The Busy Bird

"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18


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Iron Sharpens Iron

Friendship. It’s something that is actually really important to me.

You see, my parents have called me a “social butterfly” since I was very small. I never liked being home; I always preferred being with other people. This is just part of my personality. It’s who God just made me to be.

Well as I grew up, friends remained very influential in my life. I also allowed my values and morals to be compromised by these friendships. Of course I could have stood my ground and said no to the partying and boys but it was easier to fit in than to stand out. Those friendships and decisions led to destructive behavior and habits.

Eventually I changed my ways. I decided to return to the way I was brought up. I was raised in the church and knew it was time to get right with God. But what about my friendships? Who would I hang out with now?

That was the hardest part of my transition. My friends still wanted to party. My friends still smoked and drank. I wasn’t doing those things but I craved those companionships. I just missed the social aspect of those habits. I began to pray that God would give me new, positive friends. And He slowly answered my prayers.

Over the last three years since I’ve kicked my habits and surrendered my life to God, I’ve gained some really great friends that have a positive influence on my life. I’ve been given encouragers, prayer warriors, mentors, and just all-around good friends. God gave me what my heart desired. When He knit me, He knew I needed friends and He never forgot that. He has blessed me with people who would do anything to help me. I don’t think I could continue this difficult Christian walk without them.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another.” Friends are meant to uplift one another. We are meant to push each other in the best possible way. Solomon saw that people need people to lean on and encourage in this life. Yes, Jesus should be our nearest friend but here on earth we need people to talk to. We need people to tell us that it’s going to be okay. We need people to push us to be the best Christian we can be. Friendship, and positive friendships, are a gift from God.

So, are you being the best friend you can be to someone? Are you encouraging your friend to be the best Christian they can be? Are you sharpening your friend as Solomon suggests in Proverbs?


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More of Me

I have this stirring inside of me.

I have this feeling that He wants more…

…of me as a wife and mother…

…from my talents…

…of me as an individual…

He’s wanting more of me. But what exactly? Or more importantly, how do I give Him what He wants of me?

Now, I’ve recently started reading Restless by Jennie Allen. Maybe that’s why I’ve got this stirring. The book asks: what’s my purpose? What’s God’s plan for me and how does that fit into His grand scheme?

Well, as a wife, He wants me to honor my husband. God wants me to submit to him and keep our household in order, running smoothly. What more can I do though? I know for me personally I lose my temper sometimes when I feel overwhelmed with housework. And you guessed it, poor Trevor bears the brunt of my bad mood. What I need to do is learn to take a moment, pray silently, and have the restraint to not take it out on my husband. He works hard at his job and also attends school to support our family. Sure, I can vent to him but I shouldn’t take it out on him. There’s the difference. He’s my husband–our marriage is a gift from God–and I should treat him as the special man that he is. God is showing me that I need to be a better wife to him, to care for him as he deserves and as the Bible has charged me to do. I need to be setting an example for my boys as to what to expect in their future spouse.

As a mother, I feel like I do my best to raise my three boys to love the Lord. We read the Bible and pray nightly. I fill their tiny ears and hearts with praise and worship music each time we are in the car, or while I’m cleaning the house. I try my hardest to show them how to live for God daily and not to be just a Sunday or Wednesday Christian. At times though, as I’m sure with every mom,  my patience wears thin. Sometimes I get fed up with the bickering and messes. And other times Mommy just wants quiet. I raise my voice more than I probably should; there seems to just be those days. You know, those days. But God wants more of me as a mother. He wants me to discipline my children with a loving hand and not with my mouth spouting off words before I think. I need to rely on Him to give me direction in those moments. I need to listen and allow God to speak through me when I need to discipline them. I want my children to remember me as a loving mother and the godly woman I strive to be, not as a domineering, quick-tempered mother. I want them to have a lasting impression of what it’s like to be firm in one’s faith and follow that example as they (hopefully) grow into men of God.

As for my talents, I feel Him pushing me to do more. I really don’t have the confidence to do that though. Sure, I love music. I love playing my keyboard and singing, but how do I do more? And I’ve found other ministries to work at within the church. I just feel this tug. I don’t know what He wants but I know He is luring me to do something more. All I can do is seek Him and ask Him to reveal His plans for me. I need to see how my talents are going to be used to further God’s Kingdom in ways I can’t even begin to fathom.

Now, me. I really don’t know what to do. I feel so many tugs at my heart to do so many things. I feel God just calling me to be a better person in general. I feel Him pulling me to be more open with my faith. I feel like He has placed a sense of urgency in my soul to do more with my life, to allow Him to really move in and through me. There’s just more for me. I believe He has promises for me. I believe He has hopes and dreams for me so big that I can’t even begin to grasp them. I believe He has put me where I’m at for just a time like this.

I may not understand His ways, nor will I ever, but God has got my attention. He’s given me the life and story that I have for a purpose. All I have to do is follow Him, be obedient, and try to figure out what this “more” is He’s pushing me to be.

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”‭‭ Hebrews‬ ‭10:35-36‬ ‭(NLT‬)


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Being Still & Patient

“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act… ” Psalm 37:7

I’ve been clinging to this verse lately—especially today. It has just spoke volumes to my spirit.

How often are we really still in His presence? How often do we ramble and don’t give Him the chance to interject during our prayer time?  How often do we get frustrated waiting on Him to act?

I know I’m guilty of being impatient, talking over God in my prayer time, and getting upset when He doesn’t act in the timeframe I think is appropriate.

I need a heart check.

Have you ever been upset at how things go for other people when you feel your life isn’t fair, like when people succeed? Or have you ever been frustrated with what seems to be double standards? Or maybe you feel God should move in a specific way but it’s not happening as quickly as you think? I have.

Currently in my own life, I’m struggling with life not being “fair”. Or that’s at least how it seems to me. I try to live my life as transparent as possible. Not that I am “holier than thou” but I strive to be the best Christian and light I can be for God. And lately I’ve been frustrated seeing how other Christians act. Like, aren’t we all held to the same standard? To be the best example we can be? Believe me, my family has hard times. Being a Christian isn’t all rainbows and flowers. We struggle. But I try. I try to be a good Christian. I try to follow His commands. I try to trust in Him to see us through whatever the situation is.

Am I still enough to give Him a chance to fill me up spiritual? How will He be able to move in my life if I’m not still in His presence? 

Sure, I do my Bible devotions. I read the Word daily and spend time in my prayer closet. But in that time am I truly still? Am I still enough to allow Him to minister to me individually? I can read His Word and be encouraged but can anything beat being personally ministered to by the Almighty? How can He answer if I don’t quiet my mouth long enough to allow Him to speak? How can He begin to show me His timeframe for whatever I’m praying about? When will I realize His timing is perfect if I don’t give Him a chance to reveal future glimpses to me?

He can’t. He won’t. He hears my cries, my frustrations, my worries. He’s a loving Father but He can’t comfort His hurt daughter if I slam the proverbial teenager bedroom door of my heart. And whose fault is that? Mine.

I’m depriving myself of His goodness. I’m depriving myself of His promises. I’m depriving myself of His endless, deep, and never failing love. I’m losing out on His encouragement.

In those quiet moments, there He can move. There He can show me His plans. There, if I’m only patient, I can see Him act on my behalf.

I need to be still. I need to bask in His presence. And I need to wait for Him to act.


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Grant Me Wisdom

(Yes, I know it’s been a while. I’ve been dealing with some stuff in my personal life but I’m back and ready to write some more!)

So, lately I’ve been delving more into my time with Him.

Like really making an effort to meet with Him on a daily basis. Because I’ll admit, there was a time when kids and just housewife life got in the way.

Sometimes it’s early in the morning before my children wake up and other times it’s late at night when they’ve fallen fast asleep.

Either way, and any time, it’s happening.

I felt my old study time getting somewhat stale so I had to switch it up. I ditched my typically lined paper prayer journal and pen for a sketch pad and colored markers. I started doing devotions on my YouVersion Bible app along with my normal Jesus Calling by Sarah Young readings.

Something is different though. Something is changing in my thinking during my study time. I’ve got this sense of want that I never had before. What is it that I’m wanting exactly?

Wisdom.

But not just worldly wisdom. Wisdom and discernment that can only come from the Lord. Wisdom that far supersedes what man can teach. Discernment for recognizing the Spirit’s nudging or teachings in my day to day activities. How does one acquire this wisdom though?

I’ve found myself praying lately that God would grant me wisdom like He bestowed on Solomon. We know that Solomon was one of, if not the, wisest man in the Bible. When God met with him He didn’t ask for riches or fame, He asked for wisdom and was granted just that (2 Chronicles 1:7-12). 

Here Solomon could have asked for anything… Money… Fame… Wealth… Protection from the enemy. But no, he asked for wisdom and knowledge. Solomon understood that wisdom was greater than any of the aforementioned things. He knew this wisdom and knowledge could be used to help lead the people of Israel. It was a gift to be used for the greater good.

Now, I realize that I am no royal leading God’s chosen nation but I can still desire to have wisdom. That wisdom can be applied to my parenting, my marriage, my different roles in the church, my friendships, even writing this blog. Sure, it’s nice to have things like wealth and power but those things are fleeting. Wisdom and discernment are things the world can’t take away from you.

I’ve also been shown during my prayer time that the only way God will reveal Himself and His wisdom is learned through meditating on the Word. I’ve made a resolve to read at least a chapter out of any given book whenever I’m feeding my youngest a bottle. I’ve got to submerge myself in Him to really understand who He is and what awesome wisdom He can grant me. I’m only going to get a handle on this wisdom if I read the Word, learn the Word, and live the Word.

I just want to challenge you to really think on what you desire most from God in your prayer time. Are you asking for materialistic earthly things or are you asking Him for the things we cannot see?


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Holy Is He

Holy.

Do we really understand the gravity of that word?

Do we really grasp the significance of that four letter word?

Merriam-Webster defines it as: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness. When we say God is holy, we are proclaiming that He is worthy of our complete devotion because of His perfect goodness and righteousness. That says a lot.

The truth of the matter is we will never be able to comprehend Him in all His holiness. I mean really, He has seraphim surrounding Him 24/7 saying nothing but “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, The Almighty, Who Was and Who Is and Who Is To Come,” (Rev. 4:8). That’s those angels specific job. They cry “holy” over and over for all of time. Think of that. God takes His divine holiness so seriously He created creatures to do nothing but proclaim just how holy He is. He is the Holy One. And with that should come an attitude of reverence and awe from us. We’ve lost what it really means to show Him the reverence He really deserves. We have lost that sense of awe, what it really means to be taken aback by His greatness. The priests of old recognized His holiness. They didn’t dare enter into the Holy of Holies without such preparations of washing themselves, changing garments, bringing blood to atone for sins, plus they burned incense just to hide their eyes from looking onto God. That’s how seriously they took God’s holiness. But we’ve become so flippant with the word holy and what it really means.

God and His holiness will forever be a mystery to us humans. But that shouldn’t degrade how important that holiness is. Don’t we often pray to live holy lives? We will never be holy. We can strive to live a life that honors His holiness. We can’t begin to live out a holy life when we can’t even grasp how great His holiness is. Rocks, water, stars, and suns recognize His holiness more than we do. They praise Him for His holiness without needing a reason. They praise Him solely for who He is. In our human minds, things get diluted. We search and search for reasons to praise and thank Him. We need to strip away our human reasoning and just get back to basics. We need no reason to cry holy. We need to cry holy because He is just that, holy.