I know that I've OFTEN mentioned that Psalm 139 is one of my FAVORITE passages - going back to discussing it around a campfire with friends when I was in High School! Another favorite passage, however has been Jeremiah 29:11 . . .
"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 a hope and a future."
Today, as I was reading LOVING (the final book in Karen Kingsbury's Bailey Flanigan series), this verse was mentioned, reminding me of my love for it.
Then, I was reading an e-mail devo that I receive, and this verse was AGAIN referenced! I don't believe that it is coincidence that God puts things in my path when He does! :)
The first part of that verse is SO COMFORTING - it is WHAT has been my hope . . . HE KNOWS the plans that He has for me! That is an amazing thought. It is again that reminder that HE is ALREADY in our tomorrows. NOTHING that comes our way is s SURPRISE to Him. He is NEVER taken off-guard and is NEVER surprised. NO MATTER if what we experience is good OR bad in our eyes - it is ALL KNOWN to Him before it ever touches our lives . . . FOR I KNOW THE PLANS THAT I HAVE FOR YOU!
Yesterday, as I was relishing the "time" that I have been given to just try and "catch my breath" a little, I read a devotional from Proverbs 31 entitled "When Time Keeps Slipping Away" . . . Well, wasn't THAT an appropriate title when I'm attempting to regain some sense of BALANCE in my life (that combined with the fact that I'm doing a Bible Study called "Living a Life of Balance" . . . do you think HE is trying to tell me SOMETHING?!). Anyway, back to the Proverbs 31 devotional, they always end with a prayer, and the one for yesterday read:
"Dear Lord, only You know how many breaths I have. Please help me to use my time wisely and invest it in the people and things that matter most. Help me consciously plan time for myself, my family and my faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
(you can read the entire devotional by clicking HERE)!
"only YOU know how many breaths I have" . . . well I certainly know THAT to be a fact . . . ONLY GOD knows the number of our days, and He has since I (we) was knit together in my mother's womb (Psalm 139). Help me to use my time wisely and INVEST it in the people and things that matter MOST.
Yes, my job IS important. Providing for my family IS important (especially now that I'm the only one doing it)! There are LOTS of things that ARE important. Yet, what is MOST important. Do I (have I been) using my time wisely? Do I invest it in what MATTERS MOST? Help me to CONSCIOUSLY plan . . . when I'm running 100 miles an hour and not keeping up with anything, I'm not consciously planning anything - I don't even plan what we will EAT for goodness sakes! I LOVE the thought that GOD knows the plans that He has for me! I did also appreciate the reminder that I MUST be CONSCIOUS about taking the time for my God, my girls and yes, even for ME. As a wife and mom, it's easy to not take the time I need for "me". Yesterday, I was asked what I do for "me". I was glad taht I COULD answer that I've begun to exercise, that daily I have "alone" time on a walk/run or bike ride! It has become important to me mentally as well as physically! I'm learning (very slowly) to BE STILL . . . that is a HARD one for me (and as crazy as it may sound, sometimes my "stillness" comes during a run/walk/bike ride - when it's just God and me and HE has my full attention)! My "most important" right now in life (besides God) is my family. The 3 girls who God gifted me and Rick with. The 3 girls He and Rick have entrusted me with! Yes, they are, and they NEED to be what "matters most"! I am very thankful that while I'm doing the "parent" thing "alone" with Rick now in Heaven that I'm not really doing it alone! I have "help" from Grammas & Papas, Aunts & Uncles, Church family & friends and Big Brother & Big Sister (& their spouses!). Most importantly, I have GOD helping me, and HE KNOWS THE PLANS HE HAS FOR US! I can REST in that, and I can trust that HE will help me to use my time wisely and to INVEST it where it MATTERS MOST!
I don't think it is any coincidence that THIS is one of the poses that Tessa chose when she had her Senior pictures taken this past summer, just 2 & 1/2 short months before her Daddy was called Home to Jesus. As I paid the initial deposit today to hold her "spot" for college in the fall, I was reminded AGAIN that God has a plan for HER future . . . plans to give her HOPE and a FUTURE! I'm excited to see where HE takes her!