When All Else Fails….

When the phone call is not returned. When you’ve reached out multiple times. When your plans fail. Whatever it may be. When you’ve done all that you can do…

We blame ourselves, take criticism to heart, seek to please the unappeasable, wear ourselves thin, burn candles at all ends, over plan, over apologize, overwhelm, and over think. We fear rejection and seek comfort. We wonder why we’re left out and then isolate because of it. We filter our words for fear of abandonment. We worry about the future and squirm over the past.

Can we seek God’s love in the midst? Can we share openly when each one of these come to knock on the door of our hearts and ask Him to answer it? Can we ask Him to usher it out when, even thought we hate to, we swing the door wide open. In our humanness and struggles is where we discover and swim in God’s grace the best.

Maybe it’s not a habit that holds you captive, but a deep sadness. A relentless fear. An insatiable need for control or perfection. An insecurity from childhood. A difficult parent or the loss of a child. A regret. Maybe it’s not what you’ve done, but what you’re scared you may do. Let God in and share. Let THIS be the gateway for relationship. Let THIS be where your intimacy grows with your personal Savior. Let THIS hard painful thorn usher in the beauty of Jesus. Not my Jesus, but yours.

And each time it rears its ugly head, claim His precious Name. He died for this. He died for you. And He died to bring you an eternity of peace from it soon and very soon. Let THIS keep you homesick for heaven. Let THIS be used to the glory of God in your life. Let THIS be what brings you closer than you’ve ever been to the One who made you, claims you, and redeemed you.

If THIS is what brings you to your knees (emotionally, physically, mentally), let it be in front of the cross. Because THIS is why He did what He did…for you.

Because when all else fails…Love never will. (1 Corinthians 13:8)

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Faith of a Child…

Last night I was feeling crummy, really all day. I worked all day, picked up my girls and let them know early on that dinner would be easy and I needed to go to bed early. Allergies, exhaustion, pre-flu, I wasn’t sure, I just knew I wasn’t myself.

They were helpful and understanding. It was the second time that I can ever remember going to bed before them. They are 11 and 6 and I left them on the couch, blew a kiss, closed my door and went to sleep. Having no idea if they would sleep there all night, brush their teeth, change their clothes, anything. I decided they would survive, no matter what, and crashed.

I woke up at 5am feeling much better and stumbled out to the living room to see what the sleeping arrangements ended up being. I found neither one on the couch, but both of them asleep in my oldest’s bed, PJs on, sound asleep, their heads at opposite ends of the bed. Warmed my heart so…

When they woke, I shared how much better I was feeling, completely unsurprised and unphased, my oldest said “Well, we prayed for you, so….” Like there was no other option except for Mom to feel better this morning. Thank you, Lord, for her faith and Your answer to that prayer. We all know it could have gone either way and does often.

Not only did they change their clothes, they brushed their teeth (I could tell by the leftover toothpaste in the sink), she said they also read a book and prayed before bed. Like I always do with them. With me completely dead to the world, my girls connected and shared their typical bedtime routine. And prayed for Mama! All the feels this morning…Lord, I thank you.

Sometimes His answer is “Yes”, sometimes it is “No”. Sometimes it’s “Not Yet”, but He is always faithful. He loves us and hears us. Garth Brooks has a song that says “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers” when he runs into an ex girlfriend after years with his current wife. Truth is, God answered that prayer. His answer was “No”. A no from a loving God is a blessing that we can only see in hindsight and may never understand this side of heaven. Most of our prayers that receive a “No” feel like rejection at the time. But, lean on the truth that God loves you. Lean towards Him rather than away and trust His answers in your life.

Seeing how my girls took care of themselves and each other last night made me proud. Hearing they prayed for me last night was humbling. Seeing and feeling it answered encourages my faith. Thank you, Lord, for Your faithfulness! And for my precious girls that prayed for me without me last night, together. ❤

This Is Me

“The Greatest Showman” is the talk of the box office right now. After watching an outtake that brought tears to my eyes over and over again, I bought 7 tickets. I was going to support these actors. No matter what I thought of the film, the “This is Me” singer was worth my money. Her emotion still sends tingles down my arms and tears to my face.

You can tell she’s been put down. You can tell she’s believed it. You can tell she’s at the point in her life where she only wants real. You can tell she’s learning to love herself exactly as she is and only desires those who do too in her life. You can tell she’s scared to death, but willing to not only stand up for herself, but others too. You can tell she’s finally willing to be walked away from or do the walking. She will no longer cling, hide, or strive to please, she will embrace who she is and who she was made to be. You can tell she owns her weaknesses and imperfections, but won’t let them keep her from singing. Not anymore.

I can relate. That’s where the tears come from, I guess. Maybe you can too. Maybe you’ve been put down and believed it. Maybe you’ve been afraid to speak your mind or your story for fear of false accusations or rolling eyes. Maybe you’ve been told something is all your fault. Something you’d never pick in a million years.

In the movie, she plays the bearded lady. She was hidden from society and called a freak her whole life, even by her family. But, she sings like an angel. They would let her voice be heard, but never her face. It took one man to call her out and celebrate her differences for her to feel valuable. Praise God for the people in your life that do this, and know that even when they feel hard to come by, your Creator celebrates you. You are who you are for a reason. Your trials, conditions, story can be used for His glory. And, He died for you.

We all have a story. Maybe you’ve been harassed, abused, neglected, accused, lied to, lied about, dragged through the mud, laughed at….Jesus, the Son of God, was spit on. For us. He was beaten, accused, and killed a tortuous death…for you.

When the ultimate accuser and liar (Satan) comes to ridicule you for who you are, what you’ve done, what is happening right now. Kneel down and then stand up. Because we can come boldly to the throne of grace and mercy when we need it MOST. And, He is victorious. God already did what He had to do to save us. To claim us. To keep us.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

I claim this scripture. You can too. God looks at each of us in awe, wonder, amazement and love. He made you, not because He had to, but because He wanted to. Lean into that and when you are hurting, get real and honest with Him. Like the day you were born. Can we come to Him with no makeup on our face and no makeup on our situations and say “this is me”. Can we open up to Him and others and say this is where I messed up and “this is me”. Can we ask forgiveness, make amends, change, admit wrong, lay it down and say “this is me”. He loves us as we are, but never leaves us that way. He comes in, reminds us who we are to Him, and loves us so much that our hearts desire to reflect Him. We will WANT to be closest to the One who knows us best and still loves us most.

When you call out to Him “This is Me”. His answer is always “And I love you”.