Thursday, April 24, 2014

For The Bad Days...

Word is, at least on Facebook, that most of you moms are having a hard day. You are in good company and I have been on the verge of tears all day - after my own personal, full-on sob fest last night. It's been a long day of our a/c not working and my "finally potty trained!" THREE-year-old has regressed and my darling 8-yo just got hired as Parker County's whiner/back talker of the month. She's on track to earn a hefty bonus. Other tragedies include dogs eating Easter candy and smashing spiders that burst open, full of baby spiders. 

These are all trivial things and most of my heartache will pass by the weekend and I don't think for a single minute that my struggles are the WORST ON THE PLANET. But for me and for today, my capacity feels stretched to the outermost limits and I want to crawl under my (should-have-been-changed-two-weeks-ago) sheets and sleep until Monday. 

After a sweet e-chat with a girlfriend and finally laughing at ourselves 'til happy tears came from my tired eyes, I just wanted to get on here and tell you something simple:

The measure of your day will come 
from faithfulness not successfulness.

The problem is that most of us don't take the time to find out how to be faithful with our day. We need to start at the beginning, the dawn of schedules and appointments and the hours we've been given and find out what it will take to be faithful. Faithful for today. Faithful in today. Faithful to God first as we walk in character and integrity and choose a worshipful heart. Faithful to our husbands in stewarding our home in a way that honors him and creates space for peace. Faithful to our children with love and kisses and time spent on the floor while leaning against the whirring dishwasher. 

I think it's easy to miss the mark if we have a successful trip to the zoo but aren't faithful with our house today. We may have successfully hit the budget for grocery shopping but miss the faithfulness that needed to provide time in the haven of home for the baby to sleep in her crib. Let's take our eyes off success - which is nearly impossible to define - and set our sights on faithfulness. That way we can ask each other, no matter how it's being defined from day-to-day: "Are you being faithful with what God is calling you to?"

My week has lacked focus on both - it's easy to say that I've not been faithful and I've definitely not been successful. It's grace that only holds us accountable to faithfulness and dismisses successes. We will find that faithfulness provides some very lovely fruit in our lives that can't wither away with our shortcomings. So I'm going to exhale the success, wish it an exhausted farewell, and take a big, burning-lungs breath of faith...full...ness. 

Will you join me in faithfulness today? Freedom, my friend, FREEDOM. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Love Story

This is a follow-up to a recent post, Ruins.

I'm watching from behind the altar as you sit in the ruins of your nearly-enoughs and barely-successfuls, and I am reminded that in this place, you are most vulnerable. Your face cannot hide the struggle, the wrestling, the forming of hope that is quickly dashed by an anxiety that words cannot describe. The reminders of anger, impatience, a hand too quick to swat, and words that cannot be retracted from the hearts of your children. It could be that only a few weeks have gone by with such failure or perhaps it has been years. Right now, however, you must lift your eyes and look to Recovery.

Hush the lies, my dear, and start renewing your mind. Yes, those places are the most ugly of your gentle, feminine heart and brilliant mind but we begin to see that the most damaged places are absolutely destined to be the most fruitful. It is His rich kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4) so we do not fear the clutch of conviction. Let's not be afraid to look at what has become ashes and then let the rhythm of Healing take over our lives.

The mind of a woman is one of the most beautifully-fashioned places where God gently sets His vision and value for humanity. Her ability to care for dozens of people while she remembers the menial and mundane always gives birth to the significant. Thriving in a place of humility and utter dependence on the life of Christ, she carries generations, cultures, and even nations over the threshold of her home. At the tips of her fingers are life and destiny and the power to shape a Kingdom through love, sacrifice, grace, and a hearty prayer life.

It's because of this well-intended placement & potential that your mind is so susceptible to the overwhelming waves of fear, doubt, and comparison. If we do not guard against less-than-living, we will begin to think that:
our children are unworthy & inconvenient,
our husbands are incompetent & ignorant,
our schedules are already too stretched, or
our God is not worthy of our everything.
I can see that many of you already have these anthems playing non-stop throughout the day. They are like wicked vines growing all over your heart and the roots are frighteningly deep and they produce a dark and deadly fruit. 

Oh, but it is never too late. 

With pleading whispers, I am praying that you will hear the melodies playing above the dust storm, as a sweet Savior beckons your brokenness (yes, this is all of you) to come out of the ashes and into the glorious light. Do you know that He rejoices over you? Every piece of your broken heart will align if you truly believe in the delight of God. It will motivate you, compel you, fix you, empower you, and most of all - create in you a heart of worship that will not be swayed by trials, disappointment, or the overwhelming task of raising children. You will find Him irresistible throughout all the moments of your day and a new chapter will begin as you see that mothers are created for The Love Story.

The overflow of this worship will make its way through every crevice of your heart and overtake your thoughts and mind and then your words will begin to exude a grace and kindness and a style of parenting that is supernatural. Your home will fill with peace, your children will find anchor in the rocking waves, and your marriage will find sustenance and renewal. What a privilege to let this process start with us, without condition or clause. May He have all of you and all of your mothering heart in this very moment and for always.