The plans of the Lord

I have always heard that we plan and God laughs, but experienced it personally this week. A few days ago we had our things packed ready to store at the school while we were gone to the States, only to find out we will no longer be returning to Korea. Yesterday I was in shock and today just sad. Yet, I must believe that the Lord‘s ways and His plans are far better than my own. Many want to know what happened, why? To which the only answer we have is the Lord’s leading. I’d love to stay and continue ministry here, but for reasons I don’t know yet the Lord would have us go elsewhere to serve. Where will we go I don’t know, what will we do, again I don’t know. I feel kind of like Abraham, setting off for the place the Lord will show us. It is both scary and exciting, yet I rest in the fact that the Lord knows best and has His best for us.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Is.55:8-9)

So after 2 years of living and serving in the great city of Busan, Korea, we will bid her and the many friends we have made farewell as we seek to follow our Lord. Cherishing the memories made and anticipating what and where the Lord would have us go next. Taking great comfort in the fact that the Lord goes before us preparing the way and looking forward to Heaven all the more knowing we will indeed see our friends again.

 

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Learning to slow down…….

As I was walking home today from the bus stop, I slipped and fell into a wall almost bruising the fruit I had just bought and stumping my big toe.  A lady who had been walking slow stopped to check on me. As I smiled to let her know I was okay, I felt the Lord asking me a question it seems He has been asking me a lot lately…. “what is my hurry?” Since moving to Korea, where people are always on the go, I have found myself falling into the same hurried pace. Always in a rush to finish one thing so I can move onto the next. Yet, the Lord keeps asking me why? Why am I always in a hurry? It seems many days I find myself telling the kids hurry and get dressed so we can start school. Hurry and do your schoolwork so we can eat lunch. Hurry and finish lunch so we can finish school. Hurry and finish school so we can run errands. Hurry and finish so we can fix dinner. Hurry and finish dinner so we can take baths and get ready for bed.  Before I know what has happened the day is over and I have rushed through it and haven’t enjoyed a moment.

The Lord has been working on my heart asking me is it really worth it? All the rushing doesn’t change the fact that there are only 24 hrs in a day or 7 days in a week.  I do not believe the Lord ever intended for us to feel or be so rushed. He created a world full of beauty for us to enjoy and I believe He wants us to take the time to do just that. He tells  us in His Word  that laughter is good for the soul, yet if we are rushed and always in a hurry, we leave little time to smile and enjoy what God has given us.

Every time I find myself rushing through, the still small voice of the Lord whispers slow down, relax, breathe. Take a look around and enjoy what I created. I’m in control not you, let me take care of you, enjoy me. Smile, relax delight in all I have given you!!!

I’m always reminded at such times of Mary and Martha…. Martha was so busy she missed what was best to sit at Jesus feet, to enjoy Him because she had to have everything just right, she had to do more, more, more.While Mary chose what was best to enjoy the Lord. I believe if we are all honest we have more Martha tendencies than Mary and yet most of us want to be more like Mary. I believe this starts with spending time at the feet of Jesus, dwelling in His presence. Next, enjoying and delighting in the people He has placed in our lives and the things He has given us. Sure, the clothes still need washed and the errands run. The meals need prepared and the baths given. Yet as we learn to slow down and remember why and for whom we are doing these things, I believe there will be joy in these things as well.

Join me on my race to slow down… I’d love to hear your suggestions and ideas as well.

The Law of Kindness

Have you ever had a bad day?  I mean a day when you are just grumpy and grouchy? Today, for me was one of those days. I told my husband I’d like to order a new set of nerves because mine were shot. He gladly agreed with me. It seemed like my flesh and spirit were indeed at war. And as most of you ladies will understand, for the life of me I hadn’t a clue why I felt this way. I spent much time praying for God’s grace and for his help. As I prayed, the Lord brought no other than the Proverbs 31 woman to mind. Now, my thoughts on this woman range from admiration to dislike. Mainly because I know I don’t measure up. Yet, the verse that kept playing through my mind was this. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness (Prov.31:26). Over and over this verse played through my head until I knew the Lord was seeking to teach me something.

Right away I became aware that I had not used wisdom in the opening of my mouth today, but had foolishly said what I felt and allowed grumbling and complaint to govern my speech instead. As a child  I learned that if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all….yet that wise lesson was no where to be found today. Yet the most striking part of the verse to me was the second part….”and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” I searched out the deeper meaning and came upon Mathew Henry‘s explanation. He said it like this, “ The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, but it shows itself in the tongue. ” I realized real quick that my heart today was not filled with kindness nor Gods love, but instead was full of worry, frustration, and fear. Therefore the words of my mouth were snippy and unkind.

I’m sure the ultimate need in order for these verses to apply is prayer. time casting myself at the Lord’s feet, allowing Him to fill my cup, being filled with the Holy  Spirit and the Lord’s wisdom. Then comes obedience to His Word.

Speak words of kindness.
♦  A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger(Proverbs 15:1)
♦ Gracious words are a honeycomb,  sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.(Proverbs 16:24)

♦The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.(Proverbs 17:27)

♦ A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold. In settings of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)

♦May the words from my mouth and the thoughts from my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my defender. (Psalms 19:14)

I’m sure we all would like to be a little more like this great woman of God. Today, the Lord has shown me a little about this through the lesson He taught me…now to apply this to my life. Let me know your thoughts and how you apply this verse to your life.

O be careful little eyes what you see……

Jehoiachin…. he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father had done.” 2 Kings 24:9

Every time I read through the Kings I notice  a pattern I’m sure you have seen as well, that almost always the children follow the example their fathers set before them. You read again and again statements like the above and at times statements that they did more evil than their fathers before them. Very few times do you find one who does not follow his father’s example.

I have thought about this a lot lately especially as the kids and I just finished a Bible study on being an example. I am ashamed to say some of the things I dislike the most in my kids are found in me as well.  Teaching with words is needed and God‘s Word holds the power and will change lives, yet our examples truly do speak louder than words. Speaking it is not enough unless it is also mirrored in our lives as well.

The Lord is teaching me that if I want my children to be thankful and not complain, then I must also follow suit. If I want my kids to trust God no matter what, then I must do the same. If I desire my kids to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength this should also be reflected in my life.

Its pretty convicting I must admit, for as I said the things I’m constantly getting onto my kids about in their lives have been learned by watching me. I don’t know about you, but I truly desire to set a good, godly example before my kids in my speech, life, love, faith and purity (I Tim. 4:12) I also desire  to teach them humility, which means when I sin and fail them, I must go before them and ask their forgiveness as well as the Lords.

Being a parent is so much more than having and taking care of children. It is the day-to-day moment by moment daily life. Making the most of every opportunity to reflect Jesus to them.

One day I will be gone and my kids will be adults, it is my desire that they have learned what it means to serve the Lord by watching me. I am by no means perfect and have a lot of growing to do. Yet, working at this concept I believe is most important.

Join me on this journey and share your examples and lessons learned with me!!