Posts Tagged ‘faith’

What’s Important?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

let it be love

The older I get the more I come face to face with who I am and what my purpose has been while living on this earth. I’ve been here 50 something years which means I’ve had plenty of time to get some important things accomplished. However, every day it seems as though I’m bombarded by voices telling me that I’ve fallen short and that I’ve wrecked some of the most important assignments God has given me.

As a follower of Christ, I really really really want to be faithful to what God has for me. I don’t want to waste time (yet, I have wasted so much selfishly) nor do I want to be superficial to anyone needing to see Christ in me. For years, I’ve thought foolishly that by being real to people (my friends & family) I was portraying a truthful look at what walking the Christian faith means. Fall down, get back up. Live forgiven. Do better.

I don’t know what God is doing in my life these days. My life feels like it’s on a perpetual high-speed wooden roller-coaster and I cannot get off when it screeches into the station for more passengers. Just more crazy thrill-seeking people hop on and I’m still strapped in for ONE MORE WILD SCREAMING RIDE! Like I can handle it.

I’m not really handling it well. I go up with my emotions and then crash down like a violent wreck that no one walks away from. Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic (remember, it’s my life not yours – don’t judge). In spite of the very real and frustrating reality of my husband’s unemployment for the last 8+ months (September 9th 2016, not that I’m counting!!!) I’ve got bigger issues that are nagging me and pulling me towards sadness.

I’m at a real turning point in my life. It’s a “here on out” kind of time and what I do from now on is just as important as what I was doing when I was tucking kids in at night and making chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Only this time, I have a lot more freedom. No one is relying on me for guidance or protection or personal care. Matter of fact, they don’t even want me to offer a suggestion or opinion.

After a lifetime of parenting….they reach a point of NOT EVER LISTENING TO YOU AGAIN. That’s cool. I get it.

I’m faced with the question, what’s important?

Not all the things that I placed value on truly mattered. Some did, but not all. I mean, who cares about tons of home-cooked meals? Or spiffy, yummy smelling clean clothes? Those are just perks. Not true necessities. Kids who ate drive-thru meals and repeat wore so-so clothing are fine people and function perfectly well in society. Right?

I had a thought bubble pop up last night while I was loading the dishwasher – I wasn’t always very nice to my kids. As soon as the thought hit me, I felt a stab of regret. I was mean. Not all the time but enough that it hurts me to reflect on it. Maybe all moms are jerks at some point or another. I honestly don’t know how anyone purposefully hurts their kids (I did not do that…. but there were times I wasn’t as loving or kind as my kids probably needed me to be). I’m sorry for it.

Still, what’s important from me as a mom? To be nice? To be fair? To make homemade mac-n-cheese? To show love? To give of my time and energy? To let them make their own choices? To pick who they want to be or where they want to go? To butt out? To zip my lip and not point out weaknesses or celebrate strengths?

I’m here to tell you, all of that is important. Afterall, I am standing on the other side now and looking back….I can see clearly what worked and what didn’t. Instead of relishing all the things I did wrong – I think it’s important to focus on what I did right. I can’t help what anyone else does with their life (even my own kids) but I can tell you that if you don’t try your best to make an impact on the people in your life — God will hold both you and me accountable for it.

I chose to parent my kids under the headship of Jesus Christ and I would do it again. If my kids have children, I will continue to teach the love and forgiveness of Jesus to my grandchildren. It’s in me and it will always be until the day I die. I’m a Christian (a sinner saved by grace) and I will not waste my time or His while I’m here on earth being silent about my faith. If I’ve learned anything in 50 years it’s that life is fleeting and there are no guarantees of a tomorrow. Being nice and not offending someone with the gospel of Jesus Christ is dangerous. While I don’t want to live with earthly regret…. knowing I’ve shied away from sharing Christ with someone who dies and goes to hell is a consequence beyond regret.

It’s important to do the good work of Jesus as a parent, friend & stranger. This world doesn’t just need “nice” people it needs the faithful who care about the eternal destination of those around them.

What’s important to you?

stand firm

I’m Afraid…. of What?

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

One night (this could have been said, many nights) I couldn’t sleep because my mind was racing with “What if’s”; What if he has an accident? What if a car doesn’t see him on his motorcycle? What if she is in the wrong place at the wrong time? What if someone tries to break in? What if I get sick? What if he loses his job? What if we can’t pay our bills?

WHAT IF? (Insert: hand-wringing, tossing & turning, heavy sighing)

As a mom, I think some worrying is probably unavoidable. But, then again, is it?

fear not

After reading a great article yesterday by the very young (Hello, he WASN’T ALIVE when the Space Shuttle blew up?) Frank Powell on 9 Sins Christians Are Okay With, I took a little bop right between the eyes (thanks, Frank) at my own acceptance of most of what was on his list. Fear and apathy being two of my biggest weaknesses.

I’m a Christian. I’ve been a Christian a looooooong time (I was in my first year of college when the Space Shuttle blew up). I’ve deepened in my faith. I’ve read scripture for knowledge and heart power and obedience.

Still, I grapple with fear.

I know better, is what I’m saying. I know it, I can even feel it. It’s wrong and unnecessary. Yet, as soon as the lights go out, or the kid drives away or the weird pains in my body rear up….I resort to feeling afraid.

fear fear

Feeling afraid is like telling God – He isn’t big enough to take care of me or the people I love and fret over. Rolling around in bed while my mind races around with the what if’s, is not from God.

fearing

God doesn’t dole out fear (but Satan sure does). He doesn’t use fear to get us to do what He wants either. Like many have assumed throughout their lives.

Does that mean we shouldn’t fear Him?

Bliss

It means, we shouldn’t mix up a Holy reverence for who God is in our lives with the VBS character we play like He is in our real world living.

God is Holy. God is righteous. God is pure. God is wise beyond all knowledge. God is power. God is merciful. God is everywhere all the time. God is the Great I Am. HE was, HE is and HE will always be.

My knowledge of those attributes of Him propel me to honor Him, to trust Him and to believe Him when He says….

fear trusts

I can rest knowing God has complete control over my life.

His love for me is deeper than any kind of love that I’ll ever know on this earth. His love for the people I care about is even stronger than the love I feel for them.

So, why should I worry or fear?

Right now, I have a sign by my front door and I notice people slowing down as they walk by to read it…

…And it’s time I start living like I believe it!

whole world

What are you afraid of?

FaithFULLness

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

faithfulness

I wonder sometimes if I'm the only person who refuses to ask God for anything big.  Not because I'm so deep & spiritual, but because I don't want Him to tell me, "NO!".  Beth Moore calls it ATTEMPTING FAITHFULNESS WITHOUT ANY FAITH!  Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without FAITH it is impossible to please God".  I can think of many times in my life that I worked hard to prove my faith in Jesus through serving & doing instead of focusing on what was most important to Christ inside my own heart.

The Christian faith isn't tricky but our faith-less-ness in WHO JESUS REALLY IS in our  lives causes us to play games with it.  Things like holding grudges, not offering forgiveness and jealousy have plenty of room to roam around in our hearts when we are operating on a limited amount of faith.  It's only human for us to fill up that empty space with something.

Today I accidentally came across a mean comment about someone I love dearly.  My first reaction was anger and I wish I didn't have to admit it.  I let my mind run wild with thoughts of —  just what kind of person are you saying something like that?  I felt hurt and then my hurt turned to wanting to react.  Then God….reminded me that I'm different than that person.  Not better, different.  I'm new, in Him and I don't have to hurt others to make me BETTER or funny or whatever it is that this person was trying to do by saying something mean.  I can't LOVE GOD & HATE OTHERS (1 John 4:20).

Which brings me back to faithfulness.  I don't want to miss out anything God has for me.  If I'm full of all sorts of other stuff, things that don't really belong in me….then I can't in any way possess the faith that believes that GOD CAN DO ANYTHING I ask of Him.

I believe that God can do anything and I plan to live a more faithFULL life by asking Him for the big things that I've held back from Him.  If He says NO, then I'll trust He has something even better for me.  Because…..He does.

He is FAITHFUL!

Lord,

Thank you for reminding me how much I need you and that I need your cleansing power of forgiveness in my life.  I want to be faith-filled and I can only do that by obeying & trusting You.

Amen

Grace is the Word

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

I had no idea what was ahead of me at the beginning of this year….when I claimed MY WORD for 2013. No way could I have imagined all that would take place; the changes, the loss….the new, the sadness and most of all the chronic need for GRACE.

Time after time over the last 9 months circumstances have sent me banging on heaven's doors in search of His grace. Each time, I found it there. His grace is sufficient for me. This morning I opened up Beth Moore's blog to find the most beautiful example of GRACE I've ever read. Words that hold power and warmth….words that fill up and replace empty….words that prove GRACE is real! Real for me and real for you. (Thank you Ms Beth – I love your heart)

I'm sharing her words and linking to her post –> GRACE

 

Grace is an inflated raft that can submerge to the floor of a sea to save you.

Grace is the silver thread that stitches up the shreds of mangled souls.

Grace is the eye that finds us where it refuses, there, to leave us.

Grace calls the waitress to the table and sits her down to wash her feet.

Grace sees underneath the manhole on a street of self-destruction.

Grace is the air to draw a breath in the belly of a whale.

Grace is the courage to stand in the shamed wake of a frightful falling.

Grace is the only fire hot enough to burn down a living hell.

Grace waits with healing in His wings when we’re too mad to pray.

Grace is the gravity that pulls us from depravity.

Grace races us to the Throne when we make haste to repent and always outruns us.

Grace treats us like we already are what we fear we’ll never become.

Grace is the doorpost dripping red when the angel of death grips the knob.

Grace is the stamp that says Ransomed on a life that screams Ruined.

Grace sets a table before me in the presence of my enemy even when my enemy is me.

Grace is the cloak that covers the naked and the palm that drops the rock.

Grace is divine power burgeoning in the absence of all strength.

Grace proves God true and every self-made man a liar for the sake of his own soul.

Grace is the power to do what we cannot do for the Name of Christ to go where it has not been.

Grace is a room of a thousand mirrors, all reflecting the face of Christ.

 

Grace is…

The eye popping

Knee dropping

 

Earth quaking

Pride breaking

 

Dark stabbing

Heart grabbing

 

Friend mending

Mind bending

 

Lame walking

Mute talking

 

Slave freeing

Devil fleeing

 

Death tolling

Stone rolling

 

Veil tearing

Glory flaring

 

Chin lifting

Sin sifting

 

Dirt bleaching

World reaching

 

Past covering

Spirit hovering

 

Child defending

Happy ending

 

Heaven glancing

Feet dancing…

 

Power of the Cross.

 

 

Jesus Christ, Grace Incarnate.

Copyright 2013 Beth Moore

Yes.  It is.  Grace, it's all over me and it's all over you because of Him.  Don't let this world tell you otherwise.  Jesus knows how much to give and He lavishes it on each of us….when we need it most.

Just you wait and see.

found grace

5 Surefire Ways To Teach Your Kids To Pray

Monday, September 17th, 2012

My kids aren't little punks any longer.  They're grown up big kids with big people lives and personalities.  The days of my influence upon them are dwindling.  They are pretty much WHO THEY ARE GOING TO BE right now.

And, I really like them!

Raising good kids takes work.  Like, full-time work.  But, it's worth it.  The investment is forever and that's why I think it's so important for them to have a good foundation in Christ.  That doesn't come from a preschool or school day teaching…it comes from home.  Mama's & Daddy's have huge responsibilites on their shoulders when it comes to teaching their kids about faith.

It's a lifestyle.  Everyday.  Not just on Sunday.

I think one of the most important faith builders God has entrusted to us as parents is teaching our kids to pray.  For me, prayer is a lifelink.  When I miss out on it….I get messy and overwhelmed.  I feel out of sorts.  I know exactly what's wrong as soon as it happens.  I'm grateful for the Holy Spirt — always there, prodding me to do what is right when it comes to spending time with HIM!

"Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near."  Isaiah 55:6

So, I've been thinking…how do we teach our kids to pray?  Since I'm not an expert, all I can do is share what I feel has worked in my family.  My kids have had to live with the real me and the real me is far from perfect (Oh, don't act shocked!).  They've witnessed firsthand a need for prayer.  Bless their hearts, right?

5 Surefire Ways To Teach Your Kids To Pray

5 — Thankfulness.  Be open about what you are thankful for and where your blessings come from.  God is working every single day in your life and mine.  If we don't acknowledge that and speak about it with our family….they'll never learn to feel that gratitude for themselves.

4 — Forgiveness.  This is so important.  Don't miss this!  Teach your kids to say "I'm sorry" and say it yourself when you goof up.  Even more importantly, ask God for forgiveness in front of your kids when you make a mistake.  Make this a priority for them too.  Being forgiven and granting forgiveness are qualities that every human will need all throughout life.

3 — Praise.  Let your kids see you praising God.  If it's music that gets your heart all happy, then crank it up!  I remember driving my kids to and fro…jamming as loud as we could to Christian music.  Together, we've had some on fire praise moments over the years.  I can't tell you how it feels to hear your kids sing of their love for God.  It's amazing!

2 — Scripture prayers.  It's a good idea to use scripture in prayer every chance you get.  I love claiming verses with my family in mind.  I especially love inserting one of their names into a verse.  You can even write prayer verses out on little cards and stick them around to remind you to pray during the day.  Oh and guess who else sees them?  Yes, your kids.  Wonder if they'll notice?  Try it.  They'll love knowing you pray scripture for them.

1 — Model prayer.  The best way your kids (and mine) will learn to pray is to see and hear us doing it.  I'm not talking about "Grace" before meals or memorized poem prayers.  I'm talking about REAL WORDS with REAL MEANING.  God desired communication.  The kind where you talk to Him and share your heart.  The prayers that you model to your children will not fall on deaf ears.  Teach them to pray outloud, boldly.  Remember, you're teaching your child faith in Christ.

Prayer is serious business.  Treat it that way when going about your normal day.  I remember morning school rides when we'd get near drop-off.  If I forgot to pray, my kids would yell, "Mom….you forgot to pray for us!".  This was comforting to them and made them feel completely covered to face the busy day.  Something that I may never get over is how each of them never turned down an opportunity to pray.  Even as little dudes, if there was a request for someone to lead prayer….they bravely did it.

Do your kids know how to pray?

"Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people."  Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

No Order To My System

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

I wish I could say that I’m much more organized when it comes to my makeup but as you’ll see here today…I’m not. Over the many years that I’ve been putting on “my face” I’ve tried several methods of storage. I’ve used fancy makeup cases, Goody containers and now a simple 3 drawer storage bin to hold my most cherished liquid love.

Who can live without FOUNDATION?

Don’t answer that. I hate you flawless skinned beauties! Such is the life of a freckled-face girl! All of my {purty} relies heavily on some good foundation(much like my faith). Thank you, dear inventor of makeup foundation. I can hide safely behind you everyday and not reveal the real me. But I can’t do that with my Christianity.

I can hide behind a facade of goodness or Jesus words to make other’s think I’m “Christlike”, but they’ll know I’m just posing. Classic example? What your kids think about you. If you’re ever curious of whether you’re living outloud for Christ–screen out your kids opinion of you. NOTE: This could be painful (and if you’re kid is mad at you, jaded)! But usually, you’re going to get the truth.

You can pretend to be faithful to other’s but you can NEVER fool your kids.

Just like my makeup drawer, I see areas in my faithwalk that need organizing. I tend to skip around and customize my needs when it comes to God. Tell me I’m not the only one? I recognize full well that it’s slowing me down and until I make the changes that are necessary….my battle against my own flesh will continue.

I’ve come up with a plan. I want to get some order to my system. As my husband says, “Enough dilly-dallying!”.

(1) Read my Bible. Everyday.
(2) Pray. Alone, with my hubby & with my family.
(3) Study from a devotional or some other source.
(4) Pray for friends, family & other’s in need.
(5) Encourage those around me.
(6) Repeat. Daily.

Sounds simple enough, right? It’s strange how jumbled up I can make that list. With just a little effort and organization, it can turn my day around and put order to my system. My faith system! Won’t you join me?