We’ve been in our house since October—and our belongings haven’t arrived. Two months of no answers, no date for delivery, and no bed for the boys or a kitchen blender.
I thank God we have enough to buy necessities, but every day I wonder, will we ever see our things? Will Jason get back all his books (and notes) from seminary? Will I see all the handmade gifts my kids have made since they were born? How about the child rocker handed down in our family from one generation to the next?
At this point, I’m not sure. My heart grieves these treasures—and then God reminds me of something.
This week we Decked the Halls. Twinkle lights strung on the Christmas tree, stockings hung by the fire, Frank Sinatra holiday tunes, and energized boys running laps around the kitchen.
In all the holiday fun, I decided to take some berry branches I grabbed at the craft store and make a small, simple wreath to hang on a coat hook by our front door.
Not so simple.
These cloth-covered wire thingy-ma-bobs kept popping out of place as I shoved and twisted. Ugh. Why did they make them so hard to bend?
As I twisted and formed the wired branches, God whispered some wisdom.
Photo by Anita Austvika on Unsplash
Sometimes Christmas feels like a fruit cake of celebrations. Do kids make the distinction of Jesus and Santa? Or do both sweet celebrations mesh together and they just swallow them whole with one bite?
Then this week while driving in the van, Kavin, my eldest, shared a random thought that made the whole Jesus/Santa recipe fall into place for me.
Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash
Mamas, how we understand the Bible—and especially women of the Bible—matters for our lives and the next generation. Biblical women are our example of how to live (and sometimes not live) as God-honoring women today. And what we share about these stories with the next generation, shapes how they perceive themselves as godly men and women.
So, I am excited to share with you a fascinating project that benefits the International Justice Mission.
This week God provided in tangible ways. The mama down the street let me borrow serving platters for a family gathering. The family across the street hosted us for dinner and extended their lives in friendship. In similar ways to the Pilgrims, our ‘lil family was welcomed to a new place by those already living here.
And yet I still caught myself stewing an UNthankful heart at times. Our belongings aren’t here from Texas (but we have our needs met). The house needs organization (but we have a home to live in). And I worry about the unknowns ahead: schooling for the kids, finding the right doctor, consistent income for our family…and on, and on, and on.
The Holy Spirit pulled out Matthew 6:33-34 from the cupboard of my soul and reminded me about the cure for worry—which happens to also be the cure for an unthankful heart.
“Mom, who do you love more?” My sons ask, both looking up with their precious faces and competing hearts.
Inwardly I think, “Depends on who’s obeying better.”
Did I just write that?
Outwardly I reply, “I love both of you equally. Both of you have my whole heart.”
They run off to play and I run into pondering God’s love as I brown meat for tacos.
- Does God love me more when I obey?…
- Does God love me less when I’m foolish?….
- Does God love me more when I rock housecleaning and Bible study?…
- Does He love me less when the floors are sticky and I was too tired to read?
- Does the measure of God’s love fluctuate like the feelings of love we have toward our kids?
Does God love us the same ALL the time?
photo thanks to unsplash
As soon as the sun slivers through my blinds, I’m serving needs—picking up the babbling toddler, packing a PB&J for my preschooler, and writing my mental list for Target. And that’s just the first ten minutes.
It’s no wonder some days I feel more poured out than poured in. On such a day, I sat down to pray, closed my eyes, and silently started, “Lord, I worship You. What do You need me to do?”
God’s response surprised me. (more…)
This weekend I walked in the damp Pennsylvania woods while the wind rustled the branches and the leaves surrendered drops of captive rainwater. Tink, shh, woo, tink. Maple, dogwood, oak, and beach, all letting go of their holdings, adding to the colorful canvas on the floor of the woods. I drew near to God who created these trees as I stared in silence.
More than 25 years ago I wandered these woods—lost and searching, not knowing what my heart ached and grasped for. The golden hues of the Maple tree whispered something of majesty and I wondered, “Does God exist? And if He does, I want to know Him.”
Looking back over more than two decades of following Jesus, I see times when I simply just lived. Rushing from one “important” thing to the next—barely breathing, let alone wondering at the hue of the golden maple—or leaning in to recognize God’s whisper through the rustling of the leaves.
Are you rushing this Fall? Here is one simple thing we can do to draw closer to God.
My Instagram feed splashes images of quick quotes and inspirational verses intended to remind me of living for Jesus. But this week they seemed to skim my soul rather than refresh it. There is something deeper needed for powerful living than quick tips— the same thing is needed for powerful parenting.
What do we need for powerful parenting?
We all grow weary in life—when the days seem blended together in a stale soup. We read our Bibles but the words taste bland and watered down.
Where’s the power?
We are just tired. Very tired. Sometimes even depressed.
When we feel like we are wandering the wilderness with an unknown end, fighting against laundry piles of bitterness, fear, anger, or depression how can we find strength?
Isaiah 40 reminds us of a simple way to find strength when we are weary.
Photo by Meiying Ng on Unsplash