Seeing myself as a sinner in need of God’s grace reminds me that I am just like the person with whom I’m talking. The only difference is that I’ve received a gift they have not yet received.
Conflict causes us to shift in our chairs uncomfortably and makes our blood boil out of pure rage. Most of us have become accustomed to responding to conflict in only these two ways, and both responses are unhealthy. Just because we're Christians doesn't mean we are to sweep all conflict under the rug and not confront the moment at hand. It also doesn't mean we charge with our fists clenched ready to punch to prove our dominance, 'better' leadership, and verbal condescension into the moment to make sure we come out victorious.
I’m convinced that so many youth workers experience burnout and leave student ministry within their first five years, not from a lack of effort or submission to God’s will, but from a lack of momentum. I have worked in small and large student ministries, and believe me when I say that it is a lot easier in any ministry when you have momentum.
The Body of Christ is constantly learning, growing, and in need of some encouragement and each other. When we know a part of the Body is struggling, how can we help him/her by not just saying “hang in there”, “try harder”, or "I hope it gets better,” but actually doing something to help.
In order to be active in our commitment to belong to each other, we must understand that someone's struggle affects not just them alone, but the entire Body of Christ.
I’m learning that I’m going to be a better mother to Charlotte by letting other moms into my story. Moms that can teach me how to do her hair and make sure her skin always looks great. Moms that can help me navigate what it looks like raising Charlotte to be confident in who she is and celebrate the multiracial family she was raised in.
We can cheer each other on and walk forward knowing that we aren’t perfect, but that Jesus created us to be moms to these littles in our life. The joy of being a mom stems from the memories and moments with my little babies, but the freedom of being a mom comes from transparency. Do yourself a favor and let other moms know that your life isn’t perfect. Chances are theirs isn’t either.
I believe God gave Richard and me our daughters as gifts, and knowing that they are His first helps us understand that if we make mistakes it's okay. God understands them and because of that I can rest, fully knowing that He is the ultimate Father, and that's really all that matters. God, the creator of the universe, wants the best for my girls. He wants to use them, their insecurities, their heartbreak, and traumatizing vacuum stories for His glory.
The questions (and the confusion) will never go away. As a matter of fact, it is proof that we love our kids, that we take the responsibility seriously, and that we are constantly being reminded to trust God with our children.
There are things I tolerate that I don't like or agree with. I hate traffic but I know it's necessary in a society with individual car ownership. I dislike the security checkpoints in the airport, but I tolerate them because they serve a greater purpose. I even tolerate the taste of certain foods that are healthy even though they taste nasty (think Kale and beets).