Friday, August 23, 2013

{ " I must tell Jesus " }

 "I must tell Jesus all of my troubles;
He is a kind, compassionate Friend;
If I but ask Him, He will deliver,
And in my griefs with me He will blend.

I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus.
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone."

I hadn't heard this hymn in quite some time, and my aunt was walking around the house singing it on Wednesday before they headed off for home. It's contagious, because now I've been singing it for quite some time. Over and over again.

I got to thinking about this song, and the meaning of it. Even though the Lord knows all of our troubles, and even though He knows when we are hurting, He still wants us to cry out to Him. He wants us to lean on Him. He wants us to tell Him all of our troubles despite the fact that He already knows them all. I know for a fact that we can not bear our burdens alone. Whether that burden is something small in everyone's eyes, but something huge in yours... We can't bear any burdens alone. It is far too painful to have to bear our burdens by ourselves, no matter how hard we try to rely on our own strength it fails. Man's strength is nothing compared to God's incredible and awe-striking strength. We can not even measure His strength! Your burdens will weigh you down more and more every day, they will cause your heart to grow weary, and your every step to be weak. They cause you to feel like you're drowning in a world that doesn't seem to care. We can not hold our burdens alone for too long or they will cause us to break, and to crumble. Instead we need to drop to our knees at the throne of grace and ask the Lord, who is mighty in all that He does, to bear our burdens with us. Some people look at me, and they say, "Wow, you're so strong." But, in reality, I am weak. My own strength is nothing, I myself am not strong. The Lord is who makes me strong. I rely on His strength every day. If I didn't, I wouldn't be where I am today. I give all the credit of who I am, and the strength I have to the Lord. His strength is made perfect in my weakness, for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Isaiah 40:28-31
 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

In Christian Love, 
Jane Ashley

Thursday, August 8, 2013

{ someday we will }

So many things happen in life that make us automatically question, "Why?". Sometimes the answer is clear to us right away, sometimes it takes what seems like forever for the answer to our question to be revealed. There are many reasons for using that little one word question. Children often use it to question their parents when they are given a command, adults often use it when having been given a command too... But, as we go through life we find that we ask "Why?" a lot more than just for little things. I many times in my teenage years have asked that little question. Sometimes we don't understand what is going on in our lives we question. We wonder why we are going through the trial we are going through, and we wonder when it is going to end. There are many things I have already seen when going through the trial our family has been given. Even though some of them are just little things... I realize that there was a reason they happened when they did.

I remember the night mom told me they thought dad had Leukemia. I remember the horrible sharp pain in my chest, and the way my knees felt weak. I knew what that word meant, and it immediately brought tears to my eyes. Fear filled me in that moment and I immediately asked the question, "Why?", because I did not understand. All I could associate that word with at the moment was death, because that was all I knew about that word. The word cancer is a scary word. I never knew how scary it was until that night. So many things ran through my head, but over and over again the question "Why?" played like a scratched CD.

The first time I talked to daddy since he had first gone into the hospital he called the house in a panic. He needed to know where mom was, and I remember the weak sound of his voice as he started to cry. It shattered my heart to hear the strong, brave man I called 'daddy' sound so weak and broken. I'll never forget that feeling. He might not know it, but my dad is truly my hero. We've had our ups and downs, but he will always be the most brave and loving man I have ever known.

As weeks went on things got easier to understand. Mom explained to us what Leukemia was, what type daddy had, and that they were going to try as hard as they could to cure it. I still don't understand it all, and it is still scary, but I understand enough to not be as scared as I was in the beginning.

Since dad has been home since May we have gotten used to him being here all the time. We have grown closer as a family in these past 6 months, and we have grown closer to the Lord. At least, I have. I have grown in so many ways. For the longest time I wouldn't let the kids go outside while mom and dad weren't home... Which sounds stupid, but I have always been more on the fearful side. One warm day I had this utter and complete peace wash over me after spending time in prayer, asking the Lord to remove the fear from me, and to calm my anxious heart. I struggled a bit with trusting the Lord when it comes to timing, and when things were going to happen. I was an anxious person for quite some time, and it was something I had to work on. As I have been seeing the Lord's perfect timing in so many ways it has calmed my anxiousness, and taught me to wait on Him more and more. He knows every little detail, and how every little thing will play out. So, I handed everything completely over to Him, and I don't have to worry about what the future holds. I'm not saying I don't worry anymore, I still do. It's just that I know I don't have to worry, because the battle belongs to the Lord.

And hey, can I just point out the fact that I'm getting my license? That never even crossed my mind last year at any point. There are several reasons for that. One was that I didn't have the money to pay for driver's education. Secondly, I didn't have a vehicle to drive, and daddy took the car to work every day. So, there wouldn't have been any sense in having my license if I couldn't even drive. This year I have a reason to drive. Daddy won't be able to drive, so I will be doing all of the driving I can once I have my license.

There are other reasons too, I got to know some people a lot better than I had known them. Having people drive us to and from church has been a blessing, and has also brought good, Godly friends along too that I know we can count on.

I guess what I'm saying in a way is that... We don't understand it all, but someday we will. Even if it's by little things, and the bits and pieces, someday we will understand the reason for all of this.

As for now we keep serving, smiling, enjoying the little things, learning more and more that life is a beautiful gift, and trusting our Lord and Savior with every aspect of our lives.

Everyday might not be good, but there is something good in every day.

In Christian love,

P.S. I apologize for the lengthiness of this post. I just had a lot to say, and so I said it.

Friday, August 2, 2013

{ growing older }

I recall when I was younger, and I dreamed of getting my license, graduating high school, and being an 'adult'.

Then for a while this was me:

Now that I'm finally there it's almost bittersweet. It is amazing how quickly time goes by, and how drastically things can change. I remember at the end of last year saying, "Summer 2013 is going to be my year." I was planning on being graduated, not being in the middle of getting my license, spending the summer having fun, and probably having a good babysitting job... Well it goes to show how you can't plan our your own future! Even if it was just little plans I had, God had different plans for my summer - and my year. Summer has gone by so quickly it is almost unreal. This year has gone by so quickly it makes me a little dizzy. It's already been six months of the year, and we're heading into the seventh! How did that even happen?!

Lately things have come up quite often that have had to do with my legal 'adulthood'. For instance, I now have to pay for my checks, I can have a credit card (not that I'm planning on having a credit card any time in the near future!), I have my own Old Sturbridge Village membership card, (so I can take the kids on field trips), I can no longer be charged a child's fee when we go places as a family, and I can get my license! I thought turning eighteen wasn't going to be any big deal, but... It goes to show that it is in some ways!
Random people seem to forget I'm eighteen, and when I remind them they look as if they're going to pass out. I don't understand why... I have been eighteen for three months now. It's been enough time for people to adjust to the fact that I am an 'adult'. The reason I don't consider myself as an adult is, because I still have a child's heart. Most people underestimate my age, because of my personality. I don't really mind, mostly since I am who I am, and if people see me as younger than I am maybe I should be flattered. We all have to grow old, but we don't all have to grow up, everyone has a little bit of child-likeness in them no matter what age.

All in all, growing up is fun... but, it is a little frightening at the same time. I'm so glad I'm not pushed to be on my own and pushed to 'experience the world' and to 'see what's out there'. I'm so thankful that I have parents who have loved me, disciplined me, and brought me up in the word of the Lord since I was young. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without their guidance and love toward me. Through this time of trial I have had to grow up more quickly than most kids my age would. But, I know it's God's will and I have seen Him work in my life, and my family's life in many ways. This trial has brought us closer together as a family, and closer to the Lord.

I guess this post was a little bit all over the place, but there's a lot on my lil ol' brain!

Have a great weekend everyone!
In Christian love,