Peace or Panic?

Peace or panicMy morning devotional spoke especially loud to me today. Last week was one of those weeks that felt like one thing got piled on top of another and the pile started to overflow. By Friday I was tired and stressed out—because rather than choosing peace and resting at the feet of Jesus, I allowed myself to become frazzled. I have a bit of Type A personality and I’ll try to do everything, and do it perfectly. But I know that the feeling of being overwhelmed is not a spirit that comes from God. If we are not careful, the enemy will use busyness to distract us away from the One who matters most—Jesus.

In a world that often makes us feel like we have to “do” so much to be good enough, it can feel strange to stop and rest. We get so busy “doing” and doing is not a bad thing, but sometimes we also need to focus on just “being.” Being sons and daughters of God. We need to take those moments to rest at the feet of Jesus because He is our life source.

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I hope this devotional encourages you in the way it did me:

We face so much stress and pressure today. We never seem to have enough time—pressure. We want to do well as a wife and a parent—pressure. We are called to be good stewards of our finances—pressure. We strive to be effective managers of our home—pressure. How do you handle all the pressures of life? Do you experience peace or panic?

In sisters Mary and Martha, God gives us a classic study in opposites. Jesus went to their home for dinner. Martha welcomed Him in, but then she became distracted by all the preparations. Busy in the kitchen, lots of details on her mind, anxious that everything go well, Martha was a whirlwind of activity. Was she at peace? No!

How did her stress show? Martha was stirring the pot in the kitchen, but she was also in the family room. There she accused Christ (“Don’t you care?”) and accused Mary (“She’s left me to serve alone”), complaining about the burden of dinner. Martha is bossy, blaming, distracted. She’s “yarping”—which, you’ll notice, is “praying” spelled backward!

In contrast to this hurricane of hyperactivity, we find Mary…

  • resting at the Lord’s feet while Martha is restless
  • worshiping while Martha worries
  • remaining at peace while Martha’s panic level rises
  • sitting while Martha is stewing
  • listening while Martha is lashing out

What was Jesus’ response? He commended Mary for doing what is most important —spending time with Him.

Would an outside observer see Martha or Mary in you as you deal with schedules, commitments, and pressures? Do you need to make any changes?

Devotional from: Walking with the Women of the Bible, by Elizabeth George. 

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As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” ~Luke 10:38-42 (MSG)


hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All rights reserved.

*Photo credit

To Really Follow Him

To Really Follow Him

What does it mean to follow Jesus? To really follow Him.

It means taking up your cross daily and walking the road less traveled.

It means choosing humility over pride and joy over defeat.

It means embracing the challenges that invade the comfortable corners.

It means keeping hope alive during the changing seasons of life.

It means looking different and soaring to heights others dare not go.

It means trusting that He is greater when fear echos around you.

It means loving the least of these and praying for your biggest enemies.

It means guarding your words, knowing the power that they hold.

It means accepting His grace when human motives drive your actions.

It means having peace that surpasses your understanding when the unthinkable strikes.

In means forgiving those who pierce your heart with throbbing pain.

It means living with eternal eyes that can see the needs of a hurting world.

It means quenching your thirst for more with His Love that satisfies.

It means clinging to your need for Him with each breath that fills your lungs.

It means risking for the sake of the Kingdom, daring to be brave and bold.

It means taking the wildest ride of your life with The One who holds the keys to Heaven.

It means dying to yourself so that you can truly live.

To follow Jesus. To really follow Him…

Letting Go 2It means that you are a changed soul. It means that you believe in the amazing power of His death and Resurrection. It means that His love lives in you and spills out of you like a gushing river.  It means that you love Him because He first loved you. It means that you accept your imperfections and yield to The Perfecter of your faith.

It means that you are free—not in the way the world defines free, but in the way His nail-pierced Hands bled for your eternal freedom. It means that you believe with every bone in your body that you are a child of The One True King. And it means that you anticipate with great hope the day when you will see the Face of The One who you now follow.

To really follow Him means that you have learned the art of letting go and letting Jesus guide your every faith-filled step. It means that you live with outstretched arms open to receiving the greatest gift ever given to mankind—Jesus. To follow Him is to know Him, and to know Him is the very core of your design. 

For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7: 13-14 NIV

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hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All rights reserved.

Embracing His Calling For Our Lives

il_fullxfull-1728239581Last week I had the opportunity attend a Christian writer’s conference in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. It was a privilege to be surrounded by people filled with a passion to serve the Lord through the avenue of writing. While I was there, I felt a peace from God assuring me that He wants to continue to awaken my writer’s heart. There were a lot of things that resonated with me and a lot of wonderful insight that I brought home with me.

One of the keynote speakers at the conference talked a little about what God’s purpose is for those of us who have been called to write.  He explained that God wants us to write because He wants to spend time with us, create with us, and develop intimacy with us. And of course that concept is not limited to just writers.

That message resonated with me because as a wife, a mom, a homemaker, and a writer, I can see how God is using each one of these areas to further develop the relationship I share with Him. And the more connected I am to Him, the better I can make a positive difference in the lives of those around me. Sometimes I’m in such a rush to complete a task, to get something published, to overcome a parenting obstacle, to see the final result—but God desires for me to embrace the process and not miss what He’s trying to do in me along the way.

God will bring our calling into fruition as we allow His timing to unfold in His time and as we allow His plan to unfold in His way.

God wants to do something in us as we tap into discovering what it is that He has called us to do. He desires to teach us, to shower us with His love, to heal us, to draw us closer to Him, and to reveal truth to us. He also wants to do something through us as we reach out to help others and make a positive impact on this world.

imagesAnother thing that resonated with me at the conference was the word JOY. One thing I’ve felt over the past two years as I’ve embraced my writer’s heart (and also the roles of being a wife and mom)…is joy. Not that every moment has been easy, but I feel content more than ever before. Something comes alive in us when we discover that God created us with purpose and that He wants to use us as a shining light in a dark world.

Another speaker at the conference shared this quote:

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  ~Fredrick Buechner

There’s joy when we embrace what we are meant to do, and when we realize that the deep passion God placed within us is meant to collide with a world that desperately needs us to share that passion. We are the vessel through which God wants to share His message with the world. Through us, He wants to breath life into the darkest places of the world. Through us, He wants to bring hope to the hurting and lost souls. Through us, He wants to spread His love like a wildfire that won’t stop burning.

We are the ones He’s chosen to use to get His message out to a world that craves something better. And no matter how much the enemy wants to deceive us into believing otherwise, our world is longing to hear the truth about who God is and how deeply He loves each of us.

We can trust the One who has called us to do great works for His Kingdom. He will do mighty things in us and through us as we yield to His plans for our lives.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

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hannah

 

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All Rights Reserved.