Why focus on these things?

I was crying as I was sitting on my couch overwhelmed with my life. “Aren’t I supposed to be grateful? Thankful? Blessed?” You know the saying, right? I asked myself this question in my head. Once again the lies of the enemy filled my thoughts and overflowed into yet another day long “session” of negativity. No sleep, multiple tasks with so little time, no me time, no time spent with my husband, a crying baby, teenagers that seem to tag team on schedule with mood swings to replace the other, and an eight year old who wants to go everywhere and do everything in the middle of a pandemic. Need I say more? All the enemy needed was a small opening to jump in.

Let me tell you, whenever I don’t spend my time with God and stay in His Word, I get off track. I start to shift my focus on other’s expectations of me, pressures of parenting, feelings of inadequacy, and feelings of loneliness try to creep in. In the midst of all of this, I even begin to feel the pressures of “fitting in” on social media. I start to focus on the negative things in my day instead of all of the positive things. This is not me at my best. I know it’s not who God wants me to be. So as I sat there with tears falling, I felt God speaking to my heart. I felt a peace with the words “You can’t do this alone.”

So I picked up my phone for my Bible App. I searched “overwhelmed” and found a Bible plan called “Overwhelmed By My Blessings – Encouragement for Moms”. Turns out that it’s a series. A 12 part series with 5 days in each of the 12 plans. It’s written by Robin Meadows, a woman who raised 7 children and is now 63 and has 19 grandchildren. I told myself, “I can definitely learn several things from her!” As I began the first day of the plan, I immediately started to feel some peace and like I wasn’t alone.

All of this prior to me finding the Bible plan seemed so crazy. It’s not new though. I knew I needed to get my schedule back to spending more time with God. I knew that I was focusing more on things around me instead of what God has been placing in front of me. The trials and the unexplainable turnaround in many circumstances are in my life for a reason. Someone else is currently facing, will face, or has already gone through some of the same things I have. I truly believe God wants me to share those things with you. Just as I can learn from Robin Meadows and her time raising 7 children, someone can learn from my experiences too.

While reading the plan, one of the verses Robin shares is Psalm 119:33-48 in the Message version. God keeps putting this on my heart. It doesn’t leave me. I think about it all the time. I have read this chapter multiple times before, but it was through my crying out to God that I heard my own voice and felt my own heart reading the words as if they were my own thoughts. The Word of God is alive. This is the season that God is pulling me back to Him. I feel like I have been close yet so far for so long. This time it feels different. I don’t ever want to leave again.

“GOD, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me— my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway! Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot. Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way. Affirm your promises to me— promises made to all who fear you. Deflect the harsh words of my critics— but what you say is always so good. See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways!

Let your love, GOD shape my life with salvation, exactly as you promised; Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word. Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever— your commandments are what I depend on. Oh, I’ll guard my life what you’ve revealed to, guard it now, guard it ever; And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom; Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!— relishing every fragment of your counsel.” Psalm 119:33-48 MSG

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