September’s weather has come in August here in Northern Ireland.
It is cooler and wetter. The summer is cut short.
The last bank holiday was a wash out.
In previous years August had been a busy month for me.
I had to get my children ready for the return to school.
I would check on last years’ school trousers, jumpers, blazers or skirts to see if I could squeeze another year out of them.
If not I paid a visit to the local drapery store to get the necessary outfits.
That would have been my biggest bill of the year.
One year I had eight children at school.
The Lord promises my children will not go begging in the street.
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (Psalm 37:25 NIV)
I wanted my children to feel fresh and smartly turned out as the new school term started.
My last child left second level education last year.
All the uniforms are forgotten and schools ties’ and blazers are hanging at the back of the cupboard, only to be retrieved for a fancy dress party perhaps.
I don’t know if I have more money in the bank this year in August, but I am glad I do not have the stress of shopping for back-to-school items.
August is a time of harvest. Fruit is ripe, wheat, oats, barley, hay and maize are ripe.
Fruit, plums blackberries and apples are picked.
In the past August has been a month of testing for me.
It steers the course for the coming year.
I had three children in August.
I was in hospital in hospital twice in August.
But this year I am expecting fruit from all I have invested into others.
The farmer sows seeds in the spring.
In autumn he expects a harvest.
It grows of itself.
Our creator causes the growth.
So it is I expect my God to cause the growth in seeds I have sown into people’s lives to produce a harvest.
And I expect to eat of it.
Two people I prayed for in the past have had life changing experiences this August.
I have joy when I hear of answered prayers and when God uses me.
I am not expecting a baby this year but I am expectant for God’s promises to be fulfilled in my life this August.
Are you expectant?
I do hold grudges but after a while I choose to forgive and forget.
I get mad at times with those closest to me.
I was mad last night is fact.
Very often I go to bed angry with someone. I toss and turn and can’t get to sleep. I get up and watch a programme on TV.
Perhaps I write down what I am upset about. By the time I have written down the problem I am happier and can go back to bed.
It is better to talk things over to clear the air before bedtime.
Scripture says “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4 v 26
But very often the other party is not aware there is a problem or is to tired to resolve the issue. So the anger remains till the morning.
If the issue is not resolved I hold a grudge. But sadly I am only harming myself. The other person is often oblivious to the hurt done, so the anger grows. The bitterness increases. The devil has got a foothold.
This is what happened to me when I developed colon cancer. I was upset with people and did not get issues resolved. I became angry, unforgiving and bitter.
Forgiving is the key to life, health and happiness.
I find it easy to accept God has forgiven me, but it is harder to forgive someone who has hurt.
I choose to forgive others. It may not be easy. I do not want to get sick again.
A good night’s sleep is always helpful when I am down. Lack of sunshine and warmth can give me the blues and cause me to scurry to the comfort of a warm bed. Sufficient unto the day is the troubles thereof.
When I awake and my worries, anxieties or depression are still heavy on my mind I have a quick prayer, Help Lord.
Whatever time of the day if I am overcome with loneliness, despair or despondency I would get a cup of coffee and something sweet and relax. I would listen to some uplifting music, or a worship song. If there is one I really like I would play it over and over. I would pray for someone else or pick up the phone and talk to a friend and encourage them. If that fails I would share with my husband. He often sees things from a different perspective.
Having something to look forward to doing often gets me out of the blues. The down time will come to pass.
It is springtime. The time for singing of birds has come. I will sing and be joyful as well.
Having lived in Northern Ireland during thirty years of war, it was quite common to drive into a village and see a banner with the words “No Surrender” printed on it.
These banners of protest were inspired by Ian Paisley, a leader of the DUP party at Stormont. He was not willing to work with any Party that represented Nationalism, and encouraged his followers to do the same.
Many people across the world were praying for peace in our land.
He dug his heels in for thirty years. But then through negotiations with mediators from America and Great Britain, he was willing to change his mind. His wife said to him, “We don’t want more years of war”. He listened to his wife. The Impossible happened, he changed his mind. God moved.
He was willing to work with the Leader of Sinn Fein in Stormont. They became known as the Chuckle Brothers.
I have been known to be a stubborn person. My husband will agree wholeheartedly in this. I have been fiercely protective of my children and if they were mistreated I would not be afraid to address it with the offender. I was many times unwilling to agree with my husband about decisions to be made in the home. Then we had stalemate.
After many years off stalemate and pain, I myself have learned to yield and give up my stubbornness. I am willing to change my mind and work with others.