Category Archives: #firstfridayfinds

Heart of the Home (+ the wisest thing you can do each day)

Have you ever felt like an emotional pinball machine? You may think you need a verse about emotions. But you probably need this instead. (Plus, discover the wisest thing you can do each day.)I’ve been an emotional pinball machine lately. Thrown to and fro, bouncing high to low, at the mercy of changing moods.

And not just my own moods (although I’ve got enough for all of us). If Owen’s crabby, I get crabby. If Molly’s dramatic, here comes Drama-Mama.

Sucked into this riptide of reactivity, I’ve felt powerless to lift my head above the rise and fall of the moods and circumstances around me.

When I opened my Bible today, I thought I needed a verse about emotions.

Instead, God gave me a verse about power.

While I bemoaned that I’m drowning and powerless, this verse cut straight through the riptide. It declared that I have, in fact, been entrusted with great power and influence:

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. (Proverbs 14:1 NLT)

I have the power to be a builder or a breaker. 

As a woman, I am the heart of the home.  This means the climate of my heart determines the climate in our home. Not my husband’s heart. Not my children’s hearts.

My heart.

True confession: I don’t know if this fact is good news or bad news to me today. I do know that it’s a huge responsibility. And not a responsibility I even WANT most of the time.

But like it or not, it’s true. And pretending it’s not true is not going to change it.

So, yes, it’s a big responsibility. But with that great responsibility comes incredible opportunity. It doesn’t mean I can’t have a bad day. But it IS a crucial wake-up call regarding the damage I can wield with my response to a bad day (or to someone else’s bad day).

But the verse doesn’t ONLY say a foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands. It is a just-as-crucial wake-up call regarding the GOOD I can infuse into my home.

The wise woman builds her home.

Build: (verb)
1. to construct by assembling and joining parts or materials
2. to establish, increase, or strengthen
3. to mold, form, or create

A WISE woman builds her home. She joins things and people together. She establishes, increases, and strengthens her home and those within it. She molds, forms, and creates the climate of her home.

Note that the verse does not say the crafty woman. Not the fashionable, the maternal, the Pinterest-worthy. A woman COULD be all these things. (God bless her! I am not her!) But EVEN IF SHE’S NOT, she can still build her home.

God in Heaven, how do I foster a life-GIVING and life-BUILDING climate in my home when I feel like the world is trying to suck the life FROM me ?

Wisdom. It’s the wise woman. Oh God, what does a wise woman do? And how do I become her?

I needn’t pine after every single womanly/motherly/whateverly skill I may lack.

I need wisdom.

And praise God, He delights to give it.

He doesn’t fault me for needing it. Or asking for it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Perhaps the wisest thing I can do each day is ASK FOR WISDOM.

Wisdom to navigate the tides and currents in my home and our lives. Wisdom to set my sail to catch the wind of God’s Spirit in our presence. Wisdom to remember I’m not the Anchor. Wisdom to honor the gravity of what HAS been entrusted to me: the power to build and the power to tear down with my very own hands.

#firstfridayfinds: The thing I didn’t want to be true.

FFF september

 

 

I’m linking up with Elizabeth at Words and Wonder again for First Friday Finds. Be sure to visit her site to see the rest of the submissions, or to add your own! All you need is one verse and fifteen minutes. Here’s my September find:

 

 

“When we listen with the intent to teach, we learn at a deeper level.”

“When we teach, we gain new insight and our learning expands.”

I received these notes at a leadership workshop yesterday. The points rang true in many ways, including spiritually. My mind jumped to this verse I’d memorized long ago:

Philemon6

Click image for free printable PDF.

When we read the words “to teach” in the leadership notes, or “sharing your faith” in the Bible verse, it’s tempting to think, “I’m not a teacher. I’m not a preacher.” – and then disqualify ourselves from the equation. (Perhaps even with a sigh of relief.)

But look at these:

  • “learn at a deeper level”
  • “gain new insight”
  • “have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ”

I WANT THAT!

When I read that list, it seems like the “how to” would be to go away by myself and study. A lot. Alone. For a long time. (Did I mention ALL BY MYSELF?)

I don’t get much time all by myself during this season of life. If I want time ALONE with Jesus, I have to get up at 5:30 am. (Which I DO. Because, QUIET.) But even that only affords me 45 minutes of solitude, max.

Y’all KNOW I highly value time alone to study my Bible. We absolutely need to regularly carve out time for the Word, worship, and prayer. But, if the way to have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ is to hole up in a room somewhere and study my Bible for hours on end… well, I’m just out of luck. At least for the next decade. And a half.

Praise God, that’s not how He designed this whole deal to work after all. Look at those notes again! Look at what makes the difference:

  • “listen with the intent to teach”
  • “teach”
  • “be active in sharing your faith”

Okay, so, we’re back to the teacher/preacher thing again.

Can I have greater insight and depth of understanding if I’m not a teacher or preacher?

Sorry, y’all. The answer is: NO.

I don’t WANT that to be the answer!!!

But before I hang my head in defeat, maybe I should re-visit my understanding of “teacher” and “preacher.” Perhaps THAT’S what I’ve had all wrong. God, open my eyes and my heart to recognize that I AM, in fact, a teacher. AND a preacher. didntwanttobetrue

As a mother, as a wife, as a neighbor and friend, MY LIFE TEACHES. MY LIFE PREACHES.

And so does yours.

WHAT do our lives teach?

WHAT do our lives preach?

Throughout my days, am I sharing the things of God? His words? His ways?

Yes, of course, we must fill up with God.

But may we remember:

It’s in the SHARING that we find the fullness.

#firstfridayfinds: To be found by us.

Today I’m linking up with Elizabeth at Words and Wonder for First Friday Finds. Be sure to visit her site to see the rest of the submissions, or to add your own! All you need is one verse and fifteen minutes. Here’s my August find:

“God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” – Acts 17:27

“…8…9…10! Ready or not, here I come!”

I uncover my eyes and quickly avert them from the little one hiding just a few steps away. She loves the game, but she’s not very good at it. She just can’t stand to be too far or too hidden.

She wants to be found by me.

Someone else wants to be found by me. Not just once for salvation – although He died to make that possible. But moment by moment.

He moves and acts in ways so that we might not only seek Him, but REACH OUT for Him. And not just reach out for Him, but FIND HIM.

What are you seeking today?

Peace? Rest? Purpose? Affirmation? Adventure?

What are you reaching for today?
An encourager? A peaceful refuge? A life-giver?

“He is not far from each one of us.”

Uncover your eyes. Reach out.

When your heart hears His whispers, reach out.

He whispers because He is near.

He WANTS to be found by you.

 

Click here and scroll down to see more of my #firstfridayfinds.