I had a moment this weekend, just a typical checking the mail sort of moment, where I looked out my front door and was overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness. It was like coming into a clearing after a long upward climb. Hebrews 12:1 comes to mind:
Let us throw off everything that
hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Those sins, of fear and anxiety and worry and control, which so easily entangle me are finally being thrown off. And for that I am beyond grateful.
31. for His forgiveness
32. for His grace and mercy towards me
33. laughter at watching my son “strut his stuff”
34. a walk in the park on a Sabbath afternoon
35. this place where He has planted me
36. and the freedom to plant my roots without fear
37. watching my little girl conspiring with another after church about what they will play together
38. knowing that no matter what, God has my best interest
39. seeing new friendships form
40. a wave from the boy with his freckly little smile
As I seek to look for the blessings in troubles, versus letting my fears and anxieties take over, I step back from a difficult Monday and look at the ways He carried us through.
My blessings that overtook the shadows of fear…
21. I am home and able to drive a stranded husband to work
22. he has a job that is merciful
23. for sunshine and flipflops on a January Sabbath
24. giftedness and perseverance in my husband
25. friends that come over in the night to help
26. His word that is penetrating
27. the gift of a journey for myself that I never saw coming
28. music that stirs my soul
29. a little girl that longs to make things grow
30. a God that is patient with me, despite my impatience
One of my constant struggles with “taking every thought captive” is planning out how to do things better than I think God is doing. Now, this is not a conscious thought of course, just what happens when I let my thoughts roll into the “what ifs” and “if onlys”.
I am working my way through Beth Moore’s study on the life of David. In our homework from last week we went over the story of Jonathan and his armor bearer heading into battle. He, Jonathan, told the armor bearer to stay behind him so that he could take the brunt of the fight. His armor bearer stayed right with him, behind him, but steadfast and trusting in his leader. He knew Jonathan’s bravery and strength and knew that he would do everything in his power to protect him and let himself be hurt first. (1 Samuel 14) I Samuel 14:13 says, “The Philistines fell before Jonathan and his armor bearer followed and killed behind him”. I quote Beth Moore: “Our enemy will fall before our God. We are only deadly to the enemy when we go behind him.” This quote has hammered into my heart what happens when I try to be the one leading. When I step out in my thoughts and actions, thinking that I know better or know the way or can figure it out for myself, I am leading myself straight into a vulnerable position for the enemy to strike.
And does he ever strike.
…you can’t make it on one income
…what are you doing at home?
…why did you give up on homeschooling?
…you need to think of something else to do to help provide for your family
…why aren’t you working now that your kids are older?
I’ve had one of those days where I feel lost in my thoughts. I’m walking around my house wondering what I’m doing here. I can tell you it’s a day where
I haven’t been on my knees enough,
where I have let those thoughts run rampant in my head,
where I haven’t focused on the blessings and things I am most thankful for…
11. time with my daughter today doing “school”
12. cuddling up on the couch and reading books with her
13. watching her be fascinated with a new computer program
14. time to create
15. time to bake bread for my family
16. planning a sewing project for a friend
17. putting a puzzle together with my chick
19. for days when I have nowhere to be or have to go or have things to do
20. for walking to school to pick up my son
“God chooses the least likely to become most like Him”. I have been chosen by Him, marked by Him
and I am well able to do what he has called me to do.
you are of Christ, and Christ is of God
1 Corinthians 3:23
One thing I’m learning as I seek to retrain my thoughts (taking every thought captive), is that one of the best ways to fight episodes of fear and anxiety is to focus on thankfulness. Instead of labeling all the things that are causing fear, label all the things that are blessings.
This year I am challenging myself to one thousand gifts. It was started (as far as I can tell) by Ann at A Holy Experience. Her new book is racing up the charts on Amazon and it it is on my list of books to read asap. Every Monday, there is a community of believers who are listing out their one thousand gifts and I’m joining in. I’m doing it here for two reasons: one for accountability (knowing that at least one other person is reading this) and for a record for myself. So here goes…
01. listening to my husband pray with my son every night
02. the smell of freshly baked bread
03. the children that come running when they hear said bread timer going off
04. my husband who loves me despite all my faults
05. the cracks in my life that are starting to break apart and shine forth His light
06. the Word that is starting to slowly take root and crowd out my fearfulness
07. a church that is willing to admit it’s faults
08. the surprise meeting of friends at the park on a chilly afternoon
09. the sunshine on a chilly afternoon
10. a warm house