Rolling in the Deep

I am a big fan of Adele’s music.  She’s got a hip vibe that I really like and sings with a lot of sass.  My dad has most – if not all – of her CDs, which is saying a lot where he’s concerned.  My kids even enjoy it – it’s like you KNOW she means what she sings.  At least that’s how she comes across, especially when she sings “Rolling in the Deep”.  Lady can WAIL!

The past couple of weeks – school ending, work schedules changing, temperatures rising rapidly – oh my goodness, things have been rough.  Choppy.  Uncomfortable.  Exhausting.  Combine that with not sleeping well, unsettled kids, and a rumbling preteen – and it has NOT. BEEN. FUN.

I always have high hopes for summer.  I really do.  I make plans – which are quickly derailed – and it gets discouraging.  But I haven’t given up!  I have dug in my heels and focused on my goals and decided that I was going to just take one step at a time, adjusting my pace as needed.  I didn’t have all my supplies to have my kids’ summer binders ready for our first full week of summer, but they still got started on their workbooks, albeit things have been mainly one-step-forward-two-steps-back.

Curly just doesn’t even want to THINK about schoolwork.  At. All.  She wants to be on the phone, or on her tablet listening to music.  I have been a little indulgent, but we have continued to move to a more structured schedule with each passing day, so she is slowly adjusting.

KitKat did a couple days’ work with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Lots of groaning and crying.  She doesn’t want to work either but is quite vocal about it while she’s sitting at the table and figures if SHE has to work, then MOM has to work with her.  I’m still wrangling her situation out…

Little Man – well, I don’t have to say “workbook” more than once and he is flying through his pages.  In fact, he’s far ahead of where he “should” be and I am already looking for printable resources to boost his work through the summer.  He will do 10 pages if I let him, when I’ve only asked him to do 4 at a time.  He doesn’t need help per se, but has to be redirected to READ THE DIRECTIONS before starting…

Needless to say, I know for a fact that I was NOT called to be a school teacher!

But that hasn’t been my main challenge.  I have been battling some dark moments for more than a couple of weeks, and I had hoped with an easier work schedule and “Summertime fun” that things would have eased up.  But they didn’t.  They got worse.  They got hard.  They got deep.

I have been wrestling some monsters in my life.  It has been ugly.  I have been taken under a couple of times.  I have lost my footing.  I have regained my wobbly pace one step at a time.  This particular time of year – the annual remembering of my abortion – usually brings some emotional tension with it, but I find that even that is being overshadowed by my current wrestling.

I am reminded of Jacob who wrestled with an angel (Genesis 32) and I feel as though I am fighting with all my might for a Blessing.  I have some dry, cracked desert places in my life and I want these dry bones to come alive.  I may come out of this wounded in a new way, like Jacob was, but I do know that by His wounds I am healed.  I am holding out for some healing and some restoration.  And I know He goes into the deepest dark with me.

How do people go through life without the hope of Christ?  I mean, even in the dark when I FEEL alone, I am not because HIS WORD says He is with me.  But living life with an idea that God does not exist or that he is detached from us – even when I have felt it in recent moments – I am comforted by His endless pursuit and dogged determination to have a relationship with me.  Frail, weak, and broken as I am.  So thankful for Him.  So very thankful.

If you need a little get up and go this morning, check out Adele:

When Will He Be Enough?

I find it interesting to go back and read through old journals and notebooks I have kept in previous phases of my life.  I don’t keep many around because sometimes there are things I don’t want anyone else to stumble upon – my journals tend to be the dumping grounds for whatever “junk” is lying around in my heart and writing is cathartic for me – but some I have kept because they have documented specific points in time that are meaningful and show growth, even when it was painful.

When God gave me the word “Enough” for 2017 I was not surprised.  When I was praying over a word from him, and Enough was brought to mind, I knew it was for more than just one purpose.  The word holds significance for me in several areas – my self-worth, my trust in Him, and more just to name a few.

As I was cleaning up this blog, I came across some old posts.  And I do mean OLD posts.  Back when I was blogging as “The Queen Mommy” at wordpress.com.  (serious flashback!) Whew!  Still, the word ENOUGH came at me like an animated gif…

Post 1 is here.  (Can I tell you that not much has changed since that post…  other than no more math class)

Post 2 is here.

These posts were written about 6 1/2 years ago.  A lot in my life has changed since then.   And I also see that some things have not changed at all.

I am still  learning some of the same lessons the hard way.  I am still entrapped by certain lies about God and about myself that I need to let go of so I can be free of my discontentment.

I am discovering a couple of rules on my journey in life.  If I stick to these rules, I find great contentment and peace.

Rule #1:  GOD IS ALWAYS ENOUGH.

Rule #2:  I am “Enough” to where and what He calls me.  If I am not, see Rule #1. 

I am all about independence and self-reliance.  It is both a strength and weakness.  I like to shoulder my load and carry my weight.  I expect many other people to do the same.  HOWEVER, I am not always the one who determines what my load is or what weight I should be carrying.

Sometimes I take on more than I should.  More than I am called to take on.  And I suffer for it.  And so do the people around me.  When my independence becomes more important to the things He has called me to in my life, I become bitter and discontented and angry and it ravages my soul, leaving me dry and dusty and unable to be who I am meant to be.

ENOUGH.

This word holds layers of meaning for me.  I am glad it is the word God brought to my heart for this year.  I hope I can learn the lessons He wants to bring to my heart and life.

Do you have a word or phrase for 2017?  How does it hold meaning for you?  Have you seen God working the word into your life?

Grace. Salt. Light.

Well, our pastor’s sermon Sunday morning stomped all over my toes.  And it was about Grace.

You would think that a blog with the word “Grace” in the title should have a handle on that whole Grace thing, right?

Well, think again.  Cuz the truth is – I am constantly looking for Grace in my life.  It isn’t that God doesn’t abundantly pour it out on me.  It’s how I take it in.  And then share it with people.

Or don’t.

Cuz as much as I KNOW about Grace – and as much as I have experienced GRACE – I am not saturated with it to the point that when I am squeezed it comes flooding out.

sigh.

And that’s why I am looking for Grace and Glory in my life.  but not just looking.  I have come to realize how hardened I have become by life.  Cuz it’s just plain unfair.

No, really.  Life is hard.  Promised promotions are handed to someone else.  Other promises are just flat broken.  Timelines stretch out, and then nerves are stretched thin.  Tires go flat.  Again and again.  Kids have meltdowns.  Moms have meltdowns.  Bills get bigger.  And more get added on.  Loved ones suffer.  Loved ones die.

Life is hard.  Am I right?

But God is good.  And you know what – HOPE, my word for 2016 – solely rests on that knowledge.

GOD. IS. GOOD.

And when I am reminded that Grace comes from God – even when I hide my Light, or lose some saltiness – God has vast reserves of Grace to replenish me.  Always hoping to shine through me, and season others through me, and bring GRACE to others..

When I fail to stand strong in my faith, I was reminded this morning that I can still stand in the gap for others.  And pray that God strengthens me and that I will grow in strength in Him so he can use me.  Not just to stand in a gap.  But to draw others to Him.

 

When the Battle Rages Fierce

There are enough passages in Scripture to make it very clear that life is hard.  And being a believer does NOT exclude you from those hard things.  Christianity does NOT promise ease or exemption from every hard thing in life.  Instead, we are constantly reminded that although it is hard, we have a GOOD, GOOD FATHER.  When the battle rages fierce – and it absolutely will – not only is He good, but He is protective.  He provides His own suit of armor, fashioned to fit each one of us uniquely and individually.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought

{Sidebar – you should know that I wrote the above text several weeks ago.  And it sat here.  As my laptop died.  As we experienced 2 flat tires over a 6 week period on Tuesday nights, right before my Bible study of The Armor of God.  as we discovered that my husband’s injuries, although not life threatening, were causing him some new symptoms, which are still being investigated.  As the respiratory disaster worked its way through our house.  You know.  NORMAL for us here…}

I was feeling knocked down, dragged out, spit-on-my-neck beaten for many of these days.

I only got to watch 3 of the 7 videos related to the Bible study.  We are still without a 2nd car.  My very incredibly helpful in-laws are still carting me back & forth to work and picking up kids from school.  Car accidents have looooong lasting effects – let me tell you.

But I am feeling the undergirding of God’s people.  I have 2 friends who have come alongside me and given me a breath of fresh air.  By helping me laugh, by helping me get my brain on a little straighter, and by being just a really good friend to me.  I am so thankful for each of these ladies I cannot even tell you.

And to top that, my mother-in-law came to stay with Little Man while Curly had a dr appointment one day last week, and when I walked in – my house was beautifully neat!  It was such a blessing to my heart.  I just kinda floated around the house the rest of the day (as I tackled stacks of dishes and piles of laundry) and was so blessed.

It helped me catch my breath, and although the battle still remains fierce, God has blown a fresh breeze into my life and I am getting my battle gear on.  The enemy loves to do nothing more than completely disarm us – and he is a crafty enemy who knows where and when to strike.

But I have a Father who shields and protects me.  And when I am still before Him, He fights the battle for me…