I think it is really important to know your why- the reason that you get up each morning and live life the way that you do. A few months back my Pastor encouraged the church to write 100 word stories. Stories of what God has done for each one of us since we each individually decided to follow Jesus. I was telling friends yesterday, that I think I need to read mine every day. It reminds me of who I am in Christ, and why I do the things that I do. It reminds me of my “why” or my because. If I do not remind myself of whose I am, I am more likely to chase after things that are not God’s best for me. I get distracted by things that I should not be focusing on. I need to focus on the eternal- loving God, and loving others. So often, I lose sight of that. I need to keep my fixed on Jesus.
Can I be honest about something? I love putting my thoughts on paper. Revising or refining those thoughts- not so much. In fact, my parents would proofread my papers for me in high school, and I hated when they found errors in a paper that I thought was finished, but when I accepted their correction and made the changes it meant the difference between an okay assignment and a well-written one. This reminds me of Hebrews 12:11 , ” For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” There are many things in life that are not easy, but are worth the time and effort put into them. Surrendering to God and allowing Him to refine is not always easy or enjoyable, but it is worth it. The most comforting part is that God is with us every step of the way.
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I will admit this that I am not always very confident that God is doing a good work in me. I was talking with a friend today that I sometimes get fixated on tangential issues. Our Pastor preached this Sunday on the power of the tongue, and I confessed to her that I am not always calm, kind, and gentle with my children. She reminded me that this of course would be an area I need to work on, but I accomplish nothing by feeling down about it. I need to pray about it, and make a plan to be more mindful about speaking words of life, and carry out that plan. Having a pity party because I have areas of my life that I need to experience growth in does not actually help me grow. Trusting in God that He has began a good work in me, and partnering in that work, by filling myself with the Word and prayer are the first steps toward growth. So, what do you need to trust that He is working on in you, today?
I think in every persons life, there will be seasons of darkness and storms. I think what has helped me during dark times is to remember that God is still there, during those times. He is there. He loves me more than I can comprehend, and He longs for me to call out to Him. If I call out to Him, trust Him, and surrender to Him, He will eventually in His timing lead me to where the light is. I just need to keep my focus on Him, and stop focusing on the darkness and storms around me. I also think looking for little blessings and joys along the dark journey are helpful. Praising God in storm builds my trust in Him. I need to get His word in my head and heart, and just keep preaching it to myself. Joy will come in the morning even when the night seems like it will never end.
Some days I feel like have nothing to give. I am running on empty. I got nothing left. I usually feel this way when I am trying to live life in my own strength. If I keep running full steam ahead, checking things off my to do list, and trying to juggle it all, by the end of the day I am wiped out. I have totally been the mom asleep on the couch at 8 o’clock at night while my kids are still running around playing, and I wake up wondering how I am going to make it through the bedtime routine. In those moments I also marvel that they still have so much energy at that time of day. I was reminded by a friend this week that the old saying, “God does not give us more than we can handle.” is a lie. God wants us to cry out to him, when we have nothing left to give. Actually, I am sure that He wants to call out to us before we get to that point, but I admit I am stubborn sometimes. I get to that point of total depletion, before crying out to him. I am so thankful that in those times that I am in my greatest need that I can find comfort, rest, and peace in Christ.
I believe that this is a sign of the stage of life that I am in as a homeschool Mom, but when I read that the prompt was discover, I thought of the often used line in the Magic School Bus series “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” I like seeing my children stretching themselves creatively, and I know that the only way to learn is by sometimes making mistakes. As a tired Mom, I must admit the getting messy part makes me a little nervous. I believe that our Heavenly Father wants us to make discoveries, also. He wants us to be willing to try new things, grow, and make new discoveries about ourselves, others, and most of all Him. I believe that he made this wonderfully intricate world as an invitation for us to explore and discover. It makes me smile to watch my children discover new things, and I believe that God as our Heavenly Father smiles when we live without fear of failure, and view the world with the wonder of a child.
I don’t really think of myself as brave. Rather, I am a big chicken. You won’t find me on roller coasters. I would much rather view a mountain from the ground rather than climb it. My oldest daughter who loves to climb trees, asked me if I climbed trees as a kid. My answer to that was, “Nope.” There is a different kind of bravery though. The bravery that it takes to just show up. The bravery to lay my agenda at Jesus’s feet, and ask Him to use me to love others today. My kids and I were talking about Matthew 5:14. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” My son said that he learned in Sunday school, that Jesus is the light, and we are the mirrors. I want to lay me down, and be a mirror of the light and love of God.
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
I have always admired the Acts 4 church. The thought of being of one heart and soul with an entire community of believers is so inspiring to me. They shared with each other. No one said, “That’s mine!” about anything that belonged to them. They had everything in common. I think to get to a point that we are openly sharing our belongings with other, we have to be willing to share our hearts. To be of one heart and soul means to share your thoughts, cares, concerns, ideas, in a completely open and safe environment. These people in Acts were free to love out loud. There was a great deal of trust and emotional safety in the body of believers. I want to be that kind of wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. I want to live this out with the people with which I do life.
Sometimes I feel stunted in my spiritual growth. I feel like I repeat the same lessons over and over. I must not have learned it right the first time. I am so thankful for God’s patience with me. In this stage of life, as a young mom, I think of myself as someone who has planted seeds, watered and cared for the seed and now I am watching the soil for signs of growth. The encouraging thing is that even if I do not see signs of growth does not mean that there isn’t growth happening under the surface. I need to keep presenting myself to God, praying to Him, asking to grow me, mold me, shape me. I need more and more of God. He must increase. I must decrease. I also hope that years from now that I will be able to look back at this season of my life, and see growth that isn’t so apparent right now in this moment I am thankful that God is not finished with me yet.
I love to read. I tell my children all the time that reading is the only way to travel the world without leaving the house. I usually get eye rolls from my oldest when I say that. Reading a good book is one of my favorite ways to relax. I sometimes forget what a privilege it is to read God’s word. There are Believers around the world who do not have access to the Bible? Do I realize how amazing it is to hold a Bible in my hand? Do I sit at my computer and scroll through Facebook or browse the Internet, before I tell God good morning? I need to remember that there is only one true source of wisdom God’s word. The Bible is the source of truth, and if what I am reading does not line up with God’s truth, than I need recognize that fact and cling to God’s truth. So what about you? Have you read any good books lately?