Daily Reminders

The Beauty in Scars

The Lord has taught me a lot about healing recently. This past year has been a series of ups and downs for me spiritually and emotionally. One of the latest things he has pointed out to me is the beauty within a scar.

Scars tend have a bad connotation. A reminder of hurt or pain that we would like to forget but what if we viewed scars in another light?

The Lord gave me eyes to see the state of myself spiritually. I drew a figure of a person and I placed a slash mark on the body for every wound that I felt had been inflicted that tied a lie to my mind. When I looked at the picture, tears welled up in my eyes. I might have thought I had drawn myself but what I drew was Christ. Every slash across him someone else’s sin. Every slash across him my sin. Every slash across the figure my sin spewing out across my children and husband.

He showed me however, my wounds are different. Some of my wounds are scarred over and infection is underneath. I had forgiven the original hurt but I had allowed a lie of who I was become an infection; That when current hurt brushes across these wounds that mimic the original, I spew my most vile self. The vile self that continues to inflict wounds onto others.

But, the Lord is not just a diagnostician he is The Great Physician. He not only tells me what is wrong, he has the power to heal it. He will have to cut away the wrong thinking and infection and will poor into my wounds wine (his blood) and oil (his spirit- the word) to clean and protect so they can heal properly.

He did remind me that there will be scars left but I have a choice in the way I can view these scars. I can either view them and see who and what hurt me or I can view them and see who healed me. I, like so many out there can view the scars left as a badge of the healing we have received in Christ as a testimony of his power and healing or we can view them only seeing the sin of others and the lies attached.

Although, I have many infected scars and wince at the idea of the discomfort of the cleaning, I am only hopeful of the healing that will come. Through His wounds we are healed.

Scripture

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

‭‭John‬ ‭20:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭

Daily Reminders

Truths and Lies about Rest

I struggle with rest. I struggle with what rest is and what it is not. These are the things that God has taught me about rest:

Lies about Rest

– Rest is selfish (there is work to be done and you should be working)

– Rest is a weakness or a lack of Spiritual Maturity

– Rest only comes when we complete all of our tasks.

– Rest looks only one way for all people

Truths about Rest

– Sabbath means to cease or to rest

– Resting is righteous and is holy

– Rest is necessary and needed

– Rest is from God and is done through Him

– It is done in conjunction with prayer, meditation on the word of God and abiding in Christ (staying connected throughout your day with Christ)

– God rested Christ rested

– It is purposeful and productive

– Rest is an intentional slow down of life and a stepping away from the everyday work.

What Rest does

– It restores

– It protects from being overwhelmed and chronic stress

– It is an opportunity for reflection and gratitude.

– It causes more fruit to be produced

– It gives new perspective to current circumstances

– It lends in trusting God’s divine timing by stepping away from the need to complete it all in a rush.

What Rest Does Not Do

– It is not an escape from current circumstances

– It does not change current circumstances

– It does not give you the freedom to step out of God’s will

– It is not a license to be lazy or idol

– It is not a cure all

Rest is a necessary thing for our spiritual and physical health. God the father and Christ himself modeled rest for us. Rest can look different from person to person. It may be something done in solitude or it could be found in a gathering of people. You may be in a season of life like myself, where rest may be taken in small sections daily, either way it all has the same elements. It is done with intentional purpose through God and with Him for the restoration of our mind and body so that we may be able to persevere and continue in on the work that lies before us. “Rest” outside of the eternal mindset will only produce a delay from current circumstances and leave you with discontentment of those circumstances and is not true Rest at all.

Scripture

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:8-11‬ ‭

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭6:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭23:10-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Uncategorized

Hope of Glory

Hope of Glory

Oh Lord, your precious blood covers me.

I am made blameless and holy.

Through me, your light shines.

I am yours and you God are mine.

Although you prepared it, I walk a path I do not know

But always trusting the way you lovingly show.

Until the day I see your face,

Hope of Glory, I will cling, always through your grace.

Daily Reminders

Practical Advice on Parenting

  • 1.)When life is too busy or you are overwhelmed:
  • Stop-Slow down- Abide

    Stop– whatever you are doing and the route you are taking

    Slowdown– all mental processes (what you have to get done, how this going to effect this or that etc.)

    Abide– Trust God is working, stay connected to him through his word and let go of control.

    ““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

    ‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    2.) Remember what he has called you to do and what he has NOT called you to do

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

    ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    3.) Remember that small faithful steps in obedience leads to great faith.

    “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

    ‭‭James‬ ‭2:22‬ ‭NIV

    4.) Go on walks with your children

    Walking beside another person slows down life so doors may be open for conversations that are missed in the everyday busyness of life. Take the time to stop and look at the world God created. Admire its diversity and beauty. Allow your children to question and wonder. Tie in God’s majesty to the world they are experiencing as they walk. Walks are a representation of our walk with Christ. We may travel the same route each day but each walk brings new experiences and new lessons. Some days it is a daunting task to walk and others, a joy.

    Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

    ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭11:18-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Uncategorized

    At The Valley’s Edge

    Psalm 27 Psalm 23

    Lately, God has been speaking to me about the journey we all walk through in life. For the believer, He has shown me it works in a cyclical pattern. We have times of rest, times of knowledge and understanding and times of testing. Over the summer, it was clear that God had me in a season of knowledge and understanding. He opened my mind and my heart to knew ways of thinking and began to transform them. Now, he has laid heavy on my heart about the inevitable valley.

    God has led me to edge of the valley. As I look in on the uncertainties of life, I can feel fear knocking on my heart. I can already feel the pressure of the darkness beginning to weigh in. In my heart of hearts, I do not want to walk across this valley. However, the God I know tells me it is for my good. He has purposed this valley. It is for me to grow in my spiritual maturity. It is a time of testing the knowledge he has already given me about himself and to turn it into wisdom. He has promised me he will guide me and he will never forsake me. In the valley, is where I will meet my God face to face. I will see his power made great in my weakness and his grace will be sufficient. In this shadowy place, I will be confronted with the weakness that lies deep in my heart and I will either trust the Lord and be changed or I will flounder and remain the same. I want to run away from this place but in doing so is running away from God. The Lord tells me be strong and courageous do not be afraid for I am with you. I don’t know all that lies before me. I don’t know how dark it will be but I do know my God will not leave me. I know he has been preparing me. I know he is faithful to do all he says he will do. I know there is nothing outside of his control and I know my God loves me. I can walk confidently in him who has placed his spirit within me.

    We can not prevent these times in the valley. We can choose to try to run or escape them learning nothing from them or we can go through it actively trusting the Lord so that we may grow spiritually and see Him in an a more intimate way. For those who have built their lives on the firm foundation of Christ, the valley is a storm that tests your roots. The storm will push and press you but you will be be unmoved in your faith in Christ and will have grown from the down poor. If you placed your trust in yourself or others, when the storm hits, you will be pulled up and laid low but even in the devastating winds and impacts you can cry out to the Lord and he will come near.

    How will you choose to walk in the valley?

    Lessons

    Finding Purpose In The Fire

    Jeremiah 18:1-12

    Sometimes, God leads us into seasons of life with situations and circumstances that drive us to confront emotions we might try to bury otherwise. I find myself in one of these seasons. In this season, anger and frustration drives me to my knees in front of the Lord almighty. At times, I try to squelch my emotions buy burying them and holding my tongue but this is not what the Lord desires. It is not self control but avoidance of confrontation. If I bury what the Lord uses to draw me near to Him I only bring destruction on myself from within. Knowing I am powerless in my situation, I seek after the one who has all the power. He causes me to confront Him with my big emotions. He draws out of me what is really going on in my heart and brings it to the surface. I hate it but I am grateful for it. It is painful but yet it is comforting. At times though, I fight against the pressure of His mighty hand and I cry out why must you keep me here but He reminds me it is for my good. For if there was no kneading of the clay, a pot could not be formed and I would remain a useless lump.

    I do not enjoy the pains of the kiln burning away my impurities. I do not delight in the pain of the surrounding pressure of life in order to drive me to the Lord but I am thankful. I can find joy in my sufferings because it is not a waste in the hands of the almighty. He forms life out of death, creation from nothingness. He uses these emotions to cultivate a heart and mind aligned with his by drawing out what hinders me. It is a comfort to know, that my God is bigger than my situations and my emotions. It is humbling to be reminded that He is more concerned with my holiness than my happiness.

    Supporting Scripture

    “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭64:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

    ‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Uncategorized

    A Time of Wandering

    When I was a new sheep in your pin, I relished my new place. As you came near to me, your ways were contrary to my sinful ways so I fled from you. Although I was yours, I did not know you well and your ways prevented me from going my own way. You allowed me to wander. You kept a close eye on me always walking behind me. You saw all that I did and where I had gone. I wandered down dangerous paths and near cliff edges until the day I wandered too close. I wandered closely to a thorn bush it ensnared me with its thorns. I could not get loose. The more I struggled to free myself the more entangled my fleece became. I was stuck. I was helpless and I could not free myself from my inequities. I called out to you. My God, My God save me! Help me! Free me from what ensnares me! There you were, right behind me as you always had been. I had not seen you through my wandering but you were there. You laid your hand upon me and told me, “be still, know that I am your God. Do not struggle any longer.” As I stayed still, you patiently and gently freed me from the thorns. I drew close to you never afraid of your ways because I knew you loved me and your ways protected me. I turned from that place and I walked with you back to the flock. I had your peace knowing I was going your way. I was in your flock and I could rest in your presence.

    Even though I have taken up your ways, occasionally I lose track of you. I will have had my head down busily working away at what was in front me and I begin to stray. In your mercy and grace, you throw the rod in front of me. Your warning of the path I am on. I quickly pick my head up and see your face and turn the other way. You are always watching me and I am always in your care. I look back from a distance at that thorn bush that had ensnared me, and I am thankful. It is now a place of repentance and deliverance. It is a place where I met you face to face and I began to know you.

    When we are first brought into Christ’s flock it is a joyous time. We are thrilled to be there and have a new home and a new way, but as the shepherd draws close to us we begin to rebel. His ways conflict with our fleshly ways and our desires to do it our own way. During this time, many of us flee for a time. We run away from him because we want to do what we want to do. We do not understand why we must follow him in his exact ways. He allows us to wander. He is ever present during our wandering time but we have no recollection of him. He allows us to make foolish choices and walk dangerously close to edges but at all times He is there because nothing is done outside of his presence. He is walking behind us. It is when we come to a situation in life we cannot rescue ourselves from and we have become helpless that our heads and our hearts finally are opened. We see where our actions have led us. He is there to calm and to free us. In that rescue is where we go from knowing that he our new master to seeing him face to face. We are prodigal sons returning.

    Even though we are following him and attentive to his voice, we are not immune to becoming too busy with this world and lose track of him. He gives us warnings with his rod of discipline and it is in our best interest to pick our heads up and turn the other way to meet with him.

    Supporting Scripture

    Luke 15:11-32

    Matthew 18:10-14

    Psalm 23