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

Gravity and Star Shine

I talk to Jesus when my babies sleep. When they’re awake too, but those prayers sound different…more like mama strength. I talk to them about Jesus when they’re waking up.

I rub sleepy heads and tell them how handsome and beautiful and awesome and passionate they are.

I tell them they were specifically designed, the entire universe shifted because Jesus loves them. Their little powerhouse spirits. I tell them they can change the world again by loving and choosing Jesus.

What a team they will make. My babes and God. My mind spins just thinking about it, the possibilities God has written out.

And I breathe a little easier, grateful to be on this journey. Grateful I’m honored with strong willed cubs.

i-talk-to-jesusAnd I run my fingers through their crazy and different hair and will continue to whisper all things good.

Difficult to raise, but oh so good.

Love once changed the world, and now it has changed mine, thrice over.

And I’m anxious and impatient to whisper sweet nothings to number three. And grateful, yet in pain, over his already distinctly stubborn self.

And I’m convinced, despite it all, love will continue to better the world, and my cubs will be part of the gravity and part of the star shine.

  • J

 

Honesty is the Worst

ca1f2a17cd2008de92debd5a06e6f30eIf you asked me what my priorities are my answer is always on auto pilot -faith and family. I would likely tell you in that order.  I’ve been really convicted over the last week that this has not been true lately.  It is true in my heart, but it is not reflected in my actions…so what does that say about my heart???

We can say we value or prioritize whatever we want, but the truth is revealed in the time and energy we actually devote to different people or categories.  I recently recommended to someone to chart their time to see where their priorities lie. How pretentious of me to suggest that and not apply it to my own life.

So, let me do that here with you. This is what a basic weekday looks like for me… 

15-40  minutes a day on devotions.  Okay, on Sundays you can add extra time for church.  On Mondays, I can add extra time for my Bible study (I started BFS this year and would highly recommend looking for one in your area). Sure, I conversate with God throughout the day.  But still, my set aside devoted daily time is 15-40 minutes

1.25 hours eating – anyone already see the glaring issue right away?  I spend at best twice as much time eating than with God. Eating!

2 hours with  my family, playing with my niece and nephew, hanging out and talking to the most important adults in my life.

1 hour cuddling with a child/children during calm down/bed time

1 -2 hours leisure time – after the kids go to bed  doing whatever I want on that day

6-7 hours of sleep

9 hours at work

Then, throw in a short work out most days.

 

None of these are bad things.  Actually, they are all positive things.  HOWEVER, the overwhelming take home from my weekday schedule?  God is not my priority.  I am letting other, albeit positive, things to come between me and my time with God.  How often do this?  We focus on work, on being “healthy,” on relationships – instead of focusing on the one who truly can sustain us and cares more about us than anyone else can.  We make excuses because they promote a positive, healthy, and balanced life, but forget that God is the number one ingredient to all of those.

If I am not devoting more time to my relationship with God, in His word, praying, meditating on His will – can I honestly say my relationship with Him is my greatest priority?  Simply put, NO.

I’m trying to force myself to be honest with myself.   This means acknowledging the decisions that I am making.  So, when I feel God nudging me to spend time with him at night, but I choose that hour of leisure activity, I am audibly saying, “No, I don’t want to.”  Because by not spending that time with Him, that is what I am saying…

”No, God.  I don’t want to spend this time with you.  I 651c825f1c23f503c629ec8e360d0390really just want to spend it doing X,Y, or Z instead because I think I deserve it.”

By doing this audibly, I am acknowledging my rebellious and selfish spirit.

And let’s be even more honest. I would NEVER say that to my niece or nephew.  So,why am I okay saying that to my Creator, my Comforter, my Savior?  
So, I am trying to make a concentrated effort to pour more into the most important relationship in my life.  I want to be able to logically defend that He really is my first and foremost priority.

Man, honesty hurts.

-S

In the Boring Stuff

“Motherhood is the hardest assignment I’ve ever been given and the most extraordinary life that exists.” Brooke McGothlin

 

extraordinary: very unusable or remarkable

 

exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, stunning, incredible, unbelievable…

 

This journey I am on.

 

I find it highly interesting that the word best used to describe my life (motherhood) is extraordinary.

 

Extra + ordinary.

 

And so many of my days are so incredibly extra (super) ordinary, and mundane and repetitive.

 

So ordinary that if you blink you miss the magic, and another same day with the same shows has repeated itself.

 

It’s a work, a discipline in training the mind to see the magic. To see Christ in the dishes. To see the holy work in the laundry, and the kisses, and the spilled messes.

 

If you blink too long, you miss the EXTRAordinary parts –

 

The extra cuddles after long naps or crankies,

 

The extra help cleaning up,

 

The extra minutes of water play,

 

The extra I love yous, followed with extra puppy kisses.,

 

The extra warmth in your bed, only noticed by its absence,

 

The extra nudge to slow down and look down and notice the ordinary in a new lens,

 

The extra nudge to notice the flutterby (butterfly) on the flowers,

 

And the extra cake and snacks,

boring-stuff

And syrup forever being associated with chubby baby Nici hands.

 

These are the moments of an extraordinary life. They aren’t flashy and well groomed and held in high esteem by society. They are what make a life worth living though.

 

And they are what make memories, the big things come and go; we are left with the day to day. The days make a life.

  • J

 

A Mean Mac and Cheese

I just finished getting ready for the day, I water washed my face and put on relatively clean clothes.

In the background the tv is on and I start hearing, “my mom…my mom… my mom…”

 

And at first I smile, moms are super heros and that was the premise of the commercial, or so I thought.

 

As I kept listening not a single thing had anything to do with being a mom, and everything to do with a highly successful career. It was an ode to the working woman, not mother.

 

I started thinking about what it means to be a mom. My mom never missed a big event, be it a game a dance a competition a practice. Heck, my mom never missed an emotion. My mom is the reigning queen of “the jessi game” (a game where I lay in bed next to her and she tells me all the things she loves about me…others have played, she has always won, and no it’s not conceit. Its feeding a weary daughter’s soul, sometimes we all need to hear reasons we are treasured). My mom has the softest skin and best smelling sock drawer. My mom knows all my favorite everythings and indulges my funfetti fetish whenever she can. And these things matter too.

 

My mom can help me on a moments notice. She has no higher obligation than me and my siblings.

 

And I pray my accolades echo hers. We may not be an aerodynamic wizard, but we can make paper airplanes soar. We may not know squat about engineering, but we can run on 2 hours of sleep and coffee.We may not be a biologist, but we can find the worm hideouts like it’s nobody’s business. And we know the looks of distress with a shift of a foot, and how hugs heal and sometimes we need to throw a fit and have ice cream before dinner.

 

my-momI set my degree aside and chose this career, this unglorified path of mom. And GE got it wrong, it’s not the brains or the degree or the outside accomplishments that make women superheros. It’s the small moments and the consistent presence in the good and the distress.

 

Society says we can have it all, be it all. Pure logistics says that isn’t so. You cant be the best at everything, something has to give.

 

But I can change the world by being a mom. Stay at home moms get a bad rap. We are “blessed,” “we don’t know how lucky we are…”

 

I respectfully say that’s crap. We sacrifice, we made choices to make this life work. And its just as hard and just as rewarding and just as important as the 9-5 mom. And sometimes superheros don’t have time for showers and pant suits. Sometimes superheros just make a mean mac n cheese.

-J