He Sees Me

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mothers with their young.  – Isaiah 40:11

 

The fact that Jesus loves children is undeniable, written repeatedly, shown through his actions, even foretold in this scripture, “holding them close to his heart.”

 

This verse isn’t about the children though. Jesus loves the mothers. He “gets” us and our weary blessings. He holds our young tenderly and leads us gently.

 

A lot of words could have been used to describe how he leads us moms, how he loves us.

 

But, He loves us gently.

 

he sees meI take great comfort in knowing he sees my mom soul; the messy heart, the exhausted energy, the crazy emotions. He knows I need a gentle touch, a kind hand to guide me as I try to guide my children.

 

He knows I too need to be led. This mom stuff is hard, but if I let him he will take the lead, he will even carry my children close to his heart. The outcome is not of my doing but His.

 

What a blessing and an example. I fail daily and still he leads gently. I throw adult sized tantrums and he bends low and meets me in grace, again.

 

Oh, that I can react in such a way, leading my babes gently, getting on their level, seeing their needs and not my own, meeting them in grace. Again and again.

 

Lest I forget the kind of shepherd leading me.

  • J

Confession Time

“You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” – St. Augustine

Confession time: I have been really bad about taking time and setting it aside for time with God through devotional time spent in the Word this summer.  Really bad.  I have a thousand excuses about being busy and it being a time of transition for me.  Ultimately, though, I have no excuse.  I knew it should be a priority and yet I didn’t make it.  I cannot say I put God first if I am not making time to invest in my understanding, in our relationship.

I do this every once in awhile – get side tracked by the world, by life that foolishly seems so important.  And I feel it – all the way to my roots, to the depths of my soul.  Everything feels off.  I cannot shake a sluggish, emotionally raw and unsatisfied feeling.

This disappears when I line up my priorities correctly again with God coming first.  Everything seems to shift into better focus again.  The world feels a little less heavy for emotionally wired, anxiety prone girl.

d9ebdf55741fb9cc3fb0c556599457c0St. Augustine summed up the reason for this so succinctly.  It is because we were made for God.  We were made to commune with Him, to spend time in His presence.

And I am so blessed to have a Savior who wants me to spend time in His presence, delights in it even.

So, may my restless heart always serve as a reminder that my peace lies at His feet.

-Shauna

4 Missed Calls

I’m not really a people person in the broader sense of the phrase. Strangers catch me off guard and leave me somewhere between awkward shock and utter irritation. However, I’m slightly obsessed with my roots and my home people.

Yet, I think most friendships are expendable (I blame moving a lot and an abnormal soul connection with my sister.)

I also know God disagrees. People are not expendable, friendships, relationships, are not optional. People matter above everything else. And strangers, new friends, old friends, this is how we let Jesus out of us and into the world.

My awkwardness and irritations rise because I am focusing on my agenda, my day, my plans, my feelings, not His will.

He made us for communion and community, the Bible is clear on this. And blogging safely from my neon chair with my coffee is not enough.

I must live out what I believe,

“even if I stumble, even if I fall. Even if I lose my step and make fools of us all.” (DC Talk)

I must learn to be a people person, to be there repeatedly for people even when I want silence. I must sacrifice some of my time to give into God’s time.

He uses people, and ordinary moments. How many ordinary opportunities have I missed to spread love this week.

It’s Thursday and I have 4 missed calls.

  • J

Working Wonders

This week I can’t help but  be filled with gratitude, humility, and thanksgiving.

I have this innate desire to want to be independent; I want to know I can make it and do everything on my own.  But I can’t.  I can’t do anything on my own.

My attempts to “do life” are so sub par compared to what God wants and can do in my life. He has the power to transform my life in so many ways that I can’t even see…but sometimes I get a glimpse of how He knows so much better than I.

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That has been this week.  He has worked together things for my good that I didn’t see coming, things that I wasn’t sure I wanted.  He knew better.  He knew how well the puzzle pieces would fit together.  All I had to do was pray fervently, listen carefully, and respond in obedience.  Then, just sit back in awe as He worked His wonders.

“With thanksgiving let me remember, O my God, all your mercies to me and let me confess them to you.  Let my bones be filled with your love.” St. Augustine

  • S

Enough of the Melodrama

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters…He restores my soul. Psalm 23:1-3

When I was little this was my favorite verse. I recited it at my baptism.

Over the years, it has remained in my heart, a fondness like a happy memory, with no significant connection to my current life.

Until today, when it slaps me hard.

The Lord IS my shepherd. He is my guardian, my strong hold, refuge; He is in control.

I shall not want. He is my provider. He will satisfy me completely. I can let the discontent go.

He MAKES me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. My well being is of extreme importance to him. He sees my weary body and tired soul. He sees the exhaustion more than skin deep. He bends the wind and changes the circumstances. He MAKES me lie down and lean on him.

He whispers his protection and grace and laces it with peonies and Bug kisses and Nici hugs.

He says, I will restore your soul IF you let me.

And I am tired and discontent and feel more like it’s the dark valley than the green meadow. I’ve entered situations I didn’t realize until mid battle, and He is still there.

relax with the melodrameMore so really. He is not only a shepherd, but the God of Angel armies. And He is always on my side. I can relax with the melodrama and melt into Him.

“I need to remember that Gods answer is not to lift me out of the “crisis of the moment” but to speak His word into it, and over it. I was made to find joy in relating to him across the whole span of my day”

  • J

Honor Me

Sometimes God is clear. Other times He is a nagging feeling you don’t want to pay attention to, a bout of indigestion best warded off with sleep and ice water.

Sometimes his nudges feel anticlimactic and a nuisance. Or simply mundane daily life with an emphasis on relationships.

It’s God saying, “I planted you here (or maybe you planted yourself) but sow nonetheless, because I am here too”

It’s God saying, “I don’t really care if this is fun, this is the rainy season”

“Honor me in this.”

honor meI’m uncomfortable, and barely getting out of simple survival mode as I wrap my head around a third unplanned but dearly loved pregnancy, as we enter into the third trimester before I blink.

I’m forced to sow where I’m planted, and I’m down right tired of planning and looking ahead, I just need DAILY bread. (preferably sourdough with salt, Jesus)

“Honor me in this…”

I’m not sure what that looks like truth be told, but whenever I’m not sure I fall back on love. Above all else God is love, so its time to start living out love. Even when I’m tired, even when the new neighbors are annoying, even when I have one hundred viable excuses not to.

It is time.

– J

The End

BkJ6Wi4IcAAtC_VThere is an end to life and there are consequences for our decisions.  I don’t worry about mine, but if I really take the time to meditate on the consequence for those I know who haven’t found the mercy of God, it is frightening.  I can’t help thinking – are we doing enough?  Saying enough? Praying enough? Am I being Christ’s love, His hands and feet enough?

No.  It is simple, clear,and honest.  But I am working on it. Unfortunately, my good intentions too often lose to my selfish nature.

Thankfully, God grants grace and wisdom.  Grace to pick me back up and wisdom to know how to do better next time.

-S

Magical Women

The world is crazy and full of evil. Evil that in many ways we can let control our day to day, especially as moms protecting little ones.

As a mom, our day to day is riddled with too high expectations placed on us by ourselves, but also by others. I am no exception, maybe one of the worst culprits of high standards.

But being a mom has taught me magic.

You get hurt, magic kisses heal.

You have a bad dream, mommas arms chase it away.

You’re hungry, she provides.

You’re sad, she wipes your eyes.

The dinosaurs are scary; she makes them do a dance.

The dragons breathe fire; she teaches you to ride them.

You can’t sleep (ever) and she is right beside you.

The world’s injustices can be undone by a mother’s love. A mother’s magic.

Too many kids face evil everyday. Life has attacked the parents and the kids taste the backfire.

magic womenAs a mom, as a woman, I can undo that evil, not just for my own kids. My arms contain magic far outside these walls we call home.

It’s a scary world and as women we hold a lot power. A lot of magic.

How wide and how deep we choose to spread it is up to us.

It doesn’t take a delivery room to become a mom, it doesn’t take foster papers, or adoption papers, it takes love.

It’s giving a child extra time, extra attention, extra arms, a space they can vent and be themselves.

Mothers Day has come and gone, but the need for moms has not. The need for strong, powerful, compassionate, magical women is more pressing than ever. Be that woman.

  • J

Oh So Good

We all say and know that God works in us and changes us, but sometimes it takes me by surprise.  This week I start a new job, which means I should be a nervous wreck. But I’m not.  I’m at peace.  I’m sure some butterflies will come crop up as it really approaches, but right now, the evening before?  Peace.  All encompassing peace.

b866b0e2def3ef046be2521adef9df7eGod is always good.  But He is changing me as He always will if we let him.  I know this, but when I can point to it in a specific way – it is incredibly humbling.

Now, don’t get me wrong – the struggle is real still.  Just this week, I spent 40 minutes sitting in my car after arriving somewhere, fighting my social anxiety to go inside.

But tonight, I have successfully surrendered to His peace and it feels oh so good.

  • S

But I Linger

I like to tell myself that I always listen and respond to God’s nudges when they come, but when I fall into the trap of believing that, I’m fooling myself.  Ultimately, I am human and thus consistently and constantly fail to fight my inner selfish nature.

Yet, I’m so blessed to have a God that showers me with grace.  There are times He lets me fall because He knows thats what I need and times He gives me no other choice, but to follow His will.

In my journey through Genesis, a different part of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah stuck out to me in this lens.

In Genesis 19, angels had told Lot that Sodom and Gomorrah were going to be destroyed.  So, he needed to get his wife and daughters and leave immediately.

You know what Lot’s response was?

But he lingered. Gen. 19:16

He literally had angels in front of him giving him directions.  And not in a general, you should think about this kind of way, but entire cities are going to be destroyed.  He had even them do a miracle by causing blindness not to long before this….and still he lingered!

You know what God’s response was?

…so the men [angels] seized them [Lot and his family] by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him.

God saw his slow, stubbornness and saved him anyways.  God had the angels seize him by the hand and lead him out anyways.

PD60000979-meme-6-FBEven when we’re slow, reluctant, and stubborn, God shows us mercy and grace.  I wish I could say I didn’t, but there are times when God has to kind of shake me and strong arm me into doing what I know He is calling me to do.  I wish I could say it’s easy to follow His will when you know what it is, but it isn’t.

I know I consistently fall short of the glory of God, which makes the blessings of His love that much more amazing.  How lucky I am to have a Father, serve a God who loves me enough to never give up on me…even when I linger.

  • S