Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Every time I drop off my children I say to them “this is the day The Lord has made-let us rejoice and be glad in it!” They used to roll their eyes but now I catch them smiling.

it’s our thing

During the school year they get two verses. The second is

do your work heartily as unto The Lord

One way to establish great family tradition and bring Faith into their daily world.

Try out some phrases or verses with your kids today!

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Bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine. Love can heal what hurt divides. Mercy’s waiting on the other side.

There is freedom found when we lay our secrets at the cross. -“If We’re Honest” by Francesca Batistelli

This morning I was walking through the halls at church noticing all the people. Sometimes observing folks at church is like watching people putting their best foot forward and I would imagine that I’ve been guilty of that too.

To me church is about the sweet woman who hugged me tight as she spoke from a place of hurt about her marriage. Church is about a dear friend with a dear secret. Church, community, is about feeling free and safe to say this is who I am, these are my struggles, this is my journey…and being loved in return. Church should be a picture of our relationship with God if it functions properly.

Community, the church, should be a place where we can be who we truly are without fear. I’ve found this church! When the body of Christ functions healthily we should be able to lay bare our hurt at the foot of the cross together.

I’m not saying we should reveal our deepest hurts to strangers. I am saying that when you walk through your church next Sunday remember that we are all human. If you’ve been put off by churches I encourage you to try again because when you find a group of believers and leaders who walk life with you it is an amazing thing.

God created us for relationship with Him and with each other. Build a new relationship today or tend to someone who needs you. THAT is being the church to the world.

Where does your hope lay? Do you put your hope in what you can measure tangibly? Is it in how much you brought home last month financially? Is it about driving the newest model of your favorite car or sporting name brand clothes from the coolest stores? If it is you need to wake up and quickly!

Do you trust in the order of things, in the constancy of your marriage or relationship? Do you feel a sense of belonging as you stroll down the aisle at Trader Joe’s or Sprout’s buying the priciest organic food for your well coiffed children?

I would like to put forth the idea that there are no constants on this earth outside of a relationship with God. Marriages fail, jobs get lost, we get sick, good parenting produces out of control children.

Our best laid plans are “adjusted” by God. Sometimes we live out the consequences of our choices. I know that it’s not a mathematical equation. A + B does not always equal C.

A life of faith is not predictable. If you want predictable go join a Buddhist monastery. If you want a life full of passion, a life spent trusting someone bigger than yourself consider putting your faith in God. This week we celebrate the death of Jesus Christ and the fact that He raised from the dead. That he took on your sins and the sins of the whole world, so that you could be spared from the consequences of sin…death. The only requirement is for you to surrender your heart to God, to admit you need Him and no longer want to control your life.

I did this many years ago and it was the single best choice of my life. If you are interested in making this choice drop me a line as I’d love to share my journey with you and tell you about how God is healing my heart.

Sometimes I feel like I’m just coming up for air then boom! Since I’ve only ever been me this might be normal, I’m not sure. The very thing I long for-something constant down here on earth still eludes me. One again I am learning the same lesson over again. The only constant I have in my life, maybe that I’ve ever had, is my relationship with God.

I long for a job that pays my bills, I long for a car that isn’t twenty years old, I long for my children’s time and a place to live that’s better for us.

I have forgotten that in August 2012 I was close to being homeless. I was close to not being able to pay my rent. I had recently started going to my church and they stepped in and paid my rent and utilities for September of that month and kept me from being evicted.

I had already purchased a sleeping bag and was anticipating having to sleep in my car or outside. I was beyond stressed out. I wasn’t concerned about walking away from my “stuff” but I was concerned I’d lose my kids or the ability to see them consistently.

My mind and body finally couldn’t cope and I checked myself into the hospital. After there for about a week I became physically ill and my kidneys almost shut down. I was rushed by ambulance to the ER if another hospital to the ICU. I didn’t come to until about six days later.

Laying in that bed after I woke up, everything changed. I had circled the bottom emotionally and physically and I realized how desperately I wanted to live. And not just exist, but to really love. To fully engage in my life, no matter how scary or how hard or big. To grab back onto God in a way that changed me from the inside out.

I knew that I could never quit, that my children needed me. My life was not my own. So I re-engaged and threw myself at the Savior’s feet once again and held on tightly.

Life is still hard. I have had to choose between medicine and food. I live paycheck to paycheck. Literally. I have five dollars in my account right now. Still, in the middle of this God has met my needs, often through His people, my friends and family. I’ve received checks in the mail out of the blue, boxes of clothes, gift cards, money so I could buy my girls Christmas presents, cash in a card and more.

I am humbled. I grew up in a very fortunate life, never had to worry about money and grew up in what some would deal a perfect life. Now I have become the queen of making my funds stretch. My favorite store is now a thrift store. The other day I was taking to one of my girls about grocery shopping and talked about the price of chocolate chips and how they went up. She thought it was amazing I knew that much. I was able to share how I was called to be a good steward of what God has given me.

My definition of success has changed. I’ve never been driven to financial success but have always had it as a minor and when I was married. When I was divorced I started with nothing. I’ve accumulated a few things since then but I am still one paycheck from insolvency.

I just want to have an impact for Christ. That is my hope and desire. I desire to be a good mom and hope that how I parent will be what my children need. May they remember not what we didn’t have but for what we do have-each other.

I’m tired and life is a lot sometimes but I trust in the one who made me. I’m all in.

It’s not about stuff. I’ve had a lot and nothing and neither brings satisfaction because peace comes only in God, not in the car you drive, the clothes you wear or the size of your paycheck. Perhaps we are measured by the impact we have on others for Christ. Beyond that what really else matters?

Tonight I give my future once again to the one who holds my past, my present and has my future mapped out. Glad I’m not running this show.

“I wanted to tell you that I filed for divorce yesterday.” 6 seconds before I was cherished and loved. Just six seconds. My stability was torn in two by that statement. My marriage stability, that is! Of course it was over long before the six seconds but that is how long it took for my world to break into smitherings.

We are just one moment away from instability at any given time. One phone call away from 911. One heartbeat away from death. One heartbeat until we enter this world at our birth.

The world is spinning on its axis and the only thing in my world that doesn’t change is one person. Every single other aspect of my life has changed or will change.

Lately I’ve been thinking about change. I realized after some thinking that the very thing I desire the most here on earth is elusive. Stability. It’s natural, right?

Marriages break. Kids rebel. Children die. Parents age. Health fades. Friendships change and sometimes they end. Our world is broken and so are we.

Be careful of what you put your stability in because the only thing that cannot be taken away in an instant is your relationship with God. He is the only stable thing in my life. He is also the only unbreakable thing in my life.

Happiness is related primarily to things. Joy – now that’s what you want. Joy is this amazing gift that God can give you right in the middle of the most unstable of times. It is a knowledge that your hope does not lay in having a successful marriage, happy and well adjusted kids, a great job, new car, a home. Joy is in the relationship with our Father.

For this girl who loves something constant the past few years have been especially hard. Now I’m convinced the only constant on earth is that there are no constants! That is why my constant is my God.

I live in a broken world but I serve a perfect God. A God who planned each and every day of my life before I was even conceived. This could mean my lack of stability down here is for a purpose that I might not ever know while I’m living. I am so looking forward to the day when I can fall into my Savior’s arms and maybe then all these crazy puzzle pieces will make a beautiful picture.

I believe the picture that will be revealed when we get to Heaven will be Jesus. Perhaps all the pieces of my life yield a beautiful picture of Jesus for the world to see. Lord, use my broken pieces to point others back to You.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve had 42 years so far in this life. I’m not sure if I will have tomorrow, we are not promised tomorrow. This is not morbid contemplation but an intense realization that it is the time in between my birth and death that I have this amazing opportunity to live out my life for Christ.

The chance for God to use my words, my actions and even my inactions to honor Him. Of course I do this imperfectly. I am painfully aware if that fact.

I have hopes and dreams for my own life but they pale in comparison to this intense desire God put in me to BE Him to the hurting and broken world. To reflect His goodness and compassion to others as the moon reflects the intense light of the Sun. I want to reflect the intense light of the Son of God.

God has set me free from my past and He is in the process of revealing His journey for my life. I think He takes pleasures in giving me just a glimpse of who He is that entices me to seek Him more deeply.

I want to know God more than I want to be a parent, a sister, a daughter, employee, a member of my community. Everything else pales in comparison to my desire to know Him more and to show and tell others about how amazing He really is and how complex.

On the outside my life feels like it’s imploding. My job is temporary, I will need to find another. My car is on it’s last leg and there is no money to replace it. My expenses exceed my income which is a daily struggle. On all accounts a person would sum up my parts and say that they don’t make a whole but they’d be wrong.

The human part of me hopes that I will not live the rest of my life alone, battling bipolar disorder which threatens my health in many ways. I married planning to stay that way until we died. It was not to be in this life. The pain of that bore a hole in my soul that is inconsolable even after all this time.

My humanity threatens worry but my faith remains fixed upon Him. In the middle if the chaos, in the middle of the journey, yea the battle even, is this unshakable joy that comes only from a passionate and radical God who grants me this sense if joy in the storm. He never promised that it would be clear sailing but He did promise to take the helm when we give our life to Him.

Tonight I ask God to make this time in between my birth and my death into a life that points others to Him. To enter into relationship with others; to use my heart to help others to do just that. You see, cars break, marriages sometimes crumble, health fades. The one and only constant in my entire life is my God and my relationship with Him. I want others to encounter God as I have; as He’s revealed Himself to me.

Grab on, give up your life and you will gain life.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This morning I had a full scale panic attack while at work. To make matters worse I had left my medication at home accidentally. It was not pretty. Heart felt like I was having a heart attack, unable to function, move or think. It was not pretty. This was part two. Part one was last night but only slightly bad. Today was the full blown thing.

My bipolar disorder comes with a hefty dosing of anxiety with it. Yes I’ve had counseling for years. Yes my faith is as strong as ever. When your body goes into almost a PTSD like response about my only option is to take something, breathe, pray and wait. I’ve had enough over the years to know they don’t last forever.

Yes it was worry related. I’ve got so many things going on in and happening to me and my life that frankly it is overwhelming. Once I got the physical symptoms under control I was able to focus on the “why”.

Anxiety over seeing my ex last night and also potentially having to see him and his family tomorrow out me over the edge. After a wise consult with my dad I decided to not attend the event of one of my daughters tomorrow. Not attending was in the girl’s best interest.

I honestly do not know what I would do in this life without my faith in and relationship with, God. The answer would be a life of depression and despair. Sure I struggle with depression even as a believer but if I weren’t I wouldn’t still be alive.

I’m looking forward to Heaven someday when I will no longer struggle against my body.

Until next time,