Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Heart at Rest

I am just completing my second online Bible study through Proverbs 31 ministries and I can honestly say that I am a changed woman. Had you seen me a year ago, you would have seen a woman who spent every waking moment trying to get school work done, rushed around in whatever spare time she had to keep her home clean, tried to be at every event at school and in her daughter's life, and spent sleepless nights tossing and turning and making lists. NO LONGER!

First came the Stessed-Less Living study, which helped me to see that I truly had my priorities a bit askew. I began making daily time to do Bible study, reading, and praying. I found myself leaning on God for assistance in times of need, accepting other's help with things, and taking on less responsibility.

Then came the What Happens When Women Say Yes Bible study. Through this study, I have reached an understanding that I do not have to do major feats for God every day, month, or year. I can serve him right here, at home, with my talents. I also realized that I can continue to pray to God to reveal a greater purpose, but that I must be willing to accept that purpose when it comes and make whatever sacrifice necessary. Last Sunday, that is what our minister's message regarded: being willing to give up family, friends, home, or lifestyle if called upon by God. (Isn't it amazing how God keeps sending us the same message over and over until it finally sinks in?)

For now, I continue to pray. I continue to be willing to say, "Yes" to God at any point. I have always thought that I would wait to retire when I knew that my family's financial needs can be met; now I know that I need to retire when God shows me it is the right time. HE will provide. HE will make a way for my family's needs to be met..... as long as I am about his work and doing what he asks.

I used to think that my family would live in this home forever, until some day it was passed along to my children. But lately, I have been feeling that little tugging at my heart guiding me somewhere else. When the time comes, I have no doubt that GOD will show us just the right house, in just the right city, with just the right church for my family to serve him.

At this time in my life I feel more calm, more at peace, more restful than I have in a very long time. Don't get me wrong.... I still have those occasional spurts of, "I HAVE to get this done." I still have bouts of worry over things. BUT..... these don't last for very long. With God's help, I have a new focus, a new me. I just need to remember this adage:

As long as I rest my mind on God..... on his purpose for me......... my heart will be calm!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Glimpses of God

They are everywhere...........

All around me...........

When I see one of my teenage children casually lean over to a young child at church to smile, laugh, and help with an art project, I see the love that Jesus expressed when he said, "Let the little children come to me."

When I come to school in the morning, loaded down with the burden of books, graded papers, and my lunch bag and one of my students rushes to the door saying, "Do you need some help?" I see the giving hand of God.

When our community unites to raise money for a young lady who was in a tragic car accident, I feel the rush of God's care taking care of those in need.

When I have had a bad day at school and I get an unexpected email from a parent or student, saying, "Thank you for taking the time to help." I feel God's tender embrace saying, "You are loved."

When I am driving home after a particular trying day at school and just the right song comes on the radio, I feel God's strength and encouragement saying, "Be strong. You did your best. Tomorrow, you can try again."

Yes, sometimes it is not the BIG things...... those moments when something amazing and miraculous happens.......

Instead, it is the little things, those quiet, dainty, feathery touches of God's love that mean the most.

I think back to when my children were young and my daughter would be playing in the fresh spring grass. She would find one of the first dandelions of the season and would rush to my side, great joy on her face. We would sit together, side by side, as she blew on that dandelion, spreading the seeds into the wind. Weeks later, tiny little dandelions would sprout throughout the yard.

That is the way I envision God's love. It is those little things, the tiny dandelion seeds that I need to spread throughout the world. I don't have to always move mountains. Instead, I can take the time to do a small thing.

I can bake a dish of brownies for a friend.

I can deliver a plate of left-over food to a lonely neighbor after my own family has had a big get together.

I can take a bag of gently used clothing to a family in need.

Just as my daughter's dandelion seeds sprouted and filled the yard, those "little things" that I do will spread God's love throughout the community and can sprout more deeds of love. I just need to keep my eyes open and pray for God's guidance as he reveals the opportunities to me.

Won't you join me? Can you think of some seemingly small thing that you can do today to share God's love with someone who needs it. Are you willing to give them a glimpse of God's love?