In addition to the 30 Lessons I’ve already shared, I’ve got five more lessons that I feel compelled to share with you. These have been the hard lessons to learn…
1. I am more selfish than I ever realized. Being a mother means setting aside my own desires for the well being and benefit of little lives that need me. It is hard. I am selfish.
2. I am the chief of sinners. The past few days have. been. terrible. My heart and attitude were ugly. My voice was loud. My temper was short. I had to seek forgiveness from my children, and my husband, more times than I can count.
3. I need Jesus every moment of every day. This mothering thing, it is a difficult job. It takes every bit of me every hour of the day. I am more tired than I ever have been. I cannot rely on myself and my own strength. I must rely more on Jesus than I ever have before.
4. Being content is hard, no matter the season. It is not based on my circumstances, but yet on my heart attitude. This has been a struggle for me my entire adult life. My struggle with discontentment didn’t go away since I have children. It is always something. If only we were done “fostering.” If only we can become a permanent family. I must not base my contentment on my life today.
5. I cannot be everything to everyone. I am a people pleaser by nature. This one is so hard. I try to be everything for everyone and then I burn myself out. I simply cannot do everything I want to do or everything everyone else wants me to do.
I am no where near perfect and this journey is great on some days and a struggle on others. However, I firmly believe that I am doing exactly what the Lord has planned for me.
Without any intention of doing so, I took a blogging break.
Life has a way of forcing what you need sometimes, right?
My throat feels dry, it’s because I need water. My stomach grumbles, it’s because my body needs food to fuel me.
I needed rest and margin and time to seek peace from the only One who can give it overflowing.
Because I needed these things, so desperately, my desires to blog and write were gone. I had nothing to say. No words would come.
You know what? I really needed it more than anything.
I needed time away.
Time in the Word, deep.
Time to pray, without ceasing.
Time to be with the body and be encouraged.
I needed those margins in my life so that the Lord would work within me and give me a sense of abundant peace.
Lately, within me has been much turmoil, questioning, worry, unknown…if I would have allowed it, those feelings would have consumed me. I know because it’s happened before. It’s kind of my default…
Instead of allowing myself to swim in those overwhelming feelings, when my world was filling with unknowns and I had nothing in my control to do about it, I sought comfort from the One who knows what my future holds, even when it’s unclear to me.
I know where to find rest. I am reminded as a song comes on my Pandora station.
I’m restless. I’m restless.
’til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You.
Oh God, I wanna rest in You.
I am so excited to be linking up with Write It, Girl each Tuesday in March. What is Write, It Girl you ask…it’s a time to write whatever you’ve got on your heart! You just write it, girl. Here’s more from their about page:
“Write with confidence in your space; that little corner of the web He’s given you. Ask Him to give you a vision for what He wants with your words and write it, girl.”
I know that I am a new creation in Christ, I have read the words from 2 Corinthians 5:17 many times, the old has passed away and the new has come. However, how many times do I struggle with what this looks like in real life? What does this new life look like in the day to day? How can I practically live this new life when I am still living in this old body in this same old world? While I’m still living in this sin-tainted world, is it possible to live as a new creation?
This morning my husband and I had an argument. It wasn’t a big, knock your socks off, type of argument. However, it was still an argument none the less. In the midst of this arguing, I found myself leaning towards my sinful tendencies to get defensive, raise my voice, and place blame anywhere except on my own two shoulders.
This afternoon, as I’m reflecting on our morning encounter, I am struggling with those questions I shared above. Even more so, I am thinking about how I am supposed to be a new creation, but yet I find myself struggling with sin so often.
I open my Bible and seek to find an answer for my burdened spirit in the pages of God’s Word. I find comfort in Paul’s words to the Romans. Paul struggles. He fights against his sin nature. I realize again that I am not alone in my struggles against these sinful tendencies.
Through Paul’s words, I remind myself that this is part of life in the already but not yet world we live in. We were already redeemed by the blood of Christ through His work on the cross and have been justified or made righteous before God. But, we have not yet been glorified, or made perfect; this is something we have to look forward to once our journey as sojourners on this globe ends.
This leaves us in the middle, in our sanctification. This is the phase of our christian life that I struggle with, as you can tell from my questions. It’s the here and now, the practical part of working out what we believe, but still having to live with sin. It’s a process, wherein lies the struggle for me.
In this culture, we want what we want when we want it. I’m sorry to admit that I have let this mentality soak into my view of what life as a Christian looks like. I want to be made perfect right now. I don’t want to have to struggle with sin. I want to live glorified, now.
The reality is, I have to learn how to live in this world as a new creation. I have to learn what it means and what this kind of life should look like.
I find my thoughts drifting away from my sin and onto God’s grace. How undeserving I am of such a costly gift, but yet God showers His grace on me, overflowing. When my sin increases, grace increases all the more. His grace is what will bring me through this process of sanctification. His grace is what I need, every day, every hour.
My husband arrives home from work and I quickly seek his forgiveness for my faults from the morning. He willingly grants me forgiveness. I continue to offer him the same forgiveness that he gives. We move on throughout our day. We move forward.
I’m a new creation. I have been set apart for the glory of God. It isn’t always pretty because I’m living in the same old world with sin. However, God grants me the strength and the grace to continue to move forward each day.
I’m curious…what part of this “already but not yet” world do you struggle with most?
I don’t know about you, but when I gather in a group of believers and we all start sharing our testimony and how God has brought us from a life dead in our sin, living in darkness, to a life full of His grace, living in His marvelous light…I always get emotional.
No matter what your testimony holds in it, it is a powerful story of God’s redemption.
He Heard Hannah* is no exception. Included in the pages of this book is a true story of how God brought two families together for His good and His glory. It was exhilarating and encouraging to read.
Nothing quite sums up this story other than the words of co-author Courtney Becker (pg. 169-170),
Each separate story is a beautiful reflection of a loving God, but this story, the story of two families being woven together in God’s sovereignty, provides an unmistakable glimpse of a perfect God who knows all, sees all and acts with divine purpose on our behalf, even without our awareness!
Lynnette Kraft (pictured far left) and Courtney Becker (pictured on the right of Lynnette’s photo) do an amazing job of hooking us in on their story. It is a thrilling ride to take with each turn of the page. It is a story that holds great sadness and grief, but yet the authors understand that all things work together for our ultimate good, and they are sure to continually bring it back to that gospel truth.
While reading this story I was gently reminded that each of us has a story to tell. What is God doing in our life? How is He teaching us? Where has He led us?
As we each tell our story, the Lord uses it for His good in the lives of others. You may never see the fruit of your obedience, or maybe like Lynnette you do. However, take hope in knowing that the Lord will use each of our stories!
WANT TO WIN A COPY OF HE HEARD HANNAH?
It’s simple, just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a copy of He Heard Hannah.
This giveaway will be open until March 11th at 11:59 pm ET.
I was provided an early copy of this book to read for the purpose of this review and giveaway. Also, the links marked with an asterisks are affiliate links.
When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see him there, who made an end to all my sin. Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free; for God the Just is satisfied to look on him and pardon me.
Those words were taken from the hymn Before the Throne of God Above (I’ve included a video to listen to below that includes the lyrics). We sang this hymn last Wednesday at church. I’ve sang this song many times before, but this time was different.
Since I am trying to be more intentional during this season of Lent to meditate on the great gift I was given on the cross and my great need to receive this gift, I have been noticing things a little differently.
Last week I wrote about how I fail again and again. Then I shared about how I try to conquer self-induced feelings of guilt, “instead of sinking into the deep muddy waters of self-induced guilt and feelings of never measuring up. I embrace it. I turn to Him. I am not expected to measure up, I never will. But yet, He did.”
I went to church that night and we sang Before the Throne of God Above. All the feelings from writing the post earlier that day were still with me, fresh in my mind. And as I sung of my sinful soul and the One who has made an end to all my sin, all my emotions swelled up inside. I love how music does this to me.
It resonates, deep and wide. The music, the thoughtful lyrics, the truth. It touches my heart.
As I sang, God reminded me of His promises again. You are forgiven. You are made right through Christ. Your soul was purchased by His blood. Stop trying so hard, I’ve already brought you into my family. You are mine.
My greatest need has been met. My sinful soul is counted free. My life is hid with Christ on high.
What an amazing gift. What an amazing sacrifice. What an amazing Savior. I stand in awe.
p.s. I am linking up to my friend Jessica who is hosting a Lenten gathering every Wednesday of Lent. We are supposed to share thoughts on our journey to the cross during this special season. View more posts or add your post here.