When I look back at where I was last year, well, I'm not sure exactly what I think. I was just nearing the end of a rough year of homeschooling (I wanted to go to school so badly!). In general, my life was good, I just had bad days sometimes (I would get the Monday blues for the first time in my life... I had always loved Mondays!). I went to church and youth group and I did read my Bible, just not consistently.
The summer was both weird and great at the same time. Yep.
School started up again and in my longing I tried to make it as much like school as possible - which made me hate it even more. We were still looking for houses, living with half our stuff in a storage unit...
A few years ago I read Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts, and I follow her blog. She sent out this 100 Days thing to help you make good habits. On September 10, 2012 I started, my three habits to make being to read my Bible, count my gifts (see Ann's book), and to exercise. Life was good. I was still a little down. I started to rise out of it. I discovered that in my longing for school, I was trying to fit homeschooling into the same shape and it wasn't working. Once I decided to embrace homeschooling I started to enjoy it. If I were given the choice I think I might still go to school, but I am happy where God has me.
I think there are several things that God has been (trying to) teach(ing) me this year.
1. give thanks. all the time, and for all things. when was the last time you thanked God for the sound of birds chirping outside for window? (for more on the giving thanks thing, see Ann Voskamp's book, or her blog. life changing!)
2. don't fear. Like I said here, I have been looking at all the fear-nots in the Bible. what I am learning is just. so. cool.
3. trust God. this one is overlapping of both of the others and is so much more. we cannot fathom all that He is. all He does. just rest in Him.
I think this song really sums up where I am right now. Especially the bridge: 'I don't know, I don't know, what tomorrow may hold; but I know, but I know, that You're holding it all, so no matter what may come....'
This song has also meant a lot to me this past year.
I was looking through my little notebook and found some verses/passages that I had written down as important to me, since September. (btw if I didn't put the passage there is a link)
I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.
But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.
Three amazing books I would recommend reading:
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis (wow. what an inspiring story with amazing lessons to be discovered as you journey along with Katie. couldn't put it down.)
Heaven by Randy Alcorn (while learning about Heaven I learned so much more about God too. what an awesome Saviour we have people!)
1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp (see the rest of this post. this is where my journey began and keeps going.)
If you are in tough spot, I would encourage you to hope. I would encourage you first and foremost to read your Bible, even in the days you don't feel like it, because it will be worth it. If you wait until a day when you feel better you will never start. If you start today you will feel better. Read Ann's book, make a gratitude list. Live in every moment. Trust God, be still, and soak in who He is. I just want to encourage you. I'm not trying to make last year look really bad, because to be honest, it wasn't all bad. But I do know that last year, I was in a bit of a low spot, and this year, I have risen out of it! With God's grace, you can too!
wow. that was long. ;)