There’s Always More

There is always a never ending list of stuff to do, things to buy, places to go and busyness to partake in.  Grocery store lists, errands to run, phone calls to return, kids’ activities to race to, it’s the stuff that makes life, life.  It’s also the stuff that makes life suffocating.

I find that the busier I am, the less quiet time I spend with God.  The day is busy from the moment the alarm goes off, and there “isn’t time” to start the day with prayer and relationship with God.  The busier I am, the more I rely on myself to get stuff done and the less I rely on God.  “I can get it all done,” “I can make it happen,” “I can get it accomplished”—there’s no room for God in any of those thoughts of the heart.  The more time that goes on like that, the wider the chasm in my relationship with Christ.

Our God is a good, good Father and He is waiting for us to return to His arms.  I imagine him sitting on the front porch, light on, waiting expectantly for our return home.  He wants nothing more than to spend time with us each day, just sitting and talking one-on-one.

If you are far from Christ today, or maybe just haven’t had a focused quiet time in a while, now is the time to stop and spend time with your Lord.  He is waiting for you.  He can’t wait to hear your heart and share his love in return.

Zephaniah 3:17 – The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Psalm 73:28 – But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Mark 1:35 – Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Psalm 62:1 – Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

Revelation 3:20 – Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Isaiah 2:17 – The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Psalm 73:25-26- Whom have I in heaver, but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but my God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

Cuddle Time

A father is a girl’s best friend. He is the one she runs to in times of trouble. When she is stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire, he is the one she calls for help. Dads make the best playmates too. They always have way cooler ideas than mom.  Every little girl dreams of marrying her daddy. (Livi is convinced she is going to marry Reed when she grows up.) Fathers are our protectors. We know they will always be by our side.  No matter what age you are, you are never too old to crawl up in your daddy’s lap to cry, laugh and just cuddle.

Not everyone has Mr. Wonderful for a father, though.  This world is broken, and so many fathers are broken too.  It’s hard to fathom a God who is always there for us, worthy of love and trust and praise when the only example of a father we’ve ever known has let us down time and time again.  Addy’s heart gets broken into a thousand pieces every day.  As a mom, you grieve for your child’s pain and you grieve for their loss of fullness of life.  It’s hard to imagine a father who is present, engaged and tenderly loving when you’ve never had one before. 

Stop and think for a moment about what the perfect daddy would look like.  Not necessarily the father that you had, or even the one that you wished for, but the perfect daddy filled with love, compassion, understanding, joy, grace and mercy.  Think about his smile and the love that would shine from it.  Think about the sound of his voice saying “come here my sweet, sweet child.”  Imagine his arms, wrapped around you as you lay your head on his shoulder.  Take a deep breath and feel the security and warmth that comes from his arms.  Hug him tightly and snuggle deep into his lap.  Tell him your heart, tell him your fears, tell him your insecurities.  Pour out everything while you look up into his eyes feeling the love that is being poured into you.

That is our relationship with God.  He is our good, good father.  Run to him in your times of trouble.  Run to him in your times of joy.  Run to him in your times of sorrow.  God wants nothing more than for you to crawl up in his lap and cuddle with him every day.  If you ever have trouble praying, just close your eyes and imagine cuddling with God.  Then let your heart lead as you look into your father’s eyes.

Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 119:76 – May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

Psalm 9:9 – The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Isaiah 64:8 – But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.

2 Corinthians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.

Psalm 116:1-2 – I love the Lord, for he heard my voice, he heard my call for mercy.  Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

 

Blank Pages

Think about the story of your life for a minute.  What has brought you where you are today?  What experiences have molded you into you who are?  What are the moments that bring you the most joy and those that bring you the most pain?

Now think about your life as a book, a novel.  When you read the story of your life do you have any blank pages?  Does the story stop here?

So often we think back on where we’ve been, what we’ve been through, what God HAS done in our life, more than what WILL come, what God WILL do in our life.

Our blank pages are our future journey of life.  The future experiences that will continue to mold us into who we are to become.  The future moments of joy and pain that will teach us more about who we are in Christ.  The blank pages are where God gets to write the story of our life, the story of the blessings he has in store for us, for all time.

Don’t fear  your blank pages, embrace them.  Pray to our creator that he will continue to guide you, bless you, teach you to be more like him and that he would write the story of your life sooooo filled with Christ that Christ living through you is the story written on your blank pages.

Turn over control.  Hand over the pen.  When you give it to God he can fill up those blank pages with more blessings and more discipleship and more ministry opportunities than you could ever dream possible.  Just give God the pen and let him fill up those pages with His perfect will for your life.

God, tonight I pray that you would help me to turn over the control to you lord.  Please help me to realize that your plan is tremendously better than anything I could dream of.  Please write the story in my blank pages and use me, use me God, to reach hurting, lost, searching people who need to find their way back to you God.  Lord I submit to your will and I know that you are a good good father.  I expect joy in my service to you my God.  I love you and give you all dominion and control over my blank pages.  They are yours to write and mine to serve.

Psalm 139:16 – Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Matthew 28:18-20 – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them I in the name of the father and of the son and of the hold spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to t he vey end of the age.”

But It’s Kid Safe

“But it’s kid safe mom” said my 9 year old emphatically.  She has been begging to have her own YouTube channel for the last year.  Why a 9 year old wants to be on the internet making funny videos is mind blowing to me.  What happened to going outside and playing flubberball (kickball but the ball is deflated and you’re making due with what you’ve got) until dark and your mom hollers for you to come  home?

As adults we set loving boundaries up for our kids.  Anything from teaching them not to run in the street, to teaching them responsibility through doing chores, to restricting their internet access.  Our goal is to provide them a loving and safe environment in which they can learn how to make choices and suffer the consequences (good or bad).

Our heavenly father is the same.  He sets up loving boundaries in which we can operate.  We are safe in His arms and in His provision.  We can mess up, make bad choices, suffer our consequences and he still loves us the same.  He lovingly says “no” even when we want something super badly if he knows it is ultimately not the best thing for us.

Rest today knowing that God our father loves you.  He loves you so much he will say no.  He loves you so much he has something better for you.  We don’t have to have all the answers, we just have to follow in faith and trust that he is our good good father.