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I was talking with my husband about big picture / calling / God things, my favorite topic of choice, when I told him I felt like I was beating a dead horse in regards to this writing thing. It is the same underlying message in each post, written differently in essence. But God keeps leading me to share. And how some days I do not want to give the time and effort to beat that dead horse.

I said it once. Isn't that enough? And that one post back there was pretty good, God; there is nothing like the Holy Spirit leading the writing but would rather not right now.

But my husband reminded me that is what God has called him to do as a pastor. Share the Gospel. A simple message that weaves throughout the centuries and has been told and shared in millions of ways since and we are all called to share it in some form or another.

Because God loves you, he sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for your sin. He rose on the third day and ascended up to heaven. Now, come follow him. Eternity is at your fingertips.

It is that simple.       

But simple things need simple illustrations like mustard seeds and fishes and prodigal sons to get the points across. To relate to the now.

And we need reminders of the truths because we forget. We need encouragement when the storms are raging.

And so for now, I sit and pray and offer some words as a sacrifice of praise. As an act of obedience and knowing that someone, somewhere needs some refreshment.

Because you are doing great things, my friend. God is using you in ways you never will imagine to accomplish things you will never comprehend in this lifetime.

Because God is a God of purpose and plans and the writer of the Big Picture. And with Him, nothing is dead. Nothing is too dried or withered or past expiration for God to restore and renew and refresh.

And that is worth pressing on and finishing the race. That is worth playing the part in this story because a time is coming when everyone will answer to him about how we spent our time and used our recourses. Jesus paid it all for me and for you and the least we can do is be obedient to his leading, which is for our own good. I know, imagine that.

Jesus Paid it All by Kristian Stanfill fits perfectly here. One of my favorites. Have a listen.

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead.

Praying that whatever you are called to do, that you would do it all for the glory of God, despite afflictions or discouragement or qualifications. Praying you would see the bigger picture and that you would continue to be encouraged and have the endurance to keep doing what God has called you to do. 

Praying you would praise Jesus for paying your debt and that would be the motivation for you to fulfill your calling. Praying you would see glimpses of how God is using you in the here and now and that you would be able to see it in others, revealing to them their parts in the story.

Here's to endurance and keeping on. 
Growing up, I never understood the plaque lovingly given to my mama by my aunt: when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, and Mama's reluctance about it. Essentially, it is a little like calling the kettle black and goes along with the old adage I learned from my grandfather in law a few years back: happy wife, happy life.

The core truth is the enormous impact we have as mamas and wives in our home. We have the ability to set the tone. For fun and learning or anger and condemnation.

Proverbs has a few things to say about what it is like to live with a wife who chooses the latter (and it even says it twice):

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9 + Proverbs 25:24

A quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. Proverbs 19:13 + Proverbs 27:15

No mama or wife wants to be described as quarrelsome but as days progress and seasons change, it can be easy to get stuck in routine and for complaining to become a go to language, so I thought I would share my "go tos" when things get a little tough.


Being a prayerful wife and or mama is like going to war for to defend your country and a way to keep God at the center of your home. Prayer is powerful and the way to combat spiritual warfare, to bring about a servants heart in yourself and others, and a means to be in relation with the God of the universe constantly.

In the midst of a disagreement with your spouse or child, taking time to invite God in to the situation is life changing. It gives new perspective and renews the heart and mind. It is hard to be bitter in the presence of a powerful God and a great reminder of his sovereignty overall.

Having someone praying for you throughout the day is a powerful weapon, as well. Being able to text a friend or spouse during a rough patch is encouraging for both parties involved, witnessing the need and the response.


Taking a break throughout the day to read scripture brings God's word to life, even if it is just a moment. Instead of reaching for Facebook or other social media, open your bible to see what God has to say, if only for a few verses.

Having a set time through the day to study scripture is key to growing in your faith and trust in God, allowing you to reflect him during the harder times.  

If you do not have a chance to read, listening to scripture is a great option, too. The YouVersion Bible App has an audio portion that reads the bible to you, perfect to listen to in the car or while you do dishes. SeedsFamily Worship puts scripture put to songs, which I love to listen to anytime but really comes in handy on harder days.

Sing praise songs

When worship starts, it is hard to stay angry or mad. Being able to change your focus from the situation to God makes everything seem a little smaller and keeps God in perspective. 

Praying for you, whether your home is brimming with peace of filled with discontentment, that you would encounter God throughout your day and that it would change the ambience of your home. Praying that God would show you ways to make your home a haven and that you would diligently out in work to make it so, whether by picking up extra chores or not perusing a disagreement. Praying you would cloth yourself with strength and peace and mercy and strength as you serve your family and that you would be able to pour it out on them.

Here's to mamas and setting the tone. 

This morning I am excited to be apart of the Imperfect Mom Confessionals Series hosted by Jenn at Busy Being Blessed. Mamas and writers from around the web are coming together to speak Truth about mamahood from its joys to the trials and how Jesus comes to rescue always. 

Too often in life, especially in parenting, our best feet are put forward along with perfectly set smiles and the appearance that everything is grandeur. But the more life happens and the deeper with Jesus I get, the more I see the imperfections of people and it almost hurts to see those with their perfectly painted smiles when deep down it is easy to see they are truly breaking. Facades are not a life but a lack there of and this series is about getting real.

So here is a little bit more of what mamahood and all its imperfections has taught me so far.

Embracing the imperfection as a mom is the place in mamahood where transformation takes place and dependence on God deepens. Mamahood is the piecing together of a puzzle. Each piece giving us a bigger picture of Jesus. Of his grace and mercy and love. With each passing season and newly formed stories, our reflection grows closer to his.

My soul has stretched along with my skin, revealing more depth and wisdom. It has exposed every flaw, every sin, every negative, bad part in me that I never knew existed, yet grown me closer to Christ. It has changed me in ways I could never have imagined and I am only four years in.

Mamahood has pushed me to binge eating chocolate chips in the cupboard during tantrums and bouts of crying; praying, God help me and help me stop eating these things. I never understood stress eating prior.

Read the rest over here and be sure to follow the series as other bloggers share their thoughts and stories. 

There is also a Pinterest Board full of great encouragement + resources for mamas. Have a look =)

When the Israelites took for granted being God's chosen people, eventually God's plan was revealed that salvation was to be offered to the gentiles - those not born in to the covenant -  which in turn caused the Israelites to be jealous.

Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! Romans 11:11-12

It is interesting how jealousy is used here to turn the Israelites back to God. Some of the Israelites did not feel as special now that grace was offered to the rest of the world but through seeing this grace played out through others, they longed to have what they may have walked away from prior.

It is similar to watching toddlers play. There is always one toy everyone wants to play with. It may have been sitting on the ground most of the day but once someone picks it up, all eyes lock and all hearts crave it. Some things just look more desirable in the hands of others.

But God is a jealous God. Jealous for us. He wants us all of us. Setting things in front of choosing God makes his jealousy burn. Choosing time with the television or a book or a friend or child or husband or work over him is what idolatry is all about. Putting things higher than God. Making other things priorities before God, your first love.

And God loves us. He graciously unravels our hearts and knits them in to what we were made for. He unravels our hurts and anxieties and fears and hopes and failures and turns them in to the miraculous.

Have a listen to How He Loves Us by Jesus Culture.

He is jealous for me
Love's like a hurricane, and I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy

Praying you would be surrounded with those who are passionate about Jesus and can drive you to the point of godly jealously, truly wanting to have a deep and passionate relationship with God, drawing you nearer to God and in turn, drawing others to Christ. Praying you would be able to spur each other on and that you would see God's compassion and mercy and love for you.  

Praying you would see how much you are truly loved and how beautiful you are. Praying you would see glimpses of God in others and yourself as you go about your days and that your relationship with Christ would be the most desirable thing in your life.

Here's to jealousy and God and love. 

It was a rare occasion to have Jude up without Penny's presence in the middle of the afternoon, so we took full advantage and headed outside to the swing set. As we walked bare feet in the grass, Jude squatted down and pointed and shouted at the little thing moving about in the grass. Bugs are exciting and always something to talk about with him. It was a bee. Wandering from grass blade to grass blade, it was frantically jumping and running to and fro, trying to get somewhere. We watched as it did its little dance, sans flying. Each time it moved, it got a little faster and appeared more flustered.

Perhaps the little bee had used its stinger and could no longer fly. I know little about bees, besides their honey making - stinger carrying - flying abilities. But it is not every day that bees go hopping about in the grass. And the oddness was intriguing, especially to my one year old. It was not doing what it was made to do.

We were made for a purpose. We were made to do more than ordinary things. More than the nine to five and houses with white picket fences and college degrees and two children. We were made to do good works which were prepared in advance for us. We were made to have an intimate relationship with God and use our God given gifts to further his kingdom.

Thrive by Casting Crowns fits perfectly here. Have a listen. Feel free to have a little dance party, too. It is one we tend to turn up over here.

We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It's time for us to more than just survive

We were made to thrive

There is so much relief and peace that stem from doing what God has made you to do. Not that it is easy in the slightest or comes fully natural but being in the will of God is sweet spot to be. Since I started writing, God has revealed himself in ways I could never fathom and it is truly an adventure and a dependence and trusting in him in ways I never needed to before.

When we are going against God's leading and making our own way, we will be working harder and getting more and more flustered. We will be building our kingdoms taking two steps forward and five back, even when things appear to be making progress. Is progress really progress when we are walking farther away from the will of God?

Praying that if you have yet to see what you were made to, what gifts you possess, the things that come easy to you but others tell you how hard it is, that you would seek God in the them. That you would see where God will take you with your skill set as you lay down your own expectations and will and start to align it with God's, despite whatever it may cost you.

Praying that you would search your heart to see what a life filled means. That you would look at the end of your life and see what you want to have accomplished and what that would entail. Praying that you would long for a life fully surrendered to Christ and impacting those around you. That it would be a life full of serving and truly loving people and loving God, for that is the purpose of life.

Here's to purposes and the bees.