“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
As a mom of three children, I feel like all day long I am constantly cleaning up toys, washing dishes, and doing loads of laundry. Some days, I can get so frustrated because the to-do list seems never ending, and when I feel like I finally have checked everything off, I wake up the next day and do it again.
On days that seem a little stressful, God reminds me of the importance of thankfulness. When we can let go of our fixation on the negative things in life, whether that be the mundane routine of everyday, or an unexpected circumstance, and we begin dwelling on the things God has blessed us with, it is then that He changes our heart and allows us to have a different perspective.
There is a country music song by Scotty McCreery called “Dirty Dishes.” The premise of the song is about a mom that is thanking God for things that we don’t often thank Him for, like a messy house and dirty dishes. One of the verses in the song says this: “Noisy kids are happy kids, and slamming doors just means we live in a warm and loving home. Your long hours and those dishes in the sink means a job and enough to eat.” The words to this song remind me that when we thank God for the things in our life that are difficult to thank him for, God allows us to see things differently. Instead of seeing my to do list as an insurmountable or frustrating task, I can choose to thank Him for it, lay it at His feet, and then experience unexplainable joy through the Holy Spirit.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, the apostle Paul commands us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God’s word doesn’t just tell us to be thankful when circumstances are good, or when we have received a blessing. Paul is very specific in this verse to use an absolute when talking about when to give thanks: “in ALL circumstances” (vs.18). I know this verse can be very difficult, because in our flesh, there are many things we not only don’t want to thank God for, but instead we want to complain about. However, when we choose to heed His instruction from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and be thankful, even when it is not easy, God transforms our hearts. Having a heart full of thankfulness can allow us to see the good in our situations and other people, that we might have otherwise missed out on.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.