“For you formed me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139: 14 The new year brings a desire for a new you. Whether that be a new body, mind, or spiritual thing, we all tend […]
One of my boys is more emotional than the others. He feels big and loud. I’m not sure where he gets it from. (Actually, I am sure. I know exactly where he get it from). The other day, his emotions got the best of him. We sat together to chat about what he was feeling and how he could better handle his emotions in a healthy way. I don’t want him to grow up thinking he couldn’t feel or express his emotions. I want him to feel.
God created us to have emotions. Even Jesus cried. (John 11:35) He designed us to feel. Yet, we live in a day where feeling all the life feelings is seen as a bad thing.
“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; ” Ecclesiastes 3:4-6
We are on a constant hunt to subdue our feelings. We put out pillows and soft landings on the road before our children so they won’t get hurt. No one wants to feel pain. We post all the happy moments instead of the real ones. We are afraid to feel. Because of this, we have become a society of zombies; a people walking thru life numb to it all.
God designed us to feel. Part of living an abundant life (John 10:10) is allowing our emotions to play out. We can all agree that a good cry, while difficult, is cleansing to the soul. We’d do anything these days, however, to avoid the tears.
Our children, everyone, can’t cope with life because we aren’t allowing ourselves to feel. We avoid any negative emotion out of fear. What we don’t realize is that our souls, our innermost parts, were designed to feel. Those hard feelings, the negative emotions we run from, are the very ones that lead us straight to Him. We don’t realize we need a Savior until we allow ourselves to feel.
Allow yourself to feel today. Don’t be afraid of your emotions. Know that they come from the Creator. There is purpose in your feelings; value in your emotions. Let them play out. Feel all the feels. And watch Jesus meet you there.
Love & Blessings,
I walked upstairs and started picking up. I walked into the game room and noticed the Little People nativity. This is one of my favorite Christmas items. We have had it since my twelve year old was a toddler. The boys flock to it every year when we get it out of the storage tub. It doesn’t matter how old they get. They always play with that nativity set.
When I looked at the nativity, I noticed some of the characters had moved. One of the boys (I am assuming it was my youngest) had moved the wise men, the shepherds, and the animals to all face the manger. Each character was looking at Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Huh. I never thought to make them turn and look. I always had them all facing out.
Seeing the nativity set-up this way got me to thinking about that night so long ago. Everyone stopped to look. Here was this intriguing mystery that grabbed the worlds attention. A baby born in a manger to a teenage girl fulfilling a prophecy spoken many moons ago.
It’s easy for us to keep moving when something major happens that really has no bearing on us. If it’s not in front of our face, we typically move on. But, something stopped those shepherds and wise men. Something made them look.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
They saw a star. The moment they looked, they knew a king was born and they must go. In a split second, their lives forever changed. All because they looked.
Some of us are still on the fence about this faith thing. It doesn’t really impact our daily lives, so we just keep walking. Or, it’s all so confusing and overwhelming that we look every where else thinking that’s easier. When, in reality, all we need to do is look. Look to Jesus and he will guide our steps.
God gave these men a star in the sky to lead them to their Savior: to the one who was born in order to save. They didn’t need to accomplish a check-list of things to get to him. They didn’t need to overcome their past or better themselves before they went to worship. They didn’t need Google maps. They just needed to look. In looking, they found hope.
When we stop and ponder the lyrics of “O Holy Night” we experience the power and peace that came with Christ’s arrival. The moment the shepherds and wise men looked at the North Star, they experienced the thrill of hope. When they decided to look, Jesus filled their souls with the thrill of hope.
Maybe you are waiting to experience that thrill. You’ve looked here, there, and everywhere hoping to experience a thrill that is other-wordly only to wind up empty. Or, you think you don’t deserve the thrill of hope because life has been hard. God is calling you to experience that thrill: that unending sense of hope you’ve been longing for. All you need to do is look.
Love & Blessings,
“Be joyful in hope.” Romans 12:12
I was brushing out my wet hair thinking about what a nice day I was having. The weather outside was gorgeous for December 1st. We all took the morning slow staying in our pjs well past the morning. We had nothing on the agenda. I was excited to get started on some things for my ministry. The boys were happy and calm. The day was good. If I am being completely honest, days like this used to terrify me.
It is no secret that I deal with anxiety. I hide it well, so many don’t even know the crazy that can go on inside this brain of mine. I remember when Scott proposed to me. I was so afraid. I wasn’t afraid of marriage. I was afraid of marrying him. I knew he was the one. I knew I was going to marry him. But, I was scared. We had been through the ringer in our six years of dating. When we began our relationship, he didn’t believe in marriage, had no desire to have children, and did not know Jesus. When he proposed, he had obviously changed his mind about marriage, wanted to have children, and had found the Lord when we were on one of our “breaks.”
I went to winter camp with our church youth group soon after he proposed. I was a leader and I was a mess. I was laying on my bottom bunk during free time bawling my eyes out like a fool. Our youth pastor’s wife came in and caught me. Look, just because you are a leader doesn’t mean you don’t struggle with life and the Lord. You’re human. It’s part of the mess.
Of course, she asked me why I was crying. I explained my fears through my tears and she listened like all good youth pastor’s wives do. Then she said to me, “Why don’t you just enjoy this moment. Enjoy the excitement of being engaged to your best friend. Enjoy the anticipation of what is to come. Enjoy today. Just today.” Funny. My husband/fiance at the time, had said those exact words. Ugh. God was trying to get His point across and I was having a hard time listening.
When joy comes across my desk, I struggle to live in it. Oftentimes, I convince myself I don’t deserve the goodness and gift that it is. I create disaster stories in my head of what is to come because surely, this joy cannot last forever. I used to fear joy.
I know I am not alone in this. Somehow, someway, many of us have convinced ourselves that our good God doesn’t want us to stay in the goodness for very long. We watch others suffer and think that is all there is to life. Lamenting. Suffering. Trials and challenges. That is what Christianity is made of, right?
No. That is not what it is made of. Sure, we will have trials. James 1 talks all about that. Of course we will find ourselves in seasons of suffering. We live in a broken world. But, Jesus didn’t come to oppress us. He came to free us. The moment we walk towards Him, He gives us life. And He doesn’t just give us an ordinary life. He gives us life to the fullest.
“I am the gate. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and life in its fullness. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:9-10
Stop right now and close your eyes with me. Well, hold on a sec. Let me give you some instructions first. When you close your eyes, envision what your life would look like if you chose to live it out fully. When the season explodes with joy, what would it look like if you embraced it? How would you feel? This. This is how He intends us to live.
I have learned to enjoy my life. I have recognized good seasons and allowed myself to exhale in them. I have stopped trying to anticipate what could maybe come next. Because I have learned that when I allow myself to be robbed of the joy, when I steal that moment of goodness in my life and replace it with anxious thoughts, I am taking away the life He intended me to live.
Hard times will come. It’s inevitable. But, we were never created to live in those times. Our valleys of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4) moments are just that: moments. They are valleys we are to walk through not live in. Stop robbing yourself from a full life. You deserve it even though you didn’t earn it. You are His and He came for you to have a fulfilled life in and through Him.
Once I released myself from the chains of what-if, my view shifted from fear to disbelief (in a good way). I couldn’t believe how good my life really was. I had chained myself to the fear of what may come next that I couldn’t see the goodness right in front of me.
I finished brushing my wet hair and added a headband to make it look like I tried. I walked out of my bedroom and outside to feel the warmth on my face. I looked at my youngest and the pile of laundry in his room and thanked God. This season is sweet and I am going to enjoy the heck out of it. It is a gift that I am choosing to open and enjoy. Go ahead, open your gift. He is giving you life and life in abundance.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20
Love & Blessings,
The Family Series: In light of the holiday season, I thought it would benefit all of us if we went through a little family series. We all find ourselves spending a little more time with family members we may avoid throughout the year. What better […]