Exposed Weakness

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I often say that I’m not good at this mothering thing because I’m not a patient person. I find myself saying this more than I should. I tell myself over and over until I really do believe it. The truth is, that’s a lie straight from Satan. There’s a saying I heard coming up as a child, if you say it enough then you will believe it. So…

What lies are you believing?

Satan wants us to believe whatever lie that hinders our ability to walk out our calling. It’s true that I’m not a patient person. I like to see the results right then, right now. I don’t like to wait for the day I will see the fruit of my labor when it comes to parenting (or exercising, writing,etc.). I want to see it now, like yesterday. So though I’m not a patient person that doesn’t make me a bad mother.

Maybe He made me a mom to help me become more patient.

That’s definitely something to think about. Our children can bring out so much in us that we didn’t know was lying dormant (so can our husbands for that matter). If we never are challenged in life then how do we know what our weaknesses are? Whether it’s not being patient or not being affectionate, we all have struggles in parenting and they don’t make us a bad parent. They make us flawed humans whom the Father wants to help.

If you feel you just aren’t cut out for being a Mother because of this or that, may be you should ask why you feel that way. Ask what makes you feel like a bad mother? When you are alone and think about the day, what makes you sigh in regret? That is the thing to conquer. It isn’t a trait you have to live with forever. The Father can help you and He will.

All people and situations are in our live to help reshape us back into His image. Don’t reject it, embrace it. Our husband and children can be the biggest tool He uses in the refining process. Cause we’re all just clay on the Potter’s wheel being made into something beautiful.

Father, thank You for being so merciful towards us. Thank You for loving us too much to leave us as we are found. Thank You for pushing our limits to reveal our weakness. We want to be the best Mom that You desire. Help us to see our flaws as the opportunity to call on You and to grow to who You want us to be. Our flaws do not define us, but they can refine us if we will allow them too. Continue to open our eyes to our weakness so we can allow You to be strong through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

II Corinthians 12:9

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He Will Never Let You Down

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Man….

Unpredictable

Fallible

Disheartening

I’ve been thinking about the goodness of the Father and His loyalty. I’ve learned a lot this past year about myself and humankind. I’ve learned humankind will let you down and let you down big, that includes myself, in case you were wondering. We break promises, breech covenants, and aren’t loyal. We let others down intentionally and accidentally. It’s in our blood and something we will fight the rest of our lives.

God.

Trustworthy

Honest

Loyal

Faithful

But our Father. He is loyal. He will never let us down. No matter what.

If we think He has let us down. We need to dig in the scriptures to recount His faithfulness to our spiritual forefathers. Unlike man. He is perfect in all His ways. He loves us when we are detestable and just plain ugly. I don’t believe He is happy with our behavior at certain times, but He is always loyal to us. He is faithful to us when we are so unfaithful to Him. His promises never change, it’s our actions/behaviors that will change some of the blessings He promises.

He never lies, unlike man.

He never acts to benefit for Himself, unlike man.

He never misleads to control, unlike man.

So our best bet is to put all our hope in Him. He is the only being we can completely know without a doubt that won’t let us down. And frankly, that’s how I like it. I wouldn’t want a God I could understand or relate too. Then, He wouldn’t be a God, not worthy of all glory and honor.

If you’ve been let down (we all have), don’t stay angry (because you will become angry), but acknowledge the facts and forgive. Forgiveness is essential to have a thriving life and spiritual walk. Never let the knowledge go wasted, but don’t harbor hurt. Be thankful we have a God and Father that we can put our full trust in at all times.

He desires for us to trust Him and to imitate Him in all our ways, so let’s anchor in Him alone for the rest of our days.

Father, thank You for being a loyal God. You never lie, deceive, manipulate, or use us. You are our only hope truly. Help us to let go of the hurt when we are let down. Help us to remember how it feels to be let down and try our best not to let others down intentionally. May we not forget the lessons we learn from each other, the good and bad. We desire to imitate You in all our ways, but we need Your Holy Spirit to empower us. We want to love one another as You have commanded us too. It’s not easy, but it is attainable. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is trustworthy.

Psalm 33:4

Home: A Worthwhile Investment

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Home. It’s something I’m passionate about.

A safe haven and an atmosphere to thrive.

A place to teach and instruct.

Somewhere to always feel welcomed and loved.

I have to constantly be reminded how important our role as parents is to our society. As Mothers, we have to fight hard against the naysayers as we strive to be the Mother the Father wants us to be. Whether you are a stay-at-home Mom or a working outside of the home Mom we face battles. If you stay at home, you are seen as not motivated, not intelligent, and homely. If you go to work outside of the home, you are seen as uncaring, self-serving, and not in touch. Both have stereotypes and that will never change. What shouldn’t change is our desire to create a space where our children, our husband, and ourselves can grow and learn together.

We have a ministry within the four walls of our home and it’s the most important in my opinion. If we believe ministry begins when we walk out of the doors of our home, we’re sadly mistaken. Preaching the gospel and discipleship begins before we ever leave our homes. If we aren’t putting time into home, then all else is done in vain. Homes make up society and if homes are broken then won’t society be broken also?

Loving our husbands because they are our first neighbor. Caring for our children because they are of our flesh. If we could truly grasp the weight of doing those, I think we would all become more aware and in tune. We have to reject the lies from the part of society that says what we do inside our homes doesn’t matter. We have to refuse to believe that our role as Mothers doesn’t really have that much influence over our children, husbands, and homes. Those are lies from Satan that are to distract us and make us feel less worthy.

This journey of parenting is anything, but easy. I know I’m not the only one who has constantly battled thoughts of unworthy and not important. I remember being a first time Mother wondering what good was my “job” and feeling like what I did was meaningless. The fruit from our labor isn’t as public as some and it certainly isn’t as fast sowing. To the common eye, what we do as parents does seem meaningless. We give up a lot to raise, disciple, bond, and learn with our children. It’s a process of learning to be selfless and it’s not fun or easy.

So for those who choose that path of the road less traveled to be unconventional it will be a constant battle. It will be a rewarding end though. They are arrows and we can help aim them in the direction that pleases the Father no matter what society tell us. What we do matters and our home matters more than anything. If you are connected to the vine (God), then you have an unending source of strength, comfort, and joy. He is the only way in which we can parent and see good fruit. It doesn’t come from ourselves and obviously not from society. He is our refuge, counselor, guide, and help in the good and bad times.

Don’t allow Satan to deceive you into believing your role as Mother doesn’t matter and isn’t influential. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Stand with your hands lifted high to the One who has called you to this work.

Father, thank you for those who encourage us in the fight of parenting. It is hard and tiring, but be our strength. Help us to see what we do matters as parents, as Mothers. Help us to block out all the negative thoughts and opinions about intentional parenting. Your Word is the only truth and want to stand on it. Help us to see our children as You see them. Help us realize we only have a little while to train, disciple, love, teach, and bond with our children. Help us to make the most of these years so we don’t look back with much regret. We want children that love You and respect others. Help us to be that example and continuing in the trenches with our family doing Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons born in one’s youth.

Psalm 127:4

Asking the Wrong Question

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Each year for as long as I can remember, I have written down goals for the upcoming year. I’ve always tried to be realistic, yet not too easy on myself. I think believers share a lot of the same goals. You know, goals for growing spiritually, trying to educate ourselves more by reading books, and getting in better shape. Those goals are great and there’s noting wrong with them. Any goal that helps us become better than what we are is a great one.

As I was thinking about the last year and thinking about goals for the new year, it dawned on me… I’ve not ever asked what does He want for my new year? Sure I’ve prayed about my goals and all that, but I haven’t ever asked Him what He desires for me to accomplish for the year. Have you?

So that’s what I started doing this past week. I started asking the Father what did He desire of me throughout the year. I kept hearing and seeing the word worthy and the scripture in Colossians 1:10 kept coming to mind.

So that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
He desires me to live in a suitable manner for Him. It pleases Him when I bear fruit and grow in more understanding of Him. We can walk in a manner that bears His name and reputation. When I grow in more understanding of Him, I can do all the goals which I desire.
I will grow spiritually in my walk..
I will become more patient with my children..
I will be more thoughtful towards my husband..
I will grow into the woman He desires for me…
Most of our goals are wrapped up in understanding Him more and growing in our relationship with Him. That is the most important and leads to a content and pleasing life. Our life goal should be to follow and obey the Father with all that’s in us. Take some time seeking the Father and asking what He desires for you in this new year. He’ll speak to you and show you just what you need.
Father, thank You for speaking to us and opening our eyes up to what You desire. We want to please You with our life and deeds. We don’t want to waste our time on fruitless actions. We want our actions to be worthy of You. Help us to live in a manner that bears Your name and reputation. Help us to surrender everyday to You and seek Your will to follow. Help Your Word light our path and guide us each step of the way. We praise You for Your holiness and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Hello To A New Year

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It’s been another challenging, yet fruitful year for our family. As always, it was a year of changes and new things, joys and sadness, and birth and loss. We have been blessed and we have grown a lot. We really have nothing to complain about. I always love to reflect back on the year and try to remember and learn.

So here it goes… Somethings to encourage you…

Sometimes our greatest blessing comes when we let go of that which we think we need.

Sometimes we have to endure great pain to see the truth of a matter, which in the end we will be thankful to have known.

Sometimes the Father allows hurtful experiences to happen to rescue us from wickedness which we cannot see.

Sometimes we have to look reality square in the eye and ask the Father to mend our broken hearts.

Sometimes we have to suffer for the sake of others and have no recompense in return.

Sometimes we must love others even when they reject that love.

Sometimes our own worst fears do come to pass, but He is still God.

Sometimes we feel alone or abandoned, but no matter what the Father will never forsake us.

Sometimes we have to just stand back in awe of the intricate details of the Father’s plans.

Sometimes I have to stop seeing the bad, the hard, and the ugly as punishment and I have to start seeing it as opportunity to learn and grow.

No matter what your year held, there is always something to be thankful for, there is always a lesson to be learned, and there is always a reason to praise the name of Yahweh.

I look forward to what the next year holds. More learning of His ways and walking this journey He’s called us too. I hope you feel the same and seek Him with your whole heart.


How great is Your goodness that You have stored up for those who fear You and accomplished in the sight of everyone for those who take refuge in You.

Psalm 31:19

His View Wins

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It’s hard to push out others thoughts about ourselves. I’ve always been pretty bad about letting what others think about who I am really overwhelm me at times, especially if it’s not true. I would worry and stress over it so much when I was younger. If I had to guess we all do it from time to time. Unfortunately, how someone views us does change how we feel about ourselves. Their thoughts may even be ones we’ve had about ourselves.

But you know what? That’s not what God wants us to be doing.

He sees what’s going on and He knows the truth about who we are. Of course, we’re not perfect and He knows that. Despite that fact, He still sees us as we truly are, not as others see us. He doesn’t want us stressing over how we think others feel about us. What they feel does not define us. It does not tell the truth about who we are in God. He created us and was pleased with His creation. We’re all really being reshaped back to His image, one that is wonderful and glorious.

We can’t let others opinions taint our minds and block the truth.

That doesn’t mean we don’t take counsel. We absolutely take counsel, but we don’t have to believe opinions that don’t line up with our character. There will be times when we have naysayers after us and we just have to hold our head high. We have to remember what God says about us. If we’re seeking Him and following His ways, then we know what He thinks and that’s what we have to focus on. We have to remind ourselves what the Father says about us. It can be hard to drain out the voices at times, but He will help us overcome.

Just remember, no matter what others say about you or feel about you..

You are treasured.

You are His.

You are loved.

Father, thank You for seeing us better than we can ourselves. Help us to focus on Your words about ourselves and not the words of others. We do mess up and we do need work, but You call us a workmanship. You created us in Your image and we desire to be that way again. Help us to block out the voices of naysayers and fill our minds with Your words. Help us to forgive those who may speak ugly words about us. Remind us to be mindful of what we say about others and how we feel when we’re the ones being talked about. May our view be as You see us. In Jesus’ name, Amen


 

I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.

Psalm 139:14

 

Good At What We Do

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I️ have always wanted to be a good mom, I mean who doesn’t? As Moms, we want to be good at what we do. When I️ talk with other Moms, I️ can see that they love their children and just want to fulfill their calling. Yet, it has always seemed so hard for me personally. I️ don’t feel like mothering comes naturally to me. I️ feel I fail a lot and it’s at simple things, or at least that’s how I️ see it.

So what do we do? We look for something that we are good at and when we find it, we want to do it all the time.

Being good at what we do makes us feel good about ourselves.

For me, that is writing. I️ love to encourage and share life experiences with others, especially women. It gives me joy to see my words uplift someone who is struggling. Is that bad? Not necessarily. I️ just have to keep my focus on what He has called me to do versus what I️ am good at. With that said, the Holy Spirit speaks through me. I️ am not good of myself, these words aren’t from my own thoughts.The point is, what drives my feeling of success? It’s the fruit I️ see from my writing.

With parenting the fruit is harder to see right away. I️’m learning I️ may not see fruit from my diligence in parenting for many years to come (my Mother told me this in the early years of our first born). That doesn’t keep me motivated at times because I want to see the results instantly like with my writing. Disobedient children, bickering siblings, and whiny little humans make me feel like a failure. Instead of doing what they’re told or acting how they’ve been instructed (for the hundredth time) they do opposite and it leaves me feeling like I have not done my job.

Despite the fact, I️ have to keep on. The Father will give us glimpses that we are doing good. If we’re seeking to implement His guidelines into our lives, family unit, and children, then we have done all we can do. We have to rest in that fact and keep parenting though we don’t see immediate results. We do what we’re instructed to do and one day we will see the fruit thereof.

He wants to work through our weaknesses to show His strength. It’s not about how good we think we’re doing, it’s about His glory and faithfulness.

Father, thank You for being faithful and good. Help us to rest in Your goodness and not our own. Parenting is hard at times and we can’t see immediate results so we grow weary. Give us strength to keep on pressing through when we feel like giving up. Help us to feel Your presence when we can feel nothing else. Guide us to continue following Your ways with our family. Help us to stay focused on Your faithfulness and not our failure. The results we desire is our hearts surrendered to You and our children’s hearts surrendered to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9

A Message of Actions

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There’s so much violence and hatefulness in today’s world. You can hardly turn on the t.v. without seeing protests, murders, or rage. There’s an outrage for everything there seems. Everyone wants to voice their message and boy do they.

It leaves us with a decision to make… As Christians, we are called to share our message, but not how the world shares their message.

Come join us at Laced With Grace for some encouragement!

Much To Be Thankful For

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I try to write down things I’m thankful for throughout the year. My lists have changed over the couple years I’ve been doing it. I’ve grown and learned even the “bad” things are worth thanking the Father for in the end. Sometimes what we’re thankful for may surprise us.

Sometimes the Father opens our eyes to see the truth in a situation.

It can stump us.

It may anger us.

It can even sadden us.

We may have a choice to make or an adjustment to make with what He’s shown us. Making that choice may lead to our thankfulness. The truth may not always come with a joyful response at first. We may not want to be thankful to begin with either. It could be painful, but if we open our hearts up to Him and the truth He has shown us, we will become thankful.

So as I look back and reflect over my life, I can say that I’m thankful for the Father opening my eyes up to many different truths at different times. It was painful and it wasn’t what I wanted to learn, but I see that it’s best and it’s what I needed to know. I’m also thankful for another year to gather with family and friends to love, laugh, and feast. I have lived a very blessed life. I complain way more than I should.

I have way more than I deserve and it’s not so much material things I have to be thankful for, but…

for a husband who works and goes beyond to make sure we have all we need,

for boys who are healthy, happy, and love us more than we know,

for family who loves us and supports us, who stands by us and prays for us,

for friends who walk on this journey with us, cheering us on and loving us,

for a God who does not throw this broken vessel away, but continues to mold it into His beauty.

We all have something to be thankful for. So as we gather, I pray we will remember where all good things come from, our heavenly Father, and will give Him praise.

Father, You are so good. Words really cannot give you the credit You’re due. Thank You for Your mercy towards us. Help us to allow You to create a thankful spirit in us. Our circumstances may not be worthy of thanks in our minds, but help our minds yield to Your Spirit so we can thank You no matter what. Open our eyes to all You have for us and all the blessings we have obtained. Help our hearts and minds to become thankful no matter what is going on around us. We desire to please You and a grateful heart does just that. We praise Your awesome name and give You thanks! In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.
 Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
 Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
He made us, and we are His —
His people, the sheep of His pasture.
 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
 For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal;
His faithfulness endures through all generations.

Psalm 100

Word-Filled Wednesday

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A few weeks ago, our boys found some baby Sparrows. They came running in with excitement, proclaiming they had rescued the babies. On the other hand, they were upset that the mother bird had just left them in the brush, near the back of the yard. They wondered how they would eat and survive. They insisted on us keeping them and feeding them until they could fly. I explained to them that the Sparrows were probably at the stage in life where they were being taught to hunt and live out of the nest. I assured them that the baby birds were fine and that the mother was probably teaching them to hunt. No sooner than I said that, the mother came back to the spot where she had left them with a worm in her mouth. The boys hurried and put them back so she could teach them. It was an exciting encounter for them and me.

It made me think about the Father and us…

So many times in life we can feel as though we have been abandoned and left to ourselves. Don’t you know, those baby Sparrows probably felt the same way. They were in the wood line and it could have been their first time to be out of the nest with no mother in sight. I know there have been times in my life where I felt God had forgotten about me and my family. We have had some hard trials come our way in our 10 years of marriage. In some of those trials, I felt angry and scared. I wondered where the Father was and how could He leave us? The comforting truth is, He always came through. He had never left us at all. He is all knowing, unlike us, and He knows what we need in our life to draw us closer to Him. He wants to teach us how to live and be a vessel for Him.

Once the baby Sparrows were back where the mother had left them, she came back to them right in front of our eyes. She led them deeper into the brush and they willingly followed. She was teaching them how to live and hunt so they could live and survive one day. The Father wants to teach us more about Him in each trial we go through.

He wants us to know how to abide in Him through the good and bad.

That usually doesn’t happen when things are great, but when things seem bleak, we draw near to Him. It may seem as though He would love to see you fail, but that’s so far from the truth. Hardships can teach us so much about the Father and ourselves. He says in the Gospels that His eye is on the smallest of animals, so why would He leave us? He won’t and He hasn’t.

He knows exactly where you are in life and He hasn’t forgotten you.

He sees you and He knows best for your life.

Take comfort today that we only grow outside of our comfort zone. Just like those baby birds couldn’t reach their full potential in the nest, we can’t reach our full potential in our comfort zone. Let the Father grow you and amaze you with His ways and wonder.

Father, thank You for knowing exactly where we are in life. Thank You for seeing us through every trial that comes our way. Help us to know that You are always with us and that You know best for us. Help us to surrender our whole being to You. May we know You care about every detail in our lives. Thank You for growing us through hardships and for taking us out of our comfort zones. Help us to embrace the places that aren’t comfortable and let You work through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.