Lately, I’ve had some interesting things happen in my life and if I’m super honest, I can’t say that these things are really great or encouraging. In fact, it seems that there’s been a rather steady flow of seemingly negative things and this can of course be discouraging / disheartening. But my purpose for writing this is to encourage you that if you’re in a rough season like me, we have to encourage ourselves to keep looking up and to keep our eyes on Jesus. I find that when I let my focus dwell on the hardship, discouragement and challenges that I can get overwhelmed, but when I keep my eyes on Jesus I find strength for my heart and hope for my future along with encouragement for the great things that God is doing with Saving Moses. So let’s encourage each other to keep looking up – to keep our focus on Jesus. Like my fb post says this morning: let’s expose our soul to faith & love but let’s guard our souls from fear & doubt 🙂
We all have times when our thoughts can be very dark & depressing – those times when we are not at our best. When I was a kid & would be in a discouraged mindset, my dad would always say, “Sarah, you know in your better moments that these thoughts aren’t true.” My dad would encourage me to make healthy choices with my thinking & not to dwell on negativity or doubt – to be better at believing than doubting. He would remind me of my “better moments” as a path for my thoughts to start moving in a different direction rather than being stuck in the discouragement quagmire. So my friend, lets not ignore reality, but lets also with God’s help, let our thoughts reside in these “better moments”, filled with faith, hope & love 🙂
I’m trying to be more proactive about taking care of my car so that Reece has fewer things to think about and so I’m learning lots of wonderful new things, which of course I enjoy for the simple pleasure of the love of learning 🙂
With that being said, I drive my car almost everyday & I don’t give much thought to the pressure in my tires until something goes wrong. Of course it’s best to maintain consistent and optimum pressure because my car is easier to steer and drives better when the tire pressure is in the right zone.
I think the same can be true for us with Jesus: pressure is part of life and when we keep our eyes on Jesus, He keeps the pressures of our life in balance so that we can live in optimum performance, but the key for me is focus. Keeping my eyes on the pressures in my life can be overwhelming, but keeping my eyes on Jesus helps me to stay in synch with Jesus so He can make pressure adjustments as He sees fit 🙂
We had a very beautiful snow storm yesterday, even though it was treacherous with driving. Instead of going to the gym & working out, I decided to take a walk in the snow through some woods. It was a very soothing walk. In the woods, it was quiet & very still, but along the shoveled path, it was windy, icy & not as enjoyable. I was thinking about the trees and how they spend half of their time getting dressed, putting on leaves & half of their time getting undressed, shedding their leaves.
Sometimes I think we chose paths that seem smooth based on what we can see & feel but sometimes this choice prevents us from experiences with God that can be really rich for our hearts. These are just a few thoughts from my snowy walk in the woods 🙂
From time to time, I like to have people over for dinner & to make a nice meal. My goal is to have some nice fellowship time, to relax and enjoy their company. My goal isn’t to impress them with any cooking skill – if I was doing that, we’d probably need to take them to a nice restaurant. I’m not trying to present a pristine house that is as well kept as a museum or mausoleum. I’m also not trying to make my family seem like they’re people different than who they really are. My goal is simply to have some great fellowship & hopefully the food won’t be a disastrous distraction 🙂
Sometimes in life, I have to be careful to think about my goals & I find that I ask myself some important questions from time to time:
- what is my motivation? Am I behaving based on an insecurity or a false perception?
- what do I really want? Image can sometimes be an elusive adventure into empty froth
- what is God saying in the midst of all of this? Am I pursuing the results of God’s presence or Their actual presence?
I like it in 2 Cor 5:9 where Paul says that he makes it his goal to please Christ – sounds like a noble & good goal to me 🙂
Everyone likes good news & I’m thinking that maybe some tv news programs should consider devoting a portion of the time to something encouraging – but that’s a different topic 🙂
Here’s the good news: we have renovated our Saving Moses website & it’s TOTALLY cool! Not only is the website cool but we are introducing a mobile website with Saving Moses as well now – www.savingmoses.org ! I love it when good things happen & it’s even more cool to share good news to encourage others!
Last, here’s a really encouraging verse: “God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose. Phil 2:13 (GNT)
Listening is an interesting exercise – it requires us to be attentive, engaged & present with the person to whom we listen. It’s also an interesting thought to consider that we learn the best when we listen & not just talk.
In all of this, my most important focus is to listen to God, learn from God & lean into God. For me, I find that I lean & trust in God best when I’m learning from & listening to God. It’s also the converse for me that when I’m not listening to or learning from God, I find it more difficult to lean & trust in God. So lets be great learners, listeners & “leaners” 🙂
First of all, thank you heaps & heaps for reading my blog! Thank you for your very kind comments, thoughts and for the opportunity to connect with some deeper thoughts than a quick tweet or fb post 🙂
I’ve also been thinking about the power of saying “thank you” & being grateful, most of all with God. I’m also super pumped to post this today because we are no where near Thanksgiving – the stereotypical being thankful post. Instead, I wanted to share something that is an important part of our daily routines – gratitude. Everyday I try to take some time to thank God for very specific things – big, medium & small – from the previous day. I enjoy thanking God for all kinds of things like: nice coffee, a beautiful sunrise, some progress with Saving Moses, my kids having a good day at school, the nice chat with a friend and boatloads more! When I start being thankful, it gets hard to stop & best of all, it’s one of the best ways to enter into God’s presence – with thanksgiving in my heart 🙂
Let’s stay thankful!
I’ve been reading about David in the Bible & remembering that he was a man after God’s heart. In knowing this, I’m extremely encouraged because I’ve been thinking about David’s shortcomings. Once David became king, he had lots of mistakes – Bathsheba, Uriah, doing a census at the end of his life, the mess up with Amnon, Tamar & Absalom. Even with all of these failures, poor decisions & shortcomings, David was still a man after God’s heart.
David loved God & expressed his love through repentance, worship & honor.
For me this is really encouraging because I have my own fair share of failures & shortcomings but I’m very much in love w God 🙂
I’ve been thinking some more about the topic of decision making & the results of my decisions. Sometimes the quality of my decisions gets compromised because my thoughts & feelings are in a bad place. When I allow insecurity, fear, hopelessness, discouragement and other dark things settle into my thoughts & feelings I inevitably make mediocre to low quality decisions. Perhaps this is why Paul in the Bible said that we should take captive every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of Jesus. Decisions are often the results of thoughts & feelings, so it’s important to be dialed into that on which we allow our mind & feelings dwell.
This is one reason why Saving Moses is so important – it gives loving hope for a better future to babies & their moms who are in hopeless & even dying situations.