Weekly Memory Verse: "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." --James 1:26
The above verse sat in my daily devotional this morning waiting to convict me. Instantly, I felt God impressing the importance of James 1:26 on my heart. Reining in the tongue is something I've always struggled with, especially with those to who I'm closest. I got out of bed determined to live out this verse. It was only 15 minutes before the rein on my tongue loosened and I was "nicely" chiding my husband for not occupying our daughter so I could eat my breakfast in peace, for just one day out of the week. And a little later I was giving him a hard time for walking loudly. Really? Immediately after I spoke in both those instances I felt the Holy Spirit's gentle hand reminding me to tame my tongue. If I am to be an example of Christ to others, this is a skill I must master. I pray this week that I can conquer my tongue's desire to speak that which is not Christ-like, that I may speak only that which is true and kind.
Weekly Memory Verse: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." --Exodus 20:7
The Lord is our holy, majestic, omniscient, powerful, forgiving God and He has commanded us to not misuse his name. Our society uses God's name and that of His Son's in such a flippant way that we may not even realize we're misusing it. Such is true with the now common phrase "OMG." This "Oh my God" isn't being used to cry out to Him or praise Him; it's said in a way that does not honor Him. And we often hear people shout "Jesus Christ" in moments of anger or shock. We must remember that His name is to be glorified and used appropriately. I grew up, unaware, using God's name in vain. After 20 years of saying something on a regular basis, it's challenging to eradicate it from your vocabulary. I still slip up from time to time, but I want to diligently remove the misuse of the Lord's name from my thoughts and words, especially as I model both my speech and faith to Adeline.
Weekly Memory Verse: "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." --Proverbs 17:22
Last night Tim and I watched the movie About Time, starring Rachel McAdams (my favorite actress). It was a beautiful film, ultimately about embracing the present and treasuring each moment. At the end of the movie, the father travels back in time to enjoy one last experience with his son when he was a little boy, who is now grown. This scene brought me to tears with the stark realization that when Adeline is an adult, I will never be able to revisit this time in our lives. I won't be able to travel back in time and feel her head snuggled in the curve of my neck, to feel the weight of her leaning on my chest as she sits in my lap to read a book, to feel her tiny feet locked tightly around my waist when I hold her, to hear her squeals of delight as she grips the back of my shirt while riding the "choo-choo train." This is it. Each day is the last time I get to experience each day. In the frustrating moments of raising a strong-willed toddler, I pray I remember what an insatiable gift God has given me. My beautiful, funny, creative, intelligent, cheeky Adeline. And thus, receive "the good medicine of a joyful heart."
Weekly Memory Verse: "For whosoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whosoever loses his life for me will find it." --Matthew 16:25
Over and over for the past several months, I have been convicted to eradicate the ways of the world from my life. Useless television, harmful movies, materialism, and such. I certainly haven't said "Yes!" to God perfectly in all of this, but I feel like I'm getting there. I've started to turn off movies that don't have positive messages and stopped watching some shows that epitomize the world's skewed perspective. I wonder how much of my life I waste and how much of that time I can replace with learning about Christ and doing works for God's Kingdom. Matthew 16:25 reminds me that "losing my life" isn't a loss at all when He's the gift I gain!
I'm Ashley Ashcraft,
a military wife and
stay-at-home mama, earnestly seeking the Christ-like life. I invite you to walk alongside me in my quest to raise our children and join the antics of our unpredictable military lifestyle. I pray your heart feels rejuvenated and inspired each time you visit OFH!