Saturday, September 24, 2011

Praise Report

Early this summer I noticed that I had broken two stones in one of my favorite rings. When I saw it, I vaguely remembered accidentally hitting it on something, but looking down at the ring at thinking it was ok. It must not have been, and I just hadn't looked closely enough, because sure enough two stones were severely damaged. I took it to the place we bought it and they estimated the repair at about $300. Ouch! I took it to a wholesale place and they said they couldn't fix it because I didn't buy it there, but they recommended another place. That place wound up being even more expensive. So, I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to pay to get this fixed because I really didn't want to spend $300 on it, but it really bugged me every time I wore it and saw the broken stones.
Well.... being the Groupon queen that I am, I got an email this week about a Groupon for 50% off at the SAME jewelry store that I bought it at and the one that quoted me $300 to fix it. Not only was the groupon available for the $300 amount, but it was also valid on services (like repairs-I called to confirm!), not just new jewelry! woohoo! God knows my desires of my heart. He knew I wanted it fixed, and He opened the door for me to get it fixed for half off!  I am super happy and super blessed! I am making plans to drop the ring off next week and get it repaired! I am really happy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Don't hide your light!

My husband and I had something really exciting happen in our lives this week.
We paid off the mortgage on our home! I was super excited the day I put the check in the mail. I had a hard time containing my excitement because I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but yet I didn't know if that was the 'proper' thing to do. I did call my mom though and gave her the great news and she was super-excited for us. She even told me it would be a good idea to share that information with our kids (I hadn't thought of that yet) as it would be a good way to talk to them about diligence, saving, being responsible, and working towards a goal. Another way to show them that living within one's means, instead of in debt, or paycheck-to-paycheck was how we should strive to live our financial lives and that we were setting that example for them.
As I said earlier, I was so incredibly excited, I really wanted to just blast it out to everyone. I was so darn happy!

But then a couple days later on Sunday, the congregation was asked for any praise reports. My first thought was, "oh yeah! this is worth praising!" and I wanted to share. But I don't have a spring attached to my arm so it didn't pop up there immediately, so several other folks started sharing first. As I was listening to them, and rejoicing in their good news, and praising God for all their goodness, I started thinking that my good news... well, just maybe wasn't good enough worth sharing. Which is weird because just two days earlier
I was so excited I wanted to shout it from the rooftops (and did shout a little to a few people, praising God all the way), but as I listened to the wonderful praise reports of God healing cancer from someone's body, or lining up new jobs for someone, or someone coming to Christ and starting their journey of giving their heart to God and therefore living for God...I started to think my 'report' maybe wasn't worth reporting. I didn't realize at the time that ALL of God's good works are worthy of praise. Instead I started to discount His work in me. Which was wrong. I shrank down so low in my feelings of worthiness that I almost didn't share my praise report. If it weren't for prompting from my hubby, I might not have (sad as that is to say).

But if I don't share it and shout it from the rooftops, then I am NOT giving HIM the glory for its accomplishment! And it truly is HIS accomplishment. It is through His direction and guidance through the years that allowed this to happen. It is not because of what my husband or I did ourselves, it is from what God has done through us in our lives.

I had to realize that by not sharing it freely, I was stifling His work. I was hiding it. If I won't let His light shine through me at every opportunity then how can I expect to keep that light burning? We sing the song "This little light of mine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine", but if we don't let it shine, then we are not being a disciple for the Lord. So no matter how that light is shining through you right now, whether it be from your body being cured of cancer, or a new job prospect you received because of your faithful prayer, or your spouse that has now come to the Lord (Praise God!), or that through your faithfulness, you are now mortgage-free and therefore that much closer to being debt-free and not "a slave to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7), REJOICE! And Praise God!

They are ALL examples of His light shining through you. Share it! Share it in such a way that you give all the glory to God! He is the one who deserves the glory, we are simply just His servants doing His work.

So I write this to publicly repent for almost hiding, or covering the light that God has put in me. I can't worry what other people think (as Pastor Chris reminded us Sunday), I only have to concern myself with being a good servant and steward for God. It is He who I am trying to follow and He who I am trying to emulate, and therefore, He who I look to for guidance and approval. I know He would not want me to downplay or hide His Glory. Therefore, I repent to Him for not shouting His glory and praise when given the chance.
Lord, I love you and I thank you for all that you have done in my life. I thank you for my husband, who started me on the path to you. I thank you for my parents, who did not instill a spend-thrift mentality in me. I thank you Lord, for your patience, as it took me years to hear you, but now that I do, I pray for my ears to be continually open to listen to your guidance and do your will in all aspects of my life. I love you Lord!
I PRAISE GOD for His faithfulness! AMEN!!!