I bless the Lord who gives me counsel

  Most mornings you will find me enjoying some sweet time with the Lord in His word before my household responsibilities get too busy.
   Last April, I started recording in a journal Bible in preparation for my oldest daughter Emily’s graduation from high school in May. It’s kinda like this.
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   Typically, I read about two pages or so and then write out a prayer based on that scripture passage in the journal section on the side. I journal a prayer of my own adoration, gratitude and supplication, followed by a prayer of gratitude and supplication for Emily.
Right now I’m reading through the Psalms.  Today I fed on Psalm 16. I pray it would bless you.  Enjoy.

Psalm 16 (ESV)
1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;  you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

   Father, thank you for your goodness and mercy. There is indeed no good apart from you.  You are my Lord. I worship you who gives me wisdom and guides me in truth. I humble myself, saying You are my chosen portion and my cup. You hold my lot.  It is in You I find my strength. Thank you for giving me counsel. Your ways are not my ways and I thank you for showing me the way that is right, for being a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. You have indeed shown me the path of life. In Your presence is the fullness of joy and eternal pleasures.
  
I lift up my beloved daughter, Emily, to you.  Bless her, Lord, with your wisdom and guidance and fullness of joy. May she seek Your face earnestly today and every day. I pray her heart would be glad in You. May she walk humbly in your presence, at your right hand.
Amen.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who sent me emails and called and prayed for me. I really do appreciate it. I did have a lovely birthday.  Not because everything was perfect, but because I serve a God who is perfect. 

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe.” 1 Timothy 1:12-16 (ESV)

The two worst days of the year

If you were going to name your two least favorite, most likely to be disastrous, days of the year, what would they be?

Guess what mine are.

The first day of school? No.

Black Friday? Nope.

9-11? No again.

Pearl Harbor Day? Keep guessing.

Bear with my honesty, please. Sadly, for many years running, the two worst days on my annual calendar might shock you.

My two least favorite days are …. Drum roll, please… My birthday and Mother’s Day.

I can hear you now. “What???” “That’s gotta be some kind of typo.” “That girl is crazy.”

I have a feeling, though, that I’m not alone in this. I have a feeling that I’m not the only selfish, discontent, hard to please, woman out there.

And before you all join in feeling sorry for me, imagining that my family forgets my birthday or skips the handmade Mother’s Day cards, STOP for you’d all be dreadfully wrong. It’s not anything like that.

Actually, my family tries to do things to please me – breakfast in bed, gifts, cards, dinner out, but you know what? It’s just never enough. I am so deeply entrenched in thinking that every moment of my “special day” should be all about me, that I am destined for disillusionment. I’m certain to be met at some point in the day with a dirty dish, a crying child, or a gift that won’t zip up. The breakfast isn’t cleaned up after, the cards and gifts aren’t quite right, the restaurant isn’t my top choice. Do you feel me, sisters??? The day is never perfect enough and I’m left disappointed rather than delighted.

Now I have a feeling that you are wondering, why I’m telling you this? Why am I sharing this in such a public forum? And why on earth am I telling you this now?

Well, you see, tomorrow marks my 41st birthday and I am determined that my day is going to be different.

Not different because I’ll be swarmed with comments from hundreds of adoring blog followers, but different because I’m determined to wake up with an attitude of gratitude. Different because I’m going to put on joy like a coat. Different because God has put a new song in my heart and I am not the same woman that I used to be, so I don’t have to live like I used to. Different because I don’t have to let my past dictate the future.

Today, I am committing myself to be thankful even for dirty dishes and crying children and pants that are two sizes too small.

Today I’m choosing to be thankful for a family who loves me and a God who made me in His image and who has good plans for me.

Lord, teach me to be content. Teach me to be thankful. Teach me to love others as they show their love for me.

Thank You, Jesus, for making me right where I am and thank You for always growing me to be more like You.

TWIG

Is Jesus the milk, the carrots, the crust or the jelly??

Bear with me. I know that title was bizarre, but as I lay quietly in bed last night meditating on God’s goodness, I had this amazing visual illustration. It went something like this.

Imagine you’re sitting down for a quiet lunch. It’s just you. You’re sitting at a large, round, oak dining room table. In front of you sits a tall glass of skim milk and a small white plate holding a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread and a half dozen of those little, bite-sized raw carrots.

Maybe you’ve heard the analogies about Jesus in your life like He’s in a house — like do you keep Him on the porch, or in a closet or maybe He’s allowed into the formal living room … Or do you invite him in to the kitchen where you really live?

Well, I’m kinda a foodie — No, I’m seriously a foodie and God spoke to me through this FOOD-related spiritual picture. Let’s see if any of you can track with me.

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So, is God my nice, healthy, good-looking tall glass of clean, white skim milk? Kept at arm’s length, and good for washing down anything distasteful in my life?

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Or is He my side of carrots? Good for me, full of vitamins and crunchy to the teeth? He’s made it on the plate, but not because I want Him there — more because He’s supposed to be there. You know, like a necessary but not desirable part of my life. I don’t hunger for Him, but I know that I need Him.

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Or is He the crust on that PB&J sandwich? All around the outside. Visible to the onlooking world. But in my real, every day activities when no one’s watching, I peel Him off and cast Him off on the plate. Maybe when I’m really hungry and I’ve finished off everything else, I pick Him up as a last resort.

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Or is He the peanut butter and jelly of my life? Sweet? Appetizing? Spread thick from edge to edge, filling every empty space and oozing out with every bite I take? Is He my “go-to” favorite? What I run to at every point of need, knowing that He will satisfy both my needs and my desires?

I pray that Jesus would fill my life with all that is good and beautiful to overflowing, that He would ooze out of me with joy and gratitude and that He would be my go-to-first response to whatever my day brings.

TWIG

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