It’s been over a year since I’ve spent much time in my personal Instagram feed. At the request of a friend I went hunting through it for a particular post she was referencing, and I was freshly encouraged by the handful of captions I happened to land on. Then I realized it could be sweet and cool to have the photos + words in a more ‘permanent’ place, since I’m not on there much and you never know the future of the platform. Not sure how many posts there will be, but every few weeks I’m going to comb through my feed and put them here on the blog. Whether you have read them before or the words are new, enjoy. :)
Call it discipline, call it conviction, call it parenting. Or all three. It’s what God did for me this week.
Anna is teething, so her discomfort and noise level strings out my emotional energy a bit. She went down for a nap and I was PUMPED for a little quiet. It got interrupted, and I had a rough attitude.
Later, from the Lord, You forget that even if you hadn’t gotten any of the quiet or rest the way YOU wanted to get it, I can [still] provide what you need. So, I encourage you with the truth also — He is Shepherd, Sustainer, Creator and Almighty. Jesus can make something possible where I believe it’s impossible.
An unseen Kingdom requires more diligence from me. Food is not closer than Him. Hulu is not closer than Him. Social media is not closer than Him. In a moment I need energy, rest, joy or steadiness, God is not far. My need is a trigger to pray, and thankfully a request for His help is one He always grants.
Let’s beware of falling into the trap of believing good work is only work that’s visible to a large number of people.
Allow God the chance to cultivate something holy and beautiful in you in the places you go unnoticed. Pour yourself out for Him, surrendering the fruit of your pouring, whether it is useful and affirmed by many or enjoyed only by One.
“The whole question is: how precious is He to us now? If we do not think much of Him, then of course to give Him anything at all, however small, will seem to us a wicked waste. But when He is really precious to our souls, nothing will be too good, nothing too costly for Him; everything we have, our dearest, our most priceless treasure, we shall pour out upon Him, and we shall not count it a shame to have done so.” Watchman Nee
You know when I get flustered, overwhelmed or flat out annoyed
When I think there is something more important I should be doing.
But, alas, my Father reminds (and challenges) me again on what is most important — to love Him and love His people.
Laundry will get done on a day or in an hour we have the space to do it. Keeping the floor and countertops clear of clutter might not happen today but it will happen eventually. A blog post will be written when He graces me with the margin or clarity to write it.
The important work *for me* is to care for, enjoy and love the living, breathing little human in front of me… and my man… communing with Jesus as I go.
He will provide or fill in the gaps I can’t (in the moment, or ever) fill.
Simplicity relieves pressure. It also breeds contentment.
A working theory — just because it’s challenging doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.
A personal example. On the regular, Anna barely lasts 5 minutes playing by herself before she comes needing me to engage with her. I’ve long heard that independent kids are the best kids. Enter, worry and shame over my choices thus far.
(And all said… amen? Maybe?)
18 month old Anna’s seemingly constant need for interaction can be taxing for this introverted mom (real talk), but that doesn’t mean how I’m parenting her is wrong.
Following the Holy Spirit, yes.
Paying attention to wise counsel, yes.
Asking for new wisdom or fresh eyes for my unique child, yes.
Training and stretching her in small ways, yes.
But… a challenging day or season doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It might simply mean it’s a challenging season and you aren’t omniscient or in control of all the things.
And Grace is sufficient.
A re-centering, a sustainable way —
“I call you friend.” John 15:5
This is who we are.
“Come follow me.” Matthew 16:24-26
This is what we do.
“I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20
This is how we do it.
We’re at the park, and she’s happily bouncing, amazed by the big trucks driving by, never wanting to stop going down the slide, smiling constantly — and I’m laughing with her, amazed at her joy and think — Is this what God feels like with me as His child?
Delight. Lightness. Wonder. Love.
I was filled to the brim with it, covering every crack and reaching every corner. And then I realized — this. is. it.
This is how I operate in the world.
I felt so… whole… not because of my efforts at wholeness but because I have God and He has me. (Psalm 23 rings loud: with Him as my Shepherd, I lack nothing.)
The best I can do for myself is accept and live in His love, especially when mistakes and lack and circumstances scream reasons I can’t. And the best I can do for others, those under my roof and those on this platform, is to extend invitations of His love through my own and through His Word.
If your life has told you He doesn’t want to love you or know you, I’m here to tell that He does. It’s waiting for you, probably even pursuing you… it just takes a Yes of faith.
Message me if you want to talk about it; I would LOVE to hear your story, no matter how different we are.
You’re not forsaken,
You’re not alone
His love is unending
So know it well
Remind your soul,
remind your spirit,
remind your heart
The love of the Father
Know it well
“We must reflect that, when we reach the end of our days, our life experience will equal what we have paid attention to, whether by choice or default. We are at risk, without quite fully realizing it, of living lives that are less our own than we imagine.” William James
With the help of God, may we strive to become abiding and attentive people instead of distracted and defeated people.
“God is always coming to you in the sacrament of the Present Moment. Meet and receive Him there with gratitude.” Evelyn Underhill
Such brokenness we see, such pain, such fear. Attend to Jesus — Lord, Savior, King — with all your honest thoughts and feelings, and let His power and love change you. Let Him form and re-form you into a help for the hurting, a bright spot for those in the dark, a presence for others to rest in. A ‘little Christ’ on the earth.
^ what I’m rehearsing to myself