Friday, October 25, 2013

Under Spiritual Construction

Welcome all of us!  I heard a beautiful quote from Nancy Grisham this week, author of Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest.  She said that we must take possession of the calling or anointing that God has placed on our lives.  I have dwelled on that a lot, and I have begun to apply it to this blog.  In April 2012, God asked me to begin intense study of His Word and then to share the nuggets of wisdom that the Holy Spirit revealed to me in each of you.  My first year was incredible.  I loved bouncing out of bed, making my coffee in the darkness and stillness before anyone else awoke, studying the Bible, then writing my heart.  But then something :-)  Things got busy.  We moved, I became pregnant, my child became a toddler, and my bucket began to feel empty on a daily basis.  It is ironic that the very subject God had asked me to inspire, exhort, and encourage other mothers through was the one that was bringing me down.  Because of the demands and blessings of life, my blog moved to the back burner.  I wrote weeks ago about the guilt brought on by not holding to my end of the deal with God.  My neglect of this ministry was putting His calling on the back burner.  But, through this season, our precious Savior has revealed His faithfulness to me.  This is still my ministry, but in my dryness, He has asked me to shift it slightly...

When I was blogging daily, I felt so alive, so in touch with His Word, and so purposeful in being a wife and a mother.  When I received encouraging comments, I felt needed, I felt appreciated, and I had huge visions for writing a devotional book for stay-at-home moms, speaking at mothering conferences, and leading small groups for mothers.  As my dedication dwindled, my visions started to fade.  This made me so sad.  Where did that passion go?  Have pregnancy hormones truly sucked the passion out of me?!  Well yes, some days they do :-)  But, nearly every time I sat down to write, Caleb would need me, the phone would ring, my husband would want something, and my inspiration was zapped.  My fuse is short (okay, nonexistant these days), and so the anger over not writing about being a happy and Godly mother overwhelmed me.  The irnoy, huh?

Yes, I have done a smithering of posts over the past months, but you can tell that my heart has been elsewhere.  It has been tired.  The Holy Spirit and several other sources, namely my parents and my sweet friend, Rachael, have revealed to me that in order to be impactful in the Kingdom, we must make sure our needs are being met...not our wants, but our needs.  If my bucket is empty, I'm of little use to my family or my ministry.  If I have not allowed myself time for rest and spiritual/physical restoration, I can't do what He has asked me to do.  I have began praying for times of rest.  It can come in all types of duration and all forms of function.  Today, my husband offered to take our son fishing with him for the entire day.  You know what that means for a SAHM?  A day off!  What?!?  I nearly fell over in shock when he suggested the idea.  I had specifically been praying for a day where nothing was required of me.  A selfish request, but I've identified my empty bucket and knew that a two-hour toddler nap wasn't going to fill it.  Look how God provided!  God has also shown me how other ways in which I choose to fill my time will drain me right now, instead of fill me.  This can even mean time with friends, on Facebook, or catching up on your favorite Netflix show.  I like all of those things, but they aren't filling my bucket right now.  They are taking up precious time.  I'm assured that it isn't forever, it's just for now.  Sometimes we simply need to retreat, spend time with Him, and enjoy a 50% off Starbucks :-)

I want to encourage each of you that dry spells do not become unusable by Him.  He has been working diligently on me behind the scenes.  Namely, He has asked me to re-focus my blog.  Jesus came to reach everyone, not just those people who were culturally like Him.  If Jesus was in the business of isolation, imagine how many of us would not be spending eternity in heaven with Him.  The name of my blog isolates mommies.  Why would a working mother visit a blog titled, "Staying at Home and Making it Work?"  Why would a mother who was forced to go back to work after a divorce want to subject herself to the pain of listening to another mother go on and on and on about the joys of staying at home?  At times, I have discriminated in my writings.  For that, I am sorry.  Now, don't misread my heart.  God has asked me to stay at home for my husband and my children.  He has backed it up with scripture for both my husband and myself to read and accept, and He has blessed us in our obedience.  I will still encourage women to consider the option.  I will develop my "First Steps" page in order to offer practical life changes that can be made in order to achieve the lifestyle of full-time SAHMommyhood, and I will continue to write, as the Lord leads, towards the specific heart issues that I wrestle with as a stay-at-home mom.  But, I will not define the words that God has asked me to share solely to the SAHMother. 

I pray that you will continue to read, I pray that you will share this blog with your friends, and I pray that you will continue on the journeyhood of mothering with me!  Join me next time as I explain the new blog title...Pillars of the Palace.

Be open to His changes in you.  Be open to letting Him speak to you in your dry times.  Be open to taking opportunities to run away with Him (to Starbucks, or wherever!).  We are ever-changing creatures, mommies...created by Him to do His good works.  We don't get to go to heaven until He has completed His work in us.  Thank you for sticking by me as this page is under spiritual construction :-)

"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Thursday, October 3, 2013

He Meets the Needs

Hi mommies!  Isn't it interesting to ponder the difference between our "wants" and our "needs"?  My son is in a stage of saying that he neeeeeeeeds everything (yes, it sounds just like that!).  He neeeds a snack, he neeeds a train, he neeeds the "hi-pad," he neeeds to run, and on and on and on :-)  Truthfully, he doesn't neeed any of those things.  He wants them.  How often do we say that we neeed something? Are we setting the right example for our children as we flippantly discuss what we need in our lives?  I am the worst at this.  I use "want" and "need" interchangeably.  But, they are so incredibly different.  Look at this verse...

"And my God will meet your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:19~

Here is the revelation that God gave me this morning...if I don't have it right now, I don't need it.  And, furthermore, I know that I have plenty of stuff that I don't need.  God knows my true needs far better than I do.  God knows what needs must be met in my life before I've even realized there was a void.  Now don't get me wrong...I don't believe this verse gives us a license to be irresponsible.  If we know that our car will need new tires this winter, and we have the means now to solve that situation, then we should budget and schedule to make that need a reality.  But, if we obsessively worry about where the money will come from to put the new tires on the car this winter, that isn't giving our need over to the Lord.  Yes, our amazing God of the universe cares about our tire situations!

In my walk with the Lord, I have learned that our heavenly Father is far more interested in building our personal faith day-by-day, than in setting up a nice cushy safety net for us.  For those of us who are planners, this may seem somewhat cruel.  He isn't cruel at all.  Our God of Love is simply teaching us that our faith and hope can only be placed in Him.  It can't be placed in ourselves, in others, in finances, in security, or in anything else you could name.  The fact that He knows our needs and that the above verse promises that He will meet them in His timing should actually be quite comforting!  I now have the freedom to not worry about a thing.  If I need it, He will provide it.  If I want it, He may give it as a blessing, or He may not.  That is up to Him, our sovereign God.

I love when He meets a need before we knew that we had it.  For instance, He knew that the terrible twos would run rampant throughout my home as I was sicker than a dog with my second pregnancy.  There are days I have felt absolutely desperate for a break and for some relief from the chaos.  As I was praying over what book my moms group would study this Fall semester, a sweet friend of mine offered this suggestion...

Seriously?!  I had never heard of this book, but as soon as she said it, I knew I needed to read it.  And now, I am privileged to lead the precious group of mommies in my group through the fantastic words of wisdom contained in these pages about motherhood.  I could not have hand picked a better book for me and for the women in our study during this particular season.  Thank you, Jesus, for providing something I needed, before I even knew to ask.  If you are having a desperate season of motherhood, I wholeheartedly recommend this read.  It will be well worth your time :-)

Because His Word says it, trust that the Lord will provide for your every need.  Let's not get our "wants" and "needs" confused, but let's do make sure to thank Him for always providing for our every need...even those we didn't know we had.  Until next time...