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Blog

Filtering by Category: Mark

Moving the Waves

Meg


"A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?”

He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Silence! Be still!' The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, 'Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?'” (Mark 4:37-40, HCSB)


Is my faith so little, that I neglect to trust in your provision? That I forget that even the winds and waves are at your command? Is my faith so little, that I don't believe that you'll provide for me and my family on this day? That I lack the ability to face this day with strength and confidence?

In my heart of hearts, I know this isn't true. I serve a risen Savior. You are a mighty God, who rules over heaven and earth. The winds speed up and slow down at your beckoning. Nothing is out of your plans, your hand.
I woke up today a bit grumpy. Grumpy at my little boy, who, at 8 months of age, still wakes up every few hours during the night. Still often wants me to sleep sitting up, him in my arms. In my world this is a major issue. Mama is without a good nights sleep. In my world, it feels like I will never get past this baby stage with him. That I've done something wrong in parenting. That my approach is less than perfect.


But it is less than perfect.

I am less than perfect.

This world is less than perfect.

That's why we need someone greater. Someone to take the reigns and pick up the pieces of our lives. Someone to ultimately be in control. Someone who cares for the struggles in my life, that may seem awful small and insignificant compared to your struggles.

But the beautiful thing is that Jesus cares about it all. He cares about my lack of sleep, just as He cares for you.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you" ( 1 Peter 5:7, HCSB).

The verse above doesn't say some of our cares, or only the most important cares, but ALL of our cares, big and small can be brought before Him. When we give our cares to Him, we're showing that we really do trust in Him. We have faith that He is in control. He will provide. We're showing that we have faith in His provisions today and everyday. We have faith that He sees the stormy moments in each of our lives, whether a single wave or an ocean of them. He sees. He knows. He truly is in control.

What cares can you give to Jesus today? How will you live your live by faith?

Fairyland-like Faith

Meg

Whatever happened to fairyland?
A dear friend is on my heart today. Weighted down by life, she was wondering where all the fairies had gone. My heart hurts for her. I have yet to experience grief quite like hers. But I can relate when it comes to growing up. When our world becomes consumed by diapers and laundry piles, husbands working late hours, dreams put on the back-burner. I can relate to seasons where it's a little harder to laugh, a little harder to run through the Autumn leaves quite so freely. I can understand a heart that finds it a little harder to love, a little harder to trust.
When I was a little girl, I played day and night with my dolls, I adored them. They lived entire lives in my day-dreams. Even into High School I would dress them for the different seasons. There's a certain amount of innocence in a teenage girl that does that. And I was glad my mom let me do it. She encouraged my imagination to grow. But then a day came that the dolls got left behind. I moved off to college, picked out a career plan, and jumped into the future. Now the dolls sit in a box in the shed, waiting for my daughter to become old enough to play with them. Why do little girls have to outgrow dolls at all? Why must they leave that land of make-believe?
Reality can be so harsh at times. This can hit us at any age.
When life gets hard, adults believe that they have to leave their imaginations behind. They decide that it's time to "grow up." They push the dolls and fairies and make-believe worlds into the past. There's no time for them any longer. Make-believe is only for children, they say.
Dreams are left behind.
But what of those dreams? Is there something to be said for those dreams and beliefs we have as children?

"Some people were bringing little children to Him so He might touch them, but His disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me. Don't stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you: Whoever does not welcome that kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' After taking them in His arms, He laid His hands on them and blessed them" (Mark 10:13-16, HCSB).

Children are beautiful. Their innocence, their love, their dreams, are so precious. Jesus recognizes this, He sees the beautiful nature of their imaginative hearts. It's their very faith in the unseen that He commends and encourages us to follow after. 

So perhaps, fairyland isn't such a bad thing. Yes, we may come to a point that we know the difference between imaginations and reality, but maybe we shouldn't be so quick to discredit the unseen.

I know I could use a little more make-believe in my life, a little more laughter, a little more joy. Isn't that one of the very reasons I turn to books? To delve into another world, to enjoy the suspension of disbelief. To remember what its like to have the faith of a child.

I truly believe that God gifted us with imaginations for a reason: He wants us to dream. He pays attention to the desires of our deepest heart. (see Psalm 37:4). He wants us to believe in the seemingly impossible. 

And that's my prayer for you today, dear friend. That even when you can no longer see the fairyland, you'll trust in an unseen Creator who is working in the midst of your life. And that, maybe, you'll see fairyland through the eyes of your children. 

"There is such a place as fairyland, but only children can find their way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and this is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of the common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland" Lucy Maud Montgomery, "The Story Girl."

A Time of Re-focusing

Meg

I'm off to find a quiet moment to pray this evening, my friends.

These last few days have been filled with anxiousness, and impatience. Sadly, my little girl gets the brunt of all this. I have some great friends that give me much needed breathers from time to time. Those times apart really help my frustrations, to an extent. But I know there's something deeper going on. There's pent up feelings and anxieties. Things that need to be discussed between me and my Savior. And so, I won't spend very long blogging with you this evening. Sometimes a little time of prayer is exactly what we need.

How is the Season of Lent going for you? Have you spent some much needed time with your Savior?

 

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35, NIV).

The Hidden Blessing of Solitude

Meg

I love having my husband at home. We talk, watch British Comedies, and play games together. We take walks, enjoy the outdoors, and dream about the future. I truly enjoy his company. Just the same, I always learn something when he’s gone. I always learn something when I’m alone, late at night in an empty house, with creaky walls and dark hallways. God always seems to teach me something in the quiet.

In my devotions today I was reminded that even Jesus sought out solitary spots from time to time (see John 6:15;Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42). They were places he went to pray and seek the face of God.

For me, solitary places are times when I learn to depend on God. They’re the times when I’m reminded that I am safe and sound in the arms of Jesus. They’re the times when I’m reminded that God is truly all I need to survive. I don’t need anyone or anything else. They’re the times when I move my focus away from earthly things and back to the face of God, where it belongs.

No, I don’t always enjoy be alone. Cooking for one can be tedious, and the bed can get really cold at night without someone beside me, just the same, I’m starting to learn that God is ready and willing to speak to me in these moments of solitude, if only I shut off my brain and open my heart.
What about you? What does God teach you in moments of solitude?

Lord, thank you for comforting me through the lonely times and for reminding me that you are my true refuge and strength (Psalm 46).

You Are My Strength When I Am Weak

Meg

I was sick, really sick, like you don’t want the details gross kind of sick. At first, my husband was a wonderful helper, getting me ginger ale from the store, retrieving ice packs from the freezer and putting different DVDs in for me to watch. It was wonderful having him there to take care of me. And then, the inevitable happened, he got sick too.
Now I don’t handle sickness on a good day. Just imagine how I felt now that we were both on our backs on the couch, neither of us feeling like we could help the other at all. It wasn’t fun. Just the same, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to be there for my husband. I needed to get him wet rags and cups of ginger ale and the throw blanket from over in the corner . I need to love with a sacrificial kind of love, the kind of love that would take care of my husband even when I myself was feeling pretty sick. This was the first time loving my husband was truly a sacrifice for me. For the most part loving him is pretty enjoyable. This wasn’t, so I definitely need some help from God.
And so I prayed to God to help us through this day. I prayed to God to help me find the strength to care for my husband and to love him with a truly sacrificial love.
And amazingly I did it. I still wasn’t completely well, but God gave me the strength to do the menial tasks that needed to be accomplished. I cleaned up after us, kept our glasses filled with ginger ale, and with the help of God made it through the rest of our day of sickness.
I don’t think that God made us sick on Sunday. But I do think he had something very important to teach me on that day. He wanted me to truly see what sacrificial love feels like, and what it’s like to depend on Him to get from one moment to the next. This isn’t a lesson I’ll forget very soon.

Here are some verses that were on my heart today. I hope they bless you too:
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29 NIV)
“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35 NIV).
“Love is patient, love is kind…. it is not self-seeking…. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-5,7-8 NIV)