God is good – ALL the time

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Once in 1 Chronicles, twice in 2 Chronicles and at least 5 different times Psalmists use this exact phrase. Ezra also says that “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” (3:11)

Psalm 25:8 declares that the Lord is good and upright and Psalm 34:8 says to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Another example of his goodness and love for us is in His redemptive act of sending His son to die for us. Most people, even many non-Christians, know or are familiar with John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” I don’t know many parents who would give up their only child to save someone, much less someone who does not know them or care one iota about them. Yet Romans 5:8 says that God’s love for us is plainly shown to us because even while we were sinners, God gave His son for us. Who does that?? My God, that’s who. My good, faithful, loving God.

I could go on and on with verses that declare God’s goodness and love for us and tell us in plain language about our wonderful, good God because God’s Word is a testimony of who He is. 

But how do we reconcile God’s goodness when life happens?

We know that God is good because He tells us so. We see it in our lives very clearly sometimes. I am blessed with a God-fearing husband, a wonderful home, we always have enough money to pay our bills, our families love us dearly, I’m blessed with a Jesus-loving best friend, and I could go on. But sometimes, His goodness and love for us doesn’t appear to be so clear cut.

Like almost a decade of pain from misdiagnosed fibromyalgia. Or the Ocular Melanoma my dear friend beat, but several years later she has discovered she now has a spot of cancer on her liver. Or the baby who is left to die in a pit in the middle of Africa. Or my joy at discovering I’m pregnant only to have my dreams for that little life dashed a week later with a miscarriage.

Sometimes, it is hard to see God’s goodness.

But here is the other side to all of those true scenarios above.

Yes, I have fibromyalgia and lived in sometimes severe pain for almost 10 years. But God is SO good. He used my story to minister to sweet sisters in Christ in Kenya to let them know that we all suffer. Doctors can’t fix everyone. And even though I suffer, I love them enough to struggle through it and travel across the world to meet them and share with them in God’s Word. And in that moment as my testimony ministered to those dear women, God used them to minister to me. To show me that all things are for my good and the good of His children. My pain was their gain, which ended up being my gain, too!

A good friend of mine had Ocular Melanoma about 3 or 4 years ago. Against the odds, she beat it. Her baby girl (she was pregnant at the time) is a beautiful, vivacious little thing. And my friend? She just learned that her cancer is back. A spot on her liver. But my friend? She exudes Christ everywhere she goes. Ain’t no cancer gettin’ her down! At MD Anderson for more  yucky “drinks” for tests? She is sharing her hope and joy in Christ with all those around her. A couple of weeks ago, she was getting her nails done and someone overheard her talking to another cancer survivor. Afterward she said, “I can tell there is something different about you. I want to know more about it. Can we get together for coffee?” God is using my friend in amazing ways!!

Missionary friends of ours live in Kenya and were looking to adopt a baby. In Kenya, an American can’t adopt a Kenyan baby. But the husband is Kenyan, so they were looking for a little Kenyan baby. And somebody had left a sweet, innocent, precious little baby boy in a pit. Little BJ was found and taken to an orphanage where my missionary friends fell in love with him. Was it a terrible way to start life to be found in a pit? Yes. Is it a wonderful testimony to the goodness of God? Absolutely! BJ was literally lifted from the miry clay pit and given another chance at life. He is a bundle of joy and a wonderful blessing to all.

Lastly, the joy of discovering you are going to have a baby! The excitement of my family as it would be the first baby on my side, the hopes you have and prayers you pray for the little bundle growing daily inside your womb and the joy and excitement it brings to your home as you begin to plan how life might look when the baby comes. A week of excitement and joy. I say week, because that is as long as it lasted for me. It was followed by a week with an ER visit ( I was there at midnight on my birthday, too), bed rest, boredom, uncertainty, emotional pain and great physical pain.

I had been struggling to see God’s goodness in this most recent event in my life.

But, God is good, and He has been opening my eyes to little things along the way. I had no idea miscarriages are so common. I can’t tell you how many women have been able to use their experience to minister to and comfort me. If the only good thing was that it gave all those other women someone to comfort, then that would be good enough for me! My husband also pointed out that our baby never had to be in a painful, sinful world. God chose to take him/her straight to heaven! Sure, my heart still aches, but my God loves me and knows what is best for me. And just like in my suffering with fibromyalgia and my friend’s cancer and BJ’s early beginnings, my miscarriage has given other people a blessing – an opportunity for them to comfort and be comforted.

So when life gets real for you, and I mean REAL, remember, that God is good. Not just sometimes. God never changes. If he was good in the times of the Old Testament, He is good now. This very moment. And it may be hard to see, and we may never see, but He has good plans for those who love Him and are called to His purposes (Rom 5:8) and plans to prosper, not harm those He loves – to give them a hope and future (Jer 29:11). When God promised in Jeremiah 29:11 to prosper those He loved and to give them a hope and a future, it was immediately following the news that the Israelites would be in exile for 70 years. It would be hard to see God’s goodness in that. But He had plans to prosper them and give them a hope and a future – a son He loved that would redeem the world.

When Jesus died on the cross and in the days following, the disciples couldn’t see God’s goodness either. It didn’t make sense to them. But that didn’t mean that God stopped being good just because they couldn’t see it at the time. No, God has always and will always be good.

So when life comes at you, how will you respond? Will you praise God for His goodness? Will you continue to worship God for who He is?

How do you handle the hard things in life? Is there a special verse that helps you remember who God is? Do you have a friend you can lean on? Share it in the comments below! We can all learn from one another 🙂

We won a cruise!?!

We had a very exciting weekend!

My hunny and I drove about 2 1/2 hours to a lake resort off Lake Palestine in Texas to listen to a presentation about their resort (which is beautiful!) and we won prizes for going!

A little background: We just returned from our first ever cruise at the beginning of last month. It was PHENOMENAL! We loved it. Every bit of it.

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View of our ship as we got to the port!

Here we are all dressed up for one of the elegant nights ~

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Elegant night dinner

We are looking forward to booking more cruises 🙂

Then we received a letter in the mail that we could win a cruise if we went to this resort and listened to their presentation. We were definitely going!

So we went. And we listened. And we won!

We won twice! We won a 5 day 4 night cruise to Cozumel and a 2 night stay at a hotel in a city of our choice!

We can’t wait to put our prizes to use!

What’s the neatest thing you have ever won? Or are you like me (until this weekend) and you never seem to win? Share in the comments below!

Note: I almost never win anything. To be honest, it was Robert’s name that was drawn to win, not mine….so I guess technically, I still didn’t win anything – except by proxy. Hey, I’ll take what I can get!!

Jesus’ advice for worriers

Do you ever worry about anything?

I sure try not to use the word “worry” anymore, but switch it out with “concerned about” or something similar. But I think it is the same in my heart – my mouth may say concern, but my heart still says worry 😦

Well, in my Bible reading today, I was reading  in John chapter 14 and stumbled across some wonderful advice from non other than Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

He lays out some wonderful counsel to His disciples for not worrying. He had just given them grave news that He was going away and they could not go with Him. They were awfully confused. They couldn’t understand what He meant, but were very distressed over it. So Jesus tells them,

John 14.1

My study Bible says that although the disciples had just been given disturbing news, Jesus had an antidote for a disturbed heart – to trust in God and trust in Christ.

We don’t know what next year looks like, tomorrow looks like, or even tonight looks like. But praise Jesus that the God we as Christian’s serve knows it all: past, present and future. We can guard our hearts from disturbing times around us by trusting in our God and Lord Jesus Christ.

What other bible verses have helped you overcome a worrisome or troubled heart? I would love to know so share in the comments below!

Linking to: Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

All Things are from The Lord

I recently had a biopsy of a mole to see if it was cancerous (still waiting on the results, so I don’t know yet!) which brought up some things that The Lord has already taught me and is apparently still teaching me (am I slow or what??).

A good friend asked me if I was worried about the results. To my surprise I wasn’t. I realized that although the doctor told me she only gets about one benign result a day, her odds didn’t really matter for me. My God doesn’t operate out of regular medical statistics.

That’s not to say it couldn’t still be cancer – it may well be. And if it is, that, too, will be part of God’s plan for me. His plan to sanctify me – make me holy. set apart. more like Christ.

Everything – EVERYthing – that comes to me, or doesn’t come, is from The Lord. I remembered after talking with my friend that I have on several accounts thanked God for things that may seem bizarre to others: my fibromyalgia, the abnormal tests that indicated I could have cervical cancer (those came back confirmed normal, PTL!), and a myriad of other small difficulties in life.

And now I will thank Him for this week I have before learning the results of my biopsy. This week of remembering I am helpless and lean solely on Him for everything. This week of remember that whatever He does or doesn’t give is a gift to me to sanctify me.

As Philippians 1:6 says,

Phil 1.6 - Amplified

 

What has The Lord been teaching you? How have you seen Him sanctifying you, making you look more like Christ? Let me know in the comments below!

Memorization Aggravation

I know I am not the only person who struggles to memorize things. In grade school it was like torture. Not only did I not care about the silly things I was supposed to memorize (ya know, math times tables, how to spell and historical dates and names) but actually making them stick in my mind longer than 2 minutes was next to impossible.

Skip forward to the present. There is actually something I want to memorize, but have struggled with for 2 years. Scripture. I long to have God’s Word stored away in my heart for the Holy Spirit to recall in times of need. Despite my sincere desire to hide away these treasures in my heart, for 2 whole years I have proven my past track record of memorization to still be true. I started to think it just couldn’t be done.

When I first got married, my sweet husband gave me a scripture memory pack complete with a nifty little carrying case to hold the verses you are currently memorizing/reviewing. I dutifully have kept this in my purse. But I never remember to look at it. I memorized a couple of verses, but then forgot to review them. So, like the math times tables and historical dates and names, they slowly (and sometimes rapidly) slipped away from my memory.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was reading in Ezekiel and a verse really stood out to me. Ezekiel 17:24 says,

Wow! God is Lord – He can do anything including exalting low trees and drying up green trees! Making a dry tree flourish is not beyond Him! That dry tree could be a “dry” spiritual life, a “dry” physical ailment or a “dry” womb. God can make them all flourish! And God will perform what He has spoken. He is faithful.

When I read these words, I thought “I need to have these words stored up in my heart!” But with my 0-10 score for memorization, I knew it would not be easy.

(Here comes the good part of the post, if you have stuck with me all the way to here, thanks!)

I knew I would need God’s help so I immediately began praying. Without His help, I knew there would be no way to memorize this verse. But I asked that He would help me to store away this verse so that He could remind me of it in my time of need. And guess what? God is faithful. I have had this verse memorized for 2 weeks! And I have memorized 4-5 others (Okay, some of them were re-memorized as I had previously worked on them…) and God has been gracious to give me ample time (and reminders) to review them, too! Every time I work on my scripture memory I begin by praising and thanking God for His help.
Moral of the story? I can’t do anything on my own. But with God, all things are possible. Even memorization. Goodbye Memorization Aggravation.

 

 

Linked at Raising Homemakers

I’m new to this….

Hi!

Today is full of firsts:

1. First time to start a blog.

2. That’s all I got so far….

Okay, maybe there is only one first so far today, but this is a unique first!

My goal here at This is NOT our home is to share with other women what the Lord has been teaching me. This may come in many different forms.

Sometimes it may be what God is teaching me about who He is through His Word.

God’s Word teaching me who He is

Other times He may be teaching me how to be a better wife or how to serve my husband a meal he enjoys (emphasis on enjoys!).

Yummy chicken dinner!

It may even be how to express my creativity in a God honoring way.

One of my first projects, and my very first zipper!

Whatever form it takes, I believe it is important to share what God is teaching with other women. I pray that my words would only be edifying to those who read them and that by sharing what I learn here, I may have a way of remembering and reviewing God’s lessons to me.

Because He lives,

Caroline