I took a sabbatical. What I didn't know as I entered this rest was that the discouragement I had been going through would continue to crash on me.
Discouragement makes you lose hope, and you get spiritually tired. It can cause you to lose faith and begin to doubt God. Discouragement is a powerful attack from the enemy because it can cause someone to quit what God has called them to do.
This is exactly what I was feeling, daily I would offer to quit, I'd put this calling, this ministry, on the altar and ask God to take it back and he'd tell me "NO."
And in the throes of it, I'd get up and serve my clients and my family with every ounce of what I had in my tank. Then I'd crash. EMPTY.
God cares about our discouragement. He wants us to hang in there and keep going. He wants us to choose to trust Him and have faith; you know that Hebrews 11:1 stuff, the substance of things hoped for that is not based on what we see.
He wants us to stand firm and hold tight to His promises,...
Yesterday, we pulled the first Spring weeds: dandelions, purslane, and thistle. We raked out dead leaves and cut back the grasses, sage, and junipers. Dead and brittle branches were cut off trees.
Early spring can still look barren. And pruning before you see growth seems senseless. At least that’s true for me.
It isn’t fun to partner with God this season, seeing so much more of me cut back and cut off. Tending to a garden of dead things.
“Seriously, God. We’ve done so much work, in this area and that; it would be nice to see some fruit.”
Lovingly He speaks, "I am the Gardener. I cut off every branch in you that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit I prune so that it will be even more fruitful" (John 15:1-2).
He’s teaching me through this garden labor; just like my landscaping needed spring cleaning, so does my heart. He’s showing me the clutter from my winter season. And dealing with anything...
A robin landed on my fence this morning, it is a beautiful sign of Spring, one I needed. This winter has been fierce with cold temperatures and record-breaking snowfalls.
I'm over it.
Ever been in one of those seasons and you're over it? You can't wait for it to end and the new one to begin?
It's hard not to grumble and complain when our heart is tired of the current season and we eagerly anticipate the next one. Isn't it.
Just this morning, I stood in the shower and had a very raw conversation with the Lord.
I reminded him (as if he needs reminding), that the last few years have been hard, there have been things I've been contending for and, frankly, I'm tired of plowing and planting and not seeing a harvest. Of watching the seeds just die in the ground. I'm tired of the wilderness and its barrenness.
I'm over it.
Yet I declare. I will see the promises of the Lord!
And then I remind him what those promises are; as if he didn't know.
Then, of course, God speaks to my heart right...
“You ate it!?!”
Feet stomped up the stairs, a door slammed, and muffled cries came from my daughter's bedroom. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, my husband was making dinner and wiping crumbs from his face, cupcake crumbs. Crumbs from the last cupcake that had belonged to my youngest daughter - the one crying upstairs.
Yesterday, he had told her she could have it, then today he ate it.
She didn’t understand.
I knew her pain. I distinctly remember there was a 24-hour rule when I was growing up if we had sweets in the house and it was laying around we had 24 hours to eat it or it was free game and any dibs on it or sharpie written names expired. This rule, however, had not been established in my house.
Tracing her steps I gently knocked on the door, "it’s Mom can I come in". She mumbled something. Her head was buried under the pillow and she peeked out at me. Her tear-streaked face was puffy and her lips were pouty.
“I’m sorry Dad...
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