Rejection Does Not Define Us

Rejection. What swirls through your mind when you hear that word? Do memories flood through you and put you right back to the very moments when you experienced it?  Wounds so deep and numerous tears, some still fairly close to the surface.

All of us have a need to belong, to feel loved, to know we are accepted. So when rejection strikes, it hurts far more than we know how to express.  We begin to doubt who we are, we doubt our worth, we allow the words and actions of others to control our thoughts about the value of our life.

For three years the words written by someone were what I let define me.

It was actually in a letter written to my husband and along with hurtful words written to him, they threw my name into the letter as well with phrases like, “Your wife just is not what we were expecting….” and “she is to quiet….not fit to be a Pastor’s wife.”

The rejection washed over me and all of my perceived notions came true in that instant. I could sense the rejection for awhile, but when I read the words in the letter everything was confirmed.

“No good…. you hold your husband back….how can God use you?  You are way to shy….how can you think you can be the wife of a Pastor?…..” all of these thoughts and more haunted me off and on for three agonizing years.

I allowed the words spilled out on that paper to define me, to devalue my worth, and to fill me with fear.  In order to protect my heart from that kind of hurt again, I built up walls that would be inpenetrable.

Can anyone relate?

Rejection is something all of us experience at one time or another. It is absolutely impossible to please everyone and make everyone like us!  All people pleasers who find this to be tragic news say “Aye!”  Yes, this recovering people pleaser right here is saying it with you!

Let me share a simple truth with you that the Lord is {still} teaching me: Our worth is not defined or based upon by the opinion of someone else.  We are valuable because God has made us that way! 

Listen to what Isaiah 43:4a says, “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee

Friend, we are LOVED with a constant unfailing, consistent, unchanging love by our great God!

He has made each of us with a unique personality for a specific reason, some loud, some quiet, all incredibly valuable!  You-are-Loved

What should we do when the sting of rejection comes?

I love this quote from Lysa TerKeurst’s new book Uninvited.  She says, “Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.”

All of the love we will ever need can be found in the One true lover of our souls, Jesus Christ!  He longs to fill the need of ours to be loved and accepted.

Live in the knowledge of knowing you are always loved, no matter the rejection you have faced from others.  Oftentimes the rejections people hand out comes from a place of insecurity in their own heart. We all need love, we all need grace, we can all give these to others, and we can all find them in Jesus.

I really encourage you to look up Lysa Terkeurst’s new book, Uninvited.  It is so full of wisdom and encouragement!

Be Encouraged,

Wendy

 

Ps: If this post has been an encouragement to you please feel free to pass it along to others.

I asked for change and God changed Me!

For quite sometime now my husband and I have been praying for God to do a work in our church.  We have asked Him to change our church in order for us as a body of believers to reflect more of Him. We have been on the front lines of battle fighting for different hearts and souls, asking the Lord to draw those who have strayed back to Him.  As we have prayed, do you know what has happened?

We have asked God to do a work in our church and He really began to change me.

Now this sounds wonderful, right? We read God’s Word, we pray, we attend church faithfully, we live for Him, and we ask the Lord to help us draw closer to Him. These are all things healthy Christians should be doing.

You know what though? It hurt. I didn’t like it. God has been at work in my own heart, chipping away at what is in my life that does not reflect Him and I did not enjoy how He was working on my heart.

Isn’t that just like how we humans are?  We ask for something….then when it begins to happen we find something to complain about.

“Lord, draw me closer to You!” we plead.  God begins to work and we say, “No, not like that!! This hurts way to much!”

This summer I have been slowly making my way through the book of Psalms and not long ago I read these different passages,

Psalm 145:17, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works” and 145:19, “He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” 

As I read these verses my flesh reacted in a way I did not expect. The journey God and I have been on does not feel like He is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works.  I have desires that have not been fulfilled, even though I am fearing Him! I wondered if He really was hearing my cry!

Instead of feeling like the beloved child of God that I am, I felt more like a rejected child kicked to the curb, and that my friends is exactly where the enemy wants us. He wants us to feel distanced from God because if the enemy can take an inch from us he will have plenty of room to take a mile!

Can I share a little nugget of truth with you?  God knows what we need to go through in order for our hearts to reflect more of Him.  He knows just the amount of pressure we need to be under, the exact circumstances to go through, the right amount of brokenness we must endure in order to sincerely reflect Him.

I found myself at a crossroads, I could either wallow in self pity or I could willingly let God work with a tender transformable heart. {Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:”}  The choice really was mine.

Am I really willing to be who God wants me to be?  Am I truly willing to give up what only matters here on earth so that I can gain what really matters?

My husband and I continue to ask God to bring change to our church.  We ask Him to shake up His people so that they will awaken from their slumber.  We seek revival and ask Him to help us be the light in the community in which we live. His answers may look different to me than anticipated, but He is answering our prayers.

We have asked God to change our church, and I have found He is changing me.

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

Ps: If this post has been an encouragement to you, please feel free to pass it on to others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On My Nightstand

Finding time to read has become a little bit of a challenge lately, but I do have one book that I wanted to share with you that I have been enjoying!

For my husband’s birthday back in May I purchased a book for him that he had wanted to read.  We are always on the lookout for good books on the home and Paul Chappell is a trusted author we know. He and his wife have raised all of their children up anthd they all love the Lord and are serving Him with their lives!  A beautiful testimony of godly parenting and we want to learn all we can from older godly parents who have raised their children up to love the Lord.  My husband and I have both been enjoying this read.  It challenges us and encourages us.  I’m sure it will be an encouragement for you as well!

Up next on my reading plan are two books by the same author actually!

First is her new book soon to be released, Uninvited. I think there are times when we have all felt left out and lonely. We feel the burn of rejection and believe the lies the enemy hands out to us when we are.  I love the points listed on the back of the book:

  • 636ff06c2a1f0ae7a1fa3ea180df0febStop feeling left out by believing that even when you are overlooked by others you are handpicked by God.
  • Change your tendency to either fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process your hurt.
  • Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady your soul and restore your confidence in the midst of rejection.
  • Overcome the two core fears that feed your insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. 

Sounds like a good book doesn’t it?  I have always walked away from Lysa’s books encouraged!

Second, my husband bought me this one a little bit ago and I am looking forward to diving into it soon!  I was drawn to this book just by the title! th (1)

I look forward to sharing with you all about these two new books soon!

 

Many blessings,

 

Wendy

 

Encouragement for Moms, pt. 3

As a mom there are times when I honestly feel like I’m just not sure if I am doing this parenting thing right! How do I raise my kids in Christ? What does that mean? How do I handle different parenting moments?  Discipline?

There have been moments in my life when the reality that is parenting overwhelms me!  I want to do this SO right. but how do I do that?

My third and final encouragement in this mini series is this, seek after wisdom!

Proverbs 2:1-5 says, “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

I don’t know about you but I need that wisdom and knowledge from God! We only have one shot at raising these kids up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. One.Shot. That adds all kinds of pressure!  We have one opportunity so we had better do it right!

The good news is, Christ says that if we seek after God’s wisdom, we will find it!

What does seeking after wisdom look like?

I’m sure this won’t surprise you when I say it but, getting into God’s Word daily and spending time in prayer are your top two ways to seek for wisdom!  That alone time with God is invaluable! Pouring over God’s Word and spending time in prayer will help to better equip us as Mom’s! We need a lot of wisdom raising these children, so let’s get on our knees and ask God for it!

Another way to seek after wisdom and find encouragement is to stay faithful to church. Pastor’s spend hours studying God’s Word each week and the Lord gives them messages straight from Him for us! How are we going to hear what God has for us if we are not faithful in attending services?  I remember a time when my dad was not living with our family and we had no other vehicle but the one he drove off with.  We lived maybe 1/2 a mile from our church and my mom was determined that she and her children would be faithful to church no matter what.  Even though our lives were full of uncertainty, our home was kind of a mess, she wanted her children in God’s house. So you know what we did? We buckled on our church shoes and we walked all the way to church. It didn’t matter what was going on at home, we would be in church every time the doors were open. I do not look back on those times and resent my mother for making me go to church.  Instead I am thankful she loved me enough to take me, even if it meant we had to walk there.  I think that is a beautiful testimony of my mother.  It was never a guessing game or even a question if we were going to church Sunday and Wednesday.  Rather a, “we are leaving for church at this time and you had better be ready by then.”  Our children need to know that Sunday is different than any other day of the week. It is the day we go to church and everything else can wait.  I want this kind of testimony in my family!

Next, seek out godly council from older, godly mothers who have raised their children well.  This council can come in a few different ways.  One is through actual relationships with other women in your church or that God has brought across your path who love the Lord and all of their children love the Lord as well and are living for Him.  Ask them questions!  Invite her over for coffee and ask for wise council on child rearing.  This is actually a Biblical thing to do. Titus 2:4 states in reference to older women, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”  Seek godly advice from women who have been where you are and survived to talk about it!   Wisdom from older godly women is priceless!

Another way to seek out godly wisdom is through listening to or attending conferences on the home.  I often turn to Sermon Audio and search out sermons on the home because I oftentimes crave messages like that! {You can find some great messages on the home by any of these speakers listed in my precious post here.} Listening to them helps me keep my focus, realigns my thoughts, gives me insight and helpful tools that I can practically put into use in our home. Also, investing in good books by trusted authors on the home are very beneficial.

Ladies, being a godly mom will take discipline and work on our part but these things are worth our time and energy!  We are investing in the lives of our children and we only have one chance to raise them right! We will never have it all down perfectly, and God never requires that of us. However, we can run to the One who is perfect and knows how we ought to raise our children. Keep asking, seeking, knocking! God wants to help us be the best Mama to our children that we can be!  Let’s draw closer to Him!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

PS: If this has been an encouragement to your heart, please feel free to pass it on!

Encouragement for Moms, pt. 2

The alarm clock goes off {or you are awakened by a crying child, a toy being tossed your way, or a dog licking you awake!} and so the day begins.  Get up, put the coffee pot on, pour the kids cereal and as soon as they hear those cheerios hit the bowl out the kids come from their bedrooms.  The day then kind of takes off on its own as everyone gets ready for the day.  Before we know it evening has come and we are exhausted.  Falling into bed, setting the alarm, drifting to sleep only to wake up and do it all again tomorrow.

If we are not careful, we will miss the most important aspect of our day. Time alone with God.

Through my time of being a mom God has shown me that in order for me to be a godly Mama to my littles, I first need to be a godly Christian woman.  One way I learn about being a godly woman is by spending time in prayer with God, relying on His strength to carry me through each day, asking for wisdom, but second, I need to spend time alone with God every.single.day. and so do you.

There are many things that pull on a Mama’s attention, energy, thoughts, desires and if I have not first filled myself up with time with God, there is no way I am going to have what I need to make it through that day!  I will end the day in a ball of frustration, lacking in patience, and feeling like a failure at this whole *mom thing*.

Spending time alone with God sounds like a no-brainer, something one would expect a Christian to say, right?  Yet, how many of us actually make it a priority to spend time with God daily? I’m telling you what, that enemy of ours knows the power that comes when a Mama spends time with God every single day of her life.  It will take discipline, it will take sacrifice of some time that is usually spent elsewhere, it will take time to make it a habit, but all of this is worth it!

Mama’s, let me level with you for a moment.  We, in and of ourselves do not have what it will take to be the best Mom we can be to our children.  We do not posses that kind of strength, patience, perseverance, wisdom, love to be and do all that we need to in our families.  Swallow hard.  Was that hard to read?  It’s hard to recognize and stare our weaknesses straight on, isn’t it?  It takes a bit of pride swallowing to even admit we have weaknesses!

Let me share some GOOD news with you though!  All the strength we will ever need will be found in Christ!  In our weakness His strength shines brightly!  {2 Corinthians 12:9, 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.}  

Mama, I encourage you, get alone with God every day!  Soak up the truths that God has for you that day and let His strength fill you!  Spending time with God can look different each day!

Sometimes during my time with God I will put my ear buds in and will turn on a sermon in the morning.  SermonAudio.com has some great messages from wonderful speakers/pastors.  I encourage you to look up Speakers such as Dave Teis, Kurt Skelly, Dr. David Gibbs Jr., Dave Young, Shane Lewis, Jim Schettler, Morris Gleiser, Steve Pettit,
John Goetsch… there are so many great preachers out there who preach the Word of God with passion and conviction! Wall Quotes - Abraham Lincoln - No man is poor who has a Godly mother

Some days I will read an online devotional from a website such as Proverbs31.org , or a devotional app like shereadstruth or even a devotional from the Bible app are also helpful.  There are all kinds of devotional books out there too!

I really cannot emphasize enough how important getting into God’s Word every day is!  You will find yourself refreshed, encouraged and more ready to take on your God-given role of Mom!  When we let God’s Word really get a hold of us, we will begin to see ourselves change and it will in turn change how we mother our children.

Join me next time as we continue this mini series on encouragement for moms!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

ps: If this post has been an encouragement to you please feel free to share it with others!

Encouragement for Moms, Pt 1

Nine years ago my husband and I were full of anticipation!  We were about to become parents to a little girl and we were ready for this new adventure!  We had read a lot of books, we had a plan together, we wanted to take on parenting and just knew it would work out exactly as we planned.

Then she came.

Funny how that works out, right? We think we have it all together and then reality comes and we get humbled.

Though she was cute as a button and we have loved the journey of parenthood, we learned real quick like that we really didn’t have it all together when it came to parenting! Our first was an easy baby, never exerted a strong will, was very compliant and sensitive.  Then God gave us our second born.  A little boy who by the age of two had me envisioning him as a teenage delinquent and questioning my ability to parent at all!  My ideal of having it all figured out as a parent crumbled as my child was the one screaming in the store and throwing himself down in a fit of rage despite our best efforts of consistent training!  It was a journey the Lord knew I needed to go on to help me learn more about Him and chisel away in me what was not reflecting Him.

As my husband and I have journeyed through parenting for almost a decade, we know we still do not have it all together and we are in a constant state of learning, but the Lord has been so good!  We are still right in the middle of the training years and maybe you are also!  I just want to take a few minutes over the next week and share with you a few things the Lord has taught us in our short time as parents.  I hope these posts are an encouragement to you right where you are!  Again, we are definitely not perfect parents, nor will we ever be, but by God’s grace we are learning and my hearts desire is simply to encourage you in your parenting journey!

When it comes to being a Mom the first and best thing we can do for our children is pray for them! prayerWhat should we pray about?  Pray about everything!  From the moment we found out we were expecting our children we began praying for their salvation.  We have asked repeatedly that they will see their need for Jesus as their Savior from a young age and that they will accept Him!  The most important decision of their life needs to be bathed in prayer!

Pray that your children will walk closely with the Lord all the days of their lives and as they grow physically ask the Lord to help them grow spiritually. Pray for protection over them! When my husband and I pray for our children, we even go so far as to ask the Lord to blind the eyes of those that would want to do our children harm so that they cannot even see them.  Pray for blessing on their life!  Pray for strength and for their faith to grow as they will go through trials.  It may seem odd to think of our kids enduring trials, but as they grow they will go through some difficult seasons and they need encouragement and prayer as we walk with them through it.

As a parent, we know our children well and we see their strengths and weaknesses. Ask the Lord to help them lean on Him and ask for His help to overcome temptations.  Pray that your children will be tender towards the leading of the Holy Spirit, that they will grow in wisdom and discernment. Pray for their purity in every aspect. Ask the Lord to bring godly friends and influences into their lives {and be sure to guard against ungodly influences}. Friends make a big impact on us do they not? Godly friends for our children are so very important! There really is no limit to what we can bring before the Lord in prayer for our children! Also, let me mention right here how important it is for our children to hear us pray for and with them. Let the testimony in our homes be that our children always knew Mom and Dad prayed for them!

While you are praying, don’t just pray for youprayer1r children but pray for yourself as you raise them!  Proverbs 22:6 is a well known verse about child rearing.  “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  My husband and I often find ourselves asking the Lord for wisdom beyond our years to know how to raise our children up in the way they should go. Parenting is hard work, but is always worth the effort!  We will need God’s constant strength and wisdom to be consistent and  faithful in teaching and training them.  Ask the Lord to help you take the opportunities He creates to teach your children about Him.  Opportunities present themselves every day to point our children back to Christ, the problem is we tend to not always recognize them as opportunities.  Pray that you will be a godly testimony to your children. This can be tough right?  When we are at home we feel we can let our guard down, but that only gives the enemy ample opportunity to pounce.  It can be through lack of patience, inconsistency, lack of discernment, a harsh tongue, or even distractions.  Oh how we need to be in prayer much more often then we are on behalf of our kids!

The Lord has used my own children to often humble me and make me realize how much I need God’s strength, wisdom, and discernment in parenting! Being a Mom has taught me much about my need to depend on God for helping me parent the right way!  I have eaten humble pie! I have had to apologize to my children, I have had to confess my faults to the Lord and there are some days when I just feel like all I did was fail all day long!  What does Proverbs 24:16 say though? “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:”  It may have been a rough day, but tomorrow morning we will get up, pray over our children and ourselves, by God’s grace we will depend on Him more, and it will be a better day!

Don’t forget to also stop and praise the Lord for answered prayer! As we look back we can see how God has faithfully brought us through to where we are.  He has grown our family and brought us closer. Even on the tough parenting days, there are MANY things to thank the Lord for!

I just can’t say enough about how much prayer needs to go into parenting!  Prayer accesses the power of God that we need to do our job diligently, faithfully, consistently.  These children are such precious gifts from the Lord, they are worth getting on our knees before God and interceding on their behalf.

Join me next time as we continue this mini series on encouragement for moms!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

When The Miracle Hasn’t Come…. What Then?

 

Have you ever had something you have been praying about, pouring your heart out to God over, even pleading with God for a miracle?  You long to see God perform a miracle right before your eyes!

My husband and I have had several different occasions where we pleaded with God for a miracle and He answered!  It was incredible to see God work in our lives!  There have also been other times when we have done the same thing, we cried out to God for a miracle, but the miracle never came.

What happens when that miracle does not come?  What then?

This is the question I have been mulling over in my own mind the past several weeks.

What happens when suffering remains and the miracle just isn’t there?

Earlier this year my husband and I discovered we were expecting another baby.  We were pleasantly surprised and very hopeful! My doctor had run all kinds of blood work and we begged God to let us keep this baby.

Appointment after appointment, a strong steady heartbeat could be heard. A growing little baby was forming inside of me and God was performing a miracle right inside my body! We were at the doctors office quite often and I was continuously poked and prodded, but I didn’t care! Anything to help us keep this baby alive was fine by us!

One particular afternoon we headed to the Dr again, it was an appointment simply for peace of mind and to hear the heartbeat. There is nothing quite like that sound, is there? A beautiful rhythm of life beating inside causes both comfort and hope to wash over an expectant mother!

Day after day my husband and I pleaded with the Lord on behalf of our baby and before we went in to see the Doctor we prayed in our car.  My heart was beginning to feel a bit anxious but taking my fears to the One who can help calm me is exactly what we did. On  this particular day however, when the doppler was placed on my stomach, there was only silence.

Deafening silence.

Just as there is nothing quite like the sound of a beating heart on a doppler, there is nothing quite like the sound of silence when all you long to hear is a heartbeat.

All the hopes and dreams we had for this sweet one, lay shattered in our hearts. Again.

Our sixth baby was in the arms of Jesus instead of still growing in my womb.

This was a tough tough place for me. I really wanted that baby!

My heart began to battle with the Lord. Questions of “why” and “what am I doing wrong?” were now what my prayers were filled with instead of expectant hope. This loss filled me with a brokenness I had not known for a long while.  A grief so deep it would take something only God could do to pull me out. I just could not believe we found ourselves in this place again, for the 6th time.

Have you been there before?  Expected a miracle from the Lord, heart full of faith, and yet that miracle did not happen.

During this time I had been reading in the book of Psalms and as I read through Psalm 119 one particular morning, I was struck by one verse.  I stopped, re-read it, underlined it, and wrote it on my bathroom mirror so I would see it often!

Verse 28 says, “My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

This verse was written just for me!  Seriously though, isn’t it incredible when we are reading through Scripture and a verse we have read numerous times before suddenly seems to jump off the pages and it is exactly what we need.

My soul really did feel like it was melting. I was so discouraged and hurting, but the latter half of that verse reminded me of where I needed to find my source of strength. In His Word.

The past few months I have slowly been taking my time reading through the book of Psalms and have been finding a balm for my heart in the Word of God.

I still have days of struggle, more days than I care to admit!  I still get tripped up and battle with the flesh and spirit, but the Lord always has a way of reminding me what I need to get back to. Where I can find my encouragement and my true source of healing.

Two months ago we said good-bye to our expectant little baby boy, and though tears still tend to be numerous because I miss him terribly, though my heart still aches to know him here on earth, to kiss his soft little baby cheeks, to love on him as only a Mama can do, I trust. I know that our little guy is being loved on with a love so much greater than mine!  A love so much more perfect than I ever could give. I trust in our good God because He has proven Himself time again that even when I do not understand, even when I hurt, He is so worthy of my trust. I can run to Him with all the cares of my heart and let His ever capable shoulders carry my hurts.

Psalm 116:2 says,Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.”  That verse tells me that God is leaning in, just to hear my prayer! The God of the Universe is interested in hearing the prayer of my heart. The incredible truth of this verse is something I cannot even wrap my mind around!  How can I not help but pray, when His ear is turned towards me?

The verse currently  on my mirror is one that the Lord recently reminded me of.  Lamentations 3:24, “The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” 

When hurts come our way, when life seems to not be turning out how we anticipated, when our miracle is taking a little bit longer to happen than we anticipated, we can hope in Him! We can find rest in Him while we wait {Psalm 37:7, Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him} but keep on hoping in Him!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

 

ps: If this post has been an encouragement to you, please feel free to share it with others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disrupting the Status Quot

As we look out around us it is quite evident that our world is full of brokenness and we don’t even have to look very far to see it. In reality all we have to do is look up from our daily grind and there it is staring back at us. blogpic

As Christians I think even though we may not admit it readily, we would enjoy living in our own little bubble of what we would consider safety.  Going about our daily lives, keeping to ourselves, and not wanting to reach out and care for or love those outside of our safety bubble.

We claim Christianity, but we want it to cost us nothing.

The truth is, being a Christian, living as a “little Christ” {as is the definition of the name Christian} it will cost us something.  If we are living how Christ would want us to live, it will take sacrifice. It will cost us time, resources, emotions, physical labor and more. However, though it will cost us greatly at times, Christ has told us that it will be worth it all.

So why is it that when we are counting the cost, more often than not we figure it just isn’t worth the sacrifice?  Why are we this way?

If we were to step back and take a really hard look at ourselves and ask the question, “What is it that holds me back from truly living how Christ has called me to live?” two things would probably prick our conscience.

One would probably be our own fear.  Though Christ has called us to not live a life of fear we oftentimes do. { 2 Timothy 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.}  We fear if we open up to the world, we will be hurt, we will be ridiculed, rejected, we will suffer for the sake of Christ. We fear if we give every part of our life to Him, Christ will send us to the deep dark jungles that are filled with {Large} creepy crawlies and eat food we cannot stomach. Fear cripples us, which is what the enemy delights in!

Second, and this one is probably even greater than the first, is our own selfishness.  We focus so much on ourselves and what we do or do not want.  We like the status quot and we have no desire for it to be interrupted.  We want the benefits of Christianity, a home in Heaven, without having to conform to what Christ wants. We will give God the bare minimum…. only what we feel is necessary to give Him in order to ease our own conscience instead of living whole-heartedly for Him!  Anything outside of that is off limits to God because we enjoy our comfort zones, thank.you.very.much!

But what if I were to tell you that our reasons for saying no to God are just incredibly weak and lame excuses?

What if I were to tell you that saying “yes” to God will not automatically send you to the jungles?  Saying yes to God will disrupt the status quot but at the same time it will fill you with joy in knowing that you are living the life God really wants you to live!  

What if we just stopped making excuses and decided today, right now, we are going to ask the Lord to help us live for Him the way He wants us to live for Him?  Taking that next right step and making that next right decision!

When we make this choice, we will begin to experience a deeper walk with the Lord we have probably never had. He will begin to burden our hearts for those around us who are lost or who have strayed from God.  He will begin to show us how we can share His love with them. Reaching them right where they are, stretching out our hand to serve and love them with blogppic2a love only Christ could fill us with to give.

The Lord has challenged me deeply with this recently. How am I making a Kingdom difference in my own home, church, community?  Am I being the hands and feet of Jesus to those around me who are lost, suffering, and hurting?  Can I honestly say I am living whole-heartedly for Jesus with no strings attached?

There have been many times when I have allowed fear to creep in and take over.  There have been times I have been selfish and quenched the Holy Spirit really working in my life. By God’s grace though, He can and will help us to live for Him.  Absolutely and whole heartedly making a difference right where He has planted us all for His glory. Colossains 3:23,  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

I love this quote I read the other day, “God has enormous purpose for your life!” Let’s let Him fulfill that purpose for our life on His terms and not our own!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

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Sharing Jesus through Foster Care

foster pic 1When I was a
little girl I remember when I found out that there were children who no one wanted.   Stories of orphanages full of babies and children who had no one to love on them, no one to kiss their owies, or wipe their tears away.  No one to cheer them on and say “You CAN do it!”  No one to share the love of God with them. They simply had no one.  From that moment on God placed a burden in my heart to care for these little ones.  It became a desire that could not be quenched!

“I want to open an orphanage one day where ALL of the children will know they are loved!” I declared one day while in elementary school.

When I learned of foster care that only fueled my passion to help these little ones who had to be taken away from their parents for one reason or another.  Carrying fostering pichurts around with them on their slender young shoulders that no child should ever know.  “I will take them all in!!” I thought.

Here we are, years later and the desire is just as strong as ever.

Before my husband and I married we discussed the possibility of fostering with maybe one day getting to adopt if that was in God’s plans for our family.  The timing had never been quite right, until now.

Over the last year the Lord has been revealing to us that now was the time to begin the process.  Prayers have been prayed and continue to be!  We filled out the application and off it went, many prayers going with it!

Excitement and nerves abounded as we continued to gather information.  Conversations with other foster parents we know were very beneficial!  We have heard all of the, “I could never do that” and “It will hurt to much to give them back!” but we were looking for some more positive feedback from those who have been where we were about to go!  Speaking with different foster parents has actually been SO refreshing!

We will invest in the lives of little ones. We will pray for reunification of families. We will do our best to let both our children, and those who enter our home if only for a season, know they are loved both by us, but even more so by our GREAT God!

foster pic3No doubt tears will be shed as babies come and go, but that simply means they were loved with a great love, maybe for the first time in their lives!  That is a love worth sharing and giving. A sacrifice worth making on our behalf so that others will know that brokenness does not have to be the end.  Healing can be found!  We are asking God to help us share the Light of the World with both children and their parents.

We have entered a world of unknowns and yet, we have peace about doing the next right thing, taking the next right step as God leads us.  We have been loved with a GREAT love and we have been asked by God to share His love with these little ones by letting them enter our homes and hearts, sleep in a comfy bed, protect them, care for them and love them the way Christ loves us. No doubt it will be tough at times, but we have to also remember, it will be worth it!

We would certainly appreciate your prayers!

foster pic 2

James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Many blessings,

Wendy

 

If you have been encouraged by this post please feel free to share it with others!

Can I Be A Hero Too?

Has there ever been anyone in your life whom you have looked up to?  Most everyone has “heroes” they admire and dream of becoming like!  What about spiritually speaking, has there ever been someone you have admired from afar?  Their faith amazes you, their strength is beyond your comprehension, their dedication to Christ no matter what happens to them is never wavering!  When you grow up you want to be just like them!

There have been a few, what I like to refer to as heroes of the faith, that I have always looked up to.  I have read books about them and with each word I soaked up, my heart said more and more “Yes! This is what I want to be like!”Corrie Ten Boom2

Corrie Ten Boom is one of those heroes.  Have you ever had the privilege of sitting down and reading some of what she has written?  Oh friend, if your answer is no you must change that!  A true treasure, a hero of the faith, wisdom so eloquently given from her lips when spoke!  I want to have faith like she did!

Let’s notjimelliot forget about Jim Elliot and his wife!  Willing to risk life and limb simply to share the Gospel with a people whom they did not even know!  People they continually loved and reached out to just to be able to share the good news of salvation with!  Jim’s journal entries are quite moving and the books his wife have written are encouraging and challenging!  They had the kind of faith and passion for Christ that I deeply desire!

It is easy to sit in the comfort of my own home, sipping away at my morning coffee as I read autobiographies and dream of becoming like these three heroes, without even taking a moment to realize what exactly they had to go through in order to have that kind of faith.  

We often look at people like this and assume that God just handed them a double portion of faith instead of realizing that these people, and so many more, had their faith built on the back of trials God required them to go through.  Have you ever noticed that those whom we admire spiritually, all went through some pretty tough times?  Hardship, loss, pain  of all sorts, being without food, beatings, brought to the brink of their faith and then stretched some more, all of this and more are what these heroes of the faith have gone and are going through.

When it comes down to the nitty gritty of it all, the truth is we often want their faith without having to go through what they went through to get that faith

 

When God requires my husband and I to go through times of pain, loss, brokenness, betrayal, being stretched to our very limits and then stretched a little bit more, I am not a fan of that!  I do not like being taken outside of my comfort zone.  I do not enjoy being out in the desert so to speak and experience loss multiple times over.

Yet, it is often through these times when I have learned the most about God, His love, His mercy, His overwhelming grace, how He “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” {2 Corinthians 1:4}

When I have been taken to the brink of my faith and then stretched some more is when God has shown Himself to me in ways I would not ever know had I not been brought to this very place.

Think about this quote by A.W. Tozer for a minute, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” 

In the valley is when we learn this life is not all about us, but rather about Him!  The valley tends to humble us and bring us to our knees.  Maybe our valleys, our pain, our brokenness, is just what God is using to bring about our greatest blessings.  Anything that draws us closer to Christ is worth going through.  Those words are easy to type and read, but let that sink in for a moment.

What is God asking you and I to go through today?  Are we allowing it to draw us closer to Him?  Are we letting it stretch and grow our faith?

Corrie Ten Boom, Jim Elliot, and so many others, they were just ordinary people whom God used to do extraordinary things because they allowed Him to do anything that would draw them closer to Himself!  Friends, that can be us too!

I know trials hurt, I know the pain may seem endless and wearisome, but keep the faith!  Let’s find our comfort in Christ!  Let’s let these valleys be what Christ uses to build our faith and refine us to reflect more of Him to others.  One day it will be worth it all!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

PS: If this post has encouraged you, please feel free to pass it along to others