So the story goes, when I was born, there was some "discussion" over what my name was going to be. Apparently, my father's choice was the name Ruth. We can all inference that his choice was not the one that made the birth certificate, yet, over the years since hearing that tale, I wonder what brings me back to that story in my mind. I love this book of Ruth - I love Ruth's story. I love to read of her actions. Throughout the book of Ruth, what she actually says is minimal, but it is her actions that tell her story. It's a story of faith, the faith she showed to Naomi and God. It's a story of integrity, she not only told Naomi how much she meant to her, she showed that love to Naomi through countless unselfish acts. It's a story of blessings, the countless blessings God bestowed on Ruth to keep Naomi and her safe, fed, and ultimately, providing a new home and life for them. It's a story of God's gift to his people, blessing Ruth and Boaz a son, Obed, ultimately David's grandfather.
As I thought about Ruth and the year that has passed, I realize the growth that God has provided for me. It is amazing what a year brings. A year ago, my stress-filled life was consuming me - and my family. There were days that I felt that I couldn't go on, that the world brought with it too much for me to handle, thereby, not handling much of it. I was in constant turmoil. Then the wonderful ladies at Proverbs 31 shared an on-line Bible Study. It was amazing and changed my life. It taught me that if I put God first, life will begin to take on it's rightful path. One of my greatest learnings was understanding how to blog. Through this avenue, I felt I had a chance to do God's will - something He had tugged at my heart for years - to write. I started, I committed. My goal was to write each week whatever He put on my heart. I am sure there were times that you read and said to yourselves "what was she thinking" (I'm hoping those times were few). I am hoping there were other times when a few of the words touched your heart, helped you to hear from God, and inspired you to say new words, take new actions, live a new life in Christ.
Well, my friends, it has been one year. For the past year, each Sunday, I continued with my commitment. I have been blessed more than any person can imagine. The blessings have come through my growth while writing, my learning of what I can do better. The blessings have come from sharing my personal struggles - and through writing - finding ways through those struggles. The greatest blessings have come through my readers, who encourage me, share what they have learned, share their words of wisdom. It is those blessings that I take with me to the next week's writing venture. Now, the decision - do I continue to strive to write each week or is it time to say goodbye for a little while. God's voice is telling me to continue - to keep on writing. I pray that you are okay with that and that this time we have together continues to bless you.
Although my name may not formally be "Ruth", it doesn't mean I can't aspire to be like her. I want to live the life of integrity she did. I want my faithfulness for my Lord to come through in my actions, my words, my deeds. I want to show the type of kindness and compassion that Ruth had - to everyone I meet. I want to have the faith in God that is not doubtful, the faith that drives me to go to Him in all I do, for help, comfort and strength. Through all those things, I know the Lord will continue to bless me as he already richly has.
This week, I encourage you to read the book of Ruth - no worries, it's not a long one. I guarantee you that as you read of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz it will inspire you to be stronger people of God. It amazes me that as we grow in the Word, that all the answers to our lives are clearly mapped out for us. God does not let us down - he is here for us every step of the way. Let him lead you. Lastly, I would like to say "thank you" to all who read the words I write each week. Please know that I do believe they are from God - sharing with me to share with you. May we all continue to be a blessing to each other.
"Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." (NIV) Ruth 1:16