Appreciation

Something I am reminded of often, in order to have true appreciation, I have to ask for it. It is so easy to take my life for granted. I can easily fall into the place of complaining and ungratefulness. This is especially true in my marriage. I have found myself slipping into the place of taking my wonderful husband for granted. I easily get into the place of complaining about the little things and forgetting what an impact my words have on his heart. My prayer for some time is that I would be able to step out of the critical mode and into the appreciative mode. I drive myself nuts, I can’t imagine how my poor hubby feels!

Lately I have been blessed with memories of when we were first dating and married. Clear memories and the flood of emotions that go with them. I have been remembering how excited I would be when I was going to see him, how heart wrenching it was when we had to part. A reminder if how luck  I am to have this man by my side every single day. I get to see his handsome face every morning and fall asleep in his embrace each night. I cannot take this for granted. I have a wonderful husband that is perfect for me. We balance each other out in ways only God can understand. He has made me a better woman, a better mother and a better friend.

Today I just wanted to share this with you all and remind you to take a step back each day and remember the reasons you have to be happy. you may be in a rough spot in life and you may feel overwhelmed, but you will come out of it if you allow God to work in it. He will show you the beauty that surrounds you if you open your heart and ask Him to. It may not come quickly and you will struggle still, but you will also find pockets of pure excitement and appreciation as well. Ask and He will deliver. Our God is always on our side and wants us to be happy in the life He has provided to us. Only we can get in the way.

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Another perspective

Last night our Pastor was discussing Psalms 139 and it just reminded me of how my perspective is in need of adjustment. How could I be anxious for anything when the Psalms tell us this?

Psalms 139:1-24 NLT O  lord , you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, lord . You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. O  lord , shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and leadme along the path of everlasting life.

As we read this I thought about all the anxiety I hold and that it’s completely unnecessary. God knows my story beginning to end. He is the author of my life and I can rest in the fact that He knows me, loves me and is with me in all things. Even when I was His enemy,  He was by my side. I often stress about the unknown and know that it’s time to replace that with being still and knowing He is God. He has always been there and has performed such miracles in my life, why do I worry? It’s never been a conscious thought of “how will God work here”, but I think I’m essentially saying that when I am anxious. My heart needs to be taught to rest in the knowledge that my God is greater and He is actively working in my life. I am comfortable with God’s timing and need to remember that His plans are always in place. I need not worry about the people involved, the circumstances around whatever I am anxious for, He is perfect and I am right where I should be. By now I can look back and see how each and every person and experience bin my life has shaped me and brought me to where I am today. I can’t wait to see how much more as I continue this walk. I will follow God in all things, I choose to put my life in His hands and to walk boldly, knowing that I need not fear anything of this world. The Creator is on my side and I want to always be on His.

Proverbs Study Day 30

The last Proverb! It has been a wonderful journey for me and I hope it has been for you as well. I love how God’s Word speaks directly to me, right where I am. Let’s see what today brings.
 


Proverbs 30

The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One. Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name? Tell me if you know! Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection. Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar. O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the lord ?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it. Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed. They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances. They have teeth like swords and fangs like knives. They devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among humanity. The leech has two suckers that cry out, “More, more!” There are three things that are never satisfied— no, four that never say, “Enough!”: the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire. The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures. There are three things that amaze me— no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman. An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, “What’s wrong with that?” There are three things that make the earth tremble— no, four it cannot endure: a slave who becomes a king, an overbearing fool who prospers, a bitter woman who finally gets a husband, a servant girl who supplants her mistress. There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: Ants—they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer. Hyraxes —they aren’t powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks. Locusts—they have no king, but they march in formation. Lizards—they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings’ palaces. There are three things that walk with stately stride— no, four that strut about: the lion, king of animals, who won’t turn aside for anything, the strutting rooster, the male goat, a king as he leads his army. If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, cover your mouth in shame. As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels.


 

 
What did I learn from this chapter today:

Today I am reminded that God knows exactly how I feel. He knows me heart better than I do. I think I can forget this at times. I often bring before Him my shortcomings, my lacking, my failures and He reminds me that He is with me in those places too. Without Him I would be lost.

I look around me and I see God everywhere and in everything. Everything and everyone is God breathed. He is our Creator and I can go to Him with all things. He understands so much more about me than I ever will. Who better to go to in all things?

I know I am full of imperfection and that’s ok. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is with me always and is transforming me dramatically. I am amazed, joyous and humbled by the works He has done in me, in my marriage, in our life as a whole. The more we give, the more He provides. As I step out in faith, uncertain of where I will land, Jesus meets me right there and raises me to places more beautiful than I could ever imagine. Truly amazing.

You can hear about the wonderful works God does or you can experience them yourself. Quiet your minds, open your hearts and sit before the living God. Ask Him to show you where He wants to work in you. Ask Him to show you how to grow in your faith. He is a kind, loving and gentle God, He will walk you through it.

My prayer for today:

Lord, thank You for walking me through healing and growth in a kind and gentle manner. You are so good to me. Today I pray that Your children turn to You in all things. I pray that You soften their hearts and open their eyes. I pray that they don’t get in the way of Your works, as only we can. I pray that they take those steps that can feel like leaps, in faith, knowing that You are right there. We know that You are a most powerful and merciful God and we choose You. You are amazing and You love with a love that we can only begin to understand. Do a mighty work in our lives Lord, we choose to pause and give You the space You need. We will do our part and follow You as You guide us to better things. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Proverbs Study Day 27

Good morning, let’s see what God’s Word tells us today.
 


Proverbs 27

Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring. Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips. A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier. Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous. An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry. A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest. The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away. Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners. A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse! A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded. As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied. Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised. You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle. Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation. After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in, your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field. And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.


 

 
What did I learn from this chapter today:

Today my heart was touched by a few things. The heart reflecting the true person was one. It reminds me of the importance of asking the Lord to transform my heart. Focusing on behaviors, habits, or tendencies will never really help, we must dig deeper and get to the core for true changes. Only when I have allowed Jesus into the very depths of my soul have I ever found true transformation. Anything less won’t last.

I am also reminded that a friend sharpens a friend. Fire purifies us. A reminder that we can challenge each other in ways that allow us to grow and gain perspective. Don’t shut people out just because you don’t like what they’re forcing you to see. Trials, stressors, and the unknown can purify us as our faith grows. I know that my faith has grown tremendously over the years. I can now look back and know that God has brought me through crazy situations and in such miraculous ways! He loves me, He is always working, and it’s never in the way I think it will work out.

My prayer for today:

Lord, I thank You for Your love and wisdom. I thank You for building my faith and transforming my heart. Holy Spirit, I pray that You cleans me, break these chains, deliver me from my sin, fill me with Your light and love. Burn away my desires for anything that is not of You. You are good, You are faithful, You are true. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Proverbs Study Day 24

As we go through this study, I begin to feel the importance of wisdom. I’m my own life this week I have been seeing just how important it is to have God’s Word tucked into my heart as we face trials.

 


Proverbs 24

Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble. A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers. Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say. A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker. The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker. If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve. My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste. In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short. Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly, and don’t raid the house where the godly live. The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. For the lord will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them. Don’t fret because of evildoers; don’t envy the wicked. For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. My child, fear the lord and the king. Don’t associate with rebels, for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the lord and the king? Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment. A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations. But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them. An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them. And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me! I’ll get even with them!” I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.


 

 
What did I learn from this chapter today:

Often I can find myself envious of others and can easily go there if I allow my mind to wander. What I’ve learned over the years is that envy is a useless emotion. No matter how good others may think they have it, or seem to have it, I shall not strive to attain whatever it is. That only distracts me from my own life and the things that truly matter.

Others may seem to have it easy, but do they really? As we work hard to live a holy life, as we work hard to provide for our family, are their lives wasting away from the inside out? Do they even know the depths of love, grace, and mercy that they are missing? It is you and I that are the lucky ones. We have Jesus and we have each other. We work hard and struggle in our growth because that is what God commands and how much better off we are!

We do stumble often and we get back up and face the world again, always knowing that we are heaven bound.

This is all temporary. We cannot control other people’s actions, we can only contra our own. Today I choose to do the right thing and to live by God’s Word.

My prayer for today:

Lord, remind me of the work You’ve done. The precious gift You gave, the undeserved grace and mercy. Thank You. Thank You for loving me despite my epic failures. Thank You for loving me beyond my pride and pain. Thank You for providing Your Word for us to learn from and to be equipped by. Soften this heart before you Jesus. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Proverbs Study Day 19

Good morning, let’s us pray that our hearts are filled with God’s wisdom as we begin each day.

 


Proverbs 19

Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and a fool. Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes. People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the lord . Wealth makes many “friends”; poverty drives them all away. A false witness will not go unpunished, nor will a liar escape. Many seek favors from a ruler; everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts! The relatives of the poor despise them; how much more will their friends avoid them! Though the poor plead with them, their friends are gone. To acquire wisdom is to love yourself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. A false witness will not go unpunished, and a liar will be destroyed. It isn’t right for a fool to live in luxury or for a slave to rule over princes! Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. The king’s anger is like a lion’s roar, but his favor is like dew on the grass. A foolish child is a calamity to a father; a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping. Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the lord can give an understanding wife. Lazy people sleep soundly, but idleness leaves them hungry. Keep the commandments and keep your life; despising them leads to death. If you help the poor, you are lending to the lord — and he will repay you! Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives. Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again. Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the lord ’s purpose will prevail. Loyalty makes a person attractive. It is better to be poor than dishonest. Fear of the lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm. Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth. If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson; if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser. Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother are an embarrassment and a public disgrace. If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge. A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice; the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil. Punishment is made for mockers, and the backs of fools are made to be beaten.


 

 
What did I learn from this chapter today:

Truest of friends care for you and are there for you despite any gain they may receive. We should strive to be those friends to all people we come in contact with. True wealth is found in relationships. Honesty and love are most valuable.

God has a plan for all of us and His plans will always prevail, it’s up to us to decide if we will be part of them or suffer as we work against them. Wisdom should be welcomed with open arms, even when it shows us parts of ourselves we would rather forget.

I desire to please God and to hold His wisdom deep in my heart. Do you?

My prayer for today:

Lord, I come before You today and pray that Your wisdom be tucked deep into my heart. I pray that You show me Your ways and help me to see where I need to walk in order to be part of Your plans. I want to learn, grow, and love more and more each day. Until the day I see you in Heaven, I am in a state of learning and following You. Do a mighty work in the life of Your servant and all of those who come before You today. We pray these things, in full expectancy that You will fulfill our desires. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Proverbs Study Day 15

Day 15! I have not posted in a few days as I have been spending time with Jesus and family. I will write about those experiences after this study.


Proverbs 15

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. The lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise. There is treasure in the house of the godly, but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble. The lips of the wise give good advice; the heart of a fool has none to give. The lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright. The lord detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness. Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined; whoever hates correction will die. Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the lord. How much more does he know the human heart! Mockers hate to be corrected, so they stay away from the wise. A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit. A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Better to have little, with fear for the lord , than to have great treasure and inner turmoil. A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them. A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway. Sensible children bring joy to their father; foolish children despise their mother. Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense; a sensible person stays on the right path. Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success. Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time! The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind. The lord tears down the house of the proud, but he protects the property of widows. The lord detests evil plans, but he delights in pure words. Greed brings grief to the whole family, but those who hate bribes will live. The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words. The lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health. If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Fear of the lord teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.


 

What I learned from this chapter:

First off, I as blown away by one verse here. “Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the lord. How much more does he know the human heart!.”

As I mentioned above,  I have been working on some things with Jesus and He is showing me so many things. This verse spoke to my heart Friday while studying. I cannot hide anything from God, He knows all. He knows my heart better than I ever could. When I think I’m hiding pieces on myself or my past, I am only fooling myself. God watches us all. He know our stories and He longs to heal us. Only I can get in the way of that.

I long to hear His wisdom and to walk in His ways. The journey is often difficult,  but I have become a better me through Christ and trust that He leads me towards His heart always.

My prayer for today:

Lord, I know You hear my prayers and You know my heart. I thank You for Your wisdom and long to be in Your will. I pray that You continue to remind me that You are all knowing and that You love me always. Thank You for the gift of life You’ve bestowed upon us all. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.