God At Work In Me

God At Work In MeI have a natural inclination to trip over my own feet, I miss stairs on a regular basis. My knees are covered in scars from a childhood chopped full of clumsiness. I do not go many days, without discovering new bruises from middle of the night bathroom trips and all of those missed stairs. Almost every dish I own is chipped. I miss my mouth when eating or drinking quite often. It has become a part of who I am and over the years, I have learned to laugh at myself and keep lots of super glue and stain removers close.

But, there are other tendencies of mine that are less laughable. For example, how I get all worked up if I’m running late or how manic I become if my house is messy and company is coming over. I lose my temper with my girls all the time. I can over analyze things a lot too. I constantly worry about what others think of me and second guess myself daily.

StockSnap_J4BK70M8TOAs a christian, being a clutz is easy to accept but losing my focus on Christ over and over again brings me to my knees in frustration all of the time. I remember thinking as a younger me, that it would be easier to be like Jesus as I grew older and wiser. However, as I have grown in maturity and years, it has become very apparent that the process of becoming more like Jesus is not an easy one. It involves a lot of recognizing my weaknesses. It is chopped full of realization of how deep and big my sin is and how desperately I need Jesus and His grace!

StockSnap_JPM18B47E8.jpgI was reading in 1 Corinthians chapter one the other day with my morning coffee and came across some pretty encouraging verses.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

It seems that God has the propensity to call the weak, the unwise, and the foolish. He chooses hot messes like me on purpose! And why you might ask? It’s who He is! It’s His love and majesty wrapped up in a glorious picture of the Gospel of grace. He gives us godly wisdom that makes the world’s wisdom fall flat on it’s face. He shows His power and might through the mouths of babes and through the humble and lowly, His glory is revealed. He has chosen us, imperfections and all to be His and to testify to His faithfulness, power and grace. Yes, there is still much refining to be done in me but we can be certain that God will use our many failings to show others what an Awesome God He truly is!

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God of Comfort

God of Comfort

Isn’t it wonderful how many ways God shows His love for us. One of the many, and one of the most nurturing qualities of God’s love for us, is in His comfort towards us.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” (NKJV)

These verses have helped me when my own words have failed me. It is so hard to comfort someone, especially when you put yourself in their shoes and you think how devastated you would be in the same circumstances. Words do not seem enough. But God’s words are perfect. When I have been paralyzed by the gravity of a situation, reading these words brings me such peace.

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I know that these words are a comfort to those who have lost loved ones, who are sick or have to make a difficult decision. Repeating these words to dear friends, I know that these words are not empty. It is a promise, God promises to comfort us through all our tribulation and He is faithful to His promises.

Hebrews 10:23

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

God knows that we will suffer in this life, not one of us goes through this life without needing His comfort. When we choose to follow Him, we go against the World and their opinions and lifestyles, we go against our own flesh and what we want sometimes. But, in our struggles God says come to me and be comforted. It makes me feel so loved to be comforted! Feeling the loving arms of our Lord Jesus wrapped around us, as if He is telling us, “I know, I grieve too and I love you.”

It is a wonderful ministry to be a comforter. As we share in the sufferings of Christ, we also share in His consolation. I do not know what I would do without my brothers and sisters in Christ. In suffering it can be lonely, but through Jesus we are comforted by His people too.

breakfast-720548_1920We can comfort people by cooking a home cooked meal. It is wonderful to have someone cook for you when you’re not able to make it yourself. My church taught me this when we brought our babies home. They showed such a servant’s heart by supplying us more than a week’s worth of meals.

Listening to someone is a great comfort. I am blessed with sisters in Christ who listen to my problems both big and small.

We are not alone in our sufferings. Let’s look to Christ today and be comforted.

Oh My Mommy Heart!

Milestones in the lives of our children can be tough on a mom’s heart. Since we have a large family, there seems to be a lot of milestones around here all at once! 

This week, we had a birthday celebrating our six year old, who has matured so much in these last few months. We have two more birthdays coming up. One is for our eleven year old, who is just getting so big lately! Then, our baby is turning a year old soon. Waaahhh! And to throw some icing on the cake, our oldest started his very first real job this week. Oh my mommy heart! You all! I cannot help but think God made Moms to be so soft towards their children.

To be tenderhearted means to be kind, gentle, and sentimental. It means easily moved to love, and prompted to pity or sorrow, compassionate. Sounds just like Jesus, doesn’t it? And it reminds me of a Mother’s love!

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind,
sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1 Peter 3:8).

In this world that we live in it is harsh. There are countless terrible, sad stories of murders, sicknesses, storms, rumors of war, suicides. We need more tenderness.

It can be a sacrifice to extend this kind of softness towards people. But, isn’t that what picking up our cross and following Jesus entails? I hope we emulate Him in this way, a bundle of overflowing kindness, gentleness, and mercy. To be sympathetic and compassionate. Like a Momma’s heart towards her children, let us be tenderhearted.

Believe 

Don’t you love the way God speaks into our hearts at just that perfect moment?  He provides comfort to us. He prepares us to be right where we need to be for a blessing, and then sends blessings our way.  Oh, how I marvel at His detailed love for me! 

Tomorrow, marks 28 years ago that my husband and I were pummeled with horrible news. We were told our fourth child, a beautiful 9lbs 4oz baby daughter would not be born alive. Through fears and tears, and all the agony of birth, I painfully delivered our still born little girl. Some of you know this pain. Thankfully, most of you don’t.

It was on a stunningly, colorful Fall day that we laid her tiny little casket to rest in the cemetery on that hill overlooking a small New England town. A memory etched in my mind still, with a sting in my heart that has certainly healed with time. Healed, but never forgotten. 

Autumn is here again. So, naturally this time of year always brings my thoughts back to sweet baby Mary Sharon. Her chubby little body, fat fingers and a nose exactly like her daddy’s. Oh, if you only knew. 

When I remember her, I think of Heaven. I know I will see her alive, because I put my trust in Jesus. Similar to what King David said in 2 Samuel 12:23b, “I will go to her but she will not return to me.” Being assured that I will go to her one day, has made all the difference in healing. I am grateful for scripture verses like these.

God in His faithfulness, has again reminded me that He has not forgotten. He knows what this week holds for me. He, in His sovereignty, has me and my bible study girlfriends smack dab in the middle of a chapter full of the promises of heaven. Tonight, this is the place in scripture where our study begins.

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” John 14:1-4  

I smile as I write, because of His faithfulness to be ever tender and always kind in His ways. He didn’t have to remember me this week, but He chose to. He is incredible! He always looks for ways to lavish His love on us. He never forgets His girls. Ever!   

Gather His Faithfulness

As I look at the beautiful foliage on full display outside my window, I see handfuls of the autumn masterpieces swirl, whirl and scuffle around with the wisps of the wind and whimsically float to new destinations. The aroma of pumpkin coffee brewing fills the inside of my home and the goodness and faithfulness of Jesus overwhelms the inside of my heart.

In this comfortable moment, it is easy to recognize Jesus’ hand on my life and to trust Him. All is well, so it is easy to. But we also know, that often a new season brings a different set of challenges and change. Will we trust Jesus when life does not present so lovely to us? What about when our circumstances lack the beauty and contentment we once saw to bare trees, dull skies and no coffee for our coffee maker, will we trust Him then?

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

In those challenging times when burdens come upon us, it can be harder to place our confidence in Jesus. The great news is, His faithfulness is not dependent upon our circumstances or feelings for Him. His unfailing character is always present and fully arranged at its peak for us, whether we believe it true to be or not.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

There is so much we can harvest for our souls from God in this season. I pray that you taste and see Jesus in autumn, and hibernate in your heart a confidence that He will always yield faithful.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)

Let’s Be Friends

Be My Friend

Anyone ever notice how caught up we can get in friendships? I can’t be the only one who has! As we get older, certain things naturally become less important, but some things like the desire to be loved and cared for will never be outgrown, no matter who we are or where we are in life.

It is an unfortunate truth that I have probably spent years of my life gauging my self worth through the lens of friendships. It was a misplaced way of finding purpose and feeling special. One day I would feel important and wanted! But, those feelings never stayed, because you see, our friendships are imperfect, just like us.

Friendships are not meant to fulfill the role that can only be filled by Christ. Even our girlfriends with the best of intentions will let us down. If we measure our self-worth with how others treat and see us, we will be disappointed and hurt every time.

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We are worthy and special because of what Jesus did for us on the cross! And, did you know that Jesus has called us, those who love Him, HIS friend? Let that sink in. We are a part of the Jesus clique! Not because there is anything special about us, but because of how awesome our God is! And as friends of Jesus, we are called to love others the way Jesus loves us!

We already have the only Friend we will ever need. Therefore, it frees us up to be true friends to others. My self-worth and my purpose is not caught up with whether my friend ignored my text message or forgot my birthday. I’m free from that and I can show them love despite the circumstances. In turn, they can see Jesus through me.

StockSnap_3NMQKZB5WSJesus’s version of friendship, that we are called to emulate with others, is not one of self gratification or selfish gain, but of self sacrifice. We should not look at our friendships from the lens of our emotions, but rather through a Christ-like love that we receive from abiding in Him! If we seek to love Christ with all of our hearts, we will naturally love others and have encouraging and fulfilling friendships!

And one last note of worth: Jesus *chose you to be His friend.

John 15:16a says, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit- fruit that will last.”

He chose us, therefore we choose to prayerfully bear fruit by loving others. Jesus, the friend of sinners, has commanded us to be friends. To lay down our lives in friendship and love. We are not bound by a need for friendship with others, but rather are compelled by Christ’s love to be the friends that others need.You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit- fruit that will last.

Fall in Maine

uAdd a little bit of body text (1)I can already see some of my British friends roll their eyes that I have started to call Autumn, Fall. Of course only in fun, the British love to tease.

I love this season! I enjoy parts of every season, but I think I enjoy everything about Fall. I like that it comes after summer, so I make the most of the fact that I can enjoy wearing a jumper, or as the Americans call them, sweaters. I love that there is a breeze and I very much enjoy pumpkin flavour everything!

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My favourite part of Fall here in Maine, are the trees. The beauty of the leaves changing colour is breathtaking. In Maine, for those of you who do not know, there is an abundance of trees. So this season is shown in such a majestic way. It makes me think how clever God is, that even in this process of leaves dying, there is beauty.

Change is all around us, this season reminds me of that. Our World, this life is ever changing. Change can be a scary thing and very uncertain. When we go through change, we can take comfort that we have an unchanging God.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Jesus Christ doesn’t change because He is perfect. He does not need to change. He is the one constant in our lives that we know we have forever.

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I have had many changes in my life, especially within the last four years. Moving across the pond, getting married and having two children. God has blessed me with these changes.

However, some changes are so hard. Living in a new place that is unfamiliar, especially at the beginning was hard. I missed my family and friends in Britain so much. God is good, He has equipped me to deal with this change. I still miss my family but I have been given a new family. I still miss my friends but I have formed wonderful close friendships here too.

I truly believe that change is for our benefit. God wants us to change to become more like Him. To mature in the faith and love Him and rely on Him above all others. I am looking forward to that ultimate change, when we meet Him in the air.

1 John 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.