Called to Go, Willing to Stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (5)

4. Spiritual blessing


“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

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Hold on to His Promise!

We couldn’t see any of the blessings counted here without a strong conviction in Who is in charge of our lives. Even this faith is a free gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). Life challenges are like well prepared gifts from the One Who loves us like no one else. Some customized gifts are made with love and it may take a while to prepare. If we know for sure a joyful surprise will come in the end, we might get antsy but in a good and excited way. If we know for sure a wonderful gift is promised, we are usually much more patient and playful in the waiting process instead of feeling frustrated or upset. The waiting only makes the gift even more special. When we receive the gift, we appreciate the time and thoughts our family or friends have invested just to give us a delight and feel loved.


I started this blessing-counting journal around the one year anniversary of our recent move (read how this journal started here ). Everything seems to take longer now with little ones around, but it is all good. It gives me time to savor God’s unchanging Grace as I face each new day along with its new challenges and blessings. I am grateful for the spiritual refreshment every time when I get to write. As I am writing, Christmas is around the corner. I can’t help thinking about the most Wonderful Gift in this life!


What matters is Who is the Giver! We lack nothing in the Lord! He has promised us eternal life with Him above and abundant life here as well. Keeping this promise in mind, I see life as a continuum of various processes to receive many gifts and blessings from “my Shepherd”, who withholds no good thing from who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). I pray “Lord, give me faith to receive every day as a gift from you to know Who You are, to embrace interruptions as your gentle reminder of Who is in control. You are so faithful and so good even when I am faithless.” Is your soul yearning for something more in this life? Are you at a low point right now? Do you desire to receive this free gift despite your difficult circumstances? Or maybe you grow up from a religious background but your heart is heavy with your self-efforts and endless rules. Do you desire a fresh start spiritually? The Good News, the eternal Gospel, is worthy of all test of time, peoples and cultures. I pray that the Lord would bring You to Himself for the true Peace. 

 

Called to Go, Willing to Stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (3)

2. Emotional blessing
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13


Cleaning up and repairing a house is one major project! How about living in a fix-up house with two little ones and trying to manage a home? And adding homeschool to the fun? It’s emotional work. It’s easy to allow negative emotions to flood my head at times like this. God has graciously timed the weekly Bible study of “Life of Moses”(with BSF) for guarding and examining my heart. I had every temptation to grumble when DIY projects didn’t go as expected, when a quiet place simply didn’t exist or when I just felt “I deserve better” attitude. I had my fair share of emotional meltdown and tears. It was His Word and His mercy that brought me back to the Truth, to the freedom to stay calm in the midst of chaos.


The weekly commitment to leading a small group Bible study was made before I knew about the house situation. The ladies in the group know their Bible well, unlike the new believers we worked with in China. This new ministry added another dimension of emotional challenge and blessing. The opportunity to serve others in my small group has pushed me take my eyes off my own inadequacies and troubles, but to lead others to the true source of strength and wisdom in the Lord.


I am so grateful the Lord has grown my compassion toward others and a genuine interest in what really is going on in others’ life. My heart was squeezed. Thankfully, the yucky bad stuff got out and He refilled it with His goodness! I know it is an unfair trade. God’s equation never works out the worldly way. God’s mercy was ever more evident after I failed so many times. That being said, I don’t mind sharing a few heart-felt praises here, knowing those thoughts are not from my flesh but the Wonderful Counselor:
I didn’t need to clean my house for months!
We had a fully heated camp ground in the middle of winter!
The boys, including the bigger ones, had a blast in trying different tools!
Forget about kid-friendly hands-on craft. We started our homeschool year with real house projects with real tools! What a valuable lesson!
We got to keep all the tools for the projects afterwards and save money!
We know everything about the house, I mean everything!
I learned to be creative in finding quiet time and place! Bible study is never meant to be boring anyway!
Lots of father-son time!


I am grateful for the change of mindset and truly enjoyed most of the camping lifestyle for a season. This is not brainwashing but allowing the Spirit to do the transformational work through perspective paradigm shift in real life situations, especially those challenging ones. I am writing this down as a spiritual bookmark for future references. Before the Lord returns, storms will come again. Lord, help me and my family not waste any teachable moments You have uniquely planned! Amen!!

My friend, are you in a difficult season right now? Is it too hard to live through it? You are not alone. God is real and He knows EVERYTHING! Ask God to help you restore your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to take charge. Give it over to Jesus, the Great High Priest, “who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15)“.

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This is way we clean our kitchen. 🙂