Guide ~ A Five Minute Friday Post

It’s Friday again!  We have taken our son to college and so we have a new normal around our house.  I miss him but I have a peace that can only come from the Lord knowing that our son is where God intended for him to be right now.  He’s at a small Christian university 6 hours from home.  I have been watching the live feeds of their chapel services this week and I am so excited to see how his walk with the Lord grows while he’s there.

Because it’s Friday, I get to do one of my favorite types of blog posts.  I’m joining together with other bloggers to write about one word ~ for five minutes.  The link-up is hosted by over at the Five Minute Friday site.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word is …….

And GO……….

As I considered the word GUIDE, I realized that this week I have had numerous opportunities to pray for others.  Something that I am honored to be able to do.  Some of the requests have been straightforward, but some….well, I wasn’t exactly sure what to pray.  I had the opportunity to pray over the phone with a friend this week.  I honestly had no idea what I was going to say when she answered the phone but I had prayed that God would give me the words she needed to hear.  I prayed He would GUIDE me.

I’ve had similar situations over the years.  I remember the time that I ran into a friend in the produce section of Walmart.  I knew that she was going through a very difficult time.  Honestly, I had no idea what to even say but by the time I left the store, I knew that the Lord had GUIDED me in my words and my actions.  I prayed with her right there beside the lettuce.

I thought of another way that I relate to the word GUIDE.  And it also has to do with my walk with Christ.  I believe that the Lord has plans for us.  Not only are we so serve and worship Him but we are to follow His direction.  How do we know His direction?  We have to seek Him.  Jeremiah 29:13 says……

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Studying God’s Word, spending time with Him in prayer and even the fellowship of other believers are all tools that God uses to GUIDE us.  For me, I just have to be sure that I am paying attention.

STOP

As usual, I have just a little more to add.  When I get discouraged, I sometimes question if I misunderstand what I believed to be God’s guidance.  This is where prayer is so important.  And not just talking to Him but sitting still and listening to what God wants to speak to our hearts.  In those quiet moments, He will confirm and GUIDE us.

Until next time…

Joy to You!

 

 

This post is linked up with others over at Five Minute Friday.  Please hop over and read what others are saying about the word “GUIDE”.

 

 

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Try ~ A Five Minute Friday Post

It’s Friday again!  Time just seems to fly by, especially in the summer.

Today is the day that I join together with other bloggers to write about one word ~ for five minutes.  The link-up is hosted by over at the Five Minute Friday site.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word is ……And GO……

When I think of the word “try”, I think of my mom asking me to taste a different vegetable or food.   I wasn’t brave growing up.  As a matter of fact, I’m still not very brave when it comes to new things.

I’m a word nerd so I really wanted to know how the dictionary defines “try”.  There are two that stuck out to me:

to attempt to do or accomplish

to endeavor to evaluate by experiment or experience

The first goes with my mom wanting me to taste cabbage or liver ~ yuck!  The second took my heart and mind to one of the Psalms that I learned years ago.  Psalm 139:23 says,

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

This verse has been included in many of my prayers over the years.  When I am upset or hurt…when I am nervous or anxious…when I want to head in a new direction, I pray these verses.  I ask the Lord to search me, to “try” me so that in the end I know that whatever I am headed into is with the right heart and motive.

STOP (As usual, I have a little more to say)

Whether “trying” laser tag for the first time or “trying” to start a prayer group at my church, I believe that the Lord wants us to “try” new things with the end result being to bring glory to Him.  I also know that there is another definition of the word that means “to test”.  Yes, we are tested sometimes by the Lord.  Not knowing that today’s word would be “try”, I wrote about being refined earlier in the week.  That kind of being “tried” leads to refinement.  It’s all necessary.  The new stuff and the hard stuff.  It’s not always fun but can always be glorifying to God.

Until next week…

Joy to You!

 

 

This post is linked up with others over at Five Minute Friday.  Please hop over and read what others are saying about the word “TRY”.

Refined

Think back to when you gave your heart and life to Christ.  Did you think that it would be easy?  I was 7.  I hadn’t really known struggle or hardship.  At least not what REAL struggle and hardship is.  I sort of floated through life and honestly, I didn’t even understand what it meant to truly live the Christian life.
Fast forward to college and it was more of the same.  School was hard; I have to really study to make good grades.  I was away from home for the first time and I knew no one at my college when I first got there.  I had my heart broken for the first time, both of my grandmothers passed away my Senior year, and time management was hard.  I thought, in my early 20s brain, that these things must be what people meant when they said that life would be difficult sometimes.  After college, the level of difficulty in life waxed and waned.  There was job loss, my father’s cancer and death, more job loss, financial pressures….
You get the idea!  It really never seems to end.  I have a precious friend who says the difficulties in life are just sanctification and refining.  Since I’m 40+ years into my walk with Christ, I know that she is right.
And the fact that scripture tells us that He refines us also confirms it.  In Jeremiah 9: 7, the Lord says:

“Behold, I will refine them and test them, …”

And in Zechariah 13:9 we find these words from the Lord:

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”

Here’s the good news.  The result of this “refining” is shared with us in Malachi 3:3 where it is said that those who are refined “will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.”  I love that.  He refines me and out of it comes righteousness in my life that I can offer back to him.

I have no idea the amount of refinement that needs to be done in my life.  But I trust that the Lord knows exactly what I need.  I am being pleasantly surprised that in the testing, in the refining, I find myself a little stronger…a little more brave.  I know that it is His steadfast love holding me up…giving me courage.  Such a blessing!

Sometimes it’s the little refinements that make the most impact.  That might seem crazy but it has proven to be true in my life.  As mentioned in my last post, life in our house is changing.  This changing is proving to be a refining process for me.  I pray that I can offer praise to the Lord for the difficulties as well as the victories as we go.

Until next time.

Joy to You!

ALSO:  As I am tweaking the look and feel of my site, some things are a little odd.  Please bear with me as I am editing and adjusting in preparation to change the look of my blog in the near future.  Thank you in advance.

Inspire ~ A FMF Post

In the spirit of wanting to write more, I think getting back in the habit with the “Five Minute Friday” link up is a great way to start.  It’s been awhile so, for those who aren’t familiar with “Five Minute Friday”, it’s the day many other precious bloggers join to together to write about one word – for five minutes.

The link-up is hosted by over at the Five Minute Friday site.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word is ……

Here goes….

What inspires me?  He does!!!

This man that God brought into my life just over 23 years ago and made me his wife almost 22 years ago.  It has been a journey but also a blessing.  He inspires me to be a better mom, a better wife, a better daughter, a better friend.  Most importantly, he inspires me to be a better follower of Jesus.

 

 

 

What inspires me?  They do!!!

 

These kids that God gave to me and my man. They are funny, talented, smart, loving and kind.  They, like my hubby, inspire me to be better than I once was.

 

 

 

What inspires me?  The many people that God has put in my life to help me grow.  My parents, my sister, my in-laws, my friends.  It would be a very long post if I added pictures of all the people that INSPIRE me. {smile}

And my  minutes is up…..but I am going to finish my thought because truly, this is the most important.

What inspires me?

The Word of God

It spurs me on to be more like Christ.  To pray more. To give more. To love in ways that sometimes are just beyond my own ability.

How about you?  What inspires you today?  I’d love to know.

Joy to You!

 

This post is linked up with others over at Five Minute Friday Please hop over and read what others are saying about the word “INPSIRE”.

Change is Coming!

So I’ve been a bit MIA for a VERY long time.  I didn’t want to be.  I didn’t plan to be.  The reality is that I NEEDED to be.  In October of 2015, our life as a family changed.  I wrote a little about that HERE in the 2016 Write 31 Days Series as I shared about the encouragement we received during a difficult time.  Anyway,  from October of 2015 until March of 2016, we really had no idea what God had in store for us.  What we did know was that we were leaving the place we were and looking to Him for guidance…for direction…for assurance that we were in His will.

Fast forward and it’s July 2017.  We have been in the place God sent us for a little over a year.  We love it here.  I mean who wouldn’t love these skies (on almost a daily basis)…

God is so faithful to take us to a place of beauty.  A place where we are constantly reminded of Him.

So back to my topic of change.

In our new hometown, things are different.  Not in a bad way.  Just different.

Our church family is different.  The size is different.  The ministry is different.  The people…well, they are beautifully different.  But their need for Jesus is the same.  Their need to be loved is the same.  I’m thankful that we are called to love and minister to God’s people.

Our school life will be different (this year).  We have home-schooled for 5 years.  I loved every.minute.of.it!  But here, it’s different. Our first year in our new hometown, I continued to home-school.  We are getting ready for the school year to start and this year, our son is headed to college and our daughter is headed to public school.  Both his choice a college that is 6 hours away from home and the decision to put her in public school were decisions made with much prayer.  I take neither lightly.

I know that I may get questions as to why we made the decision for public school.  I know that I may even be accused of not trusting the Lord in our home-school journey.  I pray that instead of questions and accusations, I find support and respect that we are doing what we feel the Lord is leading for our family at this time.

Let me repeat….at.this.time!!!

I have no idea if we will home-school again in our daughter’s school years.  I will be praying daily for God to make it abundantly clear to us what His will is.  And I trust that He will.

Other changes?  The Lord has been gracious to provide some exciting opportunities for me.  The first is work.  I am now working as a Virtual Assistant.  I am learning so much and am very excited about the journey that God has me on in this new endeavor.  The second is opportunity for me to volunteer at school, at church, and in the community.  I looking forward to seeing how God wants to use me in both this work opportunity and in ministry opportunities.

And lastly, a BIG change is relevant to this my little corner of the internet.  I am working on a new look and logo for Living My Portion.  I don’t have a date in mind to “reveal” these but I do hope to share them very soon. With the new aspects, I also have a renewed desire to share here more.  This is part of how I believe I can minister to others.  Another blogger that I have great respect for has inspired me to really plan what and when I will be posting to the blog.  I can’t wait to sit down and formulate a plan for my site.

I am changing.  Not just in my day to day responsibilities but my focus in ministry.  Although it can seem scary, change is not bad; it just makes things different.    My prayer is that I commit these changes to the Lord daily being willing to change more, or maybe even change back to what was before.

How about you?  Is God calling you to a change in your life?

Joy to You!

 

 

The Words of My Mouth

When my son was just a little guy, he spouted out a curse word in the middle of Walmart! I was mortified.  I quickly looked around to be sure that no one I knew heard my sweet boy’s words.  15+ years later, I still am not sure how he knew the words most less how to use them in context.

As soon as we got home, I made him eat butter….(which may seem strange but he literally gagged at the taste of butter back then).  After a spoonful of butter and a good explanation from me as to why we don’t use words like that, I went to the Bible looking for a verse that he – and I – could memorize to remind us that our speech should honor the Lord.

This verse has been one that I have never forgotten.  Since he was around 3 at the time, I simplified it for him but I can assure you that over the years, I have reminded him of our learning the meaning of this verse.

Recently I have been reminded of the importance of this verse.  I try not to be careless with my words but sometimes, well…it just happens.  God’s Word tells us that our words are to encourage and lift others up.  The old saying about stick and stones – I just don’t believe it.   But did you know that it’s been around for a very long time? Since 1862!! That’s 155 years of taunting on the playground.  I’m blown away.  Here is the other thing that got me.  It is reported that it first appeared in The Christian Recorder which was a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Here’s what Wikipedia (I know, please don’t judge me) says about the phrase, “The rhyme persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.”  But it’s just not true. Words hurt!

I just have to say it again…..words HURT!!

Psalm 64 is a plea for protection from an enemy, from the wicked.  But verse 3 speaks the truth of what is on my heart here.  It says “…bitter words like arrows,”.    And when they pierce us like an arrow and forgiveness is sought and given, there are times that those hurtful words are like a branding on our brains and on our hearts.  I have four words that haunt me.  For over twenty years now, these four words have effected me.  And not in a good way.  Because someone who, at one time was very important to me, said something hurtful I struggle with self-esteem. It’s a hard truth for me to type out loud.

I love what Proverbs says about our words.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

~ Proverbs 16:24 ~

Isn’t this what we should strive for?  Giving “sweetness to the soul” of those we love? Of course, there are times that truth, that is hard, must be spoken.  But God’s Word addresses that too!  In Ephesians chapter 4 when Paul is preaching to the church at Ephesus, he shares that “speaking the truth in love” helps us grow towards Christ.

I’m on a journey in this life.  I am not perfect but I praise the Lord for laying things on my heart that I need to give attention to.  The words of my mouth are something I need to pay more attention to.  I need to let my “yes be yes” and my “no be no”.  I need to use my words to give “sweetness to the soul” of others.  And if there are hard things that need to be said, I need to say them “truthfully in love”.

Until next time……

Joy to You!

 

 


Embrace ~ A FMF Post

Friday is the day that many other precious bloggers join to together to write about one word – for five minutes.  Despite the fact that I’ve not joined in this exercise in a long time, it is one of my favorite kinds of posts to write.  The link-up is hosted by Kate Motaung.   If you’d like to know more about it, click here.

Today’s word hit me as something that I definitely needed to consider.  So here goes…

I love to look up the meaning of words so, of course, I had to see just what the word EMBRACE really means.  Here are a few of the meaning that I found on dictionary.com:

hug…to take or receive gladlyaccept willingly…to encircle…surround…enclose…to include

I like those meanings.  Especially the last five.  It reminds me of the church and how we are directed by God’s Word to treat others.  You know in good times and in hard times.

Thinking about God’s Word, I did a little digging to see if the word EMBRACE is found in scripture.  It is. Sixteen times in the English Standard Version.   Most of the verses that include EMBRACE speak of friends and family embracing, or hugging.  But one passage jumped off the page.  It’s one that I have considered many times as we have navigated our ministry journey.  The entire passage is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8.  Right now, I’d like to focus on a portion of the last part of verse 5.  It says:

a time to embrace,…

You may wonder how that phrase relates to ministry?  For our family, as God has called us to new ministry opportunities, we had leave people we love dearly.  That’s where the “hug” (EMBRACE) comes in.  We’ve had to look at what God was calling us to do and “accept willingly” (EMBRACE), stepping out in faith and to do what He is asking of us.  We’ve had to go to the new places and people and “include”(EMBRACE) them.  But that’s not just in ministry.   I believe that as followers of Christ, we are all called to EMBRACE others.  We are called to “receive gladly” (EMBRACE) what the Lord asks us to take on or go through.  We are called to “encircle” (EMBRACE) the people that God allows to cross our paths, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

My time is up………but, of course, I find that 5 minutes just isn’t enough. {smile}

Let me say that I, in no way, think that our call – or our family – is anymore special than the call God has placed on others.  We are all called to minister to those around us.  I am keenly aware that God has a purpose for all of us.  The one for our family happens to have included being in three wonderful congregations.  It’s a bonus for me as now I have more people to EMBRACE (hug).

I have no idea what – or who – the Lord is allowing in your life that He is asking you to EMBRACE.  Whatever…whoever….it is, know that it is the Lord’s time for that in your life.  EMBRACE it!

Joy to You!

This post is linked up with Kate Motaung.  Please hop over and read what others are saying about the word “EMBRACE.”