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This morning, I wanted to see if there there areas that I have grown in, spiritually, over the past 3 years. This prompted me to take a look at my Spiritual Journal that I had in 2009. It’s funny how some of the areas that we have struggled with in the past, are still the “thorn(s) in my side” that Paul spoke about! I thought that I would share my thoughts with you. (By the way…I have seen some improvements in these areas!)

February 20, 2009
There is something inside of me that is stifled. I want to do more for God, but there is just something holding me back. As I read Closer Than a Brother by Frank Barton Davis, I recognize that there is a passion that is missing. There is so much that I strive to change in, but am held back by my own laziness. I know that nothing or no one should stop me from having passion…I need to find a way to fix this.

Areas I need to change: my discipling, my friendships, my evangelism, my Bible study, my Bible knowledge, my hospitality. I guess these are areas that I can study out, so that I can become better at them.  I need to find ways to fight Satan’s attacks to keep me down.

I need to be passionate about God, I have lost some of my zeal. God, please help me to be an example of order, friendship, hospitality, love, tenderness, servitude, kindness. Help me to seek out discipling, keep the house clean, not be lazy, not give into idleness, have devotions with our son, set a good example for him of what it means to be a Christian. Let me live out what I talk about, let my words not be just words, let me be a light that shines and causes others to look toward Jesus.
Study on Love
1. 1 Peter 4: 8 – Love each other deeply. To love deeply means to love with passion, to have intense feelings for someone. Do I love my husband deeply? Do I love my friends deeply? My love for others should not be wishy-washy. Love covers a multitude of sins.
2. John 13: 34-35 – If we love one another, others will know that we are followers of Christ. Jesus also says to love as he has love us: unconditionally, not holding grudges, holding nothing back.
3. John 15: 12 – Jesus tells us again to love one another using the example that he has set.
4. Romans 13: 8 – We have a debt to love one another. Debt means to repay what was borrowed, we need to repay the love that Jesus has given to us by showing the same love to one another.
5. 1 Corinthians 12:25 – Relationships should not be divided, there should be equal concern for one another. If one hurts/rejoices, the other hurts/rejoices.
6. 2 John 1: 5 – Love is being obedient to the Lord’s commands.
7. 1 Thessalonians 3: 12 – God can make my love overflow and increase for those around me.
8. 1 Thessalonians 4: 18 – Encourage each other with the news about the coming of the Lord.
9. 2 Thessalonians 1: 3 – Love increases and faith increases.
10. 1 Peter 1: 22  – When we obey the truth we learn what it means to be sincere in our love for one another. The only way to love deeply is from the heart.
11. John 3: 11 – We must believe.
12. 1 John 3: 16 – Jesus laid down is life for us out of love. We should be willing to do the same for one another.
13. 1 John 3: 23 – We must believe and love one another.
14. 1 John 4: 7 – Love comes from God.
15. 1 John 4: 11-12 – God lives in us when we love one another.
16. 1 John 4: 19-21 – How much we love God is an extension of how much we love people.
I truly believe that God can increase my love for others the more that I get to know him through his Word. My love for others should be a reflection of my love for God.

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Last night, I had an epiphany! There are so many things to be grateful for regardless of how crazy things are going in your life and if you are anything like me…it seems like things have been doing some back flips! So, I decided that I would start a list of 100 things that I am grateful for, write them down over the next couple of days, and then see where it goes from there. I have to say that I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure I would be able to come up with 100 things, but I figure that by at least writing them down, I would be able to reflect on the good in my life when things don’t remind me of a bed of roses! Here it goes:

Gratitude List #1-10 (I thought I would start with something manageable…at least for me):

1. Having a wonderful, loving husband who strives to do his best to meet the needs of our family

2. Having an energetic and curious little boy who loves anything related to sports

3. Having another child on the way who is showing signs of being healthy so far…(I will continue to pray about that one!)

3. Having a place to live that I can take care of and call “home”

4. Having a way to bring in income

5. Having both of my parents

6. Having God’s Word to guide my life

7. Having a shower that has hot running water (there have been a few times where we have had to deal with cold water for a few days…not fun:()

8. Having the internet so that I can search out resources and information

9. Having a car that is driveable

10. Having a backyard where my child can play

_____

11. Living in the United States (I have to say I am not that grateful when I focus on all of the bureaucracy that is apparent in this country, however I am thankful for the opportunities and resources that are available to us.)

Oops…I did say that I would start of with 10, didn’t I? It started to get a bit easier after I got through the things that were apparent and had to think a bit deeper. This is going to be an ongoing project!

What are you grateful for? I would love to hear about them!

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