Encouragement From God's Word, Faith

It’s January! Time For Some Renewal.

It’s January, a time of new beginnings and renewal. I am wondering how many of you make those promises called resolutions this time of year? Of those who do, I wonder how many of you actually keep them? Or, are you like me; after years of failing to keep even one resolution, you know better to even make them anymore?

I think that my problem was I set them so high and lofty, I was destined to fail. Lose 45 pounds in three months. (It’s so much easier to eat the whole bag of chips because they taste so yummy!)  Get up everyday at 5am to read my Bible for an hour before getting the kids up and running. (Um, no. My bed feels so good!)  Keep my house like Martha. (I’m not even that big a fan of Martha. That’s a lot of housekeeping perfection, right there.) These are obtainable goals, for sure. For some people. But, for me, they are just about equivalent to sprouting wings and flying. In other words, never going to happen!

What I should have been doing instead, was FIRST  focusing on the renewing or reviving of my mind and the Holy Spirit within me, BEFORE focusing on  renewing or changing my habits. As a mom, or any woman for that matter, we are so great at running ourselves ragged and tired to the bone, worrying about everyone and everything else first, that we tend to forget about ourselves and develop some bad habits. We have to stop doing that ladies! Not only forgetting about ourselves, but Him as well. I know that my schedule can get so filled up and I can get so worn out, that there’s not much room left for Him. When I truly focus on putting Him first, daily, everything else gets a whole lot easier to do. That, and setting smaller goals…but that’s another post!

This past September, after not attending for year, I went to a Women of Faith (WOF) conference in Philadelphia. Without the kids. Without the husband. Can you even imagine? If you are not familiar with WOF, it’s a weekend conference for women featuring praise and worship music and well known Christian women speakers. It travels all over the United States and the artists and speakers vary from city to city. This year’s theme was From Survival to Revival and was based on Psalm 85:6, “Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?”.

Let’s take a closer look at that theme verse because those few simple words are pretty awesome. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the word revive is a verb that means, “…to make someone or something, strong active or healthy again…to return to consciousness or life…become active or flourish again…to restore from a depressed or unused state…to renew in the mind or memory…” Wow. The word again is defined as, “…for another time, one more time or to a previous position or place…” Hmmm. How about the word rejoice? That means,”…to feel joy or great delight…” Let’s go one step further and look at the word joy. “…a feeling of great happiness or state of bliss…” LOVE it!

So, based on those definitions, Psalm 85:6 could be written to say, “Oh, Lord!!!! Will you please come and make me strong once more? Please Lord, I need you to once more, renew my mind. Oh, Lord, my life is gone astray and I’m feeling depressed. I need you Lord. I don’t know what happened, Lord, but I’m at a place where I’ve lost my delight in you. I know you can renew me, revive me, so that I can once more be able to praise you Lord and find great happiness in your name!”

Ever feel like you need that kind of renewal? That kind of revival? Are you so busy, in such a rush, going here and there and everywhere for your kids, family, work, and yes, even your church, that you find yourself so worn out, even depressed, that you can’t even fathom how you get the energy to get out of bed and face your day to day routine, let alone find the time to truly rejoice in that day The Lord has given you? To rejoice in him? If your are honest, you’re shouting, “YES!!!!” I know I did, and often. That’s why when I saw this year’s theme, I knew The Lord was telling me to lay aside any excuses and get my rear to Philly and see what he had in store for me to hear.

I’m so glad that I went. I took twenty pages, yup, you read it right, twenty pages of notes. I left there so lifted and so filled with a renewed joy and Love for The Lord. He is so good. But, I can’t believe He wants me to keep what I learned to myself. It’s too good not to share! So, , I’m going to share some of what The Lord showed me through the wonderful speakers and musicians that were at Women of Faith. Some, I took more notes of than of others. Some, I just jotted down a thought that hit me. But, I’m going to share them all with you in the coming weeks.  I hope they will be a blessing to you and that you can, in turn, pass it on to someone else who may be struggling in the chaos of the everyday.

I’m closing this post with some Anita Renfroe. She opened the weekend, and I didn’t really take too many notes because I was too busy laughing to do so. She was poking fun all night at this young girl in the front row and doing jokes about getting older. But, in the end, her message was this: “Your imperfections make you beautiful.” Ahh, great stuff. I must be gorgeous then!!

But seriously, she referred to Romans 9:20: “But, who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some common use?”

We were created with all our shortcomings and imperfections for a purpose. It may just be to be His light for our kids in the everyday chaos or He may call us to something bigger. But, He MADE us. He literally formed us with His own hands! Each and everyone of us!   It’s so easy to question what and why, but the truth, is, we aren’t supposed to question His ways. We will drive ourselves nuts trying to figure out the answers. Instead, we are just to relax and trust Him and carry on, because He’s got our back.

Here’s a little Anita to brighten your day:


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