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Thursday
Sep042014

Isaiah 30

"For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said:
'You will be delivered by returning and resting;
your strength will lie in quiet confidence.
But you are not willing.'

Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy,
and is rising up to show you compassion,
for the Lord is a just God.
All who wait patiently for Him are happy
 (Isaiah 30:15, 18, HCSB).
There are so many good verses here. I love how it says that God will deliver his people when they return and rest. When they are truly willing to be delivered. Isn't that often true of life? We say we want God to take over, to deliver us from a problem, a temptation, a predicament, yet we don't really let go. We hold on with a firm grip, convinced that we can do it better on our own. God is right there waiting, waiting for us to finally, truly, let go, so that He can move. Isaiah reminds us that God is there, He's ready to show us compassion, ready to work through us. He's just waiting on stubborn you and me to move. I honestly don't know why I fight so hard. I'm probably afraid, fearful of what will happen when I let go. But these verses remind us that God has such a beautiful plan in store. The last verse says that those who wait patiently for Him are happy. Happy! I fight so hard against something, worrying, fretting, stressing, when I could just be happy! The irony is clear to me. It's so much better when we just let go and let God!
One of my favorite commentators is, by far, Matthew Henry. His words on Isaiah 30 truly struck me:
Would we be strengthened to do what is required of us and to bear what is laid upon us? It must be in quietness and in confidence; we must keep our spirits calm and sedate by a continual dependence upon God, and his power and goodness; we must retire into ourselves with a holy quietness, suppressing all turbulent and tumultuous passions, and keeping the peace in our own minds. And we must rely upon God with a holy confidence that he can do what he will and will do what is best for his people. And this will be our strength; it will inspire us with such a holy fortitude as will carry us with ease and courage through all the difficulties we may meet with. ("Text Commentaries: Matthew Henry (Blue Letter Bible: Isaiah)." Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. Web. 23 Jul, 2014).
Sometimes, we have to supress those pasions, we have to push them aside and replace them with everything true, everything right. We have to pray the tumuluous things out, and pray peace, pray truth in their place. What a needed reminder. When our eyes are focused on Jesus, that peace will carry us through whatever difficulties we may face. I don't know about you, but I was truly encouraged by this. Encouraged to spend time with Jesus, to dwell quietly in His peace, and to know, with certainitly, that Jesus is always beside me through life's struggles. 

What is there really to fear?
 
Tuesday
Sep022014

A Rainy Day Letter to My Boy

This was written back in July, but I came across it in my archives and wanted to share it, for posterities sake. I want my kids to look back at this blog someday and see the struggles, but also the prayers I have always prayed over them. Hopefully, one day, this will speak to them. This letter is to my boy, but I hope it speaks to your heart today as well. -Meg

 

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014


My Boy,

Tuesday was an overcast sort of July day. The humidity was high, leaving us sticky, sweat drenched, but just the same, we headed to a play date in the park.

As you and your little friend smiled at each other, baby jabbered, wiggled around, we watched the older kids fly down the slides, in and out, around and over, back for a snack, a sip of water, and then off they flew again.

Warm days don't slow little kids down. No, instead, they relish any chance they can take to stretch legs, exercise lungs, live in the moment. 

You, too, had such a grand time, trying to escape from Mama, floating through the air on a baby swing, smiling from ear to ear.

Mama and her friend talked, talked of children's names, books, blogs. And then, my sweet friend expressed her deep desire for her boys to grow up and find a good mate. What should she be teaching them now, when they're young? What can she instill in them, so that they wait, wait for their once in a life time girl. Look for that help-meet, who only directs them closer to Christ?

Sweet boy, you have so much life to live yet. Probably a good 25 years lie between you and your helpmeet. But that doesn't stop me from praying now. Praying for the girl you'll one day meet.

Praying for the choices you'll have to make along the way.

My boy, I truly want to teach you well over the coming years. I want to teach you to respect those around you, to have a heart for the needy, a desire to do good. But more than just be good, I pray that you have a passion for Christ. A passion for life. I pray that you place your faith in God early on. Study scripture, take it to heart. Serve your Creator, no matter what the world may say, so that you're one day ready to be a good husband and a good father.

I think that the best thing we can do now, in these raising up years, is to teach you to respect authority, first your Mama & Papa, then school teachers, principles, employers. Teaching you how to listen and respect, and to know the difference between right and wrong, will serve you well in this life.

It will mean a lot of sweat and tears along the way, which we're already seeing with your sister. It's not always each giving or taking discipline. But I do know it's one of the best things we'll instill in you over the years.

A disciplined heart can do much. An undisciplined heart, well that's a scary thing to think about.

I want you to do much in your life, my boy. Explore far off places, have a beautiful heart for Jesus. It doesn't matter how much money you make someday, or how many people know your name, but live the life you've been giving will all your might.

These sound like words even Mama needed to hear today. Writing is funny like that, isn't it?

My boy, my greatest prayer is that you'll grow up to be like your Papa. You were blessed with a great one, weren't you. You, sister, and I are so fortunate to have him in our lives.

I love you my little man. 

I can't wait to watch life continue to unfold for you.

Love,

Mama

 

 

Thursday
Aug282014

Thinking About...Influence

The Influence Conference is coming up in just over a month. I'm so excited about my weekend away! Conference ticket, airfare, shuttle, hotel are all booked. It will truly be a new experience for me. I've never been away from my family for this long before. Andrew & I left the kids once over night, back in July, but me, flying off on my own to a conference, is whole new territory. He and the kids will be fine, I'm truly not all that worried about leaving them behind. No, my fears mostly lie at the conference. I've never been to a blogging conference before. And this is so much more than that. It's a meeting of Christian woman, wives, mothers, homemade business owners, anyone seeking to have fellowship, have influence in the world around them.
Why am I fearful? Mostly because of my worrying tendency. My great imagination always seems to dream up the worst in a situation. I dream it up, and then dwell on it, seeing the scenarios, remembering past experiences, letting my brain write out what "could" happen.

But God's word reminds me that my focus shouldn't be there. That, He has given me something much greater than fear to live in:

"Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:6-7, HCSB).

And so I pray about those fears, I ask Jesus to take them, to scatter them as far as the ends of the seas. And to do something with this heart that is ready to be moved. Ready to take this next step with my little blog, my little corner of this world.
And somehow, come back changed.
Not suddenly with a huge blog following or anything, but recharged, ready to have as much influence as I can in my little corner of the world.
The Influence Network ladies talk a lot about your influence. How your influence is exactly where you are at this moment. What one blogger said the other day really struck me. She can have a blog, or a business, and minister outside of the home, but her greatest scope of influence would always be right there, in her own home.
hmmm.
I've always dreamed of doing big things, of being known. I have big dreams of what I want to do in future years, when my kids are grown. But, that's not where I am right now. Right now, I have two little ones at home who demand a large portion of my attention, my time, my resources. They are my greatest influence.

How blessed am I?

These two fireballs who rock my world, often make me want to pull my hair out, and make me laugh so hard I cry. They are smart, loving, caring little humans. They give hugs and kisses freely, show their strong personalities often. They, and their father, make up my world.

But how am I living my life around them? What am I teaching them, day in and day out? Am I showing them where my priorities are? Am I showing them what I view as most important in my life?

Lately, I've been trying to balance out all the crazy extremes. Finding time for devotions, for exercise, for homemade diners and healthy snacks. I have been trying to get into a better system with cleaning our house, with managing our finances. Not find a perfect balance, mind you, as this blogger so graciously reminded me the other day. No, instead, to bring some priorities back in order. To get my focus back where it needs to be. 

These are all things I want to teach my kids about. Things I want them to learn growing up. Life is about growing, changing, adapting to life's challenges, and keeping our eyes fixed up above on our author and perfecter of life.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV).

Being my children's primary influence can be daunting. It's an awesome roll to fill. One I'm pretty sure I'm not qualified for. But the good news is that I don't have to be. I just have to focus on Jesus, and run this messy race called life each and every day. When my eyes are on Him, my children see that. They see imperfect me, living my life for Him. Fixing my eyes on Him is the best influence I can hope to have over my children. Teaching them to trust Him with their messy, imperfect lives, is the best I can do. Teaching them to go to Him with their worries, their cares, their struggles. That's my prayer for my life, and that's my prayer for theirs. May we persevere, and all become just a little more like Him each and every day.

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?