Washing Away Fear

Dripping with Peace

She emerged dripping wet and beaming light, while sporting the most peaceful smile. In this moment, all was as it should be, for her…for all of us there. It was the beginning and an ending all at once.

Since living on an island in the Pacific this past year, the ocean has changed for me. What was once a source of tranquility has become a place of unpredictable danger. We’ve seen beaches laden with jelly fish and the wounded in enough pain to be in shock. We’ve heard of shark attacks reported in the very spots we splashed and played just days before. We’ve watched 15 foot swells come out of nowhere, knocking tourists into the rocks, and we’ve prayed as medics rushed the sand. The serenity and light that beams from the ocean can so often be overshadowed by the darkness that surrounds us. Tranquility is no longer the emotion I feel near the ocean. Now I find myself on edge. Nervous. Anxious.

But, on this day…on this day, I felt peace. No fears consumed me. Jesus was ever present in that water and a joyful serenity overtook us all. A sea turtle even followed us out to the baptism site, and in spite of our efforts to abide by the 20 ft distance restriction, he pursued our steps, chasing my sweet Maggie with a zealous, yet gentle spirit. This day, we felt God’s promises and took notice of nothing but that.

Five days later, terror struck in Paris, and my heart sank down into the pit of my stomach.

Join me at Me Too Moments for Moms to see how in the midst of chaos and terror, we can cling to something other than fear…and experience peace and freedom.

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When We Are Called

Called to Holy Work

“Even you can understand that work in the church is of greater importance than work done in the secular world.”

The words hung in the air for a moment, like a shocking Sunday comic balloon. My gracious husband just smiled. I didn’t know how to respond. These words were from a pastor, a pastor we had come to have great respect.

The conversation moved on from there and we never revisited it with him. It was a church we had frequented for only a short time before God called us elsewhere. I’ve replayed the conversation in my head from time to time. I actually don’t think that sweet, man of the cloth, meant to be demeaning to us at all. I think He meant to have us understand the weight of responsibility that resides on His shoulders, the shoulders of one called to lead the lost and shepherd the found. He was certainly called to holy work, work that no doubt kept him up in prayer, visiting hospital beds, reaching out to lost souls. I’m certain it strained and weighed and drove him nearer to the cross, which I’m sure is what he meant.

Those words stung though. What if God doesn’t call us to be a pastor or missionary? Are we somehow less than?

Join me at Me Too Moments for Moms to see how significant our calling is…

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In God’s Hands; Casting My Anxiety on the Almighty

Like an atomic cockroach, anxiety took up permanent residence in my life after I became a mom.

I felt so blessed by this family. I clung tight to my fears of losing them or them losing me. I worried about their safety, their health, their future.  I struggled to release those worries to the Lord. At times, it robbed me of opportunities…opportunities for adventure, opportunities to serve, opportunities to respond to my callings. Then, I stared those fears right in the face. I walked the outside edge of a storm that I never wanted to experience, never knowing if it was going to shatter my world. I held tight to the Lord and learned to lean on Him through all things. Sometimes God heals through the storm. Join me at Me Too Moments for Moms for the series, God Calm My Anxious Heart.

In God's Hands

There was a knot in his cord.

It was my third baby, a baby boy. So many others were also pregnant; my best friend, sister-in-law, cousins. All due in the 6 weeks before me. It was exciting to think of us all having little ones the same age, but anxiety overcame me. What if ours didn’t make it? What if something happened to my baby and I had to watch all these other babies grow up? I worried during the whole pregnancy that I would lose my little boy at the end. I prayed that the Lord wouldn’t make me walk through that storm. I just couldn’t bear it. Please Lord, not that.

Continue reading at Me Too Moments for Moms.

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The Ripples and Sticky Dough of Motherhood

Today I am over at Me Too Moments for Moms joining an amazing group of ladies who glorify God through their words and their lives. It is an honor to sling words for Christ alongside ladies who so clearly mother with Him in mind.

Ripples and Sticky Dough

My tone stung the sweet ones.

I was sinking fast.

Swept by a tidal wave of irritation in the face of disobedience, I felt myself drowning in anger. Exhaustion hung on every cell of my body. All I could think about was how I wanted this moment to be over so I could rest my weary bones and forget about this day. I had abandoned all desire of an elegant and responsible exit, now I just wanted out. Emotions washed over me as I gazed at their little faces, blood rushing into mine and ready to send them off to bed so we could start fresh in the morning.

Then, I felt it; a hand pulling me up out of those rushing waters, swiftly through those wild waves of emotion. Air filled my lungs and my blood flowed freely for the first time in moments. I exhaled. We prayed. My flesh was raw and vulnerable; my eyes back where they belonged.

This mothering thing is so much harder than I imagined. Keep reading at Me Too Moments for Moms.

 

 

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Raising a Family Circus

Our home is a 3 ring circus, complete with clowns, animals, stunt shows, a ring leader and lion tamer. We know that many believe this when gazing at our brood. We can only imagine the crazy scenarios that go through their heads as though poop slinging and wall climbing are commonplace. This was apparent when the realtor came to do an inspection on our home and squealed in shock at how well the home was cared for, “especially with 6 kids.”

There are others who have heard our children calmly responding “Yes, Ma’am,” while obediently walking with a hand on the grocery cart and helping quietly with the shopping list, who believe we have it all figured out.

raising a family circus

Reality lies somewhere in the middle, between the poop slinging and the angelic shopping trip.

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Coming Home… One year in Hawaii

We stood in anticipation in the days ahead. Ready to end in the same way we started. The waiting, like shivering barefoot and dripping wet in line for the high dive jump. We just knew it would be something to see, something big. Ideas of grandeur.

We set tired, swollen feet on this island soil one year ago. We tore off in quivering adventure, uncertain of every step we took, yet confident we were headed in the direction He chose for us. It was all new territory here. Each new step, a step in a foreign land of sorts. We planned to mark our one year anniversary of island life in island style of course. Adventurous or breezy, but something to commemorate the day. Something to be remembered.

Coming Home

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First Days, Hard Times, and Hope

First days.

Our first day of homeschooling came with such excitement this year, a curriculum we had been looking forward to studying, a calmness and structure we had deeply missed, a new beginning. We’ve been in limbo for over a year. We’ve learned a lot, made leaps and bounds in some areas really. In ways far different than those that once brought comfort. We have moved across the globe, explored, and hosted. We have studied new culture and met new creatures face to face. Our senses have been overwhelmed. We’ve touched the smooth lava fields and tasted sour exotic fruits. We’ve seen whales breach before us and smelled the fresh salt air. We’ve heard coqui frogs chorus us to sleep and roosters awaken us in the morn. We have been blessed with the richness of new experiences.

First Days, Hard Times, and Hope

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Restoring Your Marriage; Stale, Strong, or Buried

“I get the dog.”

Before kids, before I gave my life to Christ, I nearly gave up on my marriage. I didn’t really know what a good marriage looked like. I didn’t know how to be a good wife, and I was failing miserably. I thought for sure we were headed to divorce and I resigned my broken heart to clamping down on the rights to our precious dog, a 90lb brindle boxer named Murphy.

Restoring Your Marriage_ Stale, Strong,

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When We Feel We’re Not Enough; For Such a Time as This

The night fell silent as I nursed the sweet one. Our small town yellow lights and bright moonlit sky shone life on the dark mountain. My head felt heavy as I calmed her. Teething pain had us up 3 times already. She sought solace in the place that feels the most like home and I anchored my strength to the headboard determined to provide the needed comfort. She finally rested with only an hour left until the island would be brilliant in the glimmer of the sun. The rest of our crew would greet me one by one shortly after. I wondered how I would find the strength to meet their needs.

When We Feel We're Not Enough

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Night Snorkeling with Manta Rays; A Hawaii Adventure

Monstrous waves crashed the boat up and down as though our purchase had been tickets for an unsteady carnival ride.

I peered out over the back of the boat, just a net draped across the rear. It was the middle of the Pacific at sunset and the ocean was anxious. I glanced at the passengers on the boat that were clearly green, imagining how they must be dreading the rest of the ride and feeling grateful that my stomach had not joined theirs. It was 25 minutes to reach our destination. Instructions and wet suits were distributed. The sun set before us and the ocean and air blended into a nearly unified black. The time had come to get in.

Night snorkeling with Manta Rays

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