The Bouquet of God and His People

The Bouquet of God and His People

Amy B

Amy B

God has blessed us with a great big world, and I try to go see it whenever I can!Admittedly, I have an unusual life where I get to teach what I love 8-9 months out of the year and then go travel and serve the Kingdom in my other home the rest of the time:Edmond, Oklahoma and Vienna, Austria. A lot of what I write revolves around what God teaches me through those experiences and I invite you to "travel" with me in those times! Basically, I want to be Rick Steves (the travel writer) and Lysa TerKeurst (Proverbs 31 Ministries) when I grow up! :)

I have a bunch of college "kids" I call my own, 2 dogs named Abby and McGee (yes, I love NCIS) andI get to be "the cool aunt" to 2 beautiful nieces and 3 handsome nephews.They make great play dates!

Given the opportunity, I want to encourage people when I can and remind them of the power of God in their life...or help them find Him in different ways.Fair warning:I'll ask you the tough questions!I treasure deep relationships - especially ones that will allow for "iron sharpening iron."

I love being outside, and I'm a huge fan of turning off the phone whenever possible to soak up God's creation! Actually, I'm a huge fan of turning off the phone in general...as the phrase goes: "Wherever you are, be all there", and if you are where I am, then I'm going to be all there!

I'm flawed, but saved by grace and learning daily to be loved by God.I'm thankful for the times he lets me wrestle with him because he knows my heart of hearts, and I'm ok with my hip being messed up (Genesis 32: 24-26) because growth comes from it.I encourage you to join me in the journey!

Love well...breathe deep....show mercy!
Amy B

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When you look at this bouquet, some might see flowers, some might see weeds, but I just see God and his people.

These flowers came from one of my favorite places on earth: Schwarzwaldeckhaus. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?! Sitting on top of a mountain in the Austrian Alps is a three-story cabin that serves as a retreat center for youth camps, church retreats, and other fellowship times. It is a place that has been very near and dear to my heart for many years.

IMG_8731

Because the house sits on top of a mountain, the views are breathtaking, the cows are entertaining, the sunsets are exquisite, and the stars are indescribable.  The quiet is deafening, but the time there–no matter how it is spent, alone or with others–is refreshing.  It truly is a place to breathe in God and all that he creates for us to enjoy. If God were to have an earthly throne room, I think it would be here, on this mountain top.

IMG_8646

A while ago, I had the honor of taking two dear friends, a son and his “seasoned” mom, up to the house (haus, in German).  For one, it was a time to reminisce about her experiences from her younger days; for the other, it was his first view of the mountains. Like many before them, their reaction was similar to most–awe.

She related memories of being at the haus with college students and how they would walk the mountain trails, breathing in the clean air, and the soul-refreshing moments with God and each other.  But one story in particular caught my attention.  On one of her early morning walks, she decided to pick one flower, and only ONE, of each kind she found growing on the mountain.  By the time she got back to the haus, she had a large bouquet of flowers in her hands.  The week after their visit, I was blessed with time on the mountain by myself (well, and a black lab named Cara) so I decided I was going to test her story myself.  You know what I found? The Church.  I found God.

Cara and I started our walk down the mountain trail and I began to do the same thing my seasoned friend had done those many years before.  I picked one flower of every kind I could find. It was amazing to notice how many different kinds there were.  Although I walked only twenty minutes away from the haus, my hand was getting full of flowers so I decided to turn around and walk back.

I began to really admire all of the variations in my hand: the diverse, rich, and beautiful colors, the different shapes and sizes, and the beautiful intricacies of God’s designs.  It was fascinating!

As I walked back towards the haus, I found other flowers I hadn’t noticed before because my perspective had changed.  And, when I started to REALLY notice ones I had never seen up there before, it made me want to look even deeper into the fields of flowers.  It became a source of joy and reflection of how powerful God’s hands are and the creativity in his creation.

But then, I realized I was putting God in a box by even saying he was “creative”…that was almost too “human” of a word to describe him.  It’s cool to know that he didn’t really have to “think” about his designs–he just spoke the words, and they were!  Admittedly, the designer in me loves to think of God, sitting in front of an enormous marker board, dreaming up every flower imaginable.   A storyboard for every season, every climate, every country.

And, as random as this is, I loved that they all had one thing in common–a green stem.IMG_8707

Cara and I returned to the haus with our bouquet of flowers.  I was curious to see how many different kinds there were, so I laid them all out on the kitchen counter.  There were thirty different kinds of flowers, some with many similarities between them, but they were all still different.

 

After arranging them into a bouquet, I put them in water and enjoyed them the rest of the week…and what God was teaching me.

Faith-Building Moments

I’m sure you can extract your own faith-building moments from the story, but these were some of the things God spoke to me about:

The Lord has no equal and all that he has made is good!

Isaiah 40:14 and 26 says, “Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?  Does he need instruction about what is good? Look up into the heavens.  Who created all the stars?  He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name.  Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing!”

You could say the same thing about the flowers…he created all of them, they all have a name, and they were created exactly for where they belong, and even for the proper season to flourish in.

Now compare that to God’s people and his church!  We are all created differently, each of us with our own particular details and intricacies given to us by God, and that is what makes us unique.

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it!” Psalm 139: 14.

we-are-all-created-differently-each-of-us-with-our-own-particular-details-and-intricacies-given-to-us-by-god-and-that-is-what-makes-us-unique

God has placed us where we need to be to bring him the most glory.

John 17:4 says, “I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”

And while he may only put us where we need to be for a season, his ways are always higher.

“Who knows if perhaps you were made for just such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14).

 

God doesn’t call us to understand the season, he calls us to be faithful!

1 Peter 5:12 encourages us, “…what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you.  Stand firm in this grace.”

And another favorite of mine:  “Now if you will obey me and keep my commands, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me.” (Exodus 19:5)

john-17-4

Perspective is also beneficial as God’s people

We all come from different situations and life stories. Yes, they make up a part of who we are–or at least who we were–but looking at people through eyes of love and God’s grace allows us to see the embraceable differences we have that make up the body of Christ.  “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multiple of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8.

Looking deeper into people’s lives also opens up the door to ministry and sharing the Gospel, as Philippians 2:4 suggests: “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.”

 

We are unique, we are different, but when we are all put together, we’re beautiful because of Christ! That “green stem” is Jesus.  As a body, we have in common the forgiveness he offers us and the ability to live for him, bringing him glory.  What a humbling honor!  That the God who knows my name calls me to be his own: “…he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself.  And having given them right standing (righteousness), he gave them his glory!” (Romans 8:30)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Now go pick some flowers!
The Bouquet of God and His People

My Personal Babel and Making Much of Me

My Personal Babel and Making Much of Me

Meredith P

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

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I’m pretty sure I would have been the one to lay the cornerstone for the Tower of Babel.

My Personal Tower of Babel

I didn’t always think this. In my blind pride, I used to read the story in Genesis 11 and think, “Good night moon! These people are really thickheaded!”

But here’s how I know I could have been the one to place that stone; I have thought to myself what they said out loud at Babel,

“…so that we may make a name for ourselves…” (Genesis 11:4, NIV)

I confess, I have wanted to make a name for myself.

I have craved all the glory for a job well done.

I have thirsted for all the recognition for doing “good” deeds.

I have hungered, above all else, for the love and approval of people.

Though these are broad examples, you can probably imagine some specific ways these general desires might manifest in my life or maybe even in yours.

The truth is, all of the craving and thirsting and hungering leaves me empty no matter how much I receive. And leaves me in shambles when receive none. This name for myself is a dangling carrot that is never caught, and like an addiction, always leaves me grasping for more. More glory, more approval, more…

It never satisfies.

It is exhausting.

But I know that an exhausted, unsatisfied, shamble of a life is not what Jesus means for any of us. He says he “came that they may have life, and hive it to the full.” (John 10:10, NIV)

Jesus says there is more.

That more is this truth:

I was not created to have a Name.I was not created to have a Name.

In vain, I have searched the scriptures trying to find justification of building myself a tower; for making myself a name. It isn’t there.

But, I did find a Name. It just wasn’t mine.

“My name will be great among he nations from where the sun rises to where it sets… my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1:11, NIV)

I found God’s name.

He says His name WILL be great.

One example in particular struck me hard. Jesus calls for God the Father’s name to be glorified.

Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28, NIV)

I claim to be a follower of Jesus. What have I not been following Jesus in this? I’m struck with this discrepancy in my Christianity. The truth is that I have been so occupied elevating my name, that I lost sight of the only Name that is worthy elevation.

Searching the scripture, I found that everything I am and everything I do is actually for the glory of God’s name, not my own.

I am created for the glory of His Name.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NIV)

Not that the task of elevating His name is mine to bear with my deeds or my life. Oh no, God is not depending on my performance to make His name great. What trouble He would be in if He were to depend on me with my false tower of Babel building and other missteps!

It is freeing to worship a God who is so powerful, He needs nothing from me. He needs nothing from me, yet He offers me a place to work by His side. He is a God who gives and has no need to take.

Now that is One whose Name is worthy of glory. Not mine.

So, I have come to the point where I am earnest about tearing down the idol I’m pointlessly trying to build of making a name for myself. I’ve been asking God to change me. To crumble my personal Tower of Babel. And because He gives, God is changing my heart to not just want, but to actually crave to place God and His Name in the rightful place: glorified above all else. And I am enjoying the freedom that comes from it. 

John the Baptist is an inspiring example of one who did not seek to make a name for himself. Ironically, he did in a way have a name for himself. People came to him to be baptized and forgiven of their sins. He actually had his own disciples!

Then Jesus comes on the scene.

When people around John see that those who were his disciples are leaving to become followers of Jesus, they say, “…-look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” (John 3:26, NIV)

John replies, “I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him… He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30, NIV)

Now, instead of thinking what those at the Tower of Babel said aloud, “…so that we may make a name for ourselves…” I think I need to start thinking what John the Baptist said aloud.

“He must become more, I must become less.”

I’m trying to filter my actions and thoughts through this one question: How can I make more of Him and His Kingdom and less of me in this situation?

I am Free

With this in the front of my mind, I am free in Christ to serve Him.  Free from the weight of bearing a name that I can never obtain because I was not created to bear a name. I can just be me.

I am free to be nothing because He is everything.

I am free to fail because He has already succeeded.

I am free to be rejected because He accepts me.

I am free to be me, when I recognize God for Him: Glorious.

I am realizing that this is where my cravings, thirst, and hunger for a name will be satisfied. It’s not in trying to fit into a role I was not created for. Much like pants that are too tight, I’ve been uncomfortable in my misplaced striving to make a name for myself. But in starting to live to make much of Christ who loves me and you more than His own life, I feel as though I’m slipping into my favorite jeans. It fits well.

Cravings are ceasing.

Thirst is quenching

Hunger is fleeing.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35, NIV)

Jesus, I come to You and I place Your Name high.

Ah, satisfaction.

In what ways do you make a name for yourself over making much of Christ?

If you can’t think of any, ask the Lord to reveal to you if you are missing anything. I am asking Him that too.

 

Overwhelmed?  Look to God!

Overwhelmed? Look to God!

Toni D

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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I am going to be perfectly frank.  I did not want to write this post.  Motivation eluded me and I just could not write it.  But because writing helps me process my feelings and issues, I knew I had to write it.

Feeling Overwhelmed!

You see, I have this problem.  When I get overwhelmed, I get anxious and I procrastinate.  I only do the things required of me.  I withdraw.  It makes sense in my mind to not do things when I have too much to do!  I focus on one thing and let everything else go.  Right now, I have so much going on that if I do not schedule things, I get nothing done (even then, it is questionable).

Finally, I decided to get started.  While I had some ideas for some topics, I did not have an inspirational verse to build on.  I needed some inspiration so I opened my Bible app on my phone and the “Verse of the Day” popped up.  I usually do not pay much attention to it, but this one caught my eye:

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 
Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)

This was the verse I needed!

Not just for this post, I needed this verse for me!

God knew what I needed!  Had I gone to the Bible earlier today, I might have had a calmer day.  All I did was see this verse and I knew that God had meant that for me today.  I did not even have to finish reading it before it changed my mood.  Now, I just have to remember this and remember that God is always there for me and to turn to Him first.

What do you do when you get overwhelmed?

Do you go to God first?

 

Grace, Contentment and a Glass of Wine

Grace, Contentment and a Glass of Wine

Elizabeth P

Elizabeth P

I am a recovering Army brat who loves to travel and start new adventures. My handsome husband and I met at Oklahoma Christian University and he whisked me away to Kansas. So, I bought some ruby red high heels and made Topeka my home. I have a rough and rowdy Princess 4-year-old girl, amazing twin boys (almost 3) and a newborn baby girl who all make every day an adventure. We are grateful to be part of an amazing church in Topeka who regularly challenges and encourages our whole family. I have been both a full-time working mom and a stay-at-home-mom and/or both at the same time at one point or another. I am constantly seeking God’s wisdom on “balancing it all” and following His plan for my life, not mine.
Elizabeth P

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Grace and contentment.

These are perhaps two of the most difficult concepts to grasp as a mother. The glass of wine…well that’s just well deserved.

Becoming a mother opens a whole new realm of inner struggles and identity searching. Let’s face it, I’ve prayed for patience, wisdom and strength more in one hour today than I ever did before kids.

I recently read a blog about raising children and being a mother in a community rather than in the relative isolation that modern society in America tends to accept as normal.

The blessings that require so much fromWhen I read this article, I was a new stay at home mom and I felt alone.

Alone and burdened; inadequate and overwhelmed. The struggle surrounding the self-created isolation was real. I don’t know if the author of the article is a Christian, but the longing for a daily fellowship or cohesive community rang true to my soul.

And then I remembered I had that available to me in spades.

At least I should…within the body of Christ; fellow believers and fellow moms in all stages and situations raising their children to love the Lord.  Truly, this is the fellowship we crave isn’t it?!

Psalm 133:1-3 (ESV) says:
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.

How good it is when we dwell in unity, it is like precious oil on the head.

My heart swells when I read those verses and think about my relationships with other Christians, most especially my “mommy friends”.  Sadly, our culture and society has pitted us “mommies” against one another for various reasons and “atrocities” we commit in our life choices. Stay at home moms vs. working moms, moms of one vs. moms of twelve, moms of _______ vs. the world.

We all struggle.

Whether we work full time, stay at home or anything else in between, I believe we all continue struggle with feeling alone in our choice, like a lone warrior on a quest for well-adjusted children. The  pride that often rears its ugly head in motherhood sometimes fosters a defensive or competitive spirit even in the most subtle of ways, or even insecurity because we are guilty of not giving each other grace. It’s even harder to give ourselves grace. Then we feel discontentment.

1 Peter 4:10 (ESV) says:
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

All of our lives look as unique as the people Christ created us to be even before we were knit together in our own mother’s womb. As women of God, we should have an abundance of grace for other moms.  We are called to love one another and many times, that looks like grace.  It is so much easier to have grace for others when our heart is right with the Lord.

Sometimes it’s hard though

sometimes we are angry about our own situation, or at the very least disillusioned as to what life or motherhood was supposed to look or feel like. Sometimes we feel displaced or overwhelmed, inadequate, or just plain exhausted. Sometimes it seems easier to run away.  During these is when we need to remember Galatians 6:2 (ESV):

 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

and a glass of wine - CopyEveryone struggles with contentment.

I am convinced that every mother, no matter what her situation, struggles with contentment in her “version” of motherhood. For me, I struggled with it the most after I had my first child. I found myself in a situation where I wanted to stay home but couldn’t (which hurt), but at the same time I struggled with loving my career and knowing that God had called me to do certain things outside the home. Then after my twins, I struggled with a calling to stay home with my kids in this season. I have been completely double minded, living on opposite spectrums of “my heart’s desire” searching for how to follow Christ’s will for my life. It seemed endless. Truly, the double mindedness of our own human hearts is at the center of the “mommy wars”.

You know what finally helped me find contentment and grace?

That community I mentioned. The body of Christ. Sisters in faith who listened, who mentored and who pointed me to God’s Word. A community of believers who challenged me in my double minded thinking, but also challenged me to understand that God’s will in an individual’s life is ultimately between that person and their Father.

I want to encourage women who feel isolated or discontent, or struggle with grace, to find a fellow believer in Christ as a prayer partner to hold you accountable for spending time in the Word and seeking Christ. I encourage you to be intentional in finding a mentor, an older sister in Christ who lives out Titus 2 and will teach you.  These women can dwell with you in unity, they can bear your burdens and give you grace all while pointing you toward Christ and being a godly mom.

The important things to do.

That’s the most important thing: that we are purposing to grow in our relationship with Christ and disciple our children.  Christian women in every stage of life and in every situation are striving toward that same chief end.

I pray that you find community, even here, and for you to know that you are not alone and that other women know exactly how you feel. Have grace on other moms, don’t let your pride, discontentment or defensiveness in your own life cause you to break fellowship with sisters in Christ or keep you from having a blessed friendship.

Finally, go have that glass of wine with a fellow sister or two. Or tea, or coffee. Or chocolate. Just build a deep community of faith in Christ, have grace for one another and be content in your season of life.

Romans 8:28 (ESV): And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Have you ever struggled with being discontent with your life ? What helped you overcome that feeling?

 

If I Were at the Alamo…

If I Were at the Alamo…

Meredith P

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

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If I were at the Battle of the Alamo, I wonder what I would have done.

Have you ever pondered this? No? Let me explain why this is on my mind today.

In case you’re not from Texas or a history buff, allow me to give you the Cliff’s Notes version of the battle:

  • Texas declared independence from Mexico.
  • Mexico didn’t like this.
  • A pivotal battle occurred at the Alamo.
  • The Texans fought bravely but were greatly outnumbered by the Mexicans.
  • The Texans lost the battle, but the bravery galvanized the other Texans.
  • Texas won its independence.

Here is the part that is getting me thinking today:  

Legend has it that Texan General William Travis knew on the eve of the battle that the outlook was bleak.  He drew a line in the sand.  He asked those who were willing to stay and fight despite the certain doom to step across the line.  Anyone else was welcome to slip away.

Almost every single person stepped across that line and stayed to face battle.

If I were at the Battle of the Alamo, I wonder what I would have done.

Well, the Lord put me on the earth about 116 years too late to tell for sure, but He did give me four children.  And most moms know child-rearing is a battleground of sorts.

Today, that battleground found me whimpering face-first into a pile of laundry on the floor while my kiddos watched in shock and awe.  Yes, friends, it was a sight to behold.

So, as my eyes moistened with tears of exasperation, wetting my newly dried t-shirts, I thought about the choice I was making.  Not too long after, I “remember the Alamo” (pun intended). I thought about that line in the sand and the choice those men and some women had to make.  Who were they going to choose to serve?

“Choices…choices…”Add subtitle text (1)

That word resonated.  As “choices” echoed in my heart, while my children continued to stand over me in a stunned stupor, my mind shifted to Joshua’s entreaty to the Israelites,

“Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

The Bible says nothing of Joshua drawing a line in the sand, but I see this as a verbal line in the sand.

If I were an Israelite listening to Joshua, I wonder what I would have done.

I am a mom in Indiana with four little ones watching me in shock and awe. (Remember what am I going to do?)

I ran to the bathroom.  That’s what I do.  Ah, that line in the sand.  Rather than cross that line, I chose to slip away.

Not two minutes later, our middle son darted into the bathroom and placed a card with a Bible verse on the bathroom counter and darted back out.  I picked up the card and read the verse.  It occurs to me: Here is another line in the sand.

I have a son who believes that the power of God’s Word will pull Mommy out of this “adult temper tantrum.” What am I going to do?

This moment now, like the Alamo, is a pivotal battle.

Humbled, I make the choice.

I cross the line.

I wish I could tell you that upon being reminded that my strength comes from the Lord and His Word, Bible verses to back up this truth rushed from my memory, but they didn’t.  All I could pull up was Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul.”I was making a deliberate choice to (2)

It still worked.  I began to calm.  I was making a deliberate choice to dwell on His Word and not on my exasperation.  A choice to serve Him and be led by His Spirit; to follow His commands to love. Love is patient and kind, not exasperated.

 

 

 

Friends, we are all in a pivotal battle every day.

 Each morning, as soon as our eyes open, we must choose that day whom we are going to serve.  Are we going to serve ourselves and give in to the unstable tossing to and fro of our own wills and emotions? Or are we going to cross that line and serve the Lord, being controlled by His Spirit?

Paul says it in Galatians 5 like this:

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

Then just below this he writes:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25

Again, this is another verbal line in the sand.

Face first in the laundry, I was gratifying the desire of my flesh.  Our middle son reminded me with the Bible verse card that my strength to cross that line and serve the Lord comes from Him and His Word by His Spirit.

Tonight, convicted that I couldn’t from memory pull out God’s words to back up this truth, I found 1 Peter 4:11 to memorize:

“If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

So tomorrow before I open my eyes, I’m going to do a few things I read here. I will:

  • First, admit to God that I can’t serve Him without Him.
  • Ask Him to help me.
  • Then, trust that He will.
  • Make the conscious effort to choose to cross the line; to serve Him and not myself; and to dwell on His promises: His words I’ve memorized.
  • At the end of the day, I’m going to thank Him for His faithfulness.

Tell me, how do you choose to serve God each day?  

What steps do you take to cross that line into His service?

How will you choose to Create a Great Day? (Again, pun intended.)

Without Grumbling

Without Grumbling

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

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“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life.” 

Philippians 2:14-16 

An Invitation to Go Without Complaining

I invite you to take a moment to meditate on Philippians 2:14-16. Do you feel you are following this instruction in your day to day life? Would others describe you as blameless and pure? Does your life stand out in this sinful generation we find ourselves in? Are you holding firm to God’s word?

A few weeks ago we read this scripture in our bible class and I could feel my heart freeze. I immediately remembered the way I huffed out of frustration when my daughter wouldn’t leave my feet. I thought about how I often lamented over the stress of motherhood and the envy I’ve often felt in my heart toward my husband who goes off to work around other adults, and finds himself with 60 minutes of commute time each day to listen to whatever he wants.

As I thought about my tendency to grumble, my chest grew tighter as the Sprit continued to convict my heart.

I love staying home with my young children. It is my first choice, but I admit, the enemy has still found footholds through the challenges that come with my day to day life.  The temptation to grumble is not reserved for stay-at-home moms. The enemy hits us all with deceptive ways, no matter our age or circumstance.

And oh, do we grumble.

Scripture gives us a different way to live.

Scripture tells us to live without grumbling. Why? So that we might shine like stars in the world for the purpose of bringing God glory. 

Do you know anyone who is always able to find joy no matter the circumstance? A couple of different people come to my mind. These sweet friends of mine are the brightest lights. They radiate God’s love. I’m always so refreshed after spending time with them. It is not that their life is easy, without any strife.

To live without grumbling is more than just ignoring one’s burdens, it is living with the joy of the Lord inside their heart. Philippians 2:16 says this happens by holding firm to the word of life. We must know God’s word, believe it, and put it into action in our lives. In God’s word, we will find two beautiful characteristics to lace our hearts with.

A Heart of Service 

Matthew 20:28 says “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”  Grumbles often stem from entitlement. Christ, on the other hand, displayed a very sacrificial way of living. We must reflect on our life circumstances and look for the opportunities to serve and bring God glory.

A Heart of Gratitude

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us to give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Embracing a heart of gratitude and continually looking for the blessings in life will not only help us to live more joyfully, but will also align our lives to God’s will.

As I’ve reflected on my tendencies to grumble these last couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded to embrace the season I find myself in, and to serve my family patiently and joyfully. I know that I will continue to grumble from time to time, but I pray that God often leads me to this passage in Philippians. In a world that feasts on entitlement and selfishness we will surly shine like stars from the joy of the Lord, if we serve and love those around us without grumbling.

So go ahead, jot down Philippians 2:14-1. Put it in a place where you will see it often and be reminded of a better way to go through your days!

 

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