My Heart, His Words

Let the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your site, O Lord.


4 Comments

I can’t sit still!

purple chair be stillLast evening I learned a beautiful lesson from my six year old stepson.  After coming home late from work, I walked in the door & received a hug hello, to which I asked my typical, “How was your day, Bub?”  He hung his head & barely above a whisper I could hear his response, “I got an email” (teacher’s notes to parents are via email & his dad had already talked to him about it).  I bent down on my knees & pulled him in close, he rested his head on my shoulder & I melted inside.  He genuinely felt bad; I could tell.  I asked what he did wrong & his daddy said he had a hard time sitting still in class.

I giggle to myself at the image of Jackson not being able to sit still in school when I compare it to myself, in every day life!  How many times does God want me to stop what I’m doing long enough to hear His voice as He whispers words of encouragement, reassurance, promise, or even conviction to my heart? Yet I fail to stop long enough to hear His voice, or read His Word, because “I can’t sit still”.

This reminds me of the story of Mary & Martha in Luke 10:38-42 NIV:

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

There are two parts to this passage that hit me:

  1. Sitting at Jesus’ feet & hearing His Word was something Mary valued far more than making sure the food presentation was perfect, the linens ironed & her hair perfectly combed. Jesus made it clear that in choosing time with Him, His Word would not be taken away from her.  Matthew 24:35 KJV says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
  2. Jesus addressed the fact that Martha was “careful & troubled about many things”. He acknowledged her desire for perfection, but also reminded her that only one thing was needed and that was for her to hear His Word. How often do I get caught up trying to make my life as perfect as can be, as an offering to Jesus, yet all He really wants is for me to sit still & listen? The one thing I need the most is to hear His Word!  After all, He does say in Psalm 46:10 KJV, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Note that it is only after we are still before Him that He will be exalted among the heathens. We can’t reach the lost if we’re lost ourselves!

Jesus please forgive me for putting people, things & commitments above you; for failing to take the time to sit at your feet & read your Word, or listen to your voice.

quench my thirst

Praying this touches your heart & encourages you to take the time to sit at Jesus feet; to bask in His love & His Word.  He truly is all we need.

SIGNATURE


12 Comments

When I’m weakest, He is strongest

I just finished reading a post by my friend Alecia, who wrote “The Secret No One Tells You“for God Sized Dreams & you absolutely must take five to go read it for yourself!

Alecia really struck a nerve in me when she said, “But honestly, I can get so caught up in chasing my dreams that I forget all about the Giver.

Umm… hello! This is totally me!  I’m struggling to balance it all. I’m tired. I’m frustrated & I’m overwhelmed.  Okay, there, I said it. It’s out there.  I don’t have it all together, even if it looks like I do!

As I’ve said before, I have a very full plate, so trying to fit one more thing on it, is near impossible.  My heart is wanting to blog daily, but my life doesn’t seem to allow for it.  I have a career and a half that keeps me busy enough, along with a family, and a home to care for… how do I balance it all?

Then I read Alecia’s post today & a light bulb when on in my head. When I am weakest, He is strongest. I have read the verse from 2 Corinthians 12:9 so many times: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

After 30 something years of memorizing that verse, the truth behind it is just now coming to light for me:

The more I decrease, the more God increases.

As I deplete my own abilities, it enlarges God’s abilities.

As I tire of go, go, going, God delights in me rest, rest, resting.

As I give up, God fights for me.

Only when I feel I have nothing left, can He fill me up again-with all of Him & none of me.

It’s in my emptiness that I find completeness in Him!

Here I am, chasing this writing dream, and here God is, leading the way. However, the lines that too often blur for me, are how much I am pursuing my dream on my own & how much HE is asking me to pursue!  It’s easy to blur those lines with the kind of passion I have. However, at this time in my life, writing is not my only responsibility! My full-time job, the “side” business I run with my hubby, helping raise my stepson & caring for our home are all my biggest responsibilities right now.  That being said, it’s very important for me to stay in tune with the dream God’s placed on my heart, and keep it in perspective with where I am, and where He will take me.  Where He will take me, may not look like my life looks today.  However, today, where I am & where this dream is, requires wise stewardship of my time, energy, emotions & priorities.

‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things;
I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Matthew 24:21 NIV

It’s in these times of weakness that He truly is the strongest. I love that! What a beautiful reminder that I really don’t need to “have it all together” in order for Him to use me!

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
Psalm 51:17 NIV

brokenness

SIGNATURE


10 Comments

Behind the Scenes

Today, I’m over at “Behind the Scenes” where we take a photograph & tell the story behind it.

Mom & Me on My Wedding Day

9.10.2011

Mom&Satin WeddingThis is my beautiful Mother hugging me after I’d made my vows to my husband, Tyler.

September 10, 2011:

The day I married Tyler, became a Step Mamma, made the best decision of my life & I married my best friend~the man God chose for me.

This picture shows the sheer joy of a mother who prayed this day would come! 

What this picture doesn’t show, is how my mother walked with me every step of the way:

How she carried me in her womb at a time when she could have chosen otherwise.
How she named me & loved me before I was ever born. 
How she prayed for me, every single day of my life.
How she taught me the Love of Jesus & the importance of pleasing Him. 
How she guided me, using God’s Word.
How she sacrificed to make my dreams come true.
How she cried as she watched me make choices I would one day regret.
How she grieved & prayed for me to see my own worth.
How she prayed I would find strength to walk away from the life I was living. 
How she wondered if she had somehow failed as a mother.
How she rejoiced as she saw me finally embracing my self-worth.
How proud she was at my academic & career accomplishments.
How over-joyed she was to meet Tyler & to watch how he treats me.
How grateful she is to see how much Tyler loves & respects me.
How satisfied she is to know in her heart I married the right man.
 
No, to the average person, this picture doesn’t say all that, but to me, it does.

To me, this picture speaks of the beauty of a Godly Mother’s heart & the beauty of a God who’s Grace is sufficient for me, Who’s love & forgiveness abounds & who’s healing can make something beautiful from something shattered.

The picture speaks of MY Mother, MY best friend, MY prayer warrior & MY inspiration to one day be a Godly mamma myself.

Mom, I’m so immensely grateful God blessed me with YOU. As you have walked with God, you have led by example & it’s through your example that I’ve come to see the kind of woman, wife & Mother I want to be. You see, I learned it all from you.  For all you are, all you’ve ever said, given & done; words seem so empty, even meaningless, yet I still want to say, thank you.  I love you! ♥

SIGNATURE


5 Comments

What’s Next?

The planner in me, is forever asking “What’s next?” After a great success, I rarely take much time to celebrate or even rest before I’m off & running to the next project, task or goal.  “Go, go, go!”  is just how I’m wired!

Right now, my life is filled to the brim. I work a full-time job, run a “side” business with my husband, help raise his son, we’re trying to conceive & now I’m blogging!  My cup runneth over, no doubt!

Today, I find myself asking, “What’s Next?” Not because I don’t have enough on my plate already, but because I’m questioning my boundaries as well as my focus & goals. (Check out this amazing post I read today on boundaries!)

We’re trying to conceive & I’m trying not to fret about it. As my Mom says, “Let nature takes it’s course. Not everything has  to be so scientific.”  She’s right you know!?  We live in a world that constantly strives to understand every dot & tiddle, tries to map out every journey & tries to predict the outcome of every situation.  Where is God in all of that?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a planner, I understand the need for, & crave order, organization & planning.  However, I love the saying I occasionally see that says, “I plan, God laughs”.

Being 35, and trying to conceive, a few well-meaning people in my life, have asked if I’m using an ovulation predictor kit, or if I plan on trying Clomid to “boost” my chances of pregnancy.  My heart clearly says “no thank you” to all outside help. However, I’d be lying if I told you that the planner in me isn’t tempted to try at least the ovulation predictor kits.  I’m a planner… why not plan this? However, this is precisely the thing I feel God whispering to my heart:

trust me

At this time in my life, God is truly breaking, molding & making me into the woman He desires me to be. I keep finding myself at a state of brokenness, right when I feel like I have it all together.  It’s humbling to know I really don’t have it all together, it’s challenging to let go, and it’s exciting because it’s bringing a little spontaneity into my over-planned life!

So if it takes me a year to get pregnant, then I choose to accept that as part of God’s plan. I may not understand it, I may not even like it, but my heart chooses to trust the very God who made me in my mother’s womb & who numbered every hair on my head. I choose to trust the God who hung the moon & stars, who has placed a call on my life, planted the desire of motherhood in my heart & blessed me with a husband willing to give me the greatest desires of my heart. I choose to trust God.

psalm 28.7

How about you? Is there something you’re holding on so tightly to, for fear that if you let go, God will forget? Friend, I feel your pain, I understand your worry, but I am here to say, God’s timing can’t be beat! He’s got it under control… He & only He knows what’s next!

SIGNATURE


3 Comments

Rise and Shine!

Renewed Daily - Recommendation SaturdayHappy Saturday, Friend!

Today I’m coming to you via Shelly’s “Recommendation Saturday” Link-up.

Here’s hoping this finds you having woke up with a smile on your face!
For those of you with crusties in the corners of your eyes (like me), impatiently tapping your fingers on the counter as your coffee pot brews your favorite cup: Rise & Shine! 🙂

this is the day psalm 118.24

I don’t know about you, but I don’t wake up chipper. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not grouchy, but I’m not all sunshine & rainbows at 6:00 am!

I remember as a child, when my mother would wake me up for school; she was always so chipper as she walked in declaring “Rise & Shine!”{Ugh!} I hated how chipper she was that early in the morning, every single morning! I’d grumble & roll out of bed, dress myself & slowly shuffle to the kitchen where my breakfast {♥always made with love♥} sat waiting for my grumpy butt.  Mom would fire off pleasant conversation, while I sat there slowing eating my grapefruit and wishing I were in bed.

One day I got sassy enough to ask her why she had to be so chipper. then told her that she was clearly a morning person & I was not.  Unfortunately, I don’t recall her response (it’s been a few moons ago) but I do believe, after years of knowing her now, that her response was likely along the lines of Psalms 118:24, because my mom’s outlook on life has always been one that pointed me to HAPPY.  Regardless of the lemons life has thrown at her, she has a God-given gift to make lemonade! 🙂 {I’m so proud to have her for my mom & best friend! xo}

each day is a gift

So today, as you start your weekend, regardless of the crap you went through Monday-Friday, lay it all aside.  Breathe in the reality that today really is a gift to be opened with a smile of gratitude for the One to gave it!

Let today be the best day of your week so far!

SIGNATURE


1 Comment

Learning to Listen

Ever have someone say something to you & it spoke straight to your heart? Then not long after, someone or something else confirmed that message with a similar message?

Well, today is that day for me & my friend Holley was the first voice to speak to my heart.  Below is her post today:

holley-listen

After reading Holley’s post, I ran across the following quote, which spoke very similar words:

listen

As I’ve said several times, in previous posts, I am a Type-A personality.  The fortunate part of this quality is that I am a passionate & loving do-er & fixer.  The unfortunate part of this quality is that I haven’t mastered the art of listening.  It’s not that I’m too busy to listen. It’s not that I don’t care enough to listen. It’s not that I’m mean when I’m not listening and it’s certainly not that I don’t try to listen… I simply haven’t mastered the art of actually doing it!

As a loving do-er & fixer, I have been God-gifted with the ability to identify a problem quickly, and often come up with a solution just as quickly.  The down-side to this quality in my relationships, is that I tend to jump into “fix-it” mode in my conversations with people, instead of just listeningIn no way do I intend to cause harm or hurt to people, but I suppose, without them telling me so, I do just that.  Like Holley says, it’s in these moments when my heart’s desire to help is misunderstood and perceived as not caring, because I’m not listening. {tears} To be misunderstood is a painful thing, but again as Holley says, at least in being misunderstood, I’m taking a stand! I’m doing something! I’m not afraid! However, now that I know this is an area God is wanting to change, I want to allow Him to make that change.  Having received these very clear reminders about listening today, I think it’s time to make some very big strides at improving this area of my life.

The first thing for me to do is communicate better.  When a friend starts talking about a problem or situation, instead of jumping into “fix-it” mode, I need to stop and ask them if they need me to listen, or if they need my help finding a solution.  Asking this will empower me to be a better listener, because it equips me with the knowledge that my listening skills are needed in this moment.  If I am asked to help find a solution and I have one, then I can offer it. Otherwise, I can just relax and listen.

When I think about the best listeners in my own life {my Mom is the best!}, these are the qualities I love the most:

  • They listen intently & aren’t distracted; they give me their full attention
  • They acknowledge my feelings, emotions & thoughts
  • They don’t correct me, or make me feel as if what I’m feeling/experiencing is wrong
  • They encourage, encourage, encourage
  • They vocalize their love for me
  • They pray with me

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning,and let the discerning get guidance”

Proverbs 1:5

 “To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.”

Proverbs 18:13

Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Matthew 11:15 NIV

How about you?

Do you have a hard time listening or are you a really good listener? I would love to receive any words of wisdom or encouragement you may have!

SIGNATURE


4 Comments

You’re beautiful…just as you are. (Recycled)

Today I’m over at Faith Barista’s JamWithMe Thursday.   I’m recycling my post from Tuesday because I believe the message really needs to be heard!  I’m hoping to remind you of just how beautiful you really are~always!

My “catch phrase” if you will, seems to be, “I am a daughter of the King, a humble work in progress; flawed & messy sometimes, but what you see is what you get!” I often feel the need to disclose just how flawed & messy I really am sometimes, for fear that people will put me on a pedestal and hold me to a standard to which I will fall.  Friends, I am so broken! I need Jesus; I simply cannot live this life without Him and because of my insecurities, my past failures & my struggles I call myself “one hot mess”! {smile with tears}

Sometimes I feel like I’m living a double life. There’s the life I want to live; where the picket fence is white & the grass is freshly cut. Where I never say a bad word, never think an impure thought & always reflect Jesus in everything I do and say. Then there’s the life I actually live. The one where I get short tempered, I say things I shouldn’t, as Holley says, I am misunderstood, and I fall flat on my face in frustration & self-disappointment.  I don’t have it altogether. I really want to, but I don’t. That my friend is the real me.

I’m just so very thankful:

  1. That Jesus looks at my heart & not my exterior. 
    “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
  2. That I have the gift of forgiveness & can fall on my face in humility & receive it from Jesus.
    “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1
  3. That Jesus sees who He wants me to be, and loves me where I am.
    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
  4. That each day is a new day, with a clean slate.
    “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
  5. That Jesus promises to make my “hot mess” beautiful; in His time.
    “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Knowing that Jesus sees me as beautiful, even when all I see is a hot mess, is pretty encouraging! To know He can look beyond my mess today, into a future where I’m perfected in Him, is truly amazing!  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

How beautiful you are

So today, go easy on yourself. Keep in mind that we’re all a work in progress & that regardless of how much mud we get on our faces when we fall, He still calls us beautiful!
SIGNATURE