Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103: 1-5
I love this psalm! It brings me joy to read and remember all that God does and has done for me. He forgives ALL my sin, everything I have done that I shouldn't have and everything I haven't done that I should have done, EVERY SINGLE SIN is forgiven. It is so freeing to know that when I sin, and I do as we all do, He grants forgiveness.
He crowns me with steadfast love and mercy. According to The New Oxford American Dictionary mercy is: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. God could have wiped me out, but instead He chose to love and forgive me. His love is always with me, and I am secure in that.
The whole psalm is very encouraging to me, but as I was reading it recently verse five which reads, "who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's," really stood out to me in a way I had not thought of before, and I realized that God had done just that for me. Let me explain.
This past year has been one of many changes for me, some I never would have dreamed would come about. Just a little over a year ago we received a dozen chickens from our daughter. These were the beginning of our homesteading venture. In March of this year we brought home our two Nubian dairy goats, who have provided us with delicious milk. At the same time we acquired a livestock guardian dog as their companion and protector. Later we bought more chickens. With each addition we have learned a lot about what to do and what not to do and believe me we are still learning. God has used them all to stretch me and pull me somewhat out of my comfort zone.
As if all that wasn't enough God pushed me further out of my comfort zone by giving me the urge to start writing more. I have been keeping journals ever since we began homeschooling over twenty years ago but had not really shared much if any of it. This past October I felt like I just had to start a blog that would, I hope, encourage others, especially my daughters. So one Friday with a daughter's help I began the blog, wrote an introductory post and also a post for Five Minute Friday. I still wonder sometimes if I'll have enough to write about to keep it up. I try to be open to whatever God might put on my heart and write when the inspirations come. To help in my writing endeavors I have joined a local Christian writer's group, and in January will begin Story 101, a ten week online writing class that is also a growing community of women writers.
Recently I left my position as church pianist so that our family could go to All Saint's Anglican Church, where my sons would find some friends and fellowship with others closer to their ages. Little did I know what a wonderful thing this change was going to be not just for our sons but for my husband and myself as well. I did not realize how much we really missed the Anglican liturgy which includes communion every Sunday. We all look forward to going every Sunday that we can.
The church is small and only has a choir certain times of the year of which the Christmas season is one. My husband, sons and I are all participating in the choir. To understand how really big this is for us you have to realize that up until recently my sons didn't sing much. For them to be so eager and practice so faithfully at home and at church is really like a miracle to me. They will also be playing their instruments in the Christmas Eve service. It is such a blessing to see how we all can be a part of this wonderful church fellowship.
So to get back to Psalm 103:5...... Because of all these things I can see that God has done so much good for me, and I am satisfied. That doesn't mean I don't have struggles or am never disappointed or never lose my temper, but I am learning to trust God more and more and to be thankful. My heart is full of praise for Him and I do feel that my "youth is renewed". There is a renewed energy and desire to dive into all that He has given me to do and to really enjoy life!