Comments Off on Beginnings A Quest for Abundant Life

back to school2By Kristin Johnson.  We have been busy, like many of you, I’m sure, getting kids ready to go back to school. We bought the clothes and school supplies and discovered who the kids’ teachers were. We sent my oldest off to his second year of preschool today, and my daughter has her first day of preschool tomorrow.

Yep, things are beginning in the Johnson house.

There’s more though! I am currently looking out my living room and admiring the view. To be honest, I’m a little intimidated by the view. From my current vantage point, I can see many acres of soon-to-be combined corn. Yes, as I am typing this, the corn is outside beginning to dry up, making it ready for harvest. (Picture coming. I’m having issues with my computer!)

So yes, the beginning of school signals that harvest time and all of its busyness and excitement is about to begin.

A little bit about our harvest time…We have soybeans and corn that need to be harvested, usually between the months of September and November. Sometimes, it stretches into December, depending on the weather. So, for these months, my husband and father-in-law are super busy. They probably average about 4 hours of sleep a night. They must pick the crop, haul it, dry it (if it’s corn) and store it. Then, the fields must be worked, meaning the husks and other pieces of the plants are turned back into the soil. Then, if the field will be corn next year, fertilizer is applied. It is a rush to get the crops out while they can yield the maximum number of bushels. It is also a race to get it all done by winter. That is the wild card! Snow in Minnesota can come early. Last year, it was in the middle of November!

So, this time of year, while exciting, is super stressful to me and my family. The kids see less of their dad, I parent alone most of the time, and I also must keep all the men well fed. Because, of course, they do not like to stop those machines! I end up looking forward to and somewhat dreading harvest every year.

Such is my life, I guess!

But God’s word offers us a lot of encouragement when we face new beginnings. I read in my Proverbs 31 First5 app this week that God is the God of new beginnings. Think about it: He existed before anything else. He is the beginning. He creates beginnings. He sets out, in advance, every new beginning that we will face. Here are some of my favorite verses that bring me comfort and encouragement when I’m nervous or anxious about a new beginning.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights” Habakkuk 3:19.

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” Zephaniah 3:17.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” Isaiah 41:10.

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you'” Psalm 32:8.

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand” Psalm 37:23-24.

Bottom Line for New Beginnings…

When facing new beginnings, remember: God is with you. He holds you by your hand. God is directing your steps. He is making your steps sure. God delights in your new beginnings.