09/13/14

A Morning In HIS Arms

Mornings spent like this with my Savior are invaluable to me. I drove to the trail head and walked to a hill’s peak giving me just enough vantage view of the city. Winding up the trail I thank God for the energy to do this today. Some days the energy never comes and breaking even a small sweat is a distant dream.

I am perched up on a rock and facing northwest, while the morning sun warms my back. The cars from the freeway below hum, and not 50 yards from me the power lines buzz, but in most moments I don’t notice. I am sitting in His peace, His presence. His love washes over me again and again, reminding me He knows all about me, and all that my heart feels. He holds me and with a gentle strength in His arms, like no other, He assures me that I’ll never be alone.

The ever so slightly cool breeze comes not often enough but I know there’s a slight hint of autumn in the air. I could sit here for hours, but much waits for me today. Some things are mundane, some are people who need me at my best. So I’ll go…unwillingly at first. Soon though, as I begin my routine I know He will be there, with every chore, every load of laundry, and lesson plan.  With every laugh from my children’s lips I’ll know He is there.

Thank you my Sweet Savior for holding me in Your arms and for never letting me go.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

 

06/26/14

Under the Knife

I asked for it. I wrestled. The wish was granted under the knife.

“Teach me to love Lord, as You love. Let me look upon those around me with the same affections You have for them, not with my own.  Let my eyes be Your eyes. My heart Your heart. Give me a love unexplained for the ones about me. A love not based on what mood I’m in or conditioned on what I’ve received from them. No God, please teach me to love as You love.”

The wrestling match with God has been ongoing, life-long really. I knew in the end I would be pinned, but still my stubborn heart wanted to learn the hard way I guess. The answers were right before me, what I needed to do to love, but I guess I didn’t want it quite bad enough just yet. I argued, put my foot down, dug my heels in, and yet begged God to show me how to love. The desire to love and be loved had been there long before the knife was applied, but the willingness to suffer the agony had not been. I’d rather it been a magic wand waved over my heart and head than the gut wrenching pain I experienced. But I asked for it. And so, the knife came.

Before the knife, He began with a chisel and my will. The part of me that wanted to change but not suffer. With the chisel He chipped away at it until I realized I will never love like Him, unless I suffer. Jesus loved us completely in His suffering.  One chip at a time my will was finally shattered and that is where I found obedience. I finally saw that if  I am to gain life, I must lose my life (Matthew 10:39) and so like a sheep to the slaughter, surgery began.

Unlike most surgeries, there was no anesthetic. Already crushed from a broken will, I laid there, waiting, shaking, trying my best to hold still. I closed my eyes as He took the knife slowly making the incision to open my heart. Here the great Physician and Surgeon found many stones, more like boulders really, that nearly towered as a wall. Slowly, carefully, He removed them one at a time. The stone of pride was removed first. It was the largest. Then, the stones of ingratitude, not as big pride, but there were many of them scattered about my heart holding this wall together.  And finally He took out the stone of anger.  The heaviest in my heart.   With each cut of the scalpel He showed me the stones as he put them aside the operating table.  While I had been longing to love and be loved, He gently whispered, “it is impossible with these stones in the way.”  My pride had been telling me for years that I deserved to be loved a certain way by those around me. “They must hear me, and know who I am!” I’ve been screaming it all my life long. “They must see I’m worth loving.” When I heard it that way, from this very vulnerable place of open-heart surgery, it sounded horrific. “Thank you for taking that stone God.” I whispered, looking up into His warm eyes.  Next, He showed me that my ingratitude had been blinding me from the generous and gracious acts of love that HAD been taking place around me, but I was too hurt to see them. Lastly, He showed me how my anger had taken over my heart and this stone was the toughest to cut out. As I lay under the knife I had the audacity to murmur to the Surgeon, “Please don’t take my anger, I will have nothing left. I’ll have nothing to hold against anyone.”  But He wouldn’t stop now- He couldn’t or I would bleed to death. I was exactly where He needed me in order to grant my wish to love; Defenseless, broken, bleeding and hurting.  My life was now completely in His hands.

Next, He went to work on my eyes. Meticulously, Jesus cut right to the center of my issue. The obstruction needing removed for proper vision was quite large. Two very big bark-like objects had lodged their way into both of my eyes. They are known as a logs, or a planks. Nevertheless, with great pain He removed them by way of reminding me where I have been. Reminding me of the sin He has saved me from, the judgement He did NOT sentence me with. He moved the knife around with great precision to remove the logs, and inserted new lenses in each eye. Ones that see the people around me with compassion and mercy, instead of judgement and anger. He gently reminded me of the compassion and love He bestowed on the adulterous woman in John 8. When her accusers wanted her stoned to death, and rightfully so according to the law. But the great Physician Jesus wanted her saved, free from her sin. In that moment she was never the same. Her encounter with mercy changed her life forever. Her accusers left her to stand alone with Him, and she was made new. As it would be with me when He finished. He showed me the same mercy and revealed my judgmental attitude all at once.

Lastly, the Surgeon corrected an issue with my lips and tongue. Something that has been tripping me up since I could talk I’m sure. I spoke of the stones of ingratitude and anger.  Well you see the problem with them showed up in my mouth as well. Because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34) So many of the words that escaped my lips were that of complaining, and irritation. What He’s done here is not a one time deal I know, but it’s a start. The incisions were deep, and the stitches many. The recovery, a lifetime.

The surgery lasted many long hours, but finally His work was completed. The incisions were sown up and I was left to rest and ponder. I thought about the years of pain in my heart, the tears I had cried up to the point of going under the knife. I thought about how in many ways I had every right to be hurt, and this compassionate Surgeon showed me that He was with me all along, through every tear, heartache and hurt. He reminded me of all the times He had been loving me, but I was too blind to see Him there. I had been looking at all the wrong people for a love only He could give.

As I rested I considered how my longing to be loved a certain way, treated a particular way, and to have warm feelings and emotions all the time was essentially my way of wanting to be worshiped,  instead of me worshiping Him. He deserves all. All honor. All glory. All praise.  Anything I could possible give is considered but dung, and yet He wants my love, worship and devotion. How could I have been so foolish to think I’m worthy of any praise or adoration, and to then demand it?  Yet even in this He, the steady-handed Surgeon of my heart, showed me the truth with great love and compassion, often wiping my tears and my brow.

Now, days later, I’m up and about but moving slowly.  Careful about every turn and step. My heart is still very tender. The wounds are deep and the scars I pray will be ever reminding me of the stone wall that used to be. He left a memorial on my heart. When He took the stone of pride, He left humility. I would not even breathe were it not for Him. He also left thankfulness in the places where the stones of ingratitude used to be.  And He left joy for the stone of anger. The heart transplant is working…, but only because the Surgeon put it there.  The humility, gratitude and joy could not, no matter how hard I tried, be produced on their own or by my effort.  Now as I slowly move about, I am aware of what He deserves. At every moment I would normally have been ungrateful He is teaching my new heart what I can be grateful for instead. And this joy he replaced my anger with, Wow! It’s tremendous!  My heart has never ever known such joy. And it’s not the fake kind, like I used to have when my situation would change for the better. No, He put the real thing in my heart. Nothing about my life situation has changed, but nothing about it can take this joy away!

Since the surgery my eyes have come into focus. They are opened to a whole new world around me. I’m seeing what I’d never seen before- people! I see people, and I don’t see the specks in their eyes! People that I thought I had loved, I found that I hadn’t been loving them at all. Now I see them as He sees them.  I’m seeing loved ones and strangers alike through these new lenses He put in. Suddenly people have become very precious and it’s not because I think so, but because He made them so.  The eyes are the windows to the mind. And so with the change of sight came the change of mind. New sight, new frame of reference, new thinking.

With the change of mind through refocused eyes, and the new heart pumping with His love, I’d say I’m recovering well. But the issue of the lips and tongue I’ve been gingerly using at best. It’s been written that the tongue is the hardest muscle of the body to train. (James 3:8) Because its so easily connected to the heart and mind, I’ve wanted to try it out slowly. I’ve bitten it many times already and that’s with speaking very little!  It is so quick to want to speak the first thing the mind thinks. My mind is thinking much more clearly, positively, still thoughts want to become words that should never come into existence.

Needless to say I will be attending physical therapy for the rest of my life.  Every part of me Jesus has touched will not be His last touch. And undoubtedly His scalpel will touch other places as well, until the day I die.  This surgery has been the most painful of all my encounters with Him, but it has also been the most fruit-bearing in such a short amount of time.  (A soft answer really DOES turn away wrath! Proverbs 15:1)  Daily He will exercise these new muscles and parts. He will stretch them and move them beyond measures I would ever think possible. That is however, what is necessary to love. To move beyond myself, beyond my longings, beyond my wants and wishes. Love is to die to self. Love is suffering for the cause of Christ. Love is putting the other person first. Love is outside the comfort zone.  Love is obedience.

Jesus said take up your cross and follow me. Did He not lead us in this charge of obedience? Did He not take up His cross and follow His Father? Yes, He did. He was obedient unto death, and for what? For love. For you and me. And praise the God of all Glory that His death was not the end. And so shall my daily dying to self not be my end either. There is so much more to live for than the here and now. And it’s not just a place in heaven, away from hell. No! It’s a place where forever I will sing the praises of the One and ONLY ONE who deserves all praise. It is where I will meet face to face the One whose love for me is beyond my wildest dreams. It is where a fountain of continuous hallelujahs will flow from my lips forever.

I’ve heard it all my life. I’ve believed it to some degree. But here and now  I live for it. I will live for and die for love, because I asked for it, and I received it under the knife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

05/2/14

Why Don’t I…?

Why don’t I live like I believe my God will do what he says? Why don’t I trust? Why don’t I live in victory instead of defeat? Why don’t I live believing ONLY HIS love will be enough for me? Why don’t I live as a child of the King, a woman who knows without a doubt who her source is?

The reasons are endless if I really search them to their core. But really I’ve been searching reasons all my life, trying to get to the bottom, and when I get the answers I don’t like I don’t want to change the way I live or believe. I keep expecting my circumstances to change instead.

It’s time! It’s time to start believing my believable God. It is time to start living victoriously! It is time to believe and experience the greatest love ever known! It is time to believe I am not only His child but the object and desire of His sweet affections! That He WILL come through. That He IS enough!

It is absolutely time!

01/11/14

A Sweet Summation

As I mentioned this week in an earlier FaceBook post about how blessed I feel to have this additional week off of work and school to be with my kids, a friend of mine commented that I should blog about it, so my dear friend, and you know who you are,…here it is.

The first two weeks of our 3 week Christmas break went way too fast and while it was very fun and festive, it was busy and hectic. So when New Year’s day came and went and the weekend brought about the holiday clean up, I thought about how I’d like to spend the last week with my family, this last week at 39. I knew I wanted to relax, but I also knew I had a lot to accomplish before school started again.

I was proposed with a question by my sweetie on New Year’s day, Wednesday, about what I wanted for my birthday, my 40th birthday. Did I want my long awaited dream of driving a real race car at the speedway or would I like a brand new sofa?  Both were a pretty penny and both I’ve wanted for a long time, but my sweet love knew he couldn’t decide for me and needed my input.  I put a great deal of thought into it. Driving a race car would be the ultimate thrill for me (outside of flying a plane), but I knew it would be over and done with quickly and I’d have nothing but a memory to show for it. But a sofa, a couch to grace my living room and beckon me to just sit and relax (something I rarely ever do) seemed like the better choice. By Friday I reached my decision. I wanted the sofa. In our 19 1/2 years of marriage we have never purchased a brand new sofa. They’ve all been hand me downs. They have all served their purpose but they were never “ours”.   And for an OCD germ a-phobe that’s a big deal that I’ve lived that long without my own new sofa!  So Saturday afternoon after all the Christmas stuff was finally packed away, we went on a sofa hunt. After 2 stops and an amazing deal we brought home our (MY) brand new leather sofa, and its the color of melted chocolate! It was the beginning of a wonderful week.

Sunday proved to be a lovely day with my sofa as I wrote on my blog, took a little snooze to break it in and watched as my kids played legos on the floor below. I was relaxing , I was really really relaxing…

Monday we had planned our “big hike” on the Armagosa trail across the side of Black Mountain. The little ones couldn’t wait for the day and bounded the entire trail with excitement! It was a precious time for me to be out in nature with my most favorite people in all the world and where I feel the closest to God. We could see for miles up there and to watch them enjoy God’s handiwork warmed my heart to the core.  Despite the cooler temperatures that morning the kids convinced me our “long” hike (long to them) deserved them a trip for frozen yogurt. I happily agreed. Then it was off to visit great-grandma and the family for a bit where Hannah and my mom played a piano duet. From there they convinced me that McDonald’s was the best place to go for lunch since they had gift cards…and so we did that too.  The afternoon brought about a very comfy cat-nap on my new couch, while the warm winter sun beat through the windows right onto my face.

The week progressed with a hearty trip to the grocery store for much needed food, and when I say food, I bought food.  Real food. This week brought about a change and a settling to my core, FINALLY, about where I stand with all this talk of food and diets, and eating healthy and vegan, and Paleo and gluten-free, and on and on and on. And while I won’t share in detail where I settled to in my mind, I will say that for once I felt very good about the meals I have made for my family this week. They were not completely organic, not completely Paleo, nor completely anything to anyone’s standards but the ones that I could live with, and feel good about for my family. Some of you who know me well know how I’ve struggled so long to find what’s right for us…following everyone else’s plans and ideas have only proved to cause me a great deal of stress and anxiety and that we know isn’t helpful or healthy. So I spent more money on organic this week, but we also ate Micky-D’s. My kids have eaten so much fruit and veggies this week I could just cry with happiness. Not that they didn’t before I but I just didn’t buy the snacky stuff, so there was no alternative and they were ok with that. We’ve had some amazing meals together this week and I’ve cherished every bite with my family around our counter and table. They’ve eaten kale and collards in their salad and didn’t even know it. Well, they noticed but I just told them it was different colored lettuce and they moved on. The little ones tried Kiwi and one of them liked it, and realized why big brother and I devour it. They tried new varieties of pears and they even ate salmon without complaining!  When I normally make it I don’t force them to eat it but this week it was dinner and there was nothing else and it was off their plates so fast my head spun. And for that matter let’s mark the fact that I ordered salmon while out to dinner one night this week! That would have never happened a year ago. Now I  cook it nearly once a week! And all these yummy meals we’ve been sharing I’ve been serving on my nice dishes. My pretty blue ones that we usually only see for the holidays. I decided this week that every day is a very special gift and using the good plates made everything taste better, and the counter or table where we ate looked prettier because of the plates, and the kids felt special.

We went for walks in the neighborhood this week. We (the younger ones and I) spent the majority of one whole day cleaning out their bedroom they share. The toy overload was more than this OCD neat-freak mom could bear. And so before we began we prayed. I asked God to help them see the things they didn’t need anymore and to be willing to bless others. He heard me because my heart was blessed by the black trash bag of toys they cleaned out from their room. And as Hannah hugged toys and special clothes for the last time and even shed a tear or two, my heart overflowed with gratefulness seeing God work in their little lives. Seeing them give of their hearts and even voice specific kids to whom they knew could use their stuff more than they could.

Then Friday came. Ah yes, Friday. Friday was the day I promised my 13 year old son we’d go to the movies to see Thor 2. We had planned to go when it first opened but circumstances kept us from doing that. So Friday was the day. I don’t like going to the movies. Its dark and creepy in there and this OCD Mama just can’t see what might be on the seat…I shutter to think! But you see my son and I both have the love language that speaks quality time, and it was high time we spend some good quality time together, but in his world not mine.  The movie was cool. I had to keep interrupting him with questions to get the back story as I’ve never seen the first Thor movie and I really have no clue about any of these avenger heroes. There was a really cool “cliffhanger” to the movie and I just might want to see the next one. He insisted I watch the first Thor movie, which I just might. On the way home, which took a little while because there was no theater near our home showing this movie anymore, I asked him to tell me all about the avenger movies and their villains and he did, in great detail. And I listened. I can’t remember everything he said but I remember some and that’s important. I’ve realized I’ve not been in his world for a long time. I’ve cooked and been his ride, and been his mom, but I’ve not been in his world. I’m more like the girl who has cooties, and I’m not ok with it.  Much like the 9 worlds that converged in the movie, or like being sucked into a worm hole, it was weird being in his world…but I liked it because I love him. And I realized this week that I need to be in his world more often and I really need to pay attention to when he’s inviting me there. And when he does invite me I need to allow myself willingly to go, and live.

This week we ran errands together. My oldest son bought me a Starbucks one day, and I saw that his report card was honor roll worthy. My younger ones held close to me and loved on me, and we cuddled a whole bunch. We got haircuts, played card games and board games, and tickled and chased. We laughed and at times they cried over their boo-boos. They spent quality time with each other, loving one another, helping each other, and playing nicely together. I had a date night with my hubby.  I spent quality time with close friends over coffee. I did laundry and blogged and have read and reflected and hoped for things to come, but mostly this week I have lived. I have lived and done what needed done all at once. Things are about to go full speed again this coming Monday when they go back to school and for me that is back to work (full time teaching ministry at their school).  If it’s anything like first semester, it’s going to get hectic and quick. BUT, if there is one thing I’m resolving in my mind right now is that I want to live, really live. And if it means that even once a week we use the nice dinnerware then that’s a start. If somehow I can incorporate only just a few of these wonderful things into our family’s week then I can say I lived. We enjoyed and we loved life and one another.

Recently, I read that we must feed our souls with the things that nourish us, so that we can do the things that drain us with greater energy and joy. If there is one thing I’ll vow to do this year it is that. To live, but not to live to get the stuff done, but to live, and nourish my soul so that I can, through Christ give life and nourish the lives around me.  Yes, this week was a truly a blessing, and a sweet summation of my 30’s, of being 39.

01/5/14

The Risk of Trust

There are at least 40 verses in scripture about trusting God. His Word makes it very clear we are to trust in Him alone.

So much of my heartache in life is directly related to my trust in “man” or people and a lack of trust in God. Throughout my life (like yours I’m sure) people have let me down. Where they should have come through, promised to come through, they have not. And no doubt I have done the same to others as well. Even in our most healthy relationships we don’t intend to break trust, disappoint or let each other down, but we are human, infallible people in a broken world. And so while even seeking trustworthy people and building relationships with them is good and even desired by God, there is no one, not one single person who will not let us down.  So, knowing this I have to ask myself these questions….

Why in heaven’s name and all that is holy do I keep trusting in and expecting people to do the right thing in my relationships? Why do I put so much of my heart at risk with those whom I know will hurt and disappoint me, even if they don’t mean to? And why do I not fully, wholly, totally and completely trust in the God who will never ever leave me, never let me down and whose love for me is greater than anyone else? WHY?

A few cliche quotes are running through my head right now-  “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”  AND  “the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”    I only have one thing to say to myself…..DUH!!

For some reason the risk of trusting a very faithful, loving God is more scarey than the risk of trusting even the most amazing people in my life. Is it because God hasn’t proved himself? NO! Is it because people are tangible and God is unseen and mysterious? Maybe. Is it because of the unknown in God? Perhaps. But the thing I do know is that this should not be,…it can not be, not if I want to be more Christlike. When Jesus walked earth He trusted in His Father God alone. No man dictated his actions. He did nothing without hearing God. That my friend, is serious trust. The kind of trust I want to have in God.  It didn’t mean his heart did not break, but His heart did not sway. He knew where His strength came from, where His hope came from, in whom He could trust.

Dear God, May this year be the year that the truth of your trustworthiness sink to the deepest parts of my heart and soul. And may I learn to risk it all to trust you fully. May I be known Father throughout my days as one who trusted you with all my heart. Amen.

– And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.  Psalm 9:10

-It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.  Psalm 18-8

 

01/1/14

One Breath, One Moment

One breath, one moment at time; it’s all I’ve got to do. When my heart looks at the circumstances, the potential of years to come, it breaks over and over again. I get so lost in my mind of what the reality looks like.

But, one breath, one moment at time. It’s all He’s given me. And that’s what I need to remember. That’s where I need to remain, where I need to live. His presence can only be known to me in the present. I cannot walk in His Spirit in the “future” thoughts of my mind.  He is eternal, but I am not. So it is only here and now that I can know him.

Breath by breath, moment by moment He will walk with me. This truth I must believe.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name. — Edward Mote

08/2/13
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Comparitively Speaking

It is not uncommon for women to compare themselves with one another. We’ve been doing it for centuries. We watch and observe the mothering of our peers to their children, what careers others have or choose not to have. We compare our education, families, the amount of children we have, our bodies and attributes. There are very few topics I’ve not discussed in conversation with other women that we have not analyzed about each other and compared.

However, comparing ourselves to each other can lead down two different roads, both can be destructive. Both I have chosen to walk.  On the one hand we can grow prideful, thinking our way of doing things is better than another. Or, we can become weary seeing all that others can be or accomplish and lose hope in ourselves, in who God made us to be as unique individuals.  I for one get caught in this trap more often than I would like to.  I picture in my mind things I’d like to do, traits of my personality that I wish were different, and I become discouraged when I see those around me flourishing and overcoming, being, doing, multitasking and conquering all that is in front of them with grace and ease. It is at that moment I want to crawl under a rock. My insecurities rise up and the enemy of my soul begins the onslaught of negative verbiage in my head. In two minutes I am reduced to nothing. My mistakes in motherhood are thrown in my face and my unfinished education thrown under a bus.  With my head in my hands I think, “how did I get here again?”

Most of the time these moments occur when I’m feeling most vulnerable naturally. I could be overtired, stressed or overwhelmed with life. Sometimes though it happens innocently, like when I’m reading what is supposed to be an uplifting, inspiring article about a mother of 10 or more kids who joyfully loves her children, never yelling mind you, while she cooks all her meals from scratch, organically grown from her home garden that she managed to plant before her 10th child was born at home with a midwife and no epidural and wrapped in a homemade blanket! No offense to this women wherever she may be, God bless her- she’s amazing, but please see where I’m going with this. If I’m not in the place I need to be with the Lord, if I’m not careful, what was meant to be inspiring and encouraging has now become condemnation.  I will never be that woman.  And it surely isn’t from lack of trying. I’ve ran circles around myself trying to be the best mom, the best wife, cook, homemaker, etc. It’s just not me to multitask five things at once or even three things at once. I get distracted and something always ends up burning, like garlic bread.  God blessed us with three kids and for me it is a challenge. Yet I know so many who can have kids while earning their degree and be relaxed and patient and keep up with their homes, work and hubby and smile too! But it’s just not me.

It is here in the reading and watching everyone else that my limitations stare back at me. Once again I’m faced with who I am. And it is also here that I must make a choice. I can feel sorry for myself and crawl under a rock, or I can go to the ROCK, the One who made me, and who knows all about me. The first 10 years of my marriage I chose to crawl under the rock, feel sorry for myself, cry and become overwhelmed with self pity and depression and I would stay there for long periods of time. But since my diagnosis (Anxiety disorder/ OCD) I’ve had to come to grips with myself. Over and over again I’m faced with what I see as shortcomings and failures, and I have to go to the Rock, the Cornerstone, my Savior.

At first I go, honestly telling Him my woes, asking Him why did He make me like this? Why am I not as capable as others? Why do my kids have me for their mother, wouldn’t they benefit better from someone else? Why? Why? Why? But if I truly want His answer I don’t stay there in pity for very long. I quiet down and start to listen as He asks me the questions…

My daughter, my precious child. I made you. I created you in your mother’s womb. I fashioned every fiber of you, all your cells, and DNA, your likes and dislikes, your capabilities, your desires, your limits. It was Me who did it. Why do you not see who I see? Why can’t you see the beauty in you? If you knew how much I love you, if you knew that no matter what you do or do not do, or accomplish as a wife, mother and person does not change my love for you. It does not change the way I see you when you fall or fail. My love for you is not based on your performance.  You are my creation, the work of my hand. You only see yourself in part, but I see the whole you. Trust me to fill in the gaps of inadequacy. Trust me to fill you with joy when you are weary with motherhood. Trust me to make your path straight for your future. Trust me beautiful child. I know the way because I AM the way. Take my hand and let me lead you.

And so there I sit, completely humbled once again by my loving Father. He reminds me that I am His and that any and all imperfections in me He is fully aware of yet does not regard me for my weaknesses or triumphs, but simply wants me to love Him and know His love for me.

As I read in my devotional this morning I was blessed by the words of George S. Merriam:

“If the people about you are carrying on their business or their benevolence at a pace which drains the life out of you, resolutely take a slower pace; be called a laggard, make less money, accomplish less work than they, but be what you were meant to be and can be. You have your natural limit of power as much as an engine,–ten-horse power, twenty, or a hundred. You are fit to do certain kinds of work, and you need a certain kind and amount of fuel and a certain kind of handling.”

This mama may not even have one-horse power, but I have the power to stop and listen, to choose not to compare myself to anyone else. I can choose to rely on the gracious Holy Spirit as I walk through life. I have the power to believe that He is who He says He is and choose to live by His supernatural power to accomplish what He wants me to accomplish for His glory.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”                2 Corinthians 12:9