Understanding the importance of the gift of grace has really helped me respond to the daily dilemmas and frustrations of life in a household of four children. As we go through our days, for instance, I try to be mindful that, to God, relationships are always a top priority. I try to think of ways I can model for my children the redemptive grace and love of Jesus--and also influence them to extend grace to others through their actions and their attitudes.
We have great freedom in Christ. Don't give it up for a yoke of slavery to any thing, any one, or any set of rules! Being a great mom is not about rules or formula--it is more like a dance--moving to the rhythms of life, listening and paying attention to the mood of the music in your children's lives and choreographing wisdom as the words to the song.
I choose gladness and will live fully in this season and grow little by little--knowing God is holding my hand and leading me, as new roles are opening even in this stage of my life—being a mother-in-law and grandmother! Will you join me?
It may be hard to believe, but loneliness has been a constant companion for me for many years. It causes me to ache inside, sometimes, bringing tears to my eyes and a longing for community. I yearn for like-minded kindred spirits-- who also "like" me!
All of us were made by God to do a work in this world that would bring Him great glory and that would point to His light and beauty. We were created in His image, in His spiritual likeness, but with our own personality, skills, messages and drives. Each of us has the opportunity to live out a great story--one in which His power, His love, His light can touch everything we do. But only if we are dreamers--dreamers for His glory.
The difference between desperate and hope is that one life lacks meaning and is just filled with endless, meaningless work. The other life has the same amount of work, but is filled with the anticipation of working hand in hand with God for an eternal result that will truly shape and protect generations. This work fills a heart with the fire to live the impossible.
I have found over the years that many people seem to know "God's will" for me and are free with advice. But I want to hear Him, follow Him and please Him. I am feeling the rumblings in my heart to pull back further from culture and expectations of others to have more time intentionally to invest on those areas that are on His heart, and to make sure I have time with real live people to be personal and focused in my love. But before I make any decisions, I must go to Him to hear His voice.
If we do not keep our heart free from those things that would bring darkness, discouragement, criticism, fear, despair, we will not be able to accomplish all of the other tasks we have planned for our year. He must be at the center of our peaceful and trusting heart. But even as in marriage or parenting or friendship, as issues must be communicated and discussed, so our heart issues must come to the light and be talked about with Him, so that we can declutter our souls.
Home fires, traditions shared, meals eaten in fellowship together over the messages of life, values upheld, histories made and the stories of them told and celebrated are the roots that go deep into the heart of a child to keep them tethered to the truth of the Gospel and the foundations of faith.