How Losing My Things Is a Treasure This Christmas

Reflection from Matthew 6 and a Rotten Moving Company

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.

(more…)

1 Way Santa is Not Like Jesus, Thank God

A Gospel Reflection

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.

1 Way Santa is not like Jesus

Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash

(more…)

How to Feel Thankful When You Don’t

A Reflection from Matthew 6

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.

(more…)

What is One Thing God Needs Me To Do?

Acts 17:24-25

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.

My Question

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…)

One Source for Powerful Parenting

Get This 1 Thing Right and Everything Changes

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?

(more…)

How to Find Strength When You’re Weary

Reflection from Isaiah 40

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.

Strength When You're Weary

Photo by Meiying Ng on Unsplash

(more…)

This week I really messed up and starting sinking in my sin. I acted selfishly and allowed fear to control my thoughts and how I treated my family. When the conviction came, I drowned in shame and guilt.

I wanted to swim away from the Lord—how to face the God I love with my sin-stained failures? Yet as I twisted through the waves of accusation, He pulled the current toward Himself.

Do you ever feel a conviction about your less-than-lovely thoughts or actions? 

God’s love is ready to help you up when your sinking in sin.


To READ this week’s post, click here.

Helping The World’s Needs When There Are a World of Needs at Your Feet

How can we help when we can't go or give the way we want?

I open my news scroll to grab highlights as I sip my morning coffee. Flooding. Fires. Earthquakes. Wars. Political shambles. So, is Jesus coming back yet, or what?

My heart stirs with the desire to help—to jump in our mini van and go! Sort donated diapers, serve hot soup, pray with people, share the gospel with the hopeless—something.

Yet here I am—placed by Jesus to be present where I am—training hearts of my two boys and tending to the needs of my baby girl. Sometimes life just seems off kilter. When there is urgent need for serious help, here I am teaching boys how to negotiate with one another over sharing a hot wheel.

When we want to help, but are out of reach, what can we do?

Helping the World

photo thanks to cnn.com

1) Pray.

Prayer is the go-to, the first-response, the on-the-scene help. The supernatural power of prayer is more than we even comprehend. And the amazing thing? We can pray thousands of miles away and the outcome of our prayers physically touch people where our hands can never reach.

And if you don’t know what to pray, just start with honesty. “God, I want to pray for all those hurting right now, but I don’t even know what to pray. Spirit, please help me have ideas of how to pray.”

Then wait. Listen. Then pray what comes to mind. There is no wrong way to pray as long as we are sharing our hearts with the Father.

2) Research.

Who is helping in hands-on ways? What churches or organizations are meeting needs you wish you could meet yourself? Is there any way they can use your help? As you research, pray for each person or organization you learn about. Remember, prayer is powerful and effective.

3) Ask God,

“Is there something you want me to do?” The needs in the world are more than any one of us can tend to, but God is the Great Shepherd. He is at work in the world in more ways than we can ever comprehend and he has something we can all do to serve beyond ourselves. We may not be able to help everyone, but we can do our part.

4) Obey.

What is it that you think God wants you to do to help? Is there anyone you need to talk to before you act (like a spouse or other family members)?

Then do your part. It may be small or large, but it is whatever part God has for you.

Sometimes obeying God makes us look responsible more than heroic. But it is glorifying to God just the same.

Instead of me abandoning my responsibilities, I’m praying. And our family is giving our best where we believe God is leading us.

Recap

So, we may not be able to scrap going to work and the kids’ school to help strip homes muddied from flooding, but we can:

1) Pray.

2) Research.

3) Ask God.

4) Obey.

May the Father be glorified by our willingness to serve Him in the way He leads.

PRAY

God, there is so much going on right now in our world. The needs seem to topple us over even before we reach out to help. Please, oh God, be merciful and protect people in the fires and storms. Please, oh God, settle my heart and lead me in how to pray and how to help. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

RESPOND

Question:Do you know of anyone we can pray for affected by the fires and storms and floods? Please share their names. To leave a comment, just click here.

One Main Ingredient For Soul Nourishment

When your emotional pantry needs stocked

Mom was not known for her domestic prowess, but with all the Martha Stewart she could mimic, she mixed the ingredients according to the handwritten note—slid the bread pan into the oven—and we played cards.

She checked the bread. Hmm… the bread’s not puffing up. Well, maybe it needs just a little more time to cookmaybe more…or more?

She finally pulled out the bread pan to reveal a burnt unidentifiable mass.

We threw out the bread—and the pan.

Turns out, Grandma’s list was missing flour—’cause she knew how much she started with when baking a loaf.

Sometimes one simple ingredient can change the whole loaf.

Same is true in life. But what ingredient are we missing?

Ingredient of praise

Photo courtesy of unsplash.

(more…)

How to Follow Jesus When Critics Are Loud and the Way Ahead Is Unsure

Sometimes Jesus-Following Isn't So Simple

Sometimes Jesus-following looks crazy—like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute kind of crazy. Our loved ones shout, “Don’t do it!” or “Come this way for safety,” but you think Jesus is telling you to jump in obedience towards a new job, ministry, location or relationship—or is He?

When following Jesus looks crazy, but the road seems unsure, who do we listen to? How can we know for sure which way to go? Jump off? Climb down? Or not leave the comfort of the solid-footing at all?

This week’s video encouragement from Mark Chapter 3 explores making cumbersome decisions in following Jesus when we have competing voices telling us what to do—sometimes competing voices even within ourselves.

God bless you mamas. I pray you have a non-cumbersome week following Jesus in motherhood and beyond.

-Seana