Jun 292016
 

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness..” John 1:4-5a

“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1

“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philipphians 2:15

Summer, summer, summer time!  I cannot get enough of the fact that I can go outside.  My kids can go outside.  Our dog can go outside.  But will we?  There’s the real question.  And here is the real issue with it all.  Where I now see the error of my ways-My complaining occurs rain or shine.  Winter means complaining we can’t go outside because it’s too  wet.  Summer means complaining we can’t go outside because it’s too hot.  So I publicly apologize to my Creator God who truly blessed me to live in such green beauty as Oregon and resolve not to complain.  But to make a family new years resolution in June instead of January- Be.  Outside.  And.  Enjoy.

In efforts to keep with our June resolution me and my crew have become VBS (vacation bible school)/camp hoppers.  Church programs are fabulous for providing outdoor activities for kids and I’ve got summer camp flyers comin out my ears, so we are signed up and primed up to be-Playin’, learnin’, sprayin’, laughin’, kickin’, climbin’, runnin’, jumpin’, and swimmin’ in.  the.  sun.  And we will be lovin’ every minute of it mind you.

Well, except for the not so stellar minutes which occurred 2 days ago at our current VBS sensation.

I got my middle, “live for the social”, daughter checked in in about 5 seconds and moved to check in my oldest.  We wanted her to be in a group with her older cousin so she was in with 3rd graders instead of 2nd graders.  The big kids.  Literally.  As I walked my Lucy over to her group she truly was “Lucy Little” from the book “The Little’s”.  There were 7 boys more than a foot taller and 2 girls right in there as well.  I put on my “Mom evaluating/detective hat” and made the 2 second conclusion to atleast survey the land while my thinker, analyzer, slow to warm up artist daughter entered this scene.

The previous 3rd grade teacher extrovert leader started things with a bang.  “Everyone tell your name and tell one thing you like!”She yelled out in sing song form.  And then it began, one boy blurted, “Ryan and I get to go swimming at my grandma’s pool!”  Another right after from across the circle proclaimed, “I have two dogs!”  (No name to be spoken of, but this seemed to be how the game was played.  And how it continued for the next 5 minutes.  Yell out or miss out.)  As I watched the energetic one’s saying 5 or more fun facts and my daughter being the only one not having spoken, my Mama heart was in a wounded, sad state. And then my Lucy motioned me over and whispered to me her first comment which did in fact break my already wounded Mama heart.

“Mama, I don’t think anybody see’s me”, Lucy stated with her head down.  And yep, that comment pretty much took me down.  I proceeded to try to have a “it’s going to be okay, let me make things better” talk with her about the fact that all these kids were older and therefore bigger and that she would be bigger when she is that age a year from now.  And then made sure to tell the group leader her age as well.  And as I was making sure the leader “saw” my daughter, a mini miracle moment happened.  The blonde girl from across the circle said, “Lucy, we haven’t heard what you like yet!  What do you like to do?”  And then the only other girl in the group didn’t miss a beat and grabbed my “low to the floor” daughter’s hand and said, “Hey, since we are the only girls, come over here by us and we want to show you a special game!”  (Okay, are you girls trying to make a grown woman cry profusely in a random church parking lot?!)

And at that point I knew I could leave.  Lucy.  Was.  Seen.  Lucy, who’s name means “Light” had  the sun and THE Son shining on her.

Even in her smallness.  Quietness.  Seemingly helplessness.  And  darkness.  These girls were the light and love of Jesus to Lucy.  And we need to get this- this is how our good Father works people!

He shines on you with His Son, like the sun, through the light and love of His Spirit’s work in other’s.  He see’s you.  He see’s me.  And We.  Are.  Shining.  With.  Love.

So in your day today, when you feel worn out and weary.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.  When you are angry at your kids and have no patience left.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.  When it seems everyone else around you is more talented, more beautiful, more intelligent, better disciplined, better at cooking/housekeeping/gardening, has more courage, has more creativity, has more money, is “Mom of the year”, is “Wife of the year”, “Jesus follower of the year”,  and has the “Job of the Year”, do one thing.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.

You are never to0 small.  Never too weak.  Never too forgotten.  Never so disobedient.  Never so disconnected.  Never so alone.  Then to be seen.  To be loved.  To be shined upon.  By our heavenly Father.  He is light.  And He is life.

What do you do you feel nobody see’s you?

1-Find a place to go without distractions for a little while (with kids it’s hard, but i am not below turning on a movie to have some needed time-I know I am a better Mom when I take time away from my kids to meet with Jesus.) 

2-Open God’s true Word (truthfully it doesn’t matter where in the Bible you open, just open it, because His Word is living and active and will speak to what you need) and ask our heavenly Father to speak to your heart about your true identity as His daughter.

3- Be open to receiving what God’s Word says and be.loved. in this quiet moment.

be seen.  be loved.  Be light.  Today.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 212016
 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

“Come,” said Jesus. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.  Matthew 14:30

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Reality is I am is a city girl.  Who wants to be a country girl.  And this fact is highlighted when visiting my inlaws beautiful country home.  You see me in the country is like a kid in a candy store.  I am in awe of the beauty around me and all thinking goes out the window, only acting upon this passion.  I am pretty much afraid of all animals, and there are pretty much a bounty of “free roaming” animals in the country, but God’s treed countryside beckons me and all I want to do is get in it.  My love for bugs and snakes are also in the same above category and these creepy crawlies will find you at my in laws house, and yet this fact doesn’t stop me nature heart either.  The common occurrences of prickly berry bushes and poison oak are not familiar phrases to my ears, and it’s obvious my city girl radar is nonexistent as I romp through the green.  I am unable to function real well in the country, but I keep comin back.  Because I heart nature.  And I can’t stop myself from gettin me some.

During our last visit to my in law’s,  I “got me some” as I set out on a nature run.  And I had an experience like none other.  I now know what it feels like NOT to be protected.  And it’s not a good place to be.  Let me share with you the 2 moments which made my life flash before my eyes.  It involves 2 dogs and 2 Sarah’s.

I set out on a run at my in law’s house in the country.  And I tried be smarter than before.  Other times I ran into, literally, 2 large dogs at their neighbor’s house down the road and thankfully the attacker’s were called off, but just in the nick of time.  This time my mother in law suggested I drive past the “dog house” and park down the road a ways and then run.  Genious.  I thanked her for her brain and said, “thank goodness it will be a dog free run this time.”  And I spoke too soon as usual.

About halfway beyond the “No dog zone”, a dog approached.  Actually to be specific a German Shepherd came bounding towards me in a full sprint.  In the split second I guarded myself.  With what I was holding in my hand.  My cell phone.  Which amazingly proved to be not a weapon and not helpful.  Pretty sure my heart hasn’t done that kind of rhythm before.  My fear left me at a standstill.  (Which I believe is actually a good thing based on my memory of 3rd grade dog etiquette facts.)  And then I saw people.  Oh the hope which filled my soul.  The owners voiced the command which may as well been directly from heaven, “No boy!  Come!!”  The dog was protecting his peeps instictively.  But thankfully he was obedient to their commands.  Meaning no ER run for me.

But the craziest thing emerged from this fear filled moment.  I found purpose.  God given purpose.  For me to live out the “good works God had ordained for me before I was born”.  A life giving conversation happened.

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Owner Sarah and I talked for about 20 minutes about the rough.  Of being a mom, wife, and worker.  The school which wouldn’t quit.  The mothering of 3 girls (not a coincidence I found myself in that same 3 girl zone.).  The husband working graveyard.  But by the grace of God I got to speak some Father’s love into Sarah this day.  In her busyness and lack of energy her inability to get back to church was real.  I felt a Spirit’s nudge to ask her about the church my in law’s go to.  Come to find out she went there with her girls years ago.  I told her I would be praying for her to go back and I believed God’s love for her and her family meant he wanted to do 3 things for her in her stepping out in this act of faith-1-extend her time to get all her school work done even though they spent time going to church 2-energize her and fill her up instead of drain her by taking all kids without their dad on her own.  3-Find a support network of family to love on her during this challenging season.  It was raw, real, and purposed.

You may feel too sorry for me if I shared I got chased down by another dog only moments later.  So I won’t tell you about that.  And you may get too excited about the “non coincidence purposes of God” if I told you I had another life giving conversation with another Sarah owner of this dog as well.  So I won’t tell you about that.  But I will tell you this.  2 dogs taught me fear happens in our day to day, but it is what we do with it that matters.  2 Sarahs taught me if we fix our eyes on Jesus through the fear (just like Peter could walk on water by fixing His eyes on Jesus) we will have miracle moments.  I wonder what fear may be on your heart today.  What “dog” is chasing you down and you think you can’t escape?  Do one thing.  Fix your eyes on Jesus.  Let Him protect you from the “dog fear” in His amazing love (I can guarantee He has more than a cell phone defense at His arsanal.)  And then do one more thing.  Watch for an opportunity.  To live out your Spirit given gifts of leadership, serving others, encouraging others, giving to others, showing mercy or empathy to others.

Key word here is “Others”.  My “others” were “Sarah’s”.  Your “others” may be your son or daughter or husband or co worker or child care giver.  Jesus has your “Sarah’s” for you to minister to today.  So fix your eyes on Jesus today instead of the waves of fear or “fear dogs” which are chasing you.   Do this, so you can “walk on water”, doing “non coincidance” things today and ultimately fulfill your purpose.  Trust me.  You WILL find true life and your identity as you act upon these “good works” He already thought about before you were born!

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 152016
 

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  Luke 11:13

Love never loses faith; 1 Corinthians 13:7a

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Luke 11:9

So I slowly.  Ever so slowly people-  Put on my favorite stretchy pants, shirt and running shoes this morning, and practically fell out the door.  My pace could hardly be called “running” (or even jogging to be fare) due to my extreme grogginess.  (Alright.  It also may have been due to the fact my “haven’t disciplined myself to work out body” was telling me “no” when I tried to “go”.)

As I ran, the dream I had been having when the brutal wake up happened was recalled to my memory.  It’s ironic because I cannot remember the last time I remembered a dream.  And it was even more rare because it seemed to be a spiritual dream, involving a reocurring scripture verse and sister in Christ.

I felt a Spirit nudge to text this individual about this scripture and dream.  (God has to make things clear to me and I don’t believe in coincidences-I believe in God ordained/Spirit prompted occurrences.)  How you ask?  Well, let me share.  First, I remembered the dream and it involved scripture (miracle of rememberings mixed with Truth).  And next, the first reminder on my phone from Facebook said this individual’s name with the phrase, “Let her know” attached to it.  Our God works through mysterious ways my friends.  And yes, (in spite of all the Facebook drama) even through Facebook!

The texting to my friend was my first order of business on my run (gotta love the voice command feature, however people may have given me the “you are weird” look more than once).  And then I got to thank my God for His goodness to me.  I thanked God specifically for “no rain on the run” (since the reality of the downpoor was imminent due to the wet all around me/clouds all above me and I hate running in the rain-and even more running in the rain with my dog)  I also prayed for friends and family who were on my heart.

But then I asked my Father to “speak for your child is listening” (in an effort to listen to God rather than continue my laundry list of needs and agenda) and a strange feeling came over me.  Warning-I am heading into the transparent zone so beware the upcoming statement people!  If I am being truly honest with myself, I was dealing with som yucky.  Heart issue stuff.   And yes lets call it out.  Jealousy.

I was wishing that dream I had for my friend had been for me.  I was wanting my Father God to have a Word for me.  I was needing some tangible love from Him.  Just.  For.  Me-What.  About.  Me.  (And as I write this I recognize fully I have written the word “Me” fulfilling the writing quota for the year.  Ouch.)  But this was the real of where my heart sat.

I wish my response to God’s love for another would have been different.  Selfless maybe.  Joyful and glad.  Other’s focused.  And many times I genuinely do “rejoice with those who rejoice”.  But not this time.  My faith in His constant love for me appeared nonexistent in this moment.

Having finished my run on a down note I walked in my front door, headed straight to the back door to let the dog out, and IMMEDIATELY it started to rain.  And IMMEDIATELY my heart fluttered a little as I received this good, love gift from my Father.  You would think being an Oregon girl that rain wouldn’t get to me so much, but God knows I cannot stand the wet, dreary rain run.  (And especially when the wet dog would be a reality as well.)  Now, once again this coincidance situation is back on the table.  Could it be coincidance that the rain started up right after I stepped inside and was needing to recognize some “Father love” to me? Not with the way I roll.

I may not have felt the rain, but I felt the love of the Father rain down on me this morning.  (He’s got enough to go around people!)  His love is deep.  Wide.  Long.  And doesn’t quit.  Not ever.

 May I never doubt this love rain which downpours for me.  For you.  Forever.  And may we testify to the love the Father has for us.  Because when it rains.  It pours.  

Consider what situation you are currently in and need some “Rain love” from the Father.  Would you ask Him to make you aware of His close presence and love for you?

What are you in need of?  Are you in financial need?  Physical strength?  Wisdom?  Peace about the future?  Freedom from fear or addiction?  Help to overcome an obstacle?  Love for a hard to love individual?  Purpose in the now? Whatever your need-God desires to hear, answer and love you through it.  So ask Him.  And allow His love to meet you right now.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 082016
 

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.  Acts 20:35

My daughter gave me some perspective this week.  (Why is it my kids are continually teaching me the love of Jesus, I am pretty sure that me, the parent is supposed to be the one imparting all wisdom.  And yet, doesn’t seem to be the case much of the time as I have to continually swallow yucky stuff on a regular basis, like taking cough medicine when I have to swallow my pride, my selfishness, my lack of patience and my kids are the one’s feeding it to me.  Awesome, Lord.) 

Anyway, my oldest daughter who is 7 told me a story which brought tears to my eyes.  She told me she was sitting as usual in the 1st grade line in the gym waiting for their teacher to bring them to their class to start the day.  She said a boy was sitting by her and she overheard him say to someone else that he didn’t have a snack. She said, “Mom, I felt bad for him.  I knew he would feel bad in class when he had nothing to eat and everyone else was eating something.”  She continued by saying, “So I gave him my snack.  And I gave him the cheese pretzel snack.  Not the other cheese stick and meat stick one.”  And right about here is when the tears filled my eyes with overwhelming Jesus love I just witnessed in my daughter.   (you see, you have to know the backstory to understand what a selfless act this truly was.

The truth was that as we were hurridly trying to get out the door that morning my daughter requested cheese pretzels for one of her two snacks.  She doesn’t usually make requests, but I had splurged and purchased these pretzels as an end of the year treat.  She knew it.  Didn’t get them usually.  And wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to include these special ones. )  And so now you may get the tears response to the fact that she gave the cheese pretzels, in other words her best, her favorite, her “firstfruits” to the boy, (but ultimately to Jesus because we know scripture says, “what you do for the least of these you do for me”).  My daughter concluded her story by saying, “And you know what Mom.  He was SOOOOO happy.  And that made me SOOOO happy.”  And I replied with an addition of, “And it made your mama and Jesus SOOOO happy as well!”

So once again, Jesus taught me, through my daughter, that rejoicing happens in true generosity and selflessness.  My daughter could have had a very different response.  She could have not done anything in this situation.  She could have even been a little happy in the thought that she had a snack and he didn’t.  This being the delighting in evil thing we are looking at this week.  But instead she experienced rejoicing and many others did to as she acted upon The Truth in God’s Word which says as is written above:

Matthew 10:42
“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

My daughter challenges me to give relentlessly-I see over and over the grace and gift of giving my daughter has from the Spirit.  It’s real hard to out give her and we have to simmer her down at times to not have her immediately go buy for someone once she receives a bit of money.  But I love this about her and she inspires me to be better because this is not one of my strengths/spiritual gifts.  And I love how we as the body of Christ are all given various gifts and as we work together we function real well to bring the love and light of Jesus to a hurting world.  I can even rejoice in this truth that we are not created the same, having the same gifts, and seeing the gifts God has given others should be a place of joy for His Kingdom not a place of depression or comparing.  Because I have been given gifts too, and so have you.  Going against our culture’s evil values of “greed, all out for me mindset” and taking God’s true word and acting upon it means joy.  For you.  For others.  And for our Father who see’s it all.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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