We lived in an apartment complex that had a huge tree in the court house. When my parents would be fighting, which was more than not, I would go out to the courtyard, climb the tree and that is where I would find peace. It wasn’t your average disagreement. It usually ended in the cops showing up. At one point the cops had been to our apartment on so many occasions that management of the complex threatened to have us evicted if our parents continued to be a disturbance. One day, I wrote the following poem while sitting in that tree. I was about 11 years old and it was my first piece of poetry I had written.
I sit up in a beautiful tree
thinking of all the beautiful things I can see.
I’m far away in a tree
filled with so much peace.
It’s a beautiful place to be.
While in the tree I would often look for things that were beautiful and I would focus on that object. The trees, the sunshine, the sky. I would close my eyes and imagine a perfect day. I would ignore the fight my parents were having and I would take my mind to where I would find quiet and peace. I would do a lot of writing while sitting in that tree. Life is not always beautiful but God is. His plan is beautiful. When we are going through tough moments in life, we can always find a tree (figuratively speaking) , climb it, close our eyes and think of every bit of God’s beauty in our life.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
What is something beautiful in a circumstance that was difficult for you?
One area I have grown tremendously in is the area involving my emotions. My emotions use to rule my life. If a circumstance of life emotionally wounded me, I would allow it to ruin my day, week, month, year and so on. Not anymore!!! A long time ago I got my first ticket. This caused so many emotions. You know what I did? I literally canceled my entire week. I couldn’t move past the emotions of receiving a ticket that I felt I had to cancel everything on my schedule that week just to cope. Seems really silly now! I get that there are worse things in life then a ticket. Trust me I get it!!! I’m just saying I no longer cancel life when they rain starts to pour. If it’s sprinkling I keep going. If it’s pouring I keep going. I’m not in anyway saying it’s wrong to shut down and cancel everything. There are times when this is healthy. A few years ago I made the decision to continue seeking joy while walking through a storm. Jesus is my joy. Serving Him brings me joy. His love for me brings me joy. Knowing He has a plan that is good for me always brings me joy. No one and no storm can ever take that joy found in Jesus away. I stopped living miserably along time ago. I get to be free from emotional bondage because Jesus is my victory. I still cry. I still get hurt. I still feel wounded at times but the difference is those feelings don’t dictate my life. I don’t have time to let my emotions rule me. Jesus has done too much good for me to be ruled by a storm. I have too many victories to share with the world to be weighed down by an in coming storm. In any storm I face, I will keep trucking along until the sun shines again. I don’t raise my hands in worship to Jesus because my life is rainbows and unicorns and sunshine. I raise them because regardless of the circumstances around me I serve a big God and He is and will always be good.
On Easter Sunday I was talking to the class about the nails that were nailed into the hands of Jesus as they placed Him on the cross. Ellie jumped up and shouted “yeah mom like the 12 nails in your back!!!” 😂 Not exactly but I see the connection she was making. I have 2 rods and 12 screws in my back. Nothing compared to the huge nails hammered into the palms of Jesus.
June is scoliosis awareness month. In Highschool I went to the doctor with trouble breathing. After several tests, X Rays, a heart monitor and blood work it was finally determined that I had a severe case of scoliosis. My spine was significantly curved in three spots. I was immediately scheduled for surgery because my spine was pushing on my lungs and heart. Hints the reason for the trouble breathing. I had two rods and 12 screws surgically placed on both sides of my spine holding my spine in place after the surgeon pulled my spine as straight as possible without snapping it. I had an amazing team of doctors and surgeons at Texas Children’s Medical Center in Houston Texas. It was a year-long recovery process but I’ve had no real issues after surgery. The Surgeons did an amazing job straightening out my spine. I know this is not the case for every patient so I don’t take my positive experience for granted.
If you were to have an x-ray on your life would it be in line with God or would it be curved in the wrong spots like my spine pre surgery? When we take our life to the cross and leave it in the hands of Jesus He is able to straighten out the curves, and ultimately fix what maybe we messed up. However, we have to allow Him to work on us.
The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth. And then all people will see the salvation sent from God.’” Luke 3:5-6 NLT
We have to be willing to let God work even when the recovery might be tough and painful. I could have avoided the spinal surgery. I had the opportunity to say “no!” I was not forced. However, not having the surgery would have never given me the quality of life that I wanted. You can avoid the work of God in your life. He is not forcing you into a relationship with Him. However, you won’t regret taking His hand and letting Him straighten your life out. There is a moment in everyone’s life when they need a spiritual operation.
We have an amazing surgeon. His name is Jesus. He can work miracles in our life. He can bring something beautiful from something so tragic. He makes all things new again. If you need a spiritual operation Jesus is the surgeon. He is amazing at what He does. He will transform your life. He will put your life back into alignment if only you place your life in His hands.
Isaiah 66:13: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”
Once upon a time when Ellie was two she was put on medication to help ease her constipation. Now, if you have ever seen my purse then you know it is always full of everything my kids could possibly need throughout the day. However, of all days that day I forgot the wipes and extra clothes. While at a friend’s birthday party her medication worked… FAST. I smelt something! She looked at me and I looked at her and down her legs I saw what every mother fears most. Poop! Runny Poop! Smelly Runny Poop!!!! It was horrible. I quickly picked her up and raced her to the bathroom where I discovered that while I had diapers I did not have wipes or clothes. I pulled her soiled clothes off just in time for more poop to continue pouring from her body and onto the floor. I had to literally wet toilet paper to clean her up because I had too much pride to ask the mother of the party for help. I used a towel in the bathroom to clean up the poop on the floor and stuffed it in my bag because there was no way I was leaving it there. I cleaned her up and put her in a new diaper and did the walk of shame out of the house and to our car. This, my friends, is why we had to Move to Washington, Illinois. The embarrassment was too much!
I don’t know about you, but as a mother I often feel like I am dropping the ball. There are moments in life when motherhood feels too much. I lose my temper. My kid has to ride home in just a diaper. I send my child to school with an empty lunchbox that I thought I filled. We go weeks without reading. Truthfully, there are times when I don’t feel like I am enough for my children. I feel like I am letting them down. It often feels like my mama purse is completely empty.
When I was in Elementary school my sisters and I would walk to school everyday. It wasn’t far but it felt like a walk across the country when facing that Texas heat. On really hot days my mom would show up with a washcloth that was frozen. We would put it around our necks to help us stay cool on the walk home. It was just what we needed.
As mothers we always seem to know what our children will need throughout the day. That’s why, I believe that we carry large purses. There is no telling what you will find in a mothers purse. From applesauce packs to diapers we can agree that it is normally crammed with it all.
In Luke 10:38-42 we read the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus comes to visit and Martha is anxiously running around preparing dinner for her guest. Meanwhile Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus listening intently to His every word. Martha becomes angry and scolds Jesus because He was not the least bit concerned that she was making dinner alone while Mary was sitting at His feet. It seems as though Martha was hoping Jesus would set Mary straight by telling her to go help her sister but instead…
Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)
There is nothing and no one more important than Jesus and the time we spend with Him. Mary understood this. Do we? As moms we sometimes show up without the wipes, missing snacks, unpacked lunchboxes and so on. However, even when we show up with it all and extra for the struggling mom it’s still not enough. What?!?! Not enough?!?! Will I ever be enough?!?! Way to boost my mom ego Helena!!
Grab you a Diet Coke and calm down!!! Listen!!!
It’s not enough without Jesus. We are not enough without Jesus. Nothing we do is enough without Jesus. Our physical purse might be packed with it all but does our spiritual mama purse have all she needs? Are we ultimately depending on Jesus to guide us, shape up and prepare us to be the mother He has called us to be? Are we allowing Jesus to walk with us as moms daily?
I sometimes feel like The Snack Mom. I like it too. Personally I think I deserve a shirt! Just to make it official. It is not unusual for me to find a child (Not my own) digging in my purse looking for a snack or juice box. I find it to be an honor. I almost always show up with a snack or two. I spend a lot of time packing my purse each day. I check, double check and triple check to make sure I have everything that might come up needed throughout the day. Reflecting on this has me asking the question… Do I spend the same amount of energy on having the things of Jesus with me throughout my day? Our mama purse might be filled to the brim with all the physical things we think our babies will need each day but our spiritual mom bags really are empty without Christ. What we carry in our spiritual purse is far more important than anything we ever pack in our physical bags.
I compiled a list of 4 items we all have in our purse and what they remind us of in our spiritual lives…
Our Phone: Reminds us that we need constant communication with Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Keys: Reminds us that we have access to His word. (Psalms 119:105)
Planner: Reminds us that God has a plan for our future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Snacks: Reminds us that we are created for fellowship with other believers. (Hebrews 10:25)
If we want to be the mothers God has called us to be. If we want our spiritual mama purses to be overflowing with all we need from Him then we have to be a Mary. We need to daily and many days moment to moment be sitting at the feet of Jesus soaking in all His words, all His love, all his compassion, His forgiveness . We need to continually soak in all that He has for us. Our spiritual mama purse is so empty without Him. We are incapable of being a Mother without His strength and love. We can have all the snacks, juice boxes, diapers and spare clothes for our kids and still we will show up as mothers empty If we are not connected to Jesus at all times.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:5-8
Above all else, stay connected to Jesus. Without Him we can do nothing but with Him we will move mountains.
Isaiah 66:13: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”
If you are anything like myself, you spend all day chasing your kids, wiping bottoms, filling sippy cups, changing diapers, helping with homework, showing up to class parties, praying over ouchies, and so on. Moms have alot of jobs. (This is not me taking away from a fathers role! Your day is coming!) Teacher, nurse, activity planner, you fill in the blank. By the time we reach the end of the day our energy is depleted. We just want to hide under the covers scrolling pinterest drinking diet coke with the only sound being the sound of silence. We love our kids. We find joy in them each day. However, even with all the love we have in our hearts for our children, it’s not enough without Jesus. It’s ok to acknowledge that mommyhood is tough. Many moments as a mom are so good. You know when your kid says Thankyou out of nowhere for something you do for them often. Or when they really show off with their behavior in public. I think when moments are good as mothers we forget that we still need Jesus. In the good and bad moments we need Jesus. The moments of joy and the moments that test our patience and leave us exhausted are the moments we need to hide under the covers talking to Jesus allowing Him to refill us with all we need to continue rocking Mommyhood. That’s what Mary shows us how to do in Luke 10. She knew if she was going to have any amount of energy for all of life then she needed to be with Jesus first. We might forget the wipes, juice boxes, extra clothes and lunch boxes but if we remember Jesus then we have all we need. Jesus is all we need and our kids need us to solely depend and trust in Him. OUR KIDS NEED US TO SOLELY DEPEND AND TRUST IN HIM!!! Let that sink in on this Mother’s Day!
Kids have this amazing ability to fall asleep pretty much anywhere. They are great at resting. As adults, it seems, with the pressures of life, falling asleep in our own bed is a struggle.
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
When we trust in God, while life still brings its struggles, we find ourselves able to rest in God. Like a child we can rest in any circumstance if our focus and trust is truly in Jesus. He has already overcome!
I pray that today, no matter your current circumstances you will find peace, comfort and rest in Him.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NLT
I remember, at night after my step dad passed away laying in bed with my Bible clinging to it as if I were a two year old child with her favorite blanket. I clung to the word of God and I prayed until I fell to sleep every night because He was the main source that kept me from losing heart and giving up. I want to encourage you to do the same. Regardless of what you are going through let God lead you through. Cling to Him. Life is hard and is filled with ups and downs. I’m encouraged this morning that no matter what I go through God will always be my source and I can always cling to Him in good and bad times. ❤️
“I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” Psalms 63:8 NLT