Miss-Placed Faith

Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith.”   Matthew 17:19-20

Gospel-Reflections-800x800-gold-outlineBack in Chapter 10 of the book of Matthew, Jesus commissioned the twelve apostles. After giving them the authority to drive out unclean spirits and cure every disease and illness, He sent them forth to do His Father’s work.

Day in and day out, for seven chapters, they apparently did well. That is, until they come to the boy with the demon in this chapter. Suddenly, they can’t seem to carry out their mission and expel the demon. Not understanding why, they approach Jesus for the answer.
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A First Hand Transfiguration

And He was transfigured before them: His face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as light.    Matthew 17:2

8 10 17 with word overlayMason and I have one of those push and pull relationships. We’re deeply connected, but we also butt heads, a lot. He’s a sensitive soul who is deeply effected by EVERYTHING.

The plus side of that is: he feels for others and, therefore, doles out love like candy. The minus side of that is: he is devastated over the smallest of things (even when I ask him to power down his iPad mid-game!). This double-edged sword has been one of the greatest challenges in my motherhood for a while now.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to find the exact way to interact with him to preserve his loving heart, yet toughen him up a bit so he doesn’t fall apart over the small things and the have-to’s in life. Feeling ill equipped almost daily, I have no choice but to lean into God for help, constantly. Just last Wednesday night, God answered my prayers, big time, giving me so much hope for Mason’s future. 
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Why Not Us?

“O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”   Matthew 15:28

My friend, Karen, was going through that scary journey of multiple doctors appointments, test after test, and then the grueling wait for the results. During that time, she asked me if I thought she had a right to pray to be fully healed. From her perspective, she has lived a good life. She knows so many woman battling cancer. Maybe it was her turn.  Continue reading

Stop The Judgement!!!

God has made everything appropriate to its time… Ecclesiastes 3:11

8 3 17 with word overlayI’m one of those annoying mothers who makes her kids journal over the summer. Although my kids moan and groan about it, they absolutely love going back through what they’ve written and drawn to reminisce about the fun things we’ve done together. So despite the push back, I’m always going to make them do it.

Now that Jocelyn can read and write, this is her first summer where she is journaling independently. I wish I could say it’s going well; but holy canoli, it is sheer torture for the both of us! It’s not that she struggles with the writing; it’s that she’s hypercritical of her pictures. She spends more time erasing than she does drawing.

The bigger issue is the drama that goes along with that: “I’m a terrible artist. I don’t know how to draw faces. The shoes look awful,” and on and on her critique goes. I keep telling her she’s doing a great job, that she’s far better at drawing than I was at her age. But it doesn’t seem to matter.

As I live with her constantly judging every single thing she does, I realize the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree.
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When It’s Finally Our Turn

… And these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  Romans 8:30

7 27 17 with word overlayEvery summer my kids and I go to the BJ Hickman Magic Show at the Palace Theatre. For almost every trick he does, BJ calls a different child up onto the stage to help him. Back in 2013, he called Zack up for a trick where he stuck spoons all over his arms and face. It was fantastic!

In 2014, when BJ did the same trick, Mason was desperate to be chosen. Unfortunately, he wasn’t. But that’s life. We don’t always get the same opportunities other people do. Although that’s extremely hard to accept, especially for kids, it’s important to do so, and move on.

Lo and behold, when we went to see BJ this summer, Mason WAS chosen – for the same exact trick! How crazy is that?!

As Mason stood on stage, with spoons hanging from his face and arms, I was bursting with joy for him. I knew how much it meant to him to finally be chosen. I offered up a silent prayer of gratitude.

Imagine my surprise when Mason told me later that being up on stage didn’t feel right. I was so confused. He had been desperate to be chosen. Moreover, he’s my performer. He LOVES the spotlight. I asked him to explain. Continue reading

Choosing Growth Over Bitterness

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.   James 1:2-4

7 20 17 with word overlayI took my kids out to lunch at a local restaurant last week. We sat in a big circular booth by the front window. As we played Story Cubes together, I saw car after car drop kids off in the parking lot, and drive away. Then the big group of boys and girls came in, and all squeezed into the circular booth right beside us.

I saw Zack whisper something to Mason. But other than that, the group had no impact on him at all. When it came time for him to tell a story he made up based on the pictures he rolled on the Story Cubes, he was his usual self, no awkwardness whatsoever.

When we got in the car, I asked Zack if he knew that group of kids. I was completely surprised when he said they were from his grade, and sometimes gave him a hard time.
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