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Living the Salt Life

The other day as I was putting away some clothes, I asked my 4 year old son what he knew about God, he responded “not so much” and I asked do you want to know more about him and he responded the same. I really wasn’t surprised, why would he want to know more about God. Learning about God is not nearly as entertaining as playing toys or video games and he definitely hasn’t been struck with hardship to need to lean on him. Then yesterday morning, I lended a ear to the dental hygienist cleaning my teeth and she used the phrase “they really are good kids” several times and it always followed a questionable decision or action the kid made.

After these interactions, the word apathy got stuck in my head along with “good kids”. The word apathy means: absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement and lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting. The definition of “good kids” is up for interpretation but I’m talking about those who behave moderately well that do well enough in school and make fairly wise decisions staying away from any severe mischievous behaviors.

God had me contemplating the two together and he made the connection for me. Could our endeavors to raise “good kids” actually be raising apathetic adults? Most of us have been raised in middle class homes, not really ever living in want with open doors to many opportunities. We are taught in school, at home and by culture we can be whatever we want to be, we can do whatever we want to do, we can live however we want to live, believe whatever we want to believe with little to no consequences. The attitude of self is celebrated and revered with you have to go get what you want, strive to be the best you and make sure to carve out that me time. Parents raise “good kids” to do well in school and to behave well but allowing some “normal” questionable behavior because after all kids will be kids and teenagers will be teenagers and they will do what they will do.

So what is the harm in raising “good kids,” is that not an admirable thing to do? Satan is crafty in his ways of deceiving and he has stealthily entered the majority of families with the ideals of raising “good kids.” He has convinced parents that going to church on Sunday and raising the kids to be good is good enough. He has convinced generations the only way to be successful in life is getting the best education possible, to be well rounded in all sorts of sports and hobbies and to never give up on their ideas and dreams for themselves. As our minds have been set to try to attain these goals, it has been turned away from God. We have given up Godly wisdom from His Word for earthly wisdom. We have given up discipline and self control for instant gratification and indulgence. We have dismissed God’s plans and purposes for our future to attain what we want for ourselves. It has left generations apathetic toward God and fostering new ones.

What does God say about these “good” people?

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:15-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As believers, we are to live salty lives for Christ. We are not to look, sound, and be like the world. We are to live transformed being new creatures and living in a foreign land. We are to raise salty kids. Asking what does God have planned for you what is your purpose in him. Teaching them his ways and his words over everything else. We are to put everything in our life through the spiritual grid to sift out anything that causes us to stray whether activities or mindsets. We are to be confident in Christ stepping into deep waters he has called us into, awakening us with a thrilling passion to pursue him more not living in shallow warm water that lacks passion. We are to exchange our apathy for zeal and zest for the Lord and lead and teach our children by example and challenge the worlds way and live fully alive in Christ. No longer strive to raise “good kids” but strive to raise kids with the foundation of reverence in God, cultivating minds and hearts that have been permeated with God’s truth and his ways. Let’s show our children how to love God with all of our heart and all of our soul and love others as ourselves.

Daily Reminders, Lessons

Speaking a Foreign Language

I love personality tests. I love to see how each person ticks and how God created them to work, learn and love. Each person having their own language in the way they perceive life.

Over the last couple of months, God has shown me by learning the language of others, I can better communicate Christ’s love to them. I’m an introverted person who loves the details of life and how they all connect together forming a larger picture. I find the most loving thing a person could do is spend quality time with me talking over big ideas and going deeply into the meaning of them. However, the people in my family do not have this same perception of life. I live with several inventors and big picture people who get bored easily with the little details. I have loved ones who don’t need long talks but constant snuggles and little special things done for them. Some speak to me using their words others bottle their feelings and use actions more loudly. A few need to be praised and others shy away from praise. Each made in the image of God with their own unique way of viewing life and love.

Although, I have always made an effort to understand each one in my family, God revealed to me my lack of understanding on truly speaking the language above all languages, the language of the spirit. He opened my eyes using

‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭2:3-4

“Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”

The Holy Spirit, at the time of Pentecost, enabled the apostles to speak foreign languages to men and women present so each could hear in his or her own native tongue. How amazing is that!?!

God showed me that through his Holy Spirit I can learn to speak into the hearts of my loved ones by speaking their language. He revealed that even in those whom I have a similar love language our ideas of quality time are drastically different. For those who are not like me, it is not enough to do what I think they would like. To truly speak to them, I must listen to the spirits prompting and speak their language. It would require me to move out of my own comfort zone, change habits because it would hinder me from expressing God’s love to them and go to greater lengths in planning and being intentional. It would require me to become selfless and speak the exact language they needed to hear.

However, in all of this beautiful revelation God has reminded me of the greatest thing, that to love supernaturally I must have my own love tank filled supernaturally. In other words, in order to love my family well through the spirit I must remember that my own love tank must be filled by God himself not dependent of others. Knowing the God of the Universe loves me and does in deed speak into my heart personally, I can love others through his spirit without feeling depleted or unloved.

Through the Spirit, we can learn to love our spouses and our children. We can demonstrate God’s love by speaking their language and going beyond ourselves to love as God loves us. Imagine the beautiful blessings that would come to our marriages and our families if we chose to speak the languages of our loved ones as the spirit prompted.

Matthew‬ ‭22:36-40‬

““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.””

Book Recommendations

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman

The Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

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Daily Reminders

You’re So Pretty Mom

1 Peter 3:1-6

Each one of my older Children at random times of the day will walk up to me and say, “You’re so pretty mom.” It is usually followed by a hug or a kiss. I will tell them thank you and compliment them on an aspect of their character.

As a mom of four, in all honesty, I don’t feel all that pretty. My body has changed so much over the last 7 years. It has had ups and downs in weight and shapes that I’m not even sure how to dress it anymore. My normal mom uniform consists of yoga pants and t-shirts for their practicality and comfort. Make-up and straightening my hair seems to be left for special occasions of church and the doctors office. Jewelry is toned down. Where I once wore my beautiful engagement ring and band, it is now replaced with multiple colored silicone rings and my ears only bear occasional simple pearls. My outward beauty has seem to have faded into an assortment of convenience and comfort.

So what is it that kids see that is so pretty? I actually asked them one day. I first asked what makes a person pretty and my four year old responded, “Your heart.” I then asked him why do you think I’m pretty? He said, “Because you are nice to us.”

Of course, my heart melted! It also reminded me of Proverbs 31:30

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

At this stage in my life, looking into a mirror does not thrill me. At times, I do lament the body I use to have but it is often followed by gratitude for what my body has gone through. I sometimes get frustrated with my daily uniform but remember it allows me to focus on my children gives me comfort to run around and play in the floor. I’m not worried about spit up or other bodily fluid destroying nice clothes or binding me up where I cannot play tickle monster. My face might be bare but I don’t have to worry about mascara running down my face because I have had a hard day with the kids and I’ve been crying out to Jesus.

This is a time of inner beauty rather than outward beauty. It is a time that God is cultivating fruit of the spirit in me as I seek desperately for Him so that I can teach my children. A time to see beauty in the way the Father sees beauty and a challenge to have confidence in him rather than the way I look.

Before long, the season of little kids and yucky hands will be gone. I will no longer need to wear the mom uniform for practical purposes. The kids will not require my full attention as they do now. However, I suspect that as I move away from this season, I will also be moving away from the phrase, “You’re so pretty mom.” I see the evidence in my oldest. So I will relish this time and continue to peruse beauty in Christ that will last into eternity.

Daily Reminders

Living a Messy Life

Lately God has been using imagery to help me understand His will for me. I have felt like I have been living a messy life. Following God but then trying to take control or getting my focus thrown off. This morning he brought to mind this picture.

Christ lived the perfect life. He did God’s will even unto death. He is our perfect example of how we are to live our lives.

Those who choose to follow God tend to lead messy lives. we have a sinful nature and are prone to sin so we battle between what we want verse what God wants.

Others choose themselves and forsake God’s will altogether. They choose what they believe is best and live life according to their desires.

However, at the end life and when we come before the thrown we will have to give an account for our lives. Christ’s life template will be laid upon our own. His grace will cut away all that laid outside of God’s will. We will either have a life full of his blessings and rewards or we will have had a life that was empty.

How do you choose to live your life? Will you choose to live your life in God’s will even though messy or will choose to live your own way and have lived for nothing?

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭

Daily Reminders

We Were Not Meant To Juggle Life

I was having an overwhelmed moment this morning thinking about how I was to juggle all the facets of my life. The idea was paralyzing. God in his faithfulness, made clear his perfect direction and will.

I have a lot going on in my life. When I take control, it is a constant juggling act and I forget to live life. Everything is competing for my attention and I have limited thought processes for it. I focus on one or two things but everything else falls apart. I get really overwhelmed and I freeze and become ineffective. This is not the way God designed us to think or live our lives, He has a better way.

He wants to be the focal point of our lives. He doesn’t want us to separate life out into neat little boxes and then allow him into each one as a bystander. He doesn’t want to be “in” our lives he wants to be the sovereign authority of our lives.

When he is placed as the authority of our lives every facet of our life falls under him. It would then be his responsibility to balance life for us. Bringing to the forefront of our minds, the right thing at the right time in the right way. When I place life under my authority I cannot balance life because I do not know the right time or right way.

How is This Done Practically?

-Release The Expectations

We all have expectations of how life should go or the way we want it to go. We have in our mind the type of mother we will be, the type of marriage we will have the person we will become. However, these expectations can get in the way of what God has for us. We have to lay down our own thoughts and reasoning and pick up his. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

-Set Our Mind on Christ

We cannot follow God if our minds are not attuned to his. We must make it a priority in our life to have a relationship with God. Developing a quiet time and walking hand in hand with him through out your day is crucial. (Romans 12:2)

-Trust in Him

You are not God and cannot be everywhere and be everything for everyone. However, you can be in the right place at the right time if you trust God to lead you there. You can trust God’s timing and his ways on how to handle each thing. You can trust that his way is best and he is working to your good no matter how it may seem. (Romans 8:28)(Isaiah 55:8-9)

-Remember God’s Grace is Sufficient

You must push away the lies you “need to do more.” The enemy wants you to believe God and his ways are not enough, that you need to add to what he is doing. He will convince you to pick up a facet of your life and try to add to it to take control and make you believe what is being done is not enough. Resist it and remember that Christ’s grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9

-Remember Who You are Serving

Work for God’s glory and his approval not that of friends, family or the world. In the end, it is God’s reward we will store up in heaven that will not perish. If we seek the approval and and glory from those who perish our reward will perish with them. Store up eternal treasure through obedience to the Almighty. (Matthew 6:19-21)

-Remember His Mercies

God’s mercies are renewed each day. You will screw up and fail. You will war within yourself. BUT you don’t have to stay there. You can repent and move forward and what is lost he will restore. Where you fail, he will close the gap. Where you succeed it is through him you were successful. His purpose will be fulfilled regardless. His plans are never thwarted. We are privileged to be apart of his plan and to share in his glory, sufferings and goodness. (Lamentations 3:22-23) (Job 42:2)

If you are overwhelmed and constantly trying to juggle your life, lay it at the feet of Jesus. Allow Jesus to become the authority over your life so he can give you the freedom to live it.