Make Much of God

Make Much of God

Posted by on September 21, 2022 in Devotional | Comments Off on Make Much of God

When the days are bleak with no hint of sun,

make much of God.

His mercies are new every morning.

When you feel like you can’t carry on,

make much of God.

He will carry you through.

When you feel overwhelmed, like the weight of the world is on your shoulders,

make much of God.

He will give you rest.

When you feel the heavy cloud of anxiety or depression hovering over you,

make much of God.

He gives peace that passes understanding.

When you are confused about who you are and the questions of “why?” threaten to drag you under,

make much of God.

He loves you lavishly.

When you can’t get over how sweet God has been to you,

make much of God.

He will give you the desires of  your heart.

When the blessings in your life are too many to count,

make much of God.

He will do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine.

When your heart is overflowing with happiness as you see God’s plan unfold,

make much of God.

He has plans to prosper you.

When you see God’s goodness all around you,

make much of God.

He crowns the year with his goodness.

I am convinced that we get stuck in patterns of pain, hurt, confusion and disappointment when we make much of our circumstances and by so doing, diminish God’s promises and make less of him. But what if we made much of God in whatever circumstances we faced? Wouldn’t we be more cognizant of his promises if we did this? Wouldn’t the cares of this world have less power over us if we truly trusted in God? Wouldn’t we be quicker to give all the glory to God when things are going well?

I think we would. Please test my theory for yourself!

Promises of God taken from the following scriptures: Lamentations 3:22-23, Psalm 23, Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 4:6, 1 John 3:1, Psalm 37:4, Ephesians 3:20, Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 65:11.

When the Waves Crash All Around Me

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I was at the doctor’s office the other day, a recurring theme of late. I have had some health issues that seem to be the result of lousy genetics. My parents passed on an incredible legacy of faith to me for which I am eternally grateful, but cancer and heart issues are rampant in my family history (to be clear, my current issues are not serious!). As I was talking with my doctor about all of it, I pointed out the picture on the wall, one of my all time favorites of a man standing on a lighthouse with waves crashing all around him. If I could describe my life for the past several years, this would be it.

I can’t determine the waves that crash around me. Sometimes they feel relentless and out of control. Yet I have felt safe and secure through it all, because my hope is not in controlling the waves or positioning myself so that they can’t crash over me. Instead, my hope is outside of myself, in the Creator of the waves and the One who is in control of all of it.

I have learned in a deeper way what it means to depend on the Lord. I don’t know how I would have been able to stand up amidst the trials and difficulties without Him. He has proven to be my Rock and my Refuge, my Sustainer and my Salvation.

What waves are crashing over you today? Do you have a hope outside of yourself, a steady and secure foundation? One of the greatest lies is that we are meant to handle life on our own. We try so hard, yet inevitably fail, because we were never meant to walk alone. Trusting in the Lord is the single best decision that I make every single day. He has never failed me!

It was no mistake that the picture was on the wall, just as it was no mistake that I heard the song by Ryan Stevenson “In the Eye of the Storm” later the same day. That song was my theme song during the last season of struggle that ended with a church split and my Mom’s passing. God has ways of reminding us that He sees us and He is with us.

I know for sure that the waves will continue to crash, but I also know the One who will hold me fast.

Things I Will Always Say Yes To

Ice cream on a hot day (who am I kidding? Yes to ice cream always!)

Hugs, snuggles, holding hands

One more chapter

Coffee with friends

Adventure, travel, exploring

Taking another picture

Singing loudly, quietly, in harmony

S’mores at a campfire

Listening to my husband play guitar

Trying something new

Catching fireflies

Star gazing

Watching my kids dance, sing, play soccer, long board, paddle board, kayak, swim. Whatever delights them, I will always say yes!

Walks in the freshly fallen snow

Hikes to waterfalls

Pizza

Reading books fireside

Church, devotions, Bible study

Jesus

I used this writing prompt- Things I Will Always Say Yes To- with my littles yesterday and their responses were magical. I am deliberately walking through the grief of the past couple years this week, trying to make sense of the heartbreak and the loss. There is deep sorrow for me in this and so I’m finding that I must couple it with simple joys; playing Yahtzee with my family, talking on the phone with my sister and my daughter, going out with friends, walks with my dog, coffee and scripture reading.

If you too are walking through a season of grief, I would encourage you to try writing out the things you will always say yes to. I hope you find the joy in this simple exercise and that you are reminded of all the good in your life in the midst of the hard.

It IS Well With My Soul

Posted by on June 20, 2022 in Daddy, Living a Legacy | Comments Off on It IS Well With My Soul

Dear Daddy,

It’s been nine years. Nine years since I heard your voice. Nine years since I saw your smile. Nine years since I kissed your cheek and hugged you tight. Nine Father’s Days without you.

They say time heals all wounds, but I am learning that there are some wounds that don’t need to heal. I don’t want to forget you. The grieving is a reminder of how much I was loved by you. And how much I loved you in return.

The phrase “grieving with hope” has been stuck in my mind since yesterday when a friend and I cried together over our losses and she reminded me through her tears that we have hope in the midst of our grief. And then I read 1 Thessalonians 4:13 this morning as part of my read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope. (CSB)

It’s no mistake that I read that this morning. I see God’s sweetness and his goodness to me everywhere. Thank you for teaching me to love God’s Word! What an encouragement it is to my heart. I cannot imagine going through life without this anchor for my soul. It’s too hard, Daddy! But your faithful and steady love for the Lord continues to reap benefits. I have an unshakable hope, the very thing you prayed for all of your girls to have.

Yesterday was Father’s Day and I had the privilege of singing with Lindsay on our praise team with Dave playing guitar and Ethan on the sound board. It was reminiscent of Sundays at St. Pauls when Mom would lead the choir, Janey would play piano and the rest of us would sing! What a privilege it is to serve the Lord in this way. Thank you for instilling a love for music, for praising God and for using our gifts to serve him in me. It brings great delight.

The first song we sang nearly brought me to tears of joy as I looked out over our congregation and saw our precious young ones signing the words to the song. For God so love the world that he gave us, his one and only Son to save us, whoever believes in him, will live forever!

Then we sang Jesus Messiah and I was almost brought to tears again, because it will forever remind me of six year old Lindsay singing this song with all of her heart. I will never forget the Sunday when we sang this song in the beautiful sanctuary in Greenwich, CT, looking out on the lush green trees that surrounded the building, and Lindsay held the melody while I sang harmony! It’s a memory I will cherish always. It was the beginnings of her love for Jesus taking hold in her life.

I did shed a few tears when Dave prayed for a precious older saint who had to be taken to the hospital between Sunday School and the Worship Service. Later I was reminded of the quote by Jane Austen, “I have no notion of loving people by halves”, and although it was spoken by a character I was not fond of, I resonate deeply with the quote itself. I don’t know how to not love fully and care deeply. You taught me that too, Daddy! It all started with your intentional encouragement of me to visit our older neighbor down the street, to just spend time with her and listen to her stories. I’m so grateful you did that. It’s hard when our loved ones struggle, but I never regret loving them.

Next we sang In Christ Alone and this one always affects me deeply. The line “from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny”, inevitably makes me think of the picture of you holding four month old Ainsley. It evokes emotions of joy and sorrow intertwined with the knowledge that Jesus is sovereign over all of it. And he is good. How kind he was to give me Ainsley, knowing that he would be taking you home in the same year! She is a constant reminder of God’s trustworthiness. Yes, there is sorrow. But there is also joy. I dressed Ainsley in a bright yellow dress for your funeral. She looked like sunshine and that is exactly what she was. A ray of light in an otherwise dark time. Grieving, but not without hope!

Dave preached from Colossians 2:8-15. I think if you had been able to give commentary on this sermon, you would have said that he preached with power and that the Lord used his words to challenge and encourage hearts. As I sat and watched my husband preach so passionately, I thought about how blessed I have been to have had you as my pastor in my growing up years and to have my husband faithfully preaching the Word as my pastor now. I don’t take this for granted. The criticism I have watched you both endure has been heartbreaking at times, yet I have the unique perspective of knowing the truth about these things! You were/are men of great integrity with hearts that desire God’s glory alone. I see the same wisdom in my husband that I saw in you and I am forever grateful.

The service ended with singing “It Is Well”. I knew it would be rough, but I also felt joy in the opportunity to sing “our” song, a fitting tribute to you and a joyous celebration of God’s goodness. It’s incredible to go through the roughest storms, yet to see how He graciously holds us close and carries us through. You demonstrated this to me my whole life. You lived and breathed the words “whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul”! You endured great difficulty with a faithful trust in our gracious God. This complete dependence on God has given me a solid foundation for life. Thank you, Daddy!

The last Father’s Day I spent with you is one I will cherish always! The impact you have had on my life is endless.

Love you always,

Becky

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