Jul 21, 2021

Keep going...

Whoever pursues righteousness and love

    finds life, prosperity and honor. Proverbs 21:21



 For the past couple of weeks, I have had zero motivation to read my Bible. ZERO. 

Maybe because we had been out of town, maybe because I had been sick...I am not sure. 

It was frustrating. I felt spiritually dry. As dry as that Las Vegas heat. 

Every morning, I would sit in my bed and prop up on pillows. I had my Bible on my night stand right next to me. 

I would stare at my Bible for a few minutes, not feeling an ounce of desire to dive into it. 

Here is the thing...

I did it anyway. 

I picked it up. I opened up. I went to the daily reading plan. 

THIS is when it is good to have a daily plan to read. It helps us to stay motivated and on track. It would be easy to say, "I don't really know where to start or what to read, so I think I will skip."

Every day, there is something to read when you are on a reading plan. At times like these...it is NECESSARY. Trust me. 

Day by day, I just opened God's Word and read. I honestly still did not feel motivated, but I still did it. 

I grabbed my prayer journal and would write down scriptures that stood out to me. I would write them slow and pray that God would let them resonate on my heart. I desperately needed some faith action.

Little by little, that desire returned. It took some time though. 

There are many seasons we will find ourselves in that are dry. Like, really dry. 

Do it anyway. 

Pick up your Bible and read. 

Read when you don't want to read. 

Pray when you don't want to pray. 

Love when you don't want to love. 

Do the opposite of what you "feel" like doing. 

Motivation will wane...I promise you....but do the next thing anyway. 

Put your bible on your nightstand so that you have no choice but to see it each day. 

Make yourself pick it up...

Make yourself read...

God will fill you with His Words. He will nourish your soul. 

Day by day, that desire will begin to slowly arise. 

It may take some time. 

Be patient. 

Keep reading. 

Keep praying. 

For many years I thought when these seasons came that something was really wrong with me. I thought I had lost my passion and my faith...

Now, I see that it is just a season. A season to keep planting, even when you feel like there is nothing else left. Keep going. 

This is all part of the journey. 

Be bold enough to ask God for motivation as well. Ask Him to give you the desire to read, to pray, to keep going. 

I have had to pray that prayer many times. 

He always, always, answers. 

Keep going, friend. 

You will be so glad you did. 


marching on, 


jill

Jul 19, 2021

Lonely Hearts Club...

 

 God places the lonely in familieshe sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. Psalm 68:6



Well, it finally happened. 16 months into the Pandemic, my husband and I both got Covid. At the exact same time. Yay. 

Our family had just returned from a two week vacation that began in Orlando and ended in Las Vegas. 

Presley, our daughter, had two big national volleyball tournaments in both of those locations, so we made it into a family vacation. 

The day after returning, I felt off. Like, way off. 

I shrugged it off to jet lag and just being worn out from travel. 

Three days later, I ran a fever and felt extremely tired. Still, I thought it must be a little bug or virus from the airplane. 

It wasn't until the 4th day when I lost my taste AND my smell....that I knew. 

UGH. 

Covid. 

Had to be. 

After a rapid test at our local urgent care confirmed positive for both my husband and myself, the hunkering down count down was on. 

Let me tell you...this was the hardest part for us. 

No leaving the house. No social contact with anyone besides each other. No hugs. No kisses from the kids. 

It was hard. 

Every single day I would sit on our back porch and just watch birds flitter and flutter. 

My life had gone from a whirlwind of crazy madness to complete and utter stillness. 

Here is the irony...

I remember just a few weeks before sitting on my back porch wishing I could linger a little longer. Life was FULL, and we were constantly in the car. I remember thinking what it would be like to have a quieter life...less noise, less activity. 

Wow. God really showed me!

Those 10 days of quarantine were very hard. 

I was lonely. Even though my husband was with me the entire time, it was still lonely. 

Many times I thought about people I knew that were widowed and alone. I thought about how lonely they must be on a daily basis. 

I thought about those in nursing homes with no one to visit them. 

I thought about orphans waiting to be put in a family. 

As my husband and I were out walking one day during our isolation, I told him that loneliness is cruel. 

I told him that loneliness had to be the hardest thing to endure. We were getting just a small glimpse of it. 

The Lord used this time to speak volumes to me about reaching out to others. Next door, on both sides, reside widows. 

Have I checked on them enough? Have I sat with them and talked to them lately? 

It had been a while. 

I felt ashamed. 

My busy life had left not much time to check on others. 

This stillness had opened my eyes. 

How about you?

Have you ever felt lonely? If even for a season?

Do you have someone in your life that may be lonely?

I hope and pray it doesn't take an illness again for me to see clearly again. 

Sometimes our world has to come to a halt in order for us to get perspective. 

In the days and weeks to come, I want to be more intentional about checking on others. I want to actively pursue those who may be lonely. 

In just 10 days, I saw a great need. A need to reach out to others. To seek out the lonely. To pursue them and check on them. 

Now that we are back in the land of the living, I hope to be different. To use what I have learned for good. To be better. To be more intentional. 

And maybe, to sit still a little more watching those birds. 


Elisabeth Elliot wrote in the book that never leaves my nightstand, “St. Augustine said, "The very pleasures of human life men acquire by difficulties." There are times when the entire arrangement of our existence is disrupted and we long then for just one ordinary day - seeing our ordinary life as greatly desirable, even wonderful, in the light of the terrible disruption that has taken place. Difficulty opens our eyes to pleasures we had taken for granted.” 


back to the ordinary, 


jill






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