A bathtub of hearts!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10 NLT
This week in kids life we talked about Gods love for us. He loves us so much that He gave the life of His son Jesus for our sins! We brought out foam hearts. We encouraged the kids to write and draw some things on their foam heart that are not pleasing to Jesus. After our hearts were covered in mistakes we talked about how Jesus was sent to forgive us from our mistakes. When we accept His forgiveness we are made like new. We have a fresh start and a new beginning. Temptation and sin is all around us. We are going to fall. We are going to mess up and make mistakes. How blessed we are to have a living father who we can call on daily. Daily we need to be asking Him to “create in me a pure heart…”. (Psalms 51:10) As one of our kids life friends so eloquently put it, “let Jesus give your heart a bath!”
I wrote a children’s book and now it is being published. Follow the link to learn more…
Don’t catch the marshmallows!
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
We played a game this past weekend in kids life. Two kids were called to the front. One was handed a bucket and a shield was put at his feet. The other player was holding a bucket of marshmallows. The marshmallows represent the darts that the enemy will try and throw at you. These darts might be but are not limited to; anger, frustration, temptation, depression, doubt, and discouragement. The child holding the marshmallows was encouraged to toss the marshmallows toward the other players bucket who would catch them. We didn’t give any other instruction other then remind them what each marshmallow represents and the tools they had. There was only one time when a friend chose to put the bucket down and pick up the shield. Rather then stand there and catch each marshmallow of discouragement and anger he chose to shield off every one.
How many times do we stand in life catching every marshmallow tossed our way by the enemy? I was talking to a friend recently. I was sharing some concerns with her. Only they weren’t concerns they were more worries and fear that the enemy was disguising as yummy marshmallows. Guess what! I was devouring each one. She said…..
I read in Jesus Calling the other day “Fear makes us re-live our worst fears over and over again. God doesn’t want this for us. If we are going to experience something traumatic, we are only supposed to live it when it actually happens.”
These words were so powerful to me. She is so right. I don’t get to fear I get to pray. I realized I was catching every marshmallow the enemy was throwing at me when I should have been picking up the shield that God has given me. I realized in that moment I was living in a past moment that was indeed very painful but not meant to be lived out again and again. If the enemy can keep you down he will keep finding new ways to keep you down. If the enemy can get you distracted he will keep finding new ways to keep you distracted. If the enemy can get you angry he will find a way to keep you angry. We have to pick to the shield that we have been given as armor and begin shielding off every fear, every frustration, every doubt, every fiery dart that the enemy will fire.
The word tells in 1 Peter 5:8 to … “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
Guys! Don’t catch the marshmallows! I repeat DONT CATCH THE MARSHMALLOWS! Pick up that shield and shield off every doubt, every lie and every word the enemy throws at you because you can bet he is throwing them.
In Kids Life this past weekend our elementary painted using their toes. After the activity, Sarah and Bruce went on to explain that Loving others is one way we can tell others about Jesus. Jesus gave us the shoes of peace so that we can tell others about Him and He never said it would be easy. Jesus is full of so much love. When we are kind to others we are showing them the love of Jesus. Our teachers asked the class if it were easy to paint using their toes? No! It’s not always easy to show love to those who might not be too friendly. However, it pleases Jesus when we are loving. The class was asked to look at the beautiful pictures that they created using their toes. It was difficult but look what came from it. When you choose to show love (Kindness) to someone who might not know Jesus, they might stop to ask why you are so kind? Then you can tell them about Jesus. Actions speak louder than words. Who can you show love towards this week?
❤️ Forgiveness truly changes so much about the one who forgives. I believe it can also change the one you forgive! My dad has become a great Pop Pop because of forgiveness. Ellie has experienced so much love from Him because of forgiveness. Because Jesus forgave me, I could finally let go and enjoy the new beginning He had for us! For some, forgiveness means walking away completely. That’s ok. For me, forgiveness meant a 2nd chance. Each time I spend with my dad makes me so thankful! I’m so thankful that through forgiveness Jesus can make all things new again. Though forgiveness we started again and for me that’s beautiful!
To all the Girls who have ever found themselves crying the ugly cry on the bathroom floor while you think you are watching your life fall apart in the mirror! Dramatic?!?! You know who you are and this is for you!
God has a plan for you. I’m not sure where you are at in this moment. Maybe you are in a great spot or maybe you are battling it out with God on the floor in this very moment. I do believe God has a plan for you. I do believe He woke me up for a reason. He woke me up at 4 this morning and He was loud. Keep choosing Him. Choose Him when it’s easy and choose Him that much more when it’s hard. The world sucks. The world will chew your up and spit you out BUT God He WILL make it right! The hurt and pain you have endured HE will overwhelm with healing and joy. Keep fighting. Keep pressing on. Please! Don’t give up! Keep choosing Him. It’s so easy to place blame on Him when another’s choice is to blame. He gives us free choice. Not everyone will choose right and their choices affect others and someone’s choice has effected you BUT GOD He will fight for you. It’s not fair! Don’t stay in the “it’s not fair mindset!” In this moment you get to choose Him even when others have not. In this moment He is fighting for you! Don’t worry about what you cannot see. You can’t see it getting better but He is working it out for you! Don’t ever forget that HIs word says “Trust In the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight!” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Trust In Him! The loneliness you feel right now is so heavy. The heartache and pain is so very overwhelming, but we serve a mighty big God and He always shows up right on time. He will always show up and He will always fight for you. You are so special to Him. You are so loved by Him. You are wanted by Him. You are Not just beautiful but you are His masterpiece. Girl! God has a plan for you. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU! Wherever you are, no matter what floor you are crying on, start crying out to God. If you are in a good spot find someone who is not and help pick them up. Choose Him because He chose you and He would choose you again and again. Life will never be perfect because we live in a broken and fallen world but God is perfect in all HIs ways. (Psalms 145) Go to it! Read it! Girl! It’s time! Get up off that floor! Take it from a girl who once had to choose to get up off the floor I was crying on! I had to stop living in the “it’s not fair” mindset and I had to begin walking toward a God who has never let me down. Are you up? C’mon! You’ve been on that bathroom floor too long. Get up! Stop watching yourself cry in the mirror! I know it’s hard. Get up! Walk toward God! I promise! He won’t let you down. Just, get up!
I’m so thankful for all the women God has placed around me. Strong women in Him. Women who don’t let each other stay on the bathroom floor forever. I wish I had a photo with you all but there’s no way to fit that many women In one picture. Still, I’m thankful for all of you! You know who you are. You are my tribe! 😍
Do you want to know what made me teary eyed recently? This past weekend I watched one of our older girls showing a younger how to use the Bible. Victoria pointed out where to find the book of the Bible you are looking for. She explained that the big number is the chapter and the little is the verse and then she read the scripture to our little friend and explained what it was saying. How exciting it was to see a 10 year old pour into a child much younger than herself. Victoria could have been sitting with a friend her age or shouting that she found the verse first BUT she chose to look at the interest of another not just her own. This is huge! I was so excited and proud not just of her but of our awesome volunteers who go above and beyond to pour into these kids each week.
Not only was my heart full at this moment but I was encouraged by a 10 year old to always be willing to step up and help others in their spiritual walk. We don’t go to church just to be poured into. We go to church to pour into others. Victoria is a reminder to all of us to be willing to step up and help others grow in there walk with Jesus. Will you step up?
“…not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Philipians 2:4