Tag Archives: encourage

It Is What It Is

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

Philippians 4:11 (NLB))

Storm

While at the bakery, I ran into a friend from church and we chatted while my latte was being whipped up about the changes occurring as we have recently hired a new pastor. This is good but some things are unknown and we are used to doing things the way we have always done it. She commented, “It is what it is.”

A friend tapped me on the shoulder as we headed into a meeting and asked me how my eyes were doing. She knew that is has been a year of trial and error in an effort to get better vision due to the AMD. After surgery and shots, I smiled at her and said, “It is what it is.”

We saw the movie, Bridge of Spies, last weekend and one scenario was repeated several times that caught my attention. The attorney couldn’t get over the calm the prisoner continued to display as the danger increased and asked him if he was worried. The man replied each time, “Would it do any good?”

Anxiety and fear may creep in when change occurs. Or situations pop up that can’t be fixed or controlled. Sleepless nights, frantic phone calls, terrifying thoughts, stilted emails threaten to overwhelm. Just like the disciples in the boat during the fierce storm, I find myself fretting and panicking before I finally realize that I can’t do anything—but Jesus can and will.

He calms the sea. He stills my heart. I can be content, no matter what the circumstances of my life look like today. And it is OK.

It is what it is.

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Back to School

Get all the advice and instruction you can,

    so you will be wise the rest of your life.

Proverbs 19:20 (NLT)

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School begins so much earlier than when I was a child. The day after Labor Day was always the beginning of the year but the calendar has been adjusted to accommodate weather, holidays, and finals. The lazy days of summer are over for my grandgirlies.

My mother was always a student, maybe because she was a teacher. I had a great example as she took sewing lessons, needlepoint, cooking, organ, golf, Bible study, to name a few, well into her seventies. It was as natural as breathing to her.

Fall indicates a new start for me— a new season for Bible Study, choir, MOPS, and I’m ready to get going. I’ve taken my share of classes but Mom has me beat. Yet, I’m always curious, ever a reader, looking for the “why” of things, wanting to know more of God and His wisdom.

Speaking of seasons, I have the luxury to choose the activities I want to do since I’m in that Fall season of life. But for some, young children, busy work schedules, demanding deadlines, family responsibilities, financial burdens…keep the wheel spinning—often faster than we like.

My encouragement to you is to take some time to listen to the Master so that in all the “doing,” you are “being.” Your heart and soul will be at rest and life will be full of joy and not stuff. That is wisdom.

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Just Enough

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures

Psalm 23:1

 Our church K group meets weekly and discovered the perfect study series for our stage in life. We don’t have a set leader but rotate through the houses and view a video series by Ray Vander Laan. He is a renowned Bible teacher and historian and has a wonderful way of taking us on a journey through the Holy Land, illuminating the historical, geographical and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures.

We have been studying Walking with God in the Desert. Living in the desert and visiting Israel many years ago, I was excited to begin the study. Little did I know I would miss over half of it due to my own walk through the shadow of the valley with our parents.

Yet I noticed that he often focused on the “path” that we are to take, a personal quest of mine. Psalm 23 offers encouragement and hope for the walk on the “right path” (verse 3). However, the explanation of “green pastures” revealed a whole different picture than what I always imagined. 

Rather than a lush field of green alfalfa, the hills of Israel look barren, covered in rocks and boulders, hot, and dry. Watching a flock of sheep meander across the hill along paths scuffed out over the years, Vander Laan both explained and pointed out the tufts of grass that grow between the rocks — just one mouthful of food. As the flock follows the voice of their shepherd, who is constantly searching for food, they are lead step by step to the next mouthful.

What a wonderful picture for us! Life is not a field of lush grass—full of ease, but rather tufts of grass in the middle of the challenges we face each day. Our needs will be satisfied one step at a time, one mouthful at a time, by our Good Shepherd.  Just enough.

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