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Thursday
Oct232014

His plans are good

 

"For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29: 11-13, HCSB).

If I could think of one portion of scripture from my childhood, it would be this. Growing up in Christian schools, it was often quoted, often referred to, often given as an answer to life's unanswered questions.

And it's truly a beautiful verse.

The problem is me.

There's an area of my life that's really hard right now. It's been really hard for me to see just how it could be God's plan. Just how it could be good.

That's probably why this scripture has been preached everywhere at me lately.

From online reading, to a class I took, to the pulpit, I've heard a resounding theme "God's plans are good."

It's as if my heart as been asking, do you truly believe this? Or has life's trials and hardships started to wear you down?

As a child this truth was much easier to believe than now.

It's something that is far easier to believe when life is going just fine, when happiness is in sight.

But when I'm in the middle of difficulities, when my days drag on and on, when life has me feeling run down, defeated, it's a little harder for me to take. A little harder for me to believe.

I feel the doubt seeping in.

I don't like to admit that. Already I want to delete the sentences up above. But it's real and true and genuine.

Sometimes I doubt.

In our Influence Network class Tuesday night, Heather Boersma reminded us that the invitation is out there for us to trust Jesus with our everything. She laid out scripture so beautifully, reminded us that God's promise is His presence in our lives, all of the time. All things I know, but it was so refreshing to hear anew.

He's always present. Always near, even when it's hard to see Him at work.

This life can be so painful. It's taken me along time to see that, to experience that. I've been struggling lately, not understanding why I have to go through certain trials, why my life is the way it is.

But He's there, and He has good things in store.

Not a truth I've always been ready to hear, and one that is hard to share when loved ones are going through hard times.

But it's there. It's scripture. And it's true.


So what do we do, when what we feel and what we know to be true don't match up?

Honestly pray, and give Him the befuddled pieces, seek His presence

As Heather reminded us all Tuesday night, God's presence is a beautiful gift that's always there. And this is what happens when we bask in His presence:

"You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in Yah, the Lord, is an everlasting rock!" (Isaiah 26:3-6, HCSB).

He is our rock, our strength, our everything. And so, I honestly give Him my doubt. I give Him the pieces of my everyday. And I let Him grow new life out of it all.

Why?

Because His plans are good.

Gracious Lord Jesus. I know that your plans for me are good and true and right, but I really don't see that right now. Please give me your peace as I go down this hard road. May your presence be evident in my life today and everyday. Amen.

 

Tuesday
Oct212014

Ask

"Do you sense your own need for a stronger faith? If so, follow the example of the disciples [see Luke 17:3-5] and ask Him for an increase. Thank Him that He has given to every man and woman a measure of faith--and then ask Him to increase the measure He gives to you. Ask Him to perfect whatever is lacking in your faith" (Chuck Smith, Faith, 296).

I am my worst critic. I see my imperfections as a friend, a wife, a mother. I will criticizing myself, pointing out my own lack of faith, lack of trust in God. I see the weaknesses there, I know there's room for growth.

I loved these words up above from Chuck Smith. We just have to ask. If we see an area that need improvement ask. Ask for increased faith. Ask for help forgiving, for getting over resentment, for doubt that has creeped in. Ask.

Pray and ask.

Ask for the faith to trust Him with your insecurities, your struggles, your pain, your sickness. Ask for the faith that seems lacking.

Ask.

Thursday
Oct162014

Planting

"By obediance to the truth, having purified yourselves for sincere love of the brothers, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again--not of perishable seed but of imperishable--through the living and enduring word of God" (1 Peter 1:22-23).

We talked about this verse in Bible study yesterday. One of my friends mentioned that we are planting a seed in our children (family members, friends, etc.) that can't perish. That seed has been planted on their heart. It may take time to cultivate and grow, but it will, eventually, prosper. Only God knows the timetable, it may take awhile, but, right now, it may just be time to plant. Time to place the seeds. Time to teach our loved ones God's word.

This was so encouraging to me yesterday.

Such a reminder that this life is so much more than me. That God's kingdom has such a great stretch. He sees what's up ahead. He knows when those seeds will begin to grow. But for now, I just need to plant. Invest. Share. Love. Teach my children the difference between right and wrong. Teach them how to serve Jesus with their lives. Plant God's word deep in their heart. And let God grow in His own time.

Tuesday
Oct142014

Autumn Blessings

The last few weeks have gone past like a whirl-wind. From traveling to a conference, going away for a weekend, entertaining here at home, and visiting family down South, we've hardly unpacked.
There have been a lot of late nights, a lot of out of the norm for the kiddos, a lot of hugs, a lot of memories, a lot of fun in this Southern Autumn.

Autumn in the South is a crazy thing. One day we're sweating it out in tank tops and shorts, cooling off with an afternoon swim, the next we're huddled down in sweatshirts and scarves, turning on the heat in our house.
It's crazy, but I kind of like it.
I love that the grass stays green far into winter around here, that flowers and veggables still grow, yet the trees still have an Autumn hue to them. The Autumn colors are nothing like up North, but they still make me smile.
I love Autumn.

I'm finding a certain amount of peace in being here, at this time.

The military life can be so transient. There's so much upheaval involved, between deployments, cross-country moves, rental property changes.

It can be hard to feel settled. Hard to put down roots.

But then, there's the people who love us.

People who we seek out, travel to see, and who reciprocate.

They're family. Yes, they're imperfect, they may even annoy us from time to time, but memories with them are so sweet.

I try my best to capture the moments on camera. I soak up the early morning cups of coffee with my mom, the afternoon hardware store runs with my dad.

But most of the moments are stored up, deep in my heart.

Precious pictures are taken.

Taken when I'm not distracted by technology. When I'm doing little, everyday tasks with those I love.

Who knows how many more such memories I'll have with them.

Life goes by so quickly.

And so, I do my best to cherish the times.

I feel so blessed to have people we miss.

People we look forward to seeing on holidays, vacations to the beach, and random weekends in between.

Some of these people are blood relatives, others are family of the heart. People God has placed in our lives for just a time as this.

I'm blessed because I'm loved. Because I'm missed. Because I have family and friends to look forward to seeing.

I've been mulling over a certain verse lately. In Romans 8:28 Paul writes,

"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28, HCSB).

This is a verse people like to throw at situations. It's so easy to say it, without truly believing it.

And so, my heart has been asking, do I?

Do I believe that God has good in store for my life?

Do I believe that we are in this military life for a reason?

That we have been asked to live this transient lifestyle, this deployment filled, sometimes lonely life?

Do I trust that these children are mine because God placed them here?

That things only happen in this life because He (God) wants them too?

Do I trust that He truly is in control?

That He truly has good things in store for me.

Deep questions, I know.

And so, there you have it.

It's a blessing to be missed.

It's a blessing to live this life God has given me to the utmost.

To love those that He's placed in my life.

To truly believe that He has good in store for me.

To believe that His plans are intentional.

That it's good.


Thursday
Oct092014

The Tongue

I wrote some pretty raw things this morning. Usually I'm pretty free with my thoughts here. This is my encouragement, my ministry, my place to share my heart with all of you. But this morning, I paused, feeling that it wasn't time to share. And so, for now, those words will stay in the archives. 

Words, oh how I love them. They're such a powerful tool. They can be used for so much good in this world, so much encouragement, so much strength. God's word is such a living and active tool. It's so beautiful.  But we have to be careful with words as well, both written and spoken. James warns us about the power of the tongue. Things that come out of the tongue can hurt, and they can't be taken back. Once they've pricked a heart, they can do a lot of lasting damage. In my own life, I speak too freely at times. I speak, instead of contemplating my words first. My husband is so good at thinking before he speaks. I admire that quality in him, it's one that I want to emulate.

"My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness" (James 1:19-20, HCSB).

"So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell" (James 3:5-6, HCSB).

The tongue, words, there's power there friends. Power for good, and for bad.

I pray that my words here, at Deployed Heart, serve to encourage and strengthen you. That you leave this little online home renewed, encouraged and seeking Jesus. Always Jesus.