I.CAN’T.DO.THIS.

Because sometimes He speaks so clearly I stop in my tracks…

If following God means the joy I’m showing, would our kids want to be in His will?

I tell them:
-The best place to be is in God’s will.
-God loves you and has a plan for your life.
-Serving God is the greatest thing you could ever do.

Then I mope around the house. I’m short with them. I rush through bedtime to get a break.

Sometimes I probably look downright miserable doing what I tell them He’s called me to do.

Why would they ever want to follow Him with me making it look so terrible?

I’m the first to say that the life of a Christian is not one of ease. Christ suffered. Why would we expect any less? But I also believe a life without joy is not living the life Christ died to give us.

I’m also the first to admit that having kids is hard. And we don’t own it enough. And everyone looks perfect, so we keep smiling while we’re dying inside and just so, so tired.

But has He called me here? In this little spot we call home? Has He called me to be His ambassador? To partner with Him in shaping these little arrows to be sent out?

YES!

The disconnect…Working in my own strength. Carrying the burden He intends to bear. Talking God to our kids while not talking to God myself.

I.CAN’T.DO.THIS.

That’s where I find freedom. I can’t, but He can. He never asked me to do the things I’m trying to do. That’s why I get burned out.

So I give them to Him all over again. And I can smile and laugh and run and tickle. And yes, I’m still so tired, but it’s a joyful tired.

Because being in His will…where else is there to be?

  “Have you not known? Have you not heardThe LORD is the everlasting Godthe Creator of the ends of the earthHe does not faint or grow wearyhis understanding is unsearchableHe gives power to the faintand to him who has no might he increases strengthEven youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhaustedbut they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eaglesthey shall run and not be wearythey shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

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And currently we have two two year olds!

 

Completely Not Perfect But Perfectly Loved

I scrolled through Facebook the other night before bed. Jeremy was gone. The house was quiet. And I literally found myself saying out loud, “So and so is so perfect. And so is she. And she. Why am I so not perfect?”

Y’all, I named names. Outloud. In our house. The jealousy and frustration were literally boiling over.

I’ve spent the last couple days cleaning vomit and giving medicine and wiping noses. All while feeling like death myself.

And far, far from those “perfect” pictures I let seep into my mind and harden my heart.

The root…I haven’t spent much time with Him lately. I haven’t heard Him remind me of His love. I haven’t cried out to Him and let Him comfort me.

Lately Jesus’ perfect life hasn’t seemed like enough for my imperfect one.

“When Jesus is gracious to us, why would we be cruel to ourselves.” (Ann Voskamp)

Admitting I’m not perfect is one thing. But condemning myself when I’ve been justified is another.

He was perfect so I don’t have to be. He sees me and loves me…grace upon grace.

“He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.” (Psalm 78:39)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

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Seeing Through Different Eyes

These are the words I sang to her last night…

“You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms.”

And I held her close. Reminded myself that He holds her tighter. He loves her more.

The text I had just sent my Mom finished this way…

“Tonight was the first time I’ve seen that look of hurt in her face. And the first time I’ve ever hurt like maybe my skin wasn’t white. I saw through my brown daughter’s eyes and it was painful.”

The details aren’t necessary. But for the first time in my white life something broke. I caught a glimpse from another view. And I could barely handle it.

We are so naive. And blind. And full of entitlement. And absolutely clueless to it all.

“The reason why we haven’t solved the racial divide in America after hundreds of years is because people apart from God are trying to invent unity, while people who belong to God are not living out the unity that we already possess. The result of both of these situations has been, and will continue to be, disastrous for our nation. Let alone disastrous for the witness of Christ to our nation.” (Tony Evans)

Every life is important to Him.

God, help us to love like we’ve been loved. To accept like we’ve been accepted. To sacrifice like You have sacrificed for us.

 “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14-16)

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Flexing or Fighting?

I’ll often ask myself when disciplining our kids, “Am I flexing my muscles or fighting for their heart?”

When things seem crazy, and I feel like I’ve lost any semblance of control in this house, I’m more tempted to flex.

Because I can make them obey with my threats. And I can feel in control again.

Or when time is short because of the demands of other kids, I’m tempted to flex. Fighting for the heart takes time. And well, sometimes it seems like I don’t have it.

“The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children.” (Shepherding a Child’s Heart)

Could the most important thing I do today not be great meals or read books or neatly written spelling words? Could the most important thing today be tending to their souls? Could it be listening?  Could it be unscheduled?

Christ came to fight for my heart. He could have “flexed.” He could have stopped Calvary in a second. But He didn’t. He stayed the course.

And even now He’s faithful. He’s patient. He shepherds me.

We fight because we’ve been fought for.

Maybe today fighting for their hearts will feel a little more like grace.

” 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.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)

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January has become treehouse building weather!

 

When 2017’s already spiraled…

It’s been a little over 3 weeks since Christmas. 3 weeks since celebrating His birth. And already…I’ve shut myself in the bathroom. Hid. Begged God to come right now.

We have friends hurting. We have friends moving. We have friends fighting battles no one saw coming.

And as long as we’re here…these battles will continue.

Sin will consume us. Threaten our very lives. Steal our joy. Force us into locked bathrooms. And that “roaring lion” will keep scratching on the door. Telling us over and over again…it’s just too hard.

“And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)

But Jesus is the Lion who will devour the devourer.

Where Satan comes to destroy, Christ comes to do battle.

In wherever you’ve found yourself in 2017. Death. Suffering. Sorrow. Questions.

He. Is. There.

To keep fighting for you.

” All the tomorrows of our life have to pass Him before they can get to us.” (F. B. M.)

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