“You are loved”
The man stood at the roundabout as we headed into the school, holding a sign with these three words.
One boy’s first comment was, “Oh no. What happened now? They always have those signs out after something bad’s happened.”
“A violent hope broke through and shook the ground . . .” (from “For the Cross,” by Bethel Music)
We sang a new-to-me song during our church service this past Sunday.
There was this one line that challenged me to re-think my version of hope.
I never thought about hope being violent.
This word has always struck me as a gentle thing, like a quiet rain falling or a pastel sunrise.
I think this is one of my favorite images of Christmas. We celebrate the amazing gift of Jesus in the manger. But the even greater gift came as Jesus offered Himself in our place on the cross. What kind of love is this?
It’s the kind of love that leaves me humbled and feeling small. And yet, knowing I’m loved with that kind of passion fills me with a deep-down joy. As Christmas draws nearer, I am taking a break to spend time with my family.
Know that you, my readers, are a great gift to me as well. I thank God for you. May your Christmas be one that holds much joy, leaves you with treasured memories, and confirms that truth that you are greatly loved by our heavenly Father.
I’ll see you back here on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 (can you believe it?!).
I suspect I’m not the only one who’s done it.
Who’s donned a mask for one reason or another.
Sometimes I’ve done it to impress others.
More often though, I’ve placed that mask over the real me because it felt safer to have people look at the image they thought was me than the picture of the actual me. Living as the real me was too dangerous.
Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—MORNING. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!
Walking through our season of infertility felt like stumbling through a long night.
The despair I sometimes grappled with, the questions of if we would ever become parents.
The darkness of focusing on self rather than God took me to some scary places.
When He showed me that having a child had become my idol? Oh, that hurt. But that was also the first crack of dawn in the darkness of my soul. Whenever God shows us that our hearts are set on something else, it hurts.
Sometimes we need the hard words of His truth to help us return to His light. When we focus on other things, whether it is an unmet desire like mine, or anything else that takes our eyes off of Him, we begin to walk in shadows. If we continue on that path long enough, we wander into full night.
Sometimes, God allows us to walk in those dark places for a little while. Sometimes it takes walking in darkness before we begin to see our need for Him. When our hearts are hurting, when our minds are confused . . . that’s when we need His light the most.
God is a compassionate God. His lovingkindnesses are new every morning. His compassions never fail. Even when we don’t understand why He’s allowed us into the place where we are, His faithfulness is great.
Sometimes, it takes walking in the dark of night before we can truly see the beauty of His morning light. Before we can experience those loving kindnesses He gives us each morning and through each day.
When He opened my eyes to see the idol I had made of motherhood, I could see the darkness I’d placed myself in. Then, I could choose to walk in His light. We can each do this, every day, when necessary. We can choose to walk in His light, rather than darkness.
I had a hard time focusing for this word, for some reason. There’s so much that comes with morning, but I think the thing I like the best is that His light cracks the dark of night, instilling us with His hope, and giving us the courage to walk forward with Him.
What about you? How have you seen God shine His light in the middle of your darkness? What helps you to walk in His light?
I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Morning
I had just walked in the door after dropping kids off at school. I was so ready for a quiet morning, time spent with Jesus, and getting a couple things done before heading into the busy-ness of the day.
I’m a candle-girl. I love the peace a flickering flame and a pretty scent add to my home. I grabbed a jar candle by the lid from the pantry, and stared in horror as the thing dropped to the floor, shattering the top portion of the jar of my brand. new. candle.
I’m seeing a pattern with one of our sons. He summons my attention, usually with just a grunt or some cute little sound. Without fail, it’s when I’m in the middle of a thought, or having a quiet time, or I’m trying to write something down before I forget it.
I’ll be having my quiet time, and from my doorway I hear, “Mama!” Or a grunt. Honestly? Too often, my first response is a heavy sigh. I turn, because it’s expected, and make eye contact with the boy.
His storm rolled in on the heels of a decision I made that he didn’t like. These storms he goes through always lead to dark places for this boy. First, he got mouthy. After ignoring a warning to take a step away from the situation, he went in for the attack, his words aiming to wound.
The door slammed as boys clambered out of the car. And gave me my first full breath since my guys had awakened on this battle-of-the-wills morning. Sniping and snarking had sapped my joy and irritation had replaced it.
God tried to get my attention with a beautiful sunrise, but one boy had already been snappish by then, and I ignored the colors.
Well, not totally.
By Jeanne Takenaka
When we were deep into our walk in infertility, I struggled with discontentment, I yearned for a child weighting down my arms down. A wee one to nurture. It became my daily—no, hourly—prayer. My cry when my body revealed I was not pregnant. The sorrow and grief of being denied what my heart was designed to yearn for about broke me.