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Devotional

Losing Myself

Dating after divorce, Devotional, Divorce, Single Mom

I read a book last night about personality types. It’s called Reading People by Anne Bogel. It was the first time I’d read about enneagrams. Wow! Sinking low today. Enneagrams have a way of digging deep into your psyche and shining light on your biggest flaws. Turns out I’m a peacemaker type, and my biggest flaws are that I am so adaptable, I turn into the people around me to please them. I have no idea who I actually am because all of my energy is put into being perfect for others. I completely neglect my own needs to care for others. That and I’m complacent. I had to look up complacent because it’s a word I don’t hear much. “showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements”. Woah, that really gets to the heart of it. Yeah, I’m that too.

I got really scared about this while driving to work today, but was reminded God is in me, so it is impossible to lose myself. He is guiding me, showing me my next steps, and it is in my very weaknesses where He shines brightest. Even this is to His glory.

Maybe this is why I focus so much on what I like to do….I’m trying to figure out who I am without other people around.
I like dancing.
reading,
long walks
my kids
my God
writing
deep conversations
coffee at the river market
the sound of fall leaves crackling on the sidewalk
driving with the music playing loud enough that I can feel the vibrations

I like being alone

I don’t like being asked to give to charity
I don’t like cupcakes and cookies in my house
I don’t like bossy people
I don’t like stiff clothing
I don’t like really high heels

I really want to go dancing.

(edit: so after writing this post, I actually took an enneagram test and it placed me as an artist instead of a peacemaker. Artist’s main fear is losing their identity which made me laugh since I’ve written several posts on that issue and this post itself is all about identity. I’m not convinced I’m not still a peacemaker and it’s simply the life phase I’m in that is skewing it towards artist. It’s an interesting new way to look at myself though…)

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Throwing A Pot

Devotional, Divorce, Single Mom

I got to throw a pot on a potter’s wheel this weekend with a dear friend. She is a potter and has been for a long time, so it was fun to share in her passion with her. I guess it takes a good week or two to learn the art of throwing a pot and getting it started so the clay is centered. The wheel spins so fast that if you don’t get it centered, it quickly goes lopsided and falls apart.

What a great life analogy. Not that we could ever figure out how to be centered on our own….but if we fix our eyes on the one who is in control of all things. He is our only hope to finding our center, our peace, our life, and without Him, everything goes to pot…

Jeremiah 18: 1-12
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’
“But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

Photo Credit: @quinoal

Why I’m Skeptical of Self-Help Advice

Career, Dating, Dating after divorce, Devotional, Divorce, Friendship, Single Mom

Seems like I doubt everyone and everything anymore, my investigative skills are on high when something appears to get my hopes up about something. The latest thing I’m done with is self-help advice. I read a good article about how we can divide our goals into health, family, work, and relationships. The article said we could be good at two, but not good at 4. We could be average at 4, but not good at any. Or we could look at it as seasons where we’re good at some things at some times in our life, but not at other times in our life. It was impossible to be good at all four at the same time no matter how amazing we were, we simply don’t have enough time and energy. Looking at my own life, I’m good at work and family. I know people who are good at relationships and health, but terrible at making money and they live far away from their family and ignore them. In fact, when I look at people, I can almost immediately discover which two are their strengths and which two are their weaknesses. This idea drove me crazy, because I truly do want it all. I want to be good at all four things. I want to be a good mom, I want to be healthy, I want to be awesome at my career, and I want cool friends to hang out with every weekend.

I found peace though, I think I figured it out. (or maybe a better way of saying it is: He opened my eyes)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Completely switch your focus off of “having it all” and focus on having Him. We are promised everything. We are free from striving. This is what freedom in Christ looks like. He is everything.

I used to get mad at the prodigal son story because it was so unfair to the older brother. He didn’t get anything. Now I’m realizing I didn’t understand what the treasure was. I didn’t understand that the party, the land, the money was worthless. The treasure was the father. Having the father is everything.
Photo Credit: @nicomiot

On Making Hard Decisions

Devotional, Divorce, Single Mom

Have I mentioned how exhausted I’ve been…..trying to make huge, life-changing decisions this year? That choosing careers, and homes, and life paths in the midst of depression and anger has been overwhelming? That I’ve had to hand my life to the Lord over and over again and say “please just point me somewhere”.

Well, here is an amazingly wise woman giving advice on just this topic!
http://www.whitepitchers.com/8-ways-to-make-hard-decisions-wise-and-well/

“As we make decisions and choose paths, what we are really doing is becoming. With God’s help and a whole lot of vulnerability, in the process of making hard decisions, we are becoming more wholehearted human beings made in God’s likeness. That likeness is the one we were designed and called by God to be.”

“Just when I need my healthiest, grown-up self to navigate the choppy waters of a difficult choice, I find my deficits magnified.” Yes!!

“I don’t know what her decision will be. It almost doesn’t matter. A tiny part of the process of making the hard decision was sitting still with good questions.”

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jeremiah 6:16

Trusting Deeper

Devotional, Divorce, Single Mom

Free 1 2 Timothy 1:7 Scripture Printable

We can rest in the shelter of His wings.
Give Him your burdens.

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Sometimes choosing to trust Him can’t be based on what we think or how we feel because everything around us can seem to be defeating us. Everything can seem to be crashing. But trusting God is a choice, and often it’s a choice of faith. Of choosing not to trust in what I see in front of me and believing His words are true.

Joseph spent 2-10 years in prison before the Lord let Him go, perhaps a lot of humbling and learning to trust happened during that time. Letting the roots grow deep.

T

Why Does Dating Feel Like Jumping Off a Cliff?

Dating, Dating after divorce, Devotional, Divorce

My fear of dating the wrong guy is disappearing. I forget how prevalent grace is. I forget how He holds me in His hand and doesn’t let me get lost, how everything, everything is working towards good. I can’t mess that up! I could get married and divorced nine more times, I could marry a druggie, or an alcoholic, or be completely broke the rest of my life. I could marry a Christian who isn’t really a Christian again. There’s a part of me that feels it’s unethical to declare someone “not a Christian”. Who am I to decide that, how could God put that kind of responsibility on me, and who wants someone watching them all the time to decide if they’re really a Christian or not?

God show me the truth, and help me to obey and trust.

Why does dating feel like jumping off a cliff?

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

Have you seen the wonder?

Devotional, Divorce, Single Mom

When it’s coming at you from every side.
When you don’t know if it’s worth it to fight anymore.
When right and wrong and good and evil and should and shouldn’t has been turned upside down.
Rest in Him
Go to Him
Praise Him
He’s got this

Rebuilding The Walls

Devotional, Divorce, Single Mom


Nehemiah was put in charge of rebuilding the walls to Jerusalem after the fall of Israel.  It was an impossible task, there weren’t enough people to help, and to make matters even worse, the enemy kept coming and attacking them from both sides while they were trying to rebuild.  They had to set watchmen to guard the walls at night, and they had to put guards up during the day, they had to wear their swords and shields while they built.  All of the men came together, men who were tradesmen, and men who were bakers, men who had never built with stone before in their lives.  They were all building, and guarding.  The entire wall was re-built in 52 days and when their enemies saw that it had been done, they were in awe because they knew only God could have done that.

I feel like Nehemiah, I feel attacked on every side, and I’ve been given the impossible task of rebuilding my life and my family, creating a successful career, and moving.  I feel attacked on every side, and I’m overwhelmed.

But God doesn’t ask us to win the battle, He just wants us to keep working with our swords and our shields up fighting off the enemy.  To be faithful in what we know is true.  To trust He will protect us and make the miracles happen.  I’m asking for miracles, Lord.  I’ll keep fighting the fight and taking my tiny steps forward, but when Your work is done in this life.  I want everyone to know it was You.

The arrogance in me that thinks I even stand a chance, I’m a fool, God. I’m only able to stand with You holding me up. Could you make sure I don’t forget it was You all along too?

 

 
Photo Credit:
Tomas Sobek

Setting Boundaries

Devotional, Divorce

Sometimes, when everyone is mad at you, it means you’re doing the right thing.  It means you’re finally figuring out how to set boundaries, and you’re breaking free from generational sins that “aren’t really that bad“, and you’re really trying to live holy, even if you keep messing up, trying to live holy still counts.  God can still tell when you don’t give a care and when you’re trying to please Him, and He is always looking at our hearts and so full of grace for when we fail.  But people don’t like having their sin exposed, and it feels bad to be confronted with someone who is trying to live differently.  So be gentle, oh so gentle.  Gently set those boundaries, gently wear your armor that keeps you safe, gently stand firm against enemies who may be people you love very dearly.  Gently, my sisters…..love each other.

It’s going to hurt, it will hurt when they yell, it will hurt if they withdraw, it will hurt.  I wish someone had told me about all the pain boundaries cause.  But pain is my friend, and suffering is my joy.  Christ is my only hope, and I am His servant.

Breaking free

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~Mary Oliver

Career, Devotional, Single Mom

Back and forth my mind goes on how I’m supposed to support this family, how to balance childcare, how to learn new skills,
struggling towards financial independence…
striving, not winning, focused on money and getting, and how I’m going to get more and more.
Making plans for this job or that job, deciding based on which one pays more.
But life is short, it is so incredibly short. Decisions like this are precious in our hands.
Are we going to be givers and servants, or ruthless takers?
Is fear going to rule, or love for others. Trying so hard to control.
Heading the wrong direction, fear and pride pushing me ahead without regrets.
Aiming for perfection, failing, always falling short.

This too, He holds in His hands.
He blesses us with time, He gifts us with skills, He gives us what we need, He quietly turns our head in the right direction,
We don’t have to grasp tightly onto our futures, we only need to grasp tightly to Him, trusting.
So plans I make, but then release them back to Him, release them to a Father’s steady love and care for me
letting go with every breath, everything I hold too importantly, to see where He will lead….

If the Lord wills
If the Lord wills
If the Lord wills

Be free, in Him

Come now, you who say,
“Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town
and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”
–yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?
For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Instead you ought to say,
if the Lord wills,
we will live and do this or that.”
As it is, you boast in your arrogance.  All such boasting is evil.
James 4:13-16

Photo Credit @chrisjroe