No matter what is prepared for you today, these words from Philippians are worth remembering.
Philippians 4:6 NKJV — Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
The Lord knows all and He wants us to trust Him, to find our treasure in Him.
Because a bank account or status doesn’t bring security or peace.
Neither do relationships, property, or the nation where one resides.
The only way to be anxious for nothing is to look at Jesus, the Savior.
It’s easy to get tied up in the every day or the list of “to do”, but with practice and persistence it can become a way of life.
Which is where we want to be.
Philippians 4:7 NKJV — and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Definitely a wonderful way to live, in the peace of God.
May it be your residence.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, You know what is best. You have all these things in Your hands. Please help us to surrender daily to Your will. Please let us not be stubborn or stiff-necked, but instead walk with love and trust. Lord, please help our hearts to be completely Yours. Lord, use our lives to reach others. Let our light shine brightly into the darkness, that people might see You. Lord, please heal the sick and hurting. Please restore the lost and the prodigal. Lord, please guide and direct our leaders and let the hearts of the nations return to You. Thank You, Jesus. You are incredible. I praise Your holy name! love is unfathomable! Amen.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; Philippians 4:6 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You. Thank You for being You, although my understanding of Who You are barely scratches the surface. Lord, You’re good, You give peace, You are patience, You’re faithful, and the list goes on. It is all incredible and I am so blessed by You. Lord, truly, there is nothing to fear when my soul is safe in You. But Lord, I am weak and frail and often I forget how safe I am. Like a little child, I don’t realize the truth: nothing can harm me when I’m in Your hands. Therefore, I choose to place all the things I’ve been concerned about in Your hands this morning. Lord, I surrender my agenda, my desires, my plans unto You and Your perfect will. Lord, thank You for taking every burden, every care. Thank You for continuing to polish me on the inside. Lord, if anyone has wronged me, I forgive them. If I have wronged anyone, please bring it to my attention that I might repent. Lord, I humbly request that You protect the innocent, save the lost, heal the sick and broken, and restore the prodigal. Let men and women call upon the name of the Lord. Thank You. Amen.
“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:2-6 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for these words from Job. I too can say the same: “…Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand…” Lord Jesus, please forgive me for allowing my heart to doubt You in anyway. It is easy to let fear and hurt distort my perspective and not even realize I am doing it. Lord Jesus, thank You for teaching me how to let go. I know that when I hold things lightly and trust You I am able to walk more closely with You. It’s when I try to cling to anything more than You that I stumble and struggle. Lord, thank You for not allowing me to doubt for long. Thank You for revealing the truth so quickly. Lord, thank You for bringing me to Your Word in the midst of my fear, that I might find truth and healing. Lord, I’m ashamed that I can get so upset by something so small and unimportant. I know it’s because You wanted to show me the past and heal me from those things and therefore You used this to teach me what was hidden. Lord, I confess the truth: You are sovereign and nothing, no one is more important than You. Lord, what You allow is what is best. What the enemy meant for harm You used for good. No matter what suffering I must walk through here on Earth, I know You are with me. No matter what pain must be endured, I want to do it with joy and comfort of knowing You will never leave me nor forsake me. Lord, I often do not understand the circumstances, but I know my Redeemer lives and He shall stand at last on the Earth. Until then, Lord hone my heart, make me new, and be glorified through this broken clay pot. To You be all glory, majesty, and honor. Amen.
No, this time I hadn’t walked the path of letting go yet.
What are you willing to give?
God’s question centered me at the heart.
My pain was due to my refusal to accept reality.
She doesn’t belong to me.
She never has.
I love our children so deeply, sometimes I cling to them when I shouldn’t.
A memory surfaced.
At a little over a year old I had to grapple with the fear that she might be severely unwell.
In that season I had to learn to let go and give her to who she belongs to: God.
My thoughts turned to Job.
None knows grief like he.
And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord .” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:21-22 NKJV
“Lord, forgive me. I surrender all to You. Our children, my husband, our lives, everything.“
And the pain subsided.
“Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy of all praise.”
“Thank You for all Your gifts and blessings.”
I don’t know what today holds.
I don’t know what tomorrow brings.
But I do know Who is holding me.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for forgiving me of my selfishness. For my error in claiming something as mine which is actually Yours. Lord, I repent my mistake and my emotions from yesterday. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for helping me see correctly. You alone are the One who owns it all. I trust You with each step and each day. Thank You for again guiding my heart back to resting in You. Thank You for Your love. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
These past few days I’ve been reminded of a lesson I learned years ago.
More than ten years ago our family were missionaries.
It took us two years just to get there.
One morning, after a few weeks of settling in, I went to the Lord with a heavy heart.
I prayed about how I was being overwhelmed with the daily tasks of life.
I just felt like laundry, dishes, and mopping the floor was eating up my time and I couldn’t get to the reason I was there.
“Lord, I just want to minister! How can I get to that with nonstop housework?”
He took me to Ruth.
So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” Ruth 2:2 NKJV
She just needed to survive.
But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she did the task at hand.
That was the key.
Housework is just as important as leading a Bible study if my heart is serving Jesus.
God is interested in my heart.
“Am I serving Him in this task I’m engaged in?”
It’s something I’ve been trying to ask myself frequently this week.
Not as a religious stipulation, but instead as a guard rail.
Guarding my heart from useless pursuits or pride.
I also find it helpful as a way to combat an old lie.
As a young believer I thought I had to : “Do big things for God”.
However, the Lord has shown me over and over again that He wants me to surrender my own agenda and simply live daily to Him.
When I’m sick, my “do” shrinks.
In those times, I have found it vital to remember: God isn’t disappointed because I’m not “doing” more.
He knows my limitations.
He even has things for me in those seasons, like prayer, Bible study, or sometimes just resting in His hands and trusting Him while struggling.
The task at hand may not seem valuable.
Ruth couldn’t have known that daily gleaning the fields would endear her to the man who would become her husband.
She couldn’t have seen that this back breaking task, which went on throughout the whole harvest, would end in her having a place in the lineage of Jesus.
Her faithfulness in the task at hand was used by God.
She was His servant.
And God used this humble lady to be the grandmother of kings.
The lesson is clear for me.
I need to do what God has set before me with joy and faithfulness.
I need to surrender my own ambitions, dreams, and desires before Him.
I need to trust Him in everything.
Including my “To Do” list.
Matthew 22:36 NKJV — “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Matthew 22:37 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for this lesson. Thank You for continually bringing me back to this place of surrender. Please Lord, help me to be Your servant, humble, faithful, and filled with joy of serving You, no matter what that entails. Lord, thank You that my life is so much more valuable than self fulfillment. Instead, You call me to pick up my cross and follow You. Lord, thank You for reminding me of these truths. Please continue to wash my soul of sin and renew my heart through Your Word. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Many years ago, I learned it’s best if our family doesn’t take long breaks from school.
So, when Jase finished his American History book last week, I knew.
Highschool level World History was next.
I’ll be honest.
My heart had concerns and I took them to the Lord.
I asked the Lord a long list of questions and He answered each one.
So we began on Monday.
Jase did catch that this was not only more difficult, it requires a lot more work.
I was impressed, though.
He didn’t complain.
Easy, it’s not.
Yet, he has jumped in and I’m so thankful.
Change doesn’t come easy for him.
The older I get the more I realize, it’s not easy for me either.
Yet, it’s a blessing.
To grow, stretch, learn, and surrender is so valuable.
Allowing Jesus lordship over every single bit of my life.
Which means I go where He guides.
I live as He directs.
I honor His changes in myself and my life with praise and thanksgiving.
His ways are best.
Including a new challenge.
Jase in highschool.
Yup, our youngest is entering the 9th grade.
When he finishes his science curriculum we are currently doing, he will begin Physical Science.
He’s working away on Prealgebra and of course will go into Algebra 1 when he’s finished.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Just like following Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for change. It’s not what I look forward to, but I know You use it for good in our lives. Lord, please continue to change my heart and mind to be more like Yours. Please continue to use outside circumstances to hone my character. Lord, I humbly request that You help me to be an encouragement and support to others around me who are also experiencing change. Please let me words, prayers, and attitudes be a blessing to those around me. Thank You for loving me enough to encourage me to grow. Thank You for change. Amen.
Infact, Jesus referred to it as bearing one’s cross.
Matthew 16:24 KJV — Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
It means to die.
To surrender our lives into God’s hands.
Which is why I’m resting today.
I’ve been struggling since I came back from down south.
My asthma has been causing me problems.
Therefore, I wasn’t too surprised when the Lord told me to stay in bed today.
Yes, there is homeschooling to do.
Yes, there is laundry.
Yes, I’m going to stay in bed and let my family handle it.
Obedience is better than trying to force things to happen as I think they need to be.
And I can praise God while I surrender my agenda into His hands.
What an incredible God He is!
He gives me exactly what I need, whether I realize it or not.
Philippians 4:19 KJV — But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
And today, I need rest.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your faithfulness. Your love is ever abounding and I am humbled. Jesus, I surrender my day, my thoughts, and my ideas to You. Please help me to remain at rest in Your direction and to walk in Your will. Lord Jesus, please supply those things which are needed. Please guide and direct us. Lord Jesus, please help us to see through Your perspective, that we might not chase after anything but You. I love You. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.
Psalm 111:4 KJV — He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
I had not realized how much I had wanted to learn this.
Yet, in a conversation with our Bell I realized it might be another gift from God.
He’s blessed me in so many ways, it’s overwhelming.
Yet, I’m learning to simply say, “Thank You, Lord” and walk in whatever He has for me.
Whether I view it as a blessing or not.
This circumstance was definitely a blessing.
Bell bought me the crochet thread and I began on my first table runner.
It took longer than expected.
Yet, I was excited to make it.
Everyone liked it.
Bell encouraged me to try other patterns.
So, the Lord helped me find a YouTube video and I began making these Celtic Flowers.
Once I have enough, I’ll crochet them together.
Although they are more time consuming than I’d prefer, I’m definitely learning patience.
To make each stitch carefully and to be willing to rip it out when I have made a mistake.
After I finished my second table runner, Sis looked at me.
“Mom, I really have a new appreciation for all those doilies I’ve seen over the years.”
And in this journey of learning something new, I’m trying to be aware of other things.
How many times have I just taken things for granted?
I know my asthma has taught me to be thankful for every breath.
My crocheting has taught me to be thankful for handmade items.
My health has taught me to be thankful for pain.
Without pain, I don’t know when something is wrong.
Without the understanding of my physical or spiritual needs, I’m not going to change my habits or actions or attitudes.
Of course, all these changes are made through Christ Jesus, who helps me learn self discipline.
And as these changes occur, I find life so much more a joy.
The closer I walk with Jesus, the more I learn how to abide in His peace, His joy, and His love.
I learn how to trust Him more.
I learn how to surrender more.
Galatians 2:20 KJV — I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
We were going to put in raised beds so we could grow a few veggies.
Because our family loves gardening, especially vegetables.
The shape and configuration of the back garden is very unique.
It’s similar to a flat topped triangle, beginning on either side of the house and tapering down till the back fence cuts it off straight.
Since the yard doesn’t face directly East, but is angled to the Northeast, and has trees on three sides, the yard has more shade than sun.
Just before he was supposed to purchase the materials for the raised beds, my husband came to chat with me about a change.
He shared what the Lord had put on his heart, and we knew.
It wasn’t God’s will to put in the raised beds.
I’ll admit it.
I was disappointed.
I spoke to the Lord about my disappointment, and He graciously listened.
I know what’s best.
And I let it go.
I know it probably seems trivial and silly that growing veggies would mean so much to me, but it’s one of the things which I have done to bless my family.
It has always been a joy for all of us.
Although, I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t allowing it, I was willing to move on.
My husband even looked at me, hugged me, and said, “Don’t worry, we will grow flowers.”
Which has been a blessing as well.
We have lovely potted plants and the front yard is so pretty with the bushes already established and the plants my husband added.
Whenever I caught myself yearning for a vegetable garden, I’d ask the Lord to remove the desire, ask for His forgiveness in not resting in His perfect will, and I would thank Him for all His provision and blessings.
This Saturday, Anne and I were pretty much on our own, Jase and my husband were helping a neighbor move.
I mentioned to her the last section of yard which really needed attention before it became so overgrown we couldn’t get to it.
She put in a full day of work and I set timers on my phone in an effort to keep from over doing it.
Late afternoon rolled in and I sat looking at the progress when I realized something.
I’m certain it was the Lord.
One portion of yard near the back fence was in the sun.
It had been that way all day.
I told Anne, “We might be able to grow some tomatoes or something!”
She was thrilled.
When the guys were back, we shared our discovery.
And today, there’s a veggie garden in that same section of yard.
My husband had gone and gotten a load of top soil and plants.
The kids finished cleaning up all the brush, weeds, and branches.
Truly, it is a joy for all of us.
And once again, I’m amazed at God.
He knew what was best.
He allowed me to give up my desire to His perfect will, because He had a far better plan.
It’s just another tiny example that He cares for the details, far more than we realize.
Matthew 10:29 NKJV — “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for caring for the tiniest details. Thank You for showing me that surrender of my own plans and ideas is always best, and sometimes You allow a desire to linger in my heart, because You are still working in it and through it to teach me about myself and about You. Jesus, how I want to obey Your every Word! But I am weak and frail and often I make so many mistakes. Please use those things for Your glory and hone my stubborn heart into Your perfect will. Teach me humility and grace, that I might be loving, gentle, tender, kind, and strong. Not for my own gain, but for the testimony of Your goodness and mercy. Thank You, Jesus. I love You! Amen.
Yesterday morning, I began the day with an asthma attack.
Although I’m super thankful for my nebulizer, I was sad to have to use it.
It’s been a long time since it’s been needed.
My day, therefore didn’t look like what I had planned.
Jase had to work his school mostly on his own.
Meals were leftovers, reheated.
(Praise God for our microwave and the leftovers!)
My asthma didn’t allow much, but I was glad to be on the couch instead of the bed.
When I got up this morning, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Praise the Lord, I’m breathing pretty well.
I’m still sluggish and slow, but so thankful to God for the ability to do a few little things.
And I’m enjoying the opportunity to pray more.
When my activities slim down, my heart finds it easier to remain in prayer.
So, I’m praising God for His rest.
I hadn’t scheduled it for today or yesterday, but since it’s required why chaff at putting off my own plans?
Instead, I’m embracing God’s.
After all His ways are best.
Isaiah 2:3 NKJV — Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your plans for each day. Lord, I know there is so much sin and wickedness in the world that we can often forget how much good there is as well. After all, You are good and You are far bigger than Your creation. Thank You for holding us in Your hands and walking us forward into Your truths. Lord, please help us to live for You in our actions, our thoughts, and our attitudes. Lord, please let our mouths be full of Your praise, our hearts full of Your love, and our minds full of Your truth. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.