Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering, Time With God

Test: When Life Tests Us

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+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—TEST. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

TEST

Today’s been a testing-sort of day. And I confess, I’m pretty sure I failed.

I learned a long time ago that in order to pass a test, I need to prepare.

Somehow, I keep having to relearn that lesson.

From getting to bed way too late last night and up early this morning, I didn’t prepare well for the tests this day held. I’ve been running on tired for days now, and my sharp responses and impatient words give me away. Not to mention that need of a nap at about noon today.

The test was handling two boys on fall break, both of whom had to live out consequences from earlier in the week.

Yeah, I know. Not a great way to begin fall break.

I tried to cram for this test with time in the Word. And I got some reading time in . . . in bits and pieces. Between interruptions from one boy or the other.

Bits and pieces of time with God has been all I’ve gotten lately. See? Cramming. Trying to get some good time today, because I knew I was going to need His presence, His wisdom, and His grace.

When I don’t prepare well for life’s tests, my failings often show up in how I treat others.

The hard thing is? This is such a reflection of what’s going on in my heart.

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I’m learning with the boys coming into the teen years that I must be on top of my game. I have to be prepared for whatever the day throws my way.

The best way to prepare for any test is to come before my Father. 

It’s when I come before Him that I can be at peace with what may be coming. Something about that time in His word and in prayer equips my spirit for whatever tests the day holds.

It’s the meditating on His word that reminds me how to pray when my boys affirm they’re most definitely still in training.

Getting the physical rest I need, eating right? These also prepare me for life’s tests.

But it’s that time in the Word, that time spent still before Him that is the most effective way to prepare for any test that comes my way.

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Thank goodness for God’s grace. And for those mercies that are new every morning. I have a chance to begin tonight to prepare for tomorrow’s tests.

Because I already know, they’ll be written into my day.

What about you? How do you prepare for life’s tests? What Bible verse helps you on a day when you feel like you’re failing?

Click to Tweet: When I don’t prepare well for life’s tests, my failings often show up

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Test

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25 thoughts on “Test: When Life Tests Us”

  1. What’s amazing to me is you are still able to write so well even though tired out from a ‘testy’ day! Letting His peace enter our furious beating hearts when chaos is all our eyes see, is beyond our comprehension sometimes. I know I have to just believe and take into my mind and heart His simple words to me–It’s going to be okay. And then I can start to breathe again.

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    1. Lynn, sometimes writing from the emotion of the moment (or remembered emotions of the day) bring a post together, you know? 🙂

      I’m still learning how to let His peace enter my heart in the high emotional moments. 🙂 When He meets me in those chaotic places, that’s when I begin doing a better in my interactions with others (especially my boys!). 🙂 I love the reminder: “It’s going to be okay.” Thanks for sharing that!

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  2. I love this, “From getting to bed way too late last night and up early this morning, I didn’t prepare well for the tests this day held.” This is me as well and some day my boys wil grow into teenagers and learning from your words to rest for these tests! I’m visiting from fmf.

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    1. It’s so funny, Bonnie, how important sleep is to us if we want to mother well. 🙂 Getting enough sleep has been one of my biggest challenges! Making sleep a non-negotiable now is a good habit to get into. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement, and for stopping by, Bonnie!

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  3. I’ll echo Lynn’s comment – that your writing, at the end of a hard day, is simply amazing, so lucid and faith-filled.

    I’m afraid I don’t have a go-to selection of Bible verses; my preparation for the tests that life sends is a ind of understated fatalism. I’ve lost the sense of the dramatic, and just try to keep going, no matter what.

    When I fail I’m usually pretty horrible to myself, far harder than I would be on anyone else.Not really a good thing.

    #2 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/10/your-dying-spouse-216-lethal-legacy-fmf.html

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    1. Oh, and when I was healthy I stayed in the best physical shape I could, on the assumption that any kind of test could be faced better from a position of strength and resilience. This involved 3-4 hours of a hard workout – every day of the year. Put quite a damper on my social life, when when faced with a crisis I was usually able to respond pretty well. And a number of doctors said that my continued survival through this illness is a legacy of being in good shape

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      1. Being in good physical condition does a lot for the rest of our health too. I’m so glad you made it important when you were able to workout. I know you still do what you can. You are an inspiration for me. I’m terrible about working out.

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    2. Andrew, you bring up a great point. Our mindset is a determining factor in how we weather life-tests. I tend to be harder on myself than I am on others too. That’s a habit that’s hard to relinquish. That being said, I’m very thankful for God’s grace. It’s always there when I am ready to accept it.

      So thankful for you, friend.

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  4. Oh, boy! I prepare for life’s test by spending more quiet time with God. I can relate to the running on close to empty and missing out on sleep. That’s an area I need to work on in my life. I hope the rest of your break goes better! Praying for wisdom for you, my friend.

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    1. Anita. Spending more time with God when you a test is coming is so smart. I’ve been really good about that until this school year. After running near empty for a number of weeks now, I’m making changes. Thank you for your prayers, friend!

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  5. Oh yes… this: “When I don’t prepare well for life’s tests, my failings often show up in how I treat others.” So true! (And such a good red flag reminder to take note in how I am treating others to self-assess!)

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  6. What a lovely insight into how lack of preparation is a reflection of what’s going on in one’s heart. This is so true for me and something I’m working on with God as an “inside job.” Now if only I didn’t have to work so much overtime. 🙂

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  7. God often seems to bring a specific Bible passage to mind just as I need it. Two of my favorites when being tested are Psalm 23 and Isaiah 43:1-3.

    He is my shepherd…and He is my redeemer! 🙂

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    1. Joe, those are great passages! I really like the passage in Isaiah. There’s great comfort in knowing God is with us when we pass through the waters! Thank you for adding these to the conversation, and thanks so much for stopping by. It’s good to see you again.

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  8. “Running on tired.” We live parallel lives in this way. Spending time in God’s Word (and not as a cramming session) and taking care of my body (like getting enough sleep) are similar challenges for me. They are choices set before me every day that get pushed aside. That is, until I am met with an uglier, embarrassing side of myself. I come face-to-face with my “soul holes” (thanks for the phrase, Ann Voskamp.) I want “cram” in all that is holy and good, and holiness won’t be rushed.
    I am encouraged by your words to continue to press in and give thanks for God’s immeasurable grace poured out to each of us.

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    1. Cheryl, I’m glad (I think) that I’m not alone in these struggles. The older I get the more important sleep, eating right, and especially time in God’s word are to me.

      You speak a lot of truth. The not-so-pretty side of me comes to light very quickly when I’m tired. You’re right, holiness won’t be rushed. Often God grows it within us by allowing us to face those trials that scrape the fleshy edges off of who we are. It’s through our spirits coming up against sand paper and being rubbed that we begin to shine Jesus’ light more clearly. May we both continue to press in and draw near to God with thanksgiving and faith.

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