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Confession

As soon as you wake up you feel it. It’s not supposed to be there. Your mind knows that and instantly the weight increases with the layer of guilt. In the darkness you breathe deep and slow, in and out, hoping for release. Space to see the light you know is there. You pray. You praise Him even in this. You confess it to God. You ask the Holy Spirit to help you, guide you, lead you away from it. You recite scripture.

Yet, it’s still there.

I don’t know what it is for you.

Today I’m over on the Heartland Women’s blog. You can read more here.

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Posted by on February 18, 2016 in Faith, Family

 

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Come Away With Me

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I can’t even begin to tell you how long it has been since I first implemented a daily quiet time of worship, scripture, and prayer.  Of course, I’m not perfect, it doesn’t happen EVERY day and it certainly doesn’t look the same from day to day either.  I haven’t been practicing Sabbath for near as long, although it’s been long enough still that I don’t remember when it began.  I do know that since my “reintroduction” to Jesus, I’ve felt a strong relational pull to spend time with Him.  I’m lucky enough to have been discipled well, but it truly feels like my hearts desire to do these things.

Then along comes the opportunity to retreat to “where the mountains meet the plains” and for many reasons I go…

It’s a great scouting adventure I can experience with my oldest son.

It’s a chance to unplug and decompress.

It’s a challenge in every way.

But most of all, I knew that not only would my relationship with my son grow deeper, so would my relationship with Christ. I knew I’d plug in and surrender to Him more fully. I knew I’d depend on God to be my everything.

He has a plan for me and this was definitely part of it. I’m so thankful that I heard Him calling me to Him, and that I answered.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Faith, Family

 

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Resolutions – Comparison or Imitation?

Photo by ColinBroug via stock.xchng

Photo by ColinBroug via stock.xchng

I find the whole idea of resolutions very interesting.  I’m not necessarily for or against them per se, but our reasons for them often have some sort of relational root.  For many years I’ve set resolutions for the new year (and I’ve done it at different times during the year), as 2013 came to a close and the hope of a new year began to form, I ran through the laundry list of areas in which I need to improve.  I need to be more consistent with my exercise, my nutrition, being more intentional with family time, spend more time with Jesus etc. I trust you know the list just as well as I do.  Honestly, the idea of forming a grandiose plan around even one on the list was less than enticing!

Naturally, my next human reaction included downplaying the importance of making resolutions in the first place by questioning why so many of us seem to have the desire to do so sewn into our identity.  It must be our evil comparison ridden society!  At least that’s where I tried to conclude my self examination…

I did, in fact, table the discussion with myself to go pick up my boys from school.  After all, we had a busy afternoon ahead!  Homework, piano practice, making and sitting down as a family to dinner, Scouts, and then the start of the bedtime routine, which for my teenager included more homework after scouts and very little, if any down time.

Now, I understand that we can find ourselves in all kinds of seasons, but the season I currently find myself to be in includes very little self care.  I’m not referring to showering and brushing my teeth.  I’m talking about nurturing my soul! Somehow I was getting enough water to maintain, and that’s what my boys were doing.  I found this unsettling to say the least!

Yes, seasons existed where I modelled these things better, but the Spirit convicted me that if I wanted my boys to practice a different rhythm in their lives, in every season, then I had to first model that for them.

 

Just as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4

14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. 15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

 

Imitate me, by imitating my son/daughter who has spent time watching me imitate Jesus Christ.  Who doesn’t want to send out their children and be able to say this?  Who doesn’t want a life worth imitating?

 

Almost a month into the new year, I’m creating my plan.  A plan to renew my resolve, not to be a perfect example, but a living one.  An honest and transparent example, inviting those near and dear to imitate anything in me of Jesus and nothing that isn’t.

 

John 3

30 He must become greater; I must become less.

 

In order for Him to increase in me, what must decrease?  That which is worthy of imitation must increase and that which isn’t must go.

I don’t want to be a guide in Christianity, instructing and teaching on what was and what is supposed to be.  I want to be a Mother in Christ, with many spiritual children, helping to imprint the way of life in Christ on many.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Discipling, Faith, Family, Fitness, Food

 

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Lucky #13

As long as I can remember the number 13 has been my favorite.  More than likely, it’s because so many people don’t like it.

July 12, 1998 was the day Bob and I agreed.  We both thought we had something together that was worth pursuing.  We had known each other for a little over 6 months, had been dating for a few of those.  Now, even though we have a variety of dates that could qualify for “when it all began”, for some reason this one has always shined through the rest for me.

In the 13 years we’ve been on this journey together, we’ve experienced a lot.  Surprise pregnancy, engagement, home ownership, becoming parents, family fall-outs, wedding, moving, separation, reconciliation, miscarriage, healthy pregnancy, son with spinia bifida, death of a parent, separation,  reconciliation, and the reconciliation of not only our marriage but so many things in our life as we fell in love with Jesus right at the beginning of this 13th year.  Through it all – struggling and sacrificing to support each other, our family and our friends in all kinds of extenuating circumstances the best we could.

There is so much to be proud of, so many tests we’ve overcome, so many times we chose to fight our way through instead of taking another way.

This last year I think we both look upon as one of our best.  Where we have both shouldered the responsibilities of this life we’ve been building and living together.  Where we strive to be better, not only for each other or ourselves, but for God.  We are reaping the harvest of the seeds we’ve sown along our way.

Let us not celebrate our success and lose sight of the work still ahead.  Let us not forget we must be diligent in renewing our efforts for fear old habits will find there way back in.

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah- 40:31 (TNIV)

Let us continue to aggressively pursue the Lord our God, obediently follow Jesus, and walk this life humbly together.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Faith, Family

 

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Church

Since our family found a church home, we frequently find ourselves trying to describe what we love about it. More importantly, what we feel makes it different, what has created not just the desire to continue going, but the need to immerse ourselves in the community there.

Throughout my life I have experienced many different churches, church going people, non-church going people,  believers, and non-believers – and many combinations of these.  One uniting experience everyone seems to share is that of a Christian church and/or a people who say one thing and do another.  Those who have made us feel unwelcome, judged, and “less than”.  Those who give because it makes them look good, but do not themselves sacrifice or get dirty.  Those that make us feel like we have to pretend to be something we’re not.

Today the differences seemed obvious: our church follows the teachings of Jesus and it attracts people who are trying to follow Jesus.

I wasn’t trying to follow Jesus.  I was really only trying the “church thing” again to humor my husband, with the slightest hope we might find a community offering healthy family centered social opportunities.  But upon entering the building I felt something flutter and during the service there began a shift deep within me.  I knew I would be back, I wanted more.  Everyone in our family had an experience that first day.  My husband and our boys were beaming with joy from the experience.  We went back the next Sunday and the next.  Missing a Sunday never entered into our minds.  I realized the depth of change going on inside of me when my husband was called out of town for work and I did not use that as an excuse to skip church.  I not only had begun following Jesus, I was falling in love with Him!

Let me say right here:  Yes, that sounds strange to me!  However, falling in love with Jesus is not comparable to falling in love with another human.  As much as I love my husband, he is human.  Part of what is meant when we refer to everyone being a sinner – we all make mistakes!  Love between humans still leave us wanting more, we work on our relationships, reading books to improve our communication, etc., but being human means we aren’t perfect!  Sometimes we’re going to act selfishly, our pride will get in the way, and we must learn forgiveness.  Jesus is perfect!  He loves us all  just the way we need to be loved, no matter which “love language” suits us.  He is always there when we need Him, attentive, protective, guiding, and He encourages me to question Him and my faith.

Our church Heartland Community Church not only helps guide those who are trying to follow Jesus, but seeks to show the world who Jesus is by example.

 

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Faith, Family

 

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