I see the deterioration in our government and its' policies. More people are lining up for unemployment and food stamps than ever before; individual rights are being overturned; and our national security seems to rank behind "making nice" with our enemies.
And speaking of government policies, Peace-Loving Warrior and I just returned from our annual visit with our CPA. I wish someone could explain to me how our small business could lose nearly one-third of our annual income and we owe more taxes?!? I confess that this realization has played havoc with my confidence that I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
My time is spent between supporting my husband's efforts with our business; writing this blog; spending time in my Bible as I attend one women's study group while preparing a small Bible study of my own; and then there is learning new skills for sustainability, such as gardening, canning, and self-defense ---- all worthwhile ventures, and ones that I feel are worthy of God's will for my life. And then Satan attacks!
"Maybe you're life is just a little too comfortable," he whispers in my ear. "But, wait!", I answer. "How do you define "comfortable"? Because if you mean our lifestyle is lavish and rich, I'll be glad to show you the balance in our checkbook." I visualize him smirking. "What I mean is maybe it's a luxury for you to have time to write this blog, or spend your first hour each morning in that Book you admire so much. Gardening, canning, self-defence? You have time for all that? Maybe you need to go get a job if you're having trouble paying your taxes. You know.... it's only going to get tougher." And then he's attacked the weak link in my faith.
Because there are times I think maybe I'm on the wrong path. First of all, am I pulling my share of the weight in our household? Yes, the partnership that PLW and I share in our business has worked for nearly 18 years, and until the last couple of years, we didn't feel the pain that all Americans are beginning to experience. So maybe if I gave up these other pastimes and contributed a paid salary, he wouldn't feel the burden so much.
These attacks come most often in the middle of the night, and I'm sure many of you can identify with me. I struggle and fight the never-ending and false accusations of the Enemy. Because while my present circumstances may cause me to momentarily doubt my path, I force myself to remember the quality of this life I live; the blessings that have come from listening to the Lord and following His promptings. I have never been happier or felt more fulfilled than when working with my husband, studying the Bible, working in my garden and learning new skills. And through it all, my God has provided. This isn't the first time tax season has been a burden, and I know it won't be the last. That is the cost of living this earthly life. But what makes it harder is that the more I live this blessed life to which He has called me, the more I long for my eternal life, as God shows me His faithfulness in return for mine.
My mind is ever more on Him and less on this worldly, temporal existence. I long to escape the demands of an increasingly repressive government, and the immorality of an irreligious society. There are days I think, "If all I had to do was work in my garden and study the Word, I'd be deliriously happy." But that's taking the easy way out and doesn't require a strong faith. And ultimately, that is the answer to my dilemma .... to develop a stronger faith and to reject the lies that are whispered in the dead of night. I have been given an amazing opportunity to live a life that is fuller than I ever dreamed possible. Each day I am allowed to see God in my surroundings, in time spent with Him in the Word, and in the exercise of writing this blog. He brought me to this point, and if He has a different purpose for my life, then I trust He will bring me to it. In the meantime, I believe that the enjoyment I feel in my simple, modest life is because this is where He wants me.
My prayer for you is that you reside in the exact spot He wants you, and you are doing what He has called you to do. Don't listen to those whispers that rob you of your serenity. Ask God to show you how to have His peace, because it is there you will be able to ride out this storm and know that your time on this earth is spent in His presence and provision. There's no other place to be!
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Numbers 6:25-26 The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
I have noticed this year how relevant your writing, also SHFTPLAN, and alt-Market is to demonstrate how Scripture is being fulfilled before our eyes in the events of this world. It is indeed sometimes spirit crushing. I am remind of how Habakuk went before the Lord and said “What are You doing, how could you use events like this on your people”? After coming before God and thinking upon his situation Habakuk ends up saying in chapter 3ReplyDelete
2 I have heard all about you, LORD.
I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger,
remember your mercy.
I read the above blogs and my heart grows fearful. I want things to be as they used to be. But fact be known they were not much better. Evil men motivated by Satan have always been working toward our demise. They are just too close to their objective now for our comfort. I must look beyond what I see. I must again do as Habukkuk as I look at the evilness of our time and realize that God is in control. That takes me to Psalm 73.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
May that be our state as we face these evil times. May I recommend a book by Thomas Brooks, “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”. It gives many devices Satan uses to deceive us and cause us to turn away.
Thank you for your blog. If your counter shows times I am one of your first readers each morning.
City Dude in Texas
As I read Psalm 73, I couldn't hold back the tears. You have given me a great gift, my friend, and I will turn to this Scripture often. Thank you for your word that encourage even in these dark times. I know they will help all who read them!Delete
(Sorry to be scarce lately...crazy busy work and home life lately.)ReplyDelete
Buck up camper! Your daily thoughts and opinions are a bright spot in my day. I look forward to reading your posts, am encouraged by your ideas, and my faith is strengthened by yours. Keep doing doing it please. I am sure there are many others who feel the same way.
Life is always a struggle of right v. wrong, convictions v. expediency, Good v. Evil. It is the challenge God gives us and our opportunity to make this world better by living here. I am thankful for every breath I draw, every day I wake, and every chance I have to share life with others. I always say a small prayer of thanks after I read your blog. I will offer some more for your (and PLW's) happiness and serenity when the daily grind wears heavily.
May God bless you and yours,
You don't know how seeing your comment brightened my day! I hadn't heard from you for awhile and thought maybe I had offended you, as I am sure I have others. But your little pep talk did my soul good and I will remember it in the days to come. Thanks for taking the time to add your thoughts and for the prayers. They are MUCH appreciated and reciprocate!Delete
While I DO hope you've 'offended' some others...as they deserve it; you have given me none. ;-)Delete
Just really really busy. Glad I could pep you up a bit. I looks like several others out there care about you, too. Keep doing what you do. There is good in every day. Our challenge it to find it or make it so. You help me with mine.
I would like to thank you for your blog. I am a Christian father of two home schooled sons, who are now 20 and 21 years old. My wife and I decided that she should stay home and raise our children instead of working. It was a sometimes difficult, but rewarding experience that I can say was for the best. That said, I had those same doubts. Could we have a nicer home, cars, or vacations or fewer monetary worries? Now, almost on a daily bases, one of my sons will point out something which is second nature to him that his peers are not capable of. The sacrifice was worth it for many reasons.ReplyDelete
I consistently read and find your blog well written and relevant. I am happy to learn that I am not alone in my views and concerns for our country. I hope you continue to listen to His voice and ignore or refute the others....
The Scripture you cited is very comforting. I know all this.... my heart and my mind know it and I am disappointed in myself when I doubt, because it is my deepest desire to stand strong in my faith through all circumstances. I cannot imagine trading my life for anything different and know that the Lord brought me to this place for Him and for my wellbeing. Thank you for your encouragement and your testimony. May it strengthen us all!ReplyDelete
Once again your post hit home with me. I too hear those whisperings in the middle of the night. I don't want to stick my head in the sand but I'm tired of hearing about the evil spreading across this country. I'm sure part of Satan's plan is to make us Christians weary.ReplyDelete
So my plan is to study God's word harder, pray more fervently and take joy in the beauty around me today. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Thank you for your post. I am a first time reader and this was absolutely perfect (God's) timing. I can relate so very much. Thank you for putting it into words and sharing it. The comments from others are also inspiring. Thank you all and may God bless and strengthen us all.ReplyDelete
Belle, thank you so much for sharing the realness of your moments of doubt, knowing that we all do have these times when our minds are buffeted by the wicked one. Keep on keeping on in your necessary work, knowing that you and your family are not only greatly loved by Our Father, but being lifted in prayer.ReplyDelete
Joy in the journey,