So this morning when I finally rolled out of bed at 7:00 – an hour later than I planned but it was a late night. Sitting down at my table with the candles flickering, I felt compelled to read from Isaiah again. Flipped open to Isaiah 40:28 – 31. “God never grows weak or weary, He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless, trusting in Him will give new strength.” Jesus spoke words very similar to Isaiah in Matthew 11:28 – 30. “Come to me all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. I AM humble and gentle at heart.”
Since today is January 22, I read from Psalm 22. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” This cry for help culminates in David declaring that “even future generations will head about the wonder of the Lord and His rightenous acts will be told to those not yet born.” Psalm 23 follows and reassures the psalmist of the previous chapter that “The Lord is our sphepherd and we have all that we need.” Jesus spoke the first lines of those psalms at his death. All those in the area who heard him would have known those two son
I love seeing that golden thread woven through thousands of years showing that suffering can lead us to trust in God. These words were spoken by Isaiah, David, Jesus and now flowing through me, then through my children, and someday through their children. These words of praise and trust are an inheritance, a treasure. This rich history reminds us to Trust in The One who made this universe or time and space. Relax into “Tenderness”.
Working on the 31-day challenge and here is the progress:
1. Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. Meeting with Dr. Brock this Friday. On a day-to-day basis, I’m recognizing my anger and the need to let some things go. Trying to live a life of “nice little box with a pretty little bow on top” isn’t serving me well. It’s actually an idol. Instead of worshiping Jesus I can end up worshiping peace and calm and flip out when life is not feeling tidied up.
2. Reading two books a month and not grazing over 20 and never finishing a book. This month the books are “Try Softer” by Aundi Kolber and “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud. These are amazing books. There are also YouTube videos with Dr. Cloud speaking about boundaries. Got a little side tracked – I also picked up reading “Persuasion” by Jane Austin but I also wanted to add some fiction into my life. Reading only non-fiction can make me way too cerebral and not connect to imagination and whimsey.
3. Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. Surprisingly, this area of my life is actually the easiest part of the challenge this month. Maybe because it’s something quite tangible that can give me a sense of control. When I’m stressed or sad I retreat to cleaning and organizing. So keeping a budget and working plans feels comforting to me right now.
Well it’s about time to start breakfast and get this day going. I hope your intentions are helping to lighten your load from heavy distractions and misplaced focus. It’s already the 22nd and it feels good to see progress in 2020!
So this weekend was painful. Emotional wreckage is what I’m talking about. It started with a trip to the post office for passports and then climaxed with a phone call to a family member. Searing. Surprising. Ouch.
Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
I think it’s funny that I’m still referring to Proverbs after I shared with the kids this Sunday about Solomon’s short-lived wisdom. Amazingly, before many lessons I listen to Ravi Zacharius and he has something profound to say on the topic of the Sunday lesson. So I shared with the K – 5 grades how the life of Solomon contrasts vividly with the life of William Wilberforce. Solomon squandered his life on distractions whereas the diminutive William used his life to stop slave trade. Amazing. So I’ll still refer to the words of Solomon but pray that our lives reflect more the actions of William.
And that is exactly what I saw playing out this weekend with the trials that came into our lives. We may know the Truth, but do we walk in it? Is the Truth simply swimming around in our heads or did it sink it’s way down into the roots of our soul and heart? I’m so thankful that God brought into my life the book “Boundaries”. He knew what was coming.
Ears to hear and eyes to see – both are gifts from the Lord.
I’m so excited that today is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s day of remembrance. Not suprising the Lord had me share about William WIlberforce and slavery yesterday. How amazing is His timing? We will watch Dr. King’s speech again today and be inspired by his words. And most importantly we will be inspired to walk in The Way by bringing freedom to all captives, and even captive places within our own hearts.
So onto today’s schedule. I woke up a little later than planned – 7:30. Had my prayer/journaling time and read through Psalm 20 and Proverbs 20 since today in January 20. On our agenda today is morning time, the Paino Man is coming to tune our piano, and the girls are going to a sign language class today.
1. Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. After this weekend’s events I’m more raw then ever, and this situations did not only affect me but my sweet children. With this new testing and suffering, I have the choice to remain tender and open or withdraw into a hardened shell. My prayer has been that we will be like Hananiah (Yah is gracious), Mishael (Who is what El is), and Azariah (Yah has helped) who did not even smell of smoke when they were brought out of the fiery furnace.
2. Reading two books a month and not grazing over 20 and never finishing a book. This month the books are “Try Softer” by Aundi Kolber and “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud. I’m continually grateful for these books in this time of my life. It is truly divine timing.
3. Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. Well, um, I need to work on logging some expenses over the weekend but we did create a menu plan for the week. Today I’ll stop by the grocery store.
Time to get going. I pray that you are finding the will to show up each new day, no matter the trials, and trust God for the outcome. I have to admit I’ve been trying to make excuses why I’m too hurt and sad to keep pressing into this month’s challenge, but look, here it is and I’m still showing up. You can too.
Our exceptionally warm and sunny weather gave me ample time to sit on my front porch early every morning to read, journal, grow, and be inspired. We are approaching a different season in which I will need to find encouragement from things other than the sun and leisurely mornings to drink tea and think dreamy thoughts.
So as the new year of schooling begins and plans are underway, there are a few scriptures that come to mind. These ideas fashion the vision for this year. We can take shelter in His words because we know that we cannot survive in the desert of false ideals. In all the advice we come across in the internet about how to homeschool well – we can take to heart what is found in The Word.
GUARD OUR HEARTS
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
(In everything let my goal be to live in the Love of God through Christ Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.)
Matthew 5 5 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Disciples and the World 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
(These words from Jesus speak to me of complete surrender to the life I am living. I have no need to feel insecure, no need to compare my life to others. We are all unique and living the life that God designed before He spun time and matter into being.His beautiful promises are available to us all. And because of our position we can be filled with His Light and Love.)
Matthew 6 25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(We are greatly cared for and adored by our Father. He knows all our needs. He is doing His work in ways we cannot see and will do more than we can imagine. We can be confident in the Heart of your Father who tenderly cares for us.)
Hebrews 2 16 We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters,[h] so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. 18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
(Amazingly, we are considered the sisters and brothers of Christ. He is able to help us in every aspect of our lives. He suffered and is our understanding High Priest.)
Romans 8:13-15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
(We are God’s children and our spirits are joined to His.)
2 Peter 1 3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Because of His kind intention and powerful will, we share in His divine nature and have all we need for living a godly life.)
Proverbs 1:23 Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.
(This tells me that God shares his wisdom with us. He joins are hearts to His.)
I could literally type up all the scripture here because it all speaks or who God is and ultimately who we are in Christ. This journey is His and ours to share. It is amazing how many times little coincidences appear and connections are made when we listen and watch. Spend time looking for the fingerprints of God in this academic school year. Write up the scriptures that resonate with your heart for this coming year. I wonder what splendid stories we will be able to share at the end of the 2019 – 2020 school year?
Our life and times are connected. I believe there is an inherent knowing that is passed from one generation to another. This little hug from one person to another to say “I see you and I love you”. Decades ago our sweet Grammie – the sweetest lady who ever lived – painted this picture of this sweet kitty. When our little Rachel was 6 years old she miraculously convinced daddy to get our little Snowflake. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I believe Grammie was able to sense into the future and painted this kitty. She did not know it but her creative expression was an offering of a limitless hug. This connection makes us feel close to her even though she’s been gone from us for three years. We love her. And she loves us.
I would also like to state that our creative Rachel hopes to one day open a coffee cat shop where people can come to sip her delicious coffee and have an opportunity to adore and adopt a sweet kitty. Did Grammie had a sense of this as well? Maybe.