Father’s Day Reflections

The internet abounds with Father’s Day posts on Facebook, Instagram, and multiple blogs. I have a wonderful father. I am fortunate to have a great relationship with my father-in-law. And, I have an amazing husband who is an amazing father to our children.

This Father’s Day, I was asked to share the Father’s Day tribute at our church. After a cute little video, I shared the reflections God had laid on my heart.

Our son was adopted from the Philippines in March 2009. He had never had a father figure in his life. Accepting a mother in his life seemed much easier for him than the role of dad. For the first five years of his life, he had been his own little man.

Relationships take time. Trust must be built. Nine years later, they have a great relationship. Some days are rocky but what parent doesn’t have an issue from time to time with a teenager!!

It took our son time to learn to accept the love of an earthly father. How many times have we as Christians struggled with accepting love from our Heavenly Father? We don’t always feel worthy of His love or believe He can love us despite our scars and brokenness.

My son has taught me so many life lessons. He reminds me that God loves us…as little children scared, alone, and just wanting to belong and be loved.

This Father’s day, thank you to all the special men who love not only their own children but open their hearts to love others as well.

Happy Father’s Day.

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Keep Moving Forward

I love the opportunity to “reset” on the weekend. One of my favorite things to do is go for a very long walk with Quill.

My mind has the freedom to be free from distraction and to reflect on life. A lot is going on in this mind right now so my walk yesterday was especially therapeutic.

I thought I would share my reflections with you…

1. Keep moving forward.

2. Don’t dwell on what is behind you.

3. Believe great things are ahead.

4. There is joy in the journey even when the path before you is uncertain.

As I walked, I listened to this new song by Jonny Diaz… Let Faith Move You.

https://youtu.be/-10O7HGjcbs

The song has a great line about packing your bags to take a journey of no regrets. What would I pack in my bags? Confidence, hope, faith, trust.

What would you pack?

Keep moving forward!!

Who do you say He is?

Who do you say I am?

This is the question Jesus asked his disciples. He wasn’t interested in what they thought other people defined Him as. He wanted to know who they defined Him as. (Matthew 16:13-15)

Our pastor asked us to close our eyes during the sermon. We were to ask ourselves that question. In the quiet of the church, with my eyes closed, I dared to ask myself that question.

Rescuer.

Jesus is my Rescuer. As my Savior, He has rescued me from the depths of hell. He has rescued me from the storms of life. That’s not to say I haven’t endured the storms, but He has walked with me to the other side. And most often, He rescues me from myself.

How often are we slaves to the bondage we enslave ourselves to? The pain of our past. Bitterness. Anger. Fear. Anxiety. Complacency. Unworthiness.

What is enslaving you?

As I sat by myself enjoying some much needed quiet time, I glanced down at my feet dangling in the water.

What did I focus on?

The chipped off paint from my nails. Life chips away from our feelings of completeness, worthiness, and beauty. Just as the chlorine stripped away the paint, we allow the irritations of life to strip and chip away at us.

So, yes, Jesus is my Rescuer. He rescues me those feelings of unworthiness, of failure, of fear…

When the world screams that I should just give up, throw the towel in, walk away, be knocked down, surrender to defeat…He whispers to me that He is right with me in the midst of every storm, every failure, every feeling of defeat and inadequacy that I feel. He knows those hopes and dreams deep in my heart. And, He knows the fears that surround them.

I am stronger from the struggle.

When I can analyze not internalize and self reflect for my growth and spend 1-1 time in prayer, yes, I know I will be okay. The struggle is real and the battles seldom cease, but Jesus is my Rescuer.

His promises are true. He sustains and carries me. He anchors me.

I challenge you to ask yourself…Who do you say He is?

Waiting

The other morning, I embraced the coolness of a spring morning and took my dog for a walk before work. As often happens, I had to wait on a train. Quill wanted to bark. Once I convinced him that he was no match for a train and he needed to be calm and quiet, I snapped this photo.

Where my initial reaction would normally be one of annoyance at having to wait, I felt myself being challenged to think differently.

Sometimes, in life we have seasons of waiting. There are times when we just must wait. God can do His greatest work in these seasons of waiting if we are open to what He is doing. I think of the waiting we endured as we waited for the news to travel to our son. I remembered the waiting period for medical test results. I recalled the waiting for the potential phone call of hopeful news of a new job. Dreams and opportunities require waiting seasons of growth and well, waiting.

Waiting teaches us to trust, to be expectant, and to rely on the strength of One much greater than myself.

Every season has a purpose. God does not waste one single moment.

Wait on the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait on the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Whatever you might be waiting to happen in your life, trust God that there is a season for everything. He always goes before us.

Remnants of Me

“Do you want that old dictionary?”

My college age daughter was in the process of cleaning out her bedroom. As she uncovered her own pieces from her childhood memories, she stumbled upon this…

It is a worn, somewhat tattered dictionary. I remember purchasing it for a $1 at a department store, perhaps Montgomery Wards. I remember being so excited as a fourth grader. I was already writing at that age. I have been a lover of words for as long as I can remember.

As I flipped through that old dictionary, I found random words highlighted.

Why?

Secure? Indignant? Abrupt?

I searched within myself… trying to guess why out of all the words in the English language, I would have chosen those words.

Now, there is one thing you should know about me. I love highlighters. A lot. I highlight passages in my Bible, in books I am reading, my to do lists… basically, everything. 😁

But, as a young child, what would have possessed me to highlight such random words?

As I reflect on those words, these are my thoughts…life is abrupt…change comes often and with little warning. Even as a child, I had recognized that fact of life.

Secure…I like to feel safe and free from doubt or fear and unlikely to fail. As a child, I know I valued that. As an adult, I am venturing into different territory where I can accept my doubts yet push on and where I am learning to embrace my failures as opportunities to grow.

Indignant? I suppose I learned early on that life is not fair.

Words…I love them. It has been fun to find that old dictionary and to go through glimpses into my child brain.

I know God was already working in my life from that early age. Those words are reminders that He has our lives in the palm of His hand.

Despite the abrupt changes in life and the indignation I feel at things in the world, I can rest in the safety and security of His constant peace.

There’s nothing deep in these words, but I hope they touch you somewhere within yourself and remind you that God has been, is, and will be with you always.

Sometimes, wisdom is found in remnants of our childhood. What pieces of your childhood still speak to you now?

Mother’s Day reflections

If you scroll through Facebook today, you are likely to see your feed filled with pictures of moms and their kids.

What if your Mother’s Day doesn’t feel Facebook post worthy?

What if your Mother’s Day doesn’t live up to the expectations you were hoping for?

My day wasn’t perfect, but you know what?

That’s okay.

Authentic love isn’t perfect. It’s messy. There is beauty in brokenness. God does some of His best work in us when we are willing to be vulnerable and to allow Him to work through our brokenness.

I don’t know what Mother’s Day looks like for you, but I do know that every woman needs a gentle reminder to extend some grace to herself from time to time.

Pictures on Facebook are nice and hashtags with bestmomever are all fine and dandy, but everyone has a struggle of some sort behind their Facebook life.

Today, despite my unmet expectations of the “perfect” day, I was reminded to relish in the joy of everyday moments and to extend some grace to myself and those whom I love.

the meal my children cooked me

I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s day!!

Oh and if you need a little mom encouragement…. here’s a great collection of stories. Enjoy!!

Whispers

Uninspired.

That’s what I was feeling.

Exhausted, too, but that comes with the territory of life sometimes.

Then, an unexpected voice sharing with me that she reads my blog, my little collection of thoughts…it caused me to pause for a moment.

It always surprises me, humbles me to learn that someone takes time to read my words.

Words. They have such power. They can lift a person up, or they can destroy a relationship. Sometimes, there are no words. Sometimes fewer words are best.

Sometimes, we come so close to missing the words that matter. In a very noisy world full of noise where everyone thinks they have something to say, do we sometimes miss the important things? The words we need to hear?

One of my favorite Old Testament passages is this…

Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.

1 Kings 19: 11-12 NLT

We want big miracles when sometimes, it is the simple words of another like I experienced today that uplifts our weary spirit and refreshes our soul.

What ways has He whispered fresh life into your weary soul?