“Give yourself to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will help you; He will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:5-6
This afternoon, I was busy folding laundry when Alyssa decided that she wanted to come and “help.” You know, the kind of “help” that makes your work twice as hard? I had just separated and neatly folded the clothes into piles. Nevertheless, after just a few seconds, those neatly folded clothes were thrown all over the floor! As I began to pick up each item and fold them once again, I began pondering on this little exercise called the “laundry of life.” It is something that our Heavenly Father knows a lot about.
Let me ask you a question: How many a time has God neatly folded and taken care of the concerns in your life, only to have you come and “help” Him and create a total mess? Can I get an Amen from someone?
We serve a God who longs to put us in the washer of His grace. He longs to cleanse us in His love and forgiveness and warm us in the dryer of His Word. The truth is, there will always be the “laundry of life” (various challenges and trials), but we serve a God who will wash us, dry us, care for us, and even uniquely handle and fold the delicate issues dearest to our hearts.
Lord, forgive me for being fearful and not trusting You with various issues in my life. You did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. I will seek You in prayer and trust that You will show me if there is something I need to do. Otherwise, I will leave the details to You, Lord. Please wash me in your grace, dry me in your Word and uniquely handle and fold the concerns of my life this day.” Amen.
IF YOU DID NOT READ MY PREVIOUS POST FROM THURSDAY, APRIL 5th, PLEASE CLICK HERE (It’s an important announcement for tracyhurst.com readers)
Image above is from: www.freefoto.com
My Precious Friends,
I am very sad today. I have had to make the decision to no longer post pictures of Alyssa on my site. I have been bombarded lately with triple “x” porn sites trying to get onto my web page and leave inappropriate comments. Although, this practice occurs regularly on web pages, I am no longer comfortable posting personal pictures at this time.
I wept this afternoon as I deleted the pictures of my precious little one. I know of the joy these pictures have brought to you, my family and friends all over the country. I am repenting on my behalf for thinking that my site would be free of perpetrators. I truly did not think that my Christian site would attract inappropriate material.
As I deleted the pictures, I prayed out loud:
“Lord, I forgive these people. You died for them too. May you free them from bondage and soften their hearts to the things of God. They need you so desperately. May you bless them. I pray that something on my site or someone they know will bring them to salvation. I love them Lord – I know it sounds strange, but they are just looking for You, God. May they find what they are looking for – Jesus Christ. Once again I forgive and bless them.” Amen.
Will you join me in praying for those held captive in pornography today? Let’s believe that God will make something good out of this.
A note to family and friends:
I am putting together a secure page on www.lifewithalyssa.com that will allow only those approved to view updated pictures of our family. If you would like to be included and given access to this page, please click here and leave your contact info (including your email address).
My love and blessings to each of you,
Image above is from: www.freefoto.com
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12, New American Standard Bible
As most of you know from my life with Alyssa blog, I recently put Alyssa in a Mother’s Morning Out program. And to my utter dismay, one of the moms dropped off her sick child. Needless to say, Alyssa, another child, the child’s mom and now my husband (who never gets sick) have caught this horrible cold! Ugh! I will admit that for several hours in the wee morning, I plotted and planned how I would handle this matter. Of course, these “plans” were not how Jesus would want me to handle them. My “fleshly” thoughts only led me to become even more outraged and unbeknownst to me at the time, I had fallen for an old, but familiar trap: THE TRAP OF OFFENSE.
The trap of offense will ruin your day and even your life if you let it seep in! Holding onto offenses and becoming bitter will leave you physically and emotionally exhausted. Once I realized that offense was trying to enter my mind, I knew I had a choice to make. It was a choice of life or death. I decided to extend forgiveness and I instantly felt better. A renewed strength filled my tired body as I chose the higher road and let go of offense!
The truth is we cannot control others, but we can control our lives and the choices that we make. With this in mind, let’s choose to forgive and not be bitter. Let’s choose to not judge, less we be judged. Let’s choose to love and not hate. Let’s choose to bless and not curse. Let’s choose to be the best that we can be. And I (Tracy) choose to practice the golden rule of “doing unto others as I would want done unto myself,” by never placing Alyssa in childcare of any kind while she is sick.
“Lord, I choose to forgive those who have hurt me or my family. I ask that you bless those who have cursed me. I extend forgiveness not only because it is Your will, but I also need forgiveness extended to me. I ask that Your love and grace fill my mind, body and spirit right now. Give me supernatural energy and ability to be the best that I can be for myself and my family. Thank you Jesus for forgiving me of all my sins. Amen.”
Point to ponder: Forgiveness is not based on a feeling, it is a choice.
Image above is from: www.freefoto.com
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28, New International Version
Yesterday was one of “those days” – you know the kind of day when you feel discouraged, overwhelmed and alone all at the same time. The most amazing thing was that I did all the “right things” – I spent time in God’s Word, worked out, went to the grocery store, picked up the house, checked my email, took care of Alyssa, made dinner, yet at the end of the day I felt depleted and empty. Anyone else been there? To my dismay all of these “right things” did not fill my soul with peace. I needed to hear from God, I needed His tranquility. So, I found a quiet spot and poured out my heart to God. I simply sat in His Presence. Then suddenly I heard Jesus say, “Let’s exchange – you give me your day that has been burdensome and full of stress and in exchange I will give you my life that is full of peace.” He continued, “Tracy, there is a place of rest I have provided for you. Just come to me every day and we will exchange: My peace for your stress, My joy for your sorrow, My forgiveness for your sin, My healing for your sickness, My wisdom for your confusion, My love for your fear, My grace for your wrong choices, My strength for your tiredness. Just come to me and I will give you rest.”
Needless to say my day changed within an instant! My question for you is what do you need to exchange? What is heavy on your heart? Take these concerns and run to God with them. Sit in the lap of your heavenly Father and exchange your needs for His provision this day. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
Lord, I take a moment to exchange my pain, my past, and every issue that is heavy on my heart this day. As I hand these things over to you I receive your strength, hope, power, truth, healing, wisdom and every spiritual blessing you have for me this day. I place my eyes on You Lord Jesus and not my circumstances. Keep me close to you Jesus and open my ears to hear your voice each and every day.” Amen.
I know that I usually just publish on Tuesday’s, but after hearing from several of you, I decided that we all needed a little encouragment to conquer the “post-holiday blues.” I pray this word has encouraged you today. I love you!
P.S. Is anyone else cleaning your house from top to bottom? I am noticing that every woman I speak with (including myself) is cleaning out closets, cabinets, painting, getting rid of things. I believe this is symbolic of what God is doing in our lives to prepare us for the new year. So clean on!!
“For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.” Psalm 100:5 Amplified Bible
Everyone warned Mike and me that everything was going to change with the birth of our daughter. We did not fully understand these words until she was born. Since becoming radically saved at the age of 16, I have experienced life in the supernatural. I have witnessed God transform lives (including mine) and observed people being healed through miracles, signs and wonders. I have been blessed and have tasted the goodness of the Lord since my salvation. God has always given me supernatural favor with everything in my life – from my counseling practice, to my speaking engagements, and freelance writing – blessings beyond belief have chased me. My pregnancy was even supernatural. One afternoon I was sitting on a park bench praying when I heard the Holy Spirit say, “It’s time.” I knew within my spirit exactly what that meant. Mike and I immediately stopped my birth control and we were pregnant within 8 weeks!
I am however on a new venture with God – worshipping Him through the natural. Yes, through changing diapers, cleaning spit-up and early morning feedings. I have learned to read the Word while working out, praying while feeding, and reading a current book while rocking Alyssa to sleep. Alyssa is truly shaping our souls.
Maybe God is not using a newborn to shape your soul, but I’m sure He is using something or someone. It could be your job, spouse, friend, relative or simply His Word, but God is continually working in our lives all the time. He is a God we can trust, lean on and be confident in no matter what you may be going through. Learning to worship Him at all times is the key to enjoying our life each and every day.
As everyone stated, Mike and I have changed since the arrival of Alyssa Lyn, but for the better. We now love more and judge less. We thank God for the little things and let the petty things go. We are being transformed. Life with Alyssa is God’s plan to perfect us as His servants.
“Lord, thank you for using people and situations in my life to draw me closer to you. It may not feel good at the time, but I trust You to use it all for my good in the end. I bless those who have cursed me and I ask that Your goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life. Thank you for never giving up on me. I choose to worship You as I embrace what you place before me this day.” Amen.