What Is Real?

I received a daily devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries this morning (written by Holly Good) and wanted to share it with everybody.  Justin and I have been talking a lot over the past few months about how we (as humans) always seem to dissapoint and hurt each other because of our sinful nature.  We’ve often commented to each other, “do we really know anybody?” and “how do we trust again?”  We have learned through difficult circumstances that there is only ONE who we can truly know.  There is only ONE who will never betray us or hurt us.  There is ONE who always keeps his promises and will never leave us.  As hard as the past few months have been, I am thankful for the reminder that our  Heavenly Father will never leave us or forsake us!

Psalm 40:2 says “[God] lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

With God as my Rock and my Fortress, I can rest in His arms and know that He’ll give me the strength to fully forgive and begin to reconcile broken relationships in my life.  Others will continue to disappoint and hurt us throughout our lives here on this earth (and unfortunately, I will hurt other at times also)…that is just part of being human, but with God as our anchor we can find the strength to love each other as He commanded us to do.

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What Is Real?

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (NIV 1984)

Has your trust ever been shattered by someone you love? A few years ago I was faced with a very unsettling situation. I was shocked when I learned of hidden sin that had spun its way into the life of someone I care about deeply.

For weeks, I pleaded with God on my knees for an explanation, for understanding, for clarity. My sense of reality had been threatened and betrayed. I desperately cried out, “What is real Lord? Tell me what is real. Because what I thought was real may not be.”

One night as I went to bed, I tried to make peace with the fact that maybe I was never supposed to understand this devastating circumstance. There were many questions, but few answers. Many thoughts, but few explanations. The next morning, during my quiet time, the Lord gently began to reveal some answers to my wounded heart.

I was reminded of my need for Him – my never-ending, all-consuming need for Him. Too often I take my eyes off of the Lord and attempt to live difficult situations in my own strength. Colossians 3:1-2 profoundly challenged me, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (NIV 1984). Unfortunately, my focus had shifted to my questions and myself. And apart from God, my focus had become distorted.

I was reminded that I needed to continue to seek the Lord and patiently wait for what He had in store. I began to beg the Lord to take this hurt away. Make it disappear, Lord. But then I’d sense Him saying to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV). By admitting my frailty, God was able to affirm His strength in me.

And finally, He pointed me to what is real. He gently reminded me that He is real. My God is real. Though on this earth I will face many stressful situations, many disappointments, and many hurts, I know that my God is real and He will never leave me. I once again found loving comfort in the words from Moses to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:8, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (NIV 1984). I knew I had to completely depend on God and believe in His goodness.

My assignment in this difficult circumstance was clear. The Lord was asking me to continue to pray, believe, trust, seek, wait and focus on Him and Him alone. I am so thankful that nothing will ever separate me from His unfailing love. And THAT my friend is real.

Dear Lord, thank You for the life lessons You teach me each day. Give me renewed strength as I wait on You. Help me to continue to desire You and to seek You through each situation I will face. I want to completely depend on You, God. I love You Lord, and I trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond
When circumstances make me question the truth, I will remember “God is real” and He loves me completely.

What experiences or difficult circumstances have led to growth in my spiritual life because they made me depend more on God? How can I help others going through similar situations?

Power Verses:
Romans 5:3, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance…” (NIV 1984)

John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV 1984)

Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV 1984)

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Side Note:  Brendan and Ryan had a blast at guitar practice today!  Mr. Conley had them play “Who Wants To Be a Milllionaire” on his laptop to review what they had  learned in class over the session.  It was soooo much fun!  He even gave the kids “gold” coins as a prize :)!

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“Jambo”!

We have “landed” in Kenya and will be here for the next three weeks :)!  Our studies will focus on Kenya, grassland ecosystems, African animals, David Livingstone (missionary to Africa), and the culture of the Kenyan people. 

Today, Brendan and Ryan colored the flag of Kenya while I finished reading George Muller.  He was an amazing man with extraordinary faith that helped thousands of orphans in Europe!  We also started learning our weekly bible verse. We read some basic information about Kenya from the Classroom Atlas, listened to African music, and began coloring and labeling some of the major countries in Africa.  For science, we read about grasslands (from Properties of Ecosystems) and colored and labeled the major grassland areas on a world map.  I let the boys take turns reading aloud a few days a week and they have really improved their fluency and expression over the past few months!  I think hearing me read so many books aloud to them has helped a lot also.  I have loved reading books to my kids for years…from the moment they were born until they started reading independently.  I missed that time of bonding as they were getting older.  I am soooo thankful that homeschooling has provided the extra time to read aloud as a family again!

We had a fantastic first day in Kenya and are excited about all of the cool subjects we get to study over the next few weeks!

Verse of the Day:

 

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Is it Friday Yet :) ???

Everybody told me that January and February were the toughest months to homeschool, and they were right.  I just haven’t felt as enthusiastic or energetic as I normally feel.  Luckily tomorrow is a short day!  I’m going to get this post out quickly so I can get outside with the boys and get some fresh air!

Today, we read more about the amazing faith that George Muller had in God, practiced our weekly verse, found and labeled some of the major rivers in the world, learned about some mammals and plants that live near lakes and rivers, worked on our projects, and completed eight workboxes each.

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Quick Post:

Here’s what we covered today:  played basketball at P.E.  –  read about how George Muller started his first orphanage  –  handwriting  –  math  –  language arts  –  read about and completed a worksheet on the characteristics of rivers and streams  –  reviewed and discussed our bible verse

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