Welcome to the country!

I was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in the suburbs of Chicago where I lived until I enlisted in the Navy and moved to Virginia in 2000. I lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia from 2000 to 2013 when I moved to the middle peninsula of Virginia. So gradually over time I have moved into areas that are less and less populated. I have always considered myself a ‘city-girl’ but this past year I have fallen in love with what is considered a ‘rural’ area so maybe…just maybe I am a country girl at heart.

 

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I moved to Gloucester, VA at the end of March in 2013 as I made my career transition from Registered Nurse to Nurse Practitioner. It was my career that moved me from Chesapeake, VA to Gloucester but there are so many reasons I am thankful God led me here. Tonight I will reflect on all the reasons I am thankful that the Lord brought me to the country.

1- I am thankful for God’s mercy, forgiveness, love and grace. He led me here and has filled our lives with blessings. Over the last 13 years even when I was not living my life faithful to the Lord He was always there with me guiding me and protecting me. NO matter what storms life may bring to me I know God is going to be there with me. When I encounter something that at first appears impossible I remember all the difficult times God brought me through before and I know He can do it again. I have constant peace within as I know that God is always with me and He will always love me.

2- Moving here led me to meet Matt, the love of my life, my husband who shares in my love for Christ, best friend, spiritual partner and the most amazing man I have ever known.

3- I have been told, “Welcome to God’s Country” in a way it is almost like a whole other world out here, this area is full of believers, there is an atmosphere of love among most people here, everyone smiles and waves hello, you actually feel like a person living in a community with others who care about you and are happy to see you. I have never felt more welcome or wanted in a community or town than I have felt here.

4- Smaller towns means smaller schools, my kids get more one on one personal attention in their classrooms and schools here, they are not just lost in the crowd they are a child that is cared for and loved by their teachers.

5-I live in a town of less than 40,000 and commute to work in a community with less than 9000 each day, I have NO traffic, a bad drive to work is encountering a tractor or school bus, which gives me a peaceful 25 minutes to pray, sing worship music or have quiet time to myself before or after work without having to fight hundreds of other drivers for space on the road, thank You Lord for country life with no traffic!

6- My church family.  I had an incredible church home in Chesapeake, but the church home I have been led to here in Gloucester is beyond what words can describe, I have never felt more welcome than I felt my first day at Newington Baptist.  My church family is amazing.

7- I can really enjoy God’s wonderful creation here, there is just a short drive to enjoy a beach, woods, mountains, farms and not too far to get to the city if we are in the mood for the hustle and bustle of an evening on the town.  At night if you go outside, it is pitch black, you can see every star in the sky and nature chirps a wonderful serenade.

 

Welcome to the country!!!  I am so thankful the Lord brought me to this area.  I know I am most likely missing a reason or two for reasons I am thankful to be away from city life but bottom line is I am thankful, for the Lord, my salvation, my life, my family, GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

“As for God His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him” Psalm 18:30

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9

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Bottom line —–there is NO excuse

Each and every day that I have to share with my children is a wonderful and precious gift from God. Each day is filled with new opportunity to share with them God’s love and grace. My heart and mind are so full of good intentions to do this……unfortunately good intentions are useless and they are not good enough. My good intentions have done nothing, they are a path to failure and I need to step away from my good intentions hit the floor on my knees and pray to God for the strength and wisdom to replace my intentions with actions. My everyday acts need to be a demonstration to my children and those around me of how to live my life devoted to God.

My heart is feeling very convicted tonight, as my eyes are opening to just how guilty I am of letting my circumstances dictate my life, my mood and attitude. There is NO EXCUSE for this. I have let the day to day circumstances stand in the way of being truly joyful. The worst part of this realization is to see how my shortcomings in this area have been witnessed and learned by my children.

I am and always will be a “work in progress”, I will never be perfect in my daily walk or relationship with Christ. To be perfectly honest I am struggling this evening with feeling discouraged as it realize how poor I have done in being a good example to my children. It’s so easy to look back and reflect on all the failures I have had as a mother. I need to keep my eyes and focus on God, let Him teach me how to be a godly example to my children. What goes into our minds comes out in our actions.

Webster dictionary defines complaining as expressing grief, pain or discontent. To take a step in this direction of being a godly example I am going to make one intentional change in my attitude and words. I am very guilty of complaining, about all kinds of things in different circumstances of each day, I am going to make a very intentional effort to stop complaining. It is so easy to get lost in the habit of complaining. This is not a big or elaborate change or gesture however I feel this would be a huge accomplishment and the benefits will be distinct and noticeable.

Philippians 2:14-17
“Do all things without complaining and disputing that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among who you shine as lights in the world holding fast to the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

Psalm 139:23-24
“Search me, O God and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

“Heavenly Father,

I pray tonight for you to change me, cleanse my heart and guide me to be a better example of You to my children and all who are around me. I ask for strength and wisdom as I open my heart to You. Please keep showing me how to live my life for You. I am truly amazed by Your great power and humbled by Your sacrifice of Your son for my sins. Lord I love You and I choose to obey You, change my wrong ways of thinking, I pray to be a vessel of hope and light, to live what I believe. I pray to grow spiritually and to have my growth witnessed and learned by my children.

I pray for Your blessing and guidance for Matt and I as we prepare to be married. Please guide and protect our relationship, keep us growing together in our love for You, let us always keep You in the center of our lives. I pray we can be godly parents and teach our children to truly be thankful children of Christ.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”

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