Momma Moments

No Socks.

“Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart;”
1 Samuel 12:24

Now before you see this post as a desperate plea for socks… we have plenty, but thank you for thinking of us 😉

This has been on my mind for the past few weeks and quite frankly it is something that I wrestle in my mind with almost every day.  When my thoughts are clouded,  my actions are affected.  The more my actions are affected, the more I change. The more I change, the more I can become paralyzed to the initial clouded thought.

Since having our daughter Carmen (just over 2 months ago!! Whoa!!) I’ve had the privilege of picking out her cute outfits everyday and deciding what her current style and apparel will be. Granted, most of her wardrobe has been graciously given to us which has been a huge blessing. But while I pick out her clothes each day, i’ve come to realize that like my own preference, I don’t like to put socks on Carmen either.

Now before you start judging my ability to clothe my child, let me explain…
I love to see her tiny little toes!! They are much sweeter than the socks covering them. Plus, tiny little socks like to come off and get misplaced everywhere 😉
If I do take her out and know that her little toes will be exposed to something that is cold, of course I put socks on her…

One day I found myself putting socks on her not for that reason but for the reason of pleasing people. Say what!!?? Socks?? Yup.
I’m a new mom. I’m not totally confident in what i’m doing just yet in nurturing and caring for her but I do LOVE learning from other moms! Now that doesn’t mean I take and apply all of the advice given (because if I did, I would end up with a crazy child.. let’s just be real..) but one thing i’ve learned already is that you cannot please every one.

I haven’t had too many comments yet on why she does’t where socks all the time but when I do get the, “her feet must be freezing!” and “Why don’t you cover up those little toes, it’s cold out!” comments that I kindly reply a smile to. When I realized that I started doing things because of what other people would say or think, I quickly was reminded that fearing man is a quick and slippery slope.

So pardon my silly illustration of Carmen’s socks and explore the deeper meaning for a minute.  How many times in the run of a day do you do things for the sole reason (see what I did there) of pleasing someone else? You are letting someone else control your life! And this my friend is very exhausting.

How often do we find that in God’s word He commands us to fear Him, revere Him, and follow hard after Him alone. Not people’s comments. Not others preferences.
The fear of God, having an awe and respect for Him is to be our main motivation for everything we do. When we are acting, thinking, and living in a fear of anything else, we are missing God’s best for us!

Deuteronomy 10:12, 20-21 records, “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.”

There is such rich truth in these verses. Beautiful commands.

What would it look like to fully live this out? I guess it would mean that I wouldn’t always put socks on my little girl. It would mean that I would step out in faith more often. It would mean that I share the gospel more often. It would mean that I treat others how I would want to be treated with love and grace. It would mean that I call those that I love out when they are choosing to sin. It would be that I daily surrender to God’s will over my will as I actively choose to die to myself.

Choosing to fear God, to please Him instead of others changes everything. Who are you really living for?

Grateful for these “little” daily reminders.

Advertisements
Quiet Time

Bought with a Price

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

“… you are not your own, for you were bought with a price…” vs. 19-20

And what a high price that was. God purchased your life. Saved it really from an eternity apart from Him. When no one else was going to do it, God did by sending His Son. This is the Gospel!

Because He saved us, shouldn’t we want to live the rest of our life wanting to praise, thank, and worship Him? Our sin nature fights against this everyday. But… we have a greater strength in us.

God didn’t just purchase our lives and then leave us.. He gave us part of Himself, the Holy Spirit as a helper, an always present companion and faithful reminder of truth.

The ESV says “we are members of Christ” in verse 15. The NLT words it as “your bodies are actually parts of Christ.”

Part of His family but even more, we are His hands and feet. Where we go, He goes with us. What we do, we are reflecting Christ. What kind of image of our great God are we giving to people?

“Therefore, glorify God with your body… with your life.”
“Honor God with your body.”

Gods given us what we need to accomplish what He’s called us to do.

Uncategorized

9 Months to Learn.

There’s a reason the Lord fashioned children to grow and develop for an estimated 9 month period in their mother’s womb before entering the crazy, dangerous, yet beautiful world.  Primarily this time is for the child’s development and growth but I want to think another big reason is for us as women to emotionally, physically, and spiritually prepare!

Emotionally.
Mothers day morning was when we found out we were expecting a tiny human. Almost shaking with excitement I went and brought Matt to the bathroom to look at the positive showing piece of plastic. Joy, laughter, and almost a warmth inside filled our hearts. Then…  a little bit of terror was felt. Mostly in a joking way but the thought of the responsibility and commitment that we had been entrusted to was a bit overwhelming.  Although at the time the sweetness of the moment overpowered that feeling, it was still there, dormant, and would peek it’s head up in my mind from time to time.

Are we ready? Are you going to be good parents?  Does everyone expect us to know what we are doing?? NO! So we shouldn’t expect that of ourselves either. Once in awhile the thoughts I had about the future and the unknowns were overwhelming. I figured I was the only one having these insane thoughts amidst the wild hormones and emotional rollercoaster my body was going through.  I am grateful so many of us are on this trek together. There are countless stories that moms have of the tried, attempted, failed, and successes and we can all learn in this together! Community. God’s given us each other for a reason and it is to our downfall if we don’t reach out, get out, and talk to one another about these things.

Physically.
I’ve never been one to count calories, step on the scale, or exercise for the sole purpose to lose weight.  But at my later appointments that turned into every week, the scale kept popping up numbers I had never seen before!  It was more humorous than scary but I was reminded every week that my body is not my own. As selfish as I can be with wanting to eat healthy so “I” feel better, to exercise so that “I” can jog further, and to take care of my body so “I” can fit in my clothes (key word being “I”..), I was now taking care of my body for another person. Whatever I did effected the life growing inside of me and the pounds were healthy ones!

For some women, this can be quite a struggle but there was so much beauty in watching what the Lord was doing as my body was transforming to make room for another life. There were many aches and pains and uncomfortable times but it was all too easy to forget that I “signed up” for all of these when we started praying for a child.  We really can choose to see something sweet while going through these times when our mind is focused on the bigger picture. One day soon, it was ALL going to be worth the changes.

Spiritually.
9 months is a long time when you are waiting for something at the end of it. It also can be a much used time to reflect and prepare your mind for the journey that continues after the 9 months is up.  Reading, resting, and rejuvenating spiritually is what the Lord showed me I needed to use this time for.  My time with the Lord would change in appearance once our baby came but the  amount of time given to me would not.  We’ve all been given the same amount of time each day to steward and use wisely yet the factors and distractions can vary.

Every day had something to be thankful for in it. Every day there was something to rejoice in. Every day was another day where I was humbled in thinking that I am the Lord’s child and before I knew anything about Jesus, He knew me full well.  He knit me together in my mother’s womb. While I was a sinner, He still chose to die for me. An all knowing, all loving, powerful God wanted nothing more than for me to know Him. He provided for me, watched over me, and had everything happen for a reason in my life and still does til this day.  What an awesome Savior we have. Such a Good Father. Jesus is all these things and more to our baby as well.

My prayers changed during this period of my life to sound more like a giving of a sacrifice. I often think of Abraham and Isaac when God asked Abraham to bring his only son as an offering to the Lord.  Isaac belongs to God first and He can chose to do whatever he wanted with Him.  Our baby has always been and will always be God’s first and it is up to HIM to do chose what He wants with her.

“Lord, I need your grace and strength every day to do what You have called me to.  May my life be a reflection of your goodness and grace and may Your power be seen great in my many weaknesses. Our baby is Yours! Help us every day to look to You for what we need to accomplish what You want us to.”
-Your child.

Uncategorized

You Remind Me of You

Dear little Carmen Dee Jane,

You are here!! You have blessed our family immensely with your presence. You decided to come a few days early which was a fun surprise for your mommy and daddy.  Praying that very morning for your arrival and God’s timing for you physically entering the world, you graced us with yourself about two hours after that prayer!

Our lives have changed forever now that you are in our arms.  I can’t fully comprehend the concept that you have been given to us to care for, love, teach, and steward for the rest of our lives. It blows my mind every time I try and grasp it.  You are God’s precious gift to us.  In no way have we passed any tests to show that we qualified to have you but God in His grace saw it best for you to be in our lives and us in yours.  Grace.  It’s so humbling.

No one could have fully prepared me for what your arrival was going to be like. Many say it’s love at first sight, and some don’t know what to think! When I first held you, I knew I had loved you unconditionally up until that point and would continue to do that your entire life.

I’m cherishing every minute we have with you.  Life is short, life is temporal, life it fragile, but life can be found eternal when we know and believe in the Author or life. Ultimately, you are the Lord’s. You belong to Him, He created every part of you, knitting you together in my womb. It’s a daily surrender, moment by moment, “giving” you over to the Lord again and again. He’s in control, He has a plan, and He knows whats best for you. Mom’s need a lot of wisdom!

Your daddy and I pray every day you come to know Him soon!  We will do our best to teach you and display Christ to you in how we live our lives but in NO way will we ever do this perfectly.  Ever..  but  our imperfections can point you to Him who is perfect.

I say this to you often but it’s words will always be true, “Daddy loves you and Mommy loves you but Jesus loves you most of all.”
One day you’ll understand what that means and Lord willing, believe it whole heartedly.

So while you are just 3 weeks old, I will cherish the waking up at night to feed you, the many diapers you love to fill, the laundry basket overflowing, and learning more about you more and more every minute! Your sweet squeaks, “snoring”, and baby coos are noises I hope to never forget!  This phase will quickly be behind us so I don’t want to wish any of it away.

Many people ask us who you look more like. It’s a fun thing to see and to wait and notice little features but every day i’m asked this question I always go back to saying, she reminds me of herself!  You are your own little person. I pray the pressures of this world would stay far from you and that you always strive to be all that Gods made you to be.

It’s a joy, a journey, and a very undeserved assignment to us.  Thanks for being part of our lives Little Carmen!  We love you SOOOO much!! And Jesus loves you most of all.

Love,
Daddy and Mommy

Uncategorized

My Every Longing Met.

“This hope [this confident assurance] we have an an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it] – a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells].”
Hebrews 6:19 AMP

What’s next!?  What is it that you are expecting, hoping for, or looking forward to in the future? Perhaps it’s longing for a relationship, an acceptance of a job or further education, or maybe just looking forward to the New Year where there are endless possibilities and new beginnings.

Hope. A sure thing. Something that will not disappoint. That is, if our Hope is in the right Thing.

Every human being I believe longs for some sort of stability, fulfillment, and security. We strive and labor after this longing until it’s somewhat met or at least a bit satisfied.

How fleeting we are. Unsatisfied in what we try and scrounge up from the world and turn to the next thing as soon as we are let down.

The endless cycle we can quickly spiral into is: “I need ____ to make me happy..”
“If I don’t get ____, I will turn to ____ for my happiness.”
“If ____ is still unfulfilling, I will try something new..”

Over and over again never getting anywhere!

God has made us for something Greater!  Something more stable, something we can tangibly hold onto and rely on.

The answer: Himself.

I heard this quote a few years ago and have often reminded myself of it when I catch myself filling the void in my life with something other than what the Lord wants for me.

“The moment you’ve always waited for in fact is now.”
-Unknown

God tells us clearly in His Word,
“do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself…”
{Matthew 6:34}

What’s He getting at?  Live in TODAY!  Today is the only moment that you are guaranteed to live in.

Today you have been given:
-Hope
-Peace
-Love
-Strength
-Mercy
-Forgiveness
-Truth

God intends you to tap into all of these and more that He has promised us in His Word.  When we are constantly “living” in the future in our minds, we miss out on all that God wants to do in your life right NOW.

It’s good and wise to plan ahead, to prepare, to schedule, but our identity and certainly our hope cannot be left in our temporary plans.

“The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”
Proverbs 16:9

What is it that you are looking to the Lord for right now?
What is something that you are looking forward to in the future that you need to commit to the Lord?
What in your life should you start changing now instead of waiting until the New Year?
What is the Lord speaking to your heart about through the Truths of His Word?

Everyone who has tasted even a bit of God’s goodness can testify that no relationship, vehicle, food, article of clothing, dream vacation, child, or shopping spree can never bring us lasting Joy, Love, and Satisfaction that Jesus Christ brings to us through having a relationship with Him.

We live in a searching world. Searching for something greater, a hope we can rely on.
It’s Jesus!

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my Portion forever.”
Psalms 73:26

Christmas

Mary and Me.

Decorating the tree, snow, eggnog, family, big comfy scarves, presents, the Christmas story, a warm fire, Creme Brulee Latte at Starbucks (grande, extra hot, less sweet, and cinnamon on top)… These are just a few things I look forward to each year as Christmas  approaches!

This year is a little different.  A few unique to us things flood my mind that I wouldn’t have necessarily dwelt on previously.  Matt and I will spend this Christmas together and not physically with our families.  I’ll be making my first turkey! Oh, and we’re having a baby soon!! Now that changes a few things..

I love learning about the “not so focused on” characters in the Christmas story like Zachariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-25), the Wisemen or the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12), Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) and so on. Yet the past few months, every ache or pain I experience, every “new” movement that our baby makes, the Lord brings my mind to Mary so often.

What might she have experienced during her pregnancy? Was it similar to the things I have been experiencing? What were some of the funny comments and advice people had given her?  What were those tough statements she had to swallow as some would have put her down for being in her position. Did she enjoy being pregnant? Did she struggle to not complain when the future seemed somewhat unknown?  Did she fear?

I try and read between the lines as I read about the path that the Lord had chosen for Mary. A women of faith, a servant of the Lord, and favored she was.

“For nothing with God [is or ever] shall be impossible.. Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to Your Word.” AMP
Luke 1:37-38

This Christmas truly isn’t about me. It never has been! It’s not about our joyfully expectant baby girl. It’s not about Mary and how she carried the Son of God. No, today and everyday it is about Jesus.  Son of the Most High.

“For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given;
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

“And He Himself existed and is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [His is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.]”
Colossians 1:17

Have you lost your wonder and awe for HIM? Has your mind been wrapped up in decorating, shopping, baking, and you have not taken the time to soak in the goodness of the Best Gift of all? Jesus is the best thing we could ever have and we have been given all of Him.

“Thank you Jesus for coming to earth, for choosing us because of Your great Love, for humbling yourself to the point of death on a cross, and demolishing the barrier of sin between us so that we can have a relationship with you today.”

Jesus took our place. Let’s remember HIM this Christmas.  Everything about Christmas this year has been given to us so that we are pointed back to Himself.

“But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart.”
Luke 2:19

Is your heart expectant? Make Jesus your treasure today.

Spiritual Growth

The Journey of Seeking Him.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” 
Jeremiah 29:13
“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
Deuteronomy 4:29
“Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise,…”
1 Chronicles 22:19

“The more I seek You, the more I find You. The more I find You, the more I love You.” These were a few lyrics to a sweet song that a friend of mine and myself sang in church. What a beautiful truth! God promises us that when we seek Him with all of our heart, wholeheartedly, we will find Him.  It’s a sure thing, it’s a promise, and we can believe it!

Jesus is so good to us. It amazes me that He wants to give us every bit of His joy, blessing, and fullness of life. Have you experienced even a taste of that? I know that when I see Jesus in people, I want to know how they got that! When I see His people working together for His glory, I want to be apart of that! When Jesus is evident in something, I don’t want to miss out. Have you been there? Have you craved more of Him?

It seems that everything in my life lately has been a theme of finding my ALL in Jesus alone.  All or nothing. My satisfaction is in Him alone. In Him is found perfect peace. In Him in FULLNESS of joy.

“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
Psalm 90:14
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.”
Isaiah 26:3
“You will make known to me thepath of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
Psalm 16:11
When I look for these things {apart} from the Source, I end up frustrated, confused, and down.
“If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any persons better than Christ, or any indulgence better than the hope of heaven—take alarm.”
– Thomas Guthrie
“Hungry I come to you for I know you satisfy.”
-Joy Williams, “Hungry”
Where do you go when your physically hungry? Subway! Or the fridge. Spiritually, I’ve been asking the Lord to remind me everyday that I NEED Him! More than I think I do.  More than my physical food. He’s the giver of every breath that I breathe.  Stop and think about that for a moment. Every breath.  You don’t even realize that you are breathing until you stop and think about it or until you can’t breathe. (Or when someone has really bad breath and you hold yours..)
Jesus is our source of life and making Him the source of our lives requires humility, desperation, and a seeking. Are you seeking Him?  One of my favorite passages in Scripture   says,
 
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5
“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.”
Psalm 107:9

Christ, who is your life… Colossians says it clearly. (Colossians 3:4)
“If Christ is your life, you are free from the desperate quest to find life in situations, locations, and relationships.”
-Paul David Tripp

No more searching for purpose, meaning, or identity.  Jesus has given you ALL of that and more! What a joy, blessing, and privilege it is to {seek Him together}.