Jun 25, 2018

Do Not Open, yet......

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 
Matthew 6:21


There's an envelope in my bedroom. It's tucked away in a safe place.

I haven't shown it to anyone except my son.

The envelope is filled with his senior picture proofs.

Normally, I would show them to all the world, smiling from ear to proud-momma ear.

This time is different.

I am not ready to show them to anyone yet. I am still treasuring them in my momma heart.

Eventually, I will show them to people. In my time.

I remember a scripture in the bible about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I think of it so often.

It reads: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19


Jesus had just been born. The Shepherds had come to visit. They were worshiping and praising the baby King Jesus. Mary looked around and must have felt the most overwhelming love swell in her heart. 

A love that escapes words. 

A love that can only be understood in the deepest depth of your soul. 

A love that only God Himself can understand. 

Mary treasured and Mary pondered. 

With the world of social media, treasuring and pondering is a rare commodity. 

We don't have time to do either. We instantly express whatever emotion we feel at the moment and blast it out for all the world to see. 

But, there is something precious about treasuring and pondering.

There is something holy about a love so deep and a feeling so strong that we have no desire to share it yet with the world. 

A sacred love. 

Mary surely felt this. She alone was the mother of this baby King. She alone was the woman that would get to raise this child and watch him grow into an adult. 

Sometimes, words are not meant to be spoken. 

Sometimes, words are meant to be treasured and pondered. 

Between God and between us. 

Just the two of us. 

There are moments in my marriage that I feel this sacred love. Moments that I bury deep into my heart to store. Hidden treasure. 

There are moments with my children that I feel this sacred love. When I don't log on to instagram to document it. When I just sit and treasure up the moment. Hoping that for one second the world will stand still, and this memory will stay buried in the treasure chest of my heart. 

There are other times. 

Like, when we do something that no one else sees. Serving someone that cannot return the service. Helping someone that will never give us the credit for the sacrifice. 

These times are sacred and holy. 

These stories are often just to be known between us and God. 

Sometimes we can even treasure grief. 

We can feel so much pain over the loss of someone or something that the pain can only be understood by God. Our words fail us. But God sees. He hears when nothing is spoken. 

We treasure not the grief, but the memories. We remember. We ponder. We bury more treasure into our heart chest. 

So, I will keep those senior proofs in that envelope for a little while longer. 

I want to continue to treasure and ponder.

Until the time is right.


holding those pictures close for now, 


jill











Jun 21, 2018

Who's King of your heart?


The one thing I ask of the LORD--the thing I seek most--is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in his Temple. Psalm 27:4


My daughter's voice teacher, Christa, is working on a new song for Presley to sing. The song is called, "King of my heart". 

As I listen to them from the other room practicing the words, the tune, the technique of this beautiful song, I pondered this question...

Who or what is the King of my heart?

I can tell you with honesty it hasn't always been Jesus. 

He has been a close second at times, but I can look at a calendar and point to a particular year and tell you exactly who or what was king of my heart at the time. 

I remember not too long ago one king in particular.

I wanted more children. I so badly wanted to adopt. I felt this stirring in my heart and I prayed for years and years for God to fulfill this desire. 

My husband did not have the same desire. I begged and pleaded with him to pray with me about this and he was very adamant that he did not feel like we should add more children to our family. 

I was devastated. 

I began to have bitterness towards him, and towards God. 

Why would God put me with a man that did not share my same desire?

Tear stained journal entries filled the pages of my life. 

My heart began to grow hard toward the Lord and toward my husband. 

My desire for more children became an idol. 

It consumed my thoughts. It weighed on my heart heavily this emptiness I felt that could only be filled by more children. 

I could go on and on...

There have been many kings of my heart. 

However, until I began to truly desire only One King...my life was not fulfilled. 

The Lord slowly began to help me unclench my fingers from this desire. It was a long process. 

I didn't want to give up that desire. It had become an addiction almost. It had put a wedge between me and the Lord and me and my husband. But, I didn't care. I just wanted what I wanted. 

I began to pray the same prayer as David prayed in the verse above in Psalm 24. Over and over I prayed this prayer. 

I also began to pray, "Lord, your will be done. Not mine."

Those are some of the hardest words to pray. 

I began to see how God was fulfilling the desire for more children in different ways than I had imagined. Like, when kids from the neighborhood would constantly be in and out of our house. Sitting at our table night after night for dinner. Or, when my nephew came to live with us for 3 years.  Or, helping in the classrooms that my kids were in. 

I began to see that the stirring to help children was much broader than I had initially thought, and much different than I had planned. 

Isn't that always like God? 

We must trust God with our desires, and trust Him with His timing. This will come much easier when He becomes our first desire. The King of our heart above anyone or anything else. 

Desires are good, but they must never be bigger than our desire for Jesus. 

We must constantly stay in the Word and in prayer in order to untangle the desires that stir our hearts. 

Who or what is King of your heart?

Ask the Lord Jesus to be King. Every single day seek Him and talk to Him. Ask Him to put in your heart desires that only come from Him. 

Ask the Lord to remove any desire that is not from Him, and be willing to lay it down. 

He has better things for you than you could ever imagine. 


dethroning any other king of this heart, 

jill



Jun 19, 2018

Maturing Momma...

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. Matthew 14:19



I am really, really trying to cherish every second this Summer. My oldest will be a senior this upcoming school year. Did I hear you gasp? Yeah, me too.

Today, I looked at my calendar and it said, June 19th.

What???!!!

Already the time is getting away from me. Once again, Summer makes its entrance and just as soon as it does, it bows back out for the school year.

Back in my day, you know the world of black and white, we had 3 full months of Summer. School did not begin until after Labor Day.

Ugh. Don't even get me started.

Ok, moving on.

My son works during the week, then of course, he wants to hang out with his friends as much as he can when he is home.

Which leaves not a whole lot of cherish-y time for dear ol' momma.

Here's what I am learning though...

I am thankful for the moments I do have with him. Even though they are few and far between many days.

Instead of trying to manipulate time and break my back trying to force things the way I want them to be, I tell the Lord I am thankful.

I am thankful when I see him laugh.

I am thankful when I see him work.

I am thankful when I see him act silly.

I am thankful when I sit across from him at the dinner table.

I am thankful that I get to check for change and who knows what in his shorts pockets when I wash them.

I am thankful when he comes to me and sits down next to me and just hangs with me on the couch.

Having teenagers forces you to change your focus. I could whine and cry all day about missing my "baby", however what good is that going to do?

Instead, I choose to smile and say a prayer of thanks to the Lord.

Life moves on.

It continues to change.

Day by day.

Hour by hour.

We may as well accept it.

Maturing in motherhood changes your vision.

You begin to see the child become the adult.

It is really quite amazing.

The talks you have with your growing up kids....gosh, they are just priceless.

As I was reading in Matthew this morning, I came across the scriptures of Jesus feeding the five thousand.

The disciples were anxious and doubtful. They wanted to send the crowd of people home because they did not have enough food to give them.

Jesus assured them they would have enough.

Jesus gave thanks to God for the food....

And they all ate

20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:20-21

"and they were satisfied."

When we give thanks, we become satisfied.

Giving thanks creates a peace in the soul that brings contentment.

I am satisfied with my children growing up.

I am content with the way things are now instead of hanging on to memories that will never return.

A thankful heart frees up discontentment and it allows joy to harvest.

Is there an area of life that you are struggling with?

Maybe a child? A marriage? A friendship?

Commit that person to the Lord and give thanks for them. God will do a miracle in your heart.

Just like He did with the five thousand.


still maturing,


jill











Jun 14, 2018

Who do you hang with?

The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'  Matthew 25:40

For the past several Summers I have veered away from my bible reading plan and read instead the  gospels of the New Testament.

Each and every day that I read a passage, I have to stop. Take a breath. Take it all in.

I read slow. Sometimes I don't even finish a chapter. I look deep into the words. I try to visualize the scene.

With each passage, another treasure uncovered. Just when I think there is no possible way of getting anything else out of a scripture, the Lord reveals something else to my awaiting heart.

When I read about the Pharisees, I tend to tighten my lips and feel a pang of oneness with them. I have been like the Pharisee. I have been like a whitewashed tomb. White and clean on the outside, but full of dirt on the inside.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. Matthew 23:27

I cringe ate  the thought.

The times when I thought that rubbing elbows with church people could make me clean. The times  when I thought that if I said the right thing, and did the right thing, then that was all that mattered. Forgetting that God saw my heart.

Before I found the Grace of Christ, I thought I had to muster up goodness. I thought I had to strive and work, and pretty up for God.

I remember the first time I served in a homeless shelter. For the first time in my life, I felt home.

It was the strangest thing.

I felt free.

I felt like I belonged.

I felt like I had found my people.

What in the world?

Yet, as I read through the New Testament, I am reminded of who Jesus spent his time with. Certainly not religious folks. They knew the old testament inside out but had no idea the true meaning. Their lives were on display for humans instead of on fire for God.

Jesus hung with the least of these.

The ones who were forgotten.  The ones who were shunned. The ones who were not thought highly of. The ones who society did not accept.

Those were Jesus' people.

When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners." Matthew 23:27

Jesus knew they needed Him. Jesus knew they were hungry for Him.

The religious people were too starved of humility to realize their need for Christ.

White washed tombs. 

Something awakens in our hearts when we hang with people that cannot do anything for us. Something happens in our souls when we hang with people with no agenda and no desire for something from us--except maybe a warm meal and a kind word.

A flame ignites.

We become closer to Jesus when we get closer to the least of these.

Who are the least of these in your life?

Is it someone you see but have never really "seen"?

Lord, open our eyes. 

Let us see what You see. 

Ignite our hearts with the desire to be in the company of those that the world rejects. Because, those are the ones you welcome, Lord.