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An Update CV Lay-Off Day: 33

Today, we got word that Tim’s company extended his furlough. Initially, their goal was to bring everyone back on May 14th; now, they are hoping for June 30th. The travel industry has taken a hard hit, so this turn of events is not shocking. Even still, it is not the news we were hoping to receive.

For the last few days, I have been camping out in Ephesians 6:10-20. Today, verse 10 especially caught my attention.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”

I like what my ESV note has to say about vs. 10: “Because Christians cannot stand on their own against superhuman powers, they must rely on the strength of the Lord’s own might, which he supplies chiefly through prayer.” 

Would you know that I woke up feeling extremely vulnerable? I had 10,000 thoughts coursing through my mind before I got my first sip of coffee, and that’s just not right. On my walk this morning, I knew it was going to be a Psalm 91 kind of day, and immediately pulled it up on my audio Bible app and played it on repeat.

And you know what I realized? Psalm 91 and Ephesians 6 pair together beautifully. Read those two back to back, and you’ll see just what I mean. I might add, all of this happened before I knew about Tim’s employment situation.

In this, I see the hand of God; He was so kind as to prepare my mind to take refuge in Him and prompt me to pray. Since I have my boys at home, my prayers are often short sentences scattered throughout the day, but God hears every one of them.

I will add, for a good part of the morning, I waited to feel strengthened. But, sometimes, God’s strength does not become evident until you are square in the middle of the storm.  I don’t have any more answers than I did yesterday, but nevertheless, my heart is settled with His peace. And for that, I am thankful.

Until tomorrow,

Missy

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When Mama Loses It CV Lay-Off Day:32

When I was a new mom, I promised myself that I would not use the term, “shut-up” when disciplining my children. And then, one day, I took Justin and Sarah to ROSS; they were probably around six and four years old at the time. As I turned for a quick second, Justin and Sarah decided that it would be fun to hide in the middle of the racks of clothing. When I turned back around, they were gone. My heart dropped as I called their names until I heard a familiar giggle. In the blink of an eye, my fear turned to anger. I grabbed my purse, took their little hands, and marched them directly out of the store and to the car. As I worked to buckle them in their seats, they began to protest and whine. I slammed their door, got in the driver’s seat, and shocked all of us when I yelled, “SHUT-UP!”

I was devastated. I did exactly what I didn’t want to do; I lost my temper and used the very phrase that I had worked so hard to avoid. Once we were almost home, I apologized to Justin and Sarah and asked them to forgive me, to which they readily offered me grace.

When our daughter was nine, the Lord added to our number, and our third child was born. After Sammy, we had two more boys, Luke and Josh. Let me just say, having three boys back to back is much different than having one boy and one girl. My boys’ energy is off the charts; they wrestle, they’re loud, and I’m not even shocked when another something gets mysteriously broken. Although I have been a mother for twenty-three years, I still face some of the same challenges that I did as a young mom. 

My husband and I often say that this parenting gig is not for the faint of heart; it’s the hardest and most rewarding job you could ever have. At this time, two of my sons are struggling with anger rooted in the loss of their big brother. It’s quite a challenge to deal simultaneously with discipline and grief. The best thing I can do is pray and ask God for wisdom beyond my years and for eyes to see how to best minister to their little hearts.

Sadly, I lose my patience more times than I care to admit, and “shut-up” still erupts from my lips before I can stop it. In such times, the apostle Paul’s words deeply minister to my weary soul, 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

Isn’t that a beautiful truth? We boast in our weakness, for there, His strength is made perfect. Now that’s a good word. 

Until tomorrow,

Missy

p.s. Dear Mama, if you are feeling discouraged and worn out, here’s one of my favorite songs by Andrew Peterson, “Be Kind to Yourself.” I hope you love it as much as I do. 

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For God So Loved the World CV Lay-Off Day: 20

A few nights ago, Tim and I went on a mini-date. We took a long drive, mobile ordered Chipotle (my favorite!), and then sat in our truck and ate our meal square in the middle of a parking lot. It was absolutely delightful. Somehow, we got to talking about when I was first invited to church.

If my memory serves me correctly, I was a freshman in high school, and I was spending the night at my friend Tami’s house. One of her family friends went to a little church across town, and she asked me if I would like to come along with her, to which I promptly responded, “No, thank-you.” At the time, I couldn’t imagine anything more boring than going to church. However, when she mentioned a group of cute boys who were in the youth group, I was quickly persuaded.

Experiencing Church 

I don’t remember if we first went to a youth group meeting or attended a Sunday morning service. But, my friend Tami didn’t lie, there were a lot of cute boys, and they kept my interest initially. But, I was most surprised by the kindness of the people around me. Couples and families were smiling and happy to be at church. Their warmth spilled over to me, and I felt like I belonged. 

Each Sunday, as the pastor preached, I stared at the purple banner that hung behind him on the wall. It read, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son.” John 3:16 I wasn’t sure what all of that meant, but by this point, I loved going to church. I wished the music would never end, and each Sunday, I left the people’s faces radiant faces etched in my mind. 

My First Bible

Somewhere along the way, I received my first Bible. It was a dark brown hardback, and all of Jesus’ words were in red letters. I remember not knowing how to navigate through the pages. Someone patiently explained that there were different books of the Bible and then showed me how to find the chapter and then the verse. One day, I looked up John 3:16 on my own and discovered the second part, “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 

An Invitation 

Finally, one night at youth group, the pastor invited anyone who would like to learn more about following Jesus to come to the back of the church to find out more. Well, one of the boys who I had my eyes on, stood up and walked back. I was curious about what he was doing, and I followed him. When I did, the pastor spotted me and asked me if I’d like to talk. I said, “Sure,” and then he shared the Gospel with me. He told me that Jesus loved me and that He died for my sin. He asked if there was any reason why I didn’t want to follow Jesus? I said, “No, no reason at all. I want to follow Jesus.” We prayed together, and I walked out of the church, a brand new Christian, full of hope. 

Loved

That little body of Believers loved me well. Even though I lived across town, they transported me to and from church Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. They invited me into their homes to share meals around their tables, and they nurtured my faith with patience.

Today, I am still in contact with many of the people from my first church family. In fact, to my surprise, several of them were present Justin’s memorial service. I am forever grateful for each of them.

The Gospel

Perhaps what I remember the most about that time in my life is the simplicity of the Gospel. Sometimes, I think we get too caught up in over complicating things. When I placed my faith in Christ, I hardly knew how to read the Bible. I had absolutely no understanding of theology, and I was a hot mess, but none of that mattered. He would see to my sanctification; I needed only to believe. 

The Scripture says, 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” And, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:16, 3:36)

I invite you to investigate the simple but profound realities of the Gospel.  Do you have any questions? Please feel free to send me a message and ask away. 

Until tomorrow, 

Missy