Worn Out

For the Restless and Unsettled…

It’s midnight right now. I’m tucked away in the closet, trying to ignore the pile of dirty clothes in the floor, stacked up shoes, and trash bag full of “Goodwill stuff.”

The week ahead is busy. Crazy. I’ve said yes a lot lately. To good things. Things I’m honestly so, so excited about.

But I’m easily overwhelmed. Then restless. Then unsettled. And then…well…up at midnight, hidden in the closet, with fingernails chewed to the quick.

I know busyness doesn’t equate holiness. And I know everything that comes from Heaven doesn’t have my name on it.

And I am sure so many of you live lives much, much busier than I could every dream. Bless. Your. Heart.

But somehow there’s peace in knowing none of us are alone. My friend on the other side of the world just texted me. It’s noon there. She said she’s restless.

Wait. Me too. That’s why I’m up…responding to your text.

And I sent this verse to her. And here it is for you this Monday morning.

“But he said to me, ‘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.” (II Corinthians 12:9,10)

There aren’t “insults, hardships, persecutions, or calamities” written on my calendar for the week. (Please, Lord, keep them away.) But in a bright red marker, there’s the word GRACE.

And it will be sufficient…For my midnights, Mondays, and eternity.

Because “It is finished.”

Grace…then and now…for all of us…the unsettled…today.

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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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Just “Be” This Summer…

The emotions welled up like a dam that had been waiting to explode.

We’d spent the morning with some friends at the park. Our kids had chased a frog, sat by the creek, and had lunch.

And for some reason as I was reading Esther her naptime book, the thought came quickly.

“You will never have that moment again.”

I blinked hard against the tears.

I know my kids are growing. (We’re the ones dishing out money for new clothes and shoes.) But sometimes I forget.

What if they never catch frogs again? What if fighting with bamboo sticks feels immature?

Raudel said it at church this weekend-“We’re human beings not human doers.

I’ve forgotten how to be, because I keep on doing.

Ann Voskamp wrote, “The way to experience unlimited elation may be to imagine unexpected limitation.”

Y’all…I need to just be for awhile. To slow. To see them as kids. To play. And laugh.

He needs to be enough, so I can say no more quickly.

Because of the grace of the cross, I have nothing left to earn. His love frees me to be.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

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