Tomorrow at our church we will be celebrating and honoring our teachers. I have always been a "school girl" I loved all my teachers, I loved school and homework and learning. I loved fall and the excitement of school starting. A lot of my friends thought I was crazy. I wanted to BE a teacher and pass that love on to other children. God had different plans for my life and although I never taught at a school, He has allowed me to teach the children at our church through the years and it has been such a blessing. Tomorrow's special day has had me thinking a great deal about our teachers. They are such an influence on our children. They are with our children for 30+ hours a week and we are essentially counting on them to "raise" our kids during that time. That is huge! I have a challenge for you today. Have you prayed for your child's teacher? Have you told them how thankful you are for the time and love they pour into your child? They need our prayers and they deserve our thanks. They have a heavy load on their shoulders and knowing that you care, that you are praying for them and that you are thankful would mean the world to them. Whether you are a grandparent, a parent or a student, remember to pray for your teachers every day. It will make a huge difference in their life, your child's life and even your own. Thank you SO MUCH teachers, for ALL you do! We love you!!!
I believe God made us all very different. Not just physically but emotionally as well. Things that bother me might seem silly to other people and things that bother you might seem silly to me. The amazing news is that none of those things are silly to God. He knows each of us so perfectly. The bible says down to each individual hair on our head. And He loves us. Not a human love but a love so strong, so comforting, so secure, so selfless that nothing could even compare. Do you know what is so awesome to me? That such a great God that created this entire universe, that can hear each prayer that is prayed as if we were the only person on earth and hold us within the loving arms of a Father~ that awesome God has given us a love letter unique to each individual. The inspired words of His book are the same but when we pick up His letter to us and read, it becomes our own. Each verse speaks differently to each person and God comforts us for each individual need that person is going through, whether spiritually, emotionally or physically. Isn't that crazy to comprehend? I can't say it enough. God loves us with a love that can't be compared. If we ask Him, He will show us His love through His word. It might be easier for some to sit down and read and just get it. It might be harder for others. If you find yourself struggling, just ask your Father for help. He wants to show you how much He loves you. Keep asking. Don't give up. Before you know it, you will be amazed as you read and feel that God is talking to you. He's that awesome. Start today. In the quiet before you open His word, just ask Him to show you what you need. He is always faithful. If you are already spending time in His word, praise Him for the loving Father He is and for the love letter He has written personally to you. ❤️
I grew up in a home with a dad who was the picture of romance. He always brought my mom flowers, cards & special gifts. I assumed all men were romantic like that. My first Valentines Day while dating my husband proved otherwise. I was so excited that morning. "What would he have planned? Did he pick out the perfect card or flowers? I got to college that day and saw him across the hall. My heart leapt. I walked up to him, smiling coyly (which I don't think he noticed) but he just looked at me and said "hey babe" I did my best flirty gaze but still nothing. The bell rang and I had to go to class. I convinced myself that he was going to surprise me but each hour that passed made me realize he didn't even know it was Valentine's Day. Of course by the end of the day my demeanor changed drastically (he did notice that) and as I left to go home I pouted "you forgot it was Valentine's Day!!" Later he tried to make it up to me by bringing me a plant and poem but my heart was a little crushed (and a plant wasn't really my idea of romance) I thought the romance thing would get better but a few years into our marriage I saw that my sweet husband didn't have a romantic bone in his body. I let the sadness over this dictate my joy a little too often to admit. I learned a valuable lesson in the early years of marriage that I continue to work on 30 years later. If your joy is dependent on your husband or anyone for that matter, eventually there will be times the happiness of that relationship will be crushed or saddened, maybe over and over again, because joy, true joy, only comes from Jesus. If I depend wholly on my Savior to give me joy and happiness and not people or things, He will never fail me. That doesn't mean that I won't ever be hurt or disappointed by someone I love, we are only human, but if I start thinking about myself and my wants and looking to Mike alone to fulfill that, I can go downhill really fast. Ladies, don't look to your boyfriend, your fiancé or your husband for your happiness. Look only to Your Heavenly Father. Ask Him to fill you with so much love for the Savior that your heart is overflowing and needs nothing else. His love for us is indescribable. Nothing can compare, even the most romantic man in the world. This Valentine's Day give your whole heart to Jesus. Take time every day to read His love letter to you and feel His love surround you completely.
( And just for the record, my husband has the exact amount of romance God knew I needed. He is the most thoughtful and giving person I know and I truly believe that if I hadn't decided long ago to look to Jesus for joy I would have missed all the amazing ways God has shone me that my husband loves me so dearly.
My first experience meeting a pastor's wife was when I was in the 7th grade. Mrs Blaine Farley was such a godly woman. I don't really remember ever having a one on one with her but from afar she always had a joy and peace about her and even in my young mind I felt like a light radiated from her. Mrs Betty Traxler was the same way. Just a complete joy and full of godly wisdom and love. I was always in awe of my pastor's wives. I went through a stage of rebellion when I was in high school. I can remember my youth Pastor's wife, Sheilah Smith speaking to us teen girls and even in my rebellion thinking she was so full of godly wisdom. One day she had a heart to heart with me out of love and concern and told me-"Charisse, you never know, someday God might use you to be a pastor's wife" in my head and heart I thought-"ya right, I will never be a pastor's wife" Well here I am, a pastor's wife, haha! I have to tell you that there are many times I feel I don't measure up. I feel like I'm not at all like those spiritual women that were on a pedestal to me. I'm just Charisse, and at times even wonder "God, what were you thinking?" I'm shy and it's hard for me to easily strike up a conversation with people. I often feel like so many other women could do a better job. At times in my personal walk with God, I struggle with my devotions and prayer life. I start to pray and suddenly I can't focus and a million things start swirling around in my head and I have to ask the Holy Spirit to stop that nonsense and fill me with peace and calm so I can talk to my Savior. But this all goes back to doing things in my own strength and that's where we can mess up. If I try and try to pray or read the Bible and never ask God to help me, I won't get far. If I try to love God without asking for His help, my flesh will fail. I can try my hardest to be the perfect pastor's wife but without Gods strength, I will just be shy Charisse hiding by the piano convincing myself that I can't do this. God has to remind me daily and sometimes hourly, "I've got this Charisse" and I have to ask Him constantly to help me to lean on Him and love Him with my everything and to use me for His glory. Because of Jesus alone, God can use me, He can use you. I'm no different than any other woman. I have Jesus, and now when I think about the amazing, godly women God brought into my life, I realize that's all they had too, and that was enough.
Leaning on myself. Sometimes this is a daily occurrence with me. I have such good intentions in the quiet of the morning that 'today I will lean on God and get my strength from Him' and then a million things go wrong before 10am and I forget that Jesus is right there with me, waiting to help me and give me His strength. I stress and fret and try to do everything in my own strength (and then either snap at everyone~poor Mike~or cry that no one understands what I'm going through~poor Mike again) and things go from bad to worse. Remember today that Jesus loves us and wants us to lean on Him in EVERYTHING. Don't feel like you should only go to God for the big things. Go to Him for EVERYTHING. Remember, our prayers don't have to be long, eloquent ones. They can be tiny cries from the depths of our hearts whispering for help just like a child asking her daddy to help her. He is our father and loves us SO MUCH. He understands. He alone can give us the strength we need for every challenge we face. God tells us in Psalms 2:12b- "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." That word trust here means "believe, take refuge, lean on" When I lean on myself I can feel like I am drowning but when I lean on God,He directs every step I take and many times has to carry me when I can't walk on my own. There is power and comfort in God. Let's ask Him to hold our hand throughout the day today and if need be~carry us through.