Ever since I was a little girl, life has been all about the future. When I was younger, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. As a high school student, I planned for college. Once in college, I prepared for my future career. Then I got married and had children of my own. At this stage of life, I’m not only thinking about my own future, but I am now preparing my daughters for their future.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines hope as “the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen : a feeling that something good will happen or be true.”
When it comes to our children, our health, and our safety, we hope for the best because we know that the best doesn’t always happen. We hope because we know that this life is uncertain and can change at a moment’s notice. We hope…
A big thank you to my amazing mother for sharing her heart in this guest post. I knew for most of my life that my parents longed for another baby. I remember the journey well, and I can honestly say that my entire family grew in the process. Thank you, Jesus, for refining each member of my family as we learned to seek You first in all things.
I was a young mother, marrying my husband at the tender age of 19 years old. Our family was started immediately with a baby girl born 1 month after our first wedding anniversary, and a baby boy to join her 17 months later. What more could I ask for? Two perfect healthy children, relatively easy pregnancies, I was content. My husband and I also had another daughter from his previous marriage that was 5 years old when we started our own little family. Life was busy and full.
Battles are a part of life. We all face them. Some are more difficult than others. Some last only a day (or even hours) while others can last for years. Whether they are physical, emotional, or spiritual, every person will face battles that they must overcome.
We all have them. Obstacles and impossible battles that we have no idea how to overcome. We are taught from an early age to face them head on. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. For some of the battles, this is true. We can face them head on and win.
Then there are the impossible battles. The ones where it seems that no amount of fighting will keep us from defeat. The ones where our demise seems inevitable. What about these battles? How can we possibly face these head on when we feel hopeless about the outcome?
When the early Christian church was expanding after Jesus ascended into heaven, amazing things were taking place. Thousands were coming to know Christ as their Savior and the message of the gospel was being preached throughout the known world. These new believers were passionate about their new faith as well as the expansion of the Good News.
At the time, however, they were also being intensely persecuted. I find it interesting to think that while Christians everywhere were dying for their faith, somehow the church was still expanding. The message was getting out there, and people were responding by surrendering their lives to something that could potentially get them killed.
Lukewarm Christianity. It was a phrase I heard often growing up in the church. It’s described in the book of Revelation where God speaks to the church of Laodicea:
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” – Revelation 3:15-17 (NLT)
He goes on to tell them that true wealth, health and happiness come from Him alone – rather than things of this world.
I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
When the Lord would address His people, He would often remind them of all He had done for them. The phrase, “I am the Lord your God who…” is repeated countless times in the Old Testament. The Israelites didn’t simply know Him as “God.” They knew Him as the God who had rescued them, who had been merciful to them, who had provided for them in the desert, and who had conquered their enemies.
One of my favorite things about running is that the results are tangible. Growth can easily be measured by time and distance. Just five months ago, I competed in my first half marathon. This weekend, I will be racing in my second. I can’t begin to tell you how different it is training for this race versus my last one.
In my first half marathon, my goal was simply to finish. When beginning my training, 13.1 miles seemed like an incredible distance…one that seemed nearly impossible. I achieved my goal, but not without my fair share of physical and mental exhaustion. It was hard. Not to say that training for my second half marathon has been easy, but it has certainly proven to be less exhausting. 13.1 miles doesn’t seem quite as daunting this time around. Continue Reading
Many of us like to believe that we’re unshakable. We like to think that we are strong enough to handle anything life throws our way. The truth is, however, we all have our breaking points. We all experience problems that seem to be bigger than life itself. It’s times like these when we begin to realize that we’re not as unshakable as we once thought. Continue Reading
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be frightening. Nobody enjoys being uncomfortable. In fact, most of us despise it, and we will do anything to avoid it. The truth is, however, that our comfort zone can actually be the most dangerous place to be. Why you ask? Because when we are too comfortable, there is no inspiration to grow or move forward. We become content with where we are at in life. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing…it’s not exactly a good thing either. Continue Reading
“Potty training is easy and fun!” I’m pretty sure no one has ever uttered these words. This past week has been a wonderfully delightful experience as my husband and I decided to take on the challenge of potty training our toddler. (Notice my subtle sarcasm.) Potty training is not fun, and it is certainly not easy. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for no longer needing to use diapers, but cleaning up accidents is not exactly my favorite thing to do either. All said and done, we know it’s time. Our daughter has been ready for quite a while, and absolutely loves using the “big kid” potty. Now if only we could get her to tell us before she has to go rather than during! (Any tips?) Continue Reading
As Christians, we hear a lot about faith. But what is faith exactly? Many of us equate it with belief. I have faith when I believe in something or someone. But I have to think that perhaps faith is more than simply believing in something. The Bible tells us that we are called to walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) It isn’t a feeling or an emotion; it’s a way of living. Continue Reading
The day our first daughter was born, it all began…milestones. We documented everything. It’s crazy how many “firsts” there are in the first year of life! Every holiday was a first (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc.) There’s also the first time she ate solid food, her first words, her first tooth, etc. And don’t get me started on the biggest milestone of them all…the day she became mobile! It was time to baby proof the house!
I also love how my youngest daughter is starting to communicate. She only has about 5 or 6 words that she uses correctly; but between that and hand gestures, I’m starting to get a little glimpse into her personality as well as her wants and needs. Did I mention that her words are incredibly cute? She asked me to go “nigh nigh” this afternoon. Yes, you read that right. My one-year-old asked if she could take a nap. Too cute! Continue Reading
When I find myself exhausted during a long run, it’s easy for me to concentrate on how tired and weak I feel. If I stayed in that mindset, however, I would probably find myself defeated. I have to change my thoughts in order to find the strength to keep going. I need to remind myself to breathe and to persevere. I tell myself that pushing through the pain will be worth it.
It is during these difficult moments that I develop the most strength as a runner, and the same is true in life. Learning to endure during a difficult run is very similar to enduring through life’s struggles. If life was never difficult, we wouldn’t have the opportunity for growth.
We usually learn more through our struggles than we do in the good times.