We are the Decisions We Make
Last week at church I heard one of the best sermons. To be honest, I hear an awesome sermon each week. But last Sunday was the perfect message to start the year on and ironically was the encouragement I needed to prepare for what has been an unusually unsettling week.
One of the best things about going to a global church is the amazing speakers and preachers that speak truth and wisdom into our lives. Jacob and I feel incredibly blessed each week to walk into church, knowing we will be challenged and encouraged with something new that can be applied to our lives.
The message was about using what we have in our hands to see dreams and goals become fulfilled. To not be complacent with what we have in our hands. The truth is we often have way more going for us than we think, but we often focus on our lack, rather than what we have to work with.
Since that message was preached, this week has been a mix of highs and lows.
Some of the highs I experienced in no particular order,
- This was my second week of exercising every day. I’m proud to have stuck with my new habit and intention for 2017.
- It was also the last week of school holidays so there has been a lot of tantrums from cranky kids. There was a Kindy orientation for Maggie and new school uniforms bought for Esther because she somehow got permanent black marker on BOTH of her school dresses last year. Both girls are excited about starting back next week.
- I’ve caught up with friends, had a date night at home with Jacob because the kids had a sleepover at their grandparents and last night I did my first art workshop with school mums who are becoming some of my closest friends.
So while it’s been a week of preparing for new beginnings and enjoying time spent with others…
I’ve also been the ears to family and friends as they’ve shared their burdens and some painful issues that will make 2017 a challenging year for their family.
I’ve grieved for a friendship lost. I’ve had wonderful friends speak into my life as I’ve shared the hurt and confusion of being misunderstood and then blocked by someone I considered a friend. It’s an awful feeling, but I’ve had to accept that the issue is not mine to lose sleep on.
And then we finished the working week with the tragedy in Melbourne with innocent bystanders being killed, and the newly sworn in Trump for American President. The world is a crazy place to live and sadly, these events show that the decisions of others can greatly impact our lives.
No matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, we have a choice to make the best out of our situation. The alternative is to slump down in misery and make rash decisions that can make our lives worse.
The sermon on Sunday was the perfect way to start the week because no matter what life throws our way, we can decide to use that challenge for good to reevaluate our priorities and strengthen our resolve to move beyond what has been sent our way.
While the decisions of others can affect us, we are the decisions we make and if we want to see parts of our lives flourish, we have to decide on working with what we have at our disposal. Even when we have terrible things happen to us, through no fault of our own.
God wants to see each of us flourish with the gifts and blessings we’ve been entrusted. But it’s our decision to pursue Him. In our pursuit, He gives us wisdom to overcome the challenges that sin has brought into this world.
One key area that I think we should all put priority on this year is the investment of our family. We need to protect the family unit and the best way to do this is to invest in our marriage. Strong marriages flow into strong families. The partnership between mum and dad is so important because it’s the bond that starts a family, yet when it’s broken it can tear a family apart.
If we chose not to work on our relationships, we will see them dissolve. Our decision to do something or not, will reflect on the outcome.
So whatever has been thrown your way this year or whatever challenges you faced last year that are affecting your 2017, be wise in making decisions that will see a peaceful and positive outcome. Seek Godly wisdom to know how to make the best decisions. No matter what hand we’ve been dealt in life, we are capable of turning it around for good, but it all comes down to the decisions we make.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (parts paraphrased) The Message “God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.”
“Be prepared. You’re up against more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s over, but the shouting, you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. “