I have to apologize for not posting anything in quite some time. I had a very, very busy March, April, and May as our baby girl — Bella — had puppies, and it turned out to be quite a bit of work for both of us.
And then June came along, and I tried several times to write this post, but just couldn’t seem to figure out what I wanted to say. Originally, I was going to write all about what we went through with Bella and the puppies, but today I feel like there is a greater need for a post for those who may need some encouragement (including me). So, I deleted some of the original copy I wrote and started over.
Although there were a lot of sweet moments and fun times during our eight weeks of puppy raising, and I got tons of great photos (plus a puppy to keep), for me personally (and I think even for Bella), it was a pretty stressful time. I worried a lot — about doing the right things at the right times to raise happy, healthy puppies and about making sure they would all be going to good homes. I also worried about the lack of work and a regular paycheck that I had at this time. Of course, if I had had a lot of contract work that I was trying to get done on top of raising puppies, I just might have had a nervous breakdown. There is no way I could have done both. So, I was thankful for the timing, but during this time, I prayed a lot for peace, wisdom, guidance, and for increased faith and trust. I knew that even if my worries seemed unimportant or minor and insignificant compared to what some people were going through, that God cares about me, and the things that affect me matter to Him.
“A lot of people believe that worry is just a part of life. But they are wrong. Worry is actually a kind of unbelief. Worrying says you don’t believe I am big enough to take care of whatever it is that upsets you so much. Worrying says you think I need your help. Wrong! I am big enough. I am strong enough. I love you enough. Bring your problems to Me. You can trust Me to take care of you—and whatever you are worrying about!” ~Jesus Calling for Kids by Sarah Young
Despite the Scripture passages and devotionals (like the one above) I have been reading about worry, I have to admit, I am still having trouble putting it aside. Lately, I have felt overwhelmed by world issues (politics and senseless violence), heartbroken for friends going through relationship issues, concerned for a friend who was recently laid off from her job, and distressed for someone who currently has a job but is so uncomfortable with it that it is making him physically ill.
I am thankful that my work has started up again, but stressed that it will be a little while before the money starts coming in regularly. I am grateful for all the blessings I do have but can’t help but feel anxious about today and the days ahead. I want to move past my stress and embrace an attitude of gratitude … but some days it is just hard.
Lysa TerKeurst recently posted this:
I want to challenge you to pray prayers that make God your focus rather than your circumstances — Here are a few I’ve been inspired to pray:
God, despite my circumstances, I will find reasons to praise You.
God, even when I feel disappointed by what life brings, I will trust You to bring good out of bad.
God, no matter what, I will hold on to You and Your truths.
God, my deepest desire is for more of You in me. And if that is the desire of my heart, I will never be disillusioned.
I am trying to follow her advice and that of other wise counselors.
With God all things are possible. Your impossibilities and mine are really opportunities to trust God and believe His Word. They are opportunities to experience God’s power and faithfulness in our lives. ~Krista Williams
I also try very hard to be an encourager to others on a daily basis. In fact, I often post things on Facebook that I hope will help someone else in need. But some days even encouragers need encouragement. Please pray for me if you get a moment, and let me know how I can pray for you.
Lord, I know You and I trust You to bring us safely through our trials. Please fill our hearts with Your peace and help us focus on You and all our blessings, not current circumstances. Show us how to respond to our problems in a way that honors You. Help us to notice and respond when others are in need of our prayers on their behalf. We praise you and thank you for Your wisdom, Your kindness, Your love, Your promise of protection, and Your perfect plan for our lives. Thank you for being our Shield and our Comforter, our Deliverer and our Strength. We love you and pray all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.