Monday, October 29, 2018

Do you feel it? The Excitement of Fall

Do you feel it?  Cooler weather, a crispness to the morning, leaves falling, pumpkin decorations, pumpkin pie flavored coffee, pumpkin bread, Fall has come!

And I love it!  I love this season when I can raise the windows, air out the house, decorate the front porch (I'd be lying if I said the house😁), and have a fire in the fire pit.

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  The building up to THE holiday season.  

This is the little lull before full on Craziness!

And really--Hallmark Channel--you have made my season--Christmas movies are now on!  (All of my sons and my husband are groaning outloud!)  But I'm an equal opportunity kind of girl--I watch spy/thriller/shoot em' up movies and college football right there with my men.  They really can't complain too loudly.

Do you want to know what also happens this time of the year?

BUSYNESS!  Parties, celebrations, church functions, family get-togethers, and for us--November is a birthday month for 4 of us in the Agee family.

Already this season, I have found myself putting accomplishing "things" before digging deep into some Bible study.  I'm not saying you have to legalistically study deeply everyday, but you know when you are starting to miss out on the deep fellowship with Jesus.  You realize that you've only been giving the Lord a few moments to your day, and its been a while since you really sat and meditated on what you are learning from the Word.

So let me encourage you and myself to not let the busyness of the upcoming season creep in without you knowing it.  Let me encourage you now to make a plan of what you are going to do to not let this happen.

I decided to start this study by Lysa TerKeurst called, "Finding I AM".  

I also bought this book, Unwrapping the Names of Jesus" by Asheritah Ciuciu for the advent season.  I would say it's geared towards older kids and teens.  But each week it gives suggestions on ways to reach out to others and share some Christmas Love.  I do know this, if you don't plan ahead these things won't happen.

Just a few ideas to keep your focus on the true meaning of the upcoming season.

Just keeping it real!


Monday, October 1, 2018

When "Realness" Hits

I was having a weak moment this morning.

Basically--I was in the "God I am tired of this camp."

I was tired of being stuck at home, I was tired of feeling alone, and I was tired of running to the bathroom because my tummy is still not cooperating.

I was weary.  

Truthfully--I realized today--I was Jealous.  

That's right.  Facebook is my foe.  All those pictures of vacations, trips out shopping, trips to the beach --Y'all--I was undone.  This had been building.  Yesterday I was upset because I couldn't go to church or Sunday School, and then I missed out on a family get together because I didn't think I would do anything but run to the bathroom.  (I had based that on the morning I had been having--no less that 10 trips between 9:00 am - 12:00 noon.)  And yes, we went shopping on Friday, but we also spent our day devising plans of where the public restrooms were and how quickly I could get to them.

The tears have been silently falling all morning.

And then in the back of my brain, since I'm being so terribly honest,  is the fear that I really may die in the near future.  If this nodule is growing, then ...

So forgive my humanness.  It had stolen my joy for a little bit.  I can't help it--it sometimes happens.

Oh, but Jesus.

He doesn't let me wallow for long.

My sister called, she let me talk it out, she prayed for me, and then I went to the Word.

My scriptures today was Psalm 56.

And there I was--just like David--feeling like I was being attacked from all sides.  

Feeling lonely, facing the unknowns, overwhelmed.

Verses 3 and 4 hit me so hard.  I had been looking at my circumstances, instead of trusting that the Lord is bigger than all my problems.   Psalm 56:3-4 says--"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can mere man do to me?"

Then verse 8. "You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle.  Are they not in Your book?"    You can't tell me these verses don't just make you sit still and pause.  He puts MY TEARS in  HIS bottle and His book.  This is my God who knows me so well to know that I will have bad mornings, that I will take my eyes off of His plan, and look at my circumstances, that I will feel alone, instead of remembering that He is with me and never leaves me.  He has a bottle and a book for our tears.  

The end of verses 9-12 says, "This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid,  What can man do to me?  Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You."

How humbling.  The Lord knows our humanness--he knows we will have times of sorrow.  Here he gives us a way to overcome it--give Him "Thanks" offerings.  

So here are a few of my "Thanks" Offerings:

Thank you Lord for being with me--always.
Thank you Lord for collecting my tears in your bottle.
Thank you Lord for numbering my days.
Thank you Lord for my family.
Thank you Lord for good friends.
Thank you Lord for cards of encouragement.
Thank you Lord for your Word.
Thank you Lord for good legs that get me to the bathroom. 😉
Thank you Lord for your redemption plan of salvation.
Thank you Lord for letting me come to you when I am weak.

What is your "Thanks Offering" today?  Please share so we can be thankful too.