Friday, August 31, 2012


I am not generally a worrier.  I am pretty laid back and deal with things as they come.  But as any mother knows, a good amount of worry comes with raising kids.

1 Peter 5:7 is a fairly well-known verse from the Bible.  "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."  It is almost one of those 'cliche' verses that gets tossed around too often without people stopping to really appreciate the true meaning in it.

Cast all your anxiety....  Really?  Can one just cast anxiety off?  I know when I am burdened by a worry, care or extra stress it isn't all that easy just to cast it off.  What a skill to learn.  What a trust to give.  But it is exactly what we, as Christians need to do in any and every situation that we are faced with.  Whether it be good or bad, we are to give it to God. 

I think this verse seems cliche because it is SO much easier said than done.  How do you get to that point?  I know I am not there yet.  But, again, this is part of growing in your walk with Him.  You learn as you go, and letting go has to get a little bit easier every time.  To submit and do what we ultimately know is best will hopefully one day become the easier thing to do.

And lastly, we are to do this because He cares for us.  He knows that it is the best way. He knows that it is best for us to give it up to Him.  His plan will always prevail, whether we are anxious about it or not.  He will take care of us.  Watch over us.  Love us.

What are some good ways you have learned to give your anxiety to Him?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Shepherding

Yesterday, I sat and thought and prayed on shepherding my kids and following the example of the True Good Shepherd.  I also chatted about my thoughts with my friend and we realized that while we kind of knew what a shepherd was we didn't really know the true definition. defines it as
1. a person who herds, tends, and guards sheep.
2. a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people.
3. a member of the clergy.
4. the Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Well, I am definitely not #3 or #4 and I guess if you are talking in true terms of sheep, I am not #1 either. 

The definition actually goes quite well with what we were discussing.  Shepherds don't force sheep places and they don't lead them on ropes.  They guide.  They protect.  They watch over.
What a perfect definition of a mom.  Enough said.
Now, my friend also pointed out that I have been put in a shepherding position with my Bible Study as well.  I have made it quite clear that I am not the leader of the group, nor will I have all the answers or anywhere close to it.  I simply pick out the book and set up the group.  Shepherd.  I guide it along.  It is really all I can do.  Most of the gals in my Bible study know more than I do.  :)
I just love was the end of 1 Peter 5:3 and verse 4 says though.  It is such an encouragement for moms shepherding over their little flocks and even those trying to do what God is calling them to shepherd in other ways.  "...being examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd appears you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."
I am called to guide, protect and watch over.  To be an example of the Perfect Shepherd.  And through all the poopy diapers, potty accidents, plates spilled on the floor, vomiting incidents in the mini-van, and all the other pretty things guiding a Bible Study comes with.....  Ha!  Just kidding.... all the other things motherhood comes with I can remember the crown of glory waiting for me.  And just maybe there will be a little extra jewel for getting to sit with a wonderful group of women every week and talk about Jesus. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mom Verses

I love it when I come across verses that encourage me as a mom.  There are hundreds throughout the Bible of course and each one speaks to different moms in different ways.

I have heard many people say, when bringing home a new baby, "I wish this thing {baby} came with instructions!"  If only they knew!  Well, it really does, if you just take the time to read and apply them. 

The verse I read today was 1 Peter 5:2  Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must but because you are willing as God wants you to be.....

Oh!  What a calling it is to follow in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd Himself.  I have been given part of God's flock to care for. What a perspective!  I haven't been forced into this position, but was entrusted to it because I was willing as God has called me to be.

It is also a big responsibility.  When you think of all the Good Shepherd does for us, even just what is listed in the well-known verses of Psalm 23 and then transfer that over to the part of His flock that is under my care, there is a lot to do. 

But what a calling and privilege it is that God would trust me with such a job and such big {little} responsibilities.  (Remind me to come look at this post next time one of my little responsibilities is driving me up a wall!)

Monday, August 20, 2012


I live in a bubble.  A happy little bubble.  Sure, I've been through my fair share of trials and tribulations, but for the most part my life has been pretty easy. 

The hardest thing I have ever had to deal with is growing up without my mom, but since I was so young when she passed, I don't even remember losing her or what life was like with her.  So, really, I've never known any different and that makes it a little bit easier to bear.  Sure, I have always longed for that true mother-daughter relationship and wonder what it really feels like, but there isn't much I can do about it but experience it with my own daughters.

The next hardest things on my plate have been having some difficulty getting pregnant with our first baby (it took us right at a year) and a miscarriage I had between our 1st and 2nd children.  Devastating, yes, but both things that have helped me grow and relate to many other moms in the same situations. (And I love to think that my mom has her very own grand baby to take care of.)

Seriously, that is all I can think of.  Now, don't get me wrong.  There have been other regular life trials, but nothing out of the ordinary, and I wish for no more.  But looking at this very short list, I almost laugh when I read verses like 1 Peter 4:12-13, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."

"Suffering" is such a vague word to me.  I've got it so easy.  I live life in my quiet, peaceful and happy little bubble and quite honestly expect it to stay this way.  I want to stay in my little world all content and blessed.

Reading things like "Interrupted" and "7" by Jen Hatmaker have made me realize that my bubble world is mostly my choice.  I can choose to stay here or choose to open my eyes to the oppressed and suffering around me.  I can pop my bubble and step into their world.  I need to expand my horizons and really see what others have to endure and suffer through to survive in this day and age outside of my blessed, small town Nebraska life. 

I am still searching for ways to do this.  I am opening my eyes to what really lies beyond and I am excited to share it with you as it comes about.  God is still working out the details for me and I am patiently (or not, but I am trying) waiting to see what He reveals as my call to action.  So far the steps have seemed very, very small and have just blown my bubble slightly larger, but hopefully I'll get to the popping point soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses....

I have been pretty worthless this week.  I have the mother of all chest colds along with a pretty decent sinus cold as well.  I am not usually one to get sick.  Working with kids all my life, I have just built up a pretty good immune system, so it takes a lot to knock me down.

Knock me down this cold has done!  I cough so hard I can't stand up straight.  My head pounds from sinus pressure, and if I don't take an afternoon nap, I am worthless by 4 pm.  I have tried to boil water for pasta and forgot to put the water in the pot.  I have started the microwave without putting the food in it, and I have left a load of laundry in the washing machine so long that I had to re-wash it - twice!  This is how well my brain is functioning, people. 

With that being said, I have also been pretty whiny.  I am tired, I am sick and I have absolutely no get-up-and-go, so I don't.  My house is a mess.  It is all I can do to get food on the table and pathways cleared for walking.  Then I re-read my 1 Peter verses today and see that "If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides."

My job is to serve my family.  I am the cook.  I am the maid.  I am the taxi.  I am the banker.  I am the alarm clock.  I pretty much do it all.  Most healthy days, it requires strength from God to get everything done that needs to be accomplished, so why have I not looked there this week when I feel so crummy?  Frankly, I am loving the excuse to be able to just sit and do nothing and whine, but after four days my house, health and family is quietly suffering.  They won't say anything because they know I don't feel well, but my kids miss me playing with them.  My husband misses our time together because I have just been checking out early and heading to bed and the mess in the house is surely bothering him as well. 

Time to kick it in gear.  My job is to serve, and yes, I am under the weather, but I am to serve with the strength that God will provide me, and I need to seek that strength instead of wallow in my drug-induced pity.  I need to seek that strength not only when I am sick, but when I am well so that I am serving my family and my God to the best of the ability that He can give me.  Just think of how much more I would get done knowing I wasn't just running on the strength I have alone, but with God! 

Now, its off to the growing laundry pile I go to fold and fold and fold, then some dishes and some cooking and then, maybe a nap?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Few Verses; A Lot of Issues

In the last few weeks I have been inching my way through 1 Peter 4:8-11.  Yes, four whole verses.  One, because these verses are packed full of goodness and two, because I have been so busy I haven't made time for my quiet times or journaling.  I have read and re-read these verses, mulling over the various strings they tug at in my heart, praying over issues they make me aware of and asking God how I can improve in each of the areas approached.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another with out grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."

I am hoping to take the time to blog on these verses more throughout the week, but this morning I wanted to touch on vs 10 about using our gifts to serve others.

God showed me something just yesterday as I sat in a meeting feeling pretty crummy.  I have a terrible chest and head cold and was far from 100%.  We went through the meeting and I tried not to cough or sneeze or blow buggers on anyone while I struggled to make sense out of what was going on while keeping things going smoothly and in the order they were supposed to, since I was half-way in charge of leading said meeting. 

We got to a part where we needed to decide who would be presenting our group to our church and telling them about our upcoming year and needs.  No one was very excited about doing it, so I happily volunteered.  Public speaking isn't something that comes easy for me, but it is something that I am fairly good at once I get over myself. 

As I re-read these God Words this morning, He showed me that I was putting verse 10 into action.  You see, I often wish I was more quiet and subdued.  If you know me at all, you know I am not one to hold back, and definitely not shy.  I always secretly envy those that are because I think that people see me as loud and brash (we are always so hard on ourselves aren't we?) and wish that I could be the sweet and gentle gal in the corner. 

Finally, God used this verse to really show me that he gave me my personality for very good reasons.  He gave me my loud, "boisterousness" to serve Him.  Now, this is a gift that can be very dangerous if not administered in God's grace.  Loud and boisterous people can tend to let their mouths get them into trouble, and believe me, mine has (which might be why I often wish I was more quiet) so one must be careful to use this gift in the correct manner.  But, if I were one of these wonderful quiet people, who would have stepped up to present our fabulous group to our church?  God is using me and my loudness to serve Him.

So embrace those gifts that God has given you, even if you secretly wish they were different.  God gave them to you with very specific intentions in mind. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Oh So Simple, Yet So Difficult

Post #100!  Yippee!  And it has only been 2 weeks since I blogged here last...  Oh, I am a hopeless blogger. 

Anyway, onto what the Holy Spirit helped me learn today.

1 Peter 4:7 tells us that The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

We must always live as if Christ could come back in the next hour.  Live each moment to the fullest, never putting it off until tomorrow because what if Jesus takes you home today?  The end is near because we never really know when the end is.

So here, Peter tells us we always need to be clear minded and self-controlled.  Two simple commands, but very hard to actually accomplish.  Well, for me anyway.

Clear mindedness seems to have left my brain somewhere between child #1 and #3 and I haven't found it back yet.  I am a young 31-years and will find myself standing in a room having no idea why I am there.  Or I will be in the middle of one task and get completely distracted with another one, only to find 2 hours later that the first task was never finished.  Ahhh!

Well, I don't think this is exactly what Peter was talking about, but some days I wonder if my thinking will ever be uninterrupted again.  I think our clear mind here means to make sure we know where we are headed and who we are living for.  Our decisions always need to be made with the clear fact that we are children of God and His living hands and feet.  If we waiver in this position by our attitudes, behaviors and decisions it can pull us away from Him.

Our self-control needs to follow suit.  Not the 'put that chocolate down' type of self control, but one a little bit larger.  It is so easy to live in this world, but so hard not to become part of it.  We must control our selfish wants and desires to fit in here, or have the most and best things, or to be in the best position.  Our self-control needs to be evident in the way that we find our peace and joy through things of the Father and the faith than of this world and the temporary happiness it might provide.

Lastly, Peter tells us we must have these two things so that we can pray.  When our mind is clear and we are under control we are in close communion with God and can communicate with Him ever so effortlessly.

It is so easy to fall out of this unity with God and to lose that conversation with Him.  When we find ourselves far away from Him, the 'talking' often seems pretty one-sided because we have gone too far astray to really 'hear' his answers.

So, clear your mind, control yourself and pray.  A good little mantra to chant to yourself next time you might find yourself in a pickle.