Ponderings

The Pouring

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Photo by Dan/Freedigitalphotos

 

We empty, we pour, we ebb, we flow, we exhaust, we purge every drop of life-giving element till there is nothing left.

 

As a mother it’s easy to give with little ones under foot. They are always taking, pulling, tugging, capturing it all. The good, bad, and the ugly.

 

There must be a shift.

 

We must ensure we are full of the best God provides for us to offer. Rather we are pouring or they are simply stripping what’s left of us, let it be beautiful and full of life and sacrifice without depletion.

 

We must be purposeful about staying filled to the brim, well fed, satisfied, intense, deep and strong bodied.

 

Through hard lessons learned, it’s time we replenish what has been emptied in order to pour out. To pour into the lives of our family when the world attempts to deplete them. When we do this we bless, uplift, comfort, and are able to allow our cups to run over to the people who need it most.

 

The practicality behind it? We’ve got to get our thirst quenched with the Word of God, we have to mentally hand our burdens, anxiety, and worries to the hands that gave it all. We must move our bodies, drink water, read some good stories, laugh, cry it out, dance it out, talk it out, live it out.

 

Who’s with me? Any secrets on staying full? Subscribe and share! Join in on Facebook!

My Default

It’s a struggle. Every day I would fight. Fight against my God given default.

 

I would look in admiration at what I felt was the typical organized home school momma. I did everything I could to mimic her. I thought her actions were superior and thus would be my keys to success. She had the beautiful planner completely filled out with every child’s home school lesson, appointments, cleaning schedule, and date night. Meanwhile, I’m over hear drowning in sticky notes on top of my expensive planner with papers coming out of the side. Her plans are etched in pen all the same color or perhaps even color coded, best off all, she always knows where her pen is. She isn’t like me. She doesn’t go looking for it when it is stuck in her hair. I’m sure hers always has ink too.

 

Her home school day is filled with 30 minute increments of crafts and academic success. Not one subject is missed. On the other hand you have me… “Let’s read a chapter out of one of our favorites….Hmm let me scrub that toilet real quick…Hey! Who wants to go outside?…Let’s read some history…Let me throw that load of laundry in…Oh yes! Who wants to make some cookies?”  Sigh, I’m all over the place.

 

This successful woman rises to her alarm clock before the rest of her family. She drinks her water, exercises, reads the Bible, and glances at her planner of what her day will entail. I however have the same plan in my head, but more than likely you will find me with coffee in hand sitting on the porch with my other early risers.

 

I’ve been called it all. The girl who flies by the seat of her pants, too laid back, disorganized, type B, you name it. I have fought against all of this with every ounce of my being ever since I started having children, but have only walked away in frustration.

 

It has been a process, but I am slowly starting to let it go. I believe that God knew each one of my children needed a hippy momma who couldn’t follow a schedule to save her life. He knew I needed them and each of their quirky personalities. We are no surprise to Him. We are what you would call tailor-made for each other, a perfect fit.

 

I have started to embrace the way God made me. Since I have begun to this we have continued to grow in peace in our home. I am letting go of the guilt and lingering on the porch a bit longer. I am convinced that my craziness will produce well rounded, go with the flow kind of kids:)

 

How about you? What is your God given default button? What traits and talents do you naturally bring to your family?

 

Give it a try, don’t fight it, and see what happens. Ask God to sharpen what He has already given you and to help you to see all the ways you benefit your family!

What Is Life?

I am a thinker. I am a ponderer. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. This week has been no exception.

 

It seems as though the typical cycle continues. The string of events sail through the air with sweet smells and memories until the wind dies down and doubts, heart ache, and burdens grow heavier on tired shoulders.

 

I have been tossing around the question “What is life?” “Am I being a good steward with what I’ve been given?”

 

The sweet, optimistic side of me tells me life is about savoring the moments. The family cookouts at Granny’s, long phone conversations with my mom, the porch swing with my love after the children are asleep, their sweet arms around my neck, waking early, staying up late, first lighting bugs…I could go on and on of the richness and sweetness that God allows me to experience on a daily basis.

 

Through this past week the Holy Spirit has been stirring in my heart and soul just as He always does. I am seeing that though the sweetness of flying above the clouds are in fact God’s blessings…even more so are the struggles, challenges, and heart ache.

 

When we face those things perspective begins to shift. All we see are people, relationships, and togetherness. When it is all said and done how we love others, support them, and show them Jesus are THE ONLY THING LIFE IS ABOUT AND WORTH LIVING FOR. As believers what we do has eternal value, WE ARE ETERNAL. The entire purpose of God breathed life is to impact the world for Him and bring them to eternity.

 

When we can fully grasp this, and wrap our brain around it then we can see that the hard times are not in vain. They are only glimpse of perspective of eternity. God pulls us closer all the more to share the secrets of a truly fulfilled life. Love as He loved every. single. day. in every circumstance.

 

I don’t want to finish my life neat and manicured. I want to be spent up, used up, hair a crazy mess, every last bit of me used for His sake. That’s my answer, that’s what I want my life to be about.

It’s All In The Surrender

To surrender, to yield, to submit, to give oneself.

 

What happens when we fully surrender our plans our dreams, our future, our life to God?

 

Take it a step further… What happens when we surrender the day, the minute, the second to His almighty plan?

 

This is where I have been living. Attempting to surrender the daily life, the mundane.

 

The big stuff, well, that’s easy for me. Perhaps it’s because I am in the thick of it right now. It is simple to utter the words, “Lord lead us, guide us,” and trust He is taking us to great places in the palm of His hand.

 

It is the here and now He is looking for. The simple, yet uncomfortable submission and giving of myself over and over again.

 

I am learning ever so slowly to submit my need for order and “easy days.” To give up my sleep, my body, my time, and need for control.

 

I am seeing it is all for good.

 

Life is relentless. Just when you think you have it figured out, another curve ball comes your way. With a daily, minute by minute surrender comes an overflow of peace. Every second was ordained and I am only to simply follow.

 

This power struggle between me and God, quite frankly, it is wearing me out. Over time it will do the same to you.

 

I encourage you today, whatever you are walking through…infertility, a huge pile of laundry, a torn marriage, a sleepless newborn, hopeless finances, a teething baby, juggling work and home, whatever it is…

 

Give it over every second of the day. His plans are great, and oh my the clarity and relief when I don’t have to have it all figured out.

 

The distractions become divine interventions.

 

 

 

Don’t Let Christians Get In The Way

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Don’t let me, as a Christian, get in the way of Jesus.

 

Don’t watch me grind my teeth at my children and forget the grace God gives me everyday.

 

Don’t pay any attention if you see me roll my eyes at my husband and forget that what God  joined together nothing can separate.

 

Please don’t think you “caught me” when you see me throwing back a glass of wine on a date night with my husband. I serve a God that gives me freedom from legalistic laws.

 

Don’t listen when I stub my toe and accidentally say “shit” instead of “shoot”. Remember, the God I serve forgives and remembers no more.

 

Don’t watch the gossipy church ladies fighting over a gift card at the women’s Christmas dinner…yeah it really happened….not all “church people” are like that.

 

Don’t shake your head at me when I played hooky from church. My God sees my heart and knows every thought. He is with me rather I am at church or not.

 

Then again…I hope you DO watch me. Watch my mistakes, failures, aggravations, and plain old bad days. Watch me as God picks me up over and over again. Watch as He covers my failures and reveals His mighty hand through my crazy life. Listen to His voice amidst the broken vessel I am. Notice the light between the broken pieces that God is shining on you.

 

No,  my life is not perfect, but God is.

 

Don’t let us Christians get in the way of you seeing who Jesus really is. He isn’t in the business of only giving blessings to front church pew believers . He isn’t a God  of excessive rules and regulations. He isn’t a far off being that we have to climb to reach.

 

He is freedom. He is there. He is the blessing.

 

 

When I Fall

I fell down. My strength, compassion, faith, and hope failed me. The joys became aggravations and the constant demands put my own needs to the top of the list. This was me a few weeks ago. Satan won a few small victories in his corner as I ran in circles of self-doubt and pity. His goal had been met for a short while, let things look perfect on the outside while my heart was heavy.

 

But… there is a good God who lets you fall every now and then so He can come in and sweep you off your feet. Teaching me in the most gentlest of ways about His truths and how they don’t revolve around my circumstances. His blessings are abundant today just like every day. He is near and close. He is refining and working.

 

It is in the ups and downs, the cycles, that are mapped out to perfect what God has started in me. My eyes are on Him today, may He ALWAYS get all the glory.

 

Been going through your own ups and downs lately? Share what God is doing for you:)

When God’s Will Isn’t Always Easy

I think as Christians it is very easy for us to know God’s will. We feel a conviction, pray about it, then with the Holy Spirit’s help we change our perspective or a way of doing things based on the convictions we have felt from God. Sounds good right?

 

Then there is the world yelling ever so loudly. We start to slowly listen to our flesh. The world around us has a way of making that VERY easy. Before you know it those convictions seem a little difficult to maintain or maybe even too extreme. Throw in a couple of negative comments that hurt your feeling in there along with a bad day or two and you find yourself second guessing what the Lord clearly spoke to your heart.

 

Ladies, this is a trap we ALL fall into no matter what you feel the Lord calling you to do. Maybe it is to stay home and raise your children? Maybe it’s to stop drinking or smoking? Maybe its to home school? Maybe it is to limit media? Maybe it is to give over your fertility to God? Maybe it is to stop frivolously spending money? Maybe it is to start exercising and caring for your body?

 

God never promises a walk on easy street. However, He does promise that when you deny yourself and listen to His sweet voice speaking to your heart that He has already provided you with every power to do what He has called. Not just enough power to get by, but enough to do it well.

 

Let’s encourage one another of the sweet rewards and victory that is ours when we follow Jesus.

What Level Of Pro-Life Are You?

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image courtesy of hin255/freedigitalphotos.net

 

As I get older, gain years of marriage under my belt, have more children, and gain life experience I have become increasingly aware of the “politically correct” way to go about things. I have learned what to say and how to act in order to not offend those who think differently. I have also come to see how truly unclear and twisted we as Christians can make things. We have so many faint lines drawn in the sand and gray areas. No wonder people don’t really know right from wrong anymore. I too am one of those people who can find myself in a gray area of life wondering what is true and right. I have found that once I look into scripture it quickly becomes crystal clear. The problem is that scripture is not always the first place we look, therefore we pay the consequences of confusion.

 

An area that most people tip toe around would be their stance on pro-life. As I am writing this post I am assuming that the majority of Christians would consider themselves pro-life. What does this truly mean? Many people would give you  different definitions. This is an issue that used to be black and white, yet has become gray in many people’s eyes that are built around circumstance.

 

The first level of pro-life would be the the convenience pro-lifer. (Just made up my own word) They believe, for the most part, that abortion is wrong unless you can find a justifiable reason for it such as the mother being victim of rape, or the child having a disability. They think children are great when you plan for them. They also have pity on you when you get a surprise pregnancy. They refer to that baby as the “oops” child. They only want to have children if and when it suits them.

 

The second level of pro-lifers are the ones who consider themselves responsible. They believe abortion is wrong at all cost and believe that nothing justifies killing a baby. You will find these people rallying on the side of the street to close down abortion clinics. They know God has a plan no matter how the child was conceived or what types of disabilities they have. However, they do think it is a wise choice to use chemical birth control, though they have overheard that it can cause spontaneous abortions. They rule in favor of common sense and that no one should ever have more than 3 children in order to give them enough attention, and pay for college. It is responsible.

 

The third level, evidently, are the most radical. These people take the Bible literally. When it says children are a blessing they believe it no matter the circumstance of their arrival. Abortion is killing a life God placed in that mother’s womb no matter how the occurrence took place. Nothing is by accident. They believe chemical forms of birth control are abortifacients. They don’t want to be responsible for killing someone whom God knew before the beginning of time.

 

I proudly fall into the third. I don’t play a martyr and say, “Oh it’s tough, but this is God’s commandment.” No, I am full of passion for this. Most of the time I don’t focus on the number of children I have or how many I am going to have. For some reason it seems the baby comments and questions all flood in around the same time and it gets on my mind more than usual. Perhaps it’s because the baby is starting to play with his feet… people begin to worry if I am stupid enough to have another baby.

 

I am not near as bold in person as I am on my blog. I have the same answer when people start to ask, “You are done right?…right?” or when they point their finger at me and say “Now you don’t need anymore. You’ve got two of each, be happy with what you’ve got!”

 

My answer and beliefs are so simple, yet baffle people. I simply say, “We will see what God gives us.” I am not trying to talk someone into a different level of pro-life. I am simply telling people we have no plan except God’s, and it drives people crazy. We are not in a cult, or part of a movement. We do not feel enslaved to the idea that we must have children. We are not trying to have as many children as possible. We do not put children up on a mighty pedestal or collect them as trophies.

 

My pro-life stance is this: Every life is precious in God’s eyes. For that reason I will fight for them and continually pray that I will see every life the way He does rather that be an unborn baby in the womb or the rude neighbor down the street.

 

I have no right to decide what life is worth saving and what life is not so I am simply giving it to God and praying for His heart and compassion on a daily basis.

 

What level would you categorize yourself?

 

Sharing this with: The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

 

 

When You Don’t Have It All Together

I spoke with a sweet momma the other night who was sharing her heart with me. She said she was constantly reminding herself to stop comparing her family to others. She spoke of a community she used to be involved in where everyone always seemed so perfect. All of their children were well-behaved, neatly dressed, and were all performing above grade level.

 

I reminded her that this was not reality, only her perception. A perception that she has recognized and is praying for God to work out in her own heart.

 

This got me thinking. What about those women who really DO look like they have it all together? I think it is important to remember that they are struggling the same as you and me just in different ways. Perhaps they feel they HAVE to be perfect. They fear failure, or feel as though they have to live up to a certain image. What an exhausting, trapped life that must be.

 

Both types of women are letting others predict their life for them and how they go about daily living. They are looking to others for their cues on what is acceptable and what is not. They are also using others as a measuring stick for their own families.

 

I will be the first to admit that I have the crazy looking family with dirt on all my kids faces. Maybe that’s why people like hanging around me…I make them feel better about themselves:) haha! I am sure those of you who know me well are laughing. Anyways, the thing is, I have finally gotten to the place where I have stopped the comparison game. I will always be different from everyone else. I will have my own struggles and strengths.

 

This is where God’s freedom comes in. The word, “Freedom,” has been ringing a lot in my heart lately. It is the way God meant for us to live and the only way we can truly get it is through Him.

 

We are free in Christ to put away unneccessary expectations. Simply put, our ways are not His ways. He’s got this. He knows what He is doing.

 

If by some chance, you catch us on one of those days where everyone is bathed, has napped, has full bellies and smiles; and you wonder why we are so perfect. Just know that we aren’t. We shouldn’t be. God uses the weak and unexpected ones to do Kingdom work.

 

Lift up your heads mammas. We are all in this together.

 

I encourage you all today to stop looking around and look upward. The strengths and weaknesses you have can all be used by Him. He created you that way!

My Pity Party

Ever tried to throw yourself a little pity party? Well, I tried to throw myself one today. I even tried shedding some tears before the Holy Spirit came and smacked me upside the head and told me to get over myself. (Not really but you know what I mean) I was upset because my husband was going to be working extra again. This would put him at the fire station three nights in a row. As I started complaining and becoming grouchy I realized something…

 

This is what I asked for!

 

My husband and I both wanted me home with our children and were willing to make any sacrifices to slowly be able to make that happen. God was so faithful and answered our earnest prayer, yet here I am pouting.

 

Once the light bulb went off I immediately stated to praise God for the blessing of my husband having work. Shame on me for even starting to blow up the balloons for my pity party!

 

This got me thinking of all the times I have been ungrateful for the gifts and blessings God has given me.

 

I think we all do this a lot more than we want to admit to. We pray for answers yet sulk in our misery not wanting to praise God for where He has taken us.

 

We want me home with our children. God has helped us get there, but there are still sacrifices to be made on our part. We also want to pay off our mortgage in order to be 100% debt free. God has blessed us and provided us with all we need but it still takes hard work. So we praise Him and keep moving forward confidently. Expecting Him to guide us and help us every step of the way.

 

Join me in throwing pity parties out the door. Lets roll up our sleeves and get busy with all of the amazing opportunities and blessings God has placed before us.

 

My mission this week is to stop the complaining and give Him praise.

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Hey Y'all! My name is Brittany Styron. Sweet Country Roots is a place I hope to encourage, inspire, and bring a chuckle. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and join conversations about marriage, babies, homeschooling, frugal living, good food, and an old fashioned way of thinking.

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