Finding Peace

The opposite of peace is anxiety, or many worries, many thoughts invading our minds and confusing us. But peace is a single minded thought focused on what’s important. To find peace, look to the only thing that matters. Only one thing truly matters.

We had a huge, orange spider and web on our front porch this morning. I almost walked right into her. Waited till the girls woke up and then with a battle cry we wasp-sprayed her, smashed her with a shoe and knocked the web down. Cheers and victory ensued, I am a conqueror.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~John 14:27

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” ~2 Corinthians 10:4

Storms

IMG_1534The storms last night were wild with lightning and thunder but cool morning dew on the grass soothes the earth, soothes my soul.
Tiptoe-ing back into writing is always a hard thing but some things call to your deepest parts. Writing came accidentally to me, a raw need to communicate what I was unable to do in any other way. A bud shooting through dark earth towards warmth.

Not something I can give up.
I’m going through storms, storms where I can’t always see the light. I’m looking for a job, but I really don’t belong in the business world, so finding my place again. Finding my identity, finding my heart.

The kids have gone to public school, how I miss them. But they are happy and being challenged, making friends and finding their place too. Figuring out they really do belong, and don’t belong in this crazy world of ours.

They say when you go through hard times that sometimes you give up the things you love most, the very things that nourish you, you forget about. I don’t want to give up writing. I miss my online friends.

In The Shadows

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We have this ache inside us, a longing for more. More love, more success, more recognition, less sin, less failure, . There’s this very American idea that our goal in life should be to be number one in the spotlight, that we deserve to be adored, that we are a special bright star in a dark night of losers. But this is not the case, we are average, normal people. Lord have mercy on my soul, for I am a sinner. I have to watch the people around me be effected negatively and hurt because of my own sin. I have to see how I fail them as they grow disappointed in me. I have to repent. I have to be reminded that regardless of how badly I want to succeed, I still fail. Daily, I can’t be enough. I learn to be content in the shadows. I learn to be quiet when others grow bored of hearing me speak. I am the least of these.

Yet, Christ calls us to persevere. It would be so much easier to quit and accept our worthlessness and weaknesses as final.

“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” (Romans 12:11-16 ESV)

That’s how grace works. It takes the weakest, the last, the ones who know they need to be saved and it connects them with the holy One who can do all things. Who can create hope and love out of nothing because He created the earth out of nothing. The one who never changes, never fails, always perseveres. Our God does not change, and that is a blessing and a comfort.

When we turn our eyes to Him, only then can we see, can we hope.

4th Of July Celebrations

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The other day, I was imagining the perfect 4th of July; missing the simplicity of the fireworks  on the farm with iced tea, BBQ, lawn chairs, and friends.  So many friends.  I didn’t want to celebrate in the city where I wouldn’t see people I knew.  There aren’t enough bouncy houses and huge fireworks displays to replace what I missed.  Before I knew it, I got an email from a friend inviting me to her home for a 4th of July party.  With friends, lots of new friends.  Where children can run wild and we all bring our $50 worth of fireworks to share.

God is good. He answers my prayers.  He showers me with blessings.

Priceless: The Real Pretty Woman Story

“The story follows James Stevenson (Joel Smallbone of for KING & COUNTRY), a man of extremes, who gets thrown into the dark world of human trafficking. Can the love, strength, and faith of a woman redefine his past and change the course of his future? This unlikely hero must risk it all to shut down the trafficking ring and save the girl he’s falling in love with.” quoted from youtube site

and for those who want the whole song

Sex trafficking is effecting our family in ways I never thought it would. I think about it every time I let my daughter out of my site, I think about it when we go shopping together, I have no idea how to let her be a teenager without fears crowding my mind. The only thing to do is trust. Trust God in a world full of horrors, that He is working all things for good and NO MATTER WHAT, He is good.

Home In The Darkness

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“In the beginning it is usual to feel nothing but a kind of darkness about your mind…You will seem to know nothing and to feel nothing except a naked intent toward God in the depth of your being…You will feel frustrated, for your mind will be unable to grasp him, and your heart will not relish the delight of his love. But learn to be at home in this darkness. Return to it as often as you can, letting your spirit cry out to him whom you love.” ~Teresa of Calcutta

Sometimes I wonder if I’m crazy, but then I read the words of other crazies and it lets me know I’m not alone.

Patience Is The Willingness To Suffer

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“Patience is the willingness to suffer” ~Ann Voskamp

I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough when it comes to dieting. I often ran into the problem where I would eat well all day long, but then 9 pm, 10 pm, midnight, 3 am….late nights would hit and I would be hungry. I didn’t know what to do with my hunger and I was tired and frustrated that I couldn’t sleep. Hunger wakes me up in the middle of the night if I don’t appease him, he calls to me, wanting to be my master. And not wanting to be “uncomfortable”; I would eat, forever a slave to my bodies demands.

Lately, I’ve realized suffering isn’t bad. Suffering is what forges us into the holy people Christ calls us to be. Suffering is one of the strongest ways to express love to Christ. Someone who doesn’t love you can give you gifts, they can be nice to you, they can say charming words that tickle your ears; but only one who really loves you; suffers for you. We are most convinced of God’s love when we understand how He sent Jesus to the cross to suffer on our behalf. Christ didn’t refuse to suffer for us.

“Pick up your cross and follow Jesus”….pick up your suffering and hand it to Him as an offering of love. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” Romans 12:1

It’s impossible to outlove Jesus, no matter how many gifts I give Him, He continually blesses me.

Either way, eating or not eating, there will be suffering. The consequences of an unhealthy body are huge, both socially and physically. We get to choose who/what we are willing to suffer for.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galations 5:22

I heard that there is a reason self-control is at the end of the fruits of the spirits list.
We need to know deeply and regularly we are loved by Christ so we will have strength
Joy is our strength
Peace means our motivations are correctly aligned
Kindness….should write an entire blog post on how teaching my daughter to eat well has taught me to be kinder to myself.
Faithfulness ~how can we go anywhere good if we are not abiding in Him
Gentleness ~
Self-Control

What Is Self-Discipline (Ligonier Ministries)