God Altered My Life

God Altered My Life

I run a vinyl record shop, my husband’s hobby, which has greatly altered my life as an author. For years we traveled New England selling my books, meeting people, and encouraging them in relationship with God. We often discussed expanding these trips countrywide once our youngest was to graduate.

That’s all changed.

His sudden, fast-growing collection of records frustrated me. I felt I was supposed to be supportive, but it was nothing I cared about. I finally offered help, and we spent many nights checking, cleaning, and organizing all he was amassing. What was the purpose, I wondered?

Selling seemed logical. Chris joined me as a vendor at a number of fairs until it became too burdensome. I knew my life was at a crossroad. Years of marketing had come to an end. After seeking God’s direction, I offered my services, and we opened a store.

Chris and Rebecca Matthews stands in front of the Open sign in front of their new vinyl record shop, Chris's Nostalgia Shop

Chris’s Nostalgia Shop opened for business on January 29, 2018

During this transition, inwardly I was hurt. My publisher had already closed unexpectedly in the midst of projects. Now, with the loss of hands-on marketing, my dreams as a writer felt crushed. Though I wavered in my support, I trusted God.

We just celebrated the store’s one year anniversary!

In this time I’ve realized my relationship with God is more important than my writing being recognized, and I’ve become pleased with supporting my husband’s dreams, being available for my family, and writing encouraging content for others. Most importantly, with all the time I now spend focused on my Lord, I sense His powerful presence all the time. He’s at my center again, where He belongs.

Chris’s Nostalgia Shop was perfect for me!

You see, God knows what’s best, and while change always comes, I’ve found joy in being content wherever He has me. Let me encourage you. No matter what changes occur, perceived good or bad, trust Him. His will is best!

There’s A River

There’s A River

We are that river

There’s a river that God’s in the midst of. It’s so influential that even the streams coming from it refresh the distant lands they touch. It’s a holy place, that river. It houses the most High. We, the children of God, are that river. He is in the midst of us, living through us, and imparting His strength so that we can rest in Him and not live broken.

When we flow freely, unencumbered by life’s debris, when God pulses through our very being, His light shines from us like streams branching off from a river. Even the seemingly small things we do prompted by God encourage others to believe. They’re touched by Him through us, often without us even being aware.

Let God guide your journey

Entrusting our lives to God and His will allows Him to guide us through riverbanks He’s already carved. Some appear good, some appear bad. Following through on His nudges often leads to witnessing things that could only have come from One who knows all. For these experiences we praise and worship Him. However, sometimes that revelation comes later. Hold tight.

Difficulties place us where God needs us

When we endure difficulties of which others judge and condemn us, rather than lash out, stand confident. God is in control still. He positions us where He needs us to be. There’s no need to defend. Don’t allow these seemingly bad situations to hinder His work. Fight the urge to complain or attack in response. Wait in quiet trust. Keep your eyes on Him, and watch God reveal His purposes. In this way we’re able to offer an example of the pure power of God.

Resist angrily giving back what is being done to you. Restrain from seeking vengeance. God does so in His time and to a degree that serves His purposes, furthering His will. Let Him repay evil for what evil has done. It’s not your job. Let that freedom penetrate and enjoy the weight lifted.

Relax in the flow of God’s will.

Rest, relax in the flow of His will. Sink in, and don’t worry about what you may or may not accomplish. He provides abundantly what’s needed. Resting in Him renews our Spirit as we continue to grow closer and more in love with Him. Allow fully His Spirit to fill and flow through you. Relationship with Him is the most important thing of life.

There’s a river that God’s in the midst of. Be that river, trusting and filled so much that streams of His presence branch off from you, offering refreshment to others.

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