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Faith

in Marriage

I Didn’t Marry the One

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marry-the-one

I did not marry the one. 

There, I said it. 
I love my husband, dearly, but when we walked down the aisle, neither of us held onto delusions that we had found someone who would fill the hole in our lives. We didn’t find the one who was going to be our everything or who would understand us perfectly. 
We found something infinitely better. 
When I walked down the aisle and said, “I do,” I married the man who was going to stretch me to my limits, who was going to be used by God to help make me more like Christ, and who was  just as determined as I was to fight through life together.

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teachable

“If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding” (Proverbs 15:32 NLT).

What does being teachable mean to you? I’ve been contemplating what I believe it to mean and how I reflect this in my life.

I have a procedure I try to implement when it comes to critical feedback. It’s worthy to note that by critical and criticism, I do not mean an attack. I mean an evaluative suggestion of improvement or observation from another (usually well-meaning) individual.

When I hear criticism, I hold it temporarily; assess if it is something I need to take on board or not. If this process of reflection brings light to a change I could make which would be beneficial, I endeavour to do so and take steps to do so. If my thoughtful consideration doesn’t deem the change valuable, I catalogue it or dismiss it.

There is so much good that can come from giving thoughtful feedback, asking for thoughtful feedback and receiving thoughtful feedback.

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comfort-pregnancy-loss

Isn’t it funny how one little call can change so much?

A few weeks ago, I got a call I didn’t anticipate, letting me know that two little embryos, two little lives my husband and I had created, had been stripped of their life. The babies we wanted to love and cherish every moment of their lives were no longer alive. They were gone before we even had a chance to name them.
The heart that had swelled with more love than I ever imagined possible for little cells multiplying in my womb sunk deep within me. I had been praying. I trusted in God to bring the babies safely into my arms. But in His wisdom, He called them to Himself instead.
When I had calmed myself, I texted a dear friend and told her that my little ones were no longer on this earth. Her response stopped me in my tracks. 

“Oh no,” she wrote, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

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shadow-step

I discovered a new song this weekend and it instantly became a firm favourite.

You might know it too, “Shadow Step” by Hillsong United.

Driving in the car listening to this on top volume today (I was by myself and it was pure bliss), it made me reflect on the meaning of the “shadow step” in the song. To me it was symbolic of stepping into a shadow, an unknown area, a new place, not yet sure what you’ll find or if it is going to work, but trusting God with the process.

I could relate this back to motherhood immediately.

Are we not always operating in shadow steps when it comes to raising kids?

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crying-babies-cry-heaven

Flying across an ocean is a great equalizer.

Everyone is uncomfortable. No one can really sleep despite their body’s cry for rest. The food leaves everyone feeling hungry but also, without desire to eat what is handed to them. And, at the end, we all walk away feeling dirty for no particular reason other than the air which leaves us all inexplicably musty. 

But what I find most interesting about these flights, is the way people interact with the little ones around them. 

I have never flown across an ocean with a small child, but I have many friends who have done it alone; going to or from visiting a deployed military spouse. And I applaud them.
I applaud them because it takes courage to walk down an aisle with a rambunctious toddler and face glaring eyes, annoyed by simply the presence of a child.

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in Faith

Dear God, I Give Up

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dear-god-give

Dear God,

I give up. This life is hard. I am tempted daily to fall back into the sin where you found me. My words are used, not to encourage and build up, but to try and assert my agenda, my rightness, and to pursue my own selfish desires. Instead of being busy about your work, I’ve hidden behind my me time and busied myself with silly, temporal pursuits.

You’ve called me to reach out my hands to the poor, but instead, I’ve grasped tightly to my material possessions. You’ve called me to love others before myself, but I’ve instead spent days conniving how to get them to love me as much as I love me. My time has not been offered at your feet, but on the altar of consumerism, narcissism, and intellectualism.

But God, I’m giving it up again today and placing it at your feet. 

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son-god-christmas

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming devotional, “His Name Shall Be Called.” Click here to sign-up to receive a personal copy of the ebook upon its release (it’s free!).

We’re a pretty messed up people. After about 30 seconds of television, it is easy to see. Our world is full of bombings, shootings, and other atrocities. Even those of us who are “good” still really aren’t that great. Greed, lust, and self-interest mark our existence. We need something to atone, to make-up for all of our shortcomings. We need a God-sized savior.

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in Faith, Family Life

Learning Like a Child

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learning-like-child

I’ve been teaching a 3-year-old the New City Catechism.

It was a supposed to be a lesson for her. I was going to systematically go through the questions and answers that explained our faith so that she would be a well-learned member of the church. I imagined that she would hide these little answers in her heart and when she was old would be able to recollect these little truths hidden inside.

But I am the one who is learning.

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banishing-bitterness

I never need to look far for bitterness to come calling.

Something will happen, or someone will rub me the wrong way, and without thinking I snap my fingers and bitterness comes running over, wrapping me in a bear hug and covering every bit of me.

But bitterness is not my friend. Bitterness doesn’t comfort me; she doesn’t make me feel better. She doesn’t serve me at all. She clouds my brain. She taints my colour. Bitterness actually grasps hold of my heart and twists it, forcing me to respond to things in ways that I usually wouldn’t. She takes my tongue and pushes words from me that I don’t usually find myself saying. She even invites her friends Jealousy, Offense and Righteous Indignation in, chuckling “Come on guys, it’s party time!” So what kind of self-destructive person am I, that I would cry out “Bitterness! Come to me! Let’s wallow together!” – knowing that she’s going to make me feel worse, not better?

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case-self-care

Self-care has become an idol for many of us. Don’t get me wrong: we absolutely need to care for ourselves. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Neglecting that temple would be wrong. So yes, we need to care for it. But more than that, we need to pour ourselves out in love and honor the call of the Holy Spirit.

I am the first to take time to binge watch on Netflix in the name of self-care. Make-up is a passion of mine. I can spend hours pouring over a book while my kitchen sits dirty. Neglecting myself is not something I’m likely to do. Neglecting those around me is.

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