The Good, The Bad, and The Unpredictable

bald_man_combI saw a meme the other day that said “My luck is like a bald man who won a comb.”  That about sums it up.

My life is NOT awful at all.  I’ve been through and continue to go through lots of challenging situations, but even though some of those situations are pretty bad, my life as a whole is still good.  I have a pretty awesome husband.  We have a crazy wonderful son.  We live in a great area.  We are children of an amazing and powerful Father God.  When I lay my head down on my pillow at night, that is what counts.

The challenges are still hard.  For example, after hubby being on unemployment for a while, we were just starting to get back on our feet.  Then one by one, our appliances started breaking down.  First the stove, then the dryer and the fridge.  Also during that time…BOTH vehicles had to be replaced.  We also had to replace our roof.  The washer is now on its last legs and now our water heater needs replacing.  It feels like we are taking one step forward and two steps back.  It doesn’t feel like we’ll ever catch up.

It’s overwhelming at times especially when you see so many other people who manage their obstacles much easier. I know behind the scenes they are probably just as overwhelmed as we are.

The Bible tells us not to be anxious about tomorrow “…for tomorrow will worry about it’s own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 I tend to be a worrier, especially when it seems that everything that could go wrong, has. I am TRYING to focus just on today. I’m telling myself I can’t do anything about the washer or the water heater right this moment, but I can take care of the things that I can right now…and the rest will wait in God’s capable hands. Then I will do the same tomorrow.

So that’s it. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you run a marathon? One step at a time. And man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, how then can man understand his way? (Proverbs 20:24) I just have to keep repeating this to myself, reminding myself that we’ve made it through worse, and keep counting my blessings.

Until next time, be encouraged!

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh to to me? Psalm 56:3-4

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

New Year Bible Reading

bibleOne thing I want more than anything else this new year is a deeper walk with the Lord.  I want my relationship with Him to be my biggest priority.  One of the ways I can do that is to spend more time in prayer.  Another is to spend more time in the Word.

I fully admit that I am not good with Bible reading plans. I start well, but finish poorly.  It took me two years to actually finish a one year reading plan.  So I don’t commit to them anymore.  I don’t want my quiet time to feel like an obligation or drudgery.  At the same time, I do want to read through the Bible cover to cover, otherwise there are books I would never read otherwise (like, for example, Leviticus.)

My reading plan is simple: I start in Genesis and just read.  Some days it might be a few chapters, some days a paragraph or two.  The key for me is there is no schedule and no pressure to finish by a certain time.  It could take me several months to finish or it could take a few years.  I can take my time and meditate on Scriptures as the Spirit prompts, or just read and read when my heart is just hungry for the Word.

Taking away the pressure of schedules and deadlines also takes away the guilt of not sticking to the plan or not finishing.  It allows me to enjoy my Bible reading with the freedom to slow down or speed up reading based on His leading, not my schedule.

Do you use a Bible reading plan?  I would love to hear about it and how you use it!

My Desire To Be A Godly Woman

bibleIt has always been a struggle for me to learn what it really means to be a godly woman. I still struggle today. I wasn’t raised in a godly home. Growing up we lived with my grandmother because my mom and dad divorced when I was 5. The home was unkept, we were mostly lazy, neither my mom or grandmother cooked much, and my alcoholic “grandfather” lived in the home even though he and my grandmother weren’t married. My mom dutifully took my brother and I to our Catholic church each Sunday, but I never got much out of it.  I feel this way of living was etched into my life and hard to overturn.

When I became a Christian I didn’t have anyone to take me by the hand and help me learn and grow as a Christian. I’ve only had one lovely women in my life who reached out and taught me some of what it means to be a godly woman, she is with the Lord now. Most everything I’ve learned about being a godly woman, wife and mom hasn’t been from human example like in Titus 2, but from my own research and Bible study. Right or wrong, everything I’ve learned about keeping a home I’ve pretty much taught myself. It’s been a hard road to break the bad habits I’ve been raised with and to re-learn a better way. I’m still working on it. It’s a daily process. I continue to pray for the Lord to send a wonderful godly Titus 2 woman into my life, but in the mean time I am blessed with lovely Christian women online, studying the Bible and listening to the Lord…He is the ultimate teacher after all!

This weighs on my heart and I so desire to be the godly woman I didn’t have in my life to other young Christian women who are going through what I went through. It’s heartbreaking that there aren’t more Christian women in today’s churches who are living out Titus 2, but also more younger women who are willing to receive such a mentor. I hope that you will pray about reaching out and touching the lives of younger (spiritual or physical age) Christian women, and that you will pray about allowing older (spiritual or physical age) Christian women to reach out and mentor you. It’s not a mere suggestion for a few select people, but a responsibility for all Christians…and we need it now more than ever.

Titus 2:1-5: But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things–that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Sunday Hymn Sing: Jesus Paid It All

hymn-bookJesus Paid It All
Words: Elvina M. Hall, 1865. Music: John T. Grape

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

(Refrain) Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

(Refrain) Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

And now complete in Him
My robe His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

(Refrain) Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

(Refrain) Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

(Refrain) Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down
All down at Jesus’ feet.

(Refrain) Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Sunday Hymn Sing: Fairest Lord Jesus

hymn-bookFairest Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.

The lyr­ics above are the ones shown in most hymn­als. How­ev­er, Seiss’ orig­in­al trans­la­tion is some­what dif­fer­ent; he titled it “Beau­ti­ful Sav­ior.” It is found under this name in ma­ny Lu­ther­an hymn­als.

Beautiful Savior, King of Creation
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’d love Thee, truly I’d serve Thee,
Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.

Fair are the meadows, Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in the flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.

Fair is the sunshine, Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels in the sky.

Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, Praise, adoration
Now and forevermore be Thine!