This week has been full of blessings as I have stepped back into the routine of teaching, music ministry, caring for my mom, studying and writing for our upcoming Restore Retreat. Ken and I recently had such a wonderful time away on vacation with family and friends and it is always hard for me to settle back into the routine. I love to travel and see new things. This particular trip was especially blessed as we gathered with some friends and all their children and grandchildren for several days at Callaway Gardens in Georgia and later spent time with family in South Carolina whom we don’t often get to see. After fun times with loved ones, some time together to pray and discuss the future and many hours in the car traveling hundreds of miles, eventually we had to come home. In our usual, not so smart, approach to travel and desire to savor every minute, we arrived home after a 9 and a half hour drive with 2 hours to unload, shower and dress for a wedding 45 minutes out of town! Crazy! When I walked in the door, all the piles of unfinished business and projects at home and work were still there waiting where I left them. Of course, I bring in new piles - of laundry and unpacking. I look at the list of things to do and needs to be met and wonder how it can possibly all get done!
Do you ever feel that way?
That’s when the love of the Father
often pours into my life through the love
and encouragement of others. Often they
are not even aware of my need or concerns.
They are just loving, thoughtfully offering
a listening ear or a word of wisdom.
- An unexpected card of encouragement from a fellow staff member
- A text from a mom of a student saying how excited her daughter is to be back in lessons
- A meeting with a friend who greets my arrival with tea and cookies (she knows what blesses me!)
- A kind, listening ear from a sister who loves so generously and cares so deeply
- An appreciative mom for the simple things like buying her groceries
- A time of worship with our choir leadership team around the piano with Ken leading…. there’s nothing like entering His healing, calming presence in songs of praise!
- An offer to help with a pottery project for Restore from a dear friend - offering her time, studio space and expertise
- A phone call from my daughter just checking in to see how I am
- A hug
- An unexpected, encouraging word of testimony from someone I met at a conference who came to know Jesus through our choir ministry years ago
- A call from my sister n law to check in after our visit and let me know she is praying for us
- A cheerful girl at the grocery check out line
- Emails, texts, and calls from numerous friends who had been praying for us during our time away
- A friend who really listens, cares, and prays
- Choir practice... There’s nothing like God’s beloved gathering to offer beautiful music to replenish your soul!
- A dear husband who decides to plan an unexpected birthday celebration for me…so sweet, so loving……a beautiful evening with dear friends and family who have encouraged me through the years with lavish love and grace
- A call tonight from my daughter who gathered her girlfriends to sing "Happy Birthday"
- And so many others...
I list these here today because most of them are simple acts of encouragement, but they brought such blessing and hope to my week. These people and many others not mentioned were Jesus to me, speaking words of life, love and hope. My heart is so full of gratitude for the people in my life who take the time to pray and offer encouragement.
So as I come to the end of my first week home from vacation, I don’t feel so burdened by the demands that are facing me. There is still much to be done that is unfinished. There always will be I suppose. Our time away in prayer about our future didn’t result in all the answers we had hoped for. But, the Lord knows my need and He knows yours. He will send people across our paths to lighten the load, or spur us on, or simply, beautifully love us so that we have renewed strength for the task of each day and hope for the future.
When we partner together in life, encourage one another, and lean on Jesus, we walk out our faith differently, better, and with His love overflowing.
I thought this week of how often I have been prompted by the Holy Spirit to reach out in some way to another ... a call, a note, a prayer and sadly sometimes I have not acted as I let my own schedule or comfort rule. Often, I think we schedule our days so full that there is no room left for the simple acts we might offer to encourage one another. When I do listen and choose to respond in obedience to His order in my schedule or His prompting for an act of kindness or love, my life is so much more rewarding and I have the privilege of being His vessel of encouragement.
"One good deed is worth more than a thousand brilliant theories. Don't wait for greater opportunities or for a different kind of work. Just do the things you find to do day by day…
Do it promptly. Do not waste your life thinking about what you intend to do tomorrow. No one ever served God by doing things tomorrow. If we honor Christ and are blessed, it is with the things we do today." Charles Hadden Spurgeon
How has the Father shown His love
to you through the love
and encouragement of friends
and strangers this week?
Look for the ways…you might
be surprised at how many acts
of encouragement and kindness
you have experienced!
Let those who have reached out
to you know how much the
act of kindness and
Spend some time in prayer
thanking the Father and consider
how you could be an encouragement or vessel of love to someone in
your life or even a stranger?
Simple acts truly make a difference!
and encouragement of others. I pray in the days ahead that I will hear the voice of Your Spirit
prompting me to bless and meet the needs of others and respond with a heart that reflects Your character. May these acts of love and kindness be the evidence of Your grace and love
at work within me and through me and serve to wash the feet of my brothers and sisters in Christ
and those who need to see the beauty of Your love on display.
In Your Holy Name, Jesus
Seeking this week to find ways to be His vessel of encouragement to others. Won't you join me?
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