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

Calling

People say that hindsight is 20/20.  I believe that God calls people to specific places for specific times, and all of us have different callings.  It’s funny how I believe that God is in control but sometimes it’s hard to see in the moment how He’s working.  It is so powerful to look back and reflect on what He’s done.  I could go on and on.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to talk about and easier to write about.

When I was in 6th grade they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and they published it under our names in the yearbook.  I said ‘Accountant’.  Funny thing is now I am a Certified Public Accountant.  If you asked me in my senior year of college what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would tell you that I had no idea.  4 years of education.   2 majors and a minor, and I didn’t really know but I would tell you that I wasn’t keen on accounting – seemed boring – and I liked my other major, Spanish, so I thought for the time being I’d pursue that.  A partner at the accounting firm that I interned at thought that I’d become a hippie and not pay social security.  Well that never has been true but it took me a couple years to ‘find myself.’  I’ve been in public accounting for 10 years now.

When I left college I went back to New Jersey and was a Spanish teacher for a couple years.  All throughout college I told people that I thought that I needed to marry a guy from New Jersey.  I guess God had placed that on my heart.  As it turns out I met a guy who grew up a couple blocks away from me but we never met until after college.  This guy is now my husband.  For years in college I felt that I wasn’t going to meet my husband there – I was going to meet him in New Jersey – and that’s exactly what happened.

Fast forward a couple years.  All throughout college my dad marveled at western Pennsylvania, where I went to college.  He liked the culture and the affordability.  He was always looking at houses and showing them to me.  Then when my husband was in the military, especially when he was overseas deployed, we would dream together of owning a home in Pittsburgh.  It helped to have something to look forward to.  We wanted to settle down and start a family in a place where we could afford to buy a good sized home.  For about 3 years we dreamed about this and then it became a reality, and for the past 10 years we’ve now lived in Pittsburgh.

You may say to yourself that you don’t have stories like this but I promise you that if you live by faith in the God of the Bible you will, but more importantly you’ll know that He calls you to know Him.  I’ve been playing this song over and over again recently and it keeps hitting me, and I encourage you to play the YouTube version:

“As You Find Me” by Joel Houston, Matt Crocker & Benjamin Hastings © 2018 Hillsong Music Publishing CCLI: 7124065

VERSE 1: I’ve been strong And I’ve been broken within a moment I’ve been faithful And I’ve been reckless at every bend I’ve held everything together And watched it shatter I’ve stood tall and I have crumbled In the same breath

VERSE 2: I have wrestled And I have trembled toward surrender Chased my heart adrift And drifted home again Plundered blessing Till I’ve been desperate to find redemption And every time I turn around Lord You’re still there

PRE-CHORUS 1: I was found Before I was lost I was Yours Before I was not Grace to spare For all my mistakes And that part just wrecks me

CHORUS: And I know I don’t deserve this kind of love Somehow this kind of love is who You are It’s a grace I could never add up To be somebody You still want But somehow You love me as You find me

VERSE 3: Who am I To think Your glory needs my praises But if this borrowed breath is Yours Lord Take it all You are faithful and You are gracious And I’m just grateful To think You don’t need a single thing And still You want my heart

PRE-CHORUS 2: I was found Before I was lost I was Yours Before I was not You wear the scars For all my mistakes And that part just wrecks me

TAG: Your love’s too good to leave me here

BRIDGE: If You want my heart I won’t second guess ‘Cause I need Your love More than anything I’m in I’m Yours Your love’s too good to leave me here Your love’s too good to leave me

 

I Have a Dream…

Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr died decades ago, but yesterday our nation again continued to remember him. The national holiday day is on or about his birthday – celebrating his birth – although the holiday didn’t exist nationally until he died. He had a dream not fulfilled in his lifetime, but he had hope and more importantly the Holy Spirit giving him the words to say: “Only light can drive away darkness…”

This year for the first time I read a devotional by one of his daughters, Rev Dr Bernice King: “Cultivating a Heart of Mercy.” I was reminded in this devotional not only of the need for mercy, but that God in His mercy has given us as believers in Jesus the Holy Spirit, and that true mercy is given to others in the power of the Holy Spirit.