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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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I Need You

I was SO looking forward to my quiet time this morning!

My quiet time looks very different on the weekends vs the weekdays. Typically when I wake up, even before I fling back the covers and hopefully before I’ve even let my eyes focus on anything, I try to start my day with the Lord’s Prayer. I don’t have to think about what to pray, what words to say, nothing else has to even enter my mind because I’ve had this prayer memorized for almost as long as I can remember. But it quickly aligns myself with Him and His ways. Of course, days start and I forgot to whisper “Our Father”, and noticeably, I am a very different person!

You see, what happens daily after that moment is life. A life just like many of yours, or like it was or will be in the season of active parenting. Seven days a week, I wake up to my husband and my boys. The weekends hold less structure than the weekdays. So it’s the weekdays that hold a more predictable rhythm for my quiet times. Today is Tuesday, the first weekday of our week really, because yesterday was a snow day. And yes, I LOVE having my boys home, but I awoke this morning with an overwhelming desire to spend some alone time with my Heavenly Father. Once the boys left, the house became still and quiet, I started to play some worship music and with my coffee in hand, sat before the Lord.

Even before I opened my Bible or any devotional, the relief bubbled up and out in hot tears.

Nothing is “wrong”, I don’t feel like I’m in any pit or valley, nor do I see a mountain in front of me that needs moved or conquered. I just NEED Him. A moment surrendered to that. My stomach clenched for Daily Bread, my body shaking with sobs, and each gulp of air – filled with the hope of taking more of Him in.

After I settled a bit and begun writing in my journal and reading my daily devotional, the idea of sharing this with you all here came to me. Honestly, I’ve been working on a different post, but that life I mentioned earlier can get quite distracting! I don’t necessarily like sharing these vulnerable moments and tried to push past that thought. But it wouldn’t leave me. The Lord continually nudges me out of my comfort zone and as uncomfortable as obedience might be, I trust His plan. Maybe you were the one who needed to read this?  Maybe it’s just another moment that needs to be recorded for later remembering? Either way, will you join me in a moment of surrendering to our dependence on our Heavenly Father and Sovereign King?

 

 

My Father, My Lord and King, I love you so! Thank you for the ways you pursued me, to bring me this close to you.  Thank you for the ways you continue to pursue me, to bring me ever closer. Thank you for moments like these that breakdown every other desire and dependence so Your light can breakthrough and shine on what really matters. Thank you for creating me to need YOU! Amen.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Blogging, 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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To-do’s and To-don’ts

Dirty dishes in my sink,

piles of clean laundry to put away,

bedding that needs to be washed,

dog hair that needs to be vacuumed,

grass that needs to be mowed.

Dinner as a family,

my little boy whispering prayers before bed,

catching up on snuggles from my almost teen,

time with my husband,

being obedient to You.

 

Jesus, my heart is thankful that you teach me everyday.  It’s so hard to release the pressure of what the world thinks we’re supposed to do and follow hard after You.  I don’t want my family or my friends to feel like they fall behind my to-do list.  Help me create time to do what is necessary to show them all my love and caring of them – the to-do’s and the to-don’ts.  In Your Powerful Name, Amen!

 

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Faith, Family

 

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Fasting

 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’

   “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?

  “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. -Isaiah 58:1-9 (NIV)

I attend a group called Mother’s Together at my church on Wednesdays.  Last week a wonderfully wise woman spoke to us about fasting.  I found it highly educational and quite intriguing!  Let me clarify – we are not referring to any type of diet, weight loss, or physical cleansing program.  We mean fasting as voluntarily going without something (food, soda, coffee, facebook, internet, tv, videogames, etc.) in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with God.  My intentions are not to regurgitate the teaching I received.  If this piques your interest, as it did mine, you can find many examples of fasting in the Bible.

Typically fasting refers to going with out food.  All of the examples I read in the Bible were fasting from food and sometimes food and drink.  The fasting is to be done privately, meaning not to be something you brag or whine about.  The pangs of hunger felt constantly remind you to be seeking time with God and praying.  Fasting says to God – You are more important than anything else and recognizes all He has done.  In modern times fasting doesn’t have to be going with out food.  We’ve become very dependent on many things being a consistent part of our life that fasting from them and replacing it with prayer can also be very powerful.  I have done these types of fasts before with my church and it has lead to remarkable things.  I’ve been wondering though what I may be called to fast from food for personally.

We were asked to consider anything our heart is broken over as a possible focus for fasting.  Many things could fall under this category for me, but the two that have continued to bounce around in my head since this teaching are about my sons.  My oldest seems to struggle with his confidence.  As much as this is part of the age/stage he falls in, it breaks my heart to see it because I remember all to well struggling with it myself at his age.  My youngest struggles with his health.  Even though I can count us so blessed that he doesn’t have more to struggle with as so many others with spina bifida do, he still deals with a lot and watching/helping him go through all he does everyday both breaks my heart and inspires me.

Please note:  each individual is different and if you have any concerns about health risks from fasting from food, etc. consult your physician first.

Father I am so blessed to have witnessed this teaching on fasting.  I feel simply understanding this practice better draws me nearer to you.  I ask for the wisdom to know if this is something you are calling me to do for the circumstances that break my heart.  I pray for all those who are intrigued by this practice and may feel called to fast for the first time, may it be a blessed experience.  In Your Son’s Sweet Name, Amen.

 

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Faith, Family, Food

 

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Pinewood Derby

Last summer marked the start of Garrett’s scouting career and tomorrow will forever be marked in history books as his first Pinewood Derby!  We’ve all enjoyed the process of designing, cutting, sanding, and painting the car.  Finally we get to race it!  I think he had more trouble falling asleep tonight than he did on Christmas Eve!

Garrett is currently obsessed with Batman.  Of course, his car is his idea of the Batmobile.  A friend designed and built his car with Garrett and he is obviously enamored with Spiderman.

 

Lord, thank you for all the blessings of this week. Thank you for helping me experience the great joy simply being aware of these blessings provides.  I pray all the boys participating in the Pinewood Derby tomorrow dream sweet dreams tonight and have a fun memorable day tomorrow.  I pray for all the parents and that we appreciate all the excitement and are present in the moment.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Family

 

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