My Time is in His Hand

time in hand.jpg“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!”

Psalm 31:14-15

I have learned a lot these past three months. God has allowed me to go through a very tumultuous time of sickness; not my own, but my husband’s. My better half, to whom I lean on for support, wisdom, and just plain fun times, suffered not only a herniated disc that immobilized him for two months, but also life threatening blood clots in both lungs coupled with double pneumonia. I felt as if the enemy (Satan) was coming against us from every angle.

My first lesson came early in December when I realized that I now had to pick up many of the chores that my hubby did without thinking: lugging the garbage cans to the curb for pick up, putting salt on the outside steps before they iced over, and trying to keep the electric fence mended so that our precious Scruffy stayed within safe boundaries are just a small sample. Along with this came the responsibility of getting hubby to the doctors and hospitals, managing his medications, and arranging the house so that he could maneuver with a wheelchair. So, what was the lesson? I did all of this out of what I thought was love for my husband, but what God showed me through reading His Word was that I was doing it out of a selfish desire to prove I could manage it all. I had lost sight of the ultimate prize: God’s glory through tribulation.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”  Philippians 3:14-16

God showed me that even though I love my husband and would do anything in the world to help him, deep down inside of me, I had not turned this service over to Him. I was providing all of my time for me; not for Jim, andnot for God. I prayed for healing, but I did not trust that God would heal. I trusted in my own care to make my hubby comfortable. I trusted in my own management skills to take the pain away. And I trusted in me to be the relief that my hubby needed.

I praise God for teaching me that there is so much more to serving others than the actual service; service should be the result, but the goal is fully living in Christ and letting go of self.

The second lesson God gave to me was that Satan has no more hold on me than I allow him. When I released my service as a wife to God, Satan lost his power of my thoughts and emotions. I no longer felt that I had to be the one to bring my hubby out of depression and fear. I knew that I had to be the conduit that God used to open his eyes to the possibilities of what God was doing and instill trust in God’s sovereignty. I was called to live my life strong in the Lord and not in myself.

“Finally, be strong in theLord and in the strength of his might.”            Ephesians 6:19

I have often read Job just because I seek to understand how he lived. Job was a man of honor, he never turned his back on God. God trusted Job so much that He allowed Satan to tempt him to sin by turning away from God. I believe that my desire to read this text in some way helped me to get through these three months. Oh, I didn’t face anything like Job did; I didn’t lose my children, my home, or my health. But in this milquetoast world that we live in today, my spoiled self went through quite a trial.

Finally, I learned that time is nothing. Three months or three years or three hundred years; it all belongs to God, not to us. And the only reason we are put on earth is to walk hand in hand with Him and to do all things to the glory of God, not self.

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Journaling 101: The end of day journal

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot in my head when I get ready to retire at the end of the day! I have found that if I take the time to open my journal and write some of it down, it clears the way for a good night’s sleep.

So what are some ways to get this pen moving? Here are some suggestions, but in the end, keeping  a journal is personal and only you know how it can bring you to peace and quiet.

  1. Use a journal that encourages you to think good thoughts. I keep a journal on my nightstand that opens up with a scripture on each page. I use that verse to start my thoughts about the day I just completed and I start writing. For instance, one verse recently was Psalm 119:2, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.” From that I started praying and writing, “Father God, I pray that You would set my feet on your righteous path each day. Guard my way from turning to the left or to the right. Protect me from falling into the traps that Satan sets for me and keep my reputation spotless that others will not be able to place blame. Keep my testimony pure that I might lead others to You.” As I prayed, little things came to me that needed to be let go so I wrote them down.
  2. Don’t try to start a writing marathon right before you go to sleep; sometimes that only causes unnecessary worry about if you are “doing it right.” Again, there is no right or wrong way to journal. Sometimes my writing is as brief as , “Today was a really yucky day and everything I did seemed to turn out wrong! Tonight I will rest and tomorrow is a new day to get it right.”
  3. I know that in today’s technological world, the temptation to use a tablet for your journal is great; at least it is for me. But I have found that when I do that, it not only stimulates my brain into wide awake status (studies have backed me up on this), but it also distracts me into other things I could be doing, like playing Solitaire! No, put the tablet down, pick up a pen and start writing.

This blog post is short and sweet, but that is what  a night time journal entry should be; a release from pressure.

Happy Journaling!

Sheila

A Heart Divided

heart-broken

“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.”

1 Chronicles 28:9

I was doing my devotions this morning and I just had to share this with you. It’s not my writing, but a friend of mine, Deb Wills, from her book, The Simple Side. (If you don’t have a copy yet, now is the time to start our your new year with this amazing insight.)

God is preparing me for the James 4:7 Release the Spiritual Warrior in You seminar scheduled for March 2017. He is speaking to me through so many avenues and I praise Him for each one: the Beth Moore “Loving Well” retreat I went on in September, the Jen Wilkin study on 1 Peter that I am doing with Lakeside Christian ladies, and now, through Deb Wills’ devotions “The Simple Side.” Women, God is calling us to start a prayer ministry of support for our families, our churches, our communities, our country. We have an obligation to let go of ourselves and let God take control. I hope you get as much out of today’s devotion as I did.

Deb writes, “If you read the above scripture, read it again and think about what it is saying. The first time I read it, it did not whack me like it did the second time…’course I can be thick headed.

God is interested in a heart sold out to Him. What is in our hearts? What goals do we have in our hearts…to have – to get – to do – to go? Or is our heart filled with the desire to please someone else? What do we spend our time thinking about? How about our family, our friends, our stuff, our job, our car, or our impression we leave with others? Hey, I am not saying these things are evil, they probably are good things. However, if they are taking the place of God in our heart, if those things are filling our hearts and we have a little corner for our Lord, then we got some major issues to think about.

I will be the first to tell you that my family is IMPORTANT to me. I will guard it with all I have and my last breath; they are precious to me. This morning.as I studies I learned a powerful lesson. My heart needs to be FILLED with God, only God. He loves my family more than me, I’m still trying to swallow that. He cares for my family more than me. He can provide for my family more than me. We need to trust God with our entire heart, all of it. Our jobs, our church, our family, our home, our stuff, our lives…Our only responsibility is to give God our WHOLE heart, not a corner, not one third, not half, not even most of it. ALL OF OUR HEART! And then trust Him. This is where I do the, but God, did you see that, did you know that, did you hear that, did you feel that? The answer, yes He did and He alone can mend, heal, provide, protect, guide, and love…so much better than me.

A heart divided puts our lives in jeopardy. Only God can be totally trusted with our hearts. Only Him! Even better than us. Folks we don’t have a clue what we need, we think we do, we think we might actually know something, but…we don’t. I have messed up so many times; God must surely be thinking, “wow, she is a slow learner.”

I know I have mentioned this before, but I will say it again, (just in case you are a slow learner too). Get up in the morning, set your sights on God, sit down and read His word, talk to Him. Let Him have your day. I promise if we do not do this, the the time the noon hour arrives our hearts have given in to flesh and a train wreck is on the horizon…I know this to be true. Every day is unique, we have no idea what is out there for us. God does. We have no idea where we will be by the end of the day. God does.  We have no idea who we will come in contact with. God does. We don’t know much at all folds, we are just traveling through…I think it will be much better to travel with my Lord and give Him my whole heart instead of a piece, so at the end of the day, I might be able to lay my head on my pillow and know in my heart of hearts…He’s Got This!”

Thanks, Deb.

From Self-esteem to God-esteem

From_Self-esteem_to__Cover_for_KindleSpecial Christmas pricing!

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