Loss, Loss, Go Away, Come Again Some Other Day. Deal?

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Who doesn’t love a colorful welcome mat to make their entry appear warm and inviting?

Cute pots of flowers, stone-made animals, flags that blow in the breeze or wired figures, antique tables, shapes and flags that twirl in the air or blow in the breeze can all brighten our front step.

But there are the things that you definitely do not want on your front steps. Things that are SO not your style, look cheesy or are just clearly, not your taste. Then there are people. Salesmen with flyers and business cards.  Solicitors. Brokers who want you to know the latest comps in the neighborhood. Even the adorable neighborhood kids selling wrapping paper for a school fundraiser can create annoyance. Some people and some things just aren’t desirable to have on our welcome mats.

One of them, is loss.

We lose things, though, right? Sometimes it feels as if it’s our sanity :), our needed or beloved job, a favorite series that went off the air (I was crushed when Alias ended and that was years ago), a relationship, a neighborhood, our dear home, aspects of our health, a loved one. Sometimes we lose time or an opportunity. Often we lose sleep,the ability to organize….the list goes on.

Loss is out there–far and wide, other times, close and narrow.

We long for a remedy from those empty spaces that run deep or dryness from the tears, energy to combat the affects of what has been taken, the need for joy to replace the ache.

Are losses blimps on the screen of our lives defined by waiting out the passing of pain with the infamous “this too shall pass” worldly hope?

Perhaps.

Or is there a deeper hope? Are losses markers, bigger than blimps, more like hot air balloons, that ultimately inflate us with strength, sensitivity, compassion, perspective and growth rooted in God’s purposes and plans?

Likely.

To know that loss hangs over the horizon as a known, forthcoming event and is just a matter of time before it darkens our doorstep can carry a level of anxiety that we’d rather not receive nor think about. Other times, loss can broadside us in the present moment, jolting us into a state of shock and even despair. If only keeping the front door closed could block its entry into our lives….wouldn’t that be nice?!

When loss barges in through our front doors, standing on the other side is the One who shares the spot with its pain.

Jesus.

He has not only teamed up with loss, but coached it through till its bitter end.

He feels it. Mourns it. Is familiar with the dark, empty spaces that fill our souls. He knows about suffering.  About pain. About what you are up against. He also knows YOU and grieves with you. In His knowledge of knowing you, is the depth of Jesus’ love, care and provision for you through your tears.

Jesus stands on our welcome mats waiting for us to open the door, not so that we can greet the loss but so that we can welcome what He has for us in the loss. We can go through the loss with or without Him.

Which do you prefer?

God may not bring back what you are missing, but He promises to bring something else to you in the process. What that “something” is looks different for each  one of us and can only be discovered by opening up the door and setting out our welcome mats for Him. The One who restores. The One who brings healing and hope. The One true God.

What a sight and visit that can be for those of us inside our house feeling hopeless and experiencing what Jesus has for us on His welcome mat.

In our pain, our opening the door can be the best choice we make.

Scripture References

“I, even I, am he who comforts you.” Is 51:12

“I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4

“The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; The LORD accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9

Sharp Edges that Don’t Have to Pierce

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“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9 Do you have those times where as a mom you think, “I handled that so well,” or, I am so on top of my game here, I am doing great. I know my kid, I know how to handle things, I know their needs and wow, I am doing pretty good here.”

And then…..crash!

We can hear the sound of brokenness, the clatter of destruction echoing throughout our being. Their sharp edges pierce our hearts and dent the flow of what we know is right and true in our minds.  We slip. We fall. We BLOW it. We think, “I am the worst possible mom there is! How could I have responded that way, said ______,  made that decision to____, or….?”

If you are sweeping up  broken pieces today, take comfort in knowing that we are made strong through our weaknesses as the Apostle Paul said. God gives us the strength and correction we need in those difficulties we come back from and when we disappoint our children and ourselves because of our weaknesses. In those times when we are weak, as Paul said, “then I am strong.”

Paul  delighted in his “hardships, in persecutions and in difficulties” (2Cor 12:10) for it was in those trials that he was able to endure because of God’s power, not his own.  We are no different. We have our weaknesses, we have our own personal persecutions, hardships and difficulties but we have the power of Christ. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2Cor 12:9.

Today, if you crash,  you can rest in the healing strength and power of God.  If you didn’t have struggles, you wouldn’t need nor possess the strength God gives you. And it’s in the crashes and broken pieces of our lives where we can discover wholeness, rest and true healing that comes only from His power and love.

Let that truth dull the sharp edges that cut to give you the soothing strength you need today.

Where do you need God’s strength today, mom?

Purpose over Plans

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“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs. 19:21

Busy, busy, busy. Go, go, go. Plan, plan, plan. In the midst of your planning, what might God have for you today? A message? An opportunity? A conviction? A different direction? Perhaps it will be an encounter, an idea or an unexpected conversation.

Enjoy the fulfillment of your plans and intentions today, moms, and look for God’s purposes in them. You may be heading for fun in the sun at the beach, enjoying a hike, getting together with family and friends, hearing a sermon, serving or worshiping.  You have your ideas about what your plans look like and God has His ideas about what He wants to accomplish in your plans.  His purposes will prevail so be on the lookout for what might be happening in your head, emotions, relationships or home. And you might be surprised at what you discover your plans bring!

What purpose(s) may God be trying to accomplish THROUGH your plans today?

Faithfulness Falls On All Days

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Whether it’s Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday…“because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23

Have a GREAT Saturday, moms….may you experience God’s faithfulness in the areas of your lives where you are needing to see it most.

Where do you need to see and trust that His hand at work in your life today?

Milk and Cookies, Moisturizer and Making Me Dwell in Safety

 

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A glass of milk with something brown, cakey or chewy, being able to think against the background of a still, quiet home and a good book propped between my hands with a pillow against my back are my favorite ways to end the day.

So not happening in my world. Yours?

Often, it’s a march from making lunches or a cleaning task that leads me straight to the bathroom, willing myself to brush teeth, clean face and apply eye cream and moisturizer to those fine lines before falling into bed.

And very often, none of that happens either.

Fatigue seems to be my regiment.

What a perfect match to the stillness of the Psalms that can bring rest to those jumping thoughts that come alive at night and help put to REST the rest of the continued to-do list, work in the form of paper piles and the pressing questions that can race through our minds as moms…the ones that call for immediate answers and solutions and that cause a small, evening anxiety party to break out in our minds.

“Keep it down in there, would ya?”

Thank you nocturnal, mental madness for invading my head.

I think God wants us to rest well. That means without worry. 

Free from doubts.

Free from fear.

Free from restlessness. 

We may not have perfect peace in our circumstance, but we have perfect peace that He is in our circumstance(s). God is alongside you doing dishes, making lunches, knowing your hopes, hearing your questions and planning the answers. But He’s not as concerned with those things as we are.

He’s more concerned about where your mind is dwelling in the midst of all that you are dwelling on.

So tonight, as you drift off to sleep, will you dwell in His mighty power and comfort? Where will your peace come from? He may very well provide a cookie, a can’t-put-down novel, the energy to clean or tidy up and even an effective moisturizer. But  more than all that, He’ll provide His presence and that’s a goodnight regiment worth taking every night.

“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

How do you like to end the day? What brings rest to your soul? Can you make reading His word the last thing you do so you can make the last thing you do (rest)  a success?

 

 

Looking with Our Own Eyes

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“Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.” Deut 3:27

We can often look at ourselves or our children through the lenses of others.   I’ve got them. You’ve got them. We’ve all got them….people in our lives who have something to say about the way we are doing something or perhaps how we are parenting.

At times we are influenced by the insights and opinions of others…and they can be well-meaning, well-intended and significant people who have wisdom and perspective worth considering. We also need to temper those opinions with what God is showing us as He did with Moses when He had him go to the top of Pisgah and look down at the Promised Land. We need to look at our lives with OUR own eyes and not completely depend on the sight of others.  God may only show us a glimpse, the whole picture or something in between, but when we walk by His side, He WILL show us as we go, what He wants us to see.