Saturday, January 30, 2010

Remembering to Remember

Today I needed to "remember to remember" once again something that the Lord showed me a while ago.

I have a few friends who God is using in big ways to touch many people's lives. They are out there doing and going and being in big, out front ways. (Not showy or for self-glorification, at all... Just out there, you know, doing the stuff that is apparent and visible.)

And once in awhile, I forget to remember that I am doing exactly what God has called me to do here in my home.

My position right now is to serve my family. But at times I feel that I am not doing enough. Today was one of those days.

Thankfully, the Lord showed me that I was believing a lie. And He reminded me of a post that I had written to a different blog I had. So, I went and dug around and found that post and read it. It was just what I needed to read. So, I am posting it here to share with you.

The post below is from April 2, 2008. 

Knowing my Position

This week I have continued reading in Genesis. At the rate I am going, I'll be in Genesis until August or September! :-) That's fine, the Lord is really showing new things in these verses that I thought I "knew" so well.

It is interesting, really, how the Lord has also been speaking to me about my position lately. (Mary's share with our Salt and Light group was also about her position. Hmmmm.) :-) What is even more interesting is just how different my position is from Mary's. She has been called, at this time, to be in a very visible, active role. Her life is very full and busy and she is being used by the Lord to touch many people's lives for His glory. On the other hand, my calling is still pretty much what it has been for quite a while now. Over and over, the Lord continues to show me that my place is in my home, with my husband and my kids, ministering to them. I also have a more behind the scenes calling to pray for, counsel with, encourage and support my friend Mary and my friend Stephanie as they carry out their callings on the "Front Lines".

Romans 12:3-6a NLT says:
As God's messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in the estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others. God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.

We each have different roles, different gifts. We need to carry out those roles, because we each belong to the other parts of the Body. When we act within the roles we are given, we are benefiting everyone else in the Body, we are building up the Body and giving glory to God. If I compare myself to someone else and what their role is and then try to do what they are called to do, I am harming the Body and every part in it.

Genesis 6:9 says, "Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on the earth at the time. He consistently followed God's will and enjoyed a close relationship with him."

Genesis 6:22 says, "So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him."

Noah's calling was very clear and very specific to Noah. He stuck close to the Lord and obeyed Him completely.

My calling is not Mary's calling. Nor is her calling mine. We each have an important job to do, and each of us is accountable to God to follow His will and do exactly what He is commanding us to do. I get in trouble when I start looking around and comparing what I am doing with Mary or anyone else.

It is easy to start thinking that I am not doing enough, or that I am not as "on fire for the Lord" because I am not out there touching many lives for Christ. Or, I can flip that around and possibly start judging others whose calling is not mine, thinking that they are "running around" too much or not spending enough time at home.

When those voices start in my head, that is when I need to ask, whose voice is this? Because I know that the Lord would not be saying those things to me. I need to be reaffirming my calling with Him and making sure that I am sticking close to Him and doing what He is calling ME to do.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Greatest Job in the World

God is higher than anything and anyone,
      outshining everything you can see in the skies.
   Who can compare with God, our God,
      so majestically enthroned,
   Surveying his magnificent
      heavens and earth?
   He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
      rescues the wretched who've been thrown out with the trash,
   Seats them among the honored guests,
      a place of honor among the brightest and best.
   He gives childless couples a family,
      gives them joy as the parents of children.

~ Psalm 113:4-9 ~

It all started with a simple request.

Well, it was really more like an observation that moved on to a suggestion.

It wasn't a command or an order.

Just a simple suggestion made while shaving.

In my hormone drunk brain it sounded like a judgment.

"You are not doing enough. You are a poor housekeeper, so bad that your husband has to point out things that need to be done and tell you how to make them get done."

You are failing.

Once again I dove right into that big pool of self-pity.

Of self-blame.

Of pride?

You bet.

I swam around and around in that pool even while I slept. Waking in the dark with thoughts swirling in my head.

How can I do better? How can I do more?

I know, I need to write up a schedule and make copies and hand them out to all the kids and then go over these schedules with them, giving them each special new jobs and then...

"Come to Me." (Psalm 27:8)

"Hello? Is someone talking to me?"

"Have you talked to Me about all this?"

"Ummmm, well, not for a while. Not for a long time, really."

Once again, in the quiet of the early morning living room I poured out all the poison in my head and let it flow out at the feet of my Saviour.

What a huge burden I had made out of a simple suggestion.

So much was uncovered as I laid bare my heart before my Lord.

Once again He showed me all my efforts aren't going to help. A new schedule isn't what I need. Snapping to and making the kids tow the line isn't going to bring what is needed.

God can do anything, you know—
far more than you could ever imagine or guess 
or request in your wildest dreams! 
He does it not by pushing us around 
but by working within us, 
his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
~ Ephesians 3:20 ~

What I need is Him.

I need to let Him come and work within me.

Changing the way I think. (Romans 12:2 ~ I love that verse!)

And so, I jotted down a list for the day into my prayer journal and moved forward into the morning. Waiting for His leading, but not really sure how it would come.

So, I got my breakfast going and started in a batch of buns and of course turned on the computer.

At (In)Courage, I read,

"Moms, I'm specifically talking to us today.  Do we love our job?


Do I love my job? I'll have to think about that one.

I like it, sometimes, but too often the "job" part is a lot of thankless, unnoticed work.

Am I supposed to love it?

Somewhere in between adding cups of flour to my bun dough I realized I was smiling.

I realized that I felt so much lighter.

And dare I say it?

I felt joy.

I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!
—on the road God called you to travel. 
I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. 
I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. 
And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—
not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other 
in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
~ Ephesians 4: 1-3 ~

So where does all this leave me?

What do I do with what the Lord is showing me this morning?

I have a calling to the greatest job in the world.

I have been called to be a wife, a mother, a homemaker.

Lately, because I have been trying to this job in my own strength, apart from my Source, I have grown to see my calling as a chore, a burden, something that was too much and not what I wanted to do, but had to do.

Something that I was failing at in so many ways.

But this morning, He reminded me that I am not supposed to do this on my own, in my own "strength".

He equips those He calls! (Ephesians 3:8)

He gives me strength and rest. He restores my soul. (Psalm 46:1, Psalm 23)

He is my source of joy. (Psalm 43:4)

He makes me soar on wings of eagles. (Isaiah 40:31)

Apart from Him I can do nothing. (John 15)

So, why do I keep trying?

Over and over, I'm sure I will have to be retaught this lesson.

Thankfully, He is patient with me and is gently leading me.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: 
He gathers the lambs in his arms  
and carries them close to his heart; 
he gently leads those that have young.
 ~ Isaiah 40:11 ~

There is so much more.

But what it comes down to is I need Him.

And He is all you need, too.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Having a Day

Today I am having "a day".

I probably shouldn't be writing a blog post.

This is probably one of those posts that I will go back and delete at some point... or maybe not.

I want to keep it real.

I want you to know that I am not "there yet".

I am just a 40-something mom of 5 who has every day struggles and problems like everyone else.

My struggles are very normal.

Nothing is really wrong or awful or tragic.

I am very blessed.

I am healthy. 

My husband is healthy.

My kids are healthy.

We have plenty of food and clothes and a safe home to live in.

I don't want to complain. And I'm not sure if being real about how my day is going is complaining or not.

Please, if I am complaining, tell me. I will delete this and ask forgiveness and move on.

Today is one of those days that started earlier than I wanted it to.

Everyone seems to be grouchy.

The baby is finding everything that she can to put in her mouth, rip up, throw, mess up... you get the picture.

The five year old and the 14 year old have colds and are grouchy, grouchy, grouchy!

It's that P-word week for me. (I'll say no more...)

We have an ongoing construction project going on in our home and it is getting a little old.

OK, now that I have that all out.

I know it's not that bad.

It's just that in the middle of it all, when all seems chaotic and loud, it is so easy to feel like it is always like this and that I will never be a better mom, homeschooler, wife, homekeeper, yada, yada, yada....


That feels better.

Sometimes a girl just has to get it out her head, you know?

As I type this, I am noticing that the sky is blue and the sun is shining.

I think I might just pack all the kids up in the van and head out to the park.

Playing out in the sunshine may just be what we all need to turn this day around.

See ya!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Freedom, Purpose, Strength

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! -- Ephesians 1:7

Abundantly free.

Not just barely free.


My handy dictionary tool on my Mac tells me that abundantly means "in large quantities, plentiful".

What does this freedom look like walked out in this life?

Have I ever seen it?

I don't think so.

But it is there, inside of me.

Because of Him.

Oh that I would live in that abundant freedom more and more.

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. -- Ephesians 1:11-12

It is in Christ that I find who I am.

What I am living for.

Not apart from Him.

Glorious living, Jesus-style.

Not my paltry understanding of the good life.

I want His plans and purpose worked out in me, not what I think is best.

But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ:  -- Ephesians 1:16-20
Make my eyes focused and clear, Lord.

Help me to see exactly what you are calling me to do.

Help me to grasp the immensity of Your glorious way of life You have for Your followers.

Help me to see and trust that you are working extravagantly in me.

Thank you for the endless energy and boundless strength You have for me to do what You have for me to do.

All the energy comes from You, Jesus.

Help me to draw deep from You.

"In Christ alone my hope is found...."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Morning Ponderings

This morning as the baby crawled all over us in the early morning grey,

as she poked her little finger up my nostril and dug around,

as she yanked at my hair and flopped on my head,

I wish I could say I immediately thought, "Oh how wonderful it is to be a mom!"

I actually thought, "Grrrr, please go back to sleep!"

This mothering life takes all that I'm willing to give, and then it will take even more.

I make it so much harder when I dig in my heels and resist.

When I demand my way, my rights.

When I give in, accept, surrender...


what I've been given.

Oh, it is so much better.

That is where there is life and peace and joy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Where does my joy come from?

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
      I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
 I will be filled with joy because of you.
      I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2

I've been missing some things.

Some vital things for life.

My joy and peace have been taken.

Or have I given them away?

My enemies are discontentment, discouragement, anger, fear, anxiety, doubt, depression...

They sneak in so stealthily, looking to steal all that gives color and music to my life.

Amazingly, I seem to so easily surrender to them.

Easily handing over that which is mine.

And so, as I realize that I have been robbed, left wanting, I begin the search to retrieve what has been taken.

Joy and peace do not come from what is around me, from what I see.

That I know for sure.

My enemies retreated;
      they staggered and died when you appeared.
 For you have judged in my favor;
      from your throne you have judged with fairness.
 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
      you have erased their names forever.
 The enemy is finished, in endless ruins;
      the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.

Psalm 9:3-6

Do I choose to sit in the dirt and mire, singing dirges with my enemies?

Do I lift my head and see beyond the daily mess and praise and thank You?

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
      a refuge in times of trouble.
 Those who know your name trust in you,
      for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. 

Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem.
      Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.

Psalm 9:9-11

No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, 
good to the good-hearted.
   But I nearly missed it,
      missed seeing his goodness.
   I was looking the other way...

Psalm 73:1-2

You're all I want in heaven!
      You're all I want on earth!
   When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
      God is rock-firm and faithful.
   Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
      Deserters, they'll never be heard from again.
   But I'm in the very presence of God
      oh, how refreshing it is!
   I've made Lord God my home.
      God, I'm telling the world what you do! 

Psalm 73:25-28

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Fairy Tale

Homemaking is about making a home --- and a home is a safe place, a refuge, a place to be real and alive and truest true.

Homemaking is not about making perfection.
-- Ann VosKamp, @ holy experience

holy experience

This week I was told my life was like a fairy tale. 

I laughed and shook my head.

They just couldn't know the reality. 

Sure, status comments on Facebook and pictures posted show one side.

But what about the thoughts, the struggles, the darkness, the imperfection, the mess?

There are times I think I want someone else's story to be mine.

There are times that I feel that someone else thinks my story should be different.

Discontent creeps in and whispers in my ears.

But that one comment...

A fairy tale, huh? 


I have been given so much. So much that I do not deserve. 

I may not always like what I have been given or where I am or the circumstances I am in, but the reality is, I have been given so much.

And, if I choose to give thanks to God in the midst of it all, contentment will come.

I don't have to have it all together and keep a spotless, perfectly organized, run like clockwork home. 

Life is happening here. 

Lots of it.

I want to embrace it, encourage it, create and laugh, yell and cry. 

I want to be who God made me to be and find out who God made all these bundles of potential to be. 

Is my life a fairy tale?

Yes, it is.

I even have the dragon to prove it....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Be what you were made to be

I was watching a show on TV the other night.

This show is a music show that showcases 5 different bands. There are 5 different stages all in one room and each band takes its turn playing, one after the other.

As I watched I realized something.

Each one of those groups are completely different from each other.

And each has a different sound, look, feel.

The bands that really stand out as you watch the show are the ones that fully embody the style they are. Their look, their sound, their moves. When they fully embrace who they are as a band and go full force in that direction, they are believable, enjoyable, unique.

And it reminded me of what God says about how He made each of us.

We've each been made to be different. To do different things, to meet different needs.

And yet to work together as we fully walk in the roles we have been given.

That's when we stand out. That is when we accomplish what we have been created to do. That is when we are fully who we have been made to be.

So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.
 Romans 12:6 - The Message