Blessings Under Disguise.

If I had to honestly sum up the past week in just a couple of words, it would be “really tough.” My friends can agree from my multiple text messages, they agreed our life has been crazy. It just felt like one thing after another kept going wrong. Emotionally we were exhausted, physically our bodies needed so much sleep and the enemy was full on attack. But in all of the things that went wrong or were frustrating, there were blessings. Blessings that only would have happened, if we went through these situations.

A stomach bug hit our group of teens on our last day on our Spring (couldn’t call it winter because it was 75 degrees 😉 ) Camp.  It was terrible and we felt so bad for all of the kids who got sick. Now we look back and see how the sickness was a blessing. A blessing under disguise. A blessing to be able to connect and bond with our teens, in a way we may not have been able to if we weren’t all sick.

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Just a small handful of our amazing teens God has blessed us with! 

I was driving last Saturday (later in the day after our long morning of everyone being sick) on our way to Buffalo, to drop my brother off. On our way, a deer decided to run in front of our car. I was driving and hit that poor thing going 65. As if the day couldn’t get any longer. Thankfully we were all okay but our car was totaled. That was the last thing we needed. It was an older car, with a lot of miles so didn’t expect more then a couple of hundred dollars back. But God is faithful and gave us way more then we could have ever guessed! If the car was traded in or even sold, we would have never gotten that much.  A blessing under disguise, even though hitting a dear would have not been our first thought.

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We said goodbye to this car yesterday. Lots of memories and long car rides together. 

To add to the stressful week, our power was out for almost 48 hours. The blessing in that, haven’t quite figured that one out yet. haha  I thought a lot about this past week this morning, and thinking back to what we went through not only physically but emotionally. As much as we continued to say, we just need this week over, we are blessed. Blessed to be able to take our teens on a weekend away and thankful we weren’t hurt in the accident. Blessed to have such amazing family and friends who offered to take us in when our house was 42 degrees. Even when life seemed to be out of control and everything that could go wrong did, God was and is still in control.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” ~James 1:2

At the beginning of the year, I picked a simple word. That word was joy. Wasn’t really sure why, but it just kept getting put on my heart and now I believe this is just the beginning. Beginning of seeing joy through these trials, when my first reaction is to pout and get frustrated. And not only just having joy but continuing to see the blessings that God gives us. Blessings under disguise.

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Being Intentional.

Being intentional about prayer. A couple of weeks ago, I was challenged. My husband and I have been going through a series by Francis Chan and his wife, You and Me Forever. This series has not only challenged our marriage but it has challenged me personally in so many ways. Lisa Chan expressed how prayer for her was always a struggle and something she really just didn’t want to do. I related completely. She went on to say how one day, her friend was over and how they decided to pray together. Pray for each other, their husbands, marriages, families and whatever else was going on in the season they were in.

After hearing that, for the second time actually, it grew heavy on my heart. Was I really afraid to commit to praying consistently each day? What did I have to lose? Absolutely nothing. I should want to share my heart with my Father, thank Him and give Him my time. I sent a long text to a dear friend, asking if she would join me on this journey of prayer. She accepted. So each day after our husbands go off to work, before the to do lists begin, we call each other. We share whats been on our hearts just over the past 24 hrs and what we should pray for. We pray for our husbands, that God would continue to grow them into strong leaders and strong men of God. We pray for our marriages, that God would protect us from the attacks of the enemy and that we would be the light to those around us. We pray for our families, her little one and our future children that they would come to know the Lord at a young age and that they would be used in a mighty way. We pray for each other, that God would continue to work on our hearts and continue to mold us into the wives He’s called us to be. We thank Him. We thank Him for the blessings He has poured out on us and the work He is doing in our lives.

Our quick, “lets call each other and pray for 10 minutes,” has turned into over an hour long conversation and prayer time. I have never felt so refreshed. My mind and heart is focused in the right place throughout the rest of my day. Not only have these times strengthened my walk with God but also with my best friend. Such a blessing to me. Are there days I don’t want to set aside this time? Of course, but if I am not intentional about my prayer times everything else in my life is so meaningless. I want to look back at the end of my life and not regret what I did with my time. When we strive for an eternity mindset all else in this world doesn’t matter.

I challenge you, if you do not have a time set aside to pray, I challenge you to do so. Call a friend up and do it together. Having someone who can keep me accountable has almost made this harder for me. I can’t just accidentally forget about it, be too busy or put it off. I am being intentional about prayer. I’m not waiting until the new year to start either, I’ve started now.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” ~Matthew 18:20