Sadness in a Joyful Season

posted in: Books | 0

It is just 9 days before Christmas, everyone is hurrying around, crossing items off their lists, getting dressed up to attend Christmas parties, and drinking eggnog.  Maybe blaring Christmas music from the ipods and car radios.  Making peppermint bark and addressing those family Christmas cards.

It is definitely meant to be a joyful season – the reason being is that Jesus came to earth as a baby and we celebrate that at Christmas time.

But, what do you if your holidays are mixed with sadness?  This world is full of sadness, and maybe, as you look back over 2016, you realize that your life is more sad than happy, not going quite like you wanted or hoped it would.

Sadness is not a sin.  We see throughout the Psalms (especially) that the writers were sad: they were saddened by the events going on around them.  They were sad because of things happening to them.  They were just sad.  And that was ok.  We need to dwell on what is going to happen with our sadness?  Do we have to immediately dismiss it and never deal with it – no.  We need to think about it, think about why we are sad, maybe get someone to help think through our sadness, and let God have it.  Let Him take away your sadness.

You may be sad because of relationships that are broken.  You may be sad because you’ve lost loved ones over the past year.  Maybe you are sad because you were hoping to share Christmas with a new baby but that baby was lost to a miscarriage.  There is so much sadness.  We need to be mindful of other’s sadness and have compassion on them.

Tanika Fitzgerald, in her book Miscarried Joy, helps point women to the gospel who have suffered a miscarriage, but the truths that she encourages women with would be applicable to anyone who who has been dealing with hurt and needs some help helping your heart.  You need to hear these gospel truths that God is for you, delights in you, and is working in you even through pain.  This season of Advent and Christmas can help you realize that there will come a time when Jesus makes everything sad become untrue (thanks Sally Lloyd-Jones for that one).

You can win a copy of Miscarried Joy and other goodies before Christmas!


Glory and Grace: 1 Peter 1:3

posted in: glory and grace | 0

Living Hope

1 Peter 1:3-5 – The Message

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”

People often say there is no hope.  Or they use hope in a way that is not biblical hope.  I can hope right now that my boys go take their nap.  But, that’s not biblical hope.

The living hope that we are called to because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is JESUS!  Everything that is ours through Jesus is because of Jesus so JESUS is our living hope.

Today – when you are weak because its hump day, or your littles won’t nap, or your days are long, or you burn dinner…JESUS is your LIVING HOPE!

Glory and Grace Philippians 1:6

Struggles of Life’s Calling Part 2

posted in: mothering | 0

So, last week I wrote a post that got the most hits ever on this blog about struggling with being a mom.

I wanted to do a follow-up to it, so I wouldn’t leave you hanging.  The last of that blog says to fight for joy.  How do  you fight for joy when you are not liking where God has you in life?

Here are some of things I do – I hope you find them encouraging.  And please, let me know how you fight for joy!

1.  Pray.  And I’m not going to be super spiritual and say that I do that first – but sometimes I do – even if it is a plea to be patient!  Or to be gentle!  God is faithful to hear our prayers!  Pray!

2.  Talk to your husband.  Especially if you are a mom, you need to have an open communication with your spouse.  Was is an easy conversation with my Sweet Mister when I read him that blog I wrote – no.  It wasn’t easy for him to hear.  But, it was so good for him to know.  He is a great listener.  We talked through some things – and believer, this pregnant mamma was crying – but it was good.

3.  Have friends you can be real with and won’t just give you Bible verses and tell you to get over it.  Friends and Christian community is vital to being a mom.  Friends who will listen to you and share their struggles as well and pray with you and tell you that you aren’t losing your mind is something you need.  Be transparent.  And I hope you have a church body or friends that won’t judge you for being transparent.  Some friends in churches around the country have said they don’t have that.  A former pastor has a chart that talks about counseling church members.  He says when they are going through a hard time – the church’s response is to comfort and console – not admonish.  Now, there is a time for admonishment – but most of the time people get that timing wrong.

4.  Get in the Word.  If you are struggling – a great place to go is Psalms.  The Psalms is a real, gentle, transparent book.  And the Word will admonish – but the Word will also encourage and teach.

5.  Choose Joy.  I love the Nancy Leigh DeMoss titles Choosing Gratitude.  It is an amazing find – especially if you are going through a difficult time.  The afternoon I wrote the previous blog post was a good time for me to mentally count my blessings: Elijah, Eric, being a SAHM, having a cute little boy with watery-blue eyes and his daddy’s fine hair.  Whatever you are struggling with – count your blessings in that area.  It will change your mind about the situation!

6.  Take some time off!  I’m blessed to be around folks and my husband who will take Eli and give me a morning off.  I love it.  But, also, having that morning off makes me realize that I love my son and I love being around him.  Call a friend, your mother, a pastor’s wife, somebody!  A mental break is great for any mom!

7.  Do something that takes your mind off of your struggles.  For me, it is writing.  If I want something mindless to do – then I want to play a game on the iPad.  But, I usually like to sit and journal, write a blog, or write something!

8.  Sometimes, even after all that, you may still struggle with the calling that has been placed on your life for being a mom.  But, by the fact that you have children – you are a Mom.  That is your calling!  But, hope in your gospel that you’ve been given through the Cross of Christ.

What do you do that helps you when you are struggling!