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Why I cringe when I hear Christians say “we live in a fallen world”

2017 took from me. I lost a lot of peace. I lost way too much focus. I even lost a friend.

My heart felt constantly challenged at the mercy and grace of a God “who could let such horrible things happen.” Fires, floods and hurricanes frequent news headlines of devastation. Where was God in all that?

My soul cringed at the remarks on how God “would let a man such as he be the President” of our country. Or worse yet, the belief that God somehow condones this President’s actions because a well-known evangelical somewhere endorsed the President.

2017 screamed at me and shook my heart. The undeniable attention drawn to sexual harassment was startling and sad. My heart grieved at the thousands and thousands of voices shouting for recognition of sexual assault. Recognition that will hopefully keep moving towards reconciliation. Towards healing.

From the raging voice of man behind the pulpit to the sneering grab of a woman’s breast on a bus, these voices are shouting an irrefutable reminder: we live in a fallen world, full of free will and choice. A world full of sin.

I hate when people say that sometimes. I even sort of squint my eyes shut and shake my head when I read it.

It can feel so compassionless. So graceless. So condescending to one’s emotions. Maybe even invalidating to those emotions.

But above all, I hate it because for the angry and for the unbelievers, it typically stops there.

To the angry heart, living in a fallen world doesn’t help them find healing from the badgering boss who forced you to have sex with him so you could keep your job. Living in a fallen world is not going to bring back your burnt family photos from a ravenous fire. Living in a fallen world doesn’t shed light on the darkness of a shooting as a young child’s blood smears the concrete.

Yes, we live in a world full of nasty, heart-wrenching sin.

And my heart aches for the unbeliever who stops there.

Because you know what we also live in?

A world full of hope.

A world full of hope that’s been giving to us by the one who died on the cross while we were all still sinners.

Jesus didn’t just die for the victims to find hope; he died so the murderer could find healing too.

If we don’t believe in the hope of healing and restoration for the victim and the predator, then we’ll never see past our fatalistic predictions.

All the shouts for change and reformation will fall on deaf ears when the next shooting occurs or when we hear of another boss assaulting a coworker.

We’ll never see God’s grace for what it really is.

Real change comes from healed hearts.
Real change comes from accepting God’s grace.

We live in a world full of hope not only when we see the victim forgiving the perpetrator, but when we see the perpetrator find God too.

We live in a world of hope when the victim’s family publicly and privately forgive the shooter, and their act of grace and forgiveness through the power of Jesus, brings restoration for the shooter.

We are called to bring God’s light into the dark. How would we know we live in a dark, deathly world, if not for God’s life-giving light?

And to be even more honest, I struggle with this calling. I struggle knowing how I, as a 30 something, white, middle-class privileged female can bring about any change.

I struggle with my own fatalistic thinking.

But when I look into the innocent eyes of my son, playing with the water in our kitchen sink, I know what I’m supposed to do.

When I see my sweet daughter laugh at her brother’s silly dance moves, I know what I’m supposed to do.

When I see my neighbor crying on the porch, I know what I’m supposed to do.

When I see a text from my friend whose husband is having an affair, I know what I’m supposed to do.

When I think about the books, movies, and music my children will listen to, I know what I’m supposed to do.

Those seem obvious “I know what I’m supposed to dos”.

What isn’t so obvious is what to do when my husband hurts me or when I hear about an old friend of ours molested his daughter. What isn’t so obvious about what to do is when a family member reaches out after years of anger and bitterness.

Those not so obvious moments are our opportunity to bring about progression and hope.

I bring God’s light into the lives of those around me by loving them as God has called me to because with his grace in me, I can.

I educate myself to bring diversity into our household so my children know more than what they’re privileged to. I teach my children about body boundaries and pray my heart out over their protection. I pray for protection at my husband’s work from a walk-in gunman.

I pray for hope. I believe in hope. I use grace to guide my decisions and forgiveness to lead my heart.

I listen to God’s still small voice in my heart about raising my children believing they will hear his still small voice in their hearts.

I do something for someone else today.

I accept that my form of bringing about God’s light into this world may look different than how God has called you to. And because of that, I don’t think your way is any more or less than mine.

Because in the end, we’re both being obedient to what God has called us.

And that’s how we change our world. No, not change. Change implies that we have the sole power to make things right. And we don’t. We can bring about progress. We can bring about a push towards a world that is closer to Christ.

We have the ability to shed God’s hope, so when we hear we live in a fallen world, we can say that only with God’s strength, we’re helping us get back up again.

Five Ways to Forget Facebook & Focus your Faith

If that’s not a mouthful of a title then I don’t know what! Looking for some ideas to stay off of Facebook and to focus more in your faith and be present with your family? Me too. Around the beginning of this year, I decided to take control of my social media consumption.

I like social media. I hate social media. I need social media. It’s sort of a love-hate relationship, right? Obviously, social media is needed to help keep this writing business afloat, but here’s the quick and dirty truth: I battle against FOMO more than I’d like to admit.

I have a thing, called “the-world-revolves-around-me-but-I-pretend-I-don’t-think-that.” Which means that I reach for my phone a lot to see what I missed, to see if anyone interacted with me on social media, and to feel that tiny, quick surge of adrenaline to see the red notifications on my screen.

To feel validated.

Between my son pulling my arm off for my attention and dry, despondent evenings with my husband, I have discovered five tips to help me tune out the noise of social media and tune into my familial surroundings.

Tip #1

If you can, leave your phone in the other room or keep it away from reaching distance, like at the bottom of your purse or ginormous diaper bag. I’m home with the kids, so I tend to leave mine upstairs on my night stand.

Tip #2

Use an app to track your activity so you can get a grasp of where you spend your time. Before I started practicing these tips, the hours shown for how much I was Facebook and Instagram was shocking to me. Like, I basically spent a day’s work on Facebook over the course of a week. It was way more than what’s pictured below.

Tip #3

Be intentional when on social media. Before I started practicing these tips, I would scroll through my feeds, aimlessly. I have started purposefully searching for people’s profile whom I like to interact with. It saves me from seeing Betty, whom I haven’t spoken to in years, but I continue to let her dictate my value. No thank you.

Tip #4

Turn off notifications for ALL THE GROUPS. I’m part of a gazillion groups, but really only love interacting with about four of them. Less notifications = less wasted time.

 

Tip #5

Double check yourself before sharing. I ask myself more times than not, “would I be enjoying this more or be even more present” if I wasn’t thinking about how to share this on social media? Like, we’re in the middle of happy birthday and I’m snapping a photo and posting it on IG before the chorus is over.

 

Here’s the thing: being on social media isn’t bad. After all, I’m using social media to offer you some focus. But the minute I start letting it crouch into my heart and the day-to-day, is the minute I start losing myself in a world that tugs away pieces of my heart.

So there you have it: five tips to help you drown out social media so you can focus on your faith and your family.

What would you add to our list?

Peace,

Glo

What if we’re missing the point of “the days are long but the years are short”?

Ever since I became a parent I frequently hear how time flies with kids and how one day I’ll blink and my kids will be moving out, getting married and start having families of their own.

Like when that sweet older mother you ran into at the grocery store, pushing a rather empty cart, looks over at you and your chaotic tribe with adoring eyes. She tells you to enjoy that tantrum in the store because when they’re teenagers you’ll be wishing all you were worried about was teaching them to manage their emotions in aisle six. And if she’s feeling really nostalgic, she’ll go on to explain how when they move out someday, you’ll be wishing for crazy bedtime bribery again.

As she slowly starts pushing her cart down the aisle away from you and your munchkins, she bids you farewell by saying a phrase we hear often as young parents: the days are long but the years are short.

Depending on how overwhelmed you feel in that moment, you may find these words encouraging as you breathe and navigate the tantrum with more ease than before, or you may quietly be ripping that sweet old lady’s head off while trying to wrangle your kid to get in the basket.

Yes, today was a long day for you for sure.

When we hear the phrase the days are long but the years are short, most of us easily get why the days are long. Being at work all day with stressful clients, followed by a frustrating drive to pick up your kids from daycare or school, followed by an evening full of meeting the rest of life’s demands, can make a day seem certainly long. Or maybe your day is filled with the demands of your threenager and newborn and more times than you care to admit, you are just waiting for the day to be over (I feel you!).

But what about the years are short part?

What does the days are long and the years are short really mean? Feeling tired and worn out in motherhood? Read more to explore finding rest in the busy season of motherhood.

I used to think the years flew by because we’re such a busy society always in motion. We live a life where busy is king and productivity is lucrative. Our schedules are filled to the brim with busy from sun up until sun down, and then some. And we’re talking real busy.

You’ve got a presentation to give at the end of the week and after the kids are in bed, you need to stay up late to finalize the details and get up early the next day so you can meet your colleague to go over the project. Or you’ve got a busy day that includes day three of potty training with your toddler, day one of starting solids with your baby, followed by a trip to the library and then the grocery store and probably a quick run to Target for those pull-ups you forgot to buy when you were there yesterday. Or maybe you’ve got a day that includes both of these kinds of busy!

But what if being busy is only part of the short year equation?

Do you ever feel like we’re constantly waiting for that next thing? We all wait and work towards the next big thing in our lives–promotions at work, getting married, having kids, buying houses, new cars, big trips, holiday events, etc. But I’m talking about even waiting for the small things too that fill our calendars–for the weekend because we have plans for the pumpkin patch, or next week you have that dinner date with a friend, or the next week your family is coming up to visit, and then it’s the end of the month and that one bill is finally due you forgot about. Time flies when we’re waiting.

I feel like I am constantly looking ahead. I am always excited (or dreading) for the next future thing that’s coming up on my calendar.

My life feels like it’s constantly in motion whether I’m moving through a busy day or waiting for the next busy event to happen in my life.

This constant motion has my heart continuously reaching for ways to work harder not smarter, to find balance in the chaos, to have peace while still being able to do all the things I need to do (or want to do).

And when those long days are done and I’m lying in bed recapping my day, I let my mind wonder and toy with a new idea: what would it look like to live a life a where the days don’t feel overwhelmingly long and the years feel more lasting than vanishing?

*******

I’ve been getting this subtle itch about the uncertainty of my life lately. It starts when I question my parenting skills a little more than usual. It grows when I feel like I’m not doing enough writing. It overflows when I start comparing my life to others and question if what I’m doing even matters.

Maybe you feel it when you come to a crossroads in your job. Maybe you feel it when all that potty training feels like a waste because your kid is going through a regression. For me, it’s been a small series of events in different areas of my life that are unfolding in ways I did not plan.

When things don’t go according to my plan, I start to wonder if I’m messing up somewhere. I question my ability to lean not on my own understanding. As a recovering control addict, feeling uncertain can feel like a nervous breakdown at times. I’m serious.

The other day I was making my way through our local bookstore. As always, I stopped to peruse the Christian Living section. As I scanned the shelves, I felt bombarded with title after title telling me, no, it felt like shouting, they were shouting at me to to chase slow, to be present over perfect, to find joy in little, to throw out all my possessions because less really is more and so on and on and on and on…

And I love it. My soul eats it up because each of these titles speak to a longing in my heart to somehow find a satisfaction in my life that I am otherwise missing.

And I love these authors. I really do. I own many of those titles. I truly believe God uses writers to extend his truth to his people. Clearly I believe this, otherwise I wouldn’t be up at 5:00 AM writing this very article.

But what if I’m approaching these books with a “fix me” attitude? What if I took that hunger that was oozing from my heart and through my eyes at the book store and shifted it to my time with the Lord? What if I approached the Bible with more of a relationship attitude?

*****

I have this verse above our fireplace that I see every morning when I’m getting around to start the day, and I see it every night when Mike and I catch a quick show on TV.

be still and know

Almost every time I read it, my heart echoes the rest of the verse, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NKJV)

And lately, I feel like God is saying to me, Stop being so busy waiting for the next thing, Gloryanna, and start being uncertain in life, but certain in Me. To be certain in me you have to be still.

To be still means coming back to the foundation of what I know is true of the Lord and the only way I remember his foundation is by reading his word and praying with him.

It means I might have to look at my calendar less. It means I might have to be OK with that potty training regression because seriously, God is with me in that. Maybe it means you might have to accept what you can do within your job and what you can’t, and trust that God is there in the uncertainty of your job.

To know God means being OK with being unsure of what the next step is because we know he is there in the uncertainty.

I wonder if the more I press towards the Lord and the calling he has on my life, then the more life might start to slow down.

I wonder if the more I lay Biblical foundations in my heart, the more I will mature in new ways when the uncertainty comes. I will remember to lean not on my own understanding (or someone else’s) and trust in God first. If we reach for his word first instead of reaching for an answer on our phones, then maybe the days wouldn’t feel so long.

And maybe this constant reaching for his truth as the compass in our lives would make the years more memorable and lasting.

Next time you see that lady in the store and she’s telling you the days are long and the years are short, your eyes will soften and you can say, Thank you.

Because really, she’s just reminded you to be still and know.

Peace,
Glo

When I realized my past was controlling my present

When I hear her cry out, I go from 0 to 60 in a heartbeat. My eyes dash to the clock that reads 2:00 AM. Covers fly off my bed to the floor and my feet hit the ground running. My heart beats loudly in my ears as I run to the bathroom, afraid of what I might see. I’m afraid of how I’ll find her this time.

Mom fell in the night. Again.

I scan the floor and find her wedged near the toilet and bathtub. She had reached for the handle and slipped. Based on our past experiences with falling, I can tell this fall won’t need a call for help from someone to help me get her. I take a deep breath and prepare to help her on my own.

All on my own.

We fumble along, making our way back to her bedroom. My slim, 17-year-old body shoulders her arm. I hear her groan under her breath, denying herself the expression of pain. I ease her back into bed and shuffle back to my room.

I still feel her weight on my sagging shoulders as I go back to my bedroom.

As I pull the covers up, my hands are still shaking. The weight of feeling alone and having to do it all on my own bears down on me and tears start pouring down my cheeks.

 


He’d been crying for almost twenty minutes. It was almost 2:00 AM and I had absolutely no idea what to do; I felt like I was shooting in the dark. I looked down the hallway and saw my husband’s hand dangling over the edge of the bed while his chest slowly moved up and down. He had an early day and would be getting up in a few hours to go to work.

I knew I couldn’t wake him. I hardly ever woke him in those moments with my son. Looking back I wish I would have woken him. In the moments when you feel like your heart can’t take any sort of response he might give and you feel like you might explode, sometimes doing nothing is the only response you can come up with. Maybe not the healthiest, but it’s all you’ve got at the time.

But there was this nagging in my soul that I couldn’t shake from all those nights up with my son.

I felt alone. I felt like I had to do it all. And then I couldn’t tell whose tears were soaking my clothes. I couldn’t tell who was sobbing more, my son or me?

Little did I know in those moments as a new mother that claws of past experiences were triggering fresh rawness right across my heart. My body was 30 something but my heart flashed back to me being 17 years old.

I’m 17 again and I live alone with my mother while I stand there holding my crying son.

When I held my crying son alone in the night, I didn’t realize those feelings of being alone, of feeling abandoned, were playing out in my anger towards my husband at 2:00 AM over ten years later.

My past becomes my present.

My mind started listing off everything I had to do around the house. Everything went to how I felt like my husband wasn’t enough. I started saying things to myself like “I always get up in the night” or “I’m the one who always gets up in the morning with him.

I’m the one who was always with Mom to help her get back up.

I’m the one who always ______________.

My heart has triggered something raw.

I wish I had understood this better during my harsh postpartum emotions with my first child.

I wish I had understood this better when we first got married.

Because in those moments of high emotions and agony, I was holding on to my past. It was a quiet weight I didn’t know I was still carrying.

I’d be arguing with my husband and he’d say things like, “I don’t do enough? You feel alone? What about when I do this or this or this? What about all those times I take over for you with the kids in the evening? How can you feel alone? I’m RIGHT here.”

And those kinds of arguments went on repeat for seven years.

SEVEN YEARS.

Triggers can be a nasty game and you’ll lose every time if you try to play with your own strength.

 


I had been sitting on the couch, talking with her about my mother and how much I missed her. I had talked about our twisty past together and how I had grown strong from the years I took care of my mother.

And my therapist looked at me calmly on the couch and asked me if I still had those feelings of panic and frustration as a mother that I felt as a teenager.

And then I was crying. Crying because I knew where this was going. I knew that I was still carrying the weight of my past and turning a blind eye to triggers that were eating away at my heart.

How could I enjoy motherhood with this kind of weight? How could I ever find peace and grace with my husband when He never seemed like enough?

How could I quench my thirst for being enough and feeling loved?

I had fooled my soul into thinking the cup I was drinking from was of life and truth. I was drinking from the well of the world, coming back thirsty, over and over again.

It wasn’t until I confronted my triggers with the water of Jesus that my thirst for peace was satisfied.

It wasn’t until I fell on my face before the Lord, asked for living water, when He called out my past triggers by name, saying, “Are you alone? Are you back in that apartment, filled with fear and uncertainty? How do you expect to drink living water when you are gulping down lifeless water filled with your past?”

In John chapter four, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman and revealed to her that he is the Messiah who brings living water to those who will believe. He also called out her past, naming it before her about the several men she had married.

After her encounter with him at the well, she went back to her people and spoke of him as being the true Messiah, mainly because he had told her of her past.

Don’t you think she knew of her past?

It wasn’t until her past was called out by name that she could move forward in the belief of him as the true Messiah, knowing that her identity wasn’t the woman who married many men.

It wasn’t until my past was called out by name that I could move forward in believing who I am in Christ.

When I hear my son cry out in the night, my heart goes from 0 to 60 in heartbeat. But now, the panic is subdued. The fear that used to wrap around my throat is replaced by a calm surge of discernment and confidence.

I am not 17 again. I am not alone. I do not need to feel abandoned. I do not need to feel like I have to do it all.

My present emotions do not have to be controlled by those triggers. When those triggers try to flare up at 2:00AM, I call them out by name and remember who I am in Christ.

 

I am not bound by fear.

I am no longer a slave to sin, to my past.

I was known by Christ before I was even in my mother’s womb.

I am filled with the Holy Spirit from Christ.

I am lavishly loved by God.

I am a child of the King.

 

I am not thirsty anymore.

Peace,
Glo

When Love Languages Collide

He walked out the door completely unaware of the tears I was about to shed as soon as the back door closed. He would go outside and work in the yard oblivious to the storm brewing in my heart.

I wish I could say later that night while laying in bed I decided to reveal my heart to him and he understood and we changed and we were better because of it.

I wish I could have said a lot of things that night.

But I didn’t and we went to bed like normal, woke up the next day like normal and proceeded on in the mundane like any other normal couple.

Sound familiar?

There’s no great drama here. We are what you might consider an average couple. We have our normal shares of conflict and struggles. We have highs and lows in our marriage. No one is abusive. We are faithful to each other. We work hard to provide for our family together. We have some baggage from our past and families that we both brought into the marriage. Pretty “typical” stuff.

So why did I find myself getting stuck in the same rut over and over with my husband?

I felt like we kept running into the same problems. Sure, maybe there were new arguments developing between us like dirty diapers and disciplining the toddler; whereas, five years ago we’d fight about our conflicting hobbies and guys night out.

But the fire behind the fights were essentially the same: we were not meeting each other’s expectations. I realized he wasn’t enough for me.

 

I felt stuck.

I felt alone.

 

I felt like a bad wife.

I had run out of grace for myself. For him.

Frustration was driving me insane.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.”

Maybe this time will be different. Maybe I’ll be fixed. Maybe he’ll be fixed.

I started to feel like there would never be an answer; that this was just something I’d have to live with.

 

 

I even felt like I had so many moments of pure honesty with the Lord when I would genuinely fall on my knees before him, asking him to show me how to get out of this cycle. And I think he did give me some guidance along the way.

But the reality is I lost focus.

I stopped focusing on my relationship with Christ. I stopped cultivating prayerful intimacy with him.

When I’m intimate with Jesus–totally raw and free with my messy self at his feet–then I see my husband with grace eyes and God’s supernatural peace washes over me.

As his peace increases, the frustrations and anxiety decrease.

I start to feel like I’m moving forward instead of in circles.

We’re human and we’re constantly evolving and changing, which means that we really are changing more than we realize and that means new conflicts will continue to arise in our marriages.

And while you may grow in one area in your marriage you must be on the lookout for new growth opportunities. When those new areas arise and we walk among them aimlessly, then we try to remove the speck in our spouse’s eye while our own eye is being gouged.

So how does all this connect with the mini series “When Love Languages Collide: 5 Practices to Help You Get Unstuck in Your Marriage”?

It means that I wrote this series during a time when I was on my face before the Lord, bearing my raw heart before him, seeking a clarity I never had before.

And he slowly unraveled the five practices.

He slowly showed me an element to my frustration was my focus on how my husband wasn’t loving me the way I wanted to be loved because of what I had learned from The Five Love Languages.

He totally changed me.

And then he reminded me that I wasn’t alone.

He pointed me to the comments made by many of you that said things like “I know exactly what you mean, Gloryanna” or “You’ve said what I’ve been trying to figure out how to say and I’ve been married for years.

So over the course of many early mornings and late nights, God wrote through me this mini series.

And let me be clear: it’s not a series that’s going to “fix” you. It’s as series that will meet you right where you’re at and when you start changing again as a wife and find yourself feeling stuck, you can pick up the mini series again and start moving forward.

You can keep coming back to it as you evolve in your relationship with your husband because no matter what we do, where we go, who we become, God is always there, waiting for us with open arms.

You can stop letting your husband walk out the door unaware. You can stop going to bed at night full of frustration and fear.

By God, you can get unstuck.

Peace,

Glo

>>>>>Sign up for the mini guide here.

When You Feel Like Your Job Has No Value In The Kingdom

How quickly I forget my true identity of who I am in Christ.

This morning I woke up and had this overwhelming sense of unworthiness. I wondered if all this writing business I’m attempting really encourages anyone. And I know I’m not alone in this sort of personal value intake.

Husband and I have talked about this before. He too has gone through phases where he feels like his job is “ministry-less.” Finding God in the everyday is challenging when you work around a bunch of machines all the time.

And even as I type this I know that to be a lie. A lie from Satan.

I won’t delve into talking about finding our value as parents. We all know the ongoing questions we face as parents, worrying if we’re teaching our children enough about Christ. That’s another post for another day.

But let’s talk about what we do in the every day. God created us with gifts and talents and drive. We have jobs that come under all sorts of varieties. The engineer. The teacher. The dentist. The cosmetologist. The architect. The parent at home. The mail person.

What you do insert here ______________.

And I think if we’re all being honest with ourselves, we can say that at one point or another, we question what we’re doing. We wonder how we can possibly be a witness to someone when we all we do is enter insurance claims all day or work with machines.

Sometimes we might think to ourselves, Well sure, a teacher can easily minister to others, they have young people they work with. Or a doctor can easily show God’s love. I mean they make people feel better for Pete’s sake.

We easily put a value on ourselves and others.

And this morning, I was asking myself that same question. Does my writing really further the kingdom?

Does what I spend my time and energy on bring others closer in their relationship with Christ? Does it draw the wanderer in who wants to know more about this Christ I talk about?

I think it does. But I fail to see it sometimes. I miss the opportunities.

It’s not about who has it easiest. It’s about SEEING the opportunity before us in the day to day.

The problem is I let the world cloud the true answer.

The world flashes “success” in our faces all day every day. I see Joe over on Facebook with his business and he seems to be successful, getting all sorts of engagement and buyers. I heard about Sally getting promoted at work while I’m still in this little cubicle. A friend of mine got a book deal. When is that gonna happen for me? Will it ever?

Is God really using me if I’m not having the same kind of success as Sally?

I think of how the story of Jesus is told with four different books in the Bible. Four different men, four different perspectives God included in His Word to minister to us. He didn’t use just one writer to convey the most precious story known to man. Each writer contributed his unique view of Jesus and the miracles he performed.

God uses a variety of people throughout the Bible with varying backgrounds and He uses 40 something authors over the course of 2,000 years, who wrote in three different languages from three different continents to share the truth with us. Whew.

Worried your place in this world isn’t enough? Take a look at the greatest book ever written and see all of the individuals God used and worked through to minister to his children.

There is room at the table. Room for different styles and strengths. We have an anointing from the Father to be Kingdom Ministers. Right here and now in the every day.

We need all the teachers we can get. We need architects. We need garbage men.

We need all of us.

And yet we so easily focus on the success of someone else.

We see a fellow dentist in town who started their own practice while you’re still waiting on partner. All the while the lady in front of you sharing about her bad day is a missed opportunity calling out to you to speak God’s love into her life.

As you walk into work, your joy gets checked at the door.

When I check my site stats and reader responses, I easily forget the simple power of knowing I am following God’s lead, not Google Analytics. I forget that life is not about likes.

Satan likes nothing more than to badger us with Jealousy as much as possible. He lives to steal our joy.

Let me repeat this for you: You are anointed. You have God’s Spirit and Kingdom living inside you and no profession, no success of Joe Shmo can take that away. Only you can, because you forget to believe it.

Peace,
Glo

Do you ever feel like your job has no value in God's kingdom? Do you feel like what you do at your job isn't enough to minister to others?

Maybe Being Angry in your Marriage is a Good Thing

Sometimes I get so angry with my husband that I can’t even begin to explain what that anger feels like.

I get incredibly frustrated. Like I just want to pull my hair out. Literally. Anything to take my mind off how angry I am.

Sometimes I play these scenes over and over in my head. Husband comes home from work. I yell at him. He sort of yells and responds, we hug and forgive and then things that I want to change will change. And I tell myself it will be fine. That we’ll figure it out.

I go to bed and romanticize what the future holds for my marriage.

Then reality hits at 6:00 when Husband walks through the door. I yell at him. He doesn’t say anything. I fume. He still hugs me and then moves his attention to Bubby. Guilt washes over me. I’ve unloaded on my husband with my toddler’s eyes glazed over, startled in the corner.

It only seems natural to move on with the evening as I robotically finish dinner while Husband and Bubby set the table. I’m spitting mad everything is moving forward as if my outburst meant nothing. Dinner is eaten, table is cleared, dishes put away. Anger still pulses through me as Husband and Bubby laughingly work their way upstairs to start their bedtime routine.

When these scenes unfold in our home, the emotions I feel inside are like a whirling hurricane, never really settling. For a time, the winds subside and I laugh with Husband about Bubby’s exciting, new discovery that day. Or time will go by as I put aside my anger because I can’t fight the urge to draw close to my him while my baggage waves in the distance.

But when that hurricane makes its appearance, I hardly recognize myself.

The wife I allow myself to be in those moments is one I am ashamed to admit even exists.

She is full of resentment, unforgiveness and a selfishness that she wrestles with on a daily basis. A selfishness that points all the mistakes back to my husband. A selfishness that keeps records of wrongs. A selfishness that I allow to silently and slowly eat away at the fruit God has planted in my marriage.

The aftermath is unbearable at times. I am overcome with guilt and unworthiness, that I find myself nodding along in agreement with all the lies Satan whispers.

Why is it that as we struggle in our marriage, being a failure becomes our new identity?

Why is that when we have challenges and trials that we think something is wrong with our marriage? That we have somehow fallen too far from God’s grasp?

I’ve read a few times in the Bible about marriage being hard (read about that here). There’s a passage I come back to when I’m wading through the aftermath of my selfish self. Jesus is talking to his disciples and says “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone…But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.” Matthew 19:11-12

And that all too familiar whisper from Jesus wraps around my heart, reminding me that the struggles I’m walking through is how we grow into the largeness of marriage.

Having an angry, frustrated heart says that I am still hearing from the Lord as He continues to mold me, bringing forth aptitude and grace, little by little.

The anger and remorse I feel shout that I am still growing in Him and growing as a wife. The raw emotions that come and go mean I am still sensitive to His Holy Spirit as He gently picks me back up again.

The anger I have today is redeemed and literally washed away by His blood. The trick I fall for is believing I’ll never have that angry feeling again.

But we’re humans who need God’s grace. And we forget the victory we have in the Lord, a platitude we easily spout off at times, forgetting the magnitude of what that means in our marriages.

Maybe it's a good thing to be angry in your marriage? Have you ever felt angry in your marriage? Do you feel like a failure for feeling that way all the time? Maybe it's not as bad as you think.

So the challenges will continue to come and anger will take on a new face. The hurricane will hit a new target in my heart.

Ray Bradbury once said that we are all cups, quietly and constantly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

And while these seasons of our marriage challenge me to the core, they remind me that I am a vessel of the Lord’s and He is continuously filling me, shaping me.

Thankfully, I don’t always have to try and figure it out. When I let the ugly out, God redeems it for beauty.

Thankfully, when the hurricane comes and goes, God is still standing in the aftermath and I realize He’s been holding me the whole time.
Read more posts about Marriage:
When Your Spouse Starts to Feel Like a Roommate
A Love Letter to My Husband
Is it OK to Love my Husband when I Don’t Feel Like it?

Peace,
Glo

To the Weary Mama

“Give me your heart, give me your song, sing it will all your might
Come to the Fountain and you can be satisfied.
There is a peace. There is a love you can get lost inside.
Come to the Fountain and let me hear you testify.”
                       ~NEEDTOBREATH “TESTIFY”

 

Motherhood is a gift that easily gets tainted. I know I am my own worst enemy most times. So much anxiety and thoughts race through our minds.

Am I doing this right?

Am I doing enough?

Do they know I love them?

Do they feel loved enough?

To the weary Mama, I see you. I see you trying to hold it all together on the straight and narrow path of deception. A path so wide and straight that many find their way so easily to an unfulfilled thirst for acceptance. We want to know that we’re doing enough. We want to believe that the daily decisions we make will guide our children to a better path as they grow.

I see the worry. I see the masked concern when you drop a little bit of your motherhood that you have clung on to for so long, when one of the plates fall.  It’s a constant nagging when Inadequacy drowns out all the love noise of the One who is calling you to His well.

We want to be confident in who we are, but the world constantly battles for our attention and tries to fill all those voids. The world offers us a drink and we leave still feeling thirsty. When I take that cup from the world, I leave with a false sense of knowing where I am. I leave with a parched mouth.

Are you weary and tired in motherhood? Do you feel overwhelmed? Know that you are not alone.

I know that all consuming thirst all too well. It’s that thirst that can only be filled when I drop all that I am trying to carry and come to His well where His Word fills my soul.

I want to be lost. Lost in His love that I can’t see a way out. I want to wander in the deep cave of His mystery. My feet kick the rocks on the ground in His canyon of peace.

He takes my hand and shows me His Word that’s written on my heart. I gently hand Him my heart that has it all figured it out and in exchange I receive His truth.

There are times when I trip and fall as I walk through the vast valleys of victory in Him, and it’s then I am grateful for my weakness because it’s in these moments when I know really how strong I truly am in Him.

If I am always looking back, questioning my worth as a mom, then I trip and fall. When I look side to side, I lose direction. But when I look forward, towards Him, I am lost to all that is around me. I’ll never look back again.

Wont you be lost with me?

I let go. I let go of the expectations I put on myself. I let go of comparison. I let go of my anger. I let go of myself.

I sing my song of redemption. I sing it at the top of my lungs.

Let go and sing with me.

I find His well of wild love and drink deep. I am satisfied in the lostness of knowing Him.

Peace Mamas,
Glo

 

When I Can’t See His Truth

Coffee is gurgling from the corner of my kitchen. I need this cup this morning. Time has slipped through my grasp and I need to stop and breathe today. An overwhelming sigh escapes me. Coffee, Bible and journal in hand, I sit at my kitchen table that has seen many of my tears and fears on numerous ragged, dark early mornings.

As I open my journal, I am guilted by the gap in the dates marked on the top of the pages. Almost two months since the last time I made an effort to seek out God for his guidance. Guidance on my journey as a new mother, a new friend, a loving wife and writer.

I found something I was drawn to, led by the Spirit and began a spiraled crawl down my own path. Why is it when God gives me an opportunity to serve him, I find the need to take the opportunity and make it my own? I grab it, dress it up in an outfit I picked out, show it off on the runway of my life and call it my own work? My own doing. By the time I’ve come to the end of myself, I am enveloped by a sickness. God shows me the way to a bountiful path and I stuff my face.

It’s the sickness that usually brings us back.

I fumble with an overwhelming sense of insecurity. What if I made the wrong decision? What if I’m not supposed to be doing this with my life? As I search down the wrong turn I’ve taken, I see others in the distance who appear to be on the same journey as me. They look like they’ve made some similar decisions as me. All I see are their successes.

I start falling. Falling into jealousy. Anger. Fear. A dark pit I can’t see out of. I feel like I’ve reached the bottom and I can’t find my way out. I get kicked around by my emotions. They slither around me, rearing their fangs, ready to bite at my weakest moments.

These are the moments when we’ve come to the end of ourselves that we feel God’s hand holding us. We realize we aren’t in the bottom of a self-destructive pit. We are being held. Held by the One who never let go. God’s love is unconditional and will always be cupping us when we fall. It’s our pride that masks the floor from us.

We put ourselves in our own dark places only to find God re-lighting the path for us every time we take a detour. His Word says in Isaiah 41:13 that He is the the Lord our God who takes hold of our hand and says “Do not fear; I will help you.”

I think of the verses we’re taught as children. Verses that become cliches. They get tossed around as platitudes, losing their power in our lives. Until we need His power to rejuvenate us. Until we hear Him whisper the truth to open our eyes and see that He is with us.

I hear him whisper His truth in my dark kitchen that morning.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord our God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

I don’t sit at my kitchen table to feel like I’ve earned points with the man upstairs. I don’t journal about my journey to feel good about myself. I sit down for coffee with the Creator of the universe. I write to clear away the weeds I’ve sown so I can see the beauty He has always had for me. The beauty of His Word. The beauty of seeing others with His eyes. The beauty of seeing myself with His eyes.

This post was originally published on Her View From Home.

What Should I Tell My Children about Trump Being President?

This morning I woke up and dreaded looking at my phone. I knew no matter the winner, I was going to have to reconcile my feelings with the new President of the United States and God. If you would have asked me when I first started writing that I would be writing someday about “Donald Trump as President,” then I would have looked at you and laughed. But here we are. A day full of so many mixed emotions and so many questions. I just keep asking myself, what now?

Of course the instant I turned to my phone and began reading everyone’s comments and status updates about how they felt, I couldn’t help but have a heavy heart. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed for the people who are tormented about our new President. I couldn’t help but feel my heart break when I read posts of victims of rape who couldn’t understand why a country like ours “choose hate over love.” The many women who feel personally affected by the nomination of a man, who quite frankly, is a sinner like the rest of us.

On the flip side, my head shook when I saw those in favor of Trump, gallivanting their statuses as if they think Trump will be the change our country needs. The ignorance of a misplaced trust in a new President.

The reality is, no matter who are next President was going to be, the truth still remains. A truth that squeezed my heart of all the heavy and replaced it with hope. A truth that says this:

God is bigger than a Presidential election.

I certainly don’t write this to say that we shouldn’t have hope in our government. Having hope in one another and the people who help make our country what it is, need our hope. But more importantly, they need our prayers.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to pray for those in leadership positions. We are called to respect our government. That is a TOUGH pill to swallow when you feel like you are in a situation that seems like a lose-lose.

But that’s the real hope we can have with our prayers. A real hope that remembers God is bigger than Donald Trump. God is bigger than our government.

We make a mistake when we put our trust in man to bring a change.

Donald Trump is not going to be there in the night when a woman who was assaulted by a man can still feel his hands on her body. Trump is not going to be there when a mother and father hear their son refer to a girl in their class in a sexually degrading way.

But God is there. He is here. Now.

God is there to wrap his arms around that woman who can’t shake her attacker’s face. God is there to guide those parents as they talk with their son about what it means to cherish a woman and how God created her.

I keep thinking about how I would talk to my children today if they were old enough to understand the confusion and anger that fueled this election. What would I say to my son? To my daughter?

I would tell them that sin is real and Satan is out to steal, kill and destroy. That our new President is a sinner like us and he is a fallen man whom we can’t put all our trust in. I would remind them that Satan will use this President to continue to drive our country apart and that as Christians, we need to put on our armour of love, now more than ever.

I would tell them that God’s love is real and He is out to shower us with His mercy and grace if we would open our hearts to Him. That no matter what Trump or anyone else for that matter has done, that God still loves each one of us unconditionally. God is love. And He uses his love to draw us closer to him.

It’s times like these when we need to hold fast to the truth that is His word.

Not platitudes or false teachings that make us think Man is our rock. There is only one Rock and His name is Jesus.

If there were ever an election to teach our children about Christ and the struggles that come with learning to trust and seek His truth, then this one would be it. Think about that for a minute. I can honestly say that the few times I have voted for a President so far, this was the first one when I was on my knees almost nightly, seeking God for guidance on how to vote this year. And I would be sure my children knew the struggle I went through and the basis for my decision came from His word.

It won’t be long and the buzz will die down around Trump–that is until something new comes up and we can start pointing the finger again. And that’s when the lessons will begin again.

How will our children respond and what will they learn from us if we show an utter disrespect to our President and our government because we disagree with our nation’s decision? What will we be teaching them if we continue to bash those in leadership, when the Bible clearly calls us to respect them? 

If I show respect for one I like and think is morally better but show disregard for one that I think is the wrong choice, then I am showing my children that different sins have different value which in turn clouds the truth of God’s unconditional love.

I want to teach my children the value of respecting our governmental authority, while learning to exercise their rights as citizens to vote and protest. I want them to learn that disagreement doesn’t come in the form of bashing those we disagree with or breaking the rules. Disagreement comes with prayer. Prayer for those we disagree with and their hearts and prayer for our own hearts to stay open to the Holy Spirit and how He would lead us to respond.

God has given us boundaries in His Word and when we choose to live outside those boundaries, the result is sin. It’s not my place to put others in their place. I hope my children will see that when we see sin in others, it’s our place to pray for them and love on them ever more. We don’t have to accept their sin, but we can leave the judging to God and keep our eyes on Him and His truth.

I want my children to remember that God is bigger than we can imagine and it’s His love that pursues us every minute of every day.

I want them to know that God is bigger than a Presidential election.

What about you? What will you or would you tell your children?

Peace,
Glo

trumppresdisentpin

What It’s Like to Grieve Without God

It took about fifteen minutes.

From seeing the sun just barely above the horizon, to it dipping down below the fields, signaling dusk, we buried my mother in fifteen minutes on an unusually cool summer evening in Kansas.

No service. No big memorial. Just her children and some grandchildren in a place special to my mother. Just how she wanted it.

It took about fifteen minutes.

Mom had been on hospice for barely a week before she left this earth. The night of her death, I remember it was about fifteen minutes after the last of her six children said his goodbyes when she took her last breath.

It took about five days.

Mom passed on Sunday night and we had her apartment cleaned out by Friday. Grief hadn’t actually hit me yet. I was too busy still taking care of her even after she was gone. Years ago I moved us into that apartment and I was going to move her out. It took us five days to clear everything out, like she was never there.

It took about two weeks.

I had been busy getting all of mom’s accounts in line and organizing everything, that grieving for my mother had taken a back seat. I was avoiding my grief, keeping it at bay. Afraid of the torrential waves that might not stop. About fourteen days after my mother left this world, I realized for the first time that my world was a lot more empty without her. As I reached for my phone to call her during our morning ritual, the truth sank in. Truth that said I hadn’t fully grieved the loss of Mama.

I had had my moments of tears and bursts of anguish. I would see a picture of her and quickly lose my breath. As my son would toddle into the room, my heart would ache, wishing my mother was here to see him. Then it really hit me.

All this time I had been grieving, I had been telling myself it will get better. I reminded myself that God would give me peace and comfort. I remembered the kind words of others to help ease my pain. I worried about the rest of my family and their grieving process, praying for all of us nonstop. Yet. I realized my prayers were empty. My words were powerless. My belief was robotic and formulaic.

Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is a time for everything under the heavens. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance (NIV). And in the New Testament we are constantly reminded that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5, NIV). When I remembered these verses I saw my emptiness for what it really was.

was allowing myself to grieve without God.

I was expecting Him to fix me. I was waiting on Him to fix my heart. All the while I was blind to the truth that God was actually grieving with me. The Creator of the universe had a broken heart for the loss of my mom and He wanted to grieve with me.

While I truly believe my mother is in heaven, the hole that gets left behind when you lose someone seems unfillable. So wide does that hole seem that I pushed away the only One who could fill it. My Father of the fatherless who has always held me in his hand, even when I was blind to His grasp was pushed to the backseat as an afterthought.

I had placed Him so high on this pedestal as the “fixer” that I forgot the reality of His love.

The moment I decided to actually feel His presence and to recognize His tears for my loss, that was the moment the Prince of peace filled my heart. I had placed Him so high on this pedestal as the “fixer” that I forgot the reality of His love. The love that says I will never leave you nor forsake you. The love that is truly sad when we are sad.

A love that gets angry with us.

A  love that will stand up for truth with us.

A love that pierces through all the darkness that can so easily shroud around us during grief.

When you are grieving the loss of someone that you believe is in heaven, sometimes the saying “well, at least they’re in heaven” gets thrown around as a platitude because, as humans, we don’t always know how to respond to grief. Let me remind you of the great power and real peace that can come from the deep down gut belief that you’re loved one is in heaven. You’re loved one is with the Spirit who holds the world. She is with the One that was with Jesus on the cross when he came to save us just so she could one day join Him. She is dancing with the One who placed the stars in the sky and created a world so full of life and diversity that we may never know the full extent of it.

She’s free and whole for the first time.

It took me countless moments of unsatisfying tears to realize that grieving without God is an endless road, empty with no restoration in sight.

It took me losing my mother to understand what it really means to believe in heaven. And that is something I will never lose hold of again.

meandmama

what-its-like-to-grieve
This post also appears on onlyaseason.com.

Gratitude: Disarming the Lies We Tell Ourselves

It starts when I lay in bed for the night. I don’t know what it is about elusive sleep, but I seem to get most of my revelations when I can’t sleep. I started going through the ongoing list I like to title “ME.”

No one does the laundry for me.

No one cooks me dinner.

No one takes care of me, I mean right?

Clearly I do everything. I remember to feed the dogs. I remember to book the appointments. I am the brains behind family vacations. I am the one who bakes for the group fundraiser. I am the one who makes plans for date night. Am I the only one who likes romance?

Me. Me. Me. What about me? What about me?

We live in a culture that is constantly telling us that we need to love ourselves, take care of ourselves. Keep ourselves first. While I believe that taking time for myself and putting some of my needs at the top of my priority list is important, because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, but I struggle balancing this.

I tell myself I am neglected. I tell myself it’s someone else’s fault I lose my joy. I convince myself that others are responsible for my happiness and peace.

But if I am being brutally honest with myself. These are lies. 

Joy is a choice. Happiness is a choice. A choice that says I trust you God with all my heart. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Not if my husband decides to cook dinner one night (although I”m not saying he shouldn’t ever do that, you know 😉 ).

I can’t look past the two greatest commandments Jesus gave his followers. I find I am at a constant battle with one of these commandments.  A battle I am always fighting, with gloves held high. The commandments that say “Love the Lord with all your heart and soul” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

OK, God. I love you with all my heart and soul. Sure. No problem. At least it’s no problem today. It’s that “simple” second one that holds me up. 

How do you love others but still feel like you aren’t running on empty?

Feeling like I am the one who is always doing everything makes it hard for me to sometimes love others as myself, particularly those close to me, like family members or my husband.

I want to be intentional in my life. Intentional in loving others. I want to be intentional in giving thanks for God’s love in my life. I want to be intentional in strengthening myself in the Lord.  I want to choose the Lord to fill me up when I feel like I am running on empty. I want to make positive choices to try and prevent that feeling of being empty.

I want to be intentional while I am doing laundry.


I want to take the focus off of myself and focus on Him.


To help me stay focused on Him and the strength I get from Him, I plan to spend the next month being intentionally thankful each day. Taking my eyes off of me and looking to Him. Focusing on others. I’ve got this nifty little dry-erase board on my mirror in my bathroom where I brush my teeth. I have this here so each morning, as I get ready, I am reminded to start the day with gratitude.

GratitudeBoard

 

What about you?

I challenge you to choose to be intentionally grateful each day this month. There is no time like the present. This isn’t about some rules to try and please God. This is about striving to trust God with your hurts or worries or maybe, just maybe, those feelings of feeling neglected, and bring peace and joy into your life.

I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day, I can easily convince myself out of anything because I am exhausted. I’d like to still reflect at the end of the day, but I also want to try and start my day with being grateful because I know I am more likely to have a refreshed mind then.

For you, maybe that means the drive to work. Maybe it’s during your lunch or a quick coffee break at the office. Maybe it’s during nap time for your littles. It doesn’t matter when it is! Think about a time that lends itself to you being able to be intentional.

As I was lying in bed, throwing myself a pity party, I heard Him. I hear him. I hear Him call my name. I hear Him say “Gloryanna, you are mine. You are doing that laundry for me. You are remembering and taking care of others for me.” He encourages me to focus on what I am grateful for in this life. That the constant renewal of my mind is a process that begins with thanksgiving. I think of how many times Jesus started to pray by giving thanks. How many times prophets and servants of God in the Bible began their missions, their letters, their prayers, with giving thanks.


Gratitude doesn’t leave room for the lies I tell myself.

Gratitude leaves room for Grace. And we all know we need that. We just have to accept it.


I know, I know. I’m jumping around a little bit here. But bear with me. Join me.

Join me in being intentional in gratitude and disarming the lies we tell ourselves. Join me in choosing to trust God each day with our fears, our angers, ur worries, and remember who He is and be grateful for what He has done and what He will do.

Prayer for Today:
Thank you, God for reminding me that I am walking this life to serve you and bring Glory to your Name. Thank you for wiping out the spirit of self-pity and replacing it with your love for me. By trusting you with my fears and anger, I am releasing them to you. Trusting that you will work it out.
What else can you thank God for today to start out on an attitude of gratitude?

 

disarmingliesgrat

Dear Readers: I Haven’t Been Honest Lately

I woke up at about 1:00 AM with a long night of tossing and turning. The fan droned in the background as my thoughts just wouldn’t stop. I had started to feel it a few weeks back. This feeling of always being unsettled. It was like I couldn’t breathe. I was questioning myself. Worried about what people were thinking.

As someone who likes to write and put it out there on the Internet in hopes that it reaches someone and meets them where they’re at, you are always running the risk of anxiety. Worry that someone will misunderstand what you’re trying to say. Worry that you’ve said too much about your perspective that you end up crossing the line of someone else’s privacy. Worry that you sound, well, like a jerk maybe. Judgmental. Whatever it is, you worry about the representation your words bring to the table.

Worry that you might lose yourself in the process and start writing for your audience instead of yourself.

At 1:00 AM in the deep of the night I had lost myself. Lost myself to a world that I slowly walked into.

When I started blogging, I knew that this was something God wanted me to do. I had made a big transition in my life going from a teacher to a stay-at-home-mom and I saw writing as an outlet. I saw writing as a way to still “teach” others one might say. I saw writing as a way to encourage others in their relationship with Christ. It didn’t matter if you were a mom or dad or aunt or uncle. What once was a vision to write to edify others, became a morphed road that I hijacked. God showed me an opportunity and I grabbed it with greedy hands and let it devour me.

In the middle of the night I was starving to know why I was empty without any of the peace I had once had when I started this little blog. Scenes started triggering my mind.

The first trigger came in a conversation I had with my sister. She made a comment about who my target audience is in my writing and she said, “Well you are writing towards stay-at-home-moms, right?” My response was that writings about my faith and walk with Christ could be for anybody. Later that night I couldn’t shake that feeling. The feeling that I had veered off what my original intent was with all this writing. I wanted to reach anyone in their faith. Not only moms, let alone stay-at-home-moms. Granted, God has given me this new role of being a mom, so there will definitely be times I write about that journey, but forgiveness? Grace? Those are for everyone. Looking over some choices I’ve made, my writing has become well, a little like tunnel vision and I feel like I am becoming blind.

The second trigger came when I got sucked into the bumpy road that is social media and started equating my writing success based on the interactions I would get via social media. God has opened my eyes to these sneaky, yet heavy chains and is growing in me about it. At this point, I rarely check my blog stats anymore and try to keep all social media outlets to a minimum. I use a post planner for social media as much as I can so I don’t have to actually be on it all the time. God has broken the chains in this department and His peace is starting to fill me up more. If you want to talk about losing your peace in a snap, spend too much time on Facebook. Let me just say, and as obvious as it might sound, life is not about likes. But that is another post for another day.

The third trigger came when I was cleaning up old photos on my computer and the original photo with my blog tagline popped up. It was only a few months ago, but in that time I had completely forgotten. I had chosen the name of this site for a couple of reasons. As we go through this life, we are constantly moving through the different seasons, and they happen in the blink of an eye. The baby that won’t sleep through the night? It’s only a season. The rough patch with your friend? It’s only a season. Not so much as in, “it’s only a season, get over it.” No, it’s like it’s only a season, slow down, work through it, or pause and enjoy it. Enjoy this season because it will go so fast. While I was pregnant with Asher, I clinged to Ecclesiastes 3:1

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.

Asher was 12 days late and this verse was the only thing that got me through that time of waiting. Knowing that everything happens in its time. Hence, my blog name was born.

What I didn’t plan for, was to let myself get sucked into a blogging world I wasn’t ready for. THERE IS SO MUCH OUT THERE FOR BLOGGERS. It is overwhelming. I soon became engrossed in approval addiction and statistics for viewership on my site. I slowly started writing differently, driven by these suffocating emotions. I sort of gave myself this “momblogger” identity that I hadn’t originally planned to be. I changed my website header, got rid of the Bible verse and started brainstorming like crazy over all these topics I could write about that would draw in the mom crowd. All the while, losing my identity as a writer. You would think as a mom, that writing about being a mom is a no brainer.

I have met some awesome mom bloggers and I have gained some phenomenal support from women in the blogging world. Unfortunately, I let some of these circumstances change my goal for writing. Instead of staying honest to myself and writing about what God was revealing to me in my heart, the raw, honest stuff about my faith, I started writing about the best way to cook homemade dinner rolls. Instead of writing about God changing my character as a wife, I started writing about the best baby food meals. Don’t misunderstand me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing about these things and I love reading about them and the world needs this stuff!! What became wrong for me is that I wasn’t writing about what I knew I should be. Writing became a struggle each time I sat down at the computer. Posting on social media became a task. The joy was slipping away.

I have realized that I haven’t been honest with you because I haven’t been honest with myself. I have been so busy writing to appeal to the masses at times, that I have lost site of why I originally started this. So, all of this to say that if you’ve been following me along this bumpy way, and have seen how I keep changing on here, well, I can’t guarantee that it won’t happen again, but hopefully you’ll see the real me continuing to emerge and it will encourage you in some way. Hopefully, you’ll draw closer to God in your relationship with Him.

I’m not in this to make money or some kind of blogging celebrity fame. I just want to write. I just want to stay honest to myself and be comfortable in my own skin. I don’t know if I’ll keep falling into the category of a #momblogger or #faithblogger or maybe #mombydaybloggerbynight.

Better yet how about a Child of the true God who writes for His kingdom.

I know one thing for sure. I will stay true to the calling God has placed on my heart right now and that is to grow closer to Him on this journey. Even if this writing gig is only for a season.

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It’s Who He Is

That moment when you’re totally engrossed in your own life. You feel like you’re never going to get that check list marked off. You feel like you are always going going. You feel like you’ve lost a little bit of something trying to do it all. Maybe you’ve lost a little bit of time with your spouse. Time with your friends. Time with your kids. Lost a little bit of yourself.

I get these enveloping moments when I’m doing the day-to-day mundane. I might be washing the dishes, running errands, paying bills, vacuuming. Whatever the mundane is in our house, I can always hear the faint sound of music in the background. We’re one of those families that has the radio lulling in the kitchen. Our station of choice is K-LOVE. I could probably write a whole series on K-LOVE calming the storms in the background in our household. Having constant praise music is a life source for me.

I was washing the dishes after a restless night worried about some decisions I needed to make. I’ve always been one that believes if you don’t have peace about a decision, then the answer is probably that you should shut the door on that choice. I was worried about what others would think of me. I was worried of how it would affect a few relationships. I was worried about how I would appear. Lots of “I’s” in that sentence…

I am one of those that also tends to look in the Bible for verses to make me feel better. Thank God for topical reference Bibles. If I’m worried, I look up verses about peace and trust. Nothing wrong with this at all. I think this can be a great reason to talk with God about where you’re at in life. The problem I run into sometimes is that my relationship with God becomes focused on me. Where I’m at. What’s going wrong. What went right.

What is a moment of distress seeking God for immediate help becomes a habit of a one-sided relationship.

I was washing dishes when it hit me. Chris Tomlin’s song “Good Good Father” came on the radio. In that moment, God wrapped me up in Him. Filled me with His breath of life. Filled me with His truth. Reminding me who He is.

He is the healer.
He brings restoration.
He provides.
He never leaves us.
He knows just what I need before I even say it.

It’s who He is.

When you’re in the day-to-day mundane, try to remember who He is and less of your mistakes and worries. If we keep our eyes on Him, we’ll see less of our messy world and more of His kingdom on earth.

 

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Is it a Bible Day? Devotional Day? Does It Matter?

Heyo! It’s our first Devotion day! Gahhh! I am oozing with excitement to start this! I had been thinking about how I wanted our Monday Motivations to play out.. I kept thinking about devotionals and how we use them. Why we use them. Sometimes I grab my devotional on days when I need a quick “God pick me up.” Sounds weird, but you know what I mean, right?

Is it a Bible Day or a Devotional Day? Book Day? Praise and Worship Day? Fellowship Day?

I soon realized that when I go to my devotional for quick inspiration, I start to feel a little guilty. Like maybe I’m not pleasing God because I just want something quick instead of taking 30 minutes to read something from His Word and sit and meditate on it for another 10 minutes. Nothing wrong with this at all, but who’s to say 30 minutes is better than 10 minutes?

Is my relationship qualified by the amount of time I spend with God down to the last minute?

Not only that but who’s to say my interaction with God is limited to a certain time of the day? I don’t know about you but the more I think about it, the more I realize that God and I talk back and forth throughout the whole day! If we didn’t I’d be really cuckoo. Worship music helps too.

I think this is a lie from the Enemy.

Why wouldn’t he plant a seed of doubt like this in our minds if it hinders us from reading any of God’s Word? If it keeps us from taking a few minutes to feel connected with God? God is always with us. We are the ones that get in the way of our relationship with our emotions.

Devotionals, books about Christ, prayer, relationships with others, and worship are like parts of the body (our relationship with Christ) and His Word is the heart and soul. We need his Word to survive and thrive, but all those other pieces help us along in life too.

I can’t neglect His Word and time with Him if I want to keep growing in my relationship with Him, but I like the idea of my devotional being the quick “I Love You” I say to Him and He says to me. A relationship won’t thrive if everything is quick, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to bring that quick reminder of who we are in Him and remember how much He loves us.

Go ahead, grab your favorite devotional sometime today or listen to  your favorite worship song or whatever!

 

Get refreshed and remember who God is.

May the Force be with you.
Glo

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Can You Ask God for Too Much in Prayer?

 I try to make it a point to have prayer time with God. Like officially sit-at-the-kitchen-table-with-my-Bible prayer. The Bible is a good touch, you know. I might get some kind of divine thought or something. Add a cup of coffee and I feel like I can really check my list off of “goody two-shoes.” But you know what? When I don’t do that, I tend to feel guilty. When I don’t always set aside time, I start to feel bad about it. Like God is getting upset with me and maybe I’m not going to get answered prayers or receive some special blessing.

One morning as I had finally sat down to just relax, I thought, “Oh, this is a perfect time to pray!” Right away I started to get that feeling. Guilt. The feeling started to grow when while I was praying, I realized I was asking for a lot of things. Everything was a request, a concern, a worry, or a stress. Asking God to help heal this, bring restoration to this, bring peace to this, and thanking Him for being faithful and guiding me. I decided to look up “prayer” in my Bible’s topical concordance. The first verse that was listed was 1 Timothy 2:1-3:

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

You know, this doesn’t say anything about asking God too much or too often is a bad thing. Check out Luke 11:10:

Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.

I mentioned I had concerns and worries. One of my favorite verses about prayer and worry is found in Philippians. I think this might be a popular one for many of us in our prayer life. Philippians 4:6-7:

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

When I used to read that verse, I always felt some sort of assurance or affirmation that it was good for me to always ask God for help. As silly as that sounds, I think as humans we tend to take that human open-book-981405_640feeling of guilt for asking too much and apply to our relationship with God–which is definitely not human. Not even close to the same characteristics in our human relationships. God is unconditional in his love for us. All he asks is that we believe that. In John 15 Jesus said that if we “make ourselves at home with me, [Jesus] and my words are at home in you, you can be sure whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon” (MSG Bible).

I realized that I let myself not feel “at home with God” because I thought I wasn’t following some little routine in my relationship with him. I am a person of routine but God doesn’t make me feel this way. What a lie Satan wants us to believe. Another measure we put on ourselves and believe that it comes from God. I find myself having to purposefully pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to remind me of God’s Word and truth. I sure can’t remember it all. And feeling bad about not always remembering is certainly not what God wants. He wants us to ask for help. He wants us to ask for His revelation, He wants us to ask. Asking is part of our free will in our relationship with Him. Asking sounds like a foundational element in our relationship with Him. 

Being “at home” with someone is a comfortable conversation that might happen over coffee. It also means I can be comfortable when I’m at my worst. I can pour my heart out and not worry that God only sees me as a minion who always asks for stuff. If you really start to think about it, we most likely pray and talk with God all the time. An utterance in the car while waiting at the light, thinking about your Mom who is probably missing her mom she lost some years ago, especially around the holidays. The quick praise when you are glad to find out that your little one made a new friend today and he’s been struggling at his new school. After all, you might have asked God to help your little one at school and probably wouldn’t being saying a quick praise if you hadn’t asked to begin with.  Who knows!

Sometimes when I’m asking, I feel like there’s no answer. I never see an answer. I can’t find one anywhere. I feel like my prayer just goes to God and I don’t hear anything back. I might even start to get angry about it. Frustrated that all I do is ask and don’t receive. The only “answer” I feel like I have for this is like what Jesus mentioned earlier about how prayer is not some kind of game, like hide-and-seek. I come to God with full faith, (OK, maybe not full faith alllll the time), knowing that I am making my requests known to him, but this also means that I am trusting Him. Knowing that He is in control. Sometimes asking for his help or for healing doesn’t necessarily mean that specifically what I asked for was answered, but you know what I almost ALWAYS experience, a reassurance that God is with me. His peace washes over me. In a way, that is an answered prayer. Having God’s incomprehensible peace hold you. That alone makes “asking” worth it. So keep on asking.

Peace,
Glo

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Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

I’ve never been one to agree with the phrase “Everything happens for a reason,” but I’ve got to say, I feel like the answer to this is “yes.” If you really think about it, clearly the answer is yes. I had been praying for the people in California and the ugliness those families are going through. The heart ache. The pain. I began to be overwhelmed with the feeling of how much hurting there is in the world and I always seem to find myself asking God why does this happen. I know I’m definitely not the first to ask this. So many have given their own answers to this. I can only share where I’m at and what I feel the Spirit ministering to me.

Yes, there is a reason for bad things that happen. Sin. God gave us free will and choice, and because of that, we have sin. We have awful things that people choose to do to other people. We have flawed human bodies that are capable of producing life-threatening sicknesses. I don’t think I’ve ever really meditated on what it means to live in a “fallen” world.

I know sin began with Adam and Eve in the garden and their choice for sin (stupid tree), instead of what God had for them, but when I start to think about that, I yet again, find myself asking God, why did you even have to put the tree there? Why couldn’t we have all been happy and perfectly content to only know You and live in blind joy with one another? Why do You allow sin?

This might seem weird, but I immediately thought of a scene from Hunger Games when Katniss and Peta arrive at the party in the Capital and are offered a drink. The party goer explained that if you get full, you take a drink and it will make you throw up so you can keep on eating and try all the different foods.

The people at the capital had NO IDEA what it meant to be hungry. They didn’t know what it meant to savor a bite. Relish in the opportunity to have a full meal and to go to bed without starving for once. As Peta mentions, people are starving and they are throwing up food to eat more!


God loves us too much to keep us in a box of blind joy.


He wants us to know what it means to really experience unconditional love. To savor it. Relish it. By giving us free will, we will know what it means to be starving. To be so hungry for something that we can’t hardly live without it. We will know what it means to experience a pain that is unbearable. To feel like we have nothing. We will know what it means to feel hopeless. Yet. you can only truly know what you have if you know what it’s like to not have it. There have been times in my life when I felt truly hopeless and alone. In those moments, I had to surrender myself and let God wrap me in His arms. I mean TRULY let myself experience His love. His forgiveness. His grace. That can be a tough choice when you are full of anger.Does Everything Happen

I think of so many stories in the Bible when bad things happened to people who didn’t deserve them. Do you think God wanted Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery? To be thrown in jail for years for being falsely accused of rape? Do you think God wanted David to have Bathsheba’s husband killed on the front lines in battle? Do you think God wanted Job to lose everything, including his family? Those awful things happened because someone somewhere had a choice to make and he chose selfishly. What is amazing in those stories is how God is faithful. He never left them. He was there, holding them. He was there to lift Job out of his pit of despair. He was there when Joseph was alone in prison.

I love it when Joseph’s brothers finally realize their brother is the big man in charge during the famine in Egypt and as he reveals himself to his brothers, who thought he was probably dead after all these years, Joseph says to them, “God sent me ahead to pave the way…it wasn’t you who sent me here but God.” Joseph could have easily blamed his brothers for choosing what they did. Instead, he saw God’s faithfulness in it all. He chose to see God and let himself experience whatever it was God had for him. God revealed himself to Joseph during his trials. In Genesis 39, scripture says that “God was with Joseph.” Joseph experienced God’s faithfulness, during what seemed to be Joseph’s end of the rope. Joseph had been “starving” for years, and God satiated him.

There are so many starving in the world. So much ugliness. But then, there is so much beauty. So many people reaching out to the hurting in the world. So many working to feed the hungry, to educate the homeless. So many who are trying to help the starving find their way to God. Yes, there are a lot of bad things that happen, but I believe that God is always faithful during times we don’t understand. Believing that is not always an easy choice, but I choose it. I’ve seen the evidence of his faithfulness operating through others. The neighbor who drops by a bag of food because she thought the family might need it. The school who decided to raise money for a little girl with cancer.

We don’t always get the answers. We go through something that may never make sense to us. But God can make sense for you. He can bring order out of chaos. Man can choose ugly things, but God is available to anyone who believes, and He can hold you during the ugly times and He’ll be there during the joyful times too.

Because then, in those moments, you’ll truly know what it means to be alive.

Peace,
Glo

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Marriage: Laughter Instead of Anger

Ken Davis cracks me up! I’ve always appreciated his humor and enthusiasm for life. If you’ve never heard of him, you should check him out. This video makes me think of Mike and me later down the road. Shoot, we’re about like that now when we’re trying to argue across the house!

A few years ago I started making a “Top 10” list. I reflect on the past year, how I’ve grown, things I experienced, read, accomplished, and look at how God revealed himself to me through out the year. At the top of the list for this year will be “Learning to laugh more with Mike, instead of getting angry.” Here is a perfect example of what I mean.

I am a terrible passenger driver, as is Mike. I’m quick to criticize Mike and his driving. I typically criticize him on his speed, not because he’s going too fast, but because he goes slow! Yes, I know. Opposite of what you might’ve thought. I am really in to watching lights and the pedestrian signs. I watch the countdown to try and make the light. I think I became an expert at this because I used to have to drive across town almost every day to get to work. So, Sunday morning rolls around and we’re running late to church. I always say I think God was playing a joke on me when He picked Mike for me, who as it turns out, is the slowest person I know and I am very much the opposite. Yah, we’re almost always late to church because of Mike. Anyways, I find myself saying often to Mike, “if you would have been going the speed limit, we would have probably made that light.” And there it is. The beginning of one of the most ridiculous arguments, on the way to church no less! Ha! I remember one time as we were making our way to church, I had coffee. I was pregnant and thinking about how this was probably going to make me pee all morning at church. We were running late, of course, and I noticed we had already stopped at two lights that we probably could have made if we were going a smidge faster. I roll my eyes, thinking Praise and worship will be over by the time we get there. Bad mood ensuing. No, don’t try to hold my hand while you’re driving. I’m trying to be irritated with you. laughterangermarriage
As I’m thinking of ways to be snooty with him, Mike quickly puts on the brakes before a light and some coffee spills on me. I can instantly tell that he’s expecting me to come unglued. In that instant, I thought to myself, if Asher was in the car, how it would look if I so disrespectfully get mad at Mike? The Holy Spirit reminded me of a verse I had read that morning from Proverbs. Side note: a friend of mine had said that if you aren’t sure what to read from the Bible, Proverbs is a good book to pick a c

hapter to read based on the day of the month. So, if it’s the 15th, I would read the 15th chapter in Proverbs. Anyways, I was about to get angry at Mike. I was reminded of Proverbs 15:15.

“A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.” (MSG)

I chose to laugh. I made some silly remark about how the coffee would attract people to my growing stomach anyways. Mike chuckled back. The drive to church instantly took a lighter mood. I think of other times when Mike would do things that would normally easily irritate me, but instead, I chose to laugh about it. I want to live the most joyful, cheerful, life possible. I can’t do that on my own. I’d get angry trying! The Holy Spirit continues to reveal His Word to me. The Holy Spirit is the one who

helps me grow in this area. Reminding me to always giving thanks. Counting it joy in the trials, knowing that I’m growing as a person. Laughter gives strength to spirit. Proverbs says a twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart (15:30). I think a twinkle in the eye also means more joy in your home. A home that I want to not only be joyful for Mike’s sake when he comes home from a hard day’s work, but also a joyful home for Asher to thrive in, especially as he gets older.

I’m certainly not perfect at this. There are always moments when I criticize instead of keeping my mouth shut or laughing with Mike so he doesn’t feel bad. Sometimes we jokingly do the “What?” game as Ken Davis joked to diffuse an argument. But the Spirit is helping me try not to watch the pedestrian lights count down anymore, at least while Mike’s driving.

Peace,
Glo

Why Can’t I Just Forgive?

Some times when I’m mad at Mike, he might ask me if I’m still mad at him. Sometimes I respond, “I’m only on seventy times two right now!” He knows I’m referring to Peter in the book of Matthew.

“At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, ‘Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?’

Jesus replied, ‘Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.’ ”     Matthew 18:21-22

I always thought it was kind of funny that Peter gave a number of times when he asked Jesus this question. Seven does seem like a mystical number in the Bible. Maybe Peter was thinking, Hey, I can live with seven times, I mean six just doesn’t quite seem enough and more than that just gets to be too much! Ha! I can just see Jesus throwing his hands and shaking his head while slightly exclaiming, Seven! Thinking, Oh Peter, if you only understood

Why was Peter asking this? Jesus just finished explaining to them the importance of working out conflicts with someone who has hurt you. He makes it sound like a “process” of actively pursing and choosing to forgive that person. Jesus said try talking to him, if that doesn’t work, talk to him with someone else present, and if that doesn’t work, talk with someone who might offer guidance to him and guess what? If that doesn’t work, “you’ll have to start from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love” (Matt. 18:17).

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What?!? Start from scratch? That might be why sometimes I feel like I just can’t reach forgiveness with someone. It also sounds like a lot of work to reach forgiveness. Although, he did mention seventy times seven, hmmm… Why is forgiveness so hard?

I’m not one who believes that I have to do tons of work to get God to love me or forgive me. If I do this and this and this then all is well in the God department. I don’t think it works that way. Now, when it comes to forgiving someone else, I do think there is an action required on my part. I think Jesus is pointing out that you have to choose to forgive. That is an action of course, but by making that choice, you have to trust God will take care of the rest. Notice how he doesn’t say, once you do these steps for forgiveness, the other person will finally understand. No, he says you might have to start over, meaning you might have to keep choosing to forgive that person. And you might have to do it seventy times seven times! He doesn’t say you will get that other person to change their ways. He doesn’t say you will get that other person to come forth and apologize. I’m starting to think the whole forgiveness “process” is really for the person who is hurt, more than it is for the person who has hurt you.

That’s not to say your actions of continuously choosing to forgive a person wont have an impact on them, but I wouldn’t worry about it being your responsibility to change that person’s feelings. Yikes! That is way easier said than done. I have to trust that I am doing what I believe is right and God will take care of the rest. I’ve heard several pastors say something along the lines of how forgiveness is really for you, the person who is hurt. I think Joyce Meyer said once that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person. Double Yikes! I don’t really think about that when I’m caught up in the anger I’m feeling or bitterness. Although, I bet poison tastes pretty bitter…

I’m a big believer in speaking the Word out loud. So, what do I do when I’m harboring unforgiveness and letting it eat away at me? I speak God’s truth out loud. Even if I don’t feel it, that doesn’t mean it wont

 

work in my heart. The Holy Spirit is the one who ministers to my heart. I particularly like Galatians 5:1

“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you!”

I like this verse because it reminds me that I am letting unforgiveness make me a slave and I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I realize that I am letting Satan control my emotions. I am free! Woohoo! I don’t have to feel that way! None of us do. I’m going to choose that freedom. Even if it’s seventy times seven times or whobody knows how many times.

Peace,
Glo