Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To the mom who has wished for something different

A few months back, around Mother's Day, I wrote a series from the perspective of a broken mother's heart.

Those bitter tears came in seasons which brought various kinds of pain, the kinds a mama feels for loss, for change, for challenges. They have broken me.

I have often wished for something different. 

photo credit - paolo contado

I have wished my children were schooled anywhere but with me.

I have wished for less children. More children. Different children. Yes, this is an ugly truth.

I have cried out that God would just calm that child down, make them do their work, get them to submit and obey.

I have asked and pleaded in prayer for "the right' things when it came to my children, only to see them live out all the "wrong things".

I have wondered...Lord, do you see? Do you care? Have you ever been there?

Fear, loneliness, frustration. 

They crept in all too often. My eyes looked around and focused on that which was not.  I could not see that which would be. I got stuck in the whirlwinds around me and missed the peace to be found in the midst.

I would pray, "Why Lord, why should I be a single mom, a grieving mom, a foster mom, a home school mom, a ministry mom, a lonely mom, a frustrated & angry mom, an anxious mom, a woefully inadequate mom?"

I have wished to live something different and it caused death in my heart while God was wanting something different to come alive in me. 

I have failed time and time again.

God did not. God does not. God will not.

What I couldn't see was the something different God had for me.

Today I still find myself fighting that same struggle. One day it feels as though I've come so far in this journey of life. On other days it feels the journey will never end.

I fight for my something different and he keeps his something different tenderly close, always patient. He is faithful.

He sees every tear, every mess, every worry and every night filled with exhaustion.

He sees my mind struggling to know what to do and how to do well and offers a place of rest.

He knows my heart's desires and has compassion.

He allows the scraping of my soul and soothes it, fills it, covers it.

He does not give all the explanations, but he gives a glimpse now into the beauty that he desires to bring.

He reminds me of the beauty He has brought, of the something different that He has done.

You know what? I never wanted to say this. I never thought I could say this, or admit to it. I am thankful that things didn't turn out like I had planned. I am thankful I didn't get the something different I was looking for.

Because of all the wrong things in my life, I have seen a more righteous God.

Because I have been weak and failed, I have seen a mightier God.

Because I have not gotten what I wanted, I have seen a good and grace-filled God.

When I have wanted something different, there was something different God wanted for me.

In the end, his something different has been, and will be, far greater.

Today and tomorrow, may it be His something different I wish for.

How about you? Do you look around and wonder when things will change - to be better? Do you wish for something different?

Do you struggle to see beyond the circumstances around you and wonder how God could bring beauty out of it?  

Join me in this messy journey of faith. See the God who sees you. Trust the hand that guides you.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Surrender Your Heart

That poem kept coming to mind. It spoke as if God knew how much I wanted someone to love me and stay with me. It spoke of that someone being prepared for me. It also spoke so much more - words that messed with me. My sister had it framed in her room. God was framing it in my heart.

I wanted someone to hold me, to cherish me, to take care of me. How could God do that? How could he comfort me now? I was a single mom with two boys with different bio-dads.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Holy Spirit toothbrush {FMF: Reach}


What kind of learner are you? Visual, kinesthetic or auditory?

I am first a visual learner.  I see pictures in my mind of events, concepts and ideas. It is often from this place that I work through my thoughts.

Sometimes those pictures are muddy. Sometimes they are humorous. Sometimes they lead me to deeper faith. Often times, they only make sense to me.

Today's five-minute writing prompt is "reach".

I picture a toothbrush. The brand, as well as the concept of what a toothbrush does. It brushes teeth, but it must also reach. It must reach to the far back teeth, behind them and into the crevices.

The dentist once chided me for not reaching all the way to the back. I was offended at first. How dare they! I brush my teeth quite regularly. How could they not see? How could they not realize how hard I work at taking care of my teeth?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#BlogitForward No. 6 {Linkup your favorite finds online}

Have you read a post recently that really spoke to your heart, encouraged you, challenged you or taught you something? Share it here!

Share up to three of your favorite finds online.

For more on the #BlogitForward concept, and to see the archives where past posts are linked up, please read the page here.

NEW: Want to add #BlogitForward as a linkup to your site?

Friday, August 22, 2014

The best change {FMF: Change}

Every now and then a word comes along that opens up a well of emotions, thoughts and words.

Change. It is one of those words.

My heart begins to beat rapidly, again, for all the transition, the grief, the pain, the joys, the change.

Moving, serving, loving, losing. They affected deep change in parts of my soul and heart that had lain low for years.

Today I see change as something different.  I see all around me places and people where change is needed.

Circumstances. Some of this is good and oh so necessary. Some of it is limiting as well.

Hearts. Deeper, tougher places. Harder to effect.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Encouragement for when you feel you can't go on

Have you ever felt like you just couldn't go on anymore?

I have.

Over and over and over again...I thought I couldn't continue through any more trials. I wanted to give up on even hoping because I was tired of waiting, tired of praying, and tired of fighting the hard. I've been there again just this week. I know the fight of despair, desperation and lost determination.

But, that song which proclaims, "Christ in me, the hope of glory," it rings a truth I cannot shun.

When you are tried and run down, when life seems to keep knocking you over and when you think you can't get back up, you can.  Not on your own strength though. Not even on the strength of others.

photo credit 2happy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Consider the Why of Christian Platform - {#makemuchofHim}

Sometimes I imagine conversations in my head. Do you ever do that? Surely, I'm not the only one. Right?

Recently, I have considered the discussion of - platform.

When it seems like everyone is shouting about the "what" and the "how", I am considering the "why".

photo credit - dbannie

Monday, August 18, 2014

The letter I am rewriting to myself

photo credit - 2happy
I look back. I see a young, wounded girl in need of healing. In need of grace.

That wounded girl? It's me.

Back then, when high school was coming to a close, I believed my body was sickening. That 86 pound goal? It hadn't been met.

Then, I was desperate for love. I longed for close friends & a boyfriend who would never leave me.

Then, I had failed myself and those around me who might care more - if only I'd done better.

That letter I wrote my senior year of high school? It found it's way to me five years later like my teacher said it would. As my shoulders slumped the tears came for the depth of agony and distorted views I told myself.

Today, I know it was my heart that was sick.

Today, the deep recesses where rawness throbbed are clothed with grace, steadfast love & truth.

Today, I have fallen.

Grace has caught me and held me close.

It's time for a new letter.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Snapshots - A Vlog, #BlogitForward & Acts 15 Team Encouragers

Snapshots are moments in time encapsulated in a post. This is where I share updates on what I'm up to and what God is doing.


If you haven't heard, there's a new Vlog in town. This journey began a couple of weeks ago as a response to Asheritah's #OTAVEDA challenge on www.onethingalone.com.

In stepping out to take on this challenge, I found that I enjoy talking to my phone and making videos. Eh- just chalk it up to another "endearing" quirk like those we shared for the Declare Conference 4X4...

Friday, August 15, 2014

New VLOG: Behind the Screen with Jolene

Y'all - what?

I don't even believe I've begun this new journey. I'm wondering who is going to join me?! BE BRAVE! I know you want to....post a VLOG? or a podcast?

A few weeks ago I visited Asheritah's website, www.onethingalone.com.  She mentioned that there is this thing called VEDA (Video Every Day in August) going on on YouTube.  People from all different venues will be posting videos daily.

Asheritah challenged believers to do the same. Share your faith. #OTAVEDA (One Thing Alone Video Every Day in August)