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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Feb 182013
 

I MARRIED SOMEONE WHO IS THE DEFINITION OF ACHIEVER. UNFORTUNATELY.  When my husband took a strengths/personality profile, the words to describe him were:  achievement, competition, leadership, strategic.  All this to say, if I want to beat my husband at ANY game, I have to pray for divine intervention.

We were enjoying a weekend at the lake with my family.  (My husband and I were dating at the time.)  Nature.  Reading.  Snuggling by the fire.  A perfect setting.  That is, until the games.

Connect Four was our undoing as a couple.  I was determined to win.  He won the first 3 games, but he couldn’t win 4, 5, 6, skip to 10 in a row, could he?  Oh, but he could.  And he did.  (At this point I was in desperate need of a hug, which I wrote on in the first post of this heart encouragement series.)

My attitude was fairly stellar after the initial game.  I even kept my cool after the 3rd game.  I began to feel slightly antsy during the 5th game.  But after game 10, 6 Diet Cokes, and no pride to speak of, I was finished.  I couldn’t allow myself to fail one more time.

My husband and I haven’t played Connect Four to this day.  Eleven years of marriage later and the mere mention of  Connect Four causes my body to twitch with anxiety.  The only word that fills my mind is failure.

To fail:  To fall short of.  To be lacking.  To lose strength or vigor, become weak.  To stop functioning or operation.

Failure.  Hope lost.  Failure.  Self worth in questionFailure.  Mourning of loss.   Failure.  The reason I have lived life avoiding any risk.  Failure.  More about what others will think of me versus what God is asking of me.  Failure.  Being terrified to try again.  Failure.  Satan’s prime opportunity to steal my hope, purpose, and joy.

Jesus is my best friend, even when I label myself as a failure.  His plan and promises for me don’t change, even when the college ministry I helped start is shut down.  His extravagant grace doesn’t change, even when I respond in anger to my children and husband.  His lasting hope doesn’t change, even when I am crushed due to infertility.  His unconditional love for me doesn’t change, even when I look to sugar and caffeine for comfort instead of to Him.

My failures don’t change how Jesus sees me.  Jesus isn’t shaken by my past, present, or future failures.  I shouldn’t be either.  The song, “The Stand“, says, “He (Jesus) stood before my failures.  And carried the cross for my shame.”

Every man or woman who did something great in scripture, failed.  If they would have allowed their failures to cripple them, they never would have accomplished miraculous things for the Kingdom.

Instead of hiding from or being defeated by failure, Jesus says:

You are going to be ok, learn from it, and draw into Me.

I will use your failures to minister to others.

I don’t remember your shame, I don’t keep record of your failures. 

I will never leave you or turn away from you when you fail. 

Your failures do not define you. 

Take risks for My Kingdom in spite of the odds of success. 

Trust me and you will be equipped and strengthened to do what it is I am calling you to do.

Choose today to live life to the fullest.  Through His Spirit.  Failing, but learning from it.  Risking it all for the sake of His Kingdom.  Laying aside fears to stand in faith, love and hope.

1Peter 2:6b “…and the one who trusts in Him, will never be put to shame.”

Have you ever experienced failure that crippled you to try again?  What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?  

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 042013
 

MY HUSBAND DREADS THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY.  FOR GOOD REASON. It is the month I put my princess tiara on and dream crazy big.  Not only does February include Valentines day, it’s also the month of my birthday.

What if my prince surprises me for my birthday with a romantic getaway to an exotic island and takes me dancing?  What if my prince puts rose peddles all over our home, writes and sings me a love song, and behind my back makes homemade Valentines cards for me with my girls?

The truth is, when February hits, my mind, heart, and attitude do a 180 degree shift. I draw into me.  I dwell on how tired I am.  Tired of giving.  Tired of me as a mother in which I am not thanked, affirmed or seeming to be valued.  Tired of me as a wife who feels more like the maid then the maiden.  Tired of listening to The Voice that says, take up your cross daily and follow me.  I instead choose to listen to the voice that says you deserve more than this, you have rights, so hold to them.

The problem comes when my prince can never seem to live up to my princess expectations.  Whatever he plans for my birthday or Valentines, it is never enough.

I must take my dreamy dreams into my own hands.  I pointedly share with my husband about my good friend’s  surprise massage she got for her birthday, I start my birthday countdown atleast one month in advance (bringing it up in conversation whenever possible), I plan my own party, and I make sure I make the choices for activities, lunch and dinners all month.

It is my turn to have my needs considered before everyone else. I should be served.  I am woman, hear me roar!

My meddling puts undo stress on the family and leads to unnecessary disagreements between my husband and I.  Result:  This princess is left feeling anything but pampered.

Bottom line:  I am selfish. (I am slow when it comes to my faults.  Thank goodness for a God of patience and grace.)   I hold to my rights.  I want to be served.

Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  Phil 2:5-7

I want this February 2013 to be different.  I need to practice being a servant like Jesus.   To be selfless rather than selfish.  (Instead of thinking, what are you going to do for me?  I want to think, what can I do for you?)  To practice laying down my rights and trusting God to meet all my needs.  If my God can wash dirty, smelly feet, then I can cook, and clean, and be grateful doing it.

I am thankful for another year with a healthy body, my girls to snuggle, a loving husband, food to cook, clothes to wear, with friends to laugh with, with a blog to write on, and so much more.   So happy birthday to me!

I may not always be pampered as an earthly princess would be, but I can have joy, purpose and eternal rewards in serving as a daughter of the King.  I am spoiled beyond words.

Fittingly, the song “I will follow Christ” came on as I was in the middle of writing this post.  Coincidence, I think not!

I will wear the name of Jesus, I will give him ALL my RIGHTS

As for me no matter what the sacrifice

I will follow Christ

“And Christ’s love compels us…And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”  2 Cor 5:14a,15

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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