Tim and I enjoy walking to the end of our road in the evenings and counting how many deer we can see.  It’s amazing how populated this area is with wildlife.  Since Tim is a deer hunter it excites him a little more than me.  It’s also amazing how they seem to disappear when it is deer hunting season.  Smart animals!

Most of the time when we see deer they are standing or running.  Last week I walked up on two beautiful sights.  One was a doe nursing a very small fawn.  I wondered if that fawn was just born.  I surprised them as I walked around the corner, so of course, they ran off.  The second beautiful sight was a deer laying in the woods.  It was so beautiful and peaceful!  I don’t think I have ever seen a deer just laying in the woods before.

Recently life has been full of surprises but not good surprises.  It seems every time I get a call, text or e-mail it is bad news.  There are so many people hurting, out of work, sick or down.  There are families grieving the loss of loved ones who were taken in horrific ways recently.  I have been lifting my prayers up for these dear people.

As I teach, your feelings follow your thoughts so it is crucial to pay attention to what we are thinking about.  Scripture tells us to take every thought captive to HIM.  You see, HE knows how HE created us!  Emotions can get out of hand quickly and must be harnessed.  This is why it is important to limit how much time we are watching the news in the day and time we find ourselves living.  Yes, we want to stay informed but because of the amount of bad news reported each day and the fact that some of it can’t be trusted, it may be wise to refrain from hours of watching.

Parents and teachers are distraught trying to figure out what the upcoming school year will look like.  Our country is divided and the upcoming election and the anticipated reaction to that election is scary.  How can a person not be anxious if they are constantly thinking about all of these things?  This is why I find refuge in prayer and the scriptures.  I can’t imagine how I would manage, if I didn’t know that our Heavenly Father is very much in control.  Basking in HIS presence brings peace.

Being a woman I think a lot about beauty.  It is built into every female the desire to be beautiful.  It is important to understand that our outward appearance is not the only way to be beautiful.  I had a thought when I saw the deer laying in the woods that I believe was God.  I heard, “Rebekah, you are the most beautiful when you are resting.”  Wow, I needed to hear that word today.  I wasn’t resting as I grieved for loved ones and allowed anxious thoughts to enter my world.

Resting is crucial!  I’m talking about an inward rest, not just a daily nap.  Is your mind at rest?  Are you experiencing peace?  Let me remind you of some wonderful scriptures that may help.  Isa. 30:15a, “For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved.  In quietness and trust is your strength.”  I need to repent, or change my mind when I am obsessing over bad news.  This will save me from a tremendous amount of anxiety.  I need to remember that I have a Heavenly Father that can be trusted and cares about my pain.  He is a good Father that cares for His children.  I also need to remember that we have an enemy who loves to deceive and loves to bring fear.  Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Hebrews 4:9-11 says, “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Therefore, let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.”    Over and over in the scriptures you see God trying to bring His people to rest through obedience but they refused.  We can have peace and rest if we want it.  Choosing to trust in our Father’s love and keeping our eyes on Him, obeying Him, and experiencing His presence will do wonders for your soul and for your beauty!