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.

 

 

When Waiting Hurts, Hope Heals

 

waitingLong before I got married a desire lived in me to someday be a mom. I often thought I would get married young and have lots of kids. My passion for kids came alive in me at a young age, and I spent several years of my life caring for and teaching young children, before having a child of my own.

My Husband and I got pregnant with our first child a year into our marriage and we were elated to say the least.  It just so worked out that I was able surprise my husband with the good news, on his birthday.  I’ll never forget the awestruck look on his face when I told him. We were both so grateful for this new life growing inside of me, not only because we to both wanted to be parents, but also because we knew just how special our baby was.

About a year before my Husband and I met, he was in a bad motorcycle accident and suffered a complete spinal cord injury, leaving him paralyzed, on top of a traumatic brain injury.  From what I am told, the fact that he is alive today and doing as well as he is—is a miracle in itself. We went into our marriage knowing that we would probably face some challenges with being able to conceive. I remember having those conversations even when we were in the dating phase of our relationship.

But we relied on our faith in God. And He calmed our fears and showered us with grace.

He blessed us with a son, our miracle Micah. And not a day goes by that I am not grateful for our joyful, curious, sweet, healthy bundle of all-boy energy.  He is gift not only to my husband and I, but to so many others as well.

The infamous question people have asked us since our son’s birth is, “So do you want to have more kids?”

And the answer has always been, “Yes.”

Our son is almost three years old, and as time ticks on, that has become a harder question for me to answer without pain welling up inside of me. For us, it’s not at all a question of if we want to have more kids. Our question looks more like, “What is God’s will for our little family? Will he make what seems like the impossible, possible for us again?”

My Husband and I long for our family to grow. We long for our son to have a sibling or siblings to play with. I long to have a little life growing inside of me again. But we haven’t been able to get pregnant again…yet.

I try to hold back the tears when my son asks me, “Mommy where’s my brother? Where’s my sister?” Sometimes I can’t find the words to say, but usually my response is,  “I hope he or she is coming soon sweetheart.”

Waiting hurts sometimes. And when it does, it can do one of two things: It can either make us grow bitter and discouraged, or it can allow us to grow closer to our source of all hope—Jesus.  

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There is strength in the Lord. The sort of strength that allows us to press on even when facing difficult circumstances; The sort of strength that  helps us keep trusting in God’s promises even though we don’t know the future; The sort of strength that can replace our fears and worries with a peace that passes all understanding.

If we allow the struggle of waiting to point us to Jesus, we might actually find something different than expected. Our struggles are an opportunity for us to grow closer to the One who wants to carry the burden of our heavy load. Our struggles are an opportunity for us to develop virtues like patience and trust, treasures that hold eternal value. Our struggles are an opportunity to become aware of our deeper longing and need for Jesus.  And our struggles can awaken us to the “secret” Paul talks about in Philippians.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)

The secret to being content in this life no matter what we are going through—is knowing that there is everlasting hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. The hope of Jesus sets us frees from the things we cannot free ourselves from. The hope of Jesus offers us the promise of better things to come, even though the present moment might be challenging.

It’s when we need hope the most, that hope heals us the most.

What we need, is not to know all the details of the future. What we need is the One who knows all the details of the future.  Because once we find Him, we can trust Him to lead the way. We can wait in anticipation that good things are ahead. We can wait in hope that God will work everything out for our good.

Whether you’re waiting for a first child, more children, a spouse to share life with, the return home of a loved one, an end to a challenging season…whatever your “waiting” is…know that when you bring your heart to Jesus, He will renew your strength and heal spaces in you that only He can.

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. ~Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)

The waiting hurts right now for me, some days more than others, but my strength is in the Lord. He is faithful, He is loving, and He is good all the time. Hope lives because of Jesus, and every morning is a choice for me to wake up and choose that hope over the things that want to weigh me down. And as I wait, I don’t take for granted the amazing child that I already do have. I will cherish the sweet moments I have with him. I will keep pouring into to his life the best that I can. And I will anticipate with hope, that one day he will get to be a big brother.

When waiting hurts, hope heals.

—–

hannah

 

 

 

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