Hope

Faith. HOPE. Love.

Hope.  Why is hope always such a challenge for me?

Love, I can do (at least I try).  Whenever I struggle, I do my best to remember the love that was given to me on the cross.  It leaves me speechless.  Suddenly, accepting someone where they are and offering a hand of help seems like a small effort compared to His offering of love for me.

Faith.  I can do faith, because there is something that just won’t allow me to let go of my faith.  I can’t help but see him in everything, even when I am determined NOT to see Him!  My heart won’t let me live without faith.  I have tried.  That small, quiet voice always gets too loud for me to ignore.

Faith brought Gabriel to the virgin Mary.

Love kept Jesus on the cross.

But hope…

It was hope that brought Him out of the grave.  Hope that those near and those far off would fully know Him, so that we could be reunited.  Hope led the children of Israel out of Egypt.  Hope sent Ruth to Bethlehem with Naomi.  Hope held Mary while she held baby Jesus, and again when she looked up at her dying son.

images-1

When I was struggling to get pregnant (I should say; struggling to STAY pregnant), hope seemed far away.  Waiting for good news, not having any control, only getting bad news, and still trying to be hopeful was hard.  Anyone who has struggled with miscarriage or infertility understands how difficult it is when someone minimizes what you are going through and how chaotic your life feels in the waiting.  The little hope you have managed to scrounge together can be squashed so very easily.  For what seemed like forever, this was the story of my life.  But hope…..

One very difficult day, Hebrews 10:23 lept from the page;

So, let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.

How could I ignore this?  How could I not have hope after reading these words?  This God, My Savior, saw ME.  He heard me, and these words written so long ago were FOR me.  Hope changes everything!

At times, hope still gets away from me.  I don’t know why.  I am pretty sure I will never know why this trips me up.  But I have faith in those words.  Love wrote those words.  Those words are forever.  They bring hope no matter how far I wander from it.  No matter the struggles.

I don’t know if your struggle is with a relationship and the hope for restoration is getting farther and farther away.  It may be that you feel lost and the world seems dark no matter how hard you try to see the light.  Maybe it seems like you have been praying about the same thing for years and years with no answer.  But hope….
He is faithful.  You are enough.  He sees YOU.  Grab the hope that seems fleeting and hold on to it, don’t let go.  Seize it.  He who promised is faithful.  He sees your faith, and your love and wants you to have hope too.

Hope will darken the chaos and light the road before you.

I am going to choose happy this week by CHOOSING HOPE.  Will you join me?

Awwww, S@#$%!, D!*&%, and H *%$&

∗∗∗disclaimer∗∗∗

I usually write with a somewhat sappy, usually happy, and sometimes serious tone….today may be a little different.

I know, I know….my Mom is shaking her head right now, and thinking to herself (maybe even out loud to my Dad),

“I didn’t raise her to title a blog post with those words!”

Mom, I promise if you keep reading, it will all make sense; at least I hope so….

I recently read an article about a somewhat famous actor.  He came out and said he had become a Christian during the filming of his most recent movie.  Seriously, how awesome is that!  The actor then went on to say why he had gotten saved and discussed his past.  Well, while discussing his difficult and troubled past, he happened to use some not so nice words. Okay, they were big, bad curse words!

No biggie, right?  We all make mistakes.  I mean, honestly, who hasn’t dropped a curse word every once in a while (please, pick up your jaws, it’s the cold, hard truth)!  The part that really got to me, wasn’t the article itself.  It was the dialogue posted in the comments section after it was shared on Facebook.  These well-meaning commentors (and I truly believe their hearts were in the right place), pointed out that while they were happy this actor had accepted Jesus, it would take a little bit for him to get his heart “right”.  Of course, then his language would line up too.

This really got me thinking, and then I started writing, and now you’re reading my thoughts….it’s a vicious cycle. 

I am here to admit, here on the big,wide world of bloggers…..wait for it…..I occasionally use bad language.  Not all the time, but every once in a while a curse word will slip out of my mouth.  Whether, it is when I drop something or stub my toe, or if it is when I am in an argument with my spouse (I know, you are again in shock that I argue with my husband; chalk it up to just another mistake I make).  Sometimes, it’s just when I am really excited about the Green Bay Packers and they get a terrible call. But, I will let naughty words slip out of my mouth.

Argue with me if you want, but that doesn’t mean my heart is in the wrong place!  It means I mess up.  It doesn’t mean I need to change my ways so Christ can look at me.  It means He is there to help me along.

∗∗∗insert soapbox here∗∗∗

Not all Christians look the same!  Some dress conservatively, some have tattoos.  Some go to church every single time the doors are open and some go twice a month.  Some Christians listen only to Christian music, and some really, really, really love classic rock.  Just because someone doesn’t look like you doesn’t mean they are somehow behind you on the road to Jesus.

Last time I checked no one had it all figured out.  We are all working out our OWN salvation.  I’m not responsible for working out my pastor’s salvation, or my husbands salvation, or some actor in Hollywoods salvation.  I am working out MY salvation with Jesus alone.  It is going to look different than yours, and that is okay.

If we all had it right all the time we wouldn’t need Jesus.  We wouldn’t desperately crave His mercy.  We definitely wouldn’t have need of His overwhelming, grace-filled, unfailing love.  We need to start loving each other.  Accepting the differences we have while embracing our common ground.  We need to stop pointing out everyone else’s “mistakes” because we think that will make ours seem somehow smaller.

Maybe this actor will stop using not so nice language, and maybe he won’t.  Maybe his salvation will continue to look different from what we all see as “right” and “headed in the right direction.”  However, I am confident that Jesus love him no matter what he looks like to you and me.

∗∗∗stepping off soapbox∗∗∗

So, I am going to choose happy this weekend because my salvation is not dependent on what anyone else thinks of me.  The only opinion that matters is the one Jesus has, and He knows the direction of my heart even if other people see my actions and have questions.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for His grace!

Banisters

I really want to change the banister in our house.  I feel like it dates the place and brings you back at least a decade with its maple wood and white spindles.  It really bugs me that this is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door.  And yes, I know I am getting fixated on this one little detail in our home.  And yes, I know it’s not a huge thing.  But it is driving me crazy and we aren’t going to be fixing it anytime soon….

Don’t get me wrong, I love our house!  From the moment we walked through the front door (which was about 3 years before we actually bought it) I knew this was THE ONE.  This was the house where we would have birthday and Christmas parties.  The house where we would take care of kids on sick nights and wonder how we were gonna get that blue slushy puke stain out the carpet (great word picture, right).  The house where we would plant flowers and take pictures with the front porch as the backdrop.  The place where we would get ready for graduations and weddings and funerals.  The space where we would find shelter and safety when we felt left out and just needed a place to be.  The HOUSE that we would make into our HOME.

 View More: http://peachmoonphotography.pass.us/amyers

And I love what it has become!  I love how it has changed with us and grown up with our family.  The basement toy room now smells like teenager and sounds like an arcade!  The kitchen no longer has booster seats and high chairs.  The yard is now littered with footballs, basketballs, and bikes instead of sand toys, captured frogs, sidewalk chalk, and Little Tyke cars.  The laundry room, well that room is still overflowing with towels and unmatched socks; some things never change!  As I am beginning to realize with that eyesore of a banister….

It is so easy to look at things and make a list of what needs changing!  In my house it’s the carpet (seriously, who puts white carpet through an entire house), the tile in the bathroom, and THE BANISTER!  I can’t help but feel the same goes with my heart;  I can look at it and immediately find things to work on.

I need to change the way I talk (yell) to the kids, the way that I always seem to find the negative in most situations, the way I am constantly trying to please everyone and care just a little too much about what they think of me; the list could go on and on and on.  Most days I feel like my heart is in constant need of a renovation.

I want to encourage you today, that no matter how big of a remodel your heart needs, You are LOVED.  You are loved by someone who looks at you and doesn’t make a list of all that needs to be changed.  You are loved by someone who sees your heart with eyes of grace.  You are kept by someone who loves ALL of you; outdated banister and all!

My heart, just like my house is going to change (thank the Lord).  There are going to be days when it’s walls are warm and offer shelter from the outside.  There are also going to be days when the walls are high, and no one is going to even want to come in.  But He loves me anyway.

 securedownload-3

So much has happened inside these walls.

I am so excited to see what happens next!