Happy Anniversary Busy Blessed Women! Exactly one year ago today, I published my very first blog post. The gifts from God have been extraordinary!
From the beginning, I told myself that even if only one person took something positive away from this blog, then it was worth all the work. It took time to get into a rhythm but I’m definitely making progress. I have so much more to learn, but I am finding that this is a great “job”!
God has been so incredibly faithful in leading me on this journey. I want to encourage you by showing you some of the gifts he has given me in the process.
One of the unexpected gifts is the overwhelming joy I receive! I wasn’t expecting that. I knew that I felt the closest to God when I was studying his Word. My previous Bible study kept me studying almost daily. My study, worship, and prayer time became more haphazard when I was away from it. I knew I needed to change. I just didn’t have the resolve or know-how or discipline to actually do it.
Slowly but surely over the past year, I found that I went from a habit of study to an irresistible urge to see what God has for me each day. It’s like opening a present or getting an uplifting comment each time I open His Word. He shows his love and care by his kindness and by his reproach for my sinful ways. I can’t tell you how many times I have opened my Bible and been amazed at how perfectly God meets my needs.
Gift: Joy in His Word
Last year, I was so saddened at the angry, aggressive, and sometimes just mean commentary that is out in the world today. I don’t feel that’s changed much, but hopefully, I’m not reading about YOUR world- your homes, schools, neighborhoods, and workplace. I’m hoping God is giving you something to take with you to encourage your world.
I’m still praying that this blog is reaching the people God wants it to reach so that hope, compassion, and encouragement are ever increasing in your lives. I thank God for his work in your hearts as you share these blogs with others.
Gift: Sharing of God’s truths
At my first writer’s conference, Liz Curtis Higgs told us that in everything we write, God is to be the hero. I absolutely loved that vision of God. And when you think about it, God does fulfill hero qualities.
Heroes have extraordinary powers and abilities. Check!
They stand up to injustice. Check!
Heroes risk their lives to save others. Check! Well, double check on that one because Jesus not only risked his life, He poured his out on the cross for us.
He makes it incredibly easy to make him the hero in my writing, because of who He is. It helps keep me grounded in Him and the focus off me and in Him, where it belongs.
But I realized that it doesn’t have to stay just on the written page.
What if we lived our lives that way as well? What if we looked at our lives as a way to make God the hero? Do we trust his extraordinary powers and abilities to take care of our lives? Can we trust his judgment in the injustices of our lives? Do we give him the worship and praise he deserves for saving us?
Yes, I think God is a “hero”, and I’m trying to live it out as well as write about it.
Gift: Focusing on God
Anxiety has long been a struggle for me (somewhat genetic I believe.) I can tell when I’m feeling anxious because I grind my teeth. I was told by a doctor that I have given the fillings in my teeth a nice shiny appearance! After that, I grew more aware of the bad habit and was able to stop it when it happened. But it still happened.
I realized the other day that I have all but stopped this behavior. I truly have been given an inner peace from God. As I daily encounter him in His Word, my trust has grown to a point that I am (almost) immediately reminded of how he is working in my life. (We’re all a work in progress, right?)
I know that in all things, He is always good. He can do all things. I can visualize him calming me with the words “Trust me, leave this with me.”
Gift: Inner peace
This whole adventure started with my Bible Study leader praying for each of us in her group to know God’s purpose for our lives. I thought, well, I have been a nurse and a mom and a wife, etc. Surely that was my purpose. But God had other plans and planted a seed… All I had to do was follow through. That took a lot of searching, and learning, and deeply trusting God. Taking it one step at a time kept me going forward when I felt frustrated or incompetent.
Gift: Actively realizing that I can do all things through Christ, who gives me my strength
I know that I’m just a tiny little peanut kernel at the bottom of a Costco sized jar of mixed nuts. I might even be just the “dust”! There are many more people who are better writers, have more influence, and reach more people. The purpose was never to be “big”, but to be faithful to His idea.
Now I’m wondering, if that goal of reaching just one person – well, it might have been me!
To God be all the glory, and the power, and praise!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17