Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tough Stuff Tuesday: Complaining

I recently did a post about Philippians 2:14-15. Those verses tell us not to complain, because we are to shine as lights in the world. If we really want the light of Christ to shine through us, we have to stop complaining about every little bump that comes along in the road.

Since posting about that, complaining has been at the forefront of my mind, probably because it is something that I really struggle with. A lot like worry, complaining is one of those things that "everybody" does and so we try to make it ok, instead of calling it what it is: sin.

Recently, I came across another passage that really made me think about the way I use my words. Let's read 1 Cor. 10:6-10. In the context, Paul is writing to the Corinthians about the children of Israel and the things that they did wrong. Here's what he says:
"Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play'. Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer." (emp. mine)
Now wait just a minute. You mean to tell me that complaining is listed right there with idolatry, sexual immorality, and even tempting Christ?!? How can that be?

Complaining is serious to God. As if one passage isn't enough (Phil. 2:14), the Bible gives us this discourse on what the children of Israel did wrong. And what was one of their sins: complaining. It wasn't just that they complained and that God didn't like it; no, the Holy Spirit recorded for us that they were destroyed because of their complaining.

God doesn't change. He is from everlasting to everlasting. He has always and will always hate sin. Why, then, do we constantly try to justify things that the Bible clearly tells us are wrong? We say, "Oh, everyone worries, it's not a big deal" or "Everyone complains so it must not really be that bad". In our society, everyone seems to be caught up in a lot of things that the Bible deems sinful, and guess what? That doesn't make it ok!

We must constantly guard our tongues (Prov. 21:23, Psalm 39:1) so that we keep from separating ourselves from God. Jesus warned us in Matt. 12:37 that our words would either justify or condemn us in the last day. If words are that important (even the idle or fruitless ones--Matt. 12:36), why do we not watch what we say a little more closely?

I am so guilty of these transgressions, and I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father forgives me every single day. I want to do better, though. I don't want to continue in sin so that grace may abound (Rom. 6:1). No, I want to keep my tongue from sinning. I want to make my heart pure so that there is nothing sinful coming out. But how do we do that? What's the first step in having a non-complaining tongue?

Read what Paul had to say to the brethren at Colossae:
"Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." (4:2)
James told us that when we want or need something, we are to ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach (1:5). If we want tongues that will be pure, we need to ask God to strengthen us. But look at what Paul said: not just to continue in prayer, but to be vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

When our hearts are so focused on thanking God for all He's given to us, we won't be quick to complain that something didn't go our way. We'll know that God has given us beyond what we could ever deserve, and even when something was taken away from us or didn't go quite as we planned, we've been and will continue to be taken care of by the Creator of the Universe Himself.

It isn't only physical blessings that we need to thank God for, either. God gave us the most precious, beautiful gift of all: His Son. In no way, shape or form could we ever merit this kind of love, and yet it has been given specifically to each and every one of us. Perhaps that is why God hates complaining so much. How ungrateful must we seem when we complain about little things that don't even matter (things that won't follow us into the afterlife), when God has given us ETERNAL life? We must seem like spoiled little children. I know that I, for one, am guilty of acting that way.

Let us all dedicate our hearts to thinking and speaking differently. I know there is at least one thing in your life (as there are multiple in mine) that tempts you to complain. Recognize what that is and guard your tongue. Decide that instead of complaining about that person or situation, you will instead thank God for all of the blessings He's given you. Use your mouth this week (and every week) to thank and praise Him, instead of dwelling on things that are temporal anyway.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Christians Should Be Joyful

Last night, my husband delivered a sermon at our home congregation about the life of David: a man after God's own heart. One of Robert's points was about joy. He made the point that, as Christians, we are to be the most joyful people on the earth. After all, we have a hope and assurance of heaven that other people (who have chosen not to be close to God) simply do not have. We have riches beyond compare (in heaven awaiting us), we have plenteous blessings on this earth, and we have been given redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ's blood. For what cause could we NOT be joyful?!

Little did I know that in less than an hours time, Robert and I would be sitting on the side of the road in my Prius after a deer flew into our car. And yes, the deer flew into our car.

Here's what happened:

After speaking at East Hill, Robert had another speaking engagement about 15 miles away. We rushed away from services so that we could have enough time to get across the county. As we rolled out of the parking lot, Robert said, "We're making good time." And we were. We had plenty of time to get to the second congregation of the evening. Well, normally we would have had plenty of time....

The last thing I remember before the loud 'thud' was Robert saying this phrase in preparation for his upcoming sermon: "God is a spirit". Then BAM. It felt like a cinder block hit our car (going 50mph). I didn't see it, but Robert said that he saw the deer (that apparently first hit another car going the opposite direction) flying at our car with its head down and its hind end/tail sticking up in the air. Like I said, the deer flew at our vehicle.

Robert had great control of the vehicle (for which I am thankful). He pulled it off to the side of the road and got out to assess the damage. I was going to get out, but my door wouldn't open. I looked out the window and saw a large chunk of plastic (from my car) sitting beside me, so I assumed it was blocking my exit. False. Robert walked around the vehicle and shook his head, and I knew that ol' Julius (my Prius) had taken quite a blow.

Turns out, the deer did quite a number on Julius. As we were examining and trying to figure out what on earth we were going to do, a couple from our congregation pulled up next to us. Thankfully they had decided to go home instead of grabbing something to eat in town. On their way home, they saw us and first thought we had a flat tire. We only wish we did! They saved the day, really, because they took Robert on to his meeting and then brought me back to the vehicle where I waited with Robert's dad while the wrecker and the police officer came. Needless to say, it was quite an ordeal, and completely unexpected (as most accidents are).

All throughout the night last night and especially today upon further reflection, I have been thinking about Robert's sermon from last night. You see, I love my car. From the moment I bought it (in 2010) I have been completely attached to it. After all, what's not to love about 50mpg? And Julius has been good to me, so you can see where I would be really sad last night as I watched him being put onto the wrecker. And I'll admit: after I climbed out of the back seat last night and laid eyes on him for the first time, my immediate reaction was to cry (though I was in such a state of shock that I really couldn't). But here's the thing: Julius is just a car. While we are without our primary vehicle from now until who knows when, it's just a car. It's an earthly possession.

I could get all bent out of the shape over the process. I could get upset and angry and depressed that a lot of our plans are now either going to be cancelled or at the very least inconvenienced. But what was it that Robert said in his sermon last night? Ah yes, Christians are to be joyful.

Joy isn't fleeting like happiness. Happiness is pretty circumstantial is it not? Robert used the illustrations last night that some people will be happy when there's sunshine and sad when there's rain; they will be happy when something good happens to them but sad when something bad happens. Christians, on the other hand, aren't supposed to be that fickle. Our joy comes from Someone who will never disappoint us and Who has promised us everything. Sure, we may "fall into various trials", but James tells us to "consider it all joy" (James 1:2).

Throughout this process I could get irritable with the insurance adjuster for not calling me back or complain that this had to happen at such an inconvenient time or be moody and depressed, but that's not how I'm supposed to handle situations like this. I'm supposed to consider it all joy, because this process can produce something very valuable: patience (James 1:3).

I love my car and I do hope that it will be ok, but I know that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). That car isn't even mine; it's on loan from God. He has given us (me, Robert, you, everyone!) so many physical blessings and sometimes they're taken away. That doesn't mean I'm not still blessed, though, because I still have the gifts of redemption and forgiveness (gifts that will never be taken away from me should I continue to live faithfully). So my car is on a wrecker on some lot awaiting an inspection to see just how much damage was done. So I crushed my iPhone case with my Hulk-like strength as soon as I felt the deer hit our car (yes that really happened). Physical blessings can and will be taken away from us, but during those trials and situations, we have the option to choose to be joyful or choose to respond just like the rest of the world. God has called us to live differently (cf Rom.12:1-2). As a chosen generation and His own special people (1 Pet. 2:9), we must look, act, and respond differently than the world so that the world can see Who made the difference in us.

Don't be so attached to "your" stuff that you let it steal your joy when something bad happens to it. Just remember that it isn't yours and it doesn't really matter anyway.
"And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation." Psalm 35:9
Notice that the Psalmist said his soul was joyful in the Lord, not in physical things. Let your soul be joyful in God, and when something happens to all the stuff you have (and we all have SO much stuff, don't we?) it won't deplete your joy in the slightest.

**On an unrelated note, this article was written by a preacher friend of ours, Chris Clevenger, about my wonderful husband. Please go read it! It definitely brought some joy today.

Friday, September 21, 2012

How Do You Spend Your Time?

It is so easy to be consumed with ourselves, isn't it? With our schedules, our routines, our interests?

Solomon was a great king. When God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon didn't respond with wealth or fame or anything like that: no, he asked for wisdom. We all know the story: God made Solomon the wisest man to ever live, but He also blessed him with wealth and land and fame and peace within his kingdom. 

It isn't long, though, until Solomon starts building the temple. That in and of itself is a blessing because his father, David, wasn't allowed to build it. In 1 Kings 6:38 we read this:
"And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it."
Wow Solomon! You spent seven years hammering out details and making the temple perfect. We all know that Solomon's temple was highly esteemed by the people of his day and also those to come. And if we stopped there, we might be impressed too. After all, seven years is a lot of time to dedicate to God, right? 

Look at 1 Kings 7:1:
"But Solomon took thirteen years to build his own house; so he finished all his house."
Sure, building God's temple was important and it needed to be done just right....and thus seven years were taken to ensure that all was perfect. But when it came time for Solomon's own house to be built? Well, that would take more time. 

Now I'm sure that it could be the case that Solomon did nothing but prepare and build the Lord's temple, and when it came time for his own house, he let things get in the way of the project and therefore it took more time. It seems, however, that Solomon started investing more in his projects and his desires. It seems that his focus, his priorities, had shifted.

You and I must be careful not to do the same thing. It is so easy to get caught up doing our own thing. Recently, Robert and I bought a house and did the whole moving/unpacking thing. Needless to say, it was very easy to get wrapped up in that. We had things we needed to do for our house. Did I neglect serving the house of God? Probably sometimes. A better question may be do I spend as much time tending to the house of God as I do tending to my own home?

When things aren't inherently wrong, it's easy to place them above God. It's not difficult for me to look at something that the Bible deems sinful and then stay away from it. For me, it's difficult to look at something the Bible says is good (having a home, spending time with my husband, maintaining friend relationships, resting) and not overemphasizing that in my life (ie: placing it above God). 

My prayer for today is that I will spend more time serving the house of God than serving myself and my own wants. Sure, those things may not be sinful, but if I place them above doing God's will then I am sinning. 

Today, look into your own life and your own schedule. Find the things you spend the most time doing (Facebook, blogging, crafting, texting) and ask yourself: do I spend more time in these things than I do in God's word and in service to Him? If so, let's all realign our lives and our priorities so that we're being pleasing to our Father.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Beautiful Road of Hardships

 Life isn't perfect.

I know your life hasn't been perfect, and I can tell you firsthand that my life hasn't been either. Still, I can tell you with boldness that my life has been blessed. One of the beautiful ways that God has blessed my life is by giving me times of trials and tests; by allowing me to suffer through situations that would make me better on the other side.

There are numerous people, situations, and circumstances that have made my life less than perfect. And yet, looking back, I wouldn't trade any person or thing that led me where I am today. I know, I know--that sounds like a cheesy Rascal Flatts song, but it's true. Everything I've been through thus far in my brief 24.5 year existence has gotten me here: married to the most amazing Christian man I've ever met, in a town that I have come to love, surrounded by God's people, working at a job that means something to me.

Presently, I am looking back down a road that was hard. Sure, I'm standing on a hilltop now, looking forward to the next way that God will teach me something that I'm in desperate need of learning. But the road behind me hasn't been an easy one. It's been filled with hurt, tears, bitterness, struggle, resentment, and all kinds of baggage that I simply had to leave along the way. Because, you see, there was no way I could be where I am now if I was still holding on to all of those heavy burdens.

That's the beauty of Jesus, isn't it? He takes away our burdens. He said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Mt. 11:28-29)

Thanks be to God for His infinite grace and love and wisdom and mercy!

You see, once sin entered the world, life for the human race changed forever. No more would there be walking with God in the cool of the day. There would be no more perfection; at least, not until Jesus Christ came. And that's just it: even though His human race had spurned Him--defied Him--God still sent His Son. For that reason (and that reason alone) we can have hope. We can be joyful, despite living in such a sin-filled world. We can walk hard, long, trying roads and still come out on top on the other side, because Jesus gives us that way. Because He came, we can know that we have another chance at perfection. We can know that there is something greater out there for us. To attain that prize, though, we must endure (and react in a Christ-like way to) whatever is set before us on this earth. We must walk those hard roads. We must endure those trials. We must press on toward that goal.

And Jesus is the way.

Thanks be to God for His perfect gift of love. Thanks be to God for giving us a way of salvation; for giving us hope.

If I weren't a Christian, I would be so sad. If this ugly, tainted, sin-stained world was all there was--why would I want to get out of bed? Why would I want to do anything? Oh, but because of Jesus--because of His blood and the hope of heaven--I can be joyful despite my hardships. I can be joyful despite the ways people hurt me. I can walk those hard roads and be joyful along the way....because I know that one day I will live in perfection, so who cares if my life isn't perfect now. One day it will be. And because my life here is so hectic and hurtful and hard sometimes, that home in heaven above sounds that much sweeter.

Thank you, God, for giving me the opportunity to go through trials. Thank you for giving me more reason to long for heaven, as if being with You weren't enough.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mirror Matters

As promised, here are a few tips for overcoming the daily battle with the mirror (aka the struggle with self-esteem and self-worth).

1: Recognize your body for what it really is. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" Question: when you think of temples, do you think of ugly, nasty, worn down, disgusting ruin, or do you think of beautiful, elaborate, magnificent structures? My guess is that you think of the latter. The beauty of our bodies isn't equated with how much fat we have or what shape it comes in. The beauty of our temple is that God's work is done with it. You can have the most beautiful, model-esque body in the entire universe and still be ugly in the sight of God. Or, you can have a plain-Jane, not shapely at all body that does beautiful things for His Kingdom. True, incorruptible beauty comes from the inside, and when we realize that we will stop being so hard on ourselves when the outer doesn't cooperate.

2: Recognize your body for whose it really is. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?" Guess what? That body that you're constantly critiquing and picking apart--it's not even yours. Your vessel is just that, a vessel. A tool. An instrument for God's using. A few weeks ago, Robert and I had to go to Home Depot to buy a drill for our new home. Really, Robert had to go and pick out a drill, and I just went with him. After perusing all the aisles, Robert decided on a drill that had great performance reviews, would do what he needed it to, and fit within the budget. He didn't choose the drill that looked the cutest or had the most bells and whistles. There's a reason Home Depot doesn't sell drills with exquisite paintings on the side. It doesn't matter what it looks like so long as it does what it's supposed to do. The same matters for you and for me. God is not concerned with a dress size; He is concerned with us doing His will. And when I start focusing more on what my outward, pointless appearance looks like and am focusing less on doing God's will, I'm not being a useful tool for God. When I get caught up in what my body looks like and how much my body weighs, I need to realize that it isn't my body at all. Instead, I should be looking for ways to use the body that God gave me to do His work.

3: Recognize what's most important. 1 Timothy 4:8a says, "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things." There is obviously benefit to exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but we must recognize that outward maintenance is not as important as inward maintenance. When we get caught up in the physical and "merely outward", we aren't keeping our first priority on the Kingdom of God--and we know that only when God is our first priority are all things added to us (Matt. 6:33). Keeping your temple (of God and not to self) healthy is important, but when it becomes the primary focus of our lives and the dominant thought of our minds, we need to shift gears. Let me illustrate: for a couple of months, I was super caught up in this couch to 5K craze that everyone seems to be involved in. Mind you, I was trying to keep those self-destructive thoughts at bay in a seemingly productive way. The only problem was that I was finding time to run and exercise and log my calories, and not time to study and pray and visit like I needed to. Is there anything wrong with running? I say yes, but only because I hate it. Really, there is no problem at all. Is there anything wrong with watching what you eat? Of course not. It's probably something we all need to do more often. But, is there a problem with overemphasizing the outward and the temporal, and neglecting the spiritual? Absolutely. Paul told Timothy that godliness is always profitable. Exercise, ehh. Godliness, yes. When you find yourself down on your looks or weight or physical condition, dive head first into the Word of God. Consume yourself with study and prayer. Strive to attain godliness, not a perfect figure.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tough Stuff Tuesday: Temple of God or Temple to Self?

Recently, one of my dear friends (and a young woman that I look up to in many things) wrote a blog post on how we as women deal with body image issues. She had posted about this on Facebook, too, and one of her friends published the following comment:
"A tricky balance exists between caring for our bodies as a temple to God and becoming obsessed with perfecting our bodies as a temple to ourselves."
That quote has been resonating within me from the moment that I read first it until now. Slowly, it has been churning inside of me and causing my heart to change. You see, for a long time now (at least 10 years) I've had a problem with body image. My self-confidence has always been low, and directly related to how I felt about my weight. During high school, I was pretty thin. Still, I would diet or exercise a crazy amount or skip meals because I didn't think I was thin enough. My 5'4'' frame never held weight well, and with every five pound fluctuation, I was in mental anguish and distress. I was very, very hard on myself. Sadly, those tendencies didn't stop when I was in high school. If I'm being honest with you, these feelings are still very real in my day to day life. I struggle with being enough. At least, I had been struggling with that a lot until Polishing the Pulpit a couple of weeks ago.

At PTP, my days were consumed with lectures and study sessions geared toward making my relationship with God stronger. I spent hours every day digging deep into God's beautiful Word. At the end of the seven day stint, I was happier and stronger and excited to come home. And then, a day or two after I had been home, I had a realization: I hadn't once thought about how fat I felt or awful I looked in over a week. That had to have been a first in the entire ten years I'd been struggling with this. 
So what was the magic answer? What helped me see the light and know that I can conquer this internal, self-loathing battle? Answer: God's Word.

I spent an entire week studying God's Word and doing nothing else. Now sure, I was working (recording and editing the lessons), but really I was listening and making notes and learning about my awesome Father. I was being challenged to think and act differently. And, in the process of all of that study, I stopped focusing on ME and started focusing on God.

If you're a lady, you've read and heard numerous lessons on the following scriptures:

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." 1 Pet. 3:3-4
I've heard quite a few lessons on those verses, too. I've heard a lot of things about "incorruptible beauty" and "gentle, quiet spirits". I've even heard lessons on not wearing flashy things and trying to make people notice you. But when I read these verses recently, something new stuck out to me. You see, Peter says (in a completely paraphrased way) don't put so much emphasis on the outside. Now, your struggle may be to arrange your hair all fancy or wear things that show off your wealth as the example shows. That's not mine, though. No, my struggle is simply with focusing too much on the "merely outward". I can become completely consumed with that which is merely outward, so much so that I have a bad attitude or I don't want to be around certain people or I don't even feel desirable to my husband. Why? Because I haven't been listening to Peter. All these years of reading this verse and I've completely missed what he's saying. Stop focusing on that which is merely outward. Instead, look at your heart. Your heart is what makes you beautiful and precious in the sight of God. What is merely outward does not amount to a hill of beans in God's sight. Don't you remember what God said to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7?
"For the Lord does not see as man sees; for a man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
When we focus on that which is merely outward (how big or small we are or should be or once were), we are looking at ourselves through the eyes of the WORLD and we have to stop. And while we're at it, we have to stop judging other ladies through the eyes of the world. Christians are not supposed to be conformed to/look like the world; we are supposed to act like Christ (cf. Rom 12:1-2, Gal. 2:20). So let's stop judging ourselves and others by the world's standards, and let's start measuring ourselves by God's Word.

Tomorrow I will be giving tips on how to have a better attitude toward the girl in the mirror. Until then, my prayer is that we will all be a little easier on these physical tents we live in--because tents aren't supposed to be so beautiful that we're completely attached to them and never want to go to our homes. Tents are disposable, messy, unreliable, and uncomfortable, and God designed our physical bodies that way for a reason. I, for one, am looking forward to my glorious body (1 Cor.15:42-44), the one I'll get IF I stop focusing (aka wasting my time) on that which is merely outward.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

God Loves YOU Specifically

A new favorite verse of mine has got to be Isaiah 49:16. Here, Isaiah records the Lord saying the following:
"See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before me."
Before iPhones and iPods and electronic devices of any kind, people wrote on paper. And when something was of the utmost importance? They wrote it on their hand. Have a major homework assignment that you CANNOT forget? Write it on your hand. Remember that you must do something when you get home? Write it on your hand. When something is written on your hand, you don't forget it. And normally, you put only the most important things on your hand.

This verse says that God has inscribed us on the palms of His hand. To me, this verse comforts and strengthens me. It gives me courage to face whatever things this life may throw at me, because the Creator of the universe knows me, intimately, and cares for me, deeply.

There are ways, though, that I can erase my name from His hand. I can choose to abandon Him--to walk away from Him and ignore the blood of His Son. Or I can choose worldly, temporal things over Him. I can choose drugs, alcohol, fornication, gossip, crude "entertainment," or to simply sleep in on Sundays and avoid Him. I can choose to put other things ahead of Him, like a relationship or a hobby. He wants a relationship with me, and Has made every provision to have one, and yet He has given me a choice.

While there are ways I can choose to ignore God, there is nothing I can ever do to deserve a relationship with Him. After all, He made and controls everything. And so, I will do all that I can to stay in His favor. I will do what He says (put on Christ in baptism, flee sin) and I will pray every day that He will forgive my failures and shortcomings. I will do my very best to "overcome" so that I can inherit all things (Rev. 21:7).

My brain cannot comprehend why God would ever love me--why He would ever send His perfect, sinless Son to die for me. But I know, I KNOW, that He does love me. And not just me in the generic sense, either. God knows me personally. He loves me, Emily. After all, He has me inscribed on the palm of His hand.

Please don't forget that God loves you, too. He has made a way for you to be with Him for all of eternity. Don't miss that opportunity because something worldly seems better right now. Some relationship, some form of pleasure, some hobby, some status. Listen when He says He loves you and He wants to be with you. And when you listen to and understand that, give up all of the things in your life that you're either putting ahead of Him or that you're doing in spite of what He's said.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Where I've Been


I'm incredibly sorry for my way-too-long hiatus from my blog, and I promise not to be gone for so long anytime soon. Fortunately, the reasons I've been away have been outstanding things that have been happening, and I'm here to tell you about a couple of them.

First, we (Robert and I) left for PTP in the middle of August and spent an amazing 7 days around about 2500 Christians in Sevierville, TN. I heard dozens of lessons that I'm still trying to implement into my life, and I hope that I'll be able to share a few of them with you, too. Needless to say, though, after 12+ hours listening to lectures each day, I didn't have any time to write. So...I didn't.

As soon as we got back from PTP, we left for Kentucky so that Robert could speak at a youth rally. He did an amazing job as always, and it was great fun to be able to travel with him. Yet again we were on Eastern Time, so that threw off our schedule a bit and blogging once again.

When we got home from Kentucky, WE MOVED! Talk about timing, huh? In which case, the next week was spent packing boxes, moving boxes, packing a UHAUL, unpacking boxes, moving furniture, buying things from Home Depot, fixing things, etc. Oh, and cleaning out our apartment. Once all of that was squared away, well, we didn't have internet at our new house, and you know what that means--no blogging.

BUT! Today, the wonderful little internet man came to our house and installed our internet, so here I am, telling you all about my last three weeks from the comfort of my new home. While this list has mostly been a catch up, quick overview, really it's a short, summarized list of blessings.

God has richly blessed our home and our little family, and we are so thankful and grateful for that. We live in such a wonderful place, surrrounded by wonderful people that God continually uses to bless us and enrich our lives. It is our prayer that we can use all of these things--PTP & our new home especially--to enrich the lives of those around us.

I am continually amazed by God's goodness and love. His blessings truly are new every morning. It seems that every day for the last month or so, I've been able to see even more clearly His hand in my life and His blessings around me. I am so thankful for all of these things, though I know that God is still good when the sunshine isn't out. For us, however, the sun has been shining brightly and we're praising God for all of the wonderful blessings He's provided.

What has the last three weeks looked like in your life? What kinds of things has God blessed you with? I'd love to know!

AND, I promise that if you'll come back, I'll blog even more! Thanks and okbye!