God’s Strength

Have you ever thought of God’s strength as medication?  Something you can take to ease the pain?  Something you can take to push through until the end of the day?  Instead of popping a pill because of  the next stress headache, maybe try opening the bible and digesting a few verses.  The bible is filled with God’s Word, the Word that relieves all pain, physical and emotional.  The Word that releases all stress, if we allow it.  The Word that transforms us from crazy busy to peaceful.

Matthew 11:28-29 states, “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus wants us to lay our burdens on Him.  He does not want us to manage all alone.  Once we release our burdens to Christ and walk beside Him, we will find a peace that will begin to transform our lives.  Tracie Miles shares in the book, Stressed-Less Living, “His desire is that we come to understand the importance of walking with him everyday, because that is where we gain our strength.”

We are begging for strength to get through the day, week, month.  I know, I have been there.  But, instead of begging and pleading, why are we not releasing to God?  Why are we not letting go of our troubles and praying over them?  Why are we not stepping back to take a look at how we allowed ourselves to become this stressed out to begin with?

I understand that some situations just put us into immediate stress without any warning.  For example, when my son was diagnosed with brain cancer, our entire world just turned on us.  We were put into high stress mode from nothing just the day before.  He died one month later and again, stress just increased immediately. However, we grasped on for God.  He sent us a life line and we held on as tightly as we could.  We let go of EVERYTHING else around us: friends, obligations, parties, social gatherings, extra work, etc.  Totally and completely let go of all of it.  We clung to the one who we knew could pull us through.  And He did.

God will give us strength when we need it.  “Strength to walk in his joy when we cannot find any reason to be joyful.  Strength to stand firm in our faith when things seem hopeless.  And strength to be strong when the painful things of life are taking their toll on our hearts.”  (Stressed-Less Living, Tracie Miles)

 

That situation is not typical.  Most everyday stress comes from over-booking yourself for various things.  Could be work, social, volunteering, play dates for kids, sports, pressures of keeping house, etc.  I could go on and on.   When normal, everyday life stresses creep into your life, you need to step back and say to yourself, “What can I get rid of?  What is it God is telling me?  What is God’s will for me today?”  Maybe God doesn’t need you to be at both soccer practice and PTA.  Maybe He needs you to be in His Word.

I have made a habit of praying each morning and listening to some worship music as well to start off my day.  It has really made an impact on how the rest of my day unfolds.  I challenge you to do something similar.  Find a few moments before your day begins to say hello to God and to ask Him what He has planned for you today.  Then, make sure you do that and not too much else!  At the end of the day, be sure to thank Him also.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Kindergarten

Kindergarten.  According to Wikipedia, the term Kindergarten was created by Friedrich Frobel in Germany as a “children’s garden”. In 1837, it was a social experience for children as they transitioned from home to school.  Frobel’s goal in his institution was that children should be nourished and cared for like plants in a garden.

In the United States, Kindergarten is used to describe the first year of primary education.  It is still very much a social experience for children where they will be cared for and nourished like plants, as Friedrich Frobel envisioned.

Kindergarten offers a vast variety of experiences for the young child.  Throughout the year in kindergarten, children will learn to communicate, play, and interact with others appropriately.  Through many activities in the classroom, children will learn the foundations for Reading, Writing and Math.  They will participate in activities that incorporate Science, Social Studies, Art, Music and more.  They will develop gross and fine motor skills and will practice making choices in a safe and guided environment.  They will begin their journey as independent learners.

At Bethany, our Kindergarten class will be interactive, engaging and inviting.  We will have daily learning centers to reinforce skills that have been taught.  We will work in small groups for reading and math to meet the child where they are and help them to progress to the next level in learning.  Science and Social Studies will be taught throughout all disciplines.  We will use a hands-on approach so the lessons come to life for the children.  Art and Music will be used to enhance the curriculum and engage our young learners in yet another way.

Bible will be a focus in our classroom.  Our children in Bethany are growing in so many ways.  As they grow, learn and develop, we want to instill in their minds and hearts God’s love for them always.  We will have weekly chapel with Pastor Tim as well as daily bible lessons with a different story each week.  It is our prayer that your child will develop an understanding of Jesus and His love and sacrifice for us.

Making a decision for your child’s education takes much thought and prayer.  There are many factors to take into consideration.  Bethany has a history of preparing children for kindergarten through their fantastic preschool program.  The kindergarten program at Bethany will follow this reputation in being top-notch.  Your child will grow and learn in a safe and fun environment.  They will build a strong foundation for their many years of education ahead of them and they will be in God’s Word daily.

I write these words to you as the teacher of the new Bethany Kindergarten Class.  I feel I was called to take on this position and I am blessed to be given the opportunity to reach these young children.  The ECEC Team is working hard to put into place a quality program that meets the needs of the children, the standards of our state and  the visions of the church.  I am humbled that I was chosen as the teacher.  Nurturing young minds is my passion and with God by our sides, our classroom will be a thriving garden of growing children.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

For Registration Information, visit http://www.bethanylcw.org/school-information.html or call 540-941-8853

Exodus 33:14

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

How does this make you feel when you read these words from Exodus?  It brings a sense of calm and peace to me.  I need to know that I am not alone in this difficult, stressful, crazy life that we live in.  The thing is, God has told us this from the beginning.  We are not alone.  He is always with us and always walks with us.

There have been many stressful situations in my life.  Some of them I struggled through without relying on God and others I had no choice but to surrender to God to carry me.  I remember the teenage years.  Oh how I wish I had turned to God then and asked him to guide me through the difficulties of growing, friends, boys, dating, independence and more. But I knew better.  I knew better than my parents, I knew better than everyone.  So, I made many mistakes.  I suffered and wondered why these years were so tough for me.

It wasn’t that I was totally apart from God, but I was not working on my relationship with him actively.  I was not listening to him or looking for him.  I was not studying his word or seeking his guidance.  Looking back, I now know he was with me all the time, but I was not acknowledging his presence.

Early in my marriage, I opened my heart a sliver to let God through.  We struggled through infertility, financial woes, work stress, and many other obstacles that newly married couples face.  Yes, I was beginning to scratch the surface of building my relationship with God.  And mostly because of how empty I felt not being able to conceive.  Like Hannah in Samuel, I cried out to God to give me a child.  God answered my prayers.  He blessed us over several years with 3 babies.  My relationship was growing stronger and I was witnessing miracles in my own life daily.  Miracles that were always there, but I was now more aware of them around me.

My 2nd child had a brain tumor, diagnosed at the young age of 16 months and died at 17 months. For those of you who have read my other blogs, you already know this story.  This was a turning point in my life.  This was the crossroad where I surrendered completely or turned and left God.  However, God had been preparing me.  He had planted seeds of faith from the day I was born and he knew that I would not turn my back on him.

How could I?  He had my baby now and would one day have me too.  Why would I want to turn my back on him?

So, desperate, aching, grieving,  and lost – I surrendered.  I let go of everything tangible in this world, I fell to my knees and pleaded with God to help me breath again, help me move again and help me live again.

I have felt his presence in my life every day since then.  If I feel stressed or strangled by circumstance, I just close my eyes and whisper a prayer and I feel him again.  I listen to worship music on the way to work and reflect on how God is working my life today before I even start my day.

God never left me, even in my most difficult days.  He lifted me up and made sure I could put one foot in front of the other.  And when I couldn’t physically put one foot in front of the other, he sat with me until I could.

The more I study God’s Word, the more I realize I don’t know!  And I am invigorated inside.  I want to learn more.  I want to experience more.  I want to be more, for God.

And, knowing that his presence is with me wherever I go, how can I fail?  I just need to listen to him!