This old hymn just came to mind as I began to blog. It actually is bringing back memories of our home being filled with the music as my sister, Serena, used to play it out on the piano. There is so much truth in that stanza and it applies directly to where I'm at right now. "He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure Gives unto each day what He deems best," that's an awesome reminder. God has been teaching me through the book, Loving God with All Your Mind, that He already foreknew everything that was going to happen to me today and that NOTHING is a mistake or accident. I used to scoff at the verse in Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Much like the hymn above, I had heard this verse a thousand times and it had no true meaning for me personally. Well, one day recently something popped up that I did not plan for and did not see coming. I was hurt, frustrated, and angry and finally got a chance to plop open my book and lo and behold...Rom 8:28 was the topic of the next chapter I was going to read. The author began to say that we can actually use this verse to pray over different circumstances that come up throughout our days. Circumstance that my bring disappointment like I received, or a job loss, relational conflict, feelings of loneliness or whatever that unpleasant thing in our lives may be. I learned that I can take this verse and pray, "God, your Word says that all things work together for good -even this difficult situation________(fill in the blank)-, to those that love you -which I do!-, and to those who are called according to your purpose -which I am!-" This encouraged me and reminded me that everything that happens to me throughout each day has a divine purpose. The choice is then left up to me to deal with it all in my own strength or like the song says...to trust in my Father's wise bestowment where there is no cause for worry or fear. There are many uncertainties coming up in our near future, but I feel like God is prepping my heart and teaching me valuable lessons now. I wonder how much different I would be if I lived like every person I "run into", every conversation I have, and every step I take was not an accident but rather God-designed. God, continue to work in my life on this issue...humble my heart and remove my self-centeredness and pride-I need you!
Thanks for letting me share! I've been pretty excited about that. ALSO...I wanted to share some July 4th pictures. Above is a picture of Stephen and I at our church's God and Country Celebration. It had been 3 years since I got to see my man in his dress blues. He was so handsome and I was proud to just be near him! It's been about 5 years since he's been out of the Marine Corps and it was an excitement for him to know that the uniform still fit. :) Hee hee. He's so adorable...I love that man with all of my heart. Ok back to July 4th weekend...I was pleasantly surprised to know that I had Friday, July 3rd off work! It had been a pretty intense week at work as it is the end of our fiscal year and just a busy time. I was exhausted and drained Thursday after work and when I got home, Stephen told me to go in the room to see what he had planned for the evening. So I walked down the hall and peeked into our bedroom and saw an empty suitcase on the bed! Woo Hoo! I LOVE getting away overnight. We stayed at a hotel near the harbor and it was so refreshing.
The next day we had our Bible Study and then on the 4th we had a BBQ with friends. The God and Country celebration makes me cry every time. Our church brings forward all active duty military men and women, the veterans, and the spouses of those whose loved ones are currently deployed, and honors them with a standing ovation while the song "You Raise Me Up" is sung to them. Tears! I always think about the sacrifice that they made and are making. They are my hero's! Stephen and I are excited about the idea of serving these men and women together. We are beginning the application process with the Navy and Mission Board and just ask prayer that God will continue to direct our steps into HIS will.
Here's a few more photos of Stephen and I at our BBQ, Me with Paisley, and Stephen and our friend David at the God and Country Celebration:
I can not believe how quickly this year is flying by! Stephen and I are really looking forward to a great summer vacation visiting his family in D.C. and S.C. We leave in August for 2 whole weeks! I'm so excited. :) Fall semester will begin again for me when we return. Stephen is ecstatic that he no longer has to register for any more classes. I have no idea what that feels like, maybe in 7 years I too will know that joy. :) The title of this blog was Day by Day though, right? One step at a time, Julie, one step at a time.