Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Favorites, birthday & GOD IS GOOD edition

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Momfessionals for this blog post.

I feel like I've been birthday celebrating all week.  I suppose that is appropriate for this last year of being thirty-something.  (Hey, that sounds like a tv show!  Just kidding, it was, do you remember that?!  I loved it and used to think it sounded so old.  Um, not anymore.)

Here are some of my favorite moments from this week.

This isn't a moment, but a sweet friend gave me this for my birthday!  I love signs and I love this one the best.  Because of what it says and because of who gave it to me.  I will always treasure it.  :)

I think the word 'abide' might be one of my favorite words of all.  Because I am a word girl.

The picture above of the boys and me might be my favorite that we have ever taken.  I was laughing ridiculously hard, and they were all being so goofy.  Todd wasn't helping the matter any and was just clicking away on my phone the entire time.  And this picture of him and me....again, I was laughing really hard.  Are you sensing a theme?  My family cracks me up.  We spend a lot of time laughing, which is good for the soul!  I am of the belief that one should never take oneself too seriously.

"I love to laugh.  Laughing's my favorite."  

~Buddy, the elf.

Another favorite thing we did this week was going to see The Singing Christmas Tree with some friends.  This sweet gal you see above was not feeling well when we went, though, but she was a trooper and went anyway.  (I'm glad she got some medicine from her doctor.)

Wednesday was full of some of my favorite moments from the week.

I love my church family!  I say that all the time, I know, but seriously, I thank God for them.  I cannot imagine what life would be without them....except that I know it would be a lot more boring than it is now.

A couple of my favorites gave me some very thoughtful birthday gifts this week.  One was a book mark that's Christmas-y (BECAUSE I LOVE CHRISTMAS!), and then I got this cute little picture hanger thing from Emma, whom you see in the picture that I hung on it.

And because I want to take some time here to boast not in these things listed above, but in God, I need to say some things.

I consider myself wealthy with friends, and overflowing with blessings.  I do not say that lightly.  I am so thankful to God for all that He has given me in the wonderful people in my life, family AND friends, and I do not take them for granted.  He has given me such a sweet community of people around me, and different types of friends for different seasons and in different places, but He heard my cries to Him for godly people.  I used to be one that had a hard time making friends.  I craved friendships like I have now all of my life, and when I started faithfully praying for friends that would help me honor God in my life, He began to do magnificent things.

I say all that to encourage you to never give up in your prayers.  (I know for a fact that there are people who are reading this that need to be encouraged in their relationships.)  He hears you!  He does not answer prayer on our time schedules, though.  He is in control, and His timing is perfect.  That usually means that some patience in waiting on Him is involved on our part.  He teaches us things while we're waiting patiently, though, things like the fact that He is in control of our lives, and that He will answer our prayers when it will bring honor to Himself.  He always shows me personally, that in the time of waiting, He does some work on my heart.  Because I assure you, I am a wretched sinner, and I am never above being changed by Him.

I say all the time that God is not like a genie in a magic lamp.  He will answer our prayers according to His will.  That means that sometimes, those test results might turn out positive.  It means that sometimes, jobs will be lost.  It means that sometimes, kids can stray away from Him.  God allows us to go through valleys and peaks, hard times and good times.  Life is hard, and sometimes it seems that it will stay hard.  In other times, things can flow along smoothly.  The world is watching how God's people react in circumstances that aren't all that wonderful.  Do we wallow and cry pitifully at ourselves, or do we take a deep breath and acknowledge the fact that even in times that are bad or difficult, GOD IS STILL GOOD?

(To read some more of what God says about this subject, read the book of Job.  In the beginning of the book of Job in the Old Testament, God says to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Job?"  And then He allowed Satan to put Job through a sifter and bad thing after bad thing happened to him.)

But God is always good.   No matter how bad life seems, no matter how good life seems, God is a good, kind, and loving Father.

In the next breath, I must also tell you that He is a jealous God, and He wants nothing to take precedence over Him in our lives.  He allowed His creation the freedom of the human will, and we have the choice of seeking Him first, or seeking the things of this world first.

But the choice is ours.

We can put Him first, or we can consider Him after we've done all the other things that we want to do first?  Do we make Him a priority?  Or do we think to ourselves, well, I can pray and read my Bible anywhere....I can just skip today.  (Whether that is church or in praying and reading His word.)  (I just stepped on my own toes, there, so don't think I'm not talking to myself.)  (I've been struggling in my own morning quiet time lately, and I really feel that God impressed some things on my own heart this morning.)  (This is a lot of parentheses.)

God is good.  He is sovereign.  He hears every prayer you utter to Him, and when He sees fit, He will do something about that prayer you've been praying for ages.  It might not be what we think or want, but He will answer according to His will, and usually, by that time, He has done some major heart repair on us.  And that means that by that time, we are fine with anything He does.

In all this process, He is refining us and molding us into what He wants us to look like, like a potter who is working with clay.

If you are still here reading, way to go for hanging in!  I had to say all this, though, because I ask God to use me in what I write on this blog, and I just read this morning to boast only in God.  That was the reasoning for all of the words above.

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.

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