WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
3 minute read
“We’re all in this together”.
Recently a friend described attending our church this way. I had never thought about it quite like that, but realized immediately how true those words were.
We’re all sinners.
Nothing we do,
no church we attend,
no services we perform,
no money we give~
None of these things makes us any better than the person sitting next to us.
None of these things guarantees us a home in heaven.
(Isaiah 64:6, John 14:6, Romans 3:10,
I Peter 1:18-19)
And we’re all in this together.
I’m so thankful that the Bible didn’t stop at the verse~ ALL have sinned and come short of God’s glory. (Romans 3:23)
God made sure we knew how very, very much He loves the WHOLE world,
ALL of us, (John 3:16, I John 4:10)
and even though we are all sinners and we all deserve punishment (Romans 6:23)
~God didn’t leave us hanging.
He didn’t leave us wondering what would happen to us when we die.
Instead, He gave us ALL the Gift of His only Son who took our punishment and hung on a cross.
(Romans 5:8, Ephesians 1:7,I John 2:2)
We don’t have to wonder anymore. We can know, because He tells us so. (I John 5:13)
He tells us there is nothing we can physically do to be with Him in heaven when we die. (Ephesians 2:8&9)
All we need is a heart of repentance and faith to believe in His gift of eternal life through Jesus.
It’s all Jesus.
None of us are better than the other.
Not my husband (the pastor), not me, not the Sunday School teachers or King’s Kids workers, not the Children’s Church workers or any leader in any church anywhere.
Because we’re all in this together.
We’re all a bunch of sinners who desperately need Jesus.
You don’t have to have some miraculous, pivotal moment in this journey. There are no “rules”. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to attend church or be baptized. You can be sitting alone at home or on a quiet beach. You can be in the middle of a busy restaurant or a crazy commute.
Gods gift is there for the taking no matter where you are or what you are doing at this very moment.
If you haven’t had that time in your heart of hearts that you have put your faith and trust in His gift of Jesus, you can right now!
Just talk to God.
He’s right there waiting.
You can tell Him you love Him.
You can say you’re sorry.
You can thank Him for sending Jesus.
You can just believe.
And you can know that I’m right there with you~ a sinner who needed Jesus and asked Him to be her Savior when I was 13.
It doesn’t make me perfect.
I still mess up every day, but thank God He loves me so much, He continually forgives and He whispers to my heart~
It’s okay Charisse~
We’re all in this together.
SAFE AND COZY
2 minute read
The sky turned black and the clouds rumbled. Torrential rain came down in thick, heavy sheets.
We opened the front door. Both of them tucked their little hands into mine.
And we watched.
Summer heat and mists of rain hit our faces, but they remained unmoved.
A few moments later I turned away to shut the door. Even though my eyes could not adjust to the darkness, a sense a peace and comfort washed over me.
Little Ellie looked up at me and said~
“Grandma I love your house when it’s raining like this. It makes me feel so safe and cozy.”
I almost cried.
She said exactly what my heart was feeling.
Safe and cozy.
That’s the feeling I want my granddaughters to have for the rest of their lives.
I wish I could protect them from all the hurts and disappointments that life will throw at them. From the ugly words and angry people that will step across their paths.
But I can’t.
I could choose to be sad and worry over the outlook of their future, knowing the evils this world holds, or I can choose to give those babies to God. I can choose to teach them that yes, no matter what, they can always feel safe and cozy.
I can, because I have experienced all these things myself.
I remember the dark nights that I lay in bed feeling completely alone. I remember the tears that fell like torrential rain from hurts that were thrown my way. I remember my soul yearning for comfort that no human could give and I remember begging my Heavenly Father to wrap His arms around me.
As silly as it sounds, this 54 year old will always be her Heavenly Father’s little girl.
I will always want to tuck my hand into His or crawl up into His lap and just be held.
Where every other person in this world may fail me, He will not.
When my mind can’t wrap around the hurt my heart feels, I close my eyes. I picture my Father’s home. It is safe there. I will never grow too old to ask Him to hold me.
He will always keep me~
safe and cozy.
And that is what I want my grandchildren to grasp. That is the knowledge I want them to hold close.
And I will know that one day, when the rain and heat of this world hits them,
they will remain unmoved
Because their hand will always be tucked into His. 💗
“For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm...”
“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
Psalm 16:1, 46:1, 91:2 & 14, 118:6 & 8, Proverbs 18:10, John 10:28 & 29
“GIVING IN” MOMENTS OF MAMAS WITH TEENS
3 minute read
When our kids were little we adopted a rescue dog. The kids named her Mandy and she became a part of our family.
On one particular night around 2am, Mandy began pacing, running up and down our steps. She was relentless and whiny.
Mike (my husband) was tired.
He was annoyed.
He gave in.
He got out of bed and let her out.
As soon as the door opened, she took off.
I don’t know how long she was gone. When she finally returned, before we could stop her she ran right back upstairs and into bed with the girls.
It was too late.
The stench filled our entire house.
Mandy had been playing tag with a skunk.
The skunk won.
The next morning despite the smell, we sent the kids to school.
(I know...what were we thinking? 😂)
It didn’t take long for the stench to permeate the entire school. It emanated from their closed lockers, book bags, clothing and hair.
Let’s just say that “perfect attendance” was not high on the school’s priority list that day.
My kids were all sent home.
They were not happy.
This might seem like a silly tale,
can I just encourage you~
don’t give in.
It starts at a young age. Our children want to do the same things the other kids are allowed to do. They want to watch the same shows and listen to the same music and wear the same clothes and go to the same places. They want to get out of our house.
They will whine and cry and beg. And it will not stop for at least... 18 to 22 years 😂
And you will get tired. Tired of fighting. Tired of being “that parent”. Tired of being the bad guy. Tired of the relentless begging and whining.
You will be tempted to just give in.
if your intuition is screaming “NO” and you give in, if you try to convince yourself that maybe it isn’t as bad as you think~
that one moment of weakness could lead to future heartache and unhappiness. No matter how hard you try to pretend it didn’t happen, you won’t be able to go back on the decision you made to just give in.
Giving in is just like allowing them to play tag with a skunk. The skunk will always win.
The stench that might ensue will permeate every aspect of your child’s life and the consequences could emanate for years.
One single moment of “giving in” could change everything.
Mama, you know what’s best for your child. You know in your heart of hearts the things that you shouldn’t give in to. God gave you a mother’s intuition.
Believe me, I know how hard it is to say no over and over and how much it hurts when the response is continual anger. You feel as if your child hates you~ and truthfully, they might believe they do hate you. But God knows all of that. God hears your prayers and knows your hurt. He will watch over your child and one day, when they’re an adult and have children of their own, their eyes will be opened to the truth and they will realize the tremendous love you had for them in the “not giving in” season of their life.
And when that day comes, your children will thank you.
My children are all grown now. There are times I look back on and wish I hadn’t given in. I hadn’t worried about being the cool parent or having my children “like” me.
I wish I would’ve had the faith to trust God that they might not have liked me in the moment but they would love me for that “no moment” in the future.
There are also instances we look back on and my adult children thank me and tell me they don’t know where they’d be today if I had given up and given in.
Even though I remember the hurt from the hateful looks and angry responses (especially between the ages of 13-18 😬) my heart is full today and I thank God for the intuition He gave this mama because without Him...
That skunk would’ve won.
“I’M PRAYING FOR YOU”
The words seemed empty.
Empty because they had been used so many times.
The heartache my friend carried was too hard to comprehend.
Blow after blow had hit her.
How much can a human being handle before they break?
I continued to say~
“I’m praying for you.”
The loss of a child~
“I’m praying for you”
The loss of a spouse~
“I’m praying for you”
A cancer diagnosis~
“I’m praying for you”
Surgery, divorce, job loss, a wayward child, a distant husband, a terminal illness~
“I’m praying for you...”
But, are you?
Are we really praying, or is that just our pet answer to a hopeless situation?
Once we have walked in those same shoes and lived the horrors this life can throw at us, our souls understand how important prayer is.
If our hearts truly hold empathy and compassion, if we truly are going to God on their behalf, if we are begging God to comfort and heal~
Then our God~
Who is full of mercy and compassion~
will do just that.
And those simple words won’t be empty words. They become words full of power and hope. They are words to cling to. They are a lifeline for a soul that is breaking.
Don’t allow “I’m praying for you” to become an empty promise to the problems others face. Fall on your knees and go to God for that person. Hold them, cry with them and pray with them.
Let God be real to them in that moment and ask for His comfort and peace to wash over them. The comfort and peace that only He can give. Ask Him to cradle that dear person in His arms.
That person who doesn’t know if they can take much more.
when you say the words~
”I’m praying for you”
they will feel those words come alive.
**“Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
**“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
**“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
ARE YOU LOOKING IN A MIRROR?
For a minute I saw it.
My heart remembered and my soul said~ there you are.
And I fell in love all over again.
His dark hair now shimmers white.
His thin shape has filled in.
But his twinkle,
that twinkle in his eye~
It remains the same, even after 34 years.
And when he laughs,
really laughs from deep down inside~
my heart smiles.
We have been through heartache together.
We have weathered the storms of our own making, and come out on the other side.
There has been hurt.
There have been times that I have hidden away and cried.
Times my heart lies and tells me~
this isn’t the same man you married.
And I want that man back.
Not this one.
Eventually, we become like the ones we spend the most time with.
That’s a lot of time.
Time he has spent with me.
So I remind myself, on the days I don’t like what I see in him, perhaps I am looking in a mirror and seeing a reflection of myself~
And I determine that I will work even harder on this marriage thing~
no matter how many years go by~
so that when he looks back at me,
he will see Christ.
I want him to feel my heart full of forgiveness, selflessness, compassion and mercy. A heart full of indescribable love.
The heart of a wife that spends more time with Christ than her own selfish nature.
I will learn to let things go.
I will put his needs before my own.
I will love like Christ loves me.
And I will see that twinkle that makes my heart smile because I know that when I see that twinkle~
his heart is smiling too.
“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”