Wall Building

I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but when I am hurt, I shut down. Do you find yourself emotionally checking out when you are hurt? Do you find yourself putting up walls of protection that leave you feeling numb instead of protected? If so, have you asked yourself why?


Often times it’s something that we do without even knowing it; in our subconscious we are wall-building.

Whatis even bothering me?
Why am I hurt? Where are these boundaries coming from?
Am I hurt because I feel rejected?
Am I hurt by God, because it feels like he doesn’t want good for me?
Can I trust His actions even though I don’t understand them?

When the questions have been asked, I usually find that at the end of the day it all comes back to me and Him being a more important relationship than any other in my life.

If we are backing away, building up, and shutting down because we aren’t trusting him, we better stop.

If we want closeness with Jesus, we won’t find that in building walls or following anyone but Jesus Himself. He is the one to let down the walls for, He is the one to welcome in, and He is the one we must pursue.

A Mother’s Imperfect Habits and Messy Love

I recently submitted a free write to the Her View From Home blog, all about imperfect mothering and messy love. Take a look here and copied.

Originally posted on the Her View From Home blog!

I am not habitual. I am not routine. I am not particularly disciplined, though I’d very much like to be.

 

I am spontaneous. I am adventurous. I am random. I am sometimes brave, and always passionate.

The world tells me to be a good mom I need to set my alarm at 5 or 6 am every morning to achieve a certain checklist before my kids are awake. That happens some days – not every day.

There are weeks I have a glass of wine – or two – before bed while my husband is at work and I’m in complete survival mode. My alarm clock is usually my 10-month-old the following morning. There are weeks I go to bed at 7:45 pm right after my kids doze off, and I’m up at 5 am for a spin class at the local YMCA. The point is, it’s not ever the same.

I have a planner. I have a few actually – one for work, one for our family, etc. I’m obsessed with planning, scheduling, and laying out our life perfectly – but the reality is life doesn’t follow my perfectly planned playbook, does it?

When did being a good mom start to mean sticking to the family planner and daily routine? Does it mean the same alarm clock beep every morning, the coffee pot set and scheduled the night before, and the same bedtime every night? Because if that’s being a good mom, I can’t do that.

The thing is, God didn’t pick a creature of habit to mother my children… he actually picked me.

He picked me.

He picked the one who is ADHD about her workout routine, diet, and sleep patterns. One week I’m an avid runner, the next I can’t be bothered to put down the latest Kiera Cass, Suzanne Collins, or Beth Moore, to head to the gym. One week I’m eating strictly paleo (or gluten free) the next week all that’s on the menu is coffee and chocolate. One week, I’m spending 5 hours a week at the public library with my growing readers, the next I’m deciding it’s educational for them to watch the Hallmark channel all day long in honor of the Christmas season. You get the picture, I think.

My kids might not learn about alarm clock patterns from me. But, they might learn to book a flight with two days’ notice to see a dear friend. From me, they probably won’t learn about nutrition (thank gosh they have their dad for that), but they’ll learn to be 10 minutes early, rather than one minute late, to everything. They might be confused about my discipline methods, always changing, and never consistent (probably the one thing they should be), but I’m hoping that they will learn I love them immensely. They’ll learn I tried everything in the book(s) to be the best mom to them, to show them how head over heels crazy I am about them. Always wanting their life to be exciting, adventurous, meaningful, and never boring or predictable. I didn’t ever aspire to be a good mom to them, really, anyone could do that. I wanted to be a great one.

Forward Motion

Sometimes it’s hard to keep moving forward when we don’t see results, and when we don’t see or feel God working. I often use this blog as a way to give encouragement, encouragement that I often need and can find in the word. But, I don’t ever give it lightly. It’s easy to say, “keep moving forward”! It’s much harder to hear it, soak it in, and feel good about it when forward motion is painful, humbling, and hard. The truth is, even when we don’t feel God working, or see him moving, He still is.

It’s difficult to trust that He knows what he’s doing behind the scenes. But we know that He does and that his ways are so unlike our own. So superior to our own.
So what do we do? Hang on to HIM. Not the motivational quote, not the positive friend in our life, not even our steady spouse or loyal family. HIM, and the promises for us found in his word.

He is a promise keeper. Joshua 6:2

Let’s not stop short of the victory that can be found in Jesus. Today is a new day, his mercies are new every morning. And if this we can be sure of today, He is at work in our lives. He is moving. And He is keeping His promises.

Wrapping up the Holidays

It has been such a busy season for our family, and while we’ve enjoyed every second with our adored family and best of friends, I’m sure glad to get back to our normal! Here’s a quick recap — in photos — of our magical holiday.

My cuties learning about baby Jesus’ arrival.

Me adoring my daughter on her very first Christmas.

Reading our new favorite book. Thank you, Usborne Books!

Walks in the snow. (This west coast girl is still infatuated with the snow!)

Finn Ryan, breakdancing downtown on his third birthday. 12.29.16

Again, the snow! He loves it as much as I do!

Watching these two and their bond this holiday… swoon. She loves daddy.

Kisses from Aunt KiKi.

Can I get a round of applause for all four subjects smiling at the camera. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Happy Holiday from this Fresh Lens, hope your January is off to an adventurous start.

Oaks of Glory

She woke up feeling broken. She had been told she was broken too many times, and one morning something snapped and she couldn’t shed the weight of it anymore.

She became quiet and withdrawn. She stopped trusting. She stopped trying. She carried it with her, the burden of being questioned, doubted, rejected and ultimately abandoned.

She longed to be accepted, understood, and loved wholly and unconditionally.

And it hurt. She hurt. Every second of every day when she couldn’t spend enough of her energy on distractions, the pain would find her. She couldn’t escape.

Then the truth found her.  The darkness has not overcome the lightJohn 1:4-5. Why was she living as if the darkness had won?

Because she was questioned, she also had questioned. She had questioned His love for her, His care for her, His provision. Because those that rejected her and tore her down didn’t love her well, she forgot that He does. He loves well.

She saw that God was standing by her side in the brokenness, longing to heal her, if she would simply accept his healing affection. He would build her up. He would lay a new foundation of unrestrained, undeserved, break-the-gates-open-wide kind of love for her.


She saw that this love – His perfect love – could fill the cracks where things have been shattered, stolen, beaten, and broken.

God wanted to use her that way, with old cracks that show through the surface, with new ones that have yet to be healed. In Him, she is worthy to be used even while broken, rejected, misunderstood and mislabeled.

Not every broken piece has been found and put back into place. She knows that he will finish his work of fixing, healing, and loving until complete wholeness is restored.

To she who mourns He will give: beauty where there were only ashes; pure joy in place of deep sadness; uplifting praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted her like a strong and graceful oak for His glory. | Isaiah 61:3 paraphrased.

 

Beloved

When you are doubted, do you remember that you are chosen? And, because you are chosen by me, I dwell in you and walk with you. Every day I am with you.

Stop counting your sins, you are forgiven.img_5920

Even while you sinned I died for you. And as I died for you, your sin died with me. You are free now. You are not condemned. I do not condemn you.

You need not fear a hard heart and a closed mind, I have removed those things from you. The scales have been removed.

You are a new creation in me. Your new self is righteous and holy. You have every spiritual blessing on your side. You are marked as mine, sealed with my spirit. My peace guards your heart, from all that it needs guarding against.

You are raised up above the earthly hurts that come your way because I raise you up.

Continue seeking things above, daily. Your flesh and your heart, they might fail you. But I am your strength and your portion.

Eph 1:4; 1 Cor 6:19; 1 John 1:9; Romans 5:8; Romans 6:6; Romans 8:1; 2 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 1:3, 13; Eph 4:24; Phil 4:7; Col 3:1; Psalms 73:26

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