Monday, December 1, 2008

Motivate Me Monday and Memory Monday: The Restoration of Joy

MamaHenClucks wrote about the 5:16 Club last Monday over at her Hen house. I immediately knew that I wanted to be a member. It's a group of women who are committed to rising early every morning in order to start their days' with God to be intentional about spending time with Him each and every morning.

I will tell you that the times in my life when I have been most consistent and successful at spending time with God each and every day, are the times that I have committed to getting up before everyone else in the family and doing it first thing! Even when I had newborns! (I was up anyway with the 5 am feeding right?)

Anyway, I'll admit that over the last 6 weeks or so, I have become rather slack on this. Okay, not even slack, just not getting up! I've been rolling out of bed when my kids do and my entire day is thrown off because of it. I've been planning to get back into the 5 o'clock wake up routine again, so now that we're home from our Thanksgiving trip, I'm joining the club. I'll be setting my alarm clock for 5:16 and rising early to spend time with God before the rest of the family awakens.

I'm looking forward to meeting and enjoying some encouraging bloggy-fellowship with the rest of the 5:16 Club. Just check out the other posts over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee.

In addition, I've decided to join Memory Monday over at The Simple Wife to help motivate me to memorize a scripture a week. I love what these two ladies are doing with their blogs and bringing women together to study and encourage each other. Way to go ladies!

Now that you know what my new Monday posts will be about, let me give you my encouragement for this week. I chose to memorize 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

See, I've been working on some posts for my testimony blog Healing Hope this week. I know so many dear friends and family who are spending this Thanksgiving and Christmas season in a season of grief. They have lost precious family members this year and their hearts are broken and having a difficult time finding joy in this holiday season.

This particular scripture is one that God has been "writing" on my heart for several years, yet I've never memorized it word-for-word. He's brought me back around to it again in the process of writing these posts.

First of all, I want to encourage any of you who are currently in a season of grief. Joy will return. It may not be this month. It may not be this year. But it will come.

Psalm 16:9-11 states, "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

It's easy for those who trust God to believe what He says and believe that we will have joy again, but for those who have experienced such pain that doubt has become more of a friend than trust has, these words are hard to believe.

It personally took me several years of "wrestling" with God to come to a point of believing Him again, believing that His Word is true. There are still times when I have unbelief, but they are much less frequent now. One of the examples in the Bible of someone who has an incredible amount of belief that wows me with delight is Mary the Mother of Jesus in her response to being told that she was carrying The Christ Child. She says in Luke 1:45, "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

My prayer for all you who are in a season of grief and possibly unbelief this Christmas is that you will spend precious time with the Father each day and be overwhelmed with belief in all that He will accomplish, including the restoration of your joy! May you have a spirit of belief like that of Mary as we celebrate Jesus Christ this month.

To those of you who know someone who is going through a season of grief, may I encourage you to take 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 and put it into practice this Christmas. Visit with or send an encouragement to the friend or family member who is grieving. Through your visit or message, they may be comforted by The God of all comfort!

May His Joy fill you throughout this Christmas season (and especially when you are waking before everyone else in the house and awaiting your first cup of coffee!)


Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

So glad you're doing this...thanks for sharing!

Sarah Mae said...

I am so excited that you have joined us! We certainly need each other because rising at the bootie crack of dawn is hard!!!


MamaHenClucks said...

Hope this is a beautiful post and so encouraging! Thank you for sharing from your heart:) It's amazing how women who only know one another through their blogs have the ability to lift one another up and hold one another accountable. It's quite nice :)

Kim @ My Journey said...

I love both Memory Monday and the 5am club! So glad to have another accountability partner in both!!!

Kyla said...

This is just wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and I'm very glad you've joined us. Such an inspirational post!

Christy said...

Welcome to the club! Thank you for your comment on my post. I'm glad you left one so that I could make a visit over to yours. I really enjoyed reading your post. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability about where you've been and how God has seen you through.

A year ago, my twin nieces (who were born at 20 weeks) went into the arms of Jesus. Our family went through a season of grief like I've never experienced before. It was such a huge and unexpected loss. Our joy has been in knowing that we will see these precious babies again and that in ALL things, God is faithful.

My husband is a pastor at a church here in our area, and for the first time, we are having a special service specifically for families who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. I think it's so important because as much as a celebration this time of year is, it can be very difficult for those who have lost a loved one. Thank you for the hope and encouragement you have shared.

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

5:16am, hey??? I've been struggling with 6am. But to be honest I've felt God calling me for a while to start earlier... Sigh, dontcha just hate it when God makes His message loud and clear?!

Meghan said...

I'm going to start doing the early morning prayer time too! I agree that the day goes much more smoothly and is much more full of joy when I give the first part of my day to God. For me, I think 6:30 am will be the time...:) At least for starters!

This was a wonderful post, and you are a wonderful woman! An absolute encouragement and blessing for so many of us! I'm continually thankful that I get to know you!

Sarah said...

Just wanted to let you know that I responded to your question on my weight loss blog. Hope it helps.

Friend Chick said...

Hope I'm so glad that you are going to be joining us every morning! It has really helped motivate me and keep me accountable for my actions! I tend to be guilty of starting but not always finishing! The girls are amazing, and I have found that the mornings I'm up early, I seem to get so much done, and the day goes by relatively smoothly! Thanks for stopping by! I'm adding you to my prayer cards right now - and I'll make yours pink!

Sarah said...

Hope - I responded to you again. Sorry for letting you know this way.

Chandra said...

Hope - You really are an inspiration to so many. Thanks for being an encourager to me and my family. I will be thinking about the early risers. God just loves to push us out of our comfort zones, doesn't He.