Weekend Blessing

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 KJV

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Photo by Flo Maderebner on Pexels.com

I remember a song from my childhood youth group based on Isaiah 40:31, Teach Me, Lord.  It was one of the songs that I sang to Mom.  It was one of her favorite scriptures.  I watched her live out this scripture.  She was a doer, but in living life, she learned to wait on the Lord.  She had tremendous faith in his provision for everything including strength for the weary.  She was a prayer warrior and knowing she was praying for me was a great encouragement because I knew her prayers were accompanied by an unrelenting faith that God would answer in his time.

I witnessed her faith in praying for healing, salvation, safety and many other things on behalf of her children as well as others.  She had an expectation that God would hear and that he would provide. Even as the Alzheimers ravaged her, she still clung to her faith.  She would sometimes tell me she wanted to see Jesus and now she has.

She prayed many prayers and even though she is now in heaven, I believe that her prayers are still relevant. God remembers her prayers and he knows which ones still need to be answered and they will be in his time.

My prayer for you is that you will wait upon the Lord for renewed strength; that he will raise you on Eagles wings and that you won’t become weary in doing life but trust in his timing for all things.

Grace and Strength for the journey,

Teresa

PS – I hope you don’t mind that I combined Saturday and Sunday this week.  I am a little weary this weekend and need some extra rest.  Looking forward to the day when I can walk and not faint.

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Mom at the Henry Ford museum in Detroit, Michigan on a trip she and Dad took. She thought it would be fun to “ride” the bike. She was always up for a little adventure.

 

Come back Monday for more of the journey?  Just a reminder that I usually post later in the day. Clicking on the ladybug graphic will take you to the first page in this series with links to the daily posts. Thanks for reading!

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The Day In Between

Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. Luke 23:56

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In the gospels what we refer to as Good Friday, or crucifixion day, was referred to as the day of preparation. It was a day to prepare for the Sabbath. Likewise, the day we know as Easter Sunday, or resurrection Day, was the first day of the week. The day in between was the Sabbath.   In Luke 23:56 we read, “They returned and prepared spices and perfumes [the women at the cross]. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.”

I find it interesting that in the journey to resurrection the day after the crucifixion and the day prior to resurrection was a day of rest. Usually when we talk about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ we skim over “the day in between”. It is rarely mentioned.

I think “the day in between” has great significance and can teach us a valuable lesson about rest and waiting. Rest is mentioned throughout scripture. In fact our first encounter with the word of God tells us that on the seventh day he rested. A cycle of work and rest marks our own journey towards resurrection. After a day of resting, we are able to grasp the beauty of a new beginning.

God in his wisdom knows we need to rest and he commands us in scripture to do just that. He knows that if we stop on the day between crucifixion and resurrection to soak up treasures at his feet we will find refreshment and we will find joy. We will be better ministers for him.

Richard Foster has said, “that in contemporary society our adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry and crowds…the seeking out of solitary places was a regular practice of Jesus. So it should be for us.”

Jesus’ ministry had been profound. He often found himself exhausted and at times would steal away to rest. In the fulfillment of the death on the cross his final words “it is finished” were an acknowledgement that he had done all that he could and now it was up to God to take over and fulfill the promise of resurrection.

Did God purposefully plan the crucifixion so that there was a day of rest following? If so, what were his reasons? I don’t presume to know why God does things the way he does, but I do know that he always has a plan and his plan is done on purpose. Maybe he allowed that day of rest so that those close to Jesus would be able to get away from the brutality of the cross; maybe he wanted them to exercise their faith while they waited; maybe he wanted them to have time to process all that had happened before they welcomed the joy of resurrection.

Sometimes we are called to do a particular work and even though we know it is our purpose, it can at times become wearisome. That is why we have to take those interludes of rest. Sometimes the day of preparation is tiring at best, and horrible at worst and we need to rest on the day in between so we can be refreshed on the first day.

In Isaiah 40: 31 we read, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”   The song based on that verse ends with “teach me Lord, to wait.” That is what “the day in between” is for – to wait and rest.

PRAYER

Dear Father, Teach us to take time to rest. Teach us to wait on you. After Friday we need you more than ever. Let the breeze of your refreshment be a soothing balm to our souls on the day in between so that we may meet the first day with joy and anticipation. Amen

Resting in grace,

Teresa

In The Waiting

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I read the Sarah Young devotional this morning and Isaiah 40:31 was one of the verses. The whole theme of waiting is hard for me.  In a contradictory kind of way.  If you know me at all, or are starting to get a glimpse of me through reading my blog, you may have noticed that I can sometimes reside on both sides of the coin.

So, even though I am bad at procrastination, I am still impatient about getting started once my mind is made up to do something. Once I come to a decision, I want the results now.  Once I get started on a project, I may work until midnight or later so I can finish. I have a hard time slowing down and enjoying the process.

You can imagine that I might go a little stir crazy waiting on answers to where God is leading.  Sometimes, I think maybe there is something that I’m not getting.  Maybe, the waiting is over and I just haven’t’ read the memo yet. There could be a lot of truth in those scenarios, but there could also be another reason.

Maybe, I haven’t yet learned what the waiting is teaching me.  Could it be that in the waiting is where we learn how to live?

Waiting teaches us to trust in even the most difficult of circumstances.  When you are living on savings and you know it won’t last forever you have to choose to worry about the future or trust that God has a plan for your provision.  I have been saying for two years that God has a plan.  I’m still not sure exactly what that plan is. But, I know he has one.

Almost two years ago we made a decision to move back to my hometown to be near my parents who were going through some health issues. My husband was finishing his dissertation preparing to graduate.  We knew it would be at least a year before we had any real income.  We naively thought that once he was finished (May 2013) that the job offers would be there. He has invested a lot of time in applying for positions and networking with others.  He has stayed busy with his music, but not in a solid income generating kind of way.  I have constantly told him that God has a plan.  Even when doubts knock loud on the door of my soul, I still believe God has a plan.

The waiting is hard because you feel like you may not be accomplishing anything of worth.  It is hard because you worry that others may be judging you for the decisions you have made. I still know the decision to move was the right one.  I have no regrets. And, for the most part I have learned not to worry about what others think. But, still, there are days you feel low in spirit because life seems to have stopped spinning in your corner of the world. You realize that your dreams and plans may have to change.  You may have to open your heart to new desires.

Psalm 37:4 says to “take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  I believe that means I am to open my heart to him freely and allow him to decide what those desires are.  I truly believe that if we are waiting on him, he will give us the desires that are best for us and if we are willing, he will allow us to pursue those in the best way possible.

His ways are always best. I have found myself lately asking him to give us his best, not what we think is best. We had plans, they may still line up with God’s plans.  They may not. He may totally change our plans into something even better. We have to be willing to wait on his timing and we have to be open to a change of heart that only he can perform.

Is it possible that until we learn the lessons in the waiting, we can’t move forward?  It has dawned upon me that only when I sink into the waiting and allow God to do his work in his time and accept his plan, will I be free to move forward. Moving forward may not look like what I had imagined, but if it’s God’s plan, it will be even better. The question I have to ask myself is, am I willing to learn and change in the waiting?

What are your thoughts?  I am not an expert, but I know the theme of waiting has been a big part of my life the past couple of years.  If God has us waiting, then there is a purpose and we need to discover that purpose.  We need to allow the waiting to prepare us for the next part of the journey.  With God, nothing is wasted, not even waiting.

Learning In The Waiting,

Teresa

 

 

My Health Is Worth It

I did something today that I have never done before.  I paid for a gym membership.  And I walked the track around the basketball court.  Twenty-two laps equal a mile. I walked twenty-two laps.  I think.  I got distracted once, talking to a lovely older woman and may have lost count.  She did 56 laps.  Baby steps.  One day soon, I too will do 56 laps, which according to her is about two and a half miles.

The only other time I have been to a public gym for exercise was on the seminary campus and it was free to students and their families.  Well, technically, we actually did pay a lot for that gym membership if you count the tuition.  But to officially join a gym that required me to commit up front to a three month contract without possibility of refund.  Today was a first.

I did this because I decided that my health was worth it.  When we lived on campus we went to the gym and walked fairly regularly, but we took it for granted and so missed quite often and didn’t really take full advantage of all it had to offer.  Well, Mr. Piano did join a water aerobics class once.  The women were very gracious to him.

Anyway, moving on, my health is worth the moola.  Back in the summer we were walking at the park quite often and it was a work out because there were mountains.  Ok. Hills.  Small ones. And it felt good and I was noticing a difference.  Then, it got cooler and then cold and we dwindled down to once a week, then not at all.  Every time we went it was like starting over and I would use any excuse not to go.

Did I mention that my health is worth it?  It makes me feel better to walk.  My clothes fit better.  I have more energy.  But, I need consistency.  I need to know that I’m going three to four times a week rain or shine, warm or cold.  So, for the next three months until it warms up a bit, I’ll be walking at the local gym.  Every day.  Minus three, or four.  The point is, I will have no excuse for consistency or lack thereof.  Unless of course the roads are impassable due to a blizzard.

I figure by spring I’ll be back in the swing and feeling much better and transitioning to the park again will be easy peasy.  And those hills?  They’ll be a new challenge that I’ll be ready to meet.  And, Mr. Piano?  Joined also.  We’re like that, the two us, we do things together.  He’s a showoff though.  He did more laps than me and he jogged part of the time.

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Hopefully in 2013 we will REMAIN healthy.  How’s that for using my word of the year?  Go me.

Remaining in Grace,

Sadie

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