Gratitude, thankful, perseverance, God’s Kingdom, serve, serving, trials, work, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Serving God’s Kingdom: Persevering Exhaustion and Unfulfillment

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God’s Kingdom.



Don’t grow tired of doing good… I know it’s easier said than done. I know because I’m exhausted with it.

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God's Kingdom. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #gratitude #thankful #GodsKingdom #serve #hospitality #perseverance

Exhausted

I’m exhausted from homeschooling my children so they will be trained in righteousness and the truth of God’s Word. I feel the weariness of changing diapers from my two youngest sons, and the foster children I had the years before them.

I’m so tired of giving my husband my full attention at the end of a long day. Not just physically -if that’s what you’re thinking- but the full attention he needs from me to listen to his stories. He loves to share his work with me and let me tell you, it wears me out to be fully attentive.

However, these are the good works I was made to do. The Lord knew he would be my husband, He called me to homeschool my children, and to be a foster/adoptive mother. When I’m singing songs and explaining history and wiping bottoms and making dinner, I’m doing it for Christ! I am serving God’s Kingdom.

Enthusiasm

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Romans 12:11-13, NLT

I think sometimes we forget that our husbands and children are God’s people. We serve others outside our home with such enthusiasm and generosity but can have a begrudging attitude about the people we claim to love most in this world.

Our tendency to this, I believe, is because we don’t get any recognition for doing our work day in and day out. We do what we have to do because we have to do it. When others outside our homes need help, we do it because we love Christ, yes, but there’s also an element of feeling good about ourselves. Often, I tend to do better for near-strangers than my own household.

Sacrifice

I realized this ugliness in myself just a week ago. A neighbor, also a believer, needed help after a surgery. So, I went and cleaned her bathrooms with more detail and fervor than I’d given any task in my own home in months.

As I was cleaning, I felt very convicted. Why was I so willing to do her bathrooms when just wiping down my own countertops and mirrors made me feel like an unappreciated servant? I think the root issue in my life is laziness and pride. I want to do the things that make me happy and bring me joy and have forgotten that’s not what life is.

A life lived for others is full of sacrifice and self-denial. If I say I want to love God and serve others but only mean it when I’m enjoying myself, then I don’t have the right attitude.

A life lived for others is full of sacrifice and self-denial. If we say we want to love God and serve others but only mean it when it's convenient, then we don't have the right attitude. Click To Tweet

Mundane Work

My family deserves my service to them with a heart full of joy. I am serving my King because I’m obeying His call on my life. He wants me where I am and I don’t want to serve Him begrudgingly. My life verse is a great motivator for me when I feel like I can’t find the point in the mundane and repetitive tasks in my life.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12, NIV

Am I wrong for comparing my housework and vocation to a trial? Perhaps, but I’m only being honest about how it can feel.

I’ve been through many terrible and hard circumstances in my life, and I know that what I’m experiencing now is nothing like it. I need to have an attitude of gratitude and persevere in serving God’s Kingdom; in the work our loving Father has given me. I pray that my story will encourage some of you struggling in this area to persevere as well.

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God's Kingdom. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #gratitude #thankful #GodsKingdom #serve #hospitality #perseverance

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distraction, faithful, Holy Spirit, Fruit of the Spirit, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Distracted: Changing the Soil in Our Hearts to Allow God’s Good Work

The Parable of the Sower is still very applicable today. Our hearts can become distracted, blocking the good work God is trying to do in us. We must work to make Him first in our lives! 



Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! […] The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

Mark 4:3-8 & 18-19, NLT

The Parable of the Sower is still applicable today. Our hearts become distracted, blocking the good work God is trying to do in us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #faithful #distractions #scripture #devotional

Conviction

We recently read this parable in Sunday school. I’ve known this parable since I was a little girl, but this time it hit me in such a different way. When Jesus explains the meaning of the parable to His disciples, He tells us the seed is God’s word and how His message is received in different ways. We looked at the four soils as representing people’s hearts: hard (footpath), unfaithful (rocky), distracted (thorny) and then faithful (good soil).

I’ve always felt I had a heart of good soil… I’m a believer. I’ve stayed faithful to the Lord since He disciplined me 9 years ago. I’ve produced fruit in my life by doing good deeds. I couldn’t help but feel convicted though. Upon honest self-reflection, I’ve allowed my good soil to slowly become thorny soil.

Fertile Soil

Jesus spoke in another parable that more accurately describes the condition I’ve allowed my heart to become.

Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!” But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Luke 12:16-21, NLT

Dodie wrote recently about altars in our lives. We can tend to not focus on where we are, in our relationship with God because we are too busy looking back at past mountaintop experiences. This was so convicting because I knew it was true for me. I look back at the time when I was very sick and was walking so closely with the Lord. I long for that closeness again. However, He hasn’t gone anywhere! He promised that He is always with us and will never leave us.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.

John 14:16, NLT

I Have Wandered…

So then the crux of the matter is… if He’s never left me, if I’m no longer close to Him, I’m the one who has wandered. I have allowed the cares of this world to interfere in our relationship and choke out the beautiful closeness we once had. They may not even be bad things. I used the example of greed above, but in my life, even doing good things for the Kingdom has been a distraction from spending quality time growing in Him.

Foster care and adoption, homeschooling, activities for my kids, cooking healthy meals for my family, volunteering at the church, blogging for Oh Lord Help Us, dating my spouse: none of this matters if I’m letting Him slide off of the throne of my heart and life! I get so busy trying to do all things and be all things to those around me, I forget WHO I should be dwelling in, resting in, and growing in- Jesus Christ, my Savior!

Distracted Works

I know this is a common struggle for many of us women who have been serving Christ a long time. We start to lose our passion and forget He is our first love. We get distracted by new and seemingly more exciting ventures than reading our Bible and meditating, praying and fasting.

These basic spiritual disciplines are absolutely our lifeline, though! Without them, the fruit of the Spirit that were once quite prevalent in our lives, rot away. We will become unloving, joyless, unrestful, impatient, unkind, not good, unfaithful, harsh and without self-control.

As I reflect on my behavior in my heart and home the last few years, I can see it. A steady decline in my Christ-like behavior and reactions and an increase in selfish, unloving, worldly reactions. Ladies, we must fight becoming distracted. We must guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Remember, we can be holy as He is holy, but it doesn’t happen without any effort on our parts. He told us in the Word:

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

Jeremiah 17:9, NLT

We must fight becoming distracted and guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We can be holy as He is holy, but it doesn't happen without any effort on our parts. Click To Tweet

Loyalty

If you reflect today and find your heart of once-good soil has started to become rocky or thorny or even hardened, I pray you will turn from your sin and repent. Bow down before our merciful and loving God and ask Him to take our hearts of stone and give a heart of flesh. That we will return to our first love and allow Him to once again reign supreme on the throne of our lives. As we do this together, He will continue to finish the good work He began in us, and we will see the fruit of His Holy Spirit in our lives once more!

For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Romans 5:10-11, NLT

The Parable of the Sower is still applicable today. Our hearts become distracted, blocking the good work God is trying to do in us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #faithful #distractions #scripture #devotional

Vincent Burkhead

Sin, sexual sin, grace, desires, holiness, temptation, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Run: Fleeing from Anything that Stimulates Youthful Lusts

Sin can be sneaky. Especially in our minds. We must run, flee from anything that tempts us into allowing sexual sin power. 



As women, we have been really sneaky about making men feel alone in their struggle against sexual sin. I don’t know how it happened, but it seems that men are just assumed to struggle with what they think and watch, but women are given a pass. This attitude has even permeated the Christian world. I’m often shocked by what friends have confessed they watch or read. They imply they’re doing it “for the story,” and lust isn’t something they struggle with.

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

2 Timothy 2:21-22, NLT

I have written before how once we are made aware of something, we tend to see that certain thing everywhere. I am especially sensitive to sexual sin because it’s one I have struggled with a lot in my mind. Sister, I’ve struggled to the point it affected my marriage. Please know my concern in addressing this topic comes from no place of judgment- I have no room to judge. It’s because of my struggle with sexual sin that I want to warn you and ask you to run! Flee!

Sin can be sneaky. Especially in our minds. We must run, flee from anything that tempts us into allowing sexual sin power. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #sin #desires #temptation #grace

Temptation

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

James 1:14, NLT

There are so many reasons we are tempted into sin, but they always come back to us. We want to do what we want to do. So we justify. “I watch Game of Thrones for the story. I read romance novels to pass the time. I listen to secular music about sex and the secular culture because I need to stay relevant with my kids.” The problem with watching, reading, and listening to what the world is, is that all too soon, we begin to resemble the world and not Christ. 

What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Matthew 18:7-9, NLT

Amazing Grace

These verses are all red letters in the Bible, meaning they are straight from Jesus’ teachings. Make no mistake, Sisters, God does not think sin is funny or okay. We preach a gospel of grace. Praise God for His grace and mercy! None of us can enter into His presence without it. All of us are wretched sinners; I often feel like no sooner do I have victory in one area of my life, another surfaces that’s just as serious. My point is that we must not take advantage of this amazing grace. Repentance means hating our sin enough to turn away from it!

As I write this today, I can be honest and say this area is not completely conquered in my life…perhaps it never will be. However, the more I’m in the Word, the more I pray, the more I fill my mind with Godly music and clean TV shows, the less and less I struggle. The junk I allowed myself to look at and think about, becomes more and more distant in my mind and memory.

Run to God

The key to our struggle against sin isn’t to do it alone and in secret, but to run to our Savior for a way out! I’ve begged Him for a way and the phone has rung, or the baby woke up or my kids came inside for a snack…that is the way out, friends! Stop that thought, take it captive and hand it to God. Get busy serving your family until you are able to think clearly. We must have a practical plan to deal with our struggles, or we are absolutely planning to fail. 

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT

Holiness

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NLT

The Bible makes no joke about our walk with Christ: it’s a battle, a war, a difficult thing that will absolutely make us realize our need for Jesus and His sacrifice. We cannot save ourselves-everything in our hearts is bent toward evil. Praise the Lord for His Word to guide us, His Holy Spirit to teach us, and His body of believers to help keep us accountable on this journey called life.

If you struggle with sin-your thought life in particular-I urge you to find a Godly mentor you can trust. An older woman in the faith who won’t berate and judge you, but love you and help you! Holiness is a daily decision but also a lifelong destination. 

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor-not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, NLT

The key to our struggle against sin isn't to do it alone, but to run to our Savior for a way out! Praise the Lord for His Word to guide us, His Holy Spirit to teach us, and His body of believers to help keep us accountable. Click To Tweet

Sin can be sneaky. Especially in our minds. We must run, flee from anything that tempts us into allowing sexual sin power. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #sin #desires #temptation #grace

eberhard grossgasteiger

judgment, judging, kindness, mercy, love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Judging: Taking A Posture of Mercy Toward Our Neighbors

Judgmental attitudes can get in the way of the Lord’s work in our own hearts. Judging others is not our job, we must take on a posture of mercy. 



I was walking in my neighborhood on a beautiful, sunny day. It was a great reprieve from the winter gloom and rain, so naturally, a lot of other people were out as well. As I was passing these walkers or joggers, I said hello and smiled at them. I was a bit taken aback when 8 out of the 10 people, ignored me. Not even a courteous nod to my smile…

Judgmental attitudes can get in the way of the Lord's work in our own hearts. Judging others is not our job, we must take on a posture of mercy. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #judgment #love #mercy #kindness

Judging

I began to get offended and thought to myself, “This world is so selfish. People won’t even say hi to each other on the street anymore.” I continued on my walk and as I turned back toward home, I had to face the way the people passing me had been. The sun was low in the sky and was full force in my eyes. I couldn’t see anything, let alone anyone’s face that was passing me. I had a moment of realization, then of shame…

How quick was I to judge the people passing me? How understanding or merciful had I been? The Lord showed me that I had been judgmental and unmerciful without a moment’s hesitation.

Merciful

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

James 2:13, NLT

In Luke chapter 10, Jesus is having a conversation with one of the teacher’s of the law about inheriting eternal life. The man asked Jesus who his neighbor was and Jesus told him the parable of the Good Samaritan. When he asks the man who was the neighbor to the man who had been attacked, the teacher replies, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus replies, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

This may seem like such an easy concept to grasp to some of you reading, but for me, it’s been a tough one. I have a very high sense of justice, but mercy isn’t on my radar like it should be. This lacking shows itself most intensely in motherhood. 

I homeschool my kids which means I am around them almost all the time. So they hear and see me do some pretty messed up things. I always apologize and they are always quick to forgive. However, when the roles are reversed, I often drag out the sentencing instead of pronouncing mercy over them. I tend to point out not just the current offense, but bring up old ones as well. I feel they need to truly feel the guilt and shame of their wrongs. And, once I’m satisfied in their judgment, I will forgive and be “merciful”. Bless my heart.

What if?

Honestly, I’m not even sure I’m qualified to write this today. What if I’m still struggling? Aren’t we supposed to write about what we’ve conquered so we can pass on our wisdom to others going through it?

What if instead of wondering how I can show kindness to the girl looking uncomfortable in my church row, I’m silently judging her too short skirt and too revealing top? What if instead of loving my foster kids’ biological families, I’m hoping they miss another visit so I don’t have to deal with it that day? Why am I so ugly and unmerciful when God has been ridiculously loving and merciful to me?

Why are we so ugly and unmerciful to our neighbors, when God has been so ridiculously loving and merciful to us? Judging others is not our job! Click To Tweet

Saving Mercy

It’s a heart issue, no doubt. I haven’t truly repented; looked at my sin and despised it. Somewhere inside of me, I still feel justified, qualified, and above reproach. 

Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ -and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

1 Timothy 1:14-16, NLT

This is what I cling to and what I hope for: that God will continue to convict, mold me and shape me. That others will see even my hot mess can be forgiven. And that He has extended mercy, not judgment, to those who call on His name. Praise Him, my Savior and my God.

Judgmental attitudes can get in the way of the Lord's work in our own hearts. Judging others is not our job, we must take on a posture of mercy. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #judgment #love #mercy #kindness

Xuan Nguyen

obedient, obedience, Christian living, salvation, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Obey: Accepting Loving Discipline in Our New Identity

Desiring to obey the Lord is a natural response to our new identity in Him. We don’t need to fear discipline for it is a natural action of love from our Heavenly Father. 



I have a wall hanging in my bathroom that has the famous verse from Joshua on it.

It reads: HOME, home is where your story begins. Then at the bottom, it says, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I see this verse every single day and it’s not something I take lightly. We learned nine years ago the lesson of truly choosing to obey and serve the Lord.

Desiring to obey the Lord is a natural response to our new identity in Him. We don't need to fear discipline in love from our Heavenly Father. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #obey #obedience #salvation #christianliving

Lip Service

We had been living a lip service Christian life. We went to church. Said prayers at mealtimes and bedtime, but that was as deep as our relationship with the Lord went. He allowed me to get very sick and I immediately knew He was disciplining me.

And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, ‘My Child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.’

Hebrews 12:5-6, NLT

I lost the ability to bathe myself, get myself dressed and to walk more than a few feet at a time. My husband became my caretaker through chemotherapy and steroids. I read through the Word twice in nine months and completely surrendered my life to Christ during this time.

My husband also laid down his own will for God’s through this ordeal. Not all our trials are a chastisement, but we needed this season to truly make God the Lord of our lives. Praise Him for His care, His discipline, His working in our lives. We aren’t the same people we were before.

But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15, NLT

Set Apart

Have you noticed that something you weren’t aware of before is drawn to your attention, and once you’re aware of it you see it everywhere? In psychology, this has a real name- the frequency illusion. Let me tell you, when you have decided to follow and actually obey Christ, you realize very quickly how many profess His name but deny Him with their lifestyles.

When Christ dwells in us and we surrender to Him totally, His Holy Spirit is there to teach, guide and correct us. His Word is alive and active and judges the thoughts and attitudes of our heart. When we compromise who we are in Christ to look like the world, we are disobeying His command.

And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.

2 Corinthians 6:16-17, NLT

World Appearance

We each have our own journey and our own relationship with Christ that we will one day answer for. My encouragement for you today is to really evaluate any part of your heart and life that you’ve allowed to be influenced by the world. Or parts you may not have ever surrendered to Him. Do you still dress like the world, have filthy speech like the world, watch TV shows that encourage you to lust like the world, listen to music that glorifies sin like the world?

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

1 John 2:15-17, NLT

We each have our own relationship with Christ that we will one day answer for. We must evaluate any part of our hearts and lives that we've allowed the world to influence. Evaluate and surrender them to the Lord. Click To Tweet

Desire to Obey

I have made many changes to my life in order to obey and bring glory to God. I don’t dress how I used to dress, make the same jokes I used to make, or watch TV shows that highlight my struggle against lust. Don’t get me wrong, I still have many struggles against sin in my life, and the Lord brings them to my attention often. I wrestle with a couple in particular that I have a hard time talking about. My mind truly is a battlefield and the war is ever raging…

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

1 Peter 1:14, NLT

God isn’t asking us for perfection. He knows we are helpless and our hearts are desperately wicked. All he wants and expects is the laying down of these desires that wage war against our souls.

Desire to obey Him, plead for His grace and mercy and He will give us the strength to make these changes in our lives that shape us into His image. Then He will receive all the glory and honor for how we’ve changed, and others will see His love and character slowly emerge in our everyday lives as we obey our Father in heaven.

Desiring to obey the Lord is a natural response to our new identity in Him. We don't need to fear discipline in love from our Heavenly Father. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #obey #obedience #salvation #christianliving

exhausted, God's Kingdom, perseverance, work, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Work: Persevering Through Exhaustion to Serve God’s Kingdom

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God’s Kingdom.



Don’t grow tired of doing good… I know it’s easier said than done. I know because I’m exhausted with it.

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God's Kingdom. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #exhausted #perserverance #work

Exhausted

I’m exhausted from homeschooling my children so they will be trained in righteousness and the truth of God’s Word. I feel the weariness of changing diapers from my two youngest sons, and the foster children I had the years before them.

I’m so tired of giving my husband my full attention at the end of a long day. Not just physically -if that’s what you’re thinking- but the full attention he needs from me to listen to his stories. He loves to share his work with me and let me tell you, it wears me out to be fully attentive.

However, these are the good works I was made to do. The Lord knew he would be my husband, He called me to homeschool my children, and to be a foster/adoptive mother. When I’m singing songs and explaining history and wiping bottoms and making dinner, I’m doing it for Christ!

Enthusiasm

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Romans 12:11-13, NLT

I think sometimes we forget that our husbands and children are God’s people. We serve others outside our home with such enthusiasm and generosity but can have a begrudging attitude about the people we claim to love most in this world.

Our tendency to this, I believe, is because we don’t get any recognition for doing our work day in and day out. We do what we have to do because we have to do it. When others outside our homes need help, we do it because we love Christ, yes, but there’s also an element of feeling good about ourselves. Often, I tend to do better for near-strangers than my own household.

Sacrifice

I realized this ugliness in myself just a week ago. A neighbor, also a believer, needed help after a surgery. So, I went and cleaned her bathrooms with more detail and fervor than I’d given any task in my own home in months.

As I was cleaning, I felt very convicted. Why was I so willing to do her bathrooms when just wiping down my own countertops and mirrors made me feel like an unappreciated servant? I think the root issue in my life is laziness and pride. I want to do the things that make me happy and bring me joy and have forgotten that’s not what life is.

A life lived for others is full of sacrifice and self-denial. If I say I want to love God and serve others but only mean it when I’m enjoying myself, then I don’t have the right attitude.

A life lived for others is full of sacrifice and self-denial. If we say we want to love God and serve others but only mean it when it's convenient, then we don't have the right attitude. Click To Tweet

Mundane Work

My family deserves my service to them with a heart full of joy. I am serving my King because I’m obeying His call on my life. He wants me where I am and I don’t want to serve Him begrudgingly. My life verse is a great motivator for me when I feel like I can’t find the point in the mundane and repetitive tasks in my life.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12, NIV

Am I wrong for comparing my housework and vocation to a trial? Perhaps, but I’m only being honest about how it can feel.

I’ve been through many terrible and hard circumstances in my life, and I know that what I’m experiencing now is nothing like it. I need to have an attitude of gratitude and persevere in the work our loving Father has given me. I pray that my story will encourage some of you struggling in this area to persevere as well.

Day to day tasks and work can feel unfulfilling, causing exhaustion. We must persevere through negative attitudes to continue serving God's Kingdom. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #exhausted #perserverance #work

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Encouraging: Reaching Out to Others Costs Us Nothing

Reaching out and encouraging others can feel like we are being a bother. The opposite is quite true: we are giving strength to weary people who need it. 



Discouragement was weighing heavily on me. It was the week before Christmas and I had done very little to prepare. For the previous 7 weeks, my husband was traveling for work. I spent a lot of this time getting ready for our foreign exchange student to experience her first Christmas. But she was gearing up to leave our home forever.

I was run down and feeling low when, suddenly, a text appeared on my phone. A friend, many states away, reached out to tell me she’d seen a meme that made her think of me. It was nothing extravagant. She forwarded the meme with her thought, however, she had no way of knowing it was exactly what I needed to hear!

Reaching out, encouraging others can feel like bothersom. The opposite is true. We are giving strength to weary, worn out people who need it. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #encouragement #friendship #love

Encouraging

I wonder how often we are given a name by the Holy Spirit but brush it aside with a warm thought and never follow up? I know He wants us to pray for one another…He tells us so in the Bible. But in this day and age of instant communication, we rarely reach out and talk to one another. All I know is, the message that’s been clear to me the last month is this:

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.

2 Corinthians 13:11, NLT

When I receive an email from a colleague, a text from a friend, a call from my dad…all of these things let me know I’m loved. I’m on their mind. I matter to other people. It’s so encouraging!

In this day and age of instant communication, we rarely reach out and talk to one another. But God's Word is clear. We are to encourage and uplift one another in love so that God may dwell among us. Click To Tweet

Strengthening

As a busy mom and wife, I am so worried about the home front that I often neglect my own needs. When others take the time out of their own busy lives to let me know I’m important to them, I feel strength course through my veins! The mind is a powerful thing. As my friends and family speak love and encouraging words to me, I am somehow given a very physical reaction to an emotional feeling.

The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.

Isaiah 50:4, NLT

Sometimes, in this digital age, we convince ourselves that reaching out is really a bother to busy people. I am a witness to how untrue that is. When I see someone I love taking the time to reach out to me, I never feel bothered. I feel encouragement and strength.

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who those who have weak knees.

Isaiah 35:3, NLT

Reaching Out

How might this word help you today? Is there someone or several people in your life you’ve been meaning to connect with and haven’t? Do you have an email almost finished to send, a letter to an elderly grandparent unwritten, a kind word of praise to your child? Maybe a word of support and appreciation to your spouse?

I don’t know about your own lives, but I know many times I think of friends and family and don’t take a few minutes to reach out. It costs me nothing but a moment of my time. Time I may be squandering on social media or reading an inconsequential novel. We all have the same amount of time, and we need to prioritize some of it to bring encouragement to one another.

It may not be everyone’s gift, but it certainly is a discipline we all can and should develop. I encourage you to make a list of people God has put in your life. Try to reach out in one manner or another each day to one person.

Reaching out and encouraging others can feel bothersom. The opposite is true. We are giving strength to weary, worn out people who need it. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #encouragement #devotional #friendship #love

unsplash-logoPatrick Selin