Longing or Living?
These past few months, the topic of longing vs. living has struck a chord with me. I have faced a number of changes that have left me, at times, longing for what was.
My daughter, Becca, who for the last 21 years has been my third appendage, has decided to move from Iowa to Texas. She has met the love of her life and is getting married!
She was home for a visit in June with her fiancé, and when they left to return to Texas, it hit me hard. She will be married in a few short months to begin her own family! I found myself longing for more time…time where she was still all mine.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” ~Genesis 2:24
I have to admit, there are times when I find myself pondering how easy it would be to live in a state of longing for what we want, what we had, instead of living what is. Periodically over the past few years I have found myself in that...
Finding My Bearings
The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit . . . Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. —Romans 14:17, 19
One day I could hear that inner voice shouting orders at me: Cook the dinner . . . volunteer in the classroom . . . finish the scrapbook . . . make the deadline. And above all, you’d better look fit and thin while you’re at it.
Finally I put my hands over my ears and found a quiet place to sit—not an easy task in a house with six kids. God met me there and made sense of my exasperation. The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,He seemed to whisper. Thin or not, I love you. And I don’t desire a to-do list from you. I desire righteousness and peace and joy in My Holy Spirit.
The promises, straight from Romans 14, soothed me then and there. I still had things to do when I left that quiet place, but I had my bearings...
LOOKING FOR REAL RELATIONSHIPS?
Real relationships are rare, like a diamond in the rough.
If you have real relationships, you are blessed!
Real relationships are special and to be handled with care.
If you have real relationships, you are one of the few!
Real relationships get me through life and are the best God-given medicine.
Real relationships are developed over time and requiring intentional effort.
Maybe you read these statements and wish you could say - YES, I have real relationships!
Maybe you read these statements and think to yourself - HOW do I develop real relationships?
I remember a time when all I wanted was to have Real Relationships.
I have had the surface friendships which left me with dissatisfaction.
I wanted real, raw conversation; talking about things that truly mattered.
I wanted friends who would lift my arms up when I felt I could not.
Today Women of Faith Foundational Voice and Host Alita Reynolds interviews the real life mother Joyce Smith, played by actress Chrissy Metz in the movie Breakthrough.
JOYCE SMITH was born in Wichita, Kansas, and due to her father's job, she grew up all over the country. She retired in 2001 and lives in St. Charles, Missouri, with her husband Brian, with whom she has four sons-Joseph, Tom, Charles, and John-and five grandchildren. Joyce keeps busy with her kids' and grandkids' activities, and enjoys cross-stitch, crochet, and decorating. Joyce loves speaking to audiences about what God has done and continues to do for her family.
God has been teaching me a very valuable lesson this past year. There’s a good side and a bad side, a healthy side and an unhealthy side, to most everything in life. Longing can be our worst enemy when we long for the wrong things in life. When we yearn for more money, a better job, more stuff, or think more friends will make us happy, it’s an unhealthy longing that will lead to constant feelings of discontent.
But if our hearts ache with a deep longing to know Jesus better, that’s a healthy longing that will deepen our faith and help us find contentment, no matter what is happening around us.
This past year has been a long season of longing and waiting for me. And to be honest, waiting is something I don’t always do very well. I am a “get-it-done” kind of gal, and I live most of my life in race mode.
I’m also a huge dreamer, which is a good thing in many ways, but sometimes us dreamers get lost in the dreaming and forget to...
I remember a poster I saw a long time ago. It was a picture of an adorable red-headed little boy blowing a big, huge bubble, and the caption read, “Be Yourself– Who else is better qualified.” This isn’t the picture, but there’s something about the little boy in this picture I adore!
As I’ve grown in life and in my walk with Jesus, the truth in this saying has become more and more real and more and more important. It has taken me a very long time to accept the fact that I’m a quirky, weird, artsy-fartsy creative person. I don’t like living in a box and will fight anyone who tries to put me in one. I guess I’m just wired to be weird!
As I let God be my mirror and not the world, I see the beauty of His workmanship in my life. Every experience, every victory, every defeat, every piece of me and my quirky personality He intends to use for His good. He created me on purpose for a purpose, and He empowers me to fulfill the purpose that...
Word to the Wise...Wisdom in the Waiting
I don’t like waiting. I mean let’s be honest though, does anyone really like waiting? You should also know that I am a fast walker, like really fast. My kids have a hard time keeping up with me at the grocery store or shopping at the mall. This trait isn’t always positive as I have often found myself making careless mistakes, not communicating well, misplacing things or missing important details due to always being in a hurry. This ends up with me overwhelmed with my day, because I didn’t leave any margin between commitments and activities, frustrating myself and also those who are closest to me.
The book of Proverbs has some insight into living a life that is fast paced, and become accustomed to a hurried lifestyle, “Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.” (Proverbs 19:2)
Wisdom is a tricky thing, sometimes difficult to hear and often difficult...
Planting, Cultivating and Harvesting Our Fruits of the Spirit
Until a few years ago, I had never taken into account the faith that is a part of farming.
My family, and every farmer that I know, plants tiny seeds every spring in hopes that it will produce a harvest in the fall. Corn, beans, milo and sometimes sunflowers. The crops produce feed for our cattle or finances to provide for the family.
When we plant these little seeds we know that there is a possibility that the seeds may never come up out of the ground. Maybe the plants will be harmed or destroyed by hail, insects, flooding or drought. But we have faith that God will provide if He has called us to be farmers.
Farmers don’t stop caring for the seed after it’s planted. We prepare the land and cultivate the soil to help the seed grow.
Our gardens are the same. If we stopped caring for our plants, our space would become overwhelmed with...
Proverbs 2:4-5 says, “If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”
Who doesn’t love the idea of searching for treasure? How many movies have we watched that center around that theme? The allure of treasure just waiting to be discovered by someone brave enough and committed enough to go after it. God’s wisdom is a treasure that’s even better!
I want to search for hidden treasures; I’m committed and willing to search for those diamonds! I’m brave enough to seek His wisdom! I’m willing to hunt for wisdom as though they are diamonds. Are you?
In July, our Women of Faith Ambassadors are studying the monthly topic, Word to the Wise. The book of Proverbs has so much wisdom. I wonder if we as Jesus followers are willing to search high and low for it? Are we keeping on the adventure of looking for the...
Have you ever had a season in your life where you were so aware of the pain of people you love? A few years ago a friend was battling aggressive cancer, while another was shattered by her child’s failure. I felt helpless. I so wanted to “fix” their hearts and change their circumstances, but it was outside my job description.
One night I awoke in the wee hours and penned these words;
May He who holds the sparrow
In the palm of His hand
And causes flowers to blossom
Across the desert sand
May He who lights the heavens
And sets the stars in place
Guide you through the valley
And reveal to you His face.
May the Lord who gathers storm clouds
And fills them with rain
To water earth’s parched soil
That the land might give forth grain
May He move upon your heart
In the midst of life’s distress
In such a way that you might know
The kindness of His press.
For He who formed the mountains
And carved out the sea
Is He who has promised
To shelter you and me.
His wings are...