When A Momma’s Heart Hurts

I had three similar conversations this past week while waiting at my appointments. Three different locations with three different women who didn’t know each other.

I asked a casual question not knowing it was like an anchor hanging around their necks. I asked them how their kids were. In that moment, a flood gate of words gushed from their mouth releasing what was on their heart. They want the very best for the children. I am sure you feel the same way about your kiddos whether they are still at home or are adult children living elsewhere.  We love our children and we are momma bears trying to protect and nurture each one.

A momma’s heart beats to the same drum.  There was sacrifices and total investments raising our kids to be the best they could be.

These three women shared how their children had made some unwise and life-changing decisions.  They watch as their children struggle along.  Their adult kids don’t want to listen to advice and have stopped speaking to them.  I listened to these moms say to me, “I didn’t bring them up that way”.

Again, they are standing on the sidelines but this time in the journey called life; clinging to their heart. Tears flow knowing their hands are tied.

Our world has many views about life that have turned people away from God. They are angry and even though some were raised in Christian homes and went to church, they have left it all behind.  They comment, “What does it matter anyway.  I like to believe what I want and do what I want.”  Truthfully, life is so much more. It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts but a relationship with God who wants them to enjoy life in the true sense.  He wants to fill their empty hearts.

Momma’s (and Grandmothers, you are not alone.  All around the world, mother’s are living with hurting hearts. I know this because I have had many other conversations just like the ones I had last week. The feelings of helplessness is very real, but be encouraged you don’t have to feel hopeless.

May I encourage you to:

  1. Not give up on them. Let them know you are there but you may need to give them space.
  2. Love them even if they aren’t talking to you. Have you thought of just sending a card saying ‘thinking of you.’ No questions, no advice, just signing, Mom   (or Grandma)
  3. Pray for them. God loves them too!

I found this website that gives a free printable sheet how you can pray for your kids.  It might be worth the time to read over this.  https://club31women.com/12-powerful-verses-pray-children/. Whatever you decide, I encourage you to make prayer a priority asking God to work in their hearts and ask God to surround you with His peace and comfort in this waiting room of life.

Claim this verse, My children, I am in terrible pain until Christ may be seen living in you. Galatians 4:19

I am glad I had those kind of women in my life who continued to pray and love me despite the choices I made and some painful roads I had to travel.

Do you have a hurting heart?  Do you feel helpless and hopeless? You are not alone. There is power in the prayers of a momma’s heart.  Don’t give up…

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX

  • Write out your children’s names (at whatever age) and pray for them daily
  • Despite them not acting like you ‘raised them”, love them and let them know that
  • Find someone who will pray with you
  • Ask God for wisdom in how you should deal with each of your children. Never give up praying for them and being an example of love.
  • If your child won’t talk to you right now and they want space, continue to pray, pray, and pray!
  • Claim Galatians 4:19

YOU CAN DO THIS!

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A Stone in my Shoe

Recently I was hiking in the mountains. Somehow a little stone got into my shoe. I knew it was there and quite aggravating, but I never stopped to take it out. The views were so breath taking, I got distracted. Can you believe it, the next day I felt that same stone which I had not taken the time to remove.

Isn’t that just like bitterness? It begins small.  It is irritating and it affects what we are doing. If not dealt with, it begins to gnaw at our life. Each step I took, I knew the stone was there.  When bitterness is harbored in our lives, it stays with us throughout the day. It controls our thought life, marriage, home life, our day to day relationships and our work suffers.

The Apostle Paul saw this in the life of fellow believers.  He understood that bitterness takes hold of our minds and controls our existence.  He wrote,

”For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (Acts 8:23)

This is not a new concept.  King Solomon knew from his God-given wisdom that bitterness zaps us of joy. Because of this, we can’t enjoy day to day life.

“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” (Proverbs 14:10)

Life is not an easy hike in the forest. We hit bumps and stumps with level and uneven places.  No argument from me.  However, we also have some wonderful breath-taking moments when we can see though despite all the unevenness of our life, there is time for reprieve and healing.  When we can sit back, empty the stone in our shoe, and begin again, our heart will heal, the bitterness will subside and we can move ahead.  Bitterness can easily creep back in so we have to continually be aware of that ‘stone in our shoe’.  Throw it out….ask God to help walk without this stone of bitterness.

”Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)

Is there a stone in your shoe?  What is hurting your soul right now? Ask God to release you from it.  Begin to enjoy life and all its breath-taking moments again and let the stone dribble out.  Start to see the quiet things in your life that are important…a touch of a pet, an encouraging word from a co-worker, or maybe a walk in a park to see the handiwork of God.  Flip your shoe over and release the bitterness out.  Slowly begin to see the joy in life.

OPEN YOUR TOOLBOX:

  • Write out 3 positive words or phrases to help you face today.
  • Figuratively, take your shoe off and dump out that stone that is controlling your life.  On goes the shoe and on goes your day.
  • Realize the victory you have when you can take control and release bitterness.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

I wrote this for ‘Power to Change’, https://powertochange.com/blogposts/2011/08/21/a-stone-in-my-shoe/.  Why not stop by and check out their resources and helps.

The Simplest and Greatest Things: FAITH

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get faith like gas at the Gas Station?  I’d be there every day.

Faith is hard. You can’t touch it, you can’t see it, you just have to believe it! The good news is that God said we just need the size of a mustard seed.

Jesus replied: It is because you don’t have enough faith! But I can promise you this. If you had faith no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there. And it would. Everything would be possible for you. Matthew 17:20-21 (CEV)

 I admire people that have such a deep faith and live it. They give me encouragement when my faith is the mustard seed size. I enjoy reading about people from history who lived and breathed it. I read books and articles of those in present-day who testify to wonderful things God is doing.

Truth is, it is accessible to everyone who has faith in Jesus Christ from the size of a mustard seed to a mountain-size trust.

When I try and do it on my own, it is a flop, but when I come to my Heavenly Father and say I need help to determine what to do and ask for help…He’s got me covered.

 God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him. James 1:2

Spending time with God regularly by reading and praying will help us build up our faith.  He is the gas who can fill our faith tank. He longs for us to trust Him and begin to have faith even the size of the mustard seed.

He is not the image of a genie in a bottle, or the on-demand television programs we have; though He can help instantly.  He will always be constant, faithful and true. When you let your heart beat with His, He will reveal and help you in your faith walk.

Hebrews 11 talked of those who walked the walk of faith.  Abraham, Issac, Moses, Rahab, David, Gideon and Samuel to name a few.  They were human just like us and life was filled with hard challenges and mistakes. However, what they had was faith that God would see them through.

When my burden is heavy and the road seems way too bumpy and unending, having faith in God, pushes me through. It was times when I got a much-needed call from a friend, and positive email, a gift of money to help at just the right moment, and my child was helped with an issue at school. God will for you too.

He will help in your faith walk even when:

  • You don’t believe God wants to help
  • You prayer list seems to be unanswered and hitting the ‘outskirts of heaven’
  • You have feelings of being spiritually dry
  • Life feels blah and uneventful
  • Life is so busy and crazy you don’t have time to even think
  • You used to have faith and are afraid to believe again

Let God be your Guide and help you with your mustard-see faith.  God does work behind the scenes of our life we have no idea about. I can guarantee you will be amazed and that seed will become bigger and bigger each step of the way!

Well, that sums up the saying on my plaque. It will hang on my wall but it will be my choice to live out each word to live a life of not only survival but success.  HOPE, LOVE, JOY, & FAITH. These define simple yet profound life qualities that will be great if we live each word out.  Will you join me?

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • Ask God to help you start out with mustard seed size faith.
  • What can you ask God for this week?
  • Read Hebrews 11 and then reference them to their faith stories in the Old Testament. A great study!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

 

 

The Simplest and Greatest Things in Life: JOY

I did a series on the Fruit of the Spirit a while back and thought I would share this one again since it is about JOY.

To be honest, sometimes life doesn’t dictate a lot of joy during the seven days of the week. Or…does it?

Remember the little song we sang as children?  If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands?  Many times, I felt more like the second verse asking us to stamp our feet!

In this Bowl of Life this fruit is called Joy. What is Joy? Galatians 5 says that God’s Spirit gives us Joy because He knew we needed this important fruit.

Kay Warren in her book, Choose Joy, Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, said Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things. pg. 32

http://www.amazon.com/Choose-Joy-Because-Happiness-Enough-ebook/dp/B00702M3F6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458246599&sr=1-1&keywords=choose+joy

How is Joy working for you? Can you honestly say you believe that God is in control of what is going on in your life and it’s going to be OK?

It is easy to struggle having Joy because life is full of topsy turvy events. As human beings, none of us can control much of what goes on in the world or family life. Single motherhood can leave you feeling drained of any type of joy.

You can’t buy it, jump for it, or trade it. It is a gift!  A gift from God. True Joy comes from within that only the Lord can provide.  Having the Lord’s Joy will give you strength in the days when you feel overwhelmed, sad or perplexed.  He can place a smile on the inside of your soul. Asking Him to give you this Fruit called Joy will be a blessing.

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10(NIV)

Then…. it is time to praise Him!  Even when you don’t feel like sending up words of praise, praise Him anyway.  It will be an encouragement. In a society of negativity and an all-about-me philosophy, God can give you His Joy. Life will be more positive.

Surrendering to God’s control and trusting that He is going to work things out will result in TRUE JOY. Keep asking God for this much needed Fruit.

Joy means

  • when the wash machine breaks with piles of laundry to get done
  • when the company you work for is downsizing and that means you
  • when your children are testing you
  • when you are served divorce papers
  • when life seemed to be just routine

It is like another little song that says, I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart….to stay.

Joy is more than a fuzzy feeling and a fake smile. It is knowing God in Heaven is in control, and that, my dear ones, gives us cause to have The Fruit of Joy in our Life Bowl. Put your hand in Life’s Bowl and grab this Special Fruit of the Spirit.

When your heart is full of true Joy, your face will show it.  Let the joy, joy, joy, joy down in your heart STAY!

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX: I see the letters Y J O spelling JOY!

  • Do you believe that God is in control of your life? Will you let Him in?
  • Praise Him! I prayed to the Lord, and I praised him. Psalm 66:17
  • Remember that True Joy comes from within and it is there ‘to stay’.
  • Trust God that He is working things out

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Next Time: Faith

THE SIMPLEST AND GREATEST THINGS IN LIFE: Love

The simplest things in life are the things most precious-LOVE

Love comes in so many dimensions.  Our heart has the capacity to love deeply.  My love for chocolate isn’t real love, but I do loveeeeee the taste and it sure gives me a short time of pleasure as it slides down my throat.  Yummy!

I want to share something that women need to be reminded of time and time again…..God cherishes and loves YOU!

We compare ourselves to ‘that woman’ who never seems to gain any weight and eats chocolate!  Seriously! The woman CEO of the company who walks with confidence while we are fighting with a paper jam in the photocopier! There is a woman at the department store who dresses so beautifully with perfect lipstick and we can never find the same outfit at the used clothing store. What about the mom who is doing everything for her children’s school and is always on some trip with her husband. Does that sound familiar? It is hard to compare and measure up to other people.

Good news!  You don’t have to! God’s perfect and accepting love is enough.  Yes, enough! God’s love isn’t conditional if you weigh a certain weight, or have designer clothes, or have a top position in a company.  He loves you for you!

There is nothing wrong with trying to be healthy…that is important.  If you are gifted to be a CEO…amazing! Designer clothes are nice and if you can wear lipstick so it doesn’t get on your teeth….you are a pro! Taking trips and helping at your child’s school is wonderful if you can swing the time.

HOWEVER, none of this defines you. God’s love does.

Think how much the Father loves us.  He loves us so much that he lets us be called his children, as we truly are.  1 John 3:1 (CEV)

He adores you so much that He sent Jesus to die on your behalf so you be with Him in heaven for all eternity.  No one can ever love you that much!

Whatever your circumstance is, God’s love is constant.  He doesn’t work on the brownie point system.  What He does ask is that we reach out for His love because it is complete!

I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured.  Then your lives will be filled with all that God is. Ephesians 3:19 (CEV)

When we love God for how He intended, we won’t have to be in a competing match with anyone.  We become what He wants us to be not based on clothing, financial amount, or job status.  God loved us so much, he placed us here in 2018 to accept His love.

I have tried to be like others….it won’t happen. That isn’t how I tick and I don’t have to.  I just need to accept the giftedness that God has created in me.  I can feel secure.  How about you?  Will you accept His love as complete?  With that, you will then come to grips with that is important and true in your home, your job, and your giftedness.

That’s a whole lot of love!

OPEN YOUR LOVE BOX

  • God’s love is perfect and complete meant for YOU!
  • When you start to compare, take stock of who God wants you to be and imbrace that.
  • Accept who God made you to be. If you don’t know, meet with a friend, counselor, or pastor and talk about it.
  • You are loved by God right down to your toes!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

NEXT TIME: JOY

The Simplest and Greatest Things in Life: HOPE

‘The simplest things in life are the things most precious-HOPE….’

Hope moves us forward. It’s like the fuel in our car, the butter on our bread, or the warmth of the sun on our face.

History tells of those who said the only thing that got them through trauma and tragedy was HOPE. We can have hope every day because Jesus Christ was our perfect sacrifice.  We not only have the promise of eternal life but the courage when life can feel hopeless. I know because there were times I felt there was no hope.  God reminded me time and time again,

The Lord is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope.  Psalm 34:18 (CEV)

We can HOPE even when:

  • Things are super tight until the next paycheque
  • When the ex-spouse is throwing curve balls and a court date is approaching regarding child custody
  • The work place is tough and you need a positive attitude toward some people who stand at the water cooler
  • Your child is ill and you need wisdom
  • Your child is adjusting to the separation/or divorce
  • You are extremely lonely and wonder if you will ever find love again
  • The car broke down AGAIN
  • People are talking behind your back…

And on and on it goes….

Hope isn’t about crossing our fingers, toes, or our eyes!  It’s an action word when we believe there is much to live for despite some tough circumstances. God gives TRUE HOPE.

Does our situation instantly change? It may not, but in those situations God imparts hope to keep us facing forward. If I didn’t have God’s hope in my life, I am not sure where I would be today. His hope helped me step forward from my divorce, raise my two children, find a job(s) to support the three of us, and provide when the bank account was looking pretty grim. I spent time with feelings of loneliness wanting someone to love me. There were times I was lying in bed sick-as-a-dog without a husband to hold my hand. God kept saying, I’m here, don’t give up!

God proved to me that He was what I needed and He still does today. He wants us to ask Him for hope.  What does your list look like of help and needing hope? Will you partner with God with all the issues you are facing right now in life?

The cool thing is that if we can grasp the wonderful HOPE He gives us, we can in turn encourage and help others.

He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.  2 Corinthians 1:4 (CEV)

Open your HOPE Chest:

  • Truth is, we all have plenty to live for because of His HOPE. Will you take this HOPE?
  • Understand that life is worth living with God as your HOPE
  • Memorize Psalm 34:18
  • True Fact: Each day there is a promise with God’s Hope.
  • Are you seeking God and wondering what life can offer. Check out:  https://www.allaboutgod.com/god-loves-you.htm

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Next time: LOVE

THE SIMPLEST & GREATEST THINGS IN LIFE

A couple of years ago I bought this little picture for my wall. I liked the images of the barn and sheep because we own a sheep farm.  The words encircling those two images were packed full of truth. I want to take the next few weeks to share these four important words that are tools for survival and success in life.

 

HOPE

LOVE

JOY

FAITH

The first part of the quote says, “The simplest things in life are the things most precious” and I agree.

It has been said that “you can’t buy happiness”.  Many find themselves on a shopping spree, planning another trip, buying a bigger home, a fancy car, or a cottage on the lake. It doesn’t take long to realize that while it is fun and exciting, the monthly payments will be coming! Shopping is fun, a vacation is needed, and our cars need to be replaced.  The problem is when we believe it will bring true happiness instead of the ‘simplest things that prove precious’ which bring inner peace.  That is what balances it all out.

Over the years, I am found these four foundational qualities to be tested and true.  It helped when life didn’t make sense, when people hurt me, when I was tired of being lonely, or when I felt God was silent. I would love you to join me as we talk about these precious words that God has gifted to us if we allow Him to lead and guide us.

We can’t buy hope, love, joy or faith.  God is the one that will fill our inner most being with these qualities.  With these we can face each day with His help, His promises, and His peace.

Just as God told the Israelites, He still has the same message today,

People of Isaiah, I am the holy Lord God, the one who rescues you. For your own good, I teach you, and I lead you along the right path.  Isaiah 48:17 (CEV)

Will you take up the challenge to put these four important words into your vocabulary but most of all into your heart?

OPEN YOUR TOOLBOX:

  • Will you partner with God to let Him teach you and lead you?
  • Memorize Isaiah 48:17
  • Remember you can’t buy happiness.
  • Think through the phrase, “the simplest things are life are the things most precious”.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Next time: HOPE