a journey home

I feel like I’m always headed somewhere. Even if it’s just to the laundry room.

I also feel like I’m always distracted. “Why am I standing in the boys’ room with an armload of laundry, a shoe, and a dog toy? Where was I going and in what order?”

Even in the most unintentional of tasks, there is a location for which I am headed. I AM going somewhere, even if I get distracted or re-routed.

If I could remember this reality in life, my purpose and hope would be much more secure.

I am on a journey HOME. Every trip, step, errand….it all points home. Every distraction and re-routing will eventually still have me arriving at my final destination.

I’m going to share a piece of my history with lies I’ve believed and growth that happened after a lot or rerouting.

This weekend I was humbled to sit in a room with 3000 women at MOMcon. These women and myself serve and lead in some capacity with MOPs (mothers of preschoolers) all around the globe.

Turn to Luke 10

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (‭Luke‬ ‭10‬:‭38-42‬ ESV)

I’m immediately shocked that she TOLD Jesus what to do! But, those servants who are task oriented, they love to tell others what to do (like how I said those in an effort to deny I’ve ever fit that mold??)

Those task oriented servants also enjoy having control. That effort to control and manipulate also means WE tell God the plan. Whether it’s an intentional conversation with Him or just taking our own steps without consulting Him, we manipulate and control….ourselves, others, and even try this on the Lord.

However, we forget our journey home always ends in the same reality. Whether we make our own plans for a while or live daily in obedience…we’ll end with eternity with or without Him.

She said “God is offering you a meaningful life, and we say ‘but look at her'”.

Mary & Martha were headed for the same destination. They did not have the same process though. For this moment, Mary’s process was much more rich.

I want that rich process. I want my journey home to be filled with being with Jesus and family and people. I don’t want it to be spent in solitude filled with resentment and bitterness at those who are journeying in rich presence with one another.

Shauna Niequist was one of many speakers, but she the one whose words were used by the Lord to resonate with my soul.

“God is offering a meaningful life and we say “But look at her!” ”

Now turn to John 21

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” (‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭20-23‬ ESV)

My meaningful life and my journey are His processes in my heart. My portion is about being a steward of what He’s put in my lot. My purpose to glorify Him revolves around my relationships.

I feel the weight and conviction when I see Jesus ask “what is that to you?”

When I focus for one second too long on what I may think are my my husband’s shortcomings, faults, imperfections….I hear Christ whisper “what is that to YOU? Love Him….you have weaknesses too yet I love you. I actually reveal my strength in your weaknesses. Believe that and know I do the same for Him. Trust me and my Spirit IN your husband.”

When I think on how I compare to other moms, I hear Jesus say “what is that to YOU? I have given you your children to love, disciple, train, and cherish. Be with them right now instead of letting your thoughts wonder.”

Those are two vulnerable expressions that I’ve confessed to Him and friends in the last few days.

Speaking of friendships. Be looking on a fresh perspective on friendship in the next few days.

I’m thankful for a church who supports MOPs. I’ll be sharing this week the magnitude of this ministry in the lives of mothers. If you haven’t had young children at home or it has been a while, I trust you have also experienced the every day stress and responsibilities that weigh down your heart and thoughts. These mothers with little children are raising the next generation. What a vital role we can play in pouring into their hearts, minds, and lives by providing them with trustworthy childcare, relevant information, inspiring teaching, and connection for meaningful relationships in an effort to send them home refreshed and battle worthy to fight the enemy who wars for our distraction from our families and purpose.

That is not the last of the longest sentences ever you will see from me on the topic of MOPs.

On your journey home today, ponder how you can be “with” instead of just “for” and consider how you can connect instead of dwell on the sidelines watching others.

Me? I’m going to move from serving through providing meals to providing meals with a detailed written prayer for the individual or family. Dropping off a meal doesn’t always allow a deep conversation. But, I can still connect by detailing my heart and prayer to them through written words.

Instead of looking at others, I’m going to get with them. I have 3 dear friends that I don’t spend enough time with because I’m so distracted with being with a lot of people on a weekly basis. I keep connected through text, but I’m going to take steps to be with them in person and experience friendship.

“Friendship is God’s sacred work of putting broken pieces together”-Shauna Niequist

How about you?

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the one word that sums up all i’ve learned about myself when i became a mommy

 

it’s so painful to my flesh to say it.

selfish.

it’s painful to my flesh for 2 reasons.

1. because i’m embarrassed i didn’t learn how selfish i was when i got married…it took having a child for me to realize that i’m selfish.

2. because i have a root sin of pride and to realize, confess, & grow beyond this selfishness means i’m not perfect.

1 John 2:16

King James Version (KJV)

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

when i have on the filter of Truth, i can see my selfishness for what it is (sin) & press into Christ’s redeeming forgiveness. when my heart is bent towards asking God to produce based on the good intentions, motivations, & desires He has put within me to steward the lives of my children, i am outside of my flesh & directed towards the idea of redemption.

yes we are all selfish. but praise the Lord of all Heaven and Earth that He is in the great and glorious business of Redeeming.

Ephesians 5 Amplified Version

13 But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light.

14 Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light.

15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),

16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.

so there is no condemnation for the temptation to be selfish towards my husband or children. but an ever present reminder of what success really is in the realm of home. success in the Spirit is waking up each morning and asking of the Lord

Psalm 139 New Living Translation

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

so that when our children will not give us a break, they spill milk, have a potty accident, pull their clothes out of their drawers, wake up 3 times each in the middle of the night, scream and run away when discipline is knocking on the door of their hearts……….or when our spouse forgot to do something important for us, forgets something special, makes a decision we don’t agree with, or is having a rough day and their attitude effects us–we can confess we have selfish hearts that want to scream or pout, but then repent and remember Lord’s ability to lead us in the way everlasting.

He puts His Spirit within us to walk and guide us in the trenches. yes, even the trenches of our selfishness. our hearts are deceitful (Joshua 1:9), but He is grace. He forgives. He gives. He extends mercy and grace.

He knows our hearts. our very fragile, worn out, over-extended, but very very very full hearts. the heart that beats harder and faster during the hard days. the heart that explodes at night when our littles snuggle up on our chest while we read. the heart that grows more full as our children begin to speak Truth themselves and model all that we’ve spoken about Jesus. and as we hear and watch our sweet babes talk about Christ, He is sweetly beckoning us as we watch the little seeds we’ve planted begin to be harvested by Him.

it’s so hard during the drag of day and sometimes night to remember that we are living out a calling. a calling to love our husband and children well. it is weary sometimes when we don’t know what “well” is and we’ve lost track of our purpose. but He says we can call on Him. so my prayer for myself and other mommas is that we reevaluate what it means for us (as individuals, not as compared to other mommies) to love our husband and our children well. we are all gifted, interested, and experienced in different ways. press into Him with your deepest and grandest expectation that He will speak directly to your heart about how you can rest in who He has made you and love your family well with how He has equipped you. no more trying harder. no more being better. no more rules and regulations. just asking, exploring, and living out who you already are and loving with the tools and resources He has already provided.

just ask Him. and then abandon your own idea of what the pressure tells you it should look like for you to be a mom and wife and, instead, be the mom and wife He’s already equipped you to be with a whole heart full of expectation. sometimes your greatest equipping and resources come from your children and your spouse. be sensitive to the Spirit.

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