Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Because He Holds Me

    The other day, Stitch and Little Sister were having a conversation.  Now, if you are a parent or teacher or anyone else who spends a lot of time around little kids, you know that their conversations can be very interesting!  And also sometimes surprisingly profound. 

     They were talking about family relationships, and who loves whom, and why they love the other people in our family.  So, Little Sister says, "Well, do you know why I love Daddy?"  Stitch replied with, "Because he's Daddy, of course!" (In a tone of superior knowledge...)  And she answers him right back (in her own tone of superiority!), "No!  Because he holds me!" 

    I smiled to myself and later posted a little funny report about it on Facebook, and didn't really think about it much more at that moment.  But it wouldn't leave me.  I kept hearing it in the back of my mind over the next couple of days.  And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was such a pure and simple expression of faith. 

    You see, Little Sister has faith that Daddy will always be able to hold her.  She doesn't think that one day she will be too big, or that Daddy might be too old.  She just knows that right now, this day, he can hold her.  She can run to him and he will scoop her up and make her feel safe and loved. 

    This must be the faith that Jesus was talking about when He told the disciples about the faith of a child.  This must be the kind of faith that God the Father wants us to have in His ability to hold us.  But we "grow up."  We think we have to catch ourselves, or make a plan, or maybe just not fall in the first place.  We forget to trust in our Heavenly Father just because He holds us.  Our circumstances overwhelm us, and we forget.

     Unlike earthly fathers, God will always be there for us.  He won't leave us, abandon us, or forget us.  He's never not paying attention to us, or too busy to see what we have going on.  He will hold us.  And we can love Him for so many things, but most especially that.  We can love Him because He holds us!  Or, in His own Words, "We love Him because He first loved us."  :)



    


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

S-T-R-E-T-C-H!

     Well, once again it's been a while since I had a chance to sit down and blog a bit.  The second semester of school has flown by, and tomorrow is the last official day of school!!!  It is time for a break for students and teachers alike!

     As I look back on this school year, I realize that there has been a lot of change in my life.  As some of you may know, I am not a fan of change.  Which is probably why it has been a big part of my life the last few years....hmm...

     My life is so different now than it was only five years ago. I have gone from a house of littles to a house of bigs.  Big clothes, big shoes (that I trip over a lot), big mouths (!!), and big attitudes!  They have certainly jumped into the preteen/teen age group with full force!  I have decided that parenting littles brings a physical tiredness, and parenting bigs brings a mental exhaustion!  But it's good too...because you can begin to see the people they are becoming.  And this:

    


     In those same five years I went from being a SAHM to working full time in the school.  This has been challenging in its own right.  I admit I never had plans to work when I had kids.  I was content to stay home with them and do the mommy thing.  But God had other plans, which meant change for me!  And y'all...He has had to do it!  Because I have been the teacher for the littlest students, which means glitter, glue, paint, scissors, loose teeth, wiggles, and "accidents" of all kinds!  None of these things appeal to my OCD side, let me tell you! But it's good too... because you can see the light bulb moment when the words they are reading suddenly turns into a story.  And this:



     I guess I tricked myself into thinking that because I was approaching "middle age" that my life would be more of the same.  However, God had other plans.  And those plans involved me being stretched to my personal limits so I would be forced to realize that I wasn't doing it in my own strength...it was only Jesus working through me.

    You see, that's why God sends those stretchy moments in our lives.  Especially to those of us who "have the plan."  So we can come face to face with the truth that "not I, but Christ."  I can't juggle kids and work, but Jesus can give me the strength.  I can't fix all the behavior issues that arise, but Jesus can give me wisdom.  I can't heal the scraped knees or hurt hearts of the young ones God has place in my path, but Jesus can give me peace and the power of prayer.

     So, this week, as I face yet another new thing and I think to myself "There's no way I can do this!"  I will remember--"not I, but Christ."  And as you face the stretchy things in your life, I pray you will remember the same thing!  "Not I, but Christ!"  :)


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Going Up!

     So, I've been mulling something over for the past few days.  (English nerd sidebar: I love the word "mulling."  We don't use it much any more. Too bad!  Probably because we don't do it much any more!)  Anyway, I have been thinking over this random thought, and it lead me to some interesting things.  Maybe it will be an encouragement to some of y'all too. 

     It started when I was having my devotional time a couple of days ago.  Last year, I was gifted a copy of "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  (Disclaimer: I don't know much about this author, so don't take this as a blanket endorsement!)  It has short portions of Scripture and essays written as if Jesus was speaking directly to you.  This week has been focused on the rest Jesus gives us.

     Today's portion really brought out the inner conversations that I had been having with the Holy Spirit lately.  It was based on the Scripture verse Ephesians 2:6:

"And he hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
 
     The essay was about how Jesus wants to raise us up above the circumstances in our lives and make us more like Himself.  Which I know, right?  I mean, if you've been in church for any length of time, you have heard a message on that verse.  Jesus gives us the power in our Christian life if we walk in obedience to Him.  We can be above the circumstances, problems, trials, and temptations through Him.  Of course...so simple, so obvious.

     But then this though came to me:  How often would I rather pull Jesus down to where I am rather than let Him pull me up?  Would I rather wallow in my frustrations than turn them over to Him?  It is so much more satisfying (to my self) to think of Jesus as my BFF who will listen to all my aggravations and agree (!!) with my side of each situation.  Without letting Him insert His opinions about what I should do.  And that's where the problem comes in.

     We have fallen into a trap of relegating Jesus to someone who is there to listen to us (which He does), feel sorry for our hurt feelings (He does care how we feel), and gleefully plot our plans for revenge with us (umm...maybe not so much).  We don't really want to rise above; we want to feel above.

     So, I ask myself: can I let Jesus pull me up, or will I try to pull Him down to sit with me and commiserate on my hurt feelings or aggravations?  Will I let Him take me above the circumstances and begin to view things from His point of view rather than assume He must see everything from mine, because of course I'm right?

     When Peter climbed out of the boat and started to walk to Jesus on the water, it certainly wouldn't have done him much good if he hadn't allowed Jesus to pull him up.  And Jesus didn't commiserate with Peter's fear---He asked him why he doubted and why he had such little faith.  (If I had been Peter, my first thought would have been, "Well, hey, I'm better than those guys...they didn't even try!")  But Peter let Jesus pull him above his circumstances (without patting him on the head and "affirming" him!) and they walked to the boat together.  And the Bible says that the storm didn't stop until they were on the boat.  Jesus didn't calm the storm until after Peter had walked through it by Jesus' side.

     So, the next time I have a circumstance that I want to be above, I want Jesus to pull me up to where He wants me to walk.  I want to walk through the storm by His side, on my way to those "heavenly places."  I want to be raised up!!  :)