I’m Trying

Life is not a series of getting from one goal to the next

 

Yoda once said, “Do or do not.  There is no try.”

Y’all, Yoda wasn’t human.

And, if there’s anything I know about being human, it’s this:

Some days, the triumph IS the trying.

Not the outcome, but the effort.

As a mom, many days, all I can say is, “I’m trying.”

I’m trying to hold it together when it all seems to fall apart.

I’m trying to teach them to do right even when I am wrong.

I’m trying to think of just one more way to cook chicken.

And more often than not, my effort falls short.

I end up crying in the kitchen.

I lose my temper when I need to tame my tongue.

I make “last minute chicken.”  Again.

And I put my head on my pillow at night and wonder if I will ever do anything right.

And, do you know what happens next?

The sun comes up, and I have to try all over again.

I face most of the same struggles day in and day out, and I’m guessing you do, too.

So take a moment and put them in perspective.

Stop focusing on the failure and focus on the future.  Don’t obsess about the obstacles; gaze at the goal.

Look at life like Paul did when he wrote:

“Not that I ave already obtained all of this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  I do not yet consider myself  to have taken hold of it, but this one thing I do:  forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things.”  (Philippians 3:12-15)

This is how I need to look at life.  It’s not simply a series of getting from one goal to the next.  There is only one goal.

Life is not a series of getting from one goal to the next

Go after it.

The finish line does not lie in a room full of folded laundry.  It’s found at the feet of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

Refuge

bluerefuge

“Redeemed from the pit.”

Christians hear that (and think that) phrase quite a bit, and with good reason.  God’s pulled me from a few pits, I promise.  But when I visited Kenya last month, I saw someone on the first day out.  I watched a young girl be pulled from refuse and given a refuge.

Nine months pregnant.  An orphan.  She spent her days digging for food in the city dump.

Now, she and her newborn baby have a safe haven, a home.

Because of Christ.  And the work of Njoo Dada.

The words mean “Come, sister,” and they fit.  Njoo Dada (pronounce in “n-joe dah dah”) is a rescue home for young girls in Nairobi, Kenya that was started by some Kenyan friends of mine with a burden to see God redeem and restore the girls they meet through support groups throughout the city.  The first needed a safe place “now,” and the others followed.  The home has been funded by the generosity of Kenyans helping their own.  Even school-aged kids donate food items when things get thin.  It’s a community effort with everlasting implications.

And, I am unbelievably humbled to be a small part of it.  To receive messages of prayer requests and to hear the hearts of the director and board members and caregiver and the girls.  To see the smiles of the babies and watch them grow.  To listen to a young mother as she describes her dream to become a lawyer and know that because Njoo Dada helps her stay in school, one day, I’m sure, she will.

njoodada1

 

My friend and I left our visit at Njoo Dada and our meetings with its leaders determined to help.  To help carry the burden God has given them.  And here’s how:

We want to help pay Njoo Dada’s rent this year.

$200 a month provides a safe home for 9 young girls, 8 babies, and their caregiver and her young child.

$200.

In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t much, is it?  But it would mean the world to them.

So, we’ve set a goal for Merchant Ship Ministries to help provide it.  To partner with Njoo Dada in a little bit bigger way.

The only thing is:

We need your help.

Merchant Ship Ministries is selling a precious t-shirt that features Psalm 91:4, which says, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”  All proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go to Njoo Dada to help cover the costs of running the rescue home.  (RENT!)

bluerefuge

You know you want one!    Just order your shirt here, and we’ll print them after we have at least 50 orders, but we’re hoping for so many more!  Spread the word and encourage your friends and family to help us be part of the amazing work God is doing at Njoo Dada.  You’ll look really good while you do it!

You can also print the form below and send it in!  Just be sure to do so by June 15!

 

refugeshirtform

 

Treasure this: You’re free!

Blackbird

Blackbird

Don’t you just love it when you happen across something beautiful in God’s word? Something you’ve never seen before?  The kind of thing that stops you in your tracks and sinks deep into your heart, transforming your thoughts and changing your perspective.

In like a minute and a half.  

It’s the kind of moment when you have no doubt that the word of God is living and active because God just proved it.

Practically out loud.

Those pieces of God’s word are the ones I treasure most.  I mean, I hold them dear. I keep them close.

And God handed me a new one today.

It’s a gem, full of truth and promise and hope.  And, as much as I treasure it, I can’t keep it to myself.  It wasn’t meant just for me.  So, get ready.  Open your pouch of precious things and prepare to put this in it.

Join me in the first chapter of Colossians, where verse 22 says:

“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”

Y’all.

I know I’ve read it before.  I’m sure I have.

But it’s almost as if that last part wasn’t even there.

Did you see it?  Can you hear it?

In Christ, you are FREE from accusation.

I am, too.

That voice that wakes me up in the morning with a too-long list of things to do and ways to measure up….

And the one that lulls me to sleep at night with another list of things I didn’t do well enough…

They have no power over me.

The voice of the enemy that calls me fearful and faithless….

The same one that sees nothing but my sin and loves to point it out…

Christ silenced it at the cross.

That’s a word of life if I’ve ever heard one.

Read it.  Treasure it.  But most of all, believe it.

Walk a little taller without the weight of condemnation holding you down.

Be a little braver without the fear of failure keeping you from flying.

And rest a little surer because Christ has already answered your accusers.

You are NEVER just a mom.

you are lovely

Yo

 

I’ve seen others do it.  I’ve done it myself.  That little half-shrug that goes with the standard response to the question, “So, what do you do?”

“I’m just a mom.”

A little lie wrapped up in a shrug and sealed with a sort of half smile.

But still a lie.

Because you have never been “just” a mom.

And neither have I.

My pediatrician and I were talking about it this morning, after he’d spent a few minutes listening to my kids pepper me with questions.  He asked, “How many decisions do you have to make every day?”

It feels like not a minute goes by without someone needing direction, needing permission, needing comfort….just NEEDING.

The doctor laughed and said that most CEO’s don’t manage nearly as much as the average mom does day to day.

Let’s face it:

I am the teacher whose kids don’t go home at 3:00, and they show up well before 7:00.

I am a nurse who has more than bandaids and Neosporin.  I have magic kisses that make things well.

I am an accountant and a stylist.  A home decorator and a chef.  Party planner and cupcake baker.

Counselor and disciplinarian.  Chauffeur and tour guide. Storyteller and heart hearer.

And, that’s just before noon most days.

But, moms, we are so much more.  Even than all of this.

You are not “just a mom.”  You are a mighty warrior fighting battles bigger than what socks your toddler wants to wear.  

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

We’re fighting for more than getting our kids somewhere on time.  We are fighting a battle FOR all time.  For eternity.

That’s what’s at stake in the mighty work you do, Mom.  Eternity.

Your day to day may feel small, but its impact is lasting.  

Because when we “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

You are on the front lines of your kids’ lives.  And God placed you there.

Don’t think less of it….or of yourself.

Mothering is mighty work, and the maker of the universe has called you to it.

Recognize the enormity of the task before you then remember who enables you to do it.
FYI:  This is in no way a post only about moms who don’t work outside the home.  Those of you who do simply add that to all of this!  Oh, and I know that nurses do more than dole out bandaids and that teachers’ days are long and challenging.  Bless you all in the places God has put you!