For the days when I’m not your best friend

Best FriendLyllian is our cuddle baby.  You can keep her in bed for a good hour longer in the morning if you’ll just snuggle up with her.  She will run up and hug you just because and someone’s lap is the most preferable seat in the house on any given day.

After many (non-blogged about) nights of not laying down with her at bedtime, I squeezed in beside her on her twin mattress and wrapped one arm around the top of her head and the other around her itty bitty but ever growing body.  We were so close, I could feel every breath on my neck.  Her hair has finally gotten long enough that I can play with it and it seems to calm her instantly.  She loves to talk as much as her big sister (and their momma) but she seemed content just resting.  I closed my eyes and tried to paint this moment onto the canvas of my memory – already realizing how quickly I seem to forget times such as these.

Her breathing started to slow and just as I thought she had dozed off, she whispered into my neck, “you my besssss fran, momma”.  I wanted to freeze time and record that precious voice. I needed to hold her and never let go.  My eyes filled with tears and my heart ached…because yes it was incredibly adorable, but I also knew that those words would not always be true.

I’ve always known that – even when I was the child in the relationship with my mom.  My mother was not there to be my best friend.  She wanted me to confide in her, to be honest, to laugh with her, as well as cry…but not as my BFF.

What’s caught me so off guard with this whole mother/best friend situation though – is how much I do want to be her best friend.  I want her to love me of course but honestly…I really want my girls to like me too.  I want them to have fun with me and enjoy my company…but there’s no Biblical wisdom that tells me how to make sure my children like having me around.

There will be days that will come around all too quickly that anger and dislike will find it’s way into that emotional heart of hers (if she’s anything like her momma or her big sister) and I’ll be the last person she wants to be her best friend.  I’ll make choices that she won’t understand and decisions she’ll be sure to think are to purposely make her upset.  There will be times when she might even believe that my goal in life is to simply make her life miserable and that she can not wait until the day when she’s out from under my roof…gracious that hurts my heart to even type out those situations – even as a hypothetical.

As I sit and think back on these moments, I can’t help but see the parallels in my walk with my Father.  How I love to call Him my best friend when I’m cuddled up with Him, walking with Him hand in hand…but turn a corner and a decision doesn’t pan out the way I expected – then that relationship can look so differently from my perspective.  My emotions can change and my attitude to boot.  I can sit here and type in my “wisdom” in referring to parenting my three year old but that wisdom dissipates when I suddenly can start acting like a toddler myself.  Geez.  Lessons hurt just as much if not even more so as an adult don’t they?

Lyllian, (& Ryleigh this goes to you too, my 6 year old going on 15), I will not always be your best friend.  I am not called to be.  It would not be fair to you…it would not be obedient to the One who has entrusted you to me and to your daddy.  We will love you…unconditionally – to the moon and back more times than you can count.  We will make mistakes.  Big ones.  Small ones.  Ones we have to apologize for and ones none of us may even realize until you get older and possibly have children of your own.  But I do want to point you to the Father.  He won’t mess up.  He will be there even when I want to be and I’m not (because even though it pains me to say so – I won’t always be there).  He will be your Father and your best Friend.  Your Confidant, your Savior, your Rock, and your Redeemer…He will be every single thing you have ever needed and will ever need.  And anything He allows me to be for you in the in between – believe me, I’m there.  With bells on – and sometimes tears – but always a grateful heart.

When you want to call me your “bess frann” then that’s awesome and if you want to act like you don’t know – then, sorry, tough luck, because that’s never gonna fly.  For His Glory,

 

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Deception’s Badge

deceptions-badge She wanted a badge to wear.  A bright one with curly ribbons, that would pin to her shirt – announcing to the whoever saw it that she had finally met him.  Alek.  The one we had all been praying for since long before we knew his name.  Ryleigh wanted to wear a badge so that everyone would know she had met him.  She had a new cousin and was incredibly proud of it.

It was super sweet and then there were tears when I explained that we were already late to school that morning and there simply wasn’t time to create this badge out of thin air.  On the way to school the Lord began to connect her desire for the world to know about Alek with what He had been uncovering for me through our Armor of God study at church.

Satan does the opposite of wear a badge…he wears disguises. Don’t you wish deception would wear a badge that announces it for what it is?  That when his lies came into our field of vision/hearing there would be a loud trumpet blast announcing that it was not truth?  Or at the very least a soundtrack to our life so we’d know when we heard a certain type of music that our thoughts were going in the wrong direction or that our choice was leading us to a mistake.  That sounds nice right?

And while that’s pretty much the exact opposite of what the enemy wants – since his goal is to devour and destroy us…the Lord has in fact designed an incredibly beautiful way for us to know just that – for us to see deception for what it is.  We can do this by girding ourselves with the belt of Truth.  Priscilla Shirer does an awesome visual of this through her Armor of God study.  She has on a long skirt made of lots of strips of fabric.  It’s hard to walk in because it looks like she could stumble or trip over any one of the pieces at any given time.

As she talks about wearing the belt of Truth she starts to define the word “gird”.  Which means to take up.  She starts picking up each piece of fabric and “girding” it or tucking it into the top.  If we do the same…if we take every decision, every word, every thought – and “tuck” it into His truth that we have girded our bodies & minds with – then we will know deception when it comes into our lives.  It will be as if a big flashing badge is announcing what it is…because we are wearing His truth as our belt.  I loved loved loved LOVE this imagery.  It made things click for me that never had before.

And, my favorite part? When it’s all tucked into our belt of Truth?  There’s nothing to trip us up – or make us fall.  Holding everything to His standard of Truth actually gives us MORE freedom instead of restricting it (which is what the world wants us to believe).

He is SO good!  He is such a Sovereign Father!

So, when I wonder if I’m missing something.  When I start to doubt what I’m doing or a decision I’m facing – I can look into His word.  I can gird it into His Truth and I will be able to see the enemy for who he is…as easily as anyone who saw Ryleigh that next day knew all about her new cousin, Alek.For His Glory,

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When Your Husband Isn’t “The One”

husbandYou’ve met the one.  The one you prayed for and dreamed of – and now he’s yours.  You’ve taken his last name and have settled in – for better or worse.

He’s charming, handsome, generous, and kind – but something just seems to be missing.  You waited your whole life for this…planned it out since you were a little girl.  However, that hole in your heart – the one you feel in your gut?  It’s still there.  Still empty.  You’re still longing.

You think that something must be missing.  You get dressed up, you go on date nights, you take a spontaneous road trip, and you do a Bible study together.  You buy a house and have children…but it’s still not filled.  You go to work, go on vacations, and join a church but no matter what – even on the absolute best days…he’s not everything you had hoped.

You lie awake at night, going back over every choice…every decision that has led you here.  Did you make a mistake?

You watch him when he’s not looking.  You see what a great man he is.  An amazing father and a devoted husband – a hard worker and a faithful follower of Christ.  But is marriage supposed to be hard?  Isn’t it supposed to make your life complete?  Could it really be?  Could he not be “the one”?!?

Oh sweet sister…no.  No, he’s not…he can’t be.

Date nights, diamonds, flowers, losing weight, helping out around the house, or anything else will never change the fact that he is not the One.

You see “the one” can only be fulfilled by One. 

And friend, your husband is not Him…and neither is mine.

“The One” for whom your soul longs for is the One who numbered the stars and knows every quirky and beautiful thing about you…because He created you.  He is Jesus Christ – the literal Lover of your soul  and it’s only through a relationship with Him that you can be satisfied.  Not momentary satisfaction dear one, but the everlasting kind. Love created us in His image…to be united with Him.  He designed us to walk with Him, to spend time together, to be in relationship & fellowship with Him.

It’s quite incredible what a difference it can make when you start viewing your husband as a sinner saved by grace (just like us! gasp!) instead of the one to fill every need in your life.  If our needs are met in the One who lacks nothing then every good gift is just bonus.  The amazing man you married?  Grace gift.  Your motherhood?  Grace gift.  Your home?  Grace gift.  Your job/church/vacation/health/etc?  Grace gifts.

And I wouldn’t be sharing the whole Truth if I left out the opposite of all those things – sickness/miscarriage/abuse/rebellion/being laid off/cancer/death/depression – there is grace found in each of these as well because our longings were not, are not, can not be satisfied in those.  When He is our peace giver – then things can not take it away.  When He is our foundation then explosive news can not shake us – it may very well knock us to our knees but it will not cause our Foundation to move.

When that viewpoint starts shifting then it’s much easier to understand all of the things that may have been nagging at the back of our hearts before were actually just tactics of the enemy.  Warfare playing out behind the scenes.  But that’s a topic for another day.

For now, let’s just breathe a sigh of relief because in case you haven’t figured it out – if our husbands aren’t “the one” for us – then that helps us remember we can’t be “the one” for them either!  #allthepraisehands

For His Glory,

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Word of the Year ~ 2017

warrior

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and I kept coming back to “rest”. I liked it, it sounded easy (but it’s really not), and I mastered the getanapineverysingledayofChristmasbreak thing this year.  So.  Natural choice – right?

But over a conversation with a new friend, I just can’t get another word out of my heart.  It keeps rolling around and popping up in all kind of ways – and well it’s kinda the exact opposite of what I thought my word might be.

WARRIOR

It’s kinda overwhelming to type it.  I imagine this fierce person who is bold & courageous – outfitted with this incredible heavy duty & shiny armor…and well it’s intimidating to think that I’m supposed to be that person.  That we are each as sons and daughters are called to be that person.

But what I’m loving about it is that I really think the Lord is beginning to show me how interconnected warrior is with rest.  The Word says that our mind is stilled when solely focused on Him.  Rest comes through time with the Lord.  He even says that if we would only be still – that He will fight for us.  But there’s also the time that we are called to be in action.  It’s through rest and in preparation for that time (of action) that we are able to adequately cover ourselves with the Armor He has made available to us.

Getting dressed in armor is not a simple or quick process.  You can’t throw open the closet door and just grab it off the hanger.  It takes being intentional.  It takes time with the Lord…quality time.  It takes spending time on your knees instead of running everywhere under the sun. #preachingtomyself

The warfare around us is undeniable.  It surrounds us.  Angels & demons are fighting…and we would be believing lies if we turned a blind eye to it.  And it would also be incredibly unwise to immerse ourselves in this war without being dressed for battle.

So…this year, my prayer is to dress better…to daily put on the armor my God has sacrificed His own Son for…to know His Truth so that I may gird every choice & action in it & to hide His words in my heart so that I may use it to destroy the lies that the enemy will surely whisper and shout on any given day.

I am praying for rest – yes…but rest that is spent in Him – asking that even as I sleep He is renewing my mind and transforming my thoughts in preparation to be a warrior for Him.  This year, I desire to have the wisdom to know when to fight and when to be still & daily ready for both.For His Glory,

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