His love is always present...in the good, the bad and the ugly. He is unchanging, faithful, lover of souls. He is the comforter, healer, restorer, hope-giver, life-giver, joy-giver, truth-giver and love-giver. He is my All. He is my rescuer. He is my God, my Father who has showered blessings upon me that I have never deserved. He fills me with joy. He loves me despite who I am and never gives up on me.
And I am thankful He is this same God to my husband and children. He loves them an infinite times more than I ever could in my human strength. My all can never be compared to His and there is a precious comfort in that for this wife and mama's heart.
Today is Monday, the beginning of the week, trying to adjust to new schedules and uncertainties of work and dealing with my own insecurities. But I am so thankful for His new mercies and this process of refining me and drawing me closer to Him and making me more like Him. I am thankful for little hugs, for words of encouragement from my honey, for opportunities God has allowed us and His abundant provision. One day at a time, isn't that all that He asks of us? Trust Him, walk with Him, lean on Him, love Him, be a reflection of Him to our family, friends, strangers...
I love my Heavenly Father, His Word, His Spirit, my strength to go through each day- to go beyond myself, to love myself, to love this sweet family of mine. This is good stuff!
Praying your day is blessed and joyful, knowing your worth and value is in Christ.
...Well, actually I don't really love swishing diapers in the toilet...it might be quite the opposite actually. But it was a funny thing that swishing of the diaper the other day. So first, if you have no idea what I am talking about, I will spare you the details, it is one of the simple joys of cloth diapering if you have neglected to attach a sprayer to your toilet (are you getting the gist of it?) For those of you familiar with the cloth diapering, are you sympathizing with me, especially considering it is a two year old who is wearing them? But back to the point. As I sat there and swished the other day, feeling the woe-is-me pity party coming on I began to sing "Oh how I love..." and swishing was going to come out with sarcasm but what came out, "Jesus." And by His grace, I kept singing "oh, how I love Jesus because He first loved me." And how quickly my perspective changed.
He reminded me:
~how I had so earnestly wanted to use cloth diapers
~how an old college roommate (and friend) had sent me an entire box of new cloth diapers because she had never used them, only because she saw I was hoping to use them in a random Facebook post
~how we had held on to these diapers and not gotten around to selling them
~how even though these diapers had caused an allergy earlier in this little one, were now working beautifully when our finances were tight
~how I was blessed with sweet ones
~how I was blessed to have a bathroom
~how I was blessed to have water
~how I could and should praise Him even in the swishing of diapers
...and I sang with joy that day and I continue to each time I swish...because He blesses.
Perspective through a heart of gratitude...not in my own strength but by His grace, as I ask Him to renew my mind, to fill me with His Spirit and to give me His perspective. Humbly, day by day, treasuring each joy He fills me with, seeing it through His eyes and not my own and with the world's perspective. He is faithful.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
"Love thy neighbour." Perhaps he rolls in riches, and thou art poor, and living in thy little cot side-by-side with his lordly mansion; thou seest every day his estates, his fine linen, and his sumptuous banquets; God has given him these gifts, covet not his wealth, and think no hard thoughts concerning him. Be content with thine own lot, if thou canst not better it, but do not look upon thy neighbour, and wish that he were as thyself. Love him, and then thou wilt not envy him.
Perhaps, on the other hand, thou art rich, and near thee reside the poor. Do not scorn to call them neighbour. Own that thou art bound to love them. The world calls them thy inferiors. In what are they inferior? They are far more thine equals than thine inferiors, for "God hath made of one blood all people that dwell upon the face of the earth." It is thy coat which is better than theirs, but thou art by no means better than they. They are men, and what art thou more than that? Take heed that thou love thy neighbour even though he be in rags, or sunken in the depths of poverty.
But, perhaps, you say, "I cannot love my neighbours, because for all I do they return ingratitude and contempt." So much the more room for the heroism of love. Wouldst thou be a feather-bed warrior, instead of bearing the rough fight of love? He who dares the most, shall win the most; and if rough be thy path of love, tread it boldly, still loving thy neighbours through thick and thin. Heap coals of fire on their heads, and if they be hard to please, seek not to please them, but to please thy Master; and remember if they spurn thy love, thy Master hath not spurned it, and thy deed is as acceptable to him as if it had been acceptable to them. Love thy neighbor, for in so doing thou art following the footsteps of Christ."
This might be one of my favorite devotionals. The gift the Lord gave Mr. Spurgeon in his ability to write so eloquently and with such truth touches my heart.
Thinking on this devotional...remembering to be content where you are at (no you don't have to stay there, but if that is where you are to be, be content) and you are not better than anyone else. The Lord has a plan for each of us and a refining process, and He knows just how to get to those weak, unfruitful areas in our lives. We praise Him through it all. Isn't that what we are called to do? To love and worship Him. Paul praised Him with little and much. He praised Him in the most beautiful of places and in the pits of prison. Can't I do the same? Yes, by His grace and mercy. He has shown me so much this winter...weak areas, prideful areas and more of who He is and how I can trust Him. I am humbled and thankful. I am praying we are going into a restful season, it's not easier but more of a time feeling a bit more secure financially. No matter what though, I know His provision, faithfulness and grace is sufficient for this mama. I love my Father with all my heart!
"It reminds me of the Lord....you see I'm His daughter and there are countless times that I have a desire, one that wouldn't really amount to anything if it came true, except to put a smile on my face. And the Lord does it for me. Not because I deserve it, because I sure don't. But, because He loves me. What a thought! The Creator of the Universe loves me and gives me the desires of my heart! And I can't help but think that as I smile for His wonderful gifts He showers on me, that it makes Him happy that I'm His girl." ~Kami- A Day in the Life of a Missionary Wife (blog) Beautiful words that we should all be remembering as His children :)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”~Joshua 1:9ESV
Reading about fear this morning and knowing He is right here with us, trusting Him on this journey for His glory, because we are His.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
~1 John 2:15-17
Food and nourishment for the soul...
A blessed and happy week to you, keeping our eyes on Him :)
Thankful for... rest, snow days & hot chocolate, prayers, His grace, encouragement from a friend and our similar seasons, lavendar, chicken soup from my mama, being pat on the head (lop-my love language is touch), smiles from little ones, hot showers, blog reading, glorious sunrises, moonlight upon the fresh fallen snow (that is rarely here-amen!), learning to truly trust my Heavenly Father, thankful my Father is so patient with me, my husband (love this guy), peace, a whole lot of love, HIs mercies are new every day...
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. -Romans 8:35, 37