“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” ~John F. Kennedy
1, So, silence that inner critic and don’t be afraid to strut your stuff at the gym.
It doesn't even matter how much or out little "stuff" you have to strut.
That voice that's telling you that you can't...learn to recognize it!
2. Begin with simple goals that make you feel good.
Ask yourself what your "fitness" goals are, not just weight loss goals.
There are even apps to help you condition and get from the couch to your first 5K.
3. Eat Clean, Train Dirty. Just reading that will make you feel more powerful.
Eating the right combination of super foods for you, such as fresh produce, , lean protein, and grass-fed dairy will give your body the energy it needs, protect you from chronic diseases, and may even whittle your waist. Whatever diet plan you're on, keep it balanced
4. If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.
Doing the same workout or eating the same meal might be convenient, but for the results you want, it’s good to spice up your regimen and try different fitness activities. Mix it up!
5. Wow, I really regret that work out. (said no one ever).
No matter how big or small the workout, you’ll feel energized, strong, and confident afterward.
6. Sweat is fat crying! Turning up the heat on bacon makes the fat melt off!
Work up a good sweat doing your favorite workout, whether boxing,running, or strength training. So tun up the heat!
7. It never gets easier, it just gets better.
It's hard to eat healthy all the time and stick to a workout plan. It's work!
But, the more you do something the easier—and more enjoyable—the moves become.
The same goes for healthy eating. We know you can do it!
8. Do it for you! Believe in yourself.
You are worth it and it will make you feel amazing. Each person has their own time and pace when it comes to working out,losing weight, or adopting healthy cooking styles. Accept it and keep going.
9. Remember why you are working so hard.
You will have that day where you are sitting in your car thinking about going back home.
You will find you are too tired some days or have too much to do.
Remind yourself every day why you work so hard so when these defeating days come, you are prepared.
These were all things I told myself daily, did daily, and strive for daily.
We all fall off the wagon when we don't know what our goals are.
A friend asked me last week, "What are your fitness goals?"
I honestly did not have any.
2 years ago I reached the goals I had set and never set new ones.
That's when I realized my struggle with my motivation came with
Number 1 & Number 2.
So, I pulled out my planner and started penciling in my workout times, I found a great app, I asked for advice on my personal fitness goals and now I'm all set.
It starts tomorrow.
Nah, just kidding.
It starts NOW!
This morning during prayer I approached the throne of God and asked for wisdom. In the quite darkness of my mind He showed me a tomb; dark, cold, empty. Then I had the vision of walking from another perspective. Kind of like when people wear cameras so you can see what they see. I saw feet, on a path, walking in not a hurry, not with excitement, but not slow. Just steady and heavy. Then I saw the tomb again. Then Jesus.
I will be 40 in less than 2 months and conversations I’m having is that I am going to embrace it but at the same time, out of the same breath my joints ache. The reality is, we can not predict our earthly death. It could be in the next moment, year, decade, and so on. However, how I approach my day with Jesus just ahead of me changes my walk, my posture.
The end game is up to us. That is the control we are given. We get to decide if we are laid into a tomb of death or into the arms of Jesus with life. All other things in life we think we control, they first had to pass through the hands of our God before we could be touched by them. That meaning, this life, the hard stuff and good stuff all serves His purpose. Our posture through the hard stuff and the easy stuff makes all the difference.
When you take your next step, breathe your next breath, how will your posture look? How will your walk tell where you are headed?
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the good news I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures...
Have you ever experienced perfect love?
As women, I think we have in our minds what it would be like to be perfectly loved. We imagine soft strokes of our hair, tender kisses on our face, being held tightly, and so much more. The relationship we look for is undying, safety, provision, and security. We can close our eyes and imagine how our hearts could be perfectly loved and when we open our eyes reality is in front of us. Our husbands can not be all those things all the time. What if I told you that there is One who does love you in such a way, all the time, and who is ready with open arms to be all that your heart needs.
During prayer today I was overwhelmed with love of Jesus. I always ask the Spirit to teach me. I feel as though as I am approaching 40 and having been in church my entire life, I am finally allowing God to unravel all the things that are not true, that are not of Him, that are religious in nature and not about a relationship. New terminology is entering my life, my prayers are more passionate, my hope and faith are now found in Him and not others. So much about my spiritual walk is morphing into a dance with Jesus.
During prayer today I saw, in my minds eye, a girl kneeling in her prayer closet, face covered by her hands, bowing before the Lord in fervent prayer. I asked for clarity and I was suddenly looking over this girl in my own prayer closet. That girl was me. Like so many times during prayer my body language is that I'm trying to squeeze out answers, to put pressure on God to answer prayers, to just sit in a fetal state and rock with expectation. It's tiring. Exhausting sometimes.
Then, something different happened. I stood up and dressed in white (yes, white because if you know me you know I own nothing white) and I began to twirl. Arms open wide, like the wings of an eagle, and I danced. My body freely moving and spinning. Like when I was a little girl and would spin and spin but always just before losing control I would stop. Only this time, I was losing control and suddenly I was swing with arms out and holding my hands were the hands of Jesus. We were yoked together and all I could see clearly was his face. Everything around me was spinning as we danced. I lost all control and let Him lead. I didn't fall, I didn't land. I just enjoyed His presence, His control, His enjoyment of being with me. Then when it all stopped. He pulled me close and kissed my face. I am His and He is mine.
I tears I thanked Him, I thanked God and I thanked the Holy Spirit for showing me this kind of love. I have NEVER seen Jesus as loving me this way. While God is my Daddy God, my Abba, and so much more, I am a bride of Christ. He loves me perfectly, just the way I am. I was overwhelmed by this realization. I have loved Him for what he did for me on the cross but it wasn't until today that I felt His love wash over me the way He intended it to be.
As I rose up from prayer, all I wanted to do was share this with others, uninhibited and purely sincere. Sisters! We are loved! We are loved beyond an earthly love or feeling. We are cherished down to our very being, our soul; and our Savior wants nothing more than to dance with us. Let Him take control. Become yoked to Him and forget about what the world would have you do. Let Him take control of this dance in this life's journey; be led by Him. Keep your eyes on the One that loves you. He is calling us to Him.
Jesus Loves Me
I was lost
I was in chains
The world had a hold of me
My heart was a stone
I was covered in shame
When He came for me
I couldn't run, couldn't run from His presence
I couldn't run, couldn't run from His arms
Jesus, He loves me, He loves me, He is for me
Jesus, how can it be, He loves me, He is for me
And it was a fire
Deep in my soul
I'll never be the same
I stepped out of the dark
And into the light
When He called my name
I couldn't run, couldn't run from His presence
I couldn't run, couldn't run from His arms
Jesus, He loves me, He loves me, He is for me
Jesus, how can it be, He loves me, He is for me
He holds the stars and He holds my heart
With healing hands that bear the scars
The rugged cross where He died for me
My only hope, my everything
Jesus, He loves me
He loves me, oh
Jesus, how can it be, He loves me, He is for me
He loves me (He loves me, He loves me)
He is for me (He loves me, He loves me)
My God it's amazing oh
Jesus loves me
Songwriters: Christopher Tomlin
Blueberries are one of my very favorite fruits. They grow wild around here. I have a friend that made me blueberry jam recently and I ration it's deliciousness.
When the Lord speaks to me on matters of my heart He does so in many ways. One way is through vision and dreams. This evening I found myself tested a bit. A bit heated. A bit under fire. Often times I do not like my own spontaneous reactions. They aren't pretty when I let a situation get the best of me. However, the Lord showed me an image of fresh blueberries on their bush waiting to be picked.
He was quick to remind me that when you cook or mash a blueberry you actually get the color purple. So I asked friends what they thought of when presented the word purple and the answers were such a variety but the one that stood out was Royalty. Jesus.
So, I looked up a bit on the color purple. Some say it's significant because red and blue make purple. Some point out that the color purple was expensive to use as a dye. Some pointed out that Jesus was clothed in purple before dying on the cross. What I thought was interesting was was red signifies the blood and blue signifies the law or even heaven.
What the Lord needed me to recognize was that when this fruit is under pressure it exudes purple. When I am under pressure I should do the same. I should remember Whose daughter I am and Who paid the price for me to be free. Nothing should come out of me that does not represent who I am. I am a daughter of the King of kings.
My demeanor under pressure should be that of royalty and excellence; prestige and nobility. I should believe that my Father who holds the keys to His Kingdom has also given me access. I should believe that no weapon formed against me will prevail. I should remember the wealth He has bestowed in this life's journey and that which He has prepared for me with Him.
He lives and rules in the hearts of those who are His. I am one of those.
Having received forgiveness through His blood, we will one day enter into Heaven and see our King in all His splendor.
His tiny "blue" berry reminds us of Whose we are.
I don't know why I write. I feel like most of the time they are just ramblings in my head and I just need to get them out. Occasionally, I receive a kind email or comment thanking me for sharing but for the most part this is just an empty space for me to pour out.
A few days ago I took my middle Little to the dentist for a routine cleaning. Not knowing how long it would be and knowing how my heart was burdened I carried my Bible and journal in with me to the waiting room. As I sat in a corner chair next to the video games to be close to my child I opened my Bible and for what ever reason I thought 2 Timothy sounded like a good book that morning. I love that my Bible gives me a little background knowledge of each book so I can relate to the author and to whom he is writing. This day, I happened to pick a book that is a letter that Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy, his friend, someone he cherished.
I couldn't get past verse 7. I just kept reading 2 Timothy 1:1-7 over and over and underlining words as they grew in importance, I research the footnotes and other information about the women he mentions and the letter began to blossom. As I was sitting there reading they called my Little's name and he went back to see the dentist. He skip hopped back and that was reassuring. For some kids they don't always have a positive experience and it only takes one bad experience at the dentist to ruin it all together. In their hearts they will always believe that something bad could happen again.
In these verses I read Paul reminds Timothy that he has a job to do and it needs to be done. But before that, he expresses his love and belief in Timothy's abilities. He builds Timothy up by reminding hi of his experiences and his heritage. God did not give the spirit of fear.
As I thought about those kids who are afraid and those who are not I thought, you know, it really only takes one bad experience for a person to lose all trust and many, many good experiences to gain it back. So, I thought to myself concerning my own life, "Self, what are you afraid of? God did not put a spirit of fear in you. He gives you power, love and sound mind when you have faith. It's because of your faith that you have these things. So, what are you afraid of?"
When our Lord Father thinks of us He does so with a love that would overwhelm us and we should remind ourselves that we have a legacy to leave in order to for our children to have a heritage to look back on and be reminded of.
As I type much of this from my journal and fill in the gaps I am reminded that just this week, just a few days ago my #faith was threatened. It's times like those that make me rethink or think about why I express my faith so openly. Is it so that I open myself for attack or that I open the possibilities for Christ to reach people's hearts. If I believed the first, I would stop writing and sharing about Christ. I would because I don't like confrontation at all. I don't know what to say in the midst and so I am shaken. However, my fear of rejection is not real. God did not put the spirit of fear in me, experience did.
How should I respond when I feel as if my faith is threatened? Just as Paul suggested Timothy to respond. Respond with love, strength, and sound mind. The Bible is story after story of God's people overcoming rejection by the world. The stories are full of power and miracles Take Daniel for instance...His faith in God set him free, delivered him from the clutch of hate.
I pray that God continue to rescue me from the clutches as I fight the good fight and share with strength, love, and sound mound. I pray He rescue me until my work is finished.
As my husband and I are moving closer, day by day, towards the adoption of our foster babies God has been opening up scripture and circumstances He needs us to be aware of.
Today while sitting in my car, like many moms do, letting the toddler finish her nap, I opened my Bible. I always love to let it fall open and I just pray the Holy Spirit use the scripture to reveal God to me. He truly never fails.
My Bible fell open to the Book of Esther.
With any adoption there is a process. An individual, relative or not, is taking on the responsibility and role of parenthood for a child that is not their own. Mordecai adopted his younger cousin Esther after the death of her parents. He assumed the role of father in her life. Just like Joseph assumes the role of earthly father to Jesus and recognized him as his own son in the eyes of God and man. This gave all traceable heritage and rights through Joseph to Jesus. (Matt 1:1-25). He was then assigned legal claim to the Davidic throne.
Spiritually, we are the children of God by way of adoption just as Jesus was the child of Joseph by adoption. The process of adoption gives the adoptee full family standing and rights. (Romans 8:17-17). This process and exchange is legally binding, God-blessed, and divinely authorized for passing on family inheritance. (Gal 4:5, Eph 1:5)
I have read so many negative comments from adoptees recently and even those from birth mothers that would break your heart. The brokenness that must happen for adoption to occur can cause trauma for all parties. The only answer to healing of that brokenness is Jesus.
Adoption describes a believers relationship with the Lord (Gal4:3-7, Eph 1:1-6). When person excepts Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit completes the transaction of adoption on our behalf. As women and men we become the daughters and sons of He, our Abba (Daddy God). As God's adopted daughters and sons , we will inherit a perfect home with Him and are given immediate access to Him for comfort, direction, and provision. He adopted us with love and pleasure that will never be revoked.
This morning on my way to church my 15 year old son was sitting next to me with earphones in, mad. James , my husband, had to work today to be off Friday, a VERY important day for our family. So, it was on me to make sure we were at church. As typical on Sunday in our house, an argument broke out and some behavior between brothers was less than favorable (I'm being very vague here, I know).
After some words back and forth my boy put his headphones in and I thought "Doesn't matter what Sunday, any Sunday morning someone is arguing before church." (Get behind me Satan)
I've never raised a teenage boy before. I am treading in new waters and I have two more coming up quickly behind the first. For a few weeks I have asked about book recommendations, prayed, read devotionals, and asked for advice on raising boys. I've tuned into my Titus women whom I respect for raising godly men. Still, today I gripped the steering wheel and prayed a silent prayer that I do better with my actions, reactions, and words. Any momma's feeling me?
Is it true that if your teenager isn't mad at you, you're doing it wrong? Does it have to be that way? I can not stand that my oldest son, as good and responsible as he is, is mad at me. I want him to understand why I do what I do because it's out of love and to see that I just want the best. Isn't that what we all want?
I pray over my children so often and ask for so much wisdom. Today was no exception. As I walked into my Sunday School class after delivering all the "smalls" to their appropriate locations I took a deep breath. It actually felt good to expand my chest and let it all out. I was handed the prayer request book and scribbled down "wisdom on how to raise a teenager" and a few others and passed it on. I sighed again. It felt good to sigh.
I opened my lesson and my Bible and after a few minutes my friend and teacher stood up and wrote "With Love...." on the board beside her. She was referencing how we are supposed to do everything with LOVE. Then, as God does, He started transforming the words coming out of her mouth to be exactly what I needed to hear. She said something about her coworkers and "building them up." What I heard was "everything you say to him should be to build him up, never to tear him down." That's it!
It's so easy sometimes to hurt others when you're offended or your toes are stepped on and especially since teenagers have such "big feet" and seem to step on toes often.
Build him up with words of love.
We forget that sometimes correcting wrong behavior doesn't have to be with discipline and consequence but sometimes we can use the opportunity to remind our sons and daughters of who they are, that they have a purpose, that they are loved and that they are important. Sometimes all that lashing out and hormonal anger just needs us to dissolve it all with loving kindness and words of wisdom that make them better people to build them up.
It's not easy.
It's worth it.
Proverbs 16:24 says that "pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the souls and healing to the bones.
This is the verse I choose to meditate over. Like my friend and teacher says "as you mediate, God will take you deeper and peel back the layers." I am praying that it is so.
Foster Care | Savings, paying off debt, making room, filling out paper work, training, classes, home inspections...so many things to do to prepare, to feel prepared.
It's just a feeling.
You just want to be ready. God has it already prepared but we can't see it so we do as much as we feel we can and hope. We spend time preparing, sharing, and praying, those are the 3 things that we do.
The beginning process of fostering is like standing at the edge of the ocean shore. All the work behind you and you look out on the ocean with hope. There is an ocean waiting for you to enter.
But before you do, you built sand castles. Tedious work, thoughtful, but fragile and beautiful but right on the edge. Then when you are ready...You are dipping your toes in the water. You are looking out over the vast waters. They are beautiful and deep. Jesus is calling you out. He wants you in the boat.
The ocean is SO big and beautiful, the sounds are soothing and the rhythm of the world is at your feet. The sands shift under your weight, it moves around your feet as you step out into the ocean. At first it is warm, it is thrilling, it is magical...then you step a bit further and you see the life beneath the waves that is watching you, that is curious, that keeps its distance. You may or may not be able to see the ocean floor and the waves could be pounding but you know, if you can just get past the crashing waves there is a rolling peace in the deep...you just have to tread. A little further and you find that you begin to feel weightless and less in control, that you can sink your body under the surface, under the service, still touching the bottom and still able to bounce up and breathe. So while the treading seems easy at first and the waves are behind you, the billowing of the oceans lifts and drops you up and down. Out in the deeper waters it can get so deep you can't even imagine how far down it goes. Have you thought about the boat? The danger rises and your faith shakes. You want to turn back but at some point you are too far out. Even your calls for help can't be heard...but they are heard. Because in the deep is where you find Jesus. In the deep is where you want to be. It's where you were called.
The day comes...
Foster babies or children arrive. What's a mother to do? While out in the deep waters you scoop them up and put them in the boat that's waiting. They're safe in the boat. But their baggage. That stuff they brought with them, the hurt, pain, neglect, drugs, withdrawals, trauma, brokenness...its all baggage. What's a momma to do? Carry it of course.
So, you do.
The waves rise and fall and you're in the deep waters and you're treading hard. The boat looks safe but someone has to hold the baggage. You can't climb in a boat with baggage. So you tread. You sink awhile and you swim awhile. You see Jesus. He's offering to help. His hand reaches out but "you've got this". Just pray about it. Pray for that strength and endurance. He'll give it to you.
That's not what He wants to give. He wants to take.
Then, it happens, when nothing else works. You sink. You're sinking and you can't let go. Your arms are wrapped so tight to that baggage that's bringing you down. You're drowning. You see shimmers of hope above you but how can you get there?. How can you find the surface? Then you hear it. That still, small voice say "let go".
LET GO! Let go! let go...
You relinquish your trying and you open your arms and you float to the surface. No struggle. Just float up. As you surface you see Jesus. He's there like he's always been. Just above the surface. He takes your hand and puts you in the safe place...where you belonged the entire time.
Breathe. Oh breath of God. Breathe.
When you turn and look at the shore, it is beautiful. You realize you'd been building sandcastles all these years. Staying where it's warm and safe. You have looked out over the ocean and marveled at it's vastness. You continued to enjoy riding the waves and building your sandcastles.
Aren't they beautiful?
Wait! But where'd they go?
Time, rain, waves, storms, wash them all away. What was most important. What was ever lasting?
Moving your feet towards the waters can sometimes be the hardest part. Taking that first step is most important. You can enjoy the ocean for as deep as you like but Jesus wanted you in the boat with your eyes on Him always. If you pick up the baggage after He's called you out, you sink.
So, because it is new and your don't know what to expect you sit on the shore line.
Stop building sandcastles and dreaming, and put your eyes on the deep.
As we move forward we are going to continue to witness the devil and his evil spirits come under attack. The last thing he wants is for us to raise up a daughter or son of His, a princess and prince in His kingdom. We will pray daily, call on His name, ask others to pray, and have faith in Him.
There is a Bible story about King Asa of Judah, he did what was good and right with the Lord. He removed the foreign alters and smashed anything that was dishonoring to God. He brought peace to Judah and the Lord gave Him rest. When it was time for battle, he called on God for help.
"Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty." 2 Chronicles 14:11
God helps the powerless. Powerless is exactly how I know I feel at some point. In the mean time, we have decisions to make regarding our home and family. We have to get ready so that we move forward in peace and when the time comes, when the devil attacks, we can rely on Jesus.
...we will find Him in the deep!
If there is one thing that I struggle with, one thing that holds me back, it is the lack of consistency.
Consistency matters but only in the things that matter, right?
I can rattle off to you every aspect of my life that feels like it falls short of glorious and lack of consistency is what keeps it from being so. Maybe because it's not meant to be so.
Some other words for consistency would be words like diligent and rigor. Neither of those sound much like me at all.
kiss my babies.
hug my husband.
feed the dog.
The list of things I consider myself doing well could grow quite lengthy.
So why do I let the short inconsistent list bother me so much. Why do I fret over it and let it hold me back.
I don't consistently....
put away laundry.
clean out my car.
mop my floors.
I could go on and on with that list too but it would still be fairly short.
This short list is the one I dwell on.
I could lose weight if I'd stay in the gym more, if I run more, if I eat healthier all the time.
I could feel less overwhelmed if I could find the boys underwear or my favorite pair of shoes.
I would feel more worthy if I remembered birthdays better or called my friends more often.
The reality is, whatever is important to me is what is easily consistent. What is easily done well are the things that matter most. What doesn't come so easy truly weighs me down.
I want my running goal to matter more...but it doesn't.
I want my jean size to go down...but it doesn't.
I want my floors to not be filthy EVERYDAY...but they are.
So, I dwell and worry. I fret and frown. I scold myself and others. I blame my inconsistency on a husband short on time or kids who are well...kids.
Then one day...today...I look up from the pile of bills to file, the craft supplies ready to be organized, the desk that is a mess & I realize that it's all good.
Eventually, my consistencies and inconsistencies will shift when needed and some may never.
I realize that everyday I have to fight. I fight for my life to be what it is intended to be.
I fight the evil one who wants me to believe that my inconsistencies are what hold me back.
Did you know that fight has been won already? But I still feel the need to take a jab or two in his direction.
When in reality the inconsistencies are just evidence that some things are just not as important (at this moment) and worrying about those disrupts the things that are. They are a distraction from the things I do well and do right.
I know I'm not the only person out there who feels this way.
It is simply time to get out of our own way y'all. . It's time to let God handle the things we can not, handle the parts of our lives that are not consistent until we can become consistent at them. That is if we're even meant to actually bother with them. There may just be a reason for them not being so.
So with ever inconsistency we need to give it over to God. He is waiting there ready to BLOW OUR MINDS with what He can do with it. We're going to stop putting limits on a limitless God!
The enemy is going to allow us to hear peoples negative remarks, looks of disappointment, and feel rejection. He wants us to feel like all of these circumstances are hopeless and there is no way out. Why would He want to do this? So, he can bind us to the things in life that don't matter.
I serve a God that is greater, bigger, and more magnificent that I could ever imagine and He promised that HE can do exceedingly, abundantly more than anything we can imagine for ourselves. Ephesians 3:20 What we let go of, God will do greater with it. He has better for us. We only need to believe and let go. Like an anchor that's sinking, we are holding on tight to the things in life that are eating away at us. Let go and float on up. He's there ready to take your hand so you can walk on the water..and be amazed.
All of those inconsistencies of life that are distracting you from what God has waiting; from the joy, from the happiness, from the fullness of life, let them GO! Because on the other side of consistency is FREEDOM! The things you are good at, that matter most is where you freedom lies...right behind consistency.
You will find freedom in the things that matter to you most. The love for your family will set you free. The love for your purpose in life will set you free.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. Proverbs 13:4
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
So my friends, let go of the things in your life that are causing you pain, hurt, & regret.
Believe that God created you to be more & that He has more coming for you.
Step out of your comfort level & focus on Him & the consistencies that truly matter.
Stop beating yourself up, that's not for you, that's not what He has waiting or intended.
Seek Him first!
Consistency matters but only in the things that matter.
God has been all over me to dig in His Word today. As I sit down to do some reading I decide it's probably a good idea to start with the book He keeps pushing towards me today...Exodus. So I open up to Exodus and my eyes fall on a section called "Bricks Without Straw" and this part of a scripture...
"...They are lazy, that is why they are crying out..." Exodus 5:8
Lazy...hmmm, where did I see that word today? Oh yes, I remember, in my vintage "Anti-Satan Kit" I just bought at one of our little antique stores in town. I saw it and had to have it! The card that I pulled out first was "Laziness", I even took a picture of it to show my finds earlier today.
The card read...
"Relax. You need your rest. Besides, what can you do?..."
God had told me recently to stop crying out and just move forward, so today was better than yesterday. What I've found is, that the busier I am, the less time I spend with Him and so I get frustrated with the balance of trusting in Him and spending time with Him (which can feel lazy) and then working and moving forward. It's a hard balance, let's face it. It's simply not true that we are lazy when we spend precious time with Him.
Then I read this... "Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies." Exodus 5:9
Lies (according to the Pharaoh) being that we are to take time to worship our God and spend time with him. Make the work harder by making them collect the straw. Like a ton of bricks, yes pun intended, I realized that my work gets harder as a distraction. I'm doing all the "little" things that God could be handling. When it feels too hard or that I'm being drawn away from my time with Him, then that work is fruitless. It's time to rest and be refilled.
MAKE BRICKS! Make Bricks! make bricks...
The scripture makes it very clear that the Israelite's were to continue making the same amount of bricks, everyday AND that included collecting the straw to go in them. Just because the Pharaoh added to their work didn't mean he wanted them to produce less...this was all on purpose.
As a mom, I deceive myself into thinking I can do everything. My kids should have fresh hair cuts, their clothes should be neatly hanging in their closet, their meals should all be healthy, the house should always be clean, and so on. As a wife, I do the same thing. I picture every mom or wife I have seen through the years and admired. I remember my mothers immaculate house, my friends polished children', the friends whose clothes look dry cleaned, the meals the magazine moms make, and I mentally punish myself for not being the best, better even, and I question my abilities. Did I remember all their dentist appointments, are the doctors bills paid up, is the toilet paper in the guest bathroom...is it clean.
i need to was dishes...MAKE BRICKS!
I have phone calls to make...MAKE BRICKS!
I have dinner to cook...MAKE BRICKS!
I have fold laundry...MAKE BRICKS!
I need to match socks...MAKE BRICKS!
Sometimes, it feels like I'm expected to make bricks but first there are 100 other things I need to do first. The Israelite's had to gather straw first to make their bricks, their work became harder but God had a plan for release.
A great lie...
All those 100 little things are necessary in order to make my "bricks" and my work complete but are those little things keeping me from worshiping my GOD! My God who is capable who gave me the verse Psalms 121:1-2. Where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord. I am lying to myself when I tell myself I can do it ALL!
My friend says "I can do all things but I don't have to do all the things."
So, while I need to keep making my bricks for now, God has claimed victory for me if I'll release and let Him help. He will accomplish more than I ever thought I could on my own. Exodus 6:6
Oh and don't forget...
The straw, while very important and very much needed could be collected by someone else...delegate!
I won't always be making bricks.
I am a momma to 5 beautiful souls, birth mom to my 3 boys, adoptive mom to 2 sweet babies, wife to my high school sweet heart, and daughter to my King. I love to write. I am no scholar but I love my Lord and He helps me.