Monday’s Musings #255 & Never Alone

Never Alone & Monday's Musings #255

This week I had lunch with a dear friend. We are in the same season of life. It was a blessing not only to visit but to feel comfortable in sharing what we are going through these days. It’s not anything major but for both of us, it’s taking us on a journey we were not ready for. Yet to know we are not alone in our journey is a precious reassurance. Reminds me of the verse in Ecclesiastes, chapter 4, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” 

The Lord is so good to give us friends who will walk through life with us. I am ever so grateful for the friends I have in my life. Truly. Be that as it may, I am privy to an even more wonderful relationship that never, ever fails me.

When life gets challenging, the Lord never leaves us. When we hit lows, He is ever present. Our “times are in His hands” it says in Psalm 31, verse 15. If our times are in His hands, we can believe He will help us through whatever we are experiencing. Discouragement, sadness, and any other negative emotion that we might allow to encompass us during any season of life, He removes because He is right there with us. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7) In addition, all of our sweet precious moments of joy are in His hands as well. Those times that make us smile and rejoice, He orchestrates.

All events that concern us, and the timing of them, belong to Him. They are at God’s disposal. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Psalm 31, states that “David didn’t prescribe to God, he subscribed to Him.” In other words, he agreed with the Lord and accepted God’s design for his life. All of it.

See, we are never alone no matter where we are in life. Our God is a faithful presence. And we can (I will!) rejoice in that! “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

UPDATE: Last week I was not able to put the linky up. I had an injury to my eye and was unable to handle staring at the computer screen or bright lights in general. I am doing much better and praising the Lord for healing.

NOTE: I have had the pleasure of participating in The Enchanting Rose Tea Cup & Mug Exchange more than once. So, I am just passing on the information below in case it is something you’d love to do. I may even participate this time myself.

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Now I am ready to read what you have to share. So glad you stopped by.

Never Alone & Monday's Musings #255

Monday’s Musings Purpose:

To have others share encouragement about being a child of God, being a godly wife, motherhood, homemaking, homeschooling, healthy recipes, modest dress, etc. (I reserve the right to remove anything I deem unacceptable. Keep in mind this is a Christian blog.)

Monday’s Musings Must Dos:

1. Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo in the side bar.

2. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Know that sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed.

3. It would be so awesome if you could encourage another by visiting their post and leaving a kind comment. Builds community, too. Thank you for visiting and linking up. Now, let’s get to sharing. Link following this post. Grab my link button in the side bar and place on your blog so others know about our community and can join in.

 

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Monday’s Musings #233 & Stepping Aside

Monday's Musings #233 & Stepping Aside | What Joy Is Mine

One of the best things us Christians can do in any situation in life is step aside. Yet, sometimes we find it is the hardest thing to do. When life throws us curve balls, especially, we often take things into our own hands instead of stepping aside and letting God do His thing. We think we can do it better or handle it without Him. But the truth is, we can’t on both accounts. Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

See, our trials do not take God by surprise. He knows they are coming. He knows all the details surrounding them. And He knows how we will be when they come upon us. So, why do we insist on walking through them in our own strength and wisdom? Why do we feel He won’t be enough so we gotta fill in the gaps? Why do we believe God isn’t fully present when we’re suffering? Why don’t we step aside? Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God knows the plans He has for us. So, It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (Psalm 118:8)

Often when trials happen, we tend to lean on our abilities and knowledge instead of running to our Father. We forget He is able. Able to get us through and bring us out on the other side. Able to carry us then place us down gently on our two feet to stand. Able to hear and answer our heartfelt prayers as He sees best. Able to hold us close and bring us comfort in our hour of need. Able to remind us how much He loves us with an abundant love that never fails or lessens.

This is the God we love and serve. So very able! We just need to step aside and trust Him. We need to let go of the reins and give Him control. Denying ourselves and relying on our Lord is where we find peace and contentment during all tribulations we will experience in life. So, today, step aside if you are going through a rough patch in life. Give it all over to God and let Him carry you. He is faithful and able. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20)

Welcome to another Monday’s Musings. Thank you for being here. What do you have to share this week?

Monday's Musings 233 | What Joy Is Mine

Monday’s Musings Purpose:

To have others share encouragement about being a child of God, being a godly wife, motherhood, homemaking, homeschooling, healthy recipes, modest dress, etc. (I reserve the right to remove anything I deem unacceptable. Keep in mind this is a Christian blog.)

Monday’s Musings Must Dos:

1. Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo in the side bar.

2. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Know that sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed.

3. It would be so awesome if you could encourage another by visiting their post and leaving a kind comment. Builds community, too.

Thank you for visiting and linking up. Now, let’s get to sharing. Link following this post. Grab my link button in the side bar and place on your blog so others know about our community and can join in.

What Joy Is Mine Blog

 

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Thank you for supporting this site and our family.

You might find me sharing at these link ups during the week.

 

**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you. Photo Source.


Breaking Our Chains & Prisons

Breaking Our Chains & Prisons | What Joy Is Mine

Do you ever feel trapped? Trapped in fear? Trapped by a situation in life? Trapped with no feeling of hope? In Acts 12, we see that the Lord is bigger than our chains and prisons, whether they are ones we create or ones created for us for a reason.

In Acts 12, we learn that Peter is imprisoned and four squads of soldiers were put in place to guard him. Matthew Henry writes, “that would be equal to sixteen men.” In addition, upon knowing of Peter’s imprisonment, earnest prayer was made for Peter by the church.

Now the very night that Herod was about to bring Peter out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, and bound with two chains. There were sentries guarding the prison door. Herod made efforts to make sure Peter could not escape his imprisonment. However, an angel of the Lord sent by the Lord penetrated the prison walls. This angel came and stood next to Peter and a light shone in the cell.

He struck Peter on the side and woke him. He told Peter to “Get up quickly.” His chains fell off immediately. The angel instructed him further, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” Peter obeyed. Finally, the angel said, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him.

This is such a powerful truth for us. Peter’s story reminds us that God is bigger than our chains and prisons. He can penetrate those walls that keep us inside. He can provide a light in the darkness. Peter probably had no clear idea that God would deliver him from this situation let alone how. In fact, while his rescue was taking place, Peter thought that all that was happening to him was a vision. But he soon learns that the Lord sent his angel and rescued him from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting. (Acts 12:11)

First lesson here, God allowed Peter to be imprisoned. When trials come upon us, it is hard to think that God would allow them to happen. Yet remember, He is sovereign over all. “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.(Psalm 115:3) In His sovereignty, He knows what He is doing in our life. Each trial we walked through does have a purpose and we do not suffer in vain. The “prisons” we feel we are trapped in are not to encourage a lack of trust in a holy and sovereign God but instead draw us closer to Him. Peter doesn’t resist what is about to happen to him but instead endures it. He most likely doesn’t like it but his faith reminds him that “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)

Second lesson, God sent an angel to rescue Peter. You’ve heard that saying, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” God did that for Peter. His angel came to deliver Peter from the cell. But so much more in this deliverance does Peter gain. Not only is he rescued from the prison cell, he was also led to safety by the angel of the Lord and, most importantly, his eyes are opened to what God had done for him. How often our eyes are closed per se then opened to see God’s hand leading us. God is perfect in His timing when moving in our life. “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25,26) We may not always know this in the moment but we can be sure that God is present even in our doubtfulness.

Thirdly, God prepared Peter for his rescue and the journey that followed. He had him get dressed, put on his sandals, then cover with his cloak. God equips us for all situations we face and live through. He clothes us with what we need, he makes our feet fit to walk through our situations, and He covers us and places us under His guidance and protection. Psalm 23:1 reminds us, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” We can know without a doubt God is very present and provides all we need to endure our sufferings that make us feel imprisoned.

Finally, Peter does not keep this God-story to himself. Instead, he gave glory to God then went on to share what God had done for him. Isn’t that what we are about while on this earth? We are to spread the good news of what the Lord did for us through His Son, the cross, and His resurrection as well as what He does for us daily. We are to speak of Him boldly so others can see Him. We are to plant the seed and let the Lord do the watering. It says in Psalm 96:3, “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” After all, we are created in His image to enjoy Him forever while witnessing to others His great love for His sheep.

Today, if you are in a “prison” or feel “chained” to a difficult situation, turn your eyes and heart to God. Trust Him with your tears, fears and shackles. Our Father does care for and tend to His children with a steadfast and faithful love. As the old hymn goes, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace.”

 

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Stop by on Mondays to link up at Monday’s Musings.
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**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you. Photo Source.

 

When God’s Plan Isn’t Evident

 When God's Plan Isn't Evident | What Joy Is Mine

Some of you, if you follow me on Facebook, know that we had a serious family situation arise a little before Christmas. Our Christmas traditions were done a little differently with my husband’s family to accommodate the situation. And recently, we have seen much improvement in our loved one. But…today. Today we are back almost to where we started in December.

Sometimes, we don’t know what God’s plan is in any given situation. It can seem like we are walking blind not knowing which way to go except to put one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. Yet let me share that God does have a plan and a purpose in all He does. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.(Proverbs 19:21) His work is for His glory and it is always for our good. (Romans 8:28) 

So, when God’s plan isn’t evident, what are we to do?

We are to trust in our holy God. “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:7) Our God is never without reason for what He allows to happen in our lives. When we put our trust, wholeheartedly, into who He is, there is comfort that what we endure is not endured alone or in vain. Trusting in the Lord means relying on Him and having confidence in His design of things. Proverbs 29:25 says, “…whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” Often we want to put our trust in the things and people of this world but our trust ought to be completely in our heavenly Father. We can trust that God is always present and always working in the situation at hand. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

We must keep the faith. Trust and faith truly walk hand in hand. If we trust the Lord with all our concerns then we carry a faith in Him that supersedes what we’re going through. Having faith in an omniscient (all knowing) God will help us hold on through each day. Ask the Lord to grow your faith in Him and to remind you that He “is a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.(Psalm 9:9) He does not leave us when the going gets tough. Instead, He carries us and leads us. God is sovereign in all things and we need to surrender our will to Him understanding He knows what is best. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

We are to be on our knees. Although this seems so obvious, we don’t always fall to our knees in prayer when trying times come upon us. However, it should be the first place we go. We need to “seek the Lord and His strength, seek his face continually!(1 Chronicles 16:11) If we seek Him, we will find Him. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29) Ask God to give you a wholehearted desire to seek and find Him. In finding Him, we can lay our heart and its contents in His hands and find reassurance in an omnipotent (all powerful) Lord. For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37) Prayer is where we can lay it all down in submission to His will and find peace that surpasses all understanding. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

We are to be in the Word. Not much to say about this but to open the Bible and find comfort in the words written there. Remember “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.(Proverbs 30:5)

Lastly, a practical approach would be to keep a journal. Write down what happens (or doesn’t happen), put scripture God gives you, jot down prayers and thoughts, and all answers to prayer. This journal will be an encouraging reflection of a good and purposeful God in the days to come. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.(1 Thessalonians 4:3) 

God always has a plan and we may not know it in the moment or even for a while after. That’s okay. Some mysteries of God are not for us to know until He decides. Yet we can pray that our suffering will produce in us an attitude of gratefulness and humility towards our heavenly Father. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Always we should pray for trust and faith in Him. He is sovereign and good.

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Shared at Spiritual Sundays, Weekend Whispers, Me, Coffee and Jesus, Sunday Stillness, Sharing His Beauty, Moms the Word, So Much At Home, Intentional Tuesday
 

Monday’s Musings #198 & When God Calls You To A New Season

 Monday's Musings #198 & When God Calls You To A New Season

Every life is full of different seasons. Some good, some not-so-good, some joy-filled, some heartbreaking, some challenging and some easy. No matter what season you’re called to, it can be trying to walk through it. Our family is in a season I speak of. The Lord has called us to a new church and it is exciting and nerve-racking since He has called my husband and I to new servant roles within this church. I find myself thinking, “Lord, I feel so inadequate.” I know I love the Lord with all my heart. I also know I will be leaning wholeheartedly on Him in this new journey he has called me to alongside my husband.

As I enter this new aspect of my spiritual life—a new church, a new role of serving—I know there are certain things I need to be doing.

Have faith. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) Faithfully believing that all is possible with my Father is a huge part of walking in a new season of life.

Trust God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) Trusting in God requires letting go of control. Allowing the Lord to lead me and not leaning on my own knowledge will be instrumental in this new calling.

Be in prayer. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) I totally believe that we ought to always be going to God in prayer for all things concerning our life. So this is a given.

Submit and surrender. “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” (James 4:7)Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10) Honestly, when God moved us to be a part of this new church, we were not sure about it. Yet in surrendering to God’s plan and submitting to His design for spiritual growth, we have been blessed. So I want to continue this process of surrendering and submitting.

Embrace this season. “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.(John 7:17) By embracing the seasons of life, we are accepting the will of God. As we began to be more involved in this new church (it launches this Sunday!) and serve in our new calling, I want to be sure I am in the will of God and not seeking my own will.

If you are being called to new things in life—whatever that may be—find encouragement in knowing that God is sovereign over your life. He knows what is best all the time. We just need to have faith, trust in Him, lay all before Him in prayer, submit willingly and embrace His plan for our lives.

It’s a new year and I am so excited at what encouragement and inspiration you all will share as we move into 2016. Thank you so much for being here and sharing. I appreciate you greatly!

Monday's Musings #198 | What Joy Is Mine

 

What Joy Is Mine

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**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you. Photo Source