who’s kingdom?

He called us to pray: “Your kingdom come.”

He called us to seek His Kingdom FIRST.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Do we believe it? Do we live it? Only by God’s Spirit are we able. But we have been given His Spirit freely in Christ. If we aren’t living this it’s because we are denying in practice who we are in Christ. If we don’t claim the promises and inheritance in God as His children it’s our own fault. His riches are there–for US. We show we aren’t walking in faith when we don’t accept them and walk in the riches of His goodness towards us His children. Lord, increase our faith!

Where Lord is Your kingdom in my family, my friends, my town, my state, my nation, this world? I too easily seek my kingdom. I’m too busy with my “cares and distractions” to realize that the form of this world is passing away and that this world is the shadow but the new one is coming and it is an eternal one. That the unseen things are the eternal and I must make the unseen my priority. If I do not have time to seek God’s face at set times and all the time then I don’t have time to feed my children and myself breakfast. The eternal things must be sought above the temporal. Not to say we should neglect our families but we must trust that when we are seeking God’s kingdom first HE WILL PROVIDE ‘ALL THESE THINGS’. He’ll add them on abundantly and our faith will grow and we will wonder at the beauty of His ways.

Today my prayer is that Your kingdom would come in every circle we walk through and beyond.

God’s will today

To accept His will with thanksgiving is contentment.

What if God’s will for me today is a sticky floor, sticky faces to kiss, diapers to change and an achy body to carry around? What if His will is unpleasant to my flesh? Repulsive to my self life? Give thanks. Those very moments when flesh revolts I will give extra thanks and remember the joy found in dying to that old self. Give thanks for these reminders that I am dead to you, flesh. I am alive to Him, my Husband and Maker. These very days are where we remember we have been set apart, we no longer live in dominion to our flesh. We have died, our life is now hidden in Christ. His will is ours. His will is sweet, not to our flesh but to our spirit in Him. Thank God for motherhood, for in it I see how I cannot live this life without His grace. All grace.

Motherhood how sweet you are to a crucified Christian. How sweet it is to find we don’t have strength except in our Lord. It’s a beautiful thing to know this is the will of God for me today, yes even these tiny precious love hungry hearts, sticky floors and sinks of dishes. To do Your will is my delight. We  have the mind of Christ, let us live in that.

power of godliness

“I used to be looking for a series of experiences … of dying with the Lord, hoping that I would have done with that lesson and pass on to the next, that I would be able to appreciate I had risen with Christ and then pass on to know what it is to reign with the Lord. These are true together, they are always true and they are only true as they are held together in one complete identification of the sinner with the Saviour. Only as we die daily do we reign. We are never more reigning on the throne than we are dying on the cross. Daily we, too, are invited to save ourselves and come down. Whenever we do, we cease to reign and we cease to bless. Some small trial of daily routine, a crossing of personal preference in a very little thing, an accumulation of duties, unexpected interruptions, unwelcome distractions. Yesterday these things merely fretted you, and internally at least, ‘upset’ you. Today on the contrary, you take them up, and stretch your hands out upon them, and let them be the occasion of new disgrace and deeper death for that old self-spirit. You take them up in loving, worshipping acceptance. You carry them to their Calvary in thankful submission. And tomorrow you will do the same. These things naturally fret us and upset us. Let them be a call to deeper death. The cross never grows easier, but is inseparably linked with spiritual power.”—Fred Mitchel, a former Director of the China Inland Mission

More excellent quotes on this subject here

our ministry

“Serve and work wholeheartedly, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for men.” Eph. 6:7 God brought this verse to mind this afternoon while I was rushing around trying to figure out what to cook for the next few days. I was starting to want to complain that I didn’t have enough meat in the freezer and couldn’t decide what to cook. I realized I was starting to think victim mentality instead of seeing the privilege I have to SERVE my family for Christ. We as mothers are so blessed to have this opportunity. We lose out on the ministry we are called to the our closest neighbors! We are called to bless those in our household. To be a river of refreshing water of Christ’s goodness to them. The next time you serve a meal, wipe a nose, read a book or give a bath remember you are serving the living God and you are ministering to His beloved treasures. Your ministry is more important than any other one you can do right now because it’s the one YOU are called to. Today I’d been praying and asking God where He wants me to minister and that He would bring the poeple He wanted for me to encourage to me when He reminded me that He already has and I overlook them too frequently. These precious family members need Jesus’ love. Let us not forsake providing what our families need.

 

Here’s what I’m asking myself today: Does my family see me working hard with joy or frustration during the day? Do they feel like treasures or burdens?

Jesus–only in You can I do these things!

“Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength.”

 

“Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet especially your family. Be holy – let us pray.” ~Mother Teresa

steps in the Spirit

But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!” Ps. 70:4

What joy is found in being filled with God’s Spirit. The idols that my heart worshiped far too long “good ones” the world and might I even add much of Christendom chorused! Ones like a “clean house” “quiet and rest”, “folded laundry” and oh my the epitomy of goodness “the children and husband” stole both my joy and my energy. “We are wives, we must keep up with ‘the standards’.” I whispered to myself hourly, it had the ‘semblance of wisdom’. Oh yes, Satan often allows the appearance of godliness and wisdom to his most innocent sounding lies. These pretty faced lies however, as idols do they left me drained of inner strength and bitter. When my husband came home at the end of the day my circumstances determined my joy, my outlook. That’s the test you know: If you can’t rejoice right now with great and exceeding joy in your heart and shout God’s goodness to your children and husband at the end of the day then an idol has stolen your joy. I had forgotten what joy was. I thought it was something that people had once their children were over the age of 10, and had a clean house and well the list goes on.  Praise God, He didn’t allow me to go on in my Baal worship.

When Christ in His grace awakened me again to the beauty and the sweetness of His loving fellowship I couldn’t bear to part with Him for a clean house and “perfect” children any day. Suddenly the Bible that had echoed hollow in my heart came new to me. God’s promises, His truth awoke afresh in me. Believing His Truth for each moment; whether a trial of feeling or circumstance.  Today, I thirst that each step I take be one of a firm hope in God’s power to do what He’s promised. I want to take every word of God and bank all on it. Where else can I bank my joy? No other place. I’ve been far too miserable for far too long to ever bank my hope on anything else. God help me.

 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you might abound in hope,through the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom 15:13

A dose of perspective

I always prided myself on my laid back nature. I took what came. Then I became a mother. It took on a new look. I began to crave a little more predictability and I started to hold on to certain things for dear life. Things I had taken for granted in the past. Things like a clean sink and a floor not littered with raisins, rice cake and 2 day old smoothie splatters. I craved the couch to have it’s quilt aligned at least half the time and I craved the diapers stacked neatly. Really? How much was I asking? Apparently enough to hyperventilate and snap at others about. Until one day when I asked myself what would happen if I allowed myself to take a step back and not freak out and chop someone’s head off for not cleaning up after themselves or tracking mud in. What if I didn’t allow those things to ruin my weekend? Does anyone else know why it’s always the weekends that the house takes a new all time low as far as cleanliness and yes I always start Friday with a semi-clean slate but by Saturday at noon, you’d never know. This was becoming unbearable for me. I was working at a break-neck pace to keep up with the cleaning, mopping, scrubbing and washing of dishes. Not to mention laundry. Yes, the house might have been cleaner while I was running around at a mad pace and telling others “they better not make a mess or else!” but I was meaner and my husband and kids noticed. I also wasn’t so happy about my attitude. I was thinking, this is so not what I signed up for–I wanted to be a “joyful mother at home!” That the Psalms talk about. I wanted to enjoy the time together as a family over the weekend. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have a clean house or perfectly cooked meals I could focus on what I did have. And there’s a lot I do have that’s simply amazing!

Yes, I still have to do the dishes sometime but it had finally sunk in that if it was coming at the cost of love. Love was more important than a scrubbed sink and shining dishes. Being kind and not nagging to husband and children is more than a sparkling house.  It does bother me that on the weekends the house takes an extremely “lived in” look. But you know, what matters is what God sees. What matters is what my heart looks like. A quiet spirit a spirit at rest and happy in God and thankful for the people who inhabit this house. The people who make it a home. Let’s remember life’s too short to be mean over a mess. I must remind myself that this mess will pass. Just like my kids will grow up and move out someday. Life passes far too quickly we’ll see. Yes, Monday I might scrub a lot extra but you know, that’s just part of my job and sometimes we just have to say to ourselves “Self, just DEAL! Buckle down and scrub extra.”  I’m trying to make my work something that Kia can be included in. Oh and upbeat music always helps too. Perspective is everything when you come to chores. And yes at the end you can enjoy momentarily a clean house. Remember this will pass and then come again. It’s a cycle– it’s life.

I want to do my job not for my own enjoyment of clean and neat but rather because it’s the will of God for me to care for my family and love Christ in them. To see Christ in them to serve Him. Our families will never be “thankful or appreciative enough” for our hungry ego’s. Let’s do it for Him to whom all our hearts are open before.  For mom’s our kids really are the “least of these”. So if you come visit me anytime soon please look for the crumbs and the sticky floor and for once I might have just gotten my priorities right over the weekend.

All the days  of the afflicted are bad, 

but one with  a cheerful heart has a continual feast. 

Better  is little with the fear of the Lord

than great wealth and turmoil  with it. 

Better a meal of vegetables where there is love 

than a fattened ox where there is hatred. 

Proverbs 15:15-17

Better a house a little clean, then a perfectly clean one with an upset wife and mama. Yeah, I need to read this Proverb every weekend!

Oh and this post is dedicated to my mother and father in law who remind me often that reading a stack of books to my kids is worth more than a perfectly swept kitchen any day. Love lasts, clean doesn’t.