Spending quality time with family is very important. These are the moments where our focus is on them. We listen, encourage, and spend time doing something together. Do something special and nurture your relationships. Plant a miniature garden in a pot and spend time caring for it as a family.
When we give time caring for something or someone it has the opportunity to flourish and become a beautiful and stunning garden of purpose and hope.
Where man sees but withered leaves, God sees sweet flowers growing. ~Albert Laighton
Doubt is an ugly word. It implies a belief that something most likely will never come to pass. When hope has not been met, it can leave us in doubt and at worse sinking deep into a sea of despair. Doubt over time can choke our hope, especially when years have fled without answers, we have lost our youth, and when sorrow occurs. There is no cure for doubt as it can attack at any time, but if we keep truth before us it can smother the doubt that is hostile to our hopes. Doubt is deceitful. Hope is promising.
Scripture for encouragement:
“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.” Psalm 119:114
“The LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” Psalm 147:11
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,” Titus 1:2
“Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” Psalm 25:5
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11
“Sustain me, my God, according to Your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.” Psalm 119:116
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19
Note: Scripture from NIV
Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship moves not to its harbour; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush howling forth, and let the waters lift up themselves, then, though the vessel may rock, and her deck may be washed with waves, and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway towards her desired haven. No flowers wear so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity. Tried faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God’s strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.
Let not this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: the full portion will be measured out to you in due season. Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained: walk according to that rule, and you shall yet have more and more of the blessing of God, till your faith shall remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.
Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
What does this sweet prayer teach me? It shall be my evening’s petition; but first let it yield me an instructive meditation. The text informs me first of all that David had his doubts; for why should he pray, “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation,” if he were not sometimes exercised with doubts and fears? Let me, then, be of good cheer, for I am not the only saint who has to complain of weakness of faith. If David doubted, I need not conclude that I am no Christian because I have doubts. The text reminds me that David was not content while he had doubts and fears, but he repaired at once to the mercy-seat to pray for assurance; for he valued it as much fine gold. I too must labour after an abiding sense of my acceptance in the Beloved, and must have no joy when his love is not shed abroad in my soul. When my Bridegroom is gone from me, my soul must and will fast. I learn also that David knew where to obtain full assurance. He went to his God in prayer, crying, “Say unto my soul I am thy salvation.” I must be much alone with God if I would have a clear sense of Jesus’ love. Let my prayers cease, and my eye of faith will grow dim. Much in prayer, much in heaven; slow in prayer, slow in progress. I notice that David would not be satisfied unless his assurance had a divine source. “Say unto my soul.” Lord, do thou say it! Nothing short of a divine testimony in the soul will ever content the true Christian. Moreover, David could not rest unless his assurance had a vivid personality about it. “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” Lord, if thou shouldst say this to all the saints, it were nothing, unless thou shouldst say it to me. Lord, I have sinned; I deserve not thy smile; I scarcely dare to ask it; but oh! say to my soul, even to my soul, “I am thy salvation.” Let me have a present, personal, infallible, indisputable sense that I am thine, and that thou art mine.
Tip: Cut out pictures that will inspire you. Add them to your journal or create an inspiration board that will inspire you to walk into the life you dream.
- To always be prayerful and learn to listen.
- Keep priorities in their proper place.
- Take action. Very few things will happen without some effort and we should always act in accordance with our belief. We do what we can and have faith that God will do the rest. The doors you are seeking may just open wide.
- Be patient. Honestly, none of us particularly like it, but if we do not continue in patience we will give up – which is the only sure way to fail. So we continue in patience and hope. We hope in what we do not yet have.
- Remember your inheritance. As a child of God you have an inheritance that will surely come to pass. An inheritance more magnificent than anything you could hope for in this lifetime.
“dolce far niente” is an Italian phrase actually translated as idleness but better known and certainly more eloquently put as “the sweetness of doing nothing”. The first time I heard this phrase was actually on an old Dick Van Dyke episode (remember those?) My daughter calls this a “deep breath day” in which you can simply enjoy the day without the guilt of doing nothing. I personally think its a very good thing to occasionally take a breather even if it means leaving things undone. If you’re stressed and feel the weight of life slowing dragging you down perhaps you should utter the phrase “dolce far niente”. Have a cup of tea, read a book, or just prop your feet up and take a deep breath without the guilt!
It has been said that it takes about 28 days to change a habit. Of course there would be plenty of opportunity to resort back to old ways, but we are more likely to stick with the change if we consciously make an effort for those 28 days. In my experience I have found this to be somewhat true. Though I also believe it would be a mistake to assume that once the 28 days are up one would automatically continue without effort. We all need to be mindful of the choices we make each day. What changes would you like to make?
Take this challenge:
Pick an area in your life that you would like to see change. Perhaps you know you need to spend more time with God, change eating habits, watch less television, exercise or read more. Maybe you want to spend more time with family or just be creative.
- Start out slowly. If you want to exercise but find it hard to work out for 30 minutes (3 or 4 times per week) then begin with ten. The second week, up it to twenty. The third and fourth week, go for thirty. Perhaps you want to learn a new skill but keep putting it off – pick up some how-to books and twice per week spend the time learning a new skill. Keep the television turned off.
- Document each accomplishment.
- After 28 days let us know how you did and what you think of the 28-day challenge. We will post some of your experiences!
I’m fairly familiar with that word. I suppose I daydream often, though not so much that it would interfere with the importance of the day (unless you count a few clumsy moments when the store display jumped in my way). I know many might see daydreaming as unproductive fantasy but I have found it beneficial in many ways. After all daydreams are usually pleasant thoughts and for me has actually been a great source of ideas and inspiration. Daydreams can improve moods, help organize thoughts, and allows one to travel, explore and imagine the impossible. I’ve been an inventor, traveled time, strolled ancient villages, wandered through strange woodlands and explored magnificent castles. Just stay out of the grocery aisles!