weary, worn, & REMAINING.

2013-10-06_2131Don't you love when God reveals things to you? Here I sit on the couch, with my laptop propped up against me as I try...ever so hard...to ignore the pounding of the men putting on our new roof. A roof that was supposed to have been done months ago, but whatever. At least it'll be completed before we begin to get snow and have to wait till next spring.

I am worn out today. Weary. Exhausted. Ben has been out of town a ton lately and the kids haven't napped in days because of all this roof stuff. I'm not shy to admit it. I need a break.

I prayed {and prayed and prayed} that they could somehow sleep today. That the Lord would close their ears to all this banging, hammering and walking around above their heads. Because I was about to lose mine.

And you know what? Though I keep checking on them, they're out. Completely out. {thank you Jesus}

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Have you ever heard the song, Worn by Tenth Avenue North {hear it here}? I play it over and over these days. If fills my soul with so much hope and promise that though I'm beat down and exhausted, I'll make it through as I continue to seek God's face.

With lyrics like, "I'm worn, even before the day begins.""I want to know a soul can rise from the ashes of a broken life", it fits so well with what I'm feeling and seeing as we continue to settle in with our newest adopted kids.

Sometimes I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Well lets be honest, a lot of the time I don't. But that's when I'm reminded of this:

John 15_4-5

I need to learn to REMAIN in Him. If I become disconnected from the vine, there's no way I'll be successful and bear fruit. I won't make it, neither as a good mom, a loving wife, nor simply plain 'ol me {because face it, if I'm not being filled, there's now way I can do well in all the other aspects of my life}.

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But how do I do that? How do I learn to remain in Him? Truly, I need to follow Him, rather than leading myself and controlling everything. I can't see all, know all, do all. But He can. And He does.

"And as we follow, God produces fruit in us like peace, love, compassion, and super-natural strength, allowing us to be better than we were the day before. Allowing us to be more like Jesus."{1}

Don't you want super-natural strength? I do.

In my Bible Study this morning, we referenced Isaiah 43:2. And though we were talking about our True Identity as a daughter of Christ, rather than Weariness, it struck my heart so heavily as I read His promise to me {us}.

Isaiah 43_2I know He will be with me. Deep down, I know that I know it. BUT it doesn't necessarily mean I always feel it or remember it. It's written right there in black & white though. God promises to be with me. That the waters will not sweep over me and though I may be walking through the fire, I will not be burned. Maybe I'll even be refined {Zechariah 13:9, Isaiah 48:10}. I sure would love to be shiny beautiful gold at the end of my time in the fire. Does that make sense? {sorry, I know I'm speaking Christian-eze here}

You know what's so cool though? I went on to read the rest of Isaiah 43 and check out what it says in verse 5...

Isaiah 43_5Where do we live? The West.

Where are our {adopted} children from? The East.

We've actually put verses 5-6 on our Christmas card the year Imani came home {Which sadly is the last time I've sent them out....sometimes you have to let things go. But fingers crossed I get them in the mail this year}.

I'm slowly finding though that through my exhaustion, He is breaking me with a Sacred Brokenness that is not a bad thing or something to be fearful of, but rather a blessing. {2}

 When I close my eyes, I imagine myself kneeling before Him as He sits upon His throne. My head is bowed, hiding the tears and bags under my eyes, my arms outstretched, loaded full of my weakness, weariness, imperfection, and my desire to control everything from my children's behavior to keeping up a perfectly clean house.

Here God, take it. I can't handle it.

It's too much.

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You have said, "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." {3} Help me open my heart to receive that, Jesus.

Lord, help me to remain in You. Help me remember that apart from You, I can do nothing. You say that if I remain in Your love, that Your joy will reside within me {4}. I need that, Lord. Fill me with Your love. Help me to show my family Your light and Your love. Draw me closely to Your side, Father.

I'm so thankful that nothing is a surprise to Him. He already knew that I couldn't do this all on my own. I can't and you can't.

Have you ever noticed this in the margin?

take joy

This passage really spoke to me when I was doing my morning quiet time one day last spring. As I read it, I realized I needed to "take joy." To grasp it tightly and not let go of what the Lord offers me, though I may go through things that are less than fun {sometimes waaaay less}.

It says, "Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing."

So I say to you, find joy through the struggles, through the weariness. TAKE JOY. Grab it with both hands and don't let go, for the Lord has promised us great things if we come to Him. {and yes, I am SO looking in the mirror as I say this}

Matthew 11_28-30

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{1} comes from Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins.

{2} this was taught to us by Nancy R Buschart in the course I'm currently taking called, Vine, Vision & Voice.

{3} Jeremiah 31:25 {NIV}

{4} see John 15:9-12 {NIV}