I want to read more of the bible but I'm sitting here watching my third TV program. I want a better marriage but sometimes my husband can drive me crazy. I want to eat healthier but I'm craving that candy bar so bad. I want to have a better prayer life but I just don't have time. Nothing worth having in life comes easy. A great marriage takes work. Exercising and having better eating habits take work and the Christian life takes work. I want to apologize for my long posts. I understand this is social media. I understand that most times we are doing two things at once. Flipping through Facebook in the evening while watching TV or before we go to sleep at night. Too tired to read something long that someone posts. We are a generation of people that have technology at our fingertips, life is faster and we don't want to slow down. I think that too often we tend to be this way with our time with God. We don't take the time. We want God to be there for us when we cry and pray during hard times but we ignore him in our every day lives and think that if we spend a few minutes reading a long devotional like this one we have done our spiritual duty for the week. We make excuses. Ladies- we make the time for what we think is important in our lives. That might be 3 hours of TV at night, it might be exercising, it might be decorating your home, working on a craft or shopping till we drop. Whatever takes your time away from time you haven't spent with God that day is never worth it. I realize some of you truly are super busy and I'm not saying if you spend time with God your life will be easy but let me tell you ladies- when life gets hard and you know you've been talking to the King of Kings that very morning and that He is right there with you helping you through, it sure makes a world of difference. I don't know why I reach for that candy bar and eat it when I know deep down it is only a fleeting comfort and will make me feel worse in the morning just like I don't know why there are times I choose to shut off my alarm instead of getting up and spending time with my Savior. I know in my heart that when I do it trumps that extra half hour of sleep every time. Choose to make good habits in your life but don't leave out the best habit to start making- spending time with the Savior who loves you more than anything or anyone.
I will never forget the moment my baby Jessica was placed in my arms. The overwhelming love I felt as tears rolled down my cheeks is indescribable. I will never forget my husband's words as his own tears fell~ "now I truly know how much my Heavenly Father loves me." God let our hearts see how much He loved us. I would give my life for my children. My love for them is fierce and if I am capable of that kind of love, the love of God is greater than our human hearts can imagine. When I was in the 6th grade my parents were having a lot of marital problems. One day my mom showed up at my school with all our belongings, picked up my brothers and I and we left my dad and our home without even a goodbye. Eventually my parents decided to try again and realized being in church would help. We began going to a non denominational church and it was here that I learned of God's amazing gift. I learned that I couldn't go to heaven when I died just by being good or by going to any specific church. I learned there was nothing I could do in my own strength to go to heaven because if there was, Christ would not have had to die on the cross for my sins. It was only because of Gods grace, mercy and love in sending His only Son to die for me. It was the greatest gift and it was mine to accept. I realized my sinful heart separated me from God but that all I needed to do was ask His forgiveness. God didn't want me to join a church or give more money or be a better person. He only wanted my repentant heart. I gave my heart to Him and I have not had one day that I have regretted it. More than any other words I could ever post to give comfort, hope or encouragement, these are the most important for you to know. God wants you to have a home in heaven someday. God wants you to receive His precious gift of salvation. If you never have, let today be that day and if you have already~whether it was yesterday or 39+ years ago like me~ don't ever forget that day you met Him, sing of His grace that's still amazing and shout like you've heard it for the first time.
I'm not really the healthiest person. It's always bothered me. I wanted to be one of those moms full of energy who played with their kids non stop, kept a spotless home, cooked amazing meals and still worked out like a champ every day. So not me. I've had stomach problems since I was in high school. I was hospitalized and went through so many tests and so much waiting. For years. I eventually found out it was Celiac disease, but not until Michael was a senior in high school. I've had cysts on my ovaries that Drs thought were cancerous. More waiting. I've had so many mammograms with bad results and biopsies and more waiting. I had migraines every month that lasted for a week and sometimes longer. I've had a hysterectomy due to a small mass on my uterus that looked cancerous. I've had mono 4 times and combined with the Celiac, I now have chronic fatigue. I said all that to say this. I have had a lot of scares when it comes to my physical body. A lot of waiting on test results. A lot of crying and asking God what was wrong with me. A lot of nights laying in bed in the quiet darkness wondering if I might possibly die very soon. All of this might sound so trivial in light of what others are actually faced with physically on a daily basis, but in that moment of waiting time can seem to stand still and worry can creep in. In times of waiting I have had to put my trust completely in my Savior. I have had to ask Him to comfort my heart, to hold me in His arms, to help me not to worry. It hasn't always been easy but every time I have cried out to Him, He has given me His comfort. He has given me a peace in my heart that no matter what, He was in control and He loved me and everything would be ok, even if that meant cancer and dying. I have many friends right now who are waiting. Waiting on your own test results or those of a loved one. I have been through scares recently with my own children of waiting. I also know that sometimes ladies like to keep things private, but can I encourage you to reach out and ask your fellow sisters for prayer? I know it's because of the prayers of others that I could go through the situations I have been in with a peace in my heart. I could feel your prayers. If you have been through a time of waiting in your own life, reach out to those who are going through it now. Let them know you understand, that you love them and you are praying for them. We need each other. I desperately need prayer on a daily basis. I truly believe the things we face can be used for God's glory. They can help us draw closer to Him and they can help us to have a more compassionate heart towards others. We all need compassion. In times of desperation, we all need that peace that passes understanding and the knowledge that others love us, understand and are praying. If you are waiting today, please know that God is with you. Allow Him to hold you and when you feel that you can't take another step, allow Him to carry you. And know that you are loved and you are prayed for.
"And these things write we unto you that your joy may be full" 1 John 1:4. I read that at the beginning of the week and it has been on my mind since. When I pray about what to write each week, my heart's desire is for you to know that joy. The true joy that only comes from Jesus. That your joy would be full. Some of you may have been in church all your life, you may have heard preachers preach this very passage and you know it to be true, yet your joy isn't full. Some of you may read this and wish desperately that you could have true joy but don't know how you could ever attain it. The answer to both is still Jesus. He is and always will be the answer. Church and religion can't fulfill your joy. Doing good works or giving to charity can't fulfill your joy. Wealth and treasures can't. None of these can give you joy anymore than looking for it in drugs or sex or alcohol. All of these things are temporary. They are fleeting. Only Jesus can fulfill your joy. And that's what I want you to know. I'm not saying that once you have Jesus life will be a bed of roses, because it won't. I have had heart ache, I have allowed life to disappoint and discourage me but the times I knew my joy wasn't full weren't because Jesus wasn't with me. He was always there but I chose not to go to Him and tried to deal with my problems in my own strength. Don't let the phrase "Jesus brings joy" become cliche to you. Purposely choose to believe it today. I have such joy in knowing that Jesus loves me dearly, so much that He died to take my sins away so that I could be with Him in heaven someday. Why would I ever choose to live a life without the one Who loves me that deeply? That is a love that can never be replaced. That is the Love of True Joy. 😊❤️
I have insecurities. I think if we are honest most of us do, but like to pretend that we don't. When I first married Mike we moved 900 miles away from our families to CT. I was so insecure about being a new wife, mom and youth pastor's wife. I would sit on the front pew every church service just clinging to Mike. The pastor finally had a talk with us and told us we really needed to mingle and get to know the people. That was so hard for me! When we moved to Toledo the church there was without a piano player. When they found out I could play they asked if I would play for services. Talk about nervous! I was used to playing classical music which you could practice for months and now I was asked to play 5 songs and a choir special every week. My hands shook every Sunday. That was almost 25 years ago ladies and you know what? My hands shook on Easter Sunday when I played for Mike's solo. There will always be areas of insecurity that I struggle with but as I sat at the piano Sunday morning, I asked the Lord to sit right there next to me and place my hands in His. I also asked my family for help by praying for me that morning. Whatever insecurities you might have, you can be assured that your Heavenly Father wants to help you with them. He wants to hold your hands in His and still your heart. You might have an insecurity about coming out to church, not knowing what to do or where to turn in your Bible or maybe that you won't know anyone there and feel like an outsider. Ladies, please don't ever let that stop you. The Lord will still your heart. He will be with you every step of the way and there is nothing wrong with asking for help, just like I did. Maybe your insecurity is in a completely different area than church. Whatever it might be I think as ladies we need to be there for each other, support each other, always be willing to help. You might never understand someone else's insecurity and they may never understand yours but wouldn't it be such a sweetness to our souls to know that other ladies love us, want to help us and are praying for us instead of worrying about how they will view the things we are insecure about? Let's be those ladies. (And remember, I'll always be sitting at the piano in church, you can come and talk to me if you need help with anything 😊)