Motherhood and squashing expectations

Motherhood and squashing expectations

This accidental country girl planted her very first garden this year.  Two days ago in fact!  My Dad was going to teach me, but God saw fit to have him in the hospital for a stem cell transplant instead, and God has been so faithful yet it has been another season of hard questions and God’s faithfulness.  I had no idea what I was doing and as I planted the seeds of corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, squash, and pumpkin my heart filled with anticipation for the weeks I’d see the first sign of new life.  Then this morning my Mother in-love who lives next door shared with me that she had seen birds snatching some seeds from a few of the rows.  Immediately I asked myself, “is this even worth it?  What if my garden doesn’t bear fruit (or vegetables haha) and all of my effort was for nothing?

I then started to think about Motherhood and how it can be much like gardening.  We tend to sow and weed with the expectation and anticipation for the day we will see real fruit and evidence in their life.  But what if we don’t?  What if the results we desire never come when we think they should?  We truly aren’t promised good parenting in = good kids out, so why in the world are we doing what we are doing?

I was thinking about the verse in Matthew 10:37b anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  Do we love our children more than we fear God?  How does that look in our parenting?  Do we make choices and parent based on the desired outcome, to be the favorite, out of laziness, or true conviction from the Lord?  There is a Proverb in scripture that reminds us to train up a child in the way he should go for when he is old he will not depart from it.  And though it is likely that if we train them up in the way that they won’t depart, but it isn’t a promise that they won’t.

I keep thinking about the harvest, but really all God’s

asking me to do is to sow in faith today.   

We have a hope with in us and the Holy Spirit helper to lead and guide us.  We are not responsible for the end result, we are responsible for what we as parents are called to minute by minute and day by day.

How we parent and sow into our children’s hearts should absolutely be shaped by the gospel.  Our little ones are sinners in need of Jesus and we are sinners saved by grace trying to show them who God is.  I was thinking about how Paul charged and encouraged Timothy in 1 Timothy 4.  

(vrs. 6-7) Be trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine…train yourself for godliness.  We must be proactive as we prepare for and train our children with the word.  How can we hide God’s words in their hearts when we don’t have them in our hearts?  How can we share the good news of salvation and teach them what to put off and put on when we don’t even know?

(vrs. 11-12) Command and teach these things, Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  It’s amazing that it’s in our youth that we are usually blessed with the gift of children who are solely dependent on us for everything and we are just sorting through life ourselves.  Our sweet little ones are watching our every move whether we like it or not.  What are we teaching them verbally, in our conduct, in how we love one another and others, in faith and in purity?

(vrs. 13-14) Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have.  Are we reading scripture out loud so that it can settle into the little hearts and minds that God has entrusted us with? 2 Timothy 3:16-27 says All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God maybe complete, equipped for every good work. As we read the word out loud not only do our kids benefit, learn and receive correction but God is faithful to use those times to work in our hearts as well.  We learn and grow as they learn and grow!  It’s part of how God equips us for THIS ministry of Motherhood, and it is your calling if you have children!  Use your gifts in your home to glorify our God as you minister, witness, and serve your family.

(vrs. 15-16)  Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.  Jump in there Mama, immerse yourself in the good work God has called you to.  You WILL see progress and others will too!  Keep close watch, heart checks and motives.  Persist: (verb) continue firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure. Persist in THIS!  You never know how God is going to use your faithful seed and reseeding.

Tomorrow I plan to go out into my garden and reseed the corn the squash and some other rows of vegetables.  It isn’t a waste of time to be diligent and faithful in the little things, because before long they become the big things and though we aren’t promised a full and plentiful harvest in the realm of parenthood, may we be faithful and obediently sow and resow when necessary and rest in the sovereignty of our Lord and King.

1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end (eternity) we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

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Infinite Grace Devotional: Who Fights For You?

Infinite Grace Devotional: Who Fights For You?

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

 

The kids and I had a week off from homeschooling a few weeks back. I’m learning how important it is to schedule in rest to avoid burnout and not just stop all together. So, the kids and I were all working on different projects. I was working on food prep because you know, baby weight. The oldest four were planning and scheming a way to build the biggest fort ever!  After tons of chopping and dicing, I went into their room to find a fort roof cascading down one side of the bunk bed and all four of the kids packed in like sardines looking at books and giggling. I slipped right in and started asking them what a fort was for? Payton, my nine year old piped up and said “It’s something to hide in and protects us from the enemy”.  It immediately reminded me of the old hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.

David writes here in Psalm 18 that our God is a fortress. A fort is a strong place that provides protection, where a fortress is a place of strength. Think about that for a minute. Fort: Strong place. Fortress: Place of strength. We can run and hide inside a fort but it will not fight back for us. A fortress is an intricate defense. It’s where the strength is, where the power is. When it says here that God is our fortress, deliverer, God, refuge, shield, salvation and stronghold, He not only provides a place of protection but He IS the source of power and who fights on our behalf.

Moses comforted the Israelites as they feared the Egyptians were after them.  Moses told them in Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” That very same God who parted the Red Sea for the Israelites is the very same God who provides a safe place and fights for you. I’m not sure what battle you are facing today friend, but be faithful in what you know to do and know that our God goes before you!  May you find rest in the solid rock of our salvation.  A Mighty Fortress and Deliverer is our God!

Love, Janell

A Running Plan For Life: It’s NOT what you think

A Running Plan For Life: It’s NOT what you think

Whether you know it or not, we are ALL runners. But you may be sitting there thinking, “I haven’t laced up my shoes and ran since Middle School when we ran the mile for our fit test!”. Or maybe you are sitting there thinking, “I know I am, I just started an in-depth couch to 5K running plan for the New Year!”. Or, you may be thinking, “I’m more like the weightlifting type….or book type!” Well, wherever this finds you, if you are a daughter of the King then you ARE a runner, trust me.

It was in God’s design. We were created to be runners. There is a race that has been set before us.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

The first thing the author of Hebrews points out is that, to run this race well, we need to lay aside every weight and sin which clings. What are the things that weigh you down? What are the things that cling so desperately for your attention that is not of the Lord? Seriously, think on this for a moment and evaluate these areas in your life. I know for me, the weight I usually feel is a direct result or is hand in hand with a particular heart sin. (i.e.: laziness, anger, control, lack of control, pride, etc.) Isn’t it just like sin to cling on and weigh down?! Let’s be intentional to continually lay them aside, minute by minute, day by day as God faithfully changes us into His image. Repent, Renew, and Run!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Secondly, we are to run with endurance the race that is set before us. Dictionary(dot)com defines endurance this way:

the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina:
The need for endurance is major as this life is hard. Where do we receive this energy to go on and the power that we need to endure well? I LOVE what Jesus says to Paul when Paul was praying and pleading that God would remove this thorn that was in His life. Jesus said,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

His power is found in our weakness. We are so quick to hide or be embarrassed when we show weakness or when others see weakness in us. Yet, THIS is the very thing God uses to perfect His power in our lives as He provides the grace for us to RUN!

This race of faith that is set before you is tailor-made specifically for you! Specific and by design, as we all struggle with different things and are gifted in different ways. Don’t be tempted to look over at the other runners. They aren’t running YOUR race. Keep your eyes laser focussed on what is set out right in front of you. Your race may be in the form of the husband who is hard to love, it may be that child that is beautifully different or has special needs to tend to, it may be in the church that didn’t meet your expectations, or in the relationships around you. It may be in the financial situation you are in, or just in the call to run. Be confident in THIS very thing, He is not only the perfecter of our faith but the perfecter of our race.

Thirdly, look to Jesus the founder of our faith. I LOVE how this verse is worded in the NASB.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Not only look or glance, but FIX your eyes on the Author of YOUR race, the Author of YOUR story. He is the one who makes it perfect, not by Hollywood or America’s standards, but by His Eternal Kingdom standards and plans. No matter what race you find yourself running, our King can relate as He modeled endurance to the cross to the point of death that we might live. We are called to endure as runners in our race of faith, and we can because of Jesus and the gospel.

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrew 10:35-36

We want to be women of faith right? I told you that you are a runner! The only way our faith can grow in Christ is by running through the hard things. Persevering with endurance through the obstacles that reveal our weakness and dependency on Christ, and faithfully (moment by moment) fixing our eyes on the one who is strong and carries us when we feel we can’t continue running the race set before us.

We ARE weak, we ARE in need, we WILL run it imperfectly. But our God is faithful, He is perfect, and He is Great. He didn’t ask us to run it perfectly, He just asked us to RUN! We don’t run this alone friends, everyone knows that any good Coach runs alongside His team. We have the BEST!

“If the LORD had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.” Psalm 94:17-18

Love, Janell

Being Faith Led In The Year Ahead

Being Faith Led In The Year Ahead

Every time the New Year approaches our email boxes, social media news feeds, and NY Best Seller list are always filled with the Top 5 ways to be the very BEST you in this New Year. Top 5 ways to declutter and simplify. Top 5 ways to be a stellar homeschool parent. Top 5 ways to slim down and get strong. Top 5 ways to be more successful in business. Top 5 ways to consolidate debt and become debt free. The lists, articles, and blog posts go on and on about planning for success, creating your best life, and living a life of design. THIS is how to be your BEST YOU in the upcoming year!

The thing is, we forget the Creator of all things who gives life, has already drawn up plans for us and has a specific purpose for us. In the imperfect day-to-day’s He IS doing His work to make you the BEST you…through Him!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)

These books, articles, and tips aren’t bad things as we aspire to be better stewards of our body, mind, time, and possessions, but may we not forget to first pray and seek God first and foremost. Are we seeking God with ALL our heart regarding the changes that need to be made in our life, body, relationships and finances? Are we asking Him first if these are the things He has for us in our life calling? Or are we making decisions and resolutions based on things that we feel others think we should be doing? Are we striving for Pinterest Perfect and Facebook Fabulous, or are we desiring holiness and righteousness offline? Everything we say “yes” to ultimately gives a “no” to another area or other people in our lives. Are we praying for wisdom, discernment, and direction?

Though culturally the New Year is a great time for reflection, adjustments, and change, the awesome thing about being a child of the King is that we don’t have to wait until January 1st to start over. We don’t even have to wait until Monday as God and His grace are available to us minute by minute and day by day. When we fail to follow through perfectly with our resolutions, we can know where our hope lies and we can find rest and satisfaction in our God who is faithful to change us.

The steadfast love of the LORD never cease;

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV)

With all the New Year’s resolutions, they tend to be rooted in who we are (or hope to “appear” to be), what we would like to be known for, and what legacy we want to leave. If you look in Hebrew 11 we see the “Great Wall of Faith”. It is this awesome list of people who did great acts of faith in their life time. All their acts of faith were in God and what He had uniquely designed for their lives.

Abel- Offered the best parts of a lamb as a sacrifice to the Lord. (Gen. 4:1-6)
Enoch- “truly loved God”. (Gen. 5:21-26)
Noah- Believed God’s warning that God was going to destroy the evil people of the world in a flood. Built a large boat (ark) as God commanded to save his family and animals. Gen. 6:1-9:17)
Abraham- Left the comfort and security of his homeland, when God called him to go to a new land where God would give him many descendants. (Gen. 12:1-9, 17:1-8, Rom. 4)
Sarah- Was too old to have children, but she had faith that God would give her a child anyway. (Gen. 18:1-15, 21:1-8)
Isaac- Gave a blessing to his sons Jacob and Esau. (Gen. 27:1-40)
Jacob- Blessed his grandsons (Joseph’s sons) Ephraim and Manasseh. (Gen. 48:1-22)
Joseph- Used his position in the Egyptian government to save his family when they went to Egypt during a time of famine in Caanan. He also trusted that God would lead the Hebrew people of Israel out of Egypt. (Gen. 37-50, 50:22-25)
Moses- Refused to be considered the king’s grandson; led the Hebrew people out of Egypt; and celebrated Passover. (Exodus 1-15, 19-34)
Rahab- Helped two Israelite spies escape Jericho so they could make a report to their commanders. (Joshua 2:1,3; 6:21-25)
Gideon, Barak, Samson, & Jephthah- Performed acts of heroism and helped the Israelites to gain control of the land (Canaan) promised to Abraham and his descendants. (Judges 4-16)
David- Slew the giant Goliath and helped the Israelites to conquer Canaan. (1 Samuel 16-1 Kings 2:11; 1 Samuel 17)
Samuel- Led the people of Israel as a judge and prophet. 1 Samuel 1:1-1 Sam 25:1)
These men and women weren’t out creating and designing life for themselves and for their glory, yet they were ordinary everyday people with sin struggles just like you and me who needed a Savior and sought the Lord. Who followed His leading and truly LIVED the life that was already designed for them. It’s so amazing if you take the time to go back and read about these people. They mess up, they accomplished great acts of faith through God, but some even missed out on blessing and opportunity. This wasn’t a list of perfect people. It wasn’t a list of the most fashionable of 2016, the wealthiest of 2016, the most fit of 2016, the most organized, successful, etc. These normal everyday people God saw fit to use were imperfect and willing to step out by faith and live the life that was tailor made for them. I’m pretty sure “Save my Family during the Famine” was not on Joseph’s New Year’s resolution list. Yet God had brought Him to that very place to be available to do the unthinkable. Just think where God might place you this year if you are only willing and listening?

So, as we prepare our hearts, thoughts and time for the New Year, may we seek eternal things, Kingdom things. May we seek God and His righteousness and these things will be added unto us. He truly will lead us by faith! As we slow down and seek Him first, may we hear from Him and see in His word what He is calling us to. May we be Spirit lead and have wisdom and discernment to know what our best “yes’” are for our home, our family, and our ministries. May we take it one day at a time as we continue looking up. Then we can boldly and faithfully step out in the power of the Holy Spirit and do mighty things for His Honor and Glory!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)

Love Always,

Janell

Infinite Grace Devotional: A Million Little Deaths

Infinite Grace Devotional: A Million Little Deaths

Most of us would say that we would be willing to die for our faith in God, yet we are so unwilling to die a million little deaths to the everyday things for our Savior.

I have been mulling on this thought for a while now. It is amazing to me how easy it is as believers to be “all talk and no action”. It’s easy to say we would die for our faith if it came down to it, but when God convicts us of sin or requires more out of us in the minutes and days that he has so graciously given, we retreat, avoid, or totally flake out!? We are SO like Adam in the garden hiding from the all-knowing God just hoping he doesn’t see us…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)

He is SUCH a loving Abba Father, and here in this life He is so good to faithfully use these “deaths” to strengthen our faith and grow us in righteousness. What we don’t realize is that on the other side of the “death” to the sin, and the stripping off of sin, that there is TRUE life and freedom in walking in repentance and obedience. And yet we settle?

It’s like when our little one year old is sitting in her high chair so eager to eat her meal. You prepare her dish and sit down eye to eye with her, ready to fly that spoon right into her mouth. As she starts to eat from your hand, she can taste and see that it is good, but as you go back for another spoonful she starts licking whatever has fallen onto the bib thinking that will sustain her. You come in for another bite. You have a full spoon right in front of her. Sustenance that will carry her on until the next meal, yet she is ignoring your best for her and insists on eating the leftover crumbs and food that have fallen onto her bib because she’s not willing to look up and see what you have for her.

That is SO us at times! Why settle for crumbs right in front of us, when we can look up and have The Bread of Life? A lot of times that involves dying to our selves, our wants, and our abilities and just being willing to look up and move forward in faith trusting that what the Father has for us is far greater than our crummy leftovers.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10)

Friends, we’ve got a race to run! What is He asking you to put to death or to lay down today? Trust me, you can be confident in knowing that what He has for you is FAR greater than what you are hanging on to. Look up sisters! Say yes, repent, let go, be faithful, and taste and see that the Lord is good!

❤️ Janell

#preachingtomyself #dieamilliondeaths #allbecauseofjesus

When We Forget

When We Forget

Motherhood’s got me feeling like a driving student with limited experience traveling way too fast in the dark while it’s raining on the road of life.  You know, the drives that you have your high beams set, your hands are on “ten and two” and your eyes are laser focused on the road.  As the rain is pelting down you are doing your very best to stay within your yellow lines and avoid the potholes.  Then of course the oncoming traffic breaches the horizon with their high beams and as they continue closer they forget to turn them off.  You can’t see a thing and your left with two options.  Despair in your inability to see, or remind yourself of the good advice your Driving Instructor gave you.  “Faithfully focus your attention to that steadfast, constant, solid white line on your right and trust that it will help you stay the course no matter what the other driver does.  It is the only thing you can see in the darkness.”

So, honestly I wanted to write this blog post really general and unspecific but I’m just going to be real here, because the devil lies to us all and tells us that we are the only one who struggles with _________.  He keeps us believing those lies so that we avoid community, relationships, and rest and he wants to keeps us paralyzed instead of furthering God’s Kingdom for eternity.  We keep people at a distance because it feels “safe”.  That way others can’t see the icky ugly parts of us, our families, all our flaws and our weakness.  But the reality is that we ALL need Jesus in a BIG way.

Wednesday was a really hard Mom day for me.  I was not only discouraged and consumed by my sin and unkind tone, I was consumed by my children’s sin and need for Jesus!  It was so dark and all of our sin was like the rain pouring down (like in the drive I mentioned above).  I found myself overwhelmed by this rain storm and I was literally in my bathrobe under my covers while the kids watched Despicable Me 2 in the living room at 2pm instead of schooling.

You guys!!!  I forgot.  I forgot to fight.  I forgot to take every thought captive so I could walk in obedience.  I forgot who I belong to.  I forgot to hug that perfect white line that helps us drive freely in our lane.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Mamas if you know God then you are His daughters.  Our children were created by and belong to Him!  We are FREE to obey our perfect Father out of love for Him with out the burden (which isn’t ours to carry anyway) of how our children will turn out or how it reflects on us.  His yolk IS easy and His burden IS light.  Don’t get me wrong, we have the responsibility to teach, train and instruct but we are responsible for our obedience…not for the results we hope it will produce.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)

 Our God loves our kids more than we do and He has a plan for them.  He doesn’t promise that we will see the fruit of salvation or perfect obedience while they live in our homes but He does ask us to point them to Him!  So really, we not only have the freedom to obey, but we are free to repent and share our brokenness and flaws with them and show them a Mother who is in JUST as much need of a rescuer & Savior as they are.

So the next time you find yourself driving along the road of Motherhood and it’s getting dark and starts to pour, don’t pull over and stop driving.  When the oncoming traffic forgets to turn off their high beams and it’s like you can’t see a thing, keep driving!!!  Just slow down and faithfully turn your eyes back onto that constant white line and lean in.  Trust God’s calling and faithful guidance.  Remember who you belong to and rest in His truth.  He will help you stay the course and keep in your lane!

 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)

 As frustrated as I get, I would NEVER give my son away.  Never.  As I mulled over this week I was blown away yet again by the love of our good Father who gave away His ONLY Son for us.  It’s the good news of the gospel and what Christ did in our place that can give us the ultimate hope and peace in Him.

 

“There’ll be days I lose the battle

Grace says that it doesn’t matter

Cause the cross already won the war

He’s Greater

He’s Greater

I am learning to run freely

Understanding just how he sees me

And it makes me love him more and more

He’s Greater

He’s Greater

Cause I hear a voice and he calls me redeemed

When others say I’ll never be enough

And greater is the One living inside of me

Than he who is living in the world

In the world

In the world

And greater is the One living inside of me

Than he who is living in the world’

-MercyMe (Greater)

I’m so thankful that on this drive of Motherhood we’ve got Jesus!  Our steadfast, constant, solid and pure white who is faithful to keep us on course.  I’m so thankful that He doesn’t give up on us, but faithfully makes us more like Him.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6

When the days seem foggy, the rain storms come, and the nights are so dark, He is there.  When we come around one bend just to be greeted by the next, He is there.  That white line is always there.  Our God is ALWAYS there.

“Faithfully focus your attention to that steadfast, constant, solid white line on your right and trust that it will help you stay the course no matter what the other driver does.  It is the only thing you can see in the darkness.”  

He wants our eyes set on Him, hugging tightly to Him and to His promises.  We can hug the white line with confidence that He will faithfully keep us not only in our lane, but securely on the road He has set before us no matter the storm.
Lord, may we learn to travel with endurance and rest in you.  May we keep our eyes fixed on you as we remember who we belong to as we navigate Motherhood.  May our generation of Christian Mothers encourage one another in truth and not keep silent believing the lies that we are the only ones.  I pray you would open our children’s eyes and ears, that they would not only see their need for you, but learn to live in the freedom and love you offer.  Keep steady (our) steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over (us) . *(Psalm 119:133) May you bless the Mama’s that are reading this, and would you please help us to not forget.  Now may we go forth and “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:9-12 ESV) We love you Father, Amen.

 

*Italics are mine

Poured Out

Poured Out

In the beautiful season of littles, you feel physically and emotionally spent with nothing more to give. You are busy ALL day caring, nursing, giving, pouring out and at the end of every day you feel that there is hardly anything to show for your days or your nights. You have little to no more energy to do your daily tasks, let alone mentally deal with anything else outside the home as you tread water just trying to survive this season. And no matter how many littles you do have, the hormones and emotions feel like the first time. Every time.

Last night I was reminded of the verse in 1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”. Do you know how ENCOURAGED I was as I sported my mom bun & yoga pants? God SEES me. The real me. He sees us friends, and He sees the love, intention and desires of our hearts. He knows how hard you are trying and He knows that you are saying yes to your very best right where you are. And the others that look on the outside? There is grace. There is love. There is Jesus. And He is faithful to breathe life into dry & weary bones.

When you are spent and have nothing more to give, rest in our Savior dear friend for he lives!

He is the life that sustains and revives, He brings rest to the soul and gives us new lives.

It is so beautiful how He graciously meets us right where we are and reminds us that this season we are facing is not something we face alone.  Our God, He fights for us as He gives us the faith to stand strong.  Though our circumstances may all look differently (you may not be sporting mom buns and spit up) this same truth is for you!  He truly created us for good works in Christ Jesus and equips us for those very things.  Ann Voskamp refers to parenthood as “Hard Holy Work”.  Isn’t that true for most good work that He calls us to?  Hard because we are constantly dying to self, Holy because we are doing foot work for His Eternal Kingdom, and work well because, that is exactly what it is.  Work: activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

Our “Hard Holy Work” is nothing in comparison to what Jesus did on the cross.  He knows what it is like to lay down His very life for others.  To be poured out with not another drop to give.  He knows what it is like to do the hard stuff for His Eternal Kingdom, and since He has endured more than we could ever imagine (and all for OUR sake) He is our Savior who is also the great comforter.  Run to Him friend.  Mom buns and all, and find rest.  For His yolk is easy and His burden truly is light.