Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Knock, Knock



I need to learn to pray again.

Ok, so just typing that sentence kind of feels like a tiny burden has been lifted.
Admitting that to the world makes it more real rather than like a little secret I've kept to myself.

For a while now, I have just kept that one inside, behind a tiny black door in my heart, where only I knew about it...well, God and me.
I am confident that my prayer life used to be in decent shape but these days, not so much.
I send up some popcorn prayers when I hear of things happening around me, like my baby sister having tests run or the recent Oklahoma tornadoes. But I will sadly admit that getting on my knees or my face...wait...to be even more truthful, just waking up and starting the day with prayer and then ending the day with prayer, that doesn't happen like it should.

I don't want to be on a strict prayer schedule. I don't want to make this about routine prayer or a checklist type thing.

I need my prayer life to be my lifeline!
I need to call on God the way I call my baby sister when I have a bad day.
I need to grab God's ear when I get ticked at work and allow Him to talk me down instead of brooding to myself over it or even worse, venting to a coworker.
I need to just tell Him how thankful I am for the air that I breathe...the heart that beats in my chest.

I read a blog today about teaching your daughter to pray for her future husband now, while she is young and also that we, as parents, should be praying for our children's future spouses as well. I stopped dead and thought to myself, how can I do that when I don't even stop to pray half of the time over daily things!?

This revelation scared me...seriously, just made the hair on my neck stand on end.

Plus, if I am not praying, how can I teach my kids to pray? And if they don't have a prayer life, how will they have a relationship with Christ!?

I am intentional about a lot of insignificant things...I think we all are. But my prayer life, which in all reality is the connection that I have to Christ, should be the most intentional thing that I do. Boy has this hit me hard, and I am so thankful!

Prayer. Seems so easy---but it's not. It's not easy for me just to stop. But I need to. And I will.

Face down, heart cut open wide, spilling tears, allowing myself to be naked and transparent.
Change me God. Break the habit that I have of not relying fully on You for each breath that I breathe!

God knocked on that little black door this morning. It's open. Wide.
I'm going to learn to pray again...today is just day one of the rest of my life.



1 Corinthians 14:15
What am I to do?
I will pray with my spirit,
but I will pray with my mind also;
I will sing praise with my spirit,
but I will sing with my mind also.


“You may as soon find a living man that does not breath,
as a living Christian that does not pray.”
~ Matthew Henry

God brought me back to life.
New Mercy. Once again.
I didn't deserve that knock at the door in my heart.
For His Glory alone did He do it.
And He will be glorified by me and through me!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mom



Is it weird that all I want for Mother's Day this year is a bottle of perfume (only because I have been out for probably over a year) and I want an entire afternoon with my family, cleaning the garage? :)

Sounds like a lot of fun doesn't it, lol!

I have always loved Mother's Day, even when I wasn't a mom yet. As a child, I loved to create a personal gift for my mom. You know the kind, a clay handprint, a painting of the sun and a rainbow, a macaroni necklace. Fun and simple, but so meaningful. As I have gotten older, I realize it isn't so much about the gifts as it is about feeling like your children really love and appreciate you. My kids are so little that I don't think they understand that yet, so I find those creative little gifts they bring home from school, daycare and children's church to be some of my greatest treasures. But as an adult, and a mom, I know what Mother's day is truly meant to be.

My mom recently moved in with us for a few different reasons and this transition has been interesting to say the least, and an adjustment for all of us. But it is definitely proving to be for the best. Now we haven't always been the best of friends and we still have our moments, but my mom sure does mean a lot to me and my family. We are so thankful to have her around and get to spend extra time showing her just how much we love her.

I know that we should do this every day and not just one day a year---kind of like any holiday---yes, there is one day set aside to celebrate, but we should keep it on our hearts and minds daily.

So this Mother's Day, I'm not sure what we are doing for lunch or if there will be any flowers or gifts given; but what I do know is that love will be poured out in abundance and each day thereafter.

Thank you Mom for all that you have done and are doing. I know that there are days when you feel like life is just tearing you down, but I hope and pray that you will hold onto the fact that you are loved more than you know and that you mean a whole lot to us!
We love you Mom. Happy Mother's Day.




 


This blog post is linked at www.missionalwomen.com

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Only Christ




"The unbridled beauty of a comeback lies first in God's grace; second, in the decision to accept that daily dose of grace; and third, in the gain of a clear perspective that keeps you steady in Jesus' palm."--Angela Naxworth, Womb Woven and Wonderfully Made


comeback--A return to formerly enjoyed status or The act of making up a deficit
The Free Dictionary by Farlex

I am taking back my ground; Returning to my former state of joyful hope in the Lord and His Salvation and Righteousness! Not just returning, but with a new awareness and renewed spirit!

He has freshly forgiven me today, saved me again and again with each breath that I breathe...each step that I take.

NEW MERCY!

mercy-- compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender: lenient or compassionate treatment
Merriam Webster Dictionary

When I speak that word, "mercy", something within me just bows down in worship and adoration. It is such a beautiful word-a beautiful picture of my loving Savior Jesus forgiving me, an awful offender; showing me the ultimate leniency and compassion.

I am a sinner. A rebellious, prodigal child. I have done my fair share of running in the opposite direction of the Lord...and each time, I've fallen down, skinned my knees, and been covered in the muck and mire. I wear ugly scars from my own disobedient, resistant and unruly nature; daily reminders of just how much I am in need of Mercy & Grace, and of just how much Jesus loves me, to take me back in, pick me up, wash me off, and redirect me in the way of Truth and Light.
He is the only One that can and will do that for me. It's beautiful and amazing and I am so unworthy of that! Any way you look at it, I don't deserve such treatment! The only reason that I stand on two feet today is because He lifted me up from my knees when I could barely crawl. How can I not jump for joy and shout to the world of this saving grace?

We had a ladies retreat a couple of weeks ago and the theme was God's Beach House. We were there to be reminded that our peace and rest is in God alone; nothing in this world can give us what we truly need daily. No matter what we think will complete us or make us happier: a new car, a bigger house, a husband, a baby, a new job...it can't and it won't...it doesn't have that power!

But Jesus does! He has Resurrection Power, don't ya know!
Didn't He raise Lazarus from the dead? (John 11:1-45)
Didn't He heal the woman with the issue of blood with just the touch of the hem of his cloak? (Matt 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-47)
Didn't He Himself, after being crucified on the cross, and being buried in the grave for 3 days, rise again, conquering death? (Matt 27:32-28:20, Mark 15:33-16:20, Luke 23:26-24:53)

ONLY CHRIST HAS THE POWER TO SAVE AND RENEW MY SOUL!

He has renewed me once again! He has refreshed my soul! I was like Lazarus-He raised me from the dead! I was like the woman with the issue of blood-He healed me with just one touch!
And He is stripping away what I don't need, all the things that have gotten in the way of our relationship---so that I come to Him as my only source of Rest and Renewal.

Jesus, Living Water, Breath of Life...drawing me back when I stray...Thank You Father...


"Remember once again why we are making this journey. It isn't just for the milk and honey on this side fo the cross. It's for the Person who is calling us there. He is lovingly taking everything that has happened, creating something of great worth. In the void of our lives, Jesus does His best work, faithful to bring order out of chaos, beauty out of darkness. We may not be holding onto anything, except the very prize that is worth winning. Jesus."---Bonnie Gray, Faith Barista