Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bumps and Blessings!

     Well, it has been exactly one month since my last sorry Faithful Readers!  I promise, I had the loftiest of intentions to blog more faithfully during the summer months!  I compose blogs in my head, and never seem to be able to get to the computer to send them along!  *Sigh*

     The theme that's been running through my head lately has been "bumps & blessings."  (Hence the title!)  By now, if you have read this blog for very long, you know that I like boring.  Lately, however, life around here has been anything but boring!  In fact, it has been very "bumpy."  I seem to be hitting all the potholes in the road of life!  As soon as I bounce out of one, it seems like I'm heading down into another. And it seemed like I was hitting them in all the different areas of life--marriage, kids, health, church, work....

     I want to be real on this blog.  I don't want to "roll around" in my problems, but I don't want you to think as you read this blog "She has it all together...nothing ever seems to happen to her like what happens in my life..."  Because that's definitely not true!    As humans, and therefore sinful creatures, we all have our share of trials and temptations that we face.  The hard part is learning how to handle them properly, according to Scripture.

     So, as I was saying, life has been bumpy of late.  And I was getting discouraged.  I mean, don't-want-to get-out-of-bed, what-is-the-point-of-trying-anymore discouraged.  Then I realized something.  A simple, straightforward, should-have-already-known-this something.  (Side note: you know how we get tired of saying the same thing over and over to our kids?  Do you ever think about God sitting back and saying, "Now, how many times have I tried to tell you that?"  Thankful for a Perfect, Wise, and most of all Patient Heavenly Father!)  God sends the bumps in our life so we are forced to seek out the blessings. 

     It's so easy to forget God's continual blessings during the boring times.  Bumpy times narrow our focus, forcing us to concentrate on remembering God's blessings--most of the time just so we can go on living!  And as I went through these bumpy times, I was forgetting to do that.  So I was getting more and more discouraged, wrapped up in my issues.  Then I was thinking one day about something that has happened in my family's life recently that has been an answer to a prayer of ours for a very long time.  Then I started thinking about other things that have been happening in our ministry here.  I realized then that Satan wants me to focus on the bumps.  If he can get our focus on ourselves, and our problems, then he knows the battle is half won in our life.  Discouragement is one of his biggest weapons.  Because discouraged people are halfway to being quitters.  And Christians who quit won't do anything to further God's kingdom.  Which is exactly Satan's plan.

     I started listing things mentally that have been happening that have been furthering God's kingdom.  Families in our church who have committed to live their lives for the Lord.  Kids in whose life I have had a small part coming to the Lord for salvation.  The exponential growth of our school this summer.  And I realized...this is why we have bumps--so we can remember the blessings.

     So, if your just coming out of a bumpy time yourself, or may be heading into one, I want to encourage you.  Look for the blessings.  Don't let Satan get a foothold of discouragement in your life.  Give your disheartening moments to the Father.  And soon you'll look back and see what God has accomplished during your bumpy time.  Then you'll be able to give Him the glory!

    Oh, and sometimes, the bumps can be blessings fact, we have a "bump" that is growing into a "blessing", and should be here in about six months!  (Is that too vague?)  :)