Monday, October 20, 2008

Our Precious Neighbors

I hope you all had a great weekend spending time with and investing in the lives of the people you love. This past Saturday we took our family to the Phoenix zoo. Some of our younger children have never been to a zoo so they were very excited about going. I am reminded more and more the importance of creating memories and doing simple activities with my family.

When our eighth child was a baby, I began to be concerned that I was too busy at home and was not being a good neighbor. I began to feel guilty that I was not baking for the neighbors and reaching out to get to know them. A wise pastor from Taiwan was visiting our home one day during the holidays. I shared with him my concern about not being a "good neighbor". He pointed to all the children, smiled and replied, "These are your neighbors."

Even in the church and as believers, we sometimes can get bogged down by what we "think" we should do to be witnesses for Christ. If we are being faithful with our families by investing in them with our time and resources, God will be faithful to open the door for us to reach out into our neighborhood and community without striving and guilt. As you serve your closest neighbors, your husband and children, God will bring increase. His faith and love will be imparted to them. Do not be surprised that someone just might knock on your door.

For example, one morning I was homeschooling the children. My phone rang and it was the young mother who lived across the street. I had only spoken with her a couple of times and had given her my phone number. She called me in tears and asked if I could pray for her. My oldest was in high school so I could leave him with the children. I walked across the street and just sat with this discouraged young mother for about half an hour. The Lord gave me an opportunity to sit with her and just listen. That particular morning I was tending my own field and God brought a divine interruption. Over the years I am learning that being a light in this world is just about that. "Being". It is not so much about what I do but it is about being who God made me to be. We tend to put so much pressure on ourselves by asking God what He wants us to "do" rather than asking Him to make us who He wants us to "be".

This week I hope to share with you some simple things we are doing here in the home to create memories and to enjoy the preciousness of what He has given in family. Since we moved across the country we have not made many new friends, so it has been a wonderful opportunity to grow closer in friendship with God and family. May you enjoy the week with the precious treasures God has entrusted to you.

Morning Bagel: This is the very day God acted-let's celebrate and be festive. Salvation now, Salvation now! Oh yes God, a free and full life! Psalm 118:28-29 (The Message Bible)

Daily Hug: Lord, You made this day! How great You are! Thank you! It is Monday and it is a new beginning of a new week. What great opportunities You have placed before me. I am excited and I am grateful . I rejoice for You are good and so thoughtful . You know the very things that bless my heart. Thank you for the precious lives you have placed around me. I rejoice in You. Lord, are my closest and most precious neighbor. You live in me and walk beside me. You chose to dwell within my imperfect heart. What an honor and privilege it is that you would reside with me. Cleanse me and give me a clean heart. Make me a vessel of your glory and love this day to those who live with me. Bless my husband and children. Cover them in a quilt of Your grace. Give me strength, joy, peace and let a gentle countenance be upon me so that those with me may see You. I am glad! I will rejoice! You have provided all I need. In Jesus Name. Amen

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