“Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:6
I love this chapter of Acts, where Saul is confronted by God on the road to Damascus. The Lord overwhelmed Saul, who was humbled and fearfully asked what he must do. The Lord’s response is a good reminder that God gives guidance one step at a time. We are to make the first step, and keep trusting God to lead for the next step.
It was a gift to celebrate Mother’s Day. I did play a concert in the evening, which wasn’t my favorite part of the day. The best part was taking a walk by myself before Annie woke up– I spent some time praying, particularly for the birth mother of our child. It was a sweet time with the Lord. Dan wrote me a beautiful poem, and we all took a nap after church. Earlier in the weekend, Annie and I went to the Farmer’s Market and bought some flowers for the occasion. Aren’t they beautiful?
Here are some passages I have read recently relating to parenting:
“While we are responsible to strive faithfully to follow God’s parenting instructions, we cannot save our kids and (thankfully) we cannot ruin our kids. We are totally dependent upon God’s mercy to us and to our children. There is no task in life that will humble you before God more than being a parent.” Parenting is more than a formula, Newheiser.
“Moralism is the idea that we merit God’s favor by being good (it is the deadly enemy of Christian parenting) Moralism trusts in its own goodness and virtue. Gospel-centered teaching says our behavior can never be good enough to make us right with God. Before we deserve it, God reaches out to us in grace and mercy. He forgives those who turn from sin and trust in Jesus. We receive His mercy instead of punishment for sin because God’s justice was met through the death of His dearly loved Son on the cross. Jesus’ resurrection power gives us a new heart, a new mind, and new desires to live for God. Gospel-centered teaching says God uses people who are weak and broken. God knows who we are. His love for us doesn’t change when we fail. His plan and His promises prevail in spite of our imperfections.” How to Reach a Child’s Heart for Christ, Barbara Reaoch.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say Rejoice.
This morning, I was rejoicing for suffering. The little bit of suffering I have tasted and come face to face with gives me a taste of Jesus’ suffering on the cross. I rejoice! I want and pray for a deeper understanding of what Jesus did for me on the cross. I want to know the extent that He loves me. Through suffering, I gain that, and I can share in Christ’s suffering on the cross through suffering and loss. That to me gives me cause to Rejoice!
“To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.” -Elisabeth Elliot
I read an excellent article yesterday, titled Easter gives our suffering victory and significance. I was amazed by the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Thus those who merely hate tribulation, renunciation, distress, defamation, imprisonment in their own lives, no matter how grandiosely they may otherwise speak about the cross, these people in reality hate the cross of Jesus and have not found peace with God. But those who love the cross of Jesus Christ, those who have genuinely found peace in it, now begin to love even the tribulations in their lives, and ultimately will be able to say with scripture, ‘We also boast in our sufferings.’”
Anchor yourself in Him. Be confident in God’s sovereignty. Whatever our Lord chooses to reveal is a gracious gift.
I have decided that my favorite children’s book (for today!) is “I Prayed for you” by Jean Fischer. It is a sweet story of a mama bear speaking about her love to her baby cub, and saying prayers for her cub as he grows. I just love reading it!
Below is another picture that I took of Annie after I ran to grab the camera. She had been playing by herself in her room and decided to “dress up.” I found her wearing this outfit; she had put on the dress, socks and shoes by herself, and it brought a smile to my face.
You were created in the image of God. Your soul was created to know God. As a result of that amazing truth, all human life has great value. Your identity should be deeply rooted in the fact that you are God’s. Trials are temporary, but your identity in Him lasts forever.
Passing on some encouragement from the sermon we heard on Sunday:
Whoever desires to be great, be a servant. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. Jesus said greatness is in service. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, which included Judas.
I love my Savior!
Today I had an appointment with my oncologist for my 3 month check-up. I brought Annie with me to the hospital, and the doctor and nurses enjoyed seeing her! I was grateful to hear my doctor report that everything looks good! She told me that I have “graduated” to coming in for check-ups every 6 months now, and that is a big deal. I have gone to see my oncologist every 3 months since my first diagnosis in 2014. Praise God! Ultimately I know my hope does not lie in these “good” appointments, but in Jesus. “Rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13) Apart from Him, there is nothing good in me. He is the perfect Lamb of God, and He gave his life to give me a future and a hope.
Today, I’m thankful for:
Sunshine; The apartment business center (with Wi-Fi, TV, and a printer!); Dan coming home for lunch; living minutes away from the Farmer’s Market; running and hiking at Renaissance Park with Annie; K-cups; reading children’s books with Annie; strawberries and a coconut that Annie picked out at the Farmer’s Market; God is in control.