And since we're part of a smaller start-up church, a "nursery" doesn't exist quite yet. Considering we're basically the only couple with a child under the age of 2, the need for a nursery isn't that dire, either, to be honest. If we had one? She'd probably fight going in there anyway. That's a whole 'nother post for another day. Because girlfriend has started separation anxiety like it's nobodies business. And it hurts my heart to hear her scream bloody murder, I'd end up going and getting her anyway (because I'm a wimp). And now I'm just blabbing on about details that have nothing to do with the post.
Anyway. My sister runs the Children's Ministry at our church for ages 2 and up. She had the "toddler" group this week and asked me if I wanted her to take Emeline down with her so I could stay and enjoy the sermon. [Sidenote: It's been months since I've sat and listened to a sermon. Since Declan helps run the projector screen & song show stuff--it makes it more hard. I usually end up staying for worship and then whisking Eme home for a nap early, hence, missing the message.]
If you know anything about my sister, Susan & Emeline's relationship, you'd know it's a good one. No, a great one. If she's comfortable with anyone outside of Declan and I, it's definitely her. So, she took her down to the toddler class and Eme went happily. Therefore, I? Got to sit. In peace. And listen to the message.
It was heaven.
I didn't realize how much I took that for granted prior to having a child.
And the message? Was such a good one.
Our pastor gave us all a piece of paper, and asked us to write this down:
Write down (3) Hopes/Dreams/Promises that have been fulfilled in your life.
Write down (3) Hopes/Dreams/Promises that have yet to be fulfilled in your life.
Immediately, without hardly thinking I scratched down some things. Having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Being able to resign my job and stay at home with my daughter. Losing the weight and achieving a healthy life I didn't feel I could have.
My dreams not yet fulfilled? Well I'll keep those to myself for now.
The rest of the message he went on to tell us about the hard week he had, and how multiple times through the week he kept catching himself just dwelling in circumstances, in little details of the things going wrong. He said he finally just snapped out of it and was reminded of God's faithfulness overall. Of all the times that God's blessed his family with their needs being met, big or small--and he was humbled at the fact that God truly does have our best interest at heart.
One of my favorite quotes from the message was when he said (as I wrote it down super-fast, as not to miss anything), "If I don't remain in a place of Faith with God, I get anxious. My circumstances can make me weak and forget the promises of God."
I don't know if any of you can identify with that, but I know I can.
I get wrapped up in things all the time. Overwhelming things, the health of my family, job situations, stresses of life, relationships troubles, and lots more. My heart gets anxious. I lose my focus. I forget that I don't have to be the one remaining strong all the time, that I don't have all the answers. Nor do I need to. That I need to be reminded of all the times he's been so faithful to me and my family, and provided for our needs.
At the end of the sermon, he asked us to go back and look at the promises we'd filled out in the beginning. The ones that were fulfilled? Those are just good reminders of God's faithfulness in our lives. For me? My example was that I never, ever thought there'd be a way for me to stay home with my daughter. I cried way-too-many tears over that situation, agonizing over it. Yet, somehow I was able to resign my job and be home permanently, when originally it seemed hopeless.
Then, he had us look over the promises not yet fulfilled. Whatever they may be, and they were certainly different for everyone in the room I'm sure. Then he had us all flip the paper over and reflect on this verse that was printed there:
"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." Psalm 37:4-6
It was exactly what I needed to hear, and just maybe it'll speak to you, too.