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.

listen to your heart

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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danville-va-childrens-photographer

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

 

 

 

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

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?

meekness_inspirational

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