Hope

Hope… it’s the idea that sometimes feels like the help just out of reach. Sometimes I feel like I’m racing to hold on to hope, to keep up with her and sometimes I have to ask myself what the use is in trying any way.

Like the way I felt in the delivery room two weeks ago… I was trying to hold on, trying to stay calm. Birth the first time around really wasn’t bad, I didn’t give much place to panic. I stayed calm and they called me strong. Birth this time was different. I tried to hold on to the same calm, but the hurt got so bad I didn’t care anymore or even remember why I wanted so much to stay calm. So I let go. I let it all out. I screamed with every bit of energy I had and when the birth was over, my throat was sore.

The first few days with Liesel were so smooth and I was so happy and just when I was feeling proud for not letting the hormones get to me this time around, I looked at all the little fears and worries that I could concern myself with and they became monsters and I let go of everything I was trying to hold onto. Then the tears came.

And I pull myself up and I try again, to hang on to joy, to say no to fear. And yesterday I dwelt in the failure, in the sad truth that I couldn’t do it. And then, He invites me to remember, this truth that I keep forgetting. That, no, I can’t do it because I’m not meant to, but He who is my Strength can. I have to let go.

I try so hard to hold on to this false hope that sometimes I believe is more secure. Why do I keep having to let go? Because I’m trying to do it on my own. I’m trying to rest in my own strength instead of my Strength. He is my hope. I just can’t do this life myself, but praise God I have a hope. Someone else has already done it for me. The promise of the life He’s lived for me waits to be wholly mine in eternity.

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” -1 Peter 1:13  

 

Joining in with the Five Minute Friday community this week to write on the word hope. Please give these sweet writers a visit. :)

http://katemotaung.com/2015/07/09/five-minute-friday-hope/

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

Keeping Ready: Birth and Grace

Setting up the changing station, putting clean sheets in the bassinet, hanging curtains to block the light, I’m preparing our home for Liesel. It’s not the only way I’m preparing. I go to doctor’s appointments, try to put good protein in my diet, and take vitamins for her to care for her now, though I can’t hold her, can’t see her. It’s because I believe she’s alive and that I’ll hold her soon. I’m preparing myself to give birth to her… I read up on the birth process, and do my workouts to gain strength for labor. It’s because I’ll soon hold her and care for her physically that I wash these clothes and stack them neatly in the dresser and ensure the bottles and toys are clean and ready to use. These are just some of the ways I’ve been preparing for her, for the birth that I know is imminent. This preparation, it affects just about every aspect of my life right now and this is my reminder to hold on to. This is one way He’s pointing me to the Gospel again. Because when Bro. Robby asks how our lives are affected by the knowledge of His coming, this is where that question takes me. Because if the knowledge of my baby’s coming affects my life this much, how does the knowledge of my Savior’s coming affect me?

The car seat, the bassinet, the diaper changing station, the baby clothes and toys… I’m keeping it all clean and ready with my bag packed for the hospital stay. She could come any time and I’m putting forward the effort every day to be ready for her. And my Savior’s coming is imminent too and how am I keeping ready? Grace trains us to wait for the blessed hope of His appearing. (Titus 2:11-14) It trains us to wait ready, not quitting life, but being prepared, expectantly, eagerly waiting. I don’t stand at the door, bag in hand waiting for the labor pains to come so I know to go to the hospital. And the ten virgins in Christ’s parable (Mt. 25) took a nap while they were waiting for the bridegroom, but five of those virgins slept expectantly with the oil for their lamps on hand, ready to trim the wick of their lamp and go out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were waiting, prepared even in sleep. And maybe the Titus passage gives me a better idea of what that kind of waiting looks like.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

A life of waiting is marked by renouncing sin and striving after godliness, (Vs. 12) but it’s grace alone that trains us to live that way. (Vs. 11-12) Waiting ready is living in the light of grace. Grace is our lamp. We keep the oil always ready for the lamp of grace. We cling to the work our God has done, because it’s there that grace lights up our hearts, holding to the treasures of our moments that point to the grace of Jesus’ gift. Jesus who gave His life from the manger to the cross to become our life, the life that frees us from sin and makes us beautiful to be called His bride. That is the waiting, that is the lamp I daily keep ready. (Vs. 14)

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Hoping to keep up with the blog better now that I’ve finished the book. More to come on lessons from life with baby. :)

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

Loosen Up

Still needing to hear those words so much… “Be still and know that He is God.” I race my to-do list through my head, cling to it like it’s my lifeline, like somehow everything will fall apart if I forget something, if something doesn’t get done, if my girlie doesn’t take her nap. I sit to talk and try to listen, but I have to run it through my head again. I long for a break, yet when she sleeps and the quiet comes my head pounds with the list of the reading and writing and journaling that simply must be done before she wakes. And my quiet time becomes a rush, not a worship, and my writing becomes a consumer of my mind.

Being still is more than a still body.

And today, the book I’m reading tells me, “Loosen up, because the chains have been loosed, and laugh the laughter of the freed.” (Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift) It asks me what I can take more lightly.

And then I turn to where I left off in John and who do I find but Mary and Martha. And Martha is there serving and Mary is there bent over His feet. And the perfume she poured out could have been given to the poor, yes, but Jesus defends her with the words, “for the poor you always have with you…” (Jn. 12)

You always have them with you…

And that to-do list comes back to my mind and what do I always have with me? What have I been doing that I can do any old time? What have I been carrying heavy instead of being still, for bending over His feet, for loosening up and laughing with the free?

It’s so simple, so simple that it seems hard… Those were words I jotted down earlier this week, writing about the work of God in simply believing. And have I rushed so fast through this writing of words that I forget to take in what they say…

“Grace calls me to believe, calls me to the action of faith, calls me to the true work of God. John shows Jesus explaining that work. When the Savior was asked, “‘What must we do to be doing the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’” (Jn 6:28-29) When asked how to do the works of God, of all the things Jesus could have said, He told them to believe… believe in him whom he has sent. It sounds so simple, so simple that it almost seems hard. Yet, believing is how we do the works of God.”

This. This is how I Love Him. Not by busying, but by believing. Believing in being still to know. When I take what I know and be still with it, be still with God, God works it into my believing and I have faith. Stillness. Not just reading my Bible, but being still with those Words, loosening up with my day, being light with my duties, and sometimes letting them go. And through faith, He can be through me, free to see grace and live laughter, bringing me to bend over feet that have walked this way before me.

Linking up to Five-Minute Friday today. Please take a look at Friday’s blogposts. :)

http://katemotaung.com/2015/03/26/five-minute-friday-break-and-a-new-fmf-video-intro/

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.