Surrender

howtotrainasuperheroI sat down for quiet time with the Lord and I proceeded to turn my rusty bible pages to Proverbs.

A little background:

It’s not everyday that I get to sit down to this quiet time, and to be honest, some days my bible barely makes it open. So this year I’ve asked the Lord to renew my thirst for his word and help me to be a little more diligent in showing myself approved. I’m so excited about this because God has truly been meeting me in this place of quiet with him.

Anyway. In flipping to get from James to Proverbs, my eyes caught the words of Jesus dead center, so I decided to ask the Lord if that is where I should be.

Undoubtedly quiet time is about more than just being still. Everything that makes this idea possible is listening.

I read:

Matthew 8:18-22

When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.  Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”

Matthew 8:22

But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”

I don’t know what it was that kept me at this place but I was stuck on verse twenty-two. What was the meaning of this? And essentially what was the Lord wanting me to understand?

And then I read the commentary..

It is possible that this disciple was not asking permission to go to his father’s funeral but rather to put off following Jesus until his elderly father died. Perhaps he was the first-born son and wanted to be sure to claim his inheritance. Perhaps he didn’t want to face his father’s wrath if he left the family business to follow an itinerant preacher. Whether his concern was financial security, family approval, or something else, he did not want to commit himself to Jesus just yet.  Jesus, however, would not accept his excuse.

Jesus was always direct with those who wanted to follow him. He made sure they counted the cost and set aside any conditions they might have for following him. As God’s Son, Jesus did not hesitate to demand complete loyalty. Even family loyalty was not to take priority  over the demands of obedience. His direct challenge forces us to ask ourselves about our own priorities in following him. The decision to follow Jesus should not be put off, even though other loyalties compete for our attention. Nothing should be placed above total commitment to living for him.”

Most would agree that the man wanting to be with his father was a valid excuse. But in my mind I can’t help but think, “this is Jesus here.” The alpha and omega, beginning and end calling this man to serve alongside of him as a disciple. Yup, this man was clearly out of whack!

But as a mother this is me. Never able to bring my mind fully to the king of kings. Why? because my mind plays subject to so many other things that are happening around me. There’s basketball practice’s, menu planning, serving my husband, household projects and more . Not forgetting that Jesus is my priority but not making much effort to make him that either.

Just one more thing needs to be done before that time with Jesus. And before you know it, my quiet time with Jesus or those moments of listening and meditating are victim to a tired and weary momma.

In reading this I can already think of some things that need to be surrendered to get more time with God or to stop and realize those little beauties in life that God has given.

Challenge:

What in your life is God calling for you to surrender just to be with him? What can be less to give God more?

Live on purpose,

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Linking up with: wedded wednesdays, playdates with GodTitus2sday

I Confess I’m an Imperfect Mother

It’s so funny how this came about. Years ago I had plans to write a book titled Confessions of A Teen-aged mom. Don’t ask me what happened, I guess life took its toll and the book got lost. It may still come about one day.

I had plans of writing how my first child came and living through the pain of being shunned from my previous church. There were chapters on midnight feedings and how I was too tired and fell asleep breastfeeding. Along with many other chapters like anger and children, confessions of a single mom, suicidal roller-coaster and the like.

I feel like I’ve been through it all. I’ve got battle scars to prove my journey. Two failed relationships, one failed marriage, custody battles, living paycheck to paycheck paying for daycare and private school on my own and fears through the marriage I am in.

I’ve been compared, knocked down, looked over, mentally and emotionally abused and what have you. Who hasn’t?

Nonetheless, this day I get up every morning with new hope and a greater vision to seek God’s best in my life and the lives of my children.

But I am not perfect. I just laid that out. I’m not the screaming mom that takes single leaps in a bound when my boy’s cry. I am not the super organized mom or the mom that has her child in 10,000 biblical activities through the year. I’m not the mom that never catches an attitude or wakes up super early to start breakfast. I second that. I am certainly not the mom who get’s all her house work done, home school’s perfectly, nurtures perfectly or loves perfectly but these are very broad subjects.

If the chance comes I’m making a pizza and calling it dinner. I try to limit T.V. but sometimes, when I’m tired, there are pajama days. Sometimes dishes are left in my sink and the dirt on the floor may linger a few weeks.

Sometimes I don’t get dressed or even brush my teeth (don’t judge me).

But who is all these things?

Who has it together all the time? And if you do, then you are your own Saviour because there is no need.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

I fail and I fall. You got me. But I’m still growing. That’s the important thing.

I’m so imperfect and yet so glad that I am. Because through these imperfections God shows me how to slow down and catch up on life, the fun free one. He shows me to depend on him for his strength, his wisdom and his control. Not to compare myself to another mother or woman and what he has set before them. What God has given me is for me.

My crazy busy life, my personality, my husband, my struggles, my children, my ridiculous strength, my annoying yet amazing family, It’s all for Nykiah, because it’s apart of his work within me and the end of the story.

I am imperfect but He is stronger when I am weak and greater in my vulnerabilities. I am exactly what he wants me to be and how he needs me now. So that his glory can be completed in me. I’m just a dented, chipped, puzzle piece learning how to fit in his plan and stand where he wants me on the stage. I’m dress rehearsing for the real thing when all my responsibility will be to bow down and worship the king of kings.

I didn’t use to can but I do now. I never made pizza dough but I do now. I don’t have any girls, but I have boys. I don’t have a huge house but I have one. I don’t have long hair, but it’s healthy. I don’t always say the right things but I’m working on it.  I love God and I love people. Isn’t that really the point of all of this? Aren’t these really what the Lord has asked of us?

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22: 34-40 (ESV)

So while I’m focusing on what I’m not and who I could be, He is looking at greater things.

Praise God if another mom does more than me, praise God if another mom does less. We all have one thing in common, Jesus, his love and his work; Or that we love what we do and we are crazy for doing it!

I hope you can see your imperfections as another reason to give Christ your life. For someone already perfect needing nothing, it wouldn’t be a lot.

Trust him today and walk on the path he has you. Whether crazy and blessed or worst and a mess. Trust Him. And by all means, rejoice with other moms and women for their strength, humility and work that they were called to! (In other words, don’t hate, congratulate!)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

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Linking up with: Wedded Wednesday and thebettermom

HOPE FOR THE WORKING MOM

howtotrainasuperhero

We work like a dog all day. We come home without chance to unravel what our mind has been trying to comprehend since early morning.. to bright faces with missing teeth asking and begging for our attention. So we put our bags down and scoop up a handful of motherly love and our night shift begins.

I know how you feel….To not have enough time to spend with your children because most of your night involved your commute home.

And I know it gets worst.

You feel overwhelmed and under heard. Your mind is set to accomplish your many tasks of the day and before you know it your precious baby ended up watching T.V all day….but you got all your work done. You’ll do better tomorrow. But tomorrows to-do list looks just like today’s.

Motherhood. It has me down in the dumps. Too many times I’ve yelled for them to stop yelling at each other. I’ve sat them down to stare one another eye ball to eyeball. I’ve enforced punishments that exited their favorite’s. I’ve tripped over the last toy I can take and I don’t really feel like cooking. I’ve been doing laundry for the last three weeks and there are too many deadlines to meet. I’m tired and cranky and fighting for grace.

Motherhood.

Who called me to this?

God did. From the beginning of time he commands me to raise my children and nurture and care for them. He commands me to be their mother. (Genesis 1:28)

Times get tough. I lose a few marbles or some of them get loose. I lose sight of the benefit of serving and caring for my family.

2 Corinthians 4:1-18

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
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.
Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.  All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
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.
This passage is titled Treasures in Jars of Clay.
What does that mean?
Possibly that somewhere underneath all the lack of sleep and to-do lists, God is molding and shaping us for our benefit…for his.
Perhaps that our families are being likened to his glory. So just think of it like this. Through all the rubble is a treasure to be held. One that marks eternity as it’s destination. So while you’re going crazy half the time. God is working. perfecting you, them. He holds the clay and kneads it well…And in the end it turns out to be just like he imagined.
So don’t be weary in your well-doing. Let patience have its perfect work. God’s gift and call can never be withdrawn. (Rom 11:29) He made us for this.
So there’s hope for us. Us working moms.

Lessons from a Dreamlite

And so it began. The lights went out and I heard no noise. Only the sound of two giddy little boys watching their dream lite. For some reason the way it lit up the Nightly overhead really calmed them and made them feel comforted. It  mimicked the beauty of Gods natural creation and there was peace in that for them. Fast asleep they went and I never heard another peep.

Dream lites? Huh. Who would have thought? I pondered the note I’d typed and plastered on their bare paneled wall.

(Listen thing that’s scaring me! Go away when I count to three! One..Two..Three!!  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind -2 Timothy 1:7) God is BIGGER than the boogie man.

God is bigger than the boogie man. Gee wiz.

That means he’s bigger than the worries that I have. Or he’s bigger than the goals that I set.

But tell me something. If God is so big why can’t I trust him?

Well yes I trust him. But not with everything. You see, I forget that it’s not my world. I forget that I don’t call the shots and I end up calling them. I pick my job.  I pick my car. I pick the street that I will walk down. I pick the future I want my children to hold.

In perspective, how would you feel if something that you created to do a certain thing…did the opposite?

How would I feel if the thing that I created needed  troubleshooting and it wasn’t returned for repair?

The dream lite, it was created to mimic beauty. It was created to fulfill the feeling of being surrounded by the night sky filled with twinkling stars-the bright moon. It was in essence created to mimic creation and God’s view of it.

In the same way I was created to mimic the work of my creator. I was created with his interest, his attributes and his style. I was created to represent his unique outlook. I was created to mimic my king.

But sometimes, I look like me. I look like my image and that looks blurry.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I’m broken and I need repair, I’m exhausted and I need relief….but I don’t take my issues or my jacked up heart wrapped in pride and selfishness, soaked in self-righteousness and self gain, back to the manufacturer. Nope I try to fix it myself. I try to sticky gloop all of my issues. I stick them in the microwave and apply too blessed to be stressed! I give my heart away to the world and all its pleasures.

But the funny thing is,I never void the warranty. So even after all the junk I do. All the corners I cut, I can take my broken heart, my wretched soul back to the creator.

He will take the bandages off and expose my heart in its natural sinful state and he might frown at the dint’s and bruises that I got from being mishandled but he will remember what I’m supposed to look like and go to work like a potter shaping clay, and mold me into what he envisioned for me to be.

So why don’t I trust him?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

That dream lite will never look the same to me. It will remind me of how God put the stars in the sky and how he knows each of them by name. It will remind me that he created me just as beautiful and that he designed every nook and cranny to reflect him.  It will remind me where my contentment lay and those giddy little boys were made to be loved and from that I’ll give everything I have to say Thank you.

-Choose Love

How to Train a Super Hero {Beginners Edition}

Since the year 2013 rang in, there have been a number of ways I feel the Lord has tried to get my attention. Over the past few weeks I’ve been going through learning about grace, patience, love and the depth of those two from the cross.

When I look at my boys I immediately notice their differences and the importance of me catering to their very “different” needs. What a year this has thus far been!

In previous posts I’ve explained how different my boys are and it’s not until this week that I’ve truly taken in their “boy.”

So when I think of my blog title I think of the reasons I named it what it is and those reasons didn’t start out with the deep meaningful background that it stands on today. I was going for a supermom theme-cute type name. But never could I have imagined that God would reveal far more greater things to me through blogging.

So what exactly is a super hero?

When we think super hero we automatically recollect on red capes, big ripped overly exaggerated muscles, ridiculous voices, spider webs being shot all over the house  and the sound of “not so fast!” being used as a term of endearment.

Merriam-Webster defines a super hero as: a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers;also : an exceptionally skillful or successful person.

In real life my superhero is not so fictional. Instead he walks with a crown of Glory-one that he got through proving his love to the world. My super hero has suffered the scars of sin and affliction that were not his own. My super hero pushed me out-of-the-way of death when I was entrapped to a life of turmoil and mischief.

This man, this SUPER man sat at the beginning of earth with the Lord being Lord, came down to earth to experience my pain, my grief, my sorrow, my temptation, my sin; hung his head in love and rose to assume the role of Christ once for all to all people. My super hero is Jesus–and he is real.

You see, when I look at my parenting and as I look to rearing my children in the right direction, I can’t help but think “I’m not training them to be robots that adhere to all the standards of society, I’m training them to be like Jesus. My child rearing should be pointing them to JESUS and teaching them a daily lifestyle of confession and repentance. It’s important for them to know where they stand and where God stands so that they understand their roles in life as they grow.

What does that mean? What does life under the SON look like?

Life under the son is developing character and living in full submission to his lordship on a regular basis. It means we understand our lack of perfection and need to be rescued.

For so long I have tried to figure out ways to practically teach my children by sitting them in front me and reading the entire bible to them. But I realized that my children are watching me. They are learning how to love God and how to serve others through me. They are learning accountability and suffering, character and love through me. I can’t come to grips with that enough. That’s so overwhelming!!!

Training up my boys in the fear of the Lord means also that I need to understand them. What are their weaknesses, what are their fears, their strengths, their likes and dislikes. My oldest son very often falls into the line of people pleasing. He’s often too worried about what others think of him. I pray hard daily that the Lord will help him to understand his value as a young boy and the importance of his role as a growing man. My littlest is strong-willed to the point of no return. I pray daily that the Lord will break him down and help him to be humble. I’m still actually learning on that one. LOL

One thing I’ve learned in my journey of mommahood is to never stop praying and giving myself up to the Lord because when I do I miss things that are crucial to serving my children. Also, never to stop praying and giving my arrows up to the Lord. It’s a daily process that makes me grow so weary at times.

I fail. I forget. I yell a few times, I get exhausted, and I ask sometimes why me but that’s mothering. It’s a huge job.

I’m learning how to train a not-so superhero-Jesus’ way.