The Power of a Memory

“Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns.’ The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved.” Psalm 96:10

God is unmoved. He reigns. He is omnipotent and sovereign. I know the truth of this verse in my head, but my world has been in complete earthquake mode. All of the wheels typically fall off in May, but this Spring’s combination of heartache and stress have left deep purple circles under my eyes.

“I don’t care …fine!”

The door slammed. Round two, day four. The tween years are rapidly rushing in the gray hair. Life isn’t stopping or slowing down so I can devise a plan of attack. It’s exhausting my emotions and frying my nerves. It’s messing with the amount of sleep I depend on, and interrupting hours when the house used to be quiet enough to unwind. Some nights both kids fall asleep on either side of me- one afraid of something and the other sad about something and we are all too tired to have heartfelt talks about it before we fall asleep. 

“Butthole …butthead …” The “butt” themed names continued to trail off as one of my darling children walked away to read her book as physically far away from me as she could get …to roll her eyes and make faces. How dare I tell her she couldn’t have my phone. It’s so great when that happens in front of other people in a public place …it’s my favorite. There’s no willpower, role model or Bible verse that can stop hard seasons and stages. I remember slamming my door off the frame when I was their age, but somehow I thought I had done just enough good parenting to skirt the door slamming issue. The respectful children I have raised are no where to found some days. 

On top of parenting two tween girls, life has piled on injury, conflict, difficult decisions, and air thick with drama in unexpected places. Life is going to be life, and if I don’t find a healthy way to handle the curve balls, I will start slamming doors myself. Or end up with stomach ulcers. When all of the hard, sad, trying, annoying, hurtful and overwhelming stuff reaches a certain capacity, I come unglued in prayer. The floodgates of composure open and the tears stream down my face, relying on the power of Jesus’ name (sometimes at very high volume) to pick me up off of the floor. In those moments, He is faithful to remind me I already have Peace.

Remembering is an important part of our faith. Psalm 105:5 says, “Remember the wonders He has done, his miracles …” (NIV) Our memories, answered prayers, and miracles are powerful. Remember. As a motivation for and focus of worship and the basis for trust- remember how the Lord has remembered.” (NIVSB, emphasis mine.) Compassionate and merciful, He sees us, hears us, and is with us. In the suffering hidden behind our highlight reels, He is palpably present. Psalm 105:39 says, “He spread out a cloud as a covering…” (NIV) to protect His people (NIVSB). His peace shields our hearts. He is constant. 

Constant means unchanging, uniform, regular or invariable. It’s continuing without pause or letup. Who, or what, is unceasing? Can we rely on anything to be regularly recurrent, continual, or persistent? Only God is faithful, unswerving in love and devotion. As we ride the waves of this world, He remains steady.

The dark circles under my eyes can be a badge of honor or a burden of despair. In every situation, I have a choice. And I don’t always make it well. I complain, but Christ is constant. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (NIV) The steadiness of Christ is in me. But I sometimes approach life like a roller coaster, strapping in and screaming when I’m scared and laughing when I’m happy. That’s no way to live. 

Through all of the chaos, Jesus remains constant. Unmoved. He sees me. He hears me. But I need to pause and remember the peace He died to give me. It’s not an easy world to live in. We will undoubtedly feel like aliens on our own planet many days. We’re placed purposefully by an all-knowing God who promises we’re never alone. Believe Him. Matthew 28:20b says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Happy Purple Circles,

Megs

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“Marriage,” a Book Review

“Marriage,” Edited by Curt Hamner, John Trent, Rebekah J. Byrd, Eric L. Johnson, and Erik Thoennes.

“Personal union is the ground for all human being.” -“Marriage”

This book met me knee deep in the frustrating fights repeated in my marriage over the last decade. The educated stance and Biblical root of this book seek to give sound answers and understand instead just a feel good motivation to keep staying positive through it all. It tackles the hard topics, and digs into the foundational cause for many quarrels within and misunderstanding about marriage. I feel more equipped to walk into the next decade of my marriage after reading this book, because I understand why things go wrong and what to do in the middle of good times and bad. 

The contributors to this book were passionate about the topic of marriage, and it’s Christian foundation and institution, and every page oozes it. They wanted to get it right, give people answers to their questions, and affirm and better understand the Biblical purpose for marriage. 

I felt less like an outcast for having questions and problems and empathy and equipping that will help strengthen my marriage.

This book is research heavy and Bible study laden. It’s a good thing! The language is easy to read, and the book is well-organized. For those seeking answers, you’ll find them here! But it takes time to read through it thoroughly. This is not a book to rush through, rather savor and keep on hand for reference. 

From my perspective, I recommend this book to married couples and singles, alike. It’s a book that can be re-read as life goes on, and I believe will be applicable at any stage. 

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Click here to receive a copy of “Marriage.”

Happy Reading!

Megs

The Christmas Bird (#jammed daily devo, day 358)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 358: Keepsakes.

“We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

There is a little statue that sits on my desk. It’s a blue bird with a Christmas hat. I think it DECJAM24was stuck in a Christmas planter sent to my Grandma one year, and she noticed I liked it and told me to take it. Now, it reminds me of her endless generosity and love for her family. For me. Christmas was her favorite, and she was mine.

The wisemen charted stars and knew that when they saw Christ’s star rising, He had been born. From a scientifically proven stand point, they showed up. No cell phones or computers …google maps or Facebook updates. They just saw the star, knew what it meant, and went to see Jesus.

Not having all of the pieces of the puzzle, but enough of them to get there.

Life is full of pieces, and through prayer and time in God’s Word, He will convict and change our hearts on at a time. We won’t be whole until we meet Him in heaven. This little bird on my desk is a piece of my Grams. Until I get to heaven to hug her again, a glance at it brings back how loving her feels. I don’t want to forget how much I love her. It’s like that little bird stores it for me.

God blesses our lives with memories so that we can hold on hope. Christmas is one of them. We have heard the story so many times, that we can almost picture ourselves in the scene. It’s a familiar truth and love that gives us hope. He came. He was here. Now, He’s in heaven …and for all those that believe in Him, we’ll be there someday, too.

Until then, we hold onto the pieces, and work on our own …keeping our eyes on the star in the sky.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for Christmas. Thank You for guiding us through this life, and forgive us for focusing on it more than the one to come in heaven. Bless us to love those around us, and to be a reflection of Your love, to everyone that knows who we are. 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 Piecing,

Megs

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

The Fearless (#jammed daily devo, day 138)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 138: Fear is weak.

“an immoral woman is a narrow well.” Proverbs 23:27

“Did you have fun?” I asked my daughter after she rode the tallest roller coaster she is image-138permitted to ride at her height.

“I closed my eyes the whole time,” she said, pale as a ghost.

It took her the entire summer to open her eyes for the entire ride. When she finally let herself see what was happening, it wasn’t as scary.

The verse from Proverbs today is not one I would have ever chosen to write on, had I not set out to cover the “thirty wise statements.”

Sometimes, when we face the things we are the most afraid of, they become a little less scary. This verse is about an immoral woman. Who wants to talk about that? That’s scary, because I can relate to her. Maybe in facing it with you, here today, the fear of my past mistakes will lose a little power over my life.

The end of my first marriage planted a seed of fear in me concerning what the Bible says about divorce, and what people say about divorced people. The fights in those two brief years were awful, and I ran into the next chapter of my life before closing the book. Divorce and adultery. All of the sudden I wasn’t good enough for the church I grew up in, and that made me question my faith and my worth.

My life today is a testament to God’s grace and blessing, not my good choices. Re-married ten years this summer, I know that a lot of the problems we have today are still remnants of consequences. But I have also experienced the forgiveness and healing of Jesus. Our blessed life is a result of His good grace. In dying on the cross for my poor choices, He lent me another chance at life.

Mistakes can’t be erased, only souls redeemed. When I watch bad things happen to good people, I know I deserve it over them. My mistakes are on the list of top Ten Commandments never to break. If you join me in that club, I want to encourage you today. Jesus isn’t keeping score, so throw the tally list of mistakes away …amplify His voice over all others …and grab onto His hand for dear life. He will pull us out of the well.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for redeeming us from our messes. Thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross so that we can be redeemed and restored. Forgive us for letting fear take root in our hearts because we are afraid You won’t forgive us. Strengthen us to trust You. Help us to have faith. 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 Restoring,

Megs

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

The Christmas Bird (#jammed daily devo, day 358)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 358: Keepsakes.

“We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

There is a little statue that sits on my desk. It’s a blue bird with a Christmas hat. I think it DECJAM24was stuck in a Christmas planter sent to my Grandma one year, and she noticed I liked it and told me to take it. Now, it reminds me of her endless generosity and love for her family. For me. Christmas was her favorite, and she was mine.

The wisemen charted stars and knew that when they saw Christ’s star rising, He had been born. From a scientifically proven stand point, they showed up. No cell phones or computers …google maps or Facebook updates. They just saw the star, knew what it meant, and went to see Jesus.

Not having all of the pieces of the puzzle, but enough of them to get there.

Life is full of pieces, and through prayer and time in God’s Word, He will convict and change our hearts on at a time. We won’t be whole until we meet Him in heaven. This little bird on my desk is a piece of my Grams. Until I get to heaven to hug her again, a glance at it brings back how loving her feels. I don’t want to forget how much I love her. It’s like that little bird stores it for me.

God blesses our lives with memories so that we can hold on hope. Christmas is one of them. We have heard the story so many times, that we can almost picture ourselves in the scene. It’s a familiar truth and love that gives us hope. He came. He was here. Now, He’s in heaven …and for all those that believe in Him, we’ll be there someday, too.

Until then, we hold onto the pieces, and work on our own …keeping our eyes on the star in the sky.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for Christmas. Thank You for guiding us through this life, and forgive us for focusing on it more than the one to come in heaven. Bless us to love those around us, and to be a reflection of Your love, to everyone that knows who we are. 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 Piecing,

Megs

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