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Staying the Course in Spite of the Cramps

It's not just about pushing through,

Both of my children have birthdays this season and every year about this time I go back and recollect the memories of the labor pains it took to birth them. I find myself reminiscing about how big I was as I approached the impending due dates. How I felt, what I looked like, how I wasn’t sleeping…all of it. Even up to where I was and what I was doing when I realized that the contractions I had been feeling were actually going to stick and force my body to manipulate itself in such a way that a baby would come into our presence.

But those hours of labor.

Each child was different, but the common thread with both births were the contractions. Like the waves of the ocean that just keep coming, so did these pains. And once you’re in the midst of this beautiful process, there is no turning back.

And so you push through.

What an illustration of real life…sometimes, hard seasons will come and we will just have to keep going.

*Seasons we have placed ourselves in. One choice can oftentimes lead us down a road of difficulty.

*Seasons we have been placed into because of the actions of someone else.

*Seasons of sickness or tragedy where there is no one to blame at all.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”

Hebrews 12:1

Perseverance: noun per·se·ver·ance : the act or power of continuing to do something in spite of difficulties

Spiritually speaking…

Have you ever felt like a runner who takes off to run the most important race of your life and suddenly realize that your shoes are untied? Maybe people are elbowing you, jockeying for a better position on the track, throwing their sweat in your direction, causing you to slow down in order not to get knocked over. Your efforts to build your spiritual muscles result in cramps that scream for your immediate attention. You grow thirsty and need to move right or left in order to grab hold of the water offered to quench your thirst. You feel run down and sluggish in your spiritual growth and realize that some of your life choices leading up to the race are now weighing you down, beckoning for your attention. Your feet start to scream out that they are tired as blisters make their way to the surface. Anybody?

Consider this…

Are you trying to push through in your own power? Did you bring your old shoes to this race? Your own way of doing things? Maybe a former coach taught you some bad training habits in the past and you need to lay those down for a better way. Ask yourself if you are carrying around some bad choices. They’ll act like the added weight we strap around our ankles when we are trying to burn calories.

Hebrews 12:1 tells us that there is a race marked out for us. The trail is set and everything we need to finish well, we will find along the path. It’s up to us to throw off anything that could weigh us down and keep us from running our best race possible.

As we move forward in our christian walk, there will be days, and even seasons, that will leave us wondering how we’ll ever be able to stay the course.

We have to persevere.

Sometimes, it’s not just about pushing through, it’s about pushing through when we don’t want too.

We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like admitting it. But there are times when we can feel tired and a little disgruntled on this journey of faith. This is not a trigger to fake an injury, take a detour or call a time out. It’s a call to dig deep. To push through. To glance at our teammates running alongside us and get inspired. It’s a time to think of the ones who have gone before us, that great cloud of witnesses, and allow their legacy to beckon us to keep going.

When things are tough, we strain ahead, despite how we feel. Like a runner who hits a wall during a marathon, we keep going. Like a woman in labor who can’t take the pain any longer, we keep pushing.

Perseverance is no joke, but what is gained both through and after the process is priceless.

Push on friend. The prize that awaits us at the end of this journey is worth it. Let’s examine our hearts and our surroundings and throw off what may be slowing us down. Then, staying focused on the finish line, let’s press on…together.

A STEP FURTHER…
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

Blessings,

Kellie

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Resting Shouldn’t Be This Hard

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Driving home the other day from work, I could hardly keep my eyes open. The week was coming to an end and the days of an alarm clock buzzing in the dark were catching up with me. I contemplated whether I would come in and make myself a tall iced coffee…or stretch out across my bed.

I realized that the thought of lying down was causing me to have anxiety. What if I actually fall asleep and don’t start dinner at our regular time? What if my husband needs to talk with me about his day? What about the things that all women do when they get home after work?

Have you ever felt this way about getting rest?

Guilty.

Stressed.

Even weak.

Who will do the things if I don’t do the things?

Friends, I’m learning that we have to lay this down. This thinking that everything around us hinges on our doing. This thinking that we are the ones who need to make the lists and complete the tasks all on our own.

The Bible instructs us on how to do the things. The spirit of this book is love, a love that only a father has for his children. Good fathers put up guardrails for their offspring. They set boundaries. They know what’s on the other side of those fences and desire for us to stay away. They’re protective.

And inside of those rails, a good father creates a space of joy and satisfaction. Of security and freedom. Of work and of rest.

Jesus rested.

In Mark Chapter 6, Jesus beckons His disciples to come with Him to rest in between ministering to the masses. He knew that they would be of little use to Him if they were exhausted.

In Matthew 8, after ministering all day long, Jesus boarded a boat with His disciples. Even in the midst of a terrible storm, he slept. He knew the storm would come. He knew He would be needed. He chose to lie down.

A freshly rested soul is of better use than a fatigued spirit.

Christ is clear in His Word that we have to take time to rest. He designed us to need sleep. He gives us instruction on finding a rhythm of life that doesn’t exhaust us.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

You see, when we are rested, we’re better listeners.

When we are relaxed, we are better lovers of people.

When we are still, we are more approachable.

The things that really need to be done, will be done if we place our trust in Him. And we demonstrate our trust in Him by listening to our bodies and adjusting our schedules so that we can find rest. We go to bed a little earlier. We say “no” when we’re asked to do something in the midst of an already full schedule, even if taking a nap is part of our agenda. We delegate some of our day to day tasks to our children and spouse.

It can be done. Our Good Father wouldn’t instruct us to do something and not give us the ability to do it.

When we dig into His Word and learn about all of this, we will find rest. Mental rest. Physical rest. Emotional rest.

The question really becomes, do we trust Him?

I realized that the anxiousness I was feeling was more about pleasing others than taking care of myself…and I’m responsible for this. No one else knows how I really feel except for me and my heavenly Father.

Rest.

We are built to need it. God doesn’t want us to run ourselves into the ground to do His work, or anybody else’s. When we incorporate this into our routines, He will honor it.

And we will be better for it.

That rest I so desperately needed, I took it. At the end of the day, I had more attentive conversation with my husband and the dull headache I had been fighting had drifted away.

Rest.  May you make room for a little today.  You’ll be glad that you did.

Lord,

In the midst of this season of life, help me be aware of when I need to take this rest. Whether it’s a nap, an hour on a park bench alone to collect my thoughts, or even a day spent in pajamas with unwashed hair. You set the example that I need to be rested in order to do the work in which you’ve called me to do. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee, ministry leader, student…I want to live out these roles…well. I come to you now, as your Word says to do, seeking rest. Thank you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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Remaining Hopeful When You Feel Helpless

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There is no greater fear than when it seems all hope is lost.

Have you ever felt this way? Hopeless?

John Maxwell has an acronym for hope…

Holding On, Praying Expectantly”

When we are holding on to hope, we are waiting…and waiting…and waiting…

That holding on part can be tough. I picture myself standing in a category 5 storm, holding on to a flag pole. White knuckling it with everything I have in me. Squinting my eyes in anticipation of flying debris coming towards me. Oftentimes, when we are in a storm, we lose hope because we can’t see the proverbial radar. It feels as if this cloud of hopelessness will never pass when in reality, we could be only a day away from a beautiful sunrise.

But why?

God allows us to feel helpless in order to draw us closer to Him. This is an invitation to lean in and grab, not just the promises found throughout the Bible, but God Himself. He wants all of us, whether we feel helpless or full of hope.

It’s in these seasons that we are holding on with everything w’ve got, we need to keep our eyes on the horizon, for that is where our sunrise will peak.

And we should expect it.

Christ loves us too much to keep us feeling hopeless. Helpless.

God orders our steps.

One of the stepping stones on the pathway to hope is to look back at what God has already done in and around you. Each step you’ve taken that has brought you to this moment in time is evidence that Christ hasn’t let you sink. This is your testimony.

Remember that season you couldn’t pay your bills and now in hindsight, you’re doing just fine.

Remember that season your baby was born with a health condition and now that child is thriving in college.

Remember that season you couldn’t find genuine friendship and now you have found a place in a local church with more friends than you ever thought possible.

Remember that season your child walked away from you in rebellion, and now he or she is your number one fan.

Remember that loved one who suffered through a horrible illness but the Lord called them to a perfect healing, to a place where you can see them again someday.

Remember…

What has your path looked like?

God gives us His word.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

Romans 15:4

We don’t like to endure hard places do we? But we’re told here, sometimes, we will have too.

Let’s remember that when we feel hopeless, we have a responsibility to stay in the Word, and to keep an attitude of remembrance for the things He has already done in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.

When we feel helpless, let’s be quick to recognize that there is hope. That our hope is found in Christ. And that our hope is found in what we’ve already seen Him do.

“We must remain hopeful even when we feel helpless.”

When the anxiety comes rolling in and another day passes without our visible situation changing, may Christ find us faithful in our effort to stay firmly gripped to Him. To His Word. And may the testimonies, stories from our past, keep us moving forward as we remember, with thanksgiving, who He is and how much He loves us.

For helplessness is only brought our way to point to our need for the only source of hope available. Jesus.

Lord,

Even when I feel helpless, I believe that you are working behind the scenes. Help me keep my gaze on your Word and to keep a heart of thanksgiving while you work on me and work this out. Thank you.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

If you’re having trouble crawling out of a pit of hopelessness, grab a pen and paper. Think back on your life and look to those moments where it seemed all hope was lost. Write down how you felt then, and what you learned in that trial. Pen a prayer of thanksgiving as you reflect on the positive outcomes from that season. Do this every day if necessary, continually thanking God that He is working in your current situation. Your situation may or may not change, but your outlook sure will.

Blessings,

Kellie

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Finding Strength When You Feel Shaky

As we sat in the snow covered cemetery under a big flapping tent in folding metal chairs, I watched as her hand gingerly reach over to brace herself on the nearby headstone.  She used it as leverage to push herself up out of her chair, into the cold wind, and stand to speak.

My mom.

She’s been battling cancer for the last 18 months.  Weight loss.  Weakness.  Chemo brain.  Wheelchairs, walkers and soft shoes to accommodate swollen feet.  This is a short list of what outsiders have seen.  The list of challenges and set-backs that close friends and family have witnessed is even longer.

But on the day that we memorialized her mother-in-law of some 48 years, my mom found the strength to plan for the service all the way from out of state and get up to speak kind words about my grandmother.

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Strong:  able, sturdy, stable, tough, influential, brave

The strongest women are often draped in humility.  They do what has to be done without a lot of fan fair.  Their strength rises to the surface when life calls upon them to just get it done.

Do you ever look at other women…louder women…and think “why can’t I be strong like that?”

Volume doesn’t always equal strength.

Have you ever seen a woman in a dress suit and sunglasses at Target and thought “she must be important and look at me in my yoga pants and sweats shirt!”

Polish doesn’t always equal importance.

This time of year, I often think of Mary, Jesus’ mother.  She was barely a teenager, no husband and without the Holy scriptures to help fill in the gaps of what was happening to her.  She was not a prominent figure.  She wasn’t the best dressed.  When her home town demanded she travel while pregnant for a census, she didn’t get any special favors.

She was a young girl carrying the full hope of the world inside of her belly.  No bubble wrap around her.  No escorts making her pathway clear.  No reservations made ahead of time for a soft bed and a warm meal.

God given responsibilities don’t always equal special treatment.

She did what had to be done.  Quietly.  Humbly.

Both my mom and Mary.

One only beginning her journey into adulthood.  One who is fighting to remain in hers.

I come from a line of strong women.

If you are a child of God…you do too.

Women who have risked their lives in the name of saving their people (Esther).  Women who chose Jesus over what their entire town would think about them (woman at the well).  Women who left everything familiar in order to do the right thing (Ruth).  Women who let their children go, clinging to their faith, trusting God (Hannah and Jochebed).

 

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Sometimes, the strongest women aren’t the ones on stage, but the ones behind the curtain.  Strong women are sitting bedside with their ailing parents, feeding them ice cream and wiping the corner of their mouths.  Strong women are raising rebellious teenagers and not backing down.  Strong women make hard choices and do hard things, not based on their feelings, but on what is right.  And the strong women that I know…they pull other women along with them to do the hard things and celebrate each time they surprise themselves with their accomplishments.

Each breath that we take is another opportunity to ask the Lord for help and step into the strength that He provides for us.  Sometimes that’s the only prayer we need…to ask for strength, and then move.

Just.

Move.

Scripture:

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1-2

Prayer:

Lord, help us to grasp that when we are at our weakest, You are there with exactly what we need. We are grateful that you don’t require us to be strong before you set our tasks at hand, but that you provide with each step, the strength for every forward movement in our lives.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Kellie

 

 

 

 

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Parenting Pre-Schoolers

We Weren’t Meant To Do It Alone

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“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  James 1:5

“What in the world were you thinking?”

This was a staple of my prayer life when my children were young.  Yes, I questioned God many times.  I feel like He probably got tired of hearing it but I had to be real, right?  I mean, what was He thinking putting me in charge of two live humans?

Scripture tells us that we are all sinners so that includes me, duh, and I know that perfectionism is non-existent on the planet.  I get it.  So when we were given the blessing and responsibility of raising two children, how in the world was I, an imperfect person, expected to “train them in the way they should go” and somehow keep them on the straight path and help them be who God created them to be?

At times the task felt impossible.  At times I thought we would all be on Oprah (I know, I’m dating myself) one day airing our dirty laundry for all the world to see.  I mean, surely I was messing them up somehow.

Ever felt this way?

What I learned over time was that my thinking was prideful.  Pride.  Full.  Full.  Of.  Pride!!

Parenting has a way of humbling us, doesn’t it?

Your infant pees on you during a diaper change.  Your toddler comes to wake you in the night with an upset stomach only to vomit in your hair while they’re beckoning for help.  Your preschooler points to someone in the grocery store and asks you why they look like they do.  You begin to lose your temper with your elementary age child and they begin to tell you about the character trait of self-control that they are learning in school.

These are just a few of the physical challenges that come with being a parent.  Just wait until they become young adults!  The physical challenges diminish greatly but the emotional pull that comes with watching your children launch out can be just as great.

Now that I’m on the other side of having small children, here are a few things I learned:

Mothering preschoolers, at times, was lonely.  I was isolated.  I was schedule driven.  Sometimes, I was limited financially aka broke!

*Find a community.  I found mine through my local church.  I deliberately surrounded myself with women who were in my shoes and with those who had already walked out of them and were on to parenting older children.  Both have value.  I attended some play dates, library readings and gym sessions for moms and toddlers but I found that authentic relationships were built in the security of other christian women.

I felt unequipped.  After reading all the books and those wonderful magazine articles found at the pediatrician’s office, every family is unique in its own way and while I found some good tips through those avenues, there was only one solid source for teaching me how to parent MY children.

*This time in my life is when I got more serious about my faith.  I had to ask myself if I really believed in Christ or was I just riding the coat tails of my upbringing.  I had to choose if I was only going to use Him when I needed answers or was I ALL IN on placing my faith in Him.  He created the institution of family, the first mom and dad, the first set of children…He is the designer of it all and He is the deepest, widest and most rock solid source of how to parent.  He proved this to me over and over as I walked through these years.

I am blessed.  I’m acutely aware that there are some out there who long to be a mom and are just not able to be at this time.  Not all get this privilege to parent and we shouldn’t take it lightly that we were chosen to guide these little human beings for 18+ years.  To be the place where they launch off into adulthood and return to when they need to steady their footing again.

*God chose us to do this task.  Being hand picked by God..now that is a blessing!

God chose you!  Rest in that friend.  You are your child’s parent on purpose.

Do what you can to prepare.  Do what you can to just simply do your best.  But know this, this journey of parenting isn’t just about those babies.  It is about you and your relationship with your Creator too. This is a time to lean into Him, trust what He says about finding community.  Trust what He says when He tells you He will never leave nor foresake you.  Trust His instructions in the Bible about parenting.

We can get so wrapped up in our children.  We’ve all been there or been tempted to do so.  But, everything that we experience in this life is about strengthening our relationship with Christ and inviting others to do the same.  All of it.

So keep your focus on Him.  Keep Him at the center.

We are lonely at times because He longs to spend time with us.

We feel unequipped at times because He longs to equip us.

We are blessed always because He is just waiting to give us whatever we need and it’s all for our good, the good of our children and to bring glory to Him.

So, lean in.  Lean hard.  Beware of the trap of thinking you can do it all on your own.  We are designed to need Him and when we give in to that, well that is where we will find freedom.

Blessings,

Kellie

 

 

Turn The Page

FeaturedTurn The Page

Choosing to Trust the Author of Our Stories in the Midst of Hard Chapters

I recently took a day to put the top down and take some back roads.  I love taking in the sights of small town America and imagining how those towns first came to be.  Who settled there first, and who keeps the livelihood going.  I love old buildings and dirt roads and sunflower fields…all of it.  It fills me up spiritually and I’m able to reflect on those moments and noticings for a while and draw inspiration from those places.

I imagine those first generations that came in and settled had a hard time.  They had to endure financial barriers and sickness, planting and harvesting on new soil and just flat-out fatigue.  I wonder if they were ever tempted to just close the book on their lives and be done.  I wonder what kept them going and inspired them to keep turning the pages and moving on in the stories that they were a part of.

 

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These people were working for something better.  They were building a future for their children and their children’s children.  They were creating changes on their own and having to endure changes that just came with the wind.

Change.

It’s inevitable and it’s annoying and it’s beautiful and inconvenient, it’s stressful and it’s welcoming and it’s unwelcome and it’s scary.

Oftentimes changes will take place in our lives that we have no control over.  The flip side is that there are sometimes changes that need to come into our lives in which we have a choice about.

This is where it can get sticky.

We may not always like the choices that lie before us.  Sometimes we don’t even know what choices we have as we have to close a door behind us before we can turn to look at the other doors before us.  Does that make sense?

I believe oftentimes a choice stands before us, one we may not even see yet, and God is waiting for us to simply wet our fingers, reach out, even if with eyes closed, and turn the page.

In Philippians, Paul tells us this…

 “…By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

The Message

No one is an expert, just move onward.  Run…no turning back!

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A sweet friend of mine says frequently “God is writing my story”.

Think of your life as a book.  It’s unique and beautiful on its own.  Like any good story there is joy and sadness.  Suspense and intrigue.  New characters are introduced and old ones leave. There are stories within the story.  Battles fought, some wins, some losses, always a lesson learned.

But the ending.  This is where turning the page will get you.  You have to turn the page to get to the ending.

 The ending is where the good stuff is.  Where the author takes all of the pieces of our story and ties them together for a finish that we could never have imagined.

That doesn’t mean it always appears to be a happy ending in our eyes.  But, it does mean that the Author is pleased with the finished product.  That the masterpiece that He created which is YOU (and me) is complete.

Our lives, our stories, aren’t to be tucked away on a shelf to collect dust and stay hidden from the world.  They’re a testament to the Author.  They are a word of mouth endorsement for others to take interest in and see the work of God and the hope that living a life for Him brings.  Even during the moments of the unknown, suspense and sadness, if it’s too much to read that chapter out loud as it’s being written, share it with others once the page has been turned and you have the gift of hindsight to go along with that part of your story.

God can stun you in hindsight when you discover the careful orchestration of events in your life.”

-Priscilla Shirer

Remember, those hard times are only a part of you, not the whole.  Every story intertwines the good with the bad.  You are no exception.  But you and I get to choose whether we are going to park ourselves on the negative or just glance there and set our gaze on the positive.

I’ve seen what this Author can do with a willing participant.  I’ve read His other works that are scattered throughout history (HIS-story).  I’ve seen friends and family make hard decisions that they NEVER regretted.  But ask them about the choosing, and they’ll tell you that in the flesh, it wasn’t always easy.

Some days I’m still learning to keep moving and trust.  To turn the page even when I’m afraid of what may be on the other side.  If you feel this way, you are not alone.  This has been going on from generation to generation.

I imagine the people who settled on these lands first had to make hard choices and they had to make them quick.  They didn’t always have the luxury to watch a fever for a few days before making the trek to the doctor’s office.  They couldn’t watch their crops be swarmed by locust and spend a few weeks contemplating on whether they should burn or just stand by and wait and see.  They didn’t have choices in their homes on counter tops, flooring and paint colors to peruse from as they built.  They had to move quickly, making split second decisions, not always knowing what the outcome would be for their families as they flipped the pages in their lives.

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Look around at how far these little towns have come.  You’re living in one now.  We have the people who were here first to thank for that.  They kept turning the pages in their lives, moving forward, building something for the rest of us to reflect on and be thankful for and continue building from.

When we are given choices, it’s a gift.

Even though making a choice can be excruciating, if we stand by paralyzed with fear, like any good book, we will grow stiff.  Cold.  Our stories can become uninviting for others who want to be a part of our lives.

Where are you at today?  Is there a choice staring back at you that has to be made and you are crippled with fear?  Your fingers feel stricken with arthritis and you are unable to move towards that top right corner of the page to move it over?

You’ve been given a choice.  Stay on the page you are sitting where dust will collect and the beauty of the words will soon fade, or perhaps reach out with your other hand to do the turning.  Maybe you need a friend to come alongside and help you turn your page.  Perhaps you need to pick up the book, shake it out and attack that page turning like you never have before.

God is writing your story.

It’s not over yet.  The momentum is building and there may be people around you just biting their lip to see what the next chapter of your life holds.  They aren’t fixated on YOU, they’re looking to the author.  They’ve read His stories before and they know that He never disappoints.  Never.

I’m praying for us all to keep moving forward.  To view turning pages as a privilege and highly anticipate what God is going to reveal next.  I would love to pray for you if your next page seems too heavy to lift.  You’re invited to private message me.  It would be a privilege to be that friend that helps pray you through your next hard choice.

Kellie

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Be Easy On Yourself

 

I was recently talking with a friend and she said something that resonated deeply with me.

 

We were talking about goals and dreams and what may be out in front of us that we want to attain.  We were talking about how to get to those places and how sometimes we have to muddle through other things, let other things go, clear a path etc. before we can reach those goals.  It was wonderful conversation soaked with truth.

I thought we were going to keep talking about big, personal goals and encourage each other to keep pursuing them.  I thought we were going to go big picture.  I was wrong.

 

She said something that rang a bell deep in my heart…

“I’m learning to give myself grace in the small, every day things.  To celebrate those accomplishments, even if they’re small”.

 

Isn’t that good??

Don’t we wait until the BIG thing is checked off of our list before we cut ourselves a break and celebrate?  Before we acknowledge that we’ve accomplished anything at all?  Aren’t women known for being their own worst critics?  For being so focused on the big, giant goals that we push aside the small steps that had to be accomplished before reaching that destination?

 

Here’s what I’m learning the older I get and the more that I make relationships with other women a priority…we are too hard on ourselves.  Way too hard.

 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

If you struggle simply getting out of bed some mornings because of anxiety or depression, and you actually get up…cut yourself a break.  Acknowledge that you just accomplished something.  It doesn’t matter if it is a “hard” thing to anyone else.  If it is “hard” for you, and you pushed through…give yourself some grace.

 

If you are fighting with your spouse 5 or 6 times a day and you have a day where you only fuss 4…don’t linger over the 4, celebrate the absence of the others.  It’s a small thing that can lead to bigger things.

 

Mothers of young children, I hear many of you voice your desire to have your quiet time in the morning and get in your work-out, shower and start breakfast all before that baby wakes up.  Some of you are drowning with guilt because you haven’t had your child’s 30 day pictures taken like everyone else has (bahahaha..ask me how many times I had my children’s pictures taken when they were babies) and now your child will grow up with low self-esteem because you didn’t document every inch that they grew!  Stop!!! There are more of you than you think only getting a shower every other day and barely managing to feed your husband a bowl of cereal after coming in from a long days work.

 

If you’re that mom and you got out of bed and loved on your children today, celebrate that you took care of what was most important.  If at the end of the day only 1 out of 8 things is ticked off of your to-do list, celebrate the 1 thing and start fresh tomorrow.

 

It’s important to set goals.  To reach for the stars and move forward with vision and purpose.  But, while you move forward, give yourselves some grace and acknowledge that even the small accomplishments are still accomplishments.  It takes plowing through the small things before the big things can be attained.

 

God is in the small things and it’s in those achievements that sometimes our intimacy with Him is more tangible than others.  It’s those small tasks that when achieved, draw out a quiet “yesssssss” and will draw our gaze to our Father, who is so pleased and just tickled, when we include Him in those mini celebrations.

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He sees when we struggle to get out of bed but we do it anyway.  He sees when we are unhappy with our jobs but we go and give it our best anyway.  He sees when our anxiety tells us to stay home but we push through and call that friend anyway.  He sees when we push away the cake in an attempt to care for our bodies.  He sees when that baby has kept you up all night and it’s all that you can do the next day to simply brush your teeth.

 

“…my power is made perfect in weakness…”

 

In our weak moments, let’s let Him in and share that.  We have a tendency to beat ourselves up and assume that God is disappointed when we struggle.  That He is somehow never satisfied with our small steps.  Not so.  It is in our weakness that He has room to work.  It is here that He shines through.  It’s this place that we realize our need for His power and comfort and He delivers.

 

Every.  Single.  Time.

 

Let’s lean in.  Be more like my friend and celebrate the small things.  Celebrate with Him.  He’s right there lending His power to help us push through.  Then, let’s throw a little praise party as we accept the grace that He is handing us!

 

Praying that we give ourselves even a portion of the grace that He longs to give us.  I believe we’d be blown away if we realized the grace He’s made available for you and me.  Blown.  Away.

Kellie