Our dear friend Margaret Kemp has graciously submitted her latest blog to us for the ending of our December blog posts.
Typically our holidays are filled with with excitement, anticipation, anxiousness feelings, or disappointment of plans gone sour. When we choose to commit our ways to the Lord, our perspective is transformed and we live out the season in wonder, hope, and thankfulness. Margaret shares her experiences that we hope will encourage your heart if your very own plans have also been shattered. Be blessed as you read.
When Your Plans Are Shattered ~ Margaret Kemp
"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him, and He will do it." Psalm 37:5
One little phone call rocked my world.
Just a few hours before, I’d been delighting in the Christmas-in-July displays at the craft store. As surveyed each shelf stocked with red and green nostalgia, I started counting the days until my family’s Christmas celebration.
With one little phone call, all my holiday plans shattered like a shiny green Christmas ornament.
You’re not coming for Christmas?! And your brother isn’t coming home either?!
I was the kid with the lump of coal in my stocking.
The Grinch was stealing my Christmas. Instead of hosting a big family gathering, my husband and I would be alone for the holidays. I mulled over this dilemma. How could I express my disappointment without burning the bridges that would bring my family over the river and through the woods to our house for Christmas?
I vented to my husband, my friend, my sister. Then I talked to the Lord.
Instead of singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” I hummed a different song in my head,
“All to Jesus I Surrender, I Surrender All.”
I searched the Bible for verses about surrender, and I was surprised by what I found.
I found “submit” and “obey,” but “surrender” was only used when one army was defeated by another. Perhaps “surrender” is not the best word to explain what God wants from us. In my mind, “surrender” implies defeat. But yielding our will to God’s will doesn’t mean we're vanquished. We're not losers waving a white flag and surrendering our plans to God. Wecommit our plans.
“Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” Psalm 37:5 ESV
The word which is translated “commit” is the Hebrew “galal,” which means to roll. I needed to roll up my plans and give them to the Lord.
“Galal” is also used in Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” (ESV)
I discovered additional advice: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 ESV
We have hopes and dreams, but God has the final say. He lovingly orchestrates the events of our lives for our good and our growth. Sometimes our plans are established just as we envisioned them, and sometimes He takes us in a different direction.
As I brought my sadness to the Lord, He reminded me of past disappointments…
the romance that ended…
the job I didn’t get…
goodbyes and rejections…
opportunities missed and treasures lost…
After every loss or unfulfilled desire, God gave me something better… a more loving relationship, a more suitable job, a closer connection to Himself.
Bitter disappointments can usher in God’s sweetest blessings.
But if we cling too tightly to our wish list, we can’t open our arms to receive God’s gifts. Maybe, like me, you’re dealing with disappointment. Let’s remind each other that we’re not defeated! We’re rolling up our wish list and offering it to the Giver of all good things, allowing Him to make changes and improvements for our benefit.
As it turned out, God’s plans were even better than mine. My husband and I were not going to be home alone for the holidays. Unexpected opportunities opened up, and we were the ones who would be traveling over the river and through the woods to spend Christmas with those we love.
If you didn’t get exactly what you were hoping for this year, keep your eyes open for a brighter, shinier package with your name on it. ~Margaret Kemp
Once again, we want to wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Very Happy beginning to 2020!
Just incase you missed our Christmas video last week, it has been posted again here for you to view.
Christmas Video: https://youtu.be/SCInT0uMyBM
Also, remember that Year End Giving to Restore Ministries is a tax deductible contribution and helps to further the visions and goals of this ministry. We appreciate your partnership through prayer and financial contributions to Restore. Our hearts are filled with awe and gratitude of the wondrous works that God has planned for us before the foundation of the world! Thank you!
PS. Don't forget about our upcoming Winter Gathering of Women February 7 & 8, 2020 (free)! Registration is required and contributions / sponsorships are appreciated to help cover the cost of the weekend expenses. Invite your girlfriends!
Kathy Drake & Sherry Barron
We wanted to take a brief moment to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This short YouTube video contains some reflections of 2019 and a sneak peek of things to come in 2020!
Please be sure to register for Restore's Winter Gathering February 7, 8. It is a free event but we ask that you register so that we can be fully prepared for our numbers (desserts, breakfast, and materials). We will be meeting at Community Bible Church located in Baton Rouge, LA on Friday evening (7th) and then again on Saturday (8th) morning until noon. We hope that you will make plans to join us! CLICK HERE for more information.
It is our prayer that this holiday season fills your heart and focus on the tremendous gift of God's love...His son, Jesus!
Please Consider Restore Ministries for your End of Year Giving.
It was five years ago at this very time that I wrote a blog called O Come, O Come...
I actually stumbled upon it a few weeks ago, and suggested to Kathy that I should write the blog this week and revisit what I wrote in 2014. The Lord had awakened me with 3 words and a scripture verse on that 2014 night, and it seems that those words are still prevalent for me today! This week in particular, another word was added to my list of thought provoking and powerful words, trust! It's so sweet how the Lord offers little whispers in my ear to help me acknowledge His presence is always with me and to stop worrying. An email subscription was delivered in my inbox with a new painting from David Arms, an artist in Leipers Fork, TN a little village just outside of Franklin. The title of the painting...Trust. I really didn't think too much about it until a Cardinal flew up and perched himself right in my view on the limb of a low Japanese Magnolia branch. I was sitting on my sacred porch brining my cares to the Lord.
1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain
3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain
4 O come, O Branch of Jesse's stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o'er the grave. Refrain
5 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death's abode. Refrain
6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light. Refrain
7 O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain
Psalter Hymnal (Gray)
Expecting, Anticipating, and Preparing with a shout to the Lord during this season of Advent,
"Copyright © 2013 CRI/Voice, Institute"
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