What If Praying Isn't Enough?
Abortion - it is a word that makes us shudder with revulsion.
The infamous Planned Parenthood videos have revealed the atrocities of the abortion industry to be even worse than we realized, and our hearts are filled with deep sadness. The constant push for later-term abortions seems to never stop.
Making it a huge temptation to just scroll past. To not get involved and pretend it didn't happen.
We pacify ourselves by praying that God will end this living horror movie going on behind the scenes, in the places we never visit. And we wait for abortion to be voted out.
And in all of our praying, we forget something.
We forget that abortion isn't a legal issue, but a heart issue.
And I am not talking about the hearts of those that are getting routine abortions - or even the abortionists.
We have a heart issue. We are the idolaters. And our god is called "Ease".
He goes by many other names but the characteristics are always the same - he is the god of selfishness. And he is running wild and free in our churches and our lives. In my life.
I couldn't sleep one night so I started praying for God to end abortion in our country. And His answer stopped me in my tracks.
I do not have the right to pray against abortion and expect an answer unless I am willing to throw myself into the battle in some way.
There was once 3 men, a father, a son and a grandson. Each one had the chance to rule their country, but only one was successful.
The father prayed to God about everything he did, yet his people still lived wickedly. He neglected to turn his prayers and his good heart into live action.
The son threw away all pretext of righteousness, and worshiped every false god he heard about. He was so full of darkness he even sacrificed his own sons in the fire, in an effort to gain favor with the evil powers he gave himself over to.
The grandson came to the throne when he was 25 years old. Within the first year of his reign he opened the house of God for all people to worship at. He re-instituted all the holy days and the righteous laws of the land.
Soon he had inspired the people to smash down all the places of false worship his father had built. The nation started following God wholeheartedly.
Hezekiah could've stayed inside his palace and prayed for God to change the hearts of his people, but he didn't. He led the charge himself. He walked into the dirty mess of the temple and dealt with the rubble, the decay and the filth. He swept the dirt out of the temple and so cleared a way for the people to allow God to clean the idolatry out of their lives.
Friends, our actions are what make the difference. Our prayers are valuable and needed, but there is something we need to consider.
God isn't just looking for ladies with sore knees and a worn out spot in their carpet - He wants warrior-women with messy hands and broken hearts.
He wants us to engage the broken with His grace.
He wants us to speak out for those with no voice.
He wants us to quit hiding from the ugly and face it with HIS truth.
As a Mommy we might not be able to be as active as we were at one time. But Mommies can sign petitions, share our hearts on social media and help equip others to be out on the front lines.
If we are willing, God will show us the way!
Let's stop just praying for abortion to be abolished and start asking God to show us the part He has for us in the battle. And then prepare our hearts to follow where He leads!
p.s. You can read about Kings Jotham, Ahaz & Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 27,28 &29.
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1 Corinthians 13 for Moms
It’s easy to skim over 1 Corinthians 13 because we have heard it so many times. We read it on signs and mugs and hear it preached over the pulpit. Sometimes, I like to think of what it would sound like if Paul were speaking directly to moms sitting in my living room. Not because Scripture ever gets stale and needs to be rewritten, but because sometimes my attitude needs an adjustment. And so if I were face to face with Paul, and he had time to expound a little, I think 1 Corinthians 13 might have sounded a little bit like this:
Even if I have been divinely gifted to speak every language known to mankind so that I might preach the gospel to every tribe, tongue and nation, but don’t have love, I might as well be screaming “bla bla bla” into everyone’s ear while pounding on a drum. And even if God gifted me with the ability to speak the language of heavenly beings, so that I could praise Him with the same words as those who surround His throne, but I have no love in my heart or loving actions for the people He has placed in my life, I might as well be jamming out with my headphones and a loud set of cymbals. It would mean absolutely nothing to anyone around me.
God could give me the ability to tell the world what the future holds. He could gift me with wisdom and knowledge beyond my years so that thousands would line up to hear me speak, but if I don’t love my family with His perfect love, I might as well be the most unknown person in the world. Because my work counts for nothing if it is not done in love.
If I have the greatest faith ever seen, so that I can literally move Mount Everest into any ocean I choose, but do not have divine love, I am absolutely nothing. I could give every one of my possessions away and even offer up my life for another and yet, if I do it out of a selfish drive for a good reputation, and not because of the love of Jesus, it will not do me one bit of good. After all, it was love that beckoned Jesus to the cross, not a search for popularity.
True love, the love Jesus pours into a mother’s heart, will patiently serve throughout long hours that turn into days, weeks, months and years, completely unnoticed and unseen by anyone the world thinks important. God’s love is kind, even when the days are long and nothing goes right. God’s love enables me to speak gently to my child when I’d rather scream at what they just did. Love does not long for the things that others have because it has learned to be content in the sweet gifts God has already given. Love brings contentment.
God-given love does not put itself on parade. It doesn’t parent for the good opinion of those who may be watching, but rather for the glory of God and the good of our children, even in the most difficult and trying of moments. Love from God does not seek glory from others so that it can exult in itself.
True love is polite and considerate of those around it, including children. It teaches children how to treat others through example rather than by repeating the same words over and over again. True love in a mother’s heart will cause her to seek the good of her family above her own comforts. It means saying “no” to excessive self-care and “me-time.”
A heart of love will give patience to a mom right in the middle of severe provocation, like when your child pitches a fit at Wal-Mart or spills your morning coffee on your lap before you’ve had one sip. A mind that is controlled by Divine Love will not jump to evil conclusions and will always look for the best in every family member and friend.
You may have been wounded, but if you give yourself over to Jesus and accept His love, you will never rejoice to see bad things happen to those who have hurt you or made your life miserable. Truth is what will make you happy, and as you are filled with love, you will be able to see truth clearly in all situations.
A love-filled heart willingly bears the burdens of life, knowing each one was handpicked by the Creator of Love itself. A mom who has a heart of love has hope because she knows that as much as she loves her child, Jesus loves him more and that hope makes all things possible. She will endure heartache, ridicule and postponements to her most cherished longings because she trusts in the perfect love of her Savior.
Love can never ever fail. It will always triumph, no matter the circumstances. I may prophecy or speak many languages, even celestial ones, but one day that will end. I may be full of knowledge and even wisdom, but one day it too will vanish, like clouds after a storm. Our knowledge and our prophecies will never be perfect because we are only human, but perfect love will last forever, even after knowledge and prophesying are gone and the world is no more.
There was a time when, as a child, I said, did and thought childish things. My understanding was incomplete, and I didn’t even know it. But as I grew older and more mature, I began to see and understand life and reality more completely and clearly. And my spiritual life is no different. I feel like I know so much more than I did about following Jesus and using my gifts for His glory, but the growth of a spiritual heart never stops. I actually know only a small part of what there is to know, no matter what spiritual gifts God has given me. But a day is coming when I shall see everything clearly, and then I will know myself as Jesus, the One who created me, knows me now. Then I will understand exactly why He gave me the gifts He did.
Until then, I know that faith, hope and love will last forever, and I should earnestly pursue all three, but above all, I should desire perfect love.
This post is an excerpt from the book, Mom on a Mission. You can buy the book here.
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Creating a toxin free home is incredibly trendy right now. It can also feel incredibly overwhelming.
And it is worth so much more than just keeping up with the trends. Trends come and go, but the health benefits you and your family can enjoy when you cut out unnecessary toxins and chemicals can literally last you a lifetime.
Now before I go any farther, I need you to know that I am not a die-hard crunchy mom. There are currently marshmallows and candy canes in my pantry. Bleach and Shout are gracing my laundry room shelves. I am not a super radical person and I do things best in small steps. So, if you want to radically overhaul your house and lifestyle, you might want to find another blog. But if baby-steps are your gait and taking things one bit at a time fits your lifestyle, then stick with me, because we can be baby-step besties!
The first step...
If you want to start stripping your home of toxins and chemicals, you need to turn that want into a why. Why do you want to get rid of your harmful chemicals? What's making you try to decipher the ingredients on your baby's lotion? Everyone may have slightly different reasons, but it's important to know your own why, if you want to stick with it. You don't need to write it down or make a chart or anything. Just know it in your head. If you want to write it down on the cover of your planner though, go for it! Do what works for you.
For me, eating healthier and cutting out mainstream products isn't about always keeping the flu at bay, but about being proactive about my family's future health. If I can ditch the name brand baby powder and drastically reduce my daughter's risk of cancer, why wouldn't I?
The second step...
What is in your home that you would like to change? Most of us have a mental list of things we'd like to change. Does it bother you to use your microwave? Maybe you find it hard to use any of your baby products, because you just read an article that outlined some of the potential health risks. Maybe your child has eczema and you want to get rid of it. Or your cleaners give you a coughing fit every time you use them.
Whatever you want to change, make a mental list or put your pen to the paper and write it down. Or type it out. Just figure out what you want to change. Talk about it with a friend or your spouse. Do some research and find some of the most harmful, risky-to-your-health products you use every day.
The third step...
Just take one step at a time. Your switch over doesn't have to be as dramatic as a landslide. You can make one simple switch a week or even a month and slowly change your lifestyle.
Our tendency as humans is to go all or none. If we can't change everything at once, we throw our hands in the air and say "what's the use?" But I'm here to tell you that taking baby steps is the best way towards progress.
Look or think over your list and pick one thing and go with it. Figure out which thing would fit in with your lifestyle the easiest.
Is money an issue? Pick something that doesn't cost extra. Go a month without using the microwave. Cut sugar or white flour out of your diet or maybe stop using fabric softener.
If money isn't the issue, start with the easiest thing on your list. It's pretty simple to throw away your aluminum filled deodorant and order a healthy alternative.
Maybe you're looking at a lifestyle change because of some health issues, so start with that. Find a chemical, toxin-free product that targets that particular issue. (i.e. ditch the Johnson baby lotion for one that doesn't disrupt hormones or irritate eczema.) If you need a diet change, start a pinterest board or order a cookbook and get started.
The bottom line
It is so easy to slowly start living clean. You don't need to change everything at once, but neither will you see any benefits if you sit on your hands in sheer overwhelm. Pick one thing, the thing that makes the most sense with your why and your current lifestyle, and change it. After you get in the groove with that, pick another thing.
When we add healthy changes slowly and at a doable rate, the chances that we'll stick to them increase drastically. If you're a busy mom, the last thing you need is to add unneeded stress and pressure to your life. You don't need to be changing 5 things at a time (unless it's because of health reasons for yourself or a family member). You just need to pick one thing to change and focus on it until it fits into your life as naturally as the thing you replaced. Easy peasy, friends!
Have you made any health conscious changes the last while? Share in the comments - I'd love to hear what changes were important to you and your family!
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I am on a journey to know Jesus better, and be the wife, mommy and friend that God created me to be, all within the walls of my own little home. <3