Month: February 2017

What we Expect

Clock Pocket Watch Jewel Time Hour Stone Chain

Don’t stumble over your own expectations of what God will do and when He will do it. He will always be faithful, even if He doesn’t work as we expect and in the timing we expect.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo Time Stand By Clock – Max Pixel

Waiting for Spring

Blog_WinterSpringThe following are words I wrote to a friend who was going through a difficult season where it seemed all signs of life had disappeared. I hope they encourage you, as well—whatever season you’re in…

I’ve been praying for words to encourage you in this challenging season you’re in. Just remember that during the winter, it seems like nothing’s happening. Everything looks dead and barren, cold and empty. But beneath the surface, there’s a lot taking place.The snow is pushing the dead leaves into the ground so they can be used to produce fertile soil. This fertile soil will produce all the beautiful flowers and leaves and green grass for the spring.

We never know exactly when spring is going to come. The groundhog doesn’t determine it, God does! And it always comes, even if it’s late or unexpectedly early. But it always comes after winter. Our temptation is to give up in the winter—to become cold and die right along with it. But if we give up too soon, we’ll miss the spring that’s right around the corner.

Hebrews 6 says to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. A lot of times we have faith to believe, but we need the patience to wait. I experienced so many set-backs and disappointments while waiting to adopt our children. It was a discouraging process, and it seemed the dream would never come to pass. I almost gave up! But now I am holding God’s promises in my arms.

In order for there to be resurrection (spring), there needs to be death (winter). You may feel like your dreams are dead now, but that only means there’s a resurrection coming! All the great men and women of God throughout history had to go through a season of waiting before the dream HE had for them was fulfilled.

Even John the Baptist began to doubt when he was imprisoned, but Jesus told him “blessed is the man who does not stumble on account of me.” In other words, don’t stumble over your own expectations of what God will do and when He will do it. He will always be faithful, even if He doesn’t work as we expect and in the timing we expect.

(Originally posted by Jen on the Tears of Joy Blog as “Encouragement for the Wait”)

The Work of Love

At the end of my life, do I want it to be said that I was very involved in the task at hand?

No. I want to be known for being committed to the work of love.

Source: My Two-year Old Professional Distractor

It Ain’t Always Easy

It’s easy to love your kids when they’re being sweet. When my daughter tells me she loves me “more than all the stars” and my son tells me I make him “shoooo happy” and they both shower my face with kisses, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to love them back. But there are days. Days when big sister doesn’t want to share and little brother won’t stop screaming at that impossibly ear-piercing pitch. Days when little princess decides she doesn’t have to listen unless it involves cookies, and little prince decrees the toilet his new waterpark.

It’s easy to love your new puppy when the little furball first comes home and showers you with love. But just wait until she showers your carpet with something else and chooses your best shoes as her new favorite toy. And that cute little stray kitty you found in your back yard? She’ll hypnotize you with those dilating pupils but one day she’ll hack up a fur ball at four a.m. or help herself to that dinner you spent hours cooking.

And what about Prince Charming? He holds the door for you, and you’re walking on air. He holds your hand, and your heart melts. He looks in your eyes, hanging on your every word, and you know he’s a keeper. Then kids come along and doors are forgotten, and who has a free hand to hold? And you pour out the depths of your heart only to watch him turn up the radio to catch the next play of the game.

Love is not easy. Anyone who’s had a pet, or a kid, or a relationship of any kind…KNOWS. The secret is out. If you care enough about someone, you’re in for some hard work. There are times when love is as easy as downing a chunk of chocolate cake, and times when its like scaling a rocky cliff. There are times when you flow in love, and times when you choose to love.

But as much as love is hard, it’s also something else. WORTH IT. For each moment I endure of quarrelling kids, there are thousands more of smiles and hugs and kisses and fun. I’ve cleaned up after my furry friends more times than I care to count, knowing how much joy they bring to my kids and warmth they bring to my home. And my Prince Charming? He’s still my prince, and he’s still charming. He’s also my friend and teammate and encourager and so much more. Beyond the hard work that is love, there are priceless blessings and countless times of saying, “So glad I stuck with it, no matter how hard it’s been.” And it’s been hard. But it’s so worth it.

Source: It Ain’t Always Easy

A Love that Satisfies

God alone can fill the empty void in our hearts.

Source: A Love that Satisfies

Love Makes Sense

This is a test. This is only a test. For the duration of one sentence I will attempt to write something legible while placing my fingers on random keys. Pty8w 8s 9ho6 q 53w5l, j fdldzg gbjx jx kn,h z fdxg. I repeat, this is only a test.

Now, if you can, please interpret the fourth sentence of the previous paragraph. Can’t do it? Of course not. My fingers weren’t on the home keys. I placed them wherever I wanted, and just typed.

When it comes to typing on a keyboard, you have to follow some guidelines if you want the outcome to make sense. It’s the same in love. Love was never meant to be confusing. In reality, it’s as simple as, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

As a teacher, I spend a lot of time developing my young students’ reading skills. The goal is for the children to learn certain words, but with the limited options given for a particular skill set, some stories in their little readers don’t make sense. One time, after reading one of those nonsensical stories, a five-year old student asked, “What was that supposed to mean?”

We can try to make our own guidelines for love, just as I placed my hands on the keyboard wherever I wanted. But the outcome will make about as much sense as the random words strewn together in a children’s reader or the completely illegible sentence in the first paragraph here. Only when my hands are placed on the home keys do the words come out in a logical way.

Jesus is our “home base” when it comes to love. He is the one who created the golden rule of do unto others, and he is the one who lived out the golden rule by living a life of perfect love and dying a death of sacrificial love. When I feel confused about life and love, I just have to look at the ultimate definition of love. And that makes sense.

Source: Love Makes Sense

A Worthy Endeavor

theAverageJen_TrueLoveIsInfinite

Love is the only worthy endeavor.