Rejoice, Be Glad

“and the greatest gift we can give our God is to let his love make us happy”- Ann Voskamp

 

Before becoming a mom I wouldn’t have fully understood this. But now, three kids later, it rings true and hard.

 

I so desperately want my love to be enough. I want them smothered and adored and laughing in the bliss of it all.

 

I want them fearless and bold and secure and glad to be themselves in this world, because my love has brought them there.

 

But my love will never be enough. Even if I didn’t fail daily, even if I wasn’t hanging on the end trying to regrip most days. I couldn’t; I cant fill them up enough.

 

There is a cross shaped hole, a longing in their tiny souls for a perfect love I can’t fill.

 

And as a mom that is hard. I want to fill it up. As a human, a sigh is let out and the pressure lifted, I can’t be enough, but I know the one who can.

 

This Christmas there is so much hustle and bustle and trying to get situated and in our new groove. Growing pains are running rampant and I feel guilty everyday.

 

I am not enough for them.

 

And that is ok. Moms that is ok.

 

rejoiceJust lean on the One who is. Talk to the One who can fill them, talk about the One who came down small as them and will put the broken pieces of them and this world back together again. He will put the pieces of me right where he designed them to be, in His hand. He created me to be their mom, I am enough for this moment, but not for their hearts. Only His love can truly fulfill their needs

 

And the greatest gift I can give back to Him is to let His love, His perfect love fill my holes, fill my guilt, wrap me up and make me glad.

 

Rejoice, Hosanna, Glory to the King of Kings.

 

He is mine and I am glad.

-J

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Christmas Started Early

Christmas starts early in this house. (Each year it seems a little sooner than the last.) And I wake up early, sitting here, looking at our three Christmas trees. The earlier Christmas starts, the more money people make, the more commercial it can become.

But the earlier we start, the holier the outcome.

Between candy cane clusters placed excitedly with two year old hands and fisher price Jesus in the plastic cart…under the blinking tree…you can feel the secular merge with the holy and it’s magical and meaningful.

christmas-starts-earlyFaith was designed, intended for the masses. It’s natural for the worlds to collide; this odd pairing of elf and manger.

All glitter, all one star.

But it’s fitting, because my life is all mess, lovely, and smelly, and faulty. And too often I say no to God. I place him in the manger, holy baby perfect, and deserving, right into the middle of the smelly mess.

I turn him away every time I’m too busy.

And yet his perfect grace lights me up, washes the grime off, and decorates me from the inside out.

 

I shine glitter, sacred glitter, holy elves.

 

Santa giving, Nici giving, God’s grace given.

 

It’s for the masses and it’s full of meaning, and I’m fairly certain the angels rejoice when each tree is lit – a  holy secular merger of peace, love, family, and faith.

 

Lit up bright with elves and candy cane magic, reminding us of the not so plastic Jesus in a manger.

  • J

And it’ll all be okay

Everyday, at least once a day, I feel like crying. Not little tears of joy or pain. I feel like sitting on the floor and sobbing uncontrollably for reasons that do not exist except in my mind, and for reasons life is so very complicated. 

Literature, err hospital pamphlets, call it “baby blues”…and suggest getting help if it lasts longer than a few weeks. Apparently a few weeks of this is a normal thing. 

I remember feeling very similar after Bug was born. I was told introducing number three into the mix is way easier than number two – that I already know how to divide my time. It’s not simpler for me. 

k1It’s equally as hard and the guilt rides me, despite it being unfounded. I want to cuddle them all, all at once. I want to hold them close and whisper I love you’s until it’s all they know to say. (Super productive parenting I know). 

My heart is overflowing and my emotions are the icing on top. Beck is a champ; hands down an easier baby and a better breast feeder. But it hurts still and the emotional surges with it send me wheeling.

But he’s perfect, and we’re all obsessed. It wasn’t our plan to have a family of five. But God knew better and I’m so glad. I can’t imagine my world without any one of my babies in it! 

But I still want to cry. A lot. And so I’m writing this random blog to say that’s ok. 

And it doesn’t take away the love. Or the frustration of a healing body. Or the fact my kids don’t understand why I cant run around yet though I all I want to do is that. Or why I can’t carry my three year old up or downstairs yet. It breaks my mama heart even if next week I know we’ll be back closer to normal. 

It’s all a process. And it’s all ok. And grace is extended and absorbed. And His plan is infinitely better than mine. 

A Prayer for today and everyday…

A decision has been made. Half of us are happy (and relieved), and half of us are angry (and frightened).

My prayer today is the same as it was yesterday morning.

I pray for our leaders, for our new president elect. I pray for wisdom, perspective, and ears for hearing.

I pray for good, wise counsel. i pray that voices are heard.

14962656_10207667694391113_8661302653781604361_nI pray that the dialogue is filled with words of unity.

I pray for us, the American citizens.

I pray that we can put down our swords and come together after one of the most divisive elections in grace and humility.  Boasting and finger pointing are not only unnecessary, but detrimental.

Ultimately, no matter which side of the political fence you sit on, the same is true today as yesterday –

God is sovereign regardless of who sits in the White House.

-S

His Works and Ours

“For the works of the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.” Jesus in John 5:36

We know Jesus is the Messiah.  His truth, His being spoke to our heart.  But His works (and words) pointed to His undeniable identity about all – His divinity and fulfillment of prophesy.

We are saved through faith.  Period.  End of story.  None of us will ever be good enough.

adfgHowever, our works do point to the master of our soul.  We proclaim to the world our love and devotion to Him by how we act.  We have the amazing potential to point others to Him through our words, our hands, our feet, our attitude.

The healing of hearts, of our world, only comes from salvation, which is only possible through faith.  Through the way we walk through this world, we can help others see the grace and mercy that meet us daily.

So, we must live our lives authentically.  We must live our relationship with Christ out loud.  We must live openly and in love.

  • S

He is Truth

ss“If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true.” Jesus in John 5:31

The validity/truth of God’s grace, His goodness, His mercy, salvation is fact.

The truth is proven by millions of testimonies that point to Him.  People have experienced the power of His love, grace, and mercy.  People know His saving power.  His truth has stayed true through generations.  It is not limited by space or age or gender or race.  It knows no limits.

His love is boundless and His arms are open.

Where is my sense of urgency?

So, what if my testimony is the one piece of evidence that someone is waiting for?

After all..the “hour is coming.”

– S

And Yet I Forget to Pray

I believe God deeply cares for me, and sacrificed His entire life, His entire comfortable position on the throne, His scar free skin for abused and beaten…just for me.

 

And I struggle daily; I struggle to really pray, to commit my plans, and my fears, and my joys to the Lord.

 

Yup, I get so tired and so busy I forget to even talk to the person who makes this life possible and continues to strengthen and bless me.

 

My priorities get seriously screwed up sometimes.

 

I allow myself to think its ok, I journal, and self reflect, and write this faith based blog…God knows where my heart is. As a mom, though, I can say, even if I know where my kids hearts are, I yearn to hear their voices, their stories, their emotions first hand!

 

And I forget to pray folks!

 

I believe God deeply cares for me, and is walking with me in this difficult time. This time of transition, of discomfort, and slow home making.

 

In all honesty, before we moved I was spending maybe 5 minutes a day in prayer. Since moving it is constant. I have had no choice but to communicate my irrational feelings to the one in control.

 

I have had no other option but to rely on His unlimited resources and overly abundant love to get me through some nights.

 

i-forget-to-prayAnd now that I’m calming down, wrapping my head around this home, this city, this baby growing inside me, I am earnestly reminding myself to cling to the rock that is higher than I. Not just when the waves toss, but in the sunshine too.

 

God, I believe, help me in my unbelief. Help me when my priorities are screwed up and my emotions run rampant. Help my only running be running into you.

  • J