Well, I intended to write at least once a week, but you know how time gets away from you. There's always housework to be done, children to referee, meals to prepare, projects to work on, and then, of course, all the things outside the home that require your attention, too, like church, shopping, and people! I may not have been able to get to the computer to write on my blog like I'd hoped, but I did make sure to make time daily for God in my devotions each morning.
As soon as my hubby and kids are out the door to work and school at 7:40am, I'm grabbing my breakfast (usually a granola bar and tea or milk) and curling up on the sofa with my Bible and a supplemental book, which currently happens to be The Five Love Languages of Teenagers by Dr. Gary Chapman. I spend about an hour reading from each and I usually pray before, after, and during my reading. I find that, in my reading, something will really jump out at me that is related to something I am thankful for (such as God's mercy and grace), something I need to work on (like trusting totally and completely that God will provide EVERYTHING), or something that reminds me of someone else (like my teenager and his temper). I will often stop right there and talk to God about that issue and thank Him or ask Him for His guidance. I have found that as I spend time DAILY with God, I am so much happier, my life and household runs much smoother, and everything just falls into place. I don't have to worry about anything because I give it to God. I have found that task, giving my cares and concerns to God, an easier thing to do with each passing day, as I focus more and more on Him and trying to live my life according to His Word. I find that I can hardly wait to sit down and learn more about Him and the lessons and promises in His Word. In fact, I sometimes take some time at bedtime to read more. And, I will often turn the radio on to 97.9 WGNR, Moody Radio, while I am in the bathroom getting ready each day or driving in the car.
There are so many great speakers and preachers on Moody Radio during the day, I always come away having learned something or having been inspired to do something. I find it amazing that, if there has been an issue I've had on my mind that I have been seeking guidance for, the messages I hear on Moody Radio will address it! I love it because I can see God working in my life and answering my needs so plainly!
I must say that I am truly humbled by God's mercy and grace in my life. I have done so many things throughout my life that I am ashamed of, that I regret, that I wish I could change or erase. I know I cannot change or erase anything and that God will not change or erase for me anything from my past. I used to ask God to help me forget the sins I have committed, but I know now that He allows me to remember them so that I don't forget the lessons I learned from them. I often wonder what I would be like if I had never done many of the sins that have so scarred my life. But, I know that is something I cannot dwell on because I cannot change my past. But, I can choose what I do in the present and, therefore, effect who I am now and who I will be in the future.
My favorite verse for a long time has been Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. That verse has provided much peace and comfort during many difficult times in my life. Another verse that I have adopted in the last year for further peace and comfort is, Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Both of these verses deal with God's promise to take care of His children, to have an active role in our lives, and really encourages us to trust in Him through all times, whether good or bad.
Even when I was deep in sin as a Christian and felt that God could not possibly want to keep me and I had pushed Him away, He stayed with me. He kept pulling me to come back to Him and He, eventually, helped me to see that He forgave me long before I ever asked because I was His child already and He loves me always. Wow! That is mercy and grace! And, yes, I suffered consequences of my sins, but the consequences could have been far greater and I truthfully expected them to be far greater. And, I never expected to receive the blessings I have received. But, I believe that God, in His infinite mercy and grace, has blessed me and my family because I/we have realized our sinfulness, asked sincerely for forgiveness, humbled ourselves before Him, and chosen to turn our lives back toward Him. God knows all things, even that we will sin against Him, but nothing can stand in the way of His plan for us. Isn't that the promise of Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11?!
By the way, the series of books by Dr. Gary Chapman on "The Five Love Languages" is really excellent. I have actually only read two of the books so far, The Five Love Languages (dealing mainly with married couples) and The Five Love Languages of Teenagers and both have provided much insight and have helped me to improve my relationships with my family. I am about ready to begin reading The Five Love Languages of God and also plan to read The Five Love Languages of Children. But, there are even some other books in the series, including one for singles. So, no matter who you are, your age, or your status, you can find at least one book in the series that will be relevant to you. I would encourage you to consider reading one or all of them, even you don't think you need any help with the relationships in your life! I'll bet you'll still come away having learned something useful! Go to http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/ to learn more.
Well, it is time for church! Gotta go! Goodnight and God bless!