Friends, I just want to say that God is awesome. I think a lot about what I would like to do with the rest of my life. I think of so many things that would be good — businesses to start, goals to achieve.
But my heart really is to reflect and communicate the awesomeness of God to everyone.
Every day is worthwhile because of what God puts into it. It’s like God is writing a beautiful story with each one of our lives, and each day is a page. Yes, there are trials and hardships. Things go wrong. We mess up. But there are also amazing things occurring.
Here are a few of those things in my life lately. We had a wonderful impromptu women’s time last night. It was great to see how each woman is growing through God. One sister who has had some challenges shared a victory she had. Another woman who has been visiting church said that the time was so encouraging because she has never before had friends she could talk to.
On Saturday I found out about a couple I know who got baptized last week. My heart was thrilled and amazed.
This morning I prayed with a young woman I studied the Bible with over three years ago. She’s not a Christian yet, but it is miraculous to see how far she’s come. She is now studying the Bible with sisters in New York.
Sunday after church Marge and I had lunch with a mature sister. It was so good. We opened up our hearts to one another about what we’ve been going through. We could uniquely relate to each other. We talked about verses and spiritual principles that make us thrive through our difficulties. It was so good. Afterwards, the sister insisted on paying for the lunch.
I could go on and on. The blessings things are there. All we have to do is acknowledge them.
You know, one thing I’ve been doing lately is listening to the Bible in the car. I get Bible CDs from the library. I love listening to Genesis. There are so many inspiring lessons and applications I can think of as I hear the stories.
Something that I am remembering as I listen is that God works over long periods of time. God made promises to Abraham, but it took years until Sarah was actually pregnant. And then God told Abraham that his descendants would be taken to captivity for 400 years, before they would be brought out and given the promised land. God does have great plans. But we have to go through challenging times on the way to attaining them.
Here is another way I’ve been growing. I am learning to VALUE LEARNING. There’s this new book out by Jessica Lahey called, “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.” An an article about the book, Rachel Simmons of “TIME” magazine says about young women in particular, “They’ve been so protected from mistakes, usually by their parents, that they fear failure, avoid risk and value image over learning.”
“Failing well is a skill,” Simmons writes. “Letting girls do it gives them critical practice coping with a negative experience. It also gives them the opportunity to develop a kind of confidence and resilience that can only be forged in times of challenge.”
I HAVE to learn to value the process of learning, with the mistakes and failures along the way and stop just wanting everything to be neat and perfect. As I was praying for all of you this morning, I realized that each of you is in a state of learning. You may be going through some things, but that is necessary to where you need to go.
Oh, there’s so much more that I’ve thinking about lately that I want to share with you. I’ve been reading “Geisha of Gion,” by Miniko Isasaki, about a Japanese geisha in the 60’s and 70’s. She was not a prostitute, she was a highly educated entertainer and companion. One thing that impressed me about her culture was the importance they give to maintaining relationships. Every day the women of the geisha house would make visits and call on people. Their life was built on a network of relationships they had to maintain.
So, the Spirit prompted me as I was praying, I can do this too! Why do I need to set appointments with people like this huge thing that’s going to happen? Why not just touch base with them and say, “I’d like to drop by and visit for a few minutes?” And that is what I did. I texted a friend and asked if it was a good time to drop by and pray together. It was, and we had the most encouraging time!
Okay, I have to stop, I’m running out of time. But one more thing. I was praying this week, and this came to me. I need to stop worrying so much, and striving so much, and just seek His kingdom. I am only a child kneeling before God. I need to trust Him to take care of things, while I bask in his presence and delight in life. In other words, in the end, I can only worry about myself and my relationship with God, and that I am right with Him. I sing in the shadow of his wings.
Just as the early disciples did. They rejoiced and felt RICH even though they were being persecuted. No matter what they went through, they were still full of patience and kindness. I’ve leave you with this most awesome verse, II Cor 6:4-10:
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
Here are recent pictures chronicling some of the blessings God gives. I love each one of you.