Friday, September 26, 2014

Give Them Grace


Give Them Grace

This is one of the simplest, clearest and truest explanations of how to parent well that I have ever heard.  Furthermore, when I think of how it plays itself out, I see how God views me with patience, love and compassion as his daughter.  A great listen!

Have a blessed Friday!

Amanda

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I wanted to share this today.  I read it over the weekend and found it encouraging.  I sometimes struggle with prayer, wondering if I'm missing the point.  Check it out, friends!  It's a great read and Happy Monday!

If God knows our every need, why does he tell us to pray?

~Sarah

Friday, September 19, 2014

Grace

 
I've needed this greatly over the last week or so!  Happy Friday, all : )
 
 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Called Higher

Here's an encouraging song for your Friday  Called Me Higher!

And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down

But you have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I will go where you will lead me Lord
You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I will go where you lead me Lord
Where you lead me
Where you lead me Lord

Our loving Father has a life for us beyond what we can imagine.  We can settle in and stay tucked away safe in the familiar.  Or we can submit to the Lord "How do you want to change me?  Where can I become more like You?  Where am I being safe or afraid?"  And then surrender to the Lord's leading.

Today ask God where he is leading you!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Knowing God



An enlightening perspective in the midst of my fear and doubt.   I am such a worrier - I have been my whole life.  As a kid I worried about getting in trouble.  I acted and talked precisely and minimally in order to make sure a teacher wouldn't make me put my name on the board or make me stand at the wall at recess.  I worried about upcoming tests.  In high school my friends would laugh at me before the tests were handed out - "Sarah's in her fetal position again."

I worried about the future - my sister leaving for college, my boyfriend rejecting me, what college I would attend and what my career would be, who I would marry, where I would live, what my life would look like.

I knew worrying was a sin - I wasn't fully trusting God.  I knew Jesus told me not to worry.

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

As I've grown older and not managed to subdue my worry, my worries have just grown to bigger, adult-sized worries - work, finances, fertility, terrorists.  The other day I was talking (let's face it, monologue-ing) with God and I said, "Lord, if we can just get pass this hurdle, I won't have to worry anymore."

Ahem...Really?  Who did I think I was kidding?  Leaping over the hurdle would no doubt bring beautiful things to my life, but lack of worry was not one of them!  In fact, it would likely bring more!

"Enough!" I cried out.  "Lord, You must help me to get this sin of mine under control or it is going to consume me!"

I decided I would start writing down verses about fear and worry, that way I could memorize them and have them at my disposal whenever in need.  This, however, felt overwhelming.  Where would I start?

"If we're really struggling to trust God, it's because we don't really know Him.  Because if we really knew Him, we wouldn't hesitate to bring everything to Him."

When I ran across this the other day, I realized my worry and fear was deeper than memorizing a few verses.  Yes, searching out God's word and memorizing it was sure to bring healing and a balm for my bruised soul, after years of daily anxiety.  But knowing God is the ultimate answer.  If I really knew God, I wouldn't worry or fear because I would trust him, because I would know his character and his intentions.  

I'll be honest, I don't know what this looks like practically or daily.  I'm sure some of it will come with digging in the Bible for answers and memorizing the Word, but ultimately my faith comes in knowing God.  Fully knowing him.  Only he can satisfy my longing for peace.  Only he can bring me true joy.

Psalm 37: 1-7

"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him."


~Sarah

Friday, August 29, 2014

An Unexpected Kind of Adventure


It's the end of the day, the kiddo's in bed, the hubby asleep on the overstuffed couch beside me.  The television runs in the background of this week's episode of House Hunters.  I grab a couple dark chocolates from the kitchen cupboard and settle in to a short-lived time to rest – before I conk out myself.

 But, I am restless.  Is there not more to life than getting here and getting there, making a buck, keeping a toddler on a routine?  Is there not more to look forward to than this week's college football game, a short non-consequential conversation with my husband each day, my pillow hitting the bed at night?  Where is the adventure that I dreamed of a decade ago?  Where is the passion?  The life that is bigger than myself?  The risks?  Where is the peace amongst my unsettledness?

Maybe I need a vacation?  Maybe I should participate in an organization helping those in need?   Or perhaps begin some kind of business venture…or a ministry?!  

The next's day's drive to work is no less thrilling.   Risky, maybe…but not quite the adventure I am looking for.  I survive the traffic and climb the stairs to my desk on the second floor of the building; there, I check my cell phone one last time before dropping it in to the drawer for the day.  I happen to glance at, and then read, a quote.  For me, the words seem to culminate in my heart and mind a web of godly illustrations, sermons and radio broadcasts that God has been graciously sending me over the past few days.  The Spirit speaks: the adventure, the risk, the passion – it is all already here.  It is right in front of you.

It is in the risk you take to truly care about your co-workers, rather than withdrawing for fear of rejection.  It is in giving all of your concentration and energies to your son instead of holding back so that you don't get too tired.  It is in giving to your husband when it just doesn’t seem “fair”.  It is in giving your all in every part of life instead of hiding from mockery, being run-over, weariness and being uncomfortable.

Every single moment of each and every day, my own influence is having an impact on lives right before me, and even-more-so, lives in the future.  The impact is not neutral – ever.  It is a noble influence, or an unholy one.  No matter where I go – whether I want to be there or not, whether the situation seems to me to be meaningful or not, whether I am comfortable or "suffering", my actions and non-actions are influencing people's thoughts and hearts.  The choice between being willing to pour out everything I have, or to insist on protecting myself, will result in influencing someone’s heart – for better or worse.    As will all of yours.

Who goes on an adventure and expects to have it easy?  To retreat to land at the first hunger pang?  Whose life is bigger than herself that protects her pride and withholds part (at least) of her time, money, energy and concentration from the ones she is given to influence in this very moment?

Will I choose to look out for myself?  To protect myself?  To run from the uncomfortable? 

What, then, to do with the fear, the exhaustion, the pain, the running-over of myself when it inevitably happens?   We all know:  It.  Will. Happen.

“And my God will give you everything you need….”  Philippians 4:19

He is the only One with unlimited resources, rest, love and comfort.  He is the only way that I can pour out myself, to deplete all of me, and still be sustained and have peace.  He will meet my needs.  He will meet all of our needs.

And in the end, we get the adventure of a lifetime.


~Amanda

Monday, August 25, 2014

Gratitude Is the Attitude!


Did I ever need this this evening after a long Monday! Tonight I choose to be grateful! I am grateful for a cool house on this 90* day, food to cook myself a good dinner, and a heart-of-gold hubby to make me laugh away the stresses of the day!

What are you grateful for today?