But then my five year old reminded me that God loves me all the time and it really helped me reset my focus. I was looking at my problems and seeing things in my own strength instead of seeing who God is in my life. I decided I needed some Panera time because Panera is my place. God and I meet there. And last night was no disappointment!
I walked into Panera feeling defeated and discouraged but God immediately started flooding my heart with a steady stream of encouragement. I was reading in my Bible and I have no idea what set off the following thoughts but they came straight to my heart and set it right in so many ways.
God reminded me first of the meaning of my name. Crowned with Laurel. I used to be bummed about the meaning of my name because I'm really big on meanings and I didn't think mine meant much. But that's because I didn't understand the purpose of a crown of laurel until I read about it in the Readers Digest a few years ago. Victors are crowned with Laurel!
I am crowned with laurel.
Crowned with laurel. That's what every name card I have ever seen with my name on it has said. Not "will be crowned" as in I will be victor some day. But crowned. I AM crowned with laurel! Already a victor. I need to start living life as someone who is victorious instead of living it as someone who is already defeated.
I came home and looked up the meaning of Laura just to see what else I could find... I absolutely loved what I read on wiki.answers...
Laura means to wear the victorious crown, prize; it also means leader of the group. It comes from Latin roots. It also means a beautiful heroic girl.
Leaves from the highly valued bay laurel tree were woven into wreaths and were given as prizes such as to the victors in the Olympic games in Ancient Greece.
It Also Means Loved And Crowned But One Of The Strongest Girls Around!
And then God brought scripture after scripture to my attention.
The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and
saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.