Sep 292015
 

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.  Hebrews 8:12

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

Can a woman forget her nursing child, fail to pity the child of her womb? Even these may forget, but I won’t forget you.  Isaiah 49:15

I have a daughter who wants to be walked into school and one who doesn’t.  One who likes only frosting and one who eats only the cake.  One who is most happiest looking for acorns in nature and one who plays princesses most days.  Oh how our God made each of our children unique.  And beautiful.  And oh how He made each of their mother’s unique.  And beautiful.  Creativity equals our God.

I was walking my oldest daughter into school.  It was the second week of classes and so the “new school routine” wasn’t nearly as scary as before-for me.  (Always fabulous when the confidence of the child far outweighs the confidence of the mother.)  When we went into the typical gym drop off spot there were no 1st graders to be found.  (slight panic attack)  As I surveyed the area I saw a sign which indicated K, 1st and 2nd graders were playing and lining up outside today.  (normal breathing was back).

We walked outside and I could not believe the sight.  It was as if I had happened upon an ant colony.  In which you can barely walk without stepping on one of the zillion ants underneath your feet.  Now insert children here instead of ants.  Mass.  Kid.  Crazy.  All.  Around.  And it seemed this was the place to send off my soft spoken.  Tiny (to me).  Precious.  Girlie.  “Well, I guess you can go play honey,” (I said with extreme reluctance).  And she proceeded to run off.  Into the zillion “ants”.

Then it happened.  The emotions wave hit.  Hard.  My eyes filled with tears.  “No one knows her.  No one see’s her.  She has no.  one.”, were the thoughts behind the waterworks.  Then as quickly as the emotions came a still small voice spoke to my spirit and heart, “I know her name. I see her.  I got her.  I could never forget her.”  (Oh for Pete’s sake I can’t even write this without tearing up.  In the kids playland Safari Sams nonetheless.  Pretty sure I am beyond.  All.  Help.)

As I wiped away the tears, my heart found rest.  In.  Him.  In the fact He knows Lucy.  He made Lucy.  Just like He knows me and made me.  Within the next moments this song came to mind:

I have a Maker, He calls me His own.  He’ll never leave me, no matter where I go.  He knows my name.  He knows my every thought.  He see’s each tear that falls.  And He hears me when I call.  

(“He Knows My Name” by Tommy Walker)

What comfort.  What compassion.  What a personal.  Loving God we serve.  And He remembers.  The good.  Of our intricate make up.  And He forgets.  Our confessed mess ups.  So maybe I could try to do the same.

When I am upset with my husband, friend, co worker, or family member and am prone to think of/remember their past mess ups (sin and wrong towards me), I can say “No”.  And instead “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b)-in which in this case would involve forgetting. their. bad.  And then I can their good.  Remember their God-given strengths.  Unique makeup.  And if I need a little extra help, I can ask God to assist me in this “remembering the good” process.  Help me to see them how He see’s them.

So the next ant you see may you remember.  You may be small.  But your God is big-Your child may be small.  But your God is big.  You may have messed up.  But your God remembers it no more-Other’s have messed up.  But you can choose to remember it no more.  You may feel alone.  But your God see’s you and knows your name-Your child may feel alone.  But your God see’s them and know’s their name.

To live like Jesus is to forget and forgive the bad of another and remember the good instead.

Is there someone you are prone to remember/bring up their past sins?  Will you ask God to help you remember their good and forget their bad?

Will you entrust your small child(ren) into the hands of our big God today?  Will you entrust yourself into His hands?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 212015
 

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.  Psalm 103:11-12

Just as Jesus’ mother Mary had moments in which she “cherished these things in her heart” with her child, so will I cherish the following moments with my children of failures followed by grace-followed by joy.

Yesterday was my youngest daughter’s first day of Kindergarten.  After multiple weeks of asking every day (usually multiple times a day), “How many more days till school starts Mom?”, the morning was finally here.  She was up much earlier than the normal “slow to rise” schedule we adopted over the summer.  After putting one of her favorite dresses on, she gave a shy smile and quick ballet turn when her Daddy commented, “You look beautiful, honey”.  Her confidence was evident.  My confidence was lacking.  Mainly due to the continual checking and re checking my “Mother’s first day of school to do’s” was on the up and up.  I resigned myself to the fact it was not.  But that by God’s grace hopefully “the ball that would drop” would not cause too much counseling for my girls in the future.

The morning came and went with the #1 Ball dropped when I didn’t have the ability to take a picture with my camera phone (due to it being maxed full of images).  (“Nice planning Mom”, I said to myself.) But my Superman husband came to the rescue thankfully with his camera phone.  #2 Ball dropped later in the week as my daughter commented that everyone brought something to share except her and one other boy.  (“Well, that is fabulous organization and recall, Mom!”  Was my inner commentary.)  And lastly, the #3 Ball dropped due to my oldest daughter having to be quaranteened to the “peanut table” at lunch because I had failed to recognize the granola was a filled with “peanut power”.  (“Oh the shame, oh the exclusion only I have caused my daughter!”  Was the thought on repeat in my mind.)

But oh, some sweet relief when I had the opportunity for a “Joyfilled -present-mother-moment” (you know the few and far between one’s where by God’s grace you are not multitasking and you allow yourself guilt free to just be. with. your. child. and. enjoy). My youngest daughter had a, “First day of school tea”, in which,  I had tea and she had pink lemonade.  I put in cream and a sugar cube.  So did she.  (Not likely additions to lemonade, in my opinion, but she drank it down with no hesitation.)  Then amazingly asked for seconds.

Next, she put a cookie on her plate.  Then put one on mine.  She ate her cookie.  Then proceeded to eat mine.  It wasn’t what we did during the tea that was anything extraordinary.  But It was the grace and joy I was bathed in during that very moment.  A perfect moment in which none of my past “mother mess ups” were on my brain, my God’s brain, or my daughter’s brain.  I thank God for these type of moments. To soak in the simplicity of everyday eye to eye conversation.  Enjoy cup of hot tea.  And be free from guilt and shame.

I am thankful my daughter’s don’t seem to remember my mother mess up’s like I feel they should.  (We may have a different story when the teen years hit us, but I am living it up now!)  They don’t recall to my mind all my “dropped balls” of their first week of school.  And they don’t bring up my last year’s or last week’s sin of relentless, unkind fire ball words spewing towards their unsuspecting selves as my patience is nowhere to be found.  Now that’s a true gift, my friends.

And it’s a gift our heavenly Father doesn’t remember our past sin either.  And He graciously gives us joy moments in spite of our failures.  So I guess it’s only fitting that I should also return the favor bestowed on me by my girl’s and God.  How about the time one of my friends gossiped about me behind my back?  Or “that thing” my husband can’t seem to get right even after 14 years of marriage?  Or when I got left out of the girls night for no apparent reason?  Well, it’s my turn to do some “covering up” with a “big blanket” any of the past sins of others.  Because I know this “big blanket” “uncovered” in my heart and mind only leads to bitterness, an inability for God to work in my life, and a lack of true freedom/peace.

Today I am making the choice to not.  be.  offended.  Let. It.  Go.  Forgive.  Let.  God.  Handle.  Their.  Sin.  And “cover up” in love.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 142015
 

I am now confident that in no way can I prepare myself for the conversations which will occur after my kids get home from school.  I can only expect that there will be many more of these unexpected moments with my children in the future.  My unanticipated conversation yesterday with my daughter was not a difficult one.  Thankfully.  It was not one which tested my mothering wisdom or skills.  It was simply hilarious.

So my youngest daughter’s first day of Kindergarten seemed to have been a success.  The only frustration seemed to be not being able to ride the bus home.  We covered a series of questions about learning, her teacher, her table mates, recess, snack, and friends.  But the friend comment was the one which made me chuckle from within.  I asked her, “Did you make any new friends?”  She said, “Yes”.  I replied, “What is their name?”  She didn’t miss a beat with, “I just call him Samuel.”  I questioned her with, “Now that is an interesting thing to say, is that his name or isn’t it?  Did you just decide to call him Samuel or what?”  She said, “When he told me his name it went right out of my brain and so I just call him Samuel now because I don’t know and can’t remember his name.”  (We talked about maybe it would be a good idea tomorrow to ask him his name again and then call him by that name.  :))

Some of us are gifted at remembering people’s names and some of us find this to be quite challenging.  How about with our God?  What are we currently calling Him and is it really His true name?  Or maybe have we forgotten it or really don’t know it?  Are we, like my daughter, just calling Him “Samuel”-using some sudo/false name?  I wonder if one of the below untrue names I have used before are on your heart and mind in your current relationship with God-

“I just call Him Samuel”/false names I have called God

  • I just call Him”Condemner”- because I believe I am a bad person (failed too many times), and God cannot use me or forgive me of my sin.  God’s True Name is “Savior”-For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:17
  • I just call Him “Stealer of my joy/fun”- because It seems all I am being compelled to do is get rid of every food, drink, activity which I love and other unbeliever’s are “living the high life”.  God’s True Name is “Life”-The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10
  • I just call Him “Unable and Uncaring”-because the trial I am in is causing pain/suffering and I feel hopeless and helpless.  God’s True Name is “Redeemer, Peace, Love”.  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33/ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28/Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7
  • I just call Him “Liar”-because He hasn’t answered my prayer in my way or timing.  God’s True Name is “The Way, Trustworthy, Gift giver”.  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6/Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17

May we get rid of all the “I just call Him Samuel” names we are subconsciously or verbally outright saying about our good God.  May we today ask Him for forgiveness for calling Him by the wrong name.  And may we step forward in all our troubles, fears, with Him as He is our friend who’s Name is, “THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE” (John 14:6)

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 072015
 

Praying this morning for any somewhat anxious Mom’s preparing to send precious children off to school tomorrow.  May we embark on this new fall season claiming His peace instead of worry ( “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”phil 4:6-7 ).  May we set up habits of prayer, reading of God’s Word, and space in our day so we can breathe in.  And out.  His perspective.  peace.  and purpose.  May we claim Jesus as head of our households, submitting to His will, and resisting the temptations and terror of the enemy.  May we walk in hope for we know His plans for us are real good.  -Praying this verse in Col 1:9b-12a for you-may “God fill you with the knowledge of His will through all wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father…”

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 012015
 

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!  John 16:33

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.  Psalm 105:4

My breaking point was reached this last weekend.  Wikipedia defines my experience as the moment of greatest strain at which someone or something gives way or breaks down and cries.  Yep.  Sums it up well.

When I look back over my life, I can remember some pivitol (above the norm) times when my patience and self control was used up and my breaking point hit.  Hard.  And what followed the breaking point was intense tears or a severe lashing out to someone nearby in anger.  Here are a couple of those:

My Breaking Point Doosies

  1.  College happened:  Play over study mixed with taking an overload of credits meant I was stressed beyond stressed at Midterms.  I couldn’t keep my head above water to memorize and remember all the science facts and figures.  My Mom called simply to check in and I couldn’t take one more conversation that day.  I was unkind and let my anger get the best of me as I blamed her for calling me-Stress had got the best of me and my breaking point hit.
  2. Marriage happened:  My husband and I were in our first year of marriage.  One particular week I told my husband I NEEDED and DESERVED a new outfit for the fall, he said, “No, we don’t have the money.”  The next day at the movies I asked if he could get us a drink and popcorn and he said again, “No, we don’t have the money.”  I ALWAYS got to have those things before, why not now?  The rage machine showed up and instead of lashing out I gave him the silent treatment for the rest of the time and car ride home.  The anger eventually came out as I let him know he wasn’t the boss of me.  Not my shining moment-Selfishness and greed had got the best of me and my breaking point hit.
  3. Children happened:  People always said children would test your patience like never before and they couldn’t have been more right.  I remember literally singing my 50th round of “Jesus loves me” at 3am to my first born daughter to get her to go to sleep.  Weeks into being a new Mom I realized I wasn’t strong enough for it.  The next morning my Mom had left to go home, my husband was at work and I was left laying on the couch, completely exhausted with a newborn crying.  Not sleeping.  Again.  I wept.  A constant stream of tears were getting myself and my child soaking wet-A lack of sleep, patience, and an out of control feeling in this new left me at my breaking point.

My breaking point last week came unexpectedly like these ones from my past, but created new questions in me.  (Mainly about my sanity.)  The recent lack of morning sickness (in this pregnancy) has recently allowed me to perform more of my regular housekeeping “to do’s”, as well as be more involved in my Mom role of playing with/ transporting my girls to parks and activities.  So that is better.  But we are finding we are in a season of many current and upcoming changes:  We are helping start a church plant, our girls are soon starting brand new schools, my husband is on Sabbatical in his job, we are expecting a new baby in a couple months, my husband is coaching both girls soccer teams and my family has recently moved to our city.  (I think I got them all.)  So obviously since our house is running at 40% we should get a puppy.  And we did.

I could tell my husband’s patience was wearing (My husband graciously gave me permission to write about this).  This so rarely, if ever, happens with him that I wasn’t sure how to handle it.  It seemed all our crazy had finally taken him down (when it had already brought me to tears many times before this point).  But instead of praying for him and asking what I could do to help him, I got angry.  I was angry because he wasn’t the immovable rock for me he had always been in the past.  Bottom line-it was a selfish anger.  Which quickly turned to an overall attitude of self pity.  And I lived here for awhile.  With quiet tears on and off.  Until by God’s mercy He lifted me from the pit, comforted me, and allowed me to see how I could pray for/help/respect my husband, while at the same time giving me strength for the day.

All these past “doosie breaking points” will ever be in my brain.  They came unexpectedly and I had a choice whether to let them get the best of me or allow these low points to propel me to the loving arms of Jesus.  They forced me to either change my attitude or ways, ask for help, lay down my pride, or let the anger/bitterness rule.  So ultimately, the breaking points were gifts.  Gifts of growth.  In choosing the ways of the Spirit over my fleshly reactions.  Does this mean the knowledge of life through the Spirit equals no break downs in the future?  Almost assuredly not.

But maybe next time a break down befalls us, we will turn more quickly from our self pity perspective to God’s life giving, mercy encompassing, massive forgiving, wisdom inducing, wholeness healing, and love overwhelming ways.  Maybe having experienced where our true strength, help, hope and peace comes from, we will  say His name, “Jesus” more often.

And no matter if we are able to say His powerful name before the breaking point or after the breaking point, He.  Is.  There.  In love, forgiveness, patience, and peace.  So let’s choose to say “Jesus” in the moments today where life seems too much.  Giving Him praise and glory for how He showed up big time to help us in our time of need.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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