Psalm 32:8- I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Happy Monday, my friends. Welcome. I am so excited to start another blog week with you all! I hope that you are rested and refreshed from a couple of days off, and that you are fueled up for the week ahead. I mean you are glad that it is Monday, right? You couldn’t use another day off, could you? Why in the world would anyone want a 3 day weekend?! On that note, time is ticking. I’m sure you have things to do! Lets jump in….
This week we are going to focus our attention to learning. When I say learning, I don’t mean sitting in a formal classroom type of learning. I am talking about learning through life experiences. You know, hands on learning. I believe that each day when we wake up and our feet hit the floor, we are walking into the classroom of life. Figuratively speaking, of course.
In the “classroom” each of us are students learning from our teacher…our professor, The Creator of The Universe. From the people that we meet to the places that we go to the things that we encounter, I believe all of it is being used by The Lord to teach and direct us on our journey. In the process of teaching us new things and learning from them we ultimately grow into the people that he created us to be. Little by little we are evolving. It’s a beautiful thing, my friends. Embrace it!
With that said, I don’t know that we fully understand the process. The whole process of learning. I say that because we often get frustrated, discouraged and upset about the things that are going on in our lives. Better yet, we get frustrated, discouraged and upset with the people in our lives. Now, I know that it is natural for us to do so, but I believe that those things are occurring so that we can learn from them.
I’ve once heard Tony Robbins ask the question, ” What if life isn’t happening to you, but happening for you?” This question has stuck with me since I first heard it, and I often find it playing in my head when I am faced with certain situations. The word says in Jeremiah 29:11- ” I know the plans I have for you, ” says the Lord, ” ” plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” This leads me to think that there is something about the question that Tony Robbins ask that we should consider.
For the next 3 days we are going to talk about how we have the potential to learn and grow from all things in this life. My goal is for you to reevaluate your perspective on them. I believe that you might just find that there is good to be found in the not so good, and great to be found in the good. Let’s see where we end up between now and Thursday. In the mean time, I’ll see you on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/ this afternoon and back here tomorrow morning. Take care!
Matthew 4:24 – “Consider carefully what you hear, ” he continued. “With the measure that you use, it will be measured to you and even more.
Reflecting back on the week and what we have covered thus far, we know that The Lord has instructed us to find joy in our challenges (James 1:2). We talked about 2 ways that we can do that. First, to take the focus off of our situation and on to others by serving them in some way. By blessing others as such, we are blessed in return. This brings joy to us all. Secondly, to ask The Lord to show us opportunities to be joy filled in the midst of our challenges, followed by seeking joy within them. As we to do that, we will begin to see more opportunities for joy be revealed to us.
Today, I want to talk to you about the third way we can find joy in our challenges and that is by guarding the things that we listen to. I don’t know about you, but when I am in the middle of a challenge, all sorts of thoughts began running through my head. And, they are generally the worse case scenario. Does anyone else besides myself do this? Can I get an amen this Thursday morning, please? Guys, if we are not careful, we will begin to believe the lies that our minds are telling us. Talk about steal your joy.
Shortly after our daughter Morgan’s initial diagnosis in 2009- https://thefaithfilledtraveler.com/morgans-story/ , I began to really watch what I would listen to. From the music in the car to the television in the living room to the people I surrounded myself with, I wouldn’t allow anything in that was not encouraging to me. There were so many reasons for me to be discouraged that I could not control, that I refused to allow anymore in that I could control.
Christian music and uplifting podcast started out being something that I occasionally listened to so that I could drown out the negative thoughts, to now something that I do every day. In fact, you can walk into our home at any given time and hear the soft music playing. Or, catch me in the car listening to a faith filled podcast. This is something that Morgan practices, also. As a matter of fact, she does it even when she is inpatient. I truly believe that this is one of the many reasons that she and I, both have been able to find joy in her journey.
With that, I will end the blog week there. I really hope the past 4 days has been helpful for you guys. If so, please reach out to me by leaving a comment or sending me an email, and share this page with your friends & family. I’ll see you here on Monday and on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/ until then. Have a great weekend!
Matthew 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
On Monday we talked about finding joy in the midst of our trials while referring to James 1:2. Yesterday we touched on one way we can do that, which is by taking the focus off of ourselves and our situations, and on to others. By blessing those around us with the things that we need in the midst of our own trials, we are blessed with them in return. I used the example of encouragement. When we sow the seed of encouragement to those around us, we reap encouragement ourselves. For The Word says, “a man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)
Today, I want to touch on Matthew 7:7 where we are instructed to ask, seek, knock. Do you think it is possible to ask The Lord to give you joy in the midst of your challenge? Of course, it is! Remember, he wants us to go to him for EVERYTHING! He is our Father! He is our friend! Nothing is too small, nor to big for him. So, not only is it possible, but necessary and expected. The Lord knows how difficult it is for us to find joy in tough situations. He designed us this way. Why? So that we can lean on him.
Okay, so we ask him to help us find joy in the middle of our trials, now what? Do we just sit back and wait for him to do what only he can do? Absolutely, not. We must put our faith into action by seeking joy! How do we do that? By looking for the good in not so good situations, that’s how.
I remember when Morgan was first diagnosed in 2009 and everything was so new to us. We spent more time in the hospital and clinic over her 3.5 year course of treatment, than we did at home. In the beginning, I was so focused on all that needed to be done that I missed the blessings within it. Once I began to seek joy in the midst of it, I found it. I found joy in knowing that my daughter was in a nice hospital, being treated by a loving, compassionate and knowledgeable team of providers. I found joy in knowing that she was receiving the medications that she needed. I found joy in the smallest of things. And, as I begin to find joy in those things, The Lord revealed more things within them to bring joy to my heart. I believe this is what the scripture is referring to when it says, “knock and the door will be opened to you”. See, as we knock on the door of joy, joy will answer. In other words, once we seek joy, we will begin to find more things that brings us joy.
The key here is that we must take action! We must ASK The Lord to help us to find joy in our challenges. We must SEEK joy within them. Finally, we must KNOCK on the door of joy. When we do, joy will not only answer in the midst of our challenges, but in every area of our lives!
With that, if there are any of you that are currently faced with a challenge and would like someone to join you in prayer, please comment below or send me an email. I would love the opportunity to partner with you. Otherwise, I’ll plan on meeting you guys back her tomorrow as we wrap up the blog week. Take care!
Luke 6:38 (NIV)- Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure that you use, it will be given to you.
Yesterday, we spoke about finding joy in the midst of our challenges while referring to James 1:2-4 (NLT). The scripture goes on to say that when our faith is tested through challenges, our endurance has a chance to grow. As a result of that growth our endurance becomes fully developed. I don’t know about you, but I can certainly see where this has been the case in my own life through various trials. I can’t say that I have always found “joy” in the process, but I can most definitely say that I have grown because of it.
Using our daughter, Morgan’s story- http://www.morgannicolewatson.com/about as an example, I have grown stronger, wiser & more reliant on God since the start of her journey in 2009. Though there have been many sleepless nights, and tiresome days, I have built endurance over the course of the past 9 years, as a result. I believe this is partly because I have found ways to cope with the situation. See, when faced head on with challenges, we have 2 choices. We can either choose to sink by allowing the circumstance to control us. Or, we can choose to swim, by finding ways to battle through. This brings me to one of the things that I wanted to share with you on ways we can find “joy” in our challenges, and that is by taking the focus off of ourselves & our situations, and on to others by serving them.
Luke 6:38 says we should give and that it will be given to us. I realize that this scripture is generally referred to when talking about finances, but I believe that it is actually referring to so much more than that. I firmly believe that when we give to others in various ways while in the midst of our challenges, there is an opportunity to find joy. Not only will we find joy, but we will gain strength to battle through the challenge . Does this make since? Let me dig a little deeper.
As a mother of a daughter who is battling leukemia and who is disabled as a result of the treatment she previously received, I need encouragement. I also need to know that I am not alone. When I choose to encourage others and show up for them, The Lord provides those very things for me. Not only that, but I find joy while doing it. See, this is why it is imperative that we take the focus off of ourselves and on to others when we are faced with challenges. It maybe difficult to do this at first, but with practice we can & we should!
On that note, I hope this message has in some way inspired you to see the challenges that you may be facing or that you may face a little differently. If you would like to share your thoughts on them, please send me a comment or an email. I enjoy hearing from you guys! And, I would love to pray for you in regards to a specific challenge that you may be up against. Otherwise, I’ll see you here tomorrow and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/ until then!
James 1:2-4 (NLT)- Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete needing nothing.
Good Monday morning, my friends! Welcome back! I’m so glad that you are joining me. I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend, and that you are ready for the week ahead. Although I would prefer to not have a few things on our agenda for this week, I am ready to face them head on.
As many of you may already know, we received some news last week in regards to our daughter, Morgan’s health- http://morgannicolewatson.com/2019/01/17/thursday-1-17-19. This news was not only unexpected, but disappointing as well. As we sat listening to one of her oncologist giving us the update, I took note of both John & Morgan’s response to it. Morgan was very quite, yet peaceful. John, although filled with many questions, appeared to accept the news with ease. Me, well I handled it as I have learned to do…one minute & one word at a time. It was at that moment that I realized just how much the two of them had grown in their faith since Morgan’s initial leukemia diagnosis in 2009. And, it was all due to the many challenges that they faced & overcame, as a result. This brings me to the topic for this week, and that is challenges.
Can you think of the toughest challenge that you have faced in your life, thus far? For me, that would be Morgan’s illness. Now, is there something about that challenge that you would say that brought you joy while in the middle of it? Perhaps some of you could think of something, if you thought long and hard. But, my guess is that the majority of you would have a hard time answering that question. So, why then does The Lord say that we should “consider it great joy” when troubles of any kind come our way in James 1:2-4? I mean, how does he expect us to be joy filled when our lives appear to be falling apart? How is that even possible? Better yet, what does that look like?
Well, having been through the fire many times in my own life, I have a few ideas in mind that may help you to find joy in challenges when they inevitably arise. Although, I haven’t always handled these challenges the way that I currently do, I have grown exponentially in this regard. Because of this growth and the peace that it has brought into my life, I would like to share them with you. By doing so, my hope is that they will have the same effect on you and your life. Or, at least move you closer in that direction.
Starting tomorrow through Thursday, I will be sharing my ideas with you. If this is something that you think will be helpful for you, please plan on meeting me here each day. You can click the follow button on the website to get reminders, and you can also like my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/ to follow me throughout the day. In the mean time, have an awesome Monday, everyone. See you soon!
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition. With thanksgiving, present your request to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds.
Wow, where has the blog week gone? I feel like I just sat down to write my first post, and here I am writing the final one. I suppose what they say about time is true. It does fly by when your having fun! On that note, let’s recap… shall we?
On Monday, we focused our attention to Matthew 6:25. There we found The Lord instructing us to ” not worry”. Although it is natural to worry, if we do so for any length of time, we essentially do not trust in his plan for our lives. Tuesday we talked about 1 of 3 tools that The Lord has given us to combat worry, and that is The Bible. Not only does it give us clarity, direction & ammunition, but the truth in every word on every page gives us hope. Wednesday, we touched on the second tool, which is meditating on his word. By focusing on 1 scripture that pertains to our lives we not only take the focus off of whatever it is that we are worried about, but we gain strength from it. Today, we will be talking about the third tool and that is prayer.
In Philippians 4:6-7 The Lord instructs us to not worry, but to pray about everything. By doing so, he assures us that we will have peace that will guard our hearts and minds. My friends, we have a direct line of communication with The Creator of The Universe. The good news about this is that he is always available, and he is excited to hear from us. In fact, he wants to hear about the good, the not so good, and any request that we may have. He even wants to hear about what is worrying us. Thankfully, there will never be a bad connection or a line being busy or disconnected. He is available anytime, anywhere and for anything. I don’t know about you but I, for one, take full advantage of this. I thank him as I’m leaving the grocery store with a basket full of groceries. I thank him for the heater when its cold or the air conditioning when its hot. I go to him for EVERYTHING! Just ask my children. They think it is hilarious, at times. I sometimes wonder if he does, too. But, all kidding aside, I believe this is the greatest tool there is.
So, when was the last time you prayed? Perhaps it was a simple thank you, which is great! Our father in heaven does not care how long you pray or how you even do it, he just wants to hear from you. For me, when I am starting or ending my day, I begin praying by thanking him for all of my blessings. Next I repent by asking for forgiveness for any sins that I have committed. Then, I ask for whatever is on my heart. Finally, I listen. Yes, he responds! Thank you, Jesus! Did you see what I just did there? 😉
Well, I hope this week has helped you in some way. I have really enjoyed creating the content, and hearing from you guys via comments, messages or emails. I pray that you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay warm! I’ll plan on meeting you back here on Monday, and on The Faith Filled Travelers Facebook page until then. Cheers!
Joshua 1:8- Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.
I remember when I first began digging into The Lords word. It was so foreign to me. I could not understand any of it. It was as though I was reading a book written in another language. Determined to make it a daily discipline that I would do at the start of my day, I continued. With time and persistence, I began to notice a shift taking place. Not only was I understanding what I was reading, but I was able to navigate around it much easier, and I was memorizing scriptures in the process. In fact, I began quoting scriptures in my head without even realizing it. This brings me to the second tool that we can use when worrying arises and that is meditating on Gods words.
In addition to doing a devotional each morning that included reading several scriptures, I began to refer to The Lords word each time that I was faced with a situation in my life. An example of this for me would be fear. Not only did I find all of the scriptures pertaining to fear , but I focused on one in particular by writing it down on a note card, carrying it in my pocket and referring to it each time fear entered into my subconscious throughout the day. In other words, fearful thoughts prompted me to pull out my note card and redirect my attention to The Lords word.
At one point, fear had such a hold me that I was waking up in the middle of the night as a result of it. Thankfully, with time, I learned to meditate on the scripture that I had been focusing on when it did. In this case it was Isaiah 41:10- “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. I would repeat it over and over in my head until I fell back to sleep. This process not only brought me comfort, but it helped me to take the focus off of the thing that I was fearful of, and onto The Lord. See, our minds cannot fully focus on 2 things at one time; therefore, we must choose what we will direct our attention to. Yes, we have a choice. Although thoughts like fear and worry may come, we don’t have to allow them to stick around. Instead, we can focus on what we know to be true, and for me, that is The Lords words.
Friends, if you don’t get anything out of this post, please get these 2 things. First, The Lords words are not just words. Instead, they are powerful tools that he has given us to use for clarity, direction, and ammunition, if you will. Second, although thoughts, like worry inevitably come to mind, we do not have to entertain them. The only power that ANYTHING has over us, including worry, is the power that we choose to give it. By worrying about something, we essentially choose to give power to it. Why? Why would we choose to waste our precious time on worrisome thoughts when they do not serve us in anyway?
With that in mind, please take sometime to consider what I have said today. Perhaps, you can write down a scripture or two of your own. Or, maybe even come up with a similar idea to do, instead. If you do, and you want to share, please comment below or send me an email. I would love to hear from you. In the mean time, I will plan on seeing you back here tomorrow. Take care!