Encouragement

Lately, it’s been emotionally exhausting to see the news and watch the persecution going on in the middle east against Christians…….especially the women and the children.  Women are being enslaved and used as sex slaves or taken as wives.  Children are being executed publicly to instill fear in the Christian population.

I feel helpless knowing that it is far too dangerous to actually go to that area during this time…and helpless in knowing what to do to help relieve the pain, danger, and grief that is being felt by Christians in that area.

But sometimes, even the smallest things can bring joy in the midst of extreme despair.  We can always say “I’ll be praying for you”….which we should…but to be able to do something tangible is so important as well.

Our pastor’s wives meet once a month for  a Bible study, discussion and sometimes outreach.  We decided to make cards for those in the middle east area who are Christian women living in fear and despair, trapped in an area of chaos and uncertainty.  We were given names of women, couples and children.  Being able to create, decorate and write scripture in these cards was such a simplistic task….but as we glued each flower and wrote each encouraging word..we knew that the recipients would cherish every single detail.  We knew that God would use these simple gestures to encourage and uplift the spirits of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I pray we will never take for granted the freedom we have to worship our Creator…….others are not so fortunate.cards

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Change, Necessary but Difficult

Things are constantly changing.  I see most changes as opportunities and adventures!  Change in my life causes me to reflect and have forward thinking.  It causes pause in my life and helps to clear what needs to be cleared to make room for something new and different.  It forces me to let go of things so that I can grab what is in front of me.  Change keeps us fresh and on our toes!

But not all change seems that way at first.  Change, in particular, that we didn’t choose or didn’t see coming can cause anxiety and uncertainty.

Today I had to move an office to make room for other uses in that space.  I don’t even use the space much anymore, but had a lot of “things” stored there.  As I cleared out the space and packed things away, I began to remember a time in my life over two decades ago.

I had a preschool in the previous city we lived in called “The Beary Patch Christian Preschool” for four years.  The owner of the building that I leased passed away and the children who inherited the building wanted to get rid of it.  At that time, I didn’t have the resources to purchase the building, so with much sadness, I had to make the decision to close the preschool.

Being pregnant at the time, and the emotional attachment to a place I love collided!  I was an emotional mess!  I could not wrap my mind around why God would or could allow this to happen!  I felt like I had been such a good steward of what He had gifted me with over the years.  I loved the children in my care and loved teaching.

But God knew exactly what He was doing.  Through that time God taught me so many things.  First, I had to completely trust in Him.  Finances were tight..but I was able to stay home for a year with our 3rd child and I am so thankful for that precious time! And then doors opened up for me to go back to college…a dream that I had, but never thought would happen!  I went back to college, got my teaching degree and have been teaching ever since!

I never could have seen what God saw all along!  I was in my own little comfortable setting and quite content..but God knew that He had something better for me.  Change was forced upon me…and change has been good.

When I look back at pictures from that time…I reflect on such wonderful memories..but the greatest memory of all is God’s favor shown to me, when he allowed something that I loved to be taken from me to walk me through a change that was much needed in my life.  I am forever grateful.