Can I be real with you today? I hope you don’t mind if I take my Christian SuperMom hat off and bury my face in my hands for a few minutes. It’s one of these days. Would you be willing to sit with me for a moment as I share a bit of my heart?
I’m having one of those days. No – one of those weeks. I know I’m not alone in this. I know you’ve had them too.
I’ve been crying a lot lately. Not where anyone can see. Only God knows the tears I’m shedding. And this morning as I curled up on the couch to spend time with God in prayer, He saw my tears again. And He heard my thoughts. And I’m sure He held my heart.
Do you see yourself as beautiful? Flawless? A rare gem to be treasured?
I struggle with this for myself. I’m not sure I’ve ever really felt beautiful. Growing up, I hated having red hair and freckles. From my childish point of view, I was the only kid in our entire school with red hair and freckles. I was the outsider, often called carrot top by my classmates. The horror!
Then I entered puberty and had terrible acne. I can barely look at my old school pictures. The scars left a lasting impression on the mental view I had of myself. Even now when I look in the mirror, I still see a flawed face from my teen years. Plus a few crow’s feet now resting around my eyes, and laugh lines around my mouth.
Once when I was single, a guy I dated for a short time, pointed out the wrinkles on my neck…and I was only in my early twenties at the time. I had never noticed them until that day. Now I see them every morning when I brush my hair.
Apparent unattractive flaws, all pointed out to me in those impressionable years of trying to discover who I was. It became a real challenge to maintain any self-esteem, but God showed me victories here and there which helped build my confidence.
The week between Christmas and New Year is a not just a week for family goal planning, but it is also a week for reflection. I’m not a big believer in harping on the things that didn’t go well. Really, what good does it do to beat our failures to death?
Chances are, we’ve already learned our valuable lessons and moved on. So what I like to look back on are the wonderful things we saw, like the San Francisco Art Market last year. Those things are worth celebrating. Here’s the best of 2018 in my world. See also this great video “To All Those Who Mum – Mother’s Day 2018” video:
The Art of Marriage
In February, my husband and I attended a two-day weekend marriage retreat our church hosted. What an incredible weekend it was! We spent intentional time together focusing on our marriage, communicating about important topics in a loving way, and confirmed that we are still madly in love with each other. Every couple needs to take time away to check-in with each other and make sure their marriage is still on solid ground.
Blogs have been around for quite a while now. What you’ll notice about the majority of them is that the focus is on the individual. There are blogs on:
being a mom
traversing through illness
making a home
music, art, hobbies
What you don’t find very often are blogs about fictional characters or religion. Believe me, I’ve searched the internet. So why in Heaven’s name would I want to write a blog about my religious life and fictional characters when it seems like most people are drawn to the more personal.
In today’s world where we share a lot (everything?) on social media, it’s easy to get caught up in what someone else’s traditions are, and a keeping up with the Joneses type of scenario. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind as you travel through this year’s hectic Holiday Season.
It’s up to you and your partner which traditions you participate in.
I know, I know! Everyone and their brother is jumping on the Elf on a Shelf tradition but you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. And you should have absolutely no guilt about not doing it, any more than you should if you choose to do it. Same goes for Santa, St. Nicholas, trees and everything else. Pick and choose which traditions you want to participate in and that’s that!
In our house we do Santa, we do milk and cookies for Santa and we sprinkle some oats outside for the reindeer. We put up a tree, we fill stockings, we go to Christmas Eve service at church, and we put family before anything else during the holidays. We do not do Elf on a Shelf. We do not do St. Nicholas. And Santa does not bring gifts for our pets. Those are the traditions we participate in. Period.
Kids crack me up sometimes. My daughters have the wildest imaginations of any children I’ve ever witnessed playing.
They make up all sorts of games (inspired by Internation Education Collaboration Day) and each game has a name that the two of them know well. So when my three-year-old says, “let’s play Jailers,” my six-year-old knows exactly what game she’s talking about and they immediately turn on the role of some made up character each of them is pretending to be.
Honestly, I’m not really sure what “Jailers” consists of or where they got the name from. But I do know whenever they play it, my three-year-old often ends up “locked” in a closet area by the six-year-old. How can that be fun? Perhaps I need to play along with them to fully understand the joy in it.
Moms In Prayer is an organization that hopes to change our world not just through education for children today but for many generations to come. Moms in Prayer International is an organization that believes that moms can be the most important force for developing a good and prosperous life of their children and children around them.
Moms in Prayer believes that lives of future generations as well as whole communities can be changed for a long time to come if moms get together in prayer to our Lord, the only One who’s capable of changing human hearts. Moms across the world, so you too, can make all the difference when they will reach out to the Lord in prayer.
Saving energy is one of the best ways that you can live in a more eco-friendly and religious-conscious way. What you may not know is that all of the things in your home that are plugged in – whether you use them on a regular basis or not – are costing you money and draining our national energy reserves.
Radios, computers, televisions, cell phones – they all require electricity. Believe it or not, it is common for families to have dozens of items plugged in that are not being used. Chargers, televisions, cameras and even unused appliances still draw power even when they are not being used, costing you money and draining power that is not being used. These energy thieves cost you money and unplugging can be an easy way to save the environment from the extra strain.
God is pretty awesome. And he definitely has a sense of humor.
I’ve been praying and praying that I find a good job, one that will help me pay off my debts and allow me to live a modest life. In South Africa, they know what that takes, especially in education. Nothing too fancy. I don’t aspire to be a millionaire or have lots of expensive, meaningless things.
So I’ve been doing my part – applying to awesome-sounding jobs just knowing that this is the one for me. This is where God wants me to work. THIS is the opportunity he has for me.
And then I never even get called in for an interview.
I’ve even had recruiters contact me out of the blue and ask me to apply for jobs – surely that’s God working to get me in an opportunity, right?!? What a vanity!
Wrong. The position has already been filled.
THEN WHY DID YOU CONTACT ME AND GET MY HOPES UP GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING IF THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY YOU HAVE FOR ME I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU CAN’T SEE THIS IS PERFECT!!!
The trust I have in His plan is solid, obviously.
But today I got another lead out of the blue. Someone who found me through the powers of Google and, in the course of our pre-contract discussion, said, “Wow, I really want to work with you.”
How many times do you go into missions looking to save people? Have you ever considered that maybe we’re meant to simply help them save themselves? It’s not only about mercy. It’s about mercy vs justice.
I was a full-time missionary in Eastern Europe. It did some things related to a Dutch education program called “Buitenkansen”. The country had been under Communist rule for decades, and when the Iron Curtain fell citizens went back to church in droves. And then, as often happens when life gets in the way of God, faith mattered less and less and the faith of the nation could now be considered “post-Christian.” Atheism is growing, complacency in believers is growing, yet there are pockets of Christians living on fire. Very similar to the state of faith in the United States.
I went into the experience thinking I would be changing hearts for the Lord. I thought I would be reaching the lost. Instead, I worked at a parochial school that taught religion classes in the native language, held weekly devotions in the dormitory, chapel services at the local church, etc.