My feet are resting under our chipped Ethan Allen coffee table. It’s near midnight and there is a stillness in the air. All the kids are asleep, and the day is drawing closer to a new day. My thoughts don’t rest, although the time is telling me to, as I try to eke out a few more minutes of this gift called “today”. So many good, hard and beautiful moments etched onto today’s page… written in sacrificial love. It’s effortless to walk in creek beds, receive hand drawn cards, and enjoy my kids because they truly are a gift. That’s easy love. Yet, the love of a child, goes beyond the easy, and allows you to love when it’s hard. Disregarding selfishness, and transforming your life so that you think of someone else’s needs above your own.
Busyness is all around us; cluttering our life and thought process as though it belongs. Pressuring us to hurry instead of being still. Life can almost feel like a siren; repetitious, loud, and making it hard for us to think clearly. How much of this is warranted, and how much of this is unnecessary? God is so gracious. Sometimes we are the Martha’s of the world, striving to achieve our own “self-validation”, while God is saying, “Come sit next to me. Rest with me, because you are my beloved. I loved you when you were the vilest of sinners, and I love you now.”
Hollow words fill the room. It is normal. It is accepted. So, as robots, people exchange back and forth this nugatory vocabulary. Perhaps, it is because many feel like the words they speak…empty, depleted of what is needed to carry sustenance. Yet, just like your words carry weight, so do you. Your influence is sending shock waves to those around you, whether you are on board for this responsibility or not. What if we stopped the trajectory we are heading on, and started placing value on ourselves and those around us? Realizing that, perhaps…the words we speak can and do make a difference.
Do we even fully grasp the significance of a God who is willing to meet us where we are and love us? We are so frail, so broken; from the least to the greatest, we are as dust. The sad reality of our humanity is that even those who loved God with as much as they could, struggled with remembering their humble place. Provision, love, faithfulness, mercy… God has never lacked in any one. His very essence is love, and His character has no flaws. Why do we seek for lesser things? Why do we allow ourselves to wander when God is all we need as our daily bread, and our fullness of life?
Each day we have moments where we desperately need God’s forgiveness and grace. Wake up calls to our imperfections and depravity. Perhaps like me, you remember a season that you realized the depth of this chasm. God’s grace and mercy was not just the cherry on top, but the necessary glue to keep you together. We sometimes get so comfortable that I think we forget the love we had at first for the God who gave us hope. That elated feeling of peace and joy, when we tossed all our garbage aside and said, “I trust You.”
There are people in our lives that grace the doors of our heart, and leave unforgettable impressions. I can proudly say I carry the namesake of mine. My grandma, Svanhild Kristoffersen, was strong and reserved, living a life of love for Jesus with her actions. She was intentional about the words she spoke and grace and generosity […]
Sin corrupts our heart and draws our praise and focus away from a loving God. The people of Nineveh struggled with this depravity. Their harsh forms of dominance and control permeated who they were. Sin consumed them, and overflowed for all to see, blinding their eyes to truth. They worshipped false gods and goddess’ in order to fill their desire for worship, but this idolatrous lifestyle only drew them further away from the one true God.
My journey with God began before I could say “mama”, and today as a woman I have let Jesus into my heart. I am Shannon, a mom, wife, cook, maid, coffee barista, friend, daughter, sister, and child of God’s Kingdom. Below is my walk in faith, and a heartfelt testimony that God is real! He stands by you through thick and thin.
Have you ever prayed and pleaded with God over a personal matter and still had the answer be no? Have you ever laid your heart bare and thought surely God will have mercy on me? Yet, what if God’s mercy didn’t look exactly like the manuscript you sent up to Him? What if God’s mercy came through hardship, as your tears fall to the ground? Our faithful and just Creator looking beyond our desires and reaching our needs.
Each day brings with it new opportunities to learn faith and trust in God. Kids sprinkle in more of these opportunities as we rely on God with their safety and provision (can I hear an Amen). Yet kids can also teach us a thing or two more about faith. Just the other day it was […]