My kids and I love doing "two-minute devotions" around the breakfast table before school. While they are eating breakfast, I grab my Bible and we all discuss a scripture for a few minutes. We don't do these devotions every day, but when we do, we all leave for school and work more focused on God, and more connected to each other. I try to keep these devotions super simple, limited to one scripture and one basic thought that we can all carry with us throughout the day.
Here are three two-minute devotions on the topics of confidence and compassion:
I confess, I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm the girl who looks tough on the outside but is a closet – Hallmark channel watching, Disney song listening, cries during the romantic comedy –hopeless romantic. There is something about the pursuit, the vulnerability and the courage in these stories that to some extent pulls at every heart. It represents our longing for love and belonging. For many years my heart longed for love but I didn't believe I was worthy of it, so I hid it behind cynicism, control, and outward efficiency. What do you hide behind? Believing we are not only worthy of love, but loved can be one of the biggest battles for our heart.
Nothing shouts sincerity louder than the sound of little children speaking to their creator. However, as one of Jesus' disciples states in Luke 11:1 (NIV), "Lord, teach us to pray..." we all need help in learning to pray.
The children we once taught to pray now have praying children of their own. I now love the occasions when I have the opportunity to pray with my grandchildren. I love "hearing their hearts" and am often inspired by the honesty and detail with which they pray.
My first blog...bear with me!
Well...here goes nothing!
Welcome to my blog! To be honest, I have been "mind blogging" (is that a thing?...it should be) since we stepped foot on African soil. But through a series of unforeseen events, I am just now getting around to typing out some of these thoughts. What an adventure! I figured that blogging would be the best avenue to record our experiences because it comes with a fair bit of accountability. I have a dismal amount of diaries laying around that have one or two excited entries with promises to "really keep it up this time"! I've been through amazing things in my life thus far and I have little to no written record. With this latest move, I am determined to write some of this down!
Me to Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome, six blink-of-an-eye years ago: "So I think it's time to start dealing with our oldest child. Ever since she turned three, she's been testing me. She thinks she's Head Woman of the house, not me. She argues with every little thing I say, down to me telling her she's got blood gushing out of her nose, and she's like, No I don't. And I'm so tired and pulled in so many directions with the other two babies, I could really use your help dealing with her."
Kevin: "What are you talking about? Not my sweet angel darling princess Miracle Baby Cassidy! She's perfect!"
Me, to myself, hoping God was listening in: "Oh, help us, God. Help help help help help."
A few days later . . .
Ever had a season where things weren't quite what you expected? A time when you expected glory and victory only to be met with struggle and straining? Although I wish we could just go from strength to strength in our spiritual walk, it seems like we typically go from mountaintop to valley and valley to mountaintop over and over again. And during the valleys, I immediately forget the glory of the mountaintop! Instead, (and maybe I'm the only one), I bemoan the valley like I've never ever EVER reached a summit at all! A tad dramatic, right? Well, as I've been reflecting on this truth, I've come across something interesting in the Scriptures that I wanted to share this morning.
"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words." -- 1 Thess 4.13-18 (NIV)
When I think of surrender I get a mental image of a person with their hands up over their head, at gunpoint. Maybe I watched too many old WW II movies as a child. Yes, that's my mental image of surrender. This also takes me to the idea of lifting my hands over my head, which unless I am holding a barbell loaded with weight over my head, I do not do. I don't lift my hands in worship, or on a roller coaster, and I don't wave them up in the air. It's just not my thing, and generally makes me uncomfortable. So you can imagine how the journey to surrender may be a truly uncomfortable and foreign one to me. It has been a terrifying yet incredible journey nonetheless.
“But he said, ‘What is impossible with man, is possible with God.’” -- Luke 18:27 (ESV)
Me to my whiny five-year-old, facing off in the kitchen: "I'm sorry, but the kitchen is the No-Whining Zone. If you want to whine about something, you're going to go have to do it in your bedroom. You can whine all you want in there."
My five-year-old, heaving a deep sigh and heading toward her bedroom: "Okay."
Me to myself: Oh, that was clever. Now she'll leave me alone, and she'll quickly get bored without an audience for her complaints. THAT will teach her not to whine.
What does hairspray, a bar of soap, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser have in common? It all started with me gathering laundry. And then I found it—an epic ink pen explosion on Dave's Marc Anthony jeans.
On the right leg, there was a deep purple Rorschach ink design with splatters going outward. I gasped. No...not Dave's favorite jeans.
I took a can of hairspray and went to war. As I sprayed, I blotted the deep purple ink into an old white cloth. Ha, I'm making progress...I thought, still naïve.