Beyond Comfort ~ Grace and Truth Week 10

Hello, friends! How has your week been? I’ll be honest. It’s been a little up and down here. I’ve learned that I do really well persevering as long as I’m receiving fairly constant encouragement and seeing results. But the minute I run into a roadblock, I often begin to lose heart.

Earlier this year when I wrote about the word Persevere being my word for the year, I had no idea how much I needed to learn in this area. Part of persevering for me seems to be maintaining hope.  It’s obviously still a work in progress, but the Father has been faithful in giving me this lesson in many different areas of my life. He’s making the message nearly impossible to miss. :)

Last week’s Grace and Truth was full of repeated messages as well, it seems! I read several posts about letting go of fear so that we might become who God created us to be. I also read a few about how BIG our Father God truly is.  But two posts stood out to me in particular because of some situations we have faced both in our family and in ministry.

Meredith from According2Meredith wrote about how often we let others down when they need help the most – perhaps because of mistakes they have made, etc.. I agree with much of what she wrote and think it falls right in line with Agape love – that unconditional love Jesus shows to all of us sinners who mess up time and time again.  Loving others requires us to go beyond what we are comfortable with.

Along the same lines, Ruth from The Mustard Seed wrote about practicing what we preach in the Church.  Is it possible that our churches have become so “middle-class” as to make those who feel lesser-than avoid them?  How can we reach those who really need to hear Truth?

It’s easy to grow comfortable in our Christian “bubbles” and forget about the world out there that desperately needs saving!  I know I’m guilty of losing that urgency from time to time.

I look forward to reading what you all have to share this week!

Jen :)

 

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More Than a Visit

It’s Five Minute Friday, and the word for this week is “visit.”

Visit.

He came into the world squalling, screeching more like it – his cry so sharp and loud that it was unmistakable, our long-awaited, second-born boy.  When we brought him home, we quickly learned he would be nothing like his even-tempered older brother.  This one, this tiny red-faced infant, would make his demands known.  He would be a challenge to our previous parenting prowess.

Visit, New Baby, Motherhood, baby won't sleep

Sleepless nights turned into weeks, and eventually months, the worn carpet in the hallway testifying to the demands of our newest family member.  We loved him dearly, but sometimes we just wished for peace and quiet or that he would nap longer than thirty minutes.  He never slept “like a newborn” and even today, no matter how late he stays up, he wakes at the crack of dawn.  His Grandad affectionately nick-named him “The Raptor.”

At that time, Daddy had a second-shift job and little time off. He worked hard and long.  And we did, too, trying to just survive that long and lonely winter.

Aside from prayer, it was Grandma’s visits that got us through.  She’d often call at the end of her workday just to check in because she had a squalling, colicky baby once, too – me.  I was known as the baby who cried. all. the. time.  According to my aunt, she once came to visit us only to find my mother sitting on the front stoop crying while I lay peacefully in her arms, worn out by hours of fussing. My mother knew the frustration of the long nights and even longer days of mothering a cranky baby.

“How’s it going today, Jen?”

On the good days I answered, “Fine.” And then I told a story of something new one of the boys learned or something funny the oldest said that day.

On the bad days my silence betrayed me, a silence born of threatening tears.

Knowingly, she asked, “Want me to bring McDonald’s for supper?”

Gratefully I gulped out, “Yeah, that would be good.”

fussy baby, motherhood, colic

And so we waited, the five-year-old boy, and the fussy baby, and me.  We waited for the visit, for the promise of another set of hands and the comfort food they brought.  Her presence itself calmed me as the fear that so often comes with loneliness slowly ebbed away.  When it was time for her to leave, we wore smiles once again, determined to face the challenges of the evening with faith and hope for better days ahead.

brothers, cranky infant, baby

it gets better, new mommy, tired mommy, fussy baby

She always called when I needed it most, it seemed.  She often still does today.  I have no way to explain her uncanny awareness except to say that she’s close with the Lord, and I guess He must let her know when we’re in need. :)

I’ll never forget those supper visits, nor the time she gave willingly to be the hands and feet of Jesus to my weary-mama soul.

It was just a visit,

but to me it meant the world.

Matthew 25

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me;I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

John 13

34 Anew commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jen :)

It’s Five Minute Friday, so I’m linking up with the brave and creative crew over at Lisa Jo Baker’s place.  She gives us a one-word prompt and we freewrite for five minutes (-ish). :)   No planning, no editing, no stressing.  Come on over and join us if you like!

You may also find me at any of these lovely places.