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!

The truth about trust.

There was a time when I really couldn’t be trusted. I couldn’t be trusted with my own heart, let alone anyone else’s. And today I read this verse and stop to consider how far I’ve come. Or not.

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
Proverbs 31:11

I’m not perfect now and I wasn’t perfect then. But I can be trusted now (more) and I can’t say that about “then.”

Then. When I was struggling to find myself in all the wrong ways, in all the wrong places.

Then. When I thought I knew who I was and would have told you I was trustworthy. And I was, to an extent. But not to the greatest extent.

Until you have trusted your heart to the only One who can be trusted, you can never be trusted.

Harsh? Maybe. True? I think so.

Jesus is the only person who ever displayed trust fully to us, and only in Him do we have the ability to be trustworthy.

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:10

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As a wife and a mother and a sister-in-Christ…I am called to be trustworthy and to allow others to gain from my trust.

We’ve all been bit by someone who didn’t keep something to themselves we were trusting them with. And after we’ve been hurt we find it hard to trust again.

There is freedom in a friend you can trust. And there is freedom for them in being able to trust you.

My marriage is built on trust today, if nothing else. I live in a home and reside in a marriage as the only spouse that trusts God.

But I’m trusting God to change that. In His time. In His will. In His way. I have to or I’d lose hope altogether.

Maybe you are in a similar situation as me and maybe you aren’t. Either way, your husband, your children and your friends need your trust.

In a relationship of trust, we gain freedom to just be. Without fear of judgement or failure or condemnation.

Our ability to be trusted is our banner of love to those who trust us. 

We are human and in that we will never be completely trustworthy. God tells us to put our trust in Him, not man.

Even in that, we should strive to be trustworthy. Seeking to be like the image of Trust we have as a mirror to see ourselves in. But only in Him is that even possible.

If you haven’t trusted your heart to Him, would you give up the fight and trust today? Life is too short and life is too long to go another day without knowing the freedom of real Trust in a true Savior.

Freedom our sin-soaked, un-trustworhty, completely unworthy selves.

If you feel God calling you to Him…don’t ignore. If you’d like help praying, here’s a start and I’d love to help along if you need me. The best gift you can ever give yourself is trusting your soul with the One who created you in the first place.

That’s truth you can trust today.

Trusting Him,
Meredith

4hisgloryblog.com

 

See below for more information about Wednesday’s on the blog. For the next six 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. | {friend}

My husband says if you have one good horse, one good friend, one good woman and one good dog in life, you have been blessed.

Even in his crass way of speaking at times, I think he isn’t all together wrong.

Sometimes in my life it has felt like I didn’t have “one good friend.” I’ve had seasons of loss and being lost. And then they came. Friends.

Looking back I can see God’s hand so clearly when and where He put people in my life to help lead me out of the darkness and back to Him. Or to Him in the very. first. place.

I saw friendship modeled well in my mother’s life. She had a group of girlfriends that named themselves “The Beach Bunnies.” Funny name, funny group. They had regular GNO’s (that’s “Girls Night Out” for any guys reading this…) and they took an annual trip to the beach. And what happened at the beach…stayed at the beach. (Although the photos did give some of it away…)

I’ve always looked at that group of friends my mom had and envied those relationships in a way. Not so much anymore. 

God has been putting friends in my life from the very beginning and I see that now.

A special friend through high school who helped me get through some tough times and even today if we were together, we would be as comfortable talking as we were 20 years ago.

Friends in college that walked with me through school and guys and losing my mother.

Friends given to me during my years of corporate sales that I still keep up with, because it was the real deal.

A real-life-every-day-in-the-trenches friend that on a good day I get to work out with and everyday we work out life and I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

And a new set of online community friends. Some I may never meet. Some I look forward to meeting this fall at She Speaks and Allume. It’s been a treasure to connect with others traveling the same path of motherhood and answering the call to write and speak for His glory. Several of these new friends will be sharing their stories this weekend as we all come together for meet-ups all over the country. That’s exciting stuff. And it’s free. And going on now. Join the fun here!

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And then there is the One friend we all have in common if we choose to accept the friendship. The only Friend that will always be there in His perfect, loving, understanding way.

These lyrics keep playing over in my head, “What a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.”

That’s true isn’t it? He is the only one who will never let us down. Who knows our hurts and can actually do something about them.

Women need women. No doubt there. And thank God He puts women in our lives to speak life into us in a way even our best-friend-husbands can’t always do.

We all need Jesus. And in Him we see the example of the perfect friend. The one who gave His life for us all, when we deserved it the least.

That’s a friend worth clinging to, loving on and sharing with our other friends. After all, a real friend wouldn’t keep Him to themselves, would they…?

Your friend in Him,
Meredith

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and so many other lovelies for today’s Five Minute Friday prompt of {friend.} Head over to her site to read many more wonderful insights from this awesome group of writing friends. 😉

In the silence.

I can’t help but think today what that day was like. The silence that the world experienced in the aftermath of His crucifixion and the deafening of the earth and temple splitting in response.

I wonder if the silence on this day wasn’t even more deafening that what happened the previous afternoon.

I imagine people stunned in silence. Wondering to themselves what had just happened. What had they done? Was this man really the Messiah after all? If not, what just happened? I mean, what. just. happened.

If He was who He said He was, why didn’t He save himself? Why didn’t He save them? 

They were expecting a king. A king like they knew a king to be. A ruler of men, not a ruler of hearts.

And on this day, the silence must have been audible.

And then again, I imagine there was intense weeping. Weeping among those who knew…or thought they knew…who Jesus was.

They had followed his every step. Hung on his every word. Seen every miracle He had performed. Believed in their hearts He was the Son of God.

Then why? Why did He die? And what next…?

And what about the women who loved Him so? His mother, Mary Magdalene and the other women…no doubt busying themselves to prepare his body the next morning in the way they were accustomed to do. Did they move in shocked silence or racking sobs throughout this day…or both?

How often have I been in the middle of a shock or tragedy or just plain fit of my own will…waiting in the silence for God to move. For God to just. do. something. And I try to keep busy, because busy dulls the anxiety of waiting. And I may stop and have a good ugly cry, because God made me emotional and sometimes I just need to get it out.

Sometimes in the middle…in the waiting…in the silence…is when God speaks the loudest.

In the Silence

 

Be still and know that I am God,” He says.

I can imagine Jesus lifeless body was crying the same silent words that Saturday. “Be still and know that I am God! I may appear dead, but you will see, you will SEE tomorrow that I. am. not!”

He is saying the same thing to me and to you today.

Be still, my child, and know that I am God. I am not dead. I am alive and therefore you can be alive with me. You don’t have to go through this life as a dead person. Dead inside. Full of everything but Me. I am the Life-Giver. Without Me you will always and only be empty, even when you are full. Nothing the world offers you will ever satisfy you or fill you the way I can. I created you with a hole only I can fill. In the silence of your soul, you know I exist. You choose whether you acknowledge me or not, but you know I exist. I made you to know. My handiwork is everywhere and I gave you senses to know it…if you have enough sense to accept it. A fool says there is no God. In the silence, you choose. Me or the world. But the choice is yours. I will not make you. I love you enough to let you decide. And in the middle of the silence, the grief storm you find yourself in, remember joy comes in the morning. The darkest hour is just before dawn and I am not only in the darkness with you, I will deliver you into the light, in My time and My will and My way.

Is it presumptuous of me to speak for God? Maybe so. But I stand on the Word of God because He gave it to me to stand on. And He gave it to you to stand on. Even in the silence. Even when the silence is deafening. He stands. Risen.

For His Glory,
Meredith

 

 

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: 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

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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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