Monday, September 24, 2018

Jesus Understands


The Lord has been reminding me of these truths…

Jesus understands our tears. He wept.

Jesus understands our sorrow. He loved and grieved.

Jesus understands our trials. He was tested by Satan.

Jesus understands our pain. He was rejected, mocked, beaten, and crucified.

Jesus understands our loneliness. He was betrayed.

Jesus understands our need for God. He was in constant contact with His Father.

Jesus understands our need for friends. He surrounded Himself with twelve.

Jesus understands triumph and new life. He conquered death and the grave.

Jesus understands because He lived it. {Tweet this}

Perhaps you need the reminder today too.

In Christ,
Laura

Linking up with: Purposeful Faith, #TeaAndWord, Trekking Thru, #GracefullTuesday, #TellHisStory, Let’s Have Coffee, #RechargeWednesday, #porchstories, Moments of Hope, #HeartEncouragement, #Grace & Truth, #FreshMarketFriday, Faith’n Friends, #BVNetworkParty

Monday, September 10, 2018

Our Presence Matters

A few weeks ago, I went to a concert with my family. As we enjoyed the music of the opening act, I couldn’t help but notice all the lit up screens around me. I nudged my teenage daughter and told her what I was thinking—I don’t get it.

It’s not that people were taking pictures of the performance, they were scrolling social media and taking selfies. Lots of selfies. And then quickly posting said selfies.

Thinking out loud, I whispered, “Why not enjoy the time spent with friends and family now instead of constantly worrying about what the world sees on social media?”

She said, “Because if it’s not on social media it’s like it didn’t happen.”

Oh. That’s sad.

Our time with others in real life shouldn’t need to be validated by the online world.

Selfies and goofy pictures prove we were there, but did we miss the opportunity to enjoy our time while we were there?

Having just recently lost a loved one, I know how quickly life as we know it can change. I’m glad I have the pictures we took to remember the happier times, but I also deeply treasure the time spent together, especially in the hard last days. Had I been constantly checking social media I would have missed the conversations and the gift of time I was given.

Watching the activity around me, I couldn’t help but think about the time people spend with others without really being present. Maybe you think it doesn’t matter, but it does. Your presence matters.

In Jesus’ time on earth, He didn’t have to worry about technology and keeping up with what everyone was doing. Wherever He was, He was present. And lives were changed. {Tweet this}

Our presence with Jesus and with others matters. When we’re preoccupied with other stuff, we miss the opportunity to relate to those around us. And they miss out on spending time with us.

Yes, I know, life is busy and much of the time we are trying to juggle multiple things at once. Maybe the issue isn’t all that we have going on, but how we prioritize our time. People can see what matters to us.

I remember sitting in a meeting watching team members, including the team leader, stare at their screens. It only took a few minutes to understand the priorities—screens mattered more than the people sitting around the table. It’s probably not what was intended, but it’s the message that was received.

How often do we send that message to those around us?

How often do we send that message to God when we sit down to spend time with Him, but find ourselves distracted with other things?

Our presence matters—to God, our spouse, our children, parents, friends, co-workers, and the list goes on.

Sometimes all we can offer someone is our presence, to sit with another when there’s nothing else we can do. Our presence matters. It’s what is remembered and often what means the most. {Tweet this}

I’m not against social media; it has its good points. But like most things, it also has its drawbacks. While it helps us keep in touch with others, it also takes our attention away from who we’re with right now, causing us to lose the chance to make memories today.

What we see on social media may or may not be what’s really happening in someone’s life. But those around us—our relationships—they are real whether we let others see into our world or not. And our presence in real life matters. {Tweet this}

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]


Monday, September 3, 2018

Candid Conversations {Book Review}

I like introducing you to new books. Candid Conversations is one I'm especially excited to tell you about because I had the privilege of being a contributing author.

Author Heather Hart, founder of Candidly Christian asked the question...

We all struggle with something, even as Christian women.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know you aren’t alone?

Twenty-five women answered the call and shared their stories about real-life struggles and how God met them in the midst of difficulty. 

You're not alone. We're all dealing with something. It might be a life-long struggle or a current situation. Whatever it is, being a Christian doesn't mean we won't face really hard days, it means we don't walk alone. We have Jesus and we have each other. {Tweet this}

It's okay to admit we struggle. 

It's not just okay—it's necessary, and in time, it can be healing.

Perhaps it's timely for me to tell you about this book right now...

You may have noticed I've been quiet here for the past month. I recently had to say goodbye to my mom and although I know I'll see her again in heaven, I've been struggling.

I'm not ready to share about it yet because my emotions and memories are too personal. They're my private connection with her. But I can tell you that this new reality hits me at times with great force and makes even something I love to do, like writing, difficult.

No matter what you might be facing, our struggles are real and our emotions are valid. But we are not alone.



Life isn’t always sunshine and chocolate. It’s hard. In Candid Conversations you’ll hear real life struggles that real Christian women have faced head on, and how God has either used those struggles to refine their faith, or used their faith to help them weather the storm. From struggling with doubts to dealing with the loss of a loved one, these women lay it all out. They aren’t afraid to get real, because they know God can use their struggles to inspire, encourage, and reach others all for His glory.

For more information, visit Candid Conversations or Amazon/Candid Conversations.

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
2 Corinthians 11:30

In Christ,
Laura



Monday, July 23, 2018

Holding It All Together


“You’re the glue that holds everything together.”

I would guess that I’m not the only wife and mother who has either heard it, thought it, or feels it.

I suppose it’s a compliment. Or at least it was on the cutesy Mother’s Day card I saw at the store several months ago.

The first time I thought about myself as the one who holds it all together, it felt kind of empowering. That’s right. I am the one who keeps us all on track.

After a while, it started to feel annoying. Okay, people…you don’t need to come to me for everything.

Lately, however, it just makes me feel tired. Listen up—do it yourself or do without it.

Now, before you suck in your breath at that last statement and think I’m ungrateful, I’m not. I’m very thankful for what God has blessed me with…but I’m also being honest.

That cute Mother’s Day card I saw should have said on the inside: “You must be exhausted.” But it didn’t.

The truth is no matter if you’re a wife and mother, a single mother, a daughter and care giver, or somewhere in between, being the glue that holds everything together is tiring. And in long, drawn-out, real-life situations it is exhausting.

I have to believe I’m not the only one who knows what it feels like. Maybe you’re…

- The one who tries to stay hopeful when nothing is going the way we want it to, and everyone is getting weary…and irritable.

- The one who keeps pouring into others, but is feeling empty herself.

- The one who starts feeling lost while trying to keep everyone on the right path.

- The one who champions others, but feels alone and unsupported.

- The one who tries to keep it all together when it feels like everything is falling apart.

Even the best glue gets tired and won’t hold forever.

Over time, when glue gets stretched too thin, it loses its grip. It might start underneath where it can’t be seen. Or perhaps it’s a barely visible crack in the smooth exterior that goes unnoticed. Either way, without reinforcement, that crack will continue to spread or snap completely.

To fix physical objects, we can add more adhesive. (I’ve been known to do this.)

Or jury-rig a quick fix. (Yes, I’ve been known to do this also. MacGyver it. It’s a real term. Thank you 1980s.)

But, what happens when we’re the glue? Then what?

The truth is no amount of glue on the outside will fix what only God can do on the inside. {Tweet this}

So, what do we do when we’re the one holding it all together and the weight becomes too heavy to bear? {Tweet this}

Please join me at Candidly Christian where I talk about 3 steps we can take when the load gets too heavy. When You Feel Like You're Holding It All Together.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Candidly Christian]

Linking up with: Purposeful Faith, #TeaAndWord, Trekking Thru, #GraceFullTuesday, #TellHisStory, Let's Have Coffee, #DestinationInspiration, #RechargeWednesday, #porchstories, Grace & Truth, Faith 'n Friends, #FaithonFire, #FreshMarketFriday, #BVNetworkParty