Navigation
Follow on Bloglovin InfluenceConf

MilitarySpouseBlogs
Search
Tuesday
Aug262014

What Fills You?

What fills you? What brings you joy, helps you to relax, fills you with peace?

 

It seems like it's been coming up alot lately in things that I've been reading. 

A call to be more intentional with my time, my resources, with what is going into my life and what is coming out. A call to seek out my passions, the things my heart finds joy in, the things God has called me to do.

With Emma back in preschool, our life has hit a new routine, a new groove. I'm so thankful for the gift of time, time to write, time to run errands, time to simply sip a cup of tea while Ezra takes his morning nap. I love that Emma loves school so much, her bucket is filled in those times. She has her special thing to talk about, look forward to, to excel at. 

And I have been given the gift of time as well. You wouldn't think it, with one child at home, but it truly makes a difference. Maybe it's the difference in my children's personalities, Ezra is definitely the more easy going of the two, or just the fact that Ezra usually takes a long morning nap while Emma's at school, but these school days are truly wonderful. I remember last Fall, when I first put Emma in this preschool program, how I was so hesitant to do so. I honestly felt that I was failing as a mommy, if we both needed time away from each other each week, that I wasn't doing something right. A year later, I'm realizing just how wrong that mentality was. Every kid is so, so different. Some kids don't need to be sent to preschool, but Emma, Emma thrives in that environment, she truly does. She's so happy there, and my heart is full knowing that her heart is full.

It's full when I drop her off, when I write blog posts while little man takes his morning nap. It's full when I seek out the things that make me happy. Time to write, time to craft, time to minister into the lives of others. 

So here's a question for you today? What fills you? Are those things good? Do they bring honor to Jesus? Or are they time fillers? Empty? 

Just some thoughts for you today :)

 


Thursday
Aug212014

Stewardship

"Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much. So if you have not been faithful with the unrighteous money, who will trust you with what is genuine? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own? No household slave can be the slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t be slaves to both God and money” (Luke 16:HCSB).

 

Do money and possession have a hold over me? How much worth do I put on possessions, things? It's easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest, the latest phone, that latest children's toy, the latest baby "essential."

Honestly, I've found myself throwing around money a little too freely. If my kids need more art supplies, I buy them. If they need some snacks, we add it to the grocery list. If we need new clothes, we buy them. 

But am I so free with my giving? Why do I hesitate before giving to charities? Why do I worry about expenses, when planning a party for a friend?

And it goes further than money.

What I am I doing with the talents God has given to me? Am I making use of my strengths, my callings, my spiritual gifts? Am I living fully in who God created me to be? Or do I live my life looking at those around me, wishing I was somehow different?

Time, Money, Gifts, there are so many areas to practice discipline in. To step back, and take a look, think about how we're doing, individually. This is where I'm sitting today. These are the areas I want to improve. 

I want to be a little more cautious when it comes to spending money on myself, and more free when it comes to helping others. This might mean writing down my spending, keeping track of what's actually going in and out in a week. Little expenses add up, if I want to give more, I probably need to be more mindful of things that I could cut out. Also, it might mean becoming a little more crafty, thinking of handmade ways I could give to others, without money flowing out of our budget. Either way, I long to be more intentional. Also, It means spending more time in prayer, being open to what the Holy Spirit has to say on the matter of stewardship, what directions He wants me (and our family) to go in our giving. Who knows, some new opportunities may present themselves. 

Money is such a personal matter, but it was truly on my heart today.

 

What about you?

Tuesday
Aug192014

A role to play

 

"Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.  according to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy,use it according to the standard of one’s faith; if service, in service;if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness" (Romans 12: 4-7, HCSB).

As I read these verses, I started thinking about my own family. We're all different. My husband is a bit more reserved than me, he things before he speaks (an admirable trait!). My daughter is vivacious, and high spirited, while my son is a bit quieter, less talkative, but such a silly, easy going little man. We're all different, but we come together as a family. A family with different members, different roles to play. Mother, Father, sister, brother, over the years, we'll work together to get things accomplished. As our kids get older, they'll take on more chores around the house, be responsible for their own hygiene, for eating well and exercising. As their parents, it's our job to teach them these things. To raise them up to be responsible humans. And to raise them up to know Jesus.

I think moving every few years as really shown me the importance of a church family. The importance of being surrounded by like-minded people, people who fill in the gaps when our extended family can't be close. Family that prays, encourages, and even makes meals for you from time to time. Family that visists you in the hospital, offers to watch your kids, notices when you miss a Sunday. Military life isn't always easy. Moving every few years is downright rough. I truly miss the people we've left behind, in other states, at other stations. But, when I look around, I realize how much God has blessed us, right here, right now. The friendships we have may be different than we expected, but they're filling specific roles, filling spaces that we didn't realize were empty. They're filling different parts of the body. Being our hands, our eyes, our prayer warriors. 

It's beautiful how God provides, even when we don't realize it. 

This post went a slightly different direction than I was expecting, but it's beautiful, just the same. It's left me excited, thinking about all the beautiful people in my life. Far and near, they've encouraged me, changed me, and continue to invest in me. And for that I'm thankful.

Family, both biological and spirtual, is a beatufiul thing.

 

 

Thursday
Aug142014

Irrevocable Calling

 

"God's gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29, HCSB).

There are many things I don't know about this world. I look at my children and they puzzle me, they're such individuals, always changing, always challenging, always causing me to troubleshoot in a new way. I look at the world aorund me and see people I care about suffering, grieving, going through hard times. I can't completley wrap my head around pain, around suffering. There's just so many things that I can't fully answer, can't fully grasp.

But I do know Jesus. 

I that my identity is found in Him.

He created me to do good works.

He has called me to be a child of the king.

He has called me to live a life of worship to Him.

Isn't that really the most important thing?

If so, then why to I demean myself? Why do I criticize? Why do I chose to focus on all the things I do wrong, all the areas of life that I fall up short? Why I am often my own harshest critic?

In doing that, I'm criticizing the very person God created. 

I'm criticizing the clay He formed into a unique vessel.

I'm forgetting that He has good in-store for me, that He doesn't make mistakes.

I'm forgetting that He created me to serve Him.

He created me to live this life as a daughter of the king.

His calling on my life is real. It's true.

Not false like the lies this world tells me.

I belong to Him.

His plan is a beautiful one.

His calling is real.

His gifts, His gifts are beautiful things.

My mind is filled with all the callings and gifts He's placed in my life. Maybe they're worth writing down, journaling about, pondering over, recognizing, dwelling on.

And don't forget the last word in the verse up above. God's calling on our lives is irrevocable. It can't be changed. It can't be undone. It's final. His calling is set in place. It's up to me to live out that calling. Seek out what God wants of me. Spend time in His presence so that that calling can be realized in my life. Open up my heart, and my ears. Listen to my heart of hearts. 

Is Christ's calling evident in your life? What gifts and callings has He placed on your heart?

Tuesday
Aug122014

The Potter

 

 

 

"But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?” Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor?" (Romans 9:20-21, HCSB).

 

The imagery of a potter and his clay has long struck me. He created us with a distinct purpose. Both our outward appearance and inward traits are unique, our own, and so beautiful. We are no mistake. He breathed life into us, knowing every day that we would live upon this earth, "before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16, NIV). 

"And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory— on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As He also says in Hosea:
'I will call Not My People, My People, and she who is Unloved, Beloved. And it will be in the place where they were told,you are not My people, there they will be called sons of the living God'"(Romans 9:23-26, HCSB).

Way back in Genesis, we read about God's great plan, how He promised to make an entire nation out of one man's descendants (Abraham). The Israelites have long been God's chosen people. Out of Abraham's line eventually came Jesus, who would bridge the gap for Jews and for Gentiles. The People who were not His people would have a way to become His people. They, too, would be called the sons of God. 

Jesus Christ bridged that gap, His death and resurrection made it possible for all of us to have eternal life. Not through any acts we have personally done, but through accepting the great price Jesus paid for all of us.

I loved reading these verses from Romans this morning. It was such a great reminder of how intentional God is. He is the great Potter, who makes no mistakes when forming His clay. I have a specific reason for being here, my looks, my likes, my dislikes, my passions, the things I enjoy here on earth, are for a reason. He created me to serve Him. To bring glory to Him in everything. And through Christ, I, a Gentile, am a part of the Kingdom of God. 

Eternal life wasn't just for the Jewish nation, but for me, and you as well.

There was always a plan, from the beginning.

Isn't it nice knowing that God didn't make a mistake?

He placed you here on earth, in the family you're in, with your strengths and weakness, for a very distinct purpose.

Live in the freedom today. Live in that knowledge today.

Be encouraged, friend. The Potter made something beautiful when He made you!