Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mother's Day Musings

I am preparing for a Mother's Day banquet at our church.  I have been praying about what to share and reflecting on all the previous banquets I have been privileged to host as a pastor's wife.  The one thing I have consistently found is that if I ask God what He wants, he reminds me that every single thing that we go through in our own lives can be used to minister to someone else. 

In Exodus, we read the story of Jochebed.  The  Jewish mother living in captivity in Egypt.  Pharoah had decreed that all boys born to Jewish families would be put to death.  The helplessness she felt as a mother must have been overwhelming.  The ONLY thing that she could do was surrender Moses to God and trust that God would spare her son.  As the story goes on, Moses is spared and becomes the deliverer of his people.

The New Testament gives us many stories of trust and surrender, but none more compelling than that of Mary herself.  Imagine giving birth to the son of God!  Raising a precious child born to be the sacrificial lamb.  Of course, we know her story ends with the death and ultimate resurrection of Jesus.  Mary obviously had to come to the moment of surrender.

As mothers, we too will face the moment in our child's life when we realize we cannot save them in ourselves.  Whether they are facing physical danger, emotional turmoil, or spiritual attack; the feeling of absolute helplessness can overwhelm us.  Those are the times when our faith in God is all that keeps us from sliding into a deep, dark hole.

At times like this, we can look back at women who went before us like Jochebed, Mary and others and remember their faith.  I think a key for me has been to recognize that my absolute panic involves whether or not I trust in the love God has for my children.

GOD LOVES MY CHILDREN!  They are not His grandchildren but His own precious children; they are deeply loved by Him.  I have to trust that love.  His hands are so much more capable of holding them than my own are. He sees their deepest needs and sent His one and only perfect Son for them.  Trust involves surrender and I have to surrender them to Him, especially in those times when my efforts to save them fail miserably.

Father, I pray for my children today.  You know exactly where they are and what they need in their lives.  I pray You would surround them with Your precious Spirit.  Draw them closely to You and let them hear Your voice.  I surrender them to You once again.  I trust You to be everything that they need in their lives right now.  Mature them and grow them in You.  Show them Your plan and Your purpose for their lives.
                                             In Jesus' name,
                                                  Amen

Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Review: Your Heart's Desire

Having just celebrated 21 years of marriage this year, I admit it has been awhile since I have read a good book for Christian women.  This book by Sheri Shepherd is for Christian women, both single and married.  It can be used for group study or individual personal growth.

The book is divided into 14 chapters that 'will change the way you love and are loved'.  I appreciated the way the book was for all women and think the truths are simple and resonate with women (and men) everywhere!  Each chapter contains love stories,  love coaching, prayers, and a transforming truth.

I would personally use this book to lead a study group!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

As I sit here alone on this mother's day evening, I am reflecting on my journey as a mother.  Maybe it is because I am approaching my 40th birthday so quickly, maybe it is because my oldest is in the process of 'leaving the nest', could be because my parents are aging and this year has brought them health and life challenges that cause me to grieve I am not nearby to cherish daily interaction with them... Whatever the reason, this seems to be a time of reflection in my life.

All around me I see women in different stages of motherhood.  I see my sweet niece, Elizabeth, as she prepares to welcome her first child into her arms.  I watch as she subconsciously holds her belly as she talks to me without even realizing she is cradling her little one already in her spirit.

I see the struggles of young moms in our church, as they try to work out ways to stay home with their little ones when the world that we live in makes this such a financial strain for young families.  I know and remember the cry of the mother heart and the passion for making the house into a home.. a place of protection and love for the young hearts they have been trusted with.

I see those like me, moms of teenagers and young adults. I hurt because the world my children are venturing out into is not a safe one.  I long to create a future for them free of struggles of identity and destiny.  Is there a bubble somewhere that I can place them in?  I said to my husband the other day, "I feel like my heart is broken and I don't think it will ever be whole again."

The heart of a mother... Who can understand it?

Only He who created it.  I was reminded of that this week.  As I wept before the Lord, I heard him speak to my heart.

"Daughter, the pain you feel is nothing compared to the pain I feel as your Father. For as much as you love your children, my love for you is even more.  The pain you are feeling is a small taste of the pain I have felt when you have turned your own way and walked away from me.  The love you have for your children I understand; for I love them even more because they are also my children."

Sisters, that is the truth in this life.  They are only our children for a short time, entrusted to us by their true Father, who loves them even more than we do.  When the things that they face in life are not longer 'boo boos that we can fix", we have to entrust them to the One who will always be with them.  That is the only way we can have peace.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Who's on vacation.... from the kingdom

My coworker is on vacation this week and I have been extremely busy.  It seems no matter how fast I do things something else is waiting to be done!  I will be so glad to see her Monday morning!

I was thinking about this last night and comparing it to the church today.  It seems more than ever before our coworkers in the kingdom are missing in action.  I know in our church my husband has had to take over the youth department.  We have kids coming out our ears waiting for someone to pour their lives into them, awesome facilities and a very supportive church body... but where are the young couples who see this ministry opportunity and get excited about it? Largely they are on vacation from the church.

We started ministry as a young couple, wet behind the ears and eager to work for the Lord.  I look around us and see Potential (notice that has a capital P).  But the interest is just not there to be responsible for anything in the church body. 

When one person  in the body of Christ is missing, everyone else is playing catch up all during the work day.  I wonder if people ever ask themselves "Who is going to fill in if I drop the ball?"  It seems to me the busiest people I know are actually the most dependable in the kingdom.  I think that is because they know the seriousness of the work that we do and know if we drop the ball someone else has to pick it up.

It reminds me of when the walls of Israel were broken down and Nehemiah charged the people to get to work rebuilding them. The Bible says they worked with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other until the work was completed because the people had a mind to work. 

My prayer is that Christians everywhere will come off of vacation and have a mind to work!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Never trust your problems with someone incapable of solving them

Tonight I am thinking about this quote.  How much trouble would we save ourselves from if we followed this wisdom?  The definition of trust is to rely on.  How can I rely on someone to solve my problems if they are full of problems themselves?

After being in the ministry for 21 years, (am I really that old?)  I have watched over and over again as Godly people begin to struggle with life issues and get sucked under by them because of who they choose to trust with those issues.  No man or woman is capable of dealing with your issues in the proper way unless they are wholly committed to pointing you to Jesus Christ!

I am so tired of seeing my fellow sisters in the Lord sucked into the world and out of the church AND my life because of our tendency to go running here and there and everywhere when we are desperate for answers.  Psalm 1 tells us Blessed is the man that does NOT walk in the counsel of the UNGODLY not stand in the way of sinners nor sit in the seat of the scornful but his delight is in the law of the Lord and IN HIS LAW doth he meditate day and night.

Wonder why you are tossed to and fro?  We have to be planted in the Lord and meditate on HIS LAWs.  The answer is in Christ alone.  Do not go to ungodly people to solve your problems!

One other point I want to make... I cannot count the times I have watched Godly people blow their testimony with their non-Christian friends by going to them with their issues and struggles.  They will remember it the next time they think you are 'preaching to them'.  Don't be surprised when they 'throw it in your face'.  Don't blame them but yourself... you were never meant to share that struggle with them and they will use it for justification of a sinful lifestyle.  Do you put on a facade of being perfect? NO! but you also don't taint them to your church, your marriage, your spiritual life by sharing things with them that they are incapable of solving or of pointing you to Christ!