Hope Helps Us Thrive

Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8
Our goal as moms is not just to survive but thrive. There are times when survival is our short term goal, but overall we want to leave our kids with happy memories. Included in those memories is a positive mom who somehow makes it all happen. Sometimes we fail, but we strive to provide our children a positive, encouraging, and nurturing childhood.

Here's the thing, life often gets us down. Notice in the verse above, it doesn't say that the scorching heat won't come or that the drought will skip over you when it hits everyone else. What it does say, though, is that with our trust in GOD we will still thrive.

We won't need to live a life of fear or dry up when life gets too difficult for us to handle. Why? Because our roots are deeply embedded into the stream of GOD's goodness and love. Being connected and in the presence of GOD we flourish rather than wither away or lose hope with life's worries.

Psalm 46: 1-5 says, "GOD is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of GOD, the holy place where the Most High dwells. GOD is within her, she will not fall; GOD will help her at break of day... The LORD ALMIGHTY is with us."

GOD is always faithful, always loving and always ready to help us thrive through the trials of life. Isaiah 41:13 states: "For I am the LORD your GOD who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."

What do you do when life gets harried, crazy and at times overwhelming? I've had some doozies of craziness in our family. We've even named it the "Saylor Curse," that if something can go wrong it will.

For example, my hubby had to purchase a new vehicle because his old one - which he had had only a year, required way too much money to fix. So my hubby bought a used truck. He always wanted a truck and now felt justified in getting one. It wasn't two weeks later and it wouldn't start. So we called a tow truck to take it to the shop. As soon as the tow truck positioned itself in the middle of our road to take the truck, the tow truck died. My husband looked over at me and said, "How many trucks can a tow truck tow if a tow truck can't tow trucks?" I apologized to the driving for passing our curse onto him. Since then we've had two other vehicles die and a refrigerator. We also have the same problem with washing machines! But, here's the thing, these are just things. 

 We worry about finances and our things like everybody else. Yet my faith and experience have taught me a few things:
  • Life might be hard but GOD is still good.
    He never promises an easy life, but He does promise to be with me through it all, to provide strength when I am weak, to comfort me and to fill me with His love.
  • Keep the set backs and difficulties in perspective.
    Sometimes I have to stop and think on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the absolute worse where I might lose someone I love ) how bad is this? It helps me get my emotions under control and deal with this situation realistically and much more calmly than letting my emotions get the best of me. (I learned this technique in a stress seminar- and it really does help put things in the right perspective).
  • Dig into the worldI get into the Bible, because GOD always has the right things to say to me. I have a constant conversation with Him as I struggle with my feelings and at times depression in the midst of hard things going on. Participating in a Bible study with others also leaves me feeling encouraged and filled with hope by the time I leave.
  • Find comfort in others.
    GOD also seems to provide just the right friend to to come along and encourage me. That's why I LOVE MOPS. There are so many wonderful women who have been through exactly what I'm going through now, or even if they haven't, they help pray me through this time.
  • Look for something good to come out of this.
    Maybe it helps me rely more on GOD and then have a chance to see His love at work that I might have missed if everything was always plugging along at comfort level for me. Maybe GOD will bring somebody later into my life going through the same thing - and GOD has chosen me to comfort them- because I truly know what they're feeling. Maybe this helps our family or my marriage grow stronger, because somehow we got though this together. Maybe this is a great teaching moment for my child: to realize that even though life doesn't work out the way we want it to, we can find GOD's love and help in the midst of it. And at the same time teaching them not to give up but to keep going forward with GOD's help. Maybe it's a moment to teach your child about the power of prayer as you pray together for GOD's wisdom strength and help. The point is to look for how GOD is working in this situation. 
In John 10:10 Jesus says, " I have come that you might have life and that you might have life abundantly." When we come to Jesus, we are able in difficult times to not only survive but thrive in His love.

This is my prayer for you, as you face difficult situations. It is found in Ephesians 3:16-19:
"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you , being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of GOD."

What does thriving mean to you? How is GOD a part of that in your life? What would you like to teach your children about thriving?

Connie is the mom of 10 kids ranging from 10-25 years old. She has been involved with MOPS for almost 25 years. This year, Connie is one of our co-lead mentor moms and leads our MOPS Bible study on Tuesdays. When not raising her family or serving at MOPS, Connie enjoys reading, hiking and working out with her husband.