Monday, September 26, 2011


A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
Isaiah 40:29-31

29 He gives strength to the weary
   and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
   and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope 
in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar 
on wings like eagles;
   they will run 
and not grow weary,
   they will walk 
and not be faint. 

I was talking to a friend this evening and sharing how I still had this devotional to write and how completely uninspired I was feeling.  He said "You know Margot, Its ok to be tired. Why don't you write about that because we all get tired and its ok"  So thats what I am writing about and I will hope that some how God pulls something up out of me by His Holy Spirit that encourages you.

Its Sunday night and I have been at church since 9 am this moring. I am there early to help with set up, sound, power point. I was the MC of sorts. We had a guest speaker and a guest worship leader who both blessed me by thier ministry to us and to the Lord. So I was the person who welcomed everyone and did the announcements, and the offering and introduced our guests. Its a good job for me God seems to put words in my mouth and its more of a being led by the Holy Spirit thing for me than a stressful speaking in front of people thing. After that there are people who have questions or prayer needs and there is clean up. Then we begin working cooking the meal that we serve at 3pm to our homeless and poor neighbors.  The fellowship in the kitchen is a lot of fun. I got to cook Perogies on the grill and cut and grill onions.  We make a point to only serve things we would serve to our own families. Can't say my family has ever had perogies but I think we will have to add them to the menu. Today we served about 130 people before we ran out of food. We had to turn away about 10 folks and were not able to feed our crew. It does not happen often but funding is a little low lately. Its hard economic times for everyone and giving has been down.  We do our very best to pepare enough to feed everyone and our crew of workers.  Its been quite a while since we have run out of food. You just never really know how many people will show up from week to week. It was 5:30pm by the time I got home and needed to go to the grocery store for some items to be able to pull of dinner at home. Thankfully someone else did the cooking.  All that to say I'm tired, but it is a good tired. I have spent the day doing things I love to do. Serving in the house of God is in many ways is the highlight of my week. 
When I can I try to get ahead on the devotionals for the week.  But not this weekend. Oh well it will be very fresh this week.

Mystic Lake
My tired son and Gracie dog
They call me the Dog Wisperer
This week my family spent the weekend (all but Sunday) on a camping trip. Which was wonderful a day and a half that was spent un plugged from technology. Trust me that is good for my family and for me from time to time. So I brought along a book and did some reading with the help of my dogs. I have not been quite so dirty in a very long time. Tonights dinner was the fish that the kids caught on the trip. We went to a place called Mystic Lake it was beautiful and very rustic with a lake that was down a very steep hill. We walked up and down it a bunch (hmmm... that may be part of why I'm tired too). We sat around the camp fire and played guitars and sang what we could remember of various songs. It was a delightful weekend. There is now a pile of camping gear that will need properly put away and a ton of extra laundry.  Our verse today says "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall." I'm getting a little beyond "youth" but if the young folk get tired, I suspect there is room for me to be tired too. I think my friend is right - it is ok to be tired. What we need to not do is give up, or give the enemy open doors to attack us in those tired places.  In Galatians 6:9 it says "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." The things I have done this weekend have been good. I spent much needed un plugged time camping with my family,  I spent today in worship and serving at my church. I am now enjoying the quiet that has been afforded me by my family to get this devotional written.  It may not be a literary master piece, but I hope it will encourage those of you who are reading it. That it's ok to be tired. God promises in our verse today  
31 "but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,  they will walk and not be faint."

My hope is in the Lord. I am thankful for His abiding presence with in a very full weekend. I am thankful that I will sleep well tonight. I am thankful that He promises to renew my strength.
I am thankful that He has given me an abundant (full) life. I am thankful that I've had this time to share these devotional thoughts with you. I hope you will remember something from this devotional when you are tired. Tiredness will pass. I took some time to sit out on the porch earlier and to lay on my back and look at the clouds and feel the gentle touch of the breeze.  I have found a quiet spot to write for a bit, which has turned out to be quite relaxing for me.  When I am tired I seek out quiet and I look to Jesus to be my center. In the quiet and the silence there is a refreshing that comes and all in all I am simply thankful for this tiredness because it is a reminder that I have been doing things I love to do, with people I enjoy being with, and I have had the pleasure of being the hands and feet of Jesus to others as I have been led along by the Holy Spirit.  Have I done it all to perfection - no.  I have lived and loved and experienced life first hand and that is a great gift for which I am extreemly thankful.

We saw a great sign on the drive back and my son Niah made sure we got a photo of it.  
Guess there are some days that I am thankful for coffee too.

Dear Lord,
Help us when we are tired to be thankful. To find hope in you that while we may not see all the fruit of our efforts in this moment that we can be confident that they will be evident in time. Lord, refresh us with your presence and in your word.  Thank you that your goal is for us to be more Christ like and no matter what our circumstancs you are able to work that in us if we will yield to you.

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