As I move along in my focus on pursuing peace. I was reminded this week of how much this past year the Lord has extended His perfect peace to us. Sometimes, we are just so quick to forget or not see it at all.
Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You."
So my first step is to keep my mind/thoughts on the Lord and not in the circumstances around me. He will reward who choose to focus on Him with perfect peace.
This same truth is echoed in Philippians 4 when it talk about setting our mind on things that are pure, lovely, excellent, noble, etc. and as a result the God of peace will be with us (verse 9).
We had some trials come our way this year, but in the middle of it, the Lord extended abundant grace to us. I think that when I look back at 2009 I will always say this was a year of great trials but even greater grace.
One of the things I believe will all my heart that will help me experience the peace of Christ is to take time to remember his great works among us. This is the reason why I named our family blog "His Wonderful Works". Because I wanted to recall his goodness and grace towards us.
So, lest I forget, here's my top 10 list of...
God's Abundant Grace to our family in 2009
#1 Sarah's Birth: we thought we were done and happy with our two boys, but the Lord had other plans and he blessed us with the birth of Sarah in January and what a great blessing she already is to our lives!
#2 Health: My foot recovered 100%! And the rest of the family, aside from minor colds have enjoyed a year of good health. The Lord also provided enough money for us to pay all the medical bills and not be in debt.
#3 Caleb's profession of faith: In March, Caleb accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior. Since, we have seen him grow little by little in His understanding of God and his life being changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. There's no greater joy!
#4 New friends and church family: moving from Chicago was very hard for us because we had such an amazing support group around us from family to church family to other friends. But the Lord has provided for us a new family here and we are growing in relationships and fellowship here in Texas as well.
#5 Service: the Lord gave us so many great opportunities to serve others in our church and community. I was able to start singing again at church after a long maternity-motherhood break.
#6 Safe travels: Brad has a far drive to work every day and I watch almost daily on the news horrible car accidents here. So I'm definitely thankful for safety over his life. We were also able to return to Chicago on a road trip this past summer and had a blessed time there.
#7 Snow: this one is for my two boys who longed and even prayed that it would snow here and it did! : )
#8 Blessed marriage: Only by God's grace Brad and I have been able to persevere in our marriage and be committed and strong and growing together for 10 years now.
#9 Steady Job/providence: Brad's job has been more consistent this year with hours and we are so thankful that he has a steady income and the Lord has provided for all our needs. He's been faithful!
#10 Supernatural strength: being a homeschooling family can be very tiring and overwhelming at times. But the Lord has given me incredible strength to get through the school year, with many interruptions and unexpected breaks along the way. It's still a great joy in my heart that my kids get to be together and learn at home.
God can be trusted...He is faithful and caring and good. Knowing....believing...remembering this truth will bring peace to our lives.