Turning the Page - Encouragement Café - January 2, 2017

Turning the Page
By Aj Luck

Monday, January 2, 2017

“Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the King, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.” Psalm 45:1 (NLT)

If I had to describe the latest “chapter” of my life story in just a few words, I think I would choose, “Tornado of Chaos.”

2016 was an extremely difficult year for my family and me.

We experienced Illness; Betrayal; Job Loss; Moving to a new town; Starting our own company; Watching my Father lose a brutal battle against cancer; Debilitating depression and anxiety (I was simply unable to be in public places due to the severity of it); Parenting trial and errors.

Not to mention, leaning into God greater than we have ever done before.

We thought we knew what relying on God was.  This past year, we CLUNG to Him, as if our lives depended on it.

Simply put, we did that, because it did. It does.

It may not seem like much to many, but to us, it seemed like a continual tornado of chaos. Each trial required us to walk out our faith in greater measure than we had ever done before. Honestly, there were MANY days, where we wanted to give up. Yet, there was never an option other than God. So, we PRESSED in. There is always pressure when there is pressing. OUCH.  (Just saying)

The gracious gift of a brand new year has been given. As the page turned over, a new chapter begins.I remind myself of my own message. MY story isn’t over. 2016 was just a chapter. This NEW chapter, this NEW year, I would affectionately title: Just Breathe

God brought our family through each situation that I thought would have taken one or all of us out. In fact, we grew stronger. It sure didn’t feel like it when we were going through it, but looking back; that was exactly what was happening. God was sustaining us in and through it all. Did He change the situations? Honestly, no. It took a while, but we finally realized, if God had changed the circumstances, we would have remained the same. Stagnant. Stuck.

The Apostle Paul says it best,

“Three different times I begged God to make me well again. Each time he said, “No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.” Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite happy about “the thorn,” and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong- the less I have, the more I depend on him.” >2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (TLB)

So, no matter where you found yourself during your 2016 chapter, I pray you would keep moving forward. Welcome this new chapter. Like I said before, MY story isn’t over, and neither is YOURS!!! Let’s keep moving forward, together!

I have made up my mind, I will just breathe throughout the 2017 year and each year afterwards.

I will breathe deeply through:

Simple things
Complex problems
Growth opportunities
Plot twists
And more….

I will inhale deeply the grace God has placed deep inside of me, knowing that it IS sufficient in ALL things.

Won’t you join me?

Buy one large Mason jar with a screw on lid. Decorate to your style, if you’d like.  Write Promises Of God on the outside of Jar.

Find a notebook or journal that you can use for the remainder of the year.

Click on this link http://www.365promises.com/print-promises/  to print out 365 promises of God, broken down by each month.

Print out. Fill your jar with the scriptures for January. Cut into strips, fold up and place in Jar.

Each day, write the top thing or things that are concerning you in your notebook.

After you write your concern in your notebook, reach into your promise jar, pull out a verse, then attach it beside your concern.

Continue to do this each month for the entire year.

Christmas time, 2017 take your notebook back out and look at the progress and growth God brought you through. You will be amazed at what you will see.

Dear Jesus, Thank You for being the very breath within my lungs. Thank You for a brand new year. Thank You for every moment You brought me through in days past. Thank You for growth and grace. Enable me to navigate this new year in deeper levels of grace, love and power that only You can provide. In Jesus’ Name I pray.  Amen

YouTube Lyric Video Johnny Diaz- Just Breathe https://youtu.be/hnjeMwxFuBA

© 2017 by Aj Luck.  All rights reserved.

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Christianity / Devotionals / Encouragement Café / Turning the Page - Encouragement Café - January 2, 2017