When Jesus Insists

Hello sweet sisters! It has been so very long since I last posted a blog post, I have heard the crickets! I truly have no excuse other than disobedience and a bit of laziness thrown in. I will blame the start on the holidays, broken wrist recovery, but the longevity of this break has been the disobedience. Blogging is a bit like exercise, once you stop for any length of time is is REALLY hard to get started again!

 

Today I have something different to share with you, I have wanted to start vlogging since I attended She Speaks and have been fearful. You know the fears of: I look fat on camera, my house is messy and not cutesy, I have ZERO idea how to create a video. But I set them aside and went for it! I almost let the I don’t know how to create a cool intro stop me, but it hit me that is only the enemy talking and I need to share what the Lord has put on my heart. So on the worst day of the week and the worst hour to post, I am posting my first vlog even if it just for a party of One.

 

 

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3 Lessons a Broken Wrist Taught Me

Hello Sweet Ladies, I’ve missed you all and I’m so glad to be back!! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Years! I did, but it certainly didn’t go as planned this year! The week after I signed off we celebrated my daughter’s 8th birthday a little early with a roller skating party …. dunh dunh dunh….. I fell and broke my left wrist (I’m left handed). I had surgery the following day on a Sunday to get all put back together with a plate and screws. When I do something, I do it!

 

So as you can imagine plans went a bit different than I wanted.  Today I want to share a few things I learned through this (keeping it short and sweet to accommodate my one handed typing!)

Me, Coffee & Jesus

It is what it is. 

I can be a bit of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to the holiday season. This year I had to learn I can’t do it all (especially by myself). My husband had to wrap all the Christmas gifts and guess what everyone loved their gifts even though there were no bows and in a few spots the paper was pieced together. Our celebration wasn’t lessened in ANY way by my standard of perfection not being achieved. 

 

Less Can Be More.

I always plan a HUGE baking day and this year was no different. What was different, was my plan may have been huge but what was executed was enjoyable. Instead of being upset about what couldn’t be done, my Grandma (Mem as I call her!) and my sister spent an afternoon doing what we could and enjoyed each others company. Mem and I worked together as a team on treats and I know for me it was still exhausting as a huge baking day but was way more fun!

 

Real Love is Not Big Gestures 

Now I could have told you this before I got hurt but this experience reminded and solidified it for me. My Hubby did more than you can imagine, brought me medicine, slept on the couch so he didn’t risk bumping my arm, helped me shower, grocery shopped, did laundry. Not to mention wrapped ALL the Christmas presents, bought a birthday gift, helped prepare Christmas breakfast and learned how to put Rachel and I’s hair in a ponytail! I’ll stop now, but there is more I could list. These actions speak love into my heart causing it to overflow. As women we often long for candlelight and soft music (oh sorry, just me that wants to live a romance movie) but those aren’t life. Love in real life is in the little, what needs done getting done is actually a really big gesture of love. 

 

These are my year end lessons that I was blessed with, how were you blessed as 2015 came to its close?

 

Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

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Merry Wanderings

This short little post and link up will be the last of 2015 for me. I thought I would continue to blog through the end of the year, but I just need to keep it real, once Thanksgiving hits I’m done (which is why I was missing last week, it sneaked up on me!). I am so focused on enjoying the season I can’t think of anything else.

 

My daughter’s Christmas ballet recital  kicked off the Christmas season for our family today. We have a school program, 2 work Christmas parties, caroling, baking day and my daughter’s 8th birthday yet to go!  I love all the family moments this season brings!

Dance recital Dance Recital

My prayer for all of you ladies, is that you find the joy of the season. It’s a busy time for a lot of us and it can also be a time of sadness or stress, but I challenge you to look for moments to seek Joy. Joy with a capital J comes from fulfillment from the Lord. From trusting in His provision and seeking to give Him glory in our choices.

 

I will return the second week of January because my holiday doesn’t end until after New Years and the kids have gone back to school. We celebrate New Years big here at the Lawson house! With it falling on a Friday we plan to continue the game playing, movie watching, big meal cooking clear through the weekend! Can you feel my excitement….I’m like a little kid!

 

I wish you a Merry Christmas and so many blessings to you this season. You all have made my 2015 an amazing year and I can’t wait to get to know you better in 2016. Loving and blessings!

 

 

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He Brings Direction To Our Calling

As I continue to make my way through my season of study, (which is not a waste – take that satan) I settled into the book of John. As I read over familiar passages my eyes hit the word immediately and my world was rocked!

 

I truly do love this season of study, I always viewed the study of God’s word hard, complex and definitely not for me. In August, coming home from She Speaks, I knew that was my new season. When you go to a conference with expectations of coming home with this great project, cause let me be honest, I’m a project girl! Give me a check list and a goal and I’m in my element. Needless to say when the assignment I received was learn My truth, study My word, a teensy weensy part of me was just a little disappointed. Now 3 months and 21 books of the New Testament later, I’m hooked. Hooked and proud of it. I was squealing happy when my friend got me my own Strong’s Concordance for my birthday. It’s ok you can call me a nerd over this, I am!

We must learn to embrace the season that God places us in. To walk in obedience through each season God chooses for us.

Back to this word – immediately. This word popped out to me in verse 21 of John 6. This is a passage that I’m sure you are at least a little familiar with, Jesus walks on water. The disciples got a bit impatient waiting on Jesus and since they were the water men they were, they decide to just get in a boat and row to Capernaum. In the dark. With a storm brewing. Now I’m not bashing any men but I can tell you I don’t think the ladies would have decided to row out after darkness fell. At least this girl wouldn’t have, I would have been content to sleep on the bank, snack on the leftover bread and fish, while a fire blazes.

 

But not the disciples, off they go. They rowed out 3 to 4 miles and a full blown storm is over them. I can just picture this boat filled with men trying to stay afloat. Sweat flying, muscles straining, mental shouts of “why in the world did we do this” happening on the boat. Then out of the mist, through the waves, comes Jesus walking on the water. After what I envision of men screaming like little girls, Jesus says don’t be afraid. I also imagine Jesus thinking ya ding-dongs, what are you doing out here.

 

Once they realize it was Jesus, “they were eager to let him on the boat, and they immediately arrived at their destination!” There it is, the word that made my jaw drop open. Let me back up just a bit first though. That word made me wonder how far they had gotten from the shore. I did a little research to see how long it would take to row 3 to 4 miles. While I couldn’t find an exact time we can make a few assumptions. A mile can take between 15 to 45 minutes. This time is influenced by boat, water conditions and strength of the rowers. While the rowers I’m certain were very strong and capable, the boat wouldn’t have been a modern boat that these numbers were based on, and the sea condition would have been quite rough due to the storm.

 

I am going to deduct that it would have taken them 3 to 3 and a half hours to row as far as they did. Once Jesus arrived on the scene, he got them to their location IMMEDIATELY!

 

This applies so much to us! We can work and work at something on our own to only end up in the midst of a storm afraid. We have the same option as the disciples. We can eagerly invite Jesus into our mess and let Him help us arrive where we need to. We may arrive where we need to immediately or we may have to take the long way there because we need the lessons we will learn on that path. Either way Jesus is the answer.

He brings the peace to our storms. He brings bravery to our fearfulness. He brings calm to mess. He brings direction to our calling.

He brings the peace to our storms.

He brings bravery to our fearfulness.

He brings calm to mess.

He brings direction to our calling.

 

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

This weeks featured blogger is Misty from beYOUtiful Mom her beautiful letter to her children will inspire you to write your own children a letter, because it sure did me!

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The Parable I’ve Always Hated

My least favorite parable for as long as I can remember has been the prodigal son. It has always made me angry at what I considered an injustice. It doesn’t seem fair to live as the “good” son. I find myself on that side of the fence because I’ve always felt I fell into the good son category. I came to accept Christ at age 14, after going to church for a few months with my Aunt Kay. I immediately felt a passion to know and share Jesus. I organized a youth rally with very limited adult help by age 16. I have never partied, been drunk, or done what we often consider living a sinful life.

 

After getting married we witnessed happenings within the church body that made us decide we weren’t going to attend. We lived life away from a church for five years, but still held Christ values and lifestyle. I don’t tell you this to make myself sound sinless by any means. I promise I am quick to judge, quick to anger at times, impatient and bossy. As I’ve always felt about the good son, he wasn’t perfect he just didn’t run off to live irresponsible and totally for himself.

 

This is why I’ve always found a parable of a son who was greedy, selfish, a partier and living only for fleshly desires alone pretty darn unfair.

 

It ticked me off honestly. Why does the guy who was a complete jerk (with a capital J) get a huge party, the nicest of robes, jewelry and the best steak of his life? While the other brother, who had stayed, serving and helping his father for years dedicating himself to the work his father has for him gets none of it. There was no party. No public recognition. No filet mignon for him to feast on. No praises of his steadfast work and servant hood. No songs were sung.

our economy isn't gods economy

In verse 31 of Luke 15, the father tells the good son when he got angry “that everything I [the father] have is yours [the good son]”. To me that has sounded like a pat on the hand saying, oh, now don’t be like that. I’ll tell you what I think you want to hear so you stop whining and feeling sorry for yourself. I will say I didn’t like the sons angry response but I could relate.

 

Yes, you can tell me think I’m a terrible bible teacher, but this has been how I’ve felt for years. I didn’t want to read about it or hear a sermon on it because it always ended in me rolling my eyes. I just couldn’t get it to fit my picture of what fairness looked like. I know it’s terrible but I’m keeping it real for you!

 

Until, oh yes there is an until, last Sunday. You all remember my temper tantrum – yikes. You gave me so much love last week after I confessed my ugly wretched heart out to you and I love each one of you so much for it! Last Sunday while singing the name of Jesus, tears streaming down my face, I heard a voice that sounded like my own, but my voice would not have said this. A voice that said “see this is why the lost son was welcomed back.” You were the lost son filled with doubts, anger and an unwillingness to turn to me. My justice works like grace.

God's justice looks like grace

I finally got it. We are all the lost son, no matter how long we serve him. How we dedicate ourselves to shining His love. We are all dirty. We all roll around in the filth of wanting our own way. When we get up out of the dirt and walk home hanging our heads, he runs to meet us. He covers us with His robe. We feast again at His table. The Lord loves the dirty and lost. It isn’t fairness, it is love. It isn’t justice, it is grace.

 

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This weeks featured blogger is Angela with her post Do You Feel Disqualified? I’m pretty sure we all are going to relate to this gem!

 

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A Party For One

This week I just have to be fully honest with you all. I had a post all written, (I was even pretty excited about it!) yet I just know that it has to wait and today I just need to give you a dose of truth from my heart. For the past two days I’ve had the bug of discouragement. An attitude of comparison and a great big pity party happening.

 

IT WAS UGLY. MY HEART WAS A WRETCHED UGLY PLACE.

 

Don’t feel sorry for me, I tell you that right now I don’t deserve it. I got mad at God. I was steaming mad. It began with the loss of a life and then turned into more yuck. I guess that is one of the stages of grief now that I think about, but there was really no excuse for it. Ugly I tell ya!

 

The anger turned quickly into this comparison of other peoples lives. Remember I struggle with people pleasing, well this week I was introduced to her cousin.

 

I’ve been feeling a bit proud of myself lately, thinking this need to people please was improving. That I was worrying less about others and focusing more on what the Lord had for me. Until comparison showed up at my door Friday morning as soon as I woke up from a nightmare. It began with a quiet whisper of, a friend doesn’t really like you. You really aren’t needed. Those other friendships she has are so much better.

 

Instead of recognizing the lie and telling satan to get out of my house, I allowed him to wreak havoc over my mind and heart for the next two days.

 

I allowed him to tell me that my season of study was unimportant.

 

I allowed him to tell me that God had nothing of purpose for me.

 

I allowed him to tell me I was a mediocre mom.

 

I allowed him to tell me I had only failures in my life, that I had accomplished nothing successful.

 

I allowed him to diminish my entire life.

 

Yes it truly was that bad you only need to ask my husband.

 

I tell you these things not for you to feel sorry for me but because I have to.  Trust me as I woke up from my Sunday nap, got dinner in the oven and felt the Lord saying there is a new post to write. I said, but I don’t want to! But I recalled a quote I had seen on the Propel Woman Facebook page earlier in the afternoon.

 

“Are you willing and able to use your pain as a microphone and bless someone else while going through your own storm?” Levi Lusko

 

"Are you willing and able to use your pain as a microphone and bless someone else while going through your own storm?" Levi Lusko

 

So I had to tell you of my pain, my redemption so that someone might be blessed.

 

In the midst of my gigantic pity party I invited my husband into the hot mess of it. I really just wanted a little pat on the back and a awww it’ll be ok. Ladies my hubby is a quiet guy and yesterday I heard more words of truth (painful truth) spoken over me all at once than maybe ever before in our 18 years of knowing each other.

 

I don’t even remember the words really, just that they busted through the lies satan had smeared all over me. I couldn’t fully absorb them and erase my anger and guilt until this morning.  When in church during a song that repeated the name of Jesus several times, with my hands raised and tears streaming down my face. I asked for His forgiveness. Forgiveness for impatience. Forgiveness for comparing and wanting another’s path. Forgiveness for my wretched sinful heart.

 

With the grace and forgiveness that only Jesus comes with, he embraced my heart. He wiped my tears and filled me with peace. Peace that I do have a purpose. Peace that it’s ok to be in a season of study and that it isn’t a trite place to be. Peace about Winter.

 

If you are in a place of believing even a little lie that satan is whispering in your ear I encourage you just to say the name of Jesus. The wretchedness that our heart can have at times won’t want to, but I encourage you to do it. His name alone can bring peace over the yuckiest of hearts. His life alone can bring forgiveness over our darkest of sin.

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1st John 1:9

 

Friends I long to be authentic, hopefully not too much, but this is me. I am failed. I am unsure. I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I have purpose. All of my days I will strive to be a truth teller for the sake of encouraging others and showing off how big our God is.

I am failedI am failed. I am unsure. I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I have purpose. All of my days I will strive to be a truth teller for the sake of encouraging others and showing off how big our God is.

I know I haven’t shared anything new here, but I imagine that someone else might be in the middle of a pity party. A party for one that no one else even knows is happening. Because we can be really good about polishing up those masks and getting them just right. Well sweet friend I see you. You are not alone.

You are loved.

You are not mediocre.

You are forgiven.

You are redeemed.

 

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featured on #wordswithwinter link up

This week I’m featuring Karen of Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge. Her post of obedience in the hard stuff is an encouragement for all of us!

 

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