Tag Archives: ampraying

A Good Work

Philippians 1:6– Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

We can be confident of this: God created us with a purpose in mind. He gave us unique qualities that prepare us for that path, unique struggles that help us grow, and unique perspectives that help us see where we need to go. He started something good in me the day I was born. It took a while (a long while) for me to get started down that good path, but now that I feel I am on it, it’s so exciting to see where God takes me. I want to work for Him every single day, to strive to grow in character until I am ready for the next work He has planned for me. I am so thankful that one day I will see Jesus in person, but until then I am passionately excited about working down here. There is so much I can do to change my corner of the world, and with God’s guiding hand, I know I can make a difference one piece at a time. I may not always have perfect confidence in myself, but I do have confidence in Him–always.

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Pine or Oak?

I Corinthians 15:58–Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

We had a pine tree fall in the wind and rain last night. It had been leaning for months, slowly bending further and further until it could no longer support its own weight and came crashing down, yanking its roots from the ground. It woke me up-the sound of the wood cracking and the monstrous hollow thump when it hit the earth. I went out to inspect things this morning and noticed that as the pine fell it took a branch off an oak tree, but the oak tree didn’t budge one tiny little bit. I’m sure the whole oak tree quivered with the blow, but its main trunk is still just as straight and strong this morning as ever.

I’ve been both of those trees. On my spiritual walk, there have been times I’ve been the pine tree. Feeling the pressure of the current storm, the heaviness of my own worries and doubts. And, I’ve let my roots slip from my foundation and come crashing down. As I came down and let myself become filled with my own failure, I’ve taken others around me down too. Broken my own strong faith and bruised theirs. To my shame.

At times, I’ve been the oak tree, too. Reaching into the sky where my hope comes from, keeping my eyes fixed on God. Remaining strong through the storms. Withstanding the blows of life as they come at me left and right, I’ve held on strongly to my faith, clung even more tightly to God, and weathered the wind and rain. And in those strong moments, others may be falling around me, but, with God’s strong hand, I have remained upright so I can help others get back up.

A forest of trees actually helps protect each other by breaking winds as they rush through. Once people start cutting the trees, rearranging the earth, like we have, the wind can reach weaker trees and pull them down. I imagine that’s what’s happened to our pine tree. They are weaker-rooted, softer-wooded trees and the wind is simply too much for them. We, as Christians, can help protect each other from life’s storms. We can help support each other by lending helping hands, praying for one another, and checking on each other when one is weak. Those of us who aren’t in the middle of a storm, or are and feel stronger, can circle around the one who is struggling and protect them-lend them some of our strength.

I pray that when the next storm of my life comes, I’ll be like the oak tree and remain assured of His strength. I pray that I’ll be a help to someone who needs some extra strength. Surely, I have enough to spare for now. But, I also pray that if I get weak, you will lend me some strength and help hold me up. Together in our faith we are stronger. Together we can continue to work for God and press through the problems. Together with love we can hold each other up.

 

(It’s warm here and we don’t have any ice. Just lots and lots of rain, but I love this picture. I took it a couple years ago here at my house during an ice storm. It was so beautiful!)

Confirmation

James 1:22–But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

I had a hard time with the transition from being foster parents to closing our doors. God called me to be a foster parent and I am so thankful we had that experience. I am so thankful that we were able to adopt our two foster children and make them permanently part of our home. But, that also meant we had to know our limits. We all have them, and though it has been tough for me to admit it, I believe I’ve reached mine. It’s hard because my heart still longs to help. There are SO many children in the foster system, so many infants that need loving homes to help them wean off the drugs they are born dependent on. And it kills me that I can no longer help them.

So when we prayed and realized that it was time to move on to our next callings, there was both relief and sadness. I truly believe that my current calling from God is to write. To pen down the words and thoughts He gives me and create. I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was a very small girl, and I am passionate about it. Being an author is my dream come true. But something about it feels smaller than the difference I was making as a foster parent, and I’ve struggled with that. Fostering was such an obvious change in our lives. Everywhere we went people could tell we were ministering to these children, because there were two more with us. And, though it isn’t about what other people think, it was a bit validating to know that what God called us to do was obvious. We were doing good each and every day, witnessing to others, encouraging people to think about a problem right under their noses they hadn’t thought about.

My pastor read this scripture along with some definitions of ‘doer’ at church last Wednesday. And I was suddenly humbled and elated. God confirmed my new calling for me. Doer means author. I needed that confirmation to show me that I am truly on the correct path now. Writing is doing for God. Authoring-writing with inspiration from God with the intention of bringing His love to others- is more subtle than fostering. But it is still a work for Him and it is time for me to embrace it and feel fulfilled that I am answering His calling. While I am happy we were able to foster and adopt and change the lives of these two little ones, I am even happier that God has given me a way to pursue a dream I’ve had since I was four years old. A dream that excites me daily, that fills me with a sense of accomplishment and purpose once again.

 

Photo taken by me at our house in TN. Ice on grass. Jan 2013