A “Quick to Listen” Call Out

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19) What a great truth to start off our days embracing…God, may each mom reading be quick to listen to the people in her life, especially her children, slow to speak and slow to anger today. We know that you tell us, ‘in your anger, do not sin.’ Help us not to hurt, over-react agitate nor bring about discouragement in another, particularly our kids. Help us to have patience, self control and to not be led by our feelings but by your truths. Let your principles dictate our behavior and the instruction we are giving out to our children. Have a great day moms!

The Ultimate Quick Fix

Where do we place our comfort and trust? Quick-fix, feel good outlets? Been there, done that. Friends, parents, colleagues, bosses? Yup. Don’t forget coffee…how can anyone truly get going without it?!  But humans aren’t perfect, “things” are temporary. God is immortal, trustworthy and a safe haven who can outlast, outnumber, outcomfort and outdeliver anything and anyone. When times dish out discouragement, disheartening news, or we’re in a tough or trying situation, we need to remember the true place where permanent trust and lasting comfort can be found. “The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread and he will be a sanctuary.” (Isaiah 8:13) Mama, I hope today, you find lasting peace….not temporal.

Your safe haven awaits and it’s more than a quick fix.

Where are you looking for lasting peace?

New on the 1st, the 20th in January or June

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We don’t need January 1st for a new beginning nor to begin again.  Every day is an opportunity to be renewed and re-directed as God sees fit. He is always at work in you–on the 1st, the 5th or the 16th, be it January, August or October. Aside from making you a new creation (which is a huge “aside”), He is also creating new things that make you YOU.

A different you.

An even more purposeful you.

A Godly you.

When we feel frustrated with what might be happening and perhaps worried about what isn’t happening, the LORD is creating new things.  He is at work. Trimming. Cutting. Shaping. What exactly is He refining and working through?

Your pain.

Your questions.

Your doubts.

Your fears.

Your desires.

Your old ways.

Your goals.

Your knowledge.

Your direction.

Your heart.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:1-4) 

Praise God for His power to help us bear the right fruit and the personal need to abide in Him to do so. 

New happens TODAY. Each day.

Thank you God, that you care that much about us to not let us wither nor die on the vine but to prosper and become the best we can be for your glory. Thank you for the new life that you breathe into our lives and circumstances because of the old that you bore and took away through your Son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Song You Aren’t Singing

We are all singing different songs today, aren’t we? Perhaps you are far from feeling like you want to sing or your song isn’t very cheery. Some songs are more like cries or pleas that come from a scared, desperate or concerned place, either for our children, loved ones, or ourselves.  There are songs we can barely sing because we are just plain old tired or we maybe we have lost our desire, our passion, our light. We don’t want to sing. Maybe we are too busy to sing. Too worried to sing. Too weak. Maybe even sick. On the other hand, we have songs of joy and gratitude or blends and combinations of high notes and low. Maybe we are just bursting with songs of praise and thanksgiving.

For those of you who are not, you can sing a sad song.

That is okay.

If you can’t sing at all, that works, too. You are just not there. Many of us have days where we aren’t.

Where can you go for a song? For words and notes that are uplifting, that have meaning? Hhmm…I have a place. Yes, but I mean after Disneyland. And oh yes, after the chocolate cupcake with white icing and sprinkles. Actually, before.

Scripture. Prayer. One Another.

Will you let God put a new song in your heart, today through Him and through His vessels?

But you don’t know what I am dealing with. True. But God does.

But this is bad, things are SO bad.  God knows how bad. He has walked the bad. The ugly. The unthinkable.

But I just can’t get a grip…and I am worried, and scared and I am out of answers. God is powerful. Your Creator. He is involved. He already knows the outcome. He has the answers.

If you are awaiting results of something and are fraught with fear,  if you are worried about something with your child or are so doggone weary you don’t know how you are going to make it till 4:00 let alone 9:00 p.m., know this:

God can carry the tune when you can’t.

God hears the melody of your heart, the words to your desires, the inflection of your voice when you have a question that is circling about. You may not be able to give yourself a new song, but He can. He is pretty amazing that way. When you can’t lift your voice to sing, He can give you the ability and the means.  Your new song might not be void of pain but can be filled with direction, strength, focus, confidence, wisdom or trust.  Will you let Him give you that song to rest in the benefits? If you do, the tune you are humming might just take you through the day on a new, meaningful note.

And you can sing that truth all the way to Disneyland or to your favorite cupcake.

Scripture References

“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.” Psalm 59:16

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” Psalm 40:3

“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.” Psalm 96

 

 

Ahhh…..Saturday Rest

Orderliness and calm….a necessary Saturday catch-up goal but often not attainable in our busy lives. Activities and errands beckon us and keep us moving. Shabbat Shalom to all you moms…enjoy your “day of rest” rest no matter how that shapes up. May you grab some moments to catch your breath and perhaps slow down a bit at some point today. God always has something to reveal to us and it’s usually in those moments of rest when we can hear what He might be showing us and what He wants us to remember. When we focus on Him, we aren’t focusing on ourselves and oh that can be a rest while bringing everything else into its proper perspective. When our hearts are turned toward God, we are able to have a better perspective on all that calls us and those very things that cause us anxiety and stress. A proper rest allows us to focus on the One who is calling us to place our trust in His arms where we can find true peace, purpose, perspective and calm.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

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

Milk and Cookies, Moisturizer and Making Me Dwell in Safety

 

Image credit: rnl / 123RF Stock Photo

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?

 

 

Settling

Whats Brewin Headline

“Settled” is not something we always feel yet there is lots of settling we do in our roles, huh mamas? Perhaps you have to settle for feeling tired all day because it was a hard night or settle for just not having the laundry folded, dishes washed or dishwasher emptied.  You may have to settle for the disappointment of  not being able to purchase something you’d like for your children because money is super tight, or settle for another evening putting the kids down yourself because your husband is working. Perhaps you are a single mom and have to settle for doing everything on your own.   Maybe you have to settle for an old car that is just not running the way it once was, or settle for a meal that came out just so-so. Then there are the diagnoses we have to settle for when the test results are back from the doctor.   Sometimes we settle for unfair treatment or someone’s best effort that we deem as merely standard. I am sure you can think of dozens of things you settle for in the course of a day.  If we have a heart of gratitude, are we settling as much? If we focus on what we have, is that feeling of settling as strong? “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:10)

Where do you need to settle today in order to feel guided and at peace? How might God be calling you to settle where you are and what might He be asking you to trust Him with? An outcome? An answer? Peace of mind? May you settle well today, mama, and may you be held fast and guided so that settling takes on a fresh foundation.

Kaboom! The Root of Your True Strength in the Explosions

Isn’t it amazing how discouraged we can feel when an unpredicted, unplanned moment takes over our emotions, responses and entire being? Do you ever turn into crazy mama? I know I do!  Maybe you are trying to get out the door for school with your children and you are feeling hurried and rushed. Boom, or rather kaboom! Explosion hits–there is yelling, tears and frustration on both ends. There are flames, smoke, then ashes, and you were the source or contributing factor in the ignition. That’s the worst–knowing that I was the reason for causing upsetness within my child because I lacked self control, patience and couldn’t keep my tone of voice together.

I have found that dropping to my knees in prayer when I have the next free moment, before I do ANYTHING else (if I can), and asking God to help transform me when I get in my own way or in my children’s way, is not only calming, but truly TRANSFORMING. I can call a friend, drink my favorite blend of coffee to aid in the process of feeling better, but what I really need to do first, is go to God, confess my heart and seek His help. And then I need to ask that the discouragement and resentment that I have toward myself, gets taken and that He give me a new spirit, perspective and new opportunity to extend the same grace He gives me, to my children.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7 Like King David when fighting military battles,  his confidence did not come from earthly resources, but from the power and authority he knew God had over his life. Do you believe that God has that kind of power over your life today? Are you needing His strength in a way that you can’t give to yourself? Our days are filled with so many details as we parent, work, run and take care of the home and ourselves. We can hike, take a relaxing yoga class, exercise and do all of those things that help us to feel better, and they are important to do because we want to be healthy, balanced and pursue what we enjoy. Let’s just not forget to go to God when we need to be filled in the right way.  For it is in those moments when we are truly depending on Him, when He will have the victory over us so we can not feel nor be defeated.

“May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.” Psalm 20:1

“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2

“My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26