Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My place in the family.

Everyone in the family has their place.

Just by the order we are born - we are given the place 'oldest', 'youngest', 'littlest'......

Not to mention all the 'places' that are attached to us because of our personality.

Oh, she is the 'reckless one'....or the 'fun one'....or the 'witty one'......the 'strange one'.....

And after a while, we can start to see each other not as whole people but rather as the 'place' we have been assigned. 

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do"......well, "When with the family - fit into the 'place'" :)

I can give you mine. I grew up in the place of 'responsible', 'cautious', 'prudish', 'decisive', 'pointed', 'consistent', 'structured'.....I don't see these as all bad or all good, in fact - all of these are a strength and a weakness of mine. 

It has taken me a long time to understand that these 'places' are not my identity. 

When I first became a Christian at the age of 15 I learned that with my new faith in Christ I also became 'new'.



Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: 
The old has gone, the new is here!    
2 Corinthians 5:17


In my young mind, this was exciting because I wanted something new, I needed something new. But the reality of faith lived out in the everyday is that in many ways I struggled to be new. I had these 'places' where I was supposed to fit in the family.

Overtime, I started to see how the promise of 'newness' is an ongoing living transformation.

My walk with the Lord unfolds newness in me everyday.



He who was seated on the throne said, "I am MAKING everything new!" 
Revelation 21:5


Most importantly I have learned- in the body of Christ - the family of believers - there are no 'places'.

The young can be old in their faith and the old, young. And how we see ourselves, is through the lens of the adoring Father. Walking beside Him, we are whole.....not a sliver of a confined 'place'.

In the body of Christ, women my same age or younger can be a 'mother' to me.

In the body of Christ, someone older than me can be my 'little' sister.

And roles can change, the body of Christ moves and molds to fit the needs of its' people. In a single moment a friend can be the caring understanding one - who also administers hard to hear truth.

Those in this family, see a need and move to meet it. Quite often this means taking up a 'place' that is outside of our usual. Funny how the Lord always does that :)

It is still a daily process, but finally I am starting to understand my 'place' is in relationship with the Father. I don't have to be this way or that way, because He moves me, shifts me, stops me, starts me, pushes me, pulls me..........and it is new everyday.


Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  
Lamentations 3:22-23


Thanks for reading.

- brook.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Catch Up

Hello.

It has been some time now.....especially since I did a photo journal.

Life is full and that I love, but I have missed writing and posting here - I just haven't found the time.

I finally sat down and gathered some photos from the past couple of months. And here they are.

[1] Patient Super Hero.


[2] The Sidekicks.



[3] The Vehicle.



[4] Sweet Pup.

[5] Littlest Doodles.



[6] Cast Off Paint Nubs.

[7] Learning How to Wash a Truck.



[8] Museum View.



[9] In the Zone.



[10] Waiting.


[11] "Mommy, Flowers for you."



[12] Special Lunch.



[13] Big Boy Room.



[14] Zoo Birds.



[15] April Showers.....



[16] He is Risen.


See you around, hopefully soon.

- brook.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 12]


I haven't arrived, but I know where I am headed. [pg. 193]

This book has changed my life in so many ways. More than anything, it has made me realize how neglected my relationship with Christ has been.

That is the greatest gift from Joanna's writing - clear eyes for Jesus.

What God started on the day I surrendered my life to him, he will complete as I continually remain surrendered. It takes a process for me to become the kind of Christian I want to be - but Jesus Christ is lord of the Process, and the process is divine. [pg. 196]

A teachable heart, that is my most prized possession.

With a heart surrendered to His molding:

my weakness is His strength, my smallness is His bigness, in my hard places His grace abounds.

So, I pray that where perseverance is needed, His grace will draw my eyes to Him.

I pray that I will have a heart inclined toward Heaven, a heart that longs for His presence.

I love, love, love this quote Joanna includes from Mother Teresa....

Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your own weakness. [pg. 205]

So often I magnify the power of my weakness rather than the power of His love to do a great work through me.

So, I leave you with this final thought - a prayer from Joanna Weaver included in her daily devotional, At the feet of Jesus....

Lord Jesus, I give You my life.
I invite You to have your way in me.
Take me and break me. Shake me and make me.
Fill me and spill me. Change me and rearrange me.
But whatever You do, Lord, don't leave me the same.
Spirit of wisdom and revelation, I welcome Your work.
Open my eyes so I can see....my ears so I can hear....
I choose truth over comfort, challenge over complacency.
Lord, make me forever Yours.
And most of all, make me like You.
Amen. 




Let's talk about it.....

If you feel led, please comment below. We will focus on this chapter all week, so please jump in any day you find time. Also, please feel free to respond to others who have commented, let us encourage each other.

What spoke most to you from this chapter?

I look forward to hearing form you :)

- brook.

* All quotes mentioned above are noted by page number and are taken from 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' by Joanna Weaver.

** Find out more about Joanna's ministry and how to purchase her books here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Balancing Work and Worship - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 11]


Jesus was the most balanced individual the world has ever known. In fact, that is part of why he came - to show us how to manage the tricky balance between work and worship, between what we do and what we are. [pg. 176]

Every time I read this chapter, it settles deeper and deeper into my thinking.

Of all the chapters, I believe this is one of the most important because here Joanna discusses what having a Mary Heart in a Martha World might actually look like.... practically speaking.

She points out that although we may think this is achieved through a tricking balancing act - trying to hit that perfect but small target.....

The act of balancing work and worship is a constant back and forth. Our days should encompass both duty and devotion.


.....the balance between Living Room Service and Kitchen Service more often resembles the up-and-down, back-and-forth motion of the teeter totter than it does that fleeting moment of synchronicity. [pg. 181]

Some days it is hard to know which is up. A day can get started and before I know it, it is almost done.  There was no back and forth between work and worship, in fact I wonder if I was even on the teeter totter to begin with.

I really like the Balance Checklist Joanna includes on pg. 182 and 183. I have used that several times to assess which end of my teeter totter should be in the air.

But of all the things Joanna writes in this book, the most impactful thing for me was the section on Sabbath Rest.

Josh and I have been church goers our whole marriage. After reading Joanna's three aspects of Sabbath-keeping, I realized that although we went to church on Sundays - it had very little to do with the Sabbath.

First, the Sabbath needs to be different. [pg.185]

For us, Sundays weren't really different than any other day of the week.....except that they were more stressful.

We were not treating Sunday as a much needed day of rest - for us it was a catch up day.  Every weekend, we try to prepare so that Sundays can be restful.

It is still hard with our two boys to try and settle in to the day so that we can rest, but we know that in order for the remaining days of the week to have a chance at balanced work and worship - we must purposefully put this time aside.

One thing that is a daily choice for me is to hand it all over to Jesus - I work so hard to operate out of my own strength and wisdom......thankfully, there is grace.

The secret to balancing worship and work, devotion and service, love of God and love of people is maintaining our connection to Jesus Christ. [pg. 190]

This week we are called to once again to connect with Jesus through God's word and prayer - this time seeking His balance for our lives. Let's be intentional about stopping the balancing ACT and work toward moving back and forth between work and worship.


Let's talk about it.....

If you feel led, please comment below. We will focus on this chapter all week, so please jump in any day you find time. Also, please feel free to respond to others who have commented, let us encourage each other.

What spoke most to you from this chapter?

I look forward to hearing form you :)

- brook.

* All quotes mentioned above are noted by page number and are taken from 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' by Joanna Weaver.

** Find out more about Joanna's ministry and how to purchase her books here.