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.

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How to Live a Life of Faith

A Christmas Wreath Parable

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.

How to Live a Life of Faith

Photo by Anita Austvika on Unsplash

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Does God Love Me All The Time?

A Motherhood Reflection from Romans 8

“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?

Does God Love Me All The Time?

photo thanks to unsplash

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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…)

1 Way to Draw Near to God this Fall

Psalm 139

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.

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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?

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2 Truths About God’s Love When You’re Sinking in Sin

A Sinners Loving Reminder

This week I really messed up 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? (more…)

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.

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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

 

 

 

How to Embrace God’s Grace When You Feel Burnt

Burned Dinner and Forgiven Sinner

My Costco marinated salmon with beef flavored Rice-A-Roni seemed simple enough (I know, healthiest meal ever). But as I pulled the salmon out of the oven—with a crying baby grasping my ankle, another kid in time-out and the third screaming from the bathroom for help—I realized the fish had a crispy outside and a raw center. I started seeping tears.

Dinner time was 30 minutes ago and our stomachs and attitudes needed food.

This is motherhood for me. Everyone needing me at once and trying to accomplish a simple task sometimes feels like 10th grade algebra all over again. Why do they put letters and numbers together? So confusing.

I called in hubby for back-up, took care of urgent parenting matters, and then marched back into the kitchen and stood staring at the half burned—half raw salmon, and my pot of rice. “What should we do?” I asked the hubs, who usually cooks because he is amazing like that. “I’ll make something,” he consoles.

Then, I saw it—

feeling burnt

photo: pexels.com

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