Canaan Bound Brigade

My Journey to the Promised Land….

Public Prayer

Luke 12:8 (42 kb)

     My last post talked about how I witnessed to the driver of the vehicle that crashed into mine.  The comments I received from that post were very encouraging, but honestly the lady was very easy to witness to.  I know that is not always the case!  Sometimes you find yourself being convicted to witness to someone whom you don’t even want to talk to, let alone share the good news with.  THOSE are the people who deserve the accolades, the ones who reach out to the unreachable! 

     After thinking more about that post, I was reminded of a situation I was in last month.   My older son’s girlfriend was kind enough to invite me to spend the day with her at their college.  She knew I hadn’t had the time to tour their school so she thought it would be fun to show me around.  We had a GREAT time & ended the day by having lunch at a nearby restaurant.  When our food came, I was immediately convicted to pray.  I would love to tell you I asked her if she would mind if I prayed, but I didn’t.  I took the easy way out & privately thanked God for my food, not wanting to possibly embarrass her amongst all the other college students there eating.  Boy…was I convicted ALL day long!!! 

      So why didn’t I pray??!!  The peer pressure of not wanting to possibly embarrass her in front of all the other students.  I stupidly justified my decision thinking, “God will understand”.  Maybe He did, maybe He didn’t.  Personally, I think it was a little bit of both.  Here our some verses on God truly knowing us on the inside:

1 John 3:20 Our hearts may judge us. But God is greater than our hearts. He knows everything.

Acts 15:8a God knows the human heart.

     My heart was indeed judging me.  God knew I was torn, He knew in my heart I DID want to pray.  But He also knew I didn’t choose Him, I played it safe.  Rather then acknowledging God & praying out loud, I denied God & didn’t.  I was instantly reminded of this verse:

Matthew 10:33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

     I knew I had disowned God by not openly praying & I knew I couldn’t do that again.  I wanted this to be my verse:

Luke 12:8 What about someone who says in front of others that he knows me? I tell you, the Son of Man will say that He knows that person in front of God’s angels.

     Yesterday, I once again found myself at a restaurant having lunch with a friend.  When our food came, I did shamelessly start playing that, “To pray or not to pray?” game in my head.  But guess what…  this time I chose Him!  I grabbed my friend’s hand & told I her I wanted to pray before we ate & I did.  I didn’t look around to see if anyone was watching me,  I just prayed.  You know what? It felt GREAT choosing God!  I’m praying that you too will choose God the next time you’re in a similar situation.  I know I feel much better that I did as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

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Accident?!

 Last Friday afternoon my younger boys & I were involved in a car accident.  I had stopped at a 4 way stop & was 3/4 of the way through the intersection when BAM someone rammed into the passenger side of my car.   The other driver told me she was visiting from up North & was lost.  As a result, she was looking down at her phone trying to understand the directions it was giving her.  Once she saw the damage to my car & that I had my boys in the car with me she started hysterically crying.  The front end of her car was completely smashed too.

      Thankfully, I was 2 blocks away from my friend’s house.  She immediately came & got the boys & took them back to her home while I stayed with the lady & waited for AAA.  I felt really bad for her as not only was she just visiting, but she was young too, in her early 30’s.  I told her I was a Christian & asked her if she believed in God.  She shook her head yes.  I then told her that rather than focusing on all the terrible things that just happened, why don’t we focus on the grace that God had shown us instead.  So looked at me like I was crazy, but I didn’t care & started naming them:

     1) Both of my boys were asleep when she hit me.  By the time they woke up, the accident was over so they have no recollection of what happened.

     2) Even though she hit me going full speed, the passenger door took all the force & as a result I was able to drive my car to the side of the street as well as drive it home & then to the repair shop.  Another blessing was that the passenger window WAS rolled up, but by God’s grace it didn’t shatter, nor did any of the  damaged door push itself into the car.  The inside of my car shows ZERO damage!

     3) My boys were able to go home with my friend vs sitting on the sidewalk with us for 2 hours…that was HUGE!!

     4) I told the lady she was VERY blessed that she hit me & not a pedestrian crossing the street, as she would’ve either killed them or  seriously injured them.

     5) The lady has 2 small children who by the grace of God weren’t in the car with her at the time.

     6) No one was hurt.  As upset as she was about her car & mine, I proceeded to tell her that our cars were materialistic things with no Heavenly value.  They are cars & can be replaced!

     7) There was a witness who pulled over & saw the whole thing & verified she had run the stop sign in case she later changed her story.

     I ended up sitting on the sidewalk with her for about 2 hours while we waited for her car to be towed.  She knew I didn’t have to stay with her & was very grateful I did.  I knew God was providing me with a GREAT opportunity to share His love with her & I did 🙂  When the tow truck finally arrived I asked her if I could pray with her.  She said sure & I did with my arm around her.  I’m praying that God will grow that seed I planted in her & change her life as a result.  Wouldn’t that be the BEST blessing?!    

     The next day we were at the football field.  I was sharing with my friend about the accident & she just couldn’t believe God was giving us one more thing to deal with.  At that EXACT moment, my 8-year-old ran up all excited about something he found in the trash while throwing something away.  He found a brand new Bible cover with this on the front:

     I laughed & told my friend that I think God just answered how to handle what He gives us 🙂  I’m thankful for those words that my boy found & I’m cherishing them as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

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Pressing On…

Philippians 3:14 (75 kb)

      

     Pressing on is where I’m at right now.  I AM determined to finish the cleaning up stage of our trial.  However, I am finding myself exhausted right now.  Instead of continuing on to Canaan, I find myself wanting to get off the path & just sit for a while.  But I can’t!  I was an athlete growing up & am still VERY competitive to this day.  I look at everything as a game situation.  I don’t give up as giving up means I’ve quit & athletes don’t quit, they persevere.  This is one of the reasons I love reading about Paul.  Paul reminds me of the type of player everyone wanted on their team.  Look at what he says here:

Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

     Did you catch that?  I won’t receive my victor’s crown unless I compete according to the rules.  What are my rules as a Christian?  To trust & obey.  I have to continue to trust God & that He IS continuing to make something beautiful out of this mess.  I have to continue to obey Him when He calls me to do something that I really would rather not do.  He’s calling me to press on & I need to obey & put my running shoes back on.  Just like it says here:

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

     I am a running witness as others are watching me to see how I act/re-act to what God is doing in my life.  I need to purge the sins/thoughts that are entangling me & making my journey that much more unbearable.  I need to find my determination to continue on this path that God has me on.  Is there something that God is calling you to keep pressing on towards?  Are you determined to keep pressing on or like me, do you find yourself wanting to get off the path & rest?  I’m praying for you & that you’ll keep pressing on as that’s just what I’m doing as I’m to continuing on to Canaan.

 

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Monday Mayhem

     Have you ever woken up & just knew that day was going to be a bummer before you even got out of bed??  That’s how I felt this past Monday.  I just woke up in a bad mood & couldn’t even understand why.  My first inkling that my mood wasn’t about to change for the better came when I opened my dryer & was greeted with this:

     There is waaay more to this picture then what you see.  Such as….see that splattered pen?  That is one of my favorite pens as it’s the old school type that let’s you choose which color ink you’d like to write with.  The culprit of this mess was asked on numerous times to please give me back my pen.  Sooo not only did he keep forgetting to give me my pen back,  it was left in his pocket where it not only destroyed itself & his pants but THE REST the clothes it was washed with!! 

     Now as the mom of 4 boys this wasn’t my first “I can’t believe what went through my dryer”.  I have dealt with crayon (take a hot iron, place a paper towel over the melted crayon & it should come off the fabric & adhere to the towel).  Gum?  Freeze whatever it’s stuck to & scrap off with a plastic knife.  Thanks to google, all it took was rubbing alcohol (or nail polish remover).   While I sat & started scrubbing my load of clothes with alcohol, my other son came in & informed me our toilet was gurgling!  (By the ultimate grace of God the ink culprit was at school giving me PLENTY of time to pray for peace before he got home:)  Sooo I set my clothes down & got to deal with this:     Lovely isn’t it?  My catch word that day was, “Seriously?” Yep, our toilet was overflowing.  That meant NO water can be run in the house as it will immediately come up through said toilet.  Of course, remember from my paragraph above I was also in the middle of A LOT of laundry too 😦 

     I called Jeff who called a plumber to come out, which they did 2 hours later!  To top it off, when the plumber asked where our outdoor clearing pipe was I told him for whatever reason our house didn’t have one.  He then told me that his company will not unclog a clog unless it’s through an outdoor pipe.  Seriously?!  Our house is only 18 years old so the fact that it doesn’t have one of these is INSANE!!  The plumber left….well, actually he gave me a $2600.00 estimate to have a clearing pipe put in so that in the future he could fix my clog.  The crazy part?  We HAVE had other plumbers out before & all you do is remove the toilet & run the snake through the hole.  Of course this guy was having none of that! I about put my size 9 shoe on the back off his hiney as I slammed the door shut behind him.  

     I ended up calling 2 more plumbers, while Jeff called another one too.  Neither of us could get another plumber to come out that day.  I then sat down & prayed.  I prayed that God would just help me to continue to stay sane & not give in to the bubbling anger I felt rising up.  I asked God to find favor in me for remaining calm.  I also asked God to please please please fix my toilet.

     After an hour of scrubbing all the ink off the clothes I had to re-wash them.  Ugh!  I figured I would sit in the bathroom & when the washer rinsed I would dump the water out of the toilet & into the bucket.  (All day long I had been plunging the heck out of the toilet & flushing to no avail, hence I was already used to filling up & dumping the bucket)  Sooo I ran the clothes & waited.  NOTHING happened, the entire cycle ran & my toilet did not overflow!!  I started flushing EVERY toilet in the house & it didn’t overflow.  I then said another prayer & flushed THE toilet…..IT DIDN’T OVERFLOW!!  I called Jeff ECSTATIC & told him God had fixed our toilet!  The BEST blessing of all??  We saved at least  $200.00 as a result of the plumber leaving & not fixing it!  I was sooo mad when he left, but look how it turned out. 

     I truly believe that God blessed me for remaining calm & not giving in to my anger & frustration.   My verse I kept clinging to was: Galatians 6:9 And let us not  grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give  up. Although I WAS growing weary from remaining calm, I knew I couldn’t give in to sinful behavior.  As a result of my trial, I have honestly learned that I TRULY cannot control somethings so why get all bent out of shape?  It’s much easier to except what we can’t change then freak out & try to change it & fail.  My day ended with clothes that were ink stain free & a toilet that normally would’ve cost $200.00 to fix, working again for free.  Monday may have started out with mayhem, but it ended with blessings. I am thanking God for those blessings as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

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What not Why…

     My trial continued to wear me out.  I really felt like the boulder God dropped on my path was much too big to climb over.  My instinct was to naturally go around it.  But that wasn’t God’s plan.  He intended for me to slowly & agonizingly climb over that boulder if I wanted to make it to the other side. 

     During this time I began to continually ask myself, “Why?” Why me?  Why now? Why not them? (I know, shame on me, but I’m being honest here!) Why?! Why?! Why?! Then one day my husband told me I shouldn’t be asking God why, but what.  Huh?!  What do you mean what?!  What’s wrong with why?  He then proceeded to explain that God didn’t owe us an answer as to why, we owed God by asking what.  As in:  What does God want us to learn?  What does God want us to change?  What, if anything, does God want us to give up? What might be God’s reasons for allowing this trial?   Hmmm…Jeff was right. I needed to shift my thoughts off of why God was allowing our trial to what God wanted me to learn/change as a result of it.

      One lesson I learned from our trial is that God truly wants us to be Heavenly minded in our earthly world.  I could see Jeff & I becoming earthly minded & falling into that trap of keeping up with the Jones’.   When God started to take away our financial safety net, we no longer cared about keeping up with the Jones’, we became more concerned about keeping up with bills.  It’s amazing what the Scriptures forewarn about money traps too:

Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.  This too is meaningless.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.”

1 Timothy 6:10   For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

     Through prayer and reading God’s Word we began to realize just what God wanted us to do.  It’s amazing by asking “what” how you become more pro-active in trying to climb up and over that boulder, versus sitting down in front of it and having a pity party full of “whys”.   My times of waiting were VERY hard, so I embraced when God revealed what changes we needed to make and went about making them.

     I understand that not all trials we face are our fault.  Sometimes, like Job, God allows trials for His own reasons that most of the time we don’t understand.  Even though I did keep asking God why, I did know why, our trial was completely justified and needed.  I am grateful to God for refining us and purging us so that we may be more like Him.  God knew we needed to be pulled back into His loving arms and God knew exactly what He needed to do to make sure that happened.

     For those of you who honestly don’t know why you’re in your trial, I know it must be very hard to ask God what instead of why.  Don’t give up!  WHATEVER you are going through, God has allowed and I HAVE to believe if He’s allowed it, He has a reason for it.  Our part in that plan is to submit to it by asking Him what instead of why.  Can you do that?  I’m praying for you and that like me you’ll ask God what instead of why as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

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Judge Not…

Matthew 7:1 (60 kb)

     Judging….such a strong convicting word that I’m sure we’re ALL guilty of doing.  We judge others by how they dress, where they live, what their kids after school activities are, how they discipline their kids, homeschooled, private school or public, fulltime, part-time or stay at home mom, etc etc  Why?  Because for some reason we think we have the right to! 

     I have been judged for numerous things, but mostly my boys’ sports schedule.  The funny thing is that I tend to be judged by people whose kids don’t play sports or only play one.   Thankfully, I am not easily offended & have been blessed/cursed with the gift of sarcasm.  When someone tells me they’d NEVER let their child play more than one sport, I in my sweetest tone possible point out that, that’s most likely why God didn’t give them kids who want to play more than one sport.  Now hear me out, I mean that in the NICEST way!!  Jeff & I both played multiple sports & I was on various travel/club teams growing up.  Jeff also went on to play college football.  We make a GREAT team & totally see things eye to eye.  Our crazy schedule is no different then what he & I had growing up.  Our boys LOVE to play football, basketball & lacrosse.  We LOVE to encourage that & willingly make many sacrifices for them to do so.

     We must realize that God has a different plan for each one of us & our families.   That’s why it is important to seek God’s will & wisdom through prayer & His word. We may start off planning what we think is best for our life, but in the end God is the one whose plan we end up following.   Just like it says here:

Proverbs 16:9 In your heart you plan your life. But the Lord decides where your steps will take you.

      For someone to then judge the steps that God led me to take means that they’re basically judging God since God is the one who led me to make that decision.  

     This way of thinking has also help convict me of my most guilty judgement…..at what age to send boys to kindergarten.  I used get up on my holy high horse when I found out someone was sending their son to kindergarten early making him the youngest vs the oldest.  I judged their decision based on what I thought was best.  All four of my boys have August/September birthdays & all four of my boys started school at age 6.  I have helped some people with their decision, but unfortunately, I have offended some people too.  God REALLY convicted me this year when one of my friends decided to send her barely 5-year-old son to school.  Before I could even open my mouth to object, He shut it.  He reminded me that their decision was between Him & them, not me.  He also reminded me of a Scripture where Peter questioned God about John as if it were his business:

John 21:21-22 When Peter saw that disciple, he asked, “Lord, what will happen to him?”Jesus answered, “Suppose I want him to remain alive until I return. What does that matter to you? You must follow me.”    

     What does it matter to me?  I mean honestly, what concern is it of mine when they send THEIR son to school? Rather then spending my time judging people, God wants me to spend my time following Him.  Here are some other verses on judging:

Romans 2:1 If you judge someone else, you have no excuse for it. When you judge another person, you are judging yourself. You do the same things you blame others for doing.

Romans 14:13 Let us stop judging one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put anything in your brother’s way that would make him trip and fall.

James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge. He is the One who is able to save life or destroy it. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

     Who am I to judge my neighbor? My heart is convicted! How about you?  Are you having a hard time with people judging a decision that you’ve made according to God’s plans for you?  Are you struggling with judging others on something you may feel that you know what’s best?  I still struggle with both, but I am working on being a lot less judgemental & a lot more supportive as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

      

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Are You Ready?

     While I was looking for a picture to sum up my week, I had to laugh when I came across this one.  Why? Because see how that football is dominating the screen & edging out that book?  That book is my Women of the Bible book & it is being upstaged by a football.  This week my whole Biblical routine has been upstaged by football & I am NOT happy about that!  (I’m sure God isn’t too pleased either).  Not only am I writing my blog a day late, I have failed to do my daily Bible devotions & my prayer time has been rushed to say the least. 

     Yes, football season is a double-edged sword.  We say we are happily crazy busy as we do truly LOVE football! This year is especially crazy as I have a son in college, a son in high school, a son in middle school AND a son in elementary school.  And yes, they ALL play football!!  I have 4 sons playing football in 3 different cities.  (We ARE blessed that our college son plays within an hour of us so we are able to go to his home games.)  

     Thankfully, it is only crazy for 4 months.  I purposely do not have my younger boys playing ANY sports during the Summer.  Their Summer is their time of rest & our days are filled with beach trips, family trips, playdates & whatever they so choose.  That way when August rolls around, they are READY to go!

     I on the other hand, was not ready!  I should’ve been ready as I’ve been doing this football routine for over 15 years.  This year just snuck up on me & guess who took a backseat to football?  God!  Ugh, the conviction!  My heart was in the right place, but unfortunately my timing was not.  I had my days “planned” out & then the days came & nothing went as planned.   So, what to do when life happens? Be aware & make a plan on how to adapt. Here’s what the Bible says about this very thing:

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.   The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

     Temptation.  What tempts you from keeping your time in the Word, in prayer & most importantly in God?  We are all pulled by something, whether it be sports, homeschooling, working, going to the gym, blogs, etc.  What is most important is recognizing when that pull starts to succeed & we are no longer pulling back.  Satan will use whatever he can to try & get us a part from God.  It is so IMPORTANT that we keep our time with God a priority & not an “if I have time” part of our day.  Here’s what the Bible says about remaining in Him:

Colossians 2:6-7  So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him,  rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

John 15:5-6 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires;   but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Proverbs 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

     I knew I needed to ask God’s forgiveness for dropping the ball (couldn’t resist).  I had allowed my boy’s football schedules to knock God from being my #1 priority of the day.  How about you?  Are you keeping God as your #1 priority?  What changes have you made to help you do that?  I am READY for some football, but most importantly, I am READY to keep God as my #1 priority as I am continuing on to Canaan.

SheReadsTruth

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Clean Up On Aisle 7

     Jeff & I are slowly coming out of our 18 month trial.  Once Jeff started his new job some people thought we were immediately back to “normal”.  That’s not the case.  We are now finding ourselves in the clean up stage.   A stage I like to compare to grocery shopping with a child.  I’m sure most of you have either been there or witnessed this happening to some poor mother.  You pull into the grocery store & life is great.  You’re singing along with your favorite music while promising your child you’ll buy them their favorite ice cream if they behave.  That in turn makes them happy as they start thinking about what flavor they want.

     Then you enter the store & all that good stuff goes out the window.  Just like when you’re hit unexpectedly with a trial.  Good feeling…..gone!  You are no longer singing happily as your little one accidentally knocks something over & makes a BIG mess.  Yes, it’s NEVER a little mess, but a BIG one.  Seems to be the same with our trials.  When we “run away” from God & decide to do things our way vs His way we too create a BIG mess.  And that my friends makes A LOT of cleaning up to do!

     That’s where we are right now, cleaning up the big mess we made.  Oh, we’re grateful that we’re no longer making a mess, but cleaning it up is still hard.  When your child genuinely feels sorry they made the mess, do you just stand there & say, “You made the mess, you clean it up!”  No, you realize your child has learned their lesson & help them clean it up.  THAT my friend is what God does too.  He waits till we’ve learned our lesson & then not only does He deliver us from our trial, but He helps us clean it up.  We are NEVER left alone to clean up our mess, God’s hands are right there with us.  He insures that our mess is COMPLETELY cleaned with no traces remaining! Here’s some verses that remind us that God IS here to help us:

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 54:4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

     So you see life can change in an instant.  Trials come & make a BIG mess of your life.  It’s important that once you find your trial ending, you allow yourself the time to completely clean up the mess.  Don’t be in such a hurry that you leave traces of your trial here & there.  You want ALL evidence of your messy trial gone!  I know it is sooo hard to wait for your trial to end!  But, the waiting is not over, God is still working.  Before you can walk out of that store, you must make sure you left it completely clean.  Same thing with your trial, you need to make sure the mess you’ve made has been completely cleaned with God’s helping hands. Next week I’ll talk about the importance of not forgetting what you’ve learned during your trial.  It amazes me how quick we forget things once life is “back to normal”.  Until then,  I’m thankful I’ve got God’s mighty hands helping me clean up my BIG mess as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

SheReadsTruth

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Attitude or Gratitude?

     MY ATTITUDE

     When I was in the middle of my trial I found myself getting very discouraged.  I started questioning our decision on Jeff  quitting his job even though we KNEW it was what we were being called to do.  Once again I was reminded of the Israelites & how they too started grumbling on their journey to the promised land.  Take a look:

Exodus 16:2-3: In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

     I loved how they conveniently chose to remember the food in Egypt, yet did not bring up their bondage & slavery.  I realized that I too was conveniently remembering  just the good times when reminiscing  about life pre-trial & not the bad.  That’s dangerous territory my friends as Satan will fill your mind with half-truths.  Yes, we did have a stable income, but we weren’t where God wanted us to be.  We now realize that God was faithful in refining us & purging us.  We needed to change & we needed God to change us in a way that only He could.  There’s even a verse in the Bible about not looking back, here it is:

Isaiah 43:18-19: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

     I LOVE that verse as it totally stops me from dwelling on my convenient half-truths of the past & instead shifts my focus forward to my future post-trial.  He even tells me “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  He WAS at work in my trial & He WAS making a way out…..it was just up to us to continue to follow His way to find that way out.  Unfortunately, it took us a little longer to find that way out when we inadvertently got off His path & started following our own (which can be read about in my archived post titled, “Our Detour”). 

MY GRATITUDE

     My attitude started switching to gratitude after meditating on that verse above as well as:

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

     Rather then focusing on the pitfalls of my trial that were igniting my attitude, I knew I needed to focus on the blessings.  Yes, you read that right….blessings!  Believe it or not dear friends your trials do bring blessings!  After reading the verses above I was filled with gratitude knowing God WAS at work in my trial for my good.  Plus..the testing of my faith during this trial was producing perseverance so that I would not lack anything.  How could I possibly continue to have an attitude after reading those verses?!

     I remember sharing with my Bible study group about how hard it was to pray sometimes when things were so overwhelmingly stressful.  One of the girls asked me if I was praying with an attitude of gratitude or just an attitude.  OUCH! GREAT point & totally made me stop & think.  My prayers were ALL about requests & very little gratitude.  Since that day I have made a point to start my prayers with gratitude & to pray for my attitude 🙂  How about you?  Do you have an attitude of gratitude or just an attitude?  I hope you can find some gratitude along with me as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

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He is Our Light

     One of my favorite places to go to is the beach.  I’m blessed that I live very close so I’m able to go quite often.  The beach is where I feel the closest to God as it is there that I am able to detox from life & fill up on Christ.  During our trial I would head over to the beach while the younger boys were in school.  I would sit & pray while feeling the warm sun on my face & the cool breeze on my skin.  The breeze felt like my trial….cold & uncontrollable, yet the sun felt like God, warm & embracing.  The warmth of the sun gave me the strength to tolerate the breeze, just like the warmth of God gives us the strength to tolerate our trials.  I was reminded of:

Psalm 4:6b Let the light of your face shine on us.  

Psalm 76:4 You are radiant with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game.

Ecclesiastes 11:7 Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 

I LOVE these verses on how God brings light to our dark paths:

Isaiah 42:16 Israel is blind. So I will lead them along paths they had not known before.  I will guide them on roads they are not familiar with.  I will turn the darkness into light as they travel. I will make the rough places smooth. Those are the things I will do.  I will not desert my people.

Isaiah 58:8-9 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.

Psalm 112:4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.

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.

       Yes, we had to do some traveling before the darkness became light.  Yes, we have been repeatedly calling on the name of the Lord to restore us and guess what?!  God’s light is beginning to shine & He has answered our cries.  We found out last week that Jeff got the job he had been interviewing for!  His first day is this Monday the 31st.  To say we are ELATED is an understatement 🙂  To be able to finally see the light breaking through on this dark journey feels so good & we are so grateful to God.  It has been a loooong 18 months! 

     Is your path dark right now?  Are you looking for some light to help you see the way out?  God’s Word has the light you need.  Just like it says in Psalm 119:105 Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.  It even says in Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. 

      It gives understanding to the simple.  Many times on this journey I threw my hands up in the air & screamed, “I don’t understand what you want me to do!”  One day, this simple girl understood as James 4:8 immediately came to me:  Come near to God and he will come near to you.  God just wanted me.  He wants you too my friend, so can you do it?  Will you draw near to Him while traveling on your dark path?  Can you trust that not only will you find Him, but that He WILL send light to guide you?  I know I’ve become A LOT closer to Him & am enjoying His light as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

Life in BloomSheReadsTruth

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