Tag Archives: Proverbs

Looking Straight Ahead

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Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.  Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; keep your foot from evil.

-Proverbs 4:25-27

I have a really awful stomach ache this morning.  Three days ago I arrived home for spring break and was home for an hour when we got a phone call that my Grandpa who had had a serious accident was now in critical condition.  We packed the car, made it to the hospital, waited and prayed with family and friends.  The next day, he had a serious surgery to repair his spine which lasted for several hours.

My entire extended family spent that day on our knees in prayer, joining literally thousands of other prayers asking God for healing and a safe surgery.  God heard us.  And not only did He save my Grandpa’s life, He also protected him from serious complications.  Hearing the news that Grandpa was alive and okay gave us all the ability to finally breathe.  We thanked God for His healing power.

Yesterday I spent the day at the hospital again and was able to talk with him for a little bit when he woke up while he squeezed my hand and signed “I love you.”

It has been an incredibly difficult week, but filled with constant reminders of God’s faithfulness and power.  I have felt His presence close to me these past few days as He surrounded my family with His love and peace.

So why do I have a stomach ache?

Because honestly, reentry into daily, regular life after that kind of experience is hard.  Yesterday, I found myself feeling much like I do today–overwhelmed with the responsibilities that the rest of this week holds, exhausted, and not sure how in the world I am supposed to get it all done to the best of my ability.

So, I took some time and I went down to the hospital chapel.  I prayed.  I sang.  I poured out my heart to God.  And I read His word.  I read the Psalms out loud that spoke of His faithfulness, power, love, and sovereignty.  And then I turned to Proverbs which seemed like the most natural place to go in search of some practical wisdom.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that I opened up to Proverbs 4 where the verses at the top of the screen come from.  This whole semester God has been using these verses to convict and challenge me of my need to surrender all of me to Him, including my own strength and my time.

Sitting there, I realized that I cannot tackle every future responsibility in one day.  I can only take on the one that is right in front of me.  I left the chapel feeling more peaceful and focused on the present moment.

Today, waking up, I found my mind cluttered with a never-ending list of everything I need to accomplish in the next few days to handle my responsibilities well.  Rather than committing my day to the Lord, I focused in on what I can do in my own strength.  Hmmmm….this surrender lesson is going to take a long time isn’t it?

Even after writing all of this, I still have a stomach ache.  I’m honestly still worried and scared about all that this week holds.  I still feel strong emotions about everything that has happened this week.  I’m exhausted.  I’m drained.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

I am committing right now, in this moment, on this day to look straight ahead.  I cannot change what has happened.  I cannot know what will.  But I can trust that in my weakness, His power is made perfect.

Dear God,

I am tired.  I am weak.  My stomach is filled with a million butterflies.  I am anxious, afraid, and overwhelmed.  I ask You now for Your strength and Your power to make it through the next few days.  By myself I can do nothing.  I need You.  I’m sorry that I so often forget to include You in my day.  When my eyes look away from You, I am never satisfied.  

Thank You for the many ways that You have revealed Your power and love to my family and to others this week.  Thank You that You still do miracles.  Thank You for healing.  

I trust You to guide me step by step.  I am looking only at what is directly in front of me. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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The Influence of a Godly Mom

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Listen my son to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Proverbs 1:8

Tomorrow marks a very special day in my life, the birthday of my mom.  If you asked me who the most godly woman I have ever met is, without hesitation I would tell you my mom.

And in honor of her birthday, I would like to tell you the reasons why.  These are some of the lessons I have learned from my mom.

She taught me that character matters.  And that nothing and no one should ever make you compromise it.

She taught me that wisdom first and foremost comes from the Lord.  Whenever I had any sort of problem, her first question would be if I had prayed about it.  If my answer was no, she would send me to my room to pray and ask the Lord for guidance before I sought hers.

She taught me to pray for wisdom, knowledge, understanding and discernment.

She taught me the value of time spent in the word.  Many mornings I would find her in bed doing her devotions.  The book was worn and torn from years of use.  When I went to college, she gave me her devotional book.   It is one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given.

She taught me to pick and chose friendships wisely, to look for friends that would push me towards the Lord.

She taught me that only one opinion of me really mattered, God’s.

She taught me that exterior beauty will fade, but inner beauty can only grow and mature.

She taught me that my family should be my best friends.

She taught me about sacrifice.  She would never put herself first.

She taught me that good relationships are worth waiting for and to never settle.

She taught me what a wife should look like.

She taught me how to manage my time, work hard throughout the day, and relax at the end.

She taught me to manage my anger, and to never let the sun go down without resolving it.

She taught me that sometimes I was wrong and needed to see a situation from another’s point of view.

She taught me to take healthy risks and try new things.

She taught me how to distinguish between Satan’s lies and God’s truth.

She taught me to pick my battles wisely.

She taught me to tithe.

She taught me to put others before myself.

She taught me to do the hard right thing over the easy wrong.

She taught me to go for my dreams and believe that if God was in it, it would eventually come to be.

She taught me to trust in the Lord as provider.

She taught me to be patient.

She taught me to listen.

She taught me gentleness, compassion, and kindness.

She taught me what it means to be faithful and loyal.

She taught me about my Creator.

And so much more…

So for those of you who are parents, setting a godly example for us, your children, is so very important.  It is the greatest gift that my parents gave to me.

And for those of you who are not, you still have a vital role to future generations.  What kind of legacy are you leaving?

Thank you, Mom for all you have given to your four kiddos.  We love you!  I wish I could be there with you today to celebrate!

 

 

 

 

Recipes for Disaster and Success

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It has been quite a while since I blogged. The time has come for a new post.

Today I found myself digging through one of my journals written over the past few years.  In it, I found a journal entry I had written while at college.  It made me smile as I thought back to what I was thinking during that time.  It certainly isn’t written beautifully, but it adequately describes the lessons I was learning and still am.  So I wanted to share it with you.

I wrote it in the form of two recipes. One for disaster which contains many of the mistakes I had been making. And the other for success.  As you read my silly little journal entry, ask yourself which recipe you have been following lately. How is turning out?

Recipe for Disaster

1.  Separate God’s Word and prayer from your day-to-day life.

2. Blend very little sleep and a full class load together. Liquify.

3. Add too many activities.

4. Combine the above group with a lack of planning out your schedule. Add in loads of homework that leave you exhausted and that you let pile up to await your return home from your many activities.

5. Try to be a people pleaser and let your perceptions of what they supposedly want sprinkle through your batter.

6. Make sure you do not add even a little down time. If some manages to slip in, make sure it is mindless rather than meaningful.

7. Add lots of thoughts about other people to spice it up and give you some good heartburn.

8. Pour out this mixture onto wax paper and cut into hearts. Batter should be difficult to scrape out and lumpy.

9. Bake in your heart and mind until you feel you have broiled them sufficiently.

10. Should come out charcoal black.

Now you have two choices…

Put them right back into your heart and mind and repeat the vicious cycle or try…

A Recipe for Success

1. Read the word and pray daily!! Or multiple times a day! Or memorize it and recite it to yourself. Be in prayer often.

Exodus 34:29, 33-35

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Moses finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw his face was radiant.

Isaiah 40: 6-8

A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All men are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever.

2.Time Management. A little bit of sleep and a full class load can work, but make sure you blend them together well. Lack of sleep should be  used sparingly. Remember What your source of strength comes from and Who your ability to think is derived from.

Psalm 31:10a, 14-15

My strength fails because of my affliction and my bones grow weak…But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands.

Our strength will ultimately fail. We need to stop trying so hard on our own. We are not invincible. So…we need to trust in the LORD who knows where we are and what we are doing. Where we have been and where we are going. And Who has been there every step of the way.

3. There is nothing wrong with activities. But we must do them for God’s glory, which means that we do them to the best of our ability as an act of worship to the King. This cannot be completed without following the previous steps.

Psalm 90:17

May the favor of the LORD our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands.

May the work of our hands be God’s work in us and through us. May what He is doing inside of us pour out of us.

4. Throw out worries about what other people think or problems you feel you must resolve. You’ll never be able to fix everything, so let it go!

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I still trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

We are here to glorify the King and not men. Life becomes a lot easier when we finally realize this.

5. Thinking about what other people have or what they are doing is in no way productive to you. Other people do not get to dominate your thought life or your whole heart. This only leads to discontent, jealousy, bitterness, self-doubt and a whole lot of other awfulness that is just not worth it.

Aren’t we glad that God loves us the way we are? I absolutely love these verses in Proverbs. We should spend our time becoming these women (Sorry guys reading this, this was a journal entry written to myself so this one only talks about the ladies) rather than dwelling on others.

Proverbs 31

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm,  all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships,     bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household  and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

6. The result? Well, your heart will be cleared out and you will be on your way to living a life of freedom, full of the goodness of God and overflowing with His love and hope. Make sure to enjoy with a side of trust.”

Anyway, parts of this entry were a little silly at times, but there is truth to it that I wanted to share with you. I hope a part of these recipes encouraged you.

Remember to trust in our everlasting God today!