Recently, I came across this magazine article that CJ first showed me a couple of years ago. It’s a refreshing reminder of the grace of God that comes to us each and every day (yes, even today!) I’d encourage you to read it and then put it in a safe place—you’re going to want to read it again. I’ll leave you with a snippet:
So here it is, another day. I did nothing to deserve it. I just woke up this morning, and there it was. I may have expected it to be there, but I had no right to. Just like Christmas morning, I got up to find a present waiting for me, a brand new day.
Yes, today is a gift. And it has my name on the tag. This present from God has been custom-made for me. God has filled it with blessings, some obvious and some in disguise. Its difficulties and challenges are tailored to fit my size. It may not be exactly what I asked for, but it is exactly what I need.
World Magazine, November 18, 2006
When we ask, “What about her?”, when we “turn” and compare our life unfavorably to another, we tend to cast ourselves in the role of “victim.”
Poor me! I have to deal with this person who dares to have it better than me, right in front of me! How can I help but compare? The disparity is impossible to ignore!
We like to talk about “our temptation to compare” because we’re likely to rake in some sympathy and understanding. And oh how we love sympathy and understanding!
But Scripture calls comparison out for what it is: the sin of envy.
Jonathan Edwards offers this definition:
“Envy [is] a spirit of dissatisfaction with, and opposition to, the prosperity and happiness of others as compared with our own. The thing that the envious person is opposed to, and dislikes is the comparative superiority of the state of honour; or prosperity or happiness, that another may enjoy, over that which he possesses” (emphasis mine).
I’m generally happy for the happiness of others—just so long as it doesn’t exceed my own!
But if they get a bigger house (compared to me) or more attention (compared to me); if they have better health (compared to me) or more obedient children (compared to me); if they are prettier than me, more gifted than me, more fun than me—then a twinge of dislike, a feeling of opposition, a spirit of dissatisfaction begins to rise in my heart.
And that dislike and dissatisfaction are sure signs of envy.
Over the weekend we reached a milestone: 1000 members of The 5 O’Clock Club. Our 1000th member was Julie from Elmwood Park, IL. We didn’t offer a prize because we never anticipated this many members; but we think a prize is in order. So Julie, we’d love to get you an ESV Study Bible.
We’re most encouraged by what 1000 members represents—God’s grace at work in the lives of so many women to want to rise early to seek Him. We pray you are encouraged too!
As a pastor, my husband Steve often interviews prospective church members. Part of our church’s membership process includes filling out a brief profile before the pastoral interview. Recently, just before meeting with a couple who wanted to join the church, Steve sent me an email:
Doing a new members interview in an hour, I’m reviewing their file.
Wife’s membership profile form reads like this:
Place of Employment: At home mom.
Brief Job Description: You name it, I do it.
I’m glad to say, this witty mom is a member of our church now.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Nicole for the girltalkers
As any mom with small children will tell you, “getting out the door” is an exercise in craziness and chaos. Screaming fits and blow-out diapers, lost keys and runaway children all wait for the moment you want to go somewhere.
Just. Get. In. The. Car.
But when my four-year-old daughter Caly was younger, I read a suggestion from one mom about training your children to sit quietly in one spot. I decided this would come in handy for when I was trying to leave the house.
I worked with Caly and she soon got the hang of it. And a few weeks ago, I began to teach eighteen-month-old MJ.
Every morning after breakfast we have “sit time.” Even though MJ only says a handful of words, she knows exactly what I’m talking about. She and Caly go to the stairs and sit on separate steps until the timer goes off. We started with one minute and increased the time bit by bit as the weeks went on.
It’s hilarious to watch. Every muscle in MJ’s body wants to stand up, but she’s learning to sit still and can now do so for a grand total of five minutes! Caly loves “being a good example” and showing MJ how to obey. We cheer and clap when that little timer goes off.
This little exercise makes the “getting out the door” process a lot more peaceful. The girls sit quietly while I search for my lost keys! But more importantly, MJ is learning obedience and self-control—the peaceful fruit of which I pray she’ll reap for the rest of her life.