“We Want … To Laugh.” 

The Pour Out:

Pour it ALL out to God. Take a moment to clear the clutter, by letting go of all those wandering thoughts (the grocery list or to do list items that won’t stop distracting you) … AND … your prayer needs and concerns.)

The Beans:

The Background:

You may have heard of the Proverbs 31 woman. She’s been called an “ideal woman.” For the rest of this series, we’re going to look and see if any of her qualities could possibly be applied to us in our REAL lives today.

The Verse:

Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

The Fill:

What’s the point for YOU?:

  • What word or phrase from the verse above popped out to you?

Read the verse a second time and ask yourself:

  • What could this word or phrase be speaking to in your life? (What situation, struggle, relationship, or decision)

The Steam:

What does all of this mean to me/how can I apply that to my life today?

Twice.

So far, we’ve faced the fear of Jimmy losing his job, two different times with two different companies.

Oh, and I’m sure he’d appreciate me mentioning that these were mass layoffs, he hasn’t done anything stupid to warrant being fired.

The first time was when the plant he worked at was sold. We were given the options of jobs either back in Raleigh or Sweden. The difficulty was, I had just started my career in ministry, in a church that had become home, surrounded by friends who had become like family. Moving seemed the cruelest punishment, and honest to goodness, went against everything we felt God wanted us to do at the time, so we went out on a limb and stayed. Jimmy being forced to find another job in a new company.

To then fast forward 4 years later and have the same thing happen again. The company Jimmy now worked for was restructuring and there would be 700 people let go. “Hang tight, we’ll let you know who those individuals are within the next two weeks.”

TWO WEEKS to sit and stew.

Two weeks to stress and worry “Will I have this job tomorrow or not?”

A two week period that just so happened to include Jimmy and my getaway Mexican vacation.

Oh, and, I was no longer working in a formal church setting, which means Jimmy’s salary was now our sole income.

If you had to guess, which situation do you think was more worrisome?

It was actually the first time.

That first time we stressed, I cried, we worried, we panicked, I mean, we struggled BIG time, for what felt like YEARS.

The second time, even though it was more of a “threat,” since we’d be left with zero income, we didn’t worry. We didn’t really stress.

Because … we KNEW we were clothed in strength and dignity.

As ugly as we made it look, we made it through the first threat. And it wasn’t until we were through it, and had the advantage of hindsight to look back and see how pointless our worry was.

The thing is, we all have a choice … we can choose to REALIZE that we’re clothed in strength, OR, we can ignore all the help God’s willing to offer us and put the weight of worry in its entirety on our own shoulders.

Once we made it through, I was able to learn an extremely valuable lesson. I was able to go back and read my prayers and watch God leading and guiding us, BUT ALSO, notice the times where I ignored His peace, the times where I pointlessly wasted so much time stressing.

So, with this amazing lesson in the back of our minds, we quite honestly forged ahead through a “scarier” threat unshaken.

We knew that God had provided, God had delivered us before, and that He’d do it again. We had no clue how it would look, or what He’d do … we knew it might not be fun or the way we’d imagine it to be … but in the end He was with us.

So, we were able to laugh. And laugh we did in Mexico!

But those are different stories for another time.

Your Task for Today:

Find something to laugh at, even if you’re facing hard times. Look back and see where God has carried you through similar situations in your past, and use those as a reminder that you can rest in His strength.

The Transition:

Transitioning from quiet time back into real life can be tricky. We want to take the lesson we’ve just learned, and the peaceful feeling we now have, with us throughout the rest of our day.

Blessings:

List “small” blessings from the past 24 hours.

List small things, because when you only list the big things – you only SEE the big things. Thinking back on a few small blessings each day, helps us develop a habit of actually looking for God in our day to day realities. And if you’re writing them down, then you’ll have hard proof that God truly is always with you.

*This could be anything. A few examples are: “you were blessed with a hug from your child, the weather was especially warm and delightful, or a smile from a stranger on the street.

Affirmations:

List positive affirmations about yourself/life:

Take whatever was laid on your heart and write it in the form of an affirmation:

If you simply felt peaceful today, write, “I WILL remain peaceful today.”

If you are still trying to understand a certain message, write, “I WILL keep searching and remember that God WILL reveal His answer to me.”

Or list, “I AM worth it.” “God DOES love me.” “I WILL make that change.”

**Now go about your day, peaceful and affirmed.**