It is time. Now. Is the time.

October 18, 2013

It has been really quiet here at this very small speck of space. Sometimes I wonder does it really even matter
anymore? If I write or I don't. The truth is I do want to write, but most often its that voice in my head telling me, "But who wants to hear my thoughts anyway? I have so much going on in this head how can I possibly focus and put words to paper?"

I will often come here and stare. What am I doing here? Sometimes I will stay awhile and look around, read past posts and think, "Wow, did I really write that?" And I know better. It isn't me, but the Lord working through me. It is why I started this blog in the first place...to allow the Lord to use me to encourage others in any way He wants to.

Even though its been quiet here, life outside of this space hasn't been. Sure we are busy with school and scouts and other activities, but that is not what I mean. The busyness is in my head, in my mind.

Non-stop thoughts, non-stop..whirling and whizzing..getting louder and louder and I feel like my head is going to explode because these thoughts are banging around inside my brain so fast and hard my head hurts. These thoughts seep down into my heart and begin to take root. I have become overwhelmed with negative emotions of annoyance and irritability. My mind and heart are overgrown with weeds that are choking all life's goodness out and it hurts. It always hurts...this pain. I don't want to think or feel this way anymore. I just want to be numb from it all, my first instinct is to retract and hide. I also know how bad that is because I have always done that. I run and hide from my feelings. I don't let myself feel the pain, the hurt, and the uncomfortable and sometimes even the good. I lock it all away in that dark place never allowing healing and growth to begin. This nasty cycle needs to stop, the bounding chains need to be broken so I can finally be set free.

Oh how wonderful that sounds...freedom! I know I am free in Christ because He died and shed His blood  for me. I know when I asked Him to come into my life, to take up residency in my heart I was born again. I became a new creature. The truth is I know all of this, so why I am I holding on to the old garbage that belonged to my old self? Didn't that die away when I was made new? I don't want it anymore. I am tossing it out like the things I did when I had my yard sale. The old has to go, never to come back in..it isn't welcome, it doesn't belong here anymore.

This junk and garbage is not my treasure. It is cluttering up my entire being leaving no room for the good things the Lord wants to bless me with. I know all this, yet it is a battle I am currently in. I have been fighting and struggling with this for a very long time. I know the Lord is gently teaching me and showing me His truth, He is doing a good work in me. I realize I have been resisting and fighting against letting it go. I have been holding onto this junk because it has been with me for so long my fingers are stuck in that tight grasp that won't open up to just. let. go.

But its time. It is time to let go. It is time to be set free. It is time to live fully. It is time to receive the blessings the Lord wants to give. It is time to pry open the dark place and let the light shine in. To release it into the light where it will be painful to see, but the light will overpower the darkness. Because this light, which is His truth, His love, His faithfulness and goodness shines ever so bright. It is by His might and power that can once and for all set us free. We just need to let it go and give it to Him.

It is time. Now. Is the time.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Memories that last

July 31, 2013

T   here is something about summers that rekindle so many memories. As a child I remember summers being the best time of the year! The longer days gave us much more time to play...outside. We were always outside playing in the yard, in the pool, and making up games. I'm not saying we were never bored because I can recall my mom saying, "only bored people get bored" and she was quick to give us chores to do.

We spent entire days cleaning out the barn, weeding the garden, and canning tomatoes. As we got older a week was dedicated to the 4-H fair and long weekends camping out with our goats at goat shows. We would sleep out under the stars when the house was too hot or sneak in the pool late night to cool off. Our summers were fun filled with family and play that seemed to last forever.

Now as a mom, I sit in the yard watching my own boys play. Our summers don't include much routine and for the most part I am okay with that. Staying up way too late, going out for ice cream when we normally would be getting ready for bed, and having sleep overs on 'school nights'. There are times when we lay low, pop popcorn, watch a movie and retire early. This is what makes summer so much fun. It's a time to unwind, relax and be carefree! It's the summer days that make lasting memories of time spent with friends and family and laughing and playing as much as we can.


But most of all, lately these summer days remind me of my mom. I'm so happy I have these treasured memories. I can still picture her bare feet - she rarely wore shoes in the summer and could walk down the stone driveway without flinching! We would always find her in the garden, in the barn, sewing or canning or figuring out a way to make it or do it herself.

Thinking of those days just reminds me that our children grow so fast and its not about how many activities we can pack in one summer. It's not about planning the best summer vacation or trying to keep up with what other families are doing. Summers are about slowing down, treasuring the moments, spending quality time with our family and friends, and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

What does mercy look like?

July 17, 2013

This post is part of the What Are You Wearing series

mercy

What exactly is mercy and even more so, what does it look like? This word mercy always trips me up.

It's a word I thought I knew what it meant, but when I took a closer look I discovered I didn't really understand it, at least not completely.

In Colossians Chapter 3, we are told to clothe ourselves or put on certain virtues, mercy being one of them.

Merriam-Webster defines mercy as "compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment". Other Bible versions use compassion instead of mercy. Merriam-Webster defines compassion as, "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". 

Wow, sound like anyone you know? How about if I put it this way. Compassion shown especially to us sinners (Rom 3:23); our sin broke his heart (Gen 6:6) because the wage of sin is death (Rom 6:23) and he desires everyone to be saved and to understand the truth (1 Tim 2:4). How about now?

God who is so rich in mercy and loves us so much (Eph 2:4), sent His one and only Son (John 3:16) to die a horrible death on a cross to save us, to give us the gift of eternal life when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Eph 2:5). 

"he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit," Titus 3:5

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3

So, there you have it. Mercy. That is what mercy looks like and scripture also tells us to "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:36

But now what? We know what mercy is and we know how God demonstrated mercy, but how do we show mercy and receive it from others? I'm glad you asked. There is an example of this in the Bible told by Luke in Chapter 10 verses 30-37:

“A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

This isn't just a story about someone finally coming along and doing the right thing. The ones we think who would have helped the Jewish man passed him by. It is important to note, during this time period  the Jews and the Samaritans hated one another. Yet it was the Samaritan, the one we would least likely think would stop and help, in fact did. He recognized this man as a human worth taking care of and extended love. He showed the Jewish man mercy.

Have a blessed day!

Beautiful

July 05, 2013

I
 couldn't pass up the opportunity to participate in Five Minute Friday's word prompt today. Lately, I have been obsessed with taking pictures of flowers. I am just drawn to their beauty. They remind me of God's craftsmanship of ALL things.

So, won't you join me in pondering all things beautiful today and don't forget to thank our Creator for these blessings! Happy Friday!
gifts
  • The way God paints the sky
  • Intricate detail and colors in the formation of flowers
  • Bumble bees buzzing, moving from one flower to the next feeding on its nectar
  • Innocence of children and their laughter
  • Birds singing in the early morning and bathing in the inverted sandbox lid that collects rain water
  • Saving grace
  • The love and mercy of our Almighty Savior
  • An elderly couple holding hands
  • Smiles from strangers
  • Cries of a newborn signifying life

I can’t possibly elaborate on all that is beautiful in only five minutes! I am reminded how every beautiful and perfect gift is from above, coming down from our Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
He is beautiful

Five Minute Friday

Have a blessed day!

I don't know you, but I'm thinking of you today

June 18, 2013

I could hear a woman yelling. It was a summer day and the windows were open. It was rare to hear people's voices passing by my house, since we don't have any sidewalks. I was home on maternity leave with my second son. I heard her again and then I heard the cry of a small child. Puzzled, I looked out the bedroom window thinking, what is going on?

I saw a blue mini van slowly moving through the rescue squad parking lot, which is right next door to my house. It circled around and then I saw her. A small child probably about 3 years old, a little girl standing in the middle of the parking lot as the mini van slowly moved around her. Then the van stopped and a woman got out still yelling at the crying child.

I truly can't recall how the exact details played out. It was obvious this woman was angry, frustrated, upset. I was stunned and somewhat paralyzed in that moment. I didn't know what to do. My first instinct was to run over there, but then I thought I can't leave my newborn in the house alone. Then a car pulled over as the woman in the van was getting the little girl back into her car seat. There was still yelling and crying. In the car was another woman who began to scream at this woman threatening if she didn't stop she was going to call the police. Once the woman buckled the little girl in she closed her van door and quickly pulled away.

Silence. No more yelling. No more crying.

As I was pulling out of my own driveway this morning, there was a blue mini van parked at the end of the rescue squad parking lot. It reminded me of that time four years ago. I thought of that woman and that child and wondered where are they today? Then I thought, God knows and as I drove my son to his last day of preschool, I offered up prayers for that woman and that little girl.

I don't know the details of that day. I don't know why the woman was so angry and frustrated with that child. I don't know the circumstances that woman was facing. I can only imagine she was at the end of herself. She was weary and tired and she let the worst side of herself rear its ugly head. As I think of this woman I wish I could have hugged her right then. I wish I could have offered her kind words, poured grace into her soul and showed her love. I wish I could have pulled that child into my arms and hugged her tight because no words are necessary when offering love and comfort.

I don't know why God allowed me to remember them today, but I pray they are okay. I pray for God to touch their lives and bless them and I pray they know Him.

yellow flower

Have a blessed day,
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