Recently a friend asked for encouragement on facebook. I thought, "Lord, what can I say to her that would bless her?" About a half hour later I re-visited her page and this is what I sensed the Lord was placing on my heart to share with her. I thought I would share it with you today as well.
"The joy of the Lord is my strength." We sang that song on the church bus as I was growing up. A couple of years ago I heard a lady say that and I thought, "What does that even mean?" Well, I experienced it after my mom passed. I was able to have joy even when it seemed odd...even to me. It was as if the Lord whispered to me..."you asked me a while ago what it meant to have My joy be your strength. This is what it feels like." I have had several days since where I have had to go back and revisit that principle...especially when I have loads and loads of laundry to tackle and 7 kids are calling my name! Ask the Lord to show you how to allow His joy to be your strength. That's my 2 cents!
You may or may not have noticed that I said 7 children. My nieces (ages 9 and 6) and nephew (age 6 - the youngest 2 are twins) are currently staying with us. Let me tell you...I need strength and endurance from the Lord to meet the challenges of the day!
A long while ago (around Decemberish)I felt that the Lord was challenging me to wake up earlier in the morning. I fought and struggled and argued for months. I sincerely and passionately (wink) reminded Him that I was a homeschooling mother who was still nursing a little one throughout the night. He still insisted that I get up! Finally, about 3 months ago, I gave in. I set the alarm on my phone for 8:00 (It had been a long time since I had set an alarm and I am now ashamed to share how late I would sometimes roll out of bed). A funny thing happened...I woke up at 7:59. I got up and began to spend time with the Lord...to fill my cup, if you will; and one little person (my son Raymond DeSean) came into the living room with me and snuggled in next to me on the couch until I was finished. As the week progressed the children, 1 by 1 started to join me in the living room! This was a problem!!! Do I have to get up earlier that 8 in order for some quiet time? Yes. I moved the time forward by increments of 30 minutes until no one joined me. Some days I meet with HIM at 5:30 and some days I sleep in until 6; but I now am delighted to get up and have my morning time alone with HIM.
I share this with you not because I feel that everyone who isn't up before the sun is living in sin (The Lord knows I LOVE sleep) ;but because I now know that the Lord, in HIS goodness, was preparing me to be able to pour into not only my children; but my sister's as well. They joined our home about 6 weeks ago and they are all early risers!!!They latest they sleep in, even on Saturday, is 7:00.
I am so thankful for the time I am able to spend with them and for the friendships they are able to build with my children. I know my mother is pleased with the relationships they are building. Everytime I feel overwhelmed, The Lord reminds me that He has promised me HIS joy as my Strength!
Until next time,