Sometimes mom needs a night out.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s true for all of us…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For His Glory,
Meredith

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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

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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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it’s ordinary. So very ordinary.

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

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

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

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

The world spins by so slowly outside our windows.

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

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I wish for weekends away with just Peter.

I wish for movie nights out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He makes all the things I do beautiful.

The ordinary glorious beautiful things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo,
Meredith

 

Letters to my Littles | {april}

I posted this blog yesterday on my other site and thought I would share it with my writing blog readers, as well…it’s more words than photos and it’s my heart this month about my children. Enjoy!

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March…in like a lion, out like a lamb. April showers, bring May flowers.

Nursery rhymes we used to sing. Memories faint, but oh, so sweet.

Wesley, you now read to me and I wonder how and when you moved from toddler to boy to almost Kindergarten grad.

And Austin, you will all-too-soon move from daddy’s girl on his toes to daddy’s girl down the aisle.

I’m not rushing you both. You are rushing me. Time goes too fast and I forget.

Forget the smell of baby.
Forget the swell of pride as your first steps teeter-totter across the room.
Forget the way you pronounced your first vowels or lack there of and how it always made me smile. Still does even trying to remember.

And this month, this April of this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past. How fast it’s gone and how much faster it gets.

We said goodbye to your Great-Granny Austin and you both took it in stride, while I cried. She meant more to me than you because I had her longer. Much longer.

The memories I have with her and Granddaddy in that old house on the river shore are mine alone. Together we are making new ones there even though the house is gone. And that is good. Very, very good.

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I’m reminded this month how important family is and has always been to me and I pray will always be to you.

We have something not everyone has. We have each other.

You will learn that is not everyone’s truth. And not a blessing to be dismissed, but held tightly to.

Austin, you continue to be the life of this party we are raising on this farm. This month your two favorite words are “ticklish-y” and “trap.” Meaning you like to have your “trap” (aka armpit) rubbed because it feels so “ticklish-y.” Yes, that’s worth remembering.

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Wesley, you continue to amaze me with your wisdom beyond your young years. You have also taking a liking to video games about indians and hunting and racing and mama’s having to put limits on the iPad…which you are usually good to obey.

You both continue to play well together, as tonight when you were screaming through the house. Until someone gets hurt, then the screams take on a different tone…and so do mine. Being the perfectly imperfect mother that I am.

And Austin, you are becoming a master of avoiding bedtime. Oh, you get in the bed after we read.

But then you want your back rubbed (and possibly your “trap”),
and then you want more chocolate milk (yes, I give you chocolate milk, don’t judge me),
and then you need to use the bathroom,
and then you want your sheet put on you,
and then you want your sheet taken off of you,
and then you want to change into your other gown,
and then you want to take the gown off and put on your other pajamas,
and then you want your fan on,
and then you want your fan off,
and then you want your little plastic dollar store lantern to put in the bed with you,
and then you need me to take it away.

These are not exaggerations. They happen every. single. night. I’m as tired writing them as I get doing them.

And Wesley, you tolerate so well, as I go back and forth from his room upstairs to get you situated downstairs.

And I lose my patience. And you love me still.

And then you give me super-duper tight hugs and big kisses with your little hands cupping my face. And I melt.

And then get you your third cup of chocolate milk. And I wait for you to drink it and then we say good night. For good.

Until you wake up at 3am and come get in bed with me and your father. Yes, that’s our nightly ritual. And I want you to know it because maybe you’ll have a child just like you and it will be a great reminder.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and evidently you are a lot like me…says your Pop, my Dad.

I continue to be amazed how much your two little souls have enveloped my own. My life-breath. My babies.

I am still in awe I get to be your mother and God trusted me with you. I don’t take that for granted, or at least I try not to.

We are still working our way into the new skin of stay-at-home-mom, but it’s starting to fit better than before.

Together we will sort it all out and work it all in. I look forward to a summer with you both full of creek time and horse play.

Love always and forever,
Mama

**I’m doing this project as part of a blog circle of mothers wanting to document this year in prose and photo for their children. It would so wonderful if you would please take a moment to visit wonderful Kristin as she writes to her children this month…many thanks. 😉

 

For all the in-betweens

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Some days it seems I’m in-between more than anywhere.
In-between here and in-between there.

In-between who I was and who I want to be.
In-between where I’ve been and where I now see.

In-between dreams that have died and those just born.
In-between drop-offs, pick-ups and mess-ups galore.

In-between bedtimes that take too long and mornings that come too soon,
In-between the starry sky and bright side of the moon.

In-between great losses and bountiful gains.
In-between parched dryness and soul-quenching rain.

In-between should-have, could-have and would-haves if known.
In-between all the ways that show me I’ve grown.

In-between the girl of my youth and the woman she thought she’d be.
In-between the dreams of her past and ever present reality.

In the in-between is where I find myself these days.
And I’m starting to realize that is ok.

It’s ok to be where God’s put me to grow.
If that’s stuck in-between, then I’ll wait for the “go.”

Truth be known: life’s all one big in-between,
In-between the beginning, the end and eternity.

If the in-between’s are all we have, there really is no doubt,
We must make the most of all of them before our time runs out.

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”- Solomon, (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home like collards and Granny.

The knot in my gut is twisting tighter as her breath draws shallow. I just spoke to her on the phone and could only muster an “I love you, Granny” when there were a million other words that wanted to come out, but couldn’t find there way past the knot. So I come to this keypad that has become my solace when the words won’t come out of my mouth and need to just come from my soul. The cursor blinks expectantly for words of hope and encouragement and I don’t have them today. Only a knot. And memories.

The smell of collards cooking makes some people wince, but to me it smells like home. Just like the embrace of that round white-haired woman cooking them. Like home. In that kitchen with the metal cabinets and washer and dryer and small table all fit neat on the end of that big white farm house that leaned a little downhill on the edge of a potato field in flat eastern North Carolina.

Granddaddy was a potato farmer and his Naomi knew how to cook those round white spuds perfectly mixed in with that greasy pot liquor. That’s not some kind of alcoholic drink, it’s what the juice from cooked collards is referred to in eastern NC where this woman who hugged like home lived and raised three girls and took her care of farmer husband.

Between Granny’s collards and homemade biscuits with a side of her insatiable and all-too-often embarrassing jokes, stomachs and souls would be filled. Filled with goodness that comes from hard work and a simple life and not taking yourself too seriously, the world does enough of that for you.

Summers were spent at our slice of the only heaven we knew along the Pamlico River. My brother and cousins and I would stay weeks with our Grandparents and there would be plenty of jokes and swimming and collards. Granny would pile us in the Pontiac and we’d travel the 30 miles to the Moose Lodge to play Bingo alongside her with her 20 cards taped together and three bags of ink dobbers. There were lucky charms and cigarette smoke and pepsi’s enough to float a boat and make some grandchildren feel like they had been to town in the grandest way.

There were nap time rituals that involved her rendition of “Michael Finnagan” that my children now request over and over until I’m out of breath and blue in the face. There was the snore game where she would pretend to snore ten times and on number ten we better be asleep, or at least pretend like it.

Those were the days. Memories too many to name with a woman too loved to put in words.

Last August I piled the kids and myself in my ford for the ten hour trek to Florida where Granny now lives between her two daughters homes. We shared a week of the same jokes I’ve heard for thirty-five years and they were as funny as the first time they tickled my ears. Granny was turning ninety and there would be too many new memories to miss if we didn’t attempt the trip. So we went. And we shared a week that I wouldn’t trade for a plate full of Granny’s collards and potatoes.

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If one has ever exemplified a life lived in joy, this woman has. She didn’t have it easy. Her soul and her body has known it’s share of loss. From losing a breast to cancer and other parts I can’t even name to so many surgeries I can’t begin to count, her body knows loss. From losing a husband after almost fifty years of tending to him daily with lunch at eleven thirty and supper at five o’clock and losing a daughter that mothered me after having her for a short fifty years, her soul knows loss.

She is a survivor and I think a part of me thought that meant she would live…longer. Ninety years is a long time. A good long time. But is it ever long enough for those left behind? The writing appears to be on the wall as much as on this screen, but I know God will take her when He’s ready and not a minute sooner.

This may mean we get to celebrate ninety-one years with her here. And it may mean we celebrate here without her.

The sweetest part of her story is that she knows her Savior…and He knows her. She is at peace with her life and though she would rather stay to see her grands another day, she is at peace if she doesn’t. She knows where she’s going and I’m sure my mama will be happy to see her mama again. In perfect form. And even more than that, she is most likely closer than us to spending the rest of her life praising the Lord. Literally praising the Lord.

So when we do lay her body to rest under the pines next to that small brick Methodist church where she poured her heart and children into, we will do it rejoicing in the promise her soul will not be at rest, but resurrected and rejoicing, along side her Savior.

I find peace in that. My knot is starting to loosen as her breath may remain shallow…but ever closer to being swept up in Glory and the sweet release.

She told me tonight in her sweet, weak voice that she loved me more than I loved her…in tears I disagreed. But then again, who is going to tell this ninety year old woman what is right and what is wrong. She’s closer to Heaven than me and if she wants to think she loves me more, I’ll let her.

It’s not about loving more or less anyway, it’s just about knowing this kind of love. Between a girl and her Granny. I’ve had two sent from God and He’s close to bringing the second one Home. Leaving a void in this motherless mother that’s soon to be grandmother-less, too.

I’ve had more than some ever get. More of a mother for twenty-one years, more of two grandmothers in thirty-five and more love all together than some know in a lifetime. I’m not complaining. I’m just grieving. And rejoicing at the same time. And yes, that is possible.

Graciously,
Meredith

 

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.

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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

Worth the Wait.

I sat in that scratchy blue seat at the airport with a mindful of hopes and dreams as deep and wide as the blue sky and snow covered tarmac that stretched out before me. I had interviewed well…I thought. Really seemed to connect with my interviewers…I thought. Had a chance…I thought. One of three people to be flown to Kansas City to interview, I knew my chances were at least better than one in a million. One in three to be exact. Surely God was lining all of this up in my favor…I thought.

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I prayed diligently before flying out for the interview. I enlisted other prayer warriors in my life to pray diligently. I did not want this job, if God didn’t want me to have it…I thought. My specific prayer was that I would not get a job offer if God didn’t want me in the position. This was my fool proof attempt at not having to make the decision myself. Never sure of my own abilities to make a decision. It was the simplest way I could see my way out of this. Or my way into this.

A lot hung in the balance. We had one child, not sure if we wanted another. This job would be much more pay and I could already see the addition to the house I had been dreaming of. If not a new house altogether. That stack of dog-eared Log Home Living magazines were going to come in handy after all…I thought. This job would also mean much more time on the road and away from my family. But my husband was ready for the call…I thought.

Well, God did answer my prayer. Just as I had asked Him to. I didn’t get a job offer. He did exactly what I had asked him to do. Not give me a choice. He made the decision for me. This was what I wanted.

But it was not what I wanted. I wanted the job offer.

Even though I said I was “fine” with it…I wanted the job. I wanted the money. I wanted the prestige. I wanted the job. But I didn’t get it.

And because I didn’t get that job, I stayed in my previous job. And a year later I got an unexpected bonus, when nobody was getting bonuses. And God gave me repeated opportunities through that job to connect with people and share His Gospel. People I would have never had the opportunity to meet had I taken that other job.

The other job would have also brought many temptations that I would have had to stand up against. I see that now. I see a lot now that at the time I didn’t see through the veil of “want.”

And because I didn’t get that job, a year later our family expanded with the birth of our baby girl. Which undoubtedly wouldn’t have happened if I had gotten the offer…and accepted the other job. And I would have. Because in my gut I wanted it that bad.

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And to look back now and realize I would have traded her life for a job that would have taken me further from my family, and from my God…makes me weep. Weep for who I was then. And who I am now. And how blessed I am that God made that decision for me.

I could name many other instances in my life that didn’t happen the way I wanted them to, but looking back, I see God’s hand in them. And I’m beyond grateful for His provision and protection, despite my wants and perceived needs at the time.

Some things in life are truly worth the wait. Worth the heartache. Worth the gut-wrenching-soul-twisting-knot-producing wait.

In the end, God knows. He knows what we need. He knows when we need it. He sees the big picture. We do not. We can not.

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He saw me five years ago sitting in front of my computer and typing these words today.

He knew I was not ready to tell a story that I didn’t fully understand.

He used my tenure in my last job to prepare me for this day. All those quiet hours and tear-filled talks with one another rolling down the highway alone together. There were so many sweet moments in the cab of that Ford truck that I wouldn’t take back for anything.

And now I get to be a mom. And a truth-teller through my lens and my pen.

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And I’m in awe of my Mighty God that’s allowed it all to come to pass. And in awe of what He is making me into today. And tomorrow. And how ever many days I have left.

And to Him I give it all. My life. My family. My heart.

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He’s the only One worth giving it to. I see that now. I feel that now. I know that now.

And I have a long way to go…such a long way to go. But I’m on my way.

What awaits me at the end of this journey is going to be worth the wait.

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Worth the blood, sweat and tears it takes to get there. Worth the doubts and frustrations and fears along the way.

Worth the uncertainty. Worth the lows. Worth the highs. Worth the mountaintops and the valleys.

Worth the fights and struggles…with myself. Worth the fights and struggles…with God.

I’ll wrestle more. With my decisions, with my faith, with my existence. But in the end, my God will win. He always does.

I’ll continue to work out my salvation with fear and trembling, but I’ll be working it out.

If we belong to Him, there is no way He will not win. His ways will always supersede our ways. His will will always trump our will.

In the end…His end…will be worth the wait.

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Graciously waiting,
Meredith

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Weekend Reflections: Be Still.

As I sit here and reflect on my week…in the Word…in what God has been speaking to my heart about…I go back to that familiar scripture…“Be still, and know that I am God.”

As if He is saying to my very flesh this morning…

Be still, Meredith. I’m still in control of this world and your world. I have things for you to do…but you must Be Still before I can show them to you. Before you are ready to be used by Me.

Be still in my presence long enough to not just listen…but truly hear.

Be still enough to search me…and let me search you.

Be still and let your heart be open to what I have to say and then Be Still enough to go and do.

In the still, you will find me.

In the still, I will show you Who I am and who you are…and what you can be in me.

Be still and know that I am God. Your God. And I know the wonderful plans I have for you, but you do not. Not yet, because you haven’t been still enough for me to reveal them to you…yet.

Be still and all of these things shall come to pass. In my time. In my will. In my way.

So for now…Be still…and see the beauty in the everyday. The every. day. that I give you.

Be still…and see the beauty in the ashes of your life. Ashes I am making new. And giving life to again.

Be still and see the beauty in the ordinary all around you. What is ordinary to you is extraordinary to me.

Be still and see Me. Everywhere. I am everywhere…you just have to open your eyes and your ears to see.

Be still…and know that I am God. As Christ, I am all, and in all.

Be still today, soul. Be still in me. And let me be still in you.

Praying we will all take some time to be still today. Before a Mighty God that knows us and loves us and has so much to show us. If we will be still enough to let Him.

Graciously,
Meredith

Putting Doubt to Death. | Part 1

Max Lucado said if there was one thing he could go back and tell himself when he first started his writing and preaching career it would be “to prepare for self-doubt.”

Listening to this well-versed, highly successful author and lead pastor of 30+ years admit that he continues to deal with doubt was an eye-opener. A game-changer. A needed shot of reality.

Really? That’s the one thing you would tell yourself. Interesting. I don’t struggle with that. Not so much.

Wait. Yes, I do. This was a WORD for me and maybe it will be a WORD for you.

This one little five letter word that I believe we do not give enough thought. Enough respect for the weight it holds.

Wrapped tightly in a shroud of insecurity and unbelief and even arrogance. That word doubt.

We all doubt something.
Doubt someone.
Doubt everyone.
Doubt everything.

We doubt ourselves.
We doubt our spouse.
We doubt our children.
We doubt our neighbor.

We doubt God.

He may not be considered God to everyone, but we ALL doubt Him at some point.

Doubt His existence.
Doubt His ability.
Doubt His love.

And then there is that one lie that led to that one word. Doubt.

In the garden Adam and Eve chose doubt…over God. Evil over Good. And God loved them and loves us enough to allow us the ability to choose.

They chose to believe the lie that maybe they were missing something.

Maybe they actually could be like God…forgetting they already were

Oh, how we so easily fall into the same trap and follow in the same ill-gotten footsteps of these two who had the perfect life.

And because of doubt…gave it all up. For death. And as soon as the choice had been made, they regretted it. Wished they could take it back. Take back the doubt that now filled their once pure and innocent and full-of-Life hearts.

Now nothing. No peace. No joy. No afternoon strolls with their Creator in perfect harmony. All because they doubted their existence and chose what was “a delight to the eyes” and what would “seem to make one wise.”

Isn’t that the way it always is? The grass is always greener. Yep, been there and done that. Like a mirage of sorts…the closer you get, the better it looks until you actually take that step and in an instant you wish you never had.

Wished you had followed your gut that told you it was too good to be true.

Wished you could take back that initial doubt and go another way. The other way. Any way but where you find yourself now. In this dead place.

No green in sight. Where did it go? It was just here.

We never have just enough to be satisfied and so when the temptation is laid bare, we can’t help ourselves.

We. must. try. it. We must doubt our own reality. Our own existence.

I guess it really is in our nature to doubt. In our flesh, Adam and Eve born, nature.

But that doesn’t make it right or good or healthy. It just makes us real. Real human.

So, that’s where doubt starts. As a seed. Not even necessarily planted deep…it doesn’t need much water to grow. Just a touch. Just an inclination. Just a hint of sunlight to spur it on.

Likes those first weeds of spring in my plant bed, that doubt is. Doesn’t take anything much to get them growing, but once they start, it takes all of heaven and hell to get them killed. And there are always a few left that I miss and they grow more. I can never get rid of all those weeds. Try as I might, I can never kill them all.

And I may never be able to kill all the doubt in my life. Not until I’m perfectly perfect and right now I’m perfectly imperfect.

So I’ll keep hashing this doubt thing out. And I hope you’ll hash it out with me some more. It needs to be put to death. As much as we possibly can. Only when we start to kill the seeds before they sprout, will we ever start to live fully.

Graciously,
Meredith