If I was your enemy, I'd disguise myself and manipulate your perspectives so that you'd focus on the wrong culprit - a clean house, phone calls, social media, other mothers, your friends, your failures; ANYTHING to pull your focus away from your call to motherhood ~
Today I had a chance to experience this first hand. And it was an epic fail in my focus as a mother! It didn't help that I was under the weather as well. I was trying to do the right thing on a facebook group and it was not received well. The comments that followed were so hostile and hurtful, all from me trying to protect the ones making the comments. For an instant I felt I understood what God goes through. He tries to guide people away from something bad and those people lash out at Him for doing so, such is our world I suppose.
Things like this happen to us mothers all the time. The devil wants to distract our focus and it worked. ALL DAY I was on social media, checking to see the comments (which only made me feel worse about it). Checking that made me check my other social media platforms. Partner that with me being sick and I neglected my children all day. I even asked Briseis to make lunch. I used the excuse that I was sick (which was only partial truth), the real reason was my focus was on the gossip being spread in the group and the dread I felt. I let this one event in my day ruin my focus of motherhood all day. It emotionally drained me. It is such a blessing that my children show me almost as much grace as God does right now! Praise Jesus for there love for me.
So let me ask you mother, why do you think your focus may be off right now? What are some things that pull your focus away from your call to motherhood? Focus clears away dead space and clutter. It gives us our cutting edge. It is our antenna that keeps us trained on our calling to motherhood. Focus minimizes distractions. ~Fervent
Now that we know what focus is how do we fight the devil back on this attack? We raise that antenna high so we can keep from losing our passion. We do this in 3 steps.
Step 1: Prayer
When we pray we must pray specifically for our "static" to be blocked out so we can focus on where God is directing us as mothers. We must pray for the distractions to be shielded from us.
Psalm 37:23 - A person's steps are directed by the Lord, and the Lord delights in his way.
Step 2: Know the enemy
We need to know what our "focus hackers" are and weed them out. If we have to, write them down on the fridge as a reminder about what to watch out for. Put on the armor of God to do this.
Proverbs 21:21 - Whoever pursues righteousness and mercy will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Step 3: Watch out for the blindside
We love our children and we want to help lead them to a God first life by keeping our focus on what He wants. But even our own children can be a "focus hacker" at times. So be on guard. Our God is NOT a God of confusion or anxiety. So if you are feeling torn or confused or agitated about doing something with your children then pray and breathe. Stopping what you are doing to read a book can be the right focus but at the wrong moment (for example if you are knee deep in cleaning), then they might be pulling your focus. Pray about it, maybe God will guide you to have your child help you with the cleaning (even if that means it may take a little bit longer. LOL) or simply set a time for them (give mommy 10 more minutes then I will read to you). Keeping our focus on God's will for us is the key to maintaining our passion to motherhood and warding off the burnout the devil is seeking to inflict on our motherhood.
1 Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
Philippians 4: 4-7 - Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Micah 7:8 - Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light ~
About 3 years ago I did a study with my Halfway To Sunday moms titled "Don't Let The Devil Steal Your Motherhood". Using the book Fervent as a guide I took the 10 strategies the author gave and used them specifically on motherhood. It was a really good series and I have decided to share it with you. Starting this week I will go over each arrow the devil will throw at you to take away the joy of being a mother. But before I go into strategy 1 I am going to list them so you know what will come in the following weeks. This is a series you are not going to want to miss!
10 Strategies - The devil WILL come against your motherhood by:
1. Attacking your passion to be a mother
2. Attacking your focus on what being a mother is
3. Attacking your identity as a mother
4. Attacking your family's unity
5. Attacking your confidence to be a mother
6. Attacking your calling of motherhood
7. Attacking your purity of motherhood to certain parasites
8. Attacking your ability to feel like taking a break is okay
9. Attacking your heart
10. Attacking your relationship with your children
Strategy 1: Attacking your passion to be a mother
The above picture is a photo of my dad and I just last week. There is no doubt that now that we are older my parents are having a lot of fun with us! Going on vacations where they don't always have to pay for everyone, having dinners together where they aren't always the ones having to cook, celebrating their birthdays instead of trying not to be hurt if it was forgotten by us. Yes, my parents are in a, and I stress 'a', sweet spot in parenting (meaning there is more than one). But the reason they are in this spot (and there have been bumps along the road, we are NOT a normal family) is because of the way they raised us earlier on. It wasn't perfect, not even close, but a lot of it was pretty darn great! Because of this the relationships have stuck and continue to grow. So, let me ask you a couple of questions then. Do you remember the feelings you felt when your child(ren) were born? Do you still feel the passion to be a mother today? What is something that is stealing your passion of motherhood?
For me, I can still remember the feelings (especially of my daughter) when they were born. Briseis by far was the most...euphoric and I love returning to that memory. At this moment in writing, yes, I still have a passion to be a mother; but my passion tends to get stolen A LOT by the spiritual sugar I talked about last week. I tend to get sucked into the trap of doing good for others and then just giving my children my left overs. Not healthy.
Passion is what burns up the road between a child in danger and a parent in pursuit. It glows red-hot. And goes on driving. And grows even larger, the larger the obstacles become.
So how do we fight back? Take your stance against the devil! To take a stance against the devil we need a few things. First, diligent praying. We must pray for our passion to return, for God was the one to give it so He is the one to rekindle it and breathe life back into it. We must take up OUR armor and declare to the devil that God is in and he is most definitely out. This is our calling and no matter what he yells it does not change God's destiny for us. We are mothers until the END! Second, is constant grace. We realize it's non stop for God himself but are so reluctant to give grace to ourselves. We are going to make mistakes and that needs to be okay, as hard as it might be to believe, it really is. Lastly, we need outside help. We need to be able to have a day for us. God even commands it. He created rest knowing 24/7/365 parenting would leave us...dead. We must find those places, whether pampering ourselves, exercising, going on a weekend get away, finding a small group or a hobby; whatever it is that lets us unwind and refuel. We need friends that are "no" friends, who can be honest to our faces when they see us taking on something new that will take away from our passion of motherhood and leave our children with grumpy left overs.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up ~
This week has been an educational crash course in saying "YES" and I have had my eyes opened to why that is a bad thing. I have been living my life as the "YES" women to everyone. Yes, to my husband. Yes, to my children. Yes, to my friends. Yes, to my ministry. Yes, to my church even. And I could feel the walls closing in, I could feel God whispering to let go, but my stubborn "superwoman" persona would not allow that. For those of you mothers that work jobs feel free to add in the "YES" to all those demands too! All of this "yesing" hasn't been good and then add on top of it my sudden but severe memory loss and I have given myself a perfect storm of over planning. I felt it at first on Friday, my daughter's new bed was being delivered a head of schedule (wasn't suppose to be until Monday). Lance forgot to take the truck to grab the mattress, so when he got home we ran to Costco to grab it (a 30 minute drive). Then when we got home we had to build the bed... all the while waiting for weekend company to show up! I remember doing the dishes and thinking to myself that I should cancel our company, be honest with them of my over planning. But I wanted to see them! And it ended up working out fine, until Monday rolled around. VBS, working on my daughter's room, pet sitting,
not to mention all my normal weekly responsibilities that I had to do. Yep, I had done it AGAIN!
See our problem as mothers is we feel a need to prove to others we can do it all. And we literally feel it in our very bones that if we can't we have some how failed at being "super mom". But this is a lie! You mother, are under attack by the second best war corespondent in the universe. Satan. See, as mothers we can usually pick out when the devil is trying to get us distracted using sad, mean, hurtful or even horrific circumstances. Little Addy who I blogged about recently, her family is stronger in their faith because of the devil trying to distract them away from God with Addy's diagnoses. Heck! All he is doing is making them lean all on God. So, when that fails Satan changes tactics to try and tempt us with his sugar. Spiritual sugar. Most of the world is aware today that sugar is more addictive then heroine. We know it is bad for us but it is so hard to find things without it added in. It is in our faces, promising pleasure, all the while it is killing us. So what is spiritual sugar then?
Spiritual sugar is anything good in our lives that is not God lead. Go ahead and make a post it of that definition, I'll wait. LOL. As mothers we have soooo many good things the devil tries to distract us with. Last night at our sisterhood meeting we dived into these "sugars". See when we try to do something good, anything good, but it is not God lead, we are giving in to unhealthy distractions. Ever wonder why it says in the bible to "Pray without ceasing" - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18? I believe with all my heart that it says that because we are suppose to talk to God about every good possibility that comes our way so that He can LEAD us forward or tell us no, or even to put it on the back burner. Spiritual sugar acts in the same way as sugar. We say yes to all these good things, everything feels great so far and we can even feel like we are riding on the "Holy Spirit High". But then the energy the good thing gives wears off leaving us sluggish, down, tired, drained. Sounding familiar yet?
As mothers we have to learn to prioritize better, to prioritize going to God to see what He wants us to do. Now, I am not talking about asking God if you should have a ham sandwich instead of turkey sandwich by any means. LOL. But I am saying that we can no longer as mothers use the excuse that we don't have enough time in our day to even catch our breath. That is another lie. God has given us the exact amount of time each and every day to get everything done that HE wants us to get done. The problem lies with the distractions that pull us away from His will. These distractions can look different for each of you. It can be your electronics, it can be social media (guilty), it can be pets, it can be friends sometimes, it can literally be anything good that leaves you feeling drained after a short time to the point you can't do the things God wants you to do. Because lets face it, if you aren't doing what God wants you to do then you aren't putting Him first are you? So how do we priorities and let go of good distractions? Lets break it down.
Priority #1 - God
Our first priority in life has always got to be our Father. He loves us the most, cares for us the most, and does everything for us. So in all things ask God about it. Keep Him first by getting His will done and with practice your will will begin to line up with His. He is for you, all we have to do is accept His guidance. A true super hero can admit when they need help and accept it. You mother have an open door that is flooding with help if you can just trust your Lord through it.
Priority #2 - Yourself
Your second priority must be you! In case you think you read that wrong, your second priority is YOU, YOU, YOU! How as a mother can you possibly think about giving yourself to help others if you can't help yourself first? You can NOT be empty and try to fill someone else's cup, you just can't. This doesn't mean you now have the right to splurge on things or leave the house as soon as the hubby gets home. No, but it does mean your schedule needs to have you in it! A schedule that has time for a DAILY shower just to feel refreshed, time for a rest or down time, at some point at least weekly time for fellowship with a friend or two, and time for fellowship in private with your Father to get off your chest the things you usually vent to your friends about.
Priority #3 - Your husband (if you are a single mom this will mean you need to make extra time for priority #2)
You husband needs your best, not your left overs. And it is hard! Gosh it is hard, because the last thing I want to do (especially if I didn't get priority #2 in my schedule) is give my husband my best. Can I get an amen? But mothers... wives, your husbands love you! It actually stresses them out when they come home to your "left overs" because they feel guilty themselves for not being home more to help out. So practice just hugging your husband when he gets home and smile a loving smile. Because he needs to know it was a rough day but that you got through it and you are glad he is now home to help. Plus your children are watching how you respond and that is how they will respond to their spouse someday.
Priority #4 - Your children
How many of you put your children at priority #2 or (gulp) priority #1? Yeah, not a good idea. If you are like me and homeschool you may be gulping twice. LOL. Our children when they are first born are 100% dependent on us, but that doesn't change our list of priorities. I used to believe it did but it doesn't. We may not be able to help our husband with the lawn or be intimate as often, but we can still be loving, respectful and caring to him. And our electronic devices should never take priority over our children. If you are like me and use electronics for work or ministry then you need to schedule a specific block of time to get work done and...STICK TO IT. You are responsible for a large portion of your child's upbringing and you will be held accountable for how you stewarded God's gift to you. I say this not to scare you, I say it because like I said before, God gave you all the time you need to be a parent and if you are feeling like there isn't enough of that time to raise your children and be a good mom then you are saying yes to something you should be saying no to.
Priority #5 - Your ministry
That's right, your ministry. If you are a Christ follower you have a ministry whether you recognize it or not. Whether it is big or small. Doesn't matter. Christ called us to go into the world and spread the Way to EVERYONE. That is not just your children, not just your friends. It is everyone, mind blowing don't you think? Christ called us priest and the definition of priest it to share God's love and to teach that Jesus is the way. You could be like me and this blog for your ministry or you could be the mom that helps at the soup kitchen (with or without your children) or even the mom at work that doesn't gossip with the other employees but instead shows love to everyone. Whatever it is, it needs to be a priority.
SPIRITUAL SUGAR IS ANYTHING GOOD THAT IS NOT GOD LEAD ~
So there you have it mothers. If you do these priorities and learn to say no to things that God is not leading you to life will be calmer. Not every day, because we will forget this wisdom and regress and have to come back to it. The house, the car, the errands, the extracurricular things and the electronics and social media are all fillers. An analogy I heard last night on the Better Together show was that the priorities are the large stones of life. They fill up the most time and then the extras are smaller pebbles that are okay as long as they aren't distracting us from the big stones. Or, the priorities are the meat and potatoes of life and the extras are the treats for after you've eaten your dinner. LOL
One more thing. Mothers, you must recognize that this life is a living breathing and growing thing. Something that was once God lead He will eventually ask you to let go of to move you to something even bigger. God will never keep us in something too long lest we get comfortable, complacent, stagnant. He will ask you to let go so you can grab onto the new thing He wants for you. I am currently in the process of doing this. Letting go of something I have ministered since 2015 so that He can lead me to a new ministry. So always be on the look out for the good thing that is God lead and pray without ceasing so that you will recognize it when He is ready to show you. He loves you and the only way to grow and be molded into who He needs you to be is to be willing to branch out into unfamiliar territory.
It is funny. I have had a lot going on since I last wrote, that includes as of this morning, losing my engagement ring to the garbage disposal. Needless to say I was devastated. First it was the week old new Apple Watch that is swimming with the fishes; now it is the 14 year old engagement ring that I will not be able to pass to one of my son's future brides. Through tears and pain at the sentimental loss of my ring I can still find the bottom line of this weeks post. I can still remember last week's post about finding joy in things other then the Lord, and the danger that holds. So I press on, but I will tell you what, Briseis is getting some serious life lessons on why you don't want to get too attached to things of this world!
This week I have been focusing on the mistakes we make, the mistakes our children make. I have been watching and observing. I have been listening and processing. Earlier this week I saw two brothers walking into VBS. They were probably about 9 and 11. The younger was so excited to be going to VBS with his brother and went to give him a side hug as they were walking. My heart broke as I watched the older one shove his brother off and tell him not to touch him with annoyance and venom in his words. The mother either did not care to notice it or was so engulfed in her phone or something she didn't see. In that moment all I wanted to do was go up to that boy and give him a hug... and scold his brother and make him apologize. I hurt for the younger brother.
But you know what mom? I see my children doing the same thing. I see them act nasty to their sibling even when one is trying to be loving and I HATE IT! I'm sure you empathize with me on this if you have more then one child. Heck! If your child has a friend that has ever done something like that you empathize. I hate myself when I am too lazy to do anything about it because I have been the referee all day. Sadly, that is life and though as mothers we try to teach our children how to behave and how to act they will ALWAYS miss the mark at times.
The other day I was in the car listening to a talk show. The guy was talking about consequences for our children and how a lot of parents today are over punishing their children. Funny, looks like we have gone to no discipline all the way back to over disciplining. The balance of life is always fluctuating from one side to the other trying to reach that balance. Anyway, back on topic. The speaker was explaining that as parents our job is to teach our children through example and our own testimony. So often, when our children mess up we are so quick to punish with our own consequence (usually out of anger) that we don't even think about the natural consequences that will happen. Then when those consequences finally come we say nasty remarks to our children like, "Serves you right", "Told you that would happen", "Maybe next time you'll listen". All we are doing is adding insult to injury. Let me give you an example, you child is not studying for a big test they know is coming up. You have reminded them numerous times that they need to. The day of the big test comes and naturally they fail. You ground them for a month from driving, video games, friends, pretty much everything except studying. Once your punishment is finished you child is told by his teacher that because of his low grade he will have to go to summer school which will make him miss out on a trip to, we will say Universal. When they tell you this you respond with one of the above remarks. So now, for a mistake they made they have had your consequence, the natural consequence as well as a remark that does not show love. Next time something similar happens your child may even try to start lying to make you think all is well as to avoid added consequences and snide remarks. The natural consequence will still happen but you have lost your child's trust to be just.
There are natural consequence that always follow mistakes we make. They may not happen right away, but they will always show up. Our God is loving, but He is also just. He pleads with us to listen just as we plead with our children to listen. The brothers? They could very well grow up not having a relationship. I for one do not want that for my children, when I am gone I want to know they have each other's backs. By giving my testimony of how I loved my siblings and how I didn't, I teach my children about the natural consequences that can happen. By talking to them and loving them when they do make mistakes they understand and will appreciate me a lot more when there is a consequence I have to give them. Briseis is in a phase currently with hitting her brother when he upsets her. I have told her about when that happened to me and how I dealt with it. When it became persistent then she was warned that she would have to do a writing if it happened again. When that time came I did have to enforce a consequence, one she knew was coming if her actions continued. But I didn't lash out with a punishment to blind side her. I didn't say harsh words when her brother finally hit her back. Slowly she is learning how to respond in a loving way to him when she needs a break. I am also learning of how to treat and, especially, talk to my children; in a way that I won't fear the natural consequence of them not wanting a relationship with me when they are older.
So the next time the anger builds up and you want to lash out at your children for a mistake they made, stop to consider what the natural consequence will be. Think back to if you were ever in the same situation and share with them what happened to you. Love on them and pray for them that they learned from the mistake. And if it becomes a repeat mistake explain to them before hand what the consequence will have to be, doing it out of love and not anger. Because at the end of the day Lance yelling at me for turning on the garbage disposal would have only added insult to injury. But because Lance loves me and knew the natural consequence was breaking my heart already there was no need for added hurtful comments. Instead he hugged me and reassured me and knew that I would NEVER EVER turn on the garbage disposal again without checking to know where my rings were.
Fathers, do not provoke your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord ~
11 days! That is how long I was away from my babies. I still remember dropping them off at their (other) grandparents house, choking back tears, knowing if they saw me crying it would only be that much harder for them. A million "what ifs" running through my mind, all of them unpleasant and anxiety ridden. I had never been away from them this long, not even close to this long. I had never been this far away from them, a full day of traveling should anything happen. As the worry and fear and sadness grew, there were times I down right did not want to go. What if one of them got hurt or died? What if Lance or I died? But I dropped them off, a mask plastered on my face so they wouldn't see my worry. I left and didn't make it down the street before I started crying, wanting nothing more then to hold my children in my arms.
Motherhood is a crazy thing, isn't it? We gripe and complain to our husbands, our friends, and God about how we need a break from motherhood. But just when we get that chance we recoil those feelings and replace them with worry and heart break. Yes, heart break! That was the emotion I was feeling as I drove off, like my heart was being torn in two. I shouldn't have been surprised, I get the same way when Lance is called out of town (but since he is an adult it isn't as strong). Everyone I complained to had to reiterate to me that this was not only a good thing but a needed thing for me.
Poor Lance. For two years we saved for this trip and he put up with my sharpness because I "needed a break" only to have me change my tune at the last minute to a note of worry and fear. Bless his heart! The next morning we left for Canada. My parents came too. It was the first time I had them to myself in 34 years! The trip was a complete success and we had so much fun on our Alaskan cruise. And after arriving in Vancouver I began to relax and truly enjoy being with my husband and my parents. And before I go any further, yes there were times Lance and I fought. Times my parents fought. That is life, but for the whole of the trip it was great. Nothing in life can ever be 100% perfect.
As mothers I think we feel like we lose control when we can't be near our children. Motherhood is our calling, and how can we fulfill that calling if we aren't with our children? Homeschooling moms, I think we may have a harder time with this then mothers that have their children go to school. But I could be totally wrong. But I do admire these mothers who work or send their children to school, you know who you are. You are taking necessary steps to ensure your children learn that just because mom or dad isn't there doesn't mean it is the end of the world. You are teaching yourselves to take little steps to allowing your children to find their identity without you there. I thought my children would be screaming and crying during this trip, worried I had abandoned them or something (rarely did we have cell service). But letting them go and trusting God with the control over my children's well being is what our family needed, it was what I needed.
I learned on this trip that my children were the focus of my joy and the "what ifs" alone of losing them or them suffering was almost physically unbearable. And that mothers is a problem. If my joy is found in my children and something should happen to them then my joy dies. Our joy is to be found in the Lord alone and my joy was misplaced. Once I allowed myself to trust God with my children I was able to receive His joy during my trip. I smiled and laughed and felt so good on this trip because my joy was in Him and all the experiences he allowed me to see and do (some, like the whales, that are only in my memory because we didn't get pictures of them because we were too busy just watching them) were breathtakingly beautiful. And did God provide! His miracles and wonders were overflowing on this trip because I could see them through clear eyes, joy filled eyes.
Now I am by no means saying that I didn't miss my kids like crazy, that I don't love them, that they are not my livelihood because they are and I did. But I am saying that sometimes as moms we can get so focused on our children that we miss receiving the joy from other aspects of our life that God has for us. Had I not altered my perspective on where my joy was, this trip could have been miserable. Fear and worry could have left me handicapped in our room. Just thinking of this brings the show Scrubs to mind when Carla has to leave her daughter for the first time and spends most of the trip in her room on the phone or crying about being apart from her baby girl. But because I sought my joy from God that didn't happen. I was able to fully enjoy my vacation and my mom. I had so much fun with her and it gave me a glimpse into the future of what will come with my own children. My mom let me go off to live my own life long ago, but thanks to God's answered prayers I was able to spend an amazing time being her daughter again, mending past hurts and strengthening our relationship. Lance and I had fun together, just plain old FUN, the way I hope our empty nest years will be! I got to see my dad really smile (a rare thing), most of the time I was the reason he was because of something I would say (by the way, I have given him an official nickname now. LOL)
So what I learned from this trip is that my joy needs to come from the Lord, which will be hard to remember when my calling is to homeschool my children. But ultimately I will be a happier mom if that is where my joy lies because my children will fail me and disappointment me but my Lord never will. If I live with my joy focused on Him them I will actually enjoy my children that much more. So when the time comes mother for you to go on a trip and leave your little ones behind, do not let fear, anxiety or worry keep you from the joy of the Lord. If you let Him he will give you the recharge you need as a mother. And then when it is time to come home you will have butterflies in your stomach with anticipation of reuniting with your children. Then when the hugs and kisses consume you from your little ones you will be truly refreshed and will have no need to leave them again for a long time! The old saying, "I need a vacation to recover from my vacation" will not exist because you allowed God to refill you through His wonders. Trust me on this, it is the first vacation I have taken where the last thing I wanted to do was come home and be lazy and recuperate. I am recharged and my joy is in the correct place so now I can enjoy being home with my family with excited anticipation of what the future at home holds.
They had a blast while we were gone and by missing them we got home and didn't want to leave their sides, so we have been playing with them more, been nicer to them and more patient, and we are doing things together again as a family.
You tell me what you see as we catch up at a play date. You tell me you see a mom who has it all together. You tell me how I’m a super mom because of all the extras I am doing. What you see goes on, and like a good friend I accept your compliments with sincerity mixed in with some disbelief.
Dear friend if only you saw all the editing I do on my highlight reel. There is so much that you do not see that I have deleted out. You don’t see that most days this year I cried more then I ever smiled. You don’t see the feeling of failure when I discipline one of my children that didn’t really deserve it. You don’t see the arguments I have with my husband because I can’t acknowledge that I was wrong. You don’t see my face every morning when I wake up and even I jump at the reflection looking back. And you don’t see that almost every second of every day I am never happy with me.
Highlight reels are awesome for inspiration and to help us do better. They help motivate us to be more. So let me tell you what I see when I look at your highlight reel. I see a friend who captured the moments of her boys being boys in the mud with a love of life in their eyes. I see a family that travels to fun places together and have matching outfits to suit the occasion. I see silly selfies in the early morning. I see you trying to be healthy despite illness, busyness, and just plain exhaustion. I see you going on dates with your husband like you were teenagers again. I see you sacrificing only because you want it all but something has to give so you act selflessly to everyone even if it means you don’t get a needed break. Most of all I see you trying your absolute hardest in this broken world to make it a better place.
So do not put yourself down during times when you feel you are failing. Because I am seeing all the highlights of your success! You may not see them but I do. You are the reason I aspire to be more; to do better for myself, my husband, my children. Because, my dear friend, there will come a day in heaven when all we see are the highlights of this life, because just like you and me, the Father will have edited and deleted out all the failings. And I promise you there will be more to keep then to delete.
This has been a hard week, but you wouldn't know it. It's not like I take pictures of the bad parts. You know it is true because you don't either. I have been bombarded with tons of quick little inspirational thoughts that have gone nowhere. It is frustrating to want to write and struggle to find the words. I can feel it in me but can't seem to form what I am feeling into words. But, like I said, you wouldn't know that.
I saw this blog post from another mom this week. It was a gentle reminder to moms that stay home how much they are valued and to not forget it. I loved it, because that day that is exactly what I needed to hear. She even had a video with it going through her day. I went to leave a comment to tell her how I needed to hear that and my eye caught the first comment. It was criticizing the mom's post because she stayed home. I decided to scroll down to look for a more positive comment. Can I tell you that of the 20-30 comments I read, ONE, just one, thanked the mom. The rest were attacking this mom for being a stay at home mom. Not once did this mom mention working mothers. Not once did she shame them or make them feel less because they worked. Her soul purpose was to let other stay at home moms know they were not alone. And, maybe, to let any husband reading or watching it see that we don't just sit on our butts all day.
The reason this got to me was because we live in a society now where a mom (like me) can be afraid to open up about her life, but do it anyway, and then get put down for trying to build others up. Shame on us mothers for doing this to each other. Isn't there enough shaming in the world already? As mothers, and I don't care what kind of mom you are: stay at home, working, public school, homeschool, vaccines, no vaccines, breast feed, bottle feed, blond, brunet, red head; I don't care what kind of mom you are, we are in this parenting thing TOGETHER! When will we stop hurting each other and instead unite with each other. Just as in marriage or our families, it is the devil trying to divide this family. The family of mothers that we ALL are. All of us want what is best for our children, non of us wants to think we are missing the mark, all of us know in one way or the other we are failing our children; we don't reminding from one another, we need support.
As long as all of us see our children as the arrows they are and know it is our job to prepare them to be released into this world, we are doing it right. I just watched this movie called "Like Arrows", highly recommend it and yes it is a tear jerker. But the main theme of the movie is raising their children to be released into the world to bring as many to know Jesus as possible. If that is all of our desires then why can't we simply commend each other for different details we use to accomplish this goal?
You are all going to have mommy friends that simply can't or choose not to be the kind of mom you are. That NEEDS to be okay! They need to know that when you are together talking about their children and struggles they are having in your head you aren't secretly judging them. Tell me, has this been you before, "Well if you were doing ____________ like I do then maybe you wouldn't be having this problem."? Do I see some hands raising? Mothers I am begging you, be the kind of mom that unites. Be the kind of mom that puts petty differences aside and focuses on the main goal of parenting. Be the kind of mom you want your daughters to be or your sons to marry. You are a part of one of the largest infantries in the existence of mankind. Motherhood is the front line for our Savior's warriors, we must learn to fight together for the common cause; and stop badgering other mothers because they don't include every different type of motherhood when they open their hearts to say what is on their minds. We are in this fight together, so start fighting it together. Stop the devil from dividing the army of motherhood father apart.
What I see when I look in the mirror is a meaty woman because I enjoyed food and didn't want to leave this rental without getting a taste of delicious cuisine in this world.
What I see when I look in the mirror is a pregnancy mask that never went away so that I could be reminded on the days I struggle to be a mom, what blessings I have been given and the sacrifice it took to receive them.
What I see when I look in the mirror are sun spots because I enjoyed living life outside. Whether it be the mountains, the beaches or the plains; I wanted to take it all in.
What I see when I look in the mirror and I can't remember what I did yesterday or even that morning, it's because I have the responsibilities to care and love for so many, so sometimes it's hard to remember the little things.
What I see when I look in the mirror is something wonderful. I see a woman that is enjoying life to the fullest, because this home is a rental and nothing more. And when the time comes to go Home I want to look in Jesus' eyes and hear, "Well done, you enjoyed your days and lived to the fullest. You enjoyed the things of the world I offered. You were a good steward and loved your children without fault. You took in the beauty of the things my Father created. You cared even when you felt you could not give one more thing to anyone else".
You know what I hope you see when you look in the mirror, my dear friend? That you are beautiful, just like me.
I have been battling with the devil since before this picture was taken. We moved into our new house and I had to go onto antidepressants. I have been on them since and my health has declined since this picture was taken. I have to admit I love this picture, I love it even though there is someone's finger in it. I love it even though Rejko isn't even looking at the camera. I love this picture because it is one of the few pictures I have of me that is not staged with a smile. In this picture my brother was dressed up as that T-rex everyone wears now and Rejko was terrified and he was headed right for us! So this is not just a smile but I was outright laughing. I love it because of the true joy I have on my face, I wasn't posing and trying to look good, the joy emanating from me made it so I felt good when I looked at it.
Fast forward to today, I am off my antidepressants thanks to holistic approaches and a few more things... As moms, especially stay at home moms, and really especially homeschool stay at home moms our homes can start to close in on us can't they? The homes where life happens for us can start to feel more like a prison. Well guess what moms, your right in that thinking. A prison is also called "a place of confinement". When we are home moms the weight of our "do to list" is always overwhelming and always never ending. Because of this feeling of imprisonment a lot of us fall into a funk. We start eating because we are stressed or bored. We stop exercising because the "to do list" just doesn't leave time for that. We stop spending time with God because heck, if there is no time for exercise then there certainly isn't time for God. The weight of our home gets heavier and heavier and before we know it we are snapping, agitated, grumpy moms who feel trapped in a prison they can not get away from.
May 2017 May 2018 May 2019
Going to get real with you mommies. This is me over the course of the years since moving into our new home. See when we moved out of our old home I was mother of a 3 year old and a 1 year old. My youngest was only 3 weeks old. We moved into our in-laws while we built our new home. I had help and I had very little space that needed me to keep clean. Then like a rush of water I was thrown into a new home with three walking children all who were making messes everywhere in an open concept house. I began drowning fast. I didn't know that the devil was making my new home an enemy. I didn't see him start attacking me which trickled down to my marriage and my family. But it did and it got BAD! Let's just say the kids and my husband were not the first or the SECOND to put a hole into our new walls.
But that is changing for me now moms. I am growing in my faith and I am growing in wisdom. And you know what you can too! It started off small, I put God first. I didn't care what I had to brush aside, I found time with my Lord every day (well almost every day, I can't lie to you guys). That was in 2017, LATE 2017 mind you. In 2018 (which was my hardest year physically due to injury after injury) I began to focus on me. It was hard not to feel guilty about doing that. But I did it... I started locking the door when I went to the bathroom! That was my baby step, that grew into having quiet time to research my health in more depth. This year I switched supplements and started to try, STRESS the word try, to be active. Yeah, that's right, I'm not saying exercise! I am simply saying to be more active with yourselves. For me I started walking with a friend three times a week around the neighborhood. In the past three weeks I have made another huge stride and I am going to share this secret with you.
The secret is get OUTSIDE! Let me tell you exactly why getting outside is the best thing EVER! When us moms stay inside and decide to have a "lazy day" we fret. We fret all day and feel guilty as we see the laundry and dirty dishes whenever we get up. We feel the same way when the kids are bored and want attention and we snap at them and put them in front of the TV. But when we allow ourselves to break out of our homes then things change. So get outside! Go to the pool, go to the beach, go to a park, whatever it is get outside. Soak up the vitamin D and sit back and watch your little ones playing in the water. It is so euphoric to be in the water relaxing and when you get up to check the time you don't have to worry about the dirty laundry or the nagging dishes in the sink. You have peace when you allow yourself to get away. The devil has a lot harder time making us feel guilty about a check list when it is out of site and out of mind.
True testimony, it has gotten so peaceful that I was able to get my Mother's Day present, an Apple Watch the Saturday of Mother's Day, go wake boarding on Friday and look down to see the sea had claimed my gift (seriously not even a week old) to the depths; and I was able to get over it and still enjoy my day outside. Side note: yes I am still devastated that my poor husband worked so hard to get it for me and I was so stupid I didn't take it off. But my point is, before I found my way that would have ruined my day, I would have gone home and fallen into a deep depression. I would have eaten food that was not only bad for my health but bad for my soul.
So if this is you today mom, I am asking you to try this:
1. Put God first, start with just 5 minutes a day
2. Focus on your health by doing something to get yourself moving, start with just 2-3 days a week
3. Get outside! Go for a walk, watch your kids play in the sprinkler, read a book even. Just get outside!
Our homes were never meant to be a prison. Our homes are to be a place of rest, a place of security, a place of comfort. It will take practice and there will be days you just have to bite the bullet and get things done. But don't let your "to do list" be your idol. If you can't walk away from it then it's your idol, so stop letting it control your time, let God control your time. I promise life will be so much more fun and you will feel so much better about you, beautiful mom.
This past Friday after I lost my new Apple Watch. The Lord give it and the Lord take it away. LOTOWCOTI (Laughing on the outside while crying on the inside). LOL!
Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established
Isaiah 58:11 And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail
I pray for you mommy. I pray you know how special and beautiful with are! You look in the mirror and the devil tries to veil your eyes from the beauty that is you, to blind you to the strength you posses. Do not let him! Pull the veil off and see the beauty that God sees, that your husband sees, that your children see.
You feel the weight of this world pull you down, making you feel like you will drown at any minute. The world seems to be in flames with spiritual warfare and you are so worn from fighting it off, fighting so it doesn’t penetrate into your home. You cry out to God to protect you from every arrow that comes at you and your husband, you and your children, and your husband and children. It seems to rarely cease and you can see the results of your battles when you look in the mirror.
But take comfort mother, wife, servant! Your battle scars are beautiful to the Lord! Your determination to protect your children and honor your husband is pure and God sees the sacrifices you make to keep all of you together. You cry out to your Father, asking Him to help, telling Him you can’t go on a second longer or you will be crushed.
And God answers you! He gently grabs you and lifts you up. He encompasses His peace all around you and lifts the weights. He whispers to you, “My sweet child! Do you know who you are? You are my precious daughter! You are my unbreakable warrior because you call for me to help you. Never question your place in this world. For you have a purpose and a destiny. I gave your husband to honor and your children to love in this broken world because I made you strong enough to do it! You are so strong my love, don’t you see it? Continue to lean on me and you will succeed! I will never leave or forsake those who cry out to me for help. Be patient as I fight for you and your family, so that I may bring you victory!”
You are so loved mommies, so strong and beautiful. So if you feel that weight creeping in of the enemy, you tell that devil to get out of your home because God made you stronger then the mothers of past and with Him by your side you can not fail!
Last night was a hard night. No, hard is not the right word for it. Tormented night is the right word. Late in the evening while my family slept I received devastating news from my sister in law wanting me to know if I had been on Facebook. Immediately I got onto to see for myself what I knew I didn't want to see. The post was right at the top and as I looked at that precious little girl, that weeks prior had a huge smile on her face and joy in her heart, but now was asleep in a hospital bed with wires monitoring her and bruising already showing, my eyes over flowed with tears. As I read the post and felt the anguish in her mother's post I felt completely helpless. I had no words to give that could possibly bring comfort. "I'm praying for her" seemed like a cliche at this point.
See I have been following this local family for two years now. I have seen the little girl fight with all she had to beat the beast that rages on in her. A relentless and cruel beast that has no business being in anyone let alone a child. After mom thought she had lost her a year ago during the worst, things turned. The little girl went into full remission, it would have been a year in two weeks. But last night this horrific beast was attacking her body again.
I can not blame her mom and the hurt and anger she feels. I empathize with mom and I know there is nothing I can give to comfort her. I am angry at God along with her because I don't understand why after fighting for so long to see things turn for good this family must now relive the nightmare of this unwanted beast living within their child. I have tried to call loved one for comforting words and search the bible for verses that calm my feelings.
There is one story that sheds an ounce of acceptance, not comfort, not peace, just acceptance. The story of the threads. There are billions of pieces of thread and each once is unique. Up close the thread of this child has many segmented colors. The first part of the thread is pinks and purples but then the color abruptly changes to the color of the darkest black possible. A short way down the color is changed to yellows and blues but once again abruptly changes back to the black. Up close it makes no sense as to why there are these beautiful colors that keep getting cut off by this dark black. But as I start to step backward I can see more and more threads, many have spots of black in them. I am still confused as to why this black need be in something so beautiful. I continue to step back and before my eyes the most beautiful tapestry is before my me. I start to cry tears of awe and joy and turn to look at the Weaver. He looks deep into my soul with tears in His own eyes and tells me how He hated putting those black colors into the strands of thread but how without them the tapestry would not look like the masterpiece it is.
I do not know what color is next for this little girl who has stolen the hearts of her community no more than I know what color is next on my own thread. But of two things I am sure; one, the black color of life is a horrible and pain filled color and second, no matter how I try to understand why it is placed where and when it is, I will never be able to understand or see the full picture until I am in heaven and can stand back properly. So for now I will continue to pray for this little girl and her family because there is nothing else I can do. I will do my best to trust God on the road He is asking her to take. But there is one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know. God made this little girl's mother stronger than most. She made her with a heart that could handle more sorrow and pain then most because He knew her child would go through this and He had to give her a mother that could stay strong through it all. A mother that could be angry at Him but still lean and on Him and cry on His shoulder. A mother that would defy Satan and his attacks on her daughter by standing with her King even when it felt unbearable.
Our children are gifts from God that belonged to Him before they came to us. Our children were given mothers who God selected from the beginning of time to be there for. During times of joy and happiness to time of sorrow and pain, God knew those children needed to be with those specific mothers. So I am asking all of you, all of you mothers, to pray for this family. I am asking you to pray for their daughter and her health. I am asking you to pray that God give those who have been touched by her spirit peace should He chose to call His daughter home, even if every fiber in our being begs that she be healed to live a full life. Pray for all mothers everywhere that have a child going through a black part of thread in their life, because while they are going through the black I believe God has made the mother's thread the color of pure white to help her child through their black.
John 16:20-23 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask for nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you ~
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world ~
John 11:35 Jesus wept ~
***This blog post is dedicated to Addy's mom Stephanie, the strongest mother I know***
Growing up in the 90's I loved sunglasses! But I didn't really get into them until high school, it was there that I fell in love with the sleek sports look that everyone was wearing. I remember thinking how great they looked for a girl who lived in Florida and was always at the beach. Through college my taste remained the same, but about 5-7 years ago a new style came out. I say new but in reality it was a repeat style, the "bug eye" glasses that I remembered my grandmother wearing growing up. It was the look of the 60's-70's depending on your resources. LOL. I can still see my grandmother in these BIG, RED, ROUND, LARGE sunglasses. There was no way I was ever going to give up my sleek sunglasses, my sports glasses. Fast forward about 3 years ago and my husband and I are buying a pair of Gator glasses. BIG, BLACK, ROUND, LARGE! I remember thinking how I said I would never buy a pair and I also remember thinking how good I looked in them. I had tried on these types before just for kicks and never thought I looked good in them but now, yep, I looked good.
Well about 2-3 years ago the 80's-90's sunglasses came back in. The "New Kids on The Block" type. Not quite as large, more of a straight line at the top. Again, I thought to myself that I would never buy that style... guess who just got a red pair? Yep, me! Why?
Just like anything in society, we are told what to like, what to wear, how to wear it. Ultimately we are told how to think. Now, don't turn red and start yelling at me through your screen. It doesn't work on everyone and others it takes a while. But the bottom line is, we are subliminally being told what to do. Think about it, a few years ago we started hearing back lash on super models being too skinny after being told for years they weren't skinny enough. Before that back lash what did the majority of women think the ideal weight and look was? Yep, those models! I was one of them and because my issues go even deeper I still can't get that message out of my head. But that is a story for another time. Now the in thing is to have curves, embrace your body no matter the size (which by the way is the correct way, God says He made you as you are and loves you. He wants you to be healthy and take care of His temple, but not all women were made to fit into a size 1 pant size. ESPECIALLY after having children. But again, a story for another time.)
My point is, we are told what to think. I hated those sunglasses when they first came out, but as I watched most women wear them and thought they looked good in them, I eventually began to see myself looking good in them. Now the point of this post is far deeper then some sunglasses. So take a pause and get a cup of coffee or tea. See why sunglasses is the tip of a much more serious and dangerous iceberg for your children and you.
Mothers I should not have to tell you how evil this movie is even if your child doesn't see the movie, but only watches the trailer. I did a YouTube video (you can search for it under Christen Castor) today where my kids told my viewers what they think a superhero is. It was the complete opposite of what this movie is saying. One of a hero's strongest points in definition is they posses noble qualities. What demon ever possessed noble qualities? Not one! I watched this trailer and thought the same thing I thought about the sunglasses. I will never think of a demon as a superhero. But moms I am 36 years old! My children on the other hand are 7, 5, and 4. They are in their most impressionable years and they would be seeing the world tell them that evil can be a superhero, evil can be cool (my children have not watched the trailer mind you). If everyone starts seeing this as the norm how long will it be before children start thinking demon = superhero = cool? This is a dangerous concept. Now, you may be thinking, "Christen, it is just a movie. It isn't real. It is just some words on the screen.". Well look where we are in our world today. We are living in a world that is involved in the biggest infanticide crisis in the history of the world. We kill babies because at some point we were told to think it was okay. Again, not all of us (but I was this person at one time so I let the world tell me what to think, I made reasons to justify my actions) but a lot of the world is. Now we are fighting an up hill battle that without God with us, we would lose. We live in a world where we tell our children bulling is wrong, but then watch government officials on both sides, world leaders, people we are looking to for leadership sit there and bully. Can you see how our children have picked up on this? Actions speak far louder then words ever could. We live in a world where women being told they can't kill their unborn babies is evil but portraying a people killing demon with the title of superhero is good.
But take heart moms, you are on the fighting side that has our Lord at your back. You have been given the responsibility of bringing up your children to see evil for evil and good for good. You were given powers from the moment your child was conceived that would ensure you the arsenal of spiritual weapons you could use to protect and guide your children in the truth. We are the generals of this war with our King fighting along side us. What do you think the child used (and I do mean used) to play this demon part thinks of his role? Our strongest weapon is what mothers? Prayers! We must pray for these children playing the roles of evil, we must pray for the children who are unaware of the spiritual war going on that God presses on their hearts that there are lies being told in this world and to find Jesus, and we must continue to pray for our children. Pray they take their places as warriors of Christ. Guide them is discerning the truth from the lies, the good from the evil, the light from the dark, God from the devil.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter ~
The storm is fierce; I can just barely see you over there on that island. From the land where I am the waves are trying to gobble up your island and you. They break upon the shore on all sides and each time their wet fingers grasp at you. The clouds are thick and black and the rain pouring down is so heavy it appears to be a lace sheet dividing you and me. I can see you only when the lightning strikes but it’s only for a second before the deafening sound of thunder threatens to break the heavens in two. The wind sends the rain like sharp stone pelts at you and at me. The situation seems so bleak.
I am cold and shivering; my skin is numb from the relentless attacks of the stone like rain drops. The ringing in my ears from the thunder and the waves is so loud; this storm has a reason for its torment. But I can’t give up, I can’t give up on you, so I fight against the storm. The waves are rising harder and you are so very far away. But I need to speak to you, I need you to hear what I have to say, the message is one of urgency. Curse this storm and its relentlessness. It seeks to devour you, it wants to drown you!
You are my sibling, my brother my sister, and my heart is breaking as I watch the lies of this storm grow. I see you look out in my direction, but you don’t see me. I am screaming and my throat burns from the strain. You need to know I love you; you need to know you are loved before it is too late. I wave my hands frantically to get your attention and a look of sheer horror washes over your face, it then turns to disgust as for a instant you glance my way. The darkness of the storm is perverting what you see and the roar of it is keeping you deaf to what I have to say. I see you cover your head, hiding from the storm, wishing the waves would just come and swallow you up into an endless darkness of quiet and peace.
If I could just get you to look at me again, if I could just get you to hear me, you would know the truth. But all my screaming and jumping up and down and cursing the storm are for nothing. The waters continue to rise and my time is running out. I know if you could tell me, you would say to just go away and leave you to die. That you hated me and I repulsed you, but that is my fault. It is my fault because of all the flailing around and yelling to get your attention.
Suddenly I freeze. I turn and run up a spiral staircase of stairs, there are many and I am so tired! I push myself going as fast as I can. Once I reach the top I pull out a match and light the lantern. The fire in the cylinder roars to life with light and warmth. My shivering begins to slow as I allow the heat to warm and dry me. I know I must go back outside and I don’t have time to stall, that small amount of light and warmth are enough to recharge me to go back out in the storm.
The waves have all but consumed the island but now you are no longer hiding. I can see you straining to see, you are looking at the light! I barely make it out but I am sure of it! Hope burns in my chest so strong I fall to my knees. At that moment I pray, I pray God calms the storm so you can see the light better. There may still be time to tell you! As I pray face down the rain begins to soften against my skin. The ringing in my ears dies down as the thunder begins to quiet. The wind that was so harsh begins to calm into a steady breeze. Still I pray fervently for the storm to cease but I am so tired and I don’t want to trust my ears.
Then I hear a new sound, like a gentle thumping, over and over, getting louder and louder. Then it stops, I force my head to look up and my eyes to open. You are standing on my beach next to a row boat. You look exhausted and weary but your eyes keep bouncing from the light to me. You look back to me, doubt in your eyes, shivering still from the wet and the fear. I get up and I run to you. I embrace you hard crying as I do. I tell you I love you, that we are family. I tell you that you don’t ever have to go back to that island again, that you are home. I tell you that I want you to stay, stay with me where light and warm. You look at me, this time your eyes are gentle and full of understanding. Together we go to get more wood for the lantern, there will be more storms to come and more people that venture to the island and will need help. But if we keep the lantern lit they will always find their way to the light, even if they return to the island and decide not to stay in the light, the memory if its warmth will remain with them and maybe someday they will come home to stay.
This morning I was reading all the new updates in what is going on in the world. Well, to be honest, some of the world. I don’t think I could stand reading about the whole world. As I read my spirit sunk lower and lower. Everything I read was so harsh, even if it was meant for good. Honestly, the ONE thing I read today that I was like “Yay” was that there will once again be fireworks at Mount Rushmore. Now that is a sobering thought. A fresh morning with only one thing that could get my spirit somewhat lifted was some fireworks. Move over Charlie while I say, “Good grief”.
The problem that I am seeing is in the Christians of the world. I have talked a lot about lukewarm Christians and not speaking up and so on. All of that is very true; others cannot know what sin is unless we gently tell them. Emphasis on the word gently. But what I am seeing is unrelenting pushes towards people who do not share our views. If I came up to you and said, “You can’t take that food, you are stealing” in front of everyone at the grocery store; and I say it in a “way better than thou” tone, that will most likely not change you. It will make you feel judged, it will embarrass you, and it will humiliate you. You will probably walk away with either no answer or an excuse as to why you were going to do it. Then the next time I see you with some food I ask you if you stole it that will only make you turn bitter to me and fill you with anger. It will make it so bad to know you feel like you are being judged without any evidence that you push me completely away.
As Christians we are called to love above all else. How can we love if we hammer our knowledge down someone’s throat? If you have told them once, I can assure you they heard it. There is no wisdom in continuing to badger someone hoping that they will see the truth. In their hearts the seed was planted the first time you said it. The seed is the key, which is the start of all transformation. The problem is, as Christian we feel WE are the ones that need to do the transforming. We were never more wrong! We have no right to think we hold such power! Our power is of the Holy Spirit and if any transformation happens it is because He is working within us. But nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Holy Spirit is anger, stubborn, relentless? He isn’t any of those. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 English Standard Version (ESV) states:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Our biggest weapon remains a secret one, a hidden armory deep in our soul. Our biggest weapon against those with scaled eyes and hardened hearts is prayer, because it is only through prayer and petition that we surrender our control and allow the one true King to allow scales to fall and hearts to soften.
I wrote the island for its symbolism to being a Christian. We are at war, not with the person on the island but with the storm that rages between us. Deafening ears, blinding sight and not allowing contact are how the storm lies to us, divides us and ultimately destroys us. It is only when we go to a power bigger then ourselves, the Holy Spirit that is the light within us does the person we want to reach even become interested in us. We must be a light; we must let the characteristics of the Holy Spirit permeate through us. We will still get hit with the same storms as them, we will have to fight for them even though we feel it is hopeless and we have no love left for them. Then we must pray that much harder for them and for ourselves, pray they are drawn to the source of our light. Because the source is God, the source is truth. A seed cannot grow in darkness and misery; it must have a light to reach towards. We as Christians must be that light or we cannot truly call ourselves Christians then, can we?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law ~
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven ~
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it ~