“But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.” ~Psalm 9:18
Below is a post from my dear Aunt Ellen who is also one of my best friends. I love her dearly and thank God daily that he put her in my life. l I was so encouraged by reading her post and I know you will be too.
When Amelia asked if I would like to do a blog post for this series, I was honored and then horrified. I don’t write, I read – a lot, but still! So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to be a part of such a big event – PRAY! In the shower, no less, I asked God to show me what to write about. The Lord reminded me of the t-shirt my granddaughter, Lexi, had on when we went to visit Mimi (Amelia) this past Saturday. It reads “Laughter is the best exercise!” One of my favorite scripture verses is Proverbs 7:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drains one’s strength.”
A joyful heart can’t help but bubble over with laughter, but as I was thinking about this, I was reminded about the people I know who are going through hardships in their lives. How can they laugh? The children of Israel were in Babylon captivity and their captors asked them to sing. Psalm 137:2-4 says “There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion! How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?”
This has always struck me as such a sad scripture. How can we sing or laugh when our hearts are broken?
I know that I should exercise, I have a YMCA membership. I have the time, but it’s boring and I would rather stay home. So, needless to say, I don’t get any physical exercise done. If Lexi’s t-shirt is correct, we have to exercise our laughter. Maybe like physical exercise, we have to purposely laugh. There are lots of studies that say laughter makes people heal faster.
Sometimes in the darkest places of my life, a hearty laugh has been just the thing to break the weight of the load I was carrying. Sara and Amelia have so many stories of laughing in the midst of hard. Often they tell of Amelia falling in the floor and they are laughing too hard to get her off the floor!
Hard seasons come to each of our lives. A good friend lost her son to suicide. She told me soon after that when something terrible and life changing happens to us, we have a choice – to be bitter or to be better. She was choosing better.I am choosing better. I am choosing laughter. I am singing the Lord’s song in a foreign land.
About the Author:
I’m Amelia’s auntie.
I’m a wife to Lewis and a Mom to Jonathan and Greg. I’m Nena to CJ, Lexi, Emily, Harper and Stella. I’m also a monster-in-law to Jamie and Suzanne.
I love Jesus!
I love a good book and Hallmark movies!
I love a happy ending!
Happy November. I cannot believe it’s almost Thanksgiving. This year has flown by. 2017 has been a difficult year for me but I’m so thankful for the hope Jesus brings. I hope my posts this month encourages and gives you strength to press on.
To kick off my November Series Hope a Little More, below is a post from one of my favorite ladies and authors— Tricia Goyer.
In everyone’s story comes a defining moment when life takes a turn. I didn’t see the twist coming, and looking back it almost seems too ordinary an event to be considered “the moment.” But as I ponder all that has happened since then, I have no doubt that everything changed one quiet, early morning in 1999—the morning I said yes to what I knew God was asking me to do.
I was twenty-eight years old, married, a mother of three, and had just signed a book contract. In the few years prior, I had attended a Bible study for women who’d had abortions and faced the pain and shame of my past. Now once a week I was teaching a post-abortion Bible study and seeing women from all walks of life find freedom in Christ. Freedom from regret. Freedom from self loathing. Freedom from hiding and the feeling that God could neverforgive them or use them.
In this window of my life, I was walking with a new confidence as a beloved daughter of God, my pastor approached me.
“Tricia, I feel God asking me to help start a crisis pregnancy center in our town, and knowing your heart and story I want to know if you can help,” he said.
Gulp. I told Pastor Daniel I’d pray about it, knowing full well that answer was a delay tactic. I had no intention of doing any such thing.
My life was full. I was homeschooling our kids, writing every morning before the rest of the family woke up, and leading a Bible study. My life had reached a wonderful balance of service to mychurch, to my community, and to my family. I couldn’t envision taking on one more thing. Yet, the next morning, as I pulled out my Bible to do my morning devotions, something stirred in my heart. Looking back, I realize the Holy Spirit was reminding me that I actually needed to pray about Pastor Daniel’s request.
I’m a little embarrassed now but my prayer went something like this: Dear God, I thank You for what You’ve donewith my life. I told Pastor Daniel that I’d pray about this crisis pregnancy center, but please show me how to tell him that I don’t have time for that. I’m homeschooling my kids and teaching them about You. I’m writing articles and now a book, and my words are going around the world, teaching others about You. So this is something I just can’t do …
Immediately a thought entered my mind that I knew wasn’t my own: What about the young women who feel just like you did—scared and uncertain of where to turn? Don’t you remember the women who reached out to share love with you during your darkest time? Where would you be without them? And what are you going to do about the young women who need love and truth right within your own community? How are you going to help them as you were helped? Double gulp. I knew what God was asking me to do.
He had a dream and a purpose for me. Both were greater than anything I had ever imagined. And that dream and purpose wasn’t just about what He wanted for me but also about what He wanted for the women in my community.
I knew following them would change everything. It came down to this: Did I believe God’s Word enough to do what it said? Did I trust that God would keep His promises? Ephesians 3:16 says, “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through hisSpirit” (NLT). And that was my prayer too.
I had to trust that if I did what God was asking, He would provide from His unlimited resources everything that I needed, starting with inner strength. In the days to come I wished I hadn’t agreed to pray about Pastor Daniel’s request, because it became clear that God wanted me to help start the center. The strength of my desire to follow His directives.
About the Author:
Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of ten, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published more than fifty books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Learn more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.
Friends! I have been so blessed and encouraged by all the posts that were written this month. With each one I read my heart was filled with joy and tears of gratitude streamed down my face. I’m so thankful for each of the stories that were shared.
Coming November 1, I am extending the gratitude theme with a series called “Hope a Little More November.” Each day I will post a favorite quote or Bible verse that fills me with hope this season. Also, throughout the week I will be posting stories of gratitude, favorite fall recipes, and holiday traditions. I hope and pray that each of these posts will deepen your love for the season and give you joy no matter the circumstances you are facing.
Thanks again for all of your prayers and support. It means the world to me!