Header/Navigation Bar

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

fill my cup, Lord

my husband has been in and out a ton. not fun.

at the end of the day I just feel used up. tapped out. done. exhausted. finished. I feel all served out.

after a full day of building a business, homeschooling my oldest, preparing meals, changing diapers, working out, bathing and dressing children, entertaining children, washing dishes, sweeping floors, wiping sticky table and counter tops, picking up toys...I think it's understandable. I think it's perfectly acceptable and expected that a woman would feel tired after doing all of that.

instead of feeling that it's a bad thing to be utterly spent at the end of the day, I think we should see it as a good thing. we're served out because we've been serving our little people. we're exhausted because we've been pouring all that we have into their little hearts. we've done our best. and if we haven't done our best, we'll get up and try again tomorrow. the end of the day...it's time for us to relax and let God fill us up. it's our chance to get refreshed for the day tomorrow. it's our time to vent to Him, to ask for His help, to pray about things that concern us.

mamas, you cannot pour into your family and not have someone pouring into you. you'll eventually run dry. believe me, I know from experience. it's not a fun road to venture down. I've learned the hard way.

ssshh. be quiet now. hear the silence around you? feel God prodding your heart? He wants to be with you. He wants to wrap His arms around you and fill you up with His love until you are overflowing. He sees your struggles and He is ready for you to tell Him about them. will you? will you let Him fill your cup so that you can continue to fill those of others?

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, November 13, 2014

servant's heart

I had a most special meeting with Jesus in my kitchen tonight.

I turned on my worship music and just started worshiping him, thanking him for loving me so much. his love. that is something I will never understand!

I've been praying a lot lately about the condition of my heart. I desperately want a servant's heart that loves to serve others; a heart that delights in giving and doing for those around me; a heart that puts others first. instead, I am overcome with the selfishness that resides inside me.

I have always been this way. selfish. some of us struggle with lying, gossiping, stealing...I struggle with a selfish heart. it's something I have thought a lot about for most of my life, as my younger sister was always so kind to point it out to me when we were growing up. (notice the sarcasm). I'm a very introverted, introspective person. it's easy for me to become absorbed in my own issues and not even notice the hurt of those around me. but I don't want that. I'm tired of it. I'm ready to move onward and upward.

I'm not sure if a selfish heart will ever be something that I overcome. maybe it will always be in me, competing for my attention and affection. maybe I'll just have to learn to stifle it, to make an effort to set aside my own desires and serve anyways. maybe my life will be a constant process of laying aside my selfish desires and replacing them with acts of service.

acts of service. it just so happens that this is my husband's love language, something that I was none too thrilled about. I hate cleaning. it's the bane of my existence. I also hate cooking. but I do those things anyways, because I have to. because I love my husband and my children and I want them to have healthy meals and a clean(ish) home. so maybe all of this is purposeful. maybe God is using my husband to teach me to serve, even when that's the last thing I want to do. after all, life isn't really about what I want is it?

which brings me back to Jesus's love for me. as I was worshiping, I couldn't help but think...if I really meditate on his love, pure and perfect as it is, will that not begin to change me? just the act alone of thinking on Christ's love, couldn't that begin to melt my selfish heart? if I truly know how much he loves me and remember that he expects me to love others in this way, will the servant's heart not fall into place?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

happy birthday

I sit here on the night of my twenty-sixth birthday, feeling so completely blessed.

I could die today and have lived a full, rich life. not in the way of money, but certainly in the way of love.

this morning I flipped through some old photo albums. as I sat there in the floor with my girls, books filled with pictures of my life strewn about, I almost wanted to cry. God has blessed me with so much. even in the midst of my rebellious teenage years when I was filled with resentment, hurt, and confusion, He was with me. He has blessed me with an incredible family and the best friends I could ever ask for. I have wanted for nothing.

and then I started to think about birthdays past. growing up I was the oldest of five children, our family of seven often living on one income. we didn't have a lot. but my mom always managed to make birthdays so special. she would decorate a chair at the table for us, fix our favorite meal, sometimes organize a small party or sleepover with friends. she went out of her way to make us feel like the guest of honor for the day.

then I remembered my birthday in 2009, the year before my husband joined the military. I believe he was away for some sort of military event, leaving me feeling quite alone. I was driving down the road from my mom's house, with my little daughter in the back seat, feeling so sad...when I just felt God whisper to my heart "you are loved. I see you, and you are valued."

I have since spent many birthdays without my husband or family to make them special for me. one year my husband was gone on a work trip. last year he was deployed, and I was dealing with a horrid flood and mold disaster in our apartment (when I say disaster, I mean disaster). I was feeling alone. forgotten. overlooked. and then a sweet friend left a cupcake outside the door. no note, no balloons or flowers, just a sweet little treat to make me feel special. I still don't know who left it.

and of course this year my husband is off working. I am sick with a head cold, and my youngest is sick as well. I was up with her last night and have been feeling the effects of that all day. and yet this was maybe one of the best birthdays yet. we didn't do anything special. (can I confess, I didn't get out of my pajamas all day long?). just a sweet letter from my husband, time spent with my daughters, watching too many movies. and cupcakes. a sweet friend brought me cupcakes.

God uses others to make us feel loved and special. He uses us as his hands and feet, His voice. He uses us to make a difference in other people's lives.

my birthdays aren't fun and exciting anymore, and that's ok. I'm totally fine with spending the day in my pajamas playing ponies and watching too much tv. I could cry right now, with a heart that's full to bursting with love. I love so many people, and God has sent people to love me. that's what it's all about right? love?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

be you, bravely

be you bravely.

our MOPs theme this year, a theme that I am absolutely in love with.

God has been teaching me a lot about bravery over the last 4 1/2 years (the time my husband has been in the military). He has shown me that bravery can look very different. sometimes bravery is a move across the country to an apartment you've never seen before, leaving behind your family and all that is familiar. sometimes bravery is having a bad day with your children and resolving to have a better one tomorrow. sometimes bravery is making it through an entire day without crying. sometimes bravery is getting out of bed when your heart is so sad and heavy that you can feel the weight of it. sometimes bravery is saying goodbye to your husband, knowing you won't be able to see him for six months and hoping that he will return home safely to you. sometimes bravery is breaking apart and trusting God to put you back together again.

yes, bravery can look different for us all, depending on the situation, the person, the emotions involved. bravery can be a loud voice full of resolve or a gentle whisper, saying "I will try again."

it doesn't have to look the same for all of us. it changes day to day. but we are all brave. if you are a mother, you are brave.

you sacrificed your body for nine months, not knowing what exactly would happen to it. you have often sacrificed sleep, your sanity, and sometimes your dignity. you bravely stepped into motherhood, not prepared for what you would face but ready nonetheless. you fight daily battles with your two-year-old that take bravery. you sit up at night nursing your baby, that takes bravery. you decide to homeschool, that takes bravery. you send your kids to their first day of kindergarten, that takes bravery. you teach your kids, pour into them, train them, preach at them, scold them, punish them, love them. it all takes bravery.

vulnerability takes bravery.

mama, you are brave. in your weariness, in your hard moments, you are so brave. I am proud to be on this mothering journey with you. proud to be showing the world that bravery can look many different ways. proud to be displaying bravery to my daughters, in the form of tears, prayers, firm resolve. thank you, Jesus, for helping me to be brave and to do hard things. thank you for your grace!