Bread Trucks, Pursuit and Rest

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 As seen on themomcafe

In the movie, My Best Friend’s Wedding, starring Julia Roberts, a conversation between Robert’s platonic pal, George (Rupert Everett) and Julianne (Roberts) suggests that it’s a man’s job to pursue the woman in a dating relationship. The fact that this lecture takes place as Julianne is desperately driving a bread truck she has stolen down Michigan Avenue in pursuit of her best friend while talking on her cell phone to George, makes the conversation that more entertaining:

“Michael’s chasing Kimmy?” (George)

“Yes!” (Julianne)

“You’re Chasing Michael?”(George)

“Yes!” (Julianne)

“Who is chasing you? Nobody. There’s your answer. Jules, you are not the one.”  (George)

Ahh, an honest friend.

But this post isn’t about a man pursing a woman in a dating relationship.

It’s about God’s pursuit of you.

As moms, we do a lot of chasing, pursuing, carrying, lifting and supporting.  I am sure you have flopped down on the couch many times and sighed, “I wish someone would carry me!” (to the spa for a massage, right?!) And for single moms, oh just to have someone to help with the load.  If you are dating or not dating, maybe your desire is for someone to pursue you.  I hope that if you are in a dating season, that God will deliver His very best to you…your own Dermot Mulroney!

Know moms, that today, whatever or whomever you are chasing, there is someone who DOES carry your burdens and who carries you as well.  As you chase, as you run, as you sustain your little ones and your responsibilities (at times like a crazy woman driving a bread truck down a busy, city street, believe that God sustains you.) Let God pursue you.

He wants to give you rest.

He wants to give you freedom from your burdens. Hurts. Past mistakes. He wants to give you freely His salvation.  He wants to give you joy. Peace. Comfort.  He is the true sustainer and lifter of our heads. He is available and doesn’t need chasing, tracking down or pursing. He is at your side, pursuing you and you don’t have to do anything crazy to get His attention, nor prove yourself. There’s no panic or reason to react frantically.

He is the bread.

Your foundation.

Your sustenance.

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

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?

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?

 

 

Who am I? Finding Your Identity in Motherhood @ Carey Scott’s Let’s Get Real Ministries

So excited to have been over at Moms Together today discussing identity with SO many of awesome moms. The talented Author/Speaker/Life Coach, Carey Scott, got the ball rolling today as we explored the big question that moms so tirelessly grapple with: Who am I in My Role as Mom? So encouraging to read what other moms are feeling on this and how we are living out the answers. Come take a read at both places if you get the chance…you’ll be encouraged!

(Click here) Having left my career to step into my role as mom….I had a nagging question hovering like a helicopter. It wasn’t which mommy group to join or how to get my baby to sleep through the night….

A Homerun from the Dugout

I have it on good authority that a lot of you are in the baby trenches or the baby dugout as I like to call it, anticipating a time when you can get up to bat and move around those bases.  Perhaps those white squares represent different seasons you are eagerly awaiting

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to land on with your baby or toddler, but for now, you are longing to get up to bat or just make it on deck and practice your swing. Practice anything.

While you are in the dugout, have faith that God is doing a work in you and in your baby, your time, your connection, the bonding and nurturing while the minutes tick on.  You may feel as if you are watching the innings pass before you with little action or zero runs batted in, but at the end of the day, you were in the game and my guess is, played it pretty well. And THAT mom, is a homerun you can feel good about hitting. Tag your bases, and keep running.  You are doing great. And if you can’t tag them quite yet, look forward to the time when you can and make the most of your time in the dugout.  There’s much to be gained while on the bench and you’ll be up at bat soon enough.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1-2

The Steps of a Mother are Many

May what you are trying to accomplish as a mom be accomplished one step at a time, bit by little bit. Teaching, instructing, leading and guiding as a mother is a process that we take on without having had preparation or very little at best.  We lead our children as well as we can while we are being led.  We arrive on the scene green and get practiced quickly till we feel blue in the face, or red, purple, just name your color.  At times, these teaching moments for us and our children take place while rocking in a glider, standing over the changing table or potty, while pushing a shopping cart at the store, driving in the car to and from activities, on the mattress’ edge, dialoguing before bedtime, or during a zillion other moments when we are mothering. Sometimes during the mundane moments, other times when we

Blue is Okay

Sometimes they come in waves, without warning but crash with such force…in other instances they can attack with a subtle, silent pressure with weight that feels too heavy to tolerate. Often hard to shake but not impossible, and can travel like a cold front passing through to its next victim. The source is not always known nor the remedy always found…the blues can be so blue-ish. Some can will them away or prevent them from penetrating into their souls. We all have our attempts at fix-its yet sometimes there’s a place and purpose for those blues. For in those hues and tones, we hear our voice and cries which can give us focus and redirection or a time to just be still with our thoughts and listen to what we need to hear. In them, there is someone who cares. He is the lifter of our heads and knows your heart and cares for you. “Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.” (Psalm 4:1) God hears your prayers today. Where do you need  relief from the Blues? How might God be using your blues to show you His greater purpose in your circumstance?

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Settling

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“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.