Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turn It Up Tuesdays

Happy Tuesday! It's hard for me to know where to start. Because to say I'm passionate about debunking the lies in this life and replacing them with truth is an understatement. I have fought and won so many of these "truth vs. lie" battles personally in my life, I've tasted the victory and it is sweet. I've watched so many young people over the years find freedom once they realized they were living in a lie and embraced Truth. Truth with a capital "T", because Jesus Himself said:
"I am the way and the truth and the life." (John 14:6)
The reality that we so often forget or don't even fully understand is that there is an enemy who is a liar. Jesus actually says: 
"He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!" (John 8:44-45)
The more we are bombarded with lies, the deeper we're engulfed in them-- they seem to become more and more like the truth, they become our reality. It's just like Jesus said, "when I tell the truth, you just naturally don't believe me!" It's so hard to believe the truth when we've subscribed to the lie for so long. We're fully bought in. 

I really think half the battle is recognizing the lie. Realizing that it's possible that some of your greatest hurts, bad habit or recurring hang-ups are all rooted in a lie you've believed so long, that it's become your truth-- your reality. 

There are lies that come from our environment-- from the media telling us we need to look a certain way, have certain things, believe or not believe in something. Then there's the lies that have been instilled in us through painful words of someone else (whether intentional or not). There are the lies that whisper in our minds because of past failures or mistakes.  Regardless of the source of the lie-- we need to remember that if we hold to the Word of Truth: 
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)

Join me on this journey as we de-throne the liar in our lives and fully embrace the Truth... I want to put Him on the throne of my heart. Daily. With truth comes freedom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Wifeys: Are You a Leaky Faucet?

I LOVE reading a Proverb every day. It's the simplest way I know to make sure that I'm putting truth in front of me. No matter what my excuse of "busyness" for the day, who doesn't have time to read a proverb? So whether it's on my phone, in my actual Bible, or on the computer... I always aim to get to it. And the best part is it's fool-proof. There are 31 proverbs and normally 31 days in a month... so easy!

Today's proverb is FULL of truth to chew on! It's almost too much! I wanted to pick one to highlight today for me to chew on... so hard because they're all soooooo good! But the one that is not my favorite right now, basically because it's the most challenging to me is:
"...a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as a constant dripping." Proverbs 19:13 (NLT)
I like how The Message version puts it too:
"...a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet." Proverbs 19:13 (MSG) 
Dang! And it's not even a whole verse, it's just the second half and it's definitely enough to keep me challenged to becoming better. It's not that I ever want to "nag" or be "quarrelsome" and a lot of time I try to let myself off the hook saying, "well that's not what I meant" or "well if he would just remember then I wouldn't have to remind him, it's not my fault!" Oh my dear, yes it is. (Please excuse me while I check myself.)

I've learned that it's all about the approach. Even though I mean well by it, if it comes out of my mouth in a way that seems like an obligation, a frustration, a mommy (my husband already has one of those and I've got plenty of boys to mother), or just a plain 'ol jerk... I need to pause and think before I speak. I (almost) always mean what I'm saying in love... so why not start with love?

Imagine how differently our first moments together after being apart would be if it was welcomed with a kiss, a hug, an embrace. Instead of words of to-do's, schedules, unpaid bills, things he forgot, or needs we have. All of that would be received so much differently if he was reminded with a kiss that this is the woman he is madly in love, sharing this life with and raising these amazing kids with!

There is romance after kids. There is love for each other after kids-- and if anything I'm pretty sure it should multiply. The thing is we HAVE to be intentional as wives to put thought, effort and a little bit of spice into keeping it alive. And I definitely want to be a blessing to my amazing husband and not that leaky faucet he gets to come home to after a long day. I want to be refreshing. Which reminds me of another one of my favorite promises that's found in proverbs (I added the feminine touch)  :
"...she who refreshes others will herself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)                 

Bride for life, not becoming a nagging wife! 

So here's to being intentional about loving on the love of my life!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rest? What is that?!?

Rest. It's something we all need. It's something we all want. It's something we all feel like "we don't have time for". BUT It's something Jesus promises us.

What a huge promise. We all get a little weary just in the daily grind, whatever yours might look like. Then there's the weariness that comes from a crazy life storm-- like a bad break-up, cancer, loss of a job, feeling unappreciated, family issues, personal struggles that you cannot get a handle on. The New Living Translation says it like this:
"Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
Are you carrying heavy burdens? They may be yours, they may be others.... but none the less-- they are heavy and you need a break. So set them down, if just for a moment-- and go to Him. Jesus is the One and only who can offer that true rest, nothing a nap can even touch, eight hours of sleep can't satisfy like He can in one holy moment.

What's crazy is that He set up life for us to make sure we get rest. He made a point of it... I mean He gave us these ten things to make for a better life for us, and a day of rest is one of those special ten!

My son has this little "Ten Commandments" book... and it's funny how the simplest of things can speak to us. But one of those is to keep the Sabbath.  For the past couple weeks I've been thinking about the "sabbath", what does that really mean? Do I even do that?
sabbath (noun):

 Main Entry: day of rest
Definition: day for resting
Synonyms: Lord's day, Sabbath , Sabbath Day, Saturday, Sunday, day off, rest day
I'm always challenged by what I'm attempting to teach my children, making sure I'm a living example of it and not just saying it.  And I'm doing okay in the "do not steal" and "do not murder" areas, but when we get to "a day of rest, dedicated to the Lord" not doing too hot. And Lord knows (literally) that I could use some rest and He knows that I want to KNOW Him more, to be with Him. So I'm ready for the challenge, are you?

Sabbath Sundays. (Maybe for you it will have to be another day of the week because of your schedule, it's about the heart of it.) I will aim to rest more on Sundays and to spend time getting to KNOW my Father more. I know at the end of it, I'll be less weary and more rested.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Aware of My Presence

At Caleb's pre-school this morning we had a "Thanksgiving Feast." Something they have on the calendar for months and tell you with weeks in advance what they need you to bring. But of course, I drop him off in the rain at 8:30am and rush to the store to buy the ingredients to make it and be back by 10:30am. Welcome to the craziness of our life. So this morning was a blur trying to get all of us out of the house in one piece and be ready to enjoy this moment with our oldest. (Thanks to the amazing "Miss Patty" for watching Connor all day for us!! We even had a romantic date day afterwards.)

The moment I walked into his classroom with my cornbread muffins (complete will cute little fall cupcake toppers) he was so excited to see me. It even led to a sense of bragging to his friends "look what I got"... look what my mommy did for us. I had to make a couple trips in and each time he was glowing with pride. Then throughout the next 90 minutes as they prayed, sang songs, dressed up like turkeys, ate their meal, rode bikes, went down the slide-- he continuously acknowledged my presence. He wanted to share in all the seemingly small moments with me. He constantly looked around the room or playground for my approval, my excitement, my thoughts. At one point after speeding around on the bike in circles, he lost sight of me. While I didn't lose sight of him, I saw him ride up to his teacher and ask with concern, "Where's my Mommy?"

What a beautiful picture of how I want to be with my Father. I want to always be aware of His presence in my life. Not only in the "big" moments when I have no doubt that I need Him. But in the most mundane of moments, I want to relish in His presence. I want to look to see what He thinks, what He feels, what He would tell me to do. I know that if I walked more aware of His presence, I would walk with the same sense of pride I saw in my 2 1/2 year old son today. The pride of knowing that Someone loves me so much. Even when I lose sight of Him... He never loses sight of me.

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

How would your life be different if you lived more aware of His presence?  Receive the promises that: He goes before you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. Be fearless, be encouraged.