Five Minute Friday | {Mighty}

Here we are again…another Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker and the gang. She prompts, we write. Five minutes (give or take…give a little for me usually), real, raw words. Short. Sweet. Hopefully. 😉 Enjoy!

{mighty}

Big word, mighty is. Well, not a really big word, but it means big. Right?

Powerful. Strong. Brave. Willing. Mighty.

Well tonight I don’t feel very powerful. strong. brave. willing. or mighty.

Sometimes we have minutes, days, weeks, years that suck the life right out of us and leave us anything but mighty. Much less than mighty.

And then the thought of the Mighty One comes to mind.

The One who gave me this life. To live free.

He never meant it to be about me. My wants. My needs. My desires. My might.

He gave me this life to be about Him. His will. His love. His ways. His Might.

Jesus died in humility so that in three days His Might would be revealed and never questioned again.

When He died and rose again, His Might took over for my failings. As a person. As a parent. As a wife. As a friend.

In His Might, I can prevail. Not because I am. Because He is. The Great I Am.

No matter what gives you the thought you are un-mighty today, there is One whose Might can fill that void.

It’s not up to us to be what He wants to be for us. What He’s already proved He can do in us. If we let Him.

We have a mighty call alright. To stop the fight and give into His Might. 

Your Mighty Mess,
Meredith

And if you have a mother, know a mother or “am” a mother…don’t miss Lisa-Jo’s book “Surprised by Motherhood.” I’ll never be the same for reading it. And I’ll recommend it to every woman I know. Mother or not. Get it here now. Go. Now. You’ll be sending me chocolate because you love it that much. (Vanilla Lindt preferred. Thanks!)

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Woman to Woman: Meekness is not Weakness.

A woman covered from head to toe who only speaks when spoken to and has no ability to defend herself. Timid and shy. That’s been my view of what the word meek meant in the past. Meekness is weakness, right? That’s what people say. That’s what people think. I did.

I was wrong. They are wrong.

Meekness is actually a characteristic of Christ that we are to emulate. And wear. Boldly.

Continuing to talk woman to woman today as we dissect this instructional verse,

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness…” (Colossians 3:12 ESV)

What is meekness if not weakness? An attitude of grace, I believe. A choice to take the high road, when you are being steered down the lesser one.

Surely meekness is a close cousin to the better fit of humility we discussed last week, but not one in the same.

Merriam-Webster’s defines meekness as “ enduring injury with patience and without resentment” and “not violent.”

It doesn’t take more than a few seconds for this notably aloof blonde to recognize the greatest living testimony to that definition.

…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)

Has another human ever exemplified the definition of meekness more than Jesus? I say not.

And how do we as women begin to see ourselves as capable of the same? I ask you. I don’t have the answer. I just know He did it. And He expects us to. And then there is this great reward for figuring out how to wear this seemingly impossible to wear trait,

The payoff for meekness and Fear-of-God
is plenty and honor and a satisfying life. (Proverbs 22:4 MSG)

Yes, please. I’ll take those words on my headstone. “She lived a God-fearing, honorable and satisfying life.”

How do I get there? How do we get there?

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We could start by recognizing meekness for what it is. It does not equate to a life lived in fear or under someone’s thumb. Quite the opposite.

We choose to endure our trials with strength and dignity and grace. This does not mean we endure abuse that goes against the laws of man or of God. Meekness is not a means to excuse or tolerate abuse. God allowed laws to be put in place for our protection and if we experience abuse that breaks those laws, we should always seek help and a way out.

I’m talking about the trials that God gives us to endure for His names sake. Those things we don’t necessarily want to go through, but when we do we come out stronger than before and He is glorified through our example of meekness to a world that needs to see it personified.  To a world that saw it once and didn’t realize it for what it was.

Jesus endured the cross for the JOY set before Him. He could see the other side and in humility and meekness, He stayed on the cross when He could have called legions of Angels to rescue Him. But He had a greater plan. One of redemption and grace and hope. A plan that through His meekness was fulfilled.

Woman to woman, can we remember this great example of meekness the next time we face a trial threatening to leave us only weak?

Can we agree that meekness is not really weakness and is actually worth putting on? And even weakness when worn in the image of Christ, is strength.

It’s not wrong to be weak. When we are weak, He is strong.

It’s not wrong to be meek. When we are meek, He is lifted High.

In meekness He was lifted high that we might experience the same Joy one day. One glorious day. A day worth putting on meekness for today. 

Graciously yours,
Meredith

Welcome to Woman to Woman Wednesday’s here on my little piece of blog real estate. Working to encourage each other to truth in Christ. I would be ever so honored if you would link-up with your own blog post on today’s topic by clicking below on the little blue frog or at the least, share some comments with us. We are all in this together and we can learn so much more from each other than on our own. Agree? Thank you for stopping by and I can’t wait to meet you! xoxo-Meredith

Big or Small. It’s all the Same.

Somedays I need to know that the small stuff in my life matters as much as the big stuff. And sometimes my small stuff seems bigger to me than it would to you. But knowing all my stuff is big to God brings solace.

Really, all our stuff matters to God. No matter how big or small it is to us. No matter how big or small it is to someone else. 

He actually tells us to bring it Him. No matter what it is. He doesn’t just say to tell Him about it, He actually says to THROW it on Him. How’s that for a God that cares?

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7, ESV)

God doesnt want us to hold onto our problems, knowing we can do nothing about them. The longer we hold them, the more they become us. The more they take over our lives and our heart and our soul. 

Instead, God wants us to not only bring, but FLING, our problems on Him. That’s what that word cast means in the Greek. To fling, hurl or toss and to do it quickly. God doesn’t want us holding onto our problems for more than a second. He wants us to step out of our problems and give them to Him to wear. He can wear them a lot easier than we can.

God wants to own our problems, instead of our problems owning us.

No matter the size of our bucket of rocks, God’s bucket is bigger. 

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I can tell you my problems and you can listen and not be able to really do anything about them. And sometimes that’s really a great comfort. Just being able to speak the problem. Give it life. And get it out. But does that really solve anything? In the end, usually not.

We actually have Someone available to us that not only wants to hear our problems, He wants to TAKE our problems from us. And the best part is, He is actually able to do something about them. How’s that for a God that loves?

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16, ESV)

Draw near. Yeah, that’s easier said than done somedays. Either we see our problems as too small to bring to such a big God or we are so engulfed in the enormity of our problems, we can’t see through the fog to make it to the throne. Ever been there?

I have. I’ve been in both places. Small problems too trivial to bother anyone, let alone God, with. And problems so big I can’t get out of bed and stop crying to find my way to my knees or my bible. And what would I say or read when I got there?

Look at that verse in Hebrews again. It says we have a God that gets it. He’s been there and felt that. Jesus experienced every emotion and hurt we could ever or will ever endure. And we are promised that if we draw near to His mercy seat, we will find grace and help.

Grace and help. Those are two beautiful words to a soul in need of them. And in the midst of whatever your situation, you can always identify the moment you need these. You may not know how to get them, but you always know when you need them.

Well here is a reminder. These two things, Grace and Help, are always available to the children of the Living God. The great Grace-Giver. The only source of true Help in the midst of our troubles. Big or Small. It’s all the Same.

Graciously,
Meredith

Five Minute Friday | {Joy}

Five minutes. Unfiltered. Unedited. Real. Raw. Words. Joining up with the awesomely awesome mama/blogger/author/friend Lisa-Jo Baker and many more awesomely awesome bloggers for Five Minute Friday.

Today’s prompt is “Joy.”

START

When I hear the word “joy” I think immediately of that song I sung as a child in Sunday School. Sitting at that miniature table on those little wooden seats with names of the older church kids carved in them. Surrounded by those white cinder block walls and felt board and posters holding my little white bible engraved with my name in silver.

That song about “Joy, Joy, Joy…down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart…to stay.”

Where did that joy come from? Where did it go?

All those years singing about it and learning about it and never really finding it. Not real joy.

Sure there were good days. Lots of good days. A great childhood. Loving family. In those little wooden seats every time the door opened…singing about joy. But where was it?

It was where it always has been. In my heart. I just had to find it. I had to seek the One who put it there and give Him the opportunity to let it flow.

I was thirty years old before I ever really did that. Gave my heart to Him so He could let the joy come in. And go out.

I still find it hard to find the joy some days. Today. In the midst of should have beens and used to be’s and would have if’s…the joy can get lost.

But it’s still there. If we seek Him, He promises we will find Him. And where He is there is Joy.

And if He’s in us and we are IN HIM, we have joy.

We choose Jesus. We choose Joy.

That’s simple enough for this simple girl to get. When I don’t have joy it’s because I haven’t chosen it.

It’s in me. I just have to fight for it more some days than others.

Choose Jesus. Choose Joy.

Graciously,
Meredith

STOP (well…that may have been a few minutes more than 5…I won’t lie. :\ )

Thank you for choosing to stop by today. I would be truly joyful if you would take a moment to say “Hi” in the comments!
Blessings,
Meredith

 

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Hope in the Weeds.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I’m going to sound cliche. Spending some good soul-searching-dirt-under-fingernail time this past week on an unseasonably warm day led to a few analogies I have to share. Analogies about weeds. Weeds in my plant bed and weeds in the bed of my soul.

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My soul that sprouts weeds so easily. All it takes is one lie to get them started. Just like the garden of Eden. One lie deemed truth turned the world upside down. Forever changed the course of history. For one man and one woman who had the perfect life. Believed the perfect lie. And the rest was history.

How is my own soul like that? In too many ways to count.

I let the Enemy tell me one lie. To paraphrase my pastor, “Even a half-truth is a whole lie.” Satan’s really good at that. Telling me a half-truth to get me doubting and then get me acting on it.

Believing less than the whole I really know to be true. Forgetting who I am in Christ and believing who the world says I am. Or should be. Or could be.

Then this one lie becomes like a weed in my heart. And it doesn’t need water to grow. In fact, it likes drought.

The drier the better. A dry soul is a breeding ground for the lies of the Enemy to spread like wildfire.

A soul parched from lack of Truth is sure to catch fire from the Enemy’s lies.

Those chickweeds of lies work on killing this chick. One by one by one. They multiply to death.

As I dug out the weeds in the plant bed, it became obvious the only way to get them all was to extract them by hand. They seemed to multiply as I pulled. It was tedious. It was dirty. My back hurt. My knees hurt. But in the end, it was soul satisfying. That clean bed was ready for day lilies and daffodils to make their entrance. The weeds are gone. For now.

When we finished, there was tangible proof we had accomplished something.

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That’s actually a chocolate smile…not dirt. Well, maybe some dirt mixed with chocolate.

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When we kill the lies Satan puts in our hearts, we have accomplished the work of God.

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I pulled and piled. The kids carted those spindly green threats away in their little dump truck. Teamwork at its best. And I explained to my little souls that those weeds were like sin. When we let one sin, one bad decision, one wrong choice creep into our life, we are making room for another one to follow. And another.

And then the best part. I told them that all of that work we did to remove those weeds was done in the blink of an eye by God when we seek forgiveness. Our sins are removed immediately and permanently when we repent and accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. His gift of Life. His gift of Truth. His gift of Hope.

We will have to fight to keep the weeds from coming back in that plant bed. Some pre-emergent will help prepare the soil to kill them before they sprout. Like the preparation of our own souls with the watering of the Word.

Without Truth our souls aren’t prepared to kill sin before it sprouts.

With Truth we have Hope in the weeds.

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Yes, it takes some work on our part. To keep weeds out of our plant beds and sin out of our heart. But the rewards are always greater than the cost.

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An immortal King who knew no bounds, came to earth confined to flesh and an earthly king’s dominion. He endured sorrow, denial, hatred and torture for doing no wrong. Jesus poured out blood through sweat and His pierced side so that I would never have to. He died in my stead. For my sins that He knew none. He paid the fine for my sin-debt.

My reward in Him is worth any cost I pay while I’m on this earth. 

There will be weeds in my yard. There will be sin in my heart. I will fight them until my fight here is over.

But I will fight harder to keep them away knowing the cost paid for their final removal. And then this…

 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:14 ESV)

That’s a day worth waiting for. Worth fighting for. Worth living for.

Here’s to that day, friend. And until that day, may we fight the weeds of sin and lie that seek to kill us with the power of the only One that can destroy them. There is Hope in the weeds.

In Christ Alone,
Meredith

Five Minute Friday | {Crowd}

Linking up with the fabulous Lisa-Jo Baker and the “crowd” again this week for Five Minute Friday. Five minutes of pure, unadulterated, no-edit, get-it-out-there, real and raw writing. There is a pre-party every Thursday night at #fmfparty that is a blast…if you can stay awake. Which I never seem to be able to do. Enjoy. 😉

This week’s prompt is “CROWD”…Here we go.

BEGIN

Have you ever been that face in the crowd? The one that isn’t sure of it’s own existence, much less what it means in the midst of so many other faces?

I have. Been there. Recently.

I would have said I was secure. Secure enough in  my own identity for it to not matter what the crowd said or thought or didn’t say or think. I’m a tough girl. I’m good in my own skin. Until the other night.

Really, this is ridiculous. I like people. I’m not an introvert. Really. Although there does seem to be much more freedom flowing from these fingertips, than from my timid soul when put in a crowd. Yeah, so my kids caught on to that, too.

They hovered close. Clinging to legs. Not letting go for fear the crowd might swallow them up.

It didn’t. Didn’t swallow them…or me. In fact, we found some new friends after we settled in for the night.

That’s what happens with fear, isn’t it?

Once we overcome fear, fear doesn’t overcome us. 

There’s a message in there, somewhere. I don’t have time to unpack it today. Maybe another. I did talk about fear and grace here, though.

That’s five minutes and this is hard to not want to go back and revise and edit and make longer and stronger.

That’s the fear in me. If I put this out there without the edit and extra words I may miss some “likes” and “shares” and comments. That’s ok, though. I’m sticking with the crowd this time.

Graciously In Him,
Meredith

STOP

An aside…I’m so glad that no matter what crowd I’m in, no matter how small I feel at times, there is only One who determines my true worth. As a Daughter of the King, I’m considered Beloved and complete…in Him. In Christ Alone. 

Woman to Woman: Killing with Kindness.

We’ve all heard the saying and as a woman, we’ve all tried it before.
Killing with kindness.

That’s the way, right? The way to get back at someone that has been less than kind to you. It’s not wrong to be extra kind to someone that needs to see what kindness is really all about. Right?

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. (Col. 3:12, MSG)

Well, that’s a dress that may not fit so well right now, a little too tight perhaps, so we are unpacking a little at a time. Today we will look at kindness. What does real kindness look like between women? It’s become so foreign a concept we tend to forget.

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Paul says in Romans 12:9 (MSG) to “love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.”

What? I can’t fake it? I can’t kill her with kindness since she has been so unkind to me?

Brother Paul says no. And that means God says…No.

Paul also says here to “love from the center of who you are.” That goes a little deep does it not? The center of who I am is not always a pretty site. It’s not always full of love and kindness.

What’s in the well comes up in the bucket.

And my well can get muddy if not all together dry at times. 

My muddy soul can produce some dirty thoughts, words and deeds. To sow kindness means I’ve got to have some kindness in me to pull from. That means I’ve got some work to do. God’s got a work to do in me.

I’m not saying I’m a mean person. All the time. Or that we as women are mean. All the time. But if we are honest, REALLY honest, we will see some room for improvement in the kindness category.

Who are we kidding? Women can be the meanest creatures known to man. We don’t even have to verbalize it. It’s in the way we look. I mean stare. “I can’t believe she wore that to church? Does she own a mirror? What kind of mama did she have to let her think that was appropriate attire for Wal-Mart, much less church?” (insert gasp…and a smile, we always put on a smile when we think things like this. Or is that just me?)

Kindness isn’t just a lesson our teenage daughters need. Though they can be bad. Really bad. I know, I was one.

I was not the most popular girl. I didn’t have the name-brand clothes. I never had the “right” hair. I couldn’t keep up with what was the popular music or tv show…that week. They changed too much. And I knew what it felt like to be looked at “that way” that said I know you are different, but I won’t be mean to your face. Or maybe I will.

I’ve also been on the other side. I was never deliberately mean to another girl, but I was trying to find my place in the world, too, and if it meant not talking to you or avoiding you because you were a little different, I probably did. Ok, I did. I know I did it at times.

Back to what I said…kindness isn’t just something our teenage daughters need.
It’s something we as women need.

Who do they learn to be so mean from, anyway? Think about that a moment.
Who do they learn from?

Then there’s this. The fact that you don’t know what that other soul is bearing today. What enormous cross are they lugging up a one-way hill?

You don’t know that she wakes up to a man every morning that is living in darkness and that darkness is constantly groping for her own soul.

You don’t know that she has a parent that has become more needy than her own children.

You don’t know that she has a prodigal that has left home or left their faith or worse yet never had the faith she thought they had and she has no idea when or if they will ever return to her or to the God that she has tried her entire life to lead them to.

So yeah, there’s that. In the bitterness of our soul, we don’t see the other soul for what they’re facing.

So we say an unkind word.  We think an unkind thought. We do an unkind deed. And none of those can be taken back.

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A word spoken is a word eternal.

A thought etched in our mind is a thought eternal.

A deed done is a deed eternal.

A word penned is a word eternal.

A word expressed is a word eternal. Period.

It takes as much effort to say a kind word, do a kind deed, think a kind thought, as it does to do, think, or share one unkind.

Oh, that we as people, we as sisters, would start sharing more kindness than hate.

It’s not in our flesh, but it’s in our ability through the One who can and will clothe us with kindness if we let Him.

It’s time. For kindness to overcome hate and envy and greed and just. plain. meanness.

It’s time to be more. Our girls are watching and learning. Let’s do this. It’s time to be kind.

Graciously,
Meredith

It’s “Woman to Woman” Wednesday. Working on unity of the sisterhood here on Wednesdays one perfectly imperfect word at a time. If you would like to share your thoughts on todays post or add your own comments about how we can grow kindness as a sisterhood, we welcome your words below! Feel free to leave comments or add a link to your own blog post. Much thanks! (Excuse the little blue frog…though he is kind of cute, I would rather not have him on here, but can’t seem to make him go away. :O) Please has it out with us using #w2w when you share. 😀 You can view last week’s W2W here.

Wringing out what we pour in.

This mama saw her moment of reprieve and she took it. All 120 seconds of it.

I sat down in my back yard on that one patch of new green grass that was dry enough not to soak through my already dirty britches and just soaked it in. I looked at my muddy two-sizes too big muck boots stuck out there like the boats my feet are and thought how great it was to just sit after all that digging and bending over. And how glad I was to see the sun. So much wet, so much snow, so much cold. And now to see and feel the sun again.

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The sun. I hadn’t seen it in so long I almost forgot what it looked like. What it felt like. How warm and sweet that big ball of light felt on my tired face and closed eyes.

I was having a moment. A quiet, sun-soaked moment. And I wasn’t alone.

I  felt His presence. I even whispered for Him to come. I knew it wouldn’t last long, but I knew it was special.

As the suns rays warmed my face, I sensed His Spirit speak to my soul. That bright light that I couldn’t open my eyes to see was like my God. So bright I could never look on Him and live, and in the same instance His light is what keeps me alive.

It was as if He was saying, “Soak me up, Meredith.”

Soak Him up.

I need to spend time soaking Him up if I ever hope to wring Him out.

I can only wring out what I’ve soaked up in the first place. That dirty dish rag I keep meaning to change and finally do when it actually starts to stink or feel slimy, is full of what it’s been soaking up. This week that’s been plates of mashed potatoes, gravy and old peas my three-year old says she “wants when she wants them” and when she doesn’t come back for them an hour later they get washed off with that rag. That rag that’s been soaking up all of the junk in my sink.

That’s my soul. Soaking up whatever I put in it. And that’s what gets rung out.

Junk in means junk out. Grace in means grace out.

In those short moments soaking up the sun I realized I needed to be soaking up more of the Son.

It was over as quick as it started. I heard a plea for mama…where did I go? They just needed to know where I was. There is that need, to just know where their mama is. That sense of security a child needs to feel secure in their own skin. Even in the place they call home and feel most comfortable. Always needing their mama or daddy’s presence to feel secure.

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I’m the same way. I need to know my Father is with me, too. And today He reminded me.

He’s with me. Even if I don’t see Him or always feel Him. He’s here.

The Son is always shining, even if I don’t see Him.

I need to soak Him up whenever I can, so I’ll have Him to pour out on these littles. And their father. And all others I come in contact with.

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God grant me the ability to soak up more of You than what this world is throwing down.

And let me remember You are always there for me to take in even when I don’t see you or feel you.

With arms open for your daughter. There’s graceful arms open for this muddy daughter’s muddy soul today.

And there are arms open for the muddy soul reading this. We could all stand to soak up a little Son today, couldn’t we?

Graciously,
Meredith

Woman to Woman: Put it on.

We began talking last week “Woman to Woman.” We talked about several truths as I see them and some of you had great feedback as to what your own truths looked like.

I feel led to start discussions between women, from a woman, to grow women.

In the end, we are the ones who “get” each other, right? The men in our lives can love us, provide for us, protect us and be an amazing part of our lives…but I’ve yet to have one man in my life that really “gets” being a woman. He’s not. I am.

We have a lot we could and should be teaching one another. A lot we should be doing to build one another up. To grow in community as moms/wives/friends. And as Christian women, we have a call to serve one another in love. To serve our families in love.

My hearts cry is that we as women would start growing together and going together. Growing upwards and going forward.

Our lives are not about me, you, us or them. It’s all about Him. Everything we do and say is meant to glorify the One who gave us eyes to see, lips to speak, hands to mend, feet to go…and hearts to love.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts…” (Col. 3:12)

Let’s start there. We are to put on compassionate hearts.

In the morning I put on my makeup because it’s not already applied. I don’t have tattooed eyeliner…that scares me immensely, but would be very awesome to never have to apply in my lifetime again. And mascara…that takes way too long.

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I put on my clothes…because that’s the thing to do. And you thank me for that. And somebody please help me with this closet. Please.

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I put on my watch…so I will not be late. Well, that’s the idea anyway.

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I put on a false sense of security…because I wouldn’t want you to think I was insecure. Not me.

I put on a smile…even when I may be frowning inside. That’s the polite thing to do. Especially when you ask me how I’m doing. “Fine.” With a smile. Do you really want to know how I’m doing, anyway?

We all put on something everyday. Because it’s not already on us or in us, so we have to put. it. on. 

These words from Paul are telling me that I, as God’s beloved, also have to put on some things to be what I’ve been called and chosen to be. There is a lot to unpack in the reality that we are chosen and beloved, alone. I talked about that in You. Are. Beloved. Yes, You.

An important first step in the process of identifying with other beloveds is realizing you are beloved.

We are instructed to put on a compassionate heart. That implies I don’t already possess one. Ouch. That hurts.

Who wants to think they don’t possess a compassionate heart? I love people. And babies. And animals. I have compassion.

Sorry. No, I really don’t. Not without God giving it to me. Not the kind of compassion He wants me to have. For Him.

Compassion for Him. For His Son. For His people. Now we are getting somewhere.

When I let Christ’s compassion wash over me, I will in turn have compassion to give back to the Giver. And from the overflow of what’s been given me, I will extend a compassionate heart to my sisters. And husband. And children. And all the “less than” that I now “overlook.”

Without a compassionate heart there is no hope for love. Without love there is no hope.

Love is the tie that binds.

Everything else I want to address and talk about with you Woman to Woman stems from having a compassionate heart.

A heart overflowing with love from the Father, for the Father and all the Father’s children. Including our own children. Our own husbands. Our own family. Our sisters. And all those “less than” that we’ve been overlooking for so long. Out of fear. Or disgrace. Or whatever.

Will you go with me towards putting on a compassionate heart? It may take some getting used to. But there is grace for that. God always equips the called. And as His children, we’ve been called to put on a compassionate heart.

As the season of Lent approaches, many people decide to “give up” something to observe what Jesus gave up for us. It’s hard to think we could give up anything that would compare to what he gave up. Perhaps a good start would be what my friend Michele-Lyn Ault suggests, less of me and more of Him. And perhaps a good place to start there would be letting go of the parts of my heart that don’t allow compassion in.

For lent I will strive to let go of my…
jealous heart.
disappointed heart.
ashamed heart.
comparing heart.
self-righteous heart.
unforgiving heart.
slanderous heart.

And I will strive to grasp a compassionate heart.

Compassion drove Jesus to the cross.
Compassion drove Jesus from the grave.
Compassion changed the world.
And it still can. It can change mine. It can change yours.

Graciously,

Meredith

If you would like to share your own thoughts about todays post or write your own post in response, please link post or add your thoughts in comments.

I’m also linking this up to Jennifer Dukes Lee and an awesome group who are giving up their own “Love Idols” this lent.

Link your own Woman to Woman post below…I’ll be so gracious for it!

Five Minute Friday | {choose}

So, it’s Friday. And I’m excited to start a new tradition of following an awesome lady’s lead to write on a prompt she gives for five minutes flat. No fluff. No stuff. Just write and it doesn’t have to be just right. Love that.

5minutefridayicon

Find Lisa-Jo Baker’s awesome blog here and join the #fmfparty, too.

Here we go…today’s prompt is {CHOOSE}

Choose. There is a lot wrapped up in those six letters.

We choose something everyday. We choose someone.

Based on what? Based on what’s important to us. We choose what’s important to us.

From our socks, to our shoes, to our breakfast, to our radio station, to the words we leave in our children’s ear as we send them out the door, to the failed “I love you” we meant to tell our spouse before he left, to the alarm clock that told us to get up, but we hit snooze. Because we chose to.

Our days are full of “choosing.” Right. Wrong. Good. Bad. Choices.

And in the end, we have but one choice. Life. Death. Heaven. Hell.

Yeah, she had to get around to that didn’t she? Yeah, I guess I did.

It’s the one choice that matters. Out of all of the other choices, Jesus is the only choice that matters.

We choose Him, all else falls into place. We make better choices all together. But that choice has to be made first. And last.

He chose me. Thank God, He chose me.

Unloveable, yelling mama, screaming wife, undeserving daughter, out-of-touch sister, fallible friend. Yet, He still chose me.

Unbelievable. But believable. True story.

Living to choose Him daily. Living to choose the Grace-Giver. And so glad He chose to give it to me. To us all. For the taking.

Free. Radical. Life-changing. Grace. Our choice.

Who and what are you choosing today?

Graciously,
Meredith