Able to Endure ~ some honesty and FMF writing prompt link up

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So…yesterday our state announced they are pushing back the school start date to the week of Aug 24. We were to go back Aug 13.

I might have cried a little.

School was a light at the end of this Covid tunnel for me. A place where chaos can end and normalcy begin again. A time to “get it together” and for everyone to be on a schedule and routine.

One lie I believe, although there is some truth to it, is that I can’t get anything done with all 3 kids in the house (or anywhere near the house). A statement I read last week by a fellow mom blogger resonated so well with me, “Everything I do gets undone.” Yes. That is it in a nutshell.

I also get easily overwhelmed at all I am to be doing with my children– are they drinking enough water every day? (no) Are they eating a good balanced diet? (not always) Did they take their vitamins today? (maybe) Oops did I even feed them breakfast? (mostly) Did they clean their rooms? (nope) Brush their teeth? (there’s always tomorrow) Get off devices? (nope)

Also, maybe if they aren’t here all the time I won’t feel like I’m failing in so many ways.

AHHH.

It’s just all so much sometimes.  Somedays I feel the pressure more than others and want to find a dark corner in the house and hide. (anyone else!??)

I’ve learned of myself, I’m not as consistently self-disciplined or motivated as I want to be and crave the routine and structure the school year brings. But I’ve also learned that I am looking to something else- school- to help me “get it together” and feel normal and in some sort of control.

All these things I’m craving- calm, joy, peace, control, consistency, normal, etc…can be found only in the Lord and Him working in my heart. Nothing else.

He can and will help me create calm, normal and routine in my own home. He will help me endure when all I want to do is not. He will help me set boundaries that are different with each child and say NO instead of this famous “whatever” I’ve had going on for a few months. He will help me care when I don’t feel like I do. He will help me lower my expectations of myself, this time, this world, my kids and my husband.

He is the One. The Answer, the Help, the Hope I need to endure and persevere no matter when we go back to school.

Father God, forgive me of my many weaknesses but thank You for big spaces for You to move and work in my life and my home. May I look to You and nothing else for calm, consistency, routine…may your Holy Spirit equip me to do as You’ve called Your children to do– endure no matter what. May my yes be yes and my no be no. All things through Your Son, Jesus. In His name I pray, AMEN!

What Would Jesus Do During the COVID 19 Coronavirus Pandemic?

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I walked to my mailbox, surgical gloves on my hands, grabbed the mail and was careful not to let any of it touch my clothing. I brought it inside, laid it on a counter and began sifting through it- imagining every piece contaminated, the small unseen COVID-19 lurking everywhere just waiting for it’s next host.

And then I snapped out of it and thought- what am I doing? Is this really happening? I’m crazy, this is crazy! Oh goodness did I just touch my face!?

Is anybody else here with me on this?

In that moment, I thought, “What would Jesus be doing right now? What would He do during a pandemic like this?”

Would He put on gloves to open His mail? Would he wonder if he washed His hands for 20 full seconds? Would He wipe down every. single. thing that comes into His house? Would He wash His phone with alcohol multiple times of day? Strip all clothing off when He comes in from going anywhere? Would He have shaved His beard and worn a mask? Wait. Would Jesus even be able to contract the virus?

You can see, I’m a gal of many questions and curiosities (I get on my own nerves sometimes, I promise!). And we don’t have time to answer all of them today, mainly because a lot of them are answered with, I don’t know.

BUT! I did realize a couple of things Jesus would be doing during a pandemic and want to encourage us all to do the same during this time. No, we aren’t Jesus; but we have the Holy Spirit’s mighty power inside of us to do more than we can think or imagine with willing, humbled, surrendered souls. Oh, that we would be those souls!

  1. HE WOULD SEEK HIS FATHER AND PRAY:   We see, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ humanity in the emotions displayed before He faced His death that saved believers. I’m grateful that Jesus was 100% God yet 100% man and could relate to our emotions but without sinning. The picture of Him here, greatly troubled, in distress, in extreme anguish and His words to His Father in these verses (Matthew 26:36-56) show me how near He was to us as a human walking the earth. He related to us. He felt. In His darkest moments He sought His Father. And we can too.
    1. Read His Word Daily. There are so many Bible reading plans out there to get you started! Or just start with the book of John- it’s sure to ignite a fire for more of Jesus.
    2. Memorize His Word. Psalms 23 is a great place to start! Search the Psalms and find a few verses that speak to you, print them off and meditate on them, memorizing them with your head and heart.
    3. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. Set aside time each day or once a week to do some major praying and even fasting. Pray while you walk or run. Get on knees and pray… Write down requests, go through your phone list or family members and pray for them. Ask the Lord how you can be His Hands and feet during this time, perhaps with a family member, neighbor or friend? 
  2. HE WOULD HELP OTHERS, HEAL OTHERS, PRAY WITH OTHERS AND TEACH OTHERS
    1. Healthcare Workers: You are in scary but unique positions to be the hands and feet of Jesus. On the front lines, holding peoples hands, caring for them, helping them get better, praying with them, being with them when they are healed either here or in death. YOU ARE BEING JESUS. Keep it up, we are praying for you! Draw your strength from His never ending well of hope, love and grace.
    2. Pray with others–call a friend and pray! Have you ever done it? It’s beautiful, meaningful and God is in the midst even if you can’t be.
    3. Teach children: We have such a unique opportunity with our children right now. I’m reminded of Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them with you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  To teach them His Word, We must know His Word and be in it for ourselves. Study it together! One verse a day, one chapter a day, family devotionals or based on their ages, Bible studies for them. We have loved the resources at http://www.notconsumed.com
  3. HE WOULD BE FULL OF ALL THE HOLY SPIRIT OFFERS
    1. Peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. We cannot have these fruits walking in our flesh, we must die to self, surrender to His grace and giving of these things to our souls. His Word tells us these attributes of Him are available through His Spirit. And He will supply our every need (Philippians 4:19). I don’t know about you, but I am in desperate need of the Holy Spirit these days. I’ve seen all too much of my many bends to everywhere but Him. This is all hard and we need something bigger than ourselves to walk steadfastly to come out of this time better than when we started it.

One final truth about our Lord is He is not a God of chaos or fear (1 Corinthians 14:33, 1 Timothy 1:7). So anytime we are experiencing either, know they are not of Him but can be corrected and calmed by Him. I’ve felt much chaos and fear during this whole pandemic and that is so natural and common to man. The Lord sympathizes with us in our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15) with compassion and holds out His hand to help us. He is calm not chaos; faith not fear. Thank You, Jesus.

So. Not sure if I really answered any of my specific questions, maybe with more research I could come to a better conclusion on Jesus and social distancing, but for now, we can practice these things I listed and grow in Him during this time. We can be, as Jesus was, about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49b) and be renewed, our families can be renewed and flourish in Christ no matter what is going on around us. There’s nothing He wants more for His children.

Love you all,
Sarah

Love Runs Red 2020

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For years, the kids* and I have worn red on Good Friday…here’s why. Hope you will join us! #loverunsred2020

Tomorrow is Good Friday.  The day many, many years ago Jesus Christ sacrificed His perfect, blameless life for our salvation and redemption.  One man, one act, one horrific death for any and all.  It’s hard to comprehend!  I can’t think about that day without recognizing the significance of Christ’s bloodshed on the cross.

We all know what blood is, it’s the red fluid continuously circulating throughout our bodies composed of vital nutrients and transporting them to and from our organs.  It gives us life and without we cannot live…interesting, huh?

“For the life of a creature is in the blood…” Leviticus 17:11

In the Old Testament, God required animal sacrifices for the temporary forgiveness of sins. Can you imagine? I think it’s all I would be doing, sacrificing animals to live in a brief moment of freedom, a temporary time of forgiveness…wow. Just wow. I’m so grateful we live on this side of the cross, this side of the last blood shed for our permanent forgiveness…and then I think of what it cost and I’m overwhelmed and cannot believe I am loved so much– we all are!

“…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22

With blood we have life, without it there is death.  Through Christ’s blood, poured out on the cross, we can truly have life and freedom.  His bloodshed wasn’t a temporary act like an animal sacrifice, but was and is a permanent reminder of our forgiveness of sins.  Of grace being enough; of Christ being enough.

“…and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through His blood shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:20

From the beating with the whips, to the crown of thorns, from the holes nailed in his hands and feet suspending Him on the cross, to the final pierce in His side, the weight of the sins, sadness and sufferings of the world were laid upon Him, one man, our Savior, Jesus. With each drop of blood that fell at the foot of the cross, each drop that rolled off of His brow, we are forgiven. We are given grace. Grace undeserved but given anyway. We will continue to struggle with sin and sufferings until we meet our Savior face to face but no more is there a need for blood to be shed, just blood to be remembered and received. Oh THANK YOU JESUS!

Love runs red.  On that dark day years ago and until He returns, His love runs red for each one of us.  Tomorrow we honor Him and remember His sacrifice by wearing red, won’t you join us!?

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7, 8a (NIV)

 *Not all children will grasp the cross and what wearing red tomorrow truly means, but it’s never too early to start teaching them about the importance of Good Friday, Jesus’ sacrifice for us, sin and Heaven.  Pray for God to give you wisdom in speaking to your children on a level they can better understand.  There are several tools out there that can help, too.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Dress Up, Tea Parties and Colossians 3:12

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We had a tea party yesterday and all dressed up. The boys were super hero’s and my daughter and I put on old bridesmaids and pageant dresses. I couldn’t breathe and they wouldn’t zip on me. Ha!

I didn’t intend for it to be a Bible lesson but it was— we talked about Colossians 3:12 and what is most important to clothe ourselves with. Greater than any costume or dress, it’s most important to put on compassion for others, kindness for one another, humility in our hearts, gentleness in our words and actions, and patience in all we do.

I needed this as much as they did. Hope everyone is doing well ♥️