This is going to be a very personal post.
I’m not sure exactly when my thought life began to take on this extra note, but at some point I have become more and more aware of time. Time in the sense that each day truly needs to make a difference in some way in my or in someone’s life.
I’ve been thinking more about how I govern myself.
There are many things we’re taught as a young person, but most importantly as a young Christian. How to behave, how to treat others, how to prioritize and plan for your life. When you’re young, you’re life seems like a long winding road stretched ahead that you think, ‘I’ve got plenty of time to…’ – fill in the blank or blanks.
Reaching a point
When, well, maybe well before I turned 50 a thought had formulated in the back of my consciousness that would leave layers in my actions. I’m nearing the age when my parents passed away. Both of my parents were 57 when they died. Dad died from Emphysema and four years later, almost to the day, Mom died from lung cancer. They smoked for most of their life. I grew up in a smoker’s household. I hate cigarettes. That was a decision my parents made very young in their life and a stranglehold they were never able to break.
The difference of making the choice to follow Christ.
As a young teen I became aware of the love God has for me and the sacrifice Jesus made in following out that plan of love. I remember vividly that day. I was at summer camp and it was a rainy Thursday evening – I think I was shedding as much in tears as the sky was shedding in rain. I felt such joy – I fell in love with Jesus immediately.
A choice to live for Christ
From that point on, I became active in the church I attended. At the time I was going to church with my Aunt and Uncle and my parents had the forethought to send all five of us children to the Christian school. That was great sacrifice upon their part. I followed along in school and church with the enthusiasm of youth and being a new Christian. I made plans as a young woman to go to a Christian college…to live my life for the LORD.
A fork in the road
They say we are a product of our decisions. After attending this college for three years – I decided to follow another path – in career. I left the school and began to work and live on my own. I was still active and following the LORD, but my Christian growth was still immature – and I had not been prepared to face ‘the world’ so to speak on my own. I made some good and some not so good decisions. I turned my attention away from following the LORD for a while.
Thankful for the LORD’s faithfulness
When I took charge of my life and veered away, I truly never completely left the LORD or my love for him. It just wasn’t my number one priority at the time. I did deeply feel-know I still had a relationship with the LORD, but I had become to neglect it on my part. Isn’t it marvelous that God won’t leave us there. He will pursue us. By this time Dearest and I were together and we began to attend church together. Finding a good church makes a huge difference. God was working on the two of us in very different ways. We found a very good church that not only brought our hearts back to the LORD, but also served to help, ‘grow us up’ spiritually. This laid a good foundation for us to continue to look, to find and to grow in the LORD.
When Dearest felt the LORD leading him to preach then to start a church -
my heart and mind was ready. I knew and was settled in knowing what we as a family were called to do. Over the years there has been more growth, a deepeniing of love for God and for each other. It hasn’t been a smooth and straight road. Sometimes growth and understanding comes through some painful moments.
How we come through these moments makes a difference.
Just as vividly my memory of accepting Christ as my Savior, I vividly remember the moment when facing a crisis I declared to the LORD, ‘I am dedicated to you – to live for you and to serve alongside my husband – no matter what’. Since then there have been great challenges that have brought me to my knees, moments when only looking at the situation I’d had deep feelings and thoughts of despair, but then gradually God would remind me of my promise and I would stand, plant my feet firmly and recommit myself to Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LOR, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end’.
This verse is used often by folks and I wonder – have they read the whole of Jeremiah – what came before this verse, what came after? This verse comes in the midst of one of the darkest points of Israel’s history. Whe the people of Israel strayed and followed their own path – the wrong path – God allowed the consequences of their actions to follow suit – but He also pursued them and reassured them of His promises. God never promised that our life would be easy – that we could skip over bad decisions in our lives. He promised to keep His promises. He deterimed before time began to love us and has always remained faithful.
Turning my focus
Time has a way of covering over a lot of things – in our persectives and in lessening the affect of events in our life. Coming to a point in my life when I’m quite aware of my mortality – how wonderfully blessed I have been throughout my whole life – how that each moment is important, each act vital and each word imprintable. I see more now my life and my actions in the light that I wish to completely please God – that I will face Him one day and I deeply want to hear those words, ‘well done’. That doesn’t mean that my life has been perfect and uneventful. I understand why God called David ‘a man after his own heart’. David was deeply aware of his actions, the consequences and the marvelous love God had for him. He saw himself. There’s no one save Christ who was an example of a life lived perfectly – their lives were recorded for us to learn – how we can make every moment in our life one to turn our hearts closer to God – to see how important we are to them.
I had a fall this morning that shook me up
Literally. I took a mis-step and tumbled into Dearest and down the side of our steps. I was scraped and perhaps will have a few scars. I was deeply shaken. But, I’m o.k. I’m learning from that moment that things can happen instantly without warning – I’ve actually had several of those moments in my life. We might get hurt, scraped, but over all – if we have faith in Christ, we’ll be o.k.
Hearing certain words….
I have been a little distracted of late because I have had some things to think about. I’ve been catching up with yearly exams at the Dr. I’ve had some aches and pains that needed to be checked into. Then I hear the words, ‘there’s something we need to address…’. I’m not going to go into detail, just now, but perhaps I will. Suffice it to say, I’m reminded that time is truly in God’s hands. My time. I’m given the opportunity to spend it as I wish each day – and it is so very important how I do spend it.
joy every day. I choose to be an encouragement – every day. I choose to forgive – every day. I choose to be aware so that I might make a difference every day. I choose to follow the lead I feel God is asking of my life – every day. I choose to live so that God will be pleased – I choose to change what I can – to minimize the affect of things in my life I can’t change. I cannot change any thing from my past – from what people have done, what I have done. I can choose to look at it the way Christ would – I choose to learn from each moment – to be thankful – even if it is an unexpected fall.
I choose God’s plan
Whatever God has planned for my life – I accept and willingly follow. I choose to love Him more each day and to deeply love my family each day. Time – no one knows how much time they have in their life – at some point we all become quite aware of how short our life can be. I may be called away early, like my parents – or I may live a long life – like my great-grandparents.
Has been more of a blessing than I could have imagined. It has allowed me to share with so many throughout the world. I love each process. My interests and focus in blogging has flowed in many directions over the four years I’ve been doing this. It has enhanced my life in so many ways. My awareness of time has reminded me that though I may share my faith from time to time – it is the most important thing in my life. So, I’ve decided that the first post of each week will be something from my heart – something I hope will encourage you – something I hope will turn hearts toward God. We may never meet personally here on earth – but, I hope through Christ we may someday meet. Perhaps in the time of your life – today is that day to make the decision to turn your life, your heart and your all to Him. It will be the best day of your life – a memorable moment.