Rebecca Duvall

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Friends

friends fingersMost of us have different kinds of friends.  Those we’ve known our entire life and others we’ve just recently met.  Some friends we only knew as a child.  Others we’ve known for our adult life.  Some friends were only around for a particular season in our life.  Some friends know our deepest secrets and others only know about part of us.  Like how we are at work, church, school, or when around our family.

I think friends are a great blessing given to us by God.  Sometimes God places people in our life because we have something they need.  Other times it’s because we need something from them.  Sometimes this turns into long lasting relationships.  Some friends you see or talk with often.  Other friends you may think of often, but only communicate with them once or twice a year.  The great thing about friends is once they are your friend they will always have a special place in your heart.

A true friend shares their heart, speaks truth and acts in a loving manner.  A true friend also listens to your fears, failures and trails without judgment. 1_Corinthians_13

Being a friend can be hard!  It’s easy to love them when they’re being kind to you, but what about when they say or do something that hurts your feelings or the feelings of someone you love?  It usually makes me angry and I want to make them feel the hurt and disappointment they made me feel.  God says we are not to be easily angered or delight in evil.

It’s normal to have the feelings of anger and disappointment when we’re hurt.  It’s what we do with our feelings that matter.  So how do you change your negative feelings to a positive or neutral reaction?  When I find myself getting angry or upset I try my best to pause and call out to God.  I believe when I do that the Holy Spirit steps in and guides me through the situation.  The Holy Spirit enables me to be patient, loving, hopeful and persevere regardless of the circumstances.God give people you need sign

A few years ago I was confronted by a lady in front of my children’s school just as classes started.  She was very upset with the way I had handled a situation.  She felt I had stepped in on her territory and wasn’t happy about it.  She was talking loudly, waving her hands about and not saying very nice things.  My first reaction was to yell back and tell her how stupid I thought she was being.  Instead of acting on that I said a quick prayer in my head asking God to help me stay calm, and response in a loving manner only speaking truth.  By the end of the conversation, about 15 minutes later, we were both smiling, hugging and even made a lunch date for later that week.  I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for being able to call upon the Holy Spirit to help us through those moments.

How has the Holy Spirit enabled you to be loving and kind in a difficult situation?

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.  I pray we each take the opportunity to call upon the Holy Spirit when faced with difficult situations, Amen

ReBirth-day

balloonsOver the past few weeks we’ve been doing a lot of celebrating at our house.  First we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.  Then, the 1 year anniversary of Robert’s kidney transplant.  Just the other day we celebrated my birthday.  I am now 44 years young.  🙂

Soon we’ll be celebrating my 5th birthday.  My rebirth.  The day I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and invited God into my life.

Five years ago I was a crazy mess.  I was overwhelmed with my circumstances and didn’t know which way was up.  My heart was empty and broken.  I didn’t know how to love my husband or be the mother my children needed me to be.

Before I was married with children my focus was always on myself.  What I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.  Then when I got married it was about my husband.  Well, actually, that’s not true.  It was still about me.  It was about how my husband needed to make everything about me.  Then when I had kids it became all about them and how I needed to do everything for them and give everything to them.  Through all of that I became lost, confused and empty.unfamiliar path

God helped me find myself.  He helped me understand it was important to take care of myself.  I was no good to anyone feeling lost, confused and empty.  He taught me how to take care of myself without being selfish.

My 40’s have been filled with the hardest struggles of my life.  My 40’s have also been the best years of my life.  The blessings I have received from God being a part of my life far out way the difficult trials.  My family and I have truly moved mountains with God.

….if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.  Matthew 17:20

As I recently told a friend, “God has taken me so far out of the box, I can no longer see the box”.  I have to admit, stepping out of my comfort zone and into change has been scary at times.  Knowing and believing that God will equip me to do all He calls me to do turns scary into exciting!  Out of the box with Jesus is where I choose to stay.

I have found the ‘Fountain of Youth’!  God.  We are each a child of God.  Some have just been hereeternal life on Earth longer than others.  Some have invited Him into their lives and some have not.  The more we seek after God and build a relationship with Him, the more He fills us with child like love and joy, that only comes from God the Father, our Creator.  Through Jesus, the son of God, we can have eternal life in heaven.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, I thank you for the peace and joy you give us when we seek You.  I pray we take time throughout each day to listen for Your guidance and will for our life, Amen

Restored

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, Communicating = Talking + Listening, Robert and I had problems communicating.  When we first met, we talked all the time about everything. Which I think is normal, since we were getting to know each other.  If you’ve met either of us you know we’re both ‘talkers’.  After time the talking became boring, same old same old, or we just didn’t have time.  We certainly didn’t make the time to talk.  We thought everything was great because we never argued.  How could we, we never talked!  We thought we had a wonderful marriage.

Why didn’t we talk?  Well, I think we just didn’t see the importance of it.  What was so important about listening to Robert talk about his day anyway?  I didn’t have time to find out what it was like to be a police officer. I wasn’t a Police Officer, so I didn’t think I needed to.   I had my own important things to get done.  Like do the laundry, give the kids a bath, clean the kitchen, help with homework and plan for the next school event.   If he wanted to talk, then he needed to follow me around while I did my important chores.  Of course when he did I expected him to help.  Don’t just stand there while I’m working, help!  Robert was exhausted from his work so he didn’t want to come home and work more.  He wanted to talk and relax.

That became another problem.  Robert wanted to talk, not listen.  Why would he want to hear about what I did all day?  I did boring mom stuff all day.  Nothing I did all day compared to the excitement that filled his day.

Over time we grew angry with one another.  I wanted him to stop talking about his work and care about me and my day. He wanted me to listen to him talk about his day because that meant I cared.

Our biggest problem was we both assumed the other could read our mind.  We never told the other what was bothering us.  Well, I shouldn’t say never.  We did, it was usually during a screaming match when we would list off all of the others faults.   We couldn’t hear what the other was saying because we were busy trying to get the other to hear what they were doing wrong.

In my post, A Gift from God, I told you about Martha Smalley, who led a Bible Study I participated in.  She was my counselor and is now a dear friend.  Martha helped me see our destructive path of, incorrect or lack of, communicating.  She helped me realize the importance of communicating and how to communicate with Robert lovingly and respectfully.

I was recently a guest on Martha’s radio show, Plank Eyed Saint.  We discussed how my marriage began to fail, due to a lack of boundaries when communicating.  We also talked about adultery in my marriage and how God restored it, even after I kicked into hyper control mode.  I encourage you to listen.  If you know anyone who has dealt with adultery in their marriage, this would be a great show to forward to them. 

There’s a song, by Chris August, I absolutely love, called Restore.  I think anyone married or soon to be married should listen to this song.  There’s a verse in the song ‘Give it up to the Lord & He will restore’ that is so powerful and filled with truth.  I hope you take a few minutes to listen.

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, I pray we step aside and let you guide us as you restore our marriage and relationships, Amen.

A gift from God

Years ago, when Ashley, my oldest daughter, was about 7, a friend told me not to worry about her.  She said everything would be fine because our children were stronger than we gave them credit for.

When Ashley was little, 2-5 years old, I became use to taking care of everything for her.  The Epileptic seizures she experienced and the medicine she was on, made it difficult for her to function as a typical child.  This continued throughout her Elementary School years.  I took all of her responsibilities away from her.  Whenever she did something wrong, I used her ‘disability’ as her excuse.

Toward the end of Ashley’s Elementary School years she grew out of the seizures and no longer needed to take any medication.  I, however, didn’t grow out of my over protective mom phase.  By the time Ashley was in High School, I was suffocating her.  She wanted to do things on her own, and could, but I didn’t know how to let go.  I was afraid for her to fail.  I was afraid she would be laughed at and rejected by her peers and the world.

Thankfully, I found a women’s study group, led by Martha Smalley, on the book ‘Love is a Choice’.  This study helped me realize I had to let her go and try things on her own.  If she was to fall flat on her face, then so be it.  I needed to let her make her own mistakes.  I was to be there to help her up and offer support if she needed it and asked for it.

The friend that offered me advice back when Ashley was 7 knew something I didn’t at the time.  God had Ashley in the palm of HIS hand.  God had/has plans for her and I needed to trust and have faith in it.  I didn’t have a relationship with God when I received this advice, but did when I studied the book ‘Love is a Choice’.

As parents, when our children get older, sometimes the best thing we can do is pray for them.  Let the Lord lead them.  We should be there and offer them help when they fall.  We should always encourage them to do the right thing.  Then help equip them to do the right thing when they choose it.

As a child I helped Ashley, and now, as a young adult, she is helping me.  During her High School and now College years she is studying Digital Media & Film Production.  This website design and all the graphics were done by Ashley.  I feel so honored and blessed to have an amazingly talented daughter.  Especially one who is willing to put up with all my questions and sometimes, not so polite, demands!  Click here, if you would like to check out Ashley’s YouTube Channel.  It’s pretty cool!

My prayer for us today ~ Lord I pray you guide us, so we know when to take a step back, and let You lead our children.  Lord help us to see the many ways our children are a gift from You, Amen

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