Posts Tagged ‘tribulations’

You Before Me

Oh man, am I ever behind on reading all of your blog posts! I will set aside time tomorrow to catch up. I miss you guys! The last few weeks have been very busy with getting ready for school, and school starting. But this week I’m expecting to settle into the groove again.

Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary! We spent the day with the kids, went for pizza, and back to the place where it all started. We had our daughter take a picture of us, standing in the same place we did all those years ago and said, “I do!” Here’s the picture..

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We always talk about how we don’t feel like it’s already been 18 years (20 years if you count dating!), and how we can’t wait for the next 18. But, that doesn’t mean it’s been all peaches and cream, folks! We have definitely had our shares of ups and downs, and times when “goodbye” had sadly become an option. But, The Lord is good, and stayed ever faithful to work with us, and meet us where we were at. Without him, we would’ve been another statistic.

If your relationship is in a tough spot right now, I want to encourage you to remember the first days together, and get back to the puppy love stage. Seek The Lord in all you do..every response you give to your partner, every action you take towards your partner. It took us a long while to really put each other first (after The Lord) and focus on each others needs above our own. But once we did, things started changing fast.

Like Dr. Laura says, be your husband’s girlfriend..and husbands, be your wife’s boyfriend. It really makes a difference, friends!

Don’t give up hope, the change begins with you.

——

Philippians 2:1-11
Good News Translation (GNT)

Christ’s Humility and Greatness

1 Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit,[a] and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2 I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3 Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4 And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. 5 The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:

6 He always had the nature of God,
but he did not think that by force he should try to remain[b] equal with God.
7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,
and took the nature of a servant.
He became like a human being
and appeared in human likeness.
8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—
his death on the cross.
9 For this reason God raised him to the highest place above
and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.
10 And so, in honor of the name of Jesus
all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below[c]
will fall on their knees,
11 and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

—-

Until next time,

Sarah

Well, I sure Didn’t Expect That!

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How do you react when the unexpected hits? I’m not talking about finding a million dollars unexpectedly. I’m talking about finding out you have cancer. Finding out you or your spouse have lost their job. Finding out your power bill tripled, but is still due in full on the 1st. Finding out your child won’t advance to the next grade in school. Finding out your friend is cheating on their spouse..with your spouse. Going to start your car in the morning on the way to a job interview, and it’s dead. Finding out your child used the internet on their cell phone 24/7 in the last billing period and went over the data allotment by a landslide, leaving you with an outrageous bill to pay.

What do you do?

Do you call everyone you know? Do you post it on Facebook or Twitter immediately? Do scream and throw a fit? Do you punch a wall?

Or do you stop dead in your tracks, look up, and say, “Lord, help me.”

“Lord, I know You have a plan to turn even this for good.”

“Daddy, I’m in big trouble. I’m scared. I’m feeling very alone. But I know You’re here, and that You won’t leave Me. I believe You will make a way where there seems to be no way. I know that with You by my side, all of my battles are already won. And so, I will leave this situation at your feet, and continue to strive for the upcoming victory.”

It’s easy, when the unexpected slaps you upside the head, to deal with it in the flesh. I know, I’ve done it frequently!

But, does dealing with it in the flesh solve anything?

Does complaining to your friends, and posting sympathy inducing status updates on your social media feeds help anything? Is the problem solved now? Do you have peace now? I’m thinking not. Why?

Because you can’t find peace when you’re constantly focusing on, and elevating, the problem. Peace doesn’t exist in the flesh, it exists in the spirit.

Peace comes when we give our cares to Him. (Matthew 6:25-34)

So today, make a conscious decision: When the unexpected hits, I will look UP instead of out/down. I will call on His mighty name, instead of screaming my woes to the masses.

Let me say, also, there’s nothing wrong with sending out a request for prayer to friends. I’m not saying there is. But notice the difference in the two following prayers requests..

1. “PLEASE PRAY FOR ME! Stephen found out today (on payday no less!!) that he’s lost his job, then the vet called saying that the dog needs surgery and it “can’t wait”, the car is on “E”, so now I have to WALK to pick up my kids from school (how embarrassing is that?!), because the bank account is empty and I can’t fill the car up..AND, here’s the kicker, I have no food in the cupboards!! I don’t know what we are going to do. I don’t know why God is doing this, we’ve been faithful tithers, we are good people, we help others! I thought He wasn’t supposed to give us anything more than we could handle! Well, HELLO, I CAN’T HANDLE THIS!! Life sucks.”

2. “Friends and family, I’m writing to ask that you please keep our family in your prayers. We are fighting towards victory in a few situations, and would appreciate the “back up” of your prayers. Thanks so much! We look forward to sharing the praise report with you! As always, we will continue to lift you up in prayer as well. God is GOOD – ALL the time!”

Notice the difference? One screams of panic and drama. The other speaks softly, but directly, with power and belief for a better day to come. One says my God isn’t big enough. The other says my God is good, and my victory draweth nigh!”

One says, I choose to worship Satan in this affliction. The other says, I choose to worship my Savior God in this situation.

Choose wisely today, my friends! He loves you dearly. Give Him center stage. He deserves it. And He won’t disappoint. Life gets hard, just as He promised it would. But your story doesn’t end here. These earthly troubles will pass away. Your destiny involves dancing on streets of gold!

You are blessed! Focus on the victory, not the trial. In doing that, you give God the glory! My love to all of you as we continue on this journey to growth together! It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it!

– Sarah

It’s Okay to Have FUN!

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Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day junk and gunk that we forget to enjoy life. As we kick off another week, let’s all make a conscious effort to laugh more, to allow more fun in the routine. I’m pretty sure we will notice our weeks going a lot more smoothly!

On a side note, for those of you who’ve been praying with us, Matt was released from the hospital yesterday! Prayers are still, of course, appreciated for a full and speedy recovery. But he is doing much better. Yay! God is, as usual, GOOD!

Have a fun filled day!

Blessings,

Sarah

—————–

Today’s devo selection:

Finding the Fun
By Joyce Meyer

Want to hear a funny story? I’ve got a lot of them, and they come from things that happened in my ordinary, everyday life. Now, I wasn’t laughing when those stories were in the making, but I’m glad I can laugh about them now.

For example, I didn’t think it was funny when I couldn’t get my hair to stay in place, but if you’d seen what I did about it, you certainly would have laughed. It wasn’t amusing when I tried to make clothes, especially for the people who had to wear them. And I was so irritated when Dave threw paper towels over the grocery store aisle at me, but I realize now, he just knew how to have a little fun no matter what he was doing. I’m glad I’ve learned to look at times like these and see the humor in them.

Now I know that not everything in life is necessarily enjoyable, but I think we all need to learn to have more fun in our lives. And I bet if you took time to think about it every day, you could find a moment that brought you joy or you can laugh about now.

God wants His children to have some fun. The Bible says a merry heart does good like medicine. I think we all need a healthy dose of laughter every day – many times during the day. You just can’t overdose on joy!

I encourage you to deliberately look for something to smile or laugh about every day, and be sure to share a smile or a laugh with someone else and brighten their day too!

Prayer Starter: Lord, Your Word says that a cheerful heart is like good medicine. Thank You for helping me to find the joy and fun in life!

Scripture: A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)

Music to Your Ears

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I wanted to share a video with you today. (I can’t figure out how to embed the video, so I will just put the link in below.) It’s sung by Fernando Ortega, with a reading throughout by Anne Graham Lotz. It is so inspirational, and comforting. Put the rest of life on pause for a few minutes, and allow yourself to really listen to the words she’s speaking, you won’t be sorry! It’s helped me countless times over the years.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=-8i460c3ejw&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-8i460c3ejw

Have a great day!!

Blessings,

Sarah

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