Let us Rejoice

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ending the night last night in the bathtub, praise God, I realized that I have been really terrible at taking moments to breathe, to appreciate the silence, and allow God time.  So, this afternoon I am pushing off the things that need doing and spending some time in the word.  I am still working on my study at Shereadstruth about Nehemiah (which I have fallen way behind in... they are already 5 or 6 days in on the next study, oops)  And today I found in it, some words that I so often need to be reminded of.

At this point in Nehemiah, the people finished building the wall and were getting settled inside the city.  From morning to midday they stood at the gate as Ezra read the Book of the Law.  And as the people listened, they wept.  This is not the response Nehemiah and the teachers wanted the people to have, so he said to them, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)  The people were so focused on how they messed up, how they disobeyed the Lord that they could not see the whole picture- they couldn't see the joyous truth found in His forgiveness and grace.  Nehemiah wanted to help the people see that their response to the Word was not to be an inward focus with weeping over the ways they screwed up, but to be one of praise, of worship for how good the Lord is.  He wanted them to rejoice for the goodness and forgiveness that is found in Him.  

This is a lesson that I need to be schooled on over and over again.  When I do something that I know is wrong, or stupid, or mean, or disobedient to how the Lord wants me to be, I have a terrible time getting over it.  For way too long, I am like the people who hear the Word and just weep.  Instead of seeking forgiveness, finding freedom in His grace, and letting it go as a lesson learned, I apparently prefer to hunker down in the sadness and shame of my sin and just sit there.  I relive the moment by rehashing it over and over in my mind thinking about what I did, what I could have done differently, and basically shaming myself over and over again.   I don't know why I have such a hard time with this, or why I am so hard on myself but it is definitely a big struggle for me to let go of mistakes I've made.  I am so thankful that the truth of the Lord is not about shame and discipline, but instead it is about forgiveness, grace, and transformation.  What I need to work on is grasping that- and letting the truth permeate my being, and lead me to joy.

I like how Matthew Henry encourages this in his commentary where he says, "“Even sorrow for sin must not hinder our joy in God, but rather lead us to it…when they understood, they rejoiced.” (emphasis added) What a great way of looking at it. It's important to have some sorrow over our sin, in fact I think it's necessary, because it shows we realize we've done wrong... but if it starts to hinder our joy in God, then it's gone too far.  I don't want to dwell in the sadness of my sins anymore- I want to repent and be led to joy in Him!

Amanda Williams, author over at Shereadstruth says it well as she challenges us by saying, "Sisters, let us seek to understand the fullness of the Gospel today. Let us remember our great God, recognize our sin and take hold of His complete forgiveness. And let us rejoice."

Boom.  Amen to that.   

Bonjour June

Monday, June 2, 2014

I don't think I have ever been so excited to see June!  Probably because with this June has come WARM WEATHER!  Woohooo!!!! It has been so good to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and see a little color on my skin, and to just enjoy being outside without freezing my toes off. I am sooo thankful!!!

With the arrival of June, it's time to see how I did on my May to-do list:
             celebrate my birthday!! Watch out 28, I'm coming for ya! 
My birthday was lovely.  I didn't do anything crazy, as I didn't feel like hosting a hoopla.  But quality time with the fam and some friends was perfecto.  There was in fact a PiƱata though, so that was pretty amazing.
             host a lovely Mother's Day brunch at our house (in-laws and all) 
Mother's day brunch was a success!! It was fun having both families over for the first time together at our new house and being able to celebrate our moms and enjoy some tasty brunch, mimosas, and some quality hang time in the yard.
             put my DSLR to good use more often - maybe plan a fun lil shoot?   
This is on my list for summer for sure.
             start a new personal Bible study ***   
I started a new Bible study!!! It's pretty great.  It's over on www.shereadstruth.com and it's so user friendly and quick and easy to use, and the writers are pretty great and encouraging.  I'm a little behind and catching up on the study of Nehemiah, but I'm loving it.  Definitely check it out.
             finish the last book of the Divergent series 
Yup. It is finished.  I am not sure how I feel about it.  Anyone else finish?  So curious what other people think.  It was a great series though.

Boom.  Done and done... almost.  Just need to give my camera a lil more lovin'.

And now for June - -
I have high hopes for June and this upcoming summer.  It is definitely going to be a busy month (hello weddings, bridal showers, travels up north, etc), but it is going to be a great one, I can feel it.  Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish:

             read "Where'd you go, Bernadette?"
             host a Young Living class!!! *** 
[I've been using YL oils for 4+ years and they have made a significant impact in my life.  I am excited to finally be sharing my passion for essential oils and encouraging others to see how God can use them in their lives! In fact, I don't know why I have yet to share about them on here?? Stay tuned for that. ;)]
             get some quality water skiing action in up north, as much as possible 
             change up my hairstyle 
I've been rocking the ombre for awhile now, and thinking it might be time for a change.  FYI changing up my hairstyle is one of my most favorite things (and most analyzed- right Audra?)
             go on a date with my man 
             soak up my favorite TV show - So You Think You Can Dance
             make the front yard pretty- aka pull out most of the greens (there's too many) 

I feel like I could keep this list coming, just cause I have all sorts of things I'd like to do in June.  But I better save some for the rest of the summer ;)  Hope your summer is off to an amazing start.

Want to share your goals? 
Join me as I link up with Hayley over at The Tiny Twig.

The Tiny Twig

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