Why I like living small

You don’t have to look very far to see that America is obsessed with MORE.

MORE house
MORE car
MORE money
MORE stuff
MORE shoes
MORE clothes
MORE closet space
MORE bathrooms
MORE MORE MORE

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The disease of MORE is a growing epidemic and I truly believe it causes destruction and robs people of joy that the Lord wants so desperately for us to have.

You can turn on the TV and see that couples seeking to purchase a house are complaining that 5000 square feet just is NOT enough room for them and their 1.5 children and 2 dogs.

You see people freaking out that their children may have to actually SHARE a bedroom!? Because ya know, children are entitled to and “need” their own bedroom. Oh, and every person in the house, pets included, need their own bathroom. We can’t have people sharing sinks, toilets, or tubs. That would just be cruel and inhumane! Forcing a husband and wife to share a sink is just evil and should only be used as forms of torture. And guests using the same bathroom YOU use!? No. That is just wrong.

Closets must be as big as my garage, because I NEED all of my 5000 pairs of shoes and 8945 shirts and 4560 pairs of paints. And don’t forget the handbags and scarves!

I see these attitudes EVERY.WHERE. And honestly? I see it among friends and people I know. Even Christians. Some of what we say and complain about with our homes is pretty embarrassing if you get right down to it.

Now the Lord knows I am not perfect. I kinda do love decorating. We all buy things we don’t need sometimes. That really isn’t the issue here.

Have any of you seen any of the shows about the Tiny House Movement? I think it is pretty cool. I watch those shows and am amazed. You watch those and kinda start feeling a tad bit guilty. At least I do. Or the sudden urge to purge everything. These people, some with 2, even 3, children are selling their homes, more than half of what they own, and vowing to live a simpler life. When moving, it makes them REALLY have to think about what they truly NEED, because in a Tiny House, you cannot take every magnet and salad bowl with you.

Those moving into less space are realizing that media and culture is making you think you need more more more, when really? You don’t. So many others live with so much less, and you know what?

They are happier.

Without the constant need to keep up with the Joneses, I think you really realize HOW blessed you are. And trust me. We are abundantly blessed. Like A lot.

Now, our family doesn’t have a “tiny house”, but it is less than 1200 sq feet (however, by the worlds standards, we have a mansion). We have 3 children and a dog. My husband and I don’t have a master suite. We have 3 bedrooms, our daughters share. We don’t have our own master bathroom. We all share one bathroom. Our closets are tiny, only about 3 feet wide. No walk in closets. We don’t have a garage, or even a driveway. Our kitchen has a grand total of 7 cupboards, and 2 really useless ones, as they are only about 4 inches across. We don’t have a pantry. We don’t have a formal dining room and a breakfast nook. We have ONE room for eating. We don’t have a laundry room, but I am thankful we have a washer and dryer in the basement. Our sons room is not much bigger than a box. Literally.

But you know what? I am happier here than ANYWHERE I have ever lived. This has been a tremendous blessing. I think my husband will agree. Here are some reasons I love living small

1) I love that my girls share a room. This whole belief that each child NEEDS their own space is a lie. Many other cultures share a one room HUT. The fact my girls even HAVE a bedroom is amazing and a tremendous gift. I love that they keep each other company. I love that they watch out for each other. I love that they learn to share and get along, because ya know? They kinda have to learn to do that at some point, and sharing space has been an amazing way for them to learn that AND to grow closer.

2) Who wants to clean more than 1 or 2 toilets?! Most of us have guests once or twice a year. I think we can manage sharing our bathroom for those little amounts of time, yes?

3) I truly believe living in smaller spaces opens up the door for more communication, more grace, more patience, more understanding, more support… MORE of the things that TRULY matter.

4) Your body can only be in a small amount of space at one time, so why do we think we need 5000 or more square feet, when I can only be in one tiny space at a time?

5) Living small forces you to focus on what really matters. It helps you think about any and all purchases.

6) Living small helps keep your heart and mind in check. I cannot explain it, but it is very freeing.

These are just some of the reasons I like living small. What about you? Can you live smaller?

The only things we should be striving to have MORE of is Jesus, and all things that encompass him.

❤ XOXO
~Emily

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Cleaning out the (social networking) Clutter

There are a lot of social networking sites out there today.

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Reddit. Linkedin. Tumblr. Snapchat. Google+. I am sure I am missing some…

It gives me a headache just thinking about it all. These can be an amazing tool. I use mine to keep in touch with loved ones who are states away. I also think these can become a crutch. They become a tool Satan uses to make us fall into the comparison game, gossip, anxiety, depression, and stay “friended” with people we may not really “like”, who are unhealthy for us, or who just plum annoy us (no offense haha) for fear of them knowing we un-friended them or whatnot.

Social media conceptI do have Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is very limited, mainly so family and friends who live elsewhere can see pictures. I have Instagram because I love photography, travel, and nature, and it calms me to follow pages with beautiful photos. Also. Less drama. LOL. Many people are on BOTH Facebook and Instagram. Do I really NEED everyone on BOTH accounts?

I have decided to clean out the clutter. I have decided that I should not let my fear of doing so make me have to delete the account I WANT to keep. About twice a year, I go through my newsfeed, pages, and friends list. It is so easy to change my newsfeed or unlike pages. But people? That is scary for me. I often have unfriending anxiety.

What will they think!?
Will they notice!?
Will they hate me?
I don’t want to be mean
I don’t want them to think I hate them
I don’t want them to take it personally

I mean come on, Em. Reall? Most WON’T care. If they do, they will ask about it

I have come up with some guidelines to help me decide who stays and who goes:

1) Facebook needs to be more personal. Instagram is more open. This means I need to clean out my friends list on FB and make it minimal. Keep it personal.

2) Do I know them in person? Did I go to school with them? If I only know them through online groups, have I kept in contact with them for a long period of time? These are all good questions to ask yourself when going through your social networking site feeds/lists

3) Would I tell them Happy Birthday? There are people who when FB tells me it is their birthday, and I am kinda like ehh so? That may sound rude, but if I don’t care enough to tell someone Happy Birthday, do I REALLY consider them a “friend?”

4) Have I considered letting them go before? Does things they say or post frustrate, annoy, or bother me? Even unfollowing someone, my mind knows they are still there, and it can wear on me.

5) Do they share any of the passions and values I share? Do they treat others with love and respect, even if views differ?

6) How do they talk about their children? This is a BIG one for me lately. I cannot stand the things I see some mothers say about their children. Name calling. Constantly complaining about them. Negative talk about them. Calling them things such as little shits or nasty or whatnot. Yes, children frustrate us sometimes. They are draining. They are still a blessing. I cannot see Christ calling the children who came to Him that, or constantly complaining about them. Can you?

7) The Bible says to guard our hearts. Part of doing that is making sure all we do brings glory to Him. Sometimes, in order to do this, we need to clean out the clutter in our lives. That means letting certain relationships, or things, go.

8) We are to please God, NOT man. If we are worrying what someone will think of us if we unfriend them, that’s worrying what they think over God. Pray and listen. God will direct us in the way you should go, and this includes relationships.

9) Real love doesn’t act out of insecurity. If you are worrying too much about what someone would think of you for letting them go (when you know it really IS the best thing to do), that isn’t love. If it isn’t love, it isn’t true friendship.

10) Clearing out social networking will make me focus more on the here and now. Enjoy the little moments. The people around me in my community. My children. My husband. My neighbors. My family.

My God.

Do you need to do some social network de-cluttering?

❤ XOXO
~Emily

Soul Searching

There always comes a time (or times) in a person’s life where they have to REALLY sit down and do some good ole’ fashioned soul searching.

I am in that time.

What type of soul searching am I doing?

Friends

We all need friends. No matter if you are introverted, like myself, or extroverted. We all need TRUE friends. REAL friends. Not just people we talk to about the weather or what they did last weekend. But friends we can confide in. Friends we can be real with without fear of judgement. Friends who will hold us accountable. Friends who ain’t afraid to smack us on the head when needed. Friends who will tell us the truth, even if it’s hard. Friends who share our values, our faith, our passion.

When I sit and think of my biggest passion, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, my BIGGEST passion is:

CHRIST. Jesus Christ… and loving others unto Himself.

I love Jesus more than words can describe. He has done SO much for me. So much more than I deserve.

Jesus Christ is the string that binds every other thing I love together.

My husband. My children. Church. Reading. Decorating. Singing. Painting. Music. Cooking. Photography.

Everything I love and do, I love and do because of Him.

Because of Jesus.

My most recent thing I have been asking myself is:

Do the friends I keep reflect how thankful I am for Christ? Does the closest company I keep mock the reason I know I am alive? Do they mock Christians?

Do they mock Christ?

I have no issues being friends with those who do not know Christ. I desperately want them to come to the saving knowledge of His grace.

I read the Gospels and see that Jesus himself hung out with those others thought were “too bad” or “too messed up,” because He was love. He was Truth. He was Grace.

But I also read of times where Jesus let people walk away. He presented His life changing grace. The bread of life. Eternal life.

And they laughed in his face. They wanted nothing to do with it.

I am beginning to realize there’s a huge difference in having a friend who may not know Christ YET, than continuing a relationship with someone who mocks Christ.

There is a huge difference between friends and CLOSEST friends. Jesus hung with those far from Him, yes, but his closest group, his most intimate friendships were a group of disciples who desperately loved him and wanted to make his name known. Even among those 12, Jesus had a select few that he was closest with.

How can someone tell you that you can still be friends when they mock the biggest part of your life?

I don’t think they can.

The Bible tells us that we need to watch who we surround ourselves with. Bad company corrupts good morals, it says.
A pastor I love says it awesome:

“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”

The Bible talks of not being unequally yolked with people. Most think this is in a marriage relationship. While that is a huge truth, I believe it also applies to friendships. It can mean Christian and a hateful non Christian. I also think it can even apply to two believers.

I want all I do to bring glory to Christ, and that includes the company I keep.

What about you?

❤ XOXO
~Emily

Hope

1015OH.

MY.

GAW.

Can you believe it is already 2015!???! Insanity. Pure insanity. I feel like 2014 went both fast and slow at the same time. Have you ever felt that way? There were certain parts that I thought for sure would never end (like having a colicky baby haha) or a whiny 3 year old (well now she can be a whiny 4 year old 😉 but hey, she isn’t 3 anymore! HA!) but then there are parts that seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye, like the super cute 8 month baby stage that I so love, or half of my oldest daughter’s first year of Kindergarten (say what!?) or Christmas (which I am kinda sad about because this year it didn’t ever fully FEEL like Christmas, which is not normal for me).

I hope that all of you had a fabulous Christmas and holiday season with your family. I hope that your children had a good break. Are you happy or sad they are back in school? Or yes to both? HA! 😛

oneI have heard a lot of things over the last few years that instead of making a whole list of new years resolutions, that, let’s be honest, we won’t follow anyway… choose ONE. WORD. to symbolize how you want your year to be. How you want to change. How you want to grow. How you want to live.

What will YOUR one word be? Have you thought about it? What word would you choose that can encompass EVERY.SINGLE.THING. you hope to achieve, accomplish, or do in this year?

I had 2 that I was going back and forth between.

JOY & HOPE

Choosing Joy is something we must actively pursue in order to fulfill anything else in life really. We must CHOOSE to be joyful regardless of circumstances. It is the only true secret to contentment.

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Philippians 4:11

However, I think HOPE is an even MORE all encompassing word. It is through HOPE in Christ that we can have JOY in the first place. 

“The hope of the righteous brings joy…” Proverbs 10:28

Hope is what holds us together when everything is crashing around us.
Hope is what binds people together that may be struggling
Hope is what allows us to trust in our Father even when we don’t understand
Hope is what allows us to have joy
Hope is the catalyst for SO. MANY. THINGS.

We can survive a lot IF we have Hope.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul” Hebrews 6:19

And if you are a child of God, you ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. have Hope. Always. No matter what your circumstances. No matter what you are going through. No matter what you are feeling. No matter what you have done. No matter what consequences you may be suffering because of sins. NO. MATTER. WHAT.

Hope is what allowed Jesus’ disciples to be willing to die for their faith. Hope of MORE. Hope of eternal life. Hope that this life on THIS earth is not the end all. It isn’t our real home. Hope that we are made for greatness. Hope that God can, does, and WILL work all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28)

My focus passage for this year will be Romans 12:12

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” This passage sums up the word perfectly to me. We can rejoice in all circumstances, if we have hope, even IN tribulations. It is that hope which allows us to trust God and be patient THROUGH those times of tribulation. Constant in prayer is what will allow us the proper focus to remember where our hope lies. It is through constant conversation with God, which is what prayer is, that our minds can stay focused on Him. Focused on Hope. And that Hope will lead to SO. MUCH. MORE.

So this is my one word: HOPE

because with Hope, you can change everything

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It isn’t about smarts.

Why are so many in such a hurry for their children to grow up?

Push and push. And push some more. We act like intelligence is the most important thing. Kids must be the smartest in the class, and the younger the better, because that just shows how much “smarter” they are.

We could have started Katie last year in K. She is smart. But we waited. I’m glad we did. Being the smartest isn’t the most important. Being kind, loving, compassionate, and many other things are. I am so proud of how Katie has been such a friend to everyone, she loves on others, and desires to help those in trouble or in need.

If someone is the smartest person in the class or college or their job, but has no love for others, or can relate to them, well, that intelligence is meaningless. If someone is super smart, ends up with an amazing job, makes a lot of money… even gives to charity (but for wrong reasons) but doesn’t know how to love others they think are unworthy or less important than themselves… all that means nothing.

Check out what the Bible says:

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Let-kids-flyI am all for encouraging kids. I am for helping them achieve goals. I am all for embracing what they love to learn. I am all for encouraging them in what they love to do (we do that for my oldest who loves all things science. And sharks. HAHA) I am for helping them be successful in school AND in life. BUT… that doesn’t mean my child has to be the youngest and smartest in their class. It doesn’t mean that unless my child can read by age 2 they are never going to amount to anything. It doesn’t mean that I have to force them to read, write, count, and all this other stuff because I *think* they have to. I see a lot of parents do this. I have even been guilty at times. If we are honest, I think it makes US, as the parents, feel good. We like bragging. We like the fact our kids look smarter than others. We think it makes US look smart and awesome and amazing. Our kids could probably care less if they read at 2 or when they start school. We squeal with delight when our 3 year old can read a 5 syllable word, count to 100, or do multiplication. We video it. We post it on Facebook. Do you think our kids really care that much!?

What is our motivation for pushing them? What is the true reason behind us wanting them to do everything the earliest, the youngest, and the best? Why do we think that in order for our children to be important and successful they have to be the smartest? Why do we push so hard? Why not allow them to develop into their own unique beings?

When you are a child of God, YOU matter. When you chose to believe in Christ and what He did for you upon that cross, you realize that there is so much more to life than success, because it isn’t about THIS life, or achieving things in THIS life. We can’t take anything with us when we leave this Earth. Things of eternal value are what are most important. Love. Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. A relationship with Christ. Loving others into that same amazing relationship.

Intelligence is not all that matters. Being the best and the smartest isn’t what matters.

They are only children for a short short time. It is gone in the blink of an eye. Savor it. Soak it up like pancakes soaking up fresh maple syrup, because that sweetness will be gone in an instant.

I truly believe that kids just want to BE. KIDS. 

So let them.

❤ XOXO
~Emily

On aches, twinges, and Christ

The following was something I posted on Facebook… but the more I got thinking, the more I felt I should also share here.

I hope it helps and encourages someone today ❤

Knowing-when-your-family-is-completeI know I have been super crazy (blog friends, just read THIS TOO haha), back and forth, schizo mama about having more babies. I know I have probably annoyed quite a few people (especially my poor hubs haha). I am sorry for that. I wanted to share tonight how God has spoken to me, given me peace, and that I just feel content. Complete… It may be a little long, so bear with me 🙂

Andrew and I had a wonderful talk last night. He said something to me that God REALLY used to help me. No matter how many babies we had, I would miss certain ages and stages. It is OK to feel complete with our family, yet simultaneously feeling sad certain stages are passing and just because I am sad that my babies are growing up is not a sign that I HAVE to have more. (does that make ANY sense!? HA) I can also be both sad at passing stages yet be excited for new ones to come.

I was planning on writing a blog about some of the extreme views in Christianity that I have struggled with. One of those is the “continuing to have babies” (and if God has called you to this and this is YOUR conviction, PLEASE obey. Anything less would be disobedience). I was going to write how the number of babies you have doesn’t equate to how good of a Christian you are. More kids does not mean more love from God. More kids doesn’t mean one is a better Christian than those with fewer. They are just a Christian family with less (or more) kids.

Well, thinking on this last night, God seriously threw an explosive slap on the head… He spoke (quite loudly) to my heart — “Emily, how can you write that when you don’t even believe it yourself?” (OUCH) ***hanging head in shame***

God is right (isn’t He always? HAHA)

I have been seeing SO many people having their 4th (or 5th… or 6th… or 8th! HAHA) babies that I love bunches and bunches, and look up to, that mix that with the feeling sad on certain stages being over, and it is almost like I felt I *HAD* to have another baby to be a “good enough Christian.” Dumb, right?!

I was comparing myself. I was basing my worth and value in Christ, and how much God loved me, on whether not I had more babies.

I am a person who is completely head over HEELS in love with being a mother. I would not trade the puke filled bedding or 3 AM wake up calls for ANYTHING (though I do hate puke and I do love sleep LOL). It is my JOB, and I (at least I hope HA!) am DANG good at it (though I suck with babies hahaha) I am a person, who no matter my age, will probably ALWAYS get that baby itch around a certain time. That ache, in a way (which I know is normal. Even mothers WAAAAAY past the kid phase feel that twinge sometimes.

I also LOVE loving on others around me. I love being the light of Christ to those around me. We moved here to BE that. We moved here because we know the Lord called us here. I love that we are being able to minister and love on the kids around here. I know that if we had more babies, I would hide away, struggle with PPD (not to mention pre term births, nicu babies, colic babies, back issues etc, that make pregnancy hard for me), and I would not be a very good light to others. My first and most important relationship is God. I feel so much peace that God is breathing into my soul. That I am NOT being selfish for realizing we are done. I am NOT being selfish for missing stages, yet not necessarily wanting to do them again. We have a CALLING here. An important one. One that I want to make Jesus proud with. I can admit, that I KNOW I would not do that if we were to have another. I think it, no, I KNOW, it would hinder our ministry. I almost feel *if* we were to have another, it would not be biological.

I LOVE helping in Katie’s (and soon to be Holly’s and Simon’s) school. I want to be able to do it more. A lot more. I love all the things I have been able to do with the kids now that they are older… and I don’t think it means I am selfish, or a bad Christian, because part of me is excited for that.

I want to make a difference for Christ here in Towson. I want to love others like Jesus SO HARD they don’t know what hit them, and they won’t be able to help but fall in love with this beautiful and amazing Savior. The Savior who extends grace so amazing it is almost scandalous! I want that. Desperately. And I think that desire is an important one to fulfill.

Anyway. Sorry this was so long. HA! I hope this made sense. I am just SO SO SO much at peace! I am SO beyond happy. I am joyful. I am content. I feel… complete ❤ Thank you for those who prayed. And congrats to all my friends popping out babies. Just message me ya’lls addresses and I will get my “buying baby clothes” fix through ya’ll 😉

XOXO!!! Love all you guys! Thanks for putting up with my crazy.

So there you have it 🙂 trust God. Listen to Him. Don’t compare yourself to others, for He has different plans and purposes for all of us.

Love. Laughter. and Littles
❤ XOXO Emily ❤

P.S. This is also a wonderful post. I read this awhile back and felt peace. I need to keep that peace.

together-we-make-a-family-family-quote

Raindrops

I was waiting for my oldest daughter to get home from school. It was raining. Well, drizzles really, but it was enough that the ground was saturated and there were puddles on the street. I became mesmerized watching the raindrops hit the puddles. Each drop was so small you couldn’t even see it falling from the sky. In fact, you couldn’t even see the drop actually hit the puddle.

But you saw the impact of the raindrop.

I just stood there for a few minutes silently contemplating how this can be applied to our life. How these raindrops can encourage us.

Some days I wonder if my job as a mama means anything. Sometimes I wonder if the work I am doing really matters. If it is really making a difference. Sometimes I wonder if the ministering to, helping, encouraging, and loving on to those around me is really working. Is it REALLY helping? Is it really even skimming the surface of their hearts and their lives?

Is the little things I am doing amounting to ANYTHING worthwhile? Anything big? Is it making a difference in their lives? Is it making such a difference that they will then in turn be able to make a difference in others lives?

I continued watching the raindrops hit the shallow puddles on the asphalt. Drip after drip. Drop after drop. They were hitting the ground like an elegant dance. I watched as that seemingly invisible drop of life giving water made its mark on the ground. I watched as the drop I didn’t ever see skim the surface of that puddle made circle after circle. The circle growing bigger and bigger and bigger as it radiated outward like the warmth of the sun that was hiding behind the gray clouds.

That’s when it hit me.

rain_original_originalWE are raindrops. Everything we do, whether seen by many or not, is making a difference. Our one small gesture of kindness can create a ripple effect that can cause an explosion of love later on. We may never see it, but it will expand outward. That’s what love does. That’s what grace does. That’s what kindness does.

They are like raindrops. Each act, seemingly meaningless, multiplies itself. Each kind word spoken, or hug given, or I love you spoken may seem too small to amount to a life altering change… but just as a raindrop is minuscule when it hits the surface of a puddle, that small action expands outwards and those around the drop cannot help but be effected.

So, when you are out there loving on people… when you are giving all you can… when you are loving the seemingly unlovable, remember the raindrop. Remember, be encouraged, and keep going. Keep loving.

You ARE making a difference. WE are making a difference.

When it seems that changing diapers or cleaning up projectile vomit at 3:34 am won’t amount to anything. Keep going forward mama’s. You ARE making a difference. Those littles you are loving on are soaking in everything you give. Everything you do. All the ways you love… and one day, they will be new raindrops, making their impact in the waters of life and people around them.

❤ XOXO ❤
~Emily

Dependent

10389704_10152450008136961_4765859514145111048_nI saw this on Facebook today. I loved it. In fact, I shared it on my Facebook page, along with a “little” note:

NOT rules. NOT works. NOT how much you know. NOT how much theology you understand. NOT how much you “get it right.” NOT if you homeschool or private school or public school. NOT about how many children you have. NOT about what “denomination” you are. NOT about what kind of music your church plays. NOT about what you wear. NOT about what you look like. NOT about how mean you are “in Jesus’ name”. NOT about how many people hate you “in Jesus’ name”. NOT about how much you do. NOT about a checklist. NOT about do’s and don’t. It is about FAITH. TRUST. LOVE‬.

It is about a RELATIONSHIP. The Lord God wants a relationship with you, not a spreadsheet of how many rules you followed, how often you followed them, how much you did, how much money you gave, how many theology books you read… You can have all the knowledge ABOUT God in the world, but without love, without that relationship WITH God, dependence ON Him, it means nothing.

I wanted to expand upon my “short” little tidbit by sharing some verses. Folks. It isn’t about what you KNOW. DO (or don’t do). It is not about YOU. It is about Christ and what he has ALREADY done. When we try and make it about what we should or shouldn’t do, we negate everything Christ did on that cross.

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. (28) Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:27-28

“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” James 1:26

It isn’t about religion

Yes, when we follow him, our hearts should align with his. We should WANT to follow him. Follow his truth. His Word… but that is because our relationship with him and our love FOR him, has caused a heart change. We have a DESIRE to please him.

The thing is, we have to FIRST have that love. That faith. That relationship.

We cannot start with do’s and don’ts. We can’t start with a checklist. We will burn ourselves out chasing something that is impossible. Christ loves us… and he loves YOU.

AS. YOU. ARE. 

When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10

Relationship. NOT religion.

To the mom who feels worthless

Hey psst. You over there. I know you. You are that mama who is so tired she can barely keep her eyes open, and that is WITH coffee. You are the one who feels that there has to be something more than dirty diapers and spit up. You are the one who feels your life is on a continuous loop of bedtime battles, morning tantrums, picky eaters, cleaning up the dinner off the floor that you spent an hour making, and wiping dirty faces, runny noses, and poopy butts.

I know you sometimes feel worthless.

I know. Because I have been there. Some days I have to fight those feelings. Some days I feel like while others around me are so successful at others things, I am sitting here wondering what am I good at!?

~Pinterest perfect mama’s with their hand made diapers and handbags made out of woven pieces of grass.
~Mama’s who seem to have it all together. ALL the time. 
~Mama’s who seem to so effortlessly look beautiful and have the perfect skin, body, and hair
~Mama’s who seem to never get tired, no matter HOW little sleep they are running on
~Mama’s who naturally seem good at EVERY. SINGLE. STAGE. with their children, while you are wondering WHEN will this “phase” be over!?!?!
~Mama’s who seem to not only be good at being a mom, but who also work from home, selling their crafts, or what-not.
~Mama’s who seem to have everything go their way. ALL the time, while you feel no matter what you try, it never seems to work out.

I know. I know you. I AM you. In fact, just this morning I had every single one of those thoughts I listed flash through my head. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE…and a few more.

This race of motherhood is pretty crazy, huh? Some days we feel on top of the World, and the next day (or even the next HOUR) we wonder what in the HECK we were thinking and why in the WORLD did God entrust us with these tiny little needy beings who can’t even wipe their own butts!?

We wonder if anyone hears our cries for help
We wonder if anyone sees our efforts
We wonder if anyone knows that while we have a smile on our faces, our insides are in knots
We wonder if anyone sees the little non-Pinterest worthy things we do
We wonder if anyone knows that sometimes we just want to run away. FAR. FAR. AWAY.
We wonder if anyone can see through our plastered on smile and see what we are REALLY thinking.
We wonder if then people would hate us and think we are bad mothers if they DID know what we were really thinking

Well. There is one who knows. It may sound scary, but it isn’t. It is so comforting. Not only does this person know.

HE UNDERSTANDS.

He understands because he has been there
He understands because he would see people walk away hopeless
He understands because he was betrayed by someone who was supposed to be a friend
He understand because he was misunderstood
He understands because the very people who loved and admired him, turned on him, and had him killed

No matter what you are facing today, sweet mama’s…  JESUS understands. Run to him. God created you in HIS image. He knows you. He knows your innermost thoughts, fears, secrets. He knows what makes you tick. He knows what makes you tired. He knows what makes you excited. He knows what makes you sad.

And He knows when you feel worthless.

But He wants you to know you are far from worthless. You are wonderful. All those things you do day in and day out? They are important. They matter. They are far from meaningless.

Don’t let the taunting whispers of the Enemy drown out the quiet melody of the Father.

Mama’s. You are anything but worthless. We may do a lot of things. We may do a lot of gross, dirty, unappreciated things. We may be a lot of things to a lot of people… but WORTHLESS isn’t one of them. It never was. It never is. It never will be.

As Aibileen in “The Help” says:

You is KIND.
You is SMART.
You is IMPORTANT
and you are SO SO SO much more.

God thinks you are Beautiful. Amazing. Wonderful. Magnificent. Nothing you do goes unnoticed by Him.

You. Are. Beautiful.

XOXO
❤ ~Emily

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Stop making it so complicated.

Whoever-believes-in-me-has-eternal-life-john647Why do we Christians like to over complicate the Gospel!? Charts, graphs, diagrams, etc etc etc… Then we wonder why so many think they are “too messed up” or “too broken” or “too bad” to come to the saving Grace of Christ. We make it seem impossible. The Gospel is simple:

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Repent. Believe. Be Baptized. (Acts 2:38)

Walking around with our little sticks taking jabs at people doing this wrong, or that wrong, or what not, is not bringing glory to Christ, and it sure isn’t advancing the Gospel. It is doing the complete opposite. We are all broken. We have all done wrong. We are all unworthy of Christ’s amazing and glorious sacrifice. Yet, Christ says COME AS YOU ARE. When we do, HE will then work to change us from the inside out. We don’t have to do everything and change everything FIRST.

In fact, that IS impossible. Here on this Earth, we will always struggle against sin, against the enemy, against flesh and blood, and everything else. We will ALWAYS screw up. Daily. The sins I have repented of? It doesn’t mean I won’t ever struggle with them anymore, or still do them, or mess up, just because I have chosen to put my faith in Christ. It just means that I have a desire to cast off that sin and that struggle and become more like Christ.

One must simply take that first step of Faith. Admit we HAVE messed up and that Christ died for those mess ups. Have a desire to be changed. God will take care of the rest, and we, as Christ followers should be the hands and feet to help, and above all else. LOVE.

Part of the beauty of the Gospel is we don’t have to EARN it. We don’t DESERVE it. We don’t have to get our ducks in a row BEFORE Christ would cover us in His glorious grace. Christ, in His love, gave it freely, so that ALL who believe (did you hear that ALL, we don’t have the right to pick and choose who we think are worthy of Christ’s gift) will be saved.

“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”Romans 10:13

STOP making it so complicated.