Have you ever gotten a point in your life where you have felt like you couldn’t take another disappointment or any more bad news? There have been days when I have felt like there has been a black cloud hovering overhead. The unexpected deaths of a few close friends and relatives over the past several months have made me shake my head and declare that I’ve had “enough!” The challenges that I face may seem overwhelming, but I take comfort reminding myself to relax, to let go and let God take the load that I wasnever meant to carry.
We were never promised that every day would be perfect, but we were promised that we would never walk alone, because God has promised to never leave nor forsake us. And, THAT assurance should be enough to calm our fears and anxieties. There’s a simple saying that speaks volumes to me: Know God, know peace. No God, no peace. Ask God to surround you with His peace today.
Take action now: Meditate on Phillipians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (New King James)
Embrace this truth: Sometimes God doesn’t calm the storms in our lives…He sometimes simply calms us.
As I look forward to spending the upcoming weekend at a marriage conference with my husband, I’m excited that we will have the chance to get away from home and spend some quality time together. No kids. No grandkids. No dog. Just the two of us. Can we handle the quietness? Absolutely! Why? Because we have learned that although we love wrestling with the grands and playing with the dog, nothing beats one on one time together. We know the importance of building a relationship and friendship that will last well into our senior years.
Unfortunately, I have seen the demise of too many marriages; some of them were couples who had been married for many years. One thing I know is that the breakdown of a marriage doesn’t happen overnight. It happens little by little, but sometimes couples are so busy working, paying bills, meeting deadlines, going to school, etc. that they forget to take time for their spouse and many don’t realize that their marriage is in trouble until it’s too late.
Becoming one with your spouse is a process and it won’t happen overnight either. Couples enter marriage with a value system that they earned from their parents (good or bad), so there will be disagreements and disappointments. Don’t let those things outweigh all that is good. The road to having a successful marriage is paved with many bumps and detours, but I do believe the journey is worth it.
Take action now: Meditate on Amos 3:3 – Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? (New Living Translation)
Embrace this truth: Love one another’s perfect imperfections.
I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve probably done more things wrong than right in my lifetime. When I reflect back on those wrongdoings, I shake my head in shame. HOWEVER, I’m so thankful that I don’t allow those thoughts to consume me any longer. I’ve forgiven myself and I’ve given myself permission to move on. I walk in the confidence that God has forgiven me also. Each day I have to make a conscious decision to get off the fence and not straddle it. I STILL miss the mark (sometimes daily), but the dawning of each new day gives me a chance to start over with a clean slate and do better.
Staying on the right path takes plenty of discipline and determination. Having friends who hold me accountable for my actions helps. When I veer too far to the right or to the left, one friend will lovingly encourage me to straighten up. If you know that you’re straddling the fence, I encourage you to come down and allow God to change your life.
Take action now: Meditate on 1 Peter 4:17: For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? (New Living Translation)
Embrace this truth: Life on the fence is not as good as you think it is.
When my children were growing up, I told them that the true sign of maturity (to me) was for them to realize a truth that I continue to embrace: just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do it”. Many young people are anxious to reach the milestone, the golden age of 18 or 21. Many believe that once they are of legal age, this means that they are “grown” and should be able to do as they please. As many quickly discover, age is nothing but a number.
Maturity has nothing to do with a person’s age. Maturity has more to do with the choices that one makes. Many young people are in the juvenile court system because of foolish, immature choices. The same holds true for adults who don’t consider the long term effects of their choices. Some end up in an early grave for the very same reasons.
Consider the costs, consequences and the risks that your choices will mean to you and to others before you act. Doing so may prevent you (and your family) from a lifetime of heartache.
Take action now: Meditate on 1 Corinthians 10:23 – “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’–but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’–but not everything is beneficial.” (New Living Translation)
Embrace this truth: You can do whatever you’d like, but at what cost?