Weekend Encouragement; God’s Love For Us

I have not been on my blog a much as I would like. I love blogging, and I love reaching out to others and hearing back from you all through comments and emails is one of my favorite things. I love having the community of encouragement that I have found through my blog.

I have been back and forth sick, and it has put me “behind” on all my goals. I am very hard of myself sometimes (or always) and I start feeling like a failure.

And just like that it all came crumbling down on me. Every negative thought and every insecurity of a difficult past just waiting for a weak moment to prove themselves to me again.

A whirlwind of sadness and all of the sudden a bunch of issues I should have sorted through a long time ago consume me. With God’s help I am digging through the muck now.

I am needy. I am in need of truth (and He is truth). I am in need of the love of my Savior. I am in desperate need of Him, and it is scary to depend on someone else, but when I look in His word it reminds me of His faithfulness and love.

I was studying this week and I came across this word in Hebrew; Hesed.

I read it is the most common word in the Bible to describe God’s love toward us; toward people.

It is often used in Ruth, but my favorite verse I need right now is in Lamentations.

There is no direct translation (as I understand it) of Hesed in the English language. There is no one word that describes it as completely as the Hebrew word. I find it most often translated as mercy and loving kindness in the King James Bible.

I liked this definition best so I made it pretty to encourage me:

Hesed Hebrew word for gods love toward us; The consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly-pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious love of God.

This is perhaps my favorite definition that I have found, (and gently tweaked to include the word mercy).

Constantly pursuing.

That just overwhelms me. He pursues me.

It’s true. The Holy Spirit speaks to us. God desires a personal relationship with all of us. The enemy uses sin and shame to separate us from Him, in our minds only though, for we know that nothing can separate us from Him, not even death.

lamentations 3:22-23 kjv It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulnessIn the above verse from Lamentations the word mercies is translated from that Hebrew word Hesed. When I am feeling so low and separated from Him, like the weight of what I am facing will utterly consume me, and I have nothing left, I cry out to Him.

He is so faithful and loving to me that He shows me His “hesed” love when he answers to me.

His mercy will sustain me. Because of His consistent, ever-faithful, merciful, relentless, constantly-pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious love I will not be consumed.

I don’t know about you, but I love reading this verse in Lamentations 3:22 this way!

Wow!

And so when I asked the Lord, “How?”

“How will I ever get through this?” I felt his reply was “with my hesed (love) toward you”

Unmerited, undeserved, merciful, pursuant love of God.

Let that get you through your difficult time my friends.

He loves us more than we will ever deserve, like the love of a (good) parent toward their child.

Recently I have begun to think of faith and trust in this way:

Without the ability to navigate, you find yourself in the deepest of forest at the darkest of night. You will surely be lost forever, yet in faith and trust you calmly relax when you could be naturally terrified of certain death and danger. In this place where everyone would understand if you were to despair, you stop and you pray and listen for God to lead you through. For without Him you will be utterly lost. His help is the only thing to lead you.

It will still be dark and it might be scary at times, you might stumble, but what else can you do, but trust Him? You can never get out of the dark place without Him.

*Sigh*

Isn’t He wonderful you guys?

I struggle with my trust of Him, and it is unfair to Him. I  am human. I am flawed. I am a work in progress. It’s okay, I’ll keep working on it, surely I am not the only one.

Love is the answer. Trust is the answer. Faith is the answer.

As my pastor often says. “Easy preaching; hard living.”

Have a great weekend you all, and be patient and kind with yourselves as He is with us, okay?

Love to hear from you all, please leave a comment, or if you have something that encourages you, you’d like to share I’d love to hear it, thanks!

 

Merry Christmas To You

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Merry Christmas 2015 from Ashley and family at smartandsavvymom.comI absolutely adore Christmas and I anticipate nothing more than the picture perfect moment of my kids revealing what has been waiting for them under the tree for weeks (hopefully) hidden only by a thin piece of perfectly picked wrapping paper. I am grateful to bring them that moment of joy.

Of course I am grateful for the unique joy of appreciating the Savior as a redeemed Christian on this day.

I hope you are having a wonderful day, and that you find joy in whatever you find yourself doing today.

More details on how our family did these photos ourselves coming up this week. Enjoy your day, and if you have time make sure you check out my upcoming post featuring 3 more holiday styles all starring the color red.

More details on my look in the above photos in my Gorgeous in Gold Holiday outfit feature HERE.

Savvy Sick Day

Tis the season to have colds… right? Trying to remember how grateful I am to have children even when they are a bit contagious. My little ones are on the mend, and I am sure I will be feeling better soon. Nothing like having a miserable cold before undergoing major dental work.

I have more stuff going on than usual this week, plus I am not feeling very well, but I will still be posting some deals. Just got some cold medicine out of the stockpile and put some movies on for the kids, let’s see how this goes.

Hope you are having a great day, now let’s find some great deals!

A New Day A New Site

New endeavors are ahead and I couldn’t be more excited. The site is still a work in progress at this point, but I am so glad you are here and am very happy about the direction Smart and Savvy is headed.

I am excited to include my love of couponing and deal finding in this new site. I take great joy in finding ways to make the most of my family’s money so couponing and deal finding has always been a good fit for me. Plus, for those of you have tried it you already know, it can be a ton of fun.

In addition to the great deals you can expect to find me sharing other parts of my life as mom on this site. As mothers we wear so many hats and I have found that I have learned so much since I have been running my own household. So expect to find articles about personal finances, cooking, fitness, healthy eating, crafts, activities for kids, product recommendations, organization, time management and fun stories the like of which can only occur when living in a house with 3 toddlers.

I look forward to saving, laughing, and learning with you!

~Ashley