The “How many more…?” (#jammed daily devo, day 196)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 196: Hope rises.

 His is the greatest of plans and the deepest of comprehensions.” Job 12:13 (VOICE)July 15

“How many more days ….?”

They start asking as soon as we get home, and don’t stop until we’re in the car on the way back …when they then switch to …

“Are we there yet?”

Missing family that is far away never gets any easier, but we do get used to it. My kids …and my husband and I …have learned to trust God’s plan for our lives over what we want to happen. And for that, we have all become stronger …and closer …to Him.

“To God belong wisdom and power;
    counsel and understanding are his.” Job 12:13 (NIV)

There are going to be many things in this life that we are not going to understand. Through every heartache, we grow closer to Jesus. Everyday is a countdown of sorts …knowing that with every passing day we are one day closer to hugging Him in heaven. And whatever He has in store for us along the way will only add to the suspense. This early place starts to feel temporary as we grow closer to Him …and home.

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Father, Praise You for the things we don’t understand in life. Thank You for trials that strengthen us. We confess that we almost always react with resistance and emotion when life blindsides us, but ask You to strengthen our hearts and draw us closer to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

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The Piece (#jammed daily devo, day 195)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 195: What’s missing?

 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people.” July 141Samuel 2:26

Finding peace is a process.

The story of Samuel, a prophet of the Old Testament days, is endearing to me because he was an answer to prayer. His mother, Hannah, was unable to have children …and mocked by her husband’s other wife for it. When Hannah went to the temple to pray for Samuel, she was so lost in earnest prayer to God that the priest thought she was drunk!

When we allow the deepest and darkest hurting places cry out to our great God, it moves His heart. Hannah had a son. After she released her angst to God in prayer she felt immediate peace. Before God answered! What great faith in  God’s promise to hear us.  She named her son Samuel, and when he was two or three years old, Hannah took him back to the temple to give him to the Lord’s service …as she promised she would.

How could Samuel grow in anything but “stature and in favor with the Lord,” with a mom so strong in faith like Hannah.

Not every prayed-for answer mirrors Hannah’s exact experience. Maybe Hannah believed that having a child was her missing piece, but after her prayerful experience with God in the temple, realized that peace was what had been missing all along.

When we trust God with His good plan for our lives, we experience Peace. Why do we look around in comparison, yearning for what we don’t already have?

Maybe, we’re just missing Peace.

Maybe, we’re missing Jesus. Freedom and peace await an agenda surrendered to the foot of the cross. 

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Father, Praise You for Peace. Thank You for Jesus’ death on the cross, so that we may live in pursuit of Your calling on our lives. Forgive us for wanting our plans more than wanting to know what Your plans are for us. Bless and heal our hearts to trust You, and be more like Jesus’. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Chin Hair (#jammed daily devo, day 194)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 194: Who does it bother?

“You will not have to fight this battle.” 2 Chronicles 20:17July 13

When she asked me if I had a pair of tweezers, the last thing I expected my Grandmother to tell me was that I was the one who needed them …for a chin hair that she so graciously pointed out to me. Of course I hadn’t noticed it. At the time, I was up to my elbows in diapers, lucky to catch a glance at the mirror when I brushed my teeth.

There will always be some matter of criticism that we have to endure, whether from family and friends or complete strangers. But not every piece of unwarranted advice has to be hastily applied to our lives. When we feel overly picked a part, it’s time to remind ourselves who God says we are.

Loved. Called. Worthy.

Regardless of a stray chin hair.

In today’s verse, God is encouraging the people not to worry …they will not have to fight the military battle that ensued …the Lord would deliver them.

 “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17 

Often, when under attack, our first instinct is to panic. The red flush of embarrassment burns in our cheeks and our stomachs lurch as the snickering ensues. When that happens, as it will in this life, we must remember whose we are, and what He says.

“Go out and face them…”

When we are tempted to turn on our heals and run, Jesus waits to walk hand and hand with us. We are never alone when we walk through life with Christ. He died so that would be the case.

“the Lord will be with you.”

It was true for the army in 2 Chronicles, and it’s true for us today. Jesus was, is, and ever shall be, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

When we are up against offense, He is there to fight for us. God sees when our hearts have been hurt, and defends His beloved.

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Father, Praise You for Your loyal love. Thank You for defending us and accompanying us through life. We confess the times we don’t come to you, and instead feed our anger and pride. Remind us to lift our pain up to You in defense. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Slippers (#jammed daily devo, day 193)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 193: Set apart.

 Now if you will hear My voice, obey what I say, and keep My covenant, then you—out of all the July 12nations of the world—will be My treasured people. After all, the earth belongs to Me. You will be My kingdom of priests, a nation holy and set apart.” Exodus 19:5-6 (VOICE)

Slippers. They, in themselves, are both the comfort and the confines of motherhood. We leave them on as we hop in the car to drop our kids off at school, accidentally show up at Bible study in them, cruise the aisles of Target as if nothing is out of the ordinary, and cumulatively decide to leave them on for girls night in.

Amidst the exhausting days when our kids are sick or wont’s sleep …that drag into weeks and sometimes months …we’re much too tired to care if it’s acceptable. Maybe that’s part of what sets us moms a part. Our confidence to leave the house in our slippers.

In today’s Scripture God called His people to be set a part. They would need confidence, because it would be hard. And time and time again, they would ditch their comfy slippers and choose to be like everyone else, instead.

 you—out of all the nations of the world—will be My treasured people

Do we want to be treasured? We’re called to be. Set a part to be. Jesus died so that we could stake our claim as God’s chosen people. Through His Son, He made a way for our sin-soaked humanity to return to His presence. It’s hard. When we confidently place our lives in His hands, we walk into the Light that’s always been ours to bask in.

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Father, Praise You for calling Your people to be set a part. Thank You for Jesus’ sacrifice, which grants grace to all who believe. Forgive our lack of faith, and give us courage to give our lives to confidently to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Little Quarrels (#jammed daily devo, day 192)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 192: One foot in.

“Give us a king to lead us.” 1 Samuel 8:6July 11

God’s people never needed a king …they had God. They often failed to see how set a part they were always supposed to be. Samuel is fielding this request, and he tries his best to persuade the people otherwise. But, they would not be deterred. They really wanted a king like everyone else. They really wanted to be like everyone else.

A similar shortage of self-worth is played out on playgrounds every day. Childhood can be very much about who we fit in with unless we are on a mission to let it be otherwise. As parents, we can’t protect them from every setback and harsh word spoken, but helping them navigate through misunderstanding with kindness is key to keeping them set a part.

Just like Israel misconstrued, we shouldn’t assume that life within “that” group is so much easier. We don’t understand why they don’t ask us to play and try to change so that they will. It’s OK to admit. It’s human nature. In fact, that’s pride rearing it’s ugly head in warning.

When guiding kids through friendship, I believe with all of my heart that kindness and forgiveness come first …even if it leaves us feeling momentarily defenseless.

God is bigger. He tells us that He will defend us …fight our battles and be there for us. He hears our cries, and tells us to love above all else. Teaching children how loved they are for who they are, and how to hand friendship over to God in prayer, allows them the opportunity to trust their King, instead of looking for affirmation elsewhere.

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Father, Praise You for parenthood. Thank You for leading and guiding us as parents, and as friends, ourselves. Forgive us for rising up in anger when we are wronged, and remind us to bring every situation to You first. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.