God Blesses the Faithful

A rare snow day in Georgia! Caleb wisely decided to get out there before it all melted, which it all did, by 8:30 am.

I’ve been enjoying reading in the Old Testament lately. This morning I was reading about how Joseph died and the next Pharaoh didn’t know Joseph, but he certainly noticed the ever-growing size of their population of Hebrews.

“Immigrants.” It’s a problem as old as the ages, and yet we have all either had ancestors who were immigrants or have been immigrants ourselves. Immigrants– Outsiders– people who are different than the rest.

Pharaoh decided to do away with them slowly by killing off the baby boys, as they were born, so he called in the two midwives–see women have always had more power than we realized–and asked them to kill all the boy Hebrew babies.

Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard that story, but what about Exodus 1:20-21, where it mentions what God did for the midwives as a result of their faithfulness in not killing the babies.

“Therefore, God dealt well with the midwives…And it came to pass because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.”

The King James Version says He made them houses. The New International Version says God blessed them with families of their own. The two are in agreement. The KJV just says it in the Old English way, which I sometimes misunderstand and need to read a more modern English version.

John David’s gingerbread house. I had the most fun making this with him!

But I take great comfort in this reminder from Exodus 1:20-21. When we honor God in our choices, he blesses us.

Sometimes the blessings take time, like how Joseph was sold into slavery and ended up in prison, but he worked his way out. In due time, God blessed him over-abundantly, putting him in charge of all of Egypt and reuniting him with his family.

God does bless our faithful actions.

drawing candy canes

And that makes me think of Christmas, the time of the birth of Jesus, because this gift blesses our faithfulness with the hope of salvation.

So I’ll try not to stress too terribly much about the gifts and the money because that’s not what this is about, is it?

It’s about God blessing us–the whole world– with faith, hope, and love, a baby born on Christmas day to save the world from punishment. There is now no condemnation for those who believe.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

The Time of Our Sojourning in Georgia

 

In Georgia, we learned to appreciate the delicacy that is Chick fil a…even with our peanut allergic kiddo. This was his choice of birthday lunch, even though he can’t eat the nuggets. He loves the fries and supporting a Christian company.

 

When Jacob, as in Jacob one of the patriarchs of Israel, moved to Egypt during the famine, his son Joseph introduced him to Pharaoh. Jacob was already ancient, so Pharaoh asked him how old he was.

Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.”          Genesis 47:9-10

Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Pharaoh provided his family a place to settle (Goshen), and Jacob went on about his business.

I read in my ESV Study Bible notes that the Hebrew term that was translated as sojourning indicates that they had no permanent home. This is true of his family. Abraham moved from Mesopotamia, through Haran, down to Israel. He moved many times, as did his grandson Jacob, who died in Egypt.

They were sojourners upon the earth. Land was promised to them, but they didn’t always live in it.

riding the cow train at the Rock Ranch

Of course, that made me think of my own situation, as a military wife.

For us, home is not a building of brick or wood. It’s togetherness. No matter where we are, we are home.

Nothing about this life is permanent anyway. I often hear military families who are retiring say that they have found their “forever home,” or they are moving into their forever home.

What they mean is that they are finally settling down and putting roots down to stay, perhaps until they die.

That sounds so horribly permanent, doesn’t it? Digging your hole and staying there until you die?

And yet, sometimes I long for it. I long for the white picket fence and the sold sign in the yard, to meet people and allow myself to believe that I will still know them in 30 years.

But our lifestyle continually reminds me that I am but a sojourner here upon the earth. I have no forever home here, and even if I do one day, a great many years will already have been spent in too many other homes to count.

That’s not a terrible thing. It’s exciting and promising to know that life is an adventure. What a journey. I may be in the South wishing for snow this winter, but next Christmas I may be whining about the freezing cold, dreaming of moving back to my ancestral land of Alabama.

There might be a chance that we could move somewhere we’ve lived before and meet up with friends we love, friends we don’t have to start at square one, “Hi, my name is April,” with but instead can go straight to, “How’s your dad doing now? Let’s have a barbecue this weekend!”

Nana and JD on Grandparent’s Day

 

 

The time of our sojourning in Georgia draws to a close. We have filled out our preference list, submitted recommendations from Alan’s people, and we await new orders.

Endless possibilities await. Will we stay down here? Will we return to our old Virginia stomping grounds? Or will it be somewhere new altogether? Where does the military need us next?

I have no idea, but I trust it to God’s hands. I sneak in looks at rental houses in areas I’d like to go and balk over the prices. Daydreaming will be done in abundance.

I hope once I near the end of this life I will not say that the days of my sojourning were few or evil, as Jacob said. Okay, well, by Jacob’s standards I can tell you my days will be few. He lived to be 147, but so far I can say with relief that the days of my sojourning have certainly not been evil.

The Lord has always been with me, and I know that he always will be, no matter where the journey leads.

 

How To Overcome Your Stress Ball Ways

***Ad disclosure: This post contains links to Crystal Paine e-courses. I do earn a profit when you sign up for these courses.***

How To Overcome Your Stress Ball Ways

I can be a serious stress ball. If there’s a problem, it’s a “crisis.” When things go wrong, I feel like it’s all my fault. Self-chastisement is my specialty.

Getting the kids off to school in the morning is my #1 flip-out trigger. If you don’t believe that I am capable of total lunacy, you have clearly not seen me on a morning when someone’s shoes are missing, someone wouldn’t get out of bed on time, someone doesn’t have a clean Batman shirt, and another someone is taking 45 minutes to eat their ever-loving cereal!!!

Just ask Alan, Jennings, my parents, Alan’s parents, or any of my old roommates. They’ve all seen it.

Can I change the core of who I am? Eh…..

Can you re-program yourself to have a calmer head in tense situations? Hmmmmm

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