I don't know about you all but I had a LONG week! It seemed to just drag on and I had some rough days. Maybe I've just been not responding correctly to the things the Lord has brought in front of me, maybe it's hormones, maybe it was a test (that I don't think I did too great on), or maybe it's just life. But either way it was rough and I am so glad it's almost over and am looking forward to Sunday so I can hear great preaching and get to fellowship with my church family.
This week I've been trying to focus on yielding my rights, and realizing that everything I have is from the Lord. I watched a teaching, by Bill Gothard, on responding to irritants, and I made a huge effort to have right responses. But of course it was a struggle, that I failed at many times. I'm just very thankful that the Lord led me to a place of being receptive to the idea of giving everything to Him and thanking Him in everything.
Before I share my picture with you all I just want to share some of my notes on thanking the Lord in all things. I've heard people say that so many times and I've thought, "oh yes that is so great" and then I purposed to do that. But fail because honestly, I've never known how to do it? But now I have a much better grasp on just how to get our minds wrapped around praising God no matter what.
First we have to recognize that most times when we are angry or annoyed it's because we feel that our personal rights have been infringed upon. One example that really helped me to understand this concept is, getting woken up too early for whatever reason. Some of us are really flexible and would just roll with it. But for those of us (namely me!) who would be angry and grumpy about this, it's because we felt we had a "right" to a full nights sleep. But ultimately if we believe that God is truly in control, then we need to recognize that He is bigger than what ever is "bothering us" and that He can change it.
Now that we've recognized that God is in control then we can examine the situation, and ask ourselves "am I at fault?" So in the above situation it would be, did I stay up too late last night? If not then ok, but if yes then I need to accept my fault in it.
If it's a situation that needs to be addressed and corrected (like if you did something wrong to someone) then you need to do that. For example: Say you borrowed something from a friend and then never gave it back. You forget all about it and ask them to borrow something else. Well when they say no of course you're going to be annoyed. But if you reflect on it, or ask them about it, you'll see where you were at fault in this situation. Then you can take the proper steps to reconcile the situation.
If you were totally faultless then you have to go to the next step in examining the issue. You should think about what God wants to show you from the issue. What character traits is He trying to bring out in you? What lesson is He trying to teach you? We can see the truth of God using a circumstance to teach us about something else in us or for us in the beatitudes found in Matthew 5:3-12.
-Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.-Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.-Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.-Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.-Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.-Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.-Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.-Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.-Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Now that you've thoroughly examined the situation it's easy to thank God. You can thank Him for bringing clarity to a situation that could of gotten worse had you not corrected it, or you can thank Him for presenting you with a challenge to help you grow. Once you get good at discerning an irritant, thanking the Lord will be easier and happen more quickly.
So although I had a rough week, I'm thanking the Lord for His mercies. I've had to repent and go back to Him about things, but through it I am getting a softer heart for my Lord and seeing when I need to repent for a wrong thought or action MUCH faster.
Now for my picture :o) this was from a day that was actually very good:
|Strawberry picking at a local farm|