Ready

The pulling won’t stop.  It is leading me to follow but I keep yanking back. Why?

The fear of the unknown.  The fear of thinking I am moving forward…only to find I am taking steps back.  The fear.

Remember my faith.  My feeling His love.  My knowing He would never lead me astray.

No more resistance. No more doubt. I am ready to listen.

The Basics

“I wish I had your faith,” someone said.

“I wish you did too,” I replied.

Our conversation continued on the subject for a few minutes and then was changed to a lighter matter.  To hear those words, to feel the truth in them broke my heart.  My faith is something deeply imbedded in me and I see it always has been…even when I thought it wasn’t.  Although I know my faith is not perfect, nor will it ever be, it is pretty strong and stable. I wonder, what if I didn’t have my faith?  Times I have struggled and times I have felt like giving up, my faith is what has pulled me through.  What would my life be like today?  I do not want to even entertain that thought. I like the certainty of not having control in this life and I like knowing there is life beyond this life.  It makes the pain and hard times worth it.

So how do you help someone else deepen their faith?  I want this person to go beyond just knowing there is a God…I want  this person to be moved to their knees in feeling there is a God.  I can pray for them…but I am also moved to do more.

My mind keeps pulling me to the book of Acts.  Jesus was taken up to heaven, and then the Holy Spirit arrived.  The church was taking root.  Wow. Try to imagine being there.  Being face to face and hearing the Word from men who were close to Jesus. One of them looking you in the eyes and saying,”Repent, then turn to God, so that your sins are wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19). The gospel was given, they were instructed to repent, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. I feel like I need to add something profound here, but that isn’t the right way. There was no jumping through hoops, it was kept simple. It should still be today.

So maybe to grow your faith you need to first take it back to the basics. Forget all the man made traditions, listen to what the words in the bible say.  Know, God loves you.  Believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins and he rose from the dead.  Pray, repent, and turn to God.

My Rock(s)

In bible study, we are reading a book called Shaking Scripture by Mark Manning.  It is an awesome book, the author does a great job at bringing you into the story and applying it to the present day.  The chapter we read today was titled Removing Rocks and Grave clothes, it told the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.  Every chapter of this book has been enlightening but this chapter was my favorite.  I highly recommend this book.

One of the discussion questions was, “Is there something you still struggle with when it comes to a “rock” that blocks your path to growing your faith?” Someone responded, “Something or somethings?”  We all nodded and agreed. Isn’t that the truth.  We all have things blocking us from growing our faith.

For me, I have a hard time listening to what God is telling me to do.  I will feel the pulling and nagging for me to do something, but then the doubt sets in.  Is he really asking me to do something…no He can’t be…am I over thinking again? Then, I will think I know the answer and questions arise and I am back at where I began.  Questioning and doubt together hinder my growth.

It was a perfect subject for today being Ash Wednesday. I usually give up something every year, but I was struggling (as usual) with what to choose.  Last year it was bread, the year before was chips, and the year before that was some other type of food. This year I wanted to give up something other than food. Now I know––I am giving up my biggest rock(s), questioning and doubt.

This will not be easy.

Trust

DSC_0258

I think of a time when I was younger having to do a trust building exercise.  The act of falling backward into other peoples arms––and the fear I felt not being able to see their arms stretched waiting to catch me. I closed my eyes, took a couple deep breaths and fell backwards, convinced I was going to hit the ground.  But that isn’t what happened.  I felt the arms of the group stop me from falling, my eyes opened, and there were smiling faces staring down at me.

That is how my life has been when I trust God.  I fear, I get anxious over all the possible outcomes.  Then when I finally I close my eyes and fall into His arms, I realize my burdens are never too heavy for Him to catch.  It gets easier, the more I trust Him.  I think less of my fear and anxiety, my eyes close quicker and I allow myself to fall harder, and with that I become lighter and lighter…

My life does not feel ordinary…


image
imageimage  image

There are moments when I feel too ordinary, but it never lasts long because I have reminders all around me. I had a moment this weekend, but my husband quickly pulled me out.  He told me I was an extraordinary mother. I believe I am.  I sacrifice a lot for my children and am happy to do so.  He also told me I am a writer.  I have a hard time with this title.  I usually call myself a person who loves to write…but I write enough that I should feel confident to say I am a writer.  So yes, I am a writer.

Despite my moments of doubt, which are usually few and far between, I feel as though I have more purpose now than ever before in my life.  I am a stay at home mom and I feel I have more purpose now than when I worked as a nurse.  It is funny to me. When I was younger, I would have never imagined being a stay at home mom.

I am truly blessed not to have to juggle work and home life.  I do not not worry about someone else raising my kids.  I think it shows.  My kids are confident, secure little guys.  I am not in any way knocking people who have to work…and there are children in daycare who are just as confident and secure as my kids are.  But to me, the peace of mind I have in giving them the head start I want them to have is beautiful.

Like I said, I am blessed to be able to do so.

Our family life is very traditional…my husband works, I take care of the kids and keep the house up.  It works for us.  There are no blurred lines, things run smoothly because of it.  My husband and I are equal, we just have different responsibilities. I am not ashamed to say––I strive to be a Proverbs 31 type of lady.  At the end of my life, I will have less regret if I follow this path…

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Maybe my life is what many would call ordinary.  But to me it is anything but ordinary.

Empty Prayers

The other day a Facebook friend posted a prayer request.  I typed my usual “praying for you” reply, sent a quick prayer…more of a thought up to God, and went on with my day.  Sitting in bible study during prayer, my mind drifted to my long to-do list.  Listening to the pastor during prayer, I was half there and half trying to get my five year old son to stand still.

I feel ashamed, but I feel compelled to share this with others.  I have to believe I am not alone in this fault.  In times of hardships and desperation, my prayers are whole.  Or, if it is someone I am very close to, I pray as if I were praying for myself.

I truly am a caring, sympathetic person.  I cry for people who are struggling that I do not know personally.  If I see someone crying, forget it––I will be crying right there with them.  I could go on defending myself, but the purpose of this blog is to be accountable, not to make excuses.

I know in this busy life, it is hard to be fully present.  It is hard to remember everyone who needs prayers. It is hard when you have forces pulling you away from becoming closer to God.  Regardless of hard it is, I want desperation in all my prayers.  It is something I need to hold myself accountable for. When I say I will pray for you…I want to mean it.

I do not have a plan of how to achieve this, but I guess admitting my fault is a good place to start.

It’s later than you think…

image

I’ll start tomorrow.  I know in my life I have said those words many times.  But––what if tomorrow didn’t come? As of late, I feel this type of urgency in my life. For a long time I told myself, Later. I will go back to Christ later. I was living my own life and was surrounded by unbelievers or people who believed on their own terms…it rubbed off on me.  I was selfish and it resulted in an emptiness I never want to feel again.  Personally, I knew better.  I grew up in a christian family.  I was taught to live my life through the words of the bible.  Some of the remnants of guilt continue to eat away at me but I remind myself my sins have been forgiven and I feel the Holy Spirit working in my life like never before.

At my grandma’s funeral I felt the Holy spirit stronger than I have in a very long time. The urgency and child like faith was revived.  Then, in my own church I heard, “It’s later than you think.” If we all remind ourselves of that, how much more would we be doing to grow our faith and use the gifts God gave us? And––How spot on was that for how I have been feeling in my own life?  God is working in my life through many channels and it is beautiful and amazing.  Have you noticed though, that Satan steps up his game during these times as well?  Which recently, I finished a bible study at church called Twisting the Truth, it was about how Satan works in our lives––so I was prepared.  Although, I’ve tripped a couple times, I keep getting back up (haha Satan, you can’t fool me for long). In all seriousness, I pray my urgency does not falter. This is where I am at right now.  I am in three bible studies, but I want to find my place in church.  I just don’t know where that is at yet.  I am praying and following His lead to find my gift and use it for His will. 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (NIV)