Always see the good

I really liked today’s Scripture in that it asks us to look at the good in the world. Let’s take a look.

 

Philippians 4:4-9

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

 

The take away is…

The biggest thing here feels simple: rejoice in the Lord, and think on the good things in the world. Stay positive. Only give the energy of your heart and your mind to things that are true, pure, good, lovely, and praiseworthy. Do not waste your heart on things that are not of God. The Lord has given you things, the Lord has spoken to you in your life. If you dwell only on those things, then you are always with God.

God is a god of peace. The end. Only speak over you and your life the things He has spoken for you, the things He has provided. Because that is Truth.

What are you allowing to steal your joy? What are you meditating on that maybe you shouldn’t? What have you learned, received, or heard from God that you need to really think about? Because only then will you have peace.

New Year, New Vision

I have just come to the realization that school begins next week. Don’t take this the wrong way—I have known for sometime when the spring semester would start. In fact, I’ve had my textbooks for about 2 weeks now, and I’ve finished updating the course content online for the courses I instruct. So, no, it’s not a surprise. What I mean is it snuck up on me.

You see, this time last year, I had to say goodbye to my husband for 3 months, and school was a distraction from my emotional state. So having N home has impacted (positively) my winter break. But something else comes from this realization.

It is also my last semester of graduate school.

I know—2 years has gone by so fast! I have already begun my review of literature for my capstone project (it’s like a thesis, but it’s not a one hundred something page paper). I have already had my first meeting with my committee to go over my Prospectus. My chair has already given me a defense date (well, area): April.

I mean, how crazy is that!?

And since N will miss my graduation because of his drill, he has promised to come to my defense. But I just found out last night that their “academic” trip would be in April (if they go). My chair has already been kind enough to let me know that, since I want my husband at the defense, he will work out a way that it is not when N will be gone for military duty. This just adds one more piece to the equation. On the plus side, it will give me a solid due date for my project (I think), so I suppose that is good.

Our church does a Vision and a 21 day fast every year for the new year. I say this because part of my personal vision is to not let the things I cannot control control me. What I mean by this is: I have gotten so frustrated with my husband about his military obligations, even though I know there is nothing he can do about it. I cannot control these things, and I refuse to let the military get the better of me or my marriage.(Graduation for my M.A. may seem small to some, but it’s big to me. I do know in the long run it is nothing; I am well aware. But in the moment…)

I also know N is trying to make things better between us; we both are. But there are a lot of stressors, too. We have a lot ahead of us: I will graduate and begin my career with my master’s (!!); N is currently applying to graduate programs; he will graduate OCS and become an officer in the Army National Guard; we will be moving, and whether that is just moving apartments or moving cities all depends on where he gets accepted and where I get a job. I have had anxiety about all of this, especially since I am a big planner.

And the verse that has been put on my heart through all of those stresses is this one: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV).

In other words, I should be thankful that I even made it into a master’s program and will receive the degree I worked so hard for. I should be thankful to even have my husband in my life. I should be thankful that N has supported me this whole time, even if he couldn’t be here in person. I should rejoice for what I do have, not condemn what I don’t. I should praise the Lord in everything. I won’t lie; sometimes that is hard, especially when my emotions get the best of me. But He has never failed to provide for me and He never will.

So as N and I speak life over our vision for the new year and as we pray, I will remember God is forever faithful, and He will provide what we need when we need it. I will remind myself of this verse and know that His peace can overcome whatever I am feeling in the moment. Most importantly, I will remind myself to talk with Him before I open my mouth to my husband.

I encourage you to pray and create a vision. What do you want to work on this year? Not just a new year’s resolution, but a vision. What do you see for yourself, for your partner, for your relationship this year? What do you want to speak life into?