Sorry I didn’t get this posted last night. I put everyone’s names in a website “randomizer” and it gave me a winner for a copy of Desperate. But you’ll have to wait until the end of this. 😉 I would really encourage the rest of you to order your copies soon and maybe order a second one to give to a mommy friend. There is no way that too much hope can be spread in our mothering journey. Never let Satan convince you that you are alone. Your Heavenly Father is there to walk every step with you, there are other mommies who may be doing things differently but can still have great heart and understanding for where your journey has taken you, AND I am finding more and more that there are always other mommies, closer than you might think, who will have situations extremely similar to your own. As Sally says in this book, in almost every situation where she found community, and hope, and togetherness, it was because she started something. She reached out. She drew others to herself. But, in order to do that, there has to be something inside of us worth giving. And never equate ease of situation, ducks in a row, or having it together with something worth giving. Those who give the most often give it out of their deepest heartaches or their greatest need. It is a crazy thing, the way life works. When we feel the most need, if we will reach down to our core, cry out to God, and focus on giving rather than getting, the most amazing things begin to happen.
John V and I were reading about David Livingstone in school this week as we studied the continent of Africa and different cultures and missionary efforts that have gone into reaching God’s beloved people there. One story was about Livingstone surviving a lion attack that came very close to killing him and greatly damaging his ministry effort, yet it led to him meeting the wife who shared his difficult calling. The story talked about thankfulness even when situations are difficult. I told John V that God is always at work. Always doing miracles. Always working for us. The question is never if He is at work, but are we truly looking with eyes that are open. He is not working for our comfort and our ease. Not for our glory or success. For so much more. For the part of us that will still be there when all this is gone. The part of us that, completely unbelievably, comes out of Him. The part of us that is His breath of life breathed into us creating us to bring Him glory. That can be done anywhere. Everywhere. In any situation. That Romans 8 verse we quote so often comes in the middle of a passage about suffering, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” An amazing promise. Unfortunately we use it in a way sometimes that makes it seem as if He’s promising to work for our good, in the way we want. A few verses before, though, is this one that gives me chills all over, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.”
Take a moment to let that sink in. Think about the greatest suffering you have ever experienced. The way it shakes us to our core. Threatens to crack our foundations. Drives us to shaking fists, or bent knees, or both.
But those sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
The overwhelming magnitude of those sufferings, the way they alter our lives forever, they don’t even belong in a sentence with the glory He will reveal…in me? The most difficult things we ever do reap the greatest rewards. Are you desperate today? Fall on your knees and worship the One who turns Desperation into Glory. Not through a Pinterest-worthy house, or a beautiful, nutritious meal, or a Bible study led to perfection…just through His beautiful, ravishing grace. Mamas, He IS enough for you. Today, tomorrow, next week, next year. And even more importantly to us, He IS enough for them. For those little hearts who have no idea how much their mamas want to do it right. Who don’t know how many nights we cry over the quickly said harsh words, or wasted moments, or over how we just can’t be the mom they need. But we can. And we will. The precious blood of Jesus was not shed so we could give up and coast through in survival mode. Stay with your Romans 8, friends, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I don’t know about you, but I need some kind of shield, sword, and a flag to wave right now. Let me at it.
There are different kinds of death that we face. One kind is physical death that comes all at once and this life is over. And we act like that is for martyrs in other countries and, “Praise God, that’s not us.” But I would contend that the question is not if we are called to death. I believe He calls us all to death. A death to ourselves. I’m pretty sure what was good enough for my Jesus is good enough for me, and if that’s where He wants me to follow Him, this girl’s going. And that may look like a missionary in a leper colony, or David Livingstone pushing through uncharted Africa, or it may look like me scrubbing my toilets and choosing not to yell at my kids this morning. It may look like me swallowing my needs and meeting the needs of my husband. It may look like not pushing through school work but listening to every, little idea and bunny trail that comes out of my son’s mouth so that he gets really heard while he’s learning and processing and we catch up on something insignificant in the grand scheme of things tomorrow. It may look like nothing about me seeming very impressive on the outside, but nothing’s gonna separate me from that love. And I’m going to give that love to these babies if I give everything I have in the process, and if no one else in the world understands it.
You are not alone, Mama. You. Are. Not. Alone. Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for your family.
Chills and more chills.
We are not called to “make it,” we are called to be more than conquerors. The last thing in the world that the enemy wants is for mamas to wake up. If He can keep us discouraged, focused elsewhere, distracted, deflated, then he’s in good shape. Otherwise, I promise you there is some serious sweating happening down there. Why do you think being a mom is so, stinkin’ hard? Why do think it drains life force and makes our knees bloody? Because it is a battlefield. And I don’t want to be caught sleeping on my watch. Let’s fight for these babies. And for our hope. And we can do it together. Grab your Bible, grab that book, grab a friend, do the reaching out and watch God surround you with the hope that comes from doing this together.
Oh, and Kristen D., watch for your package. 😉