More Lessons from Our Arrows

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One of the many lessons that I’m learning from motherhood is selflessness. Oh it’s a hard lesson, one in which I’m not through being taught. We’re all naturally selfish and want everything our way, but when you have other humans to think about, it sure puts a new light on situations. We have to start thinking of others more and ourselves less, which can be tough at times.

There are some days that I don’t feel like having to cook, teach, or even stop arguments. I would much rather be writing, taking pictures, or swinging on our porch. Our children are helping me learn what it means to serve. Though, I’m still learning to serve them without complaint because that is definitely a work in progress. Our children are not only for us to help, but they also can help us.

By serving them, I’m learning how to humble myself and serve even when it’s hard.

The Father will use our children to help rid us of our selfishness if we’ll allow Him. We can learn a lot from having to put our desires on hold for their needs. That’s okay too. Through our service to them, they can learn to serve. It really doesn’t hurt me to put a desire to the side if my child needs me. It can teach us self-discipline and self-control. We hear so much that we should do what we want or to seize the day, but Jesus strictly taught against that mind set.

When we begin to see our children as tools the Father wants to use, it can be freeing and wonderful. They’re not here to pester us, though some days I know we all wonder. They’re here to help us learn and grow into the person the Father desires.

So don’t despise what the Father may want to teach you or how He may choose to teach you. Those little arrows can be a huge blessing to us, even when we don’t like it. Allow Him to rid you of selfishness through whatever means possible, even your children.

Father, for give us for our selfish ways. You are too good to us. Help us to see what You’re trying to accomplish through our children. May we die to our selfish desires and serve as You served. We want to be good vessels of honor for Your glory. Help us to be an example to our children of how to serve. We want to be able to point them to You through our service. Continue to rid us of sinfulness and mold us back to Your image. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Philippians 2:3

Never Stop Dreaming

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Dreaming. Who doesn’t like to day dream about the future? I remember the days my husband and I were dating. I would spend a few days away at college dreaming about our future together and planning great things for our days of marriage. I couldn’t wait to see him again and talk about all our dreams for the future. We loved spending hours talking on the phone or in person dreaming of the life we were about to embark on.

As the journey begins and the years pass by, it can become easy to stop dreaming about the future. May be some of our plans didn’t go as we thought or our dreams were crushed. Life can become hard during certain seasons and not allow for much day dreaming, so we forget how too. One thing that’s important is that we don’t stop planning and dreaming our future plans with our man.

One day the children will grow up and we will have just each other. They will leave the nest and we’ll be as we once were, just the two of us. If we haven’t kept on dreaming and planning, then what’s next? It’s good to have some dreams for the empty nest season of our lives. We should never shoot down an opportunity to hear our husband’s dreams, even if they are way in advance. We don’t want him to ever feel we don’t care about his dreams. Because frankly, we don’t want him to make us feel that way.

If we stop dreaming with our man, it can cause us to loose a closeness.

We share our dreams with those who we trust and feel intimate with. If we stop sharing those dreams with our husband, it could be a red flag for us. We may need to examine what’s going on within us so we can deal with it and move forward. There are legitimate times in life where we are busy or tragedy does strike and dreaming with one another may not be as often. It may be because of those times that we don’t feel as close and so we don’t share our dreams or plans. The best thing to do is pray the Father reveal the stumbling block and work in both our hearts.

Marriage is a beautiful thing and one of those beauties is to open up and share our heart. If you’ve stop dreaming and sharing those with your man, I encourage you to figure out why. We never want to stop supporting each other’s dreams and plans. We want to keep that door open and seek out all the plans the Father has for us.

Father, thank You for all the plans that You have for our marriage. Help us to never stop dreaming with our man. Help us to stay open and connected so we feel comfortable sharing our intimate dreams and plans for the future. Show us any issue that is hindering the openness that You desire for marriage. May we let go of anything that is a stumbling block for us being open with our husband. We desire to grow and keep dreaming of all the plans You have for us as a couple. Help us to never give up on dreaming for our future. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Others

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Life can be tough. Sometimes, days seem to run into each other while we’re asking what month is it? It’s as if we can’t see the forest for the trees. We wonder what is going on and why is life this way?

When life is draining you and you feel like you’re drowning, you’re not the only one…

Everyone goes through those days and weeks, but it may be at different times for each one. That’s when others come to our aid. That’s when having friends and family can be a life saver. When we are struggling, they may not be, so they can encourage us. They may can see what we can’t. Even if they are going through the struggle with you, you can still encourage one another. As much as we may want to withdraw sometimes, it’s not wise. It’s not how the Father intended on us to live.

Even after pain and hurt, we still can choose to trust.

A circle of friends and family is very important for us all to have. The Father doesn’t want us to do life alone. We work as a body and if one suffers, the whole body does. Of course, we have Him, but He wants us to have each other. Asking another believer for prayer or just talking with them about the situation can really help us to see the whole picture. Other times, even if they don’t have any advice, just to voice your feelings and thoughts, can relieve you. It may even help you to see it differently when you verbally talk about it.

Don’t shy away from true, honest friendships. When life is hard and challenging, reach out to those who show they love you. Don’t mind asking another for help in the trenches and be ready to offer help if called on. Life is hard, but it doesn’t have to be walked alone.

Father, thank You for community and people. It can be hard to go through trials alone. It can be challenging to stay encouraged if we never have anyone to lift us up. Help us not to block others out, but to seek their prayers and help. We want to be a good friend and trustworthy believer. Help us to be that to others when they need it. Strengthen the circle of friends and family we have to be there for one another. May we love as You did and be a light to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

I Thessalonians 5:11

Word-Filled Wednesday

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We read the story of the woman who had the issue of blood one day in our school lessons. I’ve read and heard it many times, but it just hit me differently this time.

Jesus was on his way to help someone else when this woman touched him being healed instantly. That, in itself, is amazing to read and really think about. So as we read it, I kept reading the words (her thoughts).

She says to herself, ‘If I can just touch his robes/garments, I’ll be made well!’ She only wanted to touch his clothes, not even his hand or foot or face. She didn’t even want him to pray for her. She simply believed if she could touch his robes that she would be healed from her issue of blood. That is simply amazing and convicting all at the same time. She was a desperate woman. She was in dire need of a physical touch from Jesus. I used to think it was just about her faith, how much she believed, but I think it was also her desperation for Jesus and knowing he was the only source for healing.

 How desperate am I for the Father?

Do I look to Him for my needs?

Is He all that I need to sustain me?

We all have to come to a point of desperation in our lives that start our journey with the Father. We just can’t ever stop being desperate for Him. He should be our desire above all. He should be what we run too when we are in need and whom we praise when our needs are met. If we’re not desperate for Him, we will be for something else. Her desperation drove her to do something that may have looked odd to others or may have been out of the norm, but she knew what she had to do.

When we get desperate for God, our lives can be radically changed.

His righteousness isn’t a small thing, it’s just that powerful. Jesus was so powerful that by only touching his robe, she was healed, right then. For it only takes one touch from God to change a situation. Man or possessions can’t give us what the Father can. Our eyes have to be fixed on Him and focused on His holiness. Our desperation will drive us to seek Him wholeheartedly and see our lives change for the better.

I want to encourage you to read the account and ask yourself the hard questions. What are you in desperate need for? If you don’t have a desperation, pray for one, He will stir one up inside of You like a fire burning. No matter what comes our way, we’ll know He is the only One who can work good in our lives.

Father, You are so worthy of all our praise! We long to see You work in our lives. Grow our desperation for You and Your ways. There is so much we need and only You can satisfy. You are powerful and holy. You are above all else on this earth. May our lives be centered around You. Help us to run to You for all and praise You for all. Our hope and trust lies in You, Creator of the universe and giver of life. We are desperate for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Even When They’re Unlovable

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I know I’m not the only one… the only parent who wonders what is wrong with my child or myself?

We all love our children very much, but some days we struggle to make it to bedtime don’t we? It seems to be one thing after another some days or even weeks. It’s like they’re searching for the buttons to push that will annoy us. Then when I ask the Father why do they seem so unlovable at times? I feel a little pit in my stomach.

Guilty. Convicted. Busted.

When our children seem to be unlovable, we should remember we’re the same way at times. We should do what the Father does to us, that is, correct, love, and encourage. Our children go through moods and emotions just like we do. We can talk with them and see what’s going on so we know how to help them and love them better.

They need the same attention as the Father gives us.

It will be hard some days to extend and show that love. We’re human and flawed. Our instinct is to love conditionally. When our kids are behaving great, we treat them that way, but when they’re misbehaving, we want to act on our emotion. Even though it’s tempting, we shouldn’t. We should follow the Father’s example of loving unconditionally.

Even on those days that you or your children seem unlovable, remember there’s a God who love you both more than you can imagine. So extend love even when you want to lash out.

Father, You are so merciful and gracious. Thank You for loving us even when we misbehave. Help us to love our children when they are horrible and unlovable. Help us to act as You do and extend mercy. We can learn so much from our children if we’re willing too. We can learn to love without conditions because of Your example. Show us more about us as we parent. Mold us to the parent that You desire. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

John 13:34

The Heart of Our Husband

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Communication is such an important tool in relationships, but what’s even more important is listening to whats being communicated to us.

That can be really hard to remember and do. We’re usually trying to think of how to reply to our spouse instead of just listening. I know for me that’s true. I feel like I have to have an answer for his feelings or like I have to defend my position. Our minds just don’t stop sometimes. We naturally try to be fixers and helpers.

If we’re always thinking of a reply, how can we really listen and process what’s being said to us?

The Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman has some excellent advice on this very topic. He talks about really trying to  stop ourselves from thinking of a reply and just listen to our spouse and what they are trying to say to us. He encourages us to hear the heart of our spouse and listen to what’s going on with them, especially during disagreements because we tend to get more emotional during those.

We want to be a safe place for our man and his feelings. I know most of us want to know the heart of our husband, but if we never truly listen to him then we never will. It will take some self-control and some practice, but I think it will be worth it to really hear him out.

I encourage you, start today, listening with the intent to hear and not with the intent to reply.

Father, words are so important, but if we don’t hear them they don’t do us any good. Help us to truly listen to our husband when he speaks. Listening is just as important as speaking. Open our ears to hear and our eyes to see his heart. Help him articulate how he feels without being hindered by our reply. We want to be a safe place for our man. We want to hear and know his heart. Give us strength to just listen and hear him out. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Proverbs 18:13

The Cost of Discipleship

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Being a disciple of God isn’t easy and it’s most never comfortable. When each disciple was called to follow Jesus, they all left something they were succeeding at doing. Some of them left their families to go study under him. They weren’t uneducated men either, just working men in their communities, but when he called, they came.

Being a disciple of God will cost us something.

When we began to study what he did and how he lived, we’ll have to leave some stuff behind. It may be relationships, possessions, or mindsets that we have to forsake, but things will begin to change. The Father usually calls us out of our comfort zones and to the unfamiliar. We may leave behind what’s familiar to learn what’s true. Most of the time He doesn’t call out to us on our terms and conditions, but on His terms and conditions. He knows best for us and He wants to shape us for His work  by teaching us His way.

What is He calling you to leave behind? Our ways aren’t His ways and it’s a good thing too. Don’t hesitate to let go of relationships, mindsets, or possessions to follow more closely to the Father. He always has our best interest in mind.

Don’t be afraid to go when He calls to you, just drop everything and follow.

Father, all that You do is good. You call out to us to come and learn Your ways. You see us and long to teach us all Your ways. Help us to let go of anything that hinders us from following You whether it’s a relationship, possession, or mindset that will hinder us from being obedient. We want to follow You with our whole being and be obedient to You. Thank You for being such a wise and good Father to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

Mark 1:17-18

Word-Filled Wednesday

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Have you ever wondered why the Father calls Himself a shepherd? Over and over in the scriptures He refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd. If you think about what a shepherd does it’s a comforting analogy and title for our Father.

A shepherd protects his sheep with courage. He watches over them with tender care. He guides them with wisdom each day. That’s a reassuring picture of what our Father does for us, His sheep.

He will stay in the pouring rain to just make sure his sheep are protected. He never leaves them just like our Shepherd. The Father even tells of how He will go to find just one lost sheep. Our Father is the same.

He wants to guide us with wisdom…

He wants to protect us from the roaring lion…

He wants to watch over us with tenderness and care.

The more time you spend in His Word and prayer, the more you’re going to recognize His voice.We can always trust what He does in our life and where He guides us. Sheep need someone to guide them and so do we. He gives us this picture, not to look down on us, but to show us how much He loves us and wants to care for us.

Don’t ever forget He wants to be Your Shepherd. He wants to do good for you, but He’s waiting for you to join His flock.

Father, thank You for being such a wonderful Shepherd. You care for us so good, even when we don’t deserve it. You have such wisdom that You want to bestow on us. We want to trust what You do in our life, help us to trust Your hand. Help us to allow You to lead us and keep us safe. We desire to stay close to You and under Your watchful eye. May we learn Your voice and to be obedient sheep. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Gift of Innocence

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Innocence. It’s rare to find these days and it’s not really viewed in a good light. It seems parents feel the more that children know the better off they will be. We see that idea from the movies, t.v. shows, books, magazines, and even music. Innocence isn’t something that seems important enough to protect.

I think it’s safe to say that God views it differently. He sees innocence as very important and even for our children. We’re called to be watchmen over our children and protecting their innocence is part of that, especially when they’re young. The Father wants our children to have pure hearts and we can help in a small way by being careful what they’re learning.

There’s nothing I love more than the pure innocence of a child. God delights in it too. If you’ve not been careful about protecting the innocence of your child, it’s never too late to start. They’ll learn things at an age appropriate time, but don’t forfeit that gift of innocence for what society throws at you.

Be the watchman that God has appointed you to be and guard your children’s innocence.

Father, thank You for showing us ways we can help our children honor You. We desire that they have pure thoughts and motives. You have put us as a watchman on the wall, so help us to guard what goes into their minds and spirits. Give us wisdom and discernment to lead them how You desire. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Matthew 5:8

 

Wholeness Through Him

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I think a lot of young women can have a naive view of marriage and it’s intent. One that is seen in fairy tales and romance movies that portrays once we find our prince charming we’re complete.

In reality, most mature and seasoned wives know that is furthest from the truth.

Going into marriage thinking it will complete us or make us whole is a dangerous view and mindset. I have to admit, I even thought that for a few weeks. It’s so not true and not a pressure we should put on our husband.

Our marriage will not make us whole or complete. Finding the “perfect” man will not make everything better. We have to find our wholeness through one person, Yahweh our Father in heaven. He is the only person who can complete us and fill the holes that we’re full of. If we look to a man, even our awesome husband, to do that, we’re going to become very irritated and disappointed sooner than we imagine.

We’re both fallen humans that are broken and only can be complete through redemption and an on going relationship with the Father.

When we realize our husband can’t make us whole, we can look to the One who can help our relationship grow like He designed it too. He never designed man to bring wholeness to one another. He is the One who completes and fills us with His being so we can be as He wishes. Our husbands are great and wonderful, no doubt! They’re in our life to fulfill specific roles, but we can’t put unknown pressure on them to complete us. That’s unfair and not realistic. We have to be real and acknowledge that he’s like we are, broken and human.

If you haven’t come to that realization, I pray you do soon. If this has helped you realize you’ve been doing that, you can start seeking the One who can bring wholeness to you. Relieve yourself and your man of unrealistic views so you can both grow as one and have the marriage He designed.

Father, thank You for being the One who can bring wholeness to our souls. It’s easy to be deceived into believing man can bring wholeness to us, but help us to turn to You. You’re the only One who can bring wholeness to us and our lives. We want to be made whole by You so we can pour into the lives of others, especially our husband. We want our marriage to work as You designed. We want it to honor You and be a light to others. Help us grow as one as we seek You and allow You to work in each of us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go because I long for You.

Psalm 143:8