The Impossible Temptation

I’d just finished pouring over Hebrews 4:15.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Then this question from Jen Wilkin…

“What temptation are you currently battling that you want to believe is unique to you and impossible to resist?”

Easy.

It’s pushing and pushing and going and going and never (EVER) resting.

But if Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are” then surely He faced this. Right? Surely He saw the crowds and had the urge to ignore exhaustion and keep healing. Keep fixing. Keep doing. Right?

But He didn’t.

“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. BUT he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” (Luke 5:15,16)

You guys…Jesus rested.

Today. Whether your schedule looks like a walk in the park or a run in the circus, REST.

We have a Savior who rested. A Savior who isn’t disappointed when we say no. Or log out. Or mark that item off the calendar because it’s JUST TOO MUCH.

Let’s stop striving so hard. Pushing so hard. Trying to earn something that was bought on the cross.

Let’s “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. “ (Hebrews 4:16)

“I’m TRYING”

Every morning this week Alexa’s woke me up at 5:30 from her purposefully placed location in the bathroom.

This morning, with eyes still closed, I responded audibly with “I’m TRYING.”

Because those 2 words characterize my whole existence.

Trying to be a good wife.

Trying to be a good Mom.

Trying to be a good friend.

And this trying is “trying” me. Stealing my joy. Causing me to lash out at the kids. Making me fall into bed every night exhausted.

My journal ended this morning with these words…

“Father, help me to stop trying. To start resting. To ‘be still and know that You are God’.”

All trying stops at the foot of the cross. With the words, “It is FINISHED.”

Because grace has won. We can rest.

And today, that’s what I’ll do.

“Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do. Let go of trying to control. Let go of my own way. Let go of my own fears. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks.” (Ann Voskamp)

Why I started working and how I’ve changed…

2 years ago I started planning Disney vacations part-time.

To be fair, it was either start working or have another baby.

I thrive under pressure. On the brink of the destruction. About to pull my hair out.

To be clear, it’s morphed into much more than Disney since that first day. Cruises. All-inclusives. Resorts. You name it.

And I love it. Really. I do.

To be honest, I love it so much it sometimes consumes me.

How can I help families save more money? What can I do to generate more clients? Where will my next vendor event be?

To be transparent, I often worship work.

I want to be the best. Hit my goals. Get good reviews. There’s no second place in this success-driven brain I’ve recently uncovered.

To be real, the past couple weeks have been hard. Full on confession.

God, I hear you. I’m sorry. Now what?

To be specific, I now have 5 “non-negotiables” for work.

And no, you’re not privy to all 5. Because some of them are pretty personal.

But I’ll share one…

“I will measure success by JOY, not numbers and GIVING, not getting.”

If 2021 ends with our family happier but my overall sales’ numbers lower…Success.

If 2021 ends with huge contributions but less big vacations…Success.

To be certain, “Aslan is on the move.” In my heart. In our family’s trajectory. In the future of my small business.

And I’m thrilled to be along for the ride.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

You can follow me on Instagram to see how things unfold (And unfold they will)…

When weakness is strength…

“Her greatest weakness was actually her greatest strength.”

That’s the conclusion the kids and I came to after reading The Country Bunny.

Cottontail was told she couldn’t become an Easter Bunny because she had 21 kids. But those 21 kids became the key to her delivering the year’s most important egg.

The lesson hit home for all of us.

One of our boys has fought dyslexia since he was 5. And now, he’s a stronger person because he’s learned to overcome.

We’ve got daughter who’s already looked racism dead in the face, picked up her pride, and moved on. And now, she’s a bolder person than I’ll ever be.

Maybe in the past, I felt like Cottontail. Like having 5 kids was holding me back. Like they were my greatest weakness.

But I was wrong.

Our kids have taught me patience. They’ve taught me how to rely on God. How to love. How to forgive.

What we see as weakness is actually strength in the hands of our all-knowing Father.

You want to know my greatest weakness? It’s my sin nature. And I hate it.

But without it, there’d be no grace. There’d be no cross. There’d be no mercy.

Jesus laid down His greatest strength to transform our greatest weakness. He became what we weren’t so we could become God’s child.

It’s not just that His strength is perfect. It’s that it’s sacrificial.

For you then. For you today. Grace.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corinthians 5:21)

IMG_9981

 

 

 

 

We can all be thankful for THIS…

There’s one thing you can be thankful for tomorrow. One thing you can jot down in your journal. Or mention at family dinner.

And it’s not what you expect.

Sometimes I go to bed at night thinking about how many times I failed during the day. Counting the number of moments I raised my voice. Regretting the minutes I spent on routine instead of relationship.

Shocked faces and broken tears because of Mom’s sin can leave scars too deep to forget.

You know what I’m thankful for as 2018 starts its conclusion?

…We all mess up…

Every stinkin’ one of us.

You get frustrated with your kids. You rush them to bed. You say things you regret. I know you do because I do too.

And we’ll both do it on Thanksgiving. The family time will feel long. And our patience will prove short.

Today, on Thanksgiving Eve, let’s embrace this truth…We will mess up because we’re all really big messes. We’re image bearers of God trapped in a body of sin. And the battle will overtake us.

But for grace.

The shock of my sin fuels the shock of His grace and fills my heart with overwhelming Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow let’s be thankful. God sees our messes as a chance for overwhelming grace.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ” (Romans 5:6-8) 

IMG_7198

Hmm…it couldn’t possibly be me behind that locked door??