That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
This verse almost overwhelms me when I truly think about those words. To have such a firm foundation of faith sends little shivers through me – you know, the kind you get when seeing or hearing something so profound your body can barely handle it.
Some days it can be a struggle to show my faith properly – busy days or frustrating moments can keep my focus on the hum-drum instead of the lofty-ness of the breadth, height and love of Christ. But other days there are moments when something happens and I truly feel I have had a glimpse of the “fulness of God”.
This past week I have seen some trees and foliage that just takes my breath away. I’ve always loved fall, and this year it is spectacular. When I gaze at the multitudinous shades and tones of these trees, I can’t help get those little shivers. If God has given us such beauty here, what can heaven possibly hold for us? It defies imagination. My other thought was, “This is glorious – yet these leaves are dying. Death can be a hard thing, yet in the midst of the ‘death’ of these trees they give such pleasure to so many. At my age it’s realistically becoming the ‘fall’ of my life. Am I living a life that people can appreciate the beauty of it; am I showing the love of Christ?”
Being human, it’s difficult – at least for me – to keep that wondrous feeling 24/7. But these moments of sheer joy as I wander through the falling leaves reminds me of the solid foundation that my faith is rooted into, and when the Jonah days come, and the tree (me) stands stripped and barren that root keeps it holding on until spring (joy) comes once again.
Blessings to you all as you face the joys and challenges of this coming week!
PS. These photos can't do justice to the actual beauty that's out there.
Ps 46: 10 – Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
This is such a vital verse for me this week – as you can see, I am a few days late sending this. I started school yesterday and had a teachers conference that I led on Monday, after returning home around 7:00 pm Sunday evening from a weekend away.
Life is going to be intense; I have 15 students in grades 5-12, so am juggling about 48 subjects daily with our individualized curriculum. I really need this verse – take time to be still. I am much more of a Martha than a Mary. The more I have to do, the more intense I focus on getting stuff done. But that means I need to make time to listen for what God wants me to be and do. I often charge ahead – which many times makes me miss things I could have noticed if I’d waited a bit longer. My goal this year is to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is nudging me to do.
And in lieu of that need, I spent three days up in northern Manitoba at Hecla Island. Just biking and visiting and watching the sunset. We all need that time to be still, to soak in some energy revitalization. No wonder God made a commandment to work six days and rest one.
I Thess 5:24 – Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Only one more week before school starts – what a great verse to take to heart. This will be my largest class this year on the colony. I’ll have 15 students ranging from grade five to twelve to deal with alone – this is a huge challenge. How good to know if God has called me to do this, He will be there with me. I like the emphasis on the last phrase – God will do it. I need to remember to work in His strength, not my own. As He is faithful to be there for me, I need to be faithful in looking to Him each and every day for the wisdom and discernment to deal with a multitude of things a teacher faces in her classroom each day.
Whether we are teachers or doctors or mothers or volunteers – God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. He is faithfully waiting for us to acknowledge our need of Him in our lives. My challenge this week as I prepare the classroom is to ask Him for guidance before I make decisions – not after I’m sunk and yelling, “Help! What happened?!” But what a joy to know that even when I get off track, He is faithfully waiting for us and mercifully takes us back every time we stray. What a mighty God we serve.
Most of my bulletin boards. Then after a long day getting those all done, I leave late to a beautiful sunset afterglow in the sky, while the rain descended just two minutes later. God is faithful - in the beautiful and the rainy seasons of life.
Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
This is many Christians “go to” verse when they are tired and down. It’s an important verse for those gritty times in life. When you look at the verse just before he makes this claim, Paul really had a ‘yo-yo’ lifestyle – up and down; very good and very bad stuff came at him. Then he concludes with vs 14 – says he’s thankful for the help others gave him in the tough times.
Sometimes it feels like it’s all on me – I have to do it alone; just Jesus and me. That may be true at times, but when looking past verse 13, we see Paul accepts help from others. Those of us who give a lot sometimes need to learn to accept. I know for myself it’s so much easier to give help to someone than to have to ask for help for myself.
School will be starting in a few weeks, and it’s going to be very busy. I need to take this verse to heart and look not to myself, but to Christ and the people He puts in my life, to help me face whatever this year will bring.
So this verse is definitely a winner to help when one is feeling discouraged. However, I can also see the value in it on the ‘sunny’ side of life as well. For instance, in what feels like a kind of minor miracle, as of the last 24 hours I have become the proud (happy proud as my mother used to say) owner of something I’ve dreamed of for years. But it’s going to take time and patience (oh bluck!) to become proficient at it. I don’t want to LEARN to play, I just want to PLAY. So this is a great verse for this week – I can do all things…right? Therefore eventually I should be able to play well enough for other people to enjoy some ---- HARP music !!!!
Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.
This is a tough verse for me. Waiting and patience are my Achilles’ heel. But I am finding in my extremely busy life that it’s easy to be too busy. Having alone time and just waiting on the Lord is so important. Otherwise I won’t have the energy to keep going. As I get older I’m realizing this more and more. Many people have told me I remind them of the “Engergizer Bunny”, but as much as I hate to admit it – at the ripe old age of 56 (just had my birthday last week) – I can’t keep up the pace I used to. Or rather, I’m noticing I get so much more tired doing the same amount of work. I could easily go on a couple hours of sleep a night as a teenager. Now if I go on four hours sleep too many nights, I get grumpy! Oops. So I need to pull back and allow God to strengthen my heart.
Another thing I’ve noticed is it’s easy to read the first phrase of a verse and skip the next. The “wait” bothers me, and I forget the “be of good courage”. In today’s world listening to the news is very discouraging to me. Yet here it’s reminding me not to give up – have the courage to keep on keeping on. One of the ways I find my ‘wait time’ and my courage is by taking a short evening bike ride around sunset. As you watch the changing colours and see the beauty, it’s a huge reminder that I need to keep looking up for my strength, not at what’s going on around me.
February 26, 2021
What a week! As a teacher on a Hutterite colony for grade 5-12, life is non-stop from 9:00-3:30. This coming Friday is the end of quarter, so report cards will be due. So that always makes one extra busy.
But I had 2 highlights in this week.
The first: I came home and stumbled over something on my step. When I picked it up and entered, I found out I was holding MY copy of my book! I felt like a mother receiving her first child. The awe and wonder of holding something I'd created and labored over for - yes, about nine months- well, that is quite the feeling.
The second: Last night the doorbell rang. I answered and a man stood there with a floral arrangement. I was sure he'd come to the wrong house, but he had the right name. Imagine my amazement when I saw that friends from the States had arranged these lovely roses to be delivered to celebrate this milestone in my life. In today's Covid restrictions, such a thoughtful, kind gesture means SO much! I never get flowers, so I'm still just smiling over it.