The Longsuffering of Christ… and an Announcement

The Longsuffering of Christ

Phew! It has been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks:  A loved one was in the hospital, needing extra help. My husband went on a couple week long business trip to an unstable part of the world. There was the minor car accident. I was hurting for a while, but thankfully,  everyone is okay. There was the  extra running around and the everyday stuff, including school.  Then came Easter, and preparing to teach art camp for the Angel Tree kids at our church.  Things are finally starting to slow down to normal and my energy is returning, for which I am truly grateful.  In the midst of all of this I have been thinking about the longsuffering of Christ and wanting to share a few thoughts I had with you  about it.

Suffering for a long time

Around Easter time, we all think about how Christ suffered on the cross to pay for our sins.  From the mental suffering in the garden and the the trials, to the beatings, mockery & the public display of carrying the cross through the city to the actual crucifixion and long time spent on the cross itself, we can see that Christ suffered a long time in our human terms. But I think that is really only a glimpse of the suffering He has endured from the foundations of the world on our behalf.  Because He is all knowing and eternal, He knew about all the sins we would ever commit before He even created us.  Because our sins grieve Him, they produce suffering for Him.  So, in essence, He has been suffering for our sins since He conceived the idea to make  us.

That’s a really, really, really, LONG  time! It  is SO MUCH LONGER than any long time we suffer. If you think about the time in your life where you suffered the longest over someone or something and multiply it by infinity, that gives a pretty good idea of how long Christ has been suffering for you. And He still would have done it if it had only been for you because He doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell.  That is the love of our Savior.  Its’ a love that permeates all time, every situation, and each imperfect thing with the singular goal of bringing each of us to the Father’s throne of grace. It blows me away every time I think about it!

The Longsuffering of Christ

suffering hurts

Let’s face it, it hurts to suffer. Whether your suffering is physical, emotional,  spiritual, {or some combination of these} it isn’t going to be fun, and it isn’t going to be easy.  Friend, let me encourage you. Our Father has you right in the palm of His hands. He is filtering the pain and working behind the scenes to help you in ways you may not realize this side of Heaven.  And He always has a plan that He works for our good and His glory.

I can’t pretend to know all the reasons God allows us to experience suffering.  But I can say that He has used my suffering to bring me closer to Him.  He brings me to the place where I  cast my cares upon the one who cares the most for me time and time again.  His love and miraculous provision have never disappointed me.  I have seen Him work miracles in hopeless situations and learned He is worthy of my trust – in any and every case. He is able to do more than we ask, think or imagine, and He often does just that – more.

But He wants more from us too: more complete dependence on Him, more loving obedience, more trusting that He has His very best for us at heart, more submission to His perfect and pleasing will, more worship with reckless abandon to the one who works all things for our good.

(suffering)*(time)=patience

  • When we face trials, it produces suffering. It also produces the good fruit of patience in us – as we allow the Holy Spirit to have control of our thoughts, emotions, words and actions.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1:2-3

  • It brings us to spiritual maturity.

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:4

  • It brings us to the place where we know we don’t have the answers, so we will ask God for His wisdom.  And He gives that to us too!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

  • It brings us to the point of trusting in fits and starts until, we have enough of a track record with the Lord to see He is faithful every time.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8

 slow to anger, abounding in love

There is another meaning to longsuffering – being slow to anger. Even with all the sin in the world, He has not completely poured out His wrath upon sinners who refuse His extremely generous gift of forgiveness by the blood and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It will wait a little while yet, until the time of the Great Tribulation.

How many times have I been quick to become angry? Even when I think I am being slow to anger, it is quick in comparison to the LORD.  He could have just zapped us all, but He didn’t. Life still goes on here in America even though we seem to specialize in normalizing any and every sin the LORD abhors… and this is true even within the church!  You all should be grateful I am not God, because it would have been OVER a long time ago. And it would NOT have been pretty!  All praise, honor and glory to the Lord that He is NOT like me!!  No, our God is compassionate and loving, full of mercy and forgiveness.

The Longsuffering of Christ

And… the Announcement

I really love writing to you all! It has been a very good outlet for me to express some of my deepest thoughts.  However, I am taking a training class to learn how to do this blog thing right.  I’m at a point in my training where I need to take a step back, work behind the scenes, & focus my limited time and energy there for a while.  Please pray for me during this time as I will be laying the foundations of this blog.  I want to point it in the direction the LORD wants for it to go.

6 Ways to Encourage Your Husband to be the Spiritual Leader in your Home

Spiritual Leader

My husband wasn’t always the spiritual leader in our home. In fact, it was a time  in my marriage where I nagged my husband…

… to do the dishes my way, to stack them properly, to not leave things all over the house, to go back to school, to not stay out to late, to help with the kids, to give me time away from the kids,  to spend more time with me, to play with the kids more, to go to bed earlier, to read books especially the Bible, to enjoy going to church, and to do anything and everything my way, in my timing, WITH an attitude of joy.  Of course, while I was entrenched in it, I didn’t really get that this is what I was asking him to do.  I just thought, he needs my help, since he didn’t think of these things on his own. Continue reading

What to do When Your Body Odor is so Bad, Soap Won’t Wash Off the Stink

I’m warning you, this is a TMI post. I am writing about having bad body odor because I want to save you from some lots of frustration. While I partially found the solution on the internet, it was too much for me to accept at the time. I am so grateful to God for my doctor, who knew what it was, and gently led me to the point where I could bring myself to take steps to smelling better.

Body Odor Graphic

Let’s back up a minute before I get to that though. I always kind of had iffy body odor, but it wasn’t a huge problem because deodorant did a decent job of covering it up. But when I found lumps in both of my breasts {so far it’s not cancer, but we are following it} and learned that aluminum in deodorant could contribute to breast cancer, I began seeking alternatives.  I didn’t Continue reading

Baby Shower Blessings & My First Manilla Folder Mini Album Revealed!

Several weeks ago, one of my very best friends, Kristine, asked me to help her get ready for a baby shower she was throwing with another friend of ours. God has blessed her with a wonderful passion for throwing parties, but she doesn’t absolutely love doing all the crafty things to bring her party decor to fruition.  And He blessed me with a passion for arts and crafts, so it totally made my day when she asked me to do that part.  Her vision was that we would shower blessings of  prayer, friendship and of course, gifts on our friend.

Baby Shower Blessings Header

Continue reading

How to Live Intentionally (Part 3 – Overcome)

Welcome to the final post of my three part mini series on how to live intentionally in order to build the godly character traits you want in your life.  It is has helped me focus on going after victory in specific areas of my life and achieving it more often than not.  If you missed parts one and two you can read more  here and here.  This year I am focusing on how I can overcome obstacles in my life.

Living Intentionally Overcome

I have made huge strides toward becoming the person God wants me to be, in my health and relationships.  This is because I’ve been learning how to live intentionally and because I’ve bolstered my prayer life by praying intentionally.   I’ve been praying at least once a day according to the word I have focused on each year. Continue reading

How to Live Intentionally (Part 2 – Obey)

Hi everyone! Welcome to part two of my three part mini series on how to live intentionally so that you are building the character traits you want in your life.  It is has helped me to be focused in going after victory in my life and achieving it more often than not.  If you missed part one you can read more about it here.

Live Intentionally Obey

Did you ever have a time when you needed someone in your family to do something, and they just wouldn’t do it? I did.  A couple of years ago, it was my kids. All three of them. I felt like I kept asking them to do things more than once.  And this without making much progress getting them to do much of anything that needed to be done. Continue reading

How to Live Intentionally (Part 1)

Live Intentionally ThriveI know we are  almost done with January beginning the month of February.  But before the New Year becomes  too distant  a memory, I wanted to share at least work up to sharing the new word I chose as my word for the year.  This will be the first post in a 3 part mini-series about words I have chosen in the past and how I use them to live intentionally.

Have you ever done this?  If not, I hope you’ll give it a shot this year.   I started doing it a few years ago, after some good friends of ours brought it up in a Sunday School class.  They had read about it in the book One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon and Jimmy Page.   It is a secular book, but choosing a word to focus on helps me to be intentional about living for Christ.

Let’s face it, we all have patterns of behaviors we want to change.  But how do we do it? Continue reading

Discipline, or the Lack Thereof

makesSo, you may have noticed that I haven’t written for a while… or maybe you haven’t because I was writing for such a short time before I stopped.  I could run down the reasons excuses for this, which are many, or I could just tell the simple truth.I struggle with self-discipline.

There, I said it.

You know, there is something truly freeing about getting that out there.  Maybe it’s because I know I am not alone, or maybe because my secret is out and now I can look it right in the face and refuse to succumb to it any longer  {like I am doing right now by writing this}.  Whatever the case, I have determined to be BACK.

Certainly, I won’t be writing as frequently as I was, but I will be writing.  In the midst of mothering and homeschooling my three wonderful kiddos, preparing to launch a new business, and dealing with my adrenal issues, I will write.  I will do it consistently, because the world needs to hear what I have to say. It needs to see what I have made. It needs to learn what I have learned along the way.  This is the platform I have, small though it may be.  If the Lord chooses to increase it – or not, I am okay with that. To Him be all glory, honor and praise.  But if I don’t work at it, a little at a time, it definitely won’t grow. My talents will be buried instead of growing; my calling ignored, and I will remain in need of discipline. God’s discipline. Continue reading

Can’t Sleep? Banana Tea to the Rescue!

Sometimes, I Can't Sleep? Banana Tea to the Rescue!can’t sleep.  It still seems strange that this happens to me, with the amount of time I have spent being tired.  But, not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep at night is common for people with chronic fatigue and it’s many associated conditions.  In moments like these, I have learned to make banana tea.  I saw this video about it in my Facebook feed a couple of months ago and I tried it. Boy, am I glad I did!  Making banana tea is one thing that I have done that has helped me to finally be able to have good quality sleep at night, so that I feel refreshed when I wake up.  That’s a pretty amazing thing for me.  Seriously, it has only rarely happened in the past 20 years, until recently.  I thank God that His love for us goes so deep that He made things in advance to help us. Even the humble banana.

Continue reading

Weeping With Those Who Weep {or Just Plain go Through Something Scary}

Weeping With Those Who Weep - Compassion
A few years ago, my family went to the zoo with some  friends.  We were all on the way to the bug house, when we realized my youngest son was not with us as we all thought he was.  I was immediately gripped with the fear that someone had taken off with him. My heart sank and we all looked for him.  In the very short time he was gone he had walked himself all the way down by the snakes.  We found him, unharmed, wandering around wondering where we all were.   The response from our friends was one of support and help, compassion and encouragement.  The resounding theme of our conversation was that it could happen to anyone, and that is the truth. It could happen to anyone. Continue reading