Oct 24, 2017

Overcommitted....

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Yesterday I was in Walmart and ran into a precious friend.

We chatted for about 2 seconds and her eyes welled up with tears. She suddenly lost her voice as the tears came pouring down her cheeks.

She leaned over to hug me.

I had no idea what was wrong except that my dear friend was hurting and seemed to need a big fat hug.

When she could speak clearly without tear lumps in her throat, she began to tell me how her life was just overwhelming.

She had recently bit off way more than she could do in this season of her life.

My heart immediately knew that feeling.

The feeling of nausea. Another day. Another commitment.

The feeling of the walls closing in on you because of a deadline and people's expectations.

The feeling of feeling like a failure as a wife, as a mom, as a friend, as a volunteer...

Because it was all just.....too much.

Oh, how I knew.

I clumsily recited the verse, "let your yes be yes, and your no be no."  Matthew 5:37.

I reminded her that saying no is not a bad thing, in fact it leads to the better things that God has for us.

Her words to follow I will not soon forget...

She said, "Just because I can do something...doesn't mean I should, right?"
Right.

That was it.

She knew the answer to her dilemma.

It was implementing it that would be the hard part.

Raise your hand if you have been in this place?

Now, raise your hand if you LIVE in this place?

Ok, so I can't see you, but I bet you have your hand up.

Why do we do this? Why do we overcommit?

I think of Jesus and all He had to do. People pulling at Him from every direction

He had one goal. One focus.

The will of His Father.

Jesus often stopped...and prayed.

He got up early so that He knew exactly where His feet needed to walk that day. He needed directions from His Father.

Oh, y'all.

Why can't we stop, pause, and ask for directions?

How about the next time something is asked of us, we stop, pause, and pray about it.

I have seen the faces of my children when I overcommit. I have seen the annoyance on my husband's face when I spread myself too thin and neglect my duties at home. When I choose to not let someone down and commit to something I have not prayed about, something or someone will always suffer.

Usually, it is our families.

This world has made us believe that we do not have an identity unless we are involved in EVERYTHING. We must go to every function, every bible study, every party, every event, every whatever....

Maybe we are afraid of being forgotten?

We want to prove to others and ourselves that we can do it all. With a cute lipglossy smile on our lips.

Meanwhile, our hearts are shattered with guilt and regret of saying "yes" once again.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.. Ecclesiastes 3:1

For each and every season of life there is a purpose. Let's ask the Father for our purpose here and now. Let's be present and not spread ourselves so thin that we miss the season we are in.

There will be someone else that can help. Or fill in. Or volunteer. Or take the position.

In fact, if we do things that are out of our assigned place, we deprive someone else of the opportunity to fill that spot.

We don't have to be overcommitted.

We can stop, pause, and ask God for directions.

The seasons will be fuller, more enjoyable if we do this. We will soak in the joy of each opportunity, knowing that this is our assignment for such a time.

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup, You have made my lot secure." Psalm 16:5


over being over committed,

jill















Oct 19, 2017

There goes my heart.....

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So, I thought I would post this while it is still raw. If I wait too long the words will fall flat. [Just like my hair mid-July.]

Today my son drove to school for the first time. He turned 16 in August.

If you would have told me 3 years ago that I would not be a basket case all day, I would have laughed in your cute face.

Well, I was not a basket case.

Let me rephrase, I was not a basket case all day.

When I saw his red tail lights pull out something inside of me went numb.

Like, a weird heart stopping surreal moment.

It would be the first time in 12 years that I have not driven this kid to school.

The first time I had not prayed for him in the car on the way.

The first time my daughter got to ride shot gun the whole entire way to her school.

Yesterday, I did not realize it would be officially the last time I would drive him. Why didn't someone tell me?

Like, when my daughter stopped taking baths. Why didn't someone tell me that the last time I would run the water over her little blonde head would be that day?

Or, when my son stopped wanting to sleep on the floor in our room. I don't remember how it stopped, it just did.

Motherhood is hard.

It's about letting go.

Over and over and over.

I don't want to let go though.

I want to hang on white knuckled to these days. These moments. These seconds.

However, I know they will change yet again.

There will be more change. More loss. More seasons of hard.

We toughen up somewhat through the seasons. We adapt a little better each time. We feel the same pain of letting go, but we know there is good on the other side.

We just have to get used to the new normal of change.

Mom's of teenagers, you know what I mean.

You know this new normal.

It's a terrifying season in so many ways.

Yet, who do I trust?

Do I trust that I can protect my son and guard him 24/7?

Or do I put my trust in the One who knitted that boy together in this womb of mine 16 years ago.

The One who knows the very number of hairs on his sandy blonde head.

The One who put the sparkle in his light green eyes.

The One, the only One, who sees the length and breadth of my boy's days here on Earth.

I will trust Him.

He loves this boy of mine more than I do.

Impossible to fathom, but I know it to be true.

As I watched him walk out the door, I realized....

I had to believe what I had taught him all those years.

All of those scriptures about God's love for us. God's protection over us. God's sovereignty. God's peace. God's will to be done....

The rubber met the road in those moments.

Do I trust Him with my boy?

Or, do I take back everything I have ever impressed on this boy's heart and fall apart in front of him begging him to stay and to never leave this place.

From the moment those babies of ours leave the safe haven of our womb, we begin the letting go process.

Our Father knows how we feel.

He sent His Son to Earth to be beaten, scoffed at, abused, spat upon, murdered on a bloody Cross.

He knew these things had to happen in order for His perfect plan to be accomplished.

I believe it is the same with our children.

God has a perfect plan for their lives.

We are a big part of it...

But, we have to trust God with His plan for them. His will for their lives.

We plant the seeds....

God makes them grow.

If we hover over our children, they don't get the chance to grow. Just like a seed with shadows instead of sunlight.

The seeds need the light of day, the space to grow, to flourish.

So do our children.

God hears our prayers over their lives.

Before Joseph walked out the door this morning,  I read this passage in 2 Peter.

It gripped my heart and reminded me of my calling as a mother.

I prayed it as a letter to my son.

Dear Joseph,

12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our LORD Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things [2 Peter 1:12-15]


Momma's, keep refreshing their memories. Remind them of what you have taught them.

Make every effort.


letting Jesus take the wheel,


jill



















Oct 17, 2017

Please stop talking...

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My morning routine consists of coffee, bible reading, and then consciousness. It takes coffee and Jesus to get me conscious. Obviously. 

Lately,  I've been reading a chapter of the New Testament, a Proverb, and a Psalm.

The Proverb that I read each day never EVER fails to convict me. Did I say EVER?

Like, today.

Proverbs 17:28, "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, discerning if they hold their tongues."

Crickets.

Hello out there?

You still with me?

I had the same response after I read it too.

I mean, what do you say to that little dagger? Definitely nothing to say.

It actually makes me not want to talk at all. Maybe we could learn sign language and the world may be a much more peaceful place?

Seriously. It's something to think about.

My mind swirls to the many, many times I have talked too long. Said too much.

Each time I do, it is followed by a knot in my stomach. My mind repeats the words over and over in my little blonde head. I want to rewind time like I used to rewind my blockbuster videos before turning them in.

Women like to talk. Well most women anyway. If you don't you're just weird.

Totally kidding. Actually, if you don't like to talk I admire you and envy your wise self.

But, for talkers like myself, we can get ourselves into deep manure if we are not careful.

We can talk too long and we can talk too much.

Scripture proves that we need to heed some discipline with our word count. Take a look at this little doozie..

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. Proverbs 10:19

As I begin to ponder [and be convicted] by this scripture, I thought of some reasons why I tend to talk too much at times.

-pride
-insecurity
-proving my point -i.e. pride
-uncertain of what to say, so I just said anything...i.e insecurity.

I could go on, but for the sake of your precious time and my precious ego, we will stop here.

Bottom line, ladies...

Let's think before we speak.

Let's pray before we respond.

Let's be okay with awkward silence as opposed to foolish words.

So, on that note, I will end with few words as to not look foolish...


 goodbye in sign language.


jill








Oct 11, 2017

Don't look back...

I have been reading in the book of Acts. The journey of Saul/Paul fascinates me. The early church was rising and Paul was a big part of the mission.

You know about Paul, right? His  name was first Saul and he was a devout Jew. Jesus met him on the road one day and blinded his eyes. Basically, Jesus said this to Paul, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

Saul answered, "Who are you, Lord?"

Jesus replied, "I am Jesus who you are persecuting, now get up and go into the city and I will tell you what you must do."

[Acts 9--go READ. it is fascinating]

The rest is history. Paul becomes one of the greatest disciples and missionaries to ever walk the face of the Earth.

So, let's get this straight...one day Saul [later named Paul] is breathing out murderous threats to all of Jesus' disciples, and the next day he is a follower of Jesus.

Seriously though, this sounds a lot like my every day life.

One day I am a fire breathing dragon, the next day I am ironing my Sunday skirt worshipping in my loudest tone-deaf voice.

Do you ever feel this way?

I hope you said yes. Really, even if just to make me feel normal.

On the days when I am a fire breathing dragon, I find myself in a pit of despair by the end of the day.

The enemy wants me to think I am unredeemable. Unworthy. Useless.

Paul could have felt this way. He could have let his past determine his future. But, he didn't.

He walked straight on with Jesus. He left his shady past in the dust and walked on.

I am sure he left his buddies dumbfounded.

A sweet friend just said to me recently, "when we obey God, there is usually someone that gets their feelings hurt in the process." Gosh, what wisdom.

Aren't we glad Paul didn't look back?

Half of the New Testament would not be written if he would have wallowed  in his past sin.

My past regrets can haunt me at times. I think about things I could have done differently or said differently. I turn it over and over in my head. It will drive me crazy if I let it.

The enemy wants me to live in guilt, condemnation and regret.

Jesus came for me to have "life and life to the fullest!" John 10:10

Paul's past helped him to have more compassion for others. It also gave him a purpose.

If Paul would have had a perfect life from the beginning I wonder if he would have ever been called? Jesus knew Paul would have a heart afire for God because He knew Paul had lived so long in the darkness.

I love how Jesus blinded Saul/Paul with light on that road to Damascus. What a perfect visual of what He does for us.

Once we step out into the darkness and into the Light of Christ, we never long for that darkness again. We want to live in the Light.

But, from time to time we step our toes back in the darkness. We want to go back and pull up what God has redeemed in our lives because we grieve our past sins. Proverbs calls this, "like a dog returning to his vomit". Proverbs 26:11

We are set free. Why would we want to be in chains again?

If we are to live lives of purpose and freedom we must walk with Him, straight ahead. Remembering His Goodness, but forgetting what lies behind.

Oh, Paul, we have so much to learn from you.

Friend, if Jesus has called you into His Light, live there. Walk on with Him.

He has so much in store for you. Immeasurably more than you can imagine.

Tell the enemy to flee when he reminds you of your past. Tell him Who you belong to. You bear the mark of Christ. Redeemed. Forever.


walking on,


jill