Category Archives: Southern Belle Baptist

Merry Christmas

I pray that each and every one of you has a wonderfully blessed Christmas this year, full of joy, laughter and happiness with your family and friends. We had a great weekend, full of Santa visits, time spent together and dreams of our future house. We are so looking forward to what this week will bring.

IMG_9807

(I guess Santa was hot because they had a huge fan blowing on him… hence the wind-blown look!)IMG_9785

IMG_9829 IMG_9821IMG_9833

IMG_9771

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’”

(Luke 2:8-14)

Merry Christmas, my friends!

 

 

I’m a mess

I work in a church, and as part of my job, I craft a weekly email devotional. Some weeks, I get super into it and feel so inspired to write. I’ll look back at my computer screen and think “Man, that is really good! Where did that come from?!” Other times, I throw something together at the last minute (because I totally forgot to write it the day before) and think “Man, that’s lame. I’ll probably get fired tomorrow.” (Okay, not really, but still).

You know what? I usually get more positive comments and “thank you” emails on the days where I think it’s lame.

That tells me something important: that God works through me, even when I don’t feel like being a vessel for His work.

Whether I’m “in the mood” to witness and encourage doesn’t mean much to Him. If I’m willing, He is able. Thank goodness for that! I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m a great big mess- my hamper is overflowing, I have horrible road rage and I’m pretty sure I’m not on time to anything ever, but I am trying to live my life for Him and that’s what really matters. Some days are hard and some days are easy, but every day offers up a choice: a chance to say “yes.” Our pastor says that a huge part of belief is choice. You have to choose to believe, and you have to choose to follow the will of God. I’m so thankful that God has an amazing (sometimes confusing and crazy, but always amazing) plan for my life, and I am more than ready to see where it takes me. I say “yes” every day, even when it doesn’t make any sense.

I look at myself some days and wonder how such a mess of a person wound up with this amazing career in a leadership role at a church, and then it hits me: because that is where God wants me to be. This is so far outside the realm of things I could have made happen on my own- it is all God.

God is known for using messy people to do His work… makes you kind of glad to be a mess, doesn’t it?

506dff9059fdaeff2a34727c33f625aa

It’s getting real.

That whole taking my kid to work thing? Yeah. About that. It’s getting pretty real around here… as in, I am losing my mind. I can no longer use a desk chair at work. Yes, that’s right. Picture me, sitting kneeling at my desk, sans chair. Why? Because my child is part spider monkey and climbs up my legs, then falls down. Then cries. And whines. And cries. And whines. One thousand times per day. He wants to be held. So I pick him up. He wants to eat staples. I put him down. He cries. He wants to be held. So I pick him up. He arches his back in fury because I dared to pick him up. So I put him down. He screams. He wants to be held. So I pick him up. He presses “delete” and erases everything I just typed. Rinse and repeat. See my dilemma?

The good news is that my second interview went fantastic this week, and it looks like I’ll be getting an offer here in the next few days, according to my interviewer. I am so, so excited about this! Also, next week, I have an interview with my church for a communications position (both are part time… though the first offered me full-time if I want it). In a perfect world, I’d get both of these part time jobs and life would be just dandy. The church job is one that I have been seeking out and praying over for months, now, and it just feels right. The other job came like a whirlwind and feels equally amazing, so I think this may have been the point of the months of stress and job anxiety. God’s plan is coming into view, and let me just say, that I am pumped! His design is a thousand times better than I could have done on my own. Faith is a beautiful thing, guys. Praying that everything comes to fruition in the next few weeks. Then, my spider monkey will be staying at home with his big brother and Daddy… I give that a week, tops, before Trevor commits himself and we have to find alternative child care for our children! The combination of these two boys is akin to a whirling dervish of destruction and chaos. Ah, little boys… they’re the cutest little messes you could ever hope for having.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Last night, I had my third meeting with my women’s group. I absolutely love it! Our church just started up a women’s ministry and had a huge response by women interested in joining a small group. We were divided up into groups of 6-8 women, and my group meets every two weeks at our leader’s gorgeous home. It’s such a fun time of fellowship and closeness- even though we just met, it feels like such a safe place to really reveal your heart and open up. I’d highly recommend joining a women’s group through your church if you’re looking to make new friends! Last night, we talked about husbands. Everyone in the group is happily (most of the time!) married, so it’s something we have in common. Our main topic of discussion was respecting our husbands.

I don’t know about you, but showing respect and “submission” is not something I just know how to do. I was raised by a single mom who had the attitude of “if you want something done right, do it yourself” and really raised me to be independent and self-sufficient apart from a man. Those are all great things, but when you find yourself in a good relationship, those are things that can hinder the growth of that relationship. So, here I am, trying to learn how to be a Biblically “good” wife. Now, showing respect to our spouses is something we should all do- men and women alike. We were discussing ways in which to do that. Things like asking (and actually taking) your husbands opinion, letting him have the last word, always praying for him, letting him feel like (and be) the spiritual leader in your home, etc.

I know some of you are seriously shaking your heads right now, thinking “my husband is NOT the boss of me, and he’s certainly not my leader!” Well, you’re not alone. This is something completely out of my realm of understand, but I think it is important to learn how to be the kind of wife God wants me to be, so I am trying to learn more. I am someone that takes charge of every situation, hates to ask for help and is generally quite a control freak. Dare I say, I may be overly honest with you guys! Anyway, it’s really hard for me to let Trevor be the head of the household. I guess I feel a sense of competition, needing to be in charge and in control. I blame that on my brother who is the most competitive person alive and brought me down with him in our childhood death matches board game playing (thanks, Austin). It’s such a foreign concept to me that I am having to take baby steps in this process. Being a strong woman sometimes makes it hard for me to be a strong wife.

I have finally learned to ask for, and accept, help from Trevor. He may not fold the towels exactly like I do (the way Martha Stewart says you should… I know, I have problems) or put the dishes away in the exact right spot, but you know what? Who cares?! That towel is just going to get unfolded and that dish is just going to get dirtied up again. It does not matter. So, with that change underway, I think the next thing I need to learn to do is hold my tongue. I’m getting better, but I still have a ways to go. I don’t always have to have the last word. I don’t always have to “win” an argument. I can let him be right sometimes- compromise is a GOOD thing!! He’s a man, and I should let him be that. Most men have a natural desire to lead and be in control- I really need to learn to relinquish some of my desire to lead to him as a way of showing love and respect for him. I have to realize that
being respectful of someone isn’t losing- it’s just a new way of winning, and our relationship is the winner.

Next step? Learning how to be a Biblically “submissive” wife (not a doormat, mind you, God’s got rules for the men, too!). Yeah, that’s a topic for another day because I’m pretty sure I may need intensive therapy to learn that one.

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5: 21-33)

Waiting for it

In church on Sunday, our pastor gave us a message that really made me think. He was teaching about the story of Abraham and Sarah. If you’re not familiar with the story, God promised Abraham that he would grow through him a great nation- a nation that would begin with a son. He was 86 at the time of God’s initial promise to him, but he believed that God would grant him a child. However, after 11 years passed, he and his wife, Sarah, grew wary of the wait. Instead of keeping their faith, Sarah suggested that Abraham impregnate her servant, Hagar, and carry on his line through her. So he did, and she bore him a son named Ishmael. However, when Abraham turned 100, God granted him the son he had promised him- in His perfect timing, Isaac (which means laughter… because wouldn’t you laugh if you had a baby at 100?) was born.

The message our pastor gave was urging us to wait for our Isaac and not to try replacing him with an Ishmael. God’s timing is perfect, even if it is not our own. “Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him” (Genesis 21:2). Have you ever wondered what was taking God so long? Whether in your love life, your desire to have a child, your career, your social life, whatever. Have you ever prayed for something so hard and just couldn’t wrap your mind around God’s timing? Why wasn’t he listening? Why weren’t you important enough to answer? Well guess what? He doesn’t always answer us in the way (or the time) we would choose, but he ALWAYS answers us. Trying to replace our true purpose with a stand-in will not fulfill us. We have to have faith that God will be there for us and will work to make His will known in our lives.

Personally, I’ve been struggling with my purpose. I have no idea what it is I’m supposed to “do,” but I know that I want to do something from a ministry standpoint. I’ve prayed and prayed about it, but I feel like I keep circling around to no avail. I have no clue. Trying to force myself into different roles won’t (and is not going to) work- I’m just going to have to wait for Him to reveal His plan to me in His time. Because for whatever reason, God wants me to wait right now. Waiting is hard. I’m not good at waiting. I think he knows that and makes me wait for longer just because He knows I hate it. I don’t think He does that to be mean- I think He does it to help me grow as a person. Sometimes the best part of the lesson is in the wait.

Some of my biggest mistakes have been made by trying to force the timing of something. If I can’t figure out what I’m “meant” to do, I will try my darnedest to replace my purpose with a “just for now” or similar substitution. I’ve learned, however, over the past 26 years or so of doing this, that rushing things won’t work. The good things in life are worth waiting for, even if waiting makes you want to pull your hair out sometimes. So, here I sit, waiting, but I am striving to serve Him in the meantime and make this wait purposeful. So… what are you waiting for?

Related Posts with Thumbnails