Monday, January 27, 2014

Suffering is a Blessing

On Sunday nights our church has gone through R.C. Sproul Jr.’s series “Suffering and the Sovereignty of God”. It has been one of the most encouraging series for me. Our world tells us suffering is bad, God wouldn’t want us to suffer.  My thoughts are a little different than that. I think suffering is a blessing, it grows, molds, stretches, and sanctifies us. It makes us realize even more our great need of Christ. Without Christ our sufferings do seem impossible to make it through. Over the last few years God has stretched me in ways I didn’t think possible, God has taken my life on a path I didn’t think it would go. I had my “plans” for my life, but they weren’t God’s plans. When I first got sick almost four years ago I would constantly pray for healing, I wanted my life back, I wanted to feel like a young person “should” feel or my idea of how they should feel. At least that’s what I thought I wanted. Over time God slowly changed my heart and I found myself no longer praying for healing but for the strength to do what HE had for me. At times I thought myself to be odd to not desire healing anymore, that’s what many say you should want, right? Don’t get me wrong it would be great to wake up pain free and not have to struggle to get up. But what if God is more glorified in my suffering? Who am I to pray against what God has ordained? This series helped me realize even more that I am not crazy to be content with where God has put me. Life isn’t about having everything we want or about it being easy, it’s about our sanctification and bringing Christ glory. When we are truly satisfied in Christ we will have everything we want. If my trials and struggles are what will bring Christ glory then Lord please bring me trials. I want not only to make it through my trials I want to live a God honoring life in my trials. This series has pointed me to Christ, it has lifted me up and brought great truths more to light for me. All our sufferings have meaning, they have a purpose. On this earth we may not see why we go through a trial, but God has a glorious and perfect plan to bring Him glory.
R.C. Sproul Jr. is a beautiful example of glorifying God in his suffering. I find it so encouraging having someone preach of God’s sovereignty when they themselves have been through so many trials. Not only is he telling us God is good in hard times, but he has had hard times and he is still saying God is good!

I love this quote by R.C.-

"God does not just help us make it through the bad days; 
the bad days themselves are a gift from His hand. 

Here is a link to a beautiful song by Shane and Shane- it has greatly encouraged me!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gymnastics!

For Christmas Nastya and Maxim received a certificate for gymnastics lessons. They were thrilled! Nastya was beyond excited and said she had always wanted to do gymnastics and Maxim immediately wanted to work out so he would be ready :) Off and on all Christmas day he was either doing push-ups or sit-ups. Last Wednesday the wait was finally over and they had their first lesson. I was so proud of my "babies" as I watched them, they both did so well for their first lessons.






Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year!

Happy New Year!
I am excited to see what this year has in store! I know this year at least one new Lukens will be arriving. :)
Last year was filled with much excitement and joy in our family. Two graduations, vacation at the Cape, two weddings, two adoptions, bridal showers, traveling across the county for a wedding. It was a great year of stretching, trials, and laughs.

I love how our family keeps growing!

Those of us still at home.
Maxim, Cammy, Me, Nastya, and Nate

~Jessie