A Wild Ride

What a wild ride. Got any thrill seekers here?

Recently, Jeremiah 29:13 showed up as a focal point in two different readings of mine on the same day.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:13

I mulled over this verse and asked myself, “Do I truly seek God with ALL of my heart?”

The promise here is if we do, we will find Him. Now doesn’t that sound amazing! Who doesn’t want to find the Creator of every living thing, The One whom all things hold together?

Buckle up and hold on tight, if you are ready to seek God with ALL of your heart. You will find there is no thrill as fulfilling as your pursuit towards Him and His towards you.

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” -Jeremiah 33:3

Advertisements

Would you Foster?

On the 14th of December we will officially have been licensed foster parents for a whole year! It’s amazing how quickly time has passed since we started this journey. The early days of our first placement were hard for lots of reasons.  There was such uncertainty on how to navigate all of the emotions and I got such little sleep! On top of that, adjusting to the new normal of visits, getting house work done and trying to still homeschool my children were all challenges that we had to figure out.  It was a wild ride, but to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing.  God showed up in such big ways and I learned so much about who I am in Him!

Today’s reality is so much more predictable.  The baby is scheduled and sleeps much better, homeschooling happens like it’s suppose to most days, and I’m able to keep up with my other responsibilities reasonably well.  Some days I even forget that we are fostering.  Loving this child as my own feels as natural as breathing air.  This is our life right now and I love it!

So, imagine my surprise when we got a phone call about another child in need of a home! We are only licensed for 1 child at the moment, so it completely threw my heart into a tailspin! It was so unexpected!! Immediately, my brain and heart went into over drive.  Can we make this work?! I was willing, but I won’t lie, there was some panic that set in too. And like a snap of a finger, I was reminded how broken this world is. There are babies, children, mama’s and daddy’s out there who’s worlds are falling down around them and we are called to step in and be Jesus to them.  We are asked to step into the broken.

It so happened that another family stepped up and took this little charge, but yesterday knocked me back into reality.  Maybe not now, but some day we may need to step into the broken once again for the sake of a little one.  The first time I had no idea what I was walking into.  Today, I’m very aware of how hard it is and how chaotic my life will become.

Friends, please pray that God would remind us all what it means to be like Jesus. Pray that He would open our eyes to not only our deep need for His love and mercy, but that we would be willing to step out of our comfort daily and walk in faith, even if it means walking into hard places.  And friends please pray for these little children who are hurting so much.  Pray that other brothers and sisters would step up and welcome these precious babes into their homes! It’s so needed! I can take one more, but I can’t take them all.  

Filled with Joy

I remember a specific time when I was young and in Sunday School that a light bulb went off in my head as I learnt about the account of Jesus praying to the Father before he was going to die for us:

Luke 22:44

And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

It was the first time I fully understood that Jesus was afraid, so afraid he sweated drops of blood, it truly showed that He was fully man and fully God. The sacrifice he was willing to make amazed me, he was willing even though he was so afraid.

The magnitude of what Jesus did for me on the cross became so real that I was in no doubt of the Father’s love for me. He sent His only son to die for me on the cross.

I felt like this was a new discovery, this knowledge actually made me understand having joy in my salvation. God loves me that much!! Jesus died for me on the cross? Me? I can live for eternity with Him because he paid the price.

With this hope, I was filled with joy! I was washed with abundant peace. I remember after church I was walking around our local supermarket beaming because I felt so much joy. God is good and He loves me! He has proven it in His sacrifice.

I was a child, but as an adult this moment in my life is still significant because I remember so vividly how I felt. I think that the Lord reminds me too.

The everyday weightiness of living in this World gets to us, but I do pray that we feel that child-like joy, the happiness in knowing that God loves us, He sent His son to die for us and we have an eternal hope in Him.

Give Me More

Oh the love/hate relationship with Facebook that can plague us! Recently, I have taken the swoop and given up on Facebook. There are a lot of reasons why I have, and maybe you have wrestled with Facebook too and understand the glob of reasons the love/hate Facebook relationship exists. Maybe you agree it is not the best place to spend time or maybe you just think I’m crazy. We all have to do what we think the Lord wants of us! I am not here to debate Facebook, but in my life, satan has used it for waste, so I am happy to boot it to the curb.

 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Jesus came so that we can have life and have it to the full. If there is something in my life that satan can use to cause waste, I need it out of there! What does it look like to have life to the full instead? It is being wrapped up, head over heels in love with Jesus, the lover of our soul. And as we grow in a deeper walk with Him, more life takes hold, more freedom abounds, more joy, more peace, more of His sweet truth… More of everything that overflows with His goodness, grace, and His love. It just keeps overflowing!

“For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Matthew 13:12).

Life to the full sounds pretty amazing! Let’s not live for anything less! We can keep watch for Jesus in our day, abide in Him, search for God’s best, and bask in the precious overflow He intends for us to possess.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

Show ME the Way

Driving to work in the early morning last week I could barely see the road. I live in an area of town that’s quite rural. I have a dirt road, no street lights and one of the paved roads does not have painted lines. Dark mornings with dense fog make driving nearly impossible.

This particular morning the fog was thick and I couldn’t see five feet in front of my vehicle. Even with slow driving, trying to avoid the neighbor’s field was difficult. I was relieved to arrive in the part of town where street lights were lit and the roads were painted.

What a difference it makes to have guidelines on where to turn when the way is hard to see!

In Psalm 119:105 the psalmist wrote of God,

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Sometimes, situations in my life arise that are hard to navigate through. This verse reminds me that I have lines and light available to guide me. I do not have to struggle in a fog wondering if the way I am going is right when I just can’t see clearly.

God has provided a way for me to receive direction. That way is the Bible. It is like a bright lamp on a dark narrow path.

Knowing and obeying God’s Word gives guidance and direction when the way to go is just plain hard to see. What a difference it’s guidance makes!

With A Heart Cry

I am frequently amazed at the power of prayer. I find it so incredibly encouraging to know that the Creator of every living thing cares to answer the cries of my heart.

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” -Psalm 145:18

I will never forget praying as a child and Jesus answering me then. As a little girl, I was in love with kittens and asked God if He would give me one.

One day, I looked up and yelped with excitement as I saw one baby cat waiting on my doorstep peering inside our sliding glass door. We lived in a wooded area with houses far from one another. I could not believe my eyes!

I remember another day.. “Lord, we are struggling with money. Please help my mama find one hundred dollars.” My mom found two fifty dollar bills!

As I have grown my problems have too, so my prayers have morphed into a much broader and deeper range of things. When I seek God in prayer and His magnificent glory is displayed before me, it reminds me how intimately He cares. God is so amazing!

“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!” -Psalm 105:1-3

Burdens

The daily demands of being a stay at home mom of 5, homeschooling, and a teething baby are hard sometimes.  Some days I go to bed feeling accomplished and thankful for the day we had.  Other days I go to bed feeling completely undone.  The past few weeks in particular have felt like a crazy combination of accomplishments and let downs. 

I’ve been beyond blessed this month.  I’ve seen God bring family and friends together in amazing ways! But I’ve also seen such brokenness in my family and I have spent more days than I should mourning the passing of certain seasons of my life.  Mourning friendships that have changed, holidays that are no longer spent with loved ones, and watching those I love suffering.  When looking at my beautiful Christmas tree full of memories, if I look deeper than the twinkling lights and the ornaments, my heart hurts. This season can be hard.

Today I woke up feeling particularly glum.  Like most people I often forget to reach out because I don’t want to put my burdens onto others.  I often fall back into this “tighten up your shoe laces and keep going” attitude.  It works half of the time.  The other half, I find myself irritable and negative.  I find myself losing direction and just living to get through to another day. 

Today I had a full schedule like usual.  My morning went as follows: Wake up, feed children, dogs, cows, cat, and myself.  Inhale coffee, quick shower,get dressed and put on makeup.  Try to unload and reload the dishwasher without baby climbing into the dishwasher. Start some laundry.  Do school with children, feed children again and somehow make time to write blog while the baby naps. All the while thinking about the fact that for the second night in a row I have to keep the baby up way past her bedtime because of a 7:30  MRI appointment for my oldest who’s foot has been bothering her. 

And as I sat in the computer chair staring at the screen praying God would give me something to say to encourage others, I just felt utterly discouraged and defeated. 

But then my phone went off. A dear friend messaged me because she had a birthday present to drop off for the baby and then she said she was coming over tonight to watch the kids for me.   I literally broke down in tears!  God through this precious sister reached through that phone and gave me the biggest hug! And a blog too at that!  That is so like him!  He is so good to me! 

Friends, I really needed to be reminded today that God never intended us to carry all of our  burdens alone.  First, we should be sharing our troubles with Him.  Invite Him into your pain, your hurt, and your weaknesses.  Secondly,  He gave us each other for a reason!  God uses our sisters in Christ to be His hands and feet sometimes.  We need to be willing to share our burdens with each other and willing to accept help when we need it! It’s obviously a lesson I’m still learning.  And in my case, I needed someone to step into my life and offer help without me asking! Thank you, friend.  You know who you are.  And thank you Lord, for always being faithful, even when I lose my way.