Endless and Enduring

This post takes me back to the beach and the warmth!! Yet even in the cold, His love never ceases!

Dear Paige

Watching the boys play in the ocean last night (don’t worry- just up to their ankles- I’m paranoid about the sharks too) I couldn’t help but think about the vastness of the sea as I stared out across the crashing waves. I have seen the ocean so many times but I am always struck by how endless it seems, yet it’s always so constant.

It’s just like God’s love for us. When I watch my sons play in the sea, my heart is fuller than I can ever imagine it being. When they snuggle up next to me while watching a movie and whisper they love me in my ear, I think my heart might burst.

But His love is even greater than my love for my own children.

And it’s constant. The tides are always going to come in and the tides are always going go out. The cycle doesn’t stop…

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Nighttime Talks

I love my nighttime talks with my oldest son Brady. They are one of the best parts of my day. Even if I’m completely exhausted, I make time for these conversations because I know how much my son depends on them. He is my deep thinker, my constant ponderer, my biggest worrywart. Tonight the conversation ranged from being too short to make it into the NBA to worries about our house getting broken in to.

Always full of questions, I usually spend a good amount of our talk time reassuring Brady about God’s love and His faithfulness.

I don’t know how people do this parenting thing without Jesus. I’ll admit if I didn’t have the Bible to point to, or God to cling to, I would be completely lost as a mother.

Well, truthfully, I’d be lost period.

Brady worries about his future as an NBA basketball player. I hold my sweet little boy who will probably only make it to 5’8 (if he’s lucky) and tell him his future has already been decided. God already has a plan for him. Brady’s job is to listen to Jesus and take it from there.

Brady worries about our house being broken in to while he is at school. He thinks burglars are just dying to take his bear Teddy and his stuffed dog Arfie. I tell him even if this happens, it’s OK. He still has his family and whatever a robber takes is just a worldly possession. He can’t ever take Jesus from his heart.

Parenting is hard enough as it is. There is always something to worry about. Usually it’s multiple things and this world is not getting any easier. I am so thankful for a gracious God who gave us a handbook to help guide us along the way. I’m also thankful I can still come to him with my own fears and my own worries.
When I’m reassuring Brady about God’s plan, I’m reassuring myself too. When I’m telling Brady not to worry about things, I’m telling myself the same.

Whether we are 10 or 35 or 87, we will always need Him.

He’s always ready to listen.

Day or night.

Proverbs 16:20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

 

Joy to the World

Have you ever met someone who is just so excited about  life  it becomes infectious? One of my students is always over-the-moon happy about everything. He’s happy to be at school. He’s happy to be with his teachers. He’s  happy to be with his friends. No matter what troubles he may have, he is always ready to go with a positive attitude. Today, when I was having one of those blah mornings we all have, especially during this time of year, his bright smile and excited demeanor melted my heart and literally made me laugh out loud.

His joy gave me joy.

What would the world be like if we all had his attitude? What would this world be like if we all looked at life with a constant half-full perspective?

Jesus desired for us all to live lives filled to the brim with joy.

Inexpressible and glorious joy.

Not superficial happiness. His joy doesn’t come when we make the most money or have the nicest things. His joy doesn’t come when we lose that last ten pounds or when we get the job we have been wanting for the last five years. His joy certainly doesn’t come when we give into our own selfish desires.

His joy will only come when we accept Jesus into our hearts and become obedient to His will.

We sing Joy to the World during this time of year. We rejoice in the newborn King’s birth but how can we truly bring joy to this world today? How can we show others the love of Christ is the only way to pure happiness?

Maybe it’s by acting a little more joyful ourselves.

1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Laser Lights

We joined the laser Christmas light craze tonight and I could not be happier! Christmas lights are not my thing.  I even dislike putting them on my tree (hence the reason for having a pre-lit tree). So when my neighbor showed me how easy these lights were to set up, I had to find a set for my house ASAP.

My sweet boys were so excited to finally have a festive looking house. For years they have begged to have lights and reindeer and a Santa in the yard. Landon doesn’t do Christmas decorations either, therefore, our poor boys were out of luck.

Until tonight! We plugged it in and their eyes lit up like the lights that were flashing on the outside of our house.

Laser lights are my easy way to Holiday decorating success, but when it comes to drawing us closer to Jesus this December I know it’s going to take much more than just plugging in a switch.

 

What does it mean to be plugged into Jesus this season? What does it mean to be plugged into Jesus all of the time? How can we constantly keep Him at our center and not off to the side?

This morning I was in a tizzy, fearing I would be late for work, and I almost walked out without praying with my  husband. I actually snapped at him about it. Thankfully, I calmed down and we prayed before I left, but prayer is definitely one of those things we might push off to the side when we are so distracted by this world. Don’t do it! Spend time alone with Him each day! He deserves our full attention. If we can’t give it to Jesus then who can we give it to?

The same goes for reading His Word. Do you ever read your Bible sometimes and realize you haven’t really read it at all? Your mind starts wandering about what gifts you still need to buy or what your son said last night and then you are finished having no idea what you just read?

Or am I the only one that happens to?

I’m pretty sure I’m not- but you never know.

Make an effort to stay plugged in to the right things this year. Pray fervently. Read His word without distractions. When you feel yourself slipping away from Him, pull Him back! He wants to be with you always. We are the ones who constantly push Him away.

Laser lights are fabulous but Jesus is my constant light.

He makes everything easier.

I just have to stay plugged in.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:7

Treasures 

I don’t collect things.  My husband helped me declutter years ago.  He can’t take a lot of stuff hanging around our house collecting dust. It drives him crazy.

Thankfully, the things I value the most are not things I can store on a shelf.  They aren’t things that must be dusted or handled with care. Instead, my valuables are stored in my heart.

Jesus is at the center. He has a pretty good hold right there in the middle. He helps keep me steady.

My family takes up a good amount of the other space. I am so blessed to be a wife. A mom. A daughter. A sister.  An Aunt.  Each role is treasured. This side is so full it could burst.

Jesus has filled the other side of my heart with my friends.

To me, each and everyone of them has something special. Something to be valued. Something to be treasured.

Their fierceness.  Their devotion. Their kindness. Their determination.

I want to bottle each thing up and take a little for myself.

They push me. They motivate me. They challenge me. They inspire me.

My heart would not be complete without them.

Thank you, my dear friends, for filling the other side of my heart.
Thank you for being part of my own special collection.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another 

Burned

My poor, sick little Eli was barely able to hold anything down today. He has a bad case of the stomach bug and was only able to eat a tiny bit of food throughout the day.   Tonight he asked for some Wonton soup from our favorite Chinese restaurant. He was so excited to eat it and grabbed the bowl way too fast causing it to spill all over his little legs. Thankfully, he had pants on, but he still managed to have a little bit of a burn on his legs.

I told him his legs would probably only hurt for a little while but the redness would still linger. He cried briefly but managed to sip the rest of his soup down.

These burns aren’t the worst types of burns though. We can move on from a pizza burn or from a Wonton soup burn, but what about a burn from someone we cared about? Are there scars still left behind that you just wish would go away?

We have all been burned throughout our life times. People hurt other people. We are all sinners, therefore there is going to be damage left behind. Scars still remain and from these scars we draw fear, mistrust, depression. Our scars can help shape who we are and how we live.

When Eli burned his legs tonight, I grabbed a towel, wet it with cold water and held it over his skin.

Jesus is the water we must use to help heal our own scars.

Isaiah tells us to joyously draw water from the springs of salvation. His water is medicinal. It’s meant to fix our scars while also giving us a new life. When we drink this water, we become healed. When we drink this water, we become whole.

We can try other medicines. We can try to numb the pain with material things, with other drugs, with accomplishments, with countless friends but we will still never be fully healed.

He is the only cure that has ever worked and the only cure that will continue to keep working.

We can draw from a well that will never run dry.

 

 

 

 

Yearly Check Up

Eli had his yearly checkup today. He’s gained weight, grown taller (but don’t worry he’s still a shortie) and had a flu shot without crying for the first time (well he cried a little- but I didn’t have to pin him down!)

While the nurse weighed and measured my baby, I began thinking about how much I have grown over this past year. Not in height (ahhh ok maybe a little in weight) but  how I have grown more spiritually over the last several months.

It has been an unbelievable year for me and my walk with Christ. I have seen my life and my family’s lives transformed as we have decided to put Jesus at the forefront of all that we do.  Yet, I still feel like I have so much more to accomplish. Many times I feel torn between this world and His world. Caught up in trivial things, when I should be caught up in Him.

I know I will never stop growing when it comes to knowing Jesus. Even the most seasoned of Christians still has room to grow.  But just like a yearly health check up, it’s probably a good idea for me to do my own  yearly check up.

Or maybe a monthly, weekly or daily one.

Except this one will be a spiritual one.

Questions for my Spiritual Check Up:

Am I spending time with Jesus everyday? Am I spending time in the Word daily? Am I serving Him daily? Am I surrounding myself with encouraging people who also bring me closer to Him? Am I helping bring people closer to Him?

I know I am not going to always get it right.

I’ll screw it up daily.

But I can at least try and get it a little more right.

I want to take one step farther away from this world and one step closer to Him, each and every day.

Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,