But I don’t have time

If asked what are some things you wish you had time for, what would you say? It’s ironic how living in a time where everything is manufactured to be quicker, more time efficient, we’re still plagued with this all too known phrase “but I don’t have time…”.  I wish I could…but I don’t have time. Countless things could fill in that blank. I wish I could work out, I wish I could spend more time with my kids, I wish I could read my bible more, I wish I could pray more….but I don’t have time. I can’t even count the times I’ve heard this come out of  people’s mouths, even my own.

It wasn’t until I left my job and became a full time mom that I realized if I didn’t have time for something, it was my fault. For a long time I blamed having a job, responsibilities of ministry, and even having kids as an excuse for things I knew were important but I couldn’t get done. I’d constantly think “If only things were this way or that way, then  I’d have time…”. Then I found myself saying those exact same words even when I did have the time. I simply wasn’t making the time.

More than once I’ve heard my husband quote, “Excuses only satisfy the person that makes them…”. And he’s right. Excuses are just that, excuses. And unfortunately the thing people make most excuses for is their spiritual growth. We think God will understand that our lives are “just too busy” to pray, to fast, to serve in ministry…  We tell God “fix this in my life then I’ll have time to serve” or “then I’ll have more time to go to church”. Sound familiar? I hope not, but if you do find yourself saying this, think about Daniel. Daniel was a man of prayer, he had a deep connection with God because he knew the place God deserved in his life. When you intentionally give God the time he deserves, things will change. Everything will begin to align itself in your life, because you have given Him priority.

What a struggle we have sometimes, giving God his rightful place. Daniel 6:10 says that even while knowing the decree that had been placed Daniel prayed,  “just as he had done before.” Even in the face of death Daniel did not waver in his devotional time with God. But how many times do we give up just 5 minutes of morning time with God for 5 more minutes of the snooze button! It’s not that we don’t have time, we simply don’t make the time! When something is a priority in your life you make time for it. Even simple things like brushing your teeth, taking a bath, and eating a meal. You make time for it because you understand its importance. God forbid you go day after day without brushing your teeth because you “don’t have time.” Or go for weeks without showering because you “keep forgetting” or “things keep coming up”.  Excuses.

I’ll leave you with this, a bible commentary I was reading (because I’m nerdy like that) went like this: ” Daniel prayed openly and avowedly; and though a man of vast business, he did not think that would excuse him from daily exercises of devotion. How inexcusable are those who have but little to do in the world, yet will not do thus much for their souls!” Ouch. Priorities….they are priorities because you make them, not because they have the time to be. I encourage you to analyze your life. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out, or to have the perfect handle on managing my priorities. But God has brought this conviction to my heart, and I have to share it. I pray God may become the center of your life so you can enjoy His abundance of blessings. You will never go back!

Helper

    img_3008You may have heard  a common phrase that says “A woman’s heart should be so into God that a man has to seek Him to find her.” This is a helpful concept especially in the beginning stages of a relationship. However once a woman has opened up and has followed the path that now makes her a wife or “suitable helper” (Gen 2:18) things make a slight shift.

Mankind was created with an instinct to lead. This is reflected in Genesis 1:26 “…let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” This authority was given in a general sense to mankind. However when you continue reading you encounter a reflection of God’s thought process when he created Adam and Eve. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Gen 2:15) Meaning he was now to govern the earth responsibly under God’s authority. But with every living being God had created “no suitable helper was found” (Gen 2:19). So God created Eve.

Eve was created to unite with Adam and “help” him, not “lead” him. God gave Adam specific instructions and then provided the help he needed through Eve. Husbands have a responsibility to take care of “the land”. What would now be their homes, wife, and children. Wives have a responsibility to “help” their husbands. However nowadays the subject of a woman’s place is a controversial (and touchy) one. Nonetheless God’s original intent still remains. The privileges that a woman carries now in the secular world like that of career, position, leadership are often times confused with her role in her home when she stands alongside her husband. Both positions as husband and wife have a great weight and will both be held accountable before God. They were designed to compliment and balance each other out. That is why when a couple has God as the center and glue of their marriage they will as a result draw closer together. It will unite them in a way nothing else can and become fulfilling not only to both of them, but to the family as a whole.

A “helper” has immense value. They  relieve burden, work together, team up, follow, encourage, lift up….and the list goes on. They have influence as well, are heard and have a voice. A wife is not left behind but rather walks alongside her husband. She supports him and in return receives what she yearns from him and the family; appreciation, value, admiration, and love. That doesn’t mean if she is not currently receiving these things she should diminish her devotion, but continue on because not a detail of her life is overlooked by the Creator. She will be rewarded in due time, as will the husband who takes on with diligence the responsibility that was given to him.

A marriage is a team, and when one role is lacking the marriage as a whole is affected. It trickles down to the children or anything else they lead as a couple. Whether it’s their home, a ministry or a business. Women if you can embrace God’s intent for your role as a wife, you will become a breath of life to your husband and children. Encouraging in everything you speak  and helping your husband in the guidance of your family. Sometimes it’s a difficult task in itself figuring out how to be that, I’m still figuring it out myself. But with God’s help and his Holy Spirit inside of you he will guide you and teach you every day. Embrace your role and its journey, it will not be in vain!

Preserve my life

img_2327Growing up in a Christian home is not easy. What is meant to protect us can be seen as just rules, limitations, being excluded or ridiculed by peers because we can’t or don’t partake in the things they freely do. Without relationship with God, these can easily lead to frustrations, anger, or rebellion. It’s argued that we can’t be ourselves or express who we are because everything is a sin. The current culture mindset never helps, because many don’t realize anything that makes us the “center” of our lives only brings a halt to what can truly fill our lives.

The phrase “Live your own truth” is lived out in many lives. It’s labeled and used erroneously as expressing yourself and celebrating “individuality”. This causes many to view Christianity as just rules that block “being who you want to be”. Many soak up this advice and use it to justify what in reality is just an indulgence in our sinful nature. True expression and individuality can only come forth when you go back to the root of your creation, and your Creator. The one who KNOWS you, better than you know yourself.

What the world sees as being “narrow” or “closed” minded, is meant to preserve my life. What is taught in a Christian lifestyle, when guided by the Word and Holy Spirit is not because it makes us “better” than anyone. Nor does it bind us from being who we are. It PRESERVES who God created me to be and allows me to find myself in Him. Like an artist takes steps to preserve their painting, so our Creator seeks to preserve us.

Being a follower of Christ does not mean my life is limited, full of rules, or expectations of being a “perfect” person. If means true freedom, victory, living a life that is fulfilled, and knowing who I was created to be. It means now my life is preserved, through His Word, teachings and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

If you are searching to find yourself, looking to discover who you are and where you are destined to go,  I encourage you to start by asking the one who created you. His guidance will preserve your life. His Word says in Jeremiah 1: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”. So why start anywhere else.

 

 

He is good, even when he gives bad.

img_1574

When there are no words that comfort, no strength to hold us, no embrace that brings us peace, He is there and He is good. In that moment when our heart is in tears and we struggle to be strong because that is what we are “supposed to do”, He is there and He is good. When deep breaths and suppressing emotions feel like the only way to make it through the day, and when we “know” He will never leave us yet feel so isolated and misunderstood. In these moments in life that bring us pain we are not meant to handle, He is GOOD.

We need pain. It is what breaks us down and points us in the direction we need to go. Right into God’s loving arms. The earth is screaming in pain. Pain that you and I may not see but can experience through what God allows into our lives. We never want it, we run from it, and we sure don’t understand it. But through it all He is GOOD. And in His goodness He takes us through the process to perfect what He is doing in us.

No one likes to talk about the process. The ugliness of it, the questioning, the tears, the desperate longing to reach the end. Yet in the midst of our suffering God continues being God. No amount of pain can take away from who He is. And He is a GOOD God. His word says “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (Psalms 105:4). In Him we WILL find the strength.

I currently walk through my own process as I deal with the pain of suffering a third miscarriage. My heart aches still as I watch my children play and long for the three who “should have been”. Yet after struggling and questioning there was nothing left to do but surrender. Surrender to the process that He wanted to take me through and allow me to discover more of who He is. And I saw more than ever that His goodness is eternal.

If you are going through a painful process, know that he is holding you, even when you have stopped holding on. Let his work be perfected in you and see the beauty in the process. He is infinitely good, even when he says yes to the pain that comes. His word assures us that his love surpasses all understanding. And love is fueling his every stroke in our lives. Believe in His goodness, even when He brings you pain.

He doesn’t NEED your worship.

IMG_0128Yes, that’s right. He doesn’t need it. Our worship doesn’t define God. It doesn’t make Him any more or less who He is. Somewhere in our minds we think that because it pleases Him, it must mean that He’s getting something out of it. When in fact it is quite the contrary. What if I told you that WE are the one who benefit when we worship Him…. There is an immense process that goes on inside of us when we push through the boundaries that our own flesh puts on us making us feel too tired, too busy, too embarrassed, too awkward… you get the point. Your worship does not bring Him closer to you, it brings YOU closer to Him. He has always been there. Hasn’t moved, and isn’t planning to. He is the God who was, is and always will be. The God of all the universe does not grow stronger because people worship Him. We are the ones who grow stronger with each breath we let out in our moment of worship. Feeling guilty? Not worthy? None of us are, but in the midst of our sincerest worship we are made new. We are given a new chance and opportunity to start fresh that very moment. In our worship we are opened up for God to cleanse us, strengthen us, and embrace us in His love. So no, He doesn’t need your worship, YOU have a need to worship Him.

I used to be scared.

wpid-wp-1432929881284.jpegI used to be scared. Scared about bringing kids into this world. Not about the labor pains or giving birth or even experiencing something so wildly new, but about raising kids in this fast changing world that seems to only point in one direction…away from God. A place where everything needs to be “accepted” and the lines of moral values have been blurred and shaded grey because now it’s all about “living your own truth”. Yes THAT scared me. Teaching my children to live in a way that is looked at as “old fashioned” or “closed minded”. I lived with this fear until our first daughter was born. When I got to experience first hand how powerful love can be. How overwhelmingly amazing it is to love someone so strongly that you’d be willing to give your life for them. How love drives everything you do, your thoughts, your decisions, your plans…..and I realized that’s how God’s love is for us. So strong that it goes beyond our understanding, yet we attain a humbling glimpse of it when we hold our child in our arms. I wanted her to know God’s love…. and to share it with the world. Yes it is a cold world, and it needs to be warmed with His love. The world needs an army to fight for and rescue all those who are walking without Christ. That is what I am raising. Soldiers. Individuals who are filled with the love of God and will stop at nothing to share it with the world. This transformed my thinking…and I was no longer afraid. I have experienced LOVE….God is love. And His love in us “rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love NEVER fails.” (1 Cor 13:6).  And my children will know His love. In their journey to encountering and knowing the living God, my husband and I will be right there….covering them with our prayers, and proclaiming the Word over their lives. Our home is a training ground, one that trains currently through crayons and puzzle pieces. So if you are scared of bringing children into this world or fear for the ones you currently have, be at peace. You are raising soldiers for an almighty God. And he is there every step of the way…. He NEVER fails.

Worth it all

wpid-wp-1432669494681.jpegPressure on your chest, headaches, feeling like you can’t breathe…. Signs of stress that take over and you just can’t shake it off. Stress is a part of life, it gets us moving or pushes us to complete tasks, sometimes even sharpens our senses. But the stress that comes from our lack of trust in the Holy One…that takes you to the danger zone. We all at one point have felt it, and in our human nature it will always strive to creep it’s way into our thoughts (many times successfully), but that doesn’t give it the right to stay there. We have been given a powerful tool, one that the world does not have, and that is our faith. From our faith we receive the strength to keep going, to keep believing, to keep fighting.”Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see….” Faith brings peace and security beyond what this world can offer and in the darkest of times. When it all goes wrong, when we lose it all, when it seems like the end…faith remains. God remains. Jesus remains. If we lose it all, He still remains…. His love is perfect and He is worth it ALL.