I don’t know how it is with you when you read Scripture, but often my mind wanders.
You know, one second I am reading about Moses on Mt. Sinai, and the very next second I am wondering where my black yoga pants are and why my mail is now being delivered at 3:00 instead of noon! Can I get a witness?
Sometimes focus is hard.
So, here is an easy (and by easy, I mean easy) way to stay focused as you read Scripture.
What a year 2017 has been! It was a year of changes and celebrations for our family. With the birth of our first grandson, Phil and I became GiGi and Pops. And with the High School graduation of our youngest son and his move to college, we also became empty nesters. Talk about big changes!
When I think about this past year and the changes we’ve seen, I am thankful that one thing will always be true from year to year – the faithfulness of God. He is so good!
And you know what else I’m thankful for? You! Maybe you have been joining me here on the blog for a long time, or perhaps we’ve only recently begun having java together. Either way, your presence here is a gift and encouragement to me. So together, my java friends, let’s take time to look back on the blog posts that you shared most in 2017.
And if something you read today inspires or encourages you, pass it on to someone else who may need it. Simply click on the title to read the post. Ok, sister, here we go!
When my son Connor was six years old, he wrote a hilarious Christmas wish list.
I still remember his creativity and boldness in choosing the many, many, many, many items. I smile when I think back to the wintery day he asked to get out my laptop and type out his Christmas list for him. He stayed serious and thoughtful as he dictated each item.
When I found it recently, I laughed out loud and thought you may get a kick out of it too.
“I need the uh, um, I mean I found the… uh, what is wrong with me?! Why can’t I remember what I was going to say and why I came in this room to say it?” My husband just chuckled because he’s used to this by now.
But, I am not used to this yet! I feel like my brain goes in slow motion and words have to be coaxed out of me like a reluctant puppy when the car parks at the vet.
Is this a symptom of aging? Or maybe it’s just the result of an overworked brain? I just can’t multi-task like I used to!
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “People only see what they are prepared to see.”
How do you see the world?
In this time of fear and darkness and suspicion, it can be easy to see the world as depressing and scary. You watch the news or read the headlines and brace yourself, preparing to see the worst, right? I get it… I do — it can be pretty dark out there, but can you still see beauty and goodness and hope too?
You can if you are prepared to. So, I ask again, how do you see the world?
It’s so easy to get discouraged, isn’t it? Life hits us hard and trials last too long and we just get worn out trying to stand firm in faith. Or, sometimes we are in the thick of doing good, serving God and it just seems like progress is slow, our confidence is low and discouragement is high.
I’ve felt discouraged for both reasons lately. I’ve felt overwhelmed and under-qualified to rise to the demands of ministry. I’ve fallen into a confidence crisis and just plain felt defeated. And, at the same time, my sweet Dad has been in the hospital, fighting pain and infection. My mom is worn out caring for him and instead of things getting better, they just seem to get worse. As soon as we see some progress, the next day, his fever spikes and our hope deflates. It is just downright discouraging.
One of the most treasured things I own is broken. But, I still love it.
Here’s the back story:
In college, my friend Tony broke up with his fiancé – or maybe she broke up with him — I never really knew for sure. But, what was for sure is that the jeweler wouldn’t give him his money back when he returned the engagement ring. Bad for brokenhearted Tony. Good for supportive friend Jennifer!
Is every conversation you have with your family members or co-workers perfectly calm, controlled and pleasant? (I know, I know, you’re laughing!)
Married women: ever had one of those conversations with your husband where you get heated, he gets heated and then…bang! A full-blown fight explodes.
Moms: ever had one of those conversations with your teenager where you get heated, she gets heated and then…bang! A full-blown fight explodes?
Working women: ever had one of those conversations with your co-worker where you get heated, she gets heated and then… bang! Hopefully a full-blown fight doesn’t explode, but inside, are you an inferno?
Conflict happens. When your ideas or plans or perspective bumps into someone else’s ideas or plans or perspective, crash… conflict. Right? The result is often hurt feelings, resentment and stress. We all experience conflict; it’s just part of being a human.
But, can we be honest? There really are some dear souls in our lives who seem to create conflict. They just plain rub us the wrong way! I call those dear souls sandpaper people! So, what do you do when that sandpaper person rubs you the wrong way?