The Saving Mom Parents


Soaking this in today…

Posted in LIFE,Spiritual Relationship by The Saving Mom on July 10, 2011
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Dear Ones –

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

(The Message)  Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

(King James Version) Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(Amplified Version) Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

(New International Version) Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(New Living Translation Version) Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Here are just a few versions of these words of encouragement.  Take out your own version and look them up for yourself.  Today might not be the perfect day.  You may have gotten some bad news.  You might not be feeling your best.  Or everything may be going well.  You may have woken up with a song on your lips.  No matter what I encourage you to take a moment and allow yourself to tune in to this challenge and go for it.  I  will be and I would love to hear about your journey too.

~Jessica

Hide and Seek

Posted in Spiritual Relationship by The Saving Mom on June 12, 2011
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This morning our older son begged to play hide and seek with his daddy.  The thing is that he wanted to play in our gated off living room.  Our living room only has about one hiding place (behind the couch).  But he was insistent.  So, while Daddy covered his eyes Yummy went and curled up next to the table or the couch or under my desk in the living room.  Let’s just say that Daddy could see him all along.  (And in fact his little brother was the one to “find” him every time.)  Daddy played with his son and pretended that he couldn’t see him.  Even Yummy knew that his Daddy could see him, but he had fun pretending.

As I watched this game happen I started to think about us and God.  How many of us play “hide and seek” with our Father?  And not as a game.  Sometimes, some of us actually believe that we can hide from God.  We curl up in a little ball and shut our eyes and pretend that He can’t see us.  I watched a movie on the Hallmark channel recently and one of the key phrases in it was about the ostrich “Don’t be like an ostrich because sticking your head in the sand to hide means that your big ‘ole butt is still sticking up in the air.”  This is the game we play with God.  And why do we hide from God?  We hide because things in our life aren’t going quite as planned.  And in reality we are trying to hide from the circumstances of our day.  Our Daddy God can always see us.  He laughs at our silliness and seeks after us with a  passion.  He really just wants to hold us close and show us a better path.

The reality is that God wants us to hide in Him, instead of us hiding from Him.  David had the right idea in Psalm 91:1-2 ( He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. ), Psalm 32:7 (Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.), Psalm 119:114 (Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.).  He really is a safe place for us to run.  He really is a secure place for us to rest.  He really does offer protection and security.

Whenever I hear the words hiding place, it takes me back to one of my most favorite books as a child.  It is a true story written by Corrie Ten Boom and it called The Hiding Place.  This is her true story of being put in death camps with her family and how she found that although they tried to make other things in their lives the place to hide she discovered that the only real hiding place was in the cleft of THE ROCK.  If you have never read this book I really want to encourage you to get a copy and read it.  It may change your life.  I know that it will definitely encourage you to look into what or who you are hiding from and where you are hiding.  Are you hiding from the right things?  Are you hiding in the only safe place?  If you are living scared of something, fearful of your future, or ashamed of what’s going on please take a moment to re-evaluate what’s happening.  Turn to the Almighty and dive into His shadow.  Life is still going to happen.  Bad things are still going to happen.  This is reality.  But, when you are in Him you will be in a place of peace you have never experienced before.

Things to think on:  Where are you hiding today?  What are you teaching those around you about hiding?  Have you found your place of peace?

~Jessica

 

Guilty Christians

Yesterday Hubs and I were listening to a local radio station and they were discussing this blog about the top 10 religious companies (excluding Chick-fil-a).  They were talking about the different things that companies do that make them this way.  Some companies stamp a scripture reference on the bottom of their bags.  Some just reflect it in their business practices.

Then a woman called up and started saying that these companies which fall into the Christian status don’t go all the way and so they shouldn’t be counted as Christian companies.  Then she said, “Well, who am I to judge?  I guess I don’t really live Christian all the time either.”

How many times in life have you heard this sort of a “Christian” conversation?  One person judging another and then saying that they shouldn’t do that because they don’t live up to those standards themselves all the time anyway, but still they DO judge the other one.  They see clearly the splinter in another’s eye and think they should say something about pulling it out.  This is often the Christian way.  (Matthew 7:1-5) No matter how often we are told not to judge, we judge.  Oh, we often say it’s “out of love”.  We pretend that we’re just trying to help.  I mean, if they could only see how false they are they would want to change, right?  And so we should point it out, right?  Because clearly, if we had the same problem we would want to have someone else point it out to us.  Because we all want to change and be more “Christian”, right?  We all want to live all “Christian” all the time…right?  And we all want our faults and failures and lack of Christianity to be in the light, so everyone can see them, right?  Because that will help us change, right?  That will help us be “more Christian”.

Once this dinner of judgement happens, the dessert of guilt becomes the Christian taste of choice.  There is the guilt of the judgement from other Christians, the guilt of judgement by non-Christians and the guilt of judgement from ourselves.  And what is the guilt for?  It’s for not living Christian enough.  It’s for all those places we fall short of living just the way Jesus did.  It’s for not measuring up to the list of standards placed on what Christians are supposed to be like.

When I heard that woman on the radio something inside of me began to jump up and down.  It was like I suddenly heard these words, “What?  Since when does being Christian mean being perfect?…Since when does being Christian mean we have all these have-to’s and do not’s?”  I would like to contend that being a Christian means that you follow the ways of Christ, not that you ARE Christ.  Because in my mind if being a Christian means being an exact replica of Christ then I do not know ONE person who is a Christian.  None of us live perfectly.  We all fall short on what we expect a Christian to be like.  We ALL have at least a splinter, if not a whole log, in our eyes.  We ALL trip and stumble on the path.  We aren’t THE LIGHT.  We are just following after THE LIGHT.

I believe that before God we are perfect.  Before God we ALWAYS measure up.  Because God sees us through Jesus.  Jesus, the ONLY way to the Father, has redeemed us.  As we live following Jesus on earth God is NOT looking at our earthly performance to see if we measure up to His standards.  He looks at what Jesus has done and welcomes us.  Once again I must say “Thank you Jesus.  Without You, I would be up a creek without a paddle.”.

Because you see, sometimes I do feel guilty over my actions.  I don’t always follow Christ.  When I realize that I’ve yelled at my kids, I hate that feeling.  When I have dis-honored my husband by speaking badly about him or made him feel inadequate as a partner the guilt settles over me like a heavy blanket.  Why?  Because that’s not how a “Christian” wife and mother should act.  Some people get a guilty feeling when they leave someone’s presence and realize that they didn’t tell that person about Jesus and His great love for them.  Some people feel guilty when they don’t pray for the sick (because maybe they didn’t want to feel the embarrassment of that person not being healed).  I mean, after all, doesn’t the Bible say -lay hands on the sick and they shall recover?  Maybe the real guilt comes from the fact that our actions often reveal a lack of trust in God rather than the profound and unique mindset that comes when we do live out of complete trust and faith in Him.

Have some things come to mind that make you a Guilty Christian?  Flipping off another driver, modeling anger to your children, speeding, breaking a park rule, not helping an elderly lady find her car in the parking lot, being late for church, having a fight in the car on the way to church, not cleaning your house, watching too much TV, watching a show on TV that has a lot of bad stuff in it, listening to non-Christian music, not giving the homeless the shirt off your back or even $5 bucks, not caring for a sick person and the list could go on and on.  You know where your guilt comes from.

And this is my challenge to you -LET GO OF THE JUDGEMENT AND GUILT.  You don’t have to be Jesus.  You don’t even have to live like Him.  If you choose to, however, then you get to see amazing things.  You get to feel amazing things.  You get to do amazing things.  Living like Jesus isn’t that hard, unless you try to live like Him in your own strength.  When it’s you, you will always fall short.  When you live like Him, in Him, that’s when you start to live really differently…the way your heart cries out to live.  Trying to BE Jesus will only bring you stress and frustration because you cannot be Him.  Following after Him…that’s where peace comes from.  And that is what I believe a Christian is…a follower of the Way.

Please I ask you, stop judging one another.  Stop judging yourself.  Do your best and when you fall down, get back up and try again.  Offer a hand to the fallen and support them in their journey.  Follow after Christ and live the way He showed how to live.  Those who do not follow will reflect whatever followers show them.  If followers are judging each other they will see the hypocrisy of that and judge the followers too.  If they see followers loving and supporting each other, then there is an opportunity for them to be drawn in by that love and come into relationship with Jesus.  Without judging ourselves and each other, we have no reason to live in a guilty state.  We can really be free the way the sacrifice of Jesus made a way for us.  We can live in a state of thanksgiving instead of a state of guilt.  I believe that is a much better place to live.  So next time you are tempted to point out someone else’s splinter, let it go.  They may not be living as completely Christian as they could, but is it really your place to point it out?  And next time you fall short, let it go.  You may not be acting out all Christian, so just turn and go the other way.  Show your kids and others around you that a life lived in judgement and guilt is really no way to REALLY LIVE.

My small (or great) act for today is to let go of judgement and guilt and to grab onto freedom and LIVE.  I would love to have you join me.  Let me know if you’re in.
(‘Cause if our God is for us then who could ever stop us and if our God is with us then what could stand against us!)
~Jessica

A Man of His Word…(otherwise known as -HOW TO HAVE LESS STRESS-)

“Is it a deal?” I ask him.  “It’s a deal, Mom.” he responds.  This is what we do all the time.  And usually we both win.  I like when we both win.  I know life isn’t about winning.  I know that sometimes you lose, but why not make a winning situation whenever you can.

The thing is lately we’ve been having to go one step further.  We’ve been talking about being a man of his word.  This is one thing that I am so super blessed about because Yummy’s dad is an AWESOME example of being a man of his word.  Seriously, if the guy tells you he is going to do something he will.  (Although he does have a little bit of a clock issue so he might be 5 minutes late…his only caveat is arrival time -not bad.)  And he doesn’t have my problem either.  My problem -which I am seriously thinking about working on- is procrastination.  I often say I am going to do something and then I think about doing it.  I might even start doing it.  But somehow one thing drives out the other (as Butterbur says in Lord of The Rings).  I have LOTS of valid excuses as to why I don’t follow through…at least they are valid in my mind.  Most of the time I do actually do what I said I was going to do, but it’s usually rushed at the last minute (which means lower quality or super stressful) or running a bit late.

The thing is that I want my children to be people of their word.  And the only way to teach them to be that way is to be a person of my word.  And not a person who only does it at the last minute or late.  I want to set them up to succeed.  I want my children to be people other’s can count on.  Thankfully God provided them with a father who already excels in this area.  So, maybe it’s time that I start following his example too.  What I love about his example is that he is simply following the Lord’s example.  When I AM says something you can trust in it; rely on it and believe in it.  God is more than a ‘man of His word’…He is the Word.

I read this passage today and the faithfulness of God just struck me over and over again…

Romans 3:1-6
So what difference does it make who’s a Jew and who isn’t, who has been trained in God’s ways and who hasn’t? As it turns out, it makes a lot of difference—but not the difference so many have assumed. First, there’s the matter of being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, these Holy Scriptures. So, what if, in the course of doing that, some of those Jews abandoned their post? God didn’t abandon them. Do you think their faithlessness cancels out his faithfulness? Not on your life! Depend on it: God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. Scripture says the same:

Your words stand fast and true;
Rejection doesn’t faze you.
But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God’s rightdoing, shouldn’t we be commended for helping out? Since our bad words don’t even make a dent in his good words, isn’t it wrong of God to back us to the wall and hold us to our word? These questions come up. The answer to such questions is no, a most emphatic No! How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn’t do the straightening?

Often even when we can’t keep our word He keeps it for us.  Nothing we ever fail at will stop God from succeeding.  Our failures, shortcomings and lack do not stop God from doing what He has said He will do.  We can always rely on Him to follow through.  Best part is that He doesn’t stress out about it.  He knows us.  He knows when we aren’t going to get it done.  He knows and He fills in the gap.  Let’s talk about Jesus here for a moment.  We could NEVER make a way to the Father.  EVER.  We will always fall short on our own.  Jesus IS the way to the Father.  Jesus NEVER falls short.  We stand in right-standing before God because of Jesus.  Nothing we could ever do would even be enough for God to glance our way.  No matter how hard we try (and no matter how good my husband is at it), none of us are actually people of our word.  We all mess up.  We get caught up in the moment and lose sight of the end game.  But Jesus, He never loses sight.  He already made a way.  He brings us to a place where we can be in complete relationship with our Father.  When Jesus said “It is finished.” He meant that He had completed what He said He was going to do.  He redeemed us.  When we fail to fulfill the promises, the deals and the bargains we make with God, He isn’t counting us as coming up short.  He knew we wouldn’t come through.  So Jesus simply is MORE THAN ENOUGH.

To live our lives following His example this is our opportunity.  We have the opportunity to follow through on what we say.  We have the opportunity to be reliable.  We have the opportunity to be a true example of who He is.  We can become -a people of their word.  We have to make the choice to put others ahead of ourselves.  We have to decide that we will think through things before we commit to something and then put ourselves into making our commitments complete.

As we teach our sons to become men of their word I feel extremely blessed.  Between Jesus and their Daddy I don’t think there could be a better example.  I want to encourage you today to take a look at your life.  Is there an area that you need to work on following through with what you say?  Is there an area you could be more proactive about to make following through less stressful?  I know for me it’s procrastination.  So, feel free to encourage me or remind me next time I commit to something that I too can be a women of my word…a less stressed woman of my word.

~Jessica

Broccoli with syrup???

Before you have kids people with kids always tell you that you need to pick your battles.  They say that not everything is worth fighting for and some things you just have to let go.  And I thought sure, no problem, of course.  And when you hold that sweet little innocent baby in your arms you think everything will go smoothly and easily and battles will be a thing only OTHER parents have to deal with…not you.

Well, in our family we have made it through the Terrific Two’s with Yummy and are now into the Teachable Three’s.  The problem with the teachable three’s is that sometimes you have to go through some battles.  And let’s just be clear here that the three-year old isn’t the only one learning the lessons.  Mommy and Daddy actually seem to be the biggest students around here.

Last night we picked a lesson that somewhere in the middle of it we probably wished we hadn’t.  It was the – you must eat one piece of broccoli before you can be done with dinner – lesson.  Right now, Squeaky is the most amazing eater.  If you put something in front of him he will try it.  He will probably eat it and lots of it.  Yummy on the other hand would prefer to eat an apple, or cereal or peanut butter sandwich.  Don’t get me wrong when he likes something he will devour it.  And broccoli is actually something he used to love.  He would eat piece after piece after piece.  Last night however, he was not in the mood.  And when he is not in the mood to eat something we realize how lacking his other table manners are.  So, we have decided that it is well past time to start working on some practical table manners.  I mean there have always been manners we’ve worked on, but not necessarily in a child specific way.  (Another lesson learned for mom and dad.)  I hate fighting around food because it just makes for poor digestion.  So, we gave Yums the option…eat your one piece of broccoli or go straight to bed, no playtime, no bath, no story…oh yeah, and you have to eat that piece of broccoli for breakfast.  Needless to say he picked the latter option.  Why oh why did he have to go that route?  So, Yummy went to bed and Squeaky got a bath and time with Mommy and Daddy and it was hard on Yummy.  But not so hard as this morning.

First he only wanted Mommy cause he found out that Daddy was not budging on the broccoli for breakfast.  Only to find out that Mommy and Daddy are a team and he was going to get the same answer from her.  This simply would not do.  But Mom had one alternative option.  (First I must say that I must have been crazy when I suggested this.  I am not one for covering up food with dips, etc., but I was beyond worn out from working on this issue.)  So, I suggested we put syrup on the three bites and maybe that would help it go down.  It did help the first two pieces, but last bite was proving to be a problem.  After much dragging on and several threats (which did end up getting carried out) Yummy finally decided to man-up and eat that last piece.  And with the swallowing of that last bite peace descended on our house.  Yummy followed up that bite with 2 1/2 bowls of cereal, some steak from steak and eggs and some bit of egg.

The whole time this was going on I kept thinking about how God must feel when we act in this childish manner with Him.  How many times does he just let us have our way?  How many times does He give us a choice and we choose the more difficult route for us?  What important lessons are we failing to learn because we are stubborn and hard-headed?  How many times do we go through countless struggles only to find ourselves suffering instead of just turning around and taking that one step that takes us into a place of peace?  Because we are simply His children learning the lessons that He is teaching in order to lead us into a complete-fulfilled life…true life.

And so today as I reflect on the lessons that I feel are battles in my life perhaps I will see the opportunity to take some syrup on my broccoli and be done with it.  May I encourage you to examine these areas of your life too?  If there is something that you are struggling with might you today take a step back and turn into the place of peace He has opened for you.

Blessings.
~Jessica

But…it’s not enough

(Warning -This is a long post that does ramble a little.  Thanks for your indulgence.)

Glug, glug, glug…air bubbles are floating up to the surface, but I am far from being able to take a breath.  At first I was just dipping my toes in.  Then I was just wading out to my knees.  Suddenly the waves started to roll in.  I didn’t even see them coming.  The next thing I knew I was being pulled under and tossed about.  I was drowning…drowning in the deepest ocean I had ever been in.  The ocean of too much.

Too much stuff, too many ideas, too many thoughts, too many responsibilities, you name it, I was over my head.  Maybe it started with parenting, maybe with politics, maybe with food, maybe with blogging.  I can’t really even say anymore what the starting point was…maybe it was just a good idea.  I think the waves that finally pulled me under were the waves of lack of sleep.  So, this is how I’ve been lately.  Feeling like there are so many things coming in that I can’t hold anymore.  Feeling like I need to know more and that when I start to look into something simple I get overwhelmed with the mountain behind it.  And everybody’s opinions vary.

All of this overwhelming feeling usually takes me to one other feeling…the feeling of failure.  It’s like ugg…I will never be able to understand all of this or take it all in or do it all.  How do I be all that I want to be and succeed doing it?  I can’t say that I’ve been wallowing in this feeling, just recognizing that I need to do some re-evaluating.  I’m dropping balls anyway; I might as well take a break from juggling altogether.

And so I stopped reading blogs for a bit.  Now I’ve started going through my list and only keeping those I was really aware of missing.  I LOVE reading blogs.  There is so much interesting information to read about and so many interesting people to get to know.  The thing is that I sort of let reading blogs steal a bit of my real love away…reading REAL books.  (And I have to say one of my favorite things about going to the gym is that I get to read there.  Who knew you could exercise and read at the same time?  This rocks…because let’s face it: I don’t have much time for real book reading at home.  Or wait, is it really that I haven’t been making time for it? Hmmm…)

And Hubs and I have been taking a look around our house and seeing what we can do without.  It’s definitely getting harder.  I have a lot more to let go of, but I just don’t want to.  I like my stuff…  I like not being without.  I like freedom.  I like peace.  I like trusting God to supply all of my needs.  Ahh, the crux of this problem.  Am I holding onto things because it is wise to and they have a positive impact on my life?  Or am I holding onto things because I am afraid I won’t have what I need when I need it?  Seems like every time I make the decision to trust Him He comes through…could I please remember this right away next time instead of stressing over things?

When I was 17 I was out roller blading and fell down and broke my collarbone and knocked myself out.  Scary right?  The really scary part is that I now seem to find gaps in my brain power.  I was talking to Hubs about this the other night, but he thinks it’s just lack of sleep.  Claims I would be totally smart if I didn’t have kids keeping me from sleeping normal.  I think perhaps it’s a combination of these and a little scatter-brainedness thrown in too.  I remember in highschool…I used to be smart.  Now I struggle to hold in all the important facts.

But maybe it’s really that I want to know so much.  There are so many important things to know in life and I don’t like having to pick and choose.  I want to know all there is to know about so many things.  Thankfully no matter what I’m learning about I always seem to find a new aspect of God.  This seems to happen to me especially when it would appear I am learning about something totally unrelated.  But He has this way about Him…

There are three things that have really been impacting my life lately.  One -The book by Ann Voscamp One Thousand Gifts.  Two -Blogs posts written in January by Megan (part 2) from Sorta Crunchy and her husband Kyle about making their home and their lives an Oasis. Three – The book Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich.  These three sources have been working on me to clarify some things and help me sort out what really matters.

Ann is helping me to see the beauty in the gifts God has given me in the everyday and the ordinary.  Megan and Kyle are helping us to let go of our “treasures” and be open to allow God to really move in and through us.  Jenna is helping me see that trying to rush through things to get to the end of the dream isn’t going to get me where I want to be.  It’s better to take things slowly and one at a time to truly understand what I’m doing.

So, I don’t have to know everything this minute about raising chickens or canning food or vaccinating my kids or hunting or the GAPS diet or exercise or discipline or knitting or loving everyone or understanding what this or that scripture means or soaking grains or cloth diapering.  Honestly, this is only a small portion of the things that have been running through my head.  Trying to know and understand everything.  Feeling like I can’t know enough or even that I am not enough because I can’t quite grab it all and coming back to the drowning place.  And when I let go of needing to get it all at once…  And when I let go of trying to wrap my brain around everything…  And when I let go of my self-imposed expectations…  And when I let go of what everyone else thinks…  Well, that’s when I realize that I have reached in ENOUGH.  I am ENOUGH.  I don’t have to be everything to everyone.  I just need to tackle one thing at a time.  I just need to let God show me which thing to open up to.  I just need to see the gift He has for me waiting for me to pick up.  I don’t have to tear off the paper.  I can savor and enjoy the feel of the ribbon.  I can treasure the time my Father took to wrap it up for me.  The way He wound this universe together for me to discover.  Like the unfolding of a rosebud in the light of His glory I can breathe in the daily lesson He has for me.  I can be content with what He has given me for today.  I can see Him in all that I do because He is in it ALL.  Nothing is separate from His hand.  I can trust my brain cells to Him.  I can can trust that I will know what I need to know when I need to know it.  I can rest in HIM.

Because the simple truth of life that I am realizing once again is that – IT is NEVER enough, but

HE is ALWAYS MORE than enough.

~Jessica

Where do you go?

Posted in LIFE,Spiritual Relationship by The Saving Mom on January 23, 2011
Tags: , , ,

Breathe Jessica, breathe.  In and out, in and out.  Don’t stop.  Don’t let go.  You can do it.  Breathe.

My personal mom pep talk.  There are those days that start with nights of lack of sleep.  I wake up wondering if I’ve even slept at all.  My boys beg for things and when I try to meet their needs they stand at the gate and scream at me.  Instead of playing nicely and lovingly all that is happening is pushing and shoving with lots of crashes and bangs to go with it.  And me, I just want to pull my hair out.  I want to run away.  I want to go up to my room, dive into my bed and pull the covers up over my head.  (And to think I want twelve of these little darlings.)

So, why am I sharing these thoughts with you?  Do I think you really want to read about my bad days?  Is revealing my unhappy days something that I believe will benefit you?  Yep, I do.  I think we all have a real side that each of us needs to see.  We need to know that those we share our lives with are real.

Being home with my kids everyday can get a little lonely, especially now that I don’t have a car.  This makes my social life very cyber.  (It’s hard to do things with others when you always have to ask them to come to you.  But I haven’t given up on finding some moms close to me.  I even printed myself up some business cards that I carry around with me in case I meet someone.)  As we all know life in the cyber world is only what we want others to see.  We can put on our jolly writing face and tell everyone how fantastic things are.  Because our readers can’t see us we can pretend that we get dressed everyday and have our hair and make-up perfect.  We can pretend that our children are always clean and well-behaved.  We can pretend that a dirty dish never sits on our counter and the laundry not only always gets washed, but it gets put away too.  We can pretend that everyday we hear the audible voice of God telling us just what to do with each minute of our day.  And that our voices are always happy and calm.  The truth is that we all actually have days like that, or at least sort of.  And because we do we all try to live in those days as much as we can.  But in the real world, things just don’t always come out that way.

Life is messy.  Days are hard.  We walk around with aching bodies and aching heads.  We wonder if we can take one more step or even just one more breath.  Two moves can turn my day a different direction.  The first is to go to the garden.  You know, The Garden.  Even Jesus had to go the Garden of Gethsemane.   It’s that place of surrender.  The place where I lay aside my weak, wimpy, angry nature and stop.  It’s where I drink from His cup and find nourishment and refreshment.  When I am in the garden I remember that I am doing what I was made to do.  That I am a privileged woman.  Me, broken and cracked vessel that I am.  His vessel.  This is the part where my lungs begin to fill with air again.  His vessel.  I breathe in; I breathe out.  His vessel.  I grab a hold of His hand and He lifts me up.

Step two.  Be open.  This is the place where I allow others to see my imperfections.  This is where I open my door and let somebody in.  This is where I let you in.  Just me.  I am real.  I am not perfect, but I am found in Him.

The real me is waiting to meet you today in the depths of His love.  What do you do when you get buried in the normal day to day?  Anybody else ever go to the garden?  I would love to hear what you do!

~Jessica

Baby Steps

God is so good.  God is so gracious.  He is more patient than the sweetest old lady.  He is more gentle than a mother with her newborn babe.  God is the ultimate teacher.

Sometimes God teaches us a lesson we grab onto it right away.  It’s like He just turns on a light-bulb and BAM! there’s light.  You understand just what He’s saying.  That’s when you are in the sweet zone.  You feel on top of the world.  You feel so close to God and like you have never been so in tune in your life.

Then there are those other times…the times when you are struggling to know if you are ever going to really hear what He is saying.  You think you understand how to do what He is saying and you trip and fall

Thankfully His loving outstretched arms are there if you need Him.  He picks you up and you try again.  And time after time you fall.  But He keeps supporting you.  He keeps clarifying for you the great plans He has for you and how to walk in them.  You listen and try again.  This time you make it a little farther and you fall flat on your face, but then you hear His encouragement and your heart gets filled with laughter and you begin to dance to His song. And the next thing you know you got it!  Messy, chaotic life cannot deter you.  You’ve fallen flat on your face and you might just be covered in snot and gunk and all the things that this world tries to throw at you, but now that you got it nothing can stop you.  You are going places.  You know what He wanted you to learn and now you can WALK!

I hope these little videos encourage you to try taking steps into what God is calling you to.  Allow yourself to step out.  You will only get where you want to go if you take that first step.  Sure you might fall.  Sure you might get up covered in gunk.  But once you can walk, well darling, the next thing is to fly.

~Jessica

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