Life is full of hallways - those times between God's closing doors and opening windows. Find Biblical encouragement for your own season of struggle by visiting the blog, stopping by the shop, or subscribing to our members' page. Let's praise Him in the waiting!
“How are things going?” I asked a friend who was walking through a very dark hallway.
“I’m surviving because I’m preaching truth to myself during this valley,” she replied.
Her response both encouraged and challenged me. I was thrilled to hear that she was taking measures to find her hope in the Lord, but I was also convicted about the way I handle my own struggles. When I’m hurting, how often do I forget to remind myself of the truths in God’s Word? Do I even know how to preach truth to myself?
Maybe you’ve wondered the same things. You know you should be dwelling on God’s faithfulness and preaching truth to yourself, but how do you go about doing it?
This was going to be THE year, I just knew it. I had new curriculum ready. I had studied my textbooks. I had planned out our schedule. I had prepared my heart. (I'm quite taken with the concept of preparedness these days.) I had gone to bed early the night before our first day; I had my first agenda laid out neatly on the dining room table; and we had homemade muffins ready for breakfast in the morning.
This was going to be the year where everything came together neatly, where we had deep conversations and meaningful interactions. And I couldn't wait!
I'm sure you all can guess where I'm going with this. Life rarely goes according to our plans.
Between my faith, marriage, parenting, homeschooling, blogging, and hobbies, I have a lot going on in life. In order to make room for these valued things, however, there are a lot of good things that I've chosen to give up in order to make them possible.
Each one of us will have to make decisions between good things and best things - unfortunately, we simply can't do everything or take up every opportunity that comes our way. While my list of "good vs. best" won't look identical to yours, here are 4 good things I'm currently opting not to do and 4 best things I find valuable enough to include in my day!
Everywhere I look these days, I see people promoting this thing called self care. And I don't disagree that taking care of our bodies - which comprise the temple of the Holy Spirit, after all! - is a bad thing.
But we're also commanded to be selfless, to put others first, and to be giving. So, while I think that self care (or temple maintenance, as I prefer to view it) can be a good thing if not overdone, there are going to be times when we have nothing left of ourselves to give, and yet giving of ourselves is exactly what we need to do.
I don't know too many people who love to wait or who eagerly welcome difficulties in life. And I've shared before about my dislike of hallways. But as my faith has matured, I've also come to realize that we can have hope and encouragement even during seasons of waiting.
If you're facing difficult circumstances or are waiting for something, there are 3 ways to find comfort in the hallway.
Our church congregation sings a mix of both hymns and worship songs, and I've been greatly blessed by both. Because the two seem so different to my musician's ear, however, I've always kept the two separate in my mind. And since I shared my Hallway Playlist in my last post, today I get to share about my most beloved hymns!
There are SO MANY excellent hymns of the faith that it was difficult to select just a few to share here! Several of these I've grown to love after playing them on the piano. It's funny how that happens.
Do you love listening to music? Even though I'm a musician by training, I actually don't listen to a lot of music. It's not that I don't love it, and it's not that I don't have enough access to CDs or Youtube. I think it's just that in the business of this season of raising spark plugs, I just don't usually think about turning it on.
However, there have been a few songs that have really ministered to me, especially during seasons of struggles (or hallways, as I like to refer to them). Today, I'm sharing a few of my favorites and why these specific ones have impacted me.
Although I've read through my Bible numerous ways, until recently, I'd never ventured to a 90-day Bible reading plan. It usually takes me 1-2 years (sometimes even 3, if I'm in a busy season of life) to read through the entirety of God's Word, so the idea of consuming it in a mere 3 months was a bit daunting.
After some consideration, I finally committed to the challenge this past February. It was extremely difficult to keep up with the daily reading portions, but by the end of April, I had successfully finished my very first 90-Day Bible Reading Plan.
I learned so much from this exercise that I felt I should share some of my takeaways in the hopes that my experience will help you decide whether or not you would benefit from reading your Bible in 90 days, too.
Last week, a friend shared with me about a very difficult situation she was facing, so I asked, "how would you like me to pray?"
"I'm not exactly sure," she responded. "It's hard to know what would be best."
After my friend left, I thought about her situation and others like it. Sometimes, it's not clear how we should be praying. We know we need to pray, but what do we do when we don't know what we should pray for?
It's in those times that I have to go back to God's Word to learn what to do. The Bible offers at least 10 ways to pray when we don't know what to pray for.
I was truly looking forward to Easter. Jon and I planned to send out newsletters to our various email lists. We planned to attend our church's sunrise service. We envisioned a detailed Passover lunch just like we've done the past several years. I thought it would be fun to take beautiful family photos.
But life happened. Jon, Wing Man, and I were still battling headcolds we'd contracted the week before. The warmer weather brought with it my annual headaches that I suffer from every Spring. There were no newsletters, photos, egg hunts, or special church services.
In fact, I felt like a pretty lousy Christian for not being able to better celebrate the Risen Savior.