Journey of Faith

Strength for Today ~ Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Back to “Ordinary” Life 01/08/2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 8:45 pm

journeyoffaith

I feel like it has been a long time since I’ve posted to my blog and it has. I guess I wrote and wrote until I got everything off my heart and mind that has been brewing for so long and then I came to a point where the words just didn’t come as freely.
The Christian’s life is so mysterious in that God has all the plans wrapped up and waiting for us in our next steps and they can be in any form, twists and turns and valleys and mountains, dark days and light, new beginnings, new understandings and change and growth and this is how it will always be, we never know what is around the corner. We just trust in our good God to do in us what He has said He would. Sometimes we don’t listen as well and sometimes we are desperately searching for His voice and sometimes we wander a little off the path. He’s always there for us. I love to be reminded that He really is more near than we know and to experience His presence, we have to acknowledge Him but not only that, enjoy and be thankful for everything He is and everything He does for us. No matter what it is because He loves us and has in mind our ultimate good.
I am inspired today though that is not how I felt earlier this morning. It is another day, the older boys back at school for the 2nd day after Christmas break. We are getting back into routine. Routine is good. Christmas was wonderful, but we have to get back to normal-ordinary and sometimes adjusting back is hard, just like going back to work after vacation. And today God showed me, once again, that He is all I need, I mean really. I don’t know it like Job or the poor people going on three days without food in another country, but I know how he speaks it to me right now. Jesus works in each of us so differently but His love for all of us is so deep. We can cling to His heart. Sometimes I don’t understand and I’m tempted to forget what I know or thought to be true of Him. But what kind of Christian life would that be? It would be so conditional on life and circumstances. Where would my faith be then? I have to live by His word and His truths. That He has a plan, a good plan, for me and that He can use even me. Even when I feel invisible or worthless. He is there to fill me with all the love, hope, and grace I need for the moment and all the love, hope and grace I need to give away. Always. I take it and I trust Him. He gives joy and He gives strength for the ordinary life.

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“Dear Me At Sixteen” 09/11/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 8:04 pm

Emily Freeman from the blog, “Chatting at the Sky” and author of a new book for teenage girls, “Graceful” wrote on her blog today a letter to her sixteen year old self. She invited us to write our own letters to ourself at that age and it sounded like a fun idea. It has been twenty years since I was sixteen and If I could’ve written myself a letter at that time, this is what it might sound like:

Dear Me at Sixteen,

Hey there! I know that right now you think life is really good, regardless of all the insecurities you are trying to hide behind.

You should not have to act like anyone other than yourself to gain true friendships (the ones your heart really needs). It might bring you into friendships with friends that don’t care about doing the right thing. You’ll be tempted to fit in, but it will take your heart off course.

You have a cute boyfriend and lots of people that want to be your friend. Let me tell you, right now, it’s important to nuture those friendships with the kids that want to do right and be involved with school. Don’t make one guy the focus of your heart. He won’t be around forever. He will make you feel beautiful, you will fall madly in love and he will break your heart 4 years later and you will have wasted many, many opportunities for growth in High School that will help you in later years.

Be so grateful for the Godly parents God gave you, listen to them, be honest with them and talk to them often. Some over you will not understand grace any more than you do right now, but it can’t be your excuse to rebell and have an attitude against the God who saved you at the tender age of 5. Remember how you loved Him and would pray to Him? He’s the one that desires your heart, give it to Him. You don’t need acceptance from a guy or your friends. Friends are given as gifts and should be cherished but to look for your acceptance from them is harmful. You are already unconditionally loved and accepted by God, not because of anything you could do, but because of who you are. Believe it. Live it now for it will make your life truly peaceful and joyful. Once you do, God will direct your life as you trust Him that all things are for your good and His glory.

P.S. If you choose to disregard my advice and make some pretty foolish decisions, know that God in His great mercy and grace will be faithful to complete the work He began in you. It will still take a lifetime and it may take a little more stripping away at the hard places you’ve allowed into your heart, but He will do it. Please continue to seek Him because He promises you’ll find Him and it will be better than any earthly acceptance you have ever known.

 

Seeing… 06/25/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 10:35 pm

May your eyes see, may your heart feel, may your mind know all it was meant to about the grace YOU have been given. May you grab hold of your only hope for today and everyday. 

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

The grace gifts He wants to give you will be revealed when you seek Him with all your heart.
I didn’t understand this grace until I was hanging on in my life by a thread ready to fall apart at any moment. I had heard there was “joy” and “abundant life”, but it really never meant anything much to me until I was gripping that lifeless thread. Him bringing me to the threads was grace though I didn’t know that either, it was the only way I would truly seek His face. He’s given me an anchor I don’t have to struggle to hold for a release of my barely hanging on threads. Our God is faithful to His promise, He’s revealing Himself to me more and more. Though life has its many struggles to be sure, all I’m learning for the good of sanctifying us, the glimpses He gives of Himself don’t even compare to a life lived without him. To only be able to imagine the glory of seeing Him fully one day is joy and one day it will be pure joy something worth living for today!

 

Absence Really Does Make The Heart Grow 06/01/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 5:06 pm

 

He says, “no more Sketchers”, he wants the skater-type shoes, the ones that really don’t look like tennis shoes. I’m on my way to drop the two older boys off at the church to meet their dad for a men and boys Canoe Trip and he has more than one hole in his shoes. The weather is colder than it should be and rainy. I can’t let him go with holes.  I run into the store, purchase the one pair there that look skaterish and we are off.  All of them are men and boys standing around the mini-bus being loaded. I say my quick goodbye and mouth “I love you”. There will come a day, very soon, where I probably can’t do that in public anymore, it will come too soon.

On my way home with the two little ones, I almost forgot I had a babysitter scheduled so I could attend a meeting about new “walking to school saftey”. The district has eliminated buses for students that live within 1.5 miles of the school, I think that includes us. Oh well, there’s a purpose for everything.

On my way home from the meeting, kidless, as usually happens when there are no kids around, I can think. Really think. No noise, no hurries, just me and I’m struck with the fact that I just love these kids so much. I see only their cute face and sweet voice in my mind’s eye.

How is it that when I’m with them, I just don’t have the time to feel this to that depth. It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and more than that.  I want so bad to give my kids the love and attention they need each as individuals. It’s hard sometimes, a lot actually, to take the time to spend with each one as I truly want. It’s at these times that I resolve to do better, to be intentional, to do those things that need to be done as a mom. I need moments to allow my heart to feel, to catch my breath and remember just how very deeply I love and am comitted to them, not only to them but to their father and our family.

 

Do you see the ads? 05/10/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 4:18 pm

I was just made aware that I had ads on my blog. I cannot see them from my computer so I apologize for any offensive ones and will hopefully be able to figure out how to get rid of them (if possible). Thank you!

 

The Secret to Being A Happy Christian 05/05/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 8:57 pm

I feel like I write a lot about my weakness on here and on Facebook, and although it may seem to myself that I am weak, that is okay. The weaker and “smaller” I realize myself to be, the more He can be in and through me. That’s a gift. I wonder lately for the strong, the truly talented, do they see Him in them? Maybe they are so strong because He is working in them. That is not for me to judge, I may never know for sure and that’s ok. We must all have our weaknesses even the “greatest”, an opportunity for His greatness to show. He’s the giver of all our gifts and talents anyways.

There may have been a time when because of my lack of perfectionism (what I thought to be “greatness”), I wanted to stay there and embrace it, thinking it’s ok, it’s authentically me. I need to be real and this is real. God’s grace accepts us where we are, but it doesn’t leave us there, thank goodness! I’ve been inspired to action. I think it all started last year in counting His gifts with Ann Voskamp. Counting the gifts was life-changing, something actually changed in my head. Sounds crazy but it’s allowed me to almost literally look up and over the difficult circumstance of everyday life and see them as the gifts that they are. It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly, I’m learning to really live in the present, with my kids to play or just hang out and talk. Those things don’t come naturally to us all (me) when you are tired and stressed out by the demands of daily life. I hear their laughter playing outside and it brings me joy, I smell the blossoming flowers, more joy, I embrace the moment, whatever it is and see Him and slowly without even realizing it, I’m full of joy. It’s not that I never felt that joy before because I did, but it was also very hard at times and finding joy in the mundane was almost impossible. I was always in a hurry to get to the next thing, housework, dinner, “me time” or whatever it was. What a damaging perspective I had. No wonder it was hard to enjoy life. I wasn’t really present. I was always wanting to get past the present and move ahead. Anne says that God is in the present, we cannot fear what’s in it by rushing it, it is there that He is with us and growing us.

I have never been more happy being a follower of Jesus, a wife and a mom than I am now. It all comes down to His gifts, the first one being He saved me from eternal suffering and I have hope (the promise) of eternal life in Heaven with Him in glory (read John 3:16 in the Bible for more on that). Then the seemingly hard gifts that sometimes life and people will let me down or will not meet my expectations and I will never meet my own expectations, but if I trust God and that He works all things for good then I will rest in Him. In that, in Him, I think I’ve learned the secret to being happy. Oh, I’ll take 2 steps forward and hopefully only 1 step back, but it’s how He keeps us going forward that makes the difference.

 

The Hard Questions (from the kids) 05/01/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 9:58 am

 

It’s late and he comes in with tears about to roll down his cheek and I know something is bothering him. I ask him what’s wrong and he doesn’t speak. Or says, “nothing”. He sits on my lap and I try to comfort him. He doesn’t want to tell me what’s wrong. I tell him, “You can tell me anything, I’m your Mom, I love you”. “How can I help you if I don’t know what it is?” He tries to tell me but can’t. He looks in a book to see if he can find words to tell me. I guess and guess. “Are you hurt”?  He says, “sort of, not really”.  “Where? Outside, inside? What are you thinking?”

Finally, we come to some sort of understanding, he knows he asked Jesus into His heart, but wanted to know how can he know that the Bible is true? He’s a smart thinker for his age. Not a question I expected so soon. I wanted to take him to the Bible, but he wanted to know how he could know that IT was true so I went to another solid resource close at hand. I read to him but probably most of it was over his head. Then I said, “you don’t have to worry, you can know that God is who He says He is and the Bible is true.” And I told how God preserved His word for us and all who are still to come.  I went on about God’s love for him and His thoughts towards him being more in number than the grains of sand and that He put him in a Christian family so he could learn about God and have a relationship with him. That’s what he desires most, our hearts, and that He can tell God his uncertainties and anything. “God will grow your faith and I’ll pray for you too.”

John 17:17  …”Thy Word is Truth.”

I wonder too, did I say something to make him have this question? They can hear and sense things from us. This reminds me of the battle we are in and how it has to be fought, the best place, is on our knees. I don’t do it enough. I’m constantly reminded that is the place I need to be in, the place of helplessness to God in prayer for my kids, my family and those I love.