Summer Scenes and Some Thoughts.

I alluded to this yesterday, but it’s been quite an emotional week.  The death of a dear old friend.  Seeing precious old friends at the funeral.  Hearing prayer requests from other friends and Bible study ladies.  Getting little sleep and knowing my children are tired, as well.  Sometimes it just feels a bit heavy.

ss 1

But, it’s crazy how joy comes sneaking in amidst the heavy.  I am more aware of God’s presence.  I am more aware of how precious my friends and family are.  I am more aware of how much He loves me and wants to carry my burdens for me.  In fact, I am even overcome with just how blessed I am.  Sometimes I almost feel guilty for the joy — but then I remember it is a gift from God.

ss 2

The other night I was exhausted.  I finally went to bed, only to be woken up an hour later by a very sweet girl who was just having trouble sleeping.  Somehow, I wasn’t so sweet… in fact, I am quite certain I made things worse before we finally all calmed down and felt better.  I crawled back into bed so mad at myself.  I thought I was beyond that.  I thought God had delivered me from letting this night time monster come out!  But, it happened again.

ss 3

Two things came to mind.  1)  I am not fighting against flesh and blood.  This is a spiritual battle, and I need to be armed and ready.  2)  James 5:16 “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  Ok, ok… I got it.  I went to sleep knowing I would have to confess my sins to my Bible study group… (and apparently now to you, too! 🙂 )

ss 4

The devil wants us to wallow in our sin and guilt and shame.  He wants us to believe we can never change.  He wants us to hide our secrets and pretend we’re better than we are.  Sure, we can confess to God — he already knows, anyway.  But God tells us to confess to one another to be healed — yikes!

ss 5

The Lord gently convicts us.  He carries us and gives us joy — unbelievable joy amidst the gray times.  He blesses us with a new day every day.

The pictures I chose were just a few of the many blessings from this week.  I want to remember these blessings, and so I take the pictures.  But, I want to remember the hard times, too… and the joy that is there despite the circumstances… and the peace that surpasses understanding.  I want to remember the struggle; but the knowledge gained that comes along with it!  I want to remember the simple things… the cup of coffee with my new favorite blueberry muffin recipe and  the crisp morning air, the kids enjoying their first popsicles of the summer, playing with glitter paints that I found on clearance at Target, teaching the dog how to surf, and still having fun with dress-up at 8 years old; love it all!

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