Devotionals, Faith

Why Funerals Are Better Than Parties

It’s better to go to a funeral than to a party. Why? Because it gives us a chance to consider what really matters and how we’re living our lives.

A lot of things don’t matter: how much money we make, how many achievements we heap up, how much wisdom and knowledge we attain. But some things do matter: God. He’s at the beginning and at the end of all things and one day we’re all going to give an account of our lives before him.

“When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commandments, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether evil or good.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

In light of death, what are you going to do differently today?

Devotionals, Faith

More Milk, Please!

It’s funny how some things in the word of God take on a whole new meaning when you become a parent.

Take these verses for example:

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.  Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Peter 2:1-3

Until you’ve had a newborn, you won’t appreciate the intensity of the yearning that young babies have for their mother’s milk. It’s constant and it’s insatiable, especially in the first few days of life. Even as they grow and their tummies get a little bigger, a newborn’s quest for milk remains regular and intense. Milk is something they crave with a single-minded focus and you can’t distract them from their pursuit.

God says our relationship with the word, the good news about Christ (1 Peter 1:22-25), should be the same. Let’s ask God to make our desire for the enduring word match that of a newborn baby seeking it’s mother’s milk.

Family, Parenting

The Hardest Thing For Me About Being a Mom

A little over a year ago, I became mom to a wonderful little girl. Being a mom is something I looked forward to for a long time. But in all of my anticipation, I don’t think I ever calculated all of the little sacrifices that a mom makes, or how hard they would be.

Looking back over this last year, I think the hardest thing for me to consistently give up is my time, especially my time in the morning. I love being awake before the rest of the family and spending the first part of my morning alone, in quiet, reading the word of God. It focuses me and centers me for the day. Without that time, I feel like a ship without an anchor, being tossed around in a sea of chores.

During the week, though, it’s hard for me to find that time in the morning. My husband gets up early to go to work and we eat breakfast together. Waking up before him isn’t an option, because I can’t function when I don’t get enough sleep.

That is why I look forward to the weekends. My husband likes to sleep in on the weekends, so it is my chance to have some time to myself in the morning.

But it doesn’t happen as often as I would like.

I can remember many times when it has almost happened. I’ll wake up early before everyone else and sneak into the kitchen, where I’ll make my cup of coffee and sit down at the table. I’ll open my Bible and almost without fail, I’ll here a cry from the other room, which means my little nugget is awake and I’m on duty again.

Sometimes I have a hard time handling the interruption gracefully, and I get frustrated and angry. And then I’ll get angry that I’m angry again about something I shouldn’t be angry about!

In those moments, I want to be more like Jesus, who welcomed interruptions because he saw them for what they really were: people in need.

After his cousin was beheaded Jesus needed some time to process what had happened, so he “withdrew… by boat to a remote place to be alone” (Mt. 14:13a). But, he never got that time to himself because the crowds followed him on foot.

I don’t know what I would have done in that situation. I probably would have told the people, “Look, I’ve had a hard day, leave me alone.” But that’s not what Jesus did. His response is so full of grace and it amazes me every time I read it: “As he stepped ashore, he saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick” (Mt 14:13b-14).

Rather than get upset that his quiet time was interrupted, Jesus lays aside his own plans and needs for those of the people. He looks beyond himself and has compassion on the crowd.

I want to be more like that next time I hear that cry from the other room. And, in time, by God’s grace, I will be.

How do you handle interruptions to the important parts of your day? How do you make time in the midst of a busy schedule for the things which matter most?