faith

All of It

On the rare occasion that our family sits down at the kitchen table to eat together, we take turns discussing the details of our day.  Everyone is asked what their favorite part of the day has been.  Answers vary from meal to meal for most of us.  One child will reply, “This is.”  Another will say, “When I finished school.”  I’ve been guilty of answering, “When y’all finished your chores without being threatened.”  But one answer is always the same.  My youngest son always answers, “All of it!

Even though it has become the expected response, I can’t help but smile each time Connor makes his declaration.  It doesn’t matter how many times he’s been scolded or how many times his older siblings stole his turn on a gaming system.  It doesn’t matter how many times he has fallen and scraped up his knees or been unhappy that we’re having beans and rice for supper again.  Though he may have complained more than once about said things, he has found true joy in life.  Through the good and the bad.  Through the misery he brings on himself and that others heap upon him.  He has found that true joy is only found in “all of it”.

You can’t pick apart only the best moments of life and choose that those are the ones that make you happy.  You will spend your whole life miserable.  Happy and special moments are few and far between and most of our life is spent in the mundane tasks that make up our daily lives.

I love this quote by Kay Warren:

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything will be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”                            

In all that happens in your life today, be encouraged and choose joy!

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Invisible Illness Meets Unseen Faith

 

Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ‘em?

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.  2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)

Many of you who know me personally know that I have Fibromyalgia, and as the weather fluctuates, so do the flare ups.  (For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Fibromyalgia, it is a disease that causes wide spread pain and extreme fatigue along withfibromyalgia_symptoms
many, many other symptoms.  It is not fatal, but it is also not curable.  Because the exact cause of this disease has yet to be determined, there are some treatments available, but no one thing that works for everyone.)  Usually I manage the symptoms as best I can, but this past week was particularly hard.  I ended up in bed for three full days.

 

During these times the devil does his best to discourage me.  He whispers lies to me such as: I’m useless to my family; or my family would be better off without me; or how could God use a loser like me when I can’t even get out of bed.  The devil is the father of lies, and he comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.  It makes sense that he’d hit me when I’m at my lowest and attempt to steal my joy, kill my hope, and destroy my faith.

The Holy Spirit is always quick to remind me of my identity in Christ – I am a child of God, an overcomer, greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world, I am an heir of the Most High King, and I am redeemed.  These truths drown out the lies of the enemy.

Invisible Illness Meets Unseen Faith
Psalm 23 is one of the most quoted chapters of the Bible.  A couple of years ago, God shed light into my heart regarding the second verse.  It says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.”  Sometimes in all of the hustle and bustle of this thing called life, He has to make us lie down in order to make us slow down.  On days when I am confined to my house, I can still praise God.  On days when I can’t get out of bed, I can pray and read the Word.  The first part of Psalm 23:3 says, “He restores my soul.”  Sometimes in order for our souls to be restored or refreshed, He has to bring us to a point where He has our full attention.  Sometimes for me that requires three days of bedrest.

Psalm 73:26 (ESV) reminds us, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Whatever you are facing today, be encouraged in your identity in Christ and walk in the faith that He is working all things together for your good!

Have a blessed week, y’all!

HOPE

HOPE

“Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself. Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come. Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God’s own commitment, that the best is yet to come.”  J.I. Packer

A Different Set of Circumstances

“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”  – Elisabeth Elliot

Christ in Me

As a young adult struggling to figure out my place in this world, few people offered the guidance and wisdom than the writings of Elisabeth Elliot.  Her words comforted me, challenged me, strengthened me, and grew me into a better person.  I read her writings of her life by the ocean and dreamed of one day meeting her at her sea side home.  Her love for animals and belief that they too are eternal beings deepened my admiration for her.

During a particularly difficult time in my life I wrote to her telling her how her daily devotions arrived to my inbox each day to tell me exactly what I needed for that day – as if she watched my life and knew – even though most of the writings were written some twenty years earlier.  I never expected to hear back from her but was greatly encouraged when I received a handwritten postcard from her and her husband, Lars.  Along with a brief message the instructions were given, “Trust and obey.  There really is no other way to be happy in Jesus.”

She has now passed Through The Gates of Splendor, has been reunited with her first two husbands, and has met face to face the love of her life – Jesus.  I look forward to joining her there one day.