In June, on our wedding anniversary, Jim gave me a notebook filled with printouts of all the blog posts I had written. He offered up the page count and said, “See, you can write a book.” From the very beginning my motives for writing was to encourage you and be a reminder “You are not alone.” For my own good it was to process my life journey and practice my craft – a gift from God.
Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)
“Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We are to encourage one another in a personal way – in relationship. In my writing I attempt to be personal by exposing my own humanness and remembering the things that are true of all human beings, no matter how deeply buried in our messes. A blog post is encouragement from afar. One of the ways I love to encourage people is by resourcing them. Today I want to share with you some resources I found helpful recently. Under each topic you will find the links for these resources. I hope you find your hearts lifted and eyes focused on Jesus.
Decision making and finding direction: I am sometimes better at making big decisions than small ones. But not always. There are times when making a decision is torture. I am not talking about where to eat tonight, though that can be a challenge too. I am talking about decisions like: What is God’s will for me? Who am I supposed to invest in at this time? Do I need to change jobs? Should I go back to school? Emily P. Freeman does an excellent job of gently walking us through the winding road of decisions. The Next Right Thing podcasts are generally short (12-20 minutes) but packed full of wisdom and encouragement. When I listen to her podcast it is as if a heavy backpack has been lifted off my shoulders. Emily also wrote a book called The Next Right Thing. I have listened to every one of her podcasts and still found the book helpful.
Books: I want to share the titles of two more books I am reading. Walking with God, by John Eldredge, is an honest and profound book on deepening intimacy with God through prayer. This book is so helpful that I am reading it a second time. I shared this book title with a friend; recently she told me many people in her life have been helped by reading this book.
Run with the Horses by Eugene Peterson may be my favorite Eugene Peterson book. This is a book about Jeremiah the prophet of God. In his writing about Jeremiah, Peterson delivers a powerful personal connection. “If we are going to live appropriately, we must be aware that we are living in the middle of a story that was begun and will be concluded by another. And this other is God.”
Though God has gifted me as an encourager, nothing comforts, soothes, fills, encourages and restores like the love of God. My wholeness is dependent on where I have placed Him in my life. Deep restoration and repair happen when I get alone with Him. I hope you are finding time for quiet and rest this summer.
If you are willing to share with others your resources for growth, healing and encouragement leave a comment below. Or maybe you are in a hard place and need prayer. If you feel comfortable leave a message sharing your prayer request so others may pray for you. Right now I am praying for all of you to know you are being held in His love.