The season is changing. The temperatures are cooler and there is a light breeze flowing as I write this.
Many of us anticipate this season of change every year, when breezes flow and colors are magnified, and we experience a new, refreshing time of change with much gratitude.
What about the seasons of change in our lives? Are we thankful for those?
Do we look forward to them with anticipation and expectation?
Or do we approach them with fear and dread?
God is continuously bringing us through different seasons of our lives.
For some, you are in a season of singleness. For others, you are starting a season of newly wedded bliss.
Others may be in a season of motherhood, while many have moved on to the season of being a grandparent.
Some are enjoying a season of empty nesting, while others may be navigating through a season of grief.
There are seasons of work, seasons of rest, seasons of illness, seasons of ministry, and so much more.
What season are you in right now?
Are you embracing the opportunity to learn and grow through this season?
Are you cherishing the moments of beauty, even through the pain?
Are you grateful for where God has lead you, and what you have learned through the process?
Fall is a time of vibrant color. I pray that as you go through this season of your life, whatever it may be, that your life is filled with the vibrant colors of peace, joy, gentleness, kindness, compassion, and love.
I pray that you continue to look ahead, without dread, to the abundant harvest God has for you.
And I pray that you do it all with a heart of thanksgiving to our glorious King.
”He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” (Daniel 2:21)
Jesus came to this earth not to be served, but to serve. He humbled himself and demonstrated His humility, love, and compassion through acts of service too numerous to count. He sought out those in need. He didn’t just wait for them to conveniently show up at His doorstep.
We are called to live a life that imitates Christ. What a hard act to follow! Only by humbling ourselves and actively seeking ways to serve are we able to be imitators of Christ.
Are you humble today? Are you thinking less of yourself and more of others? Are your acts of service done to glorify God or yourself? Are you looking for ways to serve others today?
There is ALWAYS someone in need. There is ALWAYS someone who not only needs to HEAR the word of God, but also SEE it in action. Look around you…what can you do today that will make a difference for the kingdom of God?
I love gifts! I love getting things for FREE! The best free gift I have ever been given is the gift of salvation that was given to me by my Lord Jesus Christ! It was given freely to me through His love and my repentance.
The great thing is…it is new each day. Every morning when I wake up, I get to unwrap this precious gift and enjoy it to the fullest. Every morning it is there like a grand adventure, just waiting for me to explore.
Our goal is eternal life. Eternal life doesn’t happen when we die. Eternal life occurs the very moment we accept Jesus as our Savior.
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3).
I am, at this moment, living out my eternity. And each day of it is a precious gift from God.
It amazes me how quickly my kids’ rooms can get to be a mess. They can spend an afternoon cleaning, sorting, and throwing away; and just a few days later, it looks like an F5 tornado landed right in the center of their rooms. Over the span of those few days, they don’t put things back in the proper place or keep things sorted. I feel like I spend at least 50% of my time saying those 4 dreaded words… “Go clean your rooms.” They get frustrated. I get frustrated. We all get frustrated.
Isn’t that the way our hearts can be? We go to God in repentance, get our hearts clean, and are ready to take on the world. But over the course of time, the “stuff” gets in. We forget to put aside those ugly thoughts, we forget to sort out our attitudes, and we forget to toss out our anger, bitterness, or resentment. Before we know it, our hearts are impure and ugly, and in real need of a cleaning.
Just like I believe my children could make a better effort at keeping their rooms clean, I also believe I could do a better job at keeping my heart clean. How about you? Is your heart in need of a good cleaning? God is the master cleaner. His forgiveness sweeps out our dusty places. His love dusts off our surfaces. His compassion mops away our stains.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
Oh, and about those messy rooms, I am still praying for patience!
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. (Psalm 119:36)
Look around you. You see it everywhere. People who use the platform of the faith for their own personal gain. There are those who profess their beliefs under the guise of bringing glory to God, when in fact, their major aspiration is bringing glory to themselves.
And how easily we can be fooled by their pretenses. How easily we believe that their words of encouragement come from their heart.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)
We want to believe them. We are struggling with life problems, feeling hopeless, looking for someone to give us hope. So we look for encouragement. And it is everywhere…television, social media, right in our own churches and communities. On every corner, on every Facebook page, on every website there is someone ready to offer us that mustard seed we so desperately need.
God places many people the position of prophecy, of encouraging and uplifting, of sharing his word to the masses. He gives them incredible insight and wisdom, and He gives them a heart to serve. And when they connect to Him, they are amazing servants who share the gospel with the broken, who offer promise and hope to the hopeless, and who help our mundane and ordinary days seem a little less so. Those are the people we should be seeking out. Those are the ones who we should find our encouragement from. Those are the pages we should “Like” and the people we should “Follow”. Those are the servants whose website we should “Subscribe” to.
The first word of Matthew 7:15 is BEWARE. Be careful about who you seek your wisdom and guidance from. Be mindful of whom you find encouragement and inspiration from. Ask God for wisdom and direction. After all, we should be seeking Him and his word above all else. That should be our main source of guidance and encouragement.
Mom-Sense is here to encourage you. Whether you are a mama or someone looking for mentorship or connection, this ministry is here to serve you, to lead you to the word of God, to offer you encouragement and inspiration, to help you realize you are not alone, and to sometimes make you laugh through your tears.
We are here to represent our Lord and Savior. We are here to help you build your connection to Christ and others. We are here because God sent us here. But don’t take our word for it. Pray about it. Ask God to reveal to you if this group is of Him. Because at the end of the day, it is about Him and YOU…not about us.
Change… sometimes we love it and sometimes we don’t. Often times, change is necessary to propel us forward into what God has purposed for our lives. We know He has something great ahead for us, but the change required to make it there is often too frightening, too challenging, or too uncertain. So we sit…stuck where God can’t grow us, because we don’t put our faith in His plans.
As of late, I have found myself in a season of change, and some aspects of it have not been fun. There have been real challenges to accepting and moving through this change. There have been moments of fear, of regret, of pain. God has called me to a place where I have had to put my trust in Him like no other time in my life. I have been called to have the confidence in Him to move forward to where He was calling me, even when I wanted to stay right where I was…because it was easier, it was my normal, it was what was expected of me.
It has taken all of my strength to move out of my familiar into His unknown. I am stepping out in faith, knowing that God is walking right beside me. He is carrying the lamp that will light my way. He is calling me to be bold and confident. He is calling me to expect great things. He is calling me to accept that I am capable of the extraordinary. He is calling me to be fearless.
What is God calling you to do? In what area of your life is He asking you to step out of what is comfortable and familiar, and step into His unknown? Do you trust Him? Do you believe that He will lead you only into goodness and abundance? Is your faith bigger than your fear?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Be sure of what you hope for. Be convinced of what you have yet to see. Trust Him. His ways are so much bigger than our own. And while it may be hard and you may feel some pain, change – when it is of God – is a good thing. He will stretch you beyond what you thought you could do. He will strengthen you beyond what you could imagine. And He will use you in ways you never thought possible. You need only believe.
“I don’t think Mom likes me.” These were the words spoken by my 9-year-old daughter to her big sister who was visiting from college. “ Why don’t you think Mom likes you?” was her response. “Because she gets mad at me.” “Why does she get mad at you?” “Because I lie.” And there you have it…a daughter’s confession that stopped me in my tracks.
The 9-year-old has been going through some major story fabricating as of late. Nothing is EVER her fault, she is always quick to blame another culprit (typically the brother just ahead of her on the age spectrum), and can’t seem to keep her stories straight. This has been causing me, her mama, some angst as I wrestle with what to believe and what not to believe, and trying to get her to see that lying is not the way to go. On more than one occasion, I have let me voice get louder than it should, and I have not practiced that Fruit of the Spirit called patience. Fathers (mothers), do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21). My poor daughter was discouraged by me, and that saddened my mama heart.
We go through our days…intent on getting our “to-do” list accomplished, intent on achieving in the workplace, intent on making sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. We are intent on teaching our kids to have good values and a strong moral fiber, loving Jesus and following his word. The question I find myself asking is…as intent as we are on teaching them right from wrong, are we just as intent on showing them grace and teaching them about forgiveness?
I had been so focused on the lies, that I wasn’t looking at the bigger picture of what I could teach my child:
#1 – That my love for her was bigger than any lie she could tell.
#2 – That making mistakes is okay. We just need to be honest about them.
So I had a talk with this precious child. I assured her that I like her, regardless of her misbehavior. And I explained to her that the truth is always better than a lie. I might get upset about something she does wrong, but I get far more upset about the lie. So we made a deal, sealed with a fistbump, that I would work on not getting so angry if she would work on being more honest. And like He always is, God was listening to that conversation. Right away, He challenged me to live up to my promise. We had only been home a few minutes when I noticed something had happened in the microwave causing a huge mess. I questioned her about it and I could see the little wheels turning in her head. To lie or to tell the truth…that was the question. Would mama really do what she promised? (After all, we fistbumped and everything, so that must mean she would.). I patiently waited for an answer as I watched her struggle within herself. Then, miracle of miracles, she confessed to making the mess.
Now it was my turn to struggle. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. I was tempted to get angry. I was tempted to revert back to my old way of handling situations. But I wasn’t tempted to the point that I couldn’t respond differently. God gave me a way out. He gave me an opportunity to react in a way that solidified the promise I had made to her earlier. He gave me a way out that demonstrated love and grace. He gave me a way out that honored that ceremonial fistbump. I looked at that darling girl, and I smiled. I told her that accidents happen and we laughed about it. I saw her sigh of relief as she came to the realization that owning up to your mistakes isn’t as bad as it sounds. As for me, I was so relieved to hear her answer honestly. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 1:4)
I hope and pray that this is a lesson she will carry throughout her life. I know I will. We try so hard to teach our children, and then we are amazed when they, in turn, teach us so much. When you are walking through the uncertainties of motherhood, when you are struggling with negative behaviors in your children, it can seem so difficult and so frustrating. But our God is so much bigger than all of the frustration and all the difficulties. He will use those moments to teach us…about our children and about ourselves.
What is God teaching you today? How is He using your children to mold you and shape you into who He desires you to be? Are you in need of a fistbump moment with your child…a moment where you can come to an agreement on a situation and find your middle ground? Let God guide you to and through those moments. Trust Him to give you opportunities to demonstrate love and grace to your children, and by doing so, teaching them valuable lessons that will last a lifetime. Continue reading “Fistbump & Forgiveness”→
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