Lessons from My Relationship with God

In the Face of the Cross… A reflection on Psalm 22

Last week I was told to reflect on Psalm 22. I had been crying to my friend about the trials of bedtime with 4 littles and a tired mommy especially when daddy isn’t there to help…. and my prayer was a beautiful experience, not just, I think, for mothers but for anyone trying to live out any vocation or, simply, a truly Christian life.

The Psalm is meant to be a foreshadowing of Christ’s sufferings at Calvary and the biggest shock I had was how much I related to it – how we all can relate – how much it felt like the Psalmist was describing my own life at that moment (minus the melodramatic psalmist vocabulary choices – or maybe with them – I’ll let you decide – haha).

Impact of a Relationship with God

When Your Lent Feels Like a Desert…

Does Lent feel like a season for frustration and irritation?  A time of complaining about all our discomforts, voluntary or otherwise? Do your good intentions feel somehow unappreciated or worthless? Does your extra prayer or acts of service seem empty, aimless or uncertain? If so, you might be focusing on the wrong thing this Lent…

Deepening a Relationship with God

Take up your cross… and Find Peace

Every human being has a cross. For some it may be their physical health or that of loved ones, for some it may be more related to financial or emotional well being. For some it may be combinations of all of the above. The point is, we all have crosses and we all suffer. Matthew 16:24 exhorts: “Take up your cross…” and yet our tendency is to want to run from that which causes us pain, to escape it, to avoid it.

But, I challenge you, not this Lent (or ever).

Deepening a Relationship with God

How to have your best Lent ever

What is Lent all about?  Why do we have this season anyway? Is it about giving up candy, Netflix, Facebook and meat? Why all the focus on “sacrifice”? Why do we fast? How do we decide what to “give up”? Why do we pray? How do we pray? Why do we spend this time focusing on filling food banks and upping our tithe?  Is it just a good time of year to make us feel guilty about everyone less fortunate? Just a good time of year to make us feel guilty about being fortunate? a time of year to make us feel guilty about what we give up or don’t give up? about whether we meet or don’t meet our resolutions?

If we don’t experience the extreme levels of guilt often characteristic of this Season we might find ourselves experiencing other “non-lenten” emotions such as apathy or resistance. “I’m a good person, why should I have to do anything different”? or “I hate lent because I just can’t deal without my daily Starbucks” It is true that Lent encourages us to make sacrifices, to die to ourselves like Christ, to give more, to work harder, to move outside our comfort zone…. but the purpose often gets lost in the details. Let’s get back to what really matters!

Lessons from My Relationship with God

God designs our seasons… Happy Lent!

When God has a plan it trumps everything else.

I knew I would probably go into labor this week but that was the tiniest fraction of what would happen. After nearly 3 days of false labor Adam and I pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that “the kid was never coming out” and relaxed once again into our normal schedule.

Building a Relationship with God

Following God – 4 tips for doing God’s Will (Even if you’re not sure what it is)

Yes, dear reader, we have to act.  Often we “pray and pray” and do nothing.  We “pray” and expect some angel to come out of the sky and fix everything with their magic wand. Newsflash: Fairy godmothers do not exist! We do! We have to step out of the boat.  We have to stop blaming God for problems and start getting our hands dirty. We have to “meet God halfway” as the grandfather says in Wilson Rawl’s Where the Red Fern Grows.

But what do I do?

How can we know if the actions we do are the right ones?

  • Lovers make the best dancers. St. Augustine’s famous words were, “Love and do whatever you wish!” As long as we have a close relationship with the one we love, our wills become so united that what God wants becomes what we desire also. Review post on Presence as well as those on the Levels of Love and work on advancing there.

    Hillary Scott - Thy Will
    Thy Will – Hillary Scott
    Click to listen!
  • Trial and error.  (for the more day to day things, ie. what job to take, where to live, what to study, which book to read, etc.) There will be times when we try to act and everything goes wrong.  We are trying to do something “good” but there is just no peace in our hearts or spirit in our work.  Sometimes there may even be giant “red flags”, real, insurmountable obstacles, lessons learned or advice from someone genuinely invested in your best interest that are signaling you toward something different, even if that something feels less “impressive” an undertaking. That is when it is time to let go.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, if you realize something was wrong even when you thought it would be right, just stop and try something else. Listen to Hilary Scott’s “Thy Will” and don’t worry about time “wasted”, think of it as time spent well, discovering “what not to do” as Thomas Edison put it. It’s never too late to set out on another path time to start acting again in a different direction. It’s ok to step on a few toes at first as you are learning, eventually the flow will come and Christ is a patient partner.
  • Trust that He truly is leading you in this dance. He wants nothing more than to show off His strength and your beauty.

 


Also read:

Called to Dance: Discovering Life as a Romance with God

Called to Dance: Step 1 – Presence

Called to Dance: Step 2 – Listening

Guidance: G = God, U and I Dance! (Author Unknown)


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Lessons from My Relationship with God

Called to Live in the Present Moment – Appreciating Simple Beauty Again

When we focus on what we want and what we need we can have a tendency to forget what we already have. Last night I had a moment that reminded me again of the beauty of living in the present.

Lately I have been a nervous wreck. I’m finally full term pregnant with #4 and it feels like I’m a First Time Mom all over again.  I’ve been worried and anxious and even started hallucinating about being in labor, but still nothing. I have been freaking out about my older three kids being sick right as baby is due and how germy my house will be. My anxiousness and impatience has been zapping what little energy I have and causing me to be a bit of a grouchy wife and mama.