Hope > Fear

Fear can snowball and fear can be contagious, but God has promised us that He has plans for us, and His hope is greater than any fear. Focusing on the hope in God is what conquers our fears. The rainbow is one example in nature that symbolizes this promise of God’s faithfulness.

I remember one summer when two uncles suddenly died, and other close family members, including my mom, had major health episodes. It was a very difficult time but looking back on it, I know that it softened my heart. I was fiercely independent, and a hard time like that forced me to need others more and have real Christian community. Also, during that hard season, I met my then-to-be future husband. Thankfully summers don’t come around like that often but I feel like God has provided a lot of healing.

Right now fear and anxiety rage in the face of the coronavirus. People are afraid for their health, retirement savings, work, etc. The memes about toilet paper and other humorous topics help to keep things light, but there still is underlying uncertainty raging that only God can calm.

Hope > Fear – let us pray that God is glorified through the coronavirus situation:

Hope you and your loved ones are doing well,

Kristen

Do not lose heart!

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Our two oldest daughters changed schools mid-year recently, for very good reasons, and while they have been thriving, I’ve been struggling with my schedule. I feel like I’ve been going through a period of hills and valleys. I’ve had weeks that are fabulous, and other days/weeks that I’ve wondered how I’m going to get through the craziness.

Can you relate? I think until you go through something yourself, it’s hard to understand the anxiety that accompanies changes and uncertainty. In the midst of changes, I feel like it’s hardest for me when I don’t get ‘me time’, but then I feel selfish sometimes for wanting that.

Compared to many other trials in life, changing schools isn’t that hard or scary, but changes, no matter what they are, can catch us off guard. I’m thankful that these have drawn me closer to God, made me ask others more for help, and encouraged me to declutter my schedule.

This Valentine’s Day I’m going to try to focus on finding joy from the things that matter, and not lose heart. Isn’t Valentine’s Day all about heart? 🙂 Spend time with those you love and let the things that don’t matter, fade away.

Beauty in weakness!

I think most people wouldn’t deny the beauty of a baby. However when it comes to weakness in other forms, most would prefer the powerful option, if available. Why do we think that powerful is better? A strong motor…Stronger muscles…Influence…I guess it’s about perspective, and context. For example I prefer my coffee strong in the morning, but weak (or decalf) in the afternoon. And I definitely want my girls to be strong now that they’re not babies anymore.

– my oldest daughter the day she was born

Recently I’ve been convicted by seeing my own discontentment, when my soul is fueled by the wrong kind of power, that our power needs to come from God. Appearances aren’t what’s important as much as the stuff that’s inside.

I can think of people in my life who have felt abandoned or betrayed. I know that I’ve felt that way sometimes too. And for those who feel like they don’t measure up or feel like giving up because they feel weak, God is greater and all-powerful!

And here’s a song for you:

In the darkness we were waiting
Without hope without light
Till from heaven You came running
There was mercy in Your eyes
To fulfil the law and prophets

To a virgin came the Word
From a throne of endless glory
To a cradle in the dirt

CHORUS
Praise the Father
Praise the Son
Praise the Spirit three in one
God of glory
Majesty
Praise forever to the King of Kings

To reveal the kingdom coming
And to reconcile the lost
To redeem the whole creation
You did not despise the cross

For even in Your suffering
You saw to the other side
Knowing this was our salvation
Jesus for our sake You died


And the morning that You rose
All of heaven held its breath
Till that stone was moved for good
For the Lamb had conquered death

And the dead rose from their tombs
And the angels stood in awe
For the souls of all who’d come
To the Father are restored


And the Church of Christ was born
Then the Spirit lit the flame
Now this gospel truth of old
Shall not kneel shall not faint

By His blood and in His Name
In His freedom I am free
For the love of Jesus Christ
Who has resurrected me

“King of Kings” © 2019 Hillsong Music

Mommy (and summertime) blues

I have a friend who just had her first child.  Take it from her, and from me – it’s an adjustment, especially when you’re in your thirties!  You’ve had your career, then marriage and career, and now baby, marriage and (sometimes) career – a lot to juggle.

My cousin shared this image with my moms group and me – it’s been super helpful.  I think it’s helpful for people who aren’t moms too.  With the summertime especially comes a change in routine, and it’s helpful to have a simple checklist to keep oneself sane. 🙂

Managing Mommy Melancholy.jpeg

People combat the blues in different ways – staying busy is probably the chief way.  It’s not that being busy is bad but it doesn’t always truly solve the problem.

Fill yourself up today and enjoy your summer!

D-Day

The “D” in D-Day literally just stands for “Day” – for the military it’s still used, but more loosely now, to indicate the starting day of an operation (like the day of the Normandy landing).  On this 75th anniversary of D-Day I’m reminded of my grandfather, who died 8 years ago at the age of 93, who was part of the Normandy invasion.  I saw a video today of a 97 year-old man who parachuted today into Normandy to reenact the invasion.  It really made an impression on me – not so much that he parachuted at 97 years-old (although that was amazing!!), but that he thought it was that important to reenact and remember the invasion.

John 15:13 says: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  The D-Day invasion was a laying down of life for the saving of others – of strangers.

For those that have painful memories haunt them or who are going through horrific events, similar in intensity to D-Day but different by all other counts, there is one who can walk through the fire through you, and His name is Jesus.

“…I’ll count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be.” Hillsong

His Name is Jesus

Greatest man in history, named Jesus. Had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime.. Yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

-unknown

#hisnameisJesus

In the Waiting

We are all waiting or wishing for something that hasn’t yet happened. And when it happens it may be beautiful and perfect for a time, and not necessarily measure up to what we hoped it would. But there are good, pure things that are always worth the wait.

When my husband was in the Army we had our times of waiting. The first time he was deployed we had been married for just four months. He was deployed for a year, with a two week leave in the middle. Three years later, the second time he was deployed (both times to Iraq), it was for 6 months, with two weeks of leave in the middle. Each time it was hard but it was harder not knowing if he would stop deploying. One day he received word that his deployments would be no more – that was such a good feeling and brought so much peace.

You may be waiting for the next job promotion. Or to get married. Or to finally get pregnant. Or for justice to finally come to that horrible boss. You are not alone.

god-shaped-hole

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and communism and helped to raise global awareness of its Gulag forced labor camp system. One of his most famous quotes: “The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.” Once we realize this, can we run to the God who has a solution?

We have a family friend battling cancer and that prompted me to write this article. There are so many situations that burden us and are uncertain. God promises to never leave us nor forsake us, and if we are right with Him through Jesus we have certainty that we will spend eternity with him. Let us trust in this and love others.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22