Category Archives: May 2019

life throws punches

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life throws punches

Whether a Mom, businessman, husband, pastor, or child, we can all relate to the punches life throws our way from time to time. Ever think that some people seem to have more than their share? I know people like that! Scrolling through social media brings so many to mind, both complete strangers and friends, who are desperate for God to show up in the punches they’ve been thrown. Life can be yucky, even outright ugly at times, yet the trials we face are inevitable as long as we have breath in our bodies.

As hard as we may try not to, it’s easy to turn inward and wonder, “why me?” I think it’s a valid question, however if we look to God for answers when we’re in a pit of life, we will quickly see that we shouldn’t be surprised when things happen to us that we simply don’t prefer. In fact, a pastor that I often listen to who years ago battled cancer shared in his testimony, “why not me?” A bold statement for sure and a question I certainly would not pose to someone going through cancer, or any other such agony of life. His rather seemingly odd question was provocative nonetheless.

Looking into God’s Word for some wisdom, however, you might stumble across one or more of the following scriptures:

Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12)

Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. (1 John 3:13)

We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

The truth is that when we are knocked off our block by an unwelcome punch being thrown our direction, we are (hopefully) driven to our knees in prayer seeking His help. It means in  humility we come to Him knowing that we are in desperate need of His power which supercedes our own. It means we recognize how desperate we are for Jesus. As much as we may think we are strong enough to handle all of life’s difficulty, we simply are not. It’s during these difficult times we recognize our need for a Savior. I believe the Lord uses these times in our lives to drive us to Him and pursue Him like nothing else.

So back to the question from the pastor regarding his cancer struggle of ‘why not me?‘, the fact of the matter is that none of us are immune from life’s difficulties and tragedies. We all will experience the negativity of life from time to time. It is only when we become residents of heaven, as followers of Jesus Christ, that we will not experience sickness, tears, and death. This side of heaven, however, problems and suffering are inevitable. It’s why we need Jesus. It’s why we need a Savior. When life is going great, unfortunately we don’t see our need for a Savior. Conversely, when we are in the depths of despair we are desperate for Him to intervene and illuminate the darkness we find ourselves in. Life brings both good and bad which is why it is essential to fill our minds with God’s truth in  both the good and bad days.

To me, this is the beauty of being a witness to someone else’s trial. A believer who is truly seeking the Lord, combating the lies of the enemy with God’s truth, fixing their eyes on Jesus, we can see how they boldly proclaim the Lord’s goodness and care to them. It is as if they are being carried through their trial by our loving God, because we know that He works in all things and nothing takes Him by surprise. He has the power to stop whatever the trial we’re in, but He allows it to draw us to Himself. His ways are higher and He works all things together for our good. Seeing life through His perspective which we won’t fully comprehend this side of heaven, makes the punches we are thrown a little less scary. We are never alone and this life is not all there is, thankfully. What a perspective!

 

 

 

momma’s heart

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momma’s heart

We Moms love our children. Each one holds a special place in our heart. God gifts our children with His special gifts and a uniqueness all their own. My son is no different. I love him to pieces and treasure time spent together and occasionally, we get to enjoy a date when Daddy’s away.

We had one such date recently. Admittedly, I was a tad nervous about how it might go since he’d been disrespecting me by not listening when I call for him. I had discovered an outdoor event at a favorite park some distance away. While I knew he’d enjoy going, I was a bit reluctant that he might pull a Houdini and run away from me. My husband’s encouragement and prayers turned my fear into faith and dismissed any fears I might have.

We had a great time together that beautiful spring day! The sun was shining and we ventured to the park. He bounced in bounce houses til he was dizzy, scored lots of swag, learned quite a bit of history, and enjoyed the towering tree house in the park. My heart was full because he listened, obeyed and had “the best day ever”. Before we’d left the house that morning, I encouraged his behavior by dangling a carrot: “If you behave by listening to and obeying Mommy, we can have a slumber party tonight.” He was beyond thrilled at the thought of it!

We had such fun! He obeyed “right away, all the way, and with a happy heart,” meaning we would have that slumber party. We piled into Mommy’s bed and watched his favorite show, Arthur, til we both fell asleep. It was a memory I won’t soon forget. After all, the window for a little boy sleeping with his Mommy isn’t very long. He was so excited to snuggle up under the covers in the ‘big bed’ and watch tv. My heart was full! We were making memories!!

We had another such day! It was a full day of cross country, lego club, play at the gym, followed by a trip to a favorite restaurant with his friends for some lunch and yummy custard. I felt so grateful to have this time with him, to see him enjoy his friends and play til he was completely drenched with sweat. As we were leaving play time at the gym, his friend’s Mom invited him to ride in her van with the other kids. You’d think he was invited to go to Disney World! As I gazed into his beautiful blue eyes paying particular attention to his newly missing front teeth, he begged me to let him ride with his friends.  Hesitant at first as he’s not ridden with anyone but Mommy & Daddy, I agreed to let him go. He excitedly hopped in her van, his little face all aglow at this newfound freedom. Meanwhile, I hung my head as I climbed into my car all alone. It was a short 10 minute ride to the restaurant for heavens’ sake, but to me, it seemed much longer.

All at once, my emotions hit me like a slap in the face! I realized our special times together won’t last forever. Soon enough, I will fade into the background as he chooses his friends over me. He’ll be too big to have a slumber party, and more often than not, I’ll be riding alone while he rides with his friends. I encountered a little whiplash from the reality of what’s to come. As they say, the days are long but the years are short.

I decided to ask God to help me CHOOSE joy. Joy in the moments peppered with frustration and disobedience. Parenting is about living one chapter, one stage of life at a time. As parents, we get only one shot with our kids. I don’t want to miss out on the good days by allowing the hard days overshadow the good ones. So, seize the day shall me my motto, as I learn to live with purpose and joy, drinking in each moment asking for grace all the way.

 

 

 

 

 

some days you just need reminding

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some days you just need reminding

I’m sure you, like me, need some good, old-fashioned reminding of what is TRUE and RIGHT. Our enemy sure knows how to sneak in our thoughts to deceive us and bring confusion, frustration, doubt, anger, and even try to paralyze us with fear. However, and I am so thankful for this truth: our Lord is faithful and more than able to overcome these lies, if we will ask Him to cover and fill our mind and heart with His truth.

On a rainy day, like today, I’m feeling a tad pummeled by the enemy’s lies. So, I’m pulling out my armor! Here’s what I’m asking the Lord to fill my mind with:

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. (Galatians 5:22-23)

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Psalms 4:8)

For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. (Ephesians 6:12)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.             (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. (Exodus 14:14)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalms 56:3)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.                                    (1 Corinthians. 10:13)

But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. (1 John 1:9)

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!   (Matthew 7:11)

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalms 28:7)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, (2 Thessalonians 2:16)

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalms 119:11)

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. (Deuteronomy 11:18)

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalms 17:8)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

And do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:27)

Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. (Psalms 143:9)

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

My prayer for you is that you would seek to feed on God’s Word to transform and renew your thinking. He is a good, good Father.