From our family to yours, print this file on cardstock, cut out and be creative! We chose scriptures for our spring printable that both encourage and inspire. Identity statements to fill our minds with truth as we face uncertain times. Hang them on the refrigerator or bathroom, carry them in your pocket, the options are limitless!
This past weekend, I attended my niece’s bridal shower, it was like no shower I have ever attended! It was complete with a “flower bar”, gorgeous decorations and delicious food. There was an unspoken element to the day that everyone was aware of. You see, my little five year old nephew is in his final days of his battle with brain cancer. His family has watched him take a turn and decline rapidly over the last two weeks. The Bride’s aunt has been at the center of caring for him, hardly leaving his side and now in the midst of it all, she was hosting this shower. I know her heart was that this would be a complete joy and celebration. She did not want this time to be shadowed by the obvious heart wrenching pain that was unfolding back at her house.
As I pondered the situation, I was stirred by the reality that of course this is a happy time, the start of a new family, there is excitement and anticipation, new love is a sweet and beautiful thing. In the same vein, isn’t life really a mixture of pain and smiles, joy and tears, defeat and victory? Is there a better preparation for marriage?
As I watch my sister-in-law cling to Jesus in this time, I am blessed. I am encouraged in my faith, walking along side her through the darkness and pain. God. Uses. Everything.
The message new brides need, is the hope that we have in the gospel. Our identity in Christ, His sovereign care over the good and bad times is the lifeline every new marriage needs.
I am reminded of my precious friend Nancie. I miss her dearly. All three of her children got married within the span of a year! Nancie would develop inoperable terminal brain cancer to be diagnosed the weekend before her last child’s wedding. It was a bittersweet time to say the least. She was able to attend all three weddings and meet her first grandchild before walking peacefully into Jesus’ arms on September 22, 2018. Before her diagnosis, she gave a blessing at her second child’s wedding reception. I want to close with her words, I hope they will bless you as much as they blessed me!
“I know that today you will receive many blessings and best wishes for all those wonderful things that we all want to experience like health and happiness and children. Things that we expect out of life that are wonderful. But my prayer for you is that God will shatter some of those good dreams so that he can give you the best dream of knowing him in a deep abiding, intimate way. So that you would know him the God that knows you, who made you and loves you. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you individually and together. So to this end also, we pray that our God would count you worthy of your calling and fulfill every desire for goodness and work of faith with power so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you and you in him according to the grace of the Lord Jesus.”
Recently, Eric and I have found ourselves facing some big decisions. Of course, one of our first lines of attack is to pray about it, ’cause that’s what we do, right? Sometimes I sound like a broken record, struggling to know what things really means to PRAY about things and what it really looks like to SEEK God.
Thankfully, my wise husband suggested we also talk through things with our dear friend Ben Taylor.
When you watch the news, new anchors always have their “Talking Points” to keep them on subject. I like to think of the tips Ben gave us as “Praying Points”.
1- Make our case to God. Appeal to him with our concerns and requests. We see many examples of this in the Old Testament through people like Moses, Abraham. They made appeals to God on behalf of themselves and others.
2- Ask God to set our hearts according to his will.
3- It is okay to set a time-frame on things. Pray about something for 3 days, three weeks or 3 months whatever is appropriate.
4- Be looking for another corner of the vineyard. Watch for the answer that God may have that we maybe haven’t considered.
5- Network. Talk to people who we respect, about our decision. Get their feedback.
Some helpful scriptures to meditate on: Psalm 77 and Luke 18
From our family to yours, print this file on cardstock, cut out and be creative! We chose scriptures for our fall printable that both encourage and inspire. Identity statements to fill our minds with truth as we face a new school year full of activities and events. Thankful scriptures to remind us of God’s goodness all the time. Hang them in the bathroom, carry them in your pocket, slip them in lunchboxes, the options are limitless!
We have a puppy!! These are words I honestly never thought I would ever say. Between the allergies, cost and all of the time required for training, it just seemed like an impossible reality. But then came Trixie. By God’s grace and a generous gift, we now have a dog! Trixie is a part of our family, she has won all of our hearts… well almost all, as far as Eric goes…it’s just a matter of time:)
Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that puppies need training. Lots of training! One of the first tricks we taught Trixie is to sit. As we repeatedly say the word and encourage her to obey by gently pressing her back end down, it reminds me of a spiritual lesson I have been learning.
Difficult times can sometimes be opportunities for our “training”. It is never comfortable facing trials, we can find ourselves asking, “Where is God in this”. We may even try to take care of things in our own strength. As the hardships and pain continue, we begin to realize that we can’t do it on our own. In our desperation comes a deeper leaning in to God, trusting and resting more, growing in faith.
Recently I have found myself in this classroom. As a mom, it can sometimes feel like the weight of our children’s struggles rest on our shoulders. The new school year has meant a new chapter for the Wallace household. We now have two college students. There are plenty of new opportunities for anxiety. Taylor has had great improvement in her health, seizures seem to be controlled by the current medication regiment (Full story can be found here). There are still concerns, she has been out of school for a year, can she handle it? Will her health remain stable? Phin, our ambitious pre-med student is also starting out, he is so excited and young and feels like he can take on the world;) My mama heart wonders, is he taking on too much? Will he burn out? These times as unpleasant as they are, can be God’s hand gently pressing on our back, bending our knee. As we submit and surrender to these circumstances, we find a deeper peace and joy. We learn that we are not God, He is in control and that is a very good thing!
It is encouraging to see Trixie grow in her obedience, mastering new commands. So much more we can be thankful to see God’s hand in our own growth as we daily bend our knee and rest in His perfect care to cover our concerns and anxieties.
Some verses I have found encouraging, as I walk the surrendering road: Psalm 46:10, Isaiah 42:3, Romans 5:3-4
Once in a while, especially on Saturday mornings, I will be working around the house when I see people walking up the road. Usually, they are nicely dressed and wearing backpacks. I start running through the house closing blinds as I loudly whisper to the kids to be quiet. “I don’t have time for this today!” I think, “I’m not equipped for a debate!” But my attitude has recently changed thanks to a recent experience I will share below. The point of this is to encourage you to reach out to those friendly visitors at your door.
For the past several years, I have been a representative for a home school curriculum. Basically, this means that for a weekend I get to man a booth and hangout with some fellow home school moms. It is a fun job, almost like getting paid to go on vacation. Up until this year, I have always done Christian-sponsored conventions. In April, I added two more conventions one being a secular group and other was a non-Christian, religious group.
As I worked these conventions, I felt the Lord’s hand at work in my heart. The greatest impact came from my time with families in this non-Christian group. These families looked a whole lot like the families I am use to serving at the Christian conventions. They are conservatively dressed, sweet families with lots of babies and well-behaved children. They were kind to me, several took the time to sit down at my booth to just get to know me and make friendly conversation.
As the days went on, I found myself increasingly sad over the reality that they were spiritually deceived. On the final day, I worked up the courage to listen in on part of a keynote address. The speaker was a young man who encouraged the youth to “read the scriptures” which he clarified to mean, the scriptures found in this particular religion’s holy book.
I was heading back to my booth deep in thought. Then, across the room I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. There was a group of teenage boys under the volunteer sign. Clearly, they were there to help with the graduation ceremonies. I occurred to me that they looked a whole lot like the young men I saw walking up my street on various Saturday mornings… the ones I have avoided like the plague.
This weekend helped me to see these families the way Jesus sees all of us… lost without Him. We don’t have to have the perfect arguments. We don’t have to win the debates. We also don’t have to feel uncomfortable or fearful, we need to see how we’ve been loved by Jesus and take time to engage and share that love with them. I’m so thankful that I had this opportunity to see things through new eyes.