For Christmas last year, my daughter’s gave me one of those page-a-day calendars. Each day has a beautiful picture and bible scripture on it. As I tore off yesterday’s scripture, I realized how few I have left for this year.
That simple swipe of a page caused me to reflect for a moment on all of the many triumphs, disappointments, hardships, and blessings that occurred this year.
Appropriately in line with my thoughts was today’s scripture, right out of Ecclesiastes 7:13-14. King Solomon wrote:
“Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad consider:
God has made one as well as the other.
Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.”
Remember that God is with you through all times; He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) I truly believe that He holds me by my right hand.
When I have experienced my deepest and darkest times, I close my eyes and actually visualize Him seated right next to me, holding my hand. It brings me the most complete, nurturing love and comfort that only my Heavenly Father can provide. Try it, you will be blessed. 🙂
“By recognizing that God is working in us through all situations, we can rejoice in success and prosperity and learn to trust God through failure and adversity” (Ecclesiastes 7: 8-14 commentary.)
God holds my all days, as well as yours. Remember, God doesn’t change; only our situations do.
During these times of thankfulness, take some time to thank God for His never-ending presence in your life. Times change, people change, relationships change but He is the one that we can always count on–His promises never change!
All the glory to God,
Image of Jesus Christ: The same yesterday, today, and forever” by www.preachit.org.
Good morning! What a beautiful day! God’s glory is shining and brilliant here in the Pacific Northwest. Here is a picture of Mount Rainier that I see every day when I leave my neighborhood. I’m in awe of the beauty of His creation all the time, can you imagine the splendor and beauty of Heaven? I try, but the limitations of my earthly mind can’t even begin to comprehend it! 🙂
God brought us out to Washington state, five years ago this Thanksgiving, because of my husband’s job. This state was never on our “radar” because neither one of us had ever been here. I am so thankful to God that He brought us here and none of it was our doing. In fact, in our worldly plans and vision, we were counting on a different move and promotion to Florida. I am so glad that God’s plans and will for my life are not my own.
Eight years ago, my husband was working a full year straight towards a promotion and move to the East Coast. Many special projects, meetings, and extra hours helped solidify his promotion to Regional Manager of Loss Prevention of the Florida/Georgia market for the company he works for. It was practically a done deal. I picked out the new city we would live in, where our daughter’s would attend school, and a “tentative” timeframe of our move. Yet, it wasn’t meant to be.
My husband came home from work one Fall evening looking upset. Standing in our kitchen, he relayed the news to me that they had given the job to another Regional Manager. Apparently, his wife was suffering from cancer and would get better treatment in Florida. Also, they had family in that area. My husband was devastated, as though all of his “extra” work would be wasted. I hugged my husband, and spoke the following words, “I’m not ready to leave my doctor’s yet. I don’t know why.”
Time moved forward, and the new year dawned, my 39th year on this planet. As many of you know, my mom died of cancer at this very age. I am very meticulous with taking care of myself and going to all of my yearly check-ups. This year was not any different, except my test results were not good.
One of my doctors, because of my family history, did additional testing that she normally never would have. In fact, she told me that she was going to be using my situation and subsequent testing as a teaching example. I went through several procedures, medicines, and check-ups. At the last visit, she told me I was going to be okay and that I just needed check-ups every three months for the next couple of years. What she said next floored me, I had no idea the severity of my situation, but God did. She said this to me: “If I hadn’t done the additional testing, you may not have been here next year.”
Immediately, my heart and mind went back to the first thought I had after my husband did not get his promotion, “I’m not ready to leave my doctor’s yet.” Wow! In this moment, I learned to trust God with any change He brings to my life. He knows my whole story, my husband’s story and my kids story. I trust Him with everything.
You see, after my mom died I lived in paralyzing fear that any illness I had was cancer and that I would die young like my mom. It got so bad that any affliction I had, had to be major and terminal. Through this situation and His Word, God revealed to me that He holds all of my days and will move mountains (or prevent a move) to keep me in the will He has for my life. This is why Psalm 139:16 is so close to my heart:
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
He has my days, my anxiety of sickness, dying young, leaving my children at young age, etc., all in the palm of His hand. I rest and trust in God’s provision, presence and promises. I leave the outcome to God.
Jesus Calling, November 19th says the following, “Leave outcomes to me. Follow me wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your Guide and companion. Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Me. You already know the ultimate destination of your journey: your entrance into heaven. So keep your focus on the path just before you, leaving outcomes up to me” (Young, 338).
God had better plans for my husband’s job. Two and a half years after he worked incredibly hard for a promotion that wasn’t meant to be, God blessed him with a better job in Washington state. He orchestrated every step that brought us out here. Has it been easy and non-stressful? No! Moving, changing jobs, uprooting children, finding a new church, doctor’s etc. is not easy. However, God’s presence was (and is) in ALL of it, and there is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will. Amen?!!!
I pray that whether you are in plentiful or want, sorrow or joy, that you draw your strength from God and leave the outcome to Him. Nothing is wasted when you trust Him and allow His will to lead your life. After all, He knew all of your days before one came to pass. 🙂
“Trust Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
All the glory to God!!
Young, Sarah. “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence.” Thomas Nelson Publishing. Print. 2004.
My mom, Sue, is the first person that introduced me to Jesus. She did this in two ways, by living her life with a personal relationship with Jesus and by having several conversations with me, about Jesus, sitting Indian style on her king-size bed. During one of those conversations, just my mommy and me, I made a decision that changed my life and heart forever.
I can still picture the bedroom – all browns, beiges, and avocado green circa the late 1970’s! My mom and dad’s bed was near their bedroom door with nightstands on each side. Brownish-bronze lamps with beige lampshades graced each side table. A long, wooden mirrored dresser stood opposite the large window in their bedroom. I can picture it so clearly–like a Polaroid snapshot in time–because that is one moment that changed my life forever. I made a personal dedication to Jesus that day, and I wanted Him to live in my heart forever. I was eight years old.
God used my mother’s relationship with Jesus to change my life those many years ago–and ten years later He would do the same thing again–although this defining moment brought me to my knees in a desperate way.
November 7, 1990, twenty -eight years ago today exactly, my mother went Home to Jesus. She died three months after she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 39. I was only 18 years old and my heart felt literally broken. Like it could never be the same again.
If you know me and have read my blog, you know that I have touched on this several times. It is because this is the biggest life changing moment in my life. God has used all of what I experienced through my mother’s death for His glory. He has taken every tear, heartache, hurt, and transformed them-through His grace-to joy, understanding, and love.
This journey, since the loss of my mom, has not been easy, but Jesus has never left my side and He has shown me that He was with me then and He is with me now! I have testimony after testimony of God’s guidance, provision, and presence during those difficult days and our journey together thus far. It has been my experience that:
“After the dust of a trial settles, we are able to see more clearly the footprints and fingerprints of God’s guidance, provision, and presence” (Crenshaw, Shanon 2015).
I cannot begin to tell you the number of times God has placed people in my life to share my testimony on this, and I love it, because my light shines bright because of Him! All the glory to God! Don’t you just love it when He transforms a hardship in your life in such a powerful way and then He gives you the privilege of sharing His light and love in your life with others? It’s incredible!! 🙂
I would like to close with this. Time and time again, the scriptures the Lord used the most in healing me was Psalm 139. He spoke life and peace to my heart by using the whole chapter, at different times, over the years. My favorite verse is the following: “…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16. This particular verse has brought me so much peace. I just love it. He is the God of all of my days.
**I’ve included two of my mom’s favorite things in this post. At the time of her death, her favorite song was “Friends” by Michael W. Smith. It continues to be one of mine as well and I think of her every time I hear it. Also, my parents had a print of this picture, of Jesus hugging someone coming Home, hanging in our house when I was growing up. In now hangs in my bedroom, by the door, and I see it every time I go in my room.
Until we meet again mommy, with Jesus, your love and memory is in my heart daily!!
All the glory to God,
Image of Coming Home to Jesus! Giant Hug! by Pinterest.
Image of Heaven in my Heart: A hug from Jesus by heaven in my heart blogstop.com
Image of Friends by Michael W. smith by likesuccess.com
Hello friends, happy November! I cherish this month with the last of the leaves falling, cozy sweater and boot weather, and my heart is so full of thanks for God that gives so abundantly and lovingly! God is love! 🙂
Do you know that God in Heaven loves you more than you could ever imagine?! He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for your sins, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV). Not only does God want to save you, He has promises to guide you (Proverbs 3:6), protect you (Psalm 121: 7-8), strengthen you (Philippians 4:13), deliver you (Jeremiah 20:13), heal you (Jeremiah 17:14), and love you because nothing “… can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 38-39). These are just a few of the promises of God! Hang on tight there is more…He has awesome plans for YOU!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).
God gave my daughter and I a glimpse of these promises last Friday, November 2nd. God is amazing! But first, let me start this by saying that I choose to see God’s hand in everything. I do not believe in coincidence. I believe God orchestrates every part of my life and I “know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
I drive my daughter to and from school every day. It had been a trying week for both of us, so I thought we would get ice cream afterschool together on Friday. Just the two of us. However, it seemed to be taking longer than usual for her to get to the car. She is rarely late. About ten minutes later, I noticed her walking towards the Jeep.
“Sorry, I’m late mom. Grace was trying to get a hold of her Uncle so that we could give her a ride home. But he didn’t get back to us in time before the bus showed up.”
“That’s okay, honey. I understand. Ready to get some ice cream?”
About five minutes later we pulled into the parking lot of Baskin Robbins. Not too far from where we parked, we noticed a few police vehicles, a red SUV right alongside them, and a few officers walking around surveying the scene. I knew this was definitely not a traffic accident.
Savannah and I went inside Baskin -Robbins and placed our order. While the employee was getting our ice cream, I asked her what was going on outside. She said, “About fifteen minutes ago, there was a “road rage” incident and a vehicle shot out the back window of the red SUV.” Wow. Right near where we are parked. In my neighborhood. I would never of imagined it could happen!
Then I had an “A-Ha Jesus” moment. We were fifteen minutes late getting here!!! My daughter and I may have very well been in the middle of it….but God! Our late “set back” kept us safe. I believe it.
I have learned, over time and with God’s grace, to take setbacks in stride. Whether they are appointment delays, traffic, cancelled plans, etc. God knows the whole story. There could be a whole multitude of reasons why the setback happened or is happening. But God knows and I trust Him.
So many good things came out of this! Obviously, my daughter and I shared some time together protected by our glorious Father in Heaven. But, I also used this as a teaching moment with my daughters. I explained to them that even when it appears that things may not be going our way, the One that holds our today’s and tomorrow’s is working everything out for good, and we can always trust Jesus!
I’ve got to say that I truly love these teachable moments with my daughters. When the light of Jesus shines in their eyes, and they truly feel the touch of the Holy Spirit and the promises of Christ, my heart is so full of JOY!! I pray that they will draw on these moments in the future as they grow and walk with the LORD.
My friends, problems and setbacks will happen in our lives. We may not be able to control the fact that they happen, but we can control how we respond to them and Who we talk to about them.
While reading the November 3rd devotional from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, these words spoke to my heart:
“Every time something thwarts your plans or desires, use that as a reminder to communicate with me. This practice has several benefits…talking with Me blesses you and strengthens our relationship. Another benefit is that disappointments, instead of dragging you down, are transformed into opportunities for good. When you reframe setbacks as opportunities, you find that you gain much more than you have lost” (Young, Sarah. November 3rd, emphasis mine).
Isn’t God’s timing awesome?! I read that devotional the day after my daughter, Savannah and I experienced a change in our plans and we saw it as an opportunity to see the goodness of God in it! I pray that the next time you experience a change of plans in your life, pray to God about it and release it back to Him, trusting Him for the outcome. May God continue to bless you!
All the glory to God,
Image of “Sometimes you are delayed…” by Quotes about strength by Pinterest.com.
Young, Sarah. “Enjoying Peace in His Presence” devotional. Thomas Nelson. Print. 2004.
God is first and foremost in my life.
my husband Steve, daughters Suzanne and Savannah,
my AMAZING family and friends,
the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest,
traveling and camping,
a GREAT cup of coffee with my morning devotionals,
and my Sumner Family Church family. :)