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.

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. https://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. 😀

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

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday | {mess}

If ever the term “mess” fit me…today was that day.

From the early morning “words” with the cattleman at the breakfast table.

To the tears welling up as I tried to answer small talk with the cashier at the “Pig.”

To the tantrums I threw in response to my child’s. That’s plural. It happened more than once.

Yep, I was a mess today. And every day in a lot of ways.

One big heaping pile of perfectly imperfect mess in need of Perfect help.

And after time on my knees scrubbing the toilet and scrubbing out my soul, God eased the mess a bit.

I felt some relief knowing He knew. He saw it all happen. He knew my heart all along. But He wanted me to tell Him.

I needed me to tell Him. To plead for help just like David did. And know He would answer. Just like He did for David and has done so often for me.

There is solace in this mess of life only through His love and grace to cover it.

No other way. Not even one.

I know there are a lot of people living in darkness today. That can’t see the light. I went there today. And it scared me.

No matter how messy life gets, there is One bigger and One brighter than the mess. Always. Perfectly.

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He’s in it with us and he’s ready to see us out. In His time. His will. His way. Until we get it.

Until we get that this life ain’t about us after all. And no matter what mess we find ourself in and no matter what caused it, we have Hope.

Hope in the One who put Himself in the biggest mess the world could offer only to save us from our own. Daily. From one glorious mess to another.

Your perfectly imperfect mess tonight,
Meredith

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and the gang for Five Minute Friday and tonight’s prompt was {mess}…if you couldn’t already guess. 😉

Five Minute Friday

A diamond in the rough.

I like to think of myself as a good wife. A good mother. A good daughter. A good person. But in the grand scheme of things, I’m not nearly as much a jewel as I would like to think I am. Or as I have been called to be.

Psalm 31:10

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.

Good question, huh? An excellent wife, who can find…? I know some excellent wives. They do and do and do for their husbands and children and grandchildren and families and friends and church. But in the end, all the doing doesn’t amount to much if it’s not done for the right reasons and even more so, for the right Person.

We’ve been called to excellency. And evidently the psalmist realized an excellent woman and wife would be harder to find than a pearl in a sea of oysters.

A diamond in the rough. That’s what we are, right?

On this journey of life and motherhood and wifehood.

A diamond is not born a diamond. A diamond is made a diamond. Only after intense heat and pressure is it’s true value ever realized and it’s worth ever made known.

That’s me and you.

Once put through the fire and pressure of life, we come out refined and stronger than before. Just like a diamond.

Once put through the trials of motherhood and marriage and friendship, we learn less of us and more of Him is the better Way.

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We are in the process of being made new in Christ. And in that process, we can become like that diamond. If we are willing to be shaped and molded and made into the Image we have been created in.

More precious than jewels. That’s what we are in Christ.

We may not be perfect or always shine as bright as we should, but as long as we are plugged into the Source, we have the ability for Him to shine through us.

Then we don’t have to be perfect, after all. And we will still be more precious than jewels. In His eyes, we will always be that precious. And in His grace, we will always be that capable.

An excellent wife, who can find? I may have a long way to go to get there, but it’s in the process of being made new that potential is found. And the end result will yield a diamond in the rough.

Life is rough. We get calloused and hard and hard to please. But the potential is there to shine. Always the potential if we are wiling to yield to His ways and will.

Here’s to the journey of excellency as a daughter of the King. So glad to be in the rough together.

Blessings,
Meredith

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. https://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. 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

Five Minute Friday | {paint}

It’s that time again. Five minutes to just write. Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and her fab following of Five Minute Friday writers to hash out five minutes of words on a given prompt without hesitation or much editing. Just real. raw. words. Tonight’s prompt is {paint}.

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There seems to be a theme in my mind and world and dreams lately…a theme woven around these thoughts of dreamers and artists.

To consider the word {paint} fits right in, in an odd little way.

I’ve never painted anything worth talking about. My kitchen wall five times in one week because I never liked the color…still don’t, but how many coats can an old wall of pine paneling truly stand? It’s peeling from children’s nerf gun attacks now, anyway.

I’ve always considered painting a skill set I just didn’t get and really didn’t want. Sure, it would be nice to be able to paint pretty pictures, but I’ve never picked up that kind of brush and I’m too old to start.

Then I consider this: I do paint. I paint daily. With words penned and thought and voiced. I paint daily.

I paint the story of my life. In all it’s mundane and monotonous tones on days that end in “y.”

I paint the story of my children’s lives. In it’s rainbow of  wet kisses and tight hugs and never-ending “I love you’s.”

I paint the story of my Savior. In it’s black and white and not so many shades of gray. There is no gray with God. He is the I am.

And as my brush paints fast and hard and deep and wide the canvas of my life, I see that today I paint. I’ve been painting all these years.

 

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And in the end if the finished work is worthy of anything at all, it will leave a trace of the One who painted my existence.

What is today a perfectly imperfect masterpiece will be perfected in His time. When the Master Painter bids me home and finishes the work He started.

What a beautiful thought. This muddled, befuddled, gloriously ordinary work of art will be made perfect by the brush of God.

The painter of crystal blue skies and fiery red sunsets will put the final strokes on my life’s canvas.

With that thought, I’ll strive to paint with more purpose and definition and love than before. Now that I know I’m a painter after all.

In His Hands,
Meredith

STOP

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Woman to Woman: When bearing with one another is just barely.

Some things are easy to do together as women. Eating. Chatting. Shopping. Put all three together and we have the perfect day. Well, most women, anyway. We can all agree on at least two of those, though, can’t we?

Some things aren’t so easy to do together as women. Agreeing on where to eat. Cutting each other off trying to chat. And telling her she really shouldn’t buy that dress in that color…or that size. Unless you are for REAL friends, then maybe you can pull that off without angst. Maybe.

In thinking about the next part of Colossians 3:12-14 we have been unpacking for several weeks now (details here)…we come to the thought of “bearing with one another.”

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness,humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another…” (Colossians 3:12-13)

Sounds really good. But how do we do that? What does that look like? What does that mean…?

To be exact, the word bear as defined by Merriam-Webster’s means “something that is difficult to do or deal with.”

My nose is a little wrinkled at that. And then I laugh a little, too. Yep. That can be me. Most days. If not every. day.

So how do we as women learn to “bear” with one another?

The way I see it, there is only one way. In love. Through Jesus.

Sounds simple enough. So why is it so hard?

Why is it hard to bear with our sisters through the good times and the bad? We are fairly good at being there for one another when the rudder falls off and the ship starts sailing out to sea.

But what about bearing with one another on the good days? 

Why is it hard to be happy for our sister when her life is going good and ours is not. so. much?

I’m speaking to me. Why can’t I just be plain happy about this woman’s writing accomplishments and not envy her in the least? Why can’t I look at this other photographer’s site and not wish my photos were as good as hers and I could explain myself on my “Me” page so eloquently?

It all goes back to comparison, doesn’t it? Ugly. Old. Comparison.

We’ve all got warts. Yours may be bigger than mine or yours may be smaller. But a wart is still a wart. (I don’t have any pictures of warts and if I did, I wouldn’t submit you to them.)

When we can learn to bear with another, warts and all, then ladies, we will be getting somewhere.

When we can give each other flowers daily through grace we will arrive. We may not get flowers from our man every day, but why can’t we shower each other with some grace flowers of our own?

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I know it can be done. I’ve seen some amazing acts of grace and Jesus pouring out of women in several communities lately. Like this new-to-me community at (in)courage where they just chose nine over-the-top talented women to join their writing crew.

And oh-my-soul I was brave (or dumb) enough to submit an application…just because. Because I’m a dreamer like that these days. And they were gracious enough to not only send me an email but a beautiful note (like the kind you get in the mail…yeah they still have those and here are some beautiful ones I may just buy myself) full of grace saying they prayed over 475 entries and could only choose nine and that didn’t include me…yet. Well, I included the “yet,”…because I’m a dreamer. 😉

And Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday crew and twitter parties are full of other blogging women giving grace and loving on others. There’s cake and chocolate and coffee every Thursday night. It’s the only place to be. Unless you fall asleep rocking your three-year old, which also happens to me a lot of Thursday nights.

And then there’s the Compel community where so many writers are coming together and encouraging one another…bearing with one another…even when it’s kind of hard because in our gut we wish we had what she had. Her words. Her website. Her number of followers. Oh, yeah, that’s a big one for me lately. How on earth do you get over 1000 followers?! Le’ sigh…

All of this to say…it’s not always easy to bear with our sisters. But it’s always right. And always the better way.

It’s the way of Christ. Bearing one another’s burdens. And bearing one another’s joy, too, I believe.

To bear with your sister is to be like Christ. And that’s worth the bearing, even if somedays it’s just barely. There’s grace for that.

And the more we learn to bear our sisters burdens and joys, the closer we get and more apt we are to be able to tell her she really needs to try on a different dress. Amen?

Thankful you are bearing with me,
Meredith

LINK UP HERE:

 

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. https://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 below. 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

NEXT WEEK we will hash out forgiveness and putting on LOVE…which binds everything together. Come back and join us, won’t you?

 

Woman to Woman: Patiently impatient.

Sometimes even when we have been on the receiving end of  a gift, we don’t realize it. We don’t see it for what it was and is and for how it should change us.

That’s how I feel about this weeks topic of patience in our  continuing woman to woman discussion. The next word in Paul’s instructions to the Colossians…

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

This one is a lot easier said than done for this soul. It may be a virtue, but it’s not one I know well enough of to speak of personally.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t seen it in action. I’ve seen the best displays of a woman’s patience throughout my life.

A grandmother whose husband drowned when her three children were all under 5 and never remarried or even thought about it. Patient to endure the cross of raising her children fatherless and working to see them fed, clothed and sent through school. Patient with grandchildren (at least this one…) who didn’t behave in public for her parents, but (nearly) always minded her Granny Grace.

Perhaps there is a correlation in seeing patience displayed and returning it?

I seem to have forgotten what that patience looked like as a child. I seem to need a reminder lately. And my children give me plenty of opportunity to practice this virtue I can’t. quite. grasp.

I’ve heard several people say recently to be careful what you ask of God, He may just give you plenty of opportunities to work on it.

I thought about that sitting through my Granny Austin’s funeral yesterday. I was getting ready to speak and my children were starting to “try” me. Trying this mamas patience in a sweaty-wrestless-small-country-funeral kind of way.

One was asleep on my left side, head hanging, drooling, out-of-this-world asleep. To get up would mean laying him down in the pew and risking him waking in a daze and wanting mama. The other child was on the right side wanting to leave the pew to get gum from her Gran (again) and then not wanting me to leave or for her brother to touch her as I laid him down so I could get up.

I could fill it rising in me hot and heavy. Impatience. That’s the word I know most about. The opposite of patience. We are very good friends these days.

Brother ended up staying asleep and sister ended up sitting somewhat quietly with Pop and then her aunt while this mama got to reflect on another patient woman who lived ninety years and never showed the least bit of dishonor or impatience to a soul.

Why has it skipped me? This ability to deal with adversity and children and husbands with patience instead of it’s ugly opposite.

I was thinking nobody will be able to say at my funeral, “She never said an unkind word about another. Her life exuded patience and kindness and humility.” Nope. Not me. And that makes me sad. But it also makes me real. Because I know I’m not alone. Even if I feel like it at times.

And just today my aunt brought me this cross-stitched photo she rescued from my Granny’s dilapidated farmhouse at the end of that potato field that we have gone through a million times and somehow missed this one piece of framed love.  These words that my mother made for her mother and the first word stitched was “patient,” I feel like I’m being told something today. After I’d started to write this post and wasn’t feeling quite sure it was meaning anything. It is meaning something now.

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I’ve been given a gift I’m starting to see for the first time. And now I’m holding a piece of these women in my hands, a bit moldy like me, but also stitched together with love, like me.

I’m glad to have examples of women that exuded these qualities I yearn to be. To learn. To live.

I’m reminded that the want to is as important as the journey and that’s as important as the getting there. 

So, I want to be a more patient wife. mother. daughter. friend. And I’m on a journey to get there. Not perfected until He’s finished with me. And He’s not finished with me yet. Maybe that is the best reminder of all.

He’s not finished with any of us until He’s finished. And until that day, we are in the process of getting there.

A heart desire to change, to be more like Him and to gain these qualities we are instructed to “put on” sometimes takes more guts than glory. I’m ok with that. You should be too.

We are in this together, sister. Perfectly imperfect. Patiently impatient. That is hopeful, yes?

One patient step at at time. And not forgetting this,

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:25)

We have a lot to look forward to one day. Could be one day very soon. No matter how long the wait is, the glorious reward will be worth the wait.

Patience is not without Hope.

And as I said over Granny’s closed casket, our Hope has a name. His name is Jesus. And He’s completely worth the wait. 

Graciously,
Meredith

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. https://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 below. 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

An InLinkz Link-up

Surprised by Motherhood. {Yeah, me too.}

I have a new soul-sister-soul-mama friend I’ve never met. Sounds odd, I suppose. She has put into words what I’ve felt in so many ways on so many days as both a motherless mother and a new mama. Her book “Surprised by Motherhood” is speaking to me. From the inside out. In a oh-so-good kind of way that has me wanting the pages to go on and on. And that says a lot for me.

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As much as I like to read, I find very little time and motivation to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I have a stack of books a mile high. Toppling over bedside my reading-praying-God-chair in the living room…spilling over next to my bed and onto my bed and onto my head some nights, books that were started and never finished. Not so with this book. I devoured it. And it left me hungry for more. That’s some good eats right there.

Lisa-Jo Baker is more than likable, she’s relatable in a way that feels as if she’s reading and writing your own story, not just hers. As a daughter. As a mother. Even if your life story is completely different than hers, it is also completely the same.

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The words on these pages have breathed life into my desperate soul as a mother learning to be a mother after leaving the corporate world. I knew how to be a working mom, but learning to be an ever-present mom has been challenging. Lisa-Jo’s way of describing her own experiences as a mother through several life-transitions have been comforting for this mama in transition. And we can all say amen to another sister sharing our struggles. Eh? That’s what Lisa-Jo would say. I believe it must be a saying from her native, South Africa, and I like it. I believe our northern friends do that in Canada, too…eh? I digress.

SurprisedByMotherhood_Pin_07_OptThere are too many hi-lited words and paragraphs and even pages to mention. I really just wanted to hi-lite the entire book, but though that may be a bit redundant. And over zealous. But if it made any of the words sink in enough that I would go back and let them give me life again when I was ready to turn in my resignation letter as full-time mom, then it may be worth it. There’s your warning…buy this book along with a pack of hi-liters. They will both be your new best friends, along with Lisa-Jo.

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I’ve always tried to keep it real here in my piece of blog land. I love the transparency I find on the other side of this computer screen and may clam up if you talk to me about my blog in real life. Maybe because it’s the realest real me and it’s a lot easier to unleash the real me here than there in front of you, face-to-face. Either way, there were a couple of chapters in this book that dug into my core. Like as a knife digs into that jar of peanut butter and comes out sweeter than when it entered. It’s still sharp, but sweet and spreadable.

I came away realizing I have my own anger issues to deal with. As Lisa-Jo said, ”Sometimes you don’t realize you have a temper until you have kids.” Ahem, yeah, that may be an understatement for me some days. And this, “There is no rage like the exhausted rage of motherhood.” Ouch. But misery is certainly better with company, so it was like a breath of fresh air to know I am not alone on those exhausted days when I lose my temper. And I lose it more than once. And then Lisa-Jo tells about becoming determined to mother deliberately and she began to write a new story about her son in her heart and in his life and God graced her and him with a peace and relationship she couldn’t have imagined in those early days. The words from that chapter of her book and life gave me a renewed hope as I fight for these children God gave me and am learning to mother intentionally. It’s a battle for their souls and  mine. A war against impatience and endless bottom wiping. A fight against a hunger for your alone time and their hunger for you. And it’s a fight worth fighting and letting God help you win together.

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If it’s not obvious, I’m a fan of both Lisa-Jo and these pages that I’m so glad she was brave enough to write. She says we are all brave as mothers. She is correct, isn’t she? This woman that grew up in South Africa and swore off motherhood after her mother died is now speaking to mother’s hearts all over the world about the glory and guts involved in being a mother. It’s not all good, but it’s not all bad, either. Eh? Yeah, I’ve been surprised by motherhood in a lot of ways, too. And the best is yet to come, I’m sure.

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You can get your own copy of this pretty little book right here or in your favorite bookstore this week. I promise it will be worth giving up a cup or two of coffee this week if that’s what it takes to get it in your hands. The aroma will be stronger and last longer than that cup of coffee and will awaken your soul in the most beautiful way. Enjoy your reading! Come back and let me know what you think and make sure to leave a review of your own on Amazon. It’s time to take make our voice known. The brave ones.

Graciously,
Meredith

 

 

 

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!)

Woman to Woman: The better fit.

There’s a question burning in me today sparked from an ember coming from the mouth of Jesus. Just this He says, “Yet I do not seek my own glory…” (John 8:50 ESV). And these words burn my soul with the question, “Meredith…whose glory are you seeking?”

Whose glory am I seeking today? Yesterday? I mean really. Whose glory?

I could be pious as the pillars of the Jewish society were that condemned their Savior as demon possessed, not seeing Him for who He was because they were engulfed in the very one they accused Him of being.

I could say that I only and always seek to glorify God. That’s what I want to hear from my own mouth. That’s what I want to do. That’s who I want to be. Like Jesus.

But I’m not. And I don’t. More often than not…I only seek to glorify myself. I’m selfish like that. I’m not the epitome of humility. Though I truly want to be. I want to be more than I am today. And maybe that’s a good first step?

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

There it is. That word. Humility.

I’m supposed to clothe myself with humility. The beautiful crown jewel of humility worn on a beloved daughter.

It’s a pretty picture in my mind. But it’s an ugly reality in my heart.

Miriam-Webster’s defines humility as “: the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people : the quality or state of being humble.”

So, yeah. There is that then. Can you feel my mouth drawing up twisted and eyebrows raised? That’s what I’m doing right now. Kind of like my sweet nephew…when he senses somethings not. quite. right.

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That’s not me. That’s not even in me. I have no ability to be that person. To think more of you than of me.

That sounds so vain. Because it is. I am.

It’s not in me to do or be more for you than I do or think of myself. I don’t think it’s in you either. And woman to woman today…it’s not in us, is it?

How often do we as women actually put our sisters dreams, desires and goals ahead of our own?
How often do we as women give up what we want to help a sister get what she wants?
How often do we as women lift up a sister in praise instead of tearing her down with word or thought or deed?

How often?

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2, NLT)

So…is there any hope for us? Any hope for me? 

Yes there is. We are told to put on this freeing adornment of humility.

And if we are clothed in humility, then there will be no room for pride.

And if there is no room for pride, then ladies, we are on the right track.

It’s time to take off the choking necklace of pride and instead adorn ourselves with beautiful humility.

Got that? Pride chokes. Humility frees.

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Humility frees from the weight of having to do better than her. Be better than her. Look prettier than her. Have more well behaved kids than her. Have a better job than her. Have a more godly husband than her. Have a better car/house/wardrobe…than her. And the choking, prideful list goes on and on and on.

Imagine how beautiful we would all be wearing the God-given gem of humility instead of pride, greed, selfishness, dissension and contempt.

I am saying today we can CHOOSE to put on humility and wear it with dignity.  With strength. With grace.

We choose not to daily, so why can’t we instead choose to?

It’s a mind change. A habit change. A heart change.

It’s not natural to be humble. But I say…no, Jesus says, it is possible. And necessary. And right.

Baby steps. We crawl before we walk. We walk before we run. (Well most do…I know a couple of exceptions. 😉 )

Either way, we have to start somewhere. Some day. Might as well be this day.

Woman to woman…will you try on this jewel of humility with me today? It may just be the perfect fit once we yield ourselves to it.

And I dare to believe the more we wear it, the better it will fit.

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 in humility as a sisterhood, we welcome your words below. Feel free to leave comments or add a link to your own blog post.  Please visit the link before you and offer some “love” on their post. We all need some love, right? Please hash it out with us using #w2w when you share on twitter/fb/IG. 😀 You can view last week’s post here.