Jesus—in the middle of it all

My dear friends @Hopewriters had a weeklong instagram writing challenge. I had great intentions and shared my writing on my blog and on Instagram four of the days, which is pretty good. So I decided to go back to the word prompts I missed, because word prompts help me think and help me focus.

Another thing that helps me in my writing is my middle of the month pause to reflect and pay attention to my #frontdoorview. (#frontwindowview) I snap a picture when it catches my eye, or when I realized it’s the middle of the month and I forgot. I take special notice of sunrises or sunsets, storms rolling in or bright blue, cloudless days. And in the month of May, I wish there was a way to better capture the few lilac bushes that hedge the yard. And I wish I could share the burst of lilac scent that catches me when I leave my house. And always I’m reminded of the goodness and faithfulness of my God.

We’ve been smack dab in the middle of a little bit of chaos. Life has thrown a few curve balls in the last year or so. There has been a lot of loss, some changes, heart work, relationship struggles, ups and downs in parenting, doubts, questions, pruning. And in the middle of it all, when I’m tempted to claim a crisis of faith, I can’t. I am constantly reminded that Jesus has the words of life and I go back to my favorite Psalms and remember how David prayed honest prayers and refocused and realigned his heart with the truth of God’s Word.

David’s relationships were a mess, his parenting was less than ideal, he made lots of mistakes as king. But always he turned to God. He confessed his sin, he focused on the goodness of God, he reminded himself that God was in control, he continually asked God for direction and next steps in his life.

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Psalm‬ ‭25:4-5‬

So when I’m feeling overwhelmed in the middle of my week, the middle of parenting teenagers, the middle of the chaos of life, I ask God to lead me in truth, I pray for wisdom and for Him to direct my path. And I praise the God of my salvation.

#HopeWriterLife #amwriting #writeyourheartout #writingchallenge #faithwriters #juliesmonthlyspot #onceamonthspot #ministryofpayingattention #middle

My Purpose is to Praise Him

“I will praise thee with my whole heart: Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.  ...  The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.”  ‭Psalm‬ ‭138:1, 8‬

Some days all I can do is praise Jesus. When all I want to do is complain. When I can’t find the words to say. When life doesn’t go according to my plan. When the sun shines strong and everything is going right. When the doctor calls with not-good-news. When you meet a friend for coffee (I miss this). When your teenager makes you laugh. When your teenager makes you cry. When you see evidence of Jesus working in a situation. When you worship with the body of Christ (even with a mask on). When you remember that God is in control and He is not limited by time and space.

I praise God because of WHO HE IS. Creator. Redeemer. Savior. Father. The Way. Psalm 138 is a short chapter… just 8 verses. We praise God because He is love. He is truth. He is our strength. Great is His glory. He respects the humble. He rescues those in trouble. His love never runs out. And He will complete His purpose in my life and in your life.

He hears me when I cry out to Him. He will not forsake the work He has started in my life (and in the lives of my kids). And when I read His word, I’m reminded of His goodness, His purpose in my life, and that He has made me for good works to glorify Him. So when I feel like I’m at the end of my rope, I can’t help but praise Him when I refocus my purpose to align with His. Daily—every moment I need to realign my will with His will.

God’s purpose will prevail. May I continually pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”

#HopeWriterLife #amwriting #writeyourheartout #writingchallenge #faithwriters #HeavenComeDown #GodWithUs #ThyKingdomCome #chasingoutthedark #purpose

The Weight & Wait of Holy Week

I’m having a hard time stringing words together these days. I’ve seen some beautiful sunrises. Winds and rains have blown through and knocked down some very dead trees (there’s a lesson in that). The birds are singing, and in the valley I’ve spotted the spring flowers blooming. But my heart is still stuck in winter, my soul is stuck in short dark days. 

I’m overwhelmed with the dailyness of life.  Parenting teenagers has me questioning all my life choices. I don’t know how to re-enter life, church, family, friendships, etc. I don’t want to write, but I’m sad when I have not written.

I say I don’t have time to write, but it’s also that I’m not making the time. I look for inspiration and I come up wanting. I’ve forgotten how to look for beauty, to pay attention to ordinary things, to find hope and joy in the blessings I am taking for granted.

I think of the weight and the wait of Holy Week, of all of lent. And I am always reminded of Hope. Hope in tiny, little flowers. Spring will come again. Friendships will evolve, change, grow. Children will make me laugh …and cry, and grow. Jesus rose from the dead. God and the truth of His Word changes lives. God is faithful, even when I am not. The sun shines. Some day I will hug my friends and family again. When I don’t understand, I just need to remember God is in control. God is directing my steps and the steps of those I love.

Sunday’s coming.

#HopeWriterLife #SoulStruggle #amwriting #writeyourheartout #justwrite #ministryofpayingattention #itssimplytuesday #TuesdayYouAintCute

Be awestruck by God

“Do not be awe struck by other people and try to copy them. Nobody can be you as efficiently as you can.”

Norman Vincent Peale

You were made for a reason. You are unique and you have something to offer the world that no one else can provide. God created you and placed you in this timeline surrounded by the people that need you most. Don’t try to live someone else’s life. 

It’s easy to be enamored by famous people, those who seem to have a fairy tale life, who have it all put together and have perceived success. We put athletes, actors, pastors, writers, other moms up on a pedestal, but it is important to remember that God created you for YOUR purpose and for your life.

Don’t be awestruck by people, be awestruck by a God who loves you unconditionally, who created you in His image, and gave you all the feelings and skills and even limitations to live a life to bring Him glory. Yes, He created you with what you need and gave you everything you need for life and godliness in His Word. He wants you to live an abundant life with the power of Holy Spirit living in you, not in your own strength but Christ in you.

Be awestruck by a God who never changes, and showers us with an abundance of beauty in creation, in nature, in the people that we live daily life with. Be awestruck by a God who heals, who sees, who is just and holy. And be awestruck by the gifts and talents He has given to you and use the opportunities He gives you to love others.

#Write28Days #HopeWriterLife #Awestruck #writeyourheartout #soulwrestle #JesusOnlyJesus