Skip to main content

11 years of marriage {and why I need my husband less}

Listenonitunes

Email subscribers click through to listen

This weekend, my husband and I celebrated 11 years of wedded bliss.

As usual, I became a bit reflective and sentimental on our special day. Eleven years is a long marriage by many current standards, and during that time we have both morphed into slightly different versions of ourselves.

My hair is at least 6-8 inches shorter and his is completely gone. Our faces show a few extra wrinkles and our waistlines have slightly expanded. I stay up a little later and he goes to bed a little earlier.

Marriage has changed us. The gospel has changed us.

Actually, the gospel has changed me.

Understanding that the death and resurrection of Christ affects every minute of my life has given me a different perspective on the qualities I strive for in our marriage.

11 years of marriage {and why I need my husband less}

For instance, I want to be a humble wife. I want to respectfully submit to my husband’s authority for our family. My default as a human being is the complete opposite though. My immediate reactions are usually tainted with pride. I see in the gospel an example of humility in Christ’s incarnation and crucifixion, but if I simply try to copy His meekness on my own, I will become hopelessly frustrated. It is not until I submit myself to the Father and ask for the Spirit’s empowerment that I can ever humbly defer to my husband.

I want to be a forgiving wife. I don’t want to hold grudges especially over silly things like piles of commentaries or empty coffee cups (just examples, of course). When my heart is overwhelmed with the depth of my own depravity and the abundance of God’s forgiveness toward me, I find my heart naturally overflowing with grace to my husband.

I want to be a loving wife. I want to offer both affection and sacrifice freely to my spouse. If I am going to effectively follow the command to love one another found in I John 4:7-8, I have to realize that love does not originate with me. My natural heart will always choose the complete opposite of love. God’s love was completely undeserved and unreciprocated. While we were broken and unlovely, God pursued us with His perfect love. I love my husband with the love that I have been given through Christ.

The point is, I can’t “wife” effectively without the gospel. Our marriage has no hope of survival without the hope of Christ at its center. The longer we’re married, I’m discovering I actually need my husband less and depend on Christ’s faithfulness more.

I pray that the next eleven years of our marriage will be saturated with the good news of Jesus. It is only in that framework that any relationship can hope to survive.

P.S. I love you Adam!

________________________________________

**Scheduling note: As a homeschooling family, we’re enjoying our summer break right now. We will be doing some traveling, soaking in the sun, and catching up on some reading. Because of that, I will be taking a short hiatus from blogging/podcasting for the next month or so! I’ll be posting some of our summer fun over on Instagram though! Join me there?

 

 

 

Clinging to the Pillars of the Gospel in the Waves of Life

Listenonitunes

The good news of our redemption in Christ is beautifully deep. In fact, no human will ever be able to comprehend every facet of the gospel. Because of its richness and complexity it can often be intimidating to figure out how it applies to the brokenness, pain, and doubt surrounding us every day.

It is in those moments (or weeks) of weakness, I am learning to cling to some of the gigantic pillars of the gospel. If I have no idea how to counsel a struggling friend, I point her to these truths. They are so overarching – so huge that I have something to hold onto until some of the waves of life calm down.

GospelPillars

1. The work is done.

I certainly don’t mean to be repetitive. After all, I recently wrote an entire post on the rest we have in Christ’s finished work. However, I hear messages and voices daily pressuring me to do more and do it better. Do you hear them too? It can be so tempting to buy into the idea that the quality of my life solely depends on how hard I work. That the approval from my community will increase as I spend myself more. If I really dig deep, I can climb out of this uncomfortable situation. I can focus on finding and fitting the pieces together of this Puzzle of Life. It’s up to me!

The truth of the gospel says that the suffering I’m experiencing is part of God’s refining work in my life (James 1:2-4).

I can’t be more approved in God’s eyes through better living because He sees me as complete and pure through His Son’s Sacrifice.(Romans 8:1)

My life is no puzzle to my Father. (Proverbs 20:24)

Because of Jesus, the burden of perfect work has been finished. Rest in Him.

2. God never changes.

Our feelings can change drastically in a matter of minutes. Have you ever experienced the cry/laugh? What a perfect example of conflicting emotions!

We can parent out of sweet sentiment and exasperated anger in shockingly short amounts of time.

When I realize my terrible inconsistencies, I am made grateful for passages that point to his immutability or unchanging nature.

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Psalm 33:11

The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Psalm 138:8

My failures and meltdowns don’t affect His steadfast nature. He will not revoke my salvation or the redemptive work He is constantly accomplishing in my life.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Because of Jesus, I have a permanent position as a rescued daughter of God.

3. He never lets go of me.

Sometimes the undertow of life’s waves seem desperately perilous. We wonder if we will make it out alive. We gasp for air and look to cling to the nearest rock or branch available. In the back of our mind, we know that those apparent rescuers will fail. The rocks will crumble and the branches will break. We still try, however, hoping that this time it will be different.

The beauty of the gospel is that while we are desperately gripping these temporary things, God is still faithfully holding onto us.

Isaiah 41:13 says,
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.

Because of Jesus, I am firmly grasped in God’s omnipotent hand.

GospelPillars(1)

In its simplicity, the gospel is complex enough to answer any of this world’s crashing waves. The work of Christ is perfect enough, full enough, and eternal enough to stand up to the tumultuous sea of your life.

 

No Time for Quiet Time

Listenonitunes

Shortly after the birth of one of my children, I was commiserating with a few friends at small group. Two of them had newborns and one had three small foster children. We discussed the difficulty that we seem to face as mothers when it comes to our time with God.

When moms are sleep deprived and off-schedule, it can be extremely difficult to find a steady quiet time with God. The cycle continues when we go several days (or even weeks) without that communion causing us to feel even more discouraged and malnourished spiritually.

I’ve noticed that this same thing can happen even without newborns in the house. A bad night’s sleep, a busy week, or poor time-management can throw us off schedule more often than we’d like.

No time for quiet time
So! What’s a mommy to do? Here’s a few ideas that may help:

1. As soon as possible, create a daily schedule. 
During the first few weeks after a sweet baby arrives, it’s virtually impossible to plan out a day. An exploding diaper or colicky little one can wreak havoc on a schedule.
After a couple months, though, it becomes a little easier to get into a routine. I’ve found that it helps me to write out a daily schedule and post it on the fridge until it becomes a habit. (Yes, my dear husband makes fun of me for this OCD move).
Start by scheduling a 15-20 minute time exclusively for your time with God. Hopefully, this time can grow later on, but at least you have it carved out of your day.
Stick to your schedule as closely as possible remembering that flexibility is necessary on certain days. What seems a little forced at first, soon becomes a regular, special part of your day.

2. Spend time with God wherever and whenever possible. 

Unfortunately, I find that my quiet prayer time can get interrupted quickly so I have some backup quiet spots: the shower (not foolproof) and the kitchen sink.
In the 10 minutes or so I spend in each respective location God and I can catch up a little bit.
I’ve been surprised at the things He’s spoken to my heart during these short conversations.

3. Use technology.

I love technology. I use my laptop, iPad, and phone regularly to strengthen my faith. I have used several Bible reading plans on the YouVersion app. If I get behind, I can easily adjust my reading to catch up.
I also listen to sermons and podcasts on my phone or iPad while I do other housekeeping duties. It’s a great way to preach grace to myself while also checking things off my to-do list. Find some of my favorite podcasts on the Resources page.

Quiettimequote

Whatever you find works for you in the craziness of motherhood, remember this:

Our God isn’t limited to a living room recliner and a 1 hour minimum to speak to our hearts. You may be surprised at what He uses to comfort, encourage, and challenge you.
Please don’t feel guilty for not reaching certain standards in your devotion time with Him.

Christ completed a perfect relationship with His Father for us so we can enjoy the freedom to approach God even in imperfect circumstances.

Where to turn when you’re out of strength…

Listenonitunes

Email subscribers, click through to the website to listen. 

“Just keep moving, Rachel….”

My sister had dragged me into exercising with her once again. While she still energetically ran in place, I begged her to let me sit down. My legs felt like jelly and I was sure I must be ready to pass out! I thought I might die!

“It’s okay if you don’t do the jumping jacks. Just walk in place instead. Whatever you do, don’t stop moving.”

Obviously, I survived that tortuous workout and several others over the years. I have followed the advice of many fitness gurus to “find my why” in working out. I know that my health is important to my family, so I never exercise because I really want to, but because I know it’s good for me.

Other than shaking quads and burning biceps, one of the biggest deterrents to regular exercise is the inevitable loss of energy. I usually start off determined and strong, but it never lasts. Shortly into the workout, my jumps are lower and my squats are higher. I want to be toned and healthy, but I convince myself, that I’m not strong enough to finish. I don’t have the power to push through the pain.

I know I’m not be alone in this stamina issue. Fitness companies offer pre-workout drinks and Pinterest is packed with links to pre-workout snacks. We all want to be able to push through and finish our workouts so we can experience the post-sweat high of accomplishment.

WhenYou'reOutofStrength

In the Bible, our call as believers to live both holy and loving lives is equated with physical strain too. The author of Hebrews penned these famous words, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

Perseverance.

Stamina.

Resolution.

We are told in Scripture to run lives committed to Christ and free from unnecessary burdens or wrongdoing, but where do we find the energy to complete such a task? Any effort dependent on our own fortitude will never last. Our spiritual legs weaken and we struggle to catch a breath in between all the serving, giving, reading,and praying. We simply lack the energy to even jog on our own. We need nourishment for our exhausted spiritual muscles.

Now, this is only a short blog post and many have written entire commentaries on the book of Hebrews, but it is interesting to note that this well-known and much quoted verse in Hebrews comes after eleven chapters outlining the beauty and sufficiency of our Savior. The author takes his readers on a journey through Hebrew history, pointing to the innumerable ways that Jesus is better that the traditions and commandments they held so dear. Each chapter is full of doctrinal truths such as redemption, substitution, and sacrifice. In other words, it is the endurance of Christ that offers us sustaining hope as we run.

This is why the study of theology is so vitally important. Truly grasping the truths of the gospel and God’s story of redemption throughout time never stops with head knowledge. It always translates into the motivation to press on in our walk.

Consider these passages written by Paul.

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God,who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” I Timothy 4:10

“For this I toil, struggling with all HIS energy that he powerfully works within me.” Colossians 1:28

TheologyFuel

Christ is both the motivation and the strength for the work we are called to do. When I am enamored with Christ and His work, I am empowered to live a life that reflects Him to those around me.

In other words, Scriptural knowledge is of no help when we simply become spiritually obese. When we allow theological truth to do its work in our hearts (even when it’s painful), it becomes the fuel we need to continue steadfastly in the faith.

 

 

Blotch {a giveaway}…

Listenonitunes

Email subscribers, click through to the website to listen. 

She shook her tiny toddler finger in my face and scowled. “Stop,” she commanded with all the authority she could muster. My mouth fell open. How had she learned to be so bossy, so demanding?

The truth is that I shouldn’t have been the least surprised. After three children, I’ve clearly seen how early and naturally sin manifests itself.  As my husband said while holding each of our newborn babies for the first time, “What a cute little sinner”.

In order to correctly teach the doctrine of sin to our kids, we must reinforce the fact that we are inherently or naturally sinners from the time of our conception. It is that original sin that then reveals itself in wrong behaviors and attitudes. In other words, we fail to meet God’s perfect standards before we have officially committed our first misdeed.

Just like when we teach about the eternal punishment for sin, it’s this bad news that makes the good news so wonderful! Jesus took the separation and consequences of our evil choices on himself to offer us a way out of the horrible mess we all find ourselves in from birth.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 8.28.01 PM

It can be intimidating to explain these concepts to our kids and we fear that we might explain it incorrectly or somehow confuse their little minds. That’s why it can be so helpful to have resources like the brand new book, Blotch by Andy Addis.

This 5-chapter parable, follows the story of Blotch who is a boy who lives in a kingdom where everyone is born with one mark on their skin. Each time they act or think wrongly, a new blotch appears. He is determined to find out a way to get rid of these embarrassing spots, so he sets out on a journey. Along the way, he meets different people dealing with this blotch problem in different ways (hiding them, ignoring them, etc…). He finally finds the answer to this pressing dilemma when he meets a kind stranger who is willing to offer himself in a sacrificial way.

I won’t spoil the end for you, but I will say that this book explained the gospel in a gentle, yet clear way. It’s illustrations perfectly fit the story and my boys couldn’t wait for me to turn the page. It also includes notes for parents and a discussion guide to accompany each chapter. It worked well for us during our homeschool Bible time, but it would also be a great tool for family worship in the evenings as well.

I would encourage you to add this tool to your family library as you seek to share the simple yet profound story of the gospel with your children. You may even find yourself gripped once again with the beauty of the King who offers to remove your stains too!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.

I have one copy of Blotch to giveaway. Enter below. U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen on April 16, 2016 and contacted via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To the weary mom….

Listenonitunes

**Email subscribers, click through to the website to listen.**

A man, he works from sun till sun, but a woman’s work is never done.

I can hear my mom sighing at the end of another long day. She quotes this little saying while putting away one more load of laundry or packing one more lunch. As a mom now myself, these words have so much more meaning to me. The work is never done. There always one more dish in the sink or one more toy to put away.

As our family has grown, my homemaking standards have lowered. I can leave those clothes in the dryer and fold them tomorrow. I guess the floor could be swept after breakfast in the morning. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to live in a perfectly clean, model home, but with three small children, that dream is far from reality. At the end of the day, my body and mind just want to rest. I long to sit down with the work completely done.

That feeling of incompleteness doesn’t just stop with dust bunnies and piles of superhero figures though. I find myself longing for rest in many areas of my life. When will I stop wrestling with the sin of discontentment? Will I ever stop struggling with my identity? Why do I find myself clinging to the same idols over and over again? When will Jesus come back so my soul can finally rest?

While I don’t have a chapter and verse to support my theory, I imagine that an Israelite high priest may identify with some of those same feelings. He worked every day in the temple offering sacrifices for the sins of the people. With a nation so large, there was a never-ending stream of brokenness for which to atone. In the rooms where he worked, there were altars, candles, and holy artifacts, but no chairs. No place to sit. No place to rest. The work of salvation was never finished.

That is until Jesus arrived on the scene.

Finally, the endless cycle of sin, confession, and sacrifice could be broken. He did the work His Father asked Him to do. There was no need for God to lower His standard of holiness. Christ accomplished the task perfectly and completely. The necessity of continual sacrifices in the temple was done. It was finished.

And our High Priest sat down.

  • He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high….Hebrews 1:3
  • Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven…Hebrews 8:1
  • But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God….Hebrews 10:12
  • looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

If Christ has sealed our salvation, why do we find ourselves often unsettled? Why does rest seem so elusive? Why do we attempt to continue to offer sacrifices in hopes of God’s favor?

Sitdown

He isn’t striving. He isn’t stressing. He isn’t struggling.

He is sitting down.

He invites us to rest in His accomplishments – to sit down in His finished work.

Is your kitchen far from magazine worthy? Have your children found your last nerve? Is that besetting sin rearing its ugly head today?

Sit down (physically if you need to) and rejoice. The ultimate undertaking has been completed for you. Because of Jesus, the weight of perfection is no longer on your shoulders. Instead, you carry a burden made light by His atonement and a yoke made easy by His redemption.

It is only in Jesus’ settled location at his Father’s side that our souls can find ultimate peace.

 

Share this post with another weary mom by using the buttons below…..

 

When Easter Sunday Feels Like Every Other Day…..

Listenonitunes

Email subscribers, click through to the website to listen. 

***This is a repost from my first blog, A Steady Rain. After another busy Easter Sunday, I wanted to remind my own heart of these truths. I hope it’s a blessing to you too!

When Easter SundayFeels like every other day

I’ll spare you the details but our Easter Sunday morning was not the peaceful, serene, and reflective morning you might expect from your pastor’s family. The day started with tempers, disobedience, throw up, and the list could go on… I’m really hoping I’m not alone in this but I’m guessing that there were disappointments and failures not only in the morning but all throughout your Easter Sunday.

We all desire perfection and beauty. We somehow hope that because the date on the calendar says it’s a special day that the people and events of the day will follow suit. But Scripture tells us otherwise. Our lives, our world, our souls are hopelessly broken. Even our Easter Sunday mornings are tainted with the ugliness of sin. 

I enjoyed our Easter Sunday morning service so much this year. It wasn’t because there was some major change in the service itself. There definitely wasn’t gorgeous weather (it snowed super hard all morning). It wasn’t even because the kids were amazingly well behaved (they weren’t). It was because I had been confronted head-on with the desperation of my own soul that morning. 

When Easter SundayFeels like every other day (2)

I gravely need the resurrection. I need the hope that is offered me through Christ not because I have any potential in myself to succeed, but because Christ turned the cross from a symbol of guilt to one of unwavering love. 

Easter IS like every other day of our existence because we live in the confidence that death has been defeated on our behalf. Our biggest failures and shortcomings point to the One who crushed the serpent’s head at the cross!

He is risen, indeed!!

Should I teach my kids about Hell?

Listenonitunes

Email subscribers, click through to the website to listen. 

Should I teach my kids about Hell-

It was my turn to teach the ladies Bible study. As I flipped to the correct chapter in our curriculum, my heart sank a little. Hell. I was going to have to teach 20 adult women about the reality and necessity of the worst place ever! Why couldn’t the topic have been more uplifting?  I could find a lot to say about joy or faith! The more I studied, though, the more I was shocked to see that even the doctrine of Hell can point us to hope.

Kevin DeYoung says this about the place of eternal damnation….

“Christians should have anguish in heart at the thought of eternal suffering, but we should also see the glory of God in the Bible’s teaching on eternal punishment”

Many deny the reality of Hell or the fact that a loving God could send unbelievers there. Even those of us who believe it it’s existence wrestle with those same questions. Isn’t God merciful? Isn’t eternity a little too long for 70 years of “mistakes”?

In order to have a better understanding of Hell, we first have to seek to know the character of God. I could write a series of 1,000 posts highlighting all of the aspects of God. He is perfectly faithful. He is perfectly loving. He is perfectly good. He is alway present. He is always seeing. He is always understanding.

He is all of these (and more) all of the time. We can’t separate God’s attributes from one another.  When He is showing mercy, he is still 100% just. When He shows love, he still shows total power.

Sin is the polar opposite of who God is. Because of His perfect character, the ONLY reaction he can have toward the sin in all of humanity is wrath – complete righteous anger. There is no other option. What terrible news! This eternal God MUST punish our wrongdoing with eternal death.

The worst thing about this terrible place created for Satan and his demons, is the ultimate separation from God and anything good! It’s not the red horns or hot flames that make this place unbearable. It’s the utter absence of joy, hope, peace, and love. The oppressive darkness and evil there cause unimaginable torment.

That’s not the end of the story, though. Remember that even in His infinite justice, God is immeasurably merciful. His character caused Him to offer His Son, Jesus to bear the brunt of punishment. Christ was made to be sin even though not one part of Him was tainted with wrongdoing. God poured out that eternal, unbearable, wrath on Jesus. He made a way out for us.

This is hope. This is the good news. This is the gospel.

Should I teach my kids about Hell (2)

So, to answer the question posed in the title, yes. If we are to fully teach the gospel to our children, they must realize the seriousness of their plight without Jesus. When we downplay the bad news, we inevitably downplay the good news. Here are a few thoughts when approaching this subject with your little ones.

  • Teach on an age-appropriate level.                                                                                                              Just like any other difficult topic (death, terrorism, adultery, etc….) it’s important to use wording and explanations that make sense to that particular child. For instance, I wouldn’t introduce words like brimstone or damnation to my 4 year old. Instead, I might explain it as a terrible place with no happiness or love (see next point).
  • Focus on what is NOT in Hell.                                                                                                                      Many times, when describing Hell, our minds jump immediately to fire, darkness, and demons. As I mentioned earlier, the worst part of this place is the absence of God and His goodness.  Our children need to grasp the severity of being separated from our Creator forever more than the hotness of the flames.
  • Do NOT use Hell as a sole motivator for salvation.                                                                                  One of the worst things we can do when teaching our kids about the gospel is to coerce a prayer based out of fear of Hell or a desire to live in Heaven. Following Christ is a commitment and brings eternal life that begins immediately, not just when we die. Encourage your child to see their need of a Rescuer from their own sinful hearts today, not just a terrible place in the future.

When we share the gospel with others (including our children), we are often afraid that they will be turned off with words like punishment or Hell, but without that terrible news, the gospel doesn’t fully make sense and definitely isn’t glorious. Without the darkness, we would never cherish the light!

“I (Jesus) have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes

in me should stay in darkness.”

John 12:46

A call for joyful moms (and Christians)…

Listenonitunes

Email subscribers, click through to the website to listen. 

Motherhood can seem like a rollercoaster. One minute you find yourself at the top of the hill enjoying the fruits of your hard work and the next you are careening down the hill of spilled milk and sibling rivalry. Each day can hold sweet memories and head-banging frustrations.

I’ve noticed a pattern of negativity among modern moms. We vent about those annoyances and even our humorous stories are tainted with sarcasm. Mothering is hard. Life is hard. Somehow we feel better by complaining about it.

I think that’s where we have gone wrong. In an attempt to be authentic and real, we have lost our joy. We have adopted an attitude of martyrdom about the requirements of this God-given job.

DDpostgraphic (13)

Several years ago, I watched a skit of Bob Newhart as a psychologist. A patient comes into his office for counsel, and after some hilarious introductory comments, she begins to describe her paralyzing fear of being buried alive in a box. He listens to her struggles for only a few minutes before he gives her his advice summed up in two words. “Stop it!” Throughout the rest of the skit, he answers every argument with that same phrase! “Just stop it!” No matter the issue, she needed to just quit it!

It would be the same situation, if I wrote a blog post like this simply challenging you to stop focusing on the negatives of motherhood or life in general. Within ourselves, we have to power to just “stop it”. The sin and failures of our heart cannot be changed with more law. It is only the power of the gospel that transforms!

Let’s look at John 16:33….

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

Jesus himself acknowledges that the Fall brought brokenness and trouble into every corner of our world. He doesn’t encourage us to muster up some surfacey happiness that will never last. Instead He points eyes to His work. He has overcome. My joy in motherhood and in life is the joy of the Lord not my circumstances.

Because He is sovereign over even the most minute details of my day, I can be joyful.

Because He has given me grace that covers my moment by moment failures, I can can be joyful.

Because He loved me before I even acknowledged Him, I can be joyful.

JoyofLord

I’m not hoping that Christian moms of the 21st century become happier or bubblier about the circumstances they find themselves in each day. I’m praying that moms become so enamored with the love of Jesus that the joy of the Lord oozes from their every word and deed.

The joy of the Lord is my strength…..Nehemiah 8:10

Reset button

Listenonitunes

I could feel the tension building.

I had stayed calm when cereal was purposely dumped on the floor. I had smiled and given a gentle reminder when the child leaning back in his chair finally crashed to the ground. I even had even kept my cool when I heard complaints about the special Valentine’s candy I was offering.

I couldn’t do it anymore. These kids were about to bear the brunt of a full mommy blow-up and it was going to be nasty!

That’s when the idea struck me….have a restart. We were going to start this day all over again! So I set a timer for five minutes and we all went to our rooms for a breather. We reset our hearts and our minds and when we reconvened, there was much less danger for a parental explosion.

Friends, that kind of do-over is no less common in our spiritual walk. We live in the already/not yet of redemptive time. Hebrews 2:8 reminds us that Christ has already conquered death and sin, yet at this point we don’t see our world in complete submission to Him. That’s still coming. In the meantime, we will sin. We will experience pain.  We will acutely feel our brokenness. That’s why it’s necessary for us to regularly hit the reset button of the gospel.

When I feel tempted with sin, it’s more than a just good idea to stop and read scriptures like:

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

Or when my heart is overwhelmed with the trials and repetitive tasks of life:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”  Jeremiah 31:3

Desktop

A while back, I designed this picture for my laptop screensaver. One day my oldest read it and said, why does it just say morning? His mercies are new in the evening too!

He didn’t realize how many times, I would open my computer at the end of a chaotic and disappointing day only to be reminded of God’s never failing, never ending mercy in the evening too! Because of Christ’s work, His favor always rests on me. Every morning, every evening, and the many hours in between are wrapped in His love and His faithfulness (not mine).

I’m so thankful for the restart button of the gospel. The chance to run back to the finished and perfect work Jesus completed for me. His grace weaves my failures, blow-ups, and do-overs into a beautiful tapestry for His glory.

Run to Him. Ask Him to remind your soul of His steadfast love and new mercies! Accept the renewal He so generously offers!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24