We’ve got a lot of catching up to do! The beginning of last week was amazing; so much good stuff happening- seemingly everywhere I turned, all the way through Thursday night. Friday, on the other hand, was a completely different story. Several small things arose that morning, pretty much as soon as my feet hit the floor. It was not the atmosphere I wanted to be in. Maybe part of it was that Friday was another cloudy/rainy day…it’s beginning to feel a bit like Noah around here, maybe it was the fact that the challenges required a lot of personal thought and the ability to sort through the facts without getting entirely coated in emotion. The reason wasn’t really significant, but the deciding factor on how things went was my perspective- my focus. Whatever I choose to believe (negatively or positively) about a situation ALWAYS affects it’s outcome. By choosing a negative perspective I limit God and his ability to work things out for my good. I choose to remind myself of this often, because it’s typically easier to be negative – that’s how the world works. I don’t ever want to put God in a box and limit him, so I have to choose to lean in and believe his words, his promises, his truth over every situation. Scripture says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. Do I love him? YES! Have I been called according to his purpose? YES! So is he working all things for good in my life? YES! This is the conversation that ensued in my spirit Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday. It wasn’t enough to press in and believe on Friday, circumstances didn’t change; the atmosphere generally remained the same. Saturday had it’s own challenges and called forth in me the necessity to stand on TRUTH and declare in FAITH that everything was still working out for good in my life. The same thing was true about Sunday. I’m not saying that everything was bad, there were a lot of wonderful moments: we spent time with good friends, watched the kids play soccer and football, Dan and I had great conversation. There were lots of things worth celebrating and enjoying to the fullest, and we did just that! It’s the little moments of frustration that steal my joy most often and rob my eyes from clear vision…those moments can carry over into everything else unless I choose to stop them. Reflecting on this weekend finds me celebrating the momentary victories, seemingly insignificant on their own that completely changed the atmosphere when stacked together. Did I get it right every time? Nope, I’ll be completely honest about that, but I see progress and I’ll rejoice in it! I love receiving (and giving) encouragement! There is nothing more amazing than an aptly spoken word from heaven. It has the ability to lift and lighten like nothing else! However, that doesn’t always happen- so I must encourage myself in the Lord! Jesus is living, active and present inside of me, ”Christ in me, the hope of glory, “ Colossians 1:27. Christ is in me, the hope of glory is in me…and that fills me with glorious hope! This hope (Christ) does not change when my circumstances change; he is constant, unwavering and I have set myself to live in it, in him, everyday! Yes it is a challenge at times to deny my flesh and emotional responses; but when I step into the presence of God (by stepping out of my circumstances) and I allow him to fill me despite all else- that’s true freedom, true victory, true life. So friends, regardless of your circumstances, there is a greater hope, glory, and victory that awaits – you might have to fight for it, but it’s beyond worth it!