Something New Coming Soon!

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I haven’t been around here much the past few weeks—but for a good reason! A NEW blog is in the works and I’m excited to share it with you very soon.

Pocketful of Motherhood isn’t going anywhere. I plan to keep posting here (and checking in with other blogs!), but my posts might be less frequent for a while. I’ll see where The Lord leads.

There are two passages from Scripture that have inspired me greatly over the years, and they both give a glimpse into the passion of my new blog.The first is from Psalm 139. The whole Psalm is beautiful and this portion is especially meaningful to me:

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. -Psalm 139: 13-15

Over the years I have discovered the wonder and gift that it is to be made in God’s image. There were so many times in my past where I measured my worth against the worlds opinions. I was striving to be good enough. Then, Jesus opened my eyes to the truth that I am enough…just as I am. His truth ministered to me and offered me freedom.

The second verse is from Isaiah 61. I first heard this verse explained in depth when I was doing a Beth Moore study many years ago called, Breaking Free:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. -Isaiah 61: 1-4

This passage gives me such hope. It reminds me that God can create good out of anything—even our messes. Especially our messes. He can create beauty from ashes. He can redeem anything. He can equip us as ordinary people, to do extraordinary things.

My new blog is birthed out of my ashes. And over the years God has been redeeming every part of my story; He continues to redeem. His is so faithful. What the enemy wanted to use to destroy me, God is using for good. I have forever hope because of Jesus, and it’s a joy to be able to share that hope.

More details to come this month, but I wanted to let you in on what I’ve been up to. Your cherished words of encouragement cheer me on! Thank you!

hannah

When Motherhood is Hard, Just Maybe God is Doing Something Holy

When Motherhood is Hard, Just Maybe God is Doing Something HolyMotherhood is a mixture of sunshine and thunderstorms. Moments of bright joy and moments of flowing tears. Our children mean everything to us and we would do anything for them. We love them, we protect them, and we make sacrifices for them.

It feels good when the warm sun is shining—when all is well. But it doesn’t always feel so good when the gray clouds roll in—when all is falling apart.

It’s easy to talk about the fun play-dates at the park and the cute things our children do.

But what about the harder moments of motherhood? What about the days when we feel overspent, worn down, and we’ve cried more tears than we’ve consumed actual water?

What about those days? What do we do with those days? Are we complaining if we talk about those days? Are we bad moms for having those days?

The messy moments of motherhood can make us vulnerable to feeling like we are failing moms. We feel guilty when our emotions aren’t rose-colored. We feel shame for experiencing feelings of frustration, sadness, and inadequacy. We are too ashamed to talk about the true rhythms of our hearts, so we stuff our feelings down deep where they boil inside of us.

We measure our worth based on how well behaved our kids are, how well they sleep at night, how well they do in school, how respectful and polite they are, and how many compliments we receive from others about them.

Many of us mamas—we are hard on ourselves. Some days we feel like we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, and we just aren’t meant for that.

Our Creator beautifully wove us together and made us in His Image. And those emotions? He put them in us for a reason. He made us emotional creatures, with a perfect purpose in mind. 

And our identity?

We are Daughters of The King. That is who we are, and we don’t take away from that our add to that.

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Our worth is not one ounce defined by how well we think we measure up as stay-at-home-moms, working moms, wives, and homemakers. Our worth is not defined by who the world says we are. Our worth is not defined by our titles or how many kids we have.

Our worth is in Him. 

When we come face to face with hard moments of motherhood, first we need to acknowledge that hardships are to be expected.

Jesus says,

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33 (NIV)

Jesus tells us that we will have hard times and notice what He says directly after…take heart! We tend to think of our hearts as connected with our emotions. So is Jesus telling us to run away from our emotions? No. He’s telling us that there is forever hope in what He did for us, which lifts the burden of our troubles.

He knew there would be times of discouragement in our lives. He cares about our feelings. And He wants us to know that our hearts can always beat with hope no matter how hard our circumstances are.  The key is to stay rooted in Him.

Rather than allowing the hardships of motherhood to keep us in a pit, God wants us to bring our real hearts to Him so He can lift the heavy burden. He can handle our raw emotions.

He can transform the very thing that seems the hardest into something Holy.

He wants us to depend on Him, rely on Him, cling to Him, and rest in Him. He wants to comfort us and heal the broken spaces in us. He wants to show us just how much we are worth to Him—worth dying for. He wants us to remain in Him, so that we remain in hope.

You see mamas, sometimes God allows us to feel the hard because He wants us to feel Him. He wants to hold us. He wants us to know that HE is Who we need the very most. He wants us to know that even when we are at our worst, He loves us just the same.

We are not bad moms for having hard days. We are real moms. Real moms who need a Savior— we all need a Savior.

We don’t need to run away from the difficult days or let them defeat us. Instead, they can be opportunities to develop deeper intimacy with the One who has felt every emotion we will ever feel.

Sometimes coming undone is the start of God mending us back together.

After all, He makes beautiful things out of the dust.

So take heart!

When motherhood is hard, just maybe God is doing something Holy.

blessed...

_____

hannah

 

 

 

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

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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