Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ups And Downs

"But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29

It's been such a few weeks of ups and downs, and really a bit of a struggle, to be honest.  One minute we're delighting in what God is doing in our lives, and the next minute we're focused back again on some of the troubles.  One minute we're rejoicing about an unexpected gift card in the mail, and the next minute, I'm despairing in the store because it's vanishing more quickly than I'd like.  One minute Andy has the opportunity to earn a little cash, and the next minute he's paid with a thing instead of the needed cash.  One minute we're simply excited and anxious about Christmas, and spending time with family, and the next minute we're thinking about the gas needed to be able to attend the celebrations.

It's like every moment of joy that we can find, the devil is swooping in as fast as he can to rob it from us.   Perhaps that's not worded quite right, because money and gifts are not a source of joy, God is our source of joy.  Seeing God provide in such cool ways speaks volumes to us, to our children, and they will be moments that can be looked back upon.  I've been thinking about that too.  That gift card we received in the mail spoke volumes to my little girl, and at eleven years old, that's going to be something that she'll be able to reflect on for years.  In twenty years she'll be sitting around the Christmas tree with her own family, telling the story of the years God provided.

But for now, it's really a struggle to try and maintain the positive, to try and keep our eyes where they belong.  I could spend every waking second dwelling on the lack of finances, and trying to figure out how to make things work.  But that causes stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep.  Instead, I try my best to focus on what I should be focusing on.

"My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
         In the morning I will direct
it to You,
         And I will look up."  Psalm 5:3

The first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is ask God to bless the day in front of me.  (Wait, maybe that's the second thing, because the first thing I do is think about what day it is and what I need to get out of bed for.)  And I don't ask Him to bless it for selfish reasons, really.  I mean, I could, but I want more than blessings just for me.  Just last night I overheard a conversation among a few of the moms at dance about how they've just been in bad moods lately.  Boy, I sure could relate!  But what I really thought was that I need to get my eyes on straight, and focus on what's important, so that when I'm out and about and in those situations, maybe I could let God work through me to try and bring some joy to someone else.  It's not about me- it's not even about my children!  Though as I sit here typing this up, in the ultimate bit of irony, they're having one of THOSE days where they cannot agree on anything, and it really would be nice if they could just go to bed and start over fresh. Sigh.

"Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another."  Romans 14:19

We're not pursuing things for the sake of pursuing things.  We're not pursuing money because we'd like to be wealthy, we're simply trying to pay our bills and put clothing on our children.  We're not pursuing the luxury vehicles, quite honestly, it would just be nice to be able to drive down the road and not be nervous that this is the time the vehicle is going to bite the bullet and need a major repair.

I want to pursue the things which make for peace.  And peace in our home, in our lives, starts by focusing on the Peace That Passes All Understanding.  Jesus IS peace.  One of the names of God is Peace, or Shalom.  With all the troubles we've had the last few months, I want to submit my heart fully to the God who is Peace, because that sure would be a lovely thing right about now.

May the peace of God flow in our household from this moment on, and may it flow in your household, filling all who meet you with the sweetest peace they've ever known.

"Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you."  2 Corinthians 13:11

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