At the End of the Day

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At the end of the day, I creep silently into his room. He has been sleeping for two hours already. His breath is slow and steady. His eyes shut out the night.

I myself am about to head to my bed, but I take a few moments to sit on the edge of his and watch my little boy sleep and send up another prayer to my God who is always watching over us.

As I sit there, looking at my son’s sleeping form…

…the tantrums from the day fade away,

…the shouts of “No!” are silenced,

…the physical tiredness from holding a thrashing body is forgotten,

…the mental exhaustion from repeated instructions and activities is refreshed,

…the disobedience is forgiven,

and…the mother who wondered all day if she was doing anything right realizes that it is all going to be ok.

I thank God for this precious gift He has given me, and I surrender my son’s sleep to the One who loves him more than I ever will be able to.

Sometimes, (everyday actually), I am like my two year old son. I disobey my Father and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I argue with Him about the smallest things, and disrespect Him a lot.

However, at the end of the day all is forgiven, all is forgotten. He stands at the door of tomorrow saying, “My mercies are new every morning.”

 

We don’t have to wait til the end of the day either. In the moments when I feel like I am drowning, I can cry to God, and He will lift me up and give me breath. When I feel like a failure, He reminds me that He is my strength and that if I ever lack wisdom He will give it to me.

I am not alone. And neither are you.

We are His children. The work of His hands. We are His beloved. The ones Jesus bled and died for.

Our Heavenly Father knows how to give good gifts, and at the end of time, He will open His arms and say, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He has forgiven us fully.

As I kiss my sleeping son, and still say I love you, after all the trials he put me through that day, how much more my Heavenly Father loves me at the end of the day.

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Does Believing That “All Lives Matter” Make a Difference?

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Over the last week I’ve been seeing differing opinions on the current hot topic of Black Lives Matter. I’ve seen cartoons and analogies explaining why #alllivesmatter doesn’t work, but #blacklivesmatter will.

In a nutshell, Black Lives Matter helps us focus in on an area where the problem is, but All Lives Matter broadens it out too far to do any good anywhere. Believers in All Lives Matter are passive people who don’t put their actions where their mouth is. We just flippantly say it to be argumentative, (apparently).

Maybe that is true for some people, but seriously, the passive, argumentative people are on both sides.

Here is what All Lives Matter means to me.

When I am at work, and a co-worker or a guest (I don’t work at a hotel, but that is what we are instructed to call our customers) are being very difficult to get along with, I treat them like their life MATTERS.

When I disagree with my husband, I treat him like his life MATTERS.

When I am driving and someone almost (or does) causes an accident in front of me, I treat that person like his/her life MATTERS.

When my toddler throws tantrums and is disobedient, I treat him like his life MATTERS.

When I am cheated, harassed, unfairly treated, lied to or about, and on and on, I treat everyone around me like their lives MATTER.

I saw a photo of a t-shirt on my newsfeed that said “All lives matter *except…” I won’t list them all, but it was basically a bunch of different criminals, people who do REALLY bad stuff. I disagree, and maybe if we treated everyone like their life mattered it would make a difference.

No one is worse than me. Although I may have never killed anyone, all sin is punishable by death except by grace freely poured out on the cross. That is the only difference between me and a lot of people out there.

Nothing I do affects whether my LIFE matters or not. The color of my skin does not determine if my LIFE matters. My heritage, my race, my social status, and my income do not make my LIFE matter.

I matter because…

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 ESV)

That is it! 

That right there is why All Lives Matter.

Moving on to my call to action in loving everyone in your sphere of influence, here is another gem:

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 ESV emphasis mine)

If anyone says “all lives matter” but it doesn’t show in how they respond to the people around them, they may not actually believe it.

What if we acted like we believe that All Lives Matter? Who’s life would be different because of it?

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:14-26 ESV)

 

What Do You See?

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Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV

We are in a war. 

What does that even mean? When I look around my community, my home, and my life, I see dishes piled high, busyness, cars that need work, diapers that need changing, a to-do list that never gets finished, joy, a toddler’s laughter, boo boos, and on and on. What I do not see is a war. Or do I?

I grew up in church, and I’ve read the entire Bible two, almost three, times. I’ve been recognized and awarded for memorizing Scripture.

I think that sometimes we become so familiar with something that we can forget about it or see it at face value without looking deeper. Here is an example: There are many people I have worked with at my job for a year now, but I haven’t actually talked to them much or talked much about personal things. If I saw them at Walmart I would point them out to my husband and say “I know them”, but the truth is that I really don’t know them, I just know of them.

When I was washing my hands the other day, a thought came to me: I do this because I’ve been told that there are germs on my hands, but I do not, nor have I ever, seen them.

There are spiritual beings that we do not see waging a war around us. I do believe that we see the results of this war. It is in our attitudes, words, and actions. It is in the sick and the dying happening around us. It is in the joy and laughter, peace and hope that we experience.

No matter how you experience this war, it is real. There should be no doubt about that.

I am being more intentional in my prayer time. As a mom of a very busy toddler who also works outside the home, I thought that the best I could do was sneak in a quick glance at a verse of the day sent to my email each morning and trying to converse with God throughout the day.

Side note: I used to think that I needed to have a set aside prayer time, and learning to  converse with God throughout the day is something I have recently learned to do. It is essential to pray continually, and has drawn me closer to God, but it is NOT a replacement for prayer time.

What if I really was going off to a physical battle? I would prepare. I would do whatever it took to be ready for confrontation. I would be uncomfortable, tired, and sore.

What if I really believed that there was a war going on around me and that it affected how I lived, loved, raised my kids, worked, and worshipped God? I would be intentional about praying in the morning when I wake up and in the evening before I fall asleep. I remember to be grateful for every good gift the Father gives me throughout the day. I would recognize that the enemy is stronger than me by myself and I would surrender my weaknesses to my Rock and my Fortress. The One who already has the victory.

I’ll admit, at first it seemed like a chore. It seemed religious. But now it is my life, my air, my bread. I don’t know how I survived without it.

Sometimes it is simply, “God, please give me grace!” in a trying moment during the day, or it is a few minutes of telling Him how grateful I am for all His work in my life. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep praying for a friend, family member, or stranger who is in pain.

When I am lost in the daily mundane and I forget everything that is not right before my eyes, I remember this story:

I helped chaperone a youth camp, and in the middle of the second night, a teenage girl who was in my room woke up up shaking in fright because she said that there was a demon in the room. I did not see or sense anything. Not having any idea what to do or say, I just started praying and declaring God’s love and protection over us. I also prayed that He would remove whatever was in our room. I am not sure how long it took, but the girl finally told me that it was gone. Even though I hadn’t sensed anything “evil” before, I did notice when it was gone. There was peace. I felt safe.

While we were praying, another girl woke up and asked what we were doing. When we told her, she said “We didn’t pray before we went to sleep.” We had done that the first night.

All I can say is that it is real. If you’ve forgotten like I have and focus solely on the part of the world that is physical and right before your eyes, remember that God is there waiting to hear you. He said that we would have trouble in this world, but He never meant that we had to go at it alone. There is a lifeline.

I challenge you to start being intentional about prayer. Give it a week and see how things change. Let me know what happens. God is always good.

 

 

Why Don’t We Celebrate Life?

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I will start by admitting that I did not spend a lot of time researching what happened at the Cincinnati Zoo. I only saw a few posts by my friends on Facebook when I got home from work last night. I did watch about a minute of the video, and I Googled it a little to find out which zoo it was for this post and gather a little more info on what exactly happened.

But I am not going to write about what happened or didn’t happen or what should have happened. I am not going to write about my opinion on the few bits of info I saw and read. I am not the kind of person who likes to jump to conclusions on the bare minimum amount of info and go on a passionate rant for justice.

So, here is what I was thinking last night when this was first brought to my attention.

“What if that was my son?”

“I am so thankful that the boy is alive and well.”

“I am confident that the zoo knew what they were doing.”

While I don’t know the facts, I do know that people who work at zoos love animals. That is why they do what they do. They go to school for this stuff. They get attached to the animals that they work with. My thought last night was that this was not a decision that they made lightly. If they made the decision to kill Harambe then it was the right thing to do. Also, when I Googled it the first few articles that pulled up said that the zoo stood by their decision and that they would do it again if they had to. This wasn’t a rash decision that they are regretting now. It was a really tough call that I am sure they are not happy about, but it saved a little boy’s life.

That brings me to my point.

It is ok to mourn for Harambe, but why can’t we also celebrate that the life of a child was saved?

What would the headlines have said had the child died? Would we mourn for him? I don’t know anymore. I see a world that wants to save trees and animals, (Great! God wants us to be good stewards of His creation), but passionately desires the death of babies.

Life needs to be valued and celebrated.

Now, I realized that sin is the problem, and that it is never going to go away until Jesus returns, but you have a sphere of influence. Use it to promote God’s love and the celebration of life. Teach your kids to value life. A great way to do that is teach them to be nice to animals). Every life matters, but human life is more valuable than animals. The zoo made the right decision.

My final thoughts go to the boy and his family. It is easy for me to watch the video and think, “I am glad that is over,” but it really happened. That boy is real. He is out there somewhere reliving the moment. Hopefully he learned from it, but that was incredibly scary and he won’t be forgetting the fear anytime soon. And on top of what he is already feeling and thinking, is he also hearing people say that the zoo made the wrong decision? That they should have risked his life further to save the gorilla.

I pray that he and his family find peace and that they can rejoice in what happened.

 

Should We Love Our Neighbor or Our Brother

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I want to start by asking God to help me to check my heart every moment of every day so that I can love like He loves. This isn’t something that we will ever perfect this side of Heaven, but I pray that my words and actions reflect Christ’s love to EVERYONE I meet.

To answer my title question: We should love both our neighbor and our brother. Let me explain why I am separating the two. When Jesus instructed his followers to love their neighbor, He meant that everyone you see is your neighbor, so basically love everyone. However, there are many times when the Bible talks about loving your brother. Those were spoken to the body of Christ exclusively. So, when I say “love your neighbor, I personally am referencing non-believers, and when I say “love your brother” I am referencing the body of Christ. I do believe that when Jesus spoke, “neighbor” included everyone.

Although I know many non-believers, I am selective of who I let get close to me. I want to reach out and share God’s love with everyone, but not everyone is going to make it onto my Facebook friends list. Not everyone is going to be allowed access to my personal daily activities. So, it comes as a surprise to me that when I check my newsfeed right after a big issue hits the media (example: abortion, transgenders in women’s bathrooms, Donald Trump running for the presidency, etc.) that among my brothers and sisters in Christ (because they make up the majority of my FB friends) there is a lot of judging, pointing fingers, and accusations of who’s not being loving to their neighbors.

People love to remind us that Jesus ate with the “sinners”. I’ve been disturbed in my spirit for the last couple of weeks about this which is why I haven’t posted in awhile. I did not know what to say.

While I was pondering this, God dropped a bombshell on my thought train. He said this, “I love the Pharisees too”. You guys, yes, Jesus spent most of His time with “sinners”, but that doesn’t mean that He didn’t love the religious leaders. He said harsh (unloving?) things to them, but He said harsh things to Peter as well. Jesus was being loving when He said those things.

The quote of Jesus that has been playing on repeat in my mind for that last couple of weeks is this, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 ESV

I think we miss this one as we try to fit into a culture that preaches tolerance. If one of our brothers or sisters appears to be judging another human being we go right along with the world and tell them to be more loving. We say that that is what Jesus would do. Jesus never condoned anyones sinful lifestyle. Over and over again He touched the untouchable, He healed them, and He told them that their sins were forgiven. Then He told them to “go and sin no more.”

Has anyone ever said to you, “I don’t like Christians, but you aren’t so bad.” And then do you feel pleased that you are reaching a lost person with your love for them even though they are a sinner? Have you ever responded with something similar to this: “Yeah, I know that the church isn’t very loving these days, but that is not really what Jesus is like.” I am not so sure that you have won a follower of Christ or a new buddy. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Pointing fingers and name calling (hypocrite, judgmental, etc.) are not loving, and according to Jesus won’t draw anyone to Him.

Jesus does say to love your neighbor. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that loving the body is more important than loving your neighbor, but He never said that loving them at the expense of loving your brother will draw anyone to Him.

I am not trying to tell you how to love, just who to love. Your neighbor = everyone. Don’t forget your brothers and sisters.

Every track my thought train has taken me on the last two weeks has brought me back to this: Love God above all. 1 John 4:21 says this: And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

My husband and I took a marriage class at our church, and that was a big theme that I saw in the series. In order to love anyone you must love God first and above all. When my heart feels icky and I realize that I am not loving someone with my words, actions or thoughts, I repent and apologize to God for not loving Him. Whether or not I love someone is a fruit of my relationship with God.

There are hateful people in the church, and I don’t always have it all together myself. If you ever are bothered by what someone is saying, please pray and search Scripture before you attack them. Most of you probably do think that you are being loving by confronting a person who appears to be unloving, but make sure you remove the “log” from your own eye first. Make sure you are seeing the situation clearly and are being guided by the Holy Spirit.

 

 

Why I Don’t Take “Me” Times

   


   What is your worst quality? If there was anything you could change anything about yourself what would it be?

   While I could list so many things for my answer, this week God has really been highlighting one word (two actually) that sums it ALL up. 

   SIN 

   SIN, and specifically selfishness. I am a sinner. I am incredibly selfish everyday. 

   My 1 1/2 year old son is so needy. The house is never clean though I am always cleaning. My husband needs time. And I just worked 40 hours even though I am a part time employee. Sound familiar? Why can’t I take 5 minutes? Why can’t I pray or read or visit Facebook or Pinterest without my son jumping on me yelling “Melmo!” Or while playing with his toy vacuum cleaner insisting that I stop what I am doing every 30 seconds to say “vacuum” before he can continue? Why, after a full day of work and play, do the dishes need to be washed and toys picked up? 

   Stop. Before I continue, I need to say that time to yourself is VERY important. It isn’t an option. But I live in a sinful body that tries to rule me. So do you. I find myself demanding that precious time and wanting to act like my toddler when he has a tantrum when I don’t get what I want. I find myself not satisfied with and grateful for a rare quiet bathroom break or a chore free nap time so that I can nap or read of do whatever I want. I find myself demanding more. 

   So, I don’t take “me” times. It can’t be about me. It has to be ALL about God. My flesh tells me that that is extreme. God loves me and wants me to be happy. True, but it can’t be about me. 

   I take rest times. When you Aron an airplane the flight attendant tells you that in an emergency to put your oxygen mask on first and then help the person next to you. Have you heard that analogy before? I rest so that I can help my family. I rest so that I can serve God. I rest so that I can be sane again. Haha! 

  Do you see the mindset change? Me times make me focus on myself and turn me back into a tantrum throwing toddler. Rest times make me focus on why I am taking them. 

   Slow down. Take a deep breath; breath in the Holy Spirit so that you can go again. Not so that you can feel like an adult again. Not so that you can be entertained by something other than Melmo or The Wheels On the Bus. 

   None of these things are bad in themselves, but when I give selfishness an inch it takes a mile. Just rest because you need it. Keep it simple. I am finding how much relying on the Holy Spirit in everything changes everything. 

Oh Be Careful Little Mouth


   Reality check: little pitchers DO have big ears. And they hear more than we will probably ever realize. 
   I was folding the laundry the other day while my 1-1/2 year old was playing with something (I don’t even remember) a few feet away. I started singing “Good, Good Father” and when I got to the end:

Cause you are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways to us
You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways to us

my little one would look innocently at me after each line and say “way”. I had no idea throughout the entire song that he was even paying attention. He had no idea how impactful those little words he spoke were to me. 

   I thought, “I really need to watch what I say!” 

   I did a Scripture search on words. This is what I found:

   I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matt. 12:36-37 ESV

   Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29 ESV

   Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Col. 4:6 ESV

   And on and on. 

   It got me thinking, who else hears my words? Who at the park or the library or the grocery store hears the things I say? We can be lights of encouragement without even realizing it. Or we can be blankets of discouragement. 

   I heard a man’s testimony once of how as a boy he was bullied everyday. It was so bad that he wrote a suicide letter to his parents and decided that if no one said anything nice to him at school that day he was going to go home and end his life. The whole day went by, and as he was getting on the bus to go home, thinking, “this is it”, a girl walked by him and said something along the lines of (I forgot the exact quote) “It was good to see you today, Nick.” 

   Wow!

   She saved a life. 

   Life gets busy. Problems happen. It’s easy to let things slip to our parents, kids, spouse, co-workers, friends, or retail workers in the heat of the moment that under a less stressful situation we never would have dreamed of saying. Have you ever stopped, closed your eyes and wished that you could take something back the second it left your mouth? 

   The good news is that God’s grace and mercy are new every morning. Every minute actually. In any moment you can repent and start over from that minute on. There isn’t a talley of all the horrible things you did or said to be reviewed and repented of each day only to try again in the morning. 

   Although I don’t have a three-step solution to help you speak more kindly, (though I’ve heard counting to 3 or 10 or 1,000,000 before you speak may help), I can testify to the help of the Holy Spirit. It sounds so Sunday school basic, but the biggest lesson God has been teaching me is to simplify my life. Take it back to the basics. Stop trying to over complicate my problems, and just hand them over to Him. He is MORE than able to restore anything I break. 

Empty Days

  
Dear Empty Days,

As I look ahead on my calendar and see you looking back, waiting for me, I wonder what you hold. Life is short, and only God knows how many of you I will receive. 

In the last week two deaths have come to my attention. One was an older man who lived a full and vibrant life. He passed into Heaven surrounded by loved ones. The other was a 22 year old collage student. The details of his death are still under investigation. All we know is that he died alone, bleeding to death in a driveway while we slept. I don’t know if he is with Jesus. 

I want to make my time with you count. I want you to matter. 

“This is the day that he Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 ESV

You do matter, Empty Days. You matter because you are made by the Lord. From the beautiful warm sunrise to the stunning sunset every detail of you was thoughtfully planned by the Creator. 

I try to make you better. Sometimes I think that I can tweak you, add a detail or two or take one away. But the Creator doesn’t make mistakes. I need to relinqish you to His loving care. I need to let Him write the story. 

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:16-17 ESV

God only gives perfect and good gifts. That includes you. If I try to write a different story for myself I will only be miserable. 

As I look at you on my calendar I say, “God, fill my days. Lead me where You want me to go. I surrender this gift back to you so that I can enjoy it to its fullest.” 

How can I spend my time wisely? We are made to be a blessing to others. Ever smile, every simple act of kindness makes more of an impact than we realize. 

So, I will keep my heart joyful as I anticipate Tomorrow’s birth, and be grateful with each day’s ending trusting that my small part brought glory to God. Creator God is a multiplier. He takes our smallest offering (Mark 6:30-44) and speads it around so that all are blessed, all have more than enough. Even the smallest stone can make ripples that reach out farther than it could by itself. 

So rest easy, Empty Days. You matter. 

Love, A Trusting Pilgrim

The Giving Tree

   Generosity: 1. the willingness to give or to share. 2. an act of unselfish giving.

Selfishness: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself.

I feel drained. Empty. Unable to give. How can I keep going on? Do I even have anything that someone needs?

The answer is yes, I can keep going.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30 ESV

The answer is yes. I believe that at any moment in our lives we have something to give. But, sometimes we do have very little. Sometimes we do need to be filled.

The mom’s group that I attend at my church is going through Jennie Allen’s Bible study Restless. In it we are digging deep and exploring into ourselves to find out who God made us to be so that we can know what we are supposed to be doing.

God told me last night that one reason, (one of probably a few million), I feel restless is because I am a giver, and I haven’t learned how to receive yet. If I am a glass of water and I give a drop or a sip to anyone who is in need eventually I will run out of water. Eventually I will be dry.

The reason I put the definition selfishness above is because I want you to understand that I am not talking about being “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself”. I am talking about being filled.

“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV

I think that it is selfish to think that we can keep on giving. I know it is when I am focused on myself that I don’t see my need for Jesus. I don’t see that He is holding his hand out offering me wisdom, strength, joy, peace, patience, understanding, and anything I could ever need and could ever have to offer someone else. I dry up when I only look at myself.

My trying to be strong, and independent does not do anyone service. I am weak, and I need to rely on God for everything.

I am restless because giving is part of who I am, and I can’t be that part of me when I am dry.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein came to my mind when God told me that I need to learn to receive. I read it before I started writing this post. I find it beautiful and sad at the same time. The tree was so loving, so generous. I realize that in the end she still had one thing left to give, and that it was exactly what the boy needed, and that the author said that the tree was happy, but as I looked at the picture of the stump I thought, “you can’t give much when you are just a stump.”

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

I think of the apple tree. Tall and with beautiful branches reaching out in praise to its Creator. I see it dressed in green and bearing tasty fruit. I see mother birds and squirrels building homes and raising families. I see activity, life, and beauty. Things are moving and growing and happening. People seek the tree out hoping to receive something good. I see the tree bringing glory to God.

If I allow myself to give until I am just a weary, lonely stump, I will not be bringing glory to my Creator. He wants me to thrive and be filled so that I overflow to others. That is how we are a city on a hill.

As a wife and mom I am giving on a daily basis. Minute after minute I am pouring into my family. (That is not counting all the other people who come across my path) So isn’t it realistic that I need to be filled by God on a minute to minute basis also? I believe so.

So I pray this for you:

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:17-23 ESV

 

In The Trenches

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How has your week been?

If I tried to tell you about mine it would look like a bowl of spaghetti noodles. My thoughts are all jumbled up, and to lay them out would take us on thousands of rabbit trails. I promise that they are all connected somehow, but it would take to long to tell.

One thing I do know is this: God is good.

When I started a journey last fall that God used to stretch me I learned so much. I asked God how I was supposed to remember everything. It is one thing to read a great piece of advice in a book or on social media or wherever and think, I’ll have to remember that in the future, but to remember it is the hard part.

God told me that all I need to remember is that He is good and He is big.

God is good. Let that sink in. Play out some scenarios that happened in your life that were not good. Then tell yourself that God is good. Maybe you won’t feel anything because, like me, you’ve taken that for granted your whole life that it doesn’t stir any emotions in you to think about it. Maybe pairing that sentence with a bad event in your life confuses you. You wonder how a good God could possibly allow something like that to happen.

I don’t know which one is you, but now that I have allowed it to sink in and penetrate my heart, I feel peace whenever I think of it. When chaos is surrounding me, when I am confused and feel directionless, I remind myself that God is good, and in that moment, everything fades and all I know is that although something bad is happening, God is good. My situations, my sins, the sins of other people do not determine the character of God. He is unchanging no matter what.

God also told me to remember that He is big. That is because I have a way of putting miracle grow on my problems. God wants me to remember in every situation that He is even bigger. I am not going through anything bad right now, but I do feel overwhelmed with to-do lists, work, blogging, being a wife and mother, stuff, stuff, and stuff. It all seems so big, so much, so overwhelming.

God is bigger.

So, what do we do? Let God’s Word wash over you. I don’t know how that works for you, but find a way to remember that God is good and God is big. Give all your thoughts, feelings, fears, joys, passions, hopes, discoveries, business, etc, to Him. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are. He cares, and loves being a part of every detail of our life. After all, He is the Author. He is also the Perfecter. When I hold on to even a small part of my life I still mess it up. God can restore it. He wants to restore it. He wants to heal. He wants to give life. Let Him.