God Empowers and Gives Peace

I recently made a nPeaceew friend who shared her story with me. Her story is an ongoing one because she deals with difficulty every day. As she shared the details of her struggles, she also shared evidence of the strength she draws from our Lord to carry on. She has an undeniable peace about her.

This young woman’s mother, a strong woman herself, has a disease that may inevitably cause her demise, but can never take her life. Her life is in Christ, so if the disease claims her body, she will simply step over the threshold into perfect life with Him. Meanwhile, my friend helps to care for her mom and draws strength from God both emotionally and physically to power through the difficult days. Each day she has an early morning devotion that lifts her faith and sets the tone for that day. She strives to keep her mom, her family, and herself in good spirits despite the disease.

That is not her only struggle, however. My new friend spoke of the issues she encountered as she and her husband grew their family. They experienced a difficult pregnancy that ended in the stillbirth of a son at twenty-seven weeks. After the doctors informed the young couple of the son’s physical abnormalities and the handicapped life he would have faced, they knew that God had spared their precious son this tumultuous life and were at peace. They are certain they will see him again in Heaven. Their faith in God was tested, but He constantly gave them reminders of His love and care through the months that followed. And their faith is even stronger than before.

She also spoke of her two other precious children, a boy and a girl. Again, the details of each of their births were not in line with the normal course of conception, growth, labor, and delivery. Let’s just say they are each a beautiful gift from God, made more precious by the difficulty this mother experienced.

Her little girl was born with an unusual condition, which causes her skin to tear easily and her joints to quite often dislocate. My friend told of the first-aid kit she keeps in her car to repair skin tears, and of the times she has to put her daughter’s joints back into place. She said she refuses to make her little girl miss out on life because of this anomaly in her body. Other folks get a little squeamish as my friend takes care of an ugly skin tear or pops her daughter’s arm back into place at the shoulder. Her friends say they just couldn’t do that. I love the statement she made about God giving her this particular little girl. She said, “God gave her to me, because He knew I could handle it. I would be the right Mama for her.”  Oh, what strength! And what confidence this woman has in her Lord and Savior!

We women are nurturers and deal with things emotionally. That is simply how God made us. That said, I am amazed at how He strengthens and uses our emotions and character traits – love, compassion, fortitude, perseverance – to help us be the women we need to be.

After conversing with my new friend, I felt empowered, believing that God is able to strengthen us no matter what we face each day. My difficulties are certainly different from hers, but the same God who empowers her to wake up each morning and face the day with joy and determination, can and does do the same for me.

He can and will do it for you, too.

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When You Find Yourself… Empty

Empty bucket

If you are in a position that is constantly asking you to give of yourself- doctor, nurse, pastor, teacher, mother, father, and others- you may at times find yourself empty.

Some years ago, we had a program used by our faculty and staff to “fill up our buckets.” The promoter of the program gave us a demonstration of a small pail being filled to the brim one drop at a time to illustrate how we can stay full by dropping compliments and praises into each other’s “buckets.”

The words must be genuine and concrete like, “I appreciate the way you …

Have your students pick up before I vacuum your room.”
Collaborate with other teachers.”
Arrive at work on time everyday.”
Contributed that idea yesterday at our meeting.”

We had little sheets of paper in the shape of drops. Some mornings we would find a “drop” or two in our teacher’s mailbox. This started our day on a positive note and made us feel appreciated, good about the work we were doing.

We did this for quite a while. It lifted each of us up and we felt great doing it. We were full. There was a bounce in our step and strength for the day. The principal liked the atmosphere it engendered at our school and strongly encouraged us to keep it up.

Then the novelty wore off and we’d forget to write them. Or we’d write something just to say we did it. Insincerity killed the program. Sucked the life-giving moisture right out of it.

We kept doing our jobs, giving of ourselves at work and took stuff home to do. You don’t know you are draining out slowly until you are empty.

Then I realized something. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make sure I am replenished. It is my responsibility.

I realized something else, too. Real fullness doesn’t come from other people; it comes from God.

I can be replenished every morning by drinking in God’s Word and praying.  In the praying, I must take time to listen. Tune out every noise and stop talking. Just listen to Him. It might take a few minutes to totally tune out the world and my own wants and needs, but it is so worth it to sense the Presence of the Lord. The day begins on a positive note and my “bucket” is full. There is a bounce in my step and strength for the day.

A compliment from a colleague for something well done is still welcome and very much appreciated, but not necessary.

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭9-10‬ NKJV)

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭16‬ NKJV)

When you find yourself empty, tap into Him and receive His fullness. His life giving water will fill your bucket to the brim and running over.

Bucket poem

 

Good Morning!

Butterfly Morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning, good morning, good morning!

It’s time to rise and shine.

Good morning, good morning, good morning,

I hope you’re feeling fine!

The sun is just above the hill

Another day for us to fill

With all the things we like to do,

Oh, can’t you hear

it calling you, do-do-do-do,

do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do!

Good morning, good morning, good morning!

It’s time to rise and shine!

*********************************************

Too early for this much cheerfulness?

OK.   Grab a cup of coffee and try to focus on

the most important thing you have to do today…

It is Monday.