family

My Faith Grew

It’s been two months since I sat in that hospital bed and my faith grew.

Over the time-span of one year our family had been turned upside down and inside out. My health had declined due to pain and medication (for the pain I had been enduring). At the same time, a financial hardship had fallen on us.

It did not make sense (financially) for me to be in a hospital bed. It did not make sense that I had surgery on my spine by a neurosurgeon I had just met.

My faith grew

Faith

But, it did make sense that God had orchestrated the 24 hours that changed my entire perspective on life and my faith grew.

  • While I had spent the past year praying for God to
    • take my pain away, he had not done so
    • end our financial problems, he had not done so
  • While I had attempted to return to work and help resolve our problems, I had been unable to…

Every path we had taken seemed to lead to a dead end. But Faith woke us up every morning to a new day.

Persevere

God… gave me faith to persevere, just as he had given it to Jesus the night he fell to his face three times and begged for the cup to be taken…

And in his weakest most difficult moment, Jesus said “Not my will, but yours be done.”

For so long, I have wanted to really show my children what it’s like to live in this world without being of it. I’ve wanted to give them an example of a Mother who holds onto the faith given to her by a loving Father.  I’ve wanted to show them that everything around them is only here for us to use for His glory…

That is what I wanted and that is exactly what the Lord has provided.

He gave me the gift of faith. The gift of faith has given me the ability to persevere through some dark moments. It is easy to say “you’ll make it through and God is with you…” But you really can’t say that until you have walked a road that is similar to one another person has travelled on.

grow faith

Faith Grew

God has given me this journey, to grow my faith for his glory. I know that.  I also know he has given me this beautiful gift because you might need someone to sit and say:

“Mama, you are NOT alone. My road is similar. There will be days when you just can’t stand or walk because the pain (physical or emotional) is too much… but you are NOT alone and God is with you. He has not abandoned you, nor has HE forsaken you. Just hold on and let go. Hold on to his hand and let go of the idea that you can control this.  Just let him love you and give you an amazing gift of faith that He can’t give you in any other way….”

 

God is Faithful in All Things

Do you find it hard to remain faithful in the good times? Sadly, I have to admit that when things are running smoothly, meaning according to my schedule, I have to work to remain faithful in prayer and study. Wow..that’s tough to admit. I know this about myself and so I have built reminders all around myself to remain focused..even when things are good.

Psalm 62:11-12 reads: One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.”

Faith in all things

 

Have you ever heard the old Chinese proverb which states: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”?  When we study chapter 62 in Psalm, we need to remember that these words come out of a very low time in David’s reign, which was the rebellion of his son Absalom against his authority out of hatred for him. Without a doubt, David earned some of this disrespect, but the pain of all of this happening within his family, and seeing the destruction it had created, must have sent David to the very edge of his ability to cope. Thankfully, even during this terrible time in his life, David remembers God and His steadying presence in his life. I don’t think there was any way would David have survived the crises in his life without knowing that he must turn to God and seek His intervention in his life.

For us this means that the simple and powerful truth that only God is sufficient help in our time of need must be passed on through our faith to others. Sure, you can solve problems for people, or at least put a band aid on their problems, but in no measure will you truly serve them unless you teach them that God, and He alone, is an ever present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

David teaches you and me how to live in this life when he points us to the preeminence, power, and love of God.

Notice what God does for us:

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. (Psalm 62:1).

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:2).

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5).

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. (Psalm 62:7)

In this passage, David teaches us the great truth that God is strong and God loves us. Only God can be trusted with our lives, because only He loves us sufficiently to guide us toward our Heavenly home, for we cannot take care or make it on our own.

If we are to teach others how they must draw spiritual strength and love for a lifetime, then we must point them to God, and He alone, as the source of every good and perfect gift. We need to remember that each person we meet in passing through this world, we are accountable to them and God to do so.

As David rightfully says, “Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done”.

Are you willing to live like that? Are you the light to those around you? We really have such a short time on this earth compared to eternity; we must get about the Lord’s business of sharing Him to a lost world.

The song “Live Like That” by Sidewalk Prophets has become special to my daily reminder to stay faithful in all things.

Some of the lyrics make me stop and think… Am I showing love? Am I teaching others that faith in God is their only answer?

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I’m only just a memory
When I’m home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of us
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that

faith in God is only answer

My prayer is that I will always teach others that they must call in faith on the Lord’s strength and love to guide them through every storm and difficult path they encounter because God is the source of every answer, solution, and need they will ever have in this life.

When I Live My Faith

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Luke 19:10

Jesus came searching for me!
Jesus came to save me!
It was part of His plan when He chose redemption for the world.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Love was written all over our Savior’s heart.
His compassion is unmatched.
Jesus did the ultimate in pouring out; He gave it all.

When I Live My Faith

This is the kind of love, compassion and sacrifice that I want to make sure my children place their faith in. This requires me to talk about my faith in God, believing who Jesus says He is, and how the Holy Spirit is our Helper and Counselor.

Our children are very receptive, and I’ve found that they develop an appetite for Jesus when we present the truth to them. When I live my faith for my children to see, they develop a yearning to know the Lord. They see our faith in action; how well we trust God. Once they develop a relationship with Jesus, they have just as much right to Him as we do as their parents. THAT is a great relief.  All of the burden isn’t on us to be their El Shaddai.

The Holy Spirit Will Guide Them

Now, our children still need earthly parenting. We must never be hands-off with that. But just think of the dynamic partnership that we’ll have with them and God.

When solving an issue with a child, I’m learning to incorporate this phrase, “What does God’s Word have to say about this?”
It’s God that brings the solutions. They see it for themselves, and it bolsters their faith.

Whenever we’ve needed to believe God for a prayer to be answered, it’s God’s word again to the rescue. We find a Scripture promise that supports what we’ve prayed for (this is praying God’s will). When the answer comes, the children get to rejoice because they experience it first hand. It bolsters their faith. This also aids in long-term remembrance of how God answered them.

living faith

I’ve even seen this carry over into a married adult child’s life. She recalled the times that God answered our prayers of faith when she was younger which gave her a foundation for how she needed to presently pray for herself.

Mom, we won’t always bat 1,000, but we’ll hit some when we swing. I learned that I couldn’t leave their faith up to chance. It made me more aware of my own faith in Jesus, and what I truly believed about Him. When I live my faith I gain experiential knowledge that carries our family closer to God.

We can start today by asking God to bolster (support, strengthen, prop up) our own faith so that we can continue to lead our children in faith.

Faith: He is the PERFECT Lamb!

The other day I was in such a grumpy mood. My entire schedule for the day had gotten completely thrown off. So much so that it was going to throw off the entire rest of the week’s schedule as well. For some reason, I just can’t stand to not have a plan for the day. I didn’t like not knowing what was going to happen to my day, especially since I had a routine and schedule already planned out. I wanted to wake up knowing what’s going to hit me so that I wasn’t surprised.  Funny thing is, you think I would have learned by now because God has corrected me so many times on this.

faith: perfect lamb

The day I referred to earlier, you know the one that went horrible in my eyes? It actually wasn’t bad at all, I just thought it was horrible because it didn’t go the way I wanted it to. I was so frustrated that I started whining to my dog saying that I wished God would give me just one good day-this was actually the second day in a row things were thrown off! Boy, do you think I needed to be knocked down a few pegs?

I’m not going to lie, my worst habit is relying on my own abilities. If I can’t do it, I get really upset because I don’t want to have to put my trust in someone else to accomplish the task at hand. This mentality bleeds into my relationship with God because sometimes, I just can’t let go and let God do His work. I have to try and control how the day is going to go so I can live without fear.

Unfortunately, that’s not how this faith thing works. The hardest part about being a Christian is being able to step back from ourselves and our own abilities and say, “I have faith, God, that your plan is perfect in every way and I will rest upon your promises.” Sometimes, sitting back and doing nothing is exactly what God needs us to do. We put ourselves in the way and for what? God is the perfect Lamb of God, what could we possibly do that would outweigh what He can do? Nothing; absolutely nothing.

to have faith

The funny thing is though, we get it stuck in our minds that we can. Often times, our biggest hurdle standing in the way of true faith is ourselves and the abilities we think we have. Is it wrong to try and put a plan to a day or month? Absolutely not. Is it wrong to obsess over that plan and believe that plan would have been the only one that resulted in a perfect day? Of course it is!

The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” The biggest problem about us planning ahead and then obsessing over that plan is the fact that we never know what tomorrow may bring. God holds our lives in His hands and He dictates how it needs to go, not us. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” This means that we don’t need to fear our day/month/year/life not going as we planned.

Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God and His plans for our lives are also perfect. We have nothing to fear we simply just have to have faith, put our plans on the back burner, and trust that God knows what He’s doing, because I promise you, He definitely knows what He’s doing.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to be free of worry and anxiety for this day and each day to come. Help me to let go of my own abilities and rely on Yours. Allow me to see that my plan is nothing compared to Yours and that just because my plan doesn’t work out for the day doesn’t mean that all is lost. Please help me to see that my desires are still important to you but they are weaved within your desires to make them how they need to be—perfect. In Your name I pray, Amen.

 

Parenting by Faith, Not Fear

“I’m a little worried that Johnny hasn’t accepted Christ yet.” My friend crossed her legs and switched the baby to the other side. “I accepted Jesus when I was four, I think, and I know I shouldn’t worry, but I do.”

I nodded, fully understanding that concern. I came to Christ later in life. I know that the Holy Spirit, not me, will lead my children to the Lord. I know that God loves my children, has a plan for them, and desires that they become part of His everlasting family.

I trust God with my children. I really do. And yet sometimes, well, maybe I don’t.

parenting by faith

“Yes,” I say, “It’s hard not to wonder if I’m doing enough, or if I’m doing it right! I wonder sometimes if I’m talking to them about Jesus enough, or if maybe my own issues are getting in the way.”

It’s then that I have this thought: If I really trust God with my children, why do I always mentally wring my hands over whether they are/will be saved? Whether I’ve done enough? Yes, I love them and want what’s best for them. But so does God- even more so – and in HIM is the power of salvation!

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” – Psalm 37:3

Salvation is of the Lord

We know it’s true: Salvation is of the Lord. Only the Holy Spirit can change the hearts of our children. Not us. He calls us to diligently teach and train them in the ways of the Lord and to trust the results with Him.

Do we? Do you?

Fear-based parenting has no place in the life of a Christian. If we want our children’s faith to flourish, we should tend to our own, and regularly fall to our knees to pray for our kids.

Fear is NOT of the Lord

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

When God blessed us with our children and asked us to raise them for Him, fearful parenting was not on the work order.

  • Fearful parenting wrings its hands, fretting and worrying.
  • It is paralyzed by the “what-if’s” of life.
  • It is unsettled and even panicked by the idea that it cannot control choices and outcomes.
  • It makes fear-based decisions, betraying the fact that it doesn’t really trust God.
  • It reels hard with every sin and sorrow life throws its way.
  • It teeters on the edge of a works-based faith.
  • It is no faith at all.

Don’t ask me how I know fear-based parenting so well.

Author and Perfector of Our Faith

God does not want us to parent out of fear. Instead, He calls us to faith-filled parenting, by the power of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to look to Jesus, whom Hebrews 12 calls “the author and perfector of our faith,” to finish the work He has begun in our children.

  • Faith-filled parenting finds peace in the sovereignty of God.
  • It acknowledges the hard realities of life AND the power of God.
  • It rests in the fact that only the Holy Spirit can change hearts, watching for it with hope.
  • It is empowered and equipped by Christ to diligently teach and train, surrendering the outcome to God.
  • It lives on its knees, praying for the children’s salvation and faith.
  • It lives out a walk of true faith in Christ.

faith to flourish
Be diligent in your calling as a parent! Teach them to know and love the Lord. Run the race well. THEN rest in the knowledge that the results of your work are in God’s capable hands. Trust Him with their faith.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17

Teach it and preach it, friends, in word and in deed!

Lord, help us to parent Your children in faith, not fear. Grant us a great peace and confidence that You are working in their lives and that Your plans for them are good. Please equip and strengthen us for the work you have called us to, helping us always point our children to Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.

Amen.

Nothing Wasted

With soccer season in full swing, Ben stayed in denial. The pain would surely go away if he just walked it off or maybe if he iced it or maybe if he stretched it some more. He didn’t even mention it to me or his dad for several weeks as it grew worse and worse. His play on the field led his team to an almost perfect record. He never left the field, often playing the whole game and usually scoring at least one goal and assisting on others. So, after the most recent victory when he should have been all smiles and energy, tears gently joined the sweat on his jersey.

have faith - nothing wasted

“What is it Ben?”

“It just hurts so bad. I thought it would get better. I thought I could work through it, but it hurt to even walk.”

“How long has this been going on?”

“A couple of weeks,” he replied.

“I think we need to check into it then,” I said as we slowly walked to the car. He was limping now with each step. Everyone who passed asked if he was okay. The coach expressed his concern about his star player. I said I’d keep him in the loop.

A painful silence rode home with us. Ben cried and I prayed. I didn’t know what was wrong with Ben’s heel, but I prayed for the doctor we would see and the diagnosis we would receive. And I prayed for Ben, for his heart and attitude. And I prayed for healing.

Soccer games are usually on Saturday for us, so Ben didn’t do much that weekend. Finally I secured an appointment for Monday afternoon. The doctor embodied experience and wisdom. The date on his diploma reflected maturity. Ben liked him immediately. Gentleness and kindness exuded as he spoke with Ben about his injury and his pain. He listened to Ben tell about how the pain had increased and how he had though it would go away.

After some x-rays the doctor returned. He said that Ben had calcaneal apophysitis or Sever’s Disease. It is actually quite common in young athletes because of the repetitive stress and sometimes trauma they put on their feet. So, Ben’s pain had a name. But then the doctor told Ben what it would take for him to heal: 10-14 days of no activity. No running. No jumping. No track. No soccer. Ben’s interpretation: no fun.

The doctor spoke firmly, telling Ben that he had to rest to heal his heel. He said that Ben needed to take care of his body and that failing to do so could result not only in more pain, but more severe damage to his foot. Ben was fit for custom heel supports to put inside his shoes. These he would wear in all of his shoes until he outgrew them. The doctor’s words began to discourage Ben. Frustration and even anger began to grow in his heart.

Again a painful silence hovered in the car as we drove home. Tears fell on Ben’s t-shirt as he stared out of the window. And again I prayed. Finally Ben said, “Why did this have to happen? This means that I can’t play the game on Saturday.”

I had already thought through all of the implications of his injury. These next 10-14 days had the potential to be long and hard. I didn’t rush to answer his question, but let it hang in the air. As it did so, a list of my own hurts and pains rushed through my head. Loneliness and betrayal, misunderstandings and lies—none of it physical, but all of it painful. My own wounds had sidelined me too. Why did that have to happen?

We both wrestled with the same question as we drew nearer and nearer home.

He is faithful

God is always in the process of doing two things: glorifying Himself and growing us. This I know to be true. My issues, my pains I have wrestled through many times. I have called out to Him begging for the pain to stop, pleading with Him to heal and restore. And although I know He is able, eliminating the hurt isn’t always what’s best. He often uses the hurts and pains and losses to draw me nearer to Himself, to teach me, to grow me, to prove Himself faithful.

Now, with both of our faces wet with tears, I began, “Well Ben, this I know. God doesn’t waste anything. I’m so sorry about this. The doctor said that there is probably nothing we could have done to prevent it. So here we are with at least 10 days stretched out before us. I know that it’s hard and frustrating to consider all that you can’t do, but what if instead you focus on all that God might do? I don’t mean that it will be easy, but I’m betting God wants to show you something amazing.

My words were met with more tears and, “Oh, mom!” My heart was breaking for him. Ben just wanted to run and jump. He just wanted to go to practice and play his game on Saturday. Ben didn’t want to be still for 10-14 days. At 12, he knew God and His love, but this was a level of intimacy with which he was unfamiliar. He moped into the house and I followed, praying.

With each day, Ben grew grumpier and grumpier. The tension in the house built to a crescendo one morning at breakfast. Frustration erupted onto an innocent sibling. I had seen it coming and I understood it too well. I had done that too. I took him aside into another room. Tears again. Not angry, not furious. Broken. His tears were familiar to me too. Those same tears had run down my cheeks many times. Tears of hard fought surrender. He yielded and we hugged. He saw clearly what his unchecked anger had done to his brother and he sincerely apologized.

“So Ben, how can I help you? There are still at least seven more days. What can I do to help you trust God with this?”

“I don’t know. It’s really hard.”

“Yes it is. It’s hard to watch. That’s why it’s so important to remember what we know, that God loves you and that He doesn’t waste anything.” And even as I spoke these words to him they washed over the tender places in my heart, bringing comfort and peace.

As the days wore on, Ben’s attitude improved. He relaxed and even accepted his restrictions. We went to his soccer game to cheer on his team. His presence surprised them and they won their game. Now we marched toward the follow up appointment peacefully. The doctor commended Ben with his progress. Although he would be required to continue wearing the heel supports consistently, the doctor released Ben to resume his regular physical activities. He could run and jump again. And he could join his team to play their next game.

On our ride home Ben’s anticipation filled the car. He could hardly wait for practice and the game. We agreed he had never looked forward to running and jumping like this before. In fact, he realized that there were activities he’d taken for granted. Not any more. The week finished with yet another soccer game victory and smiles all around.

That Saturday night as I prepared for bed, Ben knocked on my door and asked to come in. “Of course,” I said.

“Mom,” he began, “I wanted to tell you what God showed me through this whole thing.” I paused folding towels. In my own relief of his healing, I’d forgotten to ask what God had shown him, what he’d learned.

have faith is his work

I turned around and looked at his bright blue eyes as he said, “Mom, God taught me that I can trust Him. He really does care for me.” Joyful, thankful tears now wet his hair as we hugged in celebration of His goodness. Ben felt so personally touched. We had grown in faith together and God was glorified.

What hurts or wounds or pains is God allowing because of His love for you? In what areas are you holding on to the hurt instead of leaning into His faithfulness and love? Surrender to His faithfulness. Worship His Goodness. Trust His will. Have faith. He knows. He cares. And He loves you.

The JOY of the Lord is My Strength

“The joy of the Lord is my strength.” We hear that verse thrown around, but is it true? When hard times come, when the storm rages, is the joy of the Lord really our strength?
 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 
joy of the Lord
You can know if “the joy of the Lord is my strength” by the responses you make in certain situations. Worry, fear and anxiety are the responses our flesh gives. When the Joy of the Lord is our strength, we respond in the Spirit and Hope, Faith and Love.  These traits come from daily walking in the Spirit.
This daily walking in the spirit is crucial to our responses in life. The more time you spend with the Lord, the more time you spend pouring over the Word and communing with Him in prayer,  the more our responses will be Spirit led. We can also memorize God’s Word so that we have it like a shield around our heart for our darkest and hardest days.

As God becomes our focus, our eyes will shift from the temporal to the eternal. Yes, we will still have days that we struggle, but we will also have the tools we need to combat the very real battle that is going on in our lives But even still- there will be hard days. And our strength and joy will rise as we wait on God. We don’t always understand the why in the waiting– and joy is hard in those places. Yet joy isn’t based on our circumstances but on our relationship and the knowledge we have it that relationship with God.

joy is a choice

Joy is a choice- a daily choice we make everyday as we wait on the Lord and grow closer to God.
Prayer: Father, help us to remember that it is through your death on the cross that we can find total and complete joy. It is a gift that is given freely to us, if we accept it. Help us to make a point each and every day to count it ALL a joy, even in the trials of life. Also, Lord help us to pass our joy unspeakable and FULL of glory to everyone we meet.
In your name, Amen.

The Joy God Promises

Does it mean I’m not a Christian if I’m suffering from depression? If I lack joy?

This month’s topic is joy. As I considered what it means to have joy, I began to think back on the years in my life when joy was hard to come by. I dealt with depression off and on for many years, and as if I wasn’t already dealing with enough, I also worried that maybe I wasn’t a Christian (or at least I wasn’t a “good” Christian) if I was depressed. I mean, Christians are supposed to be happy all the time, right? Doesn’t God promise us joy right there in the Bible? So what’s wrong with me? How can I possibly be depressed if God has promised me joy?

Romans 15: 12-13 says:

12 And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.”
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God promises joy

First, you need to know that Christians can (and do!) suffer from depression just like anyone else. It’s true that we have hope for the future because of our salvation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we will always be happy or that we can force ourselves to feel happy. That we’ll never get depressed. That we’ll always smile and be cheerful and content with our circumstances. We live in a world that is imperfect, and as long as we live in this world, we have to deal with the effects of imperfection.

Many years ago, I went through a very hard time. My first child, now age 21, was diagnosed with severe autism. For about a year after that, I was extremely depressed. The only reason I was willing to keep on living was because I knew that my child needed me. Life didn’t seem worth living any more. I still had a husband who loved me and who took wonderful care of me and our child. I still had a place to live and plenty of food to eat and clothes to wear. But none of it seemed to matter very much any more.

I wanted to care. I wanted to feel happy. I wanted to have joy. But I didn’t know how.

I was ashamed

I was ashamed to admit how depressed I was to anyone else. I was afraid they would think I wasn’t a Christian if I was depressed. I was afraid my husband would think I didn’t love him or that I didn’t appreciate how he worked so hard to take good care of us. I was afraid the people at church would look down on me. I was afraid God would be disappointed in me. I was afraid that, if I admitted I was depressed, I would then be obligated to do something to get better, and I had no idea what to do.

hope for joy

One day I gave in and decided to seek out help. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself and my family! I saw a doctor and tried taking medication. It took some time, but after a couple of tries, we found one that worked well for me. (Yes, it’s ok for Christians to take medication to treat depression when we need it! Depression is often caused by a chemical imbalance, and it may be necessary for a few months or even years to take medication to get things back in balance. We don’t hesitate to take medications for other illnesses, and we shouldn’t feel guilty for taking medication for depression either.) I also saw a Christian counselor who helped me learn better ways to deal with stress. It wasn’t immediate, but I began to feel better and eventually felt like myself again!

I learned to feel joy again

All these years later, I can truly say that I no longer suffer from depression. I do have “down” days now and then, but I no longer feel hopeless and helpless. I can (on most days!) sincerely say that I feel the joy I once lacked. The joy that God promises us in the Bible. Through those years of depression, I learned a lot about relying on God, being willing to seek out help when I need it, being honest with myself and my family, taking medication when needed, not being so hard on myself, and taking better care of myself. I learned to hang in there during the hard times and to allow myself to feel happiness without guilt during the good times. I learned to feel joy again.

What real love looks like

It had been a very hard day. Actually there had been many hard days recently. I was worn out and exhausted but my son needed to talk to me. There has been many sleepless nights in our little home over the past year and a half as we tried to heal and move forward from life with an unsafe person.

My sweet boy had looked evil in the face and he was struggling to understand why God would let this happen if He really loved us. And as the months have gone by with (what seems to him) no answers to our prayers he has been asking some really big questions.

Real Love

When someone tells you that they love you but they keep hurting you it’s confusing. Doesn’t matter if you are in your 30s or barely into your teens.  Our painful experience had done more than damage our hearts … it has made us question God’s love for us.

My heart broke for my son that night because he was echoing the cries of my broken heart as well. I had spent many nights asking God why He allowed so much suffering in our lives.  I pulled my boy close and I opened my Bible and began to read.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 ESV

 

We began to talk about the person that had promised to love us but then hurt us.  We asked if he had been patient or kind and worked our way through the rest of the verse.  It was something that we had done many times before. While this person had promised to love, honor, protect and provide those words ended being empty promises. When held up to the light of the scripture the truth was clear.

 

I turned the pages to a different verse:

 

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 ESV
God wants more for you
My sweet boy looked up at me and sighed. “So God does love us Mama? And {that other person} did not?”  The truth of God’s real love was beginning to take root in his heart. And through a few tears we share all the ways that God was all the things that we read in 1 Corinthians.

 

Sweet friend, I don’t know what you are facing today. But I want to encourage you to remember what real love looks like. Teach it to your children. And when something less than comes around, hold on to the truth that God wants more for you!

 

We hope this devotional series is blessing you in your motherhood and your walk with the Father. Please enjoy this printable coloring page, take a few minutes to slow down…breathe…remember God wants more for you!
Be blessed! 

Modeling God’s Love

It’s February, and love is in the air this month more than any other time of the year. When we step back to consider God’s love, really the entire Bible is his love letter to us. As moms, especially homeschool moms, we’re constantly showing our love to our families our husbands and others all around us.

Modeling God’s Love Through Service

The message of the God’s great love letter to us is LOVE and generosity, “For God so loved the world that He gave…”  John 3:16

When we give to our families, our friends and others of our time, talents and resources, we are acting as God’s love in the flesh. When you feel like you just can’t give any more, moms. Remember that our Heavenly Papa gave us Jesus and Jesus gave it all. For us. So just keep giving and loving, holding fast to God’s promise in Proverbs 11:25, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

Modeling God's Love

I have friends that ask me all the time how I keep going? I think it’s God’s super natural way of giving us more energy than the energizer bunny. In fact, I’m kind of tired of being compared to that silly commercial bunny, banging his drums together. Instead, I’ll hold fast to God’s word and promises. As I refresh others, He will refresh me. What God sends out will not return void. Just keep giving, mamas. It’s the Lord’s boomerang affect, only His multiples. If we keep refreshing others, then we ourselves are refreshed.

As a mama, what can we do for other moms and sisters in Christ, refreshing them to enter into God’s heart and love? It’s His promise, that we will be refreshed, yet it seems so impossible to give any more. Let’s face it ladies, this mommy thing. It’s hard. Add that with all the rest of the responsibilities of this nonstop society and we seem to be up against a mountain.

We’re all familiar with Paul’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13: “ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  In those same first letter to the Corinthians, 16:18, Paul reminds us, ”For they refreshed my spirit and yours as well. Show your appreciation,therefore, to such men.” I say the same goes for our sisters. Refresh others and others will refresh you, come along side you and partner in this thing called life. It’s God’s Kingdom life.

God’s Love

We showcase God’s never ending love for us by refreshing others.  What if we became extra super ultra generous with giving out God’s love? What If we started with giving more, a living example of God’s generosity to our children, to our sisters who we walk in this life with. We homeschool together in, hang out in MOPS groups, at co-op groups, Bible studies, park and play dates. In turn, are we giving our sisters more to take home to her own families, and being refreshed ourselves? I think so. In fact, I know so.

God's Love

As I’m writing this, I’m riding in the car with three dear Christian sisters on our way to our third #LetYourWriteShine retreat. It seems that the more energy I put into making these events special, to refresh my sisters in Christ, asking the Lord to fill their hearts with God’s love through our events and sharing that with my Christian sisters, the more energy I have to do things in my every day life. I guess it’s just supernatural.

God’s love for us is unending. It’s hard for us to grasp how deep and high and wide. To be living as He did, the more we press into loving others, the more He shows up with his treasures for us.

Where is God stretching you to give more, sisters? I’d love to hear from you!

Bon Voyage~

 

We hope this devotional series is blessing you in your motherhood and your walk with the Father. Please enjoy this printable coloring page, take a few minutes to slow down…breathe…remember God’s love for us is unending!
Be blessed!