the measure of me

I don’t measure up when I compare.
No one does.
When I am measuring myself against
other women,
other mothers,
other wives
I’m doomed to never reach the mark.

We’ll never measure up against each other because we aren’t meant to measure ourselves by the ruler of OUR lives;
we are only meant to measure ourselves against Him.

I’ll never have enough children.
I’ll never have a clean enough house.
I won’t support my husband the way I’m supposed to.
My children will never be educated the “right” way.
My children will never behave the way they are “supposed” to.
My husband will never lead his family well.

And all these “nevers” should lead me to a place of
freedom.

This measuring of ourselves as women starts so young. I see it daily in my 5 year old daughter who picks out her clothing based on how it looks and what others might think. I long to ignite something in her soul that reminds her daily that her beauty doesn’t come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

I want to love my family.
I want to love my friends.
I want to love my enemies.
With a love that measures itself against the One who gave everything.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

The reason the world doesn’t know us is because we measure ourselves against the world.
We need to use the ruler of LOVE.
We need to measure up our days by how well and how much we loved others
And how we repented of the times in our day when we were loving ourselves more.

Because when we measure ourselves against others
We are loving ourselves.
We are casting our nets out for our own benefit.
And we won’t catch a thing but heartache.

May I walk daily through my life, offering up gratitude for the things given
for the friends who succeed
for the enemies who prosper
and for the angels unaware.

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being real {spending myself}

beingrealbutton

I can become crazy jealous and consumed in a heartbeat.
I can hear exciting news and be genuinely excited for that person,
but at the same time crazy jealous that such news isn’t happening in my life.
And then I become self-condemning because I’m not rejoicing with that person…I’m thinking about myself.
Such is the reality of my sin.

We’re each given different gifts and talents by our Master. The thing that matters most is how we use what we’ve been given, no how much we make or do compared to someone else. What matters is that we spend ourselves. ~ Francis Chan

I walk through my days wondering how to become more joyful; more grateful.
I wonder how I can cultivate a heart that continually rejoices with Him.
But I don’t stop and focus on Him.
Because that is how it happens.
I must become consumed with Christ.
The joy, the gratefulness, the security
it all comes not from focusing on the process
but focusing on the Master.

I can’t be truly joyful with my friend’s pregnancy…unless I’m focused first on Christ.
I can’t be truly comfortable with where we are financially…until I’m focused first on my security found in Him.
I can’t be grateful, finding joy in every aspect of my life…until my eyes focus first on Jesus.

With trepidation I ask to see the Lord. Like Moses.
I ask for Him to come into my life and tell my life’s story, irregardless of my comfort or safety
because it’s not my story – it’s His.

And it won’t be a story of JOY until I let go and let Him write it.

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being real {confidence}

My nine year old son wore his favorite faux leather bomber jacket to school yesterday. He has loved this jacket since the day he begged his grandmother to buy it for him. I remember he would wear it and then swagger around with such confidence.
Yesterday he was asking friends at school if they liked his jacket. The majority of them told him “no” and one even declared it was embarrassing to be seen as a friend with him in that jacket.
So heart breaking for a momma.

But I asked him, “do you like that jacket?” and he told me “yes, definitely!”
and I said “that is what matters.”
But, did he wear it this morning to school? No.
And that makes me more sad.

But it made me think about my life and the things that make me swagger around in confidence
and that later can crush my heart.
I think that is prayer…
At least prayer when I don’t pray with confidence that God hears me and longs for the desires of my heart.
Just like my son putting on his bomber jacket and feeling so confident, I need to enter into my relationship daily with God with that same confidence.

Confidence irregardless of how God might answer my prayers.
Confidence irregardless of how quickly they might (or might not) be answered.
And confidence irregardless of how crazy others might view my life
and the things that I’m praying for.

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running away or returning

In Joshua 6, the Israelites have crossed over into the promised land. They have been given the city of Jericho and are sitting at the brink of Ai. But the Israelites have grieved the heart of God by disobeying Him and plundering from the city of Jericho. God leads them into a battle with the men of Ai and they lose.

At this, Joshua tears his clothes and begins crying out to God in frustration. He whines that things would have been better had they stayed on the other side of the Jordan. He so quickly forgets how they crossed the Jordan, what life was like on the other side and what even happened at Jericho….walls falling down at the blow of a horn.

I so recognize with this in myself. When life becomes challenging, or my story isn’t going the way I wanted it to, I immediately long for the way things were before. As if before things were better than now. I forget where I have been and what “miracles” God has done to get me here and I sit and mourn.

God tells Joshua to “get up!”. Someone has sinned and it must be atoned for. He reminds Joshua of the story that he is in and that God is writing. He reminds Joshua that he is there and moving in and among.

It reminded me of a portion of Henri Nouwen’s book the Road to Daybreak called Running Away or Returning.

It’s not easy to let the voice of God’s mercy speak to use because it’s a voice asking for an open relationship, one in which sins are acknowledged, forgiveness received and love renewed.” (p.158)

This is what God offers me on this side of the Jordan.

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fmf {graceful}

Five Minute Friday

Friday’s a free writing days.
Days to write for 5 minutes on a given word.
A word provided and hosted by the gypsy mama.
Today’s word is {graceful}

GO

How many times do I open up my hands begging for grace….
yet then clutching it and never passing it on?

How many times do I sit and clench my fists and refuse to open myself up?

Grace is more than just asking and receiving it.
Being graceful is more than just being full of grace.
Graceful is passing it on. Taking that full and emptying it out.

Being graceful is swaying to the blessings that the Lord is raining down upon me.
The lovely ones and the ugly ones.

Being graceful is
grace
raining
again
calling us to
eucharisteo.

I will never be an amazing dancer,
I will never be one that walks straight with this amazing sway.
But I can be graceful in the way that I walk the life he has given.
When I count the gifts that He has blessed me with
when I pass that onto those around me
that is graceful.

Graceful is swaying and spinning and moving through this amazing life and pouring out my overflowing cup onto others.

STOP

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