Tuesday, February 28, 2017

He Knew

I just had a rough night with one of my kids. One of those nights where they totally messed up and you're the one that has to hand out the consequence and it's rough. Just rough. After the punishment and tears and I'm sorry. I sat in bed thinking about how much I have invested in my kids. I have dedicated the last 13+ years to raising my kids. I don't have a fancy house or car. I don't have a career I can be proud of. Heck. I don't even have a job.  Nothing that's just mine. And it's on purpose. I want to be able to give them all I can. Spend as much time with them, helping them or cheering for them or serving them as possible.

So after a huge explosion of a night, all I can do is sit here and think about how much of myself I have given to my kids. And in turn how much it hurts when they mess up. Not because I don't think they'll mess up or because that somehow reflects on me. But because I hope for so much more for them. For them to do better, to somehow be better than I am or ever was. And when all that comes crashing down with bad choices. It makes my heart ache. And then I think about how much more God loves me. And how much more of himself he gave to me. And how he knew I would crush him with my sin. And that I would break his heart. Sometimes daily. He knew!  And he still chose to do it all. He knew before Adam and Eve walked the earth but he created us anyway. And he has such amazing plans for me. Plans for me to be better and do better than I ever thought I could. But my bad choices can send those plans crashing down too. And sometimes they do. But God loves me in spite of all that. This ache in my heart tonight reminds me that he knew and still chose to love me. What an amazing love that is!

Father, help me to know your love better. To grasp the depth and lengths that you go to so that I understand it. I want to be overflowing with your love so that I can share that love with others. Especially my children when they need me to give them grace just like I need from you every day. Amen.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hosea 3{Seeking a sinner}

Hosea 3

I like that the Lord said to "go show your love to your wife again."  He didn't say "love your wife again."  Maybe it's because he didn't ever stop loving her even through all the ways she sinned against him.  Just like God never stops loving us even though we sin and sometimes continue to sin.

And Hosea went and got her.  She didn't come crawling back in repentance.  He went to her.  Sometimes I can feel God.  Right there with me.  Just waiting for me to turn to him.  And Hosea bought her back.  His own property!  Can you imagine someone taking something of yours and then you buying it back?!  That's crazy!  It shows just how much God loves us because he bought us with his son's life.  So much sacrifice!

In verse 1 it says "love her as the Lord loves the Israelites."  I think that shows that sometimes, when we are the ones needing to forgive, we will need God's help.  Because we are SO human and sometimes things hurt so bad.

I pray that if there is someone seeking forgiveness from you that you will love them as the Lord loves us.  I know when I go "trembling to the Lord" that is the love I hope to find.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

How are you doing? (insert concerned look)

Today has been a weird day.  I'm not sure how to feel about it.  Should I be embarrassed because I'm bawling my eyes out or should I feel guilty because I'm not?  My baby started kindergarten today and I have no idea how I'm doing.  Everyone keeps asking me that.  I truly don't know.  He's ready and I suppose I'm ready.  It's a new season in his life and mine. One that I look forward to, but it's hard to not look back on this day.  To the last 5 years of taking care of him.  Feeding him, changing him, playing with him.  Did I use the time wisely?  Did I hold him enough?  Did I hold him too much?  Did I teach him the right things?  So many questions that could tear me to pieces.  Today I'm choosing not to think about those.  To only look forward.  There's so much joy in watching your kids learn new things at school.  In the next few years he will grow so much.  We will have Thanksgiving break and Christmas break and I look forward to the amazing summers we will have together.  I'll get to pick him up from school and hear about the super awesome things he got to do that day.  And it will be great!  This song popped up in my memories from Facebook.

 It has a whole different meaning today than it did 5 years ago when I posted it, but I choose to still embrace it and allow God to use me in whatever he calls me to do today. Anticipating all the ways God will use me and Devin in this new stage.

Hosea 2 {Turning away}

Hosea 2

The first part of this chapter laid out a template of a person turning away from God.  They have veered off his path and hopped onto one that they think is better.  It's definitely self-serving and provides short term pleasure, like the linens and oils that the woman in Hosea takes pleasure from and credits to her lovers.  Even though God can take that all away.  And he does in order to draw us closer to him because sometimes most of the time, that's the only way.  The only way we see that those short term pleasures are fleeting and he is truly better.

I'm sure we can all read those verses and think of someone to point a finger at or call out, but don't we all turn from God from time to time or maybe it's just that we keep certain areas of our life from him or that we take credit for things that God has given us or done for us.  Those are all things that separate us from him.

Verse 13 reminds me that there are always consequences for our sin.  Even though he forgives me when I come to him, in this world it will never be as though it didn't happen.  But then the drawing closer starts in verse 14.  He speaks tenderly even though we deserve harsh words.  He knows our hearts can be delicate especially during those hard times, so he doesn't barge in with heavy demands.  He gently calls to us and shows us his great mercy and grace.

I can almost see and hear the joy in verse 15.  The redemption and delight that follows.  "There she will sing as in the days of her youth."  I want to sing like that.  Not a deep heavy song, but a lighthearted, cheerful one.  I have and I do sing like that, but I want it to be that way all the time.  Every moment of every day rejoicing in God's amazing love for me.

That's my prayer for today.  That we all take time today to truly understand God's grace for us and then shout a cheerful song of praise.  Whether it's on your way home from work or as you clean the bathrooms, again (how does it get so dirty so fast!) or as you drive to pick your kindergartner up from his first day at school, like me.  So fair warning to everyone in the pickup line.  You might want to bring your earplugs. ;)  Here's the song I'll be jamming to.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hosea {When God calls us to do hard things}

I am starting to read through Hosea.  It's super painful and hard to read, but that's the book God sent to me through a friend, so that's what I'm reading.  I want to blog about my thoughts as I read.  They are very raw and not at all put together thoughts, so no judging.  I would love to hear any of your thoughts on Hosea as well.  I'm praying that God speaks to me through this (actually I know he will because he wouldn't give me this book and not speak to me) and I know he can use you to speak to me too.

Hosea 1Thoughts

I am not a prophet or a teacher, but God calls me and everyone to live in a way that speaks to others.  My life can be a ministry in that way.  That does not mean that I should hold myself to an impossible standard and tell everyone how I have followed XYZ commandment.  It means revealing my brokenness and need for grace to everyone so that they can see my Mighty God at work.  God asked Hosea to marry a prostitute which seems hard enough, but he also asked him to keep forgiving her for her adultery.  I can't imagine how painful that journey was but it allowed Hosea to show God's people, in a way they could actually see, how God's grace works and that it's there waiting for them if they just turn to him and accept it.

I am broken and in need of God's grace in more ways than you can even imagine.  God, give me the strength to reveal my brokenness to others, so that they too can see how amazing your grace really is.  And give me the strength to give that same grace that you have given me to anyone in my life that needs it right now.  Amen.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dear Precious,

Last night we went out for ice cream.  Just the two of us.  No BubbaJ to distract me and no Sissy to compete for attention with.  At first we didn't talk about much.  What's going on at school.  How much fun Christmas break has been.  But then something happened.  You knew I was listening or I asked just the right questions.  Whatever the reason, you started to talk to me.  I mean REALLY talk to me.  About important stuff.  Your feelings about getting older, how you miss some of your friends because they aren't in your class this year, and things so personal I can't talk about them here.  I need you to know how special that time was for me.  I know I don't have time for that often enough.  I wish you would always talk to me like that.  Even when you're a teenager and think you already know everything or when you're grown and you really do know some stuff.  I thank God for last night and I pray that He has many more of those times in store for us.

I love you!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

More boy differences.

As I watched a Victoria's Secret commercial on television recently I found that I have a whole new perspective.  Before, as I watched those commercials I thought about how angry it makes me that every woman out there feels like she has to live up to that.  I thought about me and how discouraging it was to know that my husband was seeing that as an example.  How at 33 years old and after almost 13 years of marriage, I still have body issues.  And I thought about my girls and how much pain they will probably feel because they will never live up to that.  But this time, I saw that commercial and thought about how mad I am that my son will be constantly inundated with pictures of half naked women and how hard it will be for him to make good, Godly choices throughout his life with all of the temptation that this world throws at him.  Father, help us all to stand strong against the things of this world and hold on to the truths of your word.