Choices

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To be present with God is to be absent from something else.

This is the quote that stood out to me in the sermon yesterday. When I choose to spend time with God, I am choosing to not do or be somewhere else. What do you need to be absent from so you can be with God?

Longer time in bed

Watching morning news

Scrolling through Facebook

Working on your hobby

Chilling in front of the TV

Chatting with a friend via text

Checking email

Organizing your junk drawer

Those aren’t bad things to be doing. However, taking the time to be with God can easily replace those activities. My point isn’t to shame anyone. My desire is for you to see where you have time in your life. Spend the time you would have spent scrolling through social media with God instead. Scroll afterwards. The time you spend on your phone or tablet could be time with God. 5 minutes or 30 minutes or more with God will alter your day in a way none of these other activities can. I’m not asking you to give up these activities, I am encouraging you to see that a simple restructuring of time can lead to a rejuvenation of your soul.

I scroll through Facebook and I spend time with God. I chill in front of the TV and I spend time with God. I just reversed the order. I used to only do my morning porch tea time with God on days when I work later. Now, I eat my breakfast on the porch while I talk to God instead of eating in front of the TV. A simple switch has changed me. My attitude is much better during my work day. My heart is full, not running on empty. I have a peace I don’t have when I start with breakfast in front of the TV. What switch can you make in how you order your day?

“He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” ~ Mark 6:31

Make time today. Choose time with God and choose to be absent from something else.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

P.S. Today is Memorial Day. Thank you to all of you who served our country. I pray for those of you who lost loved ones because of that sacrifice.

Mornings

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I’m not one to dread Monday’s usually but lately I have been. Mostly because I am in the last few weeks of school with my kids and there is a ton going on. I want to be school mom not working/school mom. My daughter is graduating high school in a few weeks and it’s busy. I just want to soak in my kids right now. But, it’s Monday. I’m working and the week has begun.

Today when I woke up, it wasn’t Monday I was dreading but the tasks before me, a heavy heart for my pain and others who are struggling and the busyness of the week. I usually do my tea time with God when I start work later. This week I start at 8 all week. However, I did my tea time at 6:30 am today. I was up but still laying in bed. I decided if I truly wanted to succeed in my day today, I needed to get up and get with God. I am glad I did.

My tea time with God is my time to connect in His Word (the Bible), share my heart with Him, listen to Him and sip tea while outdoors. It sets my mind on Him for the day. It’s my drop it at His feet moment. I texted a few friends to let them know I was praying for them. I prepared for my small group meeting tonight. I ate breakfast. I took a deep breath of morning air. I was still before God.

I am a morning person but getting up a bit earlier to have a quiet time is not my thing. I like to lay in bed and just chill. I think God is changing me. I often wake up with the cares of the world on my shoulders. So much runs through my head first thing in the morning. If I don’t release and cling to God and His truth, I will be drowning all day. Praying in my bed doesn’t seem to release it for me. However, something about my tea with God ushers me right to His presence and into peace. Some days I cry. Some days I am distracted. Some days I barely do anything on the porch. Every time – I feel God’s presence. I am changed by that time on my porch. The sacrifice of rising early, the warm tea, the cool air, the birds singing, all of that – ushers me to God.

Find your porch. It may be a favorite chair in the living room. It may be your dining table. It may be your backyard. It may be a walk around the block. For me, it’s sitting on my porch. This ritual has created a sacred space for me. Whether it’s Monday morning, a busy week or just life, find your porch. Get into His presence and start every day with Him.

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him ~ Nahum 1:7 NIV

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is a bittersweet day for many. We all have a mom. Our mom may be alive or passed on. We may have a great relationship with our mom or a rocky one. We may be a mom. We may have a great relationship with our kids or a strained one. We may want to be a mom and aren’t yet. Or we may have a great relationship with our mom and our kids. Wherever you fall in these wide range of possibilities, it’s still Mother’s Day. The emotions you feel are valid, real, and worth discussing.

As a mom myself, I am thrilled to be able to be with all 3 of my kids today. My oldest is home from college for the weekend. Yay. We also celebrated her turning 20. She had her first birthday without seeing us this year. It was a milestone for all of us. As a mom of teens and now a young adult, I realize celebrations are changing. We even took our first vacation without all of us there. My middle daughter is about to play her last few games of Varsity soccer. I LOVE watching her play. Those days are almost over as she graduates in June. New normal. Today I soak them in. Tomorrow, I will grieve a bit. I am not a mom without purpose beyond my kids. I am however an intentional mom. With that role changing more and more as they grow, I am grieving those changes. I need to acknowledge that truth and grieve those changes. Grief is not just over someone you lose to death. Grief is required when change comes and a new reality starts. I need to let it go and embrace the new. It may be a short process or a longer one. We shall see. I just want to encourage all moms out there dealing with transition with your children (starting kindergarten, quitting dance, starting middle school, graduating, etc.) take time to sit in what is being left behind and embracing what is ahead.

For those of you who lost your mom, I am so sorry. I unfortunately understand that grief now. It’s a tough journey. As you know, my mom passed away in January of this year. It’s still very fresh for me. I miss her. I want her here. I walk this journey day by day and holiday by holiday. If you are missing your mom today – cry, think of fun memories, laugh and tell her you miss her and love her. If you are a mom, hug your kids tighter. If you aren’t a mom, hug a mentor you have or your mother-in-law or anyone who looks like they need a hug. You need one too.

For those who are estranged with your mom or your kids. I am sorry. I can’t image the pain of Mother’s Day in that situation. You are loved and valued by God. I encourage you to pour out your pain and sorrow to God. Let Him carry you. If you need to tuck yourself away for a day and binge watch “Good Wife,” go for it. Take care of yourself. Don’t let the holiday throw you. It’s just another day. You will get through this. Keep on praying for reconciliation and restoration. If that isn’t possible, ask God to surround you with friends and others who will walk life with you.

On Mother’s Day, I laugh, I cry and I enjoy. I choose to feel it all.

Whatever Mother’s Day is for you – you are loved, valued and cared for.

Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.

~ Psalm 55:22 NIV

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Live Loved

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Do you? Do you live every day as if you are deeply loved by God? I don’t. I haven’t been at all lately. Today that changes.

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. ~ Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

God’s love is everlasting. It’s forever. It’s before and after time. It’s reliable. It’s kind. Most of us have a warped view of love because human love is imperfect. Humans let us down. Disappoint us. Love the way they want to be loved. It isn’t perfect. Human love is good. It is powerful. It is wonderful. However, when we view God’s love through a human lens – we are misled. How would you live differently today if you truly believed God loves you forever, with kindness and no disappointments?

I would tell more people about Him

I would not be afraid of taking more risks and trying new things

I would not worry as much

I would not fear as much

I would be bold in what I want and pursue things I feel led to by God

I would be content

The list could go on. Friends – we can be this person. If we let His love sink in, we would be different.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:38-39 NIV

Did you read that? Are you convinced? You can blow it 10 times today. Won’t change it. You can feel weak and fearful. Won’t change it. Nothing. NOTHING! Can separate us from His love except – not accepting it! You need to choose Him. You need to believe Him. You need to embrace this truth and release the lies. You are valuable. You are loved. You are cared for. You are worth it!!!!!!

Live Loved!

Dream Big! Pray Big!