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

Share
Aug 172015
 

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  Romans 5:3-5

Of course the 1 Corinthians 13 scripture, “love is not easily angered” was all I could think about.  That is, as I was currently in the midst of fighting off being easily angered.  This seems to be how the conviction of the Holy Spirit plays out in my life on a regular basis.  And I wish I could tell you my anger was the “righteous anger” type, over something of spiritual significance or logical sense.  But I cannot.

The struggle of my anger was birthed in trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.  Not literally.  But figuratively, as it relates to an activity we all know and love-a birthday party.  Let me explain.

It was my daughter’s 5th birthday and I couldn’t seem to make her “dream theme” work out.  She wanted a “Queen squirrel” party.  My husband commented in response to her theme request, “You sure can tell our kids have grown up in the “Netflix/DVR/no commercials” society because you don’t see any stores marketing “Queen Squirrels”-no barbie party for her- this is her very own creation.”  Hense my frustration.

How was I to win any Mother of the Year awards when I couldn’t come through for my daughter on her birthday?  (I do not actually seek this award, but I recognize I place unrealistic/unnecessary pressures on myself to “be all and do all” for my children.  So Lord, forgive me of this pride which all around never bodes well.)  My internal temperature was rising as I was shot down by all my “go to’s” of Amazon, Target, Fred Meyer, Kohls and Pintrest for ANY sort of “queen squirrel” party decor.

After hours of mental anger (okay, and some outward snips at my husband and children who were not wise to be asking anything of me in this state), I came to a place where I could breathe more easily.  I resolved to the obvious conclusion. Queen squirrels do not co-exist/make sense for the majority of Americans.  So I stopped trying to look for them out in the world and decided to bring pieces of each of these things together to create my daughter’s imaginary world.   I was at ease in letting go of trying to make “queen squirrels” become a “thing”/suddenly appear in our nearby Target store.  And became excited about the creating and entering into the joy of my daughter’s world.  This looked something like a hodge podge array of decor-queen plates, mixed with a squirrel holding acorn cupcakes;  A song sung and book read about squirrels with a princess/queen movie immediately following.  Two seemingly unrelated/unable to be combined entites from the world’s standard-queens and squirrels-were joined together.  And a different world, my daughter’s world, was brought to life at her party.

I am thankful we as believer’s in Jesus live in belong to a different world as well.  A Kingdom world.  A world which is not so unlike my daughter’s party in which “queen’s and squirrel’s” coexist.  Where suffering and glory don’t co-exist.  And even go hand in hand.  Crazily, we can “glory in our sufferings”, as it says in the Romans passage above.  Knowing whatever struggle it is we are currently facing, if we hold onto Jesus, will result in perseverance, then character, and finally, hope.

So we stand on solid hope today.  In the midst of the shaky hard we are facing.  Even when the earthly people around us tell us “queens and squirrels” or our suffering and hope cannot co exist.  Even when other’s do not understand our unlikely, unrelated attitude of strength, peace, and joy in our trialing circumstance.  Because we will overcome in Jesus.  Knowing this world is not our true home.   And we will never feel truly at home until we get to heaven.  In which “Queen Squirrel parties” will be oh so commonplace.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Jul 212015
 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Corinthians 13:7

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  Isaiah 43:19

Getting back into exercising.  Is.  Not.  Easy.  Or fun.  After being on what felt like “house arrest” because this pregnancy sickness took me out of all things active, I am finally starting to ease my way back into our norm (whatever that is).  My “norm” looks something like daily dishes, laundry on Monday’s, texts to friend’s in order to sync schedules for various kid free and kid included activities, Pinterest pin dinners and the shopping for needed ingredients, a daily work out, and time with my Father/in the Word with my latest devotional book.  But trying to get back into the “norm” has been harder than I may have anticipated.  And I am recognizing some of my “norm” must change with a given season-and as challenging and uncomfortable as this may feel, I must surrender.  To God.  And His “norm” He has for me in my now.

I am learning to succumb and even thank Jesus for His new norm for me in this season (And you can too).

Here are my 3 “out with the old, in with His new” daily reality:  

1.  I am embracing a new routine-You have no idea how it pains me to write the following statement:  “I went on a walk a couple days ago”.  You, see, only woosies walk (and I so apologize for offending you if you are a walker-I understand my thinking is scewed and I am in need of heavy counseling for my flawed attitude.)  But you must forgive me. Because I am a runner in heart, body, and mind.  But the run wasn’t workin’ friends.  When I tried my old running “norm” with my daughter the other morning, I lost my lunch.  Literally.  And so you have to know.  My pride.  Was.  Shot.  As I put on my running shoes.  Stepped out of my front door. And got my speed walk on.  Pumping arms and all.

Thank you Jesus for Your new daily routine norms you have for me.

2.  I am willing to make changes in my attitude, activity preferences, how I spend my time in order to love others like Jesus does-You have no idea how it pains me to write the next following statement:  “We have a lizard living in our house”.  My oldest daughter is one with bugs.  Snakes.  Digging in the dirt for treasures.  And I would never have pictured myself encouraging these hobbies.  But now I am embracing them (the hobbies and yes, even the lizard).  Our God is about intimate relationship with us.  And if we are to love Him, we will love others.  And a part of loving those around us is caring about what they care about.  It’s not enough to be apart of the activities/hobbies I like or “get”.  The Lord has given me a new sense of laying down my selfish agenda, to build a home for what seems to be just about the ugliest creature I have ever seen (for instance).

Thank you Jesus for how you made each of us unique and how you have called us to love and appreciate one another.

3.  I am saying “Yes” to the Spirit nudges/Jesus’ agenda for my day, even when I am physically and emotionally weak-While speed walking the other day, I spent time thanking God for His beautiful creation.  I asked Him for strength as I still struggled to keep certain foods down and have strength to be the Mom and wife and friend and Daughter of the King He had called me to be.  I asked Him to show me how to “minister in my weakness”.  Right after this thought I saw a sign in front of me for a garage sale and underneath it said, “Benefiting missions”.  I passed the sign, wanting to keep with my fast walking pace and knowing I didn’t have any money on me to buy anything.  But then an idea, I believe to be a “nudge” from the Lord came into my thoughts, “you should go and pray for them”.  Hmmm.  Feeling pregnant.  Feeling uncomfortable.  Mainly for multiple reasons- I don’t even know the people at the garage sale, let alone if the “missions” the sale is supporting is even one I agree with.  I am needing to get stick to my exercise agenda and be home in a timely fashion.  But the prayer idea did not go away.  And i had just agreed to God to allow Him to do “ministry in my weakness”.  So I went.  And awkwardly browsed the sale.  With no means to buy anything.  But saw a girl in the corner putting out baby clothes.  I asked her if this was her garage sale and she said “yes”.  Long story short-I found out she was going on a week long mission trip.  Asked her if I could pray for her.  Did.  And she said, “Wow, that was so encouraging” as I left.  But truely-I was the one who was the most encouraged.  To be apart of God using me in my weakness.  To see saying “yes” to God’s nudges in ALL seasons only fills us with joy.

Thank you Jesus for Your new ministry norms you have for me.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Jun 232015
 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

Yes.  It’s here again.  Summer.  In our house this translates as many things, but I would say the word “transition” is the theme of it all.  Our transitions have included out of the early morning school routines and into the sleep in’s.  Out of my husband’s regular full day schedule of teaching courses and into him being home more with the family.  Out of the small group/bible studies/Awana programs, dance lessons (in other words the “regularly scheduled activities) and into the somewhat haphazardly changing schedule of swimming lessons, camps, family BBQ invites, park day trips, free lunch program, gardening upkeep, garage sales, and kiddie pool time in the backyard.

Last week was the start of swimming lessons.  We have done quite a bit of our “own lessons” in the pool, so I was somewhat hesitant as to which would be the best level to place my girls in.  But I went with my best guess.  (And was able to finagale them into the same time/lesson which was actually probably the main priority/ happy element of it all for me.)

The girls seemed to be fitting in with their group even though they were the only ones upholding girl power.  I was a happy, contented Mom as I watched their lessons for 2 main reasons:  #1- they seemed to be trying some new techniques which stretched their current abilities.  #2-Their teacher was organized and gifted-therefore my hard earned money was being put to good use.

I caught their teacher’s eye after the last lesson and said, “Thanks for all your hard work!”  He replied with an answer I wasn’t expecting, “It’s sure great when you have brave ones to work with!”

I had a mental chewing on the word “brave” for my entire drive home.  I thought about the prayer I had been praying for the girls as they entered these lessons, “Lord, help them to be brave.”  And next the 2 questions I always ask them after each swimming lesson, “Did you do something new?  and Did you obey your teacher?”  The 2 questions I asked them were absolutely correlated with the character trait of bravery.  The words from the song, “You make me wanna be brave” surfaced on the brain-“The way it always was, is no longer good enough.  You make me wanna be brave.”  Bravery is the mark of a good swimming student and it is also the mark of a good follower of Jesus.

Living a life of faith in Jesus requires us to be brave.  Much of the time.  I want to be living an ever growing, maturing relationship with Jesus.  And if I find myself at a standstill in my walk with God, doing things on autopilot as I always have been, “holding on to the pool’s edge without venturing into uncharted waters”, I may need to ask myself the 2 questions I asked my girls after swimming each day:  “Have I done something new lately (being stretched for the Kingdom, acting in my weakness)?”  “Am I obeying my teacher (God)?”  If the answer is “no” to either of these questions, I may want to have a heart to heart with my heavenly Father.

If obedience to my “teacher” is first and foremost, then the bravery piece will come into play as we step into the new with our walk with God.  Someone once asked me what was, in my opinion an easy answer of “Yes”- “If you knew without a doubt God was asking you to do something, would you do it?”  But this isn’t the reality most of the time for us as we live by faith, responding to the Spirit.  We don’t have absolute assurity.  We have what we believe to be a still small voice/idea that comes into our mind in which we believe to be from God, not from us.  We have a word in scripture which jumps out of the page to us in the morning and then later in the day a friend echos this same message of direction/wisdom for us.  We have a moment with a stranger in which our heart beats fast and we feel impressed to go talk with them.  All what seem to be the Spirit telling us to go-do-respond-AND then we.  have.  a.  choice.  To be brave.  Even when we are not SURE.  Even when we may look silly.  Even when we don’t have a clue what we are doing.

So I am challenged this summer to grow in my maturity/bravery as a “swimming student” with God, my instructor.  And my hope is that He will be thinking the same thing as my girls’ instructor said, “It’s sure great when you have brave ones to work with.”

Oh Lord help me be brave.  Like you.  For you.  With you.

(By the way, the Love it Up series is off for the summer/I am planning to have the rest available when the book comes out.  :))

 

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Apr 152015
 

The Disney movie “Mulan” comes to mind when I am thinking about honor.  A journey of one Japanese girl, conflicted between giving honor to her family and culture and yet still following her passions/desired life goals.  One of the songs the family, neighbors sings to her is “You’ll bring honor to us all.”  Honor in this culture is expected and highly valued.  I am not sure that our American culture fully gets this honor concept.  And yet as believer’s within the American culture, we should get it.  Because it is valued by God and He asks it of us.  What I found this week was a little more dishonor happening, even if it was in my heart and not spoken out loud, than I would like to admit.  The “Love does not dishonor” (The Greek word for honor means “to revere, prize, and value.”) was a harder challenge than I was expecting.  But if I desire to value the things God values, I must look squarely at my own life and the “lack of it” and be willing to make some changes.

Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #1-My Mom and Dad-  This “week of honor” fell on our family vacation week.  Which I found quite fitting and definitely not a coincidence since we were vacationing with my parents.  The scripture “Honor your Father and Mother” (Eph 6:2a) was going through my brain even before we all set foot on the plane to leave.  I was contemplating how this scripture doesn’t have an end date on it.  For example, “When the child reaches their thirties, they no longer are under the honor their parents rule anymore”.  And there are no exception or escape clauses like “If the parent is not a believer”, “If the parent is undeserving of respect based on making extremely poor decisions”, or “If the parent conducts all timers and cannot think clearly” then God’s command to honor them is null and void.  God says “Just do it” in Nike terms-Just honor your parents, respect them not based necessarily on merit but on their rank/position they hold in your life.  So, on our trip, there was not any “aha” moment in which I got to “crown my parents with honor” but I can tell you there were many moments in which I thought twice before speaking.  For example, instead of commenting sarcastically to my parent’s suggestion to pack a huge lunch for everyone rather than go out (I was feeling lazy and not wanting to put in the work to do this) I simply kept my mouth shut.  And helped pack a lunch.  There were many more of these kind of moments.  Small moments.  Of.  Shutting.  My.  Mouth.

Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #2-My husband- When I talked with the Lord about what relationships in my life needed some tweaking in the “honor” area, he brought my husband to mind right away.  Sure, I have read the “Love and Respect” book which pretty much states in a nutshell, women need love and men need respect in a marriage.  But I have some work to do in this department.  So I went through some testing questions to get my respect odometer back to where it should be “Do I value his opinion above a psychologist author of the book I’m reading?”;  “Do I value him above my need to be right in a given disagreement”;  “Do I value him above my intense desire to control the way we do things rather than simply going with his suggested way we proceed?”;  “Do I value him above the project I want done in my time schedule?”  All these questions were followed up this week with opportunities to up my “respect odometer” reading with my husband.  I will tell you that in the case of wanting the kids swing set built, I chose nagging to get the project done over respecting his way and timeline.  Bummer.  But in many other situations this week-I decided.  To.  Lay.  Down.  My.  Control.  And. respect. him.  Instead.

Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #3-The Shaming Game-  I have a couple books that are my “bathroom reads”.  The book I picked up this week during this precious, uninterrupted time was “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.  And the topic was “shame”.  She says, “The shame tapes are the messages of self-doubt and self-criticism that we carry around in our heads.”  I began to explore my “shame tapes” and recognized how my need to have approval from others (or therefore my shame tapes would begin to roll) was tied to how I viewed myself.  This unhealthy negative inner talk caused me to shame my husband and children at times, rather than fesing up to my own mistakes.  For the sake of my personal “honor”.  I would shame others in order to not be shamed myself.  In reading through the definitions and “shame resilient” strategies and the reality of the “why” behind these behaviors, I feel courageous and confident to speak to myself with kindness and honor, even in the “tapes” I play in my mind.  Through this journey of self evaluation I have “grown up” in 3 areas having to do with honor:  1.  I honor God above all else, allowing Him to convict me of sin (recognising the act was bad-I am not bad).  2.  I am then free to respect/honor who I am in Christ-seeing myself as worthy and whole, no matter what anyone else says.  3.  This flows into honoring others, without feeling a need to put down, disrespect another because I am enough and they are enough through the eyes of Jesus.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Jul 302014
 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

My oldest daughter has had a “go to” book since she was old enough to sit up and flip pages.  This book is currently, and has for years sat on her nightstand.  We call the book, “The Dog Book”.  (Probably fairly self explanatory.)  You have a dog temperament question, you want to know what breed just walked past you, my daughter most likely will be there for you.

This next statement may sound strange to you so gear up.   I feel like I am a dog-A Bloodhound.  To be exact.  When I run.

As I train for this marathon, I feel compelled to do it without the help of an I-Pod or audio books.  Which makes some serious time left to my own thoughts, along with spending time with God.  In this journey there is one truth I have found:  Because my senses are not tuned in to music, a book, or talking to someone, they are perked up elsewhere; Making me and the Bloodhound more alike than I would like to admit.

For all of you dog lover’s and my daughter Lucy, this may be a recap for you, but for the rest of us, here is a little Bloodhound synopsis from “The Dog Breed Information Center”:

“The Bloodhound thrives on the hunt rather than the kill. It takes great pleasure in tracking and has been used to hunt animals, criminals, runaway slaves and lost children. Today this slow mannered, rich sounding breed is both tracker and companion. Although it has a pleasant temperament, it is not easy to obedience train, most likely largely due to the fact that it gets distracted from human command, more interested in all of the exciting strong smells around him.”

The ways the Bloodhound and I are alike:

  • Heightened senses of smell, sight, and sound.
  • Easily distracted by surroundings.
  • Doesn’t follow human commands.
  • Wired to find lost people.

It is crazy to notice what I am tuning into on my “free of noise” runs instead of tuning out like I normally am in the mode of doing in my day to day routine.

Eyes-I am taken back by a field of brilliant magenta flowers on my left.  A prestine, manicured lawn on my right.  A pop can where it shouldn’t be.

Ears-  The city sounds of cars whizzing by.  The “out of the city” sounds of bird songs.  The “Good job” from another runner not “tuned in”.

Nose-The city smells equalling the gaustly combination of car exhaust, Burger King, garbage and chinese food, with a hint of freshly made donuts.  The “out of the city” smells of lilacs, cow manure, and hay.

Just as the Bloodhound has difficulty following human commands and is honed in to finding the lost, so should we, as Daughter’s of The King, display these personality traits.  We follow Jesus’ commands, and not people’s commands.  Following Jesus means following Jesus.  And not other’s.  Following Jesus means doing life different.  From the typical American woman, mother, wife, employee.  From the way we respond to difficulty and trials.  From the way we interact with others.  From the way we show unconditional love.  Forgiveness.  And Compassion.

When we become too engrossed in distractions around us and forget to use our “Bloodhound” makeup, we can become tuned out to the Kingdom mindset and life.  When we have some time to be without-The noise of music, tv shows, technology, phones, Apps, Ipods/pads, facebook, Pinterest, email, online shopping/games-we remember our true selves within.  Our true identity, our true mission, our true makeup in Christ.  And our “Bloodhound”/Kingdom/Heaven focused heightened senses come out strong.  And we find ourselves in a strange place of rest.  Refreshment.  And Rejoicing.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Apr 082013
 

CONFESSION:  I AM NOT A WOMAN WHO GETS GIDDY TO SEE COBWEBS, STAINS, AND DIRT REMOVED.  I am not a woman who enjoys the thrill of buying large or small bins for everything to have its rightful place.

I just get by.

I have my daily chores in order to alleviate mold, mildew smells, accidents as a result of toys and clutter, poop stained toilets, and dishes/laundry deprivation.  I vacuum and wipe down the floors when we are having people over.

If you place one of two different words in front of the word cleaning, my brain immediately receives the signal to encounter feelings of anxiousness and procrastination.  The words are:  Deep or Spring.

Deep cleaning and spring cleaning seem like insurmountable mountains.  These are jobs for the courageous.  Jobs for the highly trained organizational experts.  Jobs for the motivated.  Or at minimum, require a buddy.

This morning I was forced into the tedious process of deciding what stays and what goes in the girls clothes and shoes.  (Many of you are feeling guilt and shame right now because you haven’t thought about or are not anywhere close to doing spring cleaning.  PLEASE, DO NOT fall into this lie and trap of Satan shaming you.  Try and be open to God’s message of grace and love through this analogy.)

How did I know it was time for spring cleaning?

  • I bought the girls new summer clothes and shoes and my stuffing technique was no longer working.  (When ALL the drawers won’t close, there is a problem.)
  • I picked up Sadie (2 years) the other day and noticed her toes were sticking out of the soul of the boots! 
  • Someone commented about the cuteness of Lucy’s (4 years) Bermuda shorts. (Unfortunately they are full length leggings.)
  • Sadie was somewhat limping and said, “Mama, I don’t like these shoes.  I need a Band-Aid.”  (Sure enough, the sandals had given her a blister because they were too small.)
  • Sadie chose 18 months sized Rudolph pj’s to sleep in.  (Not sure how these were still in her drawer!)

As much as I agonize over spring cleaning, I understand it must be done.  And as much as I hate to admit it, I absolutely appreciate the benefits of thecomfort, peace, sanity, and overall well being it brings my family and I.

In the face of spring, I couldn’t help but ask this question in regards to my spiritual well-being. What “spring cleaning” needs to occur in my spirit and soul today in order to live in wholeness?

What old “Rudolph pajama” is still in your drawer?

  • Unforgiveness of a friend or spouse
  • Excessive food/drink for comfort
  • Worry over finances
  • Fear of the future
  • Being in control instead of allowing God to lead your day
  • Allowing anger toreign and speaking unkind words to your children or husband
  • Having an attitude of discontentment with your job, church, or overall circumstances
  • Giving glory to yourself rather than to God
  • An unresolved conflict with a friend or family member
  • Looking to others for self worth instead of God
  • Not being able to say you’re sorry
  • Living to meet your needs
  • Telling lies in order to make life/relationships easier
  • An inability to love a particular family member
  • An attitude of Self righteousness or pride

Spring cleaning of the soul is a dreaded task, but is well worth it.

Getting rid of Lucy and Sadie’s old clothes allowed room for the clean, new, exciting ones.  In order to fit the “new clothes” of freedom, peace, hope, and joy that God has for us, we must get rid of the “old clothes” of sinful attitudes and hurtful behaviors which are taking up space in our “drawer”.

What specific attitude or behavior in your life is robbing you of living life to the fullest?  Of living life in wholeness and authenticity?

2 Cor 7:1 “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (italics added)

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Mar 182013
 

I HAVE COME TO LOVE, APPRECIATE, BUT ALWAYS BE READY FOR THE CRAZY RIDE THAT IS OUR WILLIS FAMILY GATHERINGS.  (If you have toddlers in your extended family, you may relate with some of our situation below.)

Our family gatherings consist of:

  • Surround sound cries from children due to scraped/bumped body parts
  • The aroma of poopy diapers and fishy crackers
  • Laughter from all when the older cousins play “hide behind the big chair”, wrestle/dog pile, imagination space trip, or “Roll the pool balls”
  • Random vocal debuts of, “The Wheels on the Bus”, “ABC’s”, or “Jesus Loves Me”
  • Peas, cheese and spilled drinks on the floor
  • Multiple rounds of Pass the Pickle or Candyland
  • Babies/toddler’s who cry for 40 min before exhaustion kicks in and the nap happens
  • Disjointed, but somehow life giving adult conversations
  • Many reminders to take turns with the popular toys, say the “magic words”, try to go on the big girl/boy potty
  • Discipline
  • Grammy and Grandad’s ever present smiles and service to the crew
  • Distractions of lamps tipping over and other mysterious noises from the upstairs which need some investigating
  • 50 tries for smiles at the camera.  From all the children.  At the same time.
  • Worn parents who are out of wipes, patience and ideas

Last Saturday we celebrated Easter which included all of the above- a day of 6 toddlers, 148 eggs, and a lesson in sharing.

The Willis egg hunt began-My sister in law and I watched with smiles as our kids exploded with excitement.  As each child found an egg, they would follow the same drill, hold it up high, and say, “Look, I found one!” to whomever was within ear shot.

We as parents were on guard.  Ready to be the “fairness enforcers”.  Ready to shout out to our own children, “Now, you need to share with the little ones”; “Please give your egg to your cousin because they don’t have as much as you.”  “Could you help your cousin find some eggs?”

We were ready for the worst, but didn’t need to be.  I watched as my daughter yelled to her baby cousin to come take one of her eggs she had found.  At a concurrent moment, my nephew led the other baby cousin to an egg.

I witnessed my daughter quickly and happily give multiple eggs to her sister.  Then my niece helped her brother in the same way.

My sister in law and I looked at each other in awe of what was happening around us.  Because 99 out of 100 days, we would have to remind our kids to share.  Instead of us giving them a lesson, they taught us.

Unforced and joyful giving from the least of these.  (And I, being the crier I am, shed a tear.  Or two.)

The lesson I learned from the egg sharing moment:

  • Be aware of people who don’t have as many “eggs” as I do and be quick to do something about it.
  • Give first.  Without someone telling me to do so.
  • Don’t compare my “eggs” with others’ “eggs”.  Be content and thankful with what I have.
  • Hold my “eggs” loosely and be ready to give them up at any time.  Because everything I have is from God and to be used for God.
  • When I give, do it with a smile and good attitude.

Acts 2:45 “Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”

2 Cor 9:7 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Do you hold tightly to your rights and your stuff or are you quick to give when a need presents itself?  And when you give, is it with a happy heart or begrudgingly?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Feb 112013
 

A COUPLE WEEKS AGO I HAD A TEARY MOTHER MOMENT.  I have teary mother moments often, (especially during February craziness, which I wrote on last week) but this one enveloped tears of joy versus pain

After finishing our usual 30 minute clean up from breakfast, I round the girls up to get ready for the day.

Our morning routine in a nutshell: 

  • Teeth brushing- Includes the ABC song and many promptings that Mommy needs to brush as well.
  • Hair fixing-Using the special Dora brush, I endure screams of, “I don’t want you to brush my hair” and calmly reply with multiple responses of, “We must brush our hair or there will be larger tangles.  Mommy will be very gentle.  Please don’t move your head or it will take longer to finish.”
  • Getting dressed-Includes the changing of sweet 2 year old Sadie’s poopy diaper, while I role-play multiple barn yard animals.  I call to Lucy in the other room to see if she has put on her underwear.  I respond to her “Mom, is it a short sleeve or a long sleeve day?” question.
  • The laundry event-I lift up each girl to help them put every piece of clothing in the wash.  I often have to separate the girls as they struggle to keep their hands to themselves.

Knowing this morning would encompass all of the above battles and additional unexpected ones, I took a deep breath in.  Then out.

Sadie grabbed my leg and said, “Hold me Mama.”  I pulled her up to put her on my hip (I recognized my baby is gettingheavier) and we started up the 2 flights of stairs.

Then it happened.

Sadie turned to face me, laid her head on my shoulder and squeezed my neck with all her strength.  I pulled back due to her extreme closeness and I realized there was no way she was letting go.

I continued to fight her for a couple more steps and then gave in.  It is at this place of surrendering my strength and will that I experienced the necessity of the relentless hug.

Relentless hug defined:  Persistent, insistent, unyielding embrace.

A smile came to my face, tears to my eyes, and a weight was released from my mind, body and spirit as Sadie continued her death grip around me.  I was caught up.  In her arms.  And every other agenda item for the day took a back seat.

I was caught up in the goodness of God to give me Sadie as a daughter.  I was caught up in the grace of God to allow me to stop my everyday chaos.  To focus on her loving embrace.  To be thankful and present in the moment. 

And then it was as if Sadie’s tiny hands were transformed into the large, strong hands of Jesus. This brought fresh tears to my eyes.  To rest in my Daddy’s arms, is to know everything is going to be ok.  Loved.  Comforted.  Content.

Just like I resisted Sadie’s hug at first, I also resist Jesus’ arms of love during my day.  I resist and say,

I got this.

I’ll just have another cup of coffee and be fine.

I am too busy to look to You.

Jesus is extending a virtual, relentless hug to you right now.  Stop resisting.  Only close your eyes and release your burdens to Him.  Now take in His perfect embrace.

“He tends His flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart…”  Isaiah 40:11

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share