"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawign near." Hebrews 10: 23-25
I remember one time when we had just moved to a new city and I was feeling quite alone, a lady at the check out stand of a grocery store was very sweet to me and asked, unexpectedly just how I was really doing. She said, "You look like you just need to know someone cares." Well, I didn't even know that I was close to tears, but just her kindness brought tears to my eyes and she gave me a hug and when I got to the car, I thought--she was just a check out clerk--but she became an angel to me just to know that someone in the world cared!
We all need sympathy, love, help and encouraging words. We all feel inadequate at times and just knowing we are not alone is so important. I have also realized lately that all of us moms who are believers have the Holy Spirit working in us and it drives us to wanting to be involved in ministry--but the ministry of being God's voice, words, hands, touch and help to those who are in our personal lives, could be the ministry He wants to use us in today. Some moms are great at meals, some are practical, some are encouragers. But all of us who decide to initiate life-giving to those around us--including our children--could be the difference in them being faithful and having hope and in them giving up or giving in to despair or moral failure. I see this especially in young 20 somethings--when they feel alone--they are most tempted to give up their hope and foundations---but it is also especially true of young moms. That is why I am so committed to starting small groups all over the world to give grace and strength to those who are called to ideals. It is praying for one another and loving one another that we will build community and love and friendship.
There have been years in my life and ministry when I have felt very alone and overwhelmed. But this is a season in which I see God's angel helpers everywhere I go. This season, we have had precious friends helping with meals for our workers and for us at each conference. We have had precious families traveling at their own expense just to come and help at conferences because they want to help and encourage in this Biblical call of parenting a righteous generation in their homes by giving to moms who come to our conferences. The children who are helping have given and served tirelessly for hours.
We have had moms volunteer to pray and help us every week--I think it has made a difference everywhere we have gone as we see sweet women's lives being softened to the word and to the Lord. We have had the most delicious meals waiting the evening we get home--my house is pretty empty of food right now as we are traveling so much--and these meals have been an enormous blessing and I didn't even have to shop or wash dishes!
Now, I even have had an angel friend whose husband is going to try to recover the information on my hard drive. And those who have written emails or notes are amazing--I have had strength and resilience this season like no other. Another group gave a love offering to bless our family--just happens Clay is flying to New York for a conference and now he will be able to bless our kids (Sarah, Joel and Nathan are meeting up there with him for a family time--and he will be able to treat them all to dinner because of this precious gift. I might even think of some small way I can bless Joy while we are home and traveling away from the others--as she has described herself this week as fragile and so I think she needs a little boost of love in the midst of giving and going and serving.)
All of us can be channels of the Holy Spirit's love, grace and encouragement every day--it just takes a few minutes to be an angel messenger of God's grace to someone--even to your own children--just ask to be a vessel and then initiate those words that are in your heart, that baked bread or cup of tea or phone call. I know that these small, loving acts of God's grace have blessed me so very much and have helped me to keep going. If all of us had an angel friend of some kind each week spurring us on to excellence and faith, we would all be such better warriors in this battle for our children's souls. I hope some angel person ministers to you today! I know that many of you will also be God's angel messengers this week to those who are feeling invisible or alone. I appreciate so much those who have been such to us and it makes me want to keep giving and giving because so many of you are a blessing to me!
I got my tires fixed, am borrowing Joy's computer and have hope I might have a new hard drive installed on my own computer this week. Please pray for Clay and Sarah as they leave tomorrow. (Please pray for health and strength for both of them.) Also, please pray for Joy and me as we travel to speak in Baltimore this weekend. Then next weekend Joy and I will hold the fort down here in Colorado Springs alone before leaving for the Mom's conference in Raleigh! Then finally we will end up in Normal, Ill. for the Hearts at Home conference. God is so good and we are so blessed to be able to share of his goodness with others. May all of you know His goodness and love today. Many thanks and many blessings.