May In A Nutshell
April showers bring May flowers
And what a beautiful month May was! This post is a bit late since we are already a few days into June, but my husband and I were on vacation with the Lovesong Couples Getaway in Hawaii! If you're married and are looking to go on the trip of a lifetime, consider going on vacation with Lovesong! Hawaii is so beautiful, and it really does feel like you're seeing a glimpse of Heaven there. You can follow along on the Lovesong Facebook page for 2018 trip announcements.
Now, back to those May flowers. What started out as a dream several years ago, came to fruition last month... Live Oak Boutique opened for business on May 14th, which also happens to be my birthday! I chose to officially launch the online boutique on that day because I know my life is a gift from God, and so is this business He has entrusted to me. It's been such a blessing to look back on my life and see how God's hands have been over it all, orchestrating every part of my story. How amazing is it that He planted this little acorn of a dream in my heart, gently nourished it, and helped it take root? Then He established my desires and pruned away my thoughts until His ideas started to take shape. He is so good! He continually gives me the faith I need to grow and move forward, and He is giving me the patience and perspective I need to enjoy and appreciate the slow, steady growth taking place along the way.
That's not to say that the last several months, maybe years, haven't come with their own shares of up and downs. Isn't that life for everyone though? I've read that we grow closer to God during challenging seasons of our life, because that's when we draw closest to Him. I agree with that, and I think that alone makes the hard days, weeks, months, and even years, completely worthwhile. Closing the door to a job of 8 years came with its own set of challenges and disappointments. Deciding to pursue my own business has been exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time, and navigating the in-between has been full of reflection, prayer, healing, and anticipation for all the things God has in store for my life. I feel like this scripture perfectly sums up what God has been trying to teach me the last several years.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12, NIV
A few years back I wanted so badly to be headed in another direction with my career. I felt like I had been waiting for years to hear direction from the Lord, and I had actually started to feel a bit hopeless in my situation. If you're feeling hopeless today... Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." No matter how grim things may seem, when we're in a difficult season, we must place our hope is in Jesus Christ. Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Your situation might not look so good, but we can have hope because we know God works for the good of those who love him. God wants us to be joyful in hope!
With this same situation, I had wanted a change of scenery for such a long time...a slight detour wasn't going to cut it. I wanted to get out of the car, move the road blocks myself, and take another direction entirely, regardless of the impact it had on the people in my life. I was tired of being patient and I was ready to take matters into my own hands. If you feel like your starting to loose patience with something or someone in your own life...Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and He will make your paths straights." No matter the situation, God is in complete control. Let's remember to be patient and TRUST in His perfect timing. His timing is perfect for a reason. God wants us to be patient in affliction!
After praying for years about the direction of my career, at one point I actually remember telling my husband, "I don't feel like God is listening." Because I didn't feel like God was listening, I started being less faithful in prayer. If you feel like your prayers are not being heard... Jeremiah 29:12-13 says "Call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for me with all your heart." He IS listening, even when you might feel like He isnt! Keep praying faithfully and know that His heart is for you! God wants us to be faithful in prayer!
In A Nutshell
When I've gone through difficult circumstances and started to loose hope, my patience also started to dwindle. When I've started to be impatient, I've started to think God didn't hear my cries for help, and when I didnt think God was listening, I stopped praying faithfully. When I didn't pray faithfully, I started to feel hopeless. Do you see the problem? It's a vicious cycle. Lack of hope leads to lack of patience, which leads to lack of prayer, which leads back to lack of hope, and so on. And that's just what the enemy wants. He wants us to be confused, to feel hopeless, and to turn from God. But ya'll, if we can be joyful in hope, then we can be patient during affliction. And during our patience we can be faithful in prayer. I feel like this God lesson came to fruition last month and I can see clearly what He was trying to teach me. So for all the ups and downs that lie ahead, I choose to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer, because I know in my heart of hearts that God is in control, He hears my prayers, His plans for me are GOOD, and His timing is PERFECT! The hard days, weeks, and years will still come for all of us, but He is telling us how to make it through them...with hope, patience, and prayer. Let's not give up on Him.
I created this printable as a reminder of His guidance and His goodness in my life. I thought you might like it too, so I made it available to download! You can print this out and tuck it into your bible, or frame it and place it where you can see it daily. I hope you enjoy it and that it blesses you during this season of your life!
What did you learn from God this month? I'd love to hear from you!
Rooted in the love of Jesus,
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