Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. Psalm 119:37
“Mommy, look at me!”, were the words that turned my focus away from the screen of my iPhone. I cannot remember what I was accomplishing at that moment, nor how long he had been calling me, but I won’t forget those words or the exigence on my son’s sweet face when I finally shifted my gaze in his direction. My precious child needed my attention, but I was choosing to look at something else; something far less valuable than my son. It is so easy to get caught up in the distractions of this life and lose focus of what truly matters. When I picture the desperation in my son's eyes; his hunger for my attention, I can’t help but think about how God must feel when I choose to focus on lesser things than Him.
In Psalm 119:37, the psalmist requests that his eyes be turned away from looking at worthless things, and instead that he would be revived in the ways of God. When we look at the ways of the Lord, we are presented with a path that is both good and satisfying. This path that God desires for us is meant to revive us; to protect us from becoming weary and unsatisfied. It is meant to keep our eyes from drifting toward worthless and unrighteous things, so that, as it is explained in 1 Peter 1:13-16, we may be holy as God is holy.
In the Bible, when David’s eyes were on the Lord, he defeated Goliath, he humbly restrained his hand against king Saul and he achieved victory upon victory in battle. But, when his eyes wandered to the rooftop of Bathsheba’s home, he got distracted. His focus shifted from the righteousness that God requires of us toward his own lustful desires and the results were devastating. Maybe, like David, you also have a hard time guarding your eyes from lustful temptations. Or, perhaps you struggle with envy and are drawn away from the right path when you begin comparing yourself to that mom on social media; wanting her stylish home, her happy marriage or her perfect figure. This is not God’s will for the use of our eyes. When we focus on the wrong things, there is a tendency to connect our self-worth with external factors, like what we have or how we look. However, in 1 Peter 3:3-4 we are told that God values our “inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”. These valued characteristics come from having a right view of what is truly important.
We cannot expect to find God’s best for us when our eyes are looking in the wrong direction.When our attention is rightly placed on the things of God, everything else fades into the background. The prideful desires of this world: vanity, fortune, sensuality, they all disappear in the light of His goodness. When Matthew sat at his tax booth, greedily collecting money from his fellow Jews, he was focused on worthless things, but when he heard the words, “follow me”, his gaze was transfixed on Jesus Christ. He then got up, left everything and followed Him. We too should be moved towards righteousness when we fix our eyes upon Jesus; the greatest treasure that mankind will ever see.
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.