I don't remember when this post was originally written. It is probably several years old, but these points remain true as I focus on 2016.
As I look back on 2015 I see personal loss but God in His infinite love and grace gave me gifts at the end of 2015 to look forward to in the coming year. A post regarding 2015 is still rambling around in the ole' brain. Life is one big adjustment. It seems from birth to the grave, adjustments are a part of life. But I have laid a firm foundation over the years, and these focus points bring great encouragement and comfort, because God and His Word are my firm foundation and He never changes.
1. In everything I do I want to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. (1 Corinthians 10:31) I want to be a Christ follower, not just pursue the American dream of 2.5 children, a home and 2 cars in the garage. I want to know
God who rescued me and loves me. I do this by making it my goal to read His Word everyday and attempting to pray without ceasing. I pray for people and circumstances as God brings them to mind.
2. Spend my life encouraging my family as a wife and mother; to exhort and encourage all women I am privileged to call my friends. I want to encourage them to love God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind, and their neighbor as themselves. (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30)
3. To teach women how to love God's Word, encouraging them to love God by loving His Word. (Psalm 119:1) I do this by writing several blog posts a week, teaching women's Bible studies and Sunday School, giving birthday cards and gifts, praying and meeting with women whenever I can over coffee, lunch, meeting in my mom cave
, or walking together at the local walking track.
4. Educate myself in the gifts I believe God has given me. Continuing to hone counseling and writing skill(or lack of), and reading many books to the glory of God. My first book, published in 2014, Confessions of a Farmer's Daughter
can be purchased by clicking on the link from me.
5. Eat right and exercise on a regular basis, making it my goal to remain healthy to serve the Lord and "look good" for my husband and no one else. His opinion is the only that matters. Keep communication open between my four children by texting, calling, emailing, visiting, and praying for them everyday.
Ultimately I want to be a woman who knows charm is deceitful and beauty fades, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. (Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 31:30)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
This is a re-post from earlier this year. It is one of my favorites and the way I remind myself as to how rich I am. Rich beyond words.
I was recently asked the definition of Church.
How often, when we say Church, we think of a building? But Jesus didn't come to earth, minister, die, and rise from the dead for a building, but for a people. Wherever the people of God are gathered to worship the Creator of the universe, there the Church is.
The Church is a people created, called out, and gathered by God. ~~Gloria Furman
The best part of the churches we have been privileged to be a part of is the many women I have met over the years. Women who love God in spite of unwanted divorces, children who have died, husbands who died suddenly after being cancer free. Single parent moms who just do the next thing. Words escape me as to the awesome life I have as a pastor's wife to know so many of God's women. Whether in joy or sorrow or the mundane of life, my sisters in Christ fix their gaze on Jesus and reach out to those around them.
Church is a place full of broken people with their gaze fixed on Jesus and their arms outstretched to others.~~Blythe Hunt(Mundane Faithfulness)
Women I have been honored to know and love make me very rich. I am amazed at how the Church I love works together to build each other up, cry with those who are grieving, take food to families who have had a new baby, or work together in the kitchen to pull off a turkey dinner. I could name a thousand ways women honor each other, but I will name a few here.
This is just a smattering of women I have known over the course of thirty years. I look forward to living the rest of my life getting to know and love those God puts in my path. Not a building but a people.
- A new friend said to me this week, "stop by anytime, I know your extended family is far away and I'm sure you miss just stopping in to visit them". How did she know?
- Women who walk with their sisters in Christ through cancer. Not just saying, "I will pray for you", but go together to doctor appointments.
- Neighbors who give you a new French Press coffee pot because she has an extra.
- Women who press on, looking to the future, after being fired from a job they've been at for many years.
- Wives who walk with their husbands through many illnesses, encouraging them to look to the Author and Finisher of their faith.
- Friends who watch their lives take a path they never planned and watch as God faithfully takes them on a path that is new and exciting in ministry.
- Mothers who trust God in the dark as children take a prodigal path.
- Friends who are transparent as they pour their hearts out over cups of coffee and lunch time sandwiches.
- Women whose marriages have not born the fruit of 'growing old together', but still love God and their neighbor in the midst of difficult marriages.
- Women, young and old, who say 'I will trust God and His Word' in the midst of dire circumstances.
A new year has breezed in with sub-zero temps, though not for long, is my hope, my mom cave is a
cold this afternoon. 2013 is one for the history books and Pastor Rob's message for our new year was excellent. You can listen to it here, First of The Year Hope from The Last Book of the Bible
. It was an encouragement to be reminded God has already gone before us in the new year, He's already there for whatever we may experience in the coming days.
I began a Bible reading plan with You Version
. I have no reason or excuse to read God's Word on a daily basis as this particular App can be used on many different platforms. It is available on my computer and my phone. I enjoy reading through the Bible so I picked a plan that has me reading from four areas of the Bible. January began with Genesis, Matthew, Ezra and Acts. I'm very familiar with three of the four, but who knew God would speak to me today in Ezra? Well...God knew!!
After all these years of reading, studying and longing for God to speak to me...
HE STILL DOES. To think He loves me so much to speak to me day in and day out in His Word.
Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel. Ezra 7:10
I'm sure I've read Ezra before, but today the message was loud and clear. Even as I'm writing this post, I can see God is encouraging me to press on in what He has already called me to do. To teach women His Word and lead them in loving Him and the Message He has already given us.
Ezra not only studied and practiced what was in the Law of the Lord, he determined in his heart to study, obey and teach. There was no wishful thinking or the breaking of a New Year's resolution. He was firm, stable, established and settled in his heart. He was intentional, he sought with care. (help from Blue Letter Bible)
Many opportunities exist at LAC to know and learn the Word of God. Two women's Bible studies and two women's Sunday School classes meet every week to fellowship around the Living Word which speaks to us every single day. Won't you join us?
What will you be purposeful and resolute for 2014?