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Oh dirt, cry out!

In ground that is hard and compacted a seed cannot grow. There is no room for roots no room to grow. Packed with potential, it lies there dormant.

Oh ground how unforgiving you are! There is no life within you. You produce nothing but weeds, your soil blows away in the wind. You are lifeless and dead. You cannot stand a storm for it whips and tosses you. Torrents of rain washes your foundation away. You are trampled on by beasts.

Cry out to me oh dirt of this earth! Cry out for life!

I will come and I will turn you! I will lay down a new foundation upon you. . I will remove every briar and weed. I will place a covering over your stripped and bare body. I will give you rest. I will plant seeds within you! Within you fruit will be produced.

You will no longer be dry and parched but have a spring of everlasting water. No longer will you be called barren. You will be given a new name a land of milk and honey, a chosen and priceless land.

My chosen land, I bought you while you were still dead, but if you yield to me trust that you are in my hands, let me work in you and through you will be a land of plenty.

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:1-23‬ ‭

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The Journey Inward, The Blessings that came from Depression. Part 1 “The Journey downward”

For a long time, the word depression came with a lot of negative thoughts. It felt like a taboo word in Christian circles. It brought up feelings of guilt, failure, and shame. I had a hard time even thinking or saying the word out loud and even more difficult time considering it might be my state of mind. I would define depression as disappointment with myself. A state of mind that critically judges my actions based upon preconceived expectations or standards.

It was after my third child was born that I began to slip into this depressive state. We had recently moved from one home to another. My best friend had recently moved away and I had gained a ton of weight from being put on bed rest during my pregnancy. My newborn daughter was a very challenging baby. She needed constant touch from me and would rarely go to her father without screaming and crying. She cried a lot. I mean a whole lot! It was hard. I had a 4 and 2 year old to care for on top of the newborn. My house was still in disarray from the move and every time I looked in the mirror I wanted to cry.

The insurmountable stress of life left me feeling tired and defeated. Most would say why didn’t I take time away? Well, that is exactly where the the depression started. Every time I tried to take time away to care for myself there was this guilt that set in. It was a little voice in the back of my head that yelled, ” you should feel ashamed for being so selfish!” And “your real problem is that you don’t pray enough or study your bible enough.” So I would desperately try to clean or do house work to “earn” that time away but failed because house work never ends with three kids. I then would take that pent up stress and failures and try to to eat them away. I tried to press down all the the negative feelings I had. Then I would look at myself and feel even more ashamed and feel like a failure. I believed at one point that the solution to my problem was contentment. That I just needed to be content in my circumstances. Looking back contentment was not the problem. I loved being a mother but the pressure was hard and even Jesus took time to be alone and I needed to do the same but no…the real problem was the way I viewed myself. It was so poor that I could not give myself a break.

I eventually became accustom to that depressive feeling that familiar inner voice. It was a constant reminder of I’m not enough and I can’t do enough. I prayed and prayed for change. I wanted God to change me because obviously something was wrong with me. I was a deeply flawed individual that needed to be changed completely. I looked to God for him to change the way I acted towards others but those deep dark feelings I had about myself I pushed those way down. I put them in a closet and I slapped a fake smile on. But the fruit of such a practice left a bitterness in my mouth, a sharpness on my tongue and anger in my heart. I was pretty good about distracting myself from the feelings that I had. I masked it well enough so most people probably would not guess that such darkness lies on the inside. I just kept on ever pursing how to change my outward actions without truly acknowledging that inner voice was not a help or a friend.

I got to the point that I just could not deal with the feelings anymore. My dark thoughts led me to want to be absent from life. I didn’t want to commit suicide physically but I wanted to emotionally and mentally. I wanted to numb out and check out from the pain I kept feeling. Silly as it sounds, I literally asked God if I could just check out knowing full well he would say no.

But it was the turning point.I would love to say, “oh I became happy and joyful.” Nope, it was a turning point inward. God was about to carry me through a very dark valley within myself.

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Where Is The Joyful Mother of Children?

I’ve gotten caught up in the throws of Motherhood and the smile that once was on my face has turned into a sullen expression. I love my children and I love being a mother and I know it is what God has called me to do but where is the joyful mother?

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It cannot be manufactured through my own sheer will but only produced by the Spirit.

So what hinders me from being a joyful mother? Stress? Unmet expectations? Or is it an idolizing of Motherhood?

An idol…is something that is set above God and worshipped…but I don’t worship motherhood!…but do our actions reflect that? Am I so consumed by my position as a mother that I have no time to rest? Are my children and motherly duties set so high that I have no time to talk to God? Has my work become who I am instead of letting God define who I am? Jesus gave us the example through his life here on earth. If he took time to be alone and to step away then how much more important is it for me to do the same? His work was unending but He had enough time to slow down. He knew he had a limited time of earth to do the work that He was sent to do. But he did not stress and run around totally frustrated that he could not heal everyone so why do I? Is my work greater than the Son of God?

Jesus was a teacher he was a prophet but most importantly He was the Son of God and He never forgot that. He never forgot who He was and He never let his work override who He was. It was the fact that He was the Son of God that made it possible for him to full fill the work God the father had for him.

So why is it that I have let my work that God has called me to do be the defining factor of who I am? No, I’m not just a mother, I am the daughter of Christ. If I allow my work to consume me and define me then a bad day indicates I did not do enough or I was not enough. If I have a good day then maybe I am a cut above. If motherhood defines me then the results of my grown children determine whether I was a good mother or not. If motherhood defines me then when my children leave the house, then who am I now? What do I do then? Or do I try to hold on to my children trying to control their lives because I am there mother and that’s who I am and what I do?

But if I choose to not let motherhood consume me, then despite of the results I will know who I am. If I let God define who I am then I can find joy in today regardless of how the day went. I can move into the next stage of life without feeling a loss of identity. If I let the Lord define me then I can walk in grace and show grace.

Motherhood is a beautiful work the Lord has allowed women to participate in but it was never meant to consume us and rob us of joy. No, it was meant to draw us closer to Christ not to consume our life. This my friends is a hard line not to cross.

If you are feeling less than joyful in the work God has called you into, ask the Lord to reveal what is in the way of that joy.

“He gives children to the woman who doesn’t have any children. He makes her a happy mother in her own home. Praise the LORD.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭113:9‬ ‭

“Will women be saved by having children? Only if they keep on believing, loving, and leading a holy life in a proper way.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭

“Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ) This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ( Leviticus 19:18 )”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:37-39‬

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An Unquenchable Fire

I can’t explain it. There is a yearning in my soul it is in every fiber of my being and draws me. I have never felt such a pull. It’s a pull that I know God has placed in me because it is drawing me to a life I would have never seen myself in.

This pull that truly I have no real words to describe is like a pull to the intended. A pull to the meant to be. There is a calmness a stillness that lies within it. It is unhurried. It is is acutely aware of details. All the sense are alive and firing. It is as though I have been awakened and set free. It is humbling.

When I step outside, it’s as if I can hear and tell that all of nature is praising him and it just makes me want to sit and listen to it’s song. I can’t explain this except an awakening of a part of my soul that had been asleep.

I believe my soul has been set on fire.

A believe a fire has been set to consume that which draws me away from the stillness and calm. A fire set to purify and refine. A fire that that consumes. A fire that drives me to a place that I have never been but long to be with the Lord.

I believe a revival is happening and I’m being sanctified.