Friday, June 13, 2014

Mom in the Middle

In my journey of mothering I am finding myself in a middle place. No longer a brand new mom of many little ones, and not yet anywhere near the finish line, I am smackdab in the middle. I am no longer drowning in diapers and longing for a full night's sleep. I am done potty training and only have one left to teach to read. But, I am by no means done either. I have graduated my firstborn and have four more to go. There are driver's licenses to get, first jobs to find, entrance exams to take. There is Latin to meander through, Algebra, fractions, and Logic. I am finding myself a bit weary, and longing to be where some of my friends are in their journeys. Several of my friends are almost done and dreaming of what the next season of their lives is going to look like. That sounds so good at times. Way too good. 

This feeling has been persistent and I am hearing myself repeating the same old song in my head and outloud. "I am tired if this." I am not feeling excitement about mothering, homemaking, or even homeschooling. I feel blah and uninspired. Then I feel ashamed of feeling that way and try to figure out how to get more disciplined and scheduled and return to a place of joy and inspiration. It always sounds so good in my head, but when it comes to actually working it out....

Don't get me wrong, I love my life, my kids, my husband, and my home. I wouldn't change any part of it. (Well, maybe that's not completely true... There may be a few things I would change...) But, during this past year I found myself a bit lost in the sea of three Challenge aged kids and two Foundations (one also in Essentials) aged kids. (We are a part of a wonderful Classical Conversations community.) I wasn't sure of my role anymore and found myself feeling a little lost. 

I was sharing a little of this with a friend yesterday. As I was talking, she started saying the words, "Do not become weary of doing good." She said this with grace and kindness shining from her eyes, and I felt myself nodding in understanding. The Lord was whispering to my soul, "You are weary, Christa. I understand. Come to Me. Tell me about it. I will give you rest and I will restore you." 

May we never tire of doing what is good and right before our Lord because in His season we shall bring in a great harvest if we can just persist.  
So seize any opportunity the Lord gives you to do good things and be a blessing to everyone, especially those within our faithful family.  
-- Galatians 6:9-10 VOICE

So, this mom in the middle is feeling hope. I see my need to turn from my weariness and turn to my Saviour. The verses below are all verses He sent my way today. I pray they feed your soul as much as they are feeding mine. 

Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Eternal, the Everlasting God, The Creator of the whole world, never gets tired or weary. His wisdom is beyond understanding.  
God strengthens the weary and gives vitality to those worn down by age and care.  
Young people will get tired; strapping young men will stumble and fall. But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.  
They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run—never winded, never weary. They will walk—never tired, never faint.  
-- Isaiah 40:28-31 VOICE

Abide in me, and I in you.  
-- John 15:4 KJV

I have been crucified with the Anointed One—I am no longer alive—but the Anointed is living in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God’s Son, the One who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me.  
-- Galatians 2:20 VOICE

I know that in me, that is, in my fallen human nature, there is nothing good. I can will myself to do something good, but that does not help me carry it out. 
I am absolutely miserable! Is there anyone who can free me from this body where sin and death reign so supremely?  
I am thankful to God for the freedom that comes through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!  
-- Romans 7:18, 24-25 VOICE

So now, my little children, live in Him, so that whenever He is revealed, we will have confidence and not have to hang our heads in shame before Him when He comes.  
-- 1 John 2:28 VOICE

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Word, Strength, and Rest -- Joshua 1

Let the words from the book of the law be always on your lips. Meditate on them day and night so that you may be careful to live by all that is written in it. If you do, as you make your way through this world, you will prosper and always find success. 

This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go. 

-- Joshua 1:8-9 VOICE

“Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you: ‘The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest. He has given you this land.’"

-- Joshua 1:13 NLT

Saturday, May 31, 2014

True Joy

It’ll be like that for those the Eternal One ransomed from captivity to return to Zion, Jerusalem. And they’ll come singing with joy. 

Overwhelming, never-ending joy will crown their heads with happiness and delight while desperation and depression melt away. 

Eternal One: I am the One who comforts you and gives you peace. So why are you afraid of human beings? The children of men are only grass; they’ll wither and die. 

Have you forgotten Me, the One who made you and the whole world, who stretched out the skies and made sure the earth’s foundations?

Yet you constantly worry about others—how they hate and might harm you. But their anger counts for nothing. In an instant, those who cower in fear and trepidation will be free to go in confidence; they won’t die in chains or suffer from hunger.

Because I, the Eternal, am your God, I can make the oceans roil with storm and roll with great waves.They call Me, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. 

I have given you My words to speak and protected you with the shadow of My hand. I am the One who pulled the skies tight and made the earth rock solid. And I am the same who said to Zion, “You are indeed Mine!” 

-- Isaiah 51:11-16 VOICE

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Singing of Your Strength in the Morning

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. 
You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. 

-- Psalm 59:16-17 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Wrapped in Light

There is a sure way for us to know that we belong to the truth. 
Even though our inner thoughts may condemn us with storms of guilt 
and constant reminders of our failures, 
we can know in our hearts that in His presence 
God Himself is greater than any accusation. 
He knows all things. 
My loved ones, if our hearts cannot condemn us, 
then we can stand with confidence before God.
-- 1 John 3:19-21 VOICE

My thoughts fill my head
Blocking my way
Mists of words swirl
I am blinded 
Feeling lost and alone

You, Lord, You are Light
You hear my heart's cry
You, God of the angel armies 
Wrapped in a cloak of Light
There is no darkness in You

You take my hand
You show me the steps to take
As I walk in Your Light
I draw close to You
Close to those around me

Bless the Lord,  O my soul! 
He holds my hand
He calls my name 
He gently leads me in the way I should go
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

"I am the light that shines through the cosmos; 

if you walk with Me, 

you will thrive in the nourishing light that gives life 
and will not know darkness." 
-- John 8:12 VOICE

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment. 

-- Psalm 104:2 NIV

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 

-- 1 John 1:5 NIV

I will take you by the hand and keep you safe.

-- Isaiah 42:6 VOICE

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Deep Calls to Deep

Anchoring My Thoughts

The Lord reigns forever... 
-- Psalm 9:7a

...the righteous stand firm forever. 
-- Proverbs 10:25b

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; 
the effect of righteousness will be 
quietness and confidence forever. 
-- Isaiah 32:17 

“Abraham believed God and trusted in His promises, 
so God counted it to his favor as righteousness.” 
-- Romans 4:3b VOICE

So for the person who does not work, 
but instead trusts in the One who makes the ungodly right, 
his faith is counted for him as righteousness. 
-- Romans 4:5a VOICE

...God who creates out of nothing and 
holds the power to bring to life what is dead... 
-- Romans 4:17b VOICE

In fact, his faith grew as he gave glory to God... 
-- Romans 4:20b VOICE

God saw his faith and counted him as righteous; 
this is how he became right with God. 
-- Romans 4:22 VOICE

My Father, 

I will anchor my self, my thoughts, 
and my will in these facts: 

You are.

You rule in heaven and on earth.

You call me "righteous" because I am in Jesus, your son.

No matter what it may seem, I will stand firm forever. 

(Prayer from "You Are My Hiding Place" by Amy Carmichael -- devotional readings arranged by David Hazard.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Revive Me

For the highest God above, who is and always will be, the only One who is holy has this to say: 

Eternal One: I live in the high and holy place,  I am with the low, the weak, and the humble. I renew their vitality and revive their strength.

-- Isaiah 57:15 VOICE

Thank you for hearing me, for seeing my need and responding through Your Word. You are high and lifted up, You are holy. I come humbly before You and ask You to revive my heart. Amen.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Settling for Leaky Cisterns

My people are guilty of two evils: They have abandoned Me, the spring of living waters; And instead, they have settled for dead and stagnant water from cracked, leaky cisterns of their own making. -- Jeremiah 2:13 VOICE

It has been a long time since I have written on my blog. A really long time. Recently, a friend contacted me and shared with me how the Lord had used His Words here on my blog to draw her back to Him and His Word a few years ago. I had no idea this was going on as I humbly put forth what He was showing me as I read His Word and sought after Him. 

Today, because of her email, I cracked open this old blog and scrolled back to the time frame she had said she began reading. And wouldn't you know it, the first post I read had a verse in it that just leapt off the page at me and pierced my heart. God's Word never returns void. And it was then that I realized that I was missing out on what is best for me.

You see, I have been doing good things with my time, lots of good things. And because of all the good things I have been doing, I have been worn out and weary and needing to refresh and renew.  But, instead of seeking what is best to refresh me, I was filling up on mindless things that filled me up and kept me from thirsting for deep draughts of Living Water. While I had been reading the Word almost every morning, it just was not satisfying me as it had before. 

The Lord spoke, in His gentle, quiet way, and helped me see what's been going on and why I have been dissatisfied lately. Hence the verse above. He lead me there and helped me see I had been drinking from broken cisterns while He alone has refreshing, revitalizing, Living Water.

On the last day, the biggest day of the festival, Jesus stood again and spoke aloud. Jesus: If any of you is thirsty, come to Me and drink. If you believe in Me, the Hebrew Scriptures say that rivers of living water will flow from within you. -- John 7:37-38 VOICE
Back when I was regularly writing on this blog, how I used it as a sort of response to what I had read in the Word that day. Allowing the Streams of Living Water to flow from within me. It was like the final step of my time with the Lord. For awhile now, it seemed like something was missing from my quiet times. And now, I think I know what it was. How thankful I am for Jesus, my Life, my Salvation, my Source of Living Water.

Responding out of a heart filled with praise, they congregate before the throne of God and constantly worship Him day and night in His temple.The One seated on the throne will always live among them. They will never be hungry or thirsty again. The sun or blazing heat will never scorch them, because the Lamb who stands at the center of the throne is their shepherd and they are His sheep, and He will lead them to the water of life. And God will dry every tear from their eyes. -- Revelation 7:15-17 VOICE