How We Can Show Love in 2014

This week will begin our annual Christmas baking and then the kids are out of school for the next two weeks.  I’ve made a list of cookies the girls and I will be baking:

  1.  Snowballs (my favorite)
  2. Sugar Cookies (saving these for the family to decorate)
  3. Snickerdoodles
  4. Peanut Butter Kisses
  5. Rice Krispy Peanut Butter Balls
  6. Christmas Fudge
  7. White Chocolate Fudge

It seems like a lot but with a family of six, neighbors, and friends, I love to spread a little of His Love this time of year.

This will be my last blog post for 2013 as I enjoy some family time.  I want to leave you with these 3 thoughts that have been on my heart as we enter into 2014:

1. Your children are your ministry.

Let me say it again, your children are your ministry.  I have met so many women with young kids (under 13) that wonder what God has put them on this earth to do and sadly, their ministry is right in front of them, their children.  I don’t ever want to be the mom that my daughter is in a friend’s driveway in tears as she is in her twenties having a family of her own wishing that her mom was there for her when she needed her as a child and later on as a teenager.  That even in her twenties she still struggles connecting with her mom. That my daughter continues talking in the driveway to her friend and asks her friend “why is it that people call on my mom for advice? Telling me she’s such an incredible mentor in their lives, but as her daughter I can say I don’t know that women you are talking about.  I really wish I did because she sounds amazing”. (True story)

I had an great friend of mine that is in a season of enjoying her grandbabies and has an incredible ministry that goes all over the world.  We had breakfast a few days ago and I asked her, “do you remember telling me 5-6 years ago that your family, your children are your ministry?” She said, “Yes”. “Remember how I sat across from you and wanted to travel with you and preach the gospel and tell my story to women and you stopped me and told me your kids must be your priority”. I told her that it was the best advice I’ve ever received.

So I tell you the same thing.  You only have your children for such a short time.  When I was raising 4 babies under 2 ½ years old it seemed as though the time wasn’t going fast enough.  That my identity of who I was was lost.  That I was forever going to be changing diapers and wiping snotty noses.  Then they were in elementary and I thought I couldn’t shout from the rooftop “Hallelujah!” loud enough. Freedom.  Elementary turned into Middle School where awkwardness and the hurts of finding true friends.  Now it’s High School and figuring out what colleges they want to go to.  I am so thankful that God has trusted Jose and me to raise these kids to be mighty men and women for Christ.  That we can give our children back to God as they come of age and tell God that our hope is that we put everything in them that you asked of us.  That we used every measure of what you gave us to use as parents.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. – Romans 12:3

love

I can’t imagine now that if I followed my own ambitions, my own thought of what I thought God was calling me to do, that I would have so much “measure” left over; love, patience, faith, hope.

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

 2. Success is not a bad thing

John Bevere in his book Relentless says, “God desires to call you great in His sight (Luke 1:15). He is for you and no one wants your success in life more than God Himself.” Let me add that He wants the one He put in you, not the one you create for yourself.

The Bible says He is the Author and Finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).  He knows your end from your beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  Then my question is why are we trying to change our success story?  We dabble in this and dabble in that trying to find our way.

Changing courses; changing directions.

forest

When all along if we would just have surrendered our success to God it would have been so much easier (speaking from experience).  When I find myself wandering in the wilderness, not sure of what direction to go, I find my head wrestling with my heart. {Tweet This}  In those moments is when I lay my wants and desires before Him leaving them with my words changed to only wanting those desires and wants He has for me (1 Peter 5:7).  Success isn’t a bad thing, but it must be the one He intended us to have.

3. Write for the one

In 2014, I encourage those of you that are bloggers, writers, and speakers to not just look at your platform as a mass multiplication of numbers, but to begin speaking life into the one.  When you write, write as though you are writing to the woman sitting on the other side of the screen asking God “where are you”? When you speak, speak as though you are speaking to the one anxiously waiting to go back to the hotel room where she can taste the alcohol that washes all her hurts and sorrows away.

In 2014, let’s begin speaking to the Ones.

The ones that are on a brink of divorce and become another statistic of a failed marriage.

The ones that are sitting in a closet crying in fear, screaming at God, please Lord, don’t let him do this to me again.

The ones that have had their innocence taken as a child and have lost trust in those that are supposed to protect her yet longs to be loved.

harvest

I challenge you to begin speaking life.  Show more of God in your writing.  Speak words that pierce the heart of those in the room.  Tell the world how great God is through your stories.  Show God’s Love in it all.  Love is War and showing it is a battle we must be willing to fight.  Are you ready?

"Love Is War" – Hillsong United

In Your justice and Your mercy

Heaven walked the broken road

Here to fight this sinner's battle

Here to make my fall Your own

 

Turn my eyes to see Your face

As all my fears surrender

Hold my heart within this grace

Where burden turns to wonder

 

I will fight to follow

I will fight for love

Throw my life forever

To the triumph of the Son

 

Let Your love be my companion

In the war against my pride

Long to break all vain obsession

Till You're all that I desire

 

Turn my eyes to see Your face

As all my fears surrender

Hold my heart within this grace

Where burden turns to wonder

 

I will fight to follow

I will fight for love

Throw my life forever

To the triumph of the Son

 

And I know Your love has won it all

You took the fall

To embrace my sorrows

I know You took the fight

You came and died but the grave was borrowed

I know You stood again

So I can stand with a life to follow

In the light of Your name

 

Turn my eyes to see Your face

As all my fears surrender

Hold my heart within this grace

Where burden turns to wonder

 

I will fight to follow

I will fight for love

Throw my life forever

To the triumph of the Son

 

And I know Your love has won it all

You took the fall

To embrace my sorrows

I know You took the fight

You came and died but the grave was borrowed

I know You stood again

So I can stand with a life to follow

In the light of Your name