Encouragement & Perspective

It's been awhile since I did a post of things that have inspired me, so here you go! :-)

My friend Jamie shared this:

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From 411God:

Sometimes we feel like a pile of incompetent, poor, and useless humanity. Pretty cheery right? Well, this should cheer you up.
Isaiah 61:3 (New Living Translation)

3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the LORD has planted for his own glory.
Instead of thinking of yourself as inadequate, remember that you are holy because of Jesus.

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Have you ever had a nightmare that you think about for days? Like, you're afraid to sleep because you don't want to have it again? Well, Daniel understood. The only difference was that his nightmare was something that would actually happen. Daniel was freaking out, but listen:
Daniel 10:4-6, 12 (New Living Translation)
4 On April 23, as I was standing on the bank of the great Tigris River, 5 I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. 6 His body looked like a precious gem. His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people.
...12 Then he said, "Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.'"
God gives peace even when you are living a nightmare. You just have to ask.

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Hey, you got something heavy weighing on your shoulders? Why don't you give it to God?
Matthew 11:29-30 (New Living Translation)
29 "Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
See, God doesn't require more than His grace can cover. If you need rest, just ask for it.

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We've all felt angry, irrational, fearful, controlling or resentful. The question is: What do we do with those feelings? How about a Psalm?
Psalm 91:1-7 (New Living Translation)
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
God's truth can disinfect your baggage.

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From MOPS:

VIP
by Shelley Byrne

The kids and I were leaving to go halfway across the country to visit my parents. Unfortunately, our trip did not get off to a good start. With a scheduled 6:30 a.m. departure time, we had risen well before the sun to make it to the airport on time. After getting the kids up, eating a quick breakfast and loading up the car, my husband suggested that I double-check our flight status one more time before we left. Delayed. And not just delayed, but delayed by several hours. How frustrating!

Later that morning, as we finally walked down the jet way to our rescheduled flight, I quietly thanked God for bringing us this far. Upon boarding the plane, one of the airline workers told my kids that the governor of our state was traveling on our plane. Wow – the governor! My first thought as I wearily sank into my seat was, “I bet this flight takes off on time. We have someone really important on the plane!” Sure enough, the captain soon announced that not only was our flight on schedule but we were actually going to arrive ahead of time.

As a mom, it is easy to feel insignificant at times. The title of “mother” doesn’t get us any special privileges with airlines. If anything, we get the look that says “Oh please don’t sit by me!” However, as I deplaned a few minutes early, I held out my hands to my most precious gifts from God, knowing in my heart that I have a title greater than the governor’s: Mom!

Dear God, thank you for the privilege of raising my children. Remind me of just how important and wonderful a job it is.

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Growing Season
by Melodi Leih

Last fall, my family and I planted bulbs around our home for the first time. I anticipated their arrival all through the winter months. And sure enough, this spring, small green plants began to shoot up out of the ground, and shortly after, beautiful flowers bloomed. Such a fascinating process! It seems odd that something planted in the fall and cultivated through the freezing winter produces flowers in spring.

And yet, I experience similar seasons in my mothering. In the winter of my soul, God feels distant and I am unfruitful. My kids seem more rowdy and my patience more thin. But as I consistently stay rooted in him, he continues to nurture the soil of my heart, bringing forth blossoms for others to see.

Sometimes it takes many cycles of winter to see new growth. And it can be hard to let go of the disappointment that arises when flowers don’t bloom. But that doesn’t mean God isn’t at work, cultivating me into the woman he wants me to be. Time spent on the floor in a pile of Legos or on the couch with books is an eternal investment that will bear long-term fruit. It may not seem like much now, but bulbs buried under winter’s barren landscape don’t look like much either. God will bless my faithfulness. He will bless yours. And our flowers will be beautiful—no doubt about it!

Dear God, remind me that you’re growing me everyday. Lend me your big-picture perspective as I mother my child.

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The God of Sometimes
by Christa Hogan

I love being a mom; I love caring for my family. I can’t think of anything more important, anything more worthy of my life. It feels good to be needed.

Most of the time.

But sometimes I wake up and think, “Do I really have to do yesterday all over again?” I want to shout, “Can’t you just do it yourself for once?” A voice whispers, “It’s all up to you. You don’t ever get to rest, because if you did this would all fall apart.”

Inevitably, these are also the days that someone comes down sick. The cat coughs up a hairball on the carpet. The dishwasher breaks. Life starts to resemble a country music song. “It isn’t fair,” I cry. “Life wasn’t supposed to be like this!”

Then I hear another voice calling. My Savior. My Rock. He asks me to stop squirming beneath the weight of my life and give it to him. He reminds me that I have been trying to do it all again, and to do it all by myself. But he made me to need him even more than my family needs me, except that he never rests. He never tires of being needed. He loves my “sometimes” when I come to the end of my rope because then I remember that I need to rely on him at all times.

Dear God, thank you that you are strong in my weakness. Forgive me for trying to do it on my own. Help me give my family and my life to you.

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On our drive home from NC, NEEDTOBREATHE (such an awesomeawesomeawesome band!!! "Something Beautiful" was my anthem for last year!) had their new single played. When it came on, Will said, "Now this is what I'm talking about! I like this!"

Comments

  1. It is so odd you posted this because as we "typed" earlier...both of us seem to have religion on the mind this week. I have been flipping through the bible and have came across some awesome things that I am going to share in a blog soon...just some of the things that hit my heart, mind and soul. When I ran across the "Interview with God" last night I *had* to share it <3

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  2. Can't wait to read more!!!

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