Finding freedom

Where Moms Fail (Confession Time)

I hate (HATE) to use the word fail. But can’t think of a better one. This has been burning a hole right through me lately.

Every time I utter the 2 words–“I’m fine”–when I’m really not…I fail.

I fail you because I’m lying. I fail my family because they’re getting fragments. I fail God because I’m relying on my own strength.

You know what the kids get most days…me. Like…FULL–ON–ME.

I’m mentally counting the minutes I spend with each kid, making sure they get equal “Mom time.” I’m stressing out if it’s near dinnertime, and we haven’t read a single book. I’m beating myself up over sunny days we’ve spent inside.

And this blog is titled bumps, bruises, and GRACE.

Sigh…still so far to go.

God’s grace seems big enough for my kids. It seems big enough for my marriage. But often it seems too small for me.

Y’all…lots of days…I’m just not fine. I’m really not. I’m meeting needs on the second all  while trying to live simply and be still.

I’m offering grace to others but not letting it spill over onto me.

Father, forgive me. I admit that I easily swing back toward works-righteousness instead of grace. I confess that lots of days I consider you my Savior but not my friend. I’m tempted to make You a thing I do instead of a relationship I bask in. Be my strength. In your beautiful grace, redeem these bumps and bruises.

Friends…let’s be fine with not being fine. Christ came for “not fine” people. He uses “not fine” people.

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

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My Something Looks Like Nothing Compared To That…

She’s collecting for the homeless. She’s starting her Masters. And I’m sitting here, overeating Wheat Thins, and considering it a great success that Kenan finally fell asleep.

At Carowinds the other day, I was top scorer in the Plants vs. Zombies game. Y’all…the spotlight shone on me! In front of the 50 middle schoolers in there. And I couldn’t have been prouder.

It’s small wins over here. Spelling “your” not “yor.” Knowing 9×9=81. Changing your underwear. Putting on underwear.

As a kid, I wanted to be the first woman ever to play baseball professionally. Not kidding.

As an adult, I want to be the first woman ever to…well, I’ve forgotten.

“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.” (Romans 12:6a)

For a season…our gifts may lie dormant.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)

For a season…our rejoicing and weeping may be with little people with dirty faces.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

For a season…our greatest good may be shown in the place we call home.

And it’s OKAY.

To help the homeless. To get your Masters. To not.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)

My sacrifice may not look the same as yours.

And it’s OKAY.

As long as His sacrifice is spotlight. As long as His love is my affirmation. As long as every choice I make-every yes or no I say- is an attempt to glorify Him.

Today…whether you’re collecting for the broken, writing a research paper, or pulling out a fresh pair of Paw Patrol underwear…remember the Who more than the What.

We have worth because Jesus laid down His.

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“What is your goal in parenting?”

I stood outside our bedroom door with my head resting on the trim.

Jeremy listened. “Mom comparison” comes fast. And hard. And I’d just laid a week’s worth of “what if I’m doing so and so wrong” squarely on his shoulders.

“What is your goal in parenting?”

That’s what he asked me. We’d talked about this before. Again. And Again. And again.

“That our kids would love God supremely.”

It was simple. But easy to lose sight of in the day to day crazy. And easily forgotten as I compare myself to “her” and “them.”

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 4)

No greater joy than to know that the 5 who call me Mom are walking in His ways.

It’s not about how they’re doing in soccer. Or the number of words they can read per minute. It’s not measured by the time I do or don’t allow them to play video games. Or how clean they keep their rooms.

No. Walking in the truth is what brings me joy. It’s what will give them joy. Through every day ahead of them.

And it’s what we’ve got to live for. To put our efforts toward. To consider most important.

For them. For us. For a hurting world.

“Love God supremely.”

I’ll fail. So will they. But there’s grace upon grace upon grace.

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Choosing the Pouring Out

“I almost wish I’d break something so I could get a break.”

That’s what I said the other day. It was selfish. It was spontaneous. But it was true.

Breaks are sometimes hard to come by.

Later I found myself in Matthew 26.

“Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.” 

How can I keep pouring when I feel empty?

“And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor’.” 

How can I keep pouring when it seems like a waste?

“But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial.”

How can I NOT keep pouring when Jesus calls it beautiful?

Every day I have the chance to say I “get to” (grace) instead of I “have to” (law).

Every day I have the chance to offer something beautiful to my Savior.

Because of grace and a Savior’s eyes that see beauty when I see broken, we offer all of ourselves…poured out…over and over again.

“Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

And HE says…not an ounce of it is in vain.

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Sometimes it really does seem worth it!

 

 

 

 

Our Family’s Word…2018

Happy New Year! We woke at 5:00 AM to a chirping smoke alarm.

(Why does this always happen in the dead of night?)

I’ve already failed on most of my 2018 “resolutions.” I didn’t get up early. I didn’t exercise. I’m tempted to eat leftover cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

And I’m blaming it all on the smoke alarm. Because I’m tired. And couldn’t drag myself out of bed once I’d finally fallen back asleep.

Jeremy held me in the wee morning hours. And I thought about how I don’t know what 2018 may hold. And how I’m tempted to get all scared and choose fear instead of faith.

I’m tempted to forget that “His mercies never come to an end.”

Our family has chosen not to coast this new year. I don’t even know what that means.

My life already feels likes a roller coaster. And if that’s what coasting means, I may go ahead and get off now.

This morning there is one thing I do know…Nothing takes Him by surprise.

Not smoke alarms.

Not coasting.

Not 2018’s that may prove anything but what we expected.

So we’re buckling the seat belt. Pulling down the arm bars. And raising our hands in expectation of His faithfulness.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)

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