Devotional

Verse of the Day: More than You Can Imagine

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What’s the craziest thing you can imagine for your life? What is the most unattainable thing that you desire with all your heart, but that you don’t speak out loud because you believe it’s impossible for you to actually grasp?

You don’t need to tell me what it is for you. It’s different for everyone, and the goal or dream in and of itself doesn’t even matter. Because whatever it is, God can make it happen. In fact, He even wants to make it happen. Going even further, God wants to do more than whatever impossible thing that you are imagining.

The Bible gives us pretty clear instructions on this:

“Ask and it will be given to you,

Seek and you will find,

Knock, and the door will be opened.”

-Matthew 7:7

Being human, we tend to over complicate matters and can’t wrap our minds around simply asking for something and then getting it. You have to work hard for what you want, right? Well, trust me–asking for your biggest, wildest dream from God is going to be work. You’ll have to be like the persistent widow in Luke 18 and keep on asking, every day. You’ll have to summon hope in most likely a hopeless situation and hold on to your faith that God will finish the work He has started, even when that prowling lion is whispering every kind of doubt into your ear. You will have to wrestle with God like Jacob, refusing to let go until He blesses you. You will have to keep coming back to God with your request, feeling like a fool for even asking.

But here’s a thought–what if that impossible dream that’s been hiding in your heart was put there by God Himself?

God is waiting to open up the floodgates of heaven and bless you so much that you don’t even know what to do with it all.

So start asking!

 

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Quiet Time: Giving Yourself to God

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Giving yourself to God is both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s a lot like riding a roller coaster: it’s positively thrilling, yet your stomach feels as if it’s going to drop out of you and you can’t shake the “DANGER” alarm that your body is sending. But you know that you’re safe; there is a very heavy harness strapping you in, making it impossible to wiggle in your seat, much less fall out. Yet every time you go through a loop, you brace yourself for the potential danger and hold your breath, because you know that it’s going to feel like the world just collapsed underneath you. But when you are at the very top of the loop, you see the world from a view that you have never experienced before and you feel like you are flying as free as a bird and you are exuberant with every kind of feeling all at once. Even after you survive the ride, you will still have that strange mix of emotions of sheer panic and thrilling joy. Your stomach will still drop to the deepest pit and the question of, “Why am I doing this?” will still cross your mind at the exact spot of the ride. Every. Single. Time. It doesn’t matter how many times you go on the roller coaster. You will panic every time.

God asks us to do crazy things. Things that make absolutely no sense. Things that push us way out of our comfort zone, and cause us to panic. Sometimes He asks us to do things that will hurt. In the moment, we can’t understand why He is asking us to do whatever it is that He is asking. We want to know the why so that we can talk ourselves into going through that ginormous loop on the roller coaster, because from where we’re standing it’s absolutely terrifying and seems like a horrible idea. But He doesn’t tell us the why. He wants us to trust in the knowledge that His harness will keep us safe and will never let us go. Once we say “yes” to whatever journey He is calling us to and allow Him to wrap us in His arms, He will never let go. So even when we’re in the middle of the biggest loop and we’re screaming, “WHY AM I DOING THIS?!!!”, we feel the strong hold of God’s harness not allowing us to even wiggle. Even though our world is completely upside down, we know that, somehow, we are still safe.

I don’t know what journey God has called you to. I don’t know what part of the roller coaster you’re on, if you’re sailing happily with the breeze in your hair, or if you’re hanging upside down where nothing makes sense. But if you’re on one of the scarier bits, I want to encourage you to trust in that harness. Everything else might be spinning out of control around you, but you can still feel God’s arms holding you.

He will never let you go, my friends.

You will feel scared every time you come up to a new loop. It doesn’t matter how many you have already safely gone through. Every time God comes to you with the next crazy thing for you to do, your stomach will drop and your heartbeat will quicken and you will doubt if you will be able to do it. That’s just being human. Just take a deep breath, grab the handlebars on your harness, and go for it again. Trust in Him, for He will get you through it. And you won’t believe all the goodness He has in store for you! Just hold on and follow His lead.

I Call You Blessed

Today was seemingly insignificant. I didn’t accomplish anything worth talking about; laundry, a few dishes, dance class, dinner. It was a very typical day in the life of a stay-at-home mom.

It’s really easy to feel insignificant and unimportant in the role of motherhood. On the surface, it doesn’t look like you do very much at all. At the end of days where I literally only accomplish keeping the kids fed and alive, I sometimes feel stressed because I wasn’t even able to keep up on housework. This feeling is compounded when my 4 year old actually complains about not going to day care like all of her friends and says things like, “Auntie works all the time, but you never work Mom.”

When you work a 9 to 5 job, it’s easy to find satisfaction. You keep busy all day doing important things and at the end of the day, have finished one or many projects. So you give yourself a mental gold star for doing something of value with your life for that day and are happy about it.

I feel like being a stay-at-home mom is looked down on in our culture. Since the feminist movement to allow women into the work force, it seems that if you are a woman who chooses to stay home instead of work, you are then wasting all the efforts of the women who fought so hard for that right. I feel our culture teaching us that if you don’t work, that you aren’t doing enough with your life.

So even though I don’t believe that anymore, I still allow that thinking to make me insecure.

Am I doing enough?

Am I wasting my life?

I put unrealistic expectations on myself, believing that I have to have the house spic and span all the time, homemade dinners ready at the same time every night, and laundry clean/folded/put away. So when I am unable to keep up on the house or when I can’t manage to get dinner out any earlier than 8 pm or when only half of the laundry is clean and is in an unfolded pile, I feel like I am just not cutting it. I feel like I am not enough.

And I know that some people will look at my life and say, ‘I feel sorry for her. I mean, she raised great kids, but she didn’t really do anything with her life.’

But if at the end, I’ve done my job right (because motherhood is a JOB), my children will rise up and call me blessed. How do I know this? Because the Bible tells me so:

 

Image via pixshark

Image via pixshark

I can’t stop thinking about the deliberate language in this verse: her children rise. Why ‘rise’? Why doesn’t the verse just say, ‘her children call her blessed’? That would send the same message. But it says that they rise. Rise against whom?

Do you want to know what I think?

I think that her children are rising against those who would dare call their mother’s life insignificant. I think that now that they are grown, her children are able to see how much she has done for them. They couldn’t see it when they were young, but they see it now. They know now that they would not have become the people that they are without her. They also see that there are people who do not understand everything that this woman, their mother, is worth.

Another thought–why doesn’t the mother defend herself? If you read the previous verses that describe her, you will see that she is a strong woman. Why does she stay silent?

Maybe because for a moment, she doesn’t fully see the significance in her life either. Perhaps she is just like me, wondering if she did enough.

But her children say she was more than enough. And they rise up for her, at a time when she cannot do it for herself, and call her BLESSED.

It’s so very easy to sweep all the extraordinary that we do as mothers under the rug of mundane. But we mustn’t forget how very important our job is. We are shaping lives. It is the most important job in the world, and yet is the most undervalued one. Personally, I feel that true feminism should embrace all that a woman can be, including a mother. Motherhood is not something to demean; I truly believe it is the highest honor and calling in life. Think about it– God is trusting us to raise tiny humans into extraordinary beings. What an honor!

So if you are reading this on a day where you are thinking, “Seriously, what did I do with my life today?”, I want to say:

I will rise up and call you blessed.

And one day, your children will too.