Well-worn, Well-loved

Freddy

This is Freddy. He has seen better days. In fact, when Jackson brought Freddy to me with stuffing seeping out, I almost suggested it may be time for His crocodile to gracefully say goodbye.

Instead I found myself (easily) being talked into stitching him back up to love another day.

Freddy is special to Jackson. I found Freddy several years ago and knew he would be just the right gift for my boy on Valentine’s Day. Freddy reminds Jackson every day that I love him, with that message written across the heart Freddy carries.

Since coming to our family, Freddy has been through a lot living with the other stuffed animals on Jackson’s bed — smells, drool, sickness, being kicked, thrown, squeezed. And, it shows. The once soft fabric is now matted and worn. The stuffing is falling out. One of his eyes is a little wonky.

But, he is loved, just as you and I are by our Heavenly Father. Many of us can say we’ve been through it — we are worn. We’ve been kicked, misaligned, pulled in too many directions. Our faith has been stretched and pulled almost thread bare. We may look in the mirror and see people who have had better days.

Look closer. View yourself through God’s eyes. He sees each of us as someone precious to love another day. We are well-worn because we are well-loved. Yes, we have faced tremendous obstacles, hurt and frustration. We have stumbled and been stained. But, the matting and thread bare places also prove we have been held so tightly. Those stitches are reminders of God’s plan to make all things work together for good, and the scars are evidence of His faithfulness and healing.

We may think we’ve grown useless, but our Savior has never been more proud to have us by His side. We are worthy because He loves us. We are His.

Back to it

New Years is the time of year most people become resolved to change or set and strive for fresh goals. But for me as a stay-at-home mom and ministry leader, back-to-school time is the golden ticket!

My sweet kiddos started a new school year yesterday, and in many ways my year begins again, too.

Seriously. Have you seen sweeter kids?

It’s time to get back to it!

I’ve missed posting here on my blog. For the past year, I’ve allowed my ministry to-do list to crowd out my writing time. This fall, I’d like to change that, because God uses blogging in my life to punctuate how He is at work in the details all around me.

Earlier this year, knowing what God was calling me to, I asked Him to increase my capacity (aka the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10). The vision He had given was impossible to achieve without His presence and power — and Him stretching me even further in faith. God answered that prayer by giving me more to do and more people to love and serve. That’s just like God! 😉

I can say truthfully I haven’t “handled” it all well. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve burnt out in my own strength. And, God has allowed me late this summer to solely focus on my first ministry — my family — to rejuvenate my heart and clarify my priorities.

What God calls us to, He equips us to do. But you know how He does that? It isn’t that God suddenly gives you new skills or management techniques or aligns all your people in an orderly manner so that leadership is easy. He gives us Himself. He requires us to be with Him, stand with Him, depend on Him, trust in Him, and release control so He can work — in US.

That’s why I want to get back to recording God’s words and encouragement here in blog form. I want God to keep me on my toes, recognizing His work in the details of life so that I can stand firm in Christ, as He calls me in Ephesians 6:10-20 (note all times we are urged to “stand”). And, I want to be able to share with you the amazing blessing and miracle it is that God chooses to move and make Himself evident in our everyday lives — the places that real life happens, those in-between moments that define us.

This restart may not be perfect. It’s a beginning, again. That sounds a lot like grace.

Thanks for joining me in the journey!