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

 

Ps: If this post has encouraged you please feel free to share it with others!

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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

 

When God Does Exactly What We Have Asked….and It Hurts

As I was busy around the house one day I had some music playing in the background on our computer.  Songs that I love which are also upbeat and a great motivation to keep me busy with the tasks at hand.  Songs about God being good, words requesting God to deepen my faith in Him, praise to God, and even words asking God to break me to draw me closer to Him.

I scrubbed the kitchen counter top, literally scrubbing because dried cereal from earlier that morning required a bit of elbow grease!  As my hand moved back and forth over the stubborn spot I caught myself mid-song, really thinking about what exactly I was saying.

Words I enjoyed singing when life was going well, but at the moment it felt as if I could physically feel my heart breaking.  As the music played I had to stop singing, what I was saying to God through song is exactly what He was doing at the moment and it hurt!  Did I really mean what I was saying to Him?

I had found my heart battling at times against anger, frustration, and if I’m going to be entirely honest, I felt a bit betrayed by my Savior.  Though I know I never have been betrayed by Him, it was how I felt at the time.  Is it okay for me to even admit that out loud?  Have you ever been there?  Living your life for the Lord to the best of your ability, striving to point others to Him, sharing His love with others, and suddenly you are the one so deeply wounded.

What happens when we are sitting in a heap on the floor, God has moved, He is cleansing us, drawing us closer to Himself, but we don’t understand, there is no light shed just yet, and we are completely broken.  Those words we sang and meant with everything in us, but now He is moving and the hurt stings just a bit deeper than we expected.

Our tears are innumerable, our hearts feel to be in a thousand tiny pieces and there are simply no words to form on our lips in prayer.  The hurt runs too deeply.

What then?

Do we still  sing about God’s goodness?

Do we still remain faithful to Him, even though He is the One allowing our hurt to take place?

When He is silent and all we long for is even just the tiniest word from Him, do we trust He is still there?

Oh friend, I have been there.

When the hurt has run so deep and I have had no words to pray, I cling to Romans 8:26 which tells me that when I don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit is making intercession for me. {Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.}  

Our enemy would love to see us wag our fingers at God, turn our backs to Him, and pout.  Drawing us further and further away from God.  Truthfully, that only deepens our pain because we run from the very One who knows just how to comfort us in our time of need!  We carry the hurt and pain alone instead of letting Christ shoulder the weight with us.

Recently my husband heard a new song and when he arrived home from work he shared it with me.  I leaned against the kitchen counter, which was now thoroughly cleaned, and listened to the words.  The one phrase throughout the song that caught my heart was this, “The Lord will never waste our pain“.

It isn’t wasted.  He brings beauty from our ashes!  Listen to Isaiah 61:3, “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

We see life through such temporal lenses, but we must remember, the pain will not last forever.  He will redeem our brokenness and replace our tears with joy.  {Psalm 30:5, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”}

He will cleanse us, He will draw us closer to His side, yes, He will at times even break us to do so, but while He is at work, we must not turn from Him.  We must run to Him, hide in the shelter of His arms.  Let the tears fall on His shoulders and let Him build our faith as He carries us through even our most heartbreaking of circumstances.   We sing God is good when our life is coming up a bed of roses, but it is also possible to sing God is good when there are no roses, only pricks from the thorns.  Remember, He is good and nothing about our circumstances changes His goodness.  Ever.

Wherever you find yourself today, my hearts prayer is that you are finding yourself in the shelter of God’s arms.  Listen to this song and let it be a balm to your soul as you go through that seemingly impossible difficulty.  He will see you through and if we stay close to Him, we will see especially when we look back, that He was good even through our darkest of night.

 

Many blessings,

Wendy

 

Ps: If this post has been an encouragement please feel free to share it with others.

 

 

When Life Hurts and the enemy is Bearing Down

It had been a long night that had accompanied an even longer day.  Sleep was evading me and I quietly slipped out of bed, found my favorite cozy pair of slippers, and silently tip-toed my way into our living room.

Curling up in my familiar spot on our brown micro-suede couch I reached for my Bible. With puffy eyes I cracked open God’s Word, not really knowing even where to begin reading.  My heart was so broken.  I had a desperate need to pray but no words could even form on my lips or in my head!  I needed to hear from God!  I needed to know that He saw every tear that had trickled down my cheeks, the heart-wrenching sobs that wracked my body.  I needed that reassurance of knowing that He understood and was close by.  At the moment all I was hearing was the lies the enemy was telling me.  “Failure. Disappointment. God doesn’t really love you.  If He did, then why does He continue to not answer this one simple request? You say you know He can, so why doesn’t He? He doesn’t care in fact He isn’t even listening!”

My world had been rocked.  I had had so much faith in God, I believed with every ounce of my being that He was going to answer the pleas of my heart.  But on this particular day, it became evident that His will and my prayers were not matching up.  My heart was shattered, again. prayer

I began searching for a familiar verse that I often share with others who are hurting, but in my search for the particular reference, I landed in Psalm 143.  As my eyes scanned the verses tears pooled in my eyes and I thought, “Yes, this describes exactly how I feel!”

Psalm 143:1-4, Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.”

Everything David was saying in this passage could be echoed in my heart.  I felt beaten down by the enemy.  The weight of the burden felt impossible to bear.  My spirit truly was overwhelmed and yes, my heart felt desolate.  “God, where are You?” was the question racing through my head.

Trials, they have a way of knocking the wind out of us sometimes, don’t they?  We long to hear from God just as David exclaimed in verses 7-8, Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”

While in the midst of our difficulty that is when the enemy most often strikes.  We are worn out, weakened by our affliction, and more prone to the  attacks of our enemy.  That is just how cunning and low our enemy really is.  He delights in kicking us when we are down and doing his best to drive a wedge between us and our Savior.

I really believe David knew this and recognized the fingerprints of the enemy throughout his trial.   I love how David ended this precious chapter. Read these next few verses with me, will you?Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.”

Even though David was going through such heartache and felt utterly defeated, he remembered Whose he was.  He remembered that no matter the lies the enemy fed him, he fought back and spoke truth to his soul and proclaimed “God, I am YOURS! Reveal that to my enemy!”

Friend, even when we don’t feel like it, even when our flesh wants to believe the lies the enemy whispers (and even shouts!) in our ears, we must remember, if we have claimed the free gift of salvation we are HIS!  We must speak truth to ourselves first, even if the feelings aren’t there.  Sometimes our feelings need a little bossing around, don’t they? This is something I am still learning myself!  When the enemy speaks lies shout back with TRUTH!

God is there.  He is here!  He is with me in my trial just as He is with you in yours.  He is on your mountain top and also in your valley.  When we can’t sense or feel or see His presence, remember, He is still there.  He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.  He will make beauty of our ashes, one day.  He will work it together for good.  In the meantime, hang on and cling to those promises!  You are not alone and you belong to HIM!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

Ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to share this post!

 

Books On My Nightstand

As a younger ministry wife and mom I didn’t really seem to have time to read!  I had the desire, but the time seemed to slip away each day and I would fall into bed exhausted!  Anytime I picked up a book to read I would fall asleep!  I know many of you all can relate!  I was good to squeeze in my Bible reading for the day, know what I mean?

However, two years ago I felt the urge to purposefully make time to read once again.  Since my time to read is somewhat limited, I wanted to choose books that would help me in my Christian walk.  I LOVE books that help point me back to the Lord, books that help me grow as a Christian woman, teach me things I need to be taught, or better yet reminded of!

Here are a few of the books I have worked my way through in the past few months.  Now I don’t have a lot of time, but I have learned to couple my devotional Bible reading with some other reading.

Unglued

 

Okay ladies, how many of us are willing to admit that our tongues can oftentimes get us into trouble?  Um. Can you see my hand held up over here?  I start my day completely intending to tame that tongue, but find myself by days end having had to apologize or really regretting that tone of frustration that came out.  This book hit me right between the eyes.  It has such practical truths in it!  It is a book I recommend for every.single.woman. whether we think we have an issue with our tongue or not, this book is full of wisdom!  I absolutely LOVE how Lysa writes. She doesn’t use flowery or over zealous words.  Have you ever read a book and while reading you think, “Why didn’t they just use a word I understand?!  I don’t have time to flip through the dictionary too!”  Lysa writes as if she was sitting on the couch next to you and I love it!  If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend running out and getting it!

BecomingMoreReRelease-Cover

So many who are avid readers have exclaimed their disappointment once they reach the end of a great book. The story has swept them away, carried them right into the story with the characters. The end of a good book seemingly means the end of a new friendship! This is exactly the way I feel about this book, Becoming More!

I have sat on the corner of my couch for several weeks now, soaking in and gleaning from this wonderful book. Conviction has swept over me, encouragement has helped lift me, truly God has used this book the challenge my heart to become more…. for Him!

When I finished this book I found myself wishing it were just a bit longer, it was just that good!  Once again practical applications that could be used in our every day personal Bible study.  Though I recently finished this book it was so good it makes me want to just start reading it all over again!  This is a great read that will really challenge you to pursue God more than you ever have before.  Not just reading His Word to check it off your list, but to read it because you want it to become alive and you want to grow closer to Him than you ever thought possible!

 

This next read is just a little bit different.  A couple of months ago I was invited to attend a ladies Bible study at another local church.  This book is a seven week Bible study with a daily devotional each week.  I have been so challenged and yet completely encArmorouraged by this study.  We have so much in Christ, friend!  This Bible study not only teaches you about putting on the entire armor of God and what that looks like on a daily basis, but also to use the weapon of prayer!  The author has pointed out that as a child of God we have an enemy and whether we choose to engage him or not, as a child of God we are already in open war with our enemy.  He has strategies he uses against us simply to try and make us stumble and become useless and feel worthless.  This book will encourage and help equip you to fight back and to be more on the offensive than the defensive.  All we have to do is look around us and we can see that the enemy has gained waaaay to much ground in our families, our churches, our communities, even our country!  It is time to fight back!  It is time to go to war!  Can you sense the passion this book helps instill in your heart?  Oh, I cannot emphasize enough, this  is such a great Bible study!

Last but certainly not least is a book my husband recently got me for my birthday.  After going through the Bible study above I knew I wanted to read this book!  I have just begun to dig into it but I know it is going to be a great read and I cannot wait to tell you about it when I am done!  Listen, if you all haven’t seen the Ferventmovie War Room, it is a must see!  We cannot recommend it enough!  It is worth having in your library of movies!  Our country and our world may be in trouble, but we need to remind our enemy that greater is HE that is in us than he that is in the world!  Christ has won the victory!  Let’s take back the ground we have handed over to our enemy!  Let’s get a serious prayer life!  It isn’t a cliche, there really is power in prayer!

Alright, I’m done, for now!  I’m curious what you have been reading though!  What books have you been reading that are challenging you in your Christian walk?  I am always eager to learn about more great reads!  These are just a few from my nightstand!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

PS: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to pass it along to others!

Failure or of Great Value?

There I was, pushing my shopping cart and trying to hold it together.  My toddler was not interested in sitting in the cart, holding onto the cart, or even acting as if I was their mother!  Their desire to run around the store was overwhelming their very being and if I could just get the cart out of the way and get this toddler to the car life would be so much better.

I could feel the stares as my toddler protested their confinement.  Embarrassment, guilt, frustration, and even the feelings of failure all washed over me.  “Why can’t I get this parenting thing right?” I questioned myself as I carried my flailing little one.

If I really knew how to mother my children, fits in private or public would not happen, right?  My children would always obey no questions asked.  They would never ask “why” or pout.   I could shine my “Good Godly Mother” crown daily as I adjusted it on my head.

But there I was, daily finding myself frustrated, in tears, wondering if this consistency of discipline would ever pay off, especially with my strong willed child!  “Mom Failure” seemed to be burned across my forehead and without realizing it, I had allowed my mothering to become what I found my value in.  If my children were quick to always obey and did not throw a fit, I would feel I was doing well on the mommy scale.  The days where the strong will reared it’s head and my child acted as if they had never been disciplined in their life, I felt I was failing.  The thing is, my husband and I have a strong willed one, which meant battles pretty much came up daily.  Because of this, I felt I was apparently failing, therefore in my mind I had little value.  I walked around feeling the weight of failure so incredibly heavy and my child was only 2!

Then one day during my quiet time with the Lord I felt the Holy Spirit prick my heart.  “Child of mine, find your value and worth in Me!  Your worth in my eyes far surpasses your understanding and it goes much deeper than your parenting struggles.”  Basing my value on my ability to mother was akin to that of a roller coaster ride!  Up one day and waaaay down the next!

I love the verses in Isaiah 43, the beginning of the chapter when it says, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” and skip down a little bit….. “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee.”  Friend, God loves us!  Let’s let that truth soak into our heart and mind a little bit.

His love for us does not change based on how well our children behave or any of the things we do (or don’t do)!  Our value in His eyes does not diminish when we have “off” days, or try to find our worth in other things.  His love for us is steady, constant, unchanging.  Our value in His eyes stays the same, no matter what!

I was so used to finding my value in something other than Christ that I needed His help to show me how to find my worth in Him and Him alone.  When we ask the Lord for His help, He delights in answering!  When we strive to do it on our own, our pride stands between us and Him and we find ourselves feeling empty and alone.  We have to remember that God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. {James 4:6}  I sure need God’s grace in heaping doses, don’t you?

Help me to remember, in the heat of the moment, or dealing with my child’s temper tantrum, that my worth is still found in you!  I am not a failure!  I am simply raising a sinner in need of your saving grace!  Help me to point this little one to you….. and please bend their will in the direction of submission before I have a breakdown!” I pleaded.

Slowly the “Mom Failure” sign across my forehead began to diminish.  The more I looked to Christ for my value {instead of looking to my mothering skills for that value}, the more contented my heart was.  When emotions run high it is easy to get caught up and carried away in them, isn’t it?  Letting how we feel speak to our soul instead of feeding our soul truth.

The truth is, I am a sinner saved by grace, raising little ones in need of that same saving grace!

Here I am, 9 years into parenting now and I still have so much to learn, but praise the Lord He is willing to teach me!  He sees every single one of my victories and failures and He still says, “I love you just the same.  Keep looking to me for your value.  You are so precious in my sight!”

Friend, wherever you are today, my prayer for you is that you also find your worth in Him!  Not in beauty products, or fashion clothing, husband/boyfriend, children, popularity, none of those things will fill your soul like that of Christ!  Let’s find our worth in HIM!

 

Many Blessings,

Wendy

 

 

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

 

Chasing After God

For 6 years now we have had Lucy, our cocker spaniel.  She was the cutest little thing as a puppy and had so much energy!  As a 6 year old dog now, her energy level is about the same as it was when she was tiny!  She has made us chuckle on many occasions especially when she chases her (rather non-existent) tail.  Around and around she goes trying to grasp at something that isn’t even there.  She doesn’t realize how silly she looks and that her efforts are in vain, but for those of us observing her it is quite humorous.

You know, we get a kick out of watching Lucy and thinking how silly she looks, but if I am honest, we all can often be like this crazy dog of ours.  It can be so easy to chase after things that don’t really matter, or bring us the fulfillment we are seeking after, you know what I mean?

We can spend our days pining away after more of what the world tries to offer, or what we feel we need in order to fill that missing gap in our life, and we forget the deep treasure we have in Christ.  A treasure that satisfies like no earthly treasure ever could.

As I dug into my Bible reading one morning these verses jumped out at me and I grabbed my pen to underline them.

1 Samuel 12:20b-22.”yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.  For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.”

This little nugget was tucked inside a speech that Samuel, who was now old, gave to the people of Israel.  They were on the brink of getting their first ever king and Samuel had some counsel to give them before it happened.

Here are three little treasures with great impact that spoke to me the other morning.

First, isn’t it interesting that the Lord would have Samuel warn, “turn not aside from following the Lord”?  God knows us, He knows how fickle our hearts can be and that our flesh would be tempted to turn away from Him at times. We probably all know of someone (or maybe even ourselves!) who has/have turned away from the Lord, especially when trials came.  Were it not for grace, all of us would turn away.  Christ beckons us to follow after Him, lets look at Psalm 27:8, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”  We cannot pursue God and the world, it just isn’t possible.  If we are not following after God, what are we following after?

That leads me to my second little truth, we would chase “after vain things, which cannot profit, nor deliver, for they are vain.”  We all are chasing after something, but if what we are chasing after is not Christ, all we will find is emptiness.   Why chase emptiness when fullness can be found?  My dog chases something that is not really there, but still there she is going around and around chasing emptiness.  That is exactly what we do when we chase after anything other than Christ.  So how do we chase after Christ?

Our last little treasure, “serve the Lord with all your heart…..For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake”.  How do we even begin to chase after Christ? By digging chasinginto His Word!  Speak daily with Him!  Serve Him with all of our heart!  The children in our home? We are serving Him by raising them to follow Him.   The nursery children we care for on Sundays? We serve Him by serving them.  Being a greeter at church, cleaning the church, meeting needs, serving in the community, helping others, we are serving Him by serving them!  Chasing after God will lead to fullness like we have never known before!   I am reminded of the verse in Luke 10:27, “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”  When we are busy loving the Lord as described in this verse, turning away from Him will not even cross our minds!  

This week, as we jump into our day, let’s purpose to chase after God!  Let’s purpose to spend time with Him daily both through Scripture reading and prayer!  Let’s focus on loving and serving Him with all that we are!  Instead of chasing emptiness, let’s run after God, the One who fills our emptiness with His fullness!

Many blessings,

Wendy

 

 

ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to pass it along!

Three tips on Being Still

In the chaos of life always on the go, how can we be still?  We have learned that life is just busy, but have we been taught how to actually be still and rest?

Let’s take a deeper look together today!

First, being still requires getting alone with God daily.  This seems like a no-brainer right?  Yet, how many of us with great intentions of having faithful devotions with God have found ourselves allowing time to slip by without spending time in God’s Word or in prayer?  I have to raise my hand here because I have been guilty of this very thing. Good intentions without purposeful planning will not produce our desired results.  The truth is, we accomplish in our day what we purposefully make time for!  If we don’t purposefGood intentionsully plan, it just won’t happen.  Spending time alone with God is the most important part of our day! There is nothing that sets a better tone for our day like getting alone with Him and soaking in the truths of His Word and casting our cares onto Him before we dive into our day!

Second, being still requires saying no to some things and yes to only what really works for your family and schedule.  Though we often like to think that we can be all and do all, we really can’t.  Attempting to say yes to every opportunity that comes along will leave us drained and not provide adequate time to get alone with God!  It is crucial to remember, every opportunity presented to us is not necessarily from God.

God would never ask His children to be so busy they never have time for Him.  He longs to fellowship with His children, both privately and corporately through worship at church.  We need to figure out what opportunities are from God and which ones are meant only to distract us from Him.  Spending time alone with God daily and asking for His wisdom will be beneficial in being able to tell the difference between the two.

Third, being still sometimes requires time to get away.  Being in ministry, our lives are almost always on the go.  I have told my husband, “I can go and go and go, as long as I know there is a date on the calendar when we can retreat, get away, and just be us and rest”.  There is something about being able to get away from the “norm” of every day life that refreshes you!  Recently our family was able to get away for a week and though we were not alone, we went to visit extended family, we were away from home with no major responsibilities and were able to rest.  I remember as we headed down the freeway, it literally felt like all of the cares and burdens we had been carrying began to fall off.  We were on vacation!  Getting away also means unplugging and truly resting from everything.  Turn off social media, turn off the phone, get away from it all in order to be still.

I’m excited about this coming year!  Learning to be still definitely won’t happen over night and it will probably be challenging at times, it will definitely be worth the effort we put into it!

Many blessings,

Wendy

 

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