Hope. It is a huge little four letter word. Without it we live a life of darkness. It is the ray of light that is able to pierce through places we cannot see.
I am so glad to have the hope of Christ Jesus and his promise of eternal life. It is so reassuring knowing the suffering and pain we have here on earth will be over, and one day we we will spend eternity in his presence.
Even though I know I have this incredible promise, I am so guilty of selling short his ability to work in my day to day life.
Friday was a road trip day. I had the radio off, driving and following the directions of my little google app voice. It wasn't the Google app automated voice that I heard most clearly. It was the one who reminded me of the verses above, and how I so often settle for less than he wants for me. Why? Because I don't bother to ask.
This girl has set some pretty lofty goals for 2016, and I am expecting it to be a year of change. However, there are other areas of my life where I could be expecting huge results, where He is perfectly capable and more than willing to work...but I haven't even asked for his help.
So today I claimed these verses for the Jones family for 2016, and I cannot wait to see what God stories I get to write about this year.
Don't leave your blessings laying on the table because you haven't asked for them. Pray. Seek God's guidance in all areas of your life...including and especially the ones you think you can handle on your own, or the ones you think he wouldn't bother with fixing. He made us for so much MORE than we ever dream for ourselves.
Father thank you for the promise of eternal life through your son Christ Jesus. Thank you for blessing me with so many things here on earth that I don't deserve. Help me not to leave your beautiful gifts lying unopened because I did not seek your will in all areas of my life. Amen.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The year we married, I started a tradition of purchasing one Hallmark ornament for each of us. Four family members and 19 Christmases later, I now have enough to decorate an entire tree. Each ornament tells a story in our family. There's "Our First Christmas" to celebrate the beginning of our family. A silver tiara represents my "princess." A red cardinal adorns the tree in memory of mine and Troy's grandmothers who loved red birds. A little orange striped kitty is for the fluffy little pet who I claimed as my baby for 17 years, and an RV reminds me of the best family vacation we took.
I smiled as I carefully wrapped each and placed it in the box.
I have to admit I could use a "do over" for Christmas this year. I spent December in a funk. Friends around me were battling for their lives with health issues. One was taken way too soon and very unexpectedly. I was wallowing in the self pity of putting off graduation because I didn't get my master's thesis finished. And I was worried about myself...the battle of the mystery neurological issue continues with new symptoms and yet perfect test results (praise the Lord!) rages on.
Saturday, as I was packing away my Hallmark ornaments, I caught myself smiling at each, and remembering the awesome opportunities God has given me during in my life
Admitting I have a chronic disease is hard. Getting past the fear of the unknown future is even harder. I've been guilty lately of letting myself get caught up in the fear. Shame on me.
Sometimes we get so worried about the future we forget to LIVE in the present. Standing there in my living room, I had to ask forgiveness for taking so many things for granted. We should never be caught going through the motions of life and forgetting the very reason why we are there in the first place.
I found this great verse the same day. No matter what the future holds, he is mine forever...and I am his. There is no sickness or hardship that can take that away from me. He's there, through every moment, with a plan and a purpose for my life. I need not worry over the details.
Friends, don't be guilty of letting the weight of the world keep you from enjoying the things you have right now, right this minute, for such a time as this. Memories are to be MADE and cherished.
Heavenly father, forgive me for taking for granted the beautiful things you give me each day. Forgive my inability to let go of the what ifs keep me paralyzed with fear. Help me to embrace the new year with joy over the present and anticipation of the good things you have in store for me. Amen.