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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our First Coffee Time! And...I'm a Judas

It's our Inaugural Coffee Time!

Please disregard my technical idiocy. 

There are 2 videos because I don't know how to "Pause" and instead, I hit "Stop". 

Anyway...I will eventually add in the typed version of what's on the video for those of you who can't and don't watch videos. 

Thanks for joining me for our first Coffee Time!

[Here's the blog I used this year for "Resurrection Eggs".]

If you can't see the videos in your email, click HERE.



Whoopsie! Here's the conclusion:




Here is Natalie Grant's amazing video Alive (get some Kleenex!):





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Monday, April 14, 2014

Lay It Down

I know how you feel right now.

You're drained. 

You're exhausted. 

You can't pick up another toy. 

You can't fetch another meal. 

You can't get another drink. 

You cannot possibly answer another question.

You're done. 

Toast.

Your heart is heavy and your shoulders are slumped.

You've replayed all the times you failed that day.

You contemplate tip-toeing back upstairs to wake them up.

To apologize.

To tell them you love them one more time.

To reassure them that they are one of the greatest things God has ever blessed you with, despite how you may act sometimes.

Short answers, snapped responses, harsh words.

Impatience.

Frustrations.

The weight of the world on your shoulders.

Did you hug them enough today?

Did you say I love you enough today?

Did you kill their spirit in the name of discipline?

Did you totally screw them up?

Yes, I know exactly how you're feeling tonight.

I wake up every single day with the best of intentions.

I don't think anyone goes into the day intending to fail miserably.

But life happens, schedules are tight, frustrations rise, stress boils over, demands are many...

And at the end of the day we are left with all of our shortcomings.

But I'm here to tell you that's not the end of it.

By all means, if you feel you need to or if you want to--tip-toe back upstairs and kiss that angel.

Tell them one more time how much you love them.

Pray with them.

Ask for forgiveness.

But don't carry the guilt around.

If you love your babies, and you do your very best to love them, don't carry the guilt around.

We will fail, mamas.

Sometimes by forgetting a lunch.

Sometimes in bigger things.

We will lose our tempers.

We will say words that we wish we could take back.

We will fall short in so many ways…

But we haven't failed.

Our babies know we love them.

And tomorrow is another opportunity to show them.

As we apologize and explain where we fell short, it's an amazing opportunity to be an example of Christ's grace.

Our children learn as much from our mistakes as they do from the times we get it right.

And praise the Lord that they do! I fear my children learn far more often from the former.

But God is good.

You see, He knew that we would fail. He knew that we would lose our temper. He knew that we would say something we wish we wouldn't have.

And He forgave us anyway.

He chose to die for us anyway. 

Long before we even made the mistake.

Is there something you're holding onto tonight?

Is there something you need to lay down at Christ's feet?

Is there something you need to confess and receive forgiveness for in order to move on?

We cannot receive tomorrow's blessings when we are holding the stones of judgment from yesterday.

Let it go.

Lay it down.








Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When God Shows Up

I see God everywhere.

Not a floating, pillar of smoke, but more like in nuances and subtleties. 

I see Him in themes and repetition. 

In words I read or that are offered to me by a friend or an acquaintance.

In verses that "randomly" pop up everywhere.

I believe it's God's way of whispering, "I'm here. I see you. I hear you. I care about you."

For example, I was having a conversation with a friend who is struggling the other day. She is frustrated in waiting for God's timing. (And who hasn't struggled with that, really?)

I shared with her the verse that our pastor shared in church that morning from Isaiah 43:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine."

And I also shared with her about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel.  They were thrown in a blazing furnace because they refused to bow down to the king. The king was so furious about their insubordination, that he had the furnace turned up 7 times hotter than normal. It was so hot, in fact, that the soldiers who tied up these men and threw them in the furnace were killed.

But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not killed, They were not left with so much as the smell of smoke on their clothing. The only things burned off were the ropes that bound them!

I shared all of this in an effort to offer my friend some semblance of hope that her situation is not forever and that God is in the details. That He is always there for us, even when our situation seems impossible.

And guess what showed up in my newsfeed today?



Yep, God is everywhere. 

And He cares enough about my friend to offer this affirmation. And He cares enough about me to put it in my path so that I can be a small part of ministering to her. And this kind of thing happens to me all the time!

Be aware. Look around you. Start noticing where He shows up in your life in seemingly random ways. 

He's there. 



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