It can be so easy to lose sight of what really matters when you live in a world filled with SO many distractions. You know what I mean...you wake up, spend some intimate time with God and you are totally at peace as you bask in His presence. You find that your purpose as His disciple is clear. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Now it's time to leave your home and be Christ's hands and feet wherever you are!
Then it happens.
You roll into your routine and before you know it the world is tearing you in a million directions and your patience is short, compassion is dwindling, and love is the last thing you want to extend. Not only that, other things fill your mind like...who liked my pictures on instagram? Or...who commented on my post on Facebook? OR...what do I need to do to look like this person, be noticed like this person, or be funny like this person??
What just happened?
Graham and I had the opportunity to go to PA for a whole week to visit family for Christmas. I treasure these times we have with family, especially since we don't get to see the Fehrs very often. On the last day, however, I felt as though I was not spiritually rested. I was physically and mentally rested...yet my soul was restless and...just not right. I don't know how else to explain it.
It was clear how, despite having physical and mental rest (both of which are VERY important) my spirit was restless in its pursuit to plan the future as Graham and I began discussing the next steps of medical school and where we may be in 1.5 years. My mind was racing. What state will we live in? Do we even want to bother with considering children at this point? Do I want to stay under the mental health umbrella? Don't get me wrong...these are all important questions...but I allowed the worry to dismiss God's presence and here is what I learned. Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future and leaves us facing uncertainty with no faith. I don't know about you, but I want to be adding MORE of God's presence not less!
Write this verse from Isaiah 26:3 down somewhere because it seems like (maybe it's just me) we need this reminder EVERY DAY! "[God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in [God], whose thoughts are fixed on [God]! God doesn't just promise peace but PERFECT peace to those who are fixed on Him.
Or what about this one??? Proverbs 16:3 "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established"
Let's partner together in prayer, encouraging one another and reminding each other of God's promises that will NEVER fail.
A Fun Workout To Do on Christmas Day!
This workout is inspired by Jen Small who was one of the group exercise instructors at a YMCA in Maine!
Ever since she introduced this in one of our classes, I've loved sharing it with others. I changed some of the workouts in case some of you don't have weights so it's all body weight focused! Grab a towel and KILL IT!
Also, feel free to google or youtube exercise names if you aren't sure what they are!
YOU ARE FINISHED!!!!!!! I dare you to challenge your family...tell them no one can open presents till they do it too ;) Just kidding! Enjoy time with family and reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas!
How many times have you said "well, maybe if I actually saw a miracle it would be easier to have faith." What boggles my mind is how in scripture it is shown how, despite all the miracles Jesus did, some people STILL did not believe: Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him-John 12:37.
I love the book of John because, out of all the miracles Jesus had done, he chose 7 to highlight and those 7 have extraordinary purpose. The whole purpose of John's book is summed up in the last two verses of Chapter 20: Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
At church this past Sunday, the pastor spent some time on each of the 7 miracles and how each one was done so that SOMEONE (disciples, the household, the people) would believe. Each was fulfilled that God would be glorified. This morning, I want to focus on the man healed at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
First of all, this is a man who has been an "invalid" for 38 flipping years...38!!!! And what was Jesus' first question? "Do you want to get well?" Why do you think Jesus would ask this question...shouldn't it be obvious? The man then replies giving reasons why he has not been able to get to this "healing" water (which was a myth back then). I feel that there have been many times where I have been asked the same question. "Caren, do you want to get well?" And I am sitting here like, who doesn't!!! Yet, my actions do not show me drawing any closer to God. The reason I wanted to focus on this miracle is because I have been in a similar place as this man where I Instead I just sit there, expecting Him to bring the miracle to me rather than me have to go to Him.
Bunny Trail (aka side note): we live in a society now that, with a click of a button, anything can come TO YOU; to your front door. Food? Let's deliver it to your house? Games, electronics, you name it, we can bring it right to you! You don't have to move! Please don't misunderstand, I am not saying this to shame anyone. Even I use things like Amazon Prime. My point is, we have this expectation that we can sit where we are and have things come to us and I think this expectation is sometimes even placed on God. "Lord, I said I now believe in You, so I am just going to sit here and expect you to fix everything." We have this vision that BAM everything should be 100% different with no real effort on our part (that's a blog post for another day).
Well, I believe Jesus was calling this man to get up and DO something...not to earn grace, but to receive it. At Once he got up and was cured.
Friends, this Christmas season, my prayer is that you would not just read these stories in the Bible as just stories. Each was led by the Holy Spirit to be included in the Word of Life that you may believe. Take time to reflect on your walk with God and where you still lack faith and may you be willing to go out a little deeper as he calls you into a more intimate walk with Him.
Blessings and Merry Christmas.
A Bit About ME!
Hey friend! My name is Caren and I am so glad you stopped by! This blog is a bit of my corner on the internet where I share honest thoughts about my faith journey, fitness journey, doctor wife journey, and motherhood journey. ALL of it! The good bad and ugly! I pray that something I share encourages you today!