Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Smooth Sailing No, Faithful God Yes

I like to think of me steering my life like a ship sailing along in calm waters with the wind filling the sails and nothing but blue skies.  It really is an idyllic and comforting thought, flowing along without a care in the world.  Ahh!! How safe and simple it truly would be....

Here's the part where life cues the storm clouds, sheets of rain, hurricane winds, and tossing waves....ta-da!!  Well, my dumb idea just got lost at sea along with my security, my personal comfort, and my naïveté.  Bummer, that didn't last long.

You see, this fake sense of control I like to live in, is just that, fake.  It brings me a comfort for a moment then reality crashes down on me.  I sink into the mire of an aching soul and deep fatigue.  All the plates I had carefully spinning, perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect everything, crash to the floor splitting into a million pieces.  I try to clean up my mess, but I have nothing left and collapse in frustration.

God pulls me up and reminds me of His promises.

"Meanwhile the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. "(Romans 8:26-28 MSG)

I remember then that God has His hand on me.  His Holy Spirit abides in me and It will do for me what I can't do myself.  I then remember all the times God has been faithful to see me through when I thought I couldn't take another thing going the wrong way.
After 3 car accidents, 3 stinky jobs, and 1 difficult post partim after my daughter's birth, I'm still here in one piece thanks to His love and grace.  Believe me, I could have done without the hard things!  Still, it is during such times that I grow strongest in Him. 

So hold tight to His promises and let go of the false control.  He will see you through each and every circumstance.  You are His precious and beloved child for always.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review "10 Things for Teen Girls" By Kate Conner

Let's face it, I was an awkward teen girl, you know painfully shy and unsure of herself.  Ugghh!  I cringe to think about it now, the awkwardness, the uncomfortable silences, the "no one sees me" feeling, the "my clothes are so ugly" problem, the spending Friday and Saturday nights at home with no friends, and the emotional distress of snobby girls who I let make me feel inferior.  What a horrible mess I was during this time of my life.  You see, my family didn't know Jesus, so no one knew to tell me that I was loved deeply by the Savior that He took my sin and shame upon Himself, so I could be made right forever in the eyes of God, my Father.  It wasn't until my my college years that I learned this life-changing Truth, but I struggled so long, and still struggle at times, with the lies I grew up knowing, the lies that said I could never do enough or be valued enough. This makes me wonder how many other teen girls are missing the Truth in their lives? How can we share the Truth with them in a way that they can fully understand, but is grounded whole-heartedly in God's Word?  Kate Conner's book 10 Things for Teen Girls is an excellent conversation starter and learning tool for our teen girls and their mothers and/or their mentors.

Kate understands how to deliver the Truth to teen girls in a way that makes them know they matter, from their opinions to their emotions.  She speaks to them with respect and love, but she does not let them off the hook either by holding them up to the standard of God's Word.  Kate is real with her audience of teen girls, sharing her own faults and struggles of daily living in God's Truth. On page 180 of 10 Things for Teen Girls, Kate writes, "I'm having to practice what I preach-desperately, religiously coming to Jesus and letting Him remind me, 'You are not perfect; I am perfecting you.  You are loved, internally and eternally.'"  Let's face it, we all struggle and we all have faults, but they do not have to define us.  We can come through the tough realities of our world and still be standing because of living in God's Truth.  To be specific to our teen girls, Kate touches on 10 of these specific realities that our teen girls face in the pages of her book, 10 Things for Teen Girls:

2.the beauty trap
5.the heart is deceitful, listen to God's Truth
6.Emotions are not a flaw when in line with God's Truth
7."Smoking is not cool," Kate writes on page 186.
8."Your reputation matters-greatly," Kate relates on page 186.
9."Don't play coy or stupid or helpless to get attention," Kate notes on page 186.

10."You are beautiful. You are enough," Kate says on page 186.  This is God's Truth, this is what sets our teen girls free from the lies of Satan, our enemy, who uses our society to blast these lies in their faces every single day of their lives.  They need to hear this Truth, and it needs to be woven into the threads of their souls, so it cannot be undone.

Through her discussion of these realities, Kate reminds our teen girls of their value in the eyes of God.  His Truth is the only one that matters, the one that allows us to know we are loved no matter what, the one that brings peace and belonging to our souls, and the one that we can abide in eternally. Kate has such a gift from God in how she reaches our teen girls with this undeniable Truth. I take this in knowing that I will share this with my daughter everyday, until she knows this in the depths of her soul. I am praying that this Truth will comfort her, guide her, strengthen her, and fill her with love always.  What a beautiful Truth is the love of our God. Thank you Kate for the reminder of this divine Truth.