Jan 292016
 

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  1 Peter 3:8

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind (also translated “being like-minded”), maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Philippians 2:1-4

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 good gifts to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:11

It was the first.  Time.  Going it alone.  It was almost like the movie, “Three men and a baby”, except minus the three men and insert “two girls, a mom” (which equals “Two girls, a mom, and a baby” if you haven’t had your coffee yet this morning).  I have heard the horror stories of going from 2 to 3 kids-“you have to switch from one on one to zone defense”, or, “now no one wants to have you over for dinner”, or, “having no time for yourself becomes the norm”, or, “now you have to divide your brain to multitask three ways, which is almost impossible” and many more.  And they are all true.  (A sincerely, heart felt hats off to mothers with more than 3 children.  Seriously.  You are my hero’s.  And I need your autograph.)

My oldest’s lunch was packed the night before to allow more time to get everyone ready for school in the morning.  Check.  The well laid out plan of attack had circled my mind over the past week as I anticipated this day-“If I get up at 6:45am I should be able to start laundry for the day, then start bowling water for oatmeal while I turn on the fire and read my Bible.  While oatmeal is going, I can run upstairs and make sure the girls outfits for the day don’t look like we are dressing for “Mismatch/backwards Day” and call out reminders for teeth brushing and bed making.  The baby “Should” sleep all the while.  During breakfast I will nurse the baby and then put her in the carseat (trying not to forget the needed binki).  And myself getting ready for the day-well, that was the part that had to be alleviated.  Sweats, sweatshirt, cozy boots, and ponytail was my new mantra.

The morning went off just as I anticipated, except for the minoot fact that my house looked like I was getting ready for a garage sale. (I guess the cleaning up part comes at some other point.)  Oh and the aftermath was a doozie as well-  I was afraid someone might talk to me and I would have to answer and if it was possible to have a word be your best friend, mine would have been “massage”.  Thankfully I had made plans to be with close friends.  Who don’t judge by outward appearance.

Our friend time together wasn’t necessarily what I was anticipating, but it was much, much better.  Instead of mustering up what I would need to repeat the morning I had for the next day, I got to muster up hope.  The word “hope” was in order for my friend.  Her daughter had been having night terrors for the past couple weeks.  For my friend, this meant getting up 20 times in the night.  No more solutions in play.  An an inability to find compassion and understanding.  Tears of tiredness, guilt of a mother, and toiled up past childhood memories of pain.  Ultimately, hope had vanished from the scene.

I thought about my morning, but it quickly left my mind as I was drawn into love expressed by affectionate compassion (like in the above scriptures), and hope for my weary, tear stained friend.  I thought about the scripture, “Love always hopes”.  And was humbled by that mornings mission to do just that.  My other friend was “of the same mind” (like in the above scriptures).  And we spent our morning listening.  Praying for a miracle to occur in hearts, minds, and sleep patterns.  And putting all our hope in Jesus.  My discouraged friend is usually the one ministering to others and had a hard time receiving our love.  She found multiple phrases to express this, “I so shouldn’t have come this morning.  I am so sorry guys.  Seriously, this is a bummer, you don’t have to keep listening to this.  Let’s talk about something else.”  But we two who had gathered with our three didn’t comply.  But were expectant for our God to meet us and answer our plea for Him to do a mighty work.  And I am so glad we did.

The next morning, I missed a call from my friend we had hoped and prayed for.  With crazy schedules over the next couple days I wasn’t able to connect, but I wondered how her night, which had typically been too many wake ups to count, had been.  I saw my other prayer warrior friend at a coffee date a couple days later and she said, “Did you hear about the night terrors?”  I said, “No, I missed a phone call from her and haven’t been able to reach her yet.”  My friend said, “For the past 3 nights her daughter has not woken up ONCE with a night terror!!!”  Wow.  Praise God.  It was a miracle.  It was a brilliant display of Christ’s body coming together in one mind-answered prayer -God’s faithfulness-love always hopes-and a good gift given by the Father to His child.  Oh-Amen Jesus!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Dec 312015
 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercyhe has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Peter 1:3-7

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 13:15

My sister in law asked me what was my favorite gift was this year.  I didn’t have to think long.  It was Evie.  My 12/12/15 birthday baby.  Having gone through 9 months of a challenging pregnancy, her long awaited arrival was sweet.  With only a couple weeks into maneauvering a family of 5, the meaning of Evie’s name (even amidst my kidney stone hospital run 4 days after her birth, lack of sleep, nursing woes, the too many billyrubin pricks, and Christmas craze/sickness which befell upon everyone) strangely rings true for me now.  “Life”.

Her life has brought me life.  Just as our God promises abundant life to those who believe and follow Him, His gift of the life of Evie to me has overwhelmed me with unspeakable peace, joy and hope at the end of this year.  In remembering our four and a half years of infertility, I am grateful to God.  For my three when I had come to accept I wouldn’t have one.  For girls when I planned on boys.  For making it clear that Evie’s life was in His timing, His control and His perfect plan-not mine.  And ultimately, that our.  God.  Is.  Faithful.  And.  Can.  Be.  trusted.  Fully.  Evie=life.  God=the life giver.  Evie=a blessed, good gift to me.  God=THE giver of ALL good gifts.

Over the past couple weeks, I believe the Lord has been bringing someone to my mind.  Over.  And over again.  (These consistent, persistent thoughts, seeming out of my typical thought patterns is typically a sign to me that God is nudging me to act in some way for Him.)  I do not know this person well.  In fact have only met them one time, but know of their story.  Their story is one of chronic pain.  Inability to live life much outside the walls of home.  Everyday reliance on family to care for and meet financial, and physical needs.  And in our one, brief moment of meeting, the word HOPE flooded my entire being.  And this word continued to appear in the days and weeks which followed our interaction-a Facebook invite popped up “A night of Hope”; our sermon series at church was on “Hope”; and scriptures, as well as songs, involving a certain word (I think you know) permeated my days.

I knew I was to contact this person, pray for this person, do something for this person but didn’t know exactly how to proceed.  That’s when I believe God made my next step clear.  Our church gave everyone a $30 gift card to pass on to a person of our choice.  To bless them this season.  This person came immediately to my mind.  This financial blessing was definitely not the way I thought the Lord would have me proceed.  I told my husband I believed God placed someone on my heart to give this to.  And He graciously agreed to the choice.

We emailed but have not been able to connect with this person yet.  But I trust His timing will be perfect.  And it is this morning in which  I have been able to lift my head briefly from the new Mom fog and get a quick swig of coffee (from our new machine which actually uses whole beans-I feel so spoiled, but I’m ok with it) and some in the Word/fix my eyes on Jesus time (while the miracle moment happened- the babe was sleeping, the girls were happily occupied and the house looked decent enough for me to feel grace/freedom from my Father for some much needed time with Him).  And this person was brought to my cloudy, rummy mind again.  And the three songs which came on K love nearly brought me tears as my heart went out to this individual.  And I actually did cry as the Lord brought to mind what my next theme verse I would be writing on was, “Love is always hopeful”.  There was that “hope” word again.

Then my moment of God time was interrupted by Evie’s newborn cry.  (The gas breaks up those sleep patterns much more often than i would like.)  I decided to put try her for the first time in the “Baby Bourne” carrier.  It had worked before for the other girlies, hoping for the best with this one as well.  As my husband helped me get her all locked in snug to my chest, I continued to find His Spirit speaking in my everyday new baby routine.  Evie fought with all her might with her little hands, feet and bobbing head to break free, but then finally relaxed.  Was calmed.  And found peace and rest in just being held.

May we, on this day before the New Year, also stop fighting.  To be in control of it all.  To know and understand it all.  To do and be it all.  And be held by our heavenly Father’s loving arms-finding true peace in our current circumstances because He is THE Prince of Peace.  Finding true rest from our anxieties and worries when we give our burdens to Him because He cares deeply about them and about us.  And finding true HOPE for our now and tomorrow’s New Year because we know He is the only true HOPE we base our lives upon, knowing His plans for us are good and hopeful (Jer 29:11).

As this is a “too be continued” story since we have not yet given our $30 gift card to the individual I believe God put on my heart/mind, I wait in hopeful expectation as to how God will show up, be glorified.  And may you be encouraged by our God of Hope as you wait in expectation as to His good gifts and plans He has for you in 2016 as you allow Him to hold you in His loving arms of HOPE today.

What trial in your life are you going down the “giving up”/”quitting” path?  Will you ask God for His strength to persevere in the hard and restore to you His hope today?

Would you be willing to ask God what area you need to submit to Him in this New Year?

 Would you take the opportunity in the beginning of the New year to lay down fears to the Father and ask Him for courage to step out in faith (not sight) in response to the Spirit’s “nudge” ( “new mission” of obedience) He is calling you to?

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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