Every Story

“She’s the mother so she’s in every story.”

            My friend is planning her mother’s ninetieth birthday party and has begun to collect stories she’s quoted in saying, “She’s the mother so she’s in every story, but I am looking for the spectacular ones.”

We mothers are in the story yes, but definitely not in every picture.  Let’s be honest mothers are rarely in any pictures, in fact we have to usually pay someone else to take them for us.

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I am not in this picture but definitely in the story these are my children and their cousins. I told the kids to do “something silly” as a distraction while all the adults cleaned up.  It was one of their favorite memories even though it was completely unplanned and “just something to do to keep them busy.”  These spontaneous things are when life happens.

If I had to choose I would definitely choose to be in the story not the picture. Being fully present in our children’s lives is so important.  More than we know.

1 Peter 3:4

but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God. (AMP)

         I know when I get distracted and let errands and things come before time with my children I most definitely lose my gentle and peaceful spirit.  Let’s face it we need that gentle and peaceful spirit to make it through the day.

Prayer:  Lord, I need help to be fully present with my children let my concerns and anxieties fall as I concentrate on listening and engaging with them. I desire to please You, Lord in thought and deed toward my children and everyone I encounter.  Let a gentle and peaceful spirit be present in me even when it is not my natural reaction to my current life situation. Thank You, Amen.

 

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Cleaning- *gasp*

The phone call took a moment it was confirmation of my daughter’s 9:30 and my 10:30 dental appointments. I had set-up the dental visits months earlier knowing it’s importance and loving the feeling of clean teeth.

(My three year old daughter and my sister a dental assistant at Grandgenett dentistry, in Ames, IA.  they were so gentle and she actually had fun!)

Now, the dread set in, the scraping and the potential to find a painful and expensive cavity. Okay, actually two cavities last year.

The same is true of our spiritual life we know we need to submit to the cleaning only Christ can accomplish in our lives. (Christianese would call it sanctification) But knowing it, like setting the appointment is different than taking that confirmation call and committing to the cleaning.

Right when we get to the place we see some potential dirt to remove that *gasp* may require some scraping of our hearts. We bulk, we become busy, we justify our dirt or worse yet sweep it under a rug.

Friends I am right now standing on the edge of a cleaning. The sudden wave of fear actually strengths my resolve to submit to the necessary cleaning. I know I serve an awesome God, whose faithfulness goes far beyond my own. Psalm 119:90 Your faithfulness continues from generation to generation; You have established the earth, and it stands [securely].(AMP)

Because of this Truth I continue to walk toward Him knowing He is who He says He is.

Please pray with me:

Lord Jesus, I now see the place in my heart I am attempting to hide from You. I feel so vulnerable and scared even though I know Your gentleness. I know I will grow closer to You and ultimately will gain a larger space in my heart that rests in Your glory and Your might and not my own. I submit my heart to You and ask You to cleanse me of my lack of trust and faith. Forgive me for my lack of faith and strengthen my walk with You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

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Psalm 91:4 

He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions,
And under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and a wall. (AMP)

NOT a cookie cutter!

 

Right now I am being stretched, pushed, and pulled becoming more than I am.

“What am I Play-Doh” I lamented at my walking partner. She didn’t even pause, in stride she blurted, “Yep, pretty much -you are His clay.”

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I cried out to God in need of encouragement and frankly relief. He gently reminded me the alternative. You are not a cookie cutter- a mass produced blob. You can’t be less than who you are. You are not a square, a dinosaur, or some other shape someone else wants you to be. God created you, His original creation design with so much more in mind. This stretching is a restoring. A restoring to the fullness of everything He has for you.

You can stand on the Word.

Romans 11:29
for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. (NIV)

This verse left me wounded and yet energized. It begs the question who is trying to revoke the gift? I didn’t have to look far for the culprit. In my case, I myself was willing to lay it down or at least shelf it for a time, to “rest”. If God’s Word said my gifts and His call to me toward relationship are irrevocable who am I to stand in the way?

Are there ever times that you stand in the way of God?

Prayer: Have Your way God. I refuse to be disobedient. Restore me to my original creation design. Your flawed masterpiece- Heather, asking to be molded into Your image and not my own. Thank you, Amen.

Foaming at the mouth!

“Have you ever seen your mother foam at the mouth?”

This rhetorical question became the challenge of the day my children wholeheartedly took.

When I questioned this scheme Gabe responded, “You taught me to aim high mom.”blog 6-21

The rest of afternoon was filled with scream fest 2017(at least my kids are creative) and a surprise attack spray bottle game.  This game consisted of trying to catch someone off guard and spray them in the face, while of course squealing in delight.  No one could leave a room for fear of ambush.

I pray this over you and myself.

Colossians 1:11 (in quotations)

I pray: being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” to carry out the plans He created for you before your birth.  May your patience and endurance run deeper and stronger than your to do list so that you might experience God’s joy in your everyday life. Help us to rest in your joy in all the moments of our lives. Thank You, Amen.

Mother Instinct- is it real?

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The twist of an ankle sent me crashing forward in space.  Abigail my two year old barely awoke snuggled into my neck “safe” in my arms.

Protective reactions created within us by God dictate my arms would shoot out in front of me to protect my body.  Instead, I tucked Abby in deeper and my elbows came up.  Instantaneously my body moved not by my will or by my might but instantaneously. I roll to my back as I writhe in pain Abigail remained snuggled. She finally fully awoke when two of my other children ran up the stairs and began shouting, “Are you okay?”

God created all of us with protective reactions to shield our heads from trauma.  My reactions of protecting Abigail went against my original creation design.  After this experience, I realized God changed my original creation design from protecting me into protecting my children.  He created within me new mother protective reactions.

This thought blew up in my mind. If He can create the ability within me, to do what is best for my children, without thinking, and without effort, maybe I should ask Him to do this in other areas of my life.

  • Lord Jesus, come in to my mother’s decisions
  • Lord Jesus, come in to the discipline of my children
  • Lord Jesus, come in to my mothering conversations
  • Lord Jesus, come in to my marriage
  • Lord Jesus, come in to my workplace

 

There is no place that the Lord cannot transform- no place, except that which we hold back from Him because of our own misguided will. Release your will from the areas of your life God wants to touch.

Psalm 139:7-12 (NIV)

 Where can I go from your Spirit?     Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there;     if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn,     if I settle on the far side of the sea,  even there your hand will guide me,     your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me     and the light become night around me,”  even the darkness will not be dark to you;     the night will shine like the day,     for darkness is as light to you.

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I release my will from every area of my life that You want access to. Please, create a switch with in my mind that my very instincts, the reactive part of my being be transformed and conformed to the mind of Christ.  Align the very synapsis of my brain to the Word and Will of God so that I am unable to react in a way that deviates my actions from Christ.  Let it be.  Thank you, Jesus.  Amen

 

Join me in this leap of faith- believe that Christ can do what He says.

Stop hiding and begin enjoying your freedom, bought and paid for by Christ.

Have you ever had a supernatural mother experience? I would love to hear about it.

 

Home before Dark

 

“Home before dark, my special girls.” Grandpa called out, as he bent to kiss the top of Grandma’s head. My sister and I smiled as we finished our breakfast.

We waited for Grandpa on the front porch; the squeak of the swing kept us company as Grandma sang our favorite songs.  Our spirits soared, as we discussed which flavor of ice-cream we were going to devour.  The beauty of the sunset, hushed us momentarily. Darkness settled in stealthy at first, almost drifting in, but now it was fully settled and oppressive in its finality.  The anxiety began to scurry out, the “what-ifs”.  Hadn’t Grandpa promised to be home before dark? If I am so special why do I need to wait? What happened?  Tension grew, as we watched Grandma force smiles through stiffened lips, in between hurried glances at the horizon.  The message, “We should worry”, was heard loud and clear.

Grandpa’s rust red truck burst over the hill; relief flooded us.  The answer to our question would he show up, was answered.  Why the delay- I still do not know.

Hosea 12:6

Therefore, return [in repentance] to your God,

Observe and highly regard kindness and justice,

And wait [expectantly] for your God continually. (AMP)

            The Hebrew word for wait and hope are the same.  If you are waiting you are hoping.  The waiting with expectation puts our hearts out there to be hurt.  When we are given what we think is the lesser thing or worse yet when life is immersed in pain- this is hardly what we expectantly desired.  It wasn’t the ice-cream treat.  We are left feeling unloved and unnoticed as our hearts lay crushed.

For God’s word to say, we should wait continually, not so subtly implies we may need to hope and pray through ‘impossible’ situations.  When we wait, continually expecting the Lord to show up, there is sweetness in the release.  The trick is the release– not to let the anxiety, worries, and “what-ifs” scurry into our lives and take control where God should be in control. I openly confess I haven’t mastered the skill of full surrender yet. I have a hard time submitting control if the waiting has anything to do with my children.  My own pain and struggle is tolerable, but to see my children flounder is torture.

Lord Jesus, we submit our longings and our pain to You.  We proclaim and declare we will not lean on our own understanding, but release our worries to You, no matter how long we wait.  The creator of the Universe has got this and He will show-up.  We praise You for the victory already obtained and we praise You when we do not get what we wanted, when we wanted it.  Grant us the peace that passes human understanding as we continually wait with great expectation for our King.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

 

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Homicide averted

wushuThis is the story of an averted homicide. I should start out by saying I did not strangle her. Partially because she was too far away, but also because I to, am often in need of grace.  This averted homicide took place in the most unlikely of places, during a discussion about motherhood.  I was in the process of describing my awe at the rich depth and complexity of the process of being and becoming a mother.  This woman leapt forward with the statement, “Well that’s easy, all you have to do is give birth” and gave me a look like, duh aren’t you stupid.  No strangling took place, but I sat rocked at the depths of her ignorance and apparent lack of real- life experience. I have watched many women become mothers through such varied, lengthy and often torturous circumstances having nothing to do with an actual physical birth.  In my reverent observance of this transformation to motherhood, I have seen all women go through an emotional birth into motherhood, sometimes initiated before the child is even known.  What varies is the physical aspects, whether it involves torturously long labor pains or torturously long court pains.  No one should refute or belittle the pain that is indwelling in the process of becoming and in being a mother.  Women should not have to defend their right to call themselves a mother however they acquired their children or further more whether their children are still living or not.   

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I write to celebrate and defend motherhood.  As mothers we gain strength in unity.  Strength cannot be gained behind a front of perfection but rather in integrity.  I need other Christians to lift me up when I fail and remind me of why I walk in the first place.  I write to encourage others and to be encouraged. 

            I created this blog not as a perfect mother but as a flawed mother, battered and bruised by life. A mother with a depth of understanding felt within my own heart or seen within the heart of those I love, of the joy and pain of receiving the gift of motherhood.  I am a mother in constant need of replenishing.  I have found the one true source to sustain me, Jesus Christ. I have come to realize my Christian walk is my ‘mother walk’ they cannot be separated.  As my obedience to Christ improves my ability to be a mother improves. It is my highest calling that in all things and at all times I point my children to Christ and show them the path of obedience. 

As their mother I cannot bear their cross.  For in their struggles they are transformed.  They are becoming who they were created to be.  This does not take place in the shelter of my arms but in the example of my obedience.  I cannot attempt to shelter them from the pain of their choices or the life they have been given in order to reduce my own pain.  I must trust in the living God, Jesus Christ with my most precious gifts my children.  This truth has been both life-giving and exquisitely painful at the same time.  I need other mothers to come alongside me in this walk.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord Jesus you have begun this process of creating a mother, worthy of this calling and I trust that You will complete a good work within me.  Holy Spirit bring into remembrance the scriptures that keep me focused on Christ and keep my path steady toward You.  I don’t want to wander off into my own desires or thoughts of what is right I need Your steady hand on my life.  You have entrusted me with these children and I ask that you grant me the wisdom and strength to carry out the calling of motherhood.  Provide me with divine connections to other women on this difficult and rewarding journey.  Thank you, Jesus. Amen.