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
Advertisements

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.

il_570xN.1026355495_smok
from RedeemedJewelery https://www.etsy.com/shop/RedeemedJewelry?ref=l2-shopheader-name

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

Seasons

From each season emerges a new side of God… Sarah Hagerty

I do believe this to be true. However, like I do too often, I make it about me; how am I changing, how does this impact MY life. I forget this is about God, and that He is allowing me to know Him better.

What an honor, what a blessing, that I almost missed because it’s wrapped in struggle, in lack of control, in impatience.

 

I can’t yet figure out what God is revealing about himself, or our relationship. Perhaps it is intricately woven with how much of myself I am willing to let go, how uncomfortable I will get.

 

He allows suffering and discontent and confusion, but he promises great joy and an understanding of the tapestry (one day).

 

You do not realize what I am doing, but one day you will understand. –  John 13:7

 

God is in control. The creator of the universe that changes the wind, changes my season to force me closer to Him. Bends the tide so I must hold his hand, and it is gentle and sweet amidst my internal chaos.

seasons

Perhaps that’s the take away today: you can be in control and gentle…

 

After all the greek definition of gentleness is power under control, and if that doesn’t sum up my God I don’t know what does.

  • J

I Can’t Do All Things

I am really blessed to have been raised by two amazing people who love God and me so deeply.  I really did grow up believing that I could do and be absolutely anything I wanted if I was willing to put the work in.  I didn’t fully realize what a rare blessing it was to have that type of support and external belief in you until I became a teacher and was heart broken by the number of kids who are already so broken in spirit by 13 or 14 years old.

Honestly, I still believe this about myself…(well, okay, maybe I couldn’t do anything I wanted…my parents call me grace for a reason…and it’s a sarcastic one – so any ballerina or figure skating dreams I had as a child, I have safely set aside (you are all welcome)).

19593058fc92277214e5b8e71809d44eNow, though, this is largely because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.  I know I would only act in His will through prayerful reflection, so of course I could accomplish what I set out – because of Him though, not me.  So, I can go forth in crazy surety.

It is with this lens that I was reading the story of the Tower of Babel the other day (which is super short and found in Genesis chapter 11).  Basically, all the people work together to build a tower to reach the heavens.

God’s response?  “Now they will be able to do anything…” (verse 6).  And to prevent this, God strikes them all with different languages.  So, now they can no longer communicate and won’t be able to do anything.

My response? Well, why wouldn’t God want them to be able to do anything?  At first reflection, this didn’t mash with my understanding of God’s support of our ability.  After all, Phillippians 4:13 says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I spent some time reflecting on these two seemingly conflicting ideas about God’s desires for success for me before I realized my answer.

21ed84a58a427966a882da13f6da0532God does want us to do be able to accomplish great things…with Christ who strengthens us.  He does not want us to think we can accomplish all these things without Him…because any success found without Him is empty of meaning.  In many ways, this is a gift that makes faith easier.  If we could do anything on our own, it would be much harder to have faith in Him.  After all, if we are capable in our own right, there is no need for God.

He wants us to come to Him and rely on Him in faith.  So, no, He doesn’t want us to be able to do it by ourselves, because He wants us to do it with Him.

I love my God, my life partner (and afterlife), the One who wants to do it all with me.

-S

 

Not Just Another Self-Help Book

Control.
A common theme in my life. Also, something I do not have. Kids teach you real quickly just how little you know and how little you can control. And marriage is a precursor.

There are flowers and lingerie and beautiful photos. Long hot coffee mornings with blankets and the news. Runs in the evening, cookie in hand. No major conflicts. Then you move, have a baby, realize you were never really communicating. And life is hard.

You think they’re these little humans, that smell good and coo and are calmed by tingalaya (an old raffi song). Then they get older. Just a little bit, and all hell breaks lose and they sit there asking for coffee and telling you, “don’t talk to me like that”…yes I’m talking about my two year old. (I don’t know where he’s heard that before!)

And you’re back to square one. Zero control and it’s right in your face.

“Our level of faith determines our response to God” Wendy Blight.

This sums up letting go of false illusions and explanations. When faith is strong, when open communication with God is present and running your life, you don’t need control. You have trust.

Mind you the answers are still fuzzy and they’re not lined up numerically in the back of the book. But there is a book.

I forget that a lot. Besides Sunday morning and an occasional verse jumping I don’t read a lot.

I don’t understand moms who have time for reading.

But there’s this book that has answers. All sorts, for the marriage and momma. And I own 4.

My Bible is well worn and marked yet I’m just beginning to realize it’s true value.

I think you have to acknowledge how little you know in order to really appreciate the best help book ever written.

You have to know that ever situation is either a chance to question God or glorify God and our response reflects our faith.

I consider my faith strong, yet my responses are lacking.

I’m a work in progress. Sorely wishing the answers were lined up numerically in the back.

But at least there’s a book!

Living in the Unknown

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. When you pray I will listen. If you look for me whole heartedly you will find me…I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes…I will bring you home again to your own land”  – Jeremiah 29:11-14

Well this move is one for the books. The house we were buying fell through. However, selling ours did not.  So, we are out…and in with my parents while we try and find a home we’re both comfortable with.

And preferably quickly. Because even though we aren’t in captivity, living in transition is difficult even with gracious parent hosts.

no clueIt’s beyond easy to get worried and edgy and irritated with this current hiccup. It’s not at all what we had planned and I’m tired of staying positive; it’s not easy for me.

I physically and emotionally can’t muster the smiles and optimism any longer. I am tired of it all and growing a babe and want some sort of normality for my Bug and Bear.

Yet, it’s not my plan that matters at all (clearly). God has a better plan and won’t allow my fleshy vision to let me settle for anything less than His best. He has a hope and a future and a home for my family.

He sees my babes and holds them; He sees me and holds me.

He has equipped me with all I need to love them through this. To love Chris through this.

 

And it doesn’t matter that I am tired; I don’t need to rely on my own strength and spirit. All I need to do is call upon the Holy Spirit within me: comfort me, sustain me, and cover my mouth when necessary.

  • J