Monday, September 28, 2015

A Prayer for the Christian Working Mama

Dearheart,

Do you have any idea how much you are loved, cherished and adored by the Lord? He sees you, knows you and longs to be with you. You wonder sometimes if you will ever be enough- for your family, your work, your church- but remember that having His love is something you NEVER have to work for- never worry about being "enough" for. It is finished. If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior and have decided to live for Him, you are saved, you are accepted just as you are.

Somedays you probably feel so completely alone. Maybe on that drive to work, or those early mornings making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ironing clothes, packing bags and thinking about work expectations...you feel like the world is on your shoulders. But remember- He has got the whole world in His very capable, dependable and totally ABLE hands.

You might wonder if it is possible to thrive as a Christian Working Mama- to ever get beyond surviving and barely making it through the day. The secret to thriving is always found in Him- in knowing Him, in choosing His ways, in loving Him, in surrendering to Him, in praying to Him, in reading His word, in talking to Him and in finding Him in all of those moments throughout your day where you wonder if it all is worth it. Small steps of obedience go a very long way.

Some encouragement:

Colossians 3: 23-24
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

John Piper says: "How you fulfill the demands of your vocation is an essential part of Christian discipleship. Or to put it another way: How you do your job is a big part of your obedience to Jesus. Stated as a prayer, the main point today is: Father, grant to us all the grace to be conscious of your presence at our work and to obey your commands in all our vocational relationships. I believe this is the word of God for us today."
 ttp://www.desiringgod.org/messages/your-job-as-ministry

Christian Working Mama- your children adore you. You are loved beyond measure. Every moment you have with them is special- even the hard moments. Stay the course, remain rooted in Him (John 15:5), look for moments to be still and be present and when you can't give yourselves grace. Turn up the music, dance and laugh and remember that God is in control.

You rock!
Lots of love,

Liz

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Comfort of Knowing That I Am Small

I love to be involved in many things at one time. I'm not really sure why, but my brain is constantly thinking and brainstorming and getting excited about things. Sometimes this is really great and other times it can really get me in trouble. I like to be involved in things, but often times I stretch myself too thin- I know I am not the only one- we all do it from time to time.

Sometimes I have serious difficulties being still and waiting on God...like I try to rush what God is doing because I'm so excited about the outcome and the end goal.

When I was younger I used to read the end of a book when I was about halfway through because I could not wait to get to the end.


But you know how it is – it is such a spoiler and it is not as appreciated when the entire book had not been read first. Life can be like that- you can't rush what only time, effort, and waiting can create...  

It's kind of a joke but I feel like I even try to rush technology! When I use a copy machine I tend to jam it up or mix my papers up because I'm moving too fast. Even with my phone, my husband jokes with me because I tend to wear out the batteries so quickly because I am constantly texting or sending messages to people about various things.

So I started noticing over the past few months that I was wearing down inside.
I was excited about a lot of things- leading a women's Bible study, working on an e-book, being involved in neighborhood ministry, and supporting my husband as he coaches and is a Commissioner for our local Little League.  So I was excited about these things, but I was feeling almost like I was suffocating inside.  Every.Little.Thing. was getting on my nerves! No fun.

So I thought about how I needed to say no to some things and put up some boundaries. I did that and it helped.

But I felt like God was trying to show me something even deeper that I needed to learn.

God reminded me that I was forgetting about the most important thing – my relationship with Him!
God reminded me that being with Him and knowing Him is always going to be more important, more valuable, and more rewarding than anything that I can DO FOR His kingdom or be a part of for his kingdom.  It's not that serving God is not exciting and it's not that God does not want to fulfill those spaces in our hearts where we have big dreams – but they should never replace the passion and love that we have for our Heavenly Father.

I have been reading a book lately called Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman. It is one of those books that I feel like I can only take in a little at a time and yet each time I feel so refreshed by what I am reading. She talks about being small and about grasping the fact that the kingdom of God is HERE in the small moments of everyday life. She talks about how easy it is to get caught up in busyness and accomplishments. But how she has learned to cope with this by learning how to be small.  It sounded like a great concept but I really could not grasp how to apply it to myself. And as God always does, He helped me with this.

This past Saturday I went to the airshow where my husband was working. Typically when I go to the airshow, I have both kids with me and I am very distracted and exhausted with keeping them content with the hot sun, the loud planes and the crowds. But this Saturday, my oldest son was away and I had my three-year-old with me who was completely content with helping his father bag-up giveaway items.

So I found myself standing and staring at the sky. The funniest thing happened to me...as I watched these incredible aircrafts zooming up and down and around in the sky, I felt it – the feeling of being very small and the feeling of being in awe of something very big. I could not stop watching- it was the biggest thrill, yet the biggest sense of relief.

No joke – I actually started crying.

I was standing in the middle of a gigantic runway, looking at the sky and crying...

Not because the show was so spectacular, even though it was, but because God had given me a special moment of what it meant to feel small. The reason why feeling small brought me to tears is because I spend most of my time trying to control so many details in my life- you know what I mean working mama's – and it is exhausting and I don't want to be responsible for SO MUCH HEAVY STUFF.

I did not realize that I WANT TO BE SMALL...I want to be less, I want to be weight-less.

I want to be held instead of always trying to HOLD onto everything. 

I want to be still and know that He is God instead of so busy trying to be the one in charge of all of my to-do lists, desires, goals and dreams.

I want to sit small on the lap of my Big God and just rest for awhile.

Feeling small brought me the deepest sense of relief that I have ever felt in my life. The only relief that I can even compare it to was what I felt after giving birth to my two children. But this kind of relief was even bigger than that. I couldn't shake the feeling. As I drove home, I continued to cry and thank God for reminding me that I am small and He is big. It was truly a comforting moment. And I just wanted to share about it.

It is such a good feeling to know that God does not NEED us to accomplish everything, to remember that He's GOT THIS and of course it doesn't mean that life is always quiet and restful and low-key- goodness knows – we need to be productive in accomplishing the things God puts before us – but we can do so with smallness in mind! 

We don't have to hang tightly onto our accomplishments, obsess over the details, or rush to get to the end.

We can find the joy in being small, enjoying our relationship with Christ and the comfort of knowing that we are small and He is big and that is ENOUGH- totally and completely ENOUGH... 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Morning Messy

I'm not really sure why I am blogging today.

All I know is that it is Monday and I'm feeling messy...

My weekend was filled with fun – play dates, babysitting for a friend, baseball games, and good connections with my people...

But I feel like I got caught up in a riptide of activity and this morning my soul feels malnourished...

My family is doing well, but as a mother we can always tell when there are needs to be met and it hurts to see anyone in our family struggling...

We are encouraged as Christians to come to the feet of Jesus and lay down all of our burdens and to trust in him to take care of the things that we just cannot take care of right now...

Sometimes as a working mother, I don't feel ready to start my workday on Monday. I feel like there are a lot of loose ends that I would like to see tied. Some things I need to attend to and other things I need to let go of.

My brain is filled with thoughts such as this – "Why is my three-year-old acting up so much? Is it because I'm not giving him enough attention?, My husband seems really tired and a bit distant, what can I do to draw closer to him?, I have reports to write today but I am having such a hard time concentrating... I need to be more productive, we need to get groceries, I think my dog might have fleas again, I need a haircut, I'm nervous about teaching Bible study tomorrow night,…"

My take charge personality wants to make a list of each and every one of those things and create a plan of attack. God has wired me this way, and most of the time, it is a good thing.

But on a Monday morning, as a working mother, I cannot physically, emotionally, and spiritually attack and handle all of these things.

It's not my job, I need to ask God to show me what to do in this moment. Sometimes that is really frustrating for me. I want to fix things, I want things run smoothly, I want everyone to be happy...

Sometimes I feel like I'm walking around the mountain and circling the same issues over and over again and this seems to happen to me a lot on  Monday mornings.

So there really is no major point to this blog post other than that, it's Monday morning, I know I'm not the only mom out there circling this mountain.  

Would love to connect with some other moms today.
Leave a comment below and a word of encouragement.
I know I can use one and I'm sure there are other mothers out there who could as well!
Lots of love.

Liz