Playing The Scenes Over In My Mind
This time of year I tend to think back over my life and the lives of my children, and to play the scenes over in my mind of years gone by, and review. This year as I’ve watched those scenes play out in my memory, it’s resulted in an overwhelming gratitude for some very special people that God placed in my life.
I am so very, very thankful for those older Godly women who invested in my life, and that of my family, by giving wise, Biblical counsel and advice, and by being living examples of practical holiness as a wife and mother, during the years I was raising my children.
Advice Learned From Godly Older Women
May I share with you (there’s something here for every woman) some of the sage advice I learned from them? May it exhort, encourage, and bless you.
If you have small children, you are in the sowing and weeding time of child-rearing: it’s a lot of work and you may not (don’t) see any fruit.
Work hard, keep on: for in due season you will reap, if you faint not! You will have a bountiful harvest sooner than you can imagine! But you can’t quit and this is not the harvest time!
Satan wants to distract you because if he can get you to go and work somewhere else (maybe harvesting someone else’s fruit), he knows you will lose your own fruit and your testimony will be spoiled. Sow and weed and tend your own garden—nothing is sweeter than the fruit from your own tree.
What To Do When Satan Attacks
Ask God to bind him: in the name, and by the precious blood, of Jesus Christ.
Like a pesky fly, swish him away—“Begone!”
Take your thoughts captive—corral them—give those thoughts to Jesus.
Quote Scripture: for every bad thought, replace it in your mind, and out loud, with truth. Repeat God’s words, (not Satan’s, such as “I just want to walk away, give up, I’ll never amount to anything, nothing I ever do is right, it will never work out”—never say those thoughts out loud! To yourself or anybody else!)
Emotions Follow Your Spirit and Your Will
Follow the Spirit with your spirit, and your will—emotions will be forced to follow. Say the truth in your mind. With your spirit agree with it, and with your will say, “I will.”
Say The “I Wills”
For example, “I will trust in the Lord. I will rejoice. I will be glad in the Lord. I will overcome. I will not flag in zeal. I will sing to the Lord, I will do right, I will hope, I will remember I am created in the image of God, I will go forth in righteousness, I will speak the truth in love—even to myself!” etc.
When in doubt, when discouraged, when all else fails: “Do the next thing.”
These words come from a beautiful poem that Elisabeth Elliot quotes:
Do The Next Thing
“At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, ‘Do the next thing.’
Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.
Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.
Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing.”
Encouragement from Hymns
Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in your heart to the Lord: take out your hymnbook and sing truth and praises to the Lord; (or better yet, make a notebook, by copying your favorite hymns, putting them in plastic sheet protectors in a three-ring notebook, and sing to the Lord.) It won’t take long before you feel encouraged!