Feeling Forgotten

As a mom, wife, woman, do you ever feel forgotten? Like everyone else is out doing the important work and you are just left blending in with the pile of laundry on the couch and the stack of dishes on the counter?  Ever have a day of just wanting to escape that blending in? Just wanting to be noticed for something other than meeting a need?

Those days usually hit me out of nowhere. They usually follow a day filled with highs. Then out of nowhere, I am found focusing on myself and my need to be noticed.

Picking up my pen today, I begin to write words of truth.

You see my pain. You see my loneliness. You see my frustration. You see my broken heart. You see my hurt feelings. You see my longing for more in this life. You see my need for rest. You see my need for contentedness. 

You see me making ME the center of my world. 

Oh, it’s the last line that stops me in my tracks. It happened again. I got stuck in emotions that began and remained with ME at the center. But, that realization leads to a clearing of my heart and mind and the beginning of the Lord’s answer to me.

You see me and You say, “Come to me, all who are weary and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

You see me and You say, “I am your shepherd, you shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

You see me and You say, “My compassions never fail.” Lamentations 3:22

You see me and You say, “Abide under my shadow. I am your refuge and fortress.” Psalm 91:1-2

You see me and You say, “I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15

Let His Word wash over you today. Let Him see you. Let Him fill you. Let Him remind you that you are not forgotten. Let Him remind you that you are His.

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What I Learned in May

Psalm 25:4-5, Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

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Each month, I am looking for pictures of paths as I go about my life. I love paths. They depict a journey, which is exactly where I find myself. On a journey. A journey of leaving behind old, non-fruit bearing patterns, and seeking out the path the Lord has for me. The picture I chose for this month depicts my journey through the month of May. Sharp edges, beautiful, rugged, cutting away, some smoothed down rocks, trees rooted holding on to their foundation for life. Yes, that describes my month.

It’s the cutting away that is rough. It leaves me feeling rugged and edgy at times. But, when it’s all said and done, I am smoother. My heart more beautiful. And my foundation more secure.

Thank you, God. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for not leaving me the way I was. 

Books I am reading (which are aiding in my refining):

Books I am reading with my girls as read alouds:

books in May

A Summary of my learning this month:

Let Your Yes be Yes

Matthew 5:37, Jesus says, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ be ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

When I have a deep conviction or belief about something, but I allow something to continue which goes against that  belief, I will have anxiety, unrest, turmoil inside…no peace!

An example of this is our homeschool schedule. If I have a belief that our school day should start by a certain time, but I allow my kids to sleep later each morning, dawdle, procrastinate until past our start time, then I am already beginning the day with conflict within myself. In contrast to this approach would be to clearly communicate the expectations the night before and have a plan in place for how and when the kids will wake up. I can expect there will be conflict and complaints about waking up and adhering to the schedule, but I won’t have conflict within myself. I will have peace within myself because my yes will be yes and my no will be no!

Letting Go of Control

The following quote by Sally Clarkson in the book, Different,  summed up what I am learning about letting go of control, “It is possible to be content even when life feels out of control. And, that as long as we assume we could not be happy until we control all the circumstances of our lives, we will continue to be unhappy.”

My prayer closet preparation for the day each morning, allows me to remind myself of God’s greatness. I speak it aloud to Him, not because He needs reminding of His power or Sovereign control, but because I desperately do. I speak it aloud to my loving Heavenly Father, and then I breathe and rest in knowing I don’t control this life. This life which feels so out of control at times, is actually out of MY control. But, it’s not spinning wildly. It’s being held together. It’s been perfectly planned. And, I have a joy in knowing HIs purposes are greater than mine.

People Need Hope

Through desperate actions, an old friend reminded me how hopeless the world is around us. People around us are taking drastic actions each day. Taking deadly drugs, downing large amounts of alcohol, leaving their loved ones, harming themselves, and even killing themselves because they have no hope. If you are a Christian, a follower after Christ, you have a responsibility, I have a responsibility. We need to be sharing about the source of our hope. Jesus is the only never-failing source of hope, and the world desperately needs to hear our message.

1 Peter 3:15 says,  “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect“.

Whew, and we are on to June. I don’t know about you, but for me, this month has been exhausting. Sometimes the Lord turns up the heat and the growth He takes us through is a bit grueling. But, it’s done in love. Oh, dear one, never forget, it’s done in love. Whatever place you may be stuck in right now, He won’t leave you there. He loves you too much to ever leave you there. Look to Him. Keep looking to Him and He will pull you out of that place. 

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What I Learned in April

Psalm 25:4-5, Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

April Path

A few months ago, I began blogging about my monthly learning. I hope to be a life-long learner and I find it helps to solidify my learning if I take some time to reflect and write about it. I would love to hear about your learning in the comments below. This month, I will begin listing books I am reading or listening to as well as books I am reading with my daughters, ages 9 and 11.

  • Headstands are hard! I used to be able to do headstands  anytime I wanted. They required little effort. Out of nowhere, I began to wonder if I could still do a headstand. The answer is a big fat NO! But, I am working at it. There are YouTube videos with tips to help build up the muscle and balance needed. And, just attempting a headstand is hard work!
  • “Crooked” talk vs. “Straight” talk. “Crooked” talk is saying things or asking things in a sideways way, uses guilt and manipulation rather than just talking “straight”. “Straight” talk is saying exactly what you mean or what you are requesting. Example: “I wish I had some ketchup to put on this dinner.” (Insert whiny voice) Me, “So, think about what you need and what you want to ask me.” “Straight” talk example: “Mom, can you please get me some ketchup?” It may seem like a small change, but I think it can have a large impact. I had noticed a lot of whining and complaining in our house. When I learned about “crooked” talk and “straight” talk, I realized how much  of this complaining could be eliminated by simply stating our requests directly to the person we’d like to ask.
  • Rereading the same passage or chapter of the Bible, over and over again for a month, is an excellent way to gain meaning from the passage. Scripture is truly a living book! My girls and I read chapter 4 of Philippians almost every weekday this month and gained something new each time we read it. Now, I am looking for which chapter we should focus on in the month of May. What is your favorite chapter of the Bible and why?
  • At 9 1/2 and almost 12, my girls are not too old for read alouds! This month, I began reading aloud to my girls during school time for about an hour each day. I am reading science books, fictional books, biographies, and historical picture books. Suddenly, learning came alive! Now when my husband gets home from work, the girls are able and excited to tell about some of our learning from the day. A favorite topic this month has been Ruby Bridges.
  • Spring is a beautiful time for “Nature Walks”. My girls have thoroughly enjoyed checking out books from the library about birds, plants and animals in our area and then looking for them when we are out in nature.
    nature walk abby
  • Books I Have Been Enjoying this Month:
    • 1 Timothy
    • Titus
    • 2 Timothy
    • John
    • Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
    • Teaching from Rest: A Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
    • The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson
  • Books We Have Been Enjoying this Month as Read Alouds:
    • Philippians
    • Among the Farmyard People by Clara Dillingham Pierson
    • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
    • Discovering Evidence for Creation and the Biblical Flood by Michael J. Oard, Tara Wolfe, and Chris Turbuck
    • The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
    • The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America
    • National Audubon Society First Field Guide Mammals
    • Common Wildflowers of Washington and Oregon

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Straight to the Source

To be satisfied. It seems elusive. Only a dream. But, reading the apostle Paul’ s words in Philippians 4, a chapter my girls and I have been reading, re-reading and then reading some more, each and every morning, we see that it’s not a dream. It was a reality for Paul, a human being just like you and I.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4: 11,12. 

God’s desire for me is to be content, satisfied, and at peace with where He has me right now. Rereading Philippians over and over, I am more convinced than ever of God’s desire for me to accept my life and the call He has for me. Each day, my girls and I gain something new from our reading, but each day it centers around being satisfied.

Joy

Thanksgiving

Rejoicing

Peace

Content

Aside from our Philippians discussions, if you have been to our house you know that our cats, Jack and Andy, are a popular topic. We recently changed cat food. Our cats love to eat. Being indoor cats, eating is their main activity. Feeding time is a frenzy. Both cats meowing loudly, rubbing against my legs, my stress level rises as I attempt to open the food bag quick enough to satisfy their meows. Our cats are large. In fact the vet has expressed concern. So, we measure out their food and only feed them twice a day. Tender hearts hurt for our cats when looking at their empty dishes and hearing their cries for food. But one look at their sagging bellies, reveals the truth.

The second the first morsel hits their dishes, they are wolfing down the food. It’s a race for the finish. Within minutes, both cats are done and their dishes are empty once more. Jack takes his stance back over by the pantry door, where he resumes begging for more. He just inhaled his entire meal and will not be fed again for 12 hours, but he is not satisfied. The cheap, grocery store cat food left him wanting more.

Recently, Andy, our oldest cat, began showing signs of having a food allergy. A trip to the vet left us reconsidering our food of choice for our beloved pets. So we did what any other concerned pet-loving family would do, we watched an entire documentary on pet food! Next came a trip to the pet store. Spending far longer than I care to admit at the pet store: reading labels, comparing prices, and debating with myself, I left with a grain-free, single-protein source, over-priced bag of cat food. Oh, they are just going to love this!

Andy beggingdish with foodempty dishAndy at dishjack eatingsatisfied AndyPlump cats

Bringing the food home, the cats hear the familiar rustle of the bag and come running. I pour their first serving into their dishes and wait. Andy looks up at me as if to say, “What is this?” Giving the food an inquiring sniff, they lean closer. Andy takes a little bite, then a few more. Now Jack joins in. Next thing I know, I am the one to be surprised. Both cats walk away from their dishes and saunter off to another room. My amazed younger daughter looks to me for an explanation, but all I can do is shrug. “Hmm. I guess they don’t like it.”

This scene replayed each day, as the cats ate a little bit and then left food in their dishes throughout the day. No more begging at the pantry door. No more aggressive pressure during feeding time.

One day while rereading Philippians chapter 4 with my girls once again, my mind stuck on the word content and my eyes drifted over to the still unfamiliar site of a pet dish with remaining food. Could it be, that the cats are content? Satisfied? The new, higher protein food is filling them up? This new food has more of the nutrients they need so they are actually satisfied? Suddenly our repetitive Philippians 4 reading was being lived out right in front of me. 

Paul tells us to meditate or chew on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. He tells us to do the things we have learned to do from God and the God of peace will be with us.

Like the veterinarian telling us a specific type of food to look for which would be better for our cats, or a prescription from a doctor which will bring the healing we desire, the Lord provides for us what we need to produce the satisfaction we desire.

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I can try in vain to fill up on devotionals, Christian books, and magazines. None of which are bad. I can glean encouragement, instruction, and knowledge from such materials. But, nothing will bring the satisfaction and true contentment the Word of God brings.

Why not go straight to the source? Why not drink from the fountain that always satisfies?

  • The Bible is like food for the believer, sustaining our very lives.

Matthew 4:4, Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

  • The Bible is the very words of the Lord.

2 Timothy 3:15-17, And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

  • The Bible is our instruction.

Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Is the emptiness swallowing you up? Are you finding yourself always needing more? Never reaching the point of true contentment? I challenge you to feast on the Word of God. Put the other sources aside for the time being and see how the Lord will sustain you, fill you, satisfy you. 

Faith Becomes Their Own

2 Timothy 3:14-15, But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

In my early 20’s, as a new Christian, I remember being in a Bible study group of women, each giving a brief recount of our testimony. The Lord had graciously given each woman a testimony. A story of grace, forgiveness, redemption, healing…beauty. I distinctly remember one woman starting her testimony with a bit of an apology.

“Oh, you guys all have amazing stories. Wow. I could listen to you all day,” she gushed. “I am afraid my story isn’t as exciting. There isn’t really any drama. No real high point, but no low point. I just grew up always knowing the Lord.”

She may have continued on a bit longer, but I am not sure. I was stuck on those last words uttered from her mouth, “I just always knew the Lord.”

As a new Christian, I was elated about knowing the Lord. I couldn’t believe I had lived so much of my life without the peace and joy He was bringing to my life. And to think that this woman “always knew the Lord” just blew my mind. And, to hear her tell her story as if it was some kind of let down, was beyond me.

What a blessing. What a privilege. What a story she had.

From that day on, I took special note of the people God brought into my life who could not remember a time of not having the Lord. I often asked them many questions.

What I really wanted to know was what did their parents do to instill that knowledge of the Lord?

Most often what I heard came down to this…Jesus was at the center of everything. They talked about Jesus. They studied Jesus. They went to a church that taught about Jesus.

Okay, I can do that. I can tell my children about Jesus. We can learn about Jesus together. And, for sure, we will search for a church that teaches about Jesus.

I made this decision years before becoming a mom. Our daughters came and life became busy, distracted, loud, and messy. But, the decision to include Jesus in all that we did remained.

Our girls are almost 12 and 9 1/2. I don’t know what the future holds for them. But, I am holding onto these promises:

Deuteronomy 6:7, You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I see my girls sharing their faith and testimony with others and I know the Lord’s truth has penetrated their hearts.

The following 3 ideas are helping to give our girls their “own faith”:

  • Tell them stories about God’s presence in their life, from the earliest time you can.

The first “God story” I shared with my girls was their adoption stories. Both of our girls have unique, God-orchestrated stories of how God chose them specifically for our family. Our oldest loves hearing about our meeting her birth mom and biological sister a week before she was born and how her biological sister was the one to choose us to be her parents! And, our youngest loves to hear about how if the doctor hadn’t made a “mistake” and said she was going to be a boy, she may have gone to another family. That family only wanted to adopt a girl. Oh, God, you do have a sense of humor!

Another story my girls love to tell about God’s amazing, incredible power and provision took place in the snow. Our oldest was 3 and our youngest was 1. We encountered a sudden snow storm when we were driving home one night. We lived up a very steep, long hill. My husband pulled over to help a lady that was stuck in the ditch. When he got back in the car to continue up the hill, we just began sliding backwards down the hill. I began praying out loud, “Help us, Jesus. Help us, Jesus.” The girls began repeating the words in their sweet little girl voices. We came to a sudden halt. Certain we had backed right in to something causing probable damage, my husband got out to inspect the car. He got back in a minute later looking a little pale. He explained that there was no damage because there was nothing behind us to explain the sudden stop. We know, without a doubt, the Lord heard our prayers, and saved us.

My girls tell those stories to others, to anyone who will listen. They tell others about God’s presence and activity in their lives. I encourage them  by reminding them that those stories are theirs to tell. God gave them those stories not only to remind them of His faithfulness, but to tell others so that they may come to believe in the same power.

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  • Share what God has done in your own life.

Tell your children your testimony. Don’t try to paint a perfect picture of your life. Tell them about how you have limped through life at times, and leaned on God for your strength, healing, and power. Show your children that you know the God of the word not just the word of God. “People may profess with their mouth’s, yet deny him with their lifestyle. True righteousness is evident in the heart of the life that has been reborn, renewed by the power of God. The outward behavior reflects the inward transformation that has taken place.” Quote from Virtue Harvest women Bible study series.

  • Share God’s word and what He says about His love, authority and provision for them.

First, you must be in the word.

Next, share with your children what you are reading and how God is using that in your life.

Next, teach your children the word. There are many different ways to do this. We have used devotionals, Bible reading plans, independent Bible reading assignments, and Bible studies. Also, be sure your children are learning the word at church. Talk about what you each learned at church on the way home in the car.

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Our families are surrounded by evil in this world, constantly trying to deceive us, whispering lies in our ear. We can combat that by allowing God to be God and to shine all over our lives.

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us each a story. It doesn’t matter how young or how old we are, because we were created by You, we have a story. Help us to share our story and the works of your hands with our children. Amen.

 

Back to the Basics

“I am just overwhelmed with how to get it all in…” my homeschooling mom friend and I commiserate about our schedules and determining what to teach. “My son worked on algebra all morning yesterday! He never once picked up his history or literature books!”

“We overslept and then had a cooking project we worked on all morning, ” I fire back.

“What science curriculum do you use?” another friend inquires, “I haven’t even touched on science with my kids,” she continues.

I am hearing a theme lately among my homeschool mom friends. It’s a theme I heard throughout my time as a teacher as well. “There’s just so much to cover and so little time. How do we get it all in?”

Refinement. I have heard it said our greatest refining comes through marriage and parenting. In order to have any peace as a spouse or parent, we have to allow the Lord to refine us, remake us, soften us, mold us into the instrument He can use. But, I have found another area in my life in which the Lord is greatly using to refine, cleanse, and change me: homeschooling.

She came to me, sobbing, rightly confessing her wrong doing. Genuine in spirit, no prompting, no guilt, no pressure from any source. Broken hearted over her sin. Broken. An opportunity for God’s love to better reach into her brokenness…my brokenness. 

Continuing on, my daughter explains the distant feeling she has had lately from God. Hesitantly letting the words slip out about wondering if God will hear her if she does go to Him. Her eyes shyly reach up to mine, fearful of what I may say. Fearful of what she may see in my eyes.

I am quiet. For I know of what she speaks. Small repeated sin, creeping in. Slithering between her and the God she does love. The God she does know. The God she has come to trust in dark hours.

Oh, dear one, I know this distance. I know the guilt and shame. I know the space between you and the Lord growing ever bigger and darker. And, I know that it is not the Lord that moves.

Dear one, I also know the Lord’s voice when He continues to call to you, even when you silence that voice. I know, because I have been doing it for weeks.

My turn to receive His cleansing. Dear one, the Lord has been calling me to refocus our days. He’s been telling me to go back to what He first told me about homeschooling. He’s been prompting me to see that it doesn’t matter my children’s age, they still need teaching from the Word and prayer to focus our hearts each day. He’s been reminding me of what He showed me last school year…a child with a deep knowledge of history, science, and math, without a deeper knowledge of Him and love for His Word, will be lost in this world.

Dear one, I have put math facts above the God-breathed instructional manual.

I see it in your eyes. I hear it in your voice. Your heart is heavy. And, I can no longer ignore the Voice that has been calling to me for weeks.

I am sorry, dear one. Your soul is more important to me than any academic learning.

Dear one, I have been neglecting my part in instructing and preparing you for the spiritual warfare on this Earth.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 ring in my heart:

Matthew 18:6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Although I didn’t model the sin, I didn’t encourage it, and I didn’t endorse it, I wasn’t doing the last thing the Lord told me to do in order to equip my children against the evil in this world. I must take responsibility for my part in my daughter’s broken heart over her sin and separation from the God she loves.

I  remember our times of closeness with the Father. The times my daughters uttered beautiful heart-felt words in prayer. The times when their Bible journals overflowed with art capturing the glory of the Word we read.

I cannot change their hearts. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. But, I will be obedient in teaching the Word and allowing time for my dear ones to hear from the Lord.

Math can wait. Instruction from the Almighty can not. 

I will return to the Lord I love.

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Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Who is the Author of Your Instructional Manual

About a year ago, my daughters and I sat down to play their beloved game, Monopoly. They love choosing their playing pieces, buying up houses and hotels, rounding the board, gathering up more and more money. This is not my favorite game. Maybe it’s because it takes hours to complete. Maybe it’s the set up. Maybe it’s the clean up. Whatever the reason, I tend to groan when they choose Monopoly. Which is why it’s only played once a year in our house, on average.

My youngest daughter set up the board on the table. My oldest daughter finished making popcorn…after all, we would need sustenance to endure this marathon game. I pulled out my chair to get settled in where I would remain until my muscles stiffened and my hair turned gray.

“Here are the game pieces. Which one do you want to be, mom?” Abby asks with all enthusiasm. “You can choose first!”

Oh, choosing the first game piece makes the game more tolerable, I mumble to myself. Let’s see, will I be the metal hat, the iron, or the shoe? The battleship seems to be appropriate for how I am feeling.

“Okay, now for the money…how much money do we need to start the game? It’s been so long since we’ve played, that I don’t remember. Mom never wants to play this game.”

“Yeah, yeah it’s not my favorite. Hmm…I don’t remember how much money. Better get out the instructions,” I suggest.

Mikayla deposits the popcorn bowl on the table and begins to look through the box for the instructions. A minute later, she replies, “I don’t see them, but I think I remember how much we should get.”

She distributes a random amount to each of us and we begin playing. We continue on for what feels like hours, but is probably more like 15 minutes in reality. Abby ends up in Monopoly jail.

“But, how do I get out of jail?” she whimpers.

“I don’t know. I don’t remember.”

This same answer comes out of my mouth when one girl asks how they buy a house on their property. And, then again, when they ask how they buy a hotel. And, then again when they ask what they should do if they don’t have enough money to pay their debt.

“I don’t know.” “I don’t know.” “I don’t know.”

Finally, tiring of hearing my repetitive response, Mikayla blurts out, “We need the instructions!”

Without the guidance, rules and trouble shooting spelled out in the instructions, games can be challenging, and just about impossible.

2 Timothy 3:14 in the Message states, But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Scripture is given to inspire. It is profitable, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. It’s given so that the follower of Jesus will be ready for every good work! Whether you believe it or not, God has tasks for each of us. But, in order to do those tasks, we need to follow the direction manual.

god-breathed-and-useful

I spent the first half of my life floundering. Being lead different ways, searching for what was right. I based my beliefs on the what the humans around me believed. Or, what “felt” right to me at the moment. Jeremiah 17 verse 9 describes the problem with the heart: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

The problem came when my heart deceived me time and time again.

I followed my heart and it left me empty. I followed my heart and ended up hurting someone in exchange. I followed my heart and sunk deeper into a pit.

Nowhere in my life has my need for the Instructional Manual been more true than with being a wife and mother. I had years and years spent studying books on marriage and parenting. Googling the most recent problem we were facing. Searching the internet for answers. Asking anyone for help.

After a while my mind was so confused and jumbled from all my various searching that I really became worse off then when I first began my search. One parenting book suggested giving three chances. Another suggested the opposite. One website advocated for spanking. One for time out. I was completely powerless because I was pulled in various directions.

It wasn’t until I discovered the treasure in God’s word that I began to read His word and be transformed in my heart and mind. I find the Word to be my instructional manual for every situation I may find myself in.

Once God’s love for me and my family began to sink in, and the Holy Spirit  revealed the Truth to me, I could see God’s Word as being another example of how He hasn’t left me alone, hasn’t forsaken me, doesn’t expect me to do this life without Him.

I study the scripture to receive wisdom. I read examples of God’s people facing trouble, being led by the Lord. I memorize His word so it can penetrate into my heart. I seek time to spend in God’s Word. I receive strength through scripture. I gain answers from the Lord. I learn of promises from my Heavenly Father.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

People are looking to leaders of our country to show them how to live. I am not looking to the president to show me how to live. The political leaders do not hold the wisdom or instruction I seek. Jesus is my example. He’s the author of my instructional manual. Who are you looking to?

2-timothy