We are blessed…

BrokenThingsBlessings

Recognizing blessings, especially in the storms of life, can seem nearly impossible.  Perhaps this comes easy for some of the more optimistic folks, but for me, the gray cloud that often times lingers over my head, also clouds my vision and ability to spot the blessings.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

My husband and I have faced some pretty difficult situations and decisions as parents recently.  We’ve dealt with things no parent wants to deal with.  We’ve doubted ourselves and the intentions of our children.  It’s worn us down.  Last Friday, it was all I could do to take the next breath.  I searched Scripture, trying to make sense of the things that were falling apart around me.  Nothing made sense.

Some things are just impossible to understand.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

We managed to stumble through, day by day.  Each day over this past week, brought new revelations and challenges of it’s own.  Each day, I fought the doubts and fears that have set up camp in my mind.  Determined to hang on to the last little ounce of hope I could, I searched for verses that spoke to where I was.  God used these verses to bring me through some of the most trying times.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Keeping my focus on Him is the only explanation I have for surviving all I have.  Mountains have crumbled in front of me.  Oceans have swept over me.  Valleys have buried me.  And yet, even through the darkest, God has never abandoned me.  He has remained a constant, a source of peace and comfort.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Psalm 46:1-3

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

We all face heartache, pain, trials, devastating circumstances.  We all experience loss, grief, fear, worry.  At times, the weight has been so heavy I even found myself questioning the worth in taking even one more breath.  That’s a pretty scary place to be.

Recent days have been filled with many emotions, so much hurt and pain, heartache and worry, anger and sadness, and yet the blessings are the lessons I have learned as a wife, mother, friend and child of God.

I learned many blessings have come from very difficult times…

There is wisdom in seeking out counsel and comfort.

Not everyone is capable of helping in every situation, nor should they have to, but we don’t have to walk this road alone either.  God places people in our lives to help through different situations and at different times.  Stopping long enough to consider the right people for the right situation has meant everything this week.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

We really do need others.  Not only have I had walls up with my husband, but I’ve had them up with everyone.  Learning to let others in has been a challenge throughout my entire life.  Sometimes, I felt that in order to let someone in, I had to share with them every dirty, ugly part of my life.  What I learned this week is I don’t have to share all of me, but I do need to share some of me.  Not too long ago, I would have argued that and said I don’t need anyone or anything.  I’ve spent most of my life stumbling through on my own.  Only, I was never really alone.  I see now, so clearly, all the places God carried me through.  And in recent months, I’ve questioned life many times.  I’ve questioned my purpose.  I’ve questioned my suffering and the suffering of those around me.  I’ve been lost.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  Ecclesiates 4:9-10

Communication is absolutely necessary in a marriage.  Neither my hubby or myself are big talkers, at least not with each other.  For him, it may be as simple as he’s a man and just doesn’t “need” to pour his heart out.  For me, it’s deeper than that.  It’s part of keeping my walls up to either protect myself or those around me.  It’s natural for me to push others away, even my husband.  Over the past few months, my walls with him had grown even higher than they already were.  My excuse … I didn’t want to burden him, worry him.  What I failed to realize is that he worries, whether I confide in him or not.  This week, we didn’t have a choice.  We had to talk things through to work together as parents.  Friends encouraged me to let him in and reminded me of where I stand in his eyes.  With that and all that transpired this week, the opportunity came to share with him where I am in my own personal journey of hurt and healing and he was able to better understand me and support me.  He needs that from me and I need that from him.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

Fear is devastating.  Fear can destroy a person.  Fear leads to irrational thoughts.  Fear cripples.  Fear is a very ugly thing.

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1

We will experience hard times.  We will  face devastating circumstances.  A few times, those circumstances nearly led me to an end and yet, here I sit, pouring my heart out to you.  You are not alone in your suffering.  Last Thursday evening, I thought I couldn’t bear another thing and Friday morning, my day began in disaster.  Was God trying to tell me I could handle more?  I don’t know.  It certainly was not what I wanted or thought I needed in that moment but the blessings have poured out from a situation that seemed hopeless.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

God will use this.  He will take every trial, every stumble, every last bit of imperfection in our lives and turn it into something beautiful.  Even when we cannot see or comprehend, He is still working for our good.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiates 3:11

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

He is worthy of praise.  He is mighty.  When all hope seems to fade away and you feel like you can’t breathe another breath, don’t lose sight of the one who’s willing to carry you through.  He just might be carrying you to some of your biggest blessings.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

And since we’re talking about blessings, I hope you will take the time to enjoy this song from All Sons & Daughters, We Are Blessed.

 

A home is not enough…

HomeIsNotEnough

“Home is where the heart is”  Pliney, the Elder

“There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.”  Rosalyn Carter

“There is something permanent, and something extremely profound, in owning a home.”  Kenny Guinn

“If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”  Gaston Bachelard

There is an overwhelming abundance of quotes about how wonderful home is, how perfect and pretty, how home is family.  You could probably even rattle off ten home quotes of your own.  Is your home enough?

As a little girl, there was a fear of being at home.  Home is where I was hurt.  Home held a lifetime of memories of pain and abuse.  Home was unsafe, scary.  As a teenager, I lived with my grandparents in the basement of their home.  I had many memories of fun and happiness there, but the darkness of my life followed me there.  I dealt with depression, suicidal thoughts, self injury, drinking, etc.  My grandfather died in that home and one year later, my grandmother kicked me out of the home.  She passed away just a few months later.  I was homeless.  Taken in by friends, I found the security of a roof over my head, but in my heart, I had no idea what real security felt like.  I felt alone.  Abandoned.  Scared.  I ended up renting a tiny trailer and living on my own, in constant fear.  People joked about the fact that at any given time, that tiny tin box could be found lit up like a motel.

At twenty-two, my soon to be husband and I purchased and signed on our first home, just a month before our marriage.  It was a dream come true.  It was a cute, yet modest, three bedroom ranch.  For me, it represented a new start, protection, and a security that time and time again throughout my childhood, had been taken away from me.  It was a symbol of our love together, a family, a new life, one I so desperately needed.

Two years later, we found ourselves in over our heads with, a toddler, unable to pay all the bills due to me having left my full time career as a firefighter and settling for mediocre pay as a dialysis technician and suffering with a horribly dark depression.  We said goodbye to our sweet little home and moved into a church parsonage that we would rent for about six years.  The house was bigger so space wise, we had more than we needed.  It was nice enough, but it was never ours.  While there, depression continued to rob me of my joy, but much happiness came along with the addition of our second child after years of struggling with infertility.  At the end of that six years, the church we rented from was getting a new pastor and with that, we were given a month to find a new home.  We were in panic mode again.  We moved from our 2200 square foot rental home into a 900 square foot apartment, with two children.  The dog had to find a new home as well.

Fast forward about three years, more struggles with depression from a past that continues to haunt me and infertility along with just life in general.  The arrival of our third child in our tiny, two bedroom apartment, created a necessity for change.  Once again, we were faced with finding something else.  We rented a small three bedroom home outside of town.  At this point, or perhaps in the tight quarters of our tiny apartment, my perspective began to change.  I saw this cramped little place as a source of comfort and joy.  While my heart longed for a place of our own, we shared many wonderful times together, celebrating being a family.  That outlook started me on a new journey, one where I was able to really believe in this God I had cried out to and I began put my trust in Him.  Through this time, He taught me that I was somebody, that the house or the car (you can read about the car here) didn’t make the person, that He could use me no matter where I was or what circumstances I was faced with.  He filled me with a desire to grow closer to Him, soaking in His word, preparing me – for greater works?  Maybe.  For more storms?  Certainly.  What I gained from that time was irreplaceable.  I found my security in Him.

Through our experiences of losing homes and moving, my own insecurities grew.  I longed for a real home, one of our own.  I was envious of all the people who seemed so secure in homes of their own, with their seemingly perfect lives.  I ached to feel the stability of a home being ours, being forever.  I prayed.

In November, 2011, we made the move.  We had finally gotten to a point where we were able to buy our own home and signed the paperwork the week of Thanksgiving.  We were so excited about this new start.  Twelve years into our marriage, we were finally going to have the stability and security I had been waiting for.

Eight short months later, that security was once again shaken when our home was broken into.  I wrote about that here.  I spent the next months unable to sleep at night, afraid they would return, filled with many emotions and turmoil, nightmares resurfaced, but trusting that God would watch over us.  And He did.

Today, I can tell you, our security continues to be shattered in ways we could never have imagined.  Owning our home, making it ours, trying to live it with God at the center, and praying, has not made our lives pain free.  We have faced more hard times in the past couple years and many of them have been issues in our own home.  Some days, it’s all I can do just to breathe.  But through all of that, somehow, there is peace.  Where does that peace come from?  That peace comes from believing that God has something beautiful planned out of this darkness, that through all these trials, He is working on me, growing me and teaching me, that even in the midst of these storms, He’s never left me alone and He will not abandon me.  He is my fortress, my shield, my protector and my security.  Having a home is not enough.  An alarm system doesn’t necessarily prevent people from coming in.  Walls can’t comfort you in the middle of night when you’re faced with nightmares.  A roof doesn’t shelter you from the storms of life.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalm 18:2

What I have learned through a lifetime of being moved around, feeling unsafe in every home, losing any security I may have had in a home, is that a home is nothing without the security of Christ.  He is my security.  Each home had it’s own share of blessings but also chaos, difficulties, hurt and pain, some with loss and abuse.  Each home may have had moments of love and joy, but evil and worry still seeped through the cracks in the walls.  My security came when I allowed God in.  He didn’t take away the struggles.  He didn’t make our home suddenly perfect.  In fact, I can’t imagine things being more difficult than where we are in this moment, but my security is not in my home.  It is not in my circumstances.  It’s in trusting that He is with me through the struggle, that He will use the darkness and ugliness of my life, for something greater than I could ever imagine.  My security is in Him.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  Psalm 5:11

Where is your security?  Is it in your spouse?  Your children?  Your education?  Your job?  Your home?

All of those things will fail you, disappoint you, break you.  Only He can give you a true sense of security, if you let Him!

The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1

 

 

Amazing…

Amazing

This morning, I share with you a tender moment in my day.

A sweet friend and book lover recommended a book to me just a few short days ago.  I downloaded it and thought little more about it until this morning when I found myself wide awake, much too early.

As I held my phone in my hand, staring at the words written by Holley Gerth in her book, You’re Already Amazing, Satan was already at work.  It took nothing more than the title for Him to creep into my mind with his lies.

“Amazing?  What a joke!  You’re not amazing.  You nowhere near amazing.  You’ll never be amazing.”

Wanting to at least make it past the title, I trudged onward.  Just a few pages in, Holley shares a story in which she had a date with a friend.  This is the point in the book where I had to stop.  I couldn’t go any further.  I had to soak in this.  It was in this very moment, I needed to breath.  I needed to sit here a while and just breath in these words, grasping to believe it as truth, desperately trying to drown out Satan’s lies.

“It’s time you knew you’re amazing.  I mean it’s time you really knew…

You’re not only amazing.
You’re enough.
You’re beautiful.
You’re wanted.
You’re chosen.
You’re called.
You’ve got what it takes…not just to survive but to change the world.”

And as I settled on those words, like a wildfire burning out of control, Satan’s lies engulfed my mind.

“Amazing?  That’s a joke.  You’re nowhere near amazing.
You could never/will never be enough.
You fat, ugly and disgusting.
You’re unwanted.  Even your own parents didn’t want you.  Why would anyone else.
You can’t be chosen because you’re not good enough.
You can’t be called because you’re not smart enough.  Why would God want to use you?
You don’t have what it takes.  You won’t survive this, much less be able to have any kind of impact on the world.”

And that is where I often find myself, lost in this battle between truth and lies.  In an attempt to quiet the lies, I turned to God’s word.  I know this is what I am suppose to do but many times, I think I can fight on my own.  Most of those times, I lose.  So this morning, perhaps out of fear, sadness or desperation, I find myself clinging, with every bit of strength I have, to these words.

You’re enough.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”  Romans 8:1

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”  1 Corinthians 3:16

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:14

You’re beautiful.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  Ecclesiates 3:11

“And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.”  Ezekial 16:14

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

You’re wanted.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.”  Psalm 27:10

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

You’re chosen.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  1 Peter 2:9

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;”  Colossians 3:12

You’re called.

“But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.”  Isaiah 43:1

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

You’ve got what it takes…not just to survive but to change the world.

“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

So this morning, I share this with you, not because I want to expose these tender moments of mine, but because I imagine I am not alone in my battle between the truth God wants us to hear and the lies Satan continues to throw our way.  I share this because I am weak but with God, I am strong.  I share this because in some way, I believe sharing my hope, will somehow give you a glimpse of hope.

I share this with you because you’re already amazing and you need to hear that until you are able to believe it!

If you haven’t read You’re Already Amazing by the wonderfully talented Holley Gerth, I encourage you to read it.  Right now it’s available on Amazon for Kindle at just $2.99 – it’s worth so much more!  And while you’re at it, tuck God’s truth in your heart right along with Holley’s words!
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No Fear …

ShelterStorm

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

What do you fear?

Losing someone you love?  Being hurt, sickness, finances?  Heights?

Fear is common.  Some of the most common fears are:  Death, flying, spiders, the dark.

One mental health study shows 60% of the things we fear will never even take place.  30% of the things we fear happened in the past and cannot be changed.  90% of the things we fear are really insignificant issues.

Fear doesn’t seem insignificant to the one who’s fearing.

Fear is crippling.
Fear is consuming.
Fear is a thief, robbing us of precious joy.

It’s not easy to overcome a fear.  For years I was terrified of the dark.  People use to make jokes about the lights on at my house because no matter what time they road by, day or night, it was lit up like a motel.  I’m not exactly sure when or how I overcame that fear.  I’m still not a huge fan of the dark but now I can at least manage to sleep without lights on.  I am so thankful for the patience and understanding of my husband who was never a fan of sleeping with lights on.

Are there fears holding you back?  Is something crippling you?  Is there a fear robbing you of joy?

The Bible refers to two different types of fear.  The first type is a beneficial fear of the Lord.  It’s meant to be an encouragement to us, to let us know that nothing is greater than God,  to remind us of His power and glory, that He is the almighty and that nothing can destroy us because He is on our side.  The second type is a “Spirit of fear”.  This is the fear of something.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?  Psalm 56:3-4

A month ago, I would have bravely and adamantly expressed, “I have no fear” and yet today, I will admit that in the past few weeks, many fears have come to light.  I am now in the process of either conquering them or allowing them to continue to control parts of my life.  As I stated above, fear alone can be a scary place, huh?  It is crippling.

I can honestly say the thing that has helped me most through the past few weeks has been my time spent with God, be it through prayer or through Scripture.  I was recently encouraged to write down verses that would help me in times of fear or other significant struggles and that journey has been a very powerful one.  Not only am I learning Scripture and embedding it into my heart, but I’m finding new ways to look at things, to process them and to move forward.  God has been my refuge, my shelter in the storm.  Give it a try ;)

You have been a refuge for the poor,
    a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
    and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
    is like a storm driving against a wall.  Isaiah 25:4

What’s your fear?  What’s holding you back? 

 

Riding the waves…

RideWaves

If you’ve been around the church lately, you’ve probably heard someone say, “You can’t live by your emotions.”

Jesus said…

 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”    Matthew 5:3-10

He says you’re going to struggle, you’re going to hurt, you’re going to have emotional pain, trials and suffering.  You’re going to hunger physically, emotionally and spiritually, you’re going to love and be loved, you’re going to be persecuted, attacked, criticized, ridiculed, broken.

He doesn’t expect you to wall off the emotions that come along with suffering and storms.  He knows where you are, where you’ve been and what you’re feeling.  He knows your pain is too much for anyone to have to bear.  He knows it’s not fair.

How many Christians are afraid to admit they are hurting?  Why?

We are in a fix it world.  It’s pop the latest pill, drown yourself in alcohol (not that I am against medication or alcohol but when used as an escape, it becomes part of the problem).  Fix your marriage with a mistress.  Give up on your kids cause they’re broken.  Surround ourselves with the internet and television so we don’t have to face the people near us.

Even as we walk the halls of church, we don our pretty smiles, quietly inject our “Have a great day!” and “How are you?” to each person we pass and as they say the same our way, we respond with our routine, “I’m good!” and “I’m okay!”, even when we know it’s not the truth.  How can we tell them any different?  After all, the pain and suffering is ours to bear, right?  We don’t want to be burdens or to be the latest guest for gossip.

Because we, the church, keep telling everyone that God is good and He is, but when we live our lives in judgment of others, never allowing for failures and setbacks (which I would say is the perfect opportunity for growth orchestrated by God, Himself!), we become hypocrites.  I know because I’ve been one.  I wore the pretty face and hid all my emotions and insecurities away.  I walked through the church halls asking how others were and not really hearing them.  To hear them, I had to look into their eyes because they were just as afraid, to be honest about the turmoil inside, as I was.  By looking in their eyes, it gives me the ability to see beyond the mask.  That doesn’t mean everyone is ready to share their stories, but the connection of really seeing them, letting them know you’re there, can mean the world to them.

God is good.  He is good to everyone, those in the valleys and those on top of the mountains.  He is good to all those who come to Him and He waits for those still lost in the desert.

He is good because He mourns for us.  He grieves with us.  He doesn’t leave us hanging and He doesn’t expect you to fight the battles of this world alone.  He simply wants you to seek Him, to find comfort and peace in Him.  He longs to provide you with shelter from every storm in life.  He’s waiting for YOU!

When the storm comes, ride the waves!  Don’t hang your head in shame, hold it up, with your focus on God.  He is working in your life and someday, you will see the amazing things He has and is doing in you and through you!

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Being made new…

MadeNew

First off, I want to give a big shout out to all the moms out there – new moms, old moms, want-to-be moms, stepmoms, adoptive moms, foster moms, fill-in moms, angel moms, and any other moms.  Praise God for giving you hearts filled with joy in the midst of trials, minds filled with strength and hope in the midst of chaos and panic, courage and faith in the midst of worry and fear.  Thank you for doing the best job you could do – a job only a mother can do!

Now that you’re feeling like you’ve accomplished something, many of you are really a mess, right?

You’re tired.
You’re worn.
You’re not just worn, you’re exhausted.
You’re overjoyed.
You’re emotional.
You’re desperate for a potty break alone.
You long for a phone call that doesn’t sound like an all call to the screams and cries of toddlers and teens.

You’re heart is full for your babies and children but is it full for you?  And I’m not just talking to the younger moms.  I’m talking to you older moms who’s kids are either soon to move into adulthood or perhaps already there.  Your hearts are full too.

Full of worry.
Full of questions.
Full of doubt.
Full of concern.
Full of hope for their future.
Full of love.

I’m figuring out, this being a mom thing brings on a whole world of emotions all on its own.  As if we women didn’t have enough emotions already?!  Thanks, Eve ;)

Listen up, moms.  Stop.  Right now.

Stop the worrying.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:27

Think back to when you were younger.  Did YOU make any dumb decisions?  Do YOU make any bad choices?  I doubt anyone can answer that truthfully with a, “No!”  Did you learn from your mistakes?  Did you grow through them?

So will your kids!

The message I want to share with you today is to stop worrying and simply love them, unconditionally.  Support them.  Encourage them.  Believe them and believe in them.  Talk to them and listen to them.  Share your faults and failures and let them know that we are all human.  Tell them it’s okay to make mistakes.  Remind them that you will love them no matter what.  Let them know that God will love them because He wants to, not because of their good deeds or perfections.  Teach them that’s no excuse for sin, but to seek God in their sin, to turn to Him in the midst of their failures, in the middles of their storms, to seek Him with all their hearts.

And, if they aren’t there yet, be patient.  How patient has God been with you?  Don’t judge them or turn away from them.  Love them.  Pray for them.  Let them know that a mother’s love is only second best to God’s love.  Prove to them that you are their biggest fan, that you will love and protect them at any cost but also let them know that God is first in your life.  Lead by example.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

And moms, you’re going to fail.

You’re not always going to make the right choice or the best decisions, either.  And just as you’re patient with your children, God is patient with you.  He understands we make messes and He’s ready to help clean them up.  Let Him.

Stop trying to write their story.  Give the pen back to God.  He’s writing your story and theirs.  Let Him work in their lives and instead of trying to write their story, simply be a part of it…a good part, the part God intended for you to be.  He intended for you to shower them with love and praise, to encourage them, to protect them, to support them, to believe them, to love them.  Do your part and leave the rest to God.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

You are being made new and so are they.  Every day is another part of the story.  Every triumph and trial is another part of the story.  Let Him be your author and theirs.  It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it!

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