Friday, September 19, 2008

Keep It Simple...

by Bethany Lashbrook

This Week’s Verse: Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (KJV)

As we are most all aware, as soon as our children become “school-aged” the evenings quickly disappear. Our evenings are filled with soccer practice, games, and gymnastics for the kids, and meetings, church activities, and home chores for the adults! In between the running is healthy meal choices, homework, the dreaded “bath nights” and hopefully a good amount of time to sit and just talk and hang out with our children. Which shamefully, at this young age, does not happen daily. Some days become so hectic after school I wonder what the meaning of all of it is. Somehow, in the midst of this running, something like a red stoplight upsets me. I become rushed, upset, and frankly sometimes just downright ignorant with how I handle these situations.

And then, I am reminded of a saying that an eighth grade teacher taught me years ago. He would say K.I.S.S. – an acronym for “Keep it Simple Stupid”. Funny. Charming. Whimsical. True. It’s that easy.

There are many verses in the bible that remind us to keep it simple. I have recently picked up a small book that fits in my purse called One-Minute Pocket Bible for Women. It is filled with verses for every occasion. A lot of these verses are just one-liners, but it is these I cherish most. Here is a sample of these wonderful verses that keep me level-headed during my “red-light” moments.

When I wonder if I can undertake a task—such as soccer practice at five, and gymnastics in Paris at six: “For the Lord will be your confidence” (Proverbs 3:26a).

When I feel restless—which lately seems to be every night of the week: “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him” (Lamentations 3:25).

When something (anything) has upset me: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

When my youngest daughter is playing in the toilet—something she did this week: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3).

When I start to doubt—questions like am I raising my children to become children of the Lord: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes’” (Mark 9:23).

When I am sitting with the other parents during all these practices, and my ears hear a bit of juicy gossip: “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).

There are many books out there that contain messages such as “How to…” but I must remember, there is already an instruction booklet for me. It is even available in different versions that may suit me best. It is available to me at almost every bookstore. It’s old – yes, but trustworthy. It’s long, but it has many short chapters and verses so I don’t have to feel overwhelmed while reading it. And best of all – the messages in this book, the Bible, help me to keep things simple in a life that’s becoming increasingly more complex.

Lord, thank You so much for providing us with a book we call Your own. Thank You for its God-breathed words, its truth and its ability to help me at any given moment in my life. Lord, open my eyes to see Your message, my ears to hear Your word, my heart to let the holy spirit guide me and my mouth to spread Your word. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.

*Are you trying to keep things simple, or do you find yourself in a jumbled mess? Open the Bible, find some key verses, and begin calming yourself by posting these verses in spots where you see them often such as a bathroom mirror, your car radio, or in your purse.
*Pick up a small Bible or an easy read for your wait time at your children’s practices. This calms the spirit and the mind and is a wonderful refresher for days gone badly at the office!

Power Verses:
Ephesians 6:17
, “Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NLT)
John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (KJV)
Psalm 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” (NIV)

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