes, one day.  He will work it together for good.  In the meantime, hang on and cling to those promises!  You are not alone and you belong to HIM!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

Ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to share this post!

 

Books On My Nightstand

Books On My Nightstand

As a younger ministry wife and mom I didn’t really seem to have time to read!  I had the desire, but the time seemed to slip away each day and I would fall into bed exhausted!  Anytime I picked up a book to read I would fall asleep!  I know many of you all can relate!  I was good to squeeze in my Bible reading for the day, know what I mean?

However, two years ago I felt the urge to purposefully make time to read once again.  Since my time to read is somewhat limited, I wanted to choose books that would help me in my Christian walk.  I LOVE books that help point me back to the Lord, books that help me grow as a Christian woman, teach me things I need to be taught, or better yet reminded of!

Here are a few of the books I have worked my way through in the past few months.  Now I don’t have a lot of time, but I have learned to couple my devotional Bible reading with some other reading.

Unglued

 

Okay ladies, how many of us are willing to admit that our tongues can oftentimes get us into trouble?  Um. Can you see my hand held up over here?  I start my day completely intending to tame that tongue, but find myself by days end having had to apologize or really regretting that tone of frustration that came out.  This book hit me right between the eyes.  It has such practical truths in it!  It is a book I recommend for every.single.woman. whether we think we have an issue with our tongue or not, this book is full of wisdom!  I absolutely LOVE how Lysa writes. She doesn’t use flowery or over zealous words.  Have you ever read a book and while reading you think, “Why didn’t they just use a word I understand?!  I don’t have time to flip through the dictionary too!”  Lysa writes as if she was sitting on the couch next to you and I love it!  If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend running out and getting it!

BecomingMoreReRelease-Cover

So many who are avid readers have exclaimed their disappointment once they reach the end of a great book. The story has swept them away, carried them right into the story with the characters. The end of a good book seemingly means the end of a new friendship! This is exactly the way I feel about this book, Becoming More!

I have sat on the corner of my couch for several weeks now, soaking in and gleaning from this wonderful book. Conviction has swept over me, encouragement has helped lift me, truly God has used this book the challenge my heart to become more…. for Him!

When I finished this book I found myself wishing it were just a bit longer, it was just that good!  Once again practical applications that could be used in our every day personal Bible study.  Though I recently finished this book it was so good it makes me want to just start reading it all over again!  This is a great read that will really challenge you to pursue God more than you ever have before.  Not just reading His Word to check it off your list, but to read it because you want it to become alive and you want to grow closer to Him than you ever thought possible!

 

This next read is just a little bit different.  A couple of months ago I was invited to attend a ladies Bible study at another local church.  This book is a seven week Bible study with a daily devotional each week.  I have been so challenged and yet completely encArmorouraged by this study.  We have so much in Christ, friend!  This Bible study not only teaches you about putting on the entire armor of God and what that looks like on a daily basis, but also to use the weapon of prayer!  The author has pointed out that as a child of God we have an enemy and whether we choose to engage him or not, as a child of God we are already in open war with our enemy.  He has strategies he uses against us simply to try and make us stumble and become useless and feel worthless.  This book will encourage and help equip you to fight back and to be more on the offensive than the defensive.  All we have to do is look around us and we can see that the enemy has gained waaaay to much ground in our families, our churches, our communities, even our country!  It is time to fight back!  It is time to go to war!  Can you sense the passion this book helps instill in your heart?  Oh, I cannot emphasize enough, this  is such a great Bible study!

Last but certainly not least is a book my husband recently got me for my birthday.  After going through the Bible study above I knew I wanted to read this book!  I have just begun to dig into it but I know it is going to be a great read and I cannot wait to tell you about it when I am done!  Listen, if you all haven’t seen the Ferventmovie War Room, it is a must see!  We cannot recommend it enough!  It is worth having in your library of movies!  Our country and our world may be in trouble, but we need to remind our enemy that greater is HE that is in us than he that is in the world!  Christ has won the victory!  Let’s take back the ground we have handed over to our enemy!  Let’s get a serious prayer life!  It isn’t a cliche, there really is power in prayer!

Alright, I’m done, for now!  I’m curious what you have been reading though!  What books have you been reading that are challenging you in your Christian walk?  I am always eager to learn about more great reads!  These are just a few from my nightstand!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

PS: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to pass it along to others!

Failure or of Great Value?

Failure or of Great Value?

There I was, pushing my shopping cart and trying to hold it together.  My toddler was not interested in sitting in the cart, holding onto the cart, or even acting as if I was their mother!  Their desire to run around the store was overwhelming their very being and if I could just get the cart out of the way and get this toddler to the car life would be so much better.

I could feel the stares as my toddler protested their confinement.  Embarrassment, guilt, frustration, and even the feelings of failure all washed over me.  “Why can’t I get this parenting thing right?” I questioned myself as I carried my flailing little one.

If I really knew how to mother my children, fits in private or public would not happen, right?  My children would always obey no questions asked.  They would never ask “why” or pout.   I could shine my “Good Godly Mother” crown daily as I adjusted it on my head.

But there I was, daily finding myself frustrated, in tears, wondering if this consistency of discipline would ever pay off, especially with my strong willed child!  “Mom Failure” seemed to be burned across my forehead and without realizing it, I had allowed my mothering to become what I found my value in.  If my children were quick to always obey and did not throw a fit, I would feel I was doing well on the mommy scale.  The days where the strong will reared it’s head and my child acted as if they had never been disciplined in their life, I felt I was failing.  The thing is, my husband and I have a strong willed one, which meant battles pretty much came up daily.  Because of this, I felt I was apparently failing, therefore in my mind I had little value.  I walked around feeling the weight of failure so incredibly heavy and my child was only 2!

Then one day during my quiet time with the Lord I felt the Holy Spirit prick my heart.  “Child of mine, find your value and worth in Me!  Your worth in my eyes far surpasses your understanding and it goes much deeper than your parenting struggles.”  Basing my value on my ability to mother was akin to that of a roller coaster ride!  Up one day and waaaay down the next!

I love the verses in Isaiah 43, the beginning of the chapter when it says, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” and skip down a little bit….. “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee.”  Friend, God loves us!  Let’s let that truth soak into our heart and mind a little bit.

His love for us does not change based on how well our children behave or any of the things we do (or don’t do)!  Our value in His eyes does not diminish when we have “off” days, or try to find our worth in other things.  His love for us is steady, constant, unchanging.  Our value in His eyes stays the same, no matter what!

I was so used to finding my value in something other than Christ that I needed His help to show me how to find my worth in Him and Him alone.  When we ask the Lord for His help, He delights in answering!  When we strive to do it on our own, our pride stands between us and Him and we find ourselves feeling empty and alone.  We have to remember that God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. {James 4:6}  I sure need God’s grace in heaping doses, don’t you?

Help me to remember, in the heat of the moment, or dealing with my child’s temper tantrum, that my worth is still found in you!  I am not a failure!  I am simply raising a sinner in need of your saving grace!  Help me to point this little one to you….. and please bend their will in the direction of submission before I have a breakdown!” I pleaded.

Slowly the “Mom Failure” sign across my forehead began to diminish.  The more I looked to Christ for my value {instead of looking to my mothering skills for that value}, the more contented my heart was.  When emotions run high it is easy to get caught up and carried away in them, isn’t it?  Letting how we feel speak to our soul instead of feeding our soul truth.

The truth is, I am a sinner saved by grace, raising little ones in need of that same saving grace!

Here I am, 9 years into parenting now and I still have so much to learn, but praise the Lord He is willing to teach me!  He sees every single one of my victories and failures and He still says, “I love you just the same.  Keep looking to me for your value.  You are so precious in my sight!”

Friend, wherever you are today, my prayer for you is that you also find your worth in Him!  Not in beauty products, or fashion clothing, husband/boyfriend, children, popularity, none of those things will fill your soul like that of Christ!  Let’s find our worth in HIM!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it with others!

 

Hello stranger!

Hello stranger!

Well goodness, it sure has been awhile hasn’t it?

With the beginning of a new year I found myself having to step away from my writing ventures for awhile.  I am hoping to be back in full swing soon though!

God is doing some great things and teaching me so much and I can’t wait to share some of it with you!

See you soon!

 

Wendy

Three Truths for the Hurting Heart

Three Truths for the Hurting Heart

I dropped in the overstuffed chair in our living room of the home we were renting and with a heavy heart prayed, “Lord, teach me to glorify and praise you, even when it is difficult, help me to keep praising you.”

Giving praise to God, the One who allows trials to take place in our lives, seems like it would go against our very being, doesn’t it?  I mean, God, the One who could change the situation we are in, yet sometimes chooses to not do so and wants us to still give Him praise.  How in the world are we supposed to do that?

Heat up that cup of coffee once more, sit with me awhile, and in our few moments together, can I share a few thoughts with you?

First, even though our hearts are hurting, God still longs to hear us praise Him.  Remember that verse we learned as children?  Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice!”  Ya, that one.  Well, I took to the dictionary to look up the word “alway” and you know what I found?  And I quote {thank you google!} “at all times, for all time, at any time”.  God wants to hear us praise Him, even when we are smack dab in the middle of a situation that has us puffy eyed from the numerous tears we shed.  He wants us to praise Him, not with a begrudging, “I’m doing this because I have to” kind of heart, but with a genuine heart of praise.

 

Next, if we ask the Lord to help us praise Him, He will do just that!  When we come to Christ and humbly admit that we just don’t even know how to keep praising Him as we walk through our trial, He will graciously help us!  Because He longs for us to praise Him, when we ask humbly for His help, He lovingly teaches us how.  James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” 

Last, God knows that continuous praise through difficult times can tough, but that sacrifice of praise is so sweet to our God!   He never said it would be easy to keep praising Him, He understands us so much better than we often realize.  Psalm 103:14, “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”  I am so thankful we have a God who truly understands us and shows compassion on us.  He knows we are weak, and yet His strength shines greater in our weakness!  Though it may be tough, the more we practice praising Him, the better we will get at it!

Let’s purpose to praise Him more!  As the Psalmist David wrote in Psalm 34:1, ” I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  Let’s purpose to praise God, let’s ask for His help to keep praising, and let’s remember, He understands it can be difficult, but through it all, let’s learn to bless the Lord at all times!

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

PS: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to pass it along!

When our Hearts Hurt

When our Hearts Hurt

This past week I found myself briefly scrolling through social media and it seemed there was one glaring truth staring back at me from the glow of my screen.

There are so many hurting people right now.  So many heavy burdens, life and death burdens, people are carrying with them each and every day.

Mama’s weeping for the loss of their unborn babies, parents begging God to heal their gravely ill little ones, missionaries searching for answers to health problems of their spouse, marriages in trouble, poverty abounding, orphans abandoned, and on the list went.

It wasn’t long until my own heart was heavy for them, many of whom I do not even know personally, yet their stories squeezed my heart.

I found myself on the brink of tears and prayed,  “God, Please, please intervene! Heal what is hurting and broken! Restore and renew, please! Work Your perfect will.”

There have been many times in my life when I have asked the Lord to do this very thing for me and my family!  I begged God to please heal, to make whole, to give back what was taken!  Sometimes those answers came quickly, other times healing took much longer than I dared to think.

We believe God can heal, so we pray with faith sometimes as tiny as a grain of mustard seed and we wait for an answer.

How many of us have found ourselves praying, “Lord, please help my life to glorify you!”  But we don’t really think about what it may cost to actually bring glory to Him.

What if it would bring more glory to God if He did not heal instantly?  What if our praise to Him through the waiting process is what would make our light shine brighter for Him?

Are we still willing to glorify God even if the hurt sticks around for awhile?

I’m reminded of Paul in the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 12 when he shares that he also asked God to remove a thorn in his flesh.  Now Scripture doesn’t tell us what that thorn is, but it caused him some pain and trouble!  Let’s look at verses 7-9,

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul asked God to remove his thorn and God said in essence, “I can use you greater if that thorn stays right where it is.  Instead of me removing it, let my grace surround you!  Let me use your weakness to reveal my strength!”
How can we glorify God through our pain?  How can we continue to let Him shine through us when His answer to our request is the opposite of our prayer for instant healing?
Come back in the coming days and let’s look together in God’s Word for three truths for the hurting heart.
Many Blessings,
Wendy
Ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to pass it along to others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Calming Truths in the Chaos of Christmas

Two Calming Truths in the Chaos of Christmas

As we looked over our calendar for the month of December I was ready to crawl under the covers and hide.  Our to do list was a mile long and various events were scribbled across most of the days on our calendar, leading up to our favorite holiday, Christmas!Tree

It is such a magical time of year, isn’t it?

The dazzling Christmas tree and twinkling lights that draw us in and beckon us to come and rest for awhile.  Yet, our schedules hold hardly any time to actually sit down, much less take advantage of some needed rest!

Do you think the busyness of the year is actually a tactic of our enemy?

Remember, anything that will take our eyes off of Christ, no matter what it may be, that is his goal. Keeping our schedules tightly packed in order to keep us from being still and resting in Christ’s presence, is a delight to our enemy for sure.

In the few moments we have to share together, can I speak some calming truths directly to our hearts?

First, let’s remember to stop, be still, and reflectGod has not designed our bodies to keep going and going like the energizer bunny.  He has designed our bodies to need rest.  When we are still and quiet, after we have unplugged from the noise of the outside world, we find ourselves able to nativityponder the unimaginable truth of what Christmas is really all about.

God, our very Creator, came down from Heaven in the form of a tiny baby, and His soul purpose for coming was to be our Savior. A plan He had formulated from before time even began, was now taking place.

What love! 

The depth of this love is beyond human comprehension!

In the midst of all that is going on, let’s take the time to simply be still and let our minds dwell on the truth of what Christmas {and life!} is really all about.

Second, let’s be okay with the fact that we can’t do it allLearning the art of saying “no” can be a difficult lesson for people pleasers, like myself to learn. We want to make everyone happy {even though we really do know that is impossible to do, but goodness gracious we will give it our best shot!} and every time someone asks something of us, we have a hard time simply saying “no, not this time”.

It is so important to figure out what events can be done that will not drain our resources mentally, emotionally, physically, and/or financially!  As Lysa Terkeurst so beautifully stated it in her book, The Best Yes, we have to learn to say “yes” to the best thing and be okay with saying no to others.

Totally easier said than done, I get it!  However, it is completely possible to learn to say “no”, and it is okay to do so!  With God’s help, we can do this!

So as we settle in for the month of December, take some time to reflect, to be still, and enjoy this time.  As the song goes, it really can be the most wonderful time of the year!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to pass it along!