Enjoying Today’s Moments and Praying For Tomorrow’s Future

Today was good. The sun has been shining, a cool breeze blowing and our ground is finally starting to dry. It is good, y’all.

Lil’ Man was sent outside to release stored up energy, romping around with his dart gun attacking whatever invisible intruders he could find. It is so fun seeing his little imagination at work. I’m sure my wayward rooster would disagree, however. He often gets deemed as the “bad guy”. He spent this glorious afternoon dodging little foam darts.

Miss Priss and I had a lovely little afternoon getting some kitchen business done. We got all the fruit that I bought today washed and prepared for the week’s use. We also snuck in some time for baking cookies. It has been way too long since we have had some fresh cookies in our home. I try to get full use out of my cookie jar by keeping homemade cookies always available.



  

The time I was able to spend with my little two-going-on-twelve year old girl was so nice. We had a good time talking about little life moments, things about the future, and the importance of always holding fast to Jesus. Of course, she was more interested in plucking the grapes and setting them into the bowl, sneaking a piece of watermelon in her mouth, and “counting” the strawberries. She did not understand 90% of what I was talking to her about, but it was nice to have these conversations with her anyway. I look forward to more of these moments and conversations with her as she grows.

After we were all done and had everything cleaned up, she happily bounced away with a chocolate chip cookie in hand. I smiled as I watched her, but my heart began to ache.

I begin to think of the precious little girls in Iraq, I began to think of the precious little girls here in America, I began to think of all the precious little girls around the world who don’t get the chance to grow up in innocent wonder. I thought of the similar moments they may have shared with their mothers at the kitchen table. I began to think of happiness, shattered.

To say it breaks my heart, seems…trite. But, my heart was  aching for those moms and those girls. I prayed. I prayed for those girls, those moms, my own daughter and myself. I prayed that God would help me as I guide my children in His ways. I prayed that no matter what happens in my children’s life, they would cling to Him. I prayed that they would always know His love, His comfort and His grace. I prayed that they would look to Him to be their shelter of protection.

I’m thankful for today. I’m thankful that I was able to enjoy sweet moments with my daughter. I’m thankful that God is breaking my heart for what breaks His and not letting me ignore a world that is hurting by being blinded by my own seemingly comfortable life. I’m thankful for what I have today. I am thankful that any uncertainty my family’s future faces, I have the hope and assurance that He will be there.

Today was good. The sun was shining. The kids were laughing. It was good, y’all.

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Thank You, Jesus. Thank You For Loving, Even Me.

  

I am thankful. I am thankful for a love that has seen me through the years. A love that sees me at my seemingly finest and pristine moments and sees me in my lowest and dingiest moments. A love that, in all those moments, holds fast to me. 

Who would have ever imagined a love like this? Not me. For this is a love that is truly unique. There is not any other kind of love like it. 

No matter how many times I try to grasp its inimitableness, I don’t even come close. 

It draws me in and shelters me. It gives me hope. It comforts and it heals. It sustains me. It forgives and it restores. It is unceasing.

It, is the love of Jesus.  

What did I do to deserve this kind of love? It surely isn’t because of any good I’ve done. It certainly isn’t because of the wrongs I’ve committed. You see, this love, is a gift. A gift I, in no way, ever could earn or deserve…but happily and humbly am willing to receive. 

Thank you Jesus. Thank you for loving, even me.


Go: Letting Go of the “Just”

Recently I wrote about Jesus’ words, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15) , and the impact those words were having on me. They were words that were settling in my spirit, my soul. I was being brought to a place of heavy reflection on how I was living my life. Was I proclaiming the gospel to His creation? If not…what was holding me back? 

Over this last month, I have meditated on those words. I have been reflecting on my life, my words and my actions. It was becoming increasingly clear that my life did not completely reflect the commissioning words of Jesus.  

I began praying for God to show me how to look beyond myself and see only what He sees – a world desperately crying out for a Rescuer. I began to pray for a heart that breaks for what breaks His. I began to pray; I did not know what else to do, but, pray.

One of the major barriers, for me, was the restrictive mindset I was letting dictate my identity. An identity as a daughter of the King. An identity of one who has scandalously been set free through an undeserved grace. An identity that has found redemption. An identity of one who has been called, “to go”.

Letting go of the “just”. 

“Just”. It is one little word; it is one huge extinguisher to the spreading of the Gospel flames. It has been my barrier. It is the word that can suppress most people (me) – “I’m just a(n) ___________.

This word. It is – an excuse, a fallback, a short-sighted mindset. Most of all, it is me retreating from the front lines of battle. I live in a world that has evil waging war on all that inhabit it; a world that is stained with sin. Yet, there I hide myself in the safe shadows with “just” wrapped around me like a thick coat shielding a bitterly cold wind.

I pray for those that are risking their very lives to spread the Gospel. I pray for those that are being forced to look into the eyes of evil and feel its very breath upon them because of their relationship with Jesus. I pray for those around me that are missing out on His redeeming grace. I give to further the cause of those being the hands and feet of Jesus. I fan the flames of the Gospel at a safe distance.

I keep myself from inching closer to the front lines of battle by letting my insecurities hold me back. 

One thing that has become increasingly clear to me is that there is no “just” when living for Him. The pages of the Bible are filled with examples of God using people for His glory – people from all walks of life; people from all stations in life. There is the ugly and unwanted wife. The lustful and disobedient king. The insecure and timid girl. The tarnished and broken harlot. The greedy and selfish tax collector. The calloused and hardworking fishermen. The unkept and burly wilderness-man who was paving the way for Jesus himself.

The examples can continue on and on. All these people, no matter who they are or what they were in life, had one thing in common. A need, a desperate need for a Rescuer. Just like me. Just like you. Yet, God chose them. He used them. They yielded their hearts and their lives to Him. They did not let the “just” keep them from the path set before them.

Back to me.

“Just”. It is a word that is hard to overcome. It is a word that has held me back for too long. It is a word that no longer applies.

When Jesus commissioned these words “to go”, He did not do so with the expectation of us going at it alone. He goes before us and He goes with us. His fingerprint is on every situation and thing that takes place in our lives. Those who are in Him, have Him with them. Always. Because of that…we can do extraordinary things for the kingdom of God.

From the poor and struggling student to the great and powerful leader who reigns over a nation – all can be used to spread the good news of Jesus. That means you and that means me. There is a world that is literally dying; a world dying without ever having the chance to know that there is a God who loves them. A Savior who died to rescue them. A Spirit who is here to guide them.

“Just” cannot hold us back any longer. We need to – 1. Love more (the unceasing kind of love through Jesus). 2. Be more (be the hands and feet of Jesus). 3. Do more (carry out the Gospel message to all people). It is no longer okay to sit back and hide behind the “just”; It is time – to go.