faith

Confessed Hot Mess

Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?

Jesus loves this hot mess!-2In an effort to “keep it real”, I have a confession to make.  I am a mess, y’all.  Not just a little mess, but a full on, bona fide, hot mess.  The list of things that qualify me as a hot mess is long.  It is filled with unfulfilled expectations that others have of me and that I have of myself.  There are things like my house never being clean.  There is clutter everywhere.  Blame it on the effects of a big family in a small house, but at the end of the day, there is junk everywhere.  (It drives me bonkers, y’all.)

Other things that make me a hot mess…

  • I second guess everything when it comes to making a decision.  It doesn’t matter how inconsequential said decision is, I always feel like I somehow make the wrong choice.
  • I constantly wonder if I’m one bad parenting mistake away from a guest spot on Dr. Phil.  Having four kids is a constant balancing act to make sure everyone feels equal and important while each of the four also gets the one on one time with me that they need and crave.
  • I am not always the best or most attentive friend.  My closest friends know that I am loyal to a fault, but because I have so many balls in the air, I’m not always as available to them as I wish to be.  I also am painfully shy and awkward when meeting people, so I do not have a lot of close friends.
  • I struggle to make ends meet.  This has always been an issue but now with a kid in college, oh my goodness!  Do y’all know what they charge for car insurance for teenage drivers?  Any guesses on how many times we’ve been to the emergency room in the past year?  Cars break down.  Roofs leak.  Life happens.  The cost of living goes up, but the paycheck remains the same.
  • I could write a book on body image but will keep it to a paragraph here.  It’s no secret that I struggle with my weight.  This isn’t one of those things that I can hide as well as some of the other items on my hot mess list.  It’s all out there for the world to see.  Most of the time I feel like people see what I look like and never go beyond that to find out who I am.
  • Then there’s the “f” bomb that dictates and controls my life.  Fibromyalgia.  There isn’t anything I can do about it, but it sure does cause me to miss out on a lot and leaves me feeling inadequate, forgotten, and alone.

Y’all, I am a hot mess.  My life isn’t perfect.  I’m not perfect.  The Apostle Paul could relate.  He wrote in Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT), “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Paul also understood what it meant to not feel worthy of the calling he had received.  He wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (NLT), “Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

Jesus loves this hot mess!

I’m guessing that you probably have a list of perceived disappointments and failures in your life too.  I would like to remind you that God is still working on you (Philippians 1:6) and His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).

There’s still good news, y’all.  We don’t have to be perfect.  We serve a God who is.

Have a blessed week, y’all!

 

img-thing

Advertisements

All of It

On the rare occasion that our family sits down at the kitchen table to eat together, we take turns discussing the details of our day.  Everyone is asked what their favorite part of the day has been.  Answers vary from meal to meal for most of us.  One child will reply, “This is.”  Another will say, “When I finished school.”  I’ve been guilty of answering, “When y’all finished your chores without being threatened.”  But one answer is always the same.  My youngest son always answers, “All of it!

Even though it has become the expected response, I can’t help but smile each time Connor makes his declaration.  It doesn’t matter how many times he’s been scolded or how many times his older siblings stole his turn on a gaming system.  It doesn’t matter how many times he has fallen and scraped up his knees or been unhappy that we’re having beans and rice for supper again.  Though he may have complained more than once about said things, he has found true joy in life.  Through the good and the bad.  Through the misery he brings on himself and that others heap upon him.  He has found that true joy is only found in “all of it”.

You can’t pick apart only the best moments of life and choose that those are the ones that make you happy.  You will spend your whole life miserable.  Happy and special moments are few and far between and most of our life is spent in the mundane tasks that make up our daily lives.

I love this quote by Kay Warren:

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything will be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”                            

In all that happens in your life today, be encouraged and choose joy!

Image

Invisible Illness Meets Unseen Faith

 

Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ‘em?

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.  2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)

Many of you who know me personally know that I have Fibromyalgia, and as the weather fluctuates, so do the flare ups.  (For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Fibromyalgia, it is a disease that causes wide spread pain and extreme fatigue along withfibromyalgia_symptoms
many, many other symptoms.  It is not fatal, but it is also not curable.  Because the exact cause of this disease has yet to be determined, there are some treatments available, but no one thing that works for everyone.)  Usually I manage the symptoms as best I can, but this past week was particularly hard.  I ended up in bed for three full days.

 

During these times the devil does his best to discourage me.  He whispers lies to me such as: I’m useless to my family; or my family would be better off without me; or how could God use a loser like me when I can’t even get out of bed.  The devil is the father of lies, and he comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.  It makes sense that he’d hit me when I’m at my lowest and attempt to steal my joy, kill my hope, and destroy my faith.

The Holy Spirit is always quick to remind me of my identity in Christ – I am a child of God, an overcomer, greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world, I am an heir of the Most High King, and I am redeemed.  These truths drown out the lies of the enemy.

Invisible Illness Meets Unseen Faith
Psalm 23 is one of the most quoted chapters of the Bible.  A couple of years ago, God shed light into my heart regarding the second verse.  It says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.”  Sometimes in all of the hustle and bustle of this thing called life, He has to make us lie down in order to make us slow down.  On days when I am confined to my house, I can still praise God.  On days when I can’t get out of bed, I can pray and read the Word.  The first part of Psalm 23:3 says, “He restores my soul.”  Sometimes in order for our souls to be restored or refreshed, He has to bring us to a point where He has our full attention.  Sometimes for me that requires three days of bedrest.

Psalm 73:26 (ESV) reminds us, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Whatever you are facing today, be encouraged in your identity in Christ and walk in the faith that He is working all things together for your good!

Have a blessed week, y’all!

HOPE

HOPE

“Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself. Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come. Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God’s own commitment, that the best is yet to come.”  J.I. Packer