Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guest Post: Thankless Jobs

How many times have I heard that being a mom is a thankless job? At least a couple times, ha. And moms work hard. It melts my heart when one of my boys says, unprompted, "Thank you, mama," (to be honest, I get melty even when I have prompted them, because they're still little enough that it's adorable to hear them say it). And when Adam tells me thank you, it warms me to know that he's noticing and he appreciates.

The problem comes when I start expecting and anticipating that thanks or praise. Don't get me wrong-- I think noticing the things spouses do for each other or kids being respectful are both important. But I notice my attitude turning sour and bitter if I start thinking that I deserve that thanks and praise.

I read a story in Luke the other day that I honestly don't remember ever reading before. Maybe that was one of the reasons it stuck out to me. The other reason was just what I was talking about above. Here's the passage:

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Luke 17:7-10

Whaaaaat. This is Jesus talking, by the way, not a Pharisee criticizing him for being kind to someone's servant or something. This passage has been stuck in my heart ever since I read it and I'm still meditating on it. I think I'm learning but I am definitely not perfect about this.

How often do I get myself into a vindicative, sour spirit when I feel like I'm not getting enough help or praise? More often than I'd like to admit. How many times am I frustrated with young kids being...well, young kids, instead of getting along so my day goes smoothly?

On one hand, I could say, well, I signed up for this mom and wife thing, so that passage applies to me. But maybe you didn't. Maybe you weren't planning on being a mom right now and you are anyway. Maybe you imagined married life looking different and you didn't really sign up for what it's become for you. Maybe you don't have a spouse OR kids, but at least a couple times a week you bitterly think to yourself, "Well, I'm done with this ministry. I don't think anybody sees what I do. Nobody understands how much effort it is."

And I'm here to tell you (and myself), with love: Shut. Up.

I too often find myself worshipping at the altar of MY FEELINGS. You know what? I did sign up for this. I signed up for this when my heart recognized my brokenness without Christ, and my ultimate utter destruction and hopelessness apart from Him. I signed up to be His servant out of my great obligation, out of my love for Him who loved me first. On some level, where you are is exactly where God called you to be, and in that we must strive to serve in love because our model is the Love that gave up Heaven for us, to die on a rough and bloody cross. What if Jesus had given up and fallen into disobedience and spite because the disciples weren't thanking him enough? What if, when only one of ten lepers had run back, he'd said, "Well, I'm out."

Are you tired? Are you weary? I am. But you know what? I could be getting more sleep, if I'm totally honest with myself. I can say no to some optional things for my own entertainment, or to things I don't actually need to be doing even though saying no makes others a little unhappy. But in my home, my first ministry to my own tiny heathens, I am without a doubt called. Wherever you are, in that pursuit of the ministry that tugged your heart or fell into your lap, you are called.

There are times when we need rest and God gives us rest. There are times when we need shelter and God gives us shelter. There are times when God gives us a swift kick in the rear to move us away from indulgent, flesh-pleasing attitudes, and this passage was one of them for me.

I've been reflecting on Downton Abbey lately. There are lots of problems with the social class system we could point to; there are certainly lots of flaws in the system. But the thing that keeps striking me (and I remember the same thing standing out to me in Jane Eyre) is the acceptance of position. There's a general cultural attitude in the servant class about an unwillingness to expect praise or feel like they are owed things. Duty is important. I find that attitude admirable.

God doesn't owe me anything. My husband and kids don't owe me anything, even if I'd like to think that they do sometimes.

I am a servant. This is my duty. I gave up my delusion of personal rights the day that I recognized that I am not my own. Am I living like it? May my heart's response to the work before me and completed by my hands be, "I am an unworthy servant. I have only done my duty!"
Thanks to Audrey Simmons for sharing.  Check out her blog at Everything Beautiful.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Night of Redeemed

Mark your calendars!  On May 3rd we're having a great get together and I hope you're going to be there.

Bring your favorite dish and join us as we celebrate the redeeming love of our Savior.  We'll hear a great message, enjoy each other's company and worship our King. 
Sounds like a great night to me. 
Sign up at the Welcome Center and come on out. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Scripture Memory Team: Verse Eight.


Come on girls!  Don't loose steam.  We can do this.

I went back and re-read what Beth Moore had to say about memorizing scripture and it's got me excited all over again.

*We call this a Scripture memory “team” because that’s exactly what we are. We’re a really long line of women standing shoulder to shoulder with our swords drawn. (For you newcomers, Ephesians 6 calls the Word of God the “Sword of the Spirit.”) And we don’t draw our swords to wound people, to convict our family members (God’s job) or to cut off the ears of our hearers. We draw our swords to fight the good fight of faith. While I was saw stacks and stacks of Siesta Scripture Memory Spirals being stuffed into envelopes for shipping, it hit me with fresh impact. What if thousands of women really did memorize 24 Scriptures in 2013?? What are the implications of that? What kind of repercussions might that have in our personal lives and our homes? That’s worth getting riled up over. SO, you bet this is a team. Don’t be too cool for it. Remember, God’s Spirit is a fire. If we’re too cool, we can’t help but quench it. If cheesy works around here, we’re not ashamed. Just throw in a can of jalapenos and grab a tortilla chip.
Yeah!  That's right.  We are standing shoulder to shoulder with swords drawn to fight the good fight of faith.  I love that!

This verse is one of our corporate verses that we're trying to memorize together.

For He is the living God, and steadfast forever;  His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure forever.
                                                                                              Daniel 6:26b

Alright ladies, let's at the very least write this verse down daily for the next two weeks.  It will only take moments out of your day and I think you'll be surprised at how well you know this verse by the end of the month.

What do you say? 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guest post: The Worry Hunch

Hands covered in suds, I pray for my children- and then my prayers trial off (yes, I meant to say trial). What if he wrecks on the way to work? What if he doesn't do well on the test? What if I am not teaching them enough? What if my kids don't know what the Constitution says?

Shoulders scrunched forward, neck craned like a chicken. Tight chest. Shallow breathing. Combine with worry and you have the worry hunch.

You may have it right now. Here's how to fix it:
1. stand up
2. arms down by your side and palms forward
3. roll your shoulders back several times
4. stand tall, head up
5. breath deep from your gut
6. Pray with thanksgiving

6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([a]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [b]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [c]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Thanks to Kathleen Guire for sharing with us today.
Check out her blog at Postivie Adoption. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You are invited!

Woven Ministry invites all Ladies to A Night of Redeemed!
The evening will start will a covered dish style dinner and fellowship time together. Later in the evening we will be led with passionate worship by Lindsey Porter as we seek God’s redeeming power to transform our lives.
 Isaiah 43:1 say “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name; You are Mine”.
Salvation is an astounding gift to any person who calls on the name of Jesus. But there is so much more to salvation than just being saved from punishment. Consider what it looks like to embrace our Redeemer-how we can drink in His grace, embrace the fullness of His love, and consume His Word.
 Jesus wants us to embrace a relationship with Him that will completely transform every part of our lives.
I can't wait to see you there,
Time: 6:00pm
Location: Fellowship Hall
Date: Friday, MAY 3
· Please sign up at the Welcome Center.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Running on Empty.

Why are we so often running on empty as MOMS? Parenting is more than hard work; it can be totally exhausting. At times we can feel depleted, drained, and like we are running on empty.

How do we attempt to fill the emptiness on our own?

Referring back to the story in John 2, we will discuss the importance of filling ourselves with the most fulfilling source-GOD! You maybe wondering, how does this play a role in my daily life? Well, that is why I encourage you to come out for a night of great fellowship with other moms dealing with daily same things you are!

Get connected and FILL YOUR JARS tomorrow night! As always, we will have light refreshments and babysitting provided.

Hope to see you there!

Jennifer Campbell

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Guest post: A Red Sea Moment

I was watching the Bible program on the History Channel and the part was coming when Moses parted the Red Sea. First of all, that is one of my favorite parts to that story. And I was getting worked up and ready and excited and nervous and scared and really full of emotion. I know, pretty weird right, I know how the story goes and why would it be any different this time. God parts the Red Sea! I looked at Scott and said God has parted many Red Seas for me and there are so many more to part.

Maybe it is the fear of what is ahead. The "safety" of the slavery behind. Not knowing if God is going to come through the next time and I drown. What if the walls of water cave in on me while I'm in the middle of it all.

But every time I hear the story, God parts the Sea.

Every time He leads them safely to the other side, every time.

The story is the same, every time...

Do I want to remain a slave or walk in faith across that vast sea? I guess I need to plant my staff and go! Wanna come with me? I am ready for that Promised Land!

Until next time, stay blessed.

Thanks to Tracey Moore for sharing with us today.
Tracey blogs at Buiding My House.  Check it out!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Scripture Memory Team: Verse 7.

This verse comes from the group of verses that we're learning together this year. 

"For He is the living God, and steadfast forever;  His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end."
                                                                             Daniel 6:26B NKJV

Don't give up!  You can do it!