January 3: Your right hand sustains me... Psalm 18:35
January 4: Remember to keep my eyes on Jesus.
January 5: "I go before you daily to prepare your way..." Francis J. Roberts
Also, the LORD takes care of the godly.
January 6: Lord, You know what's happening.
January 7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6
January 9: Be desperate for God's word and know it.
January 11: "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
January 12: "...your financial need-they are all known to Him. He sympathizes as no one else can and watches to see if through it all, you will dare to trust Him completely." Streams in the Desert
January 13: "For in the midst of difficulties, I will be your support." Francis J. Roberts Pray for proper perspective.
January 16: "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ." Philippians 1:27a
"Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth, avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip." Proverbs 4:24 MSG
January 18: Melissa, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love, and with Him
is full redemption. (Psalm 130:7)
January 19: Pray and never give up.
January 20: Help me LORD to be a doer of the Word; to know who I am in You, and to not define myself by what others perceive of me.
January 21: Help me LORD to do what it takes.
January 25: Show me Your Glory, LORD. I trust you with the outcomes.
January 27: "I will remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13
You are probably wondering why I would take the time to share all of that. Looking back, I see how God has been preparing me for some interesting news.
Thursday January 28: I found out from a coworker that my job is changing and it's unclear to me if I still have a job.
My first response wasn't to trust God with the outcomes. It was to freak out, cry and question everything.
Thankfully, my husband had the day off from work and was able to offer such sweet encouragement. He assured me that we would be OK and not to worry.
I then told him that it was my turn to prepare an encouraging word for the other homeschool moms at my co-op.
"How can I do this when I'm not sure I can even continue?"
I asked God to help me and before I said or did something stupid, I took a nap like a good girl.
Two hours later I woke up and God in His goodness and mercy reminded me of Proverbs 31. I'm probably the last person to be sharing from Proverbs 31 but in case you haven't noticed, God has a sense of humor.
"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." v. 25 NLT
I don't know about you, but I've never been able to do that. It's likely the last thing I do but only because I want to avoid crying.
I do the exact opposite of what Albert Barnes says, "She looks forward to the future, not with anxious care but with confident gladness." Man, that is something I need to work on for sure.
The strength mentioned above refers to strength of mind, not of body. My friend Merriam Webster defines strength as, "The quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way."
So this means to me that I'm not to fear what may happen and I'm to know whom I place my trust in.
Side note to self: I should probably re-read the days leading up to Thursday and encourage myself in the LORD my God.
"They do not fear bad news; the confidently trust in the LORD to care for them." Psalm 112:7
With God's help and my surrender, I want to be able to recognize God's guidance so that I can calmly trust Him for what's next.
I'm not the calmest person when I hear bad news. I may not freak out loudly or throw things, but I'm almost dying inside. Honestly, I sometimes use those situations to be mean. I take my opportunity to say whatever I feel like saying because I'm mad after all.
Then I continued reading in Proverbs and verse 26 slapped me right across my big mouth:
"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."
This verse says WHEN she speaks which implies that maybe I shouldn't always be talking and at the very least that I should think before I speak.
Her words are wise: this means that I am not to speak empty and aimless words. This is important in everyday life and especially as a homeschool mom.
"She guides her family with words of wisdom and when she speaks it is not gossip, or slander, or idle talk that she utters, but sentences of prudence and sound sense to minister grace to the hearers. In her language to those around her she is animated and regulated by love. She teaches with gracious kindness and ready sympathy." Pulpit Commentary
Have I mentioned yet that I'm thankful for grace, God's goodness and second chances? Well, I am.
She gives instruction with kindness? Oh my word! Lord, help. I say things like, "Just do what it says!" And, "For the love, how many times do I have to tell you?" And other unkind things that I pray my boys won't remember.
I'm not certain I even know what kindness is or even how to be kind right now.
In the Hebrew language, kindness is translated hesed which means unfailing, loyal love, loving kindness, good and merciful kindness.
Meditating on that, I realize that kindness is to be a practice which means it's probably not something I'm good at naturally. I'm selfish and when my boat gets rocked, it's easier to speak my native tongue: harsh and unkind words.
But thanks be to God! Because, in my weakness He is strong! The Scriptures are full of ways to help me watch my tongue, to think before I speak and to instruct me on how to encourage others. We are commanded to speak words of life, to talk to each other in Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges sums up why speaking kindly to others (especially our children at home) matters: "The teaching of wise instruction and counsel she gives is so combined with kindness as to win rather than compel obedience."
Speaking kindly makes a huge impact in my daily life as does trusting in God completely.
"A gentle answers turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
People are listening.
"Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." Ephesians 4:29
I just want to share something awesome about how relational God is. I woke up at 4:30 AM on 1/29/16 to write this for my friends at co-op. I second guessed myself as I always do so I opened up Streams in the Desert to find something to read instead*. This is what God revealed:
God is in the midst of her; she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
"Will not be moved"-what an inspiring declaration! Is it possible for us who are so easily moved by earthly things to come to a point where nothing can upset or disturb our peace? The answer is yes, and the apostle Paul knew it. When he was on his way to Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit warned him that "prison and hardships" awaited him. Yet he could triumphantly say, "But none of these things move me." Everything in Paul;s life and experience that could be disturbed had already been shaken, and he no longer considered his life or any of his possessions as having any earthly value. And if we will only let God have His way with us, we can come to the same point. Then, like Paul, neither the stress and strain of the little things nor the great and heavy trials of life will have enough power to move us from "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding". God declares this to be the inheritance of those who have learned to rest only in Him." -Streams in the Desert
*I shared both my blog post AND the above passage in obedience to my God.