Saturday, December 31, 2011
Ah yesss...another person waxing poetic about their plans for the New Year. Don't worry about reading this. Like so many others, I need to make changes and the best thing to do is have someone hold you accountable. The internet and anyone who may stumble upon this are part of that accountability.
I have spent the past several weeks really trying to nail down the goals I have for the upcoming year. I have been planning on making some fairly significant changes this year. I don't expect to be 100 percent perfect when it comes to making these changes, but I could surprise myself. Here is my list.
1 - I will get back up. When I find myself missing the mark, I will get back up and continue on. I will not fail, I will move on. I put this first because I know how things can go for me. I can start my race at a pure sprint of excitement and somehow get distracted and trip, stumble and fall flat on my face. This can cause me to have a "what is the point?" attitude. I plan to not give in to that nonsense.
2 - Read the Word. Even if I just get a chapter in, I will read my Bible more and get into His word. Some days this is very easy. I can get into scriptures and time just flies. Then there are those times where it is a little more difficult, but it is still important. My goal is to get more out of my reading of the word. So it is all good if that means that some days I am getting the most by reading one chapter. Do I hope to read the Bible in a year? No. It would be nice, but I really want to study the word. I really want to memorize and be able to hold God's word in my heart. That will take more time.
3 - Save money. This is a huge need. I have been fairly good about saving money, but not overly consistent. There are several things that I plan to employ to do this.
3A - Coupon. Couponing is a given. I am moderately okay with that. I will never be a stockpiling kind of gal due to the fact that I simply do not have the space to do so, and because I just do not see the need to go beyond my little pantry closet. I do plan to take advantage of the sales that I find to the best of my ability.
3B - Write down what I spend. When I keep track of what I eat, I eat less. When I write down what I spend, I spend less.
3C - Make more foods from scratch and buy less convenience foods. I can go so far with this. I am dreaming of a new KitchenAid stand up mixer (I am part of the way there financially), and that little item should help me on my way to making more foods from scratch.
3D - Menu plan. I hope to get more involved with posting and linking with Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie. I was soooooo good at that for a while. I really need to get back to that. Not only was this a great way to keep my budget in control, but it was also an amazing way to keep my life in control.
4 - Weight loss. I was very fortunate to go on the HCG diet and lose 28 pounds. I still have a long way to go, and I plan to continue that journey into this new year. My husband and I will be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary this year, and I would like to get back into that dress. I had struggles with this because about six months after we got married my thyroid went kabloom. My metabolism slowed, and my weight began to rise. I plan to work on keeping track of what I eat and drink more water. It isn't like drinking water is hard to do, but man if you don't think about it, it can really get away from you. I also plan to stick with the gym at least five days a week.
5 - Read more. This is fairly simple. I used to be a crazy reader. That kind of slipped to the wayside a while back, and I am tired of not giving myself the joy that I used to get from a good book. I would like to tackle a book a week. Considering my other goals, this may not be possible, but I am certainly going to give it a try. I figure I can get a lot of reading done on my Nook while I am hitting the gym anyway. My husband and I have started reading together too. That is pretty fun. He reads a chapter to me and I read a chapter to him. Right now we are working our way through "Book Of Days" by James L Rubart.
6 - Blog more. I was once pretty awesome at blogging. I am not saying I was an amazing blogger. I just kept up with it. I suppose that I am really just hoping to be more on target with everything. I suffer from distraction at times. I would like to blog daily. Even if I am just checking in briefly, I want to do that. I don't plan on blogging while I am on my second honeymoon though. My husband and I will be back in Carmel, and I have no intention on focusing on anything other than loving life with my husband during that time away. :)
So those are my goals. All in all, I am working and praying and focusing on getting my life in a new order. :) I am really looking forward to the ride. :)
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Okay...I was loving YouVersion.com, but something zany happened, and I was put back to the beginning. I am figuring that this means God wants me to refocus on my dreams and goals. That seems to be the best way to think about it anyway.
First things first:
When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
This version is the New Living Translation, and it makes me think about focusing on walking along the path that God has set before me. I have my dreams and I pray that they are in God's plan for my life, but really, all I need to do is walk His walk, and he will direct my paths. I want to accept His guidance, because frankly, I definitely understand the running wild and running into chaos without it. This isn't to say that I was a bull in a china shop, but honestly, I do believe I could have saved myself much grief if I had just focused on the plan God has for my life. Of course, this isn't a revelation I had during my worry and scurry years. But I get it now, and I want to be used to glorify His kingdom in whatever way that He sees fit.
I'm going to stop here now, because I need to do a little planning out for my goals for the new year. There are so many, and I really need to put them on paper so I can plan and act.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
(This picture makes sense as you go along)
Today's study brought me to Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
So very true. I remember when I was a kid and I would scan through my grandmother's Reader's Digest magazines. One of my first stops was always Laughter is Great Medicine or something like that anyway. I loved reading the funny things that happened to people or the silly little jokes.
Nowadays, I think I can get caught up in the serious. Not to a ridiculous degree, mind you. I married a very silly man and I am a very silly woman. But I do not actively search out a good laugh like I did when I was a kid. So I have decided to make laughter one of my resolutions (I think this will be a nice use of a few moments each day). I will resolve to find something fun or funny to laugh about every day. I like the idea of looking on the brighter side of life. Doesn't it sound fun to look for something to laugh about?
If God didn't want us to laugh and enjoy the sillier things, he wouldn't have made some of us so ticklish or so easily amused. I am really learning that there are so many things to appreciate in this world. I don't think we need to remind ourselves to be serious, but we definitely need to remind ourselves to let go a bit.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
This was and is pretty wild for me. Fear has been a definer in my life. I have always had to deal with fear. I think it is may be the way I grew up. I don't know really. I think that I never felt okay. I never felt accepted. I felt only accepted when I was perfect in the eyes of the world. Or at least as perfect as I could get. I wasn't happy though. And there was always fear. Fear that I would fail. Fear that I would lose whatever I had gained. Why? Because I didn't really have love. I certainly didn't love myself, and I don't think I remotely grasped the love of God. I don't think I even have that grasped yet.
That is okay though. I know that I will. This year I will give up fear. I will give up worry. I will give up disappointment. I will give up self doubt. I will give up beating myself up. I will give up thinking that I have to settle. I will give up believing that I am only going to be. I will give up sadness. I will give up depression. I will give up restlessness. I will give up feeling as if I am on an island. I will give up believing that God cares about others, but I am not good enough. I will give up the world's idea of perfection and focus on my perfect savior, Jesus Christ.
The new year is coming and I am going to resolve to give up all the ties that have bound me to pain and narrowed my focus and my future. I am giving in to God and I am giving all of me to Him to do as he pleases. I know that only through Christ and my relationship with God will I truly leave the past behind me.
Monday, December 12, 2011
This is quite possibly the nagging question in my mind. What is my purpose? Why did God create me? i think there really is not just a God shaped hole in our lives in ourselves that needs to be filled by a relationship with him with Jesus Christ, but I also feel that, at least for myself, there is a purpose hole. I feel that there is something missing in my life that I need to be who God made me to be, and that until I am, I will not feel complete.
I am blessed. Of that I am certain. I have a wonderful child and a fabulous husband. If I die tomorrow, I will be forever grateful for what God has given me. But what have I given God? What is my act of worship? What has He created me for? What are my talents? Seriously, all of this hits me all the time. Today especially.
I feel like there is something more and I am not there yet. It is almost maddening at times. In fact, at times I am blue, because I there is a part of me that is lacking. I can't quite pinpoint what it is, and I most likely am rambling right now, but truly I just need to suss out my thoughts. One of my goals for this year is definitely going to be to nail down who I am in Christ and who God made me to be. I think that for so long everyone else told me what I should do and should be that who I am got lost in the shuffle.
I'll have to think on this.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Not giving up is hard. It is certainly hard for me. I am not saying that I give up easily but it can happen in a breath. Because I really, really want to make something out of myself I am writing right now when honestly, I'd rather jump into bed.
It was a rough day.
My alarm went off at 5:00 am. I didn't freak out or anything. I just listened for my son. This is what I do every morning from Monday through Friday. I listen to make sure that he gets up and gets into the shower. Once I am sure he has done just that, I drop back to sleep until my alarm goes off again at 5:30 am. At that point I get up and do the shower thing. When done I wake my son up (yes...after he showers he goes back to sleep - we love sleeping) so he can finish getting ready and then we continue on with our daily routine until it is time to drop him off at the bus stop.
The first part went as expected. My alarm went off, I listened and heard my son get in the shower, and I fell back to sleep. I slept great and had a wonderful dream of a place that I dream about occasionally. More than occasionally really. I dreamed about a town that I go back to all the time. So much that I recognize the total landscape...the hotels, restaurants, hills valleys and other features of this town. It is some little dream place of mine. Sorry...I am not staying on point am I?
Where was I? Yes. I fell asleep. I just drifted along in this wonderful dream, but then I felt this need to wake up. It seemed impossible, but yep, I overslept. It was 7:00 am. NIGHTMARE TIME! I had to literally leap out of bed and get in the shower. On the way I rapped on my son's door and told him to get ready in a flash because I was going to have to take him to school. Once washed I quickly got a sandwich ready for him for his lunch and another for him to eat for breakfast. While he ate, I got dressed, poured myself an iced coffee (I would have preferred hot coffee but time was of the essence) and somehow got us out the door. I got my son to school on time, and got myself to work 15 minutes late. That stunk, but it really could have been much worse.
I honestly thought for a moment about just letting my son stay home so we could avoid all the chaos. That would have been a bad thing to do. It is one thing to miss school when you are sick, but missing school because your mom woke up late...not good. It would have been a bad message to give my son. It would have been easier to do rather than race about, but again, the message would have been a bad one and it would have been a lesson that would be hard to unlearn.
And now I am totally exhausted and really am ready to get some rest. But first, what does this verse, Galatians 6:9 mean to me? Here it is again:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Today meant doing good by getting my son to school even though it would most likely make me late. It meant moving even though I could probably justify not doing so. By doing good in taking my son to school he saw that he is a priority in my life. I was not going to let his needs drop because I didn't want to be a little late for work. His education is a priority. If he sees that it is a priority for me, he will understand that it should also be a priority for him. He also saw that sometimes you have to push yourself and just not give up. We pushed and we made it.
It was a rough start, but it was a good day.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I have not been entirely sporadic in my posting of my verses. Still I am behind in my reading at youversion.com. I read every day, but some days, I am reading my devotionals at Proverbs 31 Ministries so these scriptures may take a center in my study at a later time. If I do not focus on a verse for the day, that is not to mean that I have no intention of reading. Studying His word is very important to me and a place where I feel I am lacking.
There really are so many things I want to work on. My spiritual side (well actually my relationship with God puts it more accurately) is the most important.
So back to my verse. Today I focused on Galatians 5:16
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. --Galations 4:16
Joyce Meyer delves into that more in the devotional that joins this verse:
Relying on God
I believe every time we feel frustration, it means we've really stopped relying on God. That might sound like a bold statement to you, but think about it: God's given you and me His Holy Spirit and His grace to help us walk through anything that comes our way. Frustration hits when we stop depending on Him and try to make something happen our own way.
Understanding this really helped me. Every time I became frustrated, I reminded myself that what I was really doing was trying to take the place of the Holy Spirit. I was trying to be Holy Spirit Junior!
Do you struggle with an independent spirit? When you refuse to depend on God, in essence, you're saying, "Okay, God, I appreciate that You're around, but watch me do this." Depending on God for everything may be difficult, but it's the key to the victory we need every single day of our lives.
When God saved us, He didn't help us and then say, "Ok, that's it. You're on your own now!" He's eternally saved us, which means if we depend on Him, He will guide us and help us.
Galations 5:16 urges us to "walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit...then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh".... Notice that it doesn't say "conquer the flesh independently...then you will certainly not gratify the desires of the flesh." No, it says to live in the Holy Spirit.
Choose to stop living independently, and rely on the Holy Spirit. I promise you won't regret it!
Prayer Starter: God, You are all I need. Help me not to trust in myself, but to put my trust in You and to rely only on You.
I don't know if I am focusing more on what I need to do and less on God and asking Him to be my strength. I think in a way I do. I do not like to give up the reins. This isn't because I don't want to give control of my life over to God. I think that I tend to try to pretend that all is well. I do get frustrated though. There are things that I truly desire and that I am just not sure if I can do on my own. I know that I need His strength and that I will do God's will and be all He has created me to be in His time, but am I hindering God? Can you hinder God? I know I don't want to hinder God. I certainly do not want to get in His way, but my own actions could be doing just that.
Here is what I am working on right now.
I am still having my snotty issues and my irritation when I drive. It is truly amazing how many horrid drivers one can come in contact with in a few short blocks when one is asking God to change them when on the road. I can say that I am continually asking for His forgiveness, and I am trying. Yesterday I continually sang His praises when I realized I was just getting too grumpy. At times I was kind of screaming out "Hallelujah," but I must say that it really did help. I know that I am not evil because I get a little impatient or offended by bad and selfish drivers on the road, but it definitely takes me away from peace. I want peace.
I am also trying to catch myself when I speak negative things to myself. I am really my own worst enemy there. I continually bash myself or allow myself to get in a gloomy funk where I say that no one wants me to do any more than I already am. That I will not be given opportunity. But the fact is that God is more powerful than any man on this earth. And if God wants me to advance and God wants me to move...I WILL MOVE. If God wants me to learn a lesson where I am right now...I WANT TO LEARN THAT LESSON. I want to be what He has designed me to be. I just hope and pray that I can figure it out. I don't want to get my desires in the way of His plan and purpose for my life.
The nice thing about prepping for the year ahead, my year of change, is that I have plenty of time and a mighty God.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
It was a funny day. After I posted this verse, my computer got all wonky. Well it really wasn't the computer. It was the internet, and it stunk. It stunk because we were enjoying an episode of The Office and then I was going to just delve a bit.
So basically I just wanted to stop and share this verse even if it is a day late.
It causes me to think about how we can often behave. How we may walk through life. We say that we love God. We call ourselves Christians, but how do we behave? Hopefully we are showing love to others. This does not mean to me that we just let ourselves be walked all over, but we try to the best of our abilities to be kind, be caring and be considerate.
Maybe that is just me.
Monday, December 5, 2011
First, my verse for today:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
I have been thinking lately about choice. Circumstances happen in our lives that we have no control over, but we do have control over how we respond to these circumstances and events. We may not think that we do, but we do. Other than an allergic reaction, we pretty much can work on our responses. I am really thinking about minor things here and how they can ruin a day. Minor things should not ruin a day. Minor things should not ruin a moment, but our responses can make this happen.
Now before I get into this I want to just say that I am not a grumpy person. I am not an angry person. I treat people nicely and I try very hard to be kind. I am however human and there are some behaviors that I have that bug me. I don't make people feel like they are walking on egg shells, but there are again, ways that I can respond to situations that I don't like. I hate that. I hate when a simple thing gets me grumped out. I especially dislike being grumped out by something that is really not important. Life is too short to be irked by trivialities like rude drivers (this is one pet peeve).
So here is my beef about me: I have been a grumbly driver. I think that this is a partly genetic thing. I grew up around grumbly drivers and so it is kind of a knee jerk reaction for me. Okay...I actually grew up around not just grumbly drivers but grumbly lifers. I don't spend my entire day moaning like Archie Bunker, but I can definitely feel put out by actions of others. I have also inherited a heaping spoonful of snarkiness. I can be a riot to be around when I get going, but...really feel that is not what I want to be. I do not want to be grumbly, snarky, and sarcastic even part of the time. Also, in my defense, I learned how to drive back East. I am a woman who spent more than half of her life living in Rhode Island and another large chunk living in California. During my more impressionable years, I grew up around hotheads. This is VERY apparent when I am driving and someone around me does something dangerous, ignorant, selfish, or just plain wrong. When a person drives badly around me, a little button inside me clicks on and I am suddenly overtaken with dropping my Rs and talking with my hands. I am suddenly this tough driving, talking chick, and really I am probably kind of scary to be around. At least that is what my cousin has said who actually gets all southern when she is upset. In other words, she sounds cute and flustered (picture her fanning herself with a hankie - not that she does that)...I sound like I just stepped out of the Jersey Shore and like I'm ready for a fight. I'm not, but yikes.
Where was I? Oh yes. I really want to stop these knee jerk reactions, because in the long run, they are only hurting me. When someone cuts me off, their day is not spoiled. They just jumped a full car length ahead in traffic and gained a whole 2 seconds of time in their commute. They are golden and feel that they have achieved some amazing thing. Me? I am grumbly...annoyed and experiencing a drop in my joy. A day that could have been great has now been given a big ole kick in the shins. I will also be giving a person who doesn't need it, my energy. They have just stolen my energy and attention. Positive or negative, I am handing it over to a creep who is careless and thoughtless. I am wasting my energy and my time. I don't want to live that way.
If someone does something that is ridiculous on the road, I am going to thank God for keeping me and other drivers safe. I will say a little prayer for that person. If this person is going to take some of my energy, it is going to be the energy that I choose to give and that is going to be blessing them not cursing them.
When I am feeling pressure or perhaps have a pile on my plate, I will thank God that I have a job. Thank God for those interruptions that allow me to extend His grace to others. I have been blessed to have a job that is part of a ministry. Every time God gives me an opportunity to serve, I will embrace it.
In general, life will be filled with interruptions. Time is going to be requested of me. Attention is going to be required. I will try my best to see these as blessings. See these as opportunities to minister to others and care for others. Spending my focus on blessing will take me out of my own head and into His plan.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I am getting these verses through my daily reading at YouVersion.com. I am actually a day off, but I really don't care. Eventually I will just go for two verses in the day and catch up nicely. Today's verse is:
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
This came along with a wonderful devotional from Joyce Meyer. One of the things that really struck me about that devotional was that I am assured that I will be tempted, but I am equally assured that God will provide a way out. He wont even let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. A way out. One of those ways is for me to think ahead and make a decision before I get tempted. For example, I have been working on getting my weight down. One thing I know is that I really enjoy sweets. I also totally love bread, butter and all the goodness that is otherwise known as CARBOHYDRATES. I cannot indulge in these yummy treasures all the time, because they are my downfall. I am the victim of being a true "you can't eat just one" kind of gal. Knowing this, I really should keep the carbs around me to a minimum. This will be doing my part in keeping myself from temptation. This is my way out. I also have knowledge. I am not always going to keep these treats away from me, but I do know what they do to me. I need to remind myself of their effect and calmly take just one or two and be done. I know the consequences of overindulging. I am a big girl and I know how to stop. Reminding myself of the potential for overkill is also a good way out.
Of course these are rather tame temptations compared to some that others may have. This is not to say that I do not have other temptations that might be more embarrassing to admit. They all have the same thing in common though...God can see us through them. For the most part, God has already hipped us to the fact that there are many things that we do that aren't good for us. There are many things that we are drawn to that can hinder our relationships with others and with God. What we need to do is recognize them and learn to deal with them by either the ole moderation thing or knowing that there is not such thing as moderation with some...cut them completely.
Here is another one of mine that is not quite so simple. I have been working really hard on being more patient, less critical and more kind. I do not know why, but I have the ability to be overly annoyed and put out. I don't like this side of myself, and thank God, for dealing with me on this. I am learning to be kind when someone does something wholly wrong or annoying. The fact is, I can be wrong quite often. God shows me grace during those times. I need to show the same grace to others. Sometimes I choose to take care of a situation rather than point it out to someone else, because pointing it out may cause them to feel badly about themselves.
You might think that I am being silly because how is one supposed to learn if someone doesn't point out what they are doing is wrong? When something is minor, I stick with this policy and ask God to teach them or find someone else to. This is simply because I do not know yet how to do so without making a person feel bad. I am not a beast. It may be that these people are overly sensitive to their own foibles. Either way, I cannot be the corrector. I also do things myself rather than have other people do them because again they do not get it right and I end up doing it myself after the fact and do it with a cruddy attitude. To me, it is far better to do it in the first place than clean up another person's mistake. And this doesn't mean I take EVERYTHING on. I don't. I just choose what to take on in order to keep myself from getting wonky and obnoxious and to also not be the cause for anyone else to feel badly about themselves.
Does any of that make sense? I worry about instruction when it comes to my son. That is good enough for me. I am not avoiding conflict...trust me. I am learning how to just be more encouraging to others and learning to be kinder to me. Life is too short to live even a moment with aggravation that is not necessary.
I like that God gives us a way out. Sometimes it is something that he will show us. He may miraculously open a door for us. Sometimes it is going to involve opening our eyes to things that He has been working out in us. :)
I am also relieved to know that I am not alone in these troubles and temptations. All of us are tempted. I don't have to feel bad about the fact that I have issues that I am working on. I am not alone.
Here is that devotional that came with the verse:
Oh Yes You Can!
We all face temptation, it's an unavoidable part of life. The question is not, "Will you be tempted?" The question is, "When you're tempted, will you be ready?"
I really want you to get this: You can beat temptation. Stop saying, 'Joyce, I just don't think I can.' Take 'I can't!' out of your vocabulary.
In your own strength and by your own ability, you're right. You can't. But when you put God's Word in your heart, when you lean on His strength and trust in His promises, there's no temptation you can't overcome.
Over the years, I've noticed five things that make all the difference in overcoming temptation. First, you've got to be wise. Think about the choices you're making and the consequences before you make them. Wisdom looks ahead.
Next, you have to believe that you can resist temptation. Condemnation, guilt and shame work off of momentum, if you stop them early, they lose their power, but once they get rolling, they're hard to stop. Third, think of facing temptation as normal life. If you're expecting a fight, you'll always be ready.
Fourth, avoid areas of weakness. Don't put yourself in situations where you can easily fall. If you struggle with managing your money, don't go to the mall when you can't afford to buy anything!
And finally, don't give yourself too much credit. We don't graduate from being tempted. It's so easy to think you've matured beyond stumbling, and once that happens, you make yourself an easy target.
God wants you to trust Him to bring victory in every area of your life. By His grace, you can!
Prayer Starter: God I realize temptation is a part of life. Help me not to be caught off guard or surprised when it comes. Thank You for the wisdom and grace to overcome any and all temptations and to live in Your victory.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Okay perhaps power verse is a little much, but I have recently joined YouVersion.com in an attempt to get a daily devotional in. There are several devotionals online that I really like. I was just really drawn to YouVerse. I am specifically working with "Promises for Your Everyday Life by Joyce Meyer. I like Joyce, because she seems to really get it. We are not perfect. We will never be perfect, but God is. God is and God will be and if we can just focus on His strength, we can get through our weak times. My friend, I have been really going through some weak times.
Okay this has nothing to do with my power verse of the day, but please bear with me here.
I have been struggling with His vision for my life. Struggling because for the longest time, I have been searching for where I belong. Searching for what my purpose is. I have also felt like I really knew what it was, but also felt that I couldn't possibly know what it is. Can you imagine how hard it is to second guess yourself all the time? I am serious. I was doing this ALL the time. I would know in my heart what I desired to do, but I felt that if I desired it then it must be about me and not about God. I couldn't grasp that maybe it was a strong desire BECAUSE GOD PUT IT IN MY HEART.
It doesn't have to be selfish. It doesn't have to be wrong because it is something that would make me happy. Aren't we supposed to be happy when we are doing His will for our lives? Or are we supposed to only be plugging along denying ourselves happiness and only then is that doing His will? Of course that can't be it. I don't for one moment truly think that God only wants me to be blue and feeling empty I do not choose to believe for one more moment that EVERYONE else is supposed to be happily fulfilled by doing His will, but as for me...not on your life.
This is not to say that I expect every moment of my life to be bells, whistles and confetti. I have lived too long with my own issues and past to ever think that is the way every moment is going to be, but I can be content. I can be happy. And I certainly can have my dreams, hopes and desires. God gave them to me.
Back to the Power Verse. It is today's verse even though it was yesterdays. I will also enjoy this evening's verse and that way catch up. :)
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
It also came with this amazing devotional from Joyce Meyer.
Jump-Start Your Dreams
What is the dream that God's placed in your heart?I'm not asking if you have one, I already know it's there because God gives all of us dreams.
I've seen people do all kinds of things to their dreams. Some people bury them so deep in their hearts in order to protect them from the criticism of others. Some people set them out of sight so they don't have to think about them anymore. And some people finally just give up on their dreams because it hurts too much to hold on.
If your dream needs a jump-start, there are two things I want you to remember. First, you need to get a vision that's clear. And second, you must keep your vision in front of you at all times.
But having a vision doesn't mean that it will instantly appear. God's as interested in the process of vision as He is in the end result.
The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13 that he had learned how to be content and satisfied to the point where he was not disturbed by whatever state he was in. In other words, he never allowed himself to get upset with where he was at the moment, he was always looking forward to where he could be.
That means you, like Paul, need to find a balance between contentment and ambition. Here's the key: Learn to enjoy where you are on the way to where you're going.
When you have a dream or a vision, you have to keep it in front of you. If it helps, write it down. And remember, God will help you live the dream He's given you, step-by-step, one day at a time.
Prayer Starter: Jesus, even though I don't always feel like it and life tries to get me to quit, I believe You have a great plan for my life. I choose to trust You to help me live the dream You've given me more than I trust my circumstances.
Do you have a dream that God has placed in your heart? I bet you do. Are you taking the steps to realize that dream? Are you already living that dream and taking steps toward another dream? Or are you hiding it in your heart? I used to hide mine in my heart. It seemed to be the safest place for it. I truly did not want my dream to go away. It seemed safer to dream it and hope for it, but not to share it with anyone. It still does, but God is my strength.
I also found great commentary in my Bible which happens to be The Every Day Life Bible that I was very fortunate to pick up earlier this year for half price. The commentary in it is also from Joyce Meyer. The commentary talks about the importance of vision. The challenge I received from reading that commentary is to not give up on my vision and to take inventory of what I have been thinking. See, I have had some very negative thoughts about my vision and dreams. I have thought that it was all in my mind. I have thought that God didn't really want that for me or it would already be there. I thought I had it wrong. If I am believing these thoughts, I am not going to move forward. In fact, I will retreat slowly away.
The great thing is that just be seeing these thoughts and recognizing them, I can now move past them and change them. Now I can know and believe that God can lead me forward. I do not need to retreat or hold myself back. God created this desire in my heart, and He did so for His purpose. He brought me here for such a time as this. I don't need to do everything by myself. I need to let God lead me. I can let him light the path before me and take each step in faith.
It is so exciting to know that He has a plan for my life and that I am finally making my way on the path that God set before me. God loves me. God is not ashamed of me. God is for me. He will make a way for me. When I think about how I would tear down walls for my own child I realize that God will do the same for me. He loves us even more than we love our own children. He created us and this amazing world full of opportunity! We are so blessed!