August has always been a stressful month for me. I am rushing to finish up all the loose ends before fall arrives. It is also an expensive month, with all the costs of getting the kids ready for school. New clothes, backpacks, supplies, and trying to get an extra weekend away before those school days, sports, and music lessons take over my life.
When my children were younger, I could take them to the store and buy their school supplies and clothes, and they were thrilled. However when they became teenagers, each one had their own distinctive fashion style. One of my daughters decided she didn’t want to wear Levi’s anymore; she wanted designer labeled jeans like everyone else. My husband, Lyle, wasn’t sure what designer was in, but he thought surely as long as it had a name on it, it would work.
While visiting a western-wear store, he found a sale on designer jeans: “Kenny Rogers” with the name and face embroidered on the back pocket. Wow, he thought he had hit the jackpot and bought two pair. He couldn’t wait to get home and show off his find.
I had a hard time keeping a straight face when he gave those “Designer Jeans” to our daughter. They say, “A picture is worth a 1000 words.” I wish I had that picture. She didn’t have the same enthusiasm that my husband had for those jeans, and she said, “I’m not wearing a picture of Kenny Rogers embroidered on my butt.” Who knew?
She never did wear those jeans, and two years later we packed them up and gave them away.
When I think back, I just laugh out loud thinking about those “Kenny Rogers” jeans. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have worn them either.
My husband thought he was giving her a greatest gift, but she didn’t see those jeans as wonderful. How often I do the same with God. When he doesn’t give me what I want, or my struggles overwhelm me, I begin to doubt his love and promises.
Jeremiah 29: 11-14 states, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.
My plans are often complicated and stressful, I tend to over research and worry about every detail. It is such a relief to know that God has a plan for my life, and he cares about the details too. I am learning to trust in His plans and promises for my life, confidently embracing the hope and future he has planned for me.©
Do you find it hard to trust God in the in the hard times of your life?
What time of the year do you find the most stressful for you?
My self-image has always been a little distorted, so shopping for a bathing suit is a traumatic experience for me. I have spent extended lengths of times in the “chamber of horrors” (the fitting room) only to leave in tears, because I could not find anything that looked right. I would leave wishing I was taller, thinner, had a flatter stomach and no muffin top around my waist.
Occasionally I even toyed with the idea of a major overhaul, from top to bottom. You know the kind, where they pull everything up, starting at the knees. (Somehow the image of my navel in the middle of my forehead, has kept me taking the last step)
Do I put more emphases on what others think of me, instead of caring how God sees me? I think God must have a sense of humor, after all he made us.
Have you ever stood naked in front of a mirror and quoted Psalm 139: 14a, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Personally, I have not been able to get past the fearful!
Our confidence comes from knowing that God made us in his image, he knew what we would look like before we were ever born and loved us anyway.
The Bible says:
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Psalm 139: 13-16a
When he looks at us we are perfect in his eyes, he thinks each one is of us is unique and special. ©
When you step into the dressing room does your self-image take a nose dive? Would you rather avoid dressing rooms? I would love to hear your comments.
Every year when summer arrives I tell myself that this is the summer I am going to take it easy, relax and take time to smell the roses. However, when the summer ends, I need a vacation away from my vacation. I have on occasion toyed with the idea of booking a room at the retirement lodge for a month to recuperate: there I could sit uninterrupted in my rocking chair singing,”Blessed Quietness.” When your life feels out of control, have you ever felt like running away?
My life has been a roller coaster for the last two month, and when my to-do list hits overflow, I become overwhelmed. At this point, I feel guilty and decide not to look at my list any more. (No, I’m not feeling better yet) Throwing the to-do list away now becomes a real option. I could start a new list, and forget how far behind I am.
The problem is, I often cannot face failure of rejection. I would rather not try than risk failure. I want to see the big picture and know success is certain. However, nothing in life has guarantees. When financial prospects are bleak, job markets are uncertain, and health issues persist, it is easy to become overwhelmed with life. Sometimes, I wish God would send me an e-mail, or memo, as a quick reminder that he is still in control. Why is it so easy to trust God for other people’s needs, but when it comes to our own needs we don’t have much faith? Isn’t God enough to take care of all our needs, big and small?
Psalm 46:1-2 says,”God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. so we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. He is my strength, and light in a troubled world, I will not fear?
Father, I choose your strength, love and promise, I will not fear as long as you walk with me lighting my way. I choose to trust you.
“Laughter is an instant Vacation.” ~ Milton Berle