Lessons From Children

As a mother I have learned that God gives many lessons through the “mouths of babes.” While I may have thought I was the one teaching and training, I have come to realize that there has been many things my Heavenly Father taught me through my children. 

Such as a lesson about love…

As my first born, Brian was everything to me. All my time, energy, and purpose was wrapped up in caring for him and spending time with him. As my first baby I was wowed with his “firsts”! Every day he did something new and I was so caught up in watching him grow and spending time with him. So when I became pregnant again at first I was eager to have another little one to enjoy as I was enjoying Brian. But as the months progressed I began to wonder if I would be able to love another baby as I loved Brian. When Cliff was born, I learned the lesson that because God is love, love has no limits, it always abounds, and there is plenty for everyone! 

With each new baby I realized that not only does love abound, but because God creates each one uniquely, each child’s firsts were amazing! Just as I delighted in Brian’s firsts, I delighted in Cliff’s, Austin’s, and Kayla’s because each one’s firsts were unique to them. They each learned and responded differently according to their personality and I loved them for it. 

When they were a little older they would ask me who I loved most. Now maybe at the moment it did seem as though I loved one of them more than the others, but that question never received the answer they were looking for. So they would come up with their own answers based on how they perceived the ways I demonstrated my love. Who got the most things, who was allowed to do the most, who got away with the most…

I enjoy the simplicity and honesty of children. I think this is why God can teach us lessons through them.

I’m sure you have wondered if God really loved you and when you didn’t seem to get an answer, you began to ponder the evidence to prove whether He did or not?

How do you determine God’s love for you?

You are probably like my children and begin to look for evidence.

What is the evidence that proves you are loved?

This is an all important question you need to consider!

How you answer this question will determine whether or not you ever know whether you are truly loved. 

If you look for evidence of God’s love for you

in the things of this world…

in the people of this world…

in the successes of this world…

to determine whether God loves you or not you will always be uncertain, you will always be searching, you will never have enough evidence to know you are loved. 

My children have grown to realize that the amount of things they received, permission to do certain things, being allowed to get away with things doesn’t prove my love for them. Yes, these are expressions of my love, but my love is not to be measured by the amount of evidence, nor is my love conditional upon their performance, I love them simply because they are mine!

And this is what God says to you as well, 

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, And He who formed you, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1

This is God’s answer to your question as to whether or not you are loved. God’s love for you isn’t found in the things of this world, in the people of this world, nor in the successes of this world, it is found only in Him because God is Love!

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:15-16

Evidence of God’s love is written all throughout the Bible and is displayed all throughout His creation, but the climax of His Love was demonstrated on the cross as His Son, Jesus, died for the forgiveness of sin so you can personally know and experience the One who is love, God Himself!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

So rather than searching for evidences of God’s love for you, search for God Himself, spend time with Him, get to know Him through His word, talk with Him throughout your day for God is love and the more you know Him the more you will experience His love!

 

 

Blessed

What does it mean to be blessed?

I celebrated my birthday last week and I had many birthday wishes for a blessed day and a blessed year. I was so blessed that even the waitress who served me my birthday dinner wore a neckless that said, “Blessed”! The next day I thanked everyone for those happy birthday wishes and responded that I am very blessed.

But, I got thinking, what does it really mean to be blessed?

Blessed is a word I use often and I think I know what it means, but I wonder whether I really know fully what God means when He uses the word blessed.

It took God only 22 verses to first use the word “blessed” in the Bible.

God blessed His creations in the seas and in the sky…

“Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” Genesis 1:22

It seems God’s blessing upon the fish and birds was His way of showing His favor on them to enjoy the earth He placed them in; to live, thrive, and multiply so His wonder will be displayed. And isn’t that what happens as we look at God’s creation? How much awe and wonder is found in looking at the birds of the air and the fish of the sea!

Then after creating man in His image, God blessed them…

“And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

So God showed His favor on man as He created them in His image and blessed them to enjoy the earth He created, to thrive and multiply and display the wonder of God! As with God’s creation, there is an awe and wonder towards those who live fully in the blessing of God, thriving and multiplying, as they represent God well here on earth.

The dictionary definition of the word blessed; made holy; consecrated.

Endowed with divine favor and protection.
 
The word blessed has its origin in God.
 
So when I read in the Bible that I have been created by God, made in the image of God, I realize I am blessed by God.
 
God’s blessing upon my life here on earth includes my knowing the One who created me and knowing my purpose here on earth is to thrive, to multiply, and to display the wonder of God!
 
 
Praise God, I am blessed!
 
 
But, I also realize because blessed has its origin in God, because it is divine in nature, it isn’t like anything of this world. I can humanize blessed and attach my thoughts and ways and assume what being blessed looks like.
 
 
I sometimes assume blessed means I have everything I need.
 
 
After all doesn’t God promise to provide all my needs?
 
 
I sometimes assume being blessed means everything will go smoothly, with no problems.
 
 
After all doesn’t God promise He will go with me and protect me wherever I go?
 
 
Sometimes I assume being blessed will enable to me do everything I need to do.
 
 
After all doesn’t God promise that in Christ I can do all things?
 
 
So, what about those times when I don’t have what I think I need?
 
 
What about when times get really tough and aren’t going the way I think they should go?
 
 
What happens when I find myself unable to do what I need to do?
 
 
Does that mean I’m no longer blessed by God?
 
 
Does that mean I’ve done something to hinder His blessings?
 
 
Do I need to do something to earn back His blessing?
 
 
When I read through the many, many times God uses the word blessing
in the Bible I realize His blessing isn’t something that changes. His blessing isn’t affected by what I do or don’t do.
 
 
God’s blessing isn’t affected by my circumstances!
 
 
God’s blessing is constant!
 
 
And because God’s blessing is constant He works in and through all my circumstances; my need, my turmoil, my inabilities, to show His goodness, His greatness, His glory!
 
 
God’s blessing isn’t about my circumstances, but its about God working in all my circumstances for His glory! 
 
 
God’s blessing is the ability to trust God even when I don’t think I have enough.
 
 
God’s blessing is when I know He is walking with me even when I go through difficult situations.
 
 
God’s blessing is when I believe God will enable me to do what I never thought I could do.
 
 
God’s blessing is always available, but only realized when I trust the power of God, know the love of God, and believe the character of God!
 
 
When I was spending time with God on my birthday, contemplating the meaning of His blessing on my life, He whispered into my ear…
 
 
“Wilma, My precious daughter, blessing is found in looking at My face.”
 
 
When I consider God’s love for me demonstrated by what Jesus went through so that I can have a relationship with the One who created me and knows me perfectly, so that I can walk and talk with Him, so that I can see His face, I realize how truly blessed I really am and it changes my perspective of my circumstances.
 
 
Blessing is found in taking my eyes off my circumstances and by putting my eyes on my Heavenly Father!
 
 
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why have I called you…

I am reading through the book of Isaiah and I came across some verses that caught my attention…

“And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? I am the Lordthere is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me, so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:4-6


I grew up with the understanding there was different types of work. There were those who worked jobs around the community. They were considered secular jobs because they were among the people of the world. There were those who worked in the church and they were somewhat separate from those of the world. Then there were those who were really radical that went to other countries to be missionaries. They were willing to leave everything to tell others about God. 

I always admired missionaries. I considered their passion and selflessness something I longed for. To leave this culture of entitlement, to be free from the things of this world, and to lay up treasures in heaven by telling those who never heard about Jesus of His power and love! 

There was a separation in my thinking.

People here in America do secular jobs, missionaries do godly jobs.

I now see that this way of thinking goes against everything God says in His word. 

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

I finally realize there is no difference in the work we do. If we belong to God we are called to leave this culture’s ways of thinking, be free from the desires of this world, and lay up treasures in heaven by telling others about the power and love of God found in Jesus!

As I spend my days behind a desk, answering the phone, and cleaning the office, I am learning to change my thinking about what I do.

Because the way I think about what I do greatly affects what I do and the impact it has on those around me. 

So when I read this verse in Isaiah, God whispered into my ear that He has called me to this work so that others all around me will know that He is God and that there is no other!

I’m finding it difficult to understand what that looks like. But I know in the depth of my heart that this is what God has for His people. He has placed His people all throughout this world so that we shine His light in all we say, and in all we do because we are surrounded by people who live in the darkness of not knowing Him. It isn’t only the people in far away countries that don’t know Jesus, but in every corner of this great world! 

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-17

 

 

A New Room

Wow, I have missed this! Sitting down to write here is definitely a happy place for me! I can’t believe it has been several months since I wrote my last blog entry. The topic of my last blog, An Open Door, is the very thing that has kept me too busy to write. God opened a door for me to work at Cordes Printing. An employee retired and Mark needed someone to fill her place. These last several months I have been learning many new things as I receive and process orders for prescription pads, Digi folders, and answer phone calls. It isn’t something I would have chosen. It isn’t something that I’m passionate about. But, I know it is where God has called me to. This season looks very different then any other season of my life, and honestly I never thought I would find myself here. Here, meaning behind a desk in an office, using a computer, answering phone calls… It just never looked like me. For many years I have worked on and off helping Mark with work that needed to be done at Cordes Printing. I have done a lot of finishing work, folding, glueing, shrink wrapping… Generally mindless work with flexible hours. And that was perfect to fit around the other things I did in life. But now, this job is different. I need to use my brain to learn so many new things, so many details, so much new information, every day.

So these last several months I have been mourning the loss of my time. The flexibility I had for so long is gone and now I have the challenge of working some of the things I once enjoyed, like writing, around my work schedule. But, with all that said, I am completely convinced this is what God has for me in this season. I know He has opened this door to me and I am thankful for all that I am learning. I have needed to face my fears of making mistakes, my fears of answering the phone, my fears of not knowing enough and am finding that God’s perfect love and power have been helping me to do the very things I thought I could never do.

The thing about walking through the door you never wanted to walk through is that it positions you in a room where you can’t do it alone. And in that room you realize you don’t need to. As a matter of fact, you were never meant to.

In this room of working at Cordes I have needed to rely on God for so much. I have been humbled as I have made so many mistakes, but I am learning that others are gracious and that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. It has caused me to be patient with others as well, for perhaps they are just learning or are having an incredibly hectic day. I am more aware that the Holy Spirit is always with me and wants me to ask Him for help. He has alerted me of things and reminded me of details I didn’t remember on my own. I am learning to trust Him all throughout my day. I have learned to pick up the phone afraid, and found that I don’t need to know all the answers. There is are several great options, the Hold button, and the Transfer button. But I have also found that I enjoy talking with the customers and find it very pleasant to help them with what they need. And I am learning that it is good to learn new things. I am finding business is interesting and I enjoy working with Mark and being in an environment where we can produce products for the needs of others. So much of what we do at Cordes is producing products to promote other businesses.

And as we work to produce product to bring material increase, it is my prayer that we work in such a way as to bring spiritual increase, both to those we work along side, and to those we service.

I pray that in this new room my reliance on God becomes deeper, that my trust in Him becomes stronger, and my faith in Him becomes greater.

For every new room God leads us into has opportunity to remove our fears, to humble us, to increase our trust, and to develop our character so that we become like Jesus, displaying the power and love of God wherever we are!

An Open Door

Sometimes in life you find yourself in front of an open door. It is a door that leads to something you never considered before. It is a door that you would have walked right past if it hadn’t been opened a crack. But, there it is…just opened enough to get your attention. You’re not really sure what it looks like on the other side, but you begin to imagine what it might be like.

You go up to it with curiosity, but with your first peek you are convinced it isn’t a door you want to walk through. With a closer look you see the difficulties, the impossibilities, and decide it isn’t for you.

But then someone comes along and tells you that it is a door you should walk through. They say you are able to accomplish the difficulties, and can do the impossibilities. You appreciate hearing their confidence in you, but you find it hard to believe.

Now you stand there in front of that opened door with your own thoughts of insecurities and with the words of confidence from another; torn between the two.

How do you decide?

I’m sure if you asked others for advice about their open door experiences you would get many different answers. Some would have stories of success and fulfillment as they courageously walked through an open door. Others would have regrets of missed opportunities from being too afraid of the difficulties and impossibilities.

The experiences from others will give you knowledge, but it won’t give you the wisdom you need for your open door.

Your open door is unique and specific, intended just for you! 

It could be that facing the difficulties and impossibilities you first saw as you peeked through the door are the very things God intends to work together for your good.

Don’t allow your first peek through an open door to determine your response!

This is where the wisdom that comes from God is needed!

God alone knows what is best for you!

God is for you and always has your best interest in mind!

God knows you better than you know yourself and He has good intentions to use the situations in life to mature and perfect you!

So even if your first peek leads you to assume the open door isn’t right for you, know that when you ask God He will give you wisdom and courage to make the right choice.

What is so amazing about God is that when you begin to tell Him all the reasons why you don’t want to walk through the door He listens and understands, but He doesn’t discuss your emotions, fears, or insecurities with you.

Discussing them only keeps you convinced you can’t do it!

Instead, God takes your excuses and begins to show you a different way of looking at them!

Just like the open door Moses faced when God called him to set his people free. Moses kept telling God the reasons he couldn’t walk through that door. But God kept taking the focus off of Moses’ excuses, and reminded Moses who He was and what He was capable of. God told Moses that He would walk through the door with him and help him accomplish what Moses had decided he couldn’t do.

So, as you look at the open door in front of you, choose to take your thoughts, feelings, and emotions to God and ask Him to replace them with His truth and to give you wisdom to walk through the door with courage and confidence, not in your own strength or abilities, but knowing God will equip and enable you to accomplish all the difficulties and impossibilities!

And you can believe you will have no regrets!