It’s Moving Day. {On the blog}. Please come with me!

This has been my home for the past five months and it’s been a great start. I’ve come to know myself better and know a lot of you better through the sharing of these words. All of these words!

It’s time for a change. Time to merge the two passions God has given me between my pen and my lens.

From this point on, I will be posting HERE and would really love to have you follow along.

You can subscribe to my new blog through the link at the bottom left of the page…see here:

 

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My new home isn’t completely finished…there are still boxes to be unpacked…but it’s ready for visitors, as long as you don’t mind the mess. I’m perfectly imperfect, remember?

This isn’t an end at all, but the beginning of a new chapter. On to bigger and better…only and always FOR HIS GLORY.

Blessings…see you over there,

Meredith

 

Some days we have to cowgirl up to keep from staying down.

I’ve been known to open my mouth when I shouldn’t and even when I should a lot of times what comes out is not Dayspring material. And then I read this.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Proverbs 31:26

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Insert that face I make when I realize I’m not measuring up to this woman I’m called to be. It kind of resembles a sideways-I-just-ate-a-lemon-rind-smoochie kind of face, if you can even begin to imagine that and not make the same face yourself.

That’s me. Perfectly imperfect. To quote Ann Voskamp, I’m forever wondering when “will I ever be who I already am in Christ?”

I’m already this woman short on words, but wise when they come and long on kind deeds that will teach my children kindness through action and not mere lip service.

She’s already in me. And if Christ is in you, she’s in you, too.

So where is she? Why does it seem more often than not the woman I am in Christ is hiding? The words that come out of my mouth more often resemble the Wicked Witch of the West instead of the wise, sweet and kind White Witch of the East. (I don’t remember if that was her name, but it fits the picture in my head.)

In a lot of ways, I actually do consider myself wise. Not from a degree stashed in an old frame in the attic or from any number of books I scanned and crammed a nights worth of memory from for a test. I’ve forgotten most anything I learned in school, but please don’t tell that to my Dad.

Life itself has a way of making us wise with it’s school of hard knocks and soft bellies that come from birthing life or just birthing age.

Life itself brings wisdom through losing people that shaped our identity in the first place and learning who we are without them.

Life itself teaches us. Good or bad. Right or wrong. We become wise. At least in a worldly way.

But then God.

God calls us to a higher wisdom. A godly wisdom. A wisdom that can only come from knowing the only wise One.

And the awesomeness comes in the fact that His wisdom, the same wisdom that spoke the world into existence and me and you into our mother’s womb, that same wisdom is available for us. In fact, it’s already in us if He is in us.

We would do well to remember that. To pull from that and use that and teach that.

The more I seek wisdom from God, the truer and kinder my words will be. It’s a given.

I’ll never be perfect while I’m the mother of my children and wife to my man here on earth. But I can be wise and teach kindness because it’s in me. Because He’s in me.

Let’s give ourself some grace today as mothers and wives and daughters and sisters. Grace to seek His wisdom and teach the same when opportunity affords.

And especially grace for the days when it doesn’t come and we fail. Again. Because as sure as it’s in us, we will. And then we  cowgirl up and try again. It’s the only way I know to keep from staying down.

For His Glory,
Meredith

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It’s that time again. Wednesday’s here on the blog we link up Woman 2 Woman and these next few weeks we will keep discussing verses from Proverbs 31. We would love to have you join. Feel free to grab the button for your site if you wish or just link-up with the little blue frog below and link-back here. If you do choose to link-up please visit and encourage at the least the person before you on the link-up. We are graciously learning from one another’s words as spoken to through the only Word that can truly feed us, God’s Word. Blessings to you and thank you for visiting! xoxo, Meredith

 

 

 

I’m also linking up with my friend Beth here for her Three Word Wednesday…make sure you visit her site for more encouragement. She is a military spouse and has so many blessings to offer from her perspective as a wife and mother whose family is deployed.

Sometimes mom needs a night out.

Silence is golden, I’ve heard. This week that rang true for me.

In the clamor of life and responsibilities, whether those put on me by others or those I wear from my own choosing, I was feeling trapped. Claustrophobic. Overwhelmed.

In the space of this safe place I’ve grown so accustomed to on my screen, I was finding the words harder to come by in the chaos surrounding me and the chaos inside me. I needed a break. I still do.

But in a few days of silence, I’ve had time to reflect. If I can’t hear what my heart is trying to tell me, I have nothing to offer. Nothing to give.

If my thoughts are being held captive by fear, failure, or just being too busy to listen, then the words can’t and won’t come.

It’s true for all of us…

If we don’t take the time to listen to our heart, we will never hear what it has to say.

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If we don’t take time to hear what God wants to tell us, we will never know what direction to go or be equipped to get there in the first place.

At the end of another too-full week, I had the opportunity to do something I haven’t done since college…maybe…I can’t even remember. I had a girls night out. A “Mom’s Night Out” to see the movie of the same name.

And can I just say right here, right now, it was awesome? It. Was. Awesome.

I literally belly-ached laughed, with a few snorts on the side, from the first ten seconds until the end. Minus the two minutes I cried the ugly cry as Trace Adkins biker-tattooed-up character sat on a bench in a jail and explained how Jesus has all of us mamas wrapped in His arms and that’s all that really matters, not all the chaos we get so wrapped up in.

This mom’s night out reminded me that sometimes when we take time to just be and be with others sharing the same struggles or that have been there and done that, we learn things about ourselves we didn’t know.

I learned from a new friend that my favorite snack is an entire box of reeses pieces mixed in the same bowl with greasy movie popcorn (I am still here. I did not have a heart attack.) Try it. You can thank me later.

I also learned that time with other women may be bad for my hips, but oh-so-good for my soul.

Time spent laughing and crying together is time. well. spent. 

A week short on words ended in a week long on laughs and thirteen new friends. Yep, I went to this gig only knowing a few and I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me.

We are all in this together. Life. Motherhood. Wifehood. Sisterhood.

It’s not about her and them. It’s about us. Together. The sooner we embrace that, the better off we will be. And maybe we will find someone to walk off the reeses pieces with.

Now go plan your own GNO and come back and tell me how wonderful it was and what you ate. I really want to know what you ate.

For His Glory,
Meredith

Why it’s not okay to let our feelings define us.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”
Proverbs 31:25

I wish I could say this defined me today. Clothed in strength and dignity. Laughing at the time to come.

But that’s not what I’m feeling and maybe therein lies the problem. That’s not what I’m feeling. I’m not wearing it on the inside, so I can’t wear it on the outside.

Feelings are dangerous. If we let our feelings define us, we are not letting our relationship with God define us. And if we have no relationship with God, then we have no other recourse than to let our feelings control our life.

But in Christ, we have a different choice.

I want to be the picture of strength and dignity defined here. I want to be strong in the eyes of my husband and children. I want to be dignified in my words and actions, but I fail more often than not.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary has this to say about this verse,

She enjoys a firmness and constancy of mind, has spirit to bear up under the many crosses and disappointments which even the wise and virtuous must expect to meet with in this world; and this is her clothing…”

So many days I feel much less than constant in my mind and much less than able to bear under the many crosses and disappointments.

Disappointments in myself, my children, my husband and people I hold close to my heart. Those are the only people that can truly disappoint us anyway. Those we hold close. Those are the ones that matter. And how we react to the disappointment says a lot about the condition of our heart.

I find myself withdrawing when my feelings are hurt or I can’t measure up to someone’s perceived expectations from me. I would rather dig a pity hole, curl up in it and wallow around for a while than face it like a poised and dignified woman and “get over it.”

This is not the picture of strength and dignity that I want to model to my children or husband or anyone else watching me. And, oh, people are watching me and they are watching you.

The little eyes in my home are watching how mama reacts and learning from every reaction. Good or bad.

The eyes of my husband are watching how I react to the crosses and disappointments I encounter and seeing whether this God I follow is worth following or not, based on how I react. That’s truth. And that’s the reminder I need today.

Crosses will come. Disappointments will be had. But they don’t have to define us.

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When feelings define us, we leave faith behind us.

These trials are actually wonderful opportunities to shine for His glory. And in the end, that’s what this Proverbs 31 woman being described does in every facet. She shines for His glory. Even if she doesn’t feel like it.

And even the “wise and virtuous” have “bad” days. Jesus did. And He always chose to react with strength and dignity. So can we. It just may take some of us longer than others to learn how to wear these clothes…at least it is taking some stretching for me.

So for now, I’ll keep reminding myself why it’s not ok to let my feelings define me. And why it’s so very important that I learn to wear these clothes of strength and dignity. Not only for the sake of the eyes watching me, but for Christ’s sake.

For His Glory,
Meredith

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{It’s Woman to Woman Wednesday on the blog and we would love to have you link-up with your thoughts on any verse in Proverbs 31 today. We also invite you to visit the others that are linked-up through the cute blue frog below. If today is too short notice, plan on joining us next week to discuss any verse from Proverbs 31 and we’ll look forward to your words. Hash your thoughts out with us using #w2w and please link posts back here. You can also grab the W2W button for your site if you wish. Graciously and For His Glory, Meredith}

{Grateful} Even when Mother’s Day is not all it’s cracked up to be.

 

{This is a late link-up to Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. Prompt “grateful.”}

I tried not to go into Mother’s Day this year with high expectations this year. I’ve learned not to.

I was resolved that I would be receiving a card and chocolate from my husband and have become genuinely grateful for my farmer man’s indulgence to my Lindt LINDOR addiction and the fact he braved a CVS to hand pick out a card with sentiments he can’t always get out any other way.

He did this and more this year. I’m grateful for my man.

I was resolved to most likely receive a card and a gift from my children that my step-mother would choose for them to give me. And she did and they did and it was beautiful. A book of prayers for us to say together at bedtime.

That is more than enough to be grateful for.

In addition to my Lindt addiction being satisfied from my man, my parents satisfied another addiction and gave me a cookbook that I’ve secretly longed for and would never buy for myself. My love-affair with the Pioneer Woman now has life through actual pages I can devour along with the food.

I’m so grateful for parents that remembered their daughter who is a mother today.

I’m grateful for a dad that is always looking out for his “little girl” even though she’s thirty-five and oh. so. needs. to be looked out for. Because somewhere in-between my thirties and two littles of my own, I seem to have lost the ability to take care of the small things.

And small things when combined add up to big things and big things change people.

I’m grateful for time with my brother’s family that I don’t get to see as often as I would like and a niece and nephew that I want to smother with kisses and love and never seem to have the time or ability to do enough.

I’m grateful for words about nothing shared over a cup of coffee in the backyard with kids swinging and a baby babbling, because nothing is something when you are with your blood kin.

I’m grateful to have survived three temper tantrums from my daughter in one day devoted to mother’s and maybe because the weekend was full and my belly was full I let the last one go until she gave out of steam and then just wanted to be held.

And I’m grateful she did and grateful I could.

I started writing this thinking I had come through a day with low expectations and would be saying even at that, they were still unmet. But that’s not the case after all.

After all the counting of blessings and things to be grateful for today, I have nothing to be ungrateful for.

Just love and family and fellowship. And that’s the best Mother’s Day gift one could get.

Maybe if your Mother’s Day wasn’t all you thought it was going to be, you can go back and count a few blessings, too?

I think you will find them if you take some time to look. I’m glad I did.

For His Glory,
Meredith

“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.”

Psalm 86:12

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It would have been her birthday.

Today we would have celebrated not only Mother’s Day, but your birthday. It’s one of those years where they actually fall on the same day.

But instead we celebrate this day without you. And you celebrate for the first time in heaven with your own mother.

And I don’t know how that works, because I’m not there, but I can only imagine you are near one another and rejoicing together. Glorifying your Father together today. 

In as much sadness as we have in your absence, we have as much joy in the remembering.

The way you were the life of the party and always enjoyed one and always made them special for all our special days.

The way you laughed and smiled and hugged so big and loud and contagiously. I guess I have you to thank for my own obnoxious laugh.

The way you held our family together and loved deep and wide and strong and steady. And sometimes the love got abused by me and I wish I could tell you I’m sorry, but these words will have to do for now.

The way you held your friends close and never took time for granted with them and showed us that they matter. Friendships matter and they are important in this life. In the life of a woman.

The way you loved the work you poured yourself into. Shining like a light and now they present an award in your honor every year aptly named the Sue Mills Lighthouse Award. That sums it up, doesn’t it?

It’s a bittersweet day to think we would be celebrating your sixty-third year here and instead it’s almost thirteen without you.

But it’s still a day to celebrate you in your absence. The mother you were who helped shape the mother I am and the father my brother is now.

Oh, how you loved us. Oh, how you shaped us. Oh, how we wish we had told you more how we appreciated you.

It’s a day to remember and rejoice in the other mothers God has put in our path to continue the work you began.

God promised to finish the good work he began in us. And I see your work continuing to be fulfilled through our step-mother and others placed in our path just so. Just perfectly so.

He is really the most gracious God. I see that now more than ever. In all the ways I failed as a daughter and now as a mother, He covers me with his grace. Just as He did you when you failed. Until you were made perfect in His site.

Oh to be in His site! I just can’t imagine what that is like for you every. single. day. In His site.

And one day soon we will be in site again. Perfectly whole. Perfectly perfect. Together again.

And until then I’ll keep writing these words as they come, until they don’t. Believing you’d be proud as you always were. So proud of your children, even when we really didn’t deserve it. But that’s what mom’s do, isn’t it?

They believe in their children even if nobody else does. And a good mom, a great mom will lead her child to Christ. And you did. And for that I am the most grateful.

The best gift you ever gave me and your son was to introduce us to Jesus. He is all that matters in this world. And I get it now. I get it. Even if I didn’t get it while you were still here. I get it now.

Thank you for loving us to Him and for the prayers you prayed that you sowed in tears. I get that now, too. As a mother, I get that.

Until we meet again…always in my heart,
Meredith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For anyone letting the past define them today.

I had given up on being a mother.

Not for the same reasons so many do.

There was no infertility.
There was no obstinate choice.
There was nothing inherently wrong, but I had resigned to the fact that I never would be.

And I didn’t dwell on it, because there was no use.

I had made choices in my life that left me barren and broken.

A broken marriage.
Broken families.
A broken self.
A barren soul.

And I found myself in a relationship I didn’t want to end, but I wasn’t sure how I could stay. It was wrong.

I turned to wine and “good times” to numb the pain inside from all the pain I had caused.

And a week after a gluttonous Christmas party, sitting alone but now not alone, my life shifted focus. Forever.

Those three sticks with baby blue lines were telling me I would be a mother. And it would turn out it was a baby boy.

Ready or not. Right or wrong. And of course it was right, because God doesn’t make mistakes and of course, I wasn’t ready, because I do.

I shook in fear.
And I cried.
Tears of unbelief.
And tears of joy.

And in the nine months between the delivery of the news and the delivery of my son, his father and I got married. Together we started a new life as the new life inside me formed.

And in those nine months God awakened my soul to my need for a Savior and I found Him through His son and my own.

I was brought up in church and I was baptized at the age of twelve, but when I was baptized again at the age of twenty-nine and eight months pregnant, I was truly washed and free. Oh. So. Free.

For so long I had lived letting my past define me. Now I was ready to live letting my God define me.

Then grace. 

Grace covered what I had been trying to cover so I could finally let it go. And in the aftermath, God began to work good through all the pain and hurt and sin that had once defined me. Because that’s what He does for those who love him.

He works it all out for good. ALL of it. 

As my doctor delivered my crying, helpless new life into my arms, my Savior delivered my crying, helpless self into His.

My life now had purpose.
My life now had direction.
My life was now whole.

A tiny human that was half me was in my arms and even though I did not have a clue what to do with him, I knew we would be okay.

Even in the fear of the unknown, I knew that there was now Hope.

I was a mother.

I was a mother and I was going to be okay.
We were going to be okay.

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I had often wondered how my mother would have responded to the sinful choices I had made and had even uttered the words in my soul, and maybe even out loud, that I was glad she wasn’t here to see me make them.

Now I took those words back.

Oh, how I wished she was here to meet her grandson.
How I wished she was here to tell me what in the world to do with him.
How I wished she was here to tell me that everything I was feeling and experiencing was normal and that she had been the exact. same. way.

But she wasn’t here.

She wasn’t here for my son’s birth and she wasn’t here for my daughter’s birth three years later.

And I didn’t know at the age of twenty-two that I needed to ask her the things that I so wish I could ask her now.

Things that my dad doesn’t remember or know because he’s my dad. And only a mother can relate to a mother.

I say none of this to belittle any woman’s agony of not being able to have children for whatever reason and wanting them so desperately. I cannot relate to that agony because I have not been there. But I can and I do grieve with you. For the void of a life that you so desperately want to bear.

And I have no words of empathy, because I have not walked your same path. But I do believe that God is sovereign and that in His time and His will and His way He is making all things new. Even your broken heart.

I can only truly relate to the motherless mother. Because that is who I am.

And thirteen years later it hurts as much as it did the day I became a motherless daughter.

The day I sat alone in a crowd, hunched over rocking back and forth on my sofa repeating, “Not my mom. Not my mom. Not my mom.”

But it was my mom. And there will always be unanswered questions. Until we are in Glory together and then they won’t matter anymore.

Mothers…today you matter. Whether you feel like it or not. You matter.

Your life matters to your children and your husband and your families. Your life matters to your Father. He made you to matter.

You matter. For His Glory. You matter.

And if I could just take you right now and hug you the way my grandmother would wrap me with her whole sweet southern being, I would whisper that in your ear.

Listen to me…You matter…

And whatever that thing is in your past that is telling you that don’t matter and you can’t move forward and you can’t be loved and you can’t be forgiven…that is just. plain. wrong.

I’m living proof. And it’s a good place to be. On the other side of forgiveness.

I am now defined by my identity in Christ, not my identity in the world.

There is a beautiful difference there. The difference grace makes.

For His Glory,
Meredith

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

 

To the woman who doesn’t feel very “blessed.” {Woman2Woman}

I know how I’m supposed to act. How I’m supposed to feel. How I’m supposed to “be” as a mother and a wife. It’s all laid out very clearly and succinctly in God’s word. And the more I read, I realize how very far I miss the mark.  I read these words and they stir my heart this week before Mother’s Day…

“Her children will rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.”
Proverbs 31:28

I’m fairly certain my son was not rising up and calling me blessed this morning as I forced him to brush his teeth,
leading to him spitting it out all over his shirt, leading to a change and almost being late for school,
leading to me pulling over on the side of the road to apologize,
leading to him covering his head with his backpack all the way to his classroom and not telling me goodbye (for the first time in his three years of school drop off),
leading to me crying heading back to car,
leading to this…another mother friend holding me crying in the parking lot and praying over me.

Yes, that’s a lot more like who I am. What I’ve become. Who I am somedays…how I feel a lot of days. 

Not very blessed, huh? But oh, so very real.

And I know there’s grace for that. For those moments. For these hard days of mothering that can be oh. so. glorious…and yet oh. so. hard. Lisa-Jo Baker got that exactly right.

And in the grace that we have to often pour out on our children and families, maybe it’s time we turned around and gave some back to ourselves.

Would that be so wrong? To actually grace ourselves for a change?

To stop beating ourselves up for being so perfectly imperfect?

When my friend was letting me snotty-nose-ugly-cry on her shoulder in the school parking lot, she was whispering these words into my ear…”Lord, let your child give herself grace today…”

And I believe He did. And He does. And He will.

Through His grace, we can grace ourselves.

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Of course I want my children and my husband to have a mother and a wife they consider a blessing. And I pray when it’s all said and done, they will be able to see that I was…somedays. But it’s not even plausible to think that I will be on most.

I do know that the closer I get to Jesus, the more my sin and faults are blindly obvious. And the harder Satan fights to draw them out.

I’m determined to stay the course. To draw near to Jesus so He will draw near to me. That’s what He promises.

He also promises that if we submit to Him and resist satan that satan will flee… Yes, I cling to that promise often. Very often.

This week as we think about the mothers we had or have and the mothers we are or want to be or wish we could be…remember this. You matter. Whether you have your own children or are like a mother to someone else’s. You matter. We all matter.

And we are not going to be perfect, because we don’t have to be.

I’m here to say it’s possible to be a blessing and not be perfect. If that wasn’t the case, who did Jesus come to save?

It’s completely possible to be an imperfect blessing giver.

There’s a lot of comfort in someone coming alongside you and saying they’ve been where you are and it’s ok to not be perfect. It’s ok to not be a blessing everyday. There’s grace for that.

And I’d like to think I can be a blessing to someone else, even these littles and this man in my own home, through my imperfect offerings and with a measure of self-given grace.

Take your own measure of grace today if you need it. You won’t be alone. And then go and bless someone with it…and find yourself blessed more than them.

In His Grace,
Meredith

woman 2 woman

See below for more information about Wednesday’s on the blog. For the next five weeks, we will open the floor for posts on any verse or combination of verses from Proverbs 31:12-31. Let’s see what God speaks to you and in turn speaks to us all through these well-known verses in a new light. Thank you so much in advance for linking-up Woman 2 Woman! 

On Wednesday’s we have started a tradition of speaking “Woman to Woman.” Find us on twitter or Facebook with #w2w. I’ve asked other sisters to join in the discussion by adding their own links below or by adding their thoughts in the comments. If you have a blog and would like to link your post, please link directly to your permalink (ie. http://4hisgloryblog.com/2014/04/02/woman-to-woman-patiently-impatient/) and not your homepage URL (ie. http://4hisgloryblog.com) by clicking on the little blue frog. If you would also be so kind as to link back to this page in some form or fashion, I would greatly appreciate it. :D

You can go back to the beginning to see the foundation for this community here. We would be humbled beyond belief to have you join in. The more voices speaking to one another, the more chance we will be heard and the more opportunity for healing and growing as sisters. And to spur one another on in love, we ask that you visit the person linked before you and comment to encourage. Our words matter. In giving and receiving, they matter. You matter. More than you know. We matter. xoxo- Meredith

 

 

 

For the hard days that end in “why?”

I see you.

The wife who sees no hope for change.
The mama at her wits end.
The friend with nothing left to give.

I see you.
I know you.
I’ve worn your skin.

What happened to the fairy tale endings and God-sized dreamer ready to take on the world?

Where did those go?
Where did she go?

Sometimes in living life, we lose ourselves.

We lose site of who we were in becoming who we are.
We lose site of the dreams we once had in view of the here and now and doubt of ever achieving what seems impossible anyway.

But this.

 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.”
Hebrews 6:19

He’s already been there and done that so we don’t have to fret over what we think we can’t do.

Whether that’s writing a book, or leading a ministry, or changing the 1, 532,893 diaper or making the 4,234,912 meal. again.

A sure and steadfast anchor of our soul in the storm-tossed waves of life that tempt to drown our dreams and drown our soul.

A God-sized dream takes God-sized faith to see it through.

Our God is big enough and strong enough to see us through.

We aren’t hoping in something that has no hope, we are hoping in Someone that is Hope. 

The sun doesn’t set on God-sized dreams when we seek hard after the God that gives them and can fulfill them.

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When the days get hard and the dreams seem lost and we just want to know “why…,” we can rest assured He hears our pleas.

The answers may come fast or slow and the answer may be “yes” or it may be “no.”

In Gods sovereignty he has the Power and ability to do anything He wishes.

In God’s humanity he will hold and comfort us when he says no or not now.

God’s humanity always comforts us in the sovereignty of His will.

And always, always He is with us in the storm. Holding fast as an anchor in our sea of doubt.

Does He see me?
Does He really know what’s going on in my life?
Does He know what I’m dealing with?
Does He really care?

Yes, He does. He is the I am. He is everywhere, in and through everything.

His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.

The dreams we have for ourselves are nothing as compared to those our God has for us. And in His power He will see them through.

If we let Him. If we get out of the boat in faith and let Him lead us through the storms and the calm. He wants it all. All of us. Every bit of you and every bit of me. Wholly His.

There are no fifty shades of grey with our God. There is “yes, I’m yours” or “no, I’m the worlds.”

In Him is the only place we will ever know peace even when every day is hard that ends in “why.”

Take heart, friend. Today I want you to know that you. matter. You matter to me and you matter to Him. For His Glory. You. Matter.

And in Him, those dreams you once dared to dream that He gave you to dream are worth taking back up. One glorious day at a time, they are worth digging into. For His Glory.

In Him,
Meredith

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I’m linking up today to a haven for all God-sized dreamers.
Come here to find friendship and love to spur you on to your own God-sized dreams!

When ordinary is its own kind of brave. {Guest Post and a Giveaway}

It’s an exciting day on this little blog of mine…and a day to remind you that you are brave and glorious even in your ordinary and that you matter. My theme this week for every woman, wife and mother is YOU MATTER. So for the next few minutes be our guest and pull up a sofa, chair or toilet seat (if it’s the only quiet place you can find), grab a cup of coffee or tea or chocolate with milk (that’s what my girl calls it and I happen to like it) and let Lisa-Jo’s words settle in your soul today. You’ll be so glad you did…then check out the end for a special giveaway. ;)

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Most of my days look the same as the day before.

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And I wonder what to write about because, really, there’s nothing new.

The alarm goes off at 7:20 and I go into Micah’s room to rub his back and try to bring him awake on the right side of the bed. Jackson gropes for his glasses and walks through to use to the bathroom, never ever heeding my shrieks to, for goodness sakes close the door!

Zoe wakes up bright and chipper and her hair all standing haywire on end, straight up from her head.

Breakfast is bagels and cream cheese or toast or cereal or sometimes fried eggs and bacon if we have enough time.

And I have practiced, months and months of practice, of keeping my voice calm despite what my blood pressure is doing as the clock ticks toward the inevitable arrival of the school bus and the boys still don’t have their shoes and socks on.

But it’s ordinary. So very ordinary.

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I have meetings and deadlines and I write blog posts if I’ve got one that climbs up out of my head and demands to be written down.

I wear make up even when I’m working from home because it helps me feel awake; present in my life. I sit at the kitchen table in the pool of sunlight that streams in through the huge windows and I’m grateful for these small moment of ordinary glory.

But 8 hours tick by like that. Zoe goes to preschool every other morning and I’m left with my house and the dishes I don’t feel like unloading from the dishwasher and so many moments are simply the choice to keep showing up.

Meeting the kids as they get off the bus, figuring out snacks and math homework and new ways to trick Jackson into finding his reading assignments interesting.

The world spins by so slowly outside our windows.

I wonder what I got done and I stay up too late because I don’t feel like doing it all over again tomorrow.

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I wish for weekends away with just Peter.

I wish for movie nights out.

I wish for quiet conversations that don’t require kid-inserted subtitles.

That’s just the truth of it. That this season is very very slow and ordinary and I have to remind myself that this is what brave looks like for me. For us.

It doesn’t involve platforms or pulpits or speaking tours or social justice or passports.

It’s counting how many mornings this week I’ve held onto my temper and chosen to love my six-year-old toward a day of meaning for him. It’s showing up today and today and again today.

Because every day is building a lifetime of what they will remember about their mother and right now and here it’s OK to have late afternoons of lying under the grey blanket and simply stroking the hair of a boy who has outgrown his baby-skin by far. And still I pet his hair because he loves it. And me too.

And this? This is beautiful too. This is significant and necessary and real and I am loved not by the size of what I do but by the God who watches me do it. Today and today and again later today.

He makes all the things I do beautiful.

The ordinary glorious beautiful things.

{To see the video reminder of why all mothers are braver than they know, click here}.

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This guest post comes with love from Lisa-Jo Baker to our community in celebration of Mother’s Day. If you haven’t already – treat yourself, your mom, your sister, your BFF or your grandma to a copy of her new book, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom.

No matter what stage you’re in when it comes to motherhood, we promise it will encourage. And remind you that you are braver than you think.

Now for the FUN STUFF…enter a comment below for a chance to WIN a copy of Lisa-Jo’s life-changing-meet-you-in-the-middle-of-your-glorious-ordinary-book, Surprised by Motherhood, courtesy of me, winner to be announced on Mother’s Day. And also be in the drawing for one of three signed book plates compliments of Lisa-Jo! Get. Out. Of. Town. How generous is that?! I’m beyond humbled at her generosity and support for all of us weary mothers, whether you are a mother of biological children or not…so many of us are mothers in so many ways and all of us share the same bond.

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This is delightful book plate that Lisa-Jo will sign and mail to three lucky winners. :D

Give her some love back and tell every mother you know about this book, after you get your own copy and one for the most important women in your life. And a copy for every baby shower in your future. And a copy for a weary mom you don’t know in the grocery store line. This book is that good. And you need it in your hands. We all do.

Blessings to you and stay tuned for a busy week here on the blog and a post later this week telling you more of my own story…Lisa-Jo has helped me find my own brave and I’m excited to share with you.

xoxo,
Meredith