Sunday Musings: I don’t have it all together…and that’s OK

Sunday Musings: I don’t have it all together…and that’s OK

I don’t have it all together. Not even close.

If most of us are honest, we will admit that we don’t have it all together. In today’s Pinterest-perfect society, we are expected to be perfectly dressed with perfect makeup, not a hair out of place, with perfectly clean, magazine worthy homes. We are expected to have a home-cooked dinner on the table every night, with perfectly dressed and perfectly behaved children.

I don’t have that; at least, not all the time. And never all at once. So, who holds us to this impossibly high standard? We do. We hold ourselves to these impossibly high standards we can never meet, but luckily, God does not.

God chose us, even though we are a long way from perfect. We don’t have it all together and God chose us anyway.

Ephesians 1:4 says “For he chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before Him.” We don’t need to be perfect; we just need Jesus. There are no perfect humans, and there don’t need to be. Jesus already fulfilled the role of the perfect human.

It’s tempting to spend all of our time trying to be perfect and live up to those impossible standards, but instead, let’s put that energy into trying to be like Jesus. He already knows we aren’t perfect and he loves us anyway.

Have a blessed week.

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Sunday Musings: Philippians 4:8

Sunday Musings: Philippians 4:8

As we are preparing to return to school, there are so many things on my mind. We observe “back to school” in two ways in our home. Our oldest daughter is going in to second grade, and I am a teacher. We do the typical “first day of school picture” each year, but we do some other things too.

We talk about how we need to behave and how, as Christians, we need to treat others. As my daughter gets older, I want to make sure she understands that how we act, and how we treat others aren’t the only important things- we also need to pay attention to what fills our thoughts and what we listen to or watch on TV. I had a teacher several years ago who told me she used to keep her mind clean by reading Philippians 4:8 each morning before school.

 

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There are so many things we give our time and our attention to that aren’t Godly. I recently went to church with my grandmother, and her pastor preached on guarding your heart. He talked about how listening to or watching unGodly things invites things into our minds and hearts. He also talked about how we are accountable for what our kids are exposed to, and how it’s important to guard their hearts as well.

I want to teach my child to memorize this verse and carry it with her as a reminder to think only on those things that please the Lord.  When we keep our minds and hearts pure, others can see the difference in us as well. This is what I want for myself and my kids this school year- to radiate the love of God.

I plan to print off this Bible verse and hang it on our fridge, or somewhere where we will see it each day and be reminded.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy school year. May you learn much and make many new friends.

Scripture Sunday: James 4:6

Scripture Sunday: James 4:6

Have you ever felt “proud?” Not the kind of proud where your kids do something awesome and you’re proud of them. Proud has two definitions: proud can mean “feeling a deep satisfaction as a result of one’s possessions, accomplishments or those of someone close to them,” or it can mean “having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.” That second definition is the one that gets us in trouble every time.

Have you ever been too proud to humble yourself and ask for help? This is something I struggle with frequently. I think I’m big enough and bad enough to handle my own problems and I don’t need anyone else. It’s not how big your problems are; it’s how big your God is. I need to realize that I can’t do everything on my own…and that’s ok.

Our pride gets to us and it makes us feel that if we don’t do it all on our own and perfectly, we are not good enough. The truth is, we were never meant to do all of those things on our own. God meant for us to give our worries, our burdens, our struggles and our concerns to Him.

After all, he already knows all about them. Isn’t it a comfort to know that God knows everything about us and still loves us anyway? Set your pride aside and seek His face.

Scripture Sunday: 2 Corinthians

Scripture Sunday: 2 Corinthians

My husband’s grandfather had a favorite hymn: “Amazing Grace.” To all who knew him, He was truly a Godly man and he’s now living in God’s amazing grace in Heaven.

Every time we sing “Amazing Grace,” I think about him. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s Amazing Grace.

God extends his Amazing Grace to us when we are suffering, when we’ve sinned, and when we have spent years running from Him and His will.

Eleven years ago, I was fresh out of college when I landed in a new town. We found a new church to attend where we enjoyed being. Still, I wasn’t following God and hadn’t been since high school.

One Sunday our then pastor held the invitation longer than usual. When no one came to the front, the pastor reluctantly closed the invitation saying, “I feel like someone needs to respond to Him.”

I was the person who didn’t come to the front. And that night, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned that night, and the next few nights. The following Sunday, I sank into a pew, exhausted and defeated. It was that Sunday I made the choice to stop running from God and start following Him.

What does that story have to do with Grace? A lot. I could have died that Sunday afternoon and never got the chance to be saved. But God didn’t do that. Grace. Even though I was living in sin and running from God, He still loved me and wanted me back. Grace. And then He saved me and forgave me of my sins. Grace.

God extends His Grace to us in a variety of ways, but His grace is and will always be greater than all our sins.

How have you experienced His Grace?

Scripture Sunday: Philippians 4: 19, and How God has provided for me

Scripture Sunday: Philippians 4: 19, and How God has provided for me

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

There are so many verses in the Bible that talk about God’s provision and how he never fails to provide for us. Even though sometimes He answers our prayers with “No,” or “Not right now,” He does provide all that we need.

There isn’t enough space my domain for me to tell you all the things God has provided for me, or all the ways He has blessed me. I can tell you the main ones, though.

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1. He gave me my family

This one is obvious. Years ago, after a string of bad and unhealthy relationships (including one who was emotionally abusive), I prayed God would send me a Godly man who would go to church with me and who either was saved, or would get saved soon. He did. We also dealt with infertility and pregnancy losses, but the Lord gave us these two sweet girls in His time. If you’re struggling with being single, or desperately wanting a child, don’t give up. Trust in Him and he will give you the desires of your heart.

2. He blessed us with jobs, transportation, and a home

There have been a few times in my life when I’ve been out of work or looking for a new job, and the Lord has blessedly, abundantly provided it for me. We have lived now in two homes since marrying nine years ago, and both were places we loved and enjoyed living. We’ve never had to worry about having food to eat, clothes to wear or a place to live. We’ve never lacked for anything we needed, and even though there have been times when things were hard for the moment, we trusted in God and he brought us through it. I’m not bragging; this is nothing we did. I am grateful for all that the Lord provides for us.

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3. If He brings you TO it, he will bring you THROUGH it.

Ya’ll, this past year has been difficult. I lost my dad and my grandpa in the same week. People will say, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” Yes, He does. There was no way I could handle that, and truthfully, I didn’t handle it. But while God does give you more than you can handle, He doesn’t give you more than you AND God can handle together. He delivered me from the darkest, most difficult season of my life. I wish I could say I handled those days with grace, but I didn’t. And even though I was depressed and angry at God, He never left me. Months later after the chaos is fading and order is returning, I can see where His hand was on me through all of it.

4. God sends you the people you need when you need them…even if you don’t know you need them.

I was talking to a dear friend from high school this week. It was her aunt’s birthday and she shared that her aunt had saved her life the day she was born. Her mother was fading, and doctors were working to stabilize her mother. In the rush to save her mother, everyone forgot about the tiny newborn in the bassinet (my friend). She was turning blue and near death herself when her aunt held her and began to help her body temperature increase. Had my friend’s aunt not been there that day, my friend wouldn’t be here now.

The same is true in my own life. I have a very good friend I met through church. She is no stranger to loss, having lost her first husband at a young age. I leaned on her heavily during the losses of my dad and grandpa. She comforted me, she listened to me, she let me cry on her shoulder. She prayed with me and most importantly, she never judged me when I told her I was dealing with depression months later. God knows who and want we need before we know it.

God may not send us everything we WANT, or he may not send us what we want WHEN we want it. But He does provide for those who seek Him.

Trust in God today, friends. You’ll never do anything more important.

 

Scripture Sunday…and a word of the month

Scripture Sunday…and a word of the month

John 15:7

As you know, it’s about to be July. It’s hard to think about 2018 already being half over, and it’s hard to think about going back to school next month.

We talk each January about a word of the year, but what if you had a word of the Month? I thought it might be a good idea to choose an area of focus each month. I thought about it, and a single word kept popping in my mind: abide.

ABIDE

Abide is defined in the dictionary as, “to live or dwell without fading or being lost.”

What does it mean to abide in God? And what happens when we do?

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Abiding in him and his words means that you keep His words in your heart and do not forget them. And when you abide in him, he will surely bless you.

This month, I need to abide in His word and His plan for my life a little more. I know no matter what I face, God’s got me. I simply need to stop worrying so much and just trust Him.

Abide in Him and you’ll never regret it. ❤️

Scripture Sunday: How to deal when you’re overwhelmed

Scripture Sunday: How to deal when you’re overwhelmed

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Have you ever been overwhelmed? Most of us, if we’re honest, will admit there have been many times when we’ve been overwhelmed. Maybe everyone in your home is sick at the same time, and everyone knows moms CAN’T get sick. Maybe there are a million things at home AND at work that need your attention and you feel there is no way you’ll ever catch up. Maybe you’re running low on money and your car is making expensive-sounding noises, and you’re wondering just how you’re going to manage to cover everything.  I can honestly say I have been overwhelmed on a frequent basis, and sometimes, I’ve handled it pretty poorly.

In recent years, I’ve realized there are two things you can do when you’re overwhelmed. You can throw your hands up and give up, or you can give it to God. And while we’re often tempted to just throw up our hands in frustration and just stop, we know it’s truly not an option anyway. Too many people need us and depend on us. It’s in those moments, when I’m screaming and in a place of despair and yelling, “I can’t do this on my own,” that I hear that little voice echo in my mind.

“You were never meant to carry this on your own.”

When you’re overwhelmed, hurting, and ready to give up, don’t. Give it to God instead. He is higher than we are. He is bigger than any struggle we might face, and He is there to walk beside us and shoulder our burdens along with us.

When your heart is overwhelmed, give it to the God who’s bigger than anything you’ll ever face.