Category Archives: Exhortations

Spiritual Investment

IMG_0639Someone once told me I was wasting my achievements of Bachelors and Masters degree by being a stay at home mom. They also said I went from riches to rags.

Yes, it may have looked that way when I chose to leave my $113k/yr job to stay home to be a full time wife and mother.

IMG_8801I’ve worked as a military officer leading over 100 troops with multi-million dollar contracts, I was involved in national security projects working at the pentagon, provided leadership for security of Air Force One at Andrews AFB, and served as a successful consultant and leadership/executive coach in the D.C. Area for three of the 15 executive departments of the U.S. Cabinet…and yet…the most challenging and rewarding calling to me is being a wife and mama.

I went from combat boots, to high heels, to bare feet. I say ‘bare feet’ because the calling of motherhood is on holy ground–I finally understood the importance of a mother.

The truth is I went from rags TO riches. I went from my filthy rags of my own self-sufficiency and dependency to God’s glorious riches!!

The world can’t appreciate the spiritual investment of what God is doing in and through us as mamas. Sometimes we doubt it too.

But stand firm in the convictions God has given you...

Happy Mother’s Day!

**Disclaimer** This is not written to invoke condemnation on moms that work outside the home.   A mother’s work is never done, and is always full time.IMG_7984

I remember what it’s like to be a full time mama serving in the military, knowing at any time I could be deployed. It’s not easy. 

I remember what it’s like to be a full time mama that works full time outside the home. It’s not easy.

I remember what it’s like to be a full time mama that stays home full time. It’s not easy.

I know what it’s like to be a full time mama that home schools. It’s not easy.

I know what it’s like to be a full time homeschooling mama with a part time job. It’s not easy.

The calling of every mother is sacred and holy.

This is the story of God’s grace in my life.

I just needed a season of purification to learn to put my priorities in place and I was exclusively working in the home, but recently have had a part time job, and next month I will be working in a director’s position for a Company where I get to encourage other mothers. This is the path and good works God has for me. Follow the convictions God has given YOU and be at peace.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

To read more about my conversion and the testimony of the grace of God in my life click here

“I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:1-4


Worship in the Dark

What does your morning devotion look like this season? Is it like those “Perfect” Pinterest IMG_0723photos, a nice comfy chair with a cup of coffee, tea or water in hand? Do you have a quiet space to go?

In the past, my daily holy communion with God consisted of a prayer walk at dawn, followed by reading the Bible and journaling with a cup of coffee in hand reclined in my husband’s chair. That was my prime time with Jesus!

Of course it wasn’t always that way. When my children were preschoolers I could barely get up out of bed before they were tugging at me like baby birds aching to be fed. I remember those days now. I would pant and yearn for time alone with Jesus. My devotions were usually in a most ‘unholy’ place some would say–it was the bathroom! I stole whatever time I could until their little fingers and lips would sneak under the door calling my new first name: mama.

That season passed and I soon forgot what it was like to yearn and pant for that time. When people would say they struggled with having devotion time with God, inwardly I was self-righteous and unable to ‘relate’ to them because I didn’t have “that problem.” I see now I was struggling with spiritual pride. I’m thankful God loves me that He would lovingly reprove, sanctify and teach me His compassion. He reminded me everything I have, even faith…has been given.

The way God has offered this lesson in compassion began almost two years ago with our move to California. Immediately most of my familiar devotion time objects were eliminated or packed away. It began with my prayer walks…I was in a new neighborhood, which didn’t offer the same kind of solitude and light I once had—or that is what I thought, and I stopped walking. Instead I began praying in the flower garden, but after months I began to have a heart of ingratitude and stopped that too. I complained inwardly for many months that the only place I had in the morning was in a dimly lit cold room on the kitchen table. I missed my walks, recliner, and prayer closet where I could freely worship in quiet warmth.

I whined myself out of worship.

I made devotion about me.

I forgot so many truths:

I forgot to give thanks in all circumstances.

I forgot the Father seeks those who worship Him in spirit and truth.

I forgot we can have communion with God each moment.

I forgot where true worship resides…in Christ and not in circumstances.

With this realization, I repented and received the grace to return to the place of worship in Christ. I’m still in California and I’m still learning how to worship in the dark. This season of my life, I begin in prayer in the dark until the sunlight shines, and I read the Bible as the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God.

Dear reader,

Whether you are parents of young children, or older children taking care of elderly parents, I pray the lesson I am learning can help you remember: We can worship in the dark because of Jesus Christ. It is through the grace of God giving us His Spirit and Truth.

“…for through Him [Jesus Christ] we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” 

Ephesians 2:18

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24

“For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” 1 Corinthians 4:7

 


ForGIVE{n}

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We must forGIVE, for He GAVE…

Today I am pondering on the sufferings of Jesus Christ–the betrayal, the rejection, the beatings, the gossip, the slander, His crucifixion…His death…His LOVE!

I’m meditating on the salvation I have because He GAVE me new life through His death.

I can’t help but take a moment to reflect on those that I must forGIVE. I’ve been rejected, slandered, misunderstood, and betrayed. Jesus didn’t die for “just” my sins…but for the sins of the world. This includes those that hurt us.

BeLOVED, when we forGIVE we are “sharing in the sufferings of Christ.”

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 8:5-6


{in}perfection

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His shoulders slump and his head is down in defeat as he shares with me a repeated sin he committed. He looks frustrated, weary and condemned. I too am frustrated ready to pile on condemning words, until I felt a tinge of compassion fill my heart. I was reminded of the confessing cleansing conversation I had with a friend about my sins just minutes before.

By God’s grace, I knew it was most important to share with my son the spiritual heart of the matter, to tell him the truth about the Truth-Jesus Christ.

To be transparent and share my genuine compassion for his sin struggle because I struggle too. It was a holy opportunity to share the Gospel. To share the gift of forgiveness and mercy that comes through repentance towards God and faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. To share the freedom that comes by power of the resurrected Christ. To walk him to God’s throne of grace.
It was a chance to remind us we’re not perfect and we need a Savior. Any righteousness we have comes from Jesus Christ in us. We are to practice righteousness, press on to maturity, but only God will perfect us until the day of Christ Jesus.
I write this stone of memorial to remind myself, we must practice patience–with ourselves…and one another.

***

When I was a new Christian I was naive to think I would no longer make a mistake. I read  that I was a “new creation” and given a “new heart,”and though I “knew” I was not perfect, I made an expectation for myself that I should be perfect or I was a hypocrite.

This led me to great frustration and even condemnation because I couldn’t understand the continual struggle against sin I was dealing with, let alone the number of times I failed. What I see now is any holiness I have is CHRIST IN me. I have seen my flesh and it’s ugliness to the point I’ve doubted my own salvation! The redeeming part is that my flesh and sin remind me of my need for a Savior. This gives me compassion for those that struggle, beginning in my own family.

A fruitful life comes by a daily walk of abiding in the one who is perfection: Christ.

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Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the brethen.


Burdened Beyond…

God knows every bird
Have you ever experienced a tribulation, distress or affliction that was so overwhelming it was beyond what you could handle?

Thlipsis is the Greek word for Affliction, which is defined as “a pressing, pressing together, pressure, oppression, tribulation, distress.

What a great word picture because it feels like “a pressing” weight when I’m afflicted.

Some of the things I’ve been learning are:

  • Affliction can lead to burdens beyond our strength
  • Affliction can lead us to die to self–humble ourself and admit our inability to change the situation and place our trust in God
  • Affliction can remind us:
    • God is above all things
    • God raises the dead
    • God will deliver us from the afflictions of this world
    • We need to set our hope in God (not man)
    • Affliction keeps us close to God
    • Affliction reminds us to pray for one another for deliverance of these afflictions
    • God delivered us from so great a peril of death through Jesus Christ
    • Affliction reminds us there’s more than this life…there’s eternal life

Eternal life can begin now with KNOWING God and Jesus Christ who He has sent. Unite yourself to the One that can carry you–Jesus Christ.

In whatever affliction you may be enduring, may you be encouraged BeLoved.

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Matthew 11:28-29

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.”

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:10-11


The CROSSroad

 

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." Romans 8:1-2

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1-2

Conviction is a pathway leading to the CROSSroad of condemnation or freedom.

The narrow road to freedom comes through Jesus Christ as we confess and repent of our sins.

Daily we get to choose whether we will walk in condemnation or freedom. The choice is ours but so are the consequences.

May we walk and live in faith by the Spirit.

Stay focused: Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the Brethren

*Galatians 5:16-26 *Romans 7:14-8:1-17


EmPOWERed

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“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

As children of God we have been given POWER!

Power to overcome temptation and sin (1 Cor 10:13-14;Romans 8:9-14)
Power to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:16)
Power to forgive (John 20:23; Matthew 6:15)
Power to overcome fear (2 Timothy 1:7)
Power to LOVE (Romans 8:2-4; 1 John 4:19)

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, He gave us access to God the Father by one Spirit. This allows us to ask the Father ‘lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil…’ We have the privilege to go to God’s throne of grace daily to confess our sins and receive His faithful forgiveness and cleansing. This allows us to be vessels of mercy and grace to others.

When Jesus was resurrected, He demonstrated His power over sin and death.

Today Jesus is alive, seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for the saints. Jesus can sympathize with our weaknesses because He has “been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

As children of God we are not perfect but have been given God’s perfect POWER by His Holy Spirit. May we not harden our hearts nor deny the POWER we’ve been given by quenching or grieving the Holy Spirit!

Stay focused: Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the brethren.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58


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