It had been a rough morning. My emotions were raging and the kids found many things were not to their liking as we progressed through the day. Tempers flared and words were tight, clipped and harsh.
Something needed to give.
I picked up my two-year-old and sat down on my piano bench, cuddling her on my lap as I played Jesus Loves Me. Her favorite song. Pretty soon she was lisping the words along with piano keys. My oldest came down the steps, singing her heart out. Pretty soon my middle child joined her, their voices blending in beautiful, discordant notes.
"Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so."
And I knew it was true.
I may not be a concert pianist like I once dreamed I would be, but my audience of three was more precious to me than any grand hall full of people ever could have been.
God gave me a gift when He gave me a heart for music. Every time He beckoned me to praise Him with my piano, He was giving me something precious.
The ability to minister to my own children.
You see, mommy, God has filled our beings with many gifts, to be used for a glorious purpose. Not gifts meant to be displayed to the world or bring us renown. He gave us the gifts we need to calm our children's hearts, the gifts we need to speak life to them, to show them delight, art and beauty in the world.
Think for a moment. What is something that you love to do - something that you feel you're good at?
The world would tell you to take that talent and use it to earn yourself fame and popularity. We buy into that mindset so quickly, and use our gifts and talents to build businesses, social media followings or even simple popularity among our peers.
I know this because I've done it, more times that I care to think of.
I can tell you right now that it leads to competition and discontent.
What if we used our gifts and talents to minister rather than gain?
To minister first of all to our family, behind closed doors, away from social media and unseen by our peers.
What if we used our creativity to bring delight to the lonely and less-than-popular crowd.
What if we used our gifts and talents like Jesus did?
Without personal agenda.
For the good of others.
Particularly for our husbands and children.
I think (know) we would find a rest and a peace in that like we didn't know could be found. When we use our gifts to bless the lowliest around us, we will be using them in the way God intended us to use them.
After all, Jesus tells us that "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me." (Matthew 25:40 NIV)
We can know that when we use our talents to entertain, delight and minister to our children, Jesus is also in our audience, delighted to see us using the gifts He has given.
Will He lead you to bigger audiences? Possibly. But as we surrender our gifts to His will, we will find that the striving and the hustle cease and we can rest in the simple beauty of creativity.
A gift from our Creator.
And those closest to us will be pointed to Jesus through that gift.
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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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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.
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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 waved down a taxi and quickly settled into the front seat. I used a map, motions and my very limited language skills with the taxi driver. He smiled and nodded and we started off. I stealthily pulled a piece of literature out of my backpack and slipped it into the pocket of the door, praying that God would use it to point the driver to Himself. I was in a restricted country and was not free to openly speak of Jesus to anyone.
Several months later I was home again, hiking several miles back into the woods. A backpack full of emergency medical supplies was on my back as I carefully walked across a log that acted as a bridge for a small stream. My co-workers and I hurried as fast as we could, stopping only to switch the medical gear or hold a branch out of the way for those behind us.
We finally reach our patient and hurried to stabilize her the best we could. The Search and Rescue crew quickly cut down some of the towering pine trees that surrounded us so that the helicopter could land. My EMS friends and I went home that night feeling good. We had made a difference in someone's life!
While I didn't think about it much at the time, my life was full of adventure and purpose during that season. I was young and single, with a heart full of dreams and the passion to pursue them.
Fast forward a few years and I had started my parenting journey. And I found myself in the most overwhelming and far-reaching position I'd ever been in. I wasn't actually sure how to navigate it.
How does one go about shaping tiny souls for eternity? It didn't take me long to realize how strong human nature was or that I wasn't the only one concerned about their eternity. These tiny people were born in the middle of a war zone between God and Satan and God ordained my husband and I to protect and train them during the most crucial years of their lives.
None of my medical training answered my questions. Sneaking tracts into their cribs when they weren't looking didn't help at all. (Surprising, right?)
I didn't know exactly how to start pointing them to Jesus.
It took several years of trying things on my own. It took getting broken and learning things in God's boot camp. Slowly it dawned on me...the most important thing I can do for my kid's future is have a radical relationship with Jesus myself.
Walking it Out
I can preach to them until I sounded like a walking sermon, but unless I can demonstrate what loving and serving Jesus looks like in the daily grind of life, I am not going to influence them very much.
And I discovered my greatest adventure lay in the everyday mundane.
As I made this discovery I realized that God created me to be more than just a mom - He designed me to be a warrior mom with fire in my heart and passion in my soul.
It isn't always easy for me to remember this though. While I know that my greatest adventure is in the everyday moments of life, it's also those moments that threaten to overwhelm and distract me. But there is good in this because it makes me realize my own helplessness and forces me to rely on God and His strength, not my own.
The very nature of my mission sends me running to Jesus, my tower of refuge, over and over again. And as I have journeyed several years deeper into parenting, God has showed me that this parenting thing isn't a haphazard mission. He has my purpose as a mom carefully planned, from the boot camp and the gift of His own armor, to giving me a new identity and teaching me the reason behind the battle.
Motherhood is an exhilarating and purposeful journey, full of adventures that are often enacted behind the walls of our own homes. While our mission may be hidden from anyone but our immediate family, our fulfillment of it has the potential to impact the far corners of the world.
Will you join me in unleashing your warrior heart as a mom? I want to journey with you through:
I was hungry for answers and I know other moms are too. So I hope you'll join me in this mission God has called each of us moms to fulfill.
The souls of our children are at stake at we cannot afford to sit back and do nothing when God has clearly called us to battle.
Join me in the trenches!
When I was a little girl, I loved to play dress-up with my sisters. We were always acting out different stories we made up and our favorite was usually a royal adventure. We turned sticks into fancy scepters and office chairs into elegant thrones while our play area was transformed into a throne room of rare beauty. Each story always centered around whether or not the royal monarch would hold out their scepter to some poor peasant and grant favor to their requests or withhold it and send them to the royal dungeon.
As I've grown up and matured I have often found myself in this peasant mindset when it comes to approaching God. I feel like everything must be just right. I wait for a quiet and private time so that I can kneel and humbly bring my requests before God, hoping He will hear and approve my desires.
This is not the inheritance of God's children though! God doesn't require everything to be just perfect before we can approach Him. His answer to our request does not have to do with His current mood or the way we use our words.
No, instead of this, our God sympathizes with us and He understands our hearts and needs better than we do ourselves! He is like a King who spends so much time with His people that He knows everything they face. (And He does!)
The writer of Hebrews reminds us of this, "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV)
There is no need to hesitate to bring anything and everything to God! Our thanks, our concerns, our confessions and the desires that we have kept secret in our innermost heart. He understands all and He will not turn us away because of our circumstances, temptations or wording.
Prayer brings us into the throne room of Heaven and gives us an audience with the King of Kings, the One who has conquered death and sin and has unlimited power! It is not to be taken lightly or for granted but neither is it to be done hesitantly, because we are not peasants but children of the very One to whom we pray.
Prayer is a gift and privilege and one that we can and should use freely.
"Prayer should be the natural outflow of the soul: you should pray because you must pray, not because the set time for praying has arrived, but because your heart must cry unto your Lord." (Charles Spurgeon)
My kids say "Mom!" about 200 times a day. Ok, I haven't actually counted, but it is a constant call. They call when they need help, when they're sad, when they're bored and when they just want to say "I love you!"
This is how we should approach the throne of grace; with the freedom of a child. There are times I respond to my kids impatiently or tell them to wait until I'm not busy but God never does this to us. Why do we hesitate to bring everything to Him when He has never turned us away but always welcomes us with open arms?
Let us create the habit of being in a constant attitude of prayer with our God. He welcomes us into His presence and invites us to stay. Let's trust His invitation, believe in His grace and come boldly and freely before Him!
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Do you ever feel done in, exhausted and ready for a retreat?
Jesus's disciples knew how that felt. One time, fairly early in His ministry, He sent them out to all the surrounding cities, telling them to not even take provisions for themselves. They were to preach, heal and cast out demons.
When they came back, their faith was stretched, their eyes were opened to the power of God and they were worn out.
Jesus had compassion on them and took them out in the middle of nowhere so they could rest.
But it was not to be - Jesus could not be hidden and throngs of people followed them. So Jesus preached & healed.
And then all the people were hungry.
Now the Son of God could've asked for manna from Heaven or created a banquet in the wilderness. But He didn't.
He turned to the disciples.
"You feed them," He said.
Any Mom knows the exhaustion that sentence can bring.
Feeding a multitude is no small deal. These men were worn out. But here was Jesus, asking them to serve again and they had nothing to give. They were hoarding the little that was available, trying to refresh themselves with it. But Jesus asked them to give it up. And they did.
And we all know what happened after that.
Jesus took their little bit of nothing and multiplied it far beyond what was even needed!
Everyone was satisfied, everyone was happy. And the disciples learned that it wasn't about them and their lack of strength and resources. It was about Jesus and His ability to make something out of almost nothing.
So next time the tasks pile up and the exhaustion sets in - when you've given almost everything you've got and you're longing for a retreat way out in the middle of nowhere - take it to Jesus. Offer Him your little bit of nothing and sit back and see what He will do.
And be ready to see your faith stretch before your eyes.
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The TruthBytes for Moms app is available in the Play store for Android devices and here for Apple devices.
Reading about the women in Proverbs isn't something that has made me smile very often.
Rather than feeling inspired, I have come away from Proverbs with a deep sense of lack. The energy portrayed by those women, especially the one in Proverbs 31, of course, feels unattainable to me.
And so, in the years since I've become a wife and mom, I've skipped over Proverbs, focusing on passages of Scripture that feel good and are sure to encourage my heart.
But then I decided to do a Proverbs 365 challenge. I dove into the book of Proverbs, finding one for each day. I meditated on it and shared a picture and some thoughts on Instagram.
I wasn't able to keep up with the daily challenge, but several times a week I was reading through Proverbs, pondering the deeper meaning and learning to appreciate the worth found in each verse.
And I gained a respect for the women of Proverbs because I started getting to know them beyond face value.
There is so much spiritual gold to be found in Proverbs, even for a Mom who is busy, overwhelmed or even one who struggles with exhaustion and physical sickness.
I'd like to invite you to join my friends and I as we jump into Proverbs with a fresh perspective, learning how to apply the lessons taught in its pages to our everyday life, especially as it applies to Moms.
Starting on January 1 we will be devoting two week to the study of the women found in Proverbs and how to truly live a life of wisdom and honor as they did.
We will be sharing our thoughts on the TruthBytes app- a Bible study app created just for busy Moms who want to stay committed to spending time with God, even during their busiest seasons.
Learn what it means to build your house, be a blessing to your husband and redeem those contentious moments that make everyone in your home want to flee to the rooftop.
We talk about what it means to be excellent, generous and hospitable. This is an awesome series you don't want to miss, complete with a weekly Bible memory challenge and Scripture prayer!
You can find the app in the Play store for Android devices (search "TruthBytes") or here for Apple devices.
I'm super excited about this series and I'll hope you join us for it and the many more that will follow!
The TruthBytes for Moms app is available in the Play store for Android devices and here for Apple devices.
When our family started the adoption process, we had no idea how long of a wait we were in for. We knew that adoption could take a long time, but every thing stretched out so much longer than planned and there were times I really needed to learn to give the wait to Jesus and allow Him to calm my heart.
And then we finally got the long awaited call. We were matched with a precious baby girl, due in a few months. The countdown was on! We could hardly wait.
Fast forward a few months and we finally had our darling daughter in our arms. We knew she was the one we were waiting for the instant we saw her. Or was she?
Suddenly, a few days later, we were thrown into a more agonizing wait than we have ever experienced before. Waiting to see if she would truly, physically be ours, or if our dreams of her would be shattered.
It was hard.
It was painful.
And it seemed to last forever.
And I had to battle worry constantly.
I wasn't only worried about the pain to my own heart. I thought about our 2 kids at home. At ages 3 and 4 this would be way too big for them to understand.
Would it ruin their faith? How would we explain how to trust in God, even in the middle of an unexplainable situation? What kind of damage would this do to their already attached little hearts?
We were right in the middle of a hard wait and it was causing worry and stress like I had never experienced before.
God is so faithful to us, even in the middle of our shortcomings. He was able to get my attention and pour peace into my heart, even in the middle of the worry.
Shortly before we went to meet our baby, a friend gave me a lullaby CD and we played it for our little girl over and over again while we waited in the motel. But the words jumped out at me and filled my heart with so much peace.
"Don't you worry about anything; instead pray about everything....and the peace of God, far beyond what we can understand will keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus."
Beautiful, beautiful, truth-filled words. God is so very faithful to us.
And He gave me the grace to turn those words around to worship Him! He is so worthy of our worship because He created our hearts, He created the waiting time and what's more He created it for a purpose! And so we can freely worship while we wait for Him to reveal His purpose in our hearts.
Worship is the anecdote
So friend, if you're going through a hard time of waiting; if your heart and your patience are getting stretched thinner and thinner, take a minute to stop. Be still and let God speak to your heart.
Maybe it will be a verse or a simple song, or both, like it was for me. Maybe He will whisper words to your heart, just for you! Whatever it is, take it and use it to worship God, with your whole heart.
Worship is the anecdote for worry - every single time!
Have you ever been faced with a worrisome wait? What did God speak to your heart during that time?
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"What doesn't kill you will make you stronger."
"Do hard things; they are good for you."
"Hurts have a way of refining you; embrace it."
"Life was never made to be easy. Learn and grow."
>>Insert 100 cliche quotes here.<<
The truth is, growing stronger doesn't always feel good.
Hard things are...hard.
Hurts really, really hurt sometimes.
And sometimes life is so far from easy that hiking a mountain while balancing a teacup on your head sounds like a walk in the park.
And no cliche words of wisdom are going to make it feel much better.
Sometimes we simply feel raw.
Sometimes we feel oh so fragile.
And the hard is too much to cope with.
Sometimes we feel like we can hardly keep breathing.
I could say all kinds of things like:
"You're feeling exhausted because you're not drawing your strength from God."
"You just need to trust it to God. He has a reason for this particular trial you're going through. It's for your good and you just need to trust that."
But when you're over your head in raising your kids, in the middle of hard relationships, stretching yourself to reach all around, and being pulled in so many different directions you know you're going to break, guess what?
Those words will do nothing but burn like fire and sting like salt being rubbed into an open sore. Those are not the words anyone needs to hear while feeling burned out, exhausted and stretched to the breaking point.
So what words do you need to be hearing? Well, I can't say for sure, but I think maybe they would sound like this:
"Yes, you are hurting. Those hurts in your heart? I know they are real. And they probably hurt more than I know.
I can see you struggling to do the hard things, the right things. And I'm so proud of you.
And I know you're working to see God in the middle of your exhaustion and I notice you sharing encouragement with others even when you hardly believe it yourself.
Because you know that God is good. You know He's got this. You know His reasons are far, far beyond yours.
But do you know this?
It is ok for you to rest. It is ok to step away.
It's ok for you to heal.
There are times to dive into battle even though you're wounded, but there is also a time to retreat to a safe place and Rest. Regroup. Heal.
There is a time to be restored.
Sometimes doing hard things means stepping away from who you think you're supposed to be and allowing God to restore you into the person He created you to be.
Friends, we get so busy trying to be somebody, trying to be everything, that we wear ourselves thin, internalize hurts and create hard places that aren't even supposed to exist!
Step away. Ask God to show you who you really are.
Then you can step into the hard and see reason.
Then the hurts can shape you into something beautiful.
Then you can be made stronger through tough times.
Then things will be as they should and the wisdom behind those cliche` words will ring true, in the way they were originally intended to.
Gather up those broken, hurting pieces of your heart, those exhausted fragments of your soul. Give them to Jesus. Ask Him to renew a right Spirit in you, to restore your soul and to show you who He created you to be.
Slow down long enough for Jesus to bring restoration and plant His truth in your heart.
Rest in Him. Be restored. <3
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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