Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Just some thoughts from the overflow of my heart

Today is one of those days where it feels important that I write something to all of you. It's been quite a while since I've blogged and I have not been entirely focused on writing during this season of my life. I've completed an e-book, but I'm still in the process of figuring out how to publish it. I've taken on some additional work so that my husband and I can work on some of our financial goals. I'm leading a Bible study and learning how to be a women's ministry leader. My oldest son has sports and I feel like I am in the middle of a time of change and adjustment. 

Being online has felt like the very last on my list of priorities. Seeing the people in front of me and making the most of each day has been at the top. But at the same time – I miss expressing what God is doing in my life and connecting with all of you. I continue to battle with the tension of being a working mom – but through some amazing connections, conversations and continually laying every day down at the feet of the Lord, I'm understanding the role of
redemption within my own story and feeling more comfortable in my own skin and in the pace of my life.

My life is definitely messy, but there is a better rhythm within each day and I'm learning to recognize when I am getting ahead of the rhythm and when I'm focusing on the wrong things.  One of the things I realized is that I have spent too much time judging myself.






This might sound loopy but I'm finding myself having a lot of conversations with myself – realizing how much pain I have caused myself in judging myself and looking down on myself. And I'm recognizing how much it hurts the Lord as well as my walk with him.

It's funny how I try to pride myself on not judging others. And yet I feel like all day long I keep constant tabs on what I'm doing right versus what I'm doing wrong and then my emotions are settling on those things. It really makes me feel like a gigantic yo-yo. And it's pretty nutty and amazing and overwhelming to think that God's grace and his redemption just wraps all of those yo-yo emotions and days up and hold them close and turns them into something beautiful. It makes me seriously want to cry when I picture the glory of it all. 

When I think about miscommunications in my marriage, yelling at my boys when I'm tired, going several days without spending time with the Lord, making impulsive spending decisions, all of those things that I think somehow disqualify me. I'm grateful that the Lord is now showing me how to sift through those things, lay them at his feet, take a hold of his hand and let him help me change a little bit at a time. He never asked me to be perfect, but he asked me to trust him who is perfect.  I feel like a piece of broken silver, that is very valuable, but is not been shined up in a while. I think I spent a lot of time trying to shine myself up – and now I'm content with the process of the Lord shining me up and shining through me – because even the cracks are things that He can use.  

There are some days where I feel like I am on that spinning wheel in a mouse cage and I'm going nowhere, and in the past I used to sit, stop and wallow, but now I'm being braver and letting the Lord get me out of that cycle and move on to new ways. Jesus is amazing. The gospel is amazing. Life is all about redemption when you walk with the Lord. Redemption takes time, sometimes it takes a lot of grit and fight, other times it takes the willingness to just do nothing and be still and wait, but it is a life filled with surprises, joys and miracles and I wouldn't want anything else. I am just in awe of my Lord and Savior, the way that He reaches down and makes holy ground right here in the middle of my everyday.

Praying for all of you to find holy ground during this season – wherever you are at in your faith and however you interpret this time of the year, I encourage you to sit with the word of God, listen to Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World and be brave, move forward, stop judging yourself, see yourself through His eyes, be goofy, fight hard, and lean into Him. God bless.

Liz

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Rehabilitation of this Christian Working Mama

Have to admit something – something that really bothers me because it is so contrary to who Jesus is and what the gospel is all about.    And I didn't even know that I struggled with this until recently. I think it is probably one of the biggest lies that I have believed as a follower of Christ. And I'm so excited to call it out for what it is –

I used to feel that certain struggles in my life disqualified me from being useful to God...

I didn't know that I felt this way, but deep down inside – I did not feel like my life "looked" a certain way/the "right" way...

I wasn't confident that I was really "the type" of Christian woman to do ministry, be a Bible Study leader, speak in front of church, share the gospel...

I thought – that was for a different kind of woman...

You know sometimes when you feel a certain way in order to fight back against it you need to do something about it. Although I knew that the Bible said different – I could not shake the feeling for so long. And so I prayed about it and God led me to do something. He led me to take action and it has made all the difference in the world. My actions changed my feelings, and brought me new life.

I work with people who have disabilities- many of them want to work so badly, it is crazy to me when I think of the days where I actually complain about going to work. So – my job is to help "rehabilitate" them and because I work in "vocational" rehabilitation – "work" is  the form of rehabilitation that I focus on.

Amazing for those of us who dislike our jobs and complain about having to work at all – that for many people work please a huge role in their own rehabilitation.

Do you know what it means to "rehabilitate"?
Webster's says...
1. To restore to good health or useful life
2. To restore to good condition
3. To cause to be regarded again in a positive way
4. To restore the former rank, privileges, or rights of

Is this not what Christ has done for us?
And guess what?
It does not end at the work of the Cross!
Christ is constantly restoring our lives to be useful for Him, returning us to a good condition where His love can shine, shining through us so we are regarded in a positive way, restoring us to have the privileges of being a child of God!

This year- God has given me work to do for His kingdom.
He has given me purpose, He has given me tasks...
He has used me and it has made all the difference in the world. 

He has been rehabilitating my soul by allowing me to be a part of what He is doing despite my failures and my misunderstandings of the type of person God uses.

Do you have an issue that you feel is keeping you from serving God?
Do you somehow feel "disqualified" because of_____?

STOP.

Your worth is found in Christ.
You may have made mistakes- but if you are in Christ- you are a new creation.
You can change.
You can make better choices.
You can turn away from sin and choose obedience...
Your past is gone.
Every day is a new day in Christ.

And God will use you! He has a purpose for you right where you are- don't EVER think He can't use you for His kingdom.

Romans 8:28
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,h for those who are called according to his purpose."

Is there one thing that God has put on your heart that you can do, even though you might feel somehow "disqualified"? I challenge you to do that one thing and share how God uses it to rehabilitate your soul.

Love you!

Liz

Just a reminder – to be clear – salvation is a free gift from God – we don't have to earn salvation through our works. This message is not about that at all.  But when we know who Christ is and we are following him, we can choose to live out the truth in our lives, no matter how we feel, or where we've been, or what we struggle with.