My Heart May Fail

All my son said was, “my leg hurts.” To be honest, this about threw my insides into turmoil. Another extension of myself at the end of an exhausting day was enough to make my head spin. I did not want to help another person for the umpteenth time. My selfishness was very apparent to me in that moment.

This is not something I am proud of. These flaws in me, really show me my shortcomings and remind me again how much I need Jesus. I am far from perfect, but I am so thankful to have a relationship with the one who is perfect!

“My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

The days that I am “rocking it” in different areas of my life, because of something I think I did well, I am completely missing where my salvation comes from. It is in the failures and recognition of my sin that I am reminded: Jesus alone is my salvation.

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

When the sin in us rears its ugly head, I hope we are quick to remember that Jesus is always the answer to our heart condition.

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Freedom To Be Bold

freedom to be bold

Acts 28:30-31 — “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”

I use to struggle with being bold. I was always so worried about what people thought of me and I hated standing out in a crowd. But, as I have grown and matured in my relationship with Jesus, I have become much more comfortable in my own skin, and also much more emboldened to share what God has done in my life.

There is something about being thankful, that overwhelms my heart and I can’t keep it in. When I see God show up, I want to shout it from the roof tops! I want people to experience this relationship that I have with God for themselves! It has given me stability, grounding, purpose and peace. It has transformed a broken life into something so meaningful and beautiful. I do not deserve this life I’ve been given and therefore I refuse to waste it.

God did not die on that cross for me so that I could live the American dream and be “happy”.  You see the world’s standard for happiness is death wrapped up in a pretty bow. It’s shallow and temporary. Having that dream house won’t make you truly happy. Having that one job or the “perfect family” won’t bring true happiness either. On the contrary, God’s standards for happiness are wrapped up in His son Jesus Christ. I am no longer defined by achievements, appearances or if people like me. I am free!

StockSnap_B92BL5SZKWThe freedom I have in Christ emboldens me to want to love like Christ loves me. His perfect love drives out fear and lights a fire inside that consumes and refines. I want people to see Jesus through this broken vessel. I want to be used by Him. I want to make a difference. Sometimes, the smallest acts of obedience can be used by God to move mountains! I never saw myself as the kind of gal who was brave enough to walk into a room of strangers and actually make friends. I never saw myself becoming a foster parent, home school mom or a Sunday school teacher.  I never saw myself having this life at all, until I met Jesus and I have never been as busy or as happy as I am today!

 

 

 

Refreshed

I love my showers! I have a shower every day and when I do not have one I feel quite depressed at not feeling clean, it effects my mood so much, it’s a little crazy. I do not feel that I can face most things without getting into the shower for a good old clean.

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It is refreshing to be clean!

Just as it is refreshing for our bodies to be clean, it is refreshing for our souls for our Spirit within us to be clean.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It is important to be cleansed so that we can have a right relationship with our Lord. Confessing our sins to Him and asking for forgiveness, is a simple step, although pride can get in the way. Sometimes, I can hold on to my sin, but when I realize that I am sinful and ask for forgiveness, it is such a comfort that we can all be presented blameless to our Lord.

I love this prayer written by David: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10. When we have a clean heart, we do not have that horrible feeling of guilt hanging over us, we are set free from sin. Our Lord wants that for us.

When pride gets in the way and we hold on to our sin, we are going down a road to destruction. If we humble ourselves before the Lord, confess our sins and follow Him, life is so much better! We have a Saviour who died for us, who paid for all our sins and we can live free because of Him. We have hope because of Him.

So… “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22.

Stop It!

My twelve month old little girl cries when she is in her carseat, alone in the back seat. She gets so scared to be alone. She bends her head up to look toward the front where she knows I am sitting. Today, I was in the passenger seat and reached back to hold her dainty, little hand and it was enough to comfort her for the ride.

My little one is too young to know how to calm worries on her own. I can feel that way in my own life sometimes. I don’t want to worry, but how do I actually stop my mind from going there when I am facing some serious struggles?

The word “worry” comes from the old English word “to strangle,” and that is just what worry does. It strangles the peace and joy out of our hearts and minds. And it is a sin to worry!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6)

Supplication is when you realize you are lacking. God wants us to humble ourselves before Him and ask Him for help with our worries- with a thankful heart. I know I am lacking and need Him to come through for me, and I know I have so much to be thankful for, even in my trials!

And oh there is a lovely, beautiful promise if we obey verse six, that makes our obedience so worth it.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Even in a scary world stuffed full of reasons to worry, we can overcome this because God wouldn’t ask something of us that isn’t possible for us to do. Training our minds to trust Him is possible!

When we take out the worry, we need to fill that void with something good, so it doesn’t creep back in.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).

With God’s blueprint to kick it to the curb, we can stop the worry! It is possible to live a freeing, fulfilling life without it, if we just do what He tells us. So, I am telling myself this too, dig into Philippians 4. And “Stop it!”

Light in the Dark

A few nights ago during our ladies bible study the power went out. One moment we were sitting around my living room studying God’s Word, and the next we were in complete darkness. The rain and clouds that night hid the moon, so it was extremely dark. However, one by one, the ladies grabbed their cell phones and began to light the room. No one had to stumble around to find their way. Everything that had been hidden with the darkness was visible in the cell phone light.

Much like my home was that night without power, the world we live in is very dark. People are stumbling around in their lives because they just can’t see. They need the light to shine in their darkness.

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12

Just like the ladies quickly grabbed their phones for light the other night, I pray we are always prepared to shine light in the darkness. We are the light of the world.. Let’s pray others will see that in Jesus there is life and that life is the light of men.

A Gift For Me

During the holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in wishing for more things and let the distraction of “wants” rob us from precious presents that we already have right in front of us. This week, a simple visit reminded me how rich I already am.

Two teenage nephews came over to spend some time with us. When these two boys are around, I have no doubt my belly will ache from the laughter we share together. They make my heart burst with joy. I look at them and think, “they are awesome gifts.”

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3)

This verse surely rings true. After a crazy week, I needed their teenage spunk. It felt so much like a reward to have extra sets of hands with our own boys, laughter until we peed our pants and a genuine love for each other that binds us close together. God is so good to give me such awesome treasures.

The Bible says that those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. I pray we remember that truth this season. The best gifts come from God.

Reflections Before Fostering

Fostering

In less than a week my family and I will be a licensed foster care home. It feels as if my heart has been on an emotional roller coaster. There are all sorts of feelings. There are feelings of excitement, feelings of dread, feelings of peace, feelings of fear, feelings of purpose and feelings of uncertainty. To be honest, this is one of the most scariest places I have ever been. I keep wondering about what little face will break my heart in two. I keep doubting if I am capable of doing this and yet I am so thankful to be here.

There is something about knowing your smack dab in the middle of God’s heart that makes jumping blind folded off a cliff of uncertainty a good idea. It’s gospel living. It’s loving when love hurts and costs too much. It’s being willing to go to the end of yourself and then allow God to take you a bit further. It’s absolutely trusting, that He will come through because He says so. It feels crazy and yet it is not. It won’t be easy but real love rarely is. When I think about what Christ did for me, it’s hard not to be moved and want to share that. I am so thankful He has given me this opportunity to share His love in such a real way.

StockSnap_HZW0GXOTWWSo as we start this beautiful, broken journey I will cling to the promises that fill God’s Word. Promises like: “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37), “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20), and “Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9).

I want to be just like David, staring into the face of my “Goliath” with confidence knowing my God will deliver!