Following God with Courage

"This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be

afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two New Insights... for me

Let's start with the bible verse, emotions, and circumstances that God used to give me the insights, and then move on to the insights. Here goes...

My memory verse for this week is:

Colossians 3:16 (HCSB)
"Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and in singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your heart to God."

Great verse when you are down, but I had a hard time picking it. Finding a memory verse of the week is not an easy task... I have learned. But, I came across this one and felt impressed that it was the one for me. I put it on a posty on my computer at work yesterday, and I wrote it on my white board over my kitchen table last night so it would be ever before me all week. And, I have been thinking about it. I can hear God saying to me, through this verse, that I need to be grateful to Him more. It will help improve my marriage and my life in general. It will improve me and make me feel better.

I must confess, I have been down lately. Work is stressful right now and being a new wife is harder than I would have thought it would be. Learning to live with someone else after living alone for seven years is hard. I actually liked and enjoyed living alone with my dog. The change is hard... even when you love the other person so very much.

I have been hearing on the radio lately - with it being a new year and decade and all that - how we need to not set "New Year's Resolutions" or goals. They keep saying in sound bits on my radio station that what we really need to do is set our focus back on Christ. Can you see how that is similar to what the verse above is saying? "Let the message... dwell richly... with gratitude in your hearts to God."

Life circumstances are ever before me... but... as I have become more and more depressed over them, I have not turned from God. Oh, there has been a voice whispering to me to just give up. I hear it clearly. I have been tempted. Sometimes... I find it impossible to form thoughts to pray, but I refuse to turn my heart from God. I just lay there unable to talk to Him, but knowing I am with Him just the same. I choose faith, even though I can not bring myself to feel it.

Anyway, I think the Holy Spirit intercedes for me during these times and has been telling the Father what I need and what I feel. Proof of this to me is the answer I have been hearing from multiple sources... sound bits on the radio, memory verse selection, Sunday School lessons (my husband and I and our class have been studying the gospel of Mark), and now a newsletter from Steve Alton (an unexpected source!).

See, I was wondering how to put this verse into practice, how to kick all these negative thoughts out of my head, and how to make my husband's life better not worse because of me; and I read this practical advice in a newsletter from Steve Alten this morning.

  1. Each night before bed, at dinner or while taking an after dinner walk ask each other your success of the day. The success could be a great conversation, an accomplishment at work, something you are proud of, a situation where you helped someone, etc. The important thing is to focus on an accomplishment instead of failures.
  2. Feel Blessed instead of Stressed. Research says we can't be stressed and thankful at the same time. Thus, here is a simple ritual to help. Identify three things you are thankful for each day. You can create a gratitude journal or diary or blog or simply talk about them at dinner. And, anytime you are feeling stressed you can recall something you are thankful for.

Good advice. I plan to start the journal. Thank you God for hearing my heart. Please, continue to help me out of this murk I am in right now.

I am committed to finding one success to share with my husband at dinner tonight and sharing it with him. I pray he has one for me.

Here are my three things I am thankful for today:

  1. My husband and how he loves, supports, and helps me daily. Thank you, my love.
  2. My nieces. The fun we have and the relationship God blessed us with. I always wanted to be a special Aunt, and they make me feel very special. I look forward to making that cake with them tonight.
  3. My dog. He is my baby, and he is a blessing from God.

Until next time...

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