Monday, October 26, 2015

For this, I have Jesus.

I have been dying to get a little quiet computer time to share (document) some of the encouragements I have been finding lately as I battle fears.  Just the other day I was particularly worried and fearful about this "thing" I have been blogging vaguely about.  It's looming ahead of me over the coming months, and the majority of my fears center around the questions, "Will God provide and can He be trusted to lead me the best way?"  I've mentioned this all before, and at some point I'll give more details.  (Sometimes less details are nice though, aren't they?) 

  Anyway, I stopped drying my hair (I was getting ready and worrying, as the two seem to go hand-in-hand on some days) and I prayed, "Okay God.  Are you listening?  I need some immediate reassurance in this whole providing for my needs fear." And then I stood there in my bathroom, silent hair dryer in hand, and I waited.  In the still moment, I suddenly remembered that in my morning rush, I had forgotten to read the Daily Bread.  I skeptically muttered, "Oh okay whatever... is that You God... or just me?"  (But regardless, I grabbed it and opened it, because if that thought to read it WAS prompted by God, why not?) I'm sure you can surmise what happened next.  The daily bread that day spoke on the topic of God's provisions. Tears fell. I read, "God knows exactly what you are facing today.  Isaiah reminds us that God's knowledge of us is so intimate that our names were written on the palms of His hands (Isa. 49:16).... God is aware of every detail of our lives.  And He has given us His Spirit to guide, to comfort, and to strengthen us. Think of the challenges you face at this moment, and then write these words beside each one as a reminder of His faithfulness and care: "For this, I have Jesus." 

The reminder that God has engraved my name on the palm of His hand has followed me around everywhere.  I can't escape it.  But that's really the point.  We are never far from His thoughts because he carries us everywhere, along with all our details, our messes, our failures, our strivings, and successes.  He is for us.  We can give thanks for that one fact alone, if nothing else!!

 Then I went to church and hey... guess what the sermon was about?  Yep.  Being fearful versus being thankful.  (I pulled grammies hankie out of my purse and I used it.)  Our pastor spoke on the scientific side of what being thankful does to our brain chemistry and it was fascinating!  You can read a great article on it here but the bottom line is that the act of expressing thanks for things in our lives, reduced depression, helps us sleep better, improves health etc.  I loved this excerpt; "They found that subjects who showed more gratitude overall had higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus. This is important because the hypothalamus controls a huge array of essential bodily functions, including eating, drinking and sleeping. It also has a huge influence on your metabolism and stress levels. From this evidence on brain activity it starts to become clear how improvements in gratitude could have such wide-ranging effects from increased exercise, and improved sleep to decreased depression and fewer aches and pains. Furthermore, feelings of gratitude directly activated brain regions associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine feels good to get, which is why it’s generally considered the “reward” neurotransmitter. But dopamine is also almost important in initiating action. That means increases in dopamine make you more likely to do the thing you just did. It’s the brain saying, “Oh, do that again.”  Gratitude can have such a powerful impact on your life because it engages your brain in a virtuous cycle... So once you start seeing things to be grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for. That’s how the virtuous cycle gets created."

Being thankful in an unknown life moment or a deep ocean of fear is like a life raft headed toward safety. No matter what we face, no matter how afraid we are, He is for us and He knows our details. We can be thankful for His provision, and for this... all our moments, we have Jesus.
 P.S. (How cute is this photo I took over the weekend of my husband reading Green Eggs and Ham to our niece?) Coming soon, I am going to share a few darling things for your Thanksgiving home, from Ever Thine Home!  Stay tuned!
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  1. Hi Sasha, I've been quietly reading here for a long time but I don't think I've ever commented. Fear is a big thing for me too and I appreciate you sharing your heart. Lately I've been really loving a song by Bethel Music called No Longer a Slave to Fear and thought of you this morning and think you would be blessed by it. Love, Monica

  2. Sasha, I appreciate your post this morning focused on gratitude and finding something to be thankful for versus fear. I just unexpectedly lost my beloved only son and the past month I've been so overcome with grief that I fear I will never find my way back. I decided this morning to try to find something (anything) to be grateful for each day. I opened some of my favorite blogs today and found your post. I truly believe sometimes God sends us messages through other. Today I'm thankful for your post.
    Love, Deborah

  3. I'm curious. Would help to know what's coming up for you?

  4. Sending love and prayers and confidence.

  5. I had not read this post until just now. I needed these words today. Not on the 26th when you wrote them...but today. I am in awe of how God works.