Posts tagged Goodness
A Blessing to Motherhood
IMG_0279.JPG

Nine years ago, a little boy was conceived. He would be the first to call me mother. Our clan has now grown to three, a boy and two girls. Truly a gift unmerited from the Lord. Still, I have found myself running to the Lord for wisdom, strength, and identity in motherhood. His grace and strength have delivered me from the pit many times. The Word of the Lord has sustained me in times of uncertainty, strife, misunderstanding, longing, sickness, and grief. It is grace for sanctification, that through my children, He parents me yet more. The knowledge that I am called to be an ambassador of Christ to my children takes away the burden of “making” perfect children. Instead, I walk alongside the Lord as I watch His grace call lost hearts, mold characters, and create pure hearts in my children. I will boast yet in my weakness as I parent, for when I am weak then He is strong.

IMG_0280.JPG

So, this blessing is for new mom with expectant eyes, for the mom who faced a miscarriage, for the mom who daily remembers an abortion, for the mom whose arms are left empty to the death of their child, for the mom whose womb remains barren yet, for the mom who has experienced a failed adoption, and for the mom whose children came through adoption. This blessing is for the mothers aching for children separated from them, the mothers who feel less than, and for the mothers loving children whose birth families are in crisis. This blessing also reaches to the moms at different stages, the mom with busy toddlers, the mom with school-aged children testing their boundaries, and the mom with children leaving the nest. This blessing also belongs to the mom with a child whose rejection aches heavy, the grandmother who now finds herself raising another set of children, the mom caring for a child with an illness or special needs, the moms yet to be, and those who know or may not know that the calling of motherhood also beckons them.

Another facet of motherhood for me is the calling to make disciples. I do this around the table monthly, with beautiful women from around the city. My calling to spiritual motherhood began many  years. One of my greatest treats was to spend time with the older ladies at my church. I asked, listened, gleaned, but mainly watched as they lived a life worthy of the calling of God. So I began to pay attention to the ones younger than me. I spoke life over them, I listened to them, I encouraged them to seek the Lord. One of the ways I loved to do this was by writing poems for them, letting them know  I saw Jesus in them. I also pointed them to the Word of God, showing them how learning it and loving it had made all the difference for me. It had looked different at different times of my life, but now that I have reflected on those times, I pray I can incorporate them with my littles too. Revel in the calling of spiritual motherhood. Let it bring life to areas of your life that may have gone dormant. You will be nourished and the Lord’s provision will simply astound you.

So, Dear Hearts, the Lord and I have been thinking about you and we bless you.

A baby in arms a heart full
A smile that plays in the eyes
Unbelief that this one is yours and will call you mom
Blessed be the God who filled your womb
You are blessed mother, run to your strength.

A prayer sent to heaven above
A cry stifled with tears warm
What was to be
Has not come to pass
Blessed be the God who hears
You are blessed mother,
Morning, noon, and evening His ears hear your cry.

Unsteady you sit tears stream
Your heart yearning, longing
To be full just one more time
The emptiness threatens to overtake
Blessed be the God who sees
You are blessed mother,
His arms tenderly hold your broken heart.

A desert bare
A wilderness of unknown
Where is the promise of a life-giving womb?
Again confronted with a womb full
And your heart aches with longing at first
And then with desperation
Will it ever be?
Blessed be the God who knows
You are blessed mother,
For He makes known to you the path of life.

A gift given
To experience your spiritual adoption in the physical
Your heart swings open
And you embrace one whom your soul loves
Dissonance loud, mistake, I’m sorry…
No longer yours
Blessed be the God who predestines for adoption
You are blessed mother,
He chose you from the foundation of the earth - you are His.

A family but children- just a desire
A joy to be with friends and inhale their giggles full
The beautiful souls unclaimed
Your heart couldn’t resist
The whisper, Love them
So you do and your heart almost implodes
Blessed be the God whose joy is our strength
You are blessed mother,
In His presence there is fullness of joy forever more.

The baby is on the move
The days seem to stretch
But nights are short and mornings come quickly
Frazzled, dazed, tired, hungry
Don’t numb, distract , or give in to indulgence
Blessed be the God who gives rest
You are blessed mother,
He invites you to come bathe in His rhythms of grace - Sabbath

A child vocal and strong
Curious explorer setting his own boundaries
Testing and prodding in whiny vocabulary
Your triggered-buttons pushes
A sigh of exasperation escapes
Is this even worth it?
Blessed be the God who shepherds
You are blessed mother,
As you guide your child, so as a lamb your Heavenly Father guides you to Quiet waters and restores your soul.

The long days turn to short years
And you look up and the child is grown
Where has the time gone?
Could it be time to completely let go and let fly?
Blessed be the God who bids us follow
You are blessed mother,
For the same God who calls you to follow Him also calls your child.

Anger, resentment, rejection
Taking, withholding
Longing for a small piece - if even that
The longing of a sweet blossoming of friendship as you both grew up
Still just a longing
Blessed be the God who intercedes
You are blessed mother,
For you have an advocate who day and night intercedes for you and your son at the right hand of the Father.

Your grandchildren are a crown
But you did not anticipate their care
They have burrowed deep in your heart
Life is different than imagined
Though rich and full of joy
Blessed be the God who renews your strength
You are blessed mother,
For they who wait for the Lord shall run and not be weary.

Fear grips your heart
Disease, incurable, not sure - more tests
This babe was supposed to be whole and healthy
Your heart pounds
No control
Only trust
Blessed be the God who heals
You are blessed mother,
For He gave his only Son by whose stripes we are healed.

The refinement of motherhood
Is not exclusive
It draws and attracts
The giving of ourselves
The unveiling of our souls to each other
Spiritual motherhood a calling
Strong resilient and needed
Look around and take them in
The ones placed within your boundaries on purpose
Blessed be God who sets our times and spaces
You are blessed spiritual mother,
For He has caused your boundaries to fall in pleasant places; surely you have a delightful inheritance.

Rejoice!
Light up in smiles
Clap, sing, dance, create
The blessings you have received
Are good and gracious
In beholding them you find more intricacies of Christ
It is His grace and kindness that leads us to repentance
In Him you have received everything you need
Blessed be the God who is pleased to reveal
You are blessed mother,
For He has made known to you the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure!

After you finish reading this blessing take some time to sit and rest in the Lord. You are truly blessed.

 
IMG_0281.JPG
 

When you are ready, take some time to look up the following Bible references. From the Word came the inspiration for how the Lord provides His grace in motherhood. The Word of God is alive and active, let it go deep into your heart and soul. In His grace, may the Word of God not return void but work in transformation for your sanctification. Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and evermore shall be: world without end. Amen.


IMG_0282.JPG

Daisy Dronen is a bellwether table-gatherer who loves fresh cut flowers and reading. Always reading! She invites women to join her around the table, creating a beautiful space in which to disciple a generation. With If:Dayton, she has discovered that beholding each other leads to a deeper revelation of who Jesus is and who He says we are - all while enjoying delicious food together. As a woman, she knows that we can all fear rejection. But around the table, we can make room for everyone to feel welcomed and push past our fears as we dive into meaningful conversation. A few evenings a week Daisy turns in her mom cape for a white coat as a nurse supervisor at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Adventuring with the love of her life is one of her greatest pleasures - following Jesus is her #1 pleasure. Daisy was born in Honduras, raised in Texas, but Dayton, Ohio is home. She loves to travel, spend time in nature, and dream of more dancing opportunities. This year one of her goals is to use her writing and story to encourage others that their story has a purpose in life. She would love to meet you and have you join her for tea. You can catch glimpses of her life on Instagram @daisyfd or email her at daisy.dronen@icloud.com

 

Photo credit to Echo by Design

Jesus is Lord of Every Miracle {Team Journal}

 Today's team journal was written by our Team Lead, Natalie Herr.

IMG_0155.JPG

For the last month or so, I’ve been looking for Jesus in the gospels. I’ve been asking myself two questions: “Who is Jesus?” and “What does it look like to follow Him?” I’ve taken note of many answers to these two questions, and one thing the gospel accounts make clear is that Jesus is Lord, and that following Him requires us to come under his lordship.

At the very end of the book of John, after Jesus has resurrected and appeared to the disciples a few times, John tells us the story of one more appearance on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias (John 21). John is the only gospel author to include this story, and it seems to me it’s because it had special significance to him.

John sets the scene: it was early in the morning, and Jesus (unrecognizable to them) was standing on the shore while several disciples were fishing in the sea. They had been at it all night and hadn’t caught a thing. Jesus called out to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” Spoiler alert: they didn’t. So, Jesus told them to throw a net out on the right side of the boat - they’d find some there.

Can you imagine being one of them? You’re out on the sea, fishing all night, pulling up empty net after empty net - and some stranger (who’s probably not even a fisherman!) is calling you a child and telling you what to do. This whole scene could have been a recipe for disaster. But for some reason, the disciples obey, and are suddenly unable to haul in the insane amount of fish that appeared out of nowhere. Things just went from 0 to 100. Empty to abundant.

He is at work; always at work.
The morning will come and He
will show up on the shore.

Now here’s my favorite part: The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved (most likely John himself) saw this and immediately said, “It is the Lord.” It is the Lord! What a declaration to make! He could have said, “Look at all those fish!” or “Wow, we are eating good tonight!” or something else. But, no. John knew instinctively that only Jesus could produce such a miracle. Only Jesus could make something out of nothing. John recognized the wild and wonderful work of Jesus and immediately gave Him credit. He knew then that the man on the shore was the Lord, and because of his proclamation, so did the others.

So the question in my heart is this: do I respond to the work of Jesus like John did? Do I recognize that he is responsible for the wild and wonderful things happening in my life? Do I immediately point that out to others and help them to see the Lord?

Now, I’m no fisherman. (The last time I caught a fish was probably 20 years ago in the backwoods of Pennsylvania.) It’s not likely I’ll see any miracles on the deck of a fishing boat anytime soon. But when I think about witnessing miracles in my own life, I think about my youngest daughter, who struggles with delayed development. Months and months of physical therapy with little progress has felt a lot like a long night of fishing with empty nets. But whenever she has a breakthrough, even a small one, I have the opportunity to proclaim like John, “It is the Lord.”

It is the Lord!

He is the miracle maker. He is the change agent. It’s not my daughter, it’s not me, it’s not her therapists. It’s not time, or coincidence, or the accumulation of a lot of hard work. It’s the Lord.

The Psalms tell us more than once to ascribe glory to God. To pay Him what he is due. To recognize Him and praise Him for His work and to tell others about it.

 

“Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
 worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. (Psalm 29:1-2)

 

My friends, when you see Jesus do a miracle in your life, tell someone as soon as you can. Tell your neighbor. Text a friend. Put it on Instagram Stories. Yell it out loud! Throw up some confetti! Tell the world that it is the Lord.

And if you aren’t seeing any miracles and life feels like an empty net, look a little closer. He is at work; always at work. The morning will come and He will show up on the shore. There are miracles happening every day and we get the opportunity to use them to proclaim his goodness.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21


Natalie Herr is the founder and team leader of Dayton Women in the Word. She is a servant of God, a wife, a mom of four and a God-sized dreamer. She loves teaching and equipping women with God's Word.