Sunday, September 12, 2010

National Day of Encouragement

       After returning home from a missions trip to Africa, I felt the Lord speak to me very clearly on some things I needed to take a good look at.For 2 weeks , my fellow team  members and I served  pretty much non stop and w/ such joy and anticipation of all that the Lord was going to do. I was so convicted when I returned home and realized the difference between my attitude about serving the orphans in Africa and my attitude in serving my own family. I also became very aware of how it seems so much easier for me to step out of my comfort zone and to desire a life led by the Spirit in Africa than it is for me here. So,after returning home, I decided that I want to live my life differently. 
         Mainly , I just hear the Lord saying that I need to simplify my life so I can hear what He is saying to me every day. God is the same God here that He is in Africa. Aren't we so blessed that He does not change!!! He can give me the same strength,the same comfort,the same focused mind and the same guidance.   
        There was a time when sending cards of encouragement to people was something I enjoyed and made the time to do. After having more children and taking on the task of homeschooling, I let myself believe I did not have time anymore. I cannot even count how many times I felt led to send out cards and did not over the years. I was reminded of this right before I left for my trip,when I received a card in the mail at just the right time. Maybe you know what I am talking about..... You are having a bad day, struggling w/ some things and you receive a card in the mail and in it are the very words that penetrate your heart and minister to your soul.  I wondered at that moment ,how many times I missed out on being a blessing to someone else in such a way.
       Isn't it funny how God works?? He is so good. I had just got another card in the mail from that very same person and wondered if she even had a clue of what a blessing has been. Later that day, while I was checking my bloggy friends updates I went to (In)courage and I just happened to see an opportunity to receive a free packet of cards from Dayspring. The only thing I had to do in return was send some and tell about it. I was so excited!! The card they highlighted on this post  was so perfect for one of my very dear friends and I could not wait to send it to her. When I received the cards in the mail , I was in awe of how perfect these cards were for the people I already had in mind that I wanted to encourage. The Lord was all over this one. :0)  Right away, I pulled out the one that led me to wanting to take part in this in the first place. It was for my friend whose daughter has progressive congenital scoliosis. This little girl has to have surgery  every 6 months. In so many ways this is quite an ordeal. More than the time and money it takes to meet her girl's needs, I think of the ache it puts in my friends heart to see her little girl have to go through this. Not only is she an amazing mother but she is a wonderful person and a great friend . She so often sells herself short so I was thrilled that God made this card just for her. ;0) I pray this card can somehow offer her some strength and encouragement as her little girl will soon be having another surgery.  She is a wonderful testimony and God uses her so often to help me to want to be a better mother. 

            Another card that I sent was to a friend whom I have shared many tears and heartfelt conversations over coffee with.  It is amazing ,though we are so different in so many ways, how are lives are so much alike. So often , we are struggling the same way, thinking the same thoughts,or dreaming similar dreams. We never know all of the answers but we always lead each other to the one who does.  I could have never  put into words so beautifully as this card did what her friendship means to me.

Two women met for coffee.                                          
They talked about life—
things they were working through
and things they were learning.
They showed each other grace
and gave each other courage.
Even though neither of them
had all the answers,
they knew that God sure did.
So they laughed and cried
and shared their lives.
And in the end,
when their mugs were empty…
their hearts were full.
Always glad to share with you…
always glad we’re friends.
I always thank my God for you.  I CORINTHIANS 1:4 NLT

            The last card I am going to share about is my favorite because this one is for that very special person who blessed me twice w/ in the last 2 months with the very words I needed to hear. She is known for her cards and her cookies. She made a comment to me today as a matter of fact that " All I am good for are cards and cookies." She said this w/ a laugh. "ALL, you are good for ??????, I said" I hope that the card I put in the mail for her today blesses her richly. I remember a time when her card blessed me and it wasn't even to me.In the cards she sends, she puts index cards w/ scriptures and sometimes quotes. You see these index cards gracing the fronts of many fellow church member's refrigerators. One day,about 4 years ago, I went to another friend's house . I went there to get away after something very upsetting happened.I got to my friends house and one of the first things I saw was this card on her refrigerator. It was exactly what I needed at that moment.  I cannot tell you how excited I was when I got my first, very own card in the mail from this wonderful lady. I was so encouraged and now have my very own cards on my refrigerator.She has reminded me of how important it is to encourage others and  how sometimes it just takes a card in the mail to minister to someones soul. It is a simple task and so easy to do.
             I have more cards to share...coming to a mailbox near you. :0)

1 comment:

Valley Girl said...

It is to date the greatest card I have ever gotten....♥♥

Today 5 weeks later when I read this post....I cried all over agian** happy tears of course!

Thanking you for loving Madigan for WHO she is♥

I do adore you♥♥