Closed Doors

1 Peter 5: 6-7“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 

These hot summer days have us operating under a strict “closed door” policy at our church. Meaning, we better leave all of the doors closed so the air conditioner will cool the building properly or you face the wrath of my Father in Law who is in charge of things like that.

Brady, my oldest, was complaining about all of the doors the other morning as we rushed in late to church. “Why are their so many doors?” he moaned as he tugged on three of them to get to Sunday school. The doors are kind of heavy (and Brady was kind of grumpy.)

Laughing, I told my dear sweet child that life is full of doors. Open ones. Closed ones. Locked and barricaded ones. Sometimes God is holding them open for us with a warm smile and a “Good morning Paige!” Other times, He’s got that thing sealed so tightly nothing is ever going to get through it.

He knows which ones we need to go through. He knows which ones we need to close. He also knows which ones we need to keep walking right on by.

Sometimes we can stare at a door so hard, trying will all of our might to make it open. We can tug, and pull, and yank, and cry, and pray. It’s still not budging. We ask God why is He refusing to keep it closed? We become angry with Him. We think He doesn’t care.

Just as the doors are kept closed in my church building to keep  it from overheating, God keeps doors closed to protect us. He knows what’s best for us.He is the author of our stories and the creator of our journeys. As humans, we find it hard to see the bigger picture ahead of us. We can only see the one door that’s not opening right in front of us.

We fail to realize Jesus has so many more doors ahead for us.

In 1 Peter 5, Peter reminds us to humble ourselves before the Lord. We are not in charge and He will exalt us. We only need to cast our cares upon Him.

He will take care of it.

In due time and not a second before.

No matter how hard we kick that door.

 

 

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At the Top

Matthew 6:6  But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

I’ve been making a lot of lists lately. Lists for vacation, lists for shopping, lists for work. There is always something to keep track of. Something  not to forget in this crazy and busy life we lead.

While I tend to focus so much of my attention on the menial things in my life (what do I need to pack?),  I can easily forget about the most important things. In particular, spending quality time with Jesus each and every day.

As Christians, we are called to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.   In order to do this, we must make sure our moments spent with Him are purposeful. Think about how you get to know someone best. In most cases, it’s not when you are rushing around worrying about what you need to do next.  Instead, it’s when you start committing time to that person, having meaningful conversations, listening to each other, sitting down and getting to know one another.

Sure, we can talk to Jesus in the car on the way to work. We can even can pray while we are running on the treadmill. He’s always readily available. But He also yearns to know us better than that. He doesn’t want to only be your running partner or the guy who rides shotgun with you. (Although He can do that too).

He doesn’t want to be the afterthought.

Instead, He wants to be the guy you make time for every morning or every evening (or  yes even during your lunch hour.) He wants to be the guy you bring all of your worries to and the guy who you listen to first.

He is ready to be the focus of all of your attention.

And He wants to be on the top of your list.

Layers

*I wrote this post a few months back for my wonderful Apples of Gold ladies at church. Wanted to repost  since it’s my anniversary 🙂 *

Marriage is a lot like an eclair cake isn’t it? Full of many different layers, some hard, some soft, some sweet, and some definitely mushy. We want it to be like the perfect dessert it appears to be on the outside. However,as we all know, it’s not always that easy.

The biggest mistake many couples make when they join together as man and wife is thinking that their marriage, in fact, only involves a man and a wife. They forget about who their first love should be.

They forget about Jesus Christ.

All too often, we put other things before Him. Many times, especially in the honeymoon phases of our marriages, our husbands enjoy the first place spot. They can sit here nice and pretty until our children come along, and then our poor guys get bumped down a notch, while we completely devote our lives to our little ones.

But, when we put Christ first, our marriages are instantly enhanced.Husbands should still sit tight in that number two spot, but now number two becomes a winning place to be in. Our children, as much as we cherish and adore those little faces, should always come in at number three.

Marriage is full of many hard layers. There are times when you want to just give up and walk away. Times when you don’t know how you are ever going to get past the hardships. Just remember, when the layers get too hard, call on Jesus. When everything gets mushed around and you don’t know where to turn, call on Jesus.

And, as a sweet friend once reminded me, take care of those sweet and soft layers too. Layers filled with love. Layers that include being kind to your husband, biting your tongue when you must. Layers filled with building him up, telling him how proud you are of him. Layers that say “Don’t go to bed angry” and “I am so thankful for all that you do for our family.” These layers, the sweet ones, can even make the hard ones soften up. They can make the difficulties we will encounter seem much more bearable.

Life is much sweeter when He is our number one. Love Him first and watch how that love filters down to your Number two guy.

Second place will be just fine with him.

200

Psalms 96:3“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”

200 posts made on this little blog of mine

200 nights of taking all of the thoughts that swirl around in my head and putting them down in writing.

200 nervous hitting submits

200 sweet replies from my always devoted husband

Writing that has made me look at the world just a little bit differently. With a more focused lens and an even broader perspective.

Every conversation is a possibility.

Every accident is a chance.

Every new experience is an opportunity.

To share something new, to grow from, to relate to.

I am thankful for the conversations it has stirred, the friends it has made, and for the memories it will keep.

I might not always say the right thing. I might not always understand all of what the Bible says.

But I do hope I have declared His glory.

I do pray I have spread His wonders.

Even to just a few.

Happy Father’s Day

Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. 

Happy Father’s Day to the dad’s holding it down.

Happy Father’s Day to the dad’s working the day shifts, the night shifts, the 12 hours shift to support their families. The dads who cook dinner. The dads who fix things. The dads who  make things. The dads who  mow the lawn, The dads who shoot baskets, and  the dads who give the night time baths.

Happy Father’s Day to the dads who read just one more book at bedtime.  The dads who have dance parties. The dads who have tea parties. The dads who play dress up and the dads who love their kids with all of their hearts.

Happy Father’s Day to the Dads who stay up late waiting by the door. The dads who give one last good night kiss.  The dads who may let you down but always vow to do better.

Happy Father’s Day to the Dads who help lead their children to Christ. The dads who pray with their children. The dads who inspire their children and the dads who strive to be a Godly example for their children.

Happy Father’s Day to our ultimate Father. The One who created us. The One who wants us to draw close to Him. The One who waits patiently and the One who loves endlessly.

Happy Father’s Day to the one who will always be there for us.

And who will never let us down.

Well Fed

Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

My mother in law is one of those wonderful southern women who just loves to feed you. She never wants anyone to go away from her house feeling hungry.  Instead, she wants to fill their bellies up with lots of tasty and delicious things, leaving people feeling content and satisfied. Don’t ever ask her for just a sliver or a taste of something! Those words are not in her vocabulary.

God receives the same satisfaction  when His children feed themselves with His word. Many of us spend so much of our day to day running around and taking care of others that we forget we must also take care of ourselves spiritually. Spending quiet time with Jesus and reading scripture leaves us, and our Father, feeling content and satisfied as well.

The Word was written to help feed our souls but, as Christians, we are also called to surround ourselves with people who help to keep us fed spiritually. People who help us think about the word, who help us question it , who help stretch us as we grow deeper in our walk with Christ.

People who help to stir us up.

We need all types of people in our lives, but the Bible makes it pretty clear to hold on tightly to our fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Seek out friendships with other Christians, cultivate these relationships, and live life together as a community of believers.

Feed each other spiritually and watch how content and satisfied you will feel.

 

Jesus doesn’t want you to have just a sliver or a taste of Him either.

He wants you to have  all of Him.

And trust me, He’s much less calories.

 

 

 

Safety Break

Psalms 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

My boys despise the safety break at the pool. To them,the  last ten minutes of the hour feels like an excruciating eternity. They hem and they haw and act as if they will never be able to get back into the pool.

To a child, a safety break is nothing but a punishment. A pointless rule made up by grown ups who are determined to make children’s lives miserable. They don’t understand the whys and the reasons.

I think God gives grown ups safety breaks sometimes too. We hem and we haw about them. We think things will never go our way. We believe we will never be able to get back into the pool.

We don’t understand the whys and the reasons either.

Only God does.

His breaks our always for our own good. They are always for our own safety.

I tell my boys to rest when they have their ten minutes of eternity at the pool. To be still and to build up their energy for when the whistle blows.

In seasons of waiting, we must also do the same. Take this moment to rest and to build up our relationship with Jesus.

And to always be ready for when the whistle blows.