How the Cross Changes Motherhood

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I write about being a mom here with the intentions of a fellow or expecting mother gaining from it.

I struggle with the in and outs of motherhood though. The need for my progress to be compared to the next and my lack thereof.

Motherhood is a redeeming road.

One that shows grace to us before we ever ask….through eyes that trust us no matter how many times we’ve lost it.

There is something amazing about those stubb little toes and flimsy ponytails creeping down to the basement door because the bad guys are lurking and they’ve named themselves ninja’s. Yet I can’t deny that there are bad days and down days that sometimes drain the life and emotion from me.

The one’s where depression sinks in because the duties kill the Joy. Constantly picking up after my children, telling them to be responsible, quoting family rules and the importance of togetherness. Dealing with strong wills day in and day out…it all becomes blurry and then I miss the beauty in my life.

This beauty…..

That the cross changes how I live my life everyday. And is ever sustaining and freeing me from the too high bar that I set for myself. And then God challenges me to see the brush that he’s painting with. The art in the life of this journey.

How do I serve well without letting the stresses of mother hood bring me down? How do I pull myself from that bottomless pit of mom blues and see this art-the cross and its ever-changing me power-to see the picture of-grace laced parenting.

The great part of this is that we have so many components to look at when we think of what Jesus dying on the cross symbolizes. It is not just a safety net to catch us when we fail but allows us freedom to embrace our weakness and Christ’s love for us and our children. To see through eyes of unfailing love and redemption. We can leave our failures and our hang ups at the cross and walk in the truth of it. That we are not perfect but Jesus is and is continuing his work in us so long as we allow him to. He gave us strength to combat the voices in our heads that say we are failures and our children are a burden. Strength to endure through the long hours and 24hrs on call. Joy to serve well. The cross brings us no condemnation and encourages us to forgive ourselves and stop comparing ourselves. Jesus and his cross brings us a new meaning to “waking up this morning”. He called us each to our own journey. No two look the same though similar. Our walks are all unique in his eyes for his glory.

Motherhood can quickly look like imprisonment if we don’t seek out the truth of it.

We must be committed to God and his word, repenting and reapplying daily. So that the cross-that Jesus carried and died on-symbolizes our newness and glorifying him purpose. Jesus foresaw our purpose that day-that we are not perfect for roles that he called us to and weak in them but because he is strong we can be too and choose persevere through the tough days with gladness. The cross foresaw that we are fearfully and wonderfully made to reflect Christ’s love for the church through our mothering and most importantly sinners in need of a saving Savior.

My husband heard something profound recently “that we have the same holy spirit that Jesus and Paul had….He has experience! He knows what he is doing!”

And we need to trust that. That God created the process and will has given us help to press through it. We are not alone. We have a helper.

But the helper, the holy spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

John 14:26 (nasb)

Jesus gave us purpose by modeling a perfect life on earth and perfect love on the cross. Through his death he gave hope that we can model that same love and life to our families. No matter how many times we mess up. We are raised to life in him.

He gave us freedom check and balance our lives by his word.

Your righteousness is and your law is true.

Psalm 119:142

Jesus gave us accountability through his death. The word of God, which he fulfilled that day, exposes our hearts in love and provides direction.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Hebrews 4:12

The cross gives hope- that Christ is perfecting us through this journey. That he is fulfilling his purpose and love through us and to us by making us holy- sanctifying our souls through the messes of daily life.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:1-5

The cross gives us joy in the fact that God is not finished with us yet. It is a reminder of the grand scheme of things.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.              2 Cor 4:7-10

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.             2 Cor 4:16-18

As mother’s we need to make a daily decision to allow the cross to impact us deeply. In essence the cross should influence how we think and act everyday because our lives were ransomed for purpose and change. We need to practice and pursue, repent and live again and let the Lord guide our lives through his word.

Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119: 105

In truth the cross changed us by washing us clean and giving us grace to try again.

How will you choose to let the cross change you?

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Waiting

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I haven’t had the chance to sit and write stuff like this often. Mostly because it requires me to be still and think through my thoughts. I struggle sometimes to write an unorganized version of a post though most of my writing is not structured at all. But today was an exception to that.

One morning this week I was graced with quiet time. I mean a real one. One where I had time to be intentional about the time I spent. I so often spend these moments doing one last thing before I spend time with God and then when the time comes I’m rushed or hurried and missing the time to be still before him. Resting isn’t easy and realizing that some things aren’t that necessary isn’t either. With young kids moms are apt to thing that a lot is necessary.

However, this particular morning I wanted to be intentional about working from a state of rest. So I took my mind off of what the day needed to get started and how my kids needed to be up for school at 7 and I took advantage of the quiet indulging in God. And I found myself struggling….to put yesterday behind me and get on with today. Why do we do that? We have a Savior who says give me all your burdens and worries and fears but yet our need to be in control warrants that.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. Psalm 62:5

This verse stood out most. Especially the all that I am. This made me think of making myself available to God-because I can’t give all that I am if half of me is there. With my whole being I need to submit to God and wait for him. In quiet. In hope. Allowing him to search the deepest parts of me and find that I’m all in.

And it went perfectly with my morning because God doesn’t want me to leave him at the back burner. He wants to be first. He desires intimacy with me in the sense that I am before him waiting, listening, speaking. I was so determined to put him first here and wait. Even if the words didn’t come quickly.

The Greek word for wait is perimeno with peri meaning all around and meno meaning to remain or abide.

-Regardless of what’s happening around me my soul will remain steady steadfast all in before God.

Waiting is hard especially when suffering is evident but trusting that God created this process called life, family and motherhood and that his plans for us are for sanctification through the process can keep us from the temptation of guilt and heaviness. When we remind ourselves that our roles are important because HE called us to them and that we are raising image bearers we can kick Satan and his talons to the curb. Be encouraged to wait on God in whatever season you are in. I encourage you to fall in love with God and his word for your soul and for the souls around you.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

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Linking Up With: Titus Tuesdays, Joy Dare

Word of the Year

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I’m so excited for all that God has in 2015. It was a busy 2014..busy but fun! Each year I have been picking a word to study and dig deeper into for the entire year. This word is as much for my family as it is for me. I try to walk through this with them in family life as the year progresses.

Last year my word was slow and here is what I learned:

Slow for me represents a life surrendered, a life in love with God, a life obedient, a life in worship.

Living slow is a mindset, a lifestyle and a gift. I achieve that by planning to be intentional and creative with my time, surrounding myself with smarter and like-minded people, and making sure that’s God’s will of sanctification in my life is evident through accountability to my husband, my family, my community by actively living out his word and continuing in relationship. This is how I can live slow. To know that God’s hand is out for me, not just when I fall but all the time. So my weariness and hard days, when guilt won’t release me, won’t flourish because I know that I am his precious daughter and he gives grace to me by holding his hand out for me.

This year I picked the word joy.

Joy is an unending satisfaction in the Lord..an appetite no sin craving can fulfill.

How many have trouble suffering well? (Hand raised) I do. It’s in my sin-filled nature to only see what hurt’s me or ticks me off and not see grace as an opportunity for all. Not only that, it’s in my sin-filled heart to lolli-gag when I’m supposed to be working hard or find it hard look to Jesus with a glad heart when it hurts.

Looking to Jesus when it hurts, is overwhelming, looks to hard or is difficult. That is not always easy, but God provides a way that is wiser, to navigate through it. I want to learn to look to the hills from whence cometh my help, love when I shouldn’t be, be diligent when life is crazy…with a glad heart. That is key. Jesus did it, so can I. Why? Because I abide in him, and him in me. When I confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart that he was Lord of my life, my sin-filled nature was redeemed by his blood and raised to life in him. He gives me strength to ask for joy, strive for joy and count it all joy ( James 1:2-4).

So this year I will be unpacking what it looks like to live in the joy of the Lord, doing life well by suffering well, and allowing that to spill over into every area of my life.

Do you have a word for the year? How do you dig in?

howtotrainasuperhero.com

Linking Up With: Titus TuesdaysLiving Proverbs 31, Joy Dare