Several of you asked if I'd share the short devotion I gave at our Ladies Night Out. Here is the outline.
Girl's Night Out Devotion
Did you ever wake up and say:
This isn't the life I planned or dreamed about!
This isn't the job I wanted.
This little paycheck is NOT the paycheck I wanted.
I'm single, and longed to be married.
I'm married, and would love to be free and single.
I want children, and can't.
These children are driving me nuts. I never have any time to myself.
I'm lonely ~ wish the kids would call.
I hate being sick! Why me?
I'm tired of being the 24/7 care giver. I need some help.
Lord ~ this isn't the life I dreamed of.
Ever felt that way ~ I have!
I think Ann Voskamp felt that way and why she wrote the book ~ "One Thousand Gifts"
'DARE TO LIVE FULLY ~ RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE'
A hog farmer's wife, raising half a dozen children, crops of corn n the Mennonite countryside of southwestern Ontario, decided she could complain and be negative about everything, or choose to see things in a "different light" seeing the gifts and blessings we fail to see right in front of us, right under our nose.
I read her book and started my 1000 gift list April 1, 2011. I just added 1019 today ~ Girl's Night Out!
It's not the big things that really bring us joy every day, it's the "little" things, things we overlook that could make us positive women of gratitude. Here are a few random ones from my list. (I read them from my journal)
The little handout is my way to get you started on your own journey of 1000 gifts. Counting your blessings instead of your pain, problems and heartbreaks. It won't take them away, but it will help you to rise above them and see God work in new and wonderful ways in your life.
It's been said, "every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness". We need to meditate on good things, and fill your heart with praise. We need to DARE TO LIVE FULLY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.
"Finally (Sisters), whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy ~meditate on these things."
Philippians 4:8 is a great place to begin. You have a little slip of paper with the verse written out. I'll close with John MacArthur's Study notes on this verse. I just love the explanation of each word.
TRUE ~ What is true is found in God, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and in God's Word. You can be sure that any of those four sources...are TRUE.
NOBLE ~ The Greek term means "worthy of respect: Believers are to meditate on whatever is worthy of awe and adoration, i.e. the sacred as opposed to the profane.
JUST ~ This refers to what is right. The believer is to think in harmony with God's divine standard of holiness.
PURE ~That which is morally clean and undefiled.
LOVELY ~ The Greek term means "pleasing"..By implication, believers are to focus on whatever is kind or gracious.
OF GOOD REPORT ~ That which is highly regarded or thought well of. It refers to what is generally considered reputable in the world, such as kindness, courtesy and respect for others.
How are we going to stay positive in a corrupt and negative world..we need to carve out 5 to 15 minutes every day to be in God's Word. Meditate on each of those words, and the personal associations we can put with them, and try to add at least one thing you are grateful for every day on your 1000 list, and see how fast it grows, and how your gratitude will fill you and it will show, and others will notice.
Of course, you know me, I did some off the cuff that isn't in my notes, but you get the jest of of. It was a great evening, and the devotion well received.