Random Advice on My Birthday Week

It’s hard to believe another decade has flown by. What? Wasn’t I a tiny girl, a teenager, a young mama just a few short years ago? Yet, here I am. A grandmother of five and about to be an age I always thought was “old.” Now I realize it’s still quite young. 😊 I’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and today I’d like to share random pieces of hopefully helpful advice. Pull up a chair and let’s talk about life.

More is Not Always Better

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15 (NIV)

I’ve lived long enough to notice that people with tons of stuff and money are not always happy—and people with just a little are often quite content. Yes, there is blessing in having enough. However, adding more to “enough” can be counterproductive. The more stuff we have, the more to clean, repair, and dust. The more money we have, the more responsibilities, concerns, and temptations to overspend. The more food we eat, the less healthy we are. The more movies and television we watch, the more alone and less social we can become. I don’t want to always crave more. My desire is to be like Paul, learning to be content with what I am given. (Philippians 4)

Failure is Not Fatal (usually)

The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. Psalm 145:14 (NIV)

I have always been afraid of failure. I don’t know why. I guess because it’s unpleasant. I like happy things. Failure is definitely not happy. Still, at times I’ve lost out on valuable life lessons by my fear of failure. Fear is paralyzing. We don’t make a phone call because we might sound foolish. We don’t apply for a job, because we might not get it. We don’t step out into the unknown because it’s scary. We cheat ourselves out of blessings God has for us by holding back. The Bible tells us that God upholds those who fall. It won’t be fatal. (There are exceptions, I’m sure … war zone failure, accidents … but even then heaven awaits if you are a child of God.)

Stopping Helps You Go

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)

I felt God nudging me to begin Sweet Selah Ministries to teach this truth. Our strength and our salvation are found in repentance, rest, quietness, and trust. Period. When we rush about doing our own thing in our own strength, we do tasks poorly and ultimately burn out. When we stop, as God requires, and fill up with His Presence, listening to His voice … we then can go forth and do great things in His strength.

Hard Doesn’t Mean Unhappy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2 (NIV)

My husband and I are just coming out of a difficult season of caregiving. Dad Gamble was physically incapacitated, and his needs required a lot of physical energy and work. It was hard. It was constant. We couldn’t just “go away” when we felt like it. We always needed to be aware of his needs and meet them. Some people have assumed this meant we were unhappy during this time of service. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the obvious difficulties, we experienced great joy in helping him. We had adventures together in the handicapped van. His “thank you for everything, dear” comments each night when we put him to bed still warm my soul. Our heart-to-heart chats out on the back deck will be forever etched in my mind. We loved having him as part of our family. Just because it was hard, in no way meant we were unhappy. God used that time in our lives in marvelous ways. I am eternally grateful for the honor of caring for him.

So there you have it … random pieces of advice from a very young 60 year old (as of tomorrow)!

Heavenly Father, help us to find joy in the hard times, strength in the stopping, help when we fail, and contentment in what we have. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,
Sharon

 

 

Sweet Selah Ministries

Vision
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service

Mission 
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

Donate
If you’ve been blessed, keep the blessing going!
Click over to our Donation page … and thanks

 

 

 

 

8 Responses to “Random Advice on My Birthday Week”

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  1. Margaret Fowler says:

    Why do you keep making me cry with emotion when I read such beautiful thoughts? Happy, helpful tears! Thank you, and love you.

  2. Kathy Sengel says:

    Such words of wisdom, Sharon. Thank you.

    And Happy, Happy Birthday!

  3. Judy Elliott says:

    Great random advice for all stages of our lives! "Stopping helps you go" is especially meaningful to me in my life now. You expressed it so beautifully: filling up with His Presence, listening to His voice. Happy Birthday and welcome to this decade!

  4. Perri Houze says:

    Happy Birthday! Belated!

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