Tag Archives: Motherhood

30 Days of Gratitude-Day 16-Waiting

gratitude-journalIt was a cold, clear night and the young sheepherders were standing watch as they did every night. The routine of their work settled into the passing of the hours as their eyes beheld the stretch of pasture before them. It  was a night like any other night. A day like any other day. A day like yours or mine.

A day at the office.

A day of diapers and barely-avoided disasters. 

A day juggling three jobs with no help.

A day filled with the mundane and ordinary. 

A day waiting.

Waiting for something to happen.

Waiting for something to change.

Waiting.

Suddenly!

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” Luke 2:9

“But the angel said to them. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people.” Luke 2:10

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you,” Luke 2:11

To you and to me.

He is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying.” Luke 2:13

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is well pleased.” Luke 2:14

Our God is a God of suddenly! He is a God who suddenly shows up in the anguish of love, the bitterness of shattered dreams, the tears of the past and in the moments of the mundane. He is a God whom we can suddenly encounter in the silence of prayer and the call of His Word. Or in the kindness of a friend. His presence suddenly changes our fear to joy and our despair to hope.

He is our Savior who rescued us from the bondage and death of sin. The Christ-child born of humility who, by our faith in him, reconciles us to God so that we may live at peace with Him.

God is pleased with you. In you He sees his Son.

After the angel told the sheepherders, they ran off to see for themselves. There was much excitement about this greatest birth in human history. This arrival that had been waited for. This arrival that happened in an ordinary place, on an ordinary night.

The arrival of Hope. 

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

I pray you will store up the treasure of Jesus in your heart. I pray you will reflect and pray and listen. I pray you will wait on the God of Suddenly. We are people who have IN us the hope of Christ as our reality, and we wait. We praise Him in gratitude for what He has done for us, and we wait in hope for what He WILL do for us. 

In the waiting, we are being remade. We are learning to trust.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

We dwell in hope, we wait in hope, we are people of Hope. 

Today I’m grateful for waiting.

What are you grateful for today?

Great Expectations

Heather Murdock's blog    In my last post I wrote about the challenge of balancing faith, family and  career. It’s not easy.  I recently re-entered the workforce full time, and have struggled with keeping my peace in the midst of this juggling act. I have found myself bringing  my work home with me, at least in my mind.  As a woman, it’s easy to multitask, and that can be a benefit, but it can also be a huge pitfall.  I find myself multitasking when I should be present in the moment God has given me.

Before I was a believer, I was a performer.  I performed in my job, in my community, and in my home.  Not only did I perform, but I expected my family to do the same thing. I expected them to live up to my expectations.  In my job I led a team and was responsible for their accomplishments. It was very hard for me to turn  that drive off when I got home.  At the end of a long day, I was mentally exhausted, and would walk in the door and notice all the things that didn’t live up to my expectations.

At the heart of my performance was the consuming, and well hidden, need for love and approval.  When I turned my life over to God a few years ago, that need was fulfilled.  As His love and grace poured into my soul, I was filled with a peace and joy I had never known.  The performer in me gave way to a new wholeness based in my identity in Jesus.  Sure, I still sometimes struggle with this tendency, but that keeps me seeking a deeper relationship with Him.

Here I am back at work, once again leading a team. Once again meeting expectations.  Once again noticing all the unmet expectations…

But wait, this time it’s different. I’m not alone and God always provides a way out.  He is right by my side, showering me with His grace.  The same grace He gives me, He encourages me to give to myself and others.  He is teaching me that expectations lead to disappointment.  Grace is a beautiful thing.

Every night on the way home from work, I pray that He remove the remnants of the day from my thoughts.  I ask Him to fill me with His love, patience, and contentment so that I can be completely present in the moments to come with my family. I ask Him to empower me to find joy, instead of fault.  We are making great progress, but who’s counting?

The performance is over, the curtain has been called, and the audience has gone home.  There He is waiting for me; His arms outstretched to receive me, not because of how I performed, but because of who He is.  Now it’s just me and Him as He leads me one day at a time.

He’s there for you too, waiting to receive you with open arms.  Go, He’s calling you by name…

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:16-19

Balancing Act

Heather Murdock's blogI have missed you my friend.  Has it really been nearly a month since our last encounter?  I owe you an apology for using you only for practical purposes lately. Oh how I’ve longed for our deep and meaningful conversations!

Yes, I’m referring to my writing.  I typically write a blog post once a week, but have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to even think about writing, much less to actually write! Wait, isn’t that what everybody says about everything?  Aren’t we all just too busy?

God has blessed our family recently with a new job for me.  It’s a wonderful position with a lot of potential and opportunity.  It’s nothing I planned, it just “fell into my lap,” which is code for “God really came through!”

I spent the majority of my thirties as a working mom.  I thought I pulled off a pretty good balancing act.   You would have thought that with each promotion I felt more fulfilled.  In some ways I did, but deep inside my heart I felt empty and dark.  I craved purpose in my life.  My drive to succeed was fueled by an aching for approval and recognition.

I remember saying I could never be a stay at home mom, nor would I want to be.  “I need to have my own identity” I would fiercely proclaim.  All the while, the pangs of mother guilt continued to plague me.

Sometimes in life, change has to be forced on you.  I was laid off from a career I spent eight years building.  This came a year after my husband was laid off from a fifteen year career in the same company.  But wait, there’s more…a year after I was laid off, he was laid off again.  That makes three lay offs in three  years.

Even though this seemed to be a series of unfortunate events, it was really a significant turning point that changed my life. Have you ever been there? Have you ever been at a crossroads in your life?

I wasn’t a Christian when I lost my job.  I was so hungry for real meaning and healing, but didn’t know where to find it.   God was there, waiting for me to reach out to Him.  It took an identity crisis for me to get it.

You probably know the rest of my story, or at least many parts of it if you have been following my blog. God is doing a mighty work in me!  He is dramatically changing who I am.  I’m no longer defined by my accomplishments, failures, looks, image or past. I’m saved by my faith in Jesus, and defined by God’s love and purpose for my life.

So, getting back to my new job.  I’ve spent the past three years growing. Growing in my relationship with Jesus. Growing as a wife. Growing as a mom. Growing as a disciple. Growing as a leader. When I was offered the promotion, I considered turning it down.  Thoughts of the old life tumbled in my brain; the racing from one thing to the next, the words “hurry up” never far from my lips. I was afraid I would fall into old habits. Thank the Lord, I didn’t have to take these thoughts too far.  He offered me a flex schedule.

I’m back in the workforce, but this time I know my priorities.  God and family first!  I’m not willing to sacrifice who and what I was made for.  I’m taking it one step at a time and letting God lead me.  I pray I don’t get lured into the familiar trap of busyness.  The enemy loves to see us overwhelmed with our schedules.

I encourage you to stop and listen; He is there waiting to give you His peace.

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Exodus 33:14