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Thoughts on a Thursday

I've been coming across so many quotes, words, verses and what have you's that have been really uplifting and therapeutic for me.  Some hilariously true about my life, others having nothing to do with my life but life truth's that I have come to realize as I have aged.  Lately, I've been in a bit of an introspective phase of life, sort of battling between my roles and expectations and where I fit in.  How to help others and serve the community, keep my house clean, raise my girls right, and take some time for me.  Not to sit around and sleep or waste time, but finding things for me to do that I truly enjoy like writing, reading, and putting a passion into helping at-risk youth and teenagers that find themselves pregnant.  It's almost like a mini mid-life crisis, except not a crisis at all--I have goals and know what I want, but struggle to actually take the leap and make changes.  Now that Blakely is older, I want to be more aware of being active in the community and church.  It's still hard to find where to plug myself in with a one and three year old (especially with wavering dependability), but I've been spending time trying to find that space that works for our whole family while fulfilling my own needs.  

In the process, my eyes and mind seem to keep noticing certain words of encouragement that keep me thinking and digging deeper within my soul..

Like this... 


Sometimes as moms, stay at home especially just for the pure fact that so often we get stuck in the daily grind of being surrounded by little people who can hardly communicate with us, we forget who we are on the inside.  Our college education seems nonexistent as we revert preschool mentality just to get through the day with our children.  Days can get monotonous at times, working so diligently on raising our kids to be hard working, grateful, kind, sweet, compassionate, and loving.  Spending our days waking up early and fitting in naps for the kids while we pick up house chores, and then finding ourselves fighting to get our littles to sleep at night.  It's easy to lose ourselves.  Our own identity.  Reading this reminded me that I AM ENOUGH just as I am.  Even if I crash into bed wondering if I said "no" too many times that day, or if I should have been gentler when trying to teach my children life lessons, I must always remember my mistakes are what make me a better person.  Regardless of those mistakes...I AM ENOUGH.

***

Truth. 


No further comment. 

***


I've seen this one several times lately.  It always brings up so emotion. 


I use to be horrible at apologizing and great at holding grudges.  And by horrible, I should say, I would never even attempt to apologize to anyone, because I was always right, and by holding a grudge I mean you were just written off if you crossed me negatively.  At times, this can still be a struggle for me for me to realize that I am wrong, although mostly, my holy spirit convicts me before I have time to hold anything against anyone.  Each time I read this, I am filled with happiness because in the last few years, I have learned how true this quote is, yet felt anger knowing that I lived so many ridiculous years of my life not feeling the freedom that lies within this quote.  Not only by watching others around me with beautiful bravery, strength and joy just by forgiving others and seeking forgiveness to whom they offended, but learning the same first hand.  I could have never understood the truth behind this until I lived it out through forgiving a very broken relationship a few years ago.  I will never in my life forget how my hands trembled as I typed up and email to someone I loved so much regardless of how badly my heart hurt. We hadn't spoken in two or three years.  She didn't even know that I had had a child.  I thought of her all of the time; always wanting to reach out and forgive.  Each time, something stopped me.  A vengeance of sorts...an unhappy, bitter heart, unwilling to forget just as much as unwilling to forgive.  After a series of BSF lessons, I felt incredibly compelled to reach out and say a simple, "I love you." It took extreme amounts of bravery and strength.  I didn't hear back for a few weeks, but then one day my phone rang.  When I answered, the tears were already there.  Forgiveness was drenching both ends of the line.  I am so thankful for feeling the happiness that soon followed because it inspired me to right any wrongs that I knew stood out there, as well as accept those into my life who had long apologized that I had refused to fully forgive by forgetting

***

The simplicity that lies in the next quote is beautiful.  


Fairytales are all around us; only the jaded have failed to see the tales of adventure and excitement and love and majesty in even the smallest of circumstances.  Fairytales are defined in so many different ways by so many different hearts.  They aren't just about princesses and castles and fighting dragons; they are tales of ever-lasting love, redemption, striving for dreams and reaching goals.  Fairytales are everywhere, except the Knight and Shining Armor's name is Jesus. 

***

Several times in the last three to four years, I have depended on this scripture.  



This verse alone has appeared in my news feed several time lately, right when I've needed it.  It has saved me from making mistakes when I have wanted so hard to fight for myself or someone else or even in God's name--to justify, to defend.  Those moments I've encountered where I feel the need to stand up for myself when I've been persecuted yet my response is purely from my personal lack of understanding which would prompt responses that would have only made things more difficult.  Each time I am ready to take life on myself without God's direction, this verse has either shown up in my newsfeed, a bible study, or in a church sermon at the PERFECT time reminding me that He is fighting for me, I need only be still.  And every time, the situation ends up resolving itself in a much more peaceful manner than had I interjected with my self's motives.  I stand firmly on Romans 8:28, and to firmly stand, I must remember to abide by Exodus 14:14.  The Lord has his plans that are so much greater than I.  I must be still. 

***
This makes me laugh out loud EVERY time I read it. 


Happens far too often. 

***

Each time I see this, I can only think of one thing.  


Jesus.  His sacrifice for us.  All of my sins.  All of my wrongs.  All of my terrible moments.  
AND HE STILL FORGIVES ME EVERY DAY. 
I want to stay in good company.  ...with those who wholeheartedly forgive like Jesus.  That means I must forgive like him too.  You see, forgiveness like I wrote about earlier is on a large scale.  A tremendous falling out.  But what about the small acts of forgiveness that occur daily in our lives?  Asking our children to forgive our sudden outburst of anger, asking our husbands to forgive our oversight of following through a simple forgotten task?  It's all showing and teaching a spirit of forgiveness and important to never forget. 

***

All of these are for my girls, but this one really is.  
I pray neither of you struggle with some of the character traits that burden my soul. 
Excessive worrying, perfectionism, insecurities, being too hard on myself.  
I wish I had this to look at everyday for the past 20 years of my life.  


The crown of conquering your dreams cannot exist if it's planted firmly on the ground.  

***

If everyone could read this reminder and try to understand it, striving to be everything it is not, think of how the world would be?  



I watch a lot of CNN/ABC/NBC/FOXNEWS.  I follow news stories online and I do my best to keep up to date with current events.  I find it important to know what is going on a world level.  So many of the world's problems have so much depth, so much history--I can't even begin to understand the half of it.  Gaza and Israel, for example.  They hate each other so much that they almost don't even desire peace because peace would mean respecting the other party and the hate is just too heavy to ever allow that to happen. 

But then there is the reality that my daughters will encounter these actions from someone in their lives, too; even scarier, they could treat someone else like this.  And that breaks my heart...on so many levels.   It's even more painful when I see a Christian acting this way.  Can you really be a Christian and live life possessing those feelings and actions towards someone?  I lived that way for quite awhile spending more energy only seeing the negative in a few people in my life and in retrospect, looking back at my ill behavior, it has seriously caused me to doubt my standing with God during that time.   Those actions just are not synonymous with a saved soul.  Incredibly convicting in my own past bitterness.

Reading this over and over sets the bar high.  It can be mighty revealing of the state of the heart in relation to the fruits of the spirit--you're either with God, or against Him--and allowing myself to act like that indicates that I am against him.  Even the kindest of soul has limits that can tempt them to these types of actions.  Can you imagine trying to act in love when you're family has been severely sinned against with murder or malicious hatred to the point where your safety is compromised?  Finding ways to act in love would feel nearly impossible, but no peace of the heart can come from pure hate.  No matter how some one treats me or even my children (ohh, this is going to be tough in the future), I must stand up as a Christian and treat them with love and kindness.  Avoid throwing stones, holding grudges, withholding mercy and forgiveness, casting judgement; it won't always be easy. I don't have to respect them or even like them, but I can't return hate with hate and call myself a Christian.  {insert Exodus 14:14} In my thirty two years, I can garuntee you I have acted in bitterness before more times than I would feel comfortable with admitting, and in my next thirty two I can guarantee I will be tempted to act like it once again, sometimes failing I am sure.  Let me always remember the truth to this quote. 

***

This could be a daily prayer for us mamas. 
Discipline.
Sleeping.
Teaching. 


Can I get an Amen?

***

And this last one.  
It's too funny yet oh so true.  
Er'ybody has got 'em.

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