Aug 24, 2019
Caleb’s most recent blog focused on being battered but not broken; damaged but not defeated, and this Sunday while we attended Grand Ave in Hot Springs the pastor focused on Acts 19 and Paul. If there was ever a man in history who was broken and battered it was the apostle Paul. I never stopped to think that Paul was just an ordinary man, he had feelings, opinions, hopes, and discouragements like the rest of us. Reading over what Paul endured from the perspective of an ordinary man instead of some “apostolic superhero”, I found myself seeing Paul in a new light. Suddenly Paul seemed relatable instead of unobtainable. He faced rejection time and time again, was physically beaten numerous time, and imprisoned, he also experienced discouragement. I don’t why I never assumed Paul had this emotion, but he did, and what I learned from Paul, Acts 19, and John Graves today is that when discouragement comes our way we can have two reactions. Reaction one turn away from God, reaction two turn toward God. The hard part about discouragement during trials is that it is also a distraction, one I wasn’t really aware of till I started to think about how the discouragement of the house buying and selling process was distracting me from my daily quiet time.
Before school started I started prayer journaling. I would record my prayers of thanksgiving, my prayer request of concerns with the new school year, getting to know new staff and so on. Then I would take the time to write out the prayer in my journal. I stated this as way to not feel discouraged and spend intentional time with God. Once school started I was already pretty distracted, while I was feeling a little discouraged about the house I really just didn’t have the time to think much about it. Before I knew it the first week of school was over. I hadn’t been in my prayer time once. I realized while sitting in church I let the distraction of teaching replace my discouragement. I was letting myself be distracted, when I stopped and took a few minutes I would become discouraged with the house situation, and I would go back to distracting myself with school work.
September 27, 2019
We closed, physically signed papers, transferred ownership of our home on the 9th of September. It’s difficult to adequately put into words what it was like saying goodbye to our first home and working with those who bought our home, thankfully we had a realtor who went above what Caleb and I where willing to tolerate and do to meet the demands of our buyers, truthfully it if were not for Caleb’s leadership as head of our household there would still be a “For Sale” sign in my yard. But I learned from the experience, I learned that I have to trust the leaders in my life, I learned that while the past month has a lot of ups and downs I am not the one who has bear the weight of every decision.
My joy cannot be found in jobs that I work or the homes that I own. I took for granted how blessed Caleb and I where to own a home such as 880 Primrose as a young married couple purchasing their first home. I superfacially place a lot of joy in that home. That home did bring me a lot of joy and I hold fond memories of many joyous occasions there, but my joy has to be found in Jesus. Placing my joy in Jesus makes all the disappoints I face nothing more than a moment.
If you are struggling with the what ifs and whys of life, take moment to see where your foucs is, if your focus on the worldly attributes or is it on the eternal promise of our Lord. It’s not easy for me to constantly have my joy found in Christ MANY times I have to choose to put it there, but the more times I choose to place my joy in Jesus the easier the choice becomes.