Have you ever had one of those days? Maybe a chain of events set off a downward spiral of grumpiness in you that you just weren't able to shake. Maybe you received bad news about a loved one. Maybe you received disappointing news that made you question your life and its direction.
Have you had one of those days?
Well, we all do because we are human in a flawed world. But knowing that doesn't make those sad days any easier.
I had one of those days last week. I had received disappointing news and was just feeling a little dumpy. I was a little sorry for myself, to be honest. I was even questioning God's plan and if He really was leading me.
Why do those dumpy days make us doubt God?
I was on a walk by myself later that evening, trying to let the fresh air and pretty sunset shake away my feelings. What I saw stopped me in my tracks.
Let me explain what you are seeing. I live in the country, surrounding by corn fields. That night, I walked east from my house, passing our field. I noticed this lone, red tulip. It is not in someone's yard or in a garden; no, it is on the side of the road, in a patch of grass that hadn't been mowed yet for the year. The water behind the tulip is a drainage ditch.
You see, there is absolutely no reason for this flower to be here. And yet, here it is! Tulips are planted from bulbs, so this tells me that it was not accidentally placed here. A seed didn't just drift in the wind. Even if it did, our house is half a mile away and we do not have any tulips.
We have also lived in our house for almost four years. I have never noticed this tulip before.
I'm pretty sure this tulip was a message from God on my dumpy day. This is what He brought to my mind.
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives." -Psalm 37:23
You see, I had let my disappointment cloud out the truth. It is so easy to do if we are not aware. You see what's in front of you. If disappointment and stress are in the forefront of your mind, that's what fills your perspective. But if God's truth is fresh in your mind, the promises of God give you refreshment and joy.
By the way, sometimes I write this blog to share something God has taught me. Other times, like this one, I write to remind myself and get myself back on track. I fine tune my thinking and align it with God's Word.
The truth is God knows and delights over every detail of our lives. If it concerns us, it concerns Him. He promises to direct our steps, and is directing our steps, even if we don't see the way.
The truth is God has good plans for my life (and your life). He will work them out in His time and in His way. Why? Because He is faithful and loving.
Our feelings don't always align with the truth. But, "God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything" (1 John 3:20b). It is so important to keep our eyes on God's promises. We must look around and remember His truth. For "The Lord always keeps His promises; He is gracious in all He does" (Psalm 145:13b).
We must look around for the "tulips" that God leaves for us.
As you know, Mother's Day was this past Sunday. I have seen numerous photos of mamas and their kids, as well as the gifts that their kids gave them. Those pictures are always a highlight for me, and I look forward to the one-of-a-kind gifts from my kids each year.
But did you get what you really wanted? I've compiled a list of the Top 10 Mother's Day gifts, and I sure hope you got some of these!
1. You make a meal that your kids actually eat. Maybe they even complimented you on it!
2. You got to sleep in past 7:30 am.
3. Someone else made you breakfast AND cleaned it up!
4. Your kids all miraculously got along.
5. All of your kids napped AT THE SAME TIME!
6. You got to shower uninterrupted.
7. Your hubby or children did the dishes for the day.
8. No one argued when you said, "Time for baths!" or "Time for bed!"
9. You got to catch up on some of your favorite TV shows or Netflix shows.
10. You got bunches of hugs and kisses from the little sweeties that made you a mom in the first place!
I got some of these gifts! Did you?
Whether or not you did or didn't, there is one thing all moms have in common. We are examples of servant leaders.
It is true. The question is whether or not we will embrace our role, our calling, or if we'll waste our opportunity to show our children what is looks like to serve others with grace.
We have a perfect example to follow. Jesus, of course! In Mark 10:45, He said, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many."
Yes, Jesus left His throne in heaven to be a servant to others on earth. I try to think, "If He can do it, I can do it!" But that doesn't always help me when I'm up to my elbows in dirty dishes or folding the third load of laundry that day.
It is all too easy for us to assume an attitude. It is human nature to look out for number one. It's that selfish, sin nature inside all of us. It is something we will have to battle every day of our lives if we want to emulate Jesus. The only way to do this is to get more Jesus. "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less" (John 3:30).
And just because we serve does not mean we are insignificant. Our role as mother, which sometimes looks like a nurse, a maid, a short order cook, and a bus driver, is one of the most noble callings. Yes, it is your calling if you are a mom. It is kingdom work! Little eyes are always watching, and who is with them most of the time? It's us, moms! We are an important leader in our kids' lives.
Sometimes, I think we just need to fully embrace the calling of motherhood. (Maybe that's just me!) We have an example to follow, and it is only with His help that we can do this.
It can be overwhelming and frustrating to think of all the "mom responsibilities," but Jesus is here with us. So take a breath and remember those precious little hugs and kisses and pictures and homemade cards. We are doing a noble thing. We are doing kingdom work. We are moms.
As a farmer's wife I look forward to, and sometimes dread, two times of the year: planting and harvest. But since those are kind of a big deal, I try to make the most out of those times. And since it's spring, we are in planting mode.
After going through seven different planting seasons, you'd think I'd be a pro. And to some extent, I am. I know quite a bit about seeds, fertilizer, tractors and planters. Well, more than this former city girl self ever thought I'd know. But I always feel some trepidation when the spring comes.
This year, one of my mentor's texted me something that has changed my thinking. She said, "I'm praying that you go into this season with confidence."
This made me think, because at first, I didn't really know what to make of it. I wondered, "What can I be confident in? In my own abilities? Yeah, I guess I'll do okay taking care of the kids and delivering meals." But after some time, I was able to make a deeper application and realized how vital it was that I changed my thinking.
Where as ordinarily I would go into the busy seasons with the attitude, "I can survive this." You know, the old, "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can," attitude. Put on my big girl pants and power through. But this year, I am exploring what it means to live my life, and these busy times, with confidence. I want to confidently thrive, not just scantily survive.
Besides my own abilities, which let's face it, are dependent upon my mood, energy level and own strength, I can be confident in God's power in me. It's there.
"I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe in Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 1:19-20, NLT)
This is the key to living life with confidence. We have to know and understand that we have God's power available to us. It is there for us to use when we need help, strength, patience, and endurance. It's how we are able to confidently say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13, NIV).
With this same power, we can live like Jesus meant for us to live. "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life," Jesus said in John 10:10 (NLT). Notice Jesus did not say He wanted us to "just get by" or to "power through" on our own. No, in all situations, stressful or peaceful, Jesus wants to give us life to the fullest.
So how do you begin each day? Do you wake up and take stock of the entire day's activities and feel defeated and stressed before you even get dressed? I do that sometimes. Or do you get out of bed thinking, "I am more than a conqueror through Jesus" and put your socks on with peaceful determination.
My prayer for this season, and every season to follow, is to be that person. The one who meets each day with the confidence that comes from knowing God's power flows through me. I want to begin each day like this.
"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13, NLT).
There was a little chant my middle school cheer-leading squad would do, and I'll just leave you with that. "Confidence is what we need. C-o-n-f-i-d-e-n-c-e."
*photo from www.deere.com
Hi, I'm Kristen! Just a girl who loves all things Jesus, family, music and food!
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