Happy Friday friends! We are so thrilled to have Kristin Funstun here with us today! She is an incredible writer and speaker and she’s bringing us some really beautiful words of encouragement that will resonate with all of us on one level or another.
So help us welcome Kristin to the picket fence!
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)
Yes. This. Everything about the above verse makes me want to type in all the praise hand emojis. Because quiet, alone, unseen, rewards, secret … all these words tug at my busy-mom-of-three emotions.
Happy Friday sweet friends! We are so thrilled to have our friend Jennifer Watson with us today sharing from her heart something that we know we can all relate to. Please help us welcome her to the picket fence!
I had shreds of memories swirling and used Kleenex’s in my lap as I sat in a counselor’s office. It was wintertime and felt myself sinking again. Some call it seasonal depression. Some call it going through hell and back a few times. Either way, it’s pretty brutal.
The wind was whipping around us as we were spinning and twirling through the yard.
Arms spread out, we laughed as dizziness set in before we tumbled into the lawn chair together.
She wrapped her little arms around my neck, snuggled in tight and said,
“Don’t let me blow away mommy!”
It was one of those moments in life where you wish you could stop time. You long for a way to bottle it up so you won’t ever forget how soft her skin feels against yours. How her little fingers played with your hair as we sat quietly together.
And my heart began to ache.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand in order that we would walk in them.”
Think about that for a minute.
A thing of beauty.
A work of art.
Imagine a sculptor creating the most amazing statue. Pouring over the design, putting heart and soul into seeing their vision come to life, piece by piece.
The middle of the week. And if you are anything like me, the pain of Monday is already a distant memory and you are looking forward to the weekend with all of it’s possibilities.
The middle days are like that aren’t they? They seem like they are neither here nor there. Sometimes it seems like they are just something to be gotten through.
But, what if we saw this middle day differently? And what if we saw the middle days or our faith differently?
There are so many times in our lives when we feel like we are in a holding pattern. We aren’t experiencing the high highs or the low lows.
We’re just trudging through.
These days can sometimes feel like a waste. But I think that God wants us to see them differently. I think He wants to see them as a gift. A break from the Mondays and the weekends.
The middle can be a wonderful time to regroup, refocus and reflect on our lives.
Don’t fight the middle days my friends.
Embrace them in all of their in-between-ness and you might just be surprised by what they have to offer you.
“We all have those times when there are no flashes of light and no apparent thrill to life, where we experience nothing but the daily routine with it’s common everyday tasks. The routine of life is actually God’s way of saving us between our times of great inspiration which come from Him. Don’t always expect God to give you His thrilling moments, but learn to live in those common times of drudgery of life by the power of God.” (Oswald Chambers)
Praying for you on this middle day,
Oh man. This raising teens/tweens business is not for the faint of heart. Can I get an amen?
The other night I just felt like I needed to get out of the house for a bit. I thought that it might be best for all parties involved if we took a breather and got some distance. Hubby offered to stay home with the children who I love dearly but who I’m also convinced are trying to make me lose my ever loving mind.
I stood there watching him. I hadn’t intended on doing it but as I was walking past my front window I caught a glimpse of him and my concern, and frankly my curiosity, got the better of me.
I had seen him walking through the neighborhood many times before this and often wondered about his story. He was young, maybe in his early 20’s and always walked alone, slowly, carefully, sometimes with a faltering step and often talking to himself. Once I had passed him when I was out walking too and my wave and friendly greeting was only met with a blank stare and no reply.
But today, today something was happening.
He had stopped on the sidewalk across the street, obviously unsure about what to do. In front of him there were trucks blocking the driveway of a house. Our neighbors were having some work done and the construction trucks had taken over, spilling into the street. His path was completely blocked. On one side of him, the street. On the other side of him, trucks. I was mesmerized. What was he going to do.
I have a dirty little secret…literally. And I’m going to tell you about it. Don’t judge.
Our staircase curves as you walk up it and on the left you pass by a ledge (or a niche if you want to get all fancy). I tried for years to find just the right piece to put there. It had a large basket for a little while, then an old window and some other vintage doo-dads. It had an urn with a plant that I couldn’t keep alive and then just the urn by itself. Nothing ever seemed to be right.
And then, one day, I was at a local indoor market that is housed in the most adorable red barn. It’s filled with all kinds of goodness…fresh produce, baked goods, homemade doughnuts and fun decorative items. As I was wandering through the teeny-tiny aisles I spotted it. A big bucket. A REALLY big bucket. And I’m pretty sure I heard the hallelujah chorus over the speakers and a bright light shined down on it because in that moment I knew that I had finally found the perfect thing to put on our ledge/niche.
Truth is a strange thing.
We can know it in our heads and yet feeling it in our hearts is an entirely different matter. At at no other time are we more aware of this duality than when we are hurting. When life feels so unbearable that we simply cannot imagine a time when we weren’t in so much pain.
But God’s truths, the truths about who He is, His character, His promises…they don’t change. Even when our circumstances do.
Even when there is deep pain.
Even when there is confusion.
Even when there seems to be no answer.
Even when there is betrayal.
Even when there is unbearable grief.
There are times in our lives when we feel like we are dangling from a tree branch. The wind is whipping all around, the rain is pouring down on us, the thunder and lightning crash and we are clinging to that branch with all of our strength but we can feel our fingers slipping as we doubt that this branch can hold us. Or, more accurately, that WE can hold onto IT.