Eve didn’t have Social Media…

In this day and age, in the year 2016, we have so many outlets by which to compare ourselves.  Each generation that has come before us, have also had their levels of comparison, but aspects continue being added all the time.  There are a bunch of areas I could delve into today, but I’m going to stick with the one I know the most intimately…comparison of self.

{Although I’m writing today’s blog from a woman’s perspective, I know that there are some great guys out there that read it too….so if you want to continue reading, I would like to encourage you to take a portion of this and share it with your wife or girlfriend, or even your mom or sister.  What a blessing it will be for them to hear compliments from a man they love.}

When I was thinking about this topic, it occurred to me that the most perfectly created woman of the world was Eve…the first woman.  She was fashioned by a loving God who chose characteristics of His own to give this woman everything she needed. Eve was made for Adam; not to serve him but to be a helpmate to him; to be a support and comfort; to be a friend and a lover.  The first woman literally had everything!  A husband that was perfect for her, a garden to tend & be nourished by, beauty beyond anything that had been created yet, and best of all, she could walk alongside the God of the Universe and had conversations with Him whenever she wanted.  Who needs a cup of coffee in the morning when you can get to hang out with the Lord!

Yet…that wasn’t enough for Eve…

Genesis 2:18 is a beautiful statement and I want to share it two different versions so you can truly grasp the joy God had in creating woman:

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” (HCSB)

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV)

We are a complement and a fit helper to our husband.  I don’t want to turn this into an argument, but I do wholeheartedly believe that the man is the head of the household (if you are married) and as a wife, I am called to be a support…not subservient, but not overbearing either.  I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my almost 26 years of marriage where I have not honored the God-given position in our marriage that God has intended.  But oh the joy that enters our household when I am working alongside my husband!  We have a true partnership, but the buck stops with him.

If you are a single woman, or a single mom with kids at home…let me be clear that you are not lacking!  God will give you the strength and resources to fulfill the call that He has on your life as well.  He will also give you men in your life who will be able to come alongside you when you have moments of need ~ please do not believe the lies of this world that says you don’t need a man.  You are missing out on the blessing that God intended to be a partner between men and women!

But let’s get back to the ever so fun topic of self-comparison….

Reading further into the chapters in Genesis, we see a very short story of Eve’s life in the Garden of Eden. Just before Eve was created, we see in Genesis 2:15-17 it says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”  It was after these verses, that God made every living creature and Adam named them all; and then seeing that there wasn’t a partner suitable for Adam, God created Eve.  All was good and all was beautiful and all was as God intended.  And just a few verses later, we read the opening verse in Chapter 3 of Genesis, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

What???  Studying these verses made me realize two things:

  1. The commandment not to eat of the tree of knowledge was given to Adam.  It was his responsibility to convey this instruction to the woman God created for him.
  2. What in the world happened between the good life for Adam and Eve, being fruitful and walking with God…to Eve chatting it up with a serpent and getting pulled in to the trap of the enemies lies.

{and one more thing…do you ever think about how God had the serpent talking…hello world of ‘Narnia’….seriously, I do wonder about that part of how Adam was able to give all the animals names was because he was able to talk with them and find out what they liked…I hope I didn’t lose any of you here…just where my mind wanders sometimes.}

Okay, so here we have Eve alone in the garden and she’s talking with the serpent.  He seems to have asked her just one question, and it very quickly turned into a downward spiral. In the midst of that, I wonder if Eve was trying to prove how well she knew what God said by adding more emphasis to the story. Genesis 3:3 has Eve saying, “but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”  God never said anything about touching the fruit, only eating the fruit.

The serpent continued on, goading her to twist her thinking.  The serpent used Eve against herself….making her doubt that she was indeed a perfect creation.

The serpent didn’t have to show her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other commercial on tv showing people having a “better” life than she had.  All he did was make her question herself.  He made her doubt her identity as a woman created by God.  He spoke to her instead of to Adam (who was incidentally standing right next to Eve when this whole debacle occurred…Gen. 3:6) giving her a misguided sense of authority.  Don’t get me wrong, Adam and Eve were completely together in this journey of disobedience.  They were equal partners in this deception.

What is it in us that were are tempted to compare ourselves to others?  To compare our life to the “what if” life we think is out there that we are somehow missing out on?  That’s where we as women struggle so much.  Some more than others, some days more than others, but we all struggle with remembering our identity…our God-given, God-created identity.

We. Are. Enough.

Genesis 1:27-28 declares, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that does on the earth.” 

God gave us everything that we need! We are created in HIS OWN IMAGE!  God is the Creator of the Universe, so if there is nothing lacking in Him, there is nothing lacking in us that cannot be made whole through having life in Christ.

We do not need to compare ourselves to anyone.  We need to get out of our own heads and stop believing the lies from the serpent (satan) because when we do, we miss out on the blessing God intends to daily give us. Genesis 1:31a says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”  

There you have it my friend….you are very good and God is pleased with you!  Look to Him and trust in your identity in Him!

Blessings,

René

Image-1

 

 

From the Top Down

I have recently been in various conversations with people about leadership.  What does that mean?  Who is in charge?  How is that decided?  These aspects of leadership are present in all areas of our life ~ family, personally, in business, in school, in church….it’s everywhere!  And it’s necessary!

I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase, “Well, you know, it all comes from the top down.”  Or how about, “One bad apple spoils the bunch.”  We saw what happened during the housing crash of the early 2000’s ~ the bank presidents were held responsible for the corruption and deceit and paid for it….oh wait, no they weren’t.  How is that possible?

Usually these phrases are overheard in conversation when there have been negative situations occurring.  In most scenarios, no matter if the “guy in charge” has anything or much to do with someone’s negative behavior, they are still held responsible.  When you are the “guy in charge”, you have a lot of responsibility to know each of the people who serve/work underneath you.

As I think of this “from the top down” idea, there are so many platforms that I’m regularly a part of and can see the effects of negative leadership as well as the benefits of positive guidance.

I’m actually sitting here with a huge smile on my face thinking of how honored and blessed I am to serve with four different groups of women: at church on our Women’s Council, at the high school on the Parent Association Board, with the women who are my accountability partners with my ministry, and in my life with my three daughters.  All of these women are very important to me; all of them speak truth in love to my heart; all of them help to hold me accountable; and all of them want to see me fulfill the potential of the call that God has placed on my life.  Serving in each of these venues (yes, today, I’m calling motherhood a ‘venue’) has been a delightfully joyful challenge of a lifetime!

There will always be someone in your life that you have to answer to.  Someone who is tasked with knowing all about you and guiding you in the direction that will lead to positive growth.  Even if you are reading this and you are the CEO of your own company, there is still someone you have to answer to: investors, constituents, or employees.  This can be invigorating and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

So how do we make sure that in whatever circles of influence we have, that we are being a responsible part of process?  I am grateful that we have God’s Word to turn to for any and every situation we face.

Being the one in charge of an event, of a company, of a school community, or of a family, requires dedication to operating in a mode of truth, kindness, firmness, and instruction.  And all of those attributes require communication between you (as the “boss”) and the people you serve.  Yep, I said ‘serve’ ~ and all that entails: to lead, to guide, to render assistance, to be of help to, to perform specific duties.  The best way to have your people organize a coup is to be an unrelenting boss with unrealistic expectations.  This may look like an all out overthrow and you lose your job, or it may look like a 2 year old throwing an entire snack cup of cheerios all over the floor in a high end department store.  Oh yes….that happened!

By God’s design, we are created in His image…so…we have the tools in our brain to be a great boss!  When sin entered the world, those tools have been misplaced and sometimes just flat out lost.  God is the ultimate example of “from the top down” business/family model.  His greatest service to us was to send His own Son to die on the cross in order to bring restoration and reconciliation to our relationship with Him.  What incredible sacrifice that was endured by God the Father and God the Son, and what great joy for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in us and among us because of that sacrifice.

There are countless verses in the Bible regarding how a master and servant should treat each other; how a business owner and employee should treat each other; how a husband and wife should treat each other; and how parents and children should treat each other.  Although there are definitive roles that each of these people carry, some with more authority that others, they are all called to treat each other with respect, with wise consul, with clear communication, and with kindness.

No matter what the locale of a situation is that is seemingly swirling out of control, you can usually look to the top of the chain of command to see why things are out of control.  Whether in business or with your family.

Or just within your own self.

What’s at the top of our body?  Our head…our brain…the CEO of our attitudes.  Without answering to the Lord through worship and spending time in His word and in prayer, then our heart and mind will not be able to function as it is intended.  When we have the ability to see our life how God has planned, we can live in the gifts and talents that God has given us!

Remember that cheerios bit I told you about a few paragraphs above…I do believe that they actions of my 2 year old that day (and many many many days after that) were a physical manifestation of bad management…ie: the momma melt down!  I was in a season of life where we moved to another state for my husband’s job.  I was all in favor of supporting him, his career, and yes, the increase of pay!  I wasn’t all in for the isolation part.  Two little kids, no family in the neighborhood, no church family…just hot, humid, sticky, red-ant filled life.  I was not allowing God to be in charge of my heart and mind.  Thus, my job as a mom was severely faltering. And people…my toddler…were revolting against me at every turn!  I’m thankful that the Lord (and my family!) were patient with me, helping me gain back sanity and the ability to allow the Lord to be in control of my life again.  And those 2 year old temper tantrums stopped too!

Let me encourage you today to take a look at all the areas in your life where you serve. Ask the Lord to help you see where you can improve and what things you are doing that are great!  It’s okay to ask the Lord to show you the positives too!  He wants to celebrate you as much as He will correct your path!

John 15:14-16 is a beautiful declaration of God’s heart toward us, You are my friends if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

We don’t just have a relationship with the Lord, we have a friendship with the God of the Universe!  He does not see us as servants, but as friends.  And through that friendship, we can have all other relationships flow through the truths we know are secure in the Lord.

John 15 verse 15

Blessings,

René

 

Framed by Grace

Have you ever gone to a museum?  I mean, to really go and appreciate the art and the artist? This past summer, we had the amazing privilege of visiting several museums, galleries, and palaces on a trip to Italy and Spain.  It was truly the trip of a lifetime for two reasons ~ our entire family of 5 traveled together and my husband’s fabulous company that he works for basically paid for our time there!

At each point of sightseeing, we took in each scene with great delight and considered the awe of the history that we were witnessing.  I actually think that I paid more attention to the places we went to, because I wanted to make sure that we were taking into consideration the huge blessing of the fact that it was all being paid for by someone else.

To see works of art in Spain: the Picasso museum in Barcelona, along with the art park showcasing the works by Gaudi, and of course the 100+ years of on-going construction of the Sagrada de Familia there….breathtaking!  The King’s Palace in Madrid; the 900 B.C. monastery in Toledo; and the architectural details of just about every building in Valencia!  WOW!  Every day was an artistic adventure!  Being able to be with my daughters and see Michelangelo’s David, in person, stationed in front of the Palazzo Vecchio (the government palace & residence of the Medici’s in Florence, Italy) was absolutely breathtaking.

All of these memories come to mind easily, because I have all 1200 pictures I took on that trip as a rotating screen saver on my computer.  All the fun we had as a family, all the places we saw, all the beauty of the artwork ~ I’m reminded of it every day.  And it just dawned on my today, how that trip was completely framed in grace.  Our family was given something we didn’t do anything to deserve.

Grace ~ the undeserved gift of salvation that we are offered by God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to die and rise again in order to bring us to a reconciled relationship with our Creator!

While I was praying about how this theme of “framed by grace” could be translated into this blog, the Lord gave me the recollections of all those amazing pieces of artwork I saw this past summer.

I remember thinking how the framing process is the last piece to the artistic puzzle.

First, the artist comes up with an idea and out of his passion, he creates a masterpiece.  It is something to be shared and displayed, not hidden away or put in a stack of papers on a desk.  Once the piece is finished, the decisions begin as to how to best frame the artwork.  What color should the mat border be?  Should there be two colors or just one?  What color frame? What type of wood?  What style of frame?  Should it have glass on top, or just the framing? What kind of materials should be used for hanging it….metal nail hook or wire?  So many decisions to make sure that the frame is worthy of the precious and priceless piece of art.

My friends, YOU ARE the artwork!  You have been specifically created by God and are precious in His sight.  The color of your hair, your eyes, your skin…your height, the freckles on your nose, and the size of your feet.  Every little detail has been carefully chosen by The Creator of the Universe. Part of the artwork of your life is also inclusive of the seasons of your life.  The Lord does not just paint one setting for you to live in…the art of your life is fluid and changing, and all a part of His plan.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT), You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

Psalm 139 verse 13-14

And He has framed your life with His grace.  You are His child and His creation. He wants you to be surrounded with His love and with the tender relationship He desires to have with you.  He wants to show you off to the world and say, “Look here!  This one is mine!  Isn’t she beautiful!  Look at the way her eyes sparkle when she is singing songs of worship.  Look at the love she showers upon others who are seeking encouragement.  I did that for her!”

If you have followed the Lord for your whole life, or just for the past week, you already know that the life of Christian isn’t all daisies and roses.  There are trials in our life ~ but even that part of our life {the struggles} are STILL framed by God’s grace.  We are still hemmed in on all sides.

Psalm 139:5 (NLT), “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”

Like a garment is hemmed ~ with the express intention of keeping that piece of clothing from unraveling.  We are hemmed in by God into His frame of grace.  We may feel like our life unravels at times, but we always have a safe place within the calming strength of the Lord.

1 Peter 3:3-5 (NLT), All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”

What a remarkable truth that we carry in our hearts when we follow the Lord!  The salvation God has gifted to us, resulting in a priceless inheritance and an everlasting relationship with the Creator of the universe, is truly a precious and irreplaceable work of art that has absolutely been framed by Grace.

Go boldly forth today and every day, with joy and authority, sharing your story of how God has framed your life by His goodness and His grace.  We all have a testimony to share ~ someone needs to hear yours today!

Blessings,
René

Psalm 139 verse 5

Honest “No” vs. Dishonest “Yes”

YES ~ to give an affirmative reply to; give assent or approval to.

NOto reject, refuse approval, or express disapproval of.

Has this ever happened to you…the phone rings (or you get a text notification) and before you even answer the call, you knew it was someone calling to make a request. May be a request of your time, your talents, or even a monetary request. And as you use your most congenial voice, saying “Hello”, you know that your calendar is so full that you cannot possibly say yes to the event that you are being requested to help with. Or possibly you have reached the end of your budgeted “extra” money?  All of these thoughts swirl around in your brain like a blender on high speed, and a feeling of panic overtakes you.

“What will they think if I say, no?”

You know that you have the ability to help out at the school fair or to babysit a friends little one; or you finally get the call from a mom inviting you to a luncheon that you’ve always wanted to be invited to!  But…you already have a commitment that day during the same exact time. All of those things can go rushing through your mind in the span of seconds. What do you end up doing?

You say yes to that committee, you say yes to that school event, you say yes to the church event, etc. All the while knowing that by saying yes to those things, there will be other parts of your life that will suffer because you are adding too much to your calendar. Or as they say, you’re adding too much to your plate.

That last phrase made me think how about 10 years ago we decided to stop eating on our dinner size plates and changeover to the luncheon size plate. It was a physical and visual help to our whole family as we restructured what our eating habits needed to look like. It works!  You cannot put as much food on a smaller plate. (Yep…that’s my college class of “physics for poets” paying off big time there!).

But then there are those days where you attend a function and they have the bountiful buffet table spread before you. Sometimes, well most of the time, you get back to your table and you set down your plate and you exclaim, “Oh my goodness! How did I get this much food on my plate! It all just looks so good and I knew it would all taste so wonderful, I just couldn’t decide and so I just took a little bit of everything.”

I don’t know about you, but after experiences like that, and after finishing a plate that is too full, I feel horrible for the next several days. My body cries out to me, “Why in the world did you do that to me!” My friends, this is exactly what our mind and our hearts cry out to us when we have put too many things on our calendar…making our plate too full. The time with our spouse is diminished. The time spent playing with our children doesn’t happen because we have to spend time preparing for that extra event.  Time away from home causes missed opportunities elsewhere.

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m all about being involved in my community; be it my family, our church, our neighborhood, or my kids’ schools. It’s very important to be involved and get to know how we can best serve those communities with the gifts and talents that God has given me.  I’m talking about balance here and how to achieve it.

Matthew 5:37, “But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.” 
2 Corinthians 1:17, “So when I planned this, was I irresponsible? Or what I plan, do I plan in a purely human way so that I say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” simultaneously?”
James 5:12, [ Truthful Speech ] “Now above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. Your “yes” must be “yes,” and your “no” must be “no,” so that you won’t fall under judgment.”

These three verses are just a sampling of how God’s Word encourages and admonishes us to be careful with our speech and the actions that follow.  We are created in God’s image, and as such, we are a reflection of Him.  God keeps His word and never makes a mistake in His answers.  We are called to those same standards as followers of Christ.

I used to get so conflicted about deciding what events to be available for and what not to. I would fall into the trap of wanting to be liked and accepted by the other moms at school, so out of fear of being left out, I would say yes to things that I knew I truly did not have the time or resources to participate in. But isn’t that what we do? We volunteer, and then we volunteer some more, and then we volunteer some more. To what end? We get home at the end of the day and we don’t have anything left emotionally or mentally to give our family. We work so hard at times to gain the approval of others that we don’t realize we are showing our family that they come second. Why do we do this? Why do I not remember that my identity is in Christ and He has the best plan for me…better than I can even imagine for myself.

One way to start changing what your plate looks like, is simply….to think!  Instead of jumping at the opportunity and saying yes right away, give an honest answer that might sounds like, “You know what…that sounds really exciting, but I cannot give you a firm answer right now. Let me go home, look at my calendar and talk with my family and I will get back to you as soon as I know if this will work in our schedule.” My friends, that little moment right there will save you a world of anxiety and frustration!  You may find that you can say yes…and Honest Yes…and it will be a joyful activity to be involved with.

If you have to come back to that person with an Honest No…you are doing two things: 1) You are honoring the Lord with your time and blessing your family with your sanity; and 2) You are making room for someone else to have the blessing of saying yes.  Yes…someone else is out there waiting to be asked.   God may have someone else in mind for that event or activity.  Be patient and trust that God will have you in the right place for a time intended for you to be a part of!  There is no “FOMO” with God ~ you know…”fear of missing out.”  God isn’t on pinterest, facebook, instagram, or twitter. Those outlets aren’t bad in and of themselves, but the credence we can give them in our life may at times be out of order.

An honest no is ALWAYS better than a dishonest yes.  Take a breath.  Pause.  Think.  Wait.  Then answer truthfully and thoughtfully.  Honor the Lord in all that you say and in all that you do.

Blessings,

René

James 5 verse 12

God’s clock isn’t broken…

Why can it be so difficult at various seasons of our life to worry about how and when things will happen that we are anxiously waiting for?  Time is one of the most elusive elements of our earthly life.  It can be liberating but it can also seem completely suffocating.  It all depends on the situation at hand.

Doesn’t it seem that we LIVE by the clock?  Cramming all that we can (and sometimes not doing anything) into those 24 hours we have each day.  We walk around with our “to do list” on our phone, or a piece of paper, and cross of our tasks as they’ve been completed.  I will tell you honestly, if I do something that wasn’t on my to-do list to begin with, you betcha that I add it onto the list just so I can cross it off!  What is it that is so satisfying to cross off jobs from our to do list?  The feeling of accomplishment?  The feeling that we are contributing to our family, our community, our world?  The answer is a big huge YES to all of those things.  But finishing our to-do list is not to be the main focus of our days.

God created time….Genesis 1:5, “God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came and then morning: the first day.” And in verse 14 of the same chapter, “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for festivals and for days and years.”

{Remember…every good thing that God created, it’s Satan’s number one goal to ruin it…be careful with your time.}

God’s clock isn’t broken….how do I know this?  Because He doesn’t even have one!  And because I believe that Scripture is true & perfect when we read how God created time, for what purpose it has, and for what it does not mean to Him.

Even the dictionary.com definition of time, agrees with this idea: “duration regarded as belonging to the present life as distinct from the life to come or from eternity;finite duration.”

Scripture has a more powerful definition though (of course!).  Many of you probably know the verses in the first part of Ecclesiastes 3 that all begin with “there is a time for…..” ~ however, how many times do we continue reading in chapter three?  The passage below is so beautifully written as to God’s usage of time within humanity.  Time was not created for Him…time was created for us!

Ecclesiastes 3:9-15, What does the worker gain from his struggles? I have seen the task that God has given people to keep them occupied. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts,  but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life.  It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts.  I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him.  Whatever is, has already been, and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what has passed.

If you have to stop and go back and read those verses again…please do so and let them soak in.  There is no point in history, in our own past, and in our future, that God hasn’t already been a part of. In our struggles and in our triumphs, God has been there.  When we have felt that God wasn’t there, we have to take a good hard look at our own attitude and will realize that it wasn’t God who was far from us but that we were far from Him.

I recently saw a post on facebook that said, “No matter how many steps away from God we have taken, it only takes one step to turn back to Him.”  I know, it’s kinda one of those cheesy, dare I say “christianese” type of statement…but it’s true!  I’m not encouraging you to run away with abandon knowing that God will be there when are done running.  That is not the point.  What I’m trying to convey is that at times we make life harder than it needs to be, and we make our walk with the Lord harder than it needs to be.  Christ came to live, die, and rise again, to bridge that deep chasm our sin creates and to reconcile us back to Him.  He gave the ultimate price so save us.  He is constantly ready and waiting to welcome us back into fellowship Him.

The Lord has given us the intellect to plan ahead and a heart to feel deeply and enjoy those plans.  But we have to remember to surrender those plans to Him, to let Him mold and shape those plans into something even better than what we can imagine.  God wants us to enjoy our life…but to enjoy our life with Him first and the rest will fall into place.

You may be getting ready for a new challenge in your life ~ whatever that is, God is already there in it.  No matter the difficulty that is coming, or the sheer excitement of what is coming ~ God is already there.  He is not beholden to the concept of time.  It is a wild thought, but right now while you are reading this, God is with you.  And at the same time, He is in your tomorrow, your next week, and your next year.  And He never changesHebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Many years ago, my husband & I started a business with two other families from church.  Those 8 years were some of the most difficult, most challenging, and most joyful that we’ve ever had.  We learned how to truly trust the Lord with all aspects of our life.  Especially financially.  My faith was stretched to points where I thought I would break apart.  But instead of breaking, the Lord would show me how He had grown my faith to a new place.  I also had a wonderful revelation in the fact that there is no “last minute” with God.  When we had no idea where the money would come from to pay our mortgage and put food on the table, God would always provide (and always in miraculous ways!!) and I found myself saying, “Whew!  God came through just in the last minute!”  But that wasn’t true.

God came through in what I felt was MY last minute.  God came through in HIS perfect timing.  Like we read in the above verses in Ecclesiastes 3, “God works so that people will be in awe of Him.”  And every time, I was absolutely in awe of Him.  

Take every day as a gift of time and make each moment count as you serve the Lord in all the things that you do.  Every action, every conversation, every thought ~ let it be a reflection of your relationship with Him.  And yes…even a nap can be honoring to the Lord!  While living on this earth, Jesus experienced exhaustion and would take time out to rest.  If your a “list” person, make that to-do list but before you start crossing tasks off, pray over your list and give it back to the Lord.  Ask Him to show you what the most important things are for that day.  And if you have little ones and they interrupt you during one of those tasks…stop what you’re doing.  Hug them, see what they have been drawing, watch them do a somersault.  Your tasks will still be there….those toddler years will zip by, so enjoy them now!

Blessings,

René

Ecclesiastes 3 verse 14