The title really says it all, but I think I better explain a little bit so you don't think I have gone crazy and started posting random titles. lol!
Last month, Mom set a challenge for us. We were to read our Bible everyday (which we do, for the most part-maybe skipping on a few days when we get wrapped up in other things). Some of us need a little encouragement to read our Bibles, though. Sure, we enjoyed reading the Bible, but sometimes having a little extra something to reward our efforts helped some little persons. ;-) So, the goal. Read 4 chapters a day and you got a 'fancy' coffee (the flavored/iced/whatever kind). Read 6 chapters a day and you get the coffee PLUS a cinnamon roll, or some other little treat. This was kind of a fun challenge. I already had my little reading list that I had been following- which, on a side note, has been extremely neat to go through. It was done by Answers in Genesis, I believe. They basically went through and labeled 'days' then for each day they gave you a reading assignment. They give you your assignment based on when each chapter was written (in other words, in chronological order) It has been really good so far. Definitely helps! Ever been reading through Psalms where David is praising the Lord one minute, then groaning and crying out to Him the next? Well, reading it in chronological order has definitely helped me understand David's mood changes.. ;-)
Any way, back to my original story. Often times I will forget to read my Bible in the morning because I sleep in, or don't do it right away, then I have to get to work on chores, breakfast, etc, and Bible reading goes out the window. I have learned, the hard way-and several times-, that if I don't start my day with God, it just goes downhill from there. I have more temptations throughout the day, do not maintain as good a peaceful spirit as I should, etc, etc, etc. You get the picture.
So, with this challenge, it was kind of neat to really get focused on reading the Bible daily. Of course, I was looking forward to the challenge of doing it, regardless of whether I got coffee at the end or not, but it was a nice reminder.
Well, our time drew to an end, two of us made the 6 chapters a day, while the rest of us only made 4. So, we drove out, got our coffees, and came home. Then, we sat in the living room and Mom asked each of us what we had learned, or experienced, etc, through this challenge.
The one thing that kept sticking out in my mind about what I learned- God loved me. Ok, so you think, of course He does! But, I guess that I sometimes forget HOW much He loves me. He is deeply in love with ME! He loves me for WHO I am, not WHAT I am, or how I do things. I can't say exactly what I read that made me realize this, but I just did. It was an amazing experience. I guess I tend to put this 'stern' face on God and forget that He loves me. He is a gentle shepherd who guides this wandering sheep back to Him in a loving, kind way. Sure, He can get angry, but I forget that He isn't upset all the time. Just when we sin.
So, it just made me realize how much God cares for me, and how deeply in love He is with me. Sarah. Goofy, silly, clumsy, Sarah.
One of the things that used to bother me, and really made me extremely self conscious, was that I was not 'stunningly beautiful' and that I didn't have the trim and fit body that I wanted. I hated to think what people thought of me as I went walking down the store isles. It got so bad, I hated going into the groof cery store, or going and seeing anyone really, even my friends.
I wished I could have dimples in my cheeks when I smiled. I wished I could have perfect teeth. I wished I could be slender and fit. I wished I could get my hair to look 'just right' every time I did it.
You know what? I don't have those things! I don't have dimples, I don't have perfect teeth, I am not slender and 'fit', I have crazy hair days..... but, I have learned to realize that I am special for WHO I am because I have one particular person Who loves me this way because He made me the way I am. God doesn't look at our imperfections and frown, He looks are our potential and SMILES. He will gently refine us into pure gold, but He isn't going to down trod us because we aren't perfect.
I have also learned that He is the only one I need to worry about what He thinks. It doesn't matter what those people in the grocery store think of me. So long as my King, my Father, my Abba, thinks of me as His princess, then that is all that matters.
Yet..... I would (and still do, sometimes) forget these things. I would forget how much He loves me. I would forget how much He cares about me. I would worry more about what people around me thought of me, then what my Heavenly Father thought of me.
I am so glad Mom did this challenge. It somehow really made me realize, once again, how much God loves me. Sure, there will be days when I make mistakes, or forget, but He will always love me. It makes me fall in love with Him all over again.
To God be the praise!!!
In Christ's Service,
P.S. (I think this song kind of fits...)