Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Battle's Already Been Won

Dear young mommy, 
I was right there where you are. Trying to tap some non-existent inner reserve that would make me feel rested. Looking for the "best" way to parent. Wondering if I was doing it right, and if this was the way being a mommy was supposed to feel. One day runs into one long night, one mess turns into many, you never get that shower, and it's the first time in your life you're wearing the same underwear two days in a row. I remember. I won't give you advice, you already get plenty of that. It just makes you more confused. I will tell you this, you won't always get it right, but it's OK. God's got your back. He'll take all those "I wish I had/hadn't" episodes and turn them into something amazing. He'll show your child that love is messy sometimes, that forgiveness goes two ways, and that imperfections can be beautiful. So, take a breath, wipe your tears, and walk back into the battle. I'm praying for you. It's going to be alright.

Proverbs 31
Matthew 19:14

Monday, August 31, 2015

Jesus Wept

I was privileged to watch grieving unfold yesterday, for where there is much grief, there was much love. It is such a tribute to those lost for the people who valued them to "feel". I don't think we understand that in our culture. We want so badly to take away everyone's pain, that we don't allow the people who need to express it to do so. It's OK to hurt today. Pain is like a shovel in our soul. It digs through all the petty arguments and all the perceived little wounds that keep us separated from one another on a daily basis. It pitches those to the side and allows compassion to rise to the surface. It opens our heart's doors to people we would not have let in before. It gives us the opportunity to both run to each other, and to God. "2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Straining To Hear

I had a lot on my mind all day yesterday, and was having one of those frustrated "where are you God?" conversations with myself at the kitchen sink. I do my best talking to myself, especially over dishes, where I can say things like "if you had used more butter, you wouldn't have to scrub the egg off the pan like that". Well, in the midst of being attentive to my own babbling, I picked up the strainer out of the dish drain, and God gave me a little nudge. One of those Spirit nudges that said "hey, do you remember how much you hated your old strainer? How the one edge was broken and every time you used it to make iced tea it would dump some leaves back in the pot? Then you stopped at that yard sale, and you actually had cash, and there was an almost brand new one just for you? That was me. I love you, and I care about even the smallest parts of your life." Darn it, I was wallowing in myself so well until that moment. So, the "where are you God?" was answered with "right here". Right here so close that I am watching you make tea, and seeing you struggle with a piece of broken plastic. That's close, people. That's not "God is way up there, and I am way down here", that's "hi, I'm in your kitchen with you" close. Is the "where are you God, do you not even hear me?" question on your tongue today? It's an easy one to ask when life is hard. Look over your shoulder. He's right there. Don't believe it? Open your Bible. Find the many places where it says "the Lord heard". He is hearing you. He sees your struggle. He is right there. That is where God is today. Deuteronomy 26:7 "Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our fathers, AND THE LORD HEARD..."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Locked Out. Forever.

Something I've learned in the past 24 hours is the importance of keeping my cell phone in my pocket. I figured that out pretty quickly when I was running barefoot through the snow and praying that the back door wasn't as locked as the front door.  Going out to get that package on the porch when no one else was home was a very bad idea.  Especially without keys in my pocket.  It's all about being prepared.  People prepare for lots of things.  They plan on getting to work the next day by setting up the coffee maker the night before.  They pack a bag for the hospital when the baby is due.  We prepare for emergencies, and birthdays, and even car breakdowns, but how prepared are you today to die?  Oh, bet you weren't expecting that question this morning.  In a blink, life is done.  Faster than that door locked behind me, your chance to get ready for life after death is done.  Where is your heart today? What do you believe?  How have you prepared to stand before the Lord this morning?
Luke 12:16 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' 18 "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' 20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself ?"

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chips

Good morning, beautiful. Yes, I mean you. You. The one sitting at facebook reading posts wishing you were thinner, or smarter, or more talented, or or or. Stop believing the lies.. God created you. He. Created. YOU. The Potter put the clay on the wheel, and made one a pitcher, and another a bowl. Each piece designed in it's own size, shape, and color for a specific purpose for Him. "Oh, but I am so imperfect", you groan. Yes. Isn't it wonderful? Because it's the imperfections that make you a "unique piece". A singular entity that can not be reproduced. It is the flaws that give you value, because it is through those cracks and chips and holes that the light of Christ will shine. So, my dearest cracked pots, pitchers, or bowls, go do what God has made you to do today. Get off the shelf.

Hey, Hey, I Need To Ask You Something

Everyone prays differently. Some have a true prayer closet, others kneel, some reach up to the heavens, some are quiet. Me, I have the attention span of a toddler, so God and I have a running dialogue pretty much all day long. I am reminded of our Father's infinite patience as I chatter on like my children did when they were young. I remember when my own children were about four years old, following me everywhere, telling me long elaborate stories, and asking myriads of questions. I regret my short-tempered days when all I wanted was a moment of silence. God is not like that. In my mind's eye, I see Him kneeling down to my level, placing His hand on my shoulder, and hearing me like I have never been heard before. He is not distracted by petty things like dirty dishes or the pile of laundry. He never needs a moment to himself. My relationship with Him is what He desires. Do I always get the answer I want to the many hard questions I ask? No. Neither did my children always get an answer to those "why" questions they asked. Sometimes they just had to be content to know that I was the mom, and that I cared more than anyone else, and that the answer couldn't always be "yes". May you feel God's loving presence as you pour out your heart to Him today. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.