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

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

    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

    ‭‭ ‭

    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.