Our family has been at the beach for the last 5 days. I treasure this time away with my husband and my girls!
This time was a little different though. Down in South Georgia and North Florida we have had these horrible forest fires. The beauty of the God’s wonderful creation of the beach, ocean and the waves was severely clouded with smoke on many days that we were there vacationing. It was hard to be on the beach and do all the fun things we like to do ~ much less breathe.
Even though my scenery was clouded on my vacation, the fact still burdened my heart for all of the fire fighters and families that were working tirelessly to put out these fires. The sacrifice that they give is tremendous.
One day, the smoke did clear for several hours. We were so excited that we could have our walks on the beach, play in the ocean and even picnic on the back porch.
We still saw evidences of the smoke from just hours before though. There were ashes all over the picnic tables that needed cleaning off before we sat down at them to eat.
It got me thinking – How many times do I cloud up my life with trash that I allow to float into my life?
Then yesterday morning I read this devotional that tugged at my heart. I went further with my questions to myself and asked what things do I do that has caused me to be “clouded” in my perspective especially when some days I throw out my reactions or comments that so easily destroy others?
This devotional did a fabulous job putting me back in the right frame of mind.
What “trash” do I bring into my mind that may cloud up my day? When do I get distracted with gossip or slander and hurt my witness for Jesus Christ because of what I say or how I react to others?
So many times I can do this without thinking. You know…Shoot off like a loose cannon.
I am not sure if that is how Jesus would respond to some of the circumstances that we can get ourselves into. We don’t represent Jesus at this point. Our witness becomes clouded.
During our trip, we as a family could tell that after we had been together for a few days (well, several weeks since beginning our summer school vacation time) that we began to become loose cannons with our mouths to one another. Our wonderful, dreamy beach vacation began feeling like it was getting clouded with smoke in more than one way.
Our reactions were what was getting us into so much trouble and causing hurt feelings and frustration.
I am glad to say, that we re-grouped, had some Jesus time; prayer meeting to be exact, and things did get better. But this morning my prayer is for God to show me how to keep my reactions in tact everyday. Only allow those that would be glorifying to Him to be released. Oh this is hard!
Here is Lysa’s blog post to follow-up with the devotional with more tips of encouragement.
Good Grief – she is on a roll – for more encouragement in this area especially in this day and age of technology with email responses and texting quickie’s click HERE. Take time this weekend to read these. You won’t be disappointed.