A Weird Lent

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This has been a weird season of Lent for me. I get that being Southern Baptist doesn’t traditionally call for a Lenten fast/ sacrifice of some sort, but I have followed that ritual through most of my adulthood. I have always joked my Catholic/ Episcopalian roots run deep. My mother and I are the only 2 Southern Baptists in our family. (That’s a whole other long post in and of itself). This has also always been a season of where being the grand daughter of my maternal grandmother and my family heritage on that side of the family has been a sense of pride. Wouldn’t it seem appropriate that coming from a long line of devout Irish Catholics would be seen as a badge of honor during St. Patrick’s Day and Lent?

In years past I have given up Coke, Dr.Pepper, chocolate, desserts or some sort of food. One year I either ran or worked out 5 days a week through this season. I have also participated in the 40 bags in 40 days decluttering challenge. This year I did none of that. I prayed about what Lent should like for me on a personal level. I prayed the Lord would show me what this season of the year should be in preparation for Resurrection Sunday. This year the Lord told me I wasn’t to give up anything, but I was to seek His face.

I didn’t get it. The Lord reminded me that my family has just walked through a season of hurt and loss. At the same time, the Lord was breaking things in my own life. I’ve had to lay down a good bit at His feet over the past 9 months. I came to a point where I reached the end of me. The only place I could look was up. So that sounds a bit dramatic, but true. Sometimes the Lord brings you to the end yourself, so you only look to Him. It doesn’t mean that you are involved in some immoral lifestyle or that you lose all of your possessions or even your physical health. In my case, it was a laying down of pride. It’s a laying down of the need for the appearance of perfection. It’s a laying down of saying “I’ve got this.” It’s been a letting go of being “The Major’s Daughter.” It’s a season of the Lord showing me who I am in Him and letting go of the expectations of everyone else.

In my case, the Lord brought me to a place where I have had to lay some pretty large goals/ dreams at His feet. I’ve had to say “Thy will be done.” There are two major goals/dreams I have and they will only work out IF the Lord is the one leading them and opens those doors for me. I have no clue as to what the Lord is going to do with what I’ve laid His feet. I will admit that I lack patience. In my current season, it’s the Fruit of the Spirit I most need. Its the Fruit of the Spirit I have always struggled with the most. When you’re a Type A planner and like things to fall into a neat and orderly schedule of events, this kind of season is difficult. I shared in my last post that I feel like I am in a Chrysalis, waiting to break free my cocoon. I can feel my wings fluttering and am ready to break free from my shell. I also know the cocoon won’t break free until it’s the Lord’s timing and I have to be patient. Yep, there’s that pesky little word again. Patient.

What have I been doing during this season of Lent? I have been in the Word and seeking Him with all that I have. The Lord brought me to a new Bible study group on Wednesday nights this past fall. We walked through “One in a Million” and are currently walking through “Discerning the Voice of God” both by Priscilla Shirer. Y’all the Lord has stepped all over my toes in both of these studies. Courage, patience and obedience seem to be reoccurring themes in the scripture readings. I shared in my last post that I am wearing a bracelet that says “I Must.” It’s a daily reminder that delayed obedience is disobedience and the Lord has been convicting me during this season of Lent.

As we walk into the last couple days of Lent, is there something you need to lay at the feet of the Lord? Is there something you need to surrender before Resurrection Sunday? Is there an “I Must?” I encourage you to seek the Lord with everything in you. Easter may not be your deadline, but it may your starting line. As always I encourage you to pray. If needed seek out one who is wiser than you and allow them to come alongside you in whatever your journey may entail. I have an open door policy, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Happy Easter Y’all!

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Mothers Day can be Bittersweet

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Mothers Day can bring about a myriad of emotions. There are some who love it. There are some who hate it andĀ others who feel everythingĀ in between. Even from where I sit, there are times when I struggle with Mothers Day.

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know my story. Those of you who are joining me for the first time, I will give you a brief overview of the path I’ve walked. I had my first miscarriage a week before my husband and I celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple in December of 05. My 2nd miscarriage would come a week before Mothers Day 06. It would take a while to get pregnant again, only to have my 3rd miscarriage in August of 07. It would be September 08 before I would find out that I was pregnant with my daughter and she would be born 2 days after Mothers Day 09. I then had my older son in July 2010. It wouldn’t be very much time after was born that I found out I was pregnant with my youngest son. When we went in for the first ultrasound, I would have the joy of seeing twins on the screens. That joy would be temporary because the tech would tell me that baby B had no heartbeat and had passed the week before. His birth in May 2011 would be a bittersweet day because I knew I should be celebrating the birth of two baby boys, but would only ever get to hold one.

I have friends who have seen more positive pregnancy tests than they care to admit, only to have those sweet babies enter back into the arms of Christ before they ever made it into the arms of their mothers. Other friends have never experienced the emotions associated with a positive pregnancy test. I have another group of friends who have walked both of those paths and looked towards adoption to expand their families only to have the adoptions fall through and still have empty arms.

Having been on both sides of that coin, I struggle with how Mothers Day should be celebrated. When I was walking the path of miscarriage and infertility, I struggled with going to baby showers and eventually would only send a gift through a friend. I stopped going to church on Mothers Day and Fathers Day because it was just too hard to be surrounded by so many happy mothers. On those days, I would hide at home and watch my favorite chick flicks and order Chinese food.

I also wanted to honor my mother, my sister and celebrate my friends who had become mothers. I still sent a card to my mother and would call my mother and sister. They deserved to be honored and celebrated. My mother brought me into this world and raised me as a single parent while putting herself through nursing school. She deserves to be celebrated. My sister walked a hard path to having my niece and nephew. She deserves to be celebrated. I have several spiritual mothers who prayed along side my mother to get me to where I am now. They deserve to be celebrated. Churches should acknowledge and celebrate mothers in their congregations.

Yes, that means I think churches should give mothers a flower or small gift. The oldest mother, the newest mother and the mother with most the most kids should be recognized. The sermon should be geared towards mothers and what motherhood means. Mothers do so much and deserved to be celebrated. Without them, none of us would be here. Many of us wouldn’t have made it to where we are in life if those mothers hadn’t spent many hours praying for us, cheering us on and encouraging us.

Nowhere in scripture is the role of motherhood downplayed. Nowhere in scripture did the Lord say that mothers weren’t important. In fact, the Lord talks about women from the Old Testament all the way through to the end of the New Testament. There are some women who may have never been mothers, but they mentored those around them. He saw them all as important. The church should do the same.

Tomorrow, I will celebrate the fact that I have three precious kiddos who bestowed me with title of Mom. I will celebrate and honor my mother and my sister, who are both incredible moms. I will also think about the four little one whom I will never meet this side of Heaven.
Tomorrow, regardless of what side of the coin you are on, do what you need to do. For some of you it may mean spending a quiet day at home. For others, it may mean heading to church to celebrate being a mother and celebrating the mothers around you.

To those of you with empty arms, I pray for a peace that can only come from the Lord.

To those who are mothers, enjoy your day with your little ones.

To my mom and my sister, I love you both and pray you both have a wonderful and Happy Mothers Day!