Sometimes

Sometimes it’s hard to walk this faith thing out.

I was praying last night and telling God how frustrated I was.  I have been trying to memorize verses to have a more “positive” mindset, and it just felt like a lot of work, reading books, listening to podcasts, and feeling tired.

I realized I have so much head knowledge, and now I need it to connect to my heart.  Those broken places in my heart need God’s love and redemption too.

Then, in my human dust like state, I realized that I did not have the ability to change my heart.  I could think new things and do more Bible study, but if it wasn’t sinking in to the deepest part of me it was just work with no heart.

And work with no heart is not pretty.  It shows up as pride, self-righteousness, anger, frustration, and the list goes on.  It looks like having all the right answers, but no victory to back it up.

So I cried out to God, “I can’t change my heart!”  And He reminded me of a verse.

Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart…”

What?!?!?!

This y’all is what I have craved all along.

Then another Matthew 11:28, “COME to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”  It DOES NOT say “come to me when you have it all figured out and it looks pretty with a bow on it.”  It says come to me with it even when its messy and you are exhausted from trying to fight and make things right.  And I will give you rest.  Beautiful rest for your soul that is tired and weary.  Oh the promise.

Another verse, Philippians 2:3 “…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Ephesians 2:9, “…not by works, so that no one can boast.”

I had been working, checking things off, but I was doing it in my own strength.  I’ve come to the end of myself, realizing that this battle for my heart belongs to Him.  And He will work this out for good.  He will do a mighty thing.  Because He loves me, and He loves you.

Maybe your saying, wow that sounds great, but how does this look.

Reaching out is essential.  We get lost thinking we are the only ones fighting when there are believers right beside us who are saying the same thing.  Pray and ask God for friends who you can trust and let them love on you.

Support and encouragement go hand and hand in this battle, even Jesus didn’t do life alone.  Having others around you allows God to use people to encourage you and for you to encourage them.

None of this is to be done alone.

We may be the one swinging the sword in our personal battles, but is there any army behind you-praying for you, encouraging you, and speaking verses to you when you’re lost.

No man is an island.  Reach out.

Embrace it all

Being a stay-at-home mom was always my first choice.  Snuggling babies, seeing them do new things, playing with my kiddos during the day, and teaching them new things.  I was looking forward to it all.  And ultimately I didn’t trust a single soul to look after my babies but me.  (Yikes, this is exactly how I felt.)

Now, staying home was a big sacrifice.  I had just started teaching and making a salary to add to my husband’s for the first in our married life.  It was nice.  We were taking care of stuff, giving, and saving up for things we’d need in the future.  But we made this transition together.  Trusting God would provide but both a little uncertain on how He would.  I felt uncertain if we could make this work or not.  Six years later, I’ve felt some fears of staying home and not being able to add to our income as a family.

I recently read Rachel Hollis Girl Wash Your Face, and she wrote a chapter on embracing the mess.  This chapter spoke straight to the heart of how I’ve been struggling.  I haven’t been fully able to be with my kids because I’ve been fearful I should be working and providing more for our family.  Or in the frustration thinking, I could be working and not messing with this junk.  (Summer with all three kids!)

Something happened after I read that chapter, I knew that right now I’m want to embrace this mess of being a stay at home mom, and I feel like a mess most days.  But this isn’t forever, I will work, I will add income to our family again one day.  And God will direct all of those steps too.

So right now, my kiddos are watching disney, talking to me, my two year old is putting stickers on himself, and I’m writing.  We can’t wait for it all to be perfect to move.  I’m writing and doing things that help me feel purpose in these moments. Writing helps me stay present on the day.  I get the huge opportunity to grow and write and read while I’m staying home.  Which has been one of the greatest blessings.  Getting to discover new things about myself and the things I enjoy.

So, if you’re a working mom embrace it, if you stay at home embrace it.

Don’t compare your mess to someone else’s togetherness.

Today let’s embrace it all.

Don’t lose heart

Do you know you have worth?

If you are a believer and you know intellectually you have worth, good.  But what’s better is if your heart believe it.

What matters most is that at your worst, do you know you have worth?  That’s when it makes its way to your heart.

Most of the time, we believe our worth when we are working, accomplishing, and getting credit for it.  But do you know when all the lights turn off and you are falling asleep at night that the God of this Universe sits looking on you, believing you have worth that you are worth pursuing and saving.

Be reminded of the last time you sat staring at your baby or someone else’s sleeping.  That baby had not done much to deserve such adoration except for being there.  Created.  Alive.  Breathing.

At the end of the day, you’d probably say that most people around you have worth.  You could believe it for them, and tell it to their face.  But could you tell it to yourself?

Probably the hardest part for me in this journey of faith, is not loosing heart when I’m in the valley of life.  When it looks bleak.  When I’ve failed.  Do I still believe then?  It is easy for our faith to go to our head, and for us to have all the right answers.  But in the depths, do our hearts believe it?  That God is good.  That He is for us, because we are worth it.

Our humanness makes us worth it.  Nothing earned.  Or credited to ourselves.  Just having breath in our lunges means we have worth.

That is why we fight for the innocent, the persecuted, the ones that have fallen through the cracks, the oppressed.  We want answers for them, because in our depths we need a God who seeks after the oppressed, the wrecked because in our deepest selves we have been wrecked and oppressed.  Because we are human, and sin entered this world.  We have suffered.

You have worth.
When you know it, you’ll tell others when they doubt their worth.

One of the greatest blessings to keep giving out.

Play and rest

Play and rest.

My default is to feel guilty when we are resting.  Watching a movie, tv…maybe because there are better ways to rest.

Isn’t this true of us all.  How are we resting?

Yesterday, my oldest and I played at a local trampoline park.  I climbed, I jumped, I fell hard a lot.  So today.  Rest.

I had an absolute blast spending time with my oldest.  He is growing so fast, and I know these times will end abruptly and without my wanting.  So for yesterday, I embraced the crazy and climbed right beside him.

There’s a beautiful feeling not caring, especially what others think.  I squealed, flipped, hit my back, and laughed hard.

Today, my body is screaming at me.  My arms and legs hurt.  And I’m tired.

Sometimes I need a push and reason to play, and sometimes I need the same for rest.

Brene Brown talks about this idea in The Gift of Imperfection.  That to work on anxiety means to play and rest.

Childlike.

Joy.

The Bible talks about this too.  Childlike faith.  The Bible also talks a lot about rest and doing work.  It’s both.  James 2 talks about our faith working itself out in good deeds.  Matthew talks about Jesus’ desire for us to come and rest and lay our burdens down.

This life is meant to be lived in this in-between.  Not in perfection, but in this place feeling a little uncertain, because there are two parties vying for our attention: one that rests all the time and one that works all the time.

So, find ways to do both.  It’s important soul work.