To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth- Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. Proverbs 1:2-6

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Thorn in the flesh?

What exactly was Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was? Or what does that look like in my life? Is it only physical ailments? Or is any persistent trial a "thorn in the flesh"? These are just some questions I have running around in my head. It seems like when I plead for God to take away a trial He says to me "just a little bit longer, I will carry you through this."

I read this earlier today:

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Apparently it only took Paul 3 times of pleading before he gave in and figured it was God's will for him to deal with it. I must be a bit thick, I think. Or I have a LOT of growing up to do. 

Anyway, I need contentment. To live where God has me now, not living for the future and always only waiting for what I think are greener pastures ahead of me. I need to find joy in my trials, and trust that God is doing a good work in me no matter how much I think it hurts right now. If I am honest with myself, it really isn't all that bad. At least not when compared to hell or the promised future glory. 

Live in God's grace and mercy, like a big hug surrounding me. Deep breath. Have peace.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Quiet Time

It only took me 31 years (and after my third baby made her way here) to really get why moms would NEED quiet time. And why getting up an hour or two before the kids and enjoying a hot cup of coffee before the day really starts is so important. I used to hate getting up early, and hate being alone, so why in the world would I ever want to get up early just to be by myself. Made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. But now, with a 5 year old girl talking non stop, and a one year old girl babbling non stop, and a 3 year old boy who is constantly moving. I need that quiet time. NEED. The days that I get it go so much more smoothly than those when I wake up with the kids. This is the time I like to pray. I try praying throughout the day but there are just SO many distractions, I can hardly finish a thought.

Ecclesiastes 4:6  Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

"Two hands full of striving after wind" is a really good way to describe the days I don't get in quiet time and prayer in the morning. I think I'll make this my quiet time verse.

Along these lines, going from two kids to three was harder for me than going from one to two.

Edited to add: A few hours after I posted this here my sister-in-law shared THIS article and it seems I am a highly sensitive parent. Who knew?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Contentment and Complaining

If there is one thing God has been drilling into my head these past few years it is contentment. Philippians 2:14 and 4:12-13 are constantly being brought to my mind. Along with questions like, "how do I not complain when the upstairs neighbor's dog's poop falls on our patio?" Or, "how am I supposed to be content with all 4 of us living in my one bedroom apartment, and I'm doing all our laundry by hand, when I hear others around me complain about all the laundry their washing machine has to do after they return home from taking a cruise?"

These helped me through this.

1) I deserve hell. I deserve much worse than whatever trails I am going through.

2) These trails are actually for my benefit. God loves me enough to put things in my life that make me turn to HIM.

3) I am constantly reminded of how much I need Christ and the gospel. I am as much in need of the gospel to live a Christian life, as I was in need of it to give me life.

4) All things come together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.