A Prayer to Escape Doubt

“For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.” Ephesians 1:4 

(NET)“Are you ready?!”I asked my daughter excitedly as we drove away from the school day and onto a new adventure.“Mommy …” she trailed off in amazement as the ballet company practice came into our line of sight. Nervous, but sure of her dream, she stretched and gazed upon the very thing she had envisioned herself doing so many times.

Our dreams are road maps to God’s growing process for our individual purpose. He chose us so specifically and specially to walk out into the world equipped with the ability He put in us, to spread His love in the way that only we can.

The word chose in the above verse is the Greek word, eklegomai, a verb that means “to choose, set apart, elect.” “It sometimes refers to decisions made by people …but can also signify the electing activity of God according to his divine purpose and grace.” -Mounce’s Complete Expository DirectoryDo we realize, when we walk out into a day filled with clouds of doubt, that the God of the universe is concerned about what we’re up to?

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A Prayer for the Heartbroken and Lonely on Valentine’s Day

In a matter of days after Christmas passes, the retail industry shifts from Christmas trees to heart-shaped chocolate boxes. Those in love embrace Valentine’s Day as another reason to celebrate, while others nurse broken hearts and mourn seasons of loneliness. This may be the year a man spends his first Valentine’s Day without his wife of over fifty years. It could be the premiere of a mom’s new, separated life and broken family. For someone else, the occasion may signify the inaugural holiday since the diagnosis. Others scroll through life wishing for more. Some clutch tightly to the smiles they are fighting for.

Few get to celebrate a soul-filling love. Christ is all we need to live a full life, yet we seek satisfaction from our earthly relationships. We craft, build, counsel, seek, and pedestal-place our significant others and spouses where they are bound to fall. Where do we turn? How do we heal? Does God care about our broken hearts, tear-stains and cracked promises?

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Rip it Off …Love While Healing.

Motherhood is like ripping band-aids off before the wounds have scabbed over. My hurts are exposed before they’ve healed. Before my kids started to grow up and experience deeper hurts, I could leave mine safely covered by the bandaids. While they remained covered and healing, I played in the park and participated in back yard picnics. I strolled down to the water and all over town to explore everything new alongside their innocent souls. 

The Bible says that children are a sign of God’s blessing. My life is living proof.

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 NLT

In ancient times, children represented more than just a possession, as inferred in this verse. They represented heritage, “without children the inheritance of the land would be lost.” (NIV Study Bible Notes.) Our job as parents is to set them on the right path, and keep them on it or as close to it as we can …but the final decision on their direction is up to them. 

My kids didn’t know me before them, or see how becoming the mom they needed me to be pulled me out of a dark season, set me back on my feet and renewed my faith. They were indeed a “more than I could ever ask for or imagine” blessing that I didn’t deserve.

I can no longer hide the places the darkness has touched behind picnics and park playdates. Now, my mistakes have the power to protect my daughters if I cut them in on the healing. The Bible says to be wise we have to share our mistakes in hopes our children are less apt to repeat them. 

“My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgement, for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions. For, I, too was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s child.” Proverbs 4:1-3

This is Solomon, one of the wisest people ever to live, advising his son not to repeat his mistakes. Parent from a place of compassion.

“You’re going to make mistakes,” I told my daughter during one of our after school hear to hearts, “and sometimes things just happen to you.” 

She looked at me as if I couldn’t possibly understand what that was like, so I ripped off a band-aid.

“I don’t like to think about it,” I continued, “but it’s hard to forget.” 

I know all too well how one mistake can taint years of hard work. The pain of loss …the shattering hurt of a broken heart …and the failure to prepare that derails dreams. I’ve lived through everything crumbling. I watched 9/11 happen on live TV. I know what it feels like to travel down a road approved by everyone else …but me …and certainly not God. I’ve been the victim unfair circumstances. I know what it feels like to turn on my heels and run, dig a hole too deep to climb out of, and crawl back to Christ.

In the ten steps it took my daughter her to cross the room, her tears transformed from anger to empathy, loneliness to loved, ashamed to understood.

In the midst of my beautiful mess, God showed me who He made. I’m very careful not to glorify, excuse or leave out the painful consequences of my choices. Nor the unfair kind of pain we suffer from at the hand of someone or something else. As time marches on, mom becomes a little more human. It’s hard for my daughters to believe I could ever be anyone but who they perceive me to be …but it’s crucial they understand who I am. I’m never ready to rip off a band-aid, but I persevere so my kids have a choice to escape the some wounds, and reconcile why others happen to them. Mother’s will do anything to protect their children.

“Why does God let us chose, Mom?” she asked.

“What if we didn’t have to?” I asked, “Or, get to?” 

God is good. He doesn’t need anything from us, but we need Him. When I am tempted to go back and re-defeat myself over a season that God has proclaimed victorious He reminds me, “you are the same girl I have always loved.” 

We are so tempted to equate our worth to our actions, mistakes and accomplishments. Walking with Christ inspires us to do better, but we will never outgrow mistakes and consequences, nor outrun pain and suffering, this side of heaven. 

His love for us never changes. Just like I will never see my daughters or love them less because of mistakes, who we are to Him doesn’t change. What a gift in perspective, motherhood is. 

Happy Healing, Megs 🙂

Megs

“I Declare War,” by Levi Lusko, Book Review

“You can’t live right if you don’t think right.” Levi Lusko, “I Declare War.”

We have no control over the thoughts that enter our minds daily, but we can filter them. Not every thought leads us in the right direction. Not all we hear or think about every day is true. Deciphering lies and distortion between our ears is an important life skill. It can launch us into our purpose or it can severely trip us up along way. This book meets us in that practical struggle, and provides applicable lessons to harness our thoughts.

From beginning to end, Lusko weaves personal stories into four basic lessons that are easily relatable and entertaining. The Biblical roots of the “4 Keys to Winning the Battle with Yourself,” give Lusko’s message strong legs to stand on. After reading it, I felt a little better equipped to walk boldly into my daily life than I did before. It created a renewed sense of purpose and better understanding of how hard work and Holy Spirit power work in tandem. 

The detail of the stories, especially in reference to middle school life and amazon prime, are hilarious and relatable. The book is broken up into four major sections with great take-aways, making it easy to read through quickly. Lusko’s passion for helping others tap into the power of Christ in their lives is evident, and the Scriptural teachings along the way make the inspirational tones credible and applicable. This book goes just deep enough to intrigue and inspire change, but not so much that it reads like a Bible Study or research heavy material.

I recommend this book for anyone struggling with self-confidence, doubt, anxiety, discontent, or for those simply seeking a little extra motivation to dig deep and accomplish everything God has laid out for them to do. 

“Time doesn’t change you, it just makes you more of who you are.” Levi Lusko

Click here to purchase “I Declare War,” by Levi Lusko.

A Prayer for Peace in the Job Search

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:19 (NASB)

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, and you get the feeling that what they are saying isn’t what they really mean? It can be hard to extract a straight answer in this world. We’re so obsessed over keeping the peace and accepting everyone’s truth, that we’ve muddled the conversational waters with FOOP – Fear of Offending People.

God doesn’t operate like this. His Word is Truth. When we are unemployed or desperately seeking for another career to replace the one we have, it can seem hard to understand God’s good plan for our lives. But take His Word to heart. When He says that He will supply all of our needs, He means it. However, it’s not always what we think we need. He knows, beyond our own ability to discern, what we truly need. “According to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

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