Does your lamp go out at night?

Pr. 31:18: “She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.”

I’m alright at perceiving that my merchandise is good, but I am Not a night person, so the second part of this verse has never been one of my favorites to read.  I love my sleep!  And not 4 hours… I’ll take 8 hours, thank you very much.

I just realized I’ve been overthinking it.  I’ve envisioned myself having to staying up, bonnet on head, sewing clothes, doing bills, and cooking a week’s worth of meals while everyone else was sleeping soundly.

At about 9:20 last night, my daughter was throwing up.  No matter how old she is, I’m not going to just go to bed and leave her alone while she’s suffering.  I stayed up with her, and even slept on the couch with her, checking on her and helping her through the night.  I didn’t even think twice about it.

Phew!  I no longer have to be intimidated by that verse, thinking that one day I’ll get to it.  I’ve had babies, and lost lots of sleep caring for them.

Although it’s thankfully not the norm in our house anymore, sometimes care needs to happen at night.  If you have ever had to respond to a need at night that you didn’t think twice about, then you’ve done the same.  Well done, you!

When a loved one needs us, whether they live in our house or not, we have to be available.  They need to know that like Motel 6, “we’ll leave the light on for you.”

Responding,

jamie

My praise for rising up!

Pr. 6:9:  “How long will you slumber, O sluggard?  When will you rise from your sleep?”

All I can do today is praise God!!  Lord, I’m so thankful that today You have given me the provisions to not be a sluggard.

I am so grateful that by God’s grace I was able to wake up at the same time as my husband this morning.  I was able to get ready for the day before my kids ever got out of bed.  I was able to do Bible studies with both of them.  I was able to get lunch in the crock pot, and make breakfast.  And I still have the strength and energy for the rest of the day!

These things may not seem like a big deal to most people, but trust me…THIS IS HUGE!!!

While I have not been a sluggard by choice, I have still felt like one for quite some time.  Illness has kept me from a normal, functional life for a long season, but on this day where I feel like I truly rose from my sleep, I am grateful.  I am overwhelmingly grateful to be able to function!

Thank you, God, for Your provisions.  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to serve my family and teach my children more about You.  Thank you for this chance to show my children what my idea of responsibility looks like.  Thank you for this chance to invest more than just my existence into those that I love the most!  Thank you that I was truly able to model the “we put God first” truth into my kids with our Bible studies this morning.  Thank you for a clear mind that was not surrounded by fog.

God, I cannot stop praising You today for these gifts.  I am grateful and do not take one single one of them for granted.

I don’t want to sound as though I’m only praising God for something good.  He is worthy of my praise every day, but I would be remiss if I didn’t take this time to praise Him for something I’ve asked for in prayer for the past 4 years.

What an amazing gift I have been given today, and Lord I know its only by your grace that this has occurred.  I praise Your Holy name and give You all of the glory!

All I can do today is praise You and send out this worship to others.  You are worthy!

If any one of you reading this have found yourself being a sluggard by choice, I pray this praise report will inspire to do more while you’re able.  Each day you have is truly a gift.  Don’t take your abilities for granted.  Rise up from your sleep, feed on God’s Word, and serve.  You will never regret those choices.  You will only regret it if you don’t.

Praising the Lord!

jamie

How ya sleeping?

Pr. 3:24:  “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.”

Solomon wrote that when we keep wisdom and discretion this will be one of the results.

I have nights where I awake in the middle of the night and am bombarded by terribly self-defeating thoughts.  I suppose that during the day I am more alert and ready to defend myself, but at night I am groggy and vulnerable.

This happened to me again last night.  As I was lying there being  attacked by thoughts of defeat, doubt, hopelessness, and despair, I heard these words come to the surface of my mind:

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

Christ alone is my Cornerstone.  On Him, the Solid Rock, I stand, and certainly all other ground is sinking sand.

Verse 2 says,  “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.”  How fitting for the middle of the night when my thoughts loomed so largely in the forefront of my mind.

Through wisdom, I was able to rest on His unchanging grace last night.  Through discretion, I was able to apply good judgment to which thoughts I would allow to take me captive and which I would no longer entertain.

Remembering on whom my hope is built brought me peace and I was able to rest sweetly the remainder of the night.

This is a good example of a reason we must have the Lord’s wisdom in our lives.  Satan loves to attack our thoughts with fear, deception, and lies.  Often he uses half truths to attack us, which is why we sometimes believe or give in.

If we know the Word, and His truth, we will be able to take up our shield of faith and withstand the fiery darts of the wicked one.  We will be able to remind ourselves that do not need to place our trust in “the sweetest frames,” but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

If we know the Word, we can rest on the fact that our hope isn’t built on anything that will sink or corrode, but is on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and His righteousness.

We have all we need in Christ.  I pray that when thoughts to the contrary attempt to take you captive, you will remember this story, and be able to rest sweetly in the truth of the Word.  I pray I will, too.

Trusting in Him,

jamie

Blueprints and sleep

Last night, I slept through the night for the first time in 4 days.  I am so grateful this morning.  Yesterday was an interesting day as I stayed as busy as possible in the hopes that I wouldn’t fall over, while my brain was functioning at what felt like 1/3rd of its capacity.

Over the phone last night, my mother-in-law reminded me of Ps. 127:2 which says, “for so He gives His beloved sleep.”  Yes!!  I hadn’t thought about that.  When I found myself waking up again last night at what must have been 1:00 or 3:00, just like the nights before, I began to pray and remind the Lord of His Word, and He gave me sleep again.   🙂

The beginning of Psalm 127 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”  It brings to mind an important question for us all:  Are you building your life in vain, or are you allowing the Lord to be the master builder?

Who’s blueprints are you using?  Are you using the blueprints you’re making up as you go, or the ones clearly laid out in His Word?  As I quoted this scripture in my prayer last night, I didn’t first ask myself if I was His beloved or not.  I was simply crying out to my Beloved, and to the One who supplies my needs.

His plans for our lives are the only ones that will lead to salvation and the only ones that will stand.  Instead of laboring in vain, we can allow His Word to be the blueprints upon which we choose to build our lives.  Doing this takes all the pressure off.  He will be the One building, not us.  We do not need to lose sleep, wondering how or what to build next.  We can rest in the fact that He is the Master Builder and He has it all under control!

Yes, I am speaking to myself in this blog.  When I awake with worry, ideas, plans to be made, and questions about the next section to be worked on, I can simply remind myself that He has it all under control.  If I choose to follow His plans and submit to His will, I need not worry.  I recall my Savior telling us, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”  It is impossible for Him to lie, so this must be true.  Let’s seek Him, and let Him do the building.  What’s left to do but give Him praise!?

Praising Him!  \o/

jamie

An interesting sermon on sleep:  The Peculiar Sleep of the Beloved, Charles Spurgeon

 

Wake up and eat…for heaven’s sake.

John 6:48:  “I am the bread of life.”

John 6:35:  “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Pr. 24:30-34:  ” I went by the filed of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there is was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.  When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction.  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.”

Pr. 20:13: “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty.  Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.”

Get up!  Spend time with Jesus each morning.  Be filled with “The Bread” of Life!

Both of the scriptures in Proverbs speak of poverty…I read them to also speak of poverty of the soul.  A little extra sleep in the morning; laziness keeping us from getting out of bed to spend time with The Lord, and poverty will quickly come upon our souls.  We will quickly become devoid of understanding, thorns will quickly spread upon our hearts and nettles will choke out the fruit of The Spirit within us.  A little extra slumber and we will become broken, believing lies instead of truth, exchanging the truth about our strength in The Lord with the enemy’s deceiving lies about our weaknesses.

If we will open our eyes, we will truly be satisfied with bread.  We will be strengthened instead of broken.  We will become pure through His blood.  We will be set free, instead of pierced with the thorns that come from feeding our flesh.  We will be filled with wisdom, instead of drained of all understanding.  The fruit of The Spirit will be evident in us instead of being choked out by the nettles of the fruit of our own ways.  Our souls will be rich and overflowing instead of destitute hungry.

Don’t allow poverty to overtake your soul like an armed man overtakes a victim.  Amass an arsenal of truth.  Stockpile praise as a wall of defense.  Protect yourself at all costs.  Invest in your soul.  Invest in your eternal life.  This investment is a guaranteed success!

Stockpiling,

jamie

Can’t find the time for God?

Pr. 6:10:  “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep–so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.” 

This verse is the truth that wakes me up in the mornings with the focus on getting into the Word.  There were seasons in the past when I chose to sleep instead of getting up and spending time with God.  Then, as I never made quality time throughout the rest of my day to be with God, quietly and slowly, poverty came into my soul.

Getting up in the mornings and going straight to the Word is what sets the tone for my day.  Beginning my day with God’s truth is what re-emphasizes my focus and reminds me of my reason for living.

It seems harmless to miss a day or two of Bible reading.  Not praying each day can seem like a small thing.  It’s not as if we have to do these things to go to heaven.  What happens, though, is that slowly our focus gets off the Lord and onto ourselves, our surroundings, or the world.  Without realizing it we begin to think we can do life on our own, without the Lord, and we forget that we can do nothing apart from Him.

This is how satan distracts us from our purpose.  Slowly we drift away, begin to think we have it all figured out, forget we need a Savior, and maybe even thinking that we don’t need one at all.

Like a prowler who is very sneaky, the changes in our lives happen so subtly that we do not see them happening.  Eventually we might find ourselves in a compromising situation or a place we never imagined we’d be.  We may come to a point where we wonder how we wandered so far away from our values, our beliefs, our calling, or our Father.

The cool thing about God is that He is the strongest when we are the weakest.  That means that at our very worst, He is at His very best.  When we realize He’s not our main focus, admit that we need Him, and surrender to His will and His leading, He can do so many amazing things through our lives.  What the enemy meant for evil, God will use for good; and can actually use it to save other lives.

Don’t let the enemy distract you from investing in your relationship with Christ.  We have a Savior because we need One.  He is the source of strength, our Provider, our Comforter, and our eternal hope.  Of all the things you do each day, spending time with Him is the most important one of all.  Don’t slumber.  Make the time.

I can tell you, for a fact, that your purpose in life isn’t just to make it through the day.  Get into His Word and remind yourself that there is a much higher purpose for which you were created.  People are counting on you to fulfill it.

Enjoying His presence,

jamie