The Secret to Strong Faith

Faith The seed of faith is a gift. It’s there for all of us, tucked deep into our hearts by the designer of love, the curator of all life. Like a baby, it needs nurturing to grow. How do you grow this delicate seed? Root it so firmly in your soul that hurricane winds will not blow it down?

The very first step is to ASK for it.

Luke 11:9: So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

The Lord IS good and He will absolutely help you grow your faith – if you ask and let Him. But you can’t just randomly ask once or twice and expect your faith seed to morph into an impenetrable steel foundation overnight. Make it your prayer mission and your meditation every day, throughout the day. Ask fervently, consistently with the expectation that your faith will strengthen.

Luke 11:13: If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?

My friend, know that faith is not an easy gift to ask for. It’s not a pretty package with a neat ribbon, sunshine, and cupcakes. There are growing pains, agonizing trials that will mold and refine the gift of faith.

The next step is to persist through the fire of trial. When the rains come, and oh will it pour, don’t let the flood drown your faith. Through pain and tears, I have angrily said aloud, “God, why have you forsaken me? Why have you left me?” You have no doubt experienced heart-wrenching moments like this of your own.

But please, dear friend, hold on tight to Him and trust that this trial is a necessary, blessed part of His beautiful story for you. Persist. Don’t give up on Him for He will never give up on you. Your seed can then develop into the unshakeable faith you will need to live a life of confident obedience and peaceful surrender.

What’s the reward and the point of having a strong faith? Just look at life without it. I am baffled by and feel such sorrow for those who have no faith. I see loneliness, hopelessness, and too many people bearing the crushing weight of needless worldly burdens on falling shoulders. Faith doesn’t make your cross any lighter, but it will make you strong enough to carry it with Christ. And as you become stronger, you can begin to offer precious drops of faith to others.

So here’s the secret formula for a strong faith: Ask for it every day, persist through the trials, and share it with others, especially those who have lost faith. Help them carry on for a day or even a moment.

My friend, where are you on your faith journey? Have you found strength in Him?

Tell Me The Truth

perfected in weaknessYou’re hiding it. You’ve got to be. Behind the perky façade that’s always managing parenting, domestic life, and work so well, you must struggle with something deeper. We were not created to be yoga pant-wearing, carpooling mommy clones. We feel deeply and can help each other heal and grow in faith. If we are brave enough to open up and share our real, raw selves.

The author of Momnipotent (p132) writes: “Remember that we are all editors…We see what other people choose to share about themselves, and what they choose to share, for the most part, will be their very best, their most flattering details, and those things they are most proud of. These are their exterior details.”

This makes SO much sense. If you have safe, cheery walls up around you and cover up your flaws, fears, and dreams, God can’t use you. He uses weak people with a willing heart. My friend, are you willing to open your heart?

2 Corinthians 12:9: And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Consumed with serving my own family and chasing a myriad of other tasks, I treasure every opportunity I get to spend with you. Even if much of it is in silence or over the screams of my fighting toddlers. Please, I’m asking you to tell me the truth. I need you and I’m betting you need me a bit too.

Next time our conversation ventures into the realm of resolutions, relationships, fears, and dreams, don’t say, “I don’t know.” Your authentic voice is clamoring to find its way out. Uncensored. Real. Will you dare to share what’s bubbling below your sweet composed surface? I’ll share my heart, my faith – everything – if you want it. Sure it’s easier said than done as there is always the risk of judgment, but if we end up in a hug, maybe even releasing buried tears, isn’t it worth it?

I do not want to complicate your schedule or rope you into hours of therapy talk. I’m just asking for a few precious moments of truth. Your truth in a world that hides behind a nice clean home, perfect marriage, material blessings, and endless chatter about our children’s sleep, eating, and school behaviors.

Maybe I’m an existential idealist, but I would much rather talk about faith, strength, pain, transformation, happiness, and love. Whatever you feel, I have tremendous empathy as I have likely walked in similar shoes, have been seared with the same emotions. So my friend, I invite you into the heart of authentic love. Let’s be honest, deep, true sisters in Christ.

What Is Enough?

Ties broken, hands freeWe are always seeking to better ourselves and our situation. Or at least we are dreaming of it. Wanting it.

I’ll be honest. While I am overall happy with my life and am sure as heck grateful every day for my blessings, my mind is still sucked into the alluring, gravitational pull of upgrades, improvement, and betterment. I’m itching for just a little kitchen makeover and am always thinking I’m just a personal trainer away from toning up my soft stomach. Almost daily I ponder how we will spend and save our tax return money. These thoughts are like an unrest that slowly simmers in your subconscious leading you to believe that just a little more will be enough. But enough for what? And how much is really enough?

For most of us, our plans for contentment flow in and out of our lives like sand through a sieve. We just keep pushing toward the elusive state of happiness. Seeking, searching to fill the gaps, we reach for beauty solutions, decorating projects, social events, and sailing off to a deserted island to lounge in peace on the warm sand under a palm tree.

Here’s the deal though. No matter where you search on earth and no matter how hard you try to sooth your nagging need with tangible, worldly balm, you will only feel the temporary relief of a band aid.

I can’t remember the book it’s from, but I love this quote:

“We try many ways to free ourselves from our entrapment. More money, another job, a new diet. These approaches strive for change from below. Like sheep caught in a thorny bush, the harder we struggle to get out, the more entangled we become.”

I’m not saying that all the palpable or material joys of life should be avoided. But it’s when we covet and chase them to generate happiness that our energy is concentrated on things that will never, ever be enough to satisfy and sustain us.

What is enough? What fills your soul to the point of eternal satiation? God. He fills all things, goes before you and stands behind you, and delivers a perfect love above all else with the power and grace to transform ANYTHING.

You have to give up to fill up. By losing your life, you surrender an empty cup that only God can fill. And that kind of full is overflowing. It’s more than enough.

I’ve decided that when I scrutinize myself in the mirror or dwell on kitchen renovations, I will remind myself it’s time wasted. Instead of pursuing bodily and material band aids, I need to go straight to the source of life, healing, peace, and true happiness. There is need for only one thing. My friend, don’t get stuck in the thorny bush. Strive for and spend time with Jesus Christ. Then you will be full and set free.

Deuteronomy 30:9-10: Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand…for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good…if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.