Sunday, January 12, 2014
What's Really Important
Last week I sat down several times to write a lengthy update on what we have been up to around here. I hate that it has been so long since I have updated here on the blog, and I am hoping to do better in 2014. I tried several times to write up the post, complete with probably 30 pictures to share, but each time I ended up walking away from the computer frustrated because I could not get the pictures to upload correctly.
Now, as I sit to try to write again, I am convinced that my words be completely different from the original plan. So much seems to be happening all around me, some good and some not so good. I find myself whispering prayers for so much these days. Moment by moment, God is stirring my heart to focus more and and more on what is really important. Not what is urgent, not what is immediate, but what is important.
Precious friends are preparing for their 12 year old daughter to undergo surgery tomorrow for a brain mass. My heart aches for what they must be feeling right now. How I wish I could make it all go away, and make everything right in their world again. But I cannot. I must focus my thoughts and energies into what I can do...praying for them, encouraging them, and giving thanks to God for each and every blessing. Every smile, every giggle, every breath is a reason for thanksgiving.
Just weeks ago, a home less than a mile from us exploded. Literally, when looking at the site, it was reduced to a pile of rubble, unrecognizable as a home. Sadly, the woman inside lost her life in the explosion. Devastating for the family. As the blast rattled our home, I uttered a prayer for whoever was going to be affected by it, and also a prayer of thanks that we were safe. Last week, our neighbors next door lost their home in a fire. It is a total loss. And as I stood watching the emergency responders come to battle the blaze, I whispered prayers for safety. Their safety and ours.
It feels like every day I hear of friends and neighbors who are struggling. Some are facing physical struggles, financial challenges, family battles, while others are in an all-out spiritual war with Satan and his evil ways. I often wonder if things are truly getting worse, or if it is simply because I am older and more aware of the struggle around me.
We face our own challenges here at on the homestead, and in our family. We do the best we can, take one day at a time, and are learning to cling to Jesus, the giver of hope. We've had our own fire this year, and thankfully, the loss was minimal. We have financial challenges just like most people. We even battle Satan, fighting for our family and our children. No one is immune to these things, but each handles them differently.
In 2014, I am choosing to focus on what is important. Having the latest and greatest *insert item here - clothes, cars, electronic gadgets, etc*? Not important. Giving thanks? Yes, please. Keeping a perfectly clean home? Nice but not necessary. Filling my children with love and scripture? Absolutely. Finishing the to-do list by dinner every day? Not gonna happen. Making prayer as much a part of my day as breathing? A goal to work towards.
So today, I'm praying for the battles around me. I am praying for health and safety, both for my family and others. And I am giving thanks for the blessing of today. I am choosing JOY!