The Next Good Thing

Righteousness can seem impossible to attain. It really used to feel that way to me.

But several years ago my amazing sister-in-law shared a thought with me that she had read somewhere.

It went something like this… God is pleased when we decide to find the next good thing He wants us to do and then we do it.

This “next good thing” can look drastically different for me from day to day, and I’m sure the same can be true for you. Some days it is just taking a quiet day to allow Him to search my heart and for me to take time to really listen to what He wants to change in my life.

Other days it looks like me ministering to other. Meeting them where they are and setting myself and my own needs aside and speaking life and truth into their life.

Finding ways to encourage others to keep on keeping on. To encourage them to find their next good thing and encourage them to step out in faith and do it.

And somedays it’s just praying for people and taking them and the things going on in their lives to Jesus because He can and will do something about it!

Somedays, I find the next good thing, but I don’t follow through on the “doing it” part, and I find myself disappointed in myself and feeling distant from God.

But do you know what is amazing about my God, He is willing to forgive me any time I ask, and will forgive me no matter what I’ve done!

I’m so unworthy of that, but so very grateful for it, and this is what keeps His ears open to my prayers and me on the path of righteousness. I think of it mentally as a literal path and I try to visualize whether it is clear, or whether I’ve allowed sin in the path to get in my way of walking closely with the Lord.

What I also need to remeber is that when I don’t follow through with my next good thing, it doesn’t just affect me. It also affects those that the next good thing would have encouraged, or the change it would have made in me that day that would have directly changed my attitude, prayer life or perspective.

Those decisions affect those closest to me, but also the people who are part of the ripple affect. (more on that next time…)

So my challenge to myself (and I hope you will come along with me) is to not only find the next good thing, but to do the next good thing God has for me, and then pray God will allow me to see the ripple affect it has.

What’s your next good thing? Or someone else’s next good thing that impacted you in a way that changed your life? Would love to hear about it in the comments or message me!

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Count Your Many Blessings – It’s a Choice

Count Your Many Blessings 1

When my husband and I lived in Virginia, we went to a small town church.  I remember when we first walked into that church just feeling like we were home.  The people were so sweet and kind and the singing during the worship service was incredible!  You could feel the life in the church and you could feel the hand of God there.

But my absolute favorite part of going to church there was being greeted by Johnny.  He had some major health issues and was in a wheelchair when we met him.  He was unable to communicate verbally, but he ALWAYS had a smile on his face and greeted each person that came in for every service.

Johnny loved to sing and our Pastor loved to have him sing.  We were not able to understand him verbally, but I know God was able to hear his heart of worship and that it was a sweet sound to Him.  His favorite song to sing was Count Your Many Blessings.

Johnny taught me three very valuable lessons: Continue reading “Count Your Many Blessings – It’s a Choice”

Unbreakable

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

……Psalm 46:5

Have you ever felt like you were shattering into a thousand pieces?  Like you couldn’t pick up the pieces quickly enough and put yourself back together so that you could take the next step forward?

Have you ever felt so alone in your struggle that you just want to quit?  In this moment when you look into your future, does it seem impossible and hopeless?

Recently, Satan has been after me.  When Satan comes after us, it doesn’t just affect us.  It affects everyone around us.  Our spouses, our families, our friends, and even our co-workers are affected by this struggle.

We can rarely control these things in life…most of the time we are just trying to “survive them.” I definitely have felt that way a lot and have said often to my husband, “I am just trying to survive this.”


“I am just trying to survive this”


I don’t know what your this is, but I know that there is a verse in Psalm 46:5 that bolstered my strength and courage.  It made me feel hope.  It made me feel cared for and it shoved fear right out the door.


God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:

God shall help her, and that right early.

Psalm 46:5


Because it’s very hard to be afraid when you read a verse in God’s precious book that tells you HE IS IN THE MIDST OF YOU.  That because of HIM YOU WILL NOT BE MOVED.  And the one that brought tears to my eyes was GOD SHALL HELP HER.

Strength in God

I love the word SHALL in this verse.  It wasn’t a question of would He.  It was just a statement…God SHALL help Her!  Thank you Father!

Because we all need help!  And we all need to be courageous.  And Satan is always trying to break us, but we are unbreakable in Him.  When we seek Him in our every day lives.  Not just the bad days and not just the good days, but EVERYDAY.

God is who makes us unbreakable.  We can do nothing on our own.  Only He can help us!  Only He can keep us from being moved!  So spend some time with Him today and allow Him to make you unbreakable!


God is Who makes us Unbreakable!

Can God?

I am so thankful that God “speaks” to me through illustrations.  I learn best when I can mentally connect with the physical aspects of my life.  Recently, my husband and I were watching our new puppy Ryder play with our 2 year old dachshund Tucker.  Mind you, Tucker is almost 14 lbs, and Ryder is only 3.5 lbs.  They were having a good time pulling back and forth on the rope.  Of course, Tucker was winning and dragging Ryder all over the house.  I decided to go over and give Ryder a helping hand.

It was such a picture of life to me.  Tucker as an illustration of this world pulling and tugging at us and draining us of every last inch of tenacity and purpose we have in us.  Ryder was working with all of his strength to hold on, to cling to what he was trying to accomplish.

God brought to mind David and Goliath.  In the eyes of man, there was no way that David was going to win that fight.  And in his own strength he would have definitely lost.  It also made me chuckle to think of the devil laughing and thinking he is winning BUT GOD gets involved and He has the power to work things out regardless of how bleak things look, or how tired we are.  When we allow Him to work in our lives and use our circumstances, it’s absolutely AMAZING what our God is able to do on our behalf.

It also reminded me to not try to do things in my own strength.  To not wear myself out till I have nothing left, but instead rely on God’s strength.  Allow Him to strengthen me.   It reminded me to make spending time with Him a priority.  BECAUSE GOD CAN!  And He wants to work in our life and on our behalf.  He will help us resist temptation.  He will help us win when we just don’t see a way.  BECAUSE GOD CAN!

I can say this with confidence, because God has worked in my life over and over.  Many times from my human perspective it seemed impossible, BUT GOD got in there and worked out things that looked impossible.  He has fixed things that have seemed “unfix-able” from my human perspective.

So take a moment today and allow God to pull that rope for you and allow Him to knock satan down.  Don’t let this world and the problems of this life drag you all over because you are working in your own strength.  You will be amazed at what God can do on your behalf!  BECAUSE GOD CAN! Rest in Him.

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Death of a Dream

How do you grieve the death of a “dream”? (Defined for this post as “to contemplate the possibility of doing something or that something might be the case.” Thank you to Google search for this definition.)

Is there a certain amount of time, or “formula” to it? Is there a certain amount of days allotted for it?

NOPE! (I felt we needed a longer more emphatic answer then no…two letters just didn’t seem to suffice.)

Honestly some dreams we have take longer to grieve. Some dreams are deeply rooted into who we think we are.

I’ve grieved such dreams. (I promise, I’m not being dramatic or over the top here.) Haven’t we all? Some dreams you actually need to grieve. Some dreams deserve that. Some dreams you can’t move past until you do grieve them.

You see once you’ve properly grieved the death of that dream, you are able to move forward with God’s dream for you.

I’ve learned something recently. I’ve learned that I want God to define who I am because He’s WHOM I belong to and His definition of me is all that matters. (See post titled How do I define myself?)

You see once you’ve properly grieved the death of that dream, you are able to move forward with God’s dream for you.

And I’ve learned that His dreams and His plans are so much better for me and are far beyond what I think I’m capable of or worthy of, because His dreams for me are dreams of Him walking with me hand in hand while I follow His plan for my life.

And I’ve learned that when the Bible talks about giving you the desires of your heart, it is talking about how when I’m fully committed to His plan for me, His plans do become the desires of my heart. And I’ve learned that those plans leave me with more peace then I know what to do with, and more contentment then I’ve ever known.

They leave me feeling complete in Him. They leave me wanting more of Him. And they leave me dreaming for more of what He has planned for me.

And yes, sometimes these dreams are intimidating. And yes, sometimes I don’t feel competent, and I’m not. I can only fulfill these amazing dreams and accomplish these task when I’m walking closely to Him. And if I leave a crack between me and Jesus for the enemy to climb through, you can believe he will find it.

So to keep these dreams alive I must work diligently to walk as closely with Jesus as possible. I must check our relationship moment by moment to make sure there isn’t a crack of daylight between us. (Because let’s be honest Jesus isn’t the problem in this relationship, I am)

You see I don’t want to have to grieve these dreams He has for me. I want to dream along with God’s plans for my life and live in perfect peace and contentment.

How about you?

Light Affliction

Chronic health issues can be a challenge. Currently I have 6 different diagnosed diseases. What this means for me (and those in my life) is that I have good and bad days. This also means that my plans are constantly up in the air and those who are in my life deal with a lot of cancelled plans or rescheduling.

It’s been a particularly rough stretch since right after Thanksgiving. I have had something going on every day for weeks on end ranging from extreme fatigue which brings on migraines to chronic hives, which make my entire body swell including the inside of my throat, as well as my face which can become life threatening.

This is not only exhausting and discouraging for me, but also for my family and friends. (Especially my husband who is the one person that goes through each and every day with me – the good and the bad.)

The one thing that gets us through all of the ups and downs that my health brings, is Jesus. It’s such a blessing to be able to cry out to Him requesting help. It’s such a blessing to know that the Holy Spirit speaks on our behalf when we have groanings which cannot be uttered.

This verse has always really been an encouragement to me when I’m going through bad stretches whether health related or not. It helps me focus my perspective on what really matters. It reminds me that there are seasons to life and that the lessons learned through each season (good and bad) will be worth it all when we see Jesus.

It reminds me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus! It reminds me to keep my eyes fixed on the blessings God has brought into my life. (One of the biggest being those He has surrounded me with that help me through the tough seasons…especially my husband and family.) It reminds me that I do not have to look very far to find someone else who is going through something worse, and that I need to look for opportunities to reach out and encourage others. It reminds me to get my eyes off of myself and spend time in prayer for others. It reminds me that God is a good, good Father and that I can and should lean into Him. It reminds me to live moment by moment. It reminds me that I can face tomorrow because He lives.

Because He Lives
By: Gloria and William J. Gaither

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my savior lives

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy He gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain day, because He lives

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

And then one day, I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

You & Me

Several years ago, I bought this really cool sign that reads “You & Me”. I fell in love with it instantly.

You see just a few weeks before, I had a hysterectomy. It was so hard for my husband and I to think of a future without biological children.

Side note: the last thing we wanted to hear about at the time was adopting. We love adoption. My beautiful amazing little sister is adopted. I’d be completely and utterly lost without her. It’s a beautiful story that I would love her to share on here someday if she wants. Anyhow, when you are grieving a loss like that it was devastating to have people say….”Well you can adopt.” Honestly it made as much sense to me as someone telling a recent widow, “Well you can remarry.” Of course she can and maybe she will, but she doesn’t want to think about that right now. That doesn’t fix her grief. (Just in case anyone needs this information for future interactions with grieving humans.)

Back to my original thought process….oddly enough, I became obsessed with finding some kind of wall decor that expressed or new reality of family without children. (Furbabies excluded for the moment – sorry furbabies.)

Do you know how difficult it is to find family decor that does not include something about children? It’s as if in our society a family is not created until there are kids…and because this was something I was desperately having a hard time with myself, satan (not a grammatical error I refuse to capitilize that low life’s name) was using this lie to beat me up.

So when I found this sign, it was perfect! It described our family, “You & Me.”

As I lay here on our couch tonight, looking up at it I realized something even cooler about it. The & symbol is intertwined between the you and me. I love that because for David and I, we want God intertwined and woven into every aspect of our marriage.

Our goal is to have Him at the very center of all we do. (We fail at this, but God is always gracious to forgive us for our momentary lapses.)

And as I lay here tonight looking at this sign that I truly believe was a precious gift from God during a very difficult time, I realize that He also provided a very beautiful picture of Him in our marriage. Wrapped around us holding us together regardless of circumstances, or trials, health issues, or grief. God is weaved between us just like the & symbol in our sign. And now every time I look at that I am going to feel blessed and thankful and pray with all my heart that God is always at the center…the glue holding us together regardless of our circumstances or future. We want Him right where He belongs in our family…the very center of our hearts and our lives.