Friendships. . .they take a lot of intentional effort and time to build. But they are so, so worth it! When I think of the many friendships I’ve had throughout my life, I find they are usually connected to a specific season of my life. Not always is this the case, but friendships can often change with a new or different season of life for me or my friend.
I have found that in my current season of motherhood (having 2 middle school kids, one elementary age, and 2 preschoolers), I must intentionally make time and invite friends into my life. It’s very easy to get caught up in the mundane duties of motherhood and neglect inviting others into my world. But I need friends and believe it is God’s idea for community among His people. I am so refreshed in my spirit and encouraged in my heart when I spend time with friends who understand the struggles of life in my season and yet remind me of the hope of the Gospel in day-to-day living. Continue reading Intentional Friendships→
I’m sitting outside on my deck today enjoying the beautiful sunshine. The sky is Carolina blue with huge white puffy clouds. I can see the new rose bushes I planted this week, the rosemary plant the kids begged me to purchase (to be like “Meme”), the huge yellow African marigolds in my new planter, and the beautiful wave petunias that grace my deck. I’m smiling this afternoon as I write you this letter because you taught me to LOVE flowers. Every flower that I plant reminds me of you. And I miss you, Mom. Every. single. day.
I must tell you that I have had to fight to get from living in empty to living in His fullness. I’m still fighting daily to live in His fullness and truth.
After mom’s death, I had no idea of how intense the battles (and wars) would be that I would fight within my heart for His truth. Grief is such an ugly journey. . . full of many ups and downs.
John 10:10 has become a very special verse to me in the last few years. As I was deeply struggling in my grief, anger, and spiritual questioning, God led me to this verse. Jesus says, “I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” One author paraphrased the verse to read, “The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but I have come to bring them life in its fullness.”
I seriously doubted the truth of this verse for months. My life felt anything but “abundant”. It seemed to me that the devil had won and I would never experience a full life again. Satan is the Ultimate Deceiver! He is downright ugly and plays cruelly! He wants to take me captive. .. and he wants to take you captive. And very often, he slyly pulls our hearts and minds away from the truth by using our emotions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences to pull the engines of our mind and heart rather than allowing Truth to direct our minds and hearts. Our experiences and emotions cannot be our guide. Every event in your life must be understood and interpreted by the Scriptures. For the God revealed in Scripture doesn’t change. (Malachi 3:6) Continue reading Filled With All the Fullness of God- Part Three→
A few weeks ago, a friend and I were texting back and forth concerning a difficult family situation she found herself in. After encouraging her heart to trust the Lord and follow Biblical principles, I received her text that read something like this. . .”Thanks for your help. It’s all such a struggle. It just makes me long so for Heaven.”
Don’t we all feel this way at times if we are honest? The struggles of this life threaten to overwhelm us. We get tired of fighting the battles of faith day in and day out. We long for the day when it’s not so hard anymore to obey the Word and submit our fleshly desires to His.
I understand why she made this comment. Many times we are locked into extremely difficult situations, we are dealing with hurtful relationships, and we feel we are sinking under the daily pressures of life. I find myself often longing for Christ’s return and the hope of Heaven where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” (Rev. 21:4)
While it’s not wrong to think of Heaven and long for our future hope (Christ tells us to “set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth”- Col. 3:2), we must remind our hearts to live in the grace He gives us for now. We must not miss the opportunities for grace that God offers to us in this present life. Continue reading Grace for Now→
It is one of my favorite times. It is one of my hardest times.
It is a time of sweet and precious memories. It is a time where I find myself now having to purposefully create many new memories.
I eagerly look forward to spending time with extended family and friends. But I deeply miss the presence of my mom (in Heaven) and my dad (in Uganda). The new normal of Christmas isn’t always easy for me.
I often find myself so full of joy in the Christmas season. Yet some days of this holiday season I struggle to breathe when my heart aches with grief and weariness. Continue reading Christmastime Hope→
I’m reminded of the story of Jacob in the OT. Recently I read this as it relates. . .
“A long time ago, a preacher named James H. McConkey asked a friend of his, a doctor, ‘What is the exact significance of God’s touching Jacob upon the sinew of his thigh?’”
“And the doctor told him, ‘The sinew of the thigh is the strongest in the human body. A horse couldn’t even tear it apart.’”
These are the words I’ve never forgotten, what preacher McConkey said. “Ah, I see. The Lord has to break us down at the strongest part of our self-life before He can have His own way of blessing in us.” (One Thousand Gifts– Ann Voskamp)
Tears already fill my eyes as I try to write words here.
Yesterday I sat on my front steps of the porch and watched big tears roll down my oldest boy’s cheeks. I listened intently to the sadness in his voice as he expressed confusion and bitterness in losing his meme- my mom.
Summer is over and gone. Wow! I can hardly believe the kids are back in school. We had a pretty crazy summer. Our family experienced many joys but also many challenges. Let’s face it. Life on this earth is hard and full of many challenges. It is so easy to be overwhelmed with the daily struggles and pressures we face. Seasons of change drive us even more to our knees. Continue reading Encouraging Hearts→
This past Sunday, my husband and I were privileged to attend a life class (small group) led by my brother-in-law Ryan. As we began studying the Word from I Peter 3, our hearts were directed to verse 8. I Peter 3:8 reads, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
In our discussion of this verse, we came to the word sympathy. Ryan asked the group to share a definition or application for sympathy.
Immediately, my mind thought of a sympathy card! I have given out many sympathy cards to others who are grieving. Unfortunately, I also know exactly what it feels like to receive one of those cards. After Mom’s death, my mailbox was flooded with sympathy cards. While I am extremely grateful for each expression of love and sympathy that showed itself in the form of a card, I have learned from experience that Biblical sympathy extends much deeper than just a card! Continue reading Sympathy Is More Than a Card→
I can’t help but think about my sweet mama a lot this week. Wow! Only You know how every thought is filled with her memory! It seems I can’t escape her presence. . ..although she’s not really here anymore.
Sometimes it still seems so unreal that she is now with You. . .but I’m glad she’s safe now and has found her joy again. But the ache of missing her buries deep within my bosom. My chest hurts with the pain of losing my best friend and mentor. The questions of her death run deep within my mind. Continue reading From my journal. . . .Mother’s Day 2013→