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Ladies of Grace [3/24/2020]

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Dear Ladies of Grace,

It has been a turbulent couple of weeks since we met. I greatly enjoyed our time together on March 7th, just 2 weeks ago. I am so grateful that we were able to do it and am not surprised at God’s timing. Since then, the circumstances of all of our lives have changed dramatically. My heart goes out to all of you and the many different situations you now find yourselves in. Some of us are trying to juggle working from home, while also suddenly being thrust into the role of home school parent or keeping little ones busy & quiet while your spouse tries to work from home. Others are experiencing the ups and downs of isolation with little, if any, human contact. This time can be busy, stressful, and lonely. The world, through all forms of media, is telling us to panic, stay tuned in, and self protect. We as the people of God are called to respond differently. Although the circumstances have changed, the principles of how to thrive in any circumstance have not.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man (or woman) remains in me and I in him, he (or she) will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he (or she) is like a branch that is thrown away and withers…. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:5-6a, 8.

The word “remember” is in the bible 365 times (I don’t think that is a coincidence). It is good for us to remember the truth of God and the promises of God, especially in turbulent times. So, let me remind you (and myself) of what we learned in John 15.

Remember to connect to the vine. One of the biggest complaints for not connecting with the vine is often “I don’t have time." We have now been given the gift of time. Many of the things we spend our time doing have just been stripped away - shopping, going to coffee or out to dinner, soccer & baseball practices, and the list goes on. How will you and I spend this gift of time? I have found it hard to turn off the news and end up watching hours of it even though it is repetitive and depressing. I need to repent (turn off the TV) and spend time with the source of life and hope, who renews my perspective, aligning it with His right perspective. It is to the Father’s glory that we thrive and not wither. We need to connect with him and he wants to connect with us. We talked about prayer at the Ladies of grace breakfast, but worship is another great way to connect! Kids, especially young ones, will so easily worship and love to do it as a spontaneous family activity. Whether you have kids of not, just begin to sing anything that is worshipful (ex: My God is so Big….so strong and so mighty...there’s nothing my God cannot do!) It feels a little silly at first with only 2 grown adults in my house, but it is just as powerful. Of course, there are lots of adult worship songs if you prefer. Put on a CD or Pandora or whatever and let God draw you to Him.

Remember to connect with each other. Also, we are so blessed to live in this day and age where we can connect with facetime, phone calls, facebook, Instagram and even old fashioned letters. As God’s people, what will be the gist of our conversations? Let’s start by asking questions like how have you seen God at work around you today? What blessings have you experienced today? Who have you encouraged? It’s so easy to focus on the circumstance and forget to look (lift our eyes) to see how God is working around us and through us. If we stop or just slow down and trust Him, we will be amazed!

Lastly, on the 7th I read to you out of “Prayer: The Hearts True Home” by Richard Foster and asked in what rooms are you most comfortable with God? And which rooms are the most challenging? I encourage you, as God has now called you and to stay home, to invite him into every room of your house. Ask him to show himself to you more fully that you may know him more deeply. What an opportunity!

Praying that God will fill you with his peace, presence, joy and hope!

With love for Him and for you,