In speaking to the children of Israel regarding the chastisement that will come if they fail to keep His commandments, God rebukes them in Deuteronomy 28:47 “because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart….”
In Deuteronomy chapter six, Moses addresses the children of Israel as they prepare to enter the Promised Land. In verses ten and eleven, he shares the blessings that await them: “And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land….to give thee great and goodly cities….and houses full of all good things….when thou shalt have eaten and be full;”
Verse twelve follows with this warning: “Then beware lest thou forget the LORD….”
What a tragedy it would be, amidst all the blessings in my life, to forget to give honor and praise to the One who provides it all. Yet how easy it is to let days slip by without expressing gratitude to God for His goodness.
Just as the Israelites would face many battles before they possessed Canaan, so I may be in the midst of a trial and, despite all I’ve been given, just not “feel” blessed. On those days, may my mind be filled with the truths that God’s grace is sufficient, my eternal future is sure, and His power is limitless.
As I apply this principle in my own life, I am to follow the command of verse seven: “….thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…” What a joy-filled home can be mine if I will not forget – and teach my daughters not to forget – to acknowledge all of our blessings and the God who has provided them!
Visit Nan at Mom’s the Word for Making Your Home Sing Monday.
As I navigated the zoo that is Walmart on a Saturday afternoon, I crossed paths with a woman wearing a shirt that said, “I’m not a nag; I’m a motivational speaker.” I had to chuckle as I passed, thinking how nice it would be if nagging could truly be interpreted that way.
However funny the saying may be, it certainly points out a truth that I need to evaluate in my own life. Am I guilty of nagging my husband and my children?
In another lovely reminder of the passing of time, I went to my doctor’s office last week for my annual checkup. As I sat in the waiting room, I scanned a newspaper article about young, successful business men and women. Each was asked to give a piece of advice that he or she had found helpful. The following saying caused me to put down the paper and meditate on it’s words.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” Erma Bombeck
How ironic that on that very day I had used another quote from Bombeck in my blog post. As I considered her words, I questioned how I was doing with the talent that God has given me. Am I daily seeking to use it (or them) in the way God would intend?
Each season of life offers a different challenge and, I believe, a unique opportunity to make use of our gifts. Am I to be encouraging someone else through a thoughtful note, serving in a particular ministry at church, doing outreach in the community? Especially as a wife and mother, am I using the abilities I have been given to build a home that would be pleasing to God?
Whatever my talents, I pray that I will use each of them in a way that would be pleasing to God and accomplish the work that He has set for me to do. Today may I unwrap the talent with which I’ve been blessed and use it for His glory.
Visit Tuesdays Unwrapped hosted by Chatting at the Sky.
Found in Genesis 24, the story of Abraham sending Eliezer to find a bride for his son, Isaac, is one of my favorite Bible passages. As the servant prepares for his journey to a far country, Abraham says in verse seven, “The LORD God of heaven….shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.”
God always prepares the circumstances for His will to be accomplished. If there is something God would have me to do, He will prepare the way. His timing will be perfect, the people around me selected by Him. As I study God’s Word and seek His face in prayer, I may rest in Him, realizing that He can arrange things far better than I ever could!
Just as Abraham was seeking the best for his son, so I do for our daughters. May this truth give me peace not only in my own life, but also as I entrust their future to His plan.
My dad is one of the wisest men I know. Occasionally I have shared here quotes or advice that he has given me. His two most oft-repeated statements when my siblings and I were growing up were “Life is not fair” and “Attitude is everything.” Let’s just say that those words covered about every situation we encountered.
I am consciously passing those same sayings along to our children. There are never-ending opportunities to put them into practice. Case in point: On Saturday night, at a church carnival and cookout, one of my daughter’s got to go on a hay ride twice while the other daughter only got one turn. Sure enough, out of the mouth of the one who thought she had been shortchanged came the words “But that’s not fair.” All I had to say was, “And what would Granddaddy say about that?” While she may not have liked it at that moment, she got the point. Someday I hope it sinks in and that both of our girls will understand that, as much as we might wish it was, not everything that happens in life is fair.
In reading my recently reviewed book, Muthering Heights, I recalled another piece of advice that my dad shared with us. I found this suggestion in the book as well and believe that it is so helpful. In life, make sure that you always have something that you can look forward to taking place.
In a big picture way, this could be a future activity for which you’re planning ahead. For example, in December we are taking our girls to see the play “A Christmas Carol.” In preparation for this, we are reading the book aloud at night and talking to them about what we’ll be seeing. The girls also know that we hope to take a trip to Disney World some time next year and we all enjoy discussing that possibility.
However, on a smaller scale, I think it is great to have something to look forward to each week. Whether it’s a family activity or something just for you, it brings a little spark to life if you know something enjoyable is just ahead. It could be an hour of shopping time alone while your husband or a friend watches the children. How about taking half of nap time and sitting down to read two chapters of a book and refusing to feel guilty about all of the housework that’s not being accomplished? Maybe it’s a scheduled date night with your husband, a mom’s morning out program or a surprise picnic outing with your children. However small it is, make time to put something on your calendar each week that you can look forward to.
So what am I looking forward to this week? Helping out at the girls’ school on Friday morning, then doing a bit of shopping by myself before picking them up that afternoon. That’s why I’ve been ironing like a mad woman this morning and will try to get ahead on my other chores during the first part of the week!
Do you enjoy the anticipation of upcoming vacations and holidays? Are you able to fit in a small activity during the week that you enjoy? I’d love to hear about it!
I’m taking a quick break from my recent Wednesday discussion of the fruit of the Spirit to share a quote that I read this week.
At bedtime, I’m reading aloud The Railway Children by E. Nesbit to my six-year-old daughter. We have enjoyed this story, although due to it’s age (published in 1906) and setting (London, England), the wording is at times a bit difficult to understand. It is not necessarily a “Christian” book, yet this paragraph that I read the other night really spoke to my heart.
The mother in the story, who is a writer, is discussing with her son, Peter, how that the way things happen in books are not always the way they play out in real life. Peter mentions how nice it would be if his mother could write the story of their family and make the current difficulties they are facing go away. Here’s how the mother responds:
“Don’t you think it’s rather nice to think that we’re in a book that God’s writing? If I were writing the book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right – in the way that’s best for us.”
I could sit and meditate on that for a very long time. For me, what it comes down to is a lesson in trust. As I submit my will and desires to Him, I can trust that, no matter what I encounter along the way, God will work out all things not only for His purpose and glory, but also for my best.
photo courtesy public domain pictures