Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Yet will I praise Him"

In all honesty, I don't want this post to turn into a rant or anything of the sort. It's just time for an honest, vulnerable moment on my part.

This Fall, it has been incredibly difficult to stand and praise the Lord. 

He is so good, yet my flesh rises up and wants to control my own life. When trials come, I want to draw closer to Him, not further. These past few months have been truly trying...for the whole family.

In general, I never get sick. ever. Starting at the beginning of August, I had two colds during that month, then a cold in September that turned in pneumonia through most of October. After that, while trying to get back into running after a few weeks off, I twisted my right ankle. A week later, my left ankle over compensated. So I wasn't able to run for another two weeks. Ha! After that, a sinus infection mid-november with some allergies. (I went on a two week trip up to Connecticut the beginning of December). When I got back, I was sick for several days. It's been crazy.

I couldn't do evangelism.
I couldn't meet with the girl I wanted to disciple.
I could hardly pay attention at any Bible study.
All the part-time job opportunities I prayed about, every single door closed.

**It was rather discouraging. **

In the midst of all of this, Mom got a cold that turned into bronchitis; Aimee had a horrible sinus infection, allergies, with cold symptoms (most of the Fall); Charlotte got pneumonia and a stomach bug; Dad had some sinus issues; and Anna has finally recovered from her year of stomach problems and is now healing from a surgery/skin graft due to a third degree burn she got 3 weeks ago. (Poor darling!)

There were days it was hard to pray--hard to read the Bible--hard to think of anything but myself.  Over and over again I would repeat, "This I know that God is for me" and "The Lord does not forsake those who seek Him."

Finally, a few weeks ago, God gave me a breakthrough. I still got sick. The situation around me hadn't changed at all, just my perspective. In many ways, I feel like I failed a test that was put before me. To "Bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips."

God doesn't change. 
I do. 
He is always good. 
He is the only good thing in me. 

One of my goals for 2013 is to truly praise the Lord (loudly if I need to) at all times. Especially when I am grumpy and things aren't going the way that I (in my fleshly, "I know better than you" attitude!).

The name of this blog is "Spring of Joy" for a reason. Jesus is the fountain of life and joy. There is nothing else besides Him. That does not mean that I am always happy--just trying to truly live knowing that I am redeemed because of His sacrifice. 

What could give me more reason to rejoice?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Belated Christmas Card photo!

I know it's a little late......ahem.....

This was the picture in our Christmas card this year! :) 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"for whom did you carry the stone?"

I wrote this as an email today, but just had to share with others on here. 

I just finished reading a book called "These Strange Ashes" by Elisabeth Elliot. Ah! So good. I would definitely recommend it to all of you. It's about her first year as a missionary in Ecuador. (Before she and Jim got married). This excerpt at the end of the book really ministered to me, and I wanted to share it!!!!
"A story is told of Jesus and His disciples walk one day along a stony road. Jesus asked each of them to choose a stone to carry for Him. John, it is said, chose a large one while Peter chose the smallest. Jesus led them then to the top of a mountain and commanded that the stones be made bread. Each disciple, by this time tired and hungry, was allowed to eat the bread he held in his hand, but of course, Peter's was not sufficient to satisfy his hunger. John gave him some of his.
Some time later Jesus again asked the disciples to pick up a stone to carry. This time Peter chose the largest of all. Taking them to a river, Jesus told them to cast the stones into the water. They did so, but looked at one another in bewilderment. 'For whom,' asked Jesus, 'did you carry the stone?' (pg 148)
**Even though throwing the rocks into the river made absolutely NO sense to the disciples, they did it. Jesus asked them to simply carry a stone for Him--no other instructions. They had to follow Him, carrying their stones, whether big or small, until He gave the next command.
 If God has asked us to do something, to carry a "stone" for him and then throw it in the river, we must do it, if for no other reason than because of who He is. Because He has asked. Because He is God. Even though it seems weird. Even though it seems like people would think we are crazy. Even though, if I were Peter, I would have thought, "Are you kidding? I want some bread! I am hungry! Do you know how heavy that rock is that I carried? And now I have to throw it in a river? Why?"
I want to carry my stone for Jesus. To be willing to do whatever He asks, even if it is throwing it in the river. Even if the stone is actually something more valuable to me. To give it all for Him. My heart is so hard and I am so unwilling.... Oh Lord, help my unwillingness.**

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall came to thee...

God has been so good to me.

I just got home Friday night from a two week visit with my dear friends from Canada. They were touring around New England and the Lord provided for a plane ticket to meet them up there! Woah. I was just...blown out of the water (is that an expression?) by His goodness. The way He worked through the details, the timing, every single concert, every single conversation--it was incredible.

My heart was leaping for joy the whole. He brought healing and restoration on so many levels. Once again, I was reminded of the TRUE reason why Christmas brings joy.

It is not the gifts.
It is not the food.
It is not the idea of family being together without drama (which basically is impossible).

It is time with the Prince of Peace Himself. The giver of all joy. Jesus.

My heart is so easily turned to other things, yet nothing satisfies the emptiness, the longings, etc.. like time with my Savior.