Don't give up!

Yesterday afternoon the boys were arguing about who should clean up a mess Samson made.  (He found some popcorn kernels and chocolate ... you can imagine the result.)  After a few minutes of fighting for pecking order, Caleb lost, and was relegated to finding carpet cleaner and a rag.  We heard him mumble, and then a brother exclaimed, "Oh, what?  Do you want to send him back to the pound?"  Caleb responded, "No.  I love Samson!!  I'm just tired of taking care of him."

Dennis and I, in separate rooms, laughed at the same time and hollered to one another, "Did you hear that??"  We laughed again.  "Talk about a life mantra!  How many things could be described that way?"

I love being married, but I am tired of working on communication with my husband.
I love being a mom, but I am tired of taking care of my children.
I love my car, but I am tired of putting gas in it.
I love being healthy, but I am tired of exercising and eating good food.
I love my job, but I am tired of working every day.
I love being a Christian, but I am tired of obeying God's Word.
I love having friends, but I am tired of encouraging them.
I love my home, but I am tired of keeping it clean.
I love clothes, but I am tired of washing them.
I love eating, but I am tired of fixing meals.

You never hear anyone complain:

I love skiing, but I am tired of the snow.
I love surfing, but I am tired of catching waves.
I love hot fudge sundaes, but I am tired of eating whipped cream.
I love watching football, but I am tired of owning a television.
I love going on vacation, but I am tired of visiting new countries.
I love my wife, but I am tired of being intimate with her.

It reminds me of a fantastic quote from the movie The Great Debaters:

 We do what we have to do in order to do what we want to do. 

Sorry, Caleb!  Taking care of a dog is probably one of the easiest responsibilities you will ever have.  And, like everything else you are required to do in your 8-year-old world - it is training.  For LIFE.

Keep pressing on, son.  Keep pressing on.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9


One of my favorite, and most convicting, quotes.

Delayed obedience 
is disobedience.

To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17


Will we trust?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  
II Timothy 1:7 

It seems no matter how much we know about Scripture, or how many promises of God we believe, we are all vulnerable to being controlled by fear.  Small things, overwhelming ones ... we can so easily be overtaken with a sense of panic and completely forget what we know is true.

I have shared before that I was a very fearful child, and it is only by God's grace that I have overcome that battle.  Even though fear no longer controls me, I still have moments when my thoughts run wildly down the wrong path and I feel that cold hand of fear clawing me, trying to get me in its grip.  And if my flesh is weak, I have to fight very hard to break free. There are times I lie in bed repeating Scripture over and over, begging the Lord to guard my mind, keep my focus on HIM and all of His promises of faithfulness, and the truth that He will never leave me.

We fear the thought of death, injury to a loved one, and major catastrophes.  But sometimes fear comes from something as simple as change - the unknown.  And as we begin a new year, it can feel daunting to see an entire year ahead of us - and have no idea what is going to happen.  Regardless of the reason for our fear - we have to remember who holds the world in the palm of His hands.  We have to think on the One who promises He will never leave us or forsake us.  We have to trust the One who says, "Lo, I am with you ALWAYS."

Some thoughts and quotes on fear ...

~ The Christian should be one who refuses to panic.

~ We need to be confident, like David, and run TOWARD our Goliath's - not from them.

~ Fear is real - but it must be conquered by the Christian.

~ Fear can paralyze us - but God has the power to make our feet move again.

~ We must MEMORIZE His promises!!!!!

~ We must continually meditate on the truth of His promises.

~ Satan uses fear to keep us in bondage, and to keep our eyes on ourselves and our circumstances rather than our Creator.

~ Christ asks us to keep our eyes fixed on HIM.

We cannot gaze into two places - our circumstances and the face of God.  We have to discipline our hearts and minds to focus on the Lord, and let the circumstances around us fade away.  Fear is real.  Satan uses it to paralyze the believer because he knows he can.  But God has given us the power of a sound mind - the ability to take our thoughts captive - and the strength to guard our minds in the name of Jesus Christ.  We cannot doubt in the dark what God has shown us in the light.  We know the Truth ... He lives in us ... and no mater what we must face, He is right there, waiting for us to cling to Him, and give us peace.

Will you trust?
Will I?

I pray so - with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength - I pray I will always, always TRUST.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3

Verses to encourage fearful hearts ~ and a reminder of God's promises.