When God Gave Me a New Bedroom Set

I love writing notes to people. Often, I will type it up on a word document, and then transfer it to pen and paper once I have it saying exactly what I want it to say! Tonight I found this draft of the letter I wrote almost 3 years ago! It was encouraging to read and remember the gift that was given to me by God and his servant. And so I share it with you with the hope that it encourages you to be creatively and wonderfully generous, and also deeply grateful for every good thing God sends your way!

Dearest Marian,

As you are faithful and generous to the people God has cross your path, He uses your generosity in their lives in many ways. I am sure that many times you are never aware of how He uses you, but for this instance, I would love to share with you the blessing God brought into my life through your giving.

I had been dating (and hoping to marry) a young man for almost 4 years. He bought a house a few years ago and we have been working on it together. I never bought “house items” for myself, because in the back of my mind, we were going to be married any day and I wouldn’t need my own furniture, décor, etc. Well, just as Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. The Lord seems to have hardened his heart against me, and gave him no peace about marrying me.

But in God’s foreknowledge, just weeks before our breakup, He moved me out of my duplex with unbelievers, and into a new and beautiful home with 2 godly young women. In this beautiful space, God used YOU to provide a “fresh start” to my bedroom. My bedroom, instead of being filled with memories of my ex, was now a steadfast reminder of God’s gracious provision and kindness in my life. Because of your willingness to be generous, I have a night stand filled with my Bible, journal, devotional book, and prayer list by my comfy “new” prayer chair! I call it my “Jesus Drawer” and get to comfortably meet Him each morning in my room. I have already journeled many times of my gratefulness for such an inviting atmosphere to commune with God. It truly is a gift! In fact, each of your gifts can remind me of a different truth about our God:

My lamps: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

My pillows: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

My bed: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29

My night stands: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:15

My blankets: “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4: 7-10

All this to say thank you for allowing me to be the recipient of your bedroom set and desk-because in receiving it, I gained more than furniture, I received the gift of encouragement. Encouragement that God knew what my heartbreak would be and he provided for it before it even happened. Encouragement that God knows how much I love ambiance, and though not necessary, He graciously allows me to have a beautiful bedroom that brings me joy.

With Love and Gratitude to the Lord,

Betty

Redeeming Love & Thankfulness

Yesterday, from 3-10pm I read the book “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. During that 7 hour period I cried, punched the book (freakin’ Paul), and audibly told Angel how wrong her thinking was!

My boyfriend mailed me the book as a surprise for me to read during his deployment. He gets home in 2 weeks and I am even more drawn to him now, knowing how much he loved this book and aspires to be a “Michael”.

As I drove to my Monday Morning Meeting with my boss, I was praying to God about the book. Processing and reflecting about what I read, felt, and know to be true. One thing that came up in our conversation was how thankful I am for the gift of reading. He created language- the ability to be spoken and written. He created storytelling to be emotive and powerfully effective in conveying truth. He allowed me to be born in America in the 20th century where people (and even women!) are given the opportunity to learn how to read and write-a privilege many people (especially women) have not known.

Reading Redeeming Love made me thankful for a whole host of things–maybe that’ll be another blog post-but among the things I thank God for is stories and the ability to read. What’s something you have thanked God for recently?

Call Your Sibling Today!

So today is my little brother’s birthday.

Ha. Little. He is now 25 (whaaaa???) and is definitely bigger that I am-but still little brother to me. ❤

David and I have been through everything together. From rough beginnings, through adoption, and all the subsequent trials of life-we’ve not missed a single one in each others journey.

He makes me laugh more than ANYONE else I know. He is caring and sweet, and puts up with SO (soo sooooooo) many of my shenanigans.

I remember being in high school, getting ready for school in the morning, and looking in the mirror at myself, discontent with what I saw staring back at me. I turned to my (probably 8th grade) brother and said semi-defeatedly, “Well, how do I look?” He looked at me and said, “Smile…” I smiled. He responded “There you go! With that smile, you’re BEAUTIFUL.”

All that to say, this morning I was thanking God for my little brother-for the joy he brings into my life, for the care he has for my family. I don’t tell him enough. There’s a lot I am thankful for, but most of all I thankful for David’s salvation and love for the Lord. What a gift that I can rest in, that He’s got David’s soul!

I’m going to call him and be all sappy to him (cuz that’s how I roll on birthdays) and figured I’d write a blog about this to encourage you to maybe call your sibling today too! If you haven’t recently (or even if you have!) tell them what you love about them, a memory you treasure, or something you are specifically thankful for! If they are believers-praise the Lord! If they are not-KEEP PRAYING!

Happy Birthday, David! I love you!

 

Redeeming Sneezes

It all started with this thing I saw on Pinterest:

Fun and Fails I'm totally gonna try this once and see what kinda response I get haha More at Fails and Fun at our blog http://www.fails.ch:

Hysterical, right?

But it got me thinking about training our minds for godliness. What if every time we sneezed, and someone said “God Bless You”, we took time to identify ways that God already has blessed us? 

So I started doing this with the person across the hall from me at work (work is prime sneezing time for me, I don’t know why…). It just so happens to be one of the Senior Vice Presidents at Lancaster Bible College (he drew the short straw and had to let me work across from him! ;)). I asked him if every time one of us sneezes we would share something specific from that day that was a blessing from God. Whether first thing in the morning, or late in the afternoon-there has ALWAYS been blessings to share- blessings about our families, time in the word, general health, co-workers, etc.

It has been really encouraging to take a few seconds out of the day and randomly give God praise for his goodness that often goes unrecognized. It’s just a little thing–but it’s been an added joy to my days.

Also, Calvin and Hobbes is a joyful thing to add to your day too! 🙂 Have a good one and remember to keep Christ ever before you!

calvin and hobbes | calvin-and-hobbes-wind.jpg:

Valentine’s Day Thoughts!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! And this is what it made me think about today:

Imagine the joy you would have if, come February 14th, outside your door is delivered a huge package! In this package are flowers, candies, your favorite (fill in the blank), and a brand new (fill in the blank)! Woo hoo! You love it! You look for a card, but it is nowhere to be found. You have no idea who it is from, who to thank, or therefore who loves you so much to shower you with such affection!

Imagine if instead, you receive that package, and know exactly who it is from! They’ve inserted a card expressing (as they do often) how much they love you, how much they love knowing you and being known by you, and how much joy you bring them.

Which recipient is happier? The one with the anonymous gift, or the one who can thank the one from whom the loving gifts came? I say, the one who can thank the giver-the one who knows what deep love is associated with this present! There is such joy in knowing the thoughts of intentionality and care behind gifts given!

In this same manner, we as believers are able to KNOW the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Though the rest of the world can still experience laughter, Moose Tracks ice cream, sunsets, sleeping in on a rainy day, the smells of Christmas, and putting on clothes straight from the dryer-WE not only RECEIVE those gifts, but we also have “a card” (the Bible) telling us WHO gave us such amazing things and why! We can know that these gifts are given out of a deep love, joy, graciousness, and desire for intimacy. We can be thankful not just for the gifts, but for the Giver.

All that to say, take advantage of the fact that we can be more joyful and thankful for the pleasures of this life than people who do not know God. Whether you have a Valentine or not-you have been given a LOT! Maybe take some time and stop complaining about the ho-hums of life, and be thankful for the extravagant gifts we’ve been given. Focus on the love of Christ. Be amazed at the sacrifice and the care. Be enthralled with His desire to know you completely, and for you to know Him. Be thankful to the Giver.