He’s the parent

This past week my oldest had his wisdom teeth removed. If you saw his Snapchat story I don’t know if I should say I’m sorry or you’re welcome.

If you know you know.

I digress. He had his teeth removed on a Wednesday and that Friday the high school that he used to attend had their homecoming – and if you are from the great state of Texas you know what a big deal that is.

Of course he wanted to go, but in good conscience I just couldn’t let him. Not only is it an hour drive away – the kid is totally crazy at ball games. All the yelling and all the cheering. I just knew in my momma’s heart that he couldn’t go. I didn’t want him to overdo it too soon after surgery.

And it killed me for him to have to miss it.

Luckily, he’s a pretty good kid. He trusted my choice and my reasoning. He knew I was trying to protect him from getting sick or hurt after surgery. He didn’t question me or cry or whine.

That’s what God does for His kiddos, too. He looks out for our best interest. He protects us from getting hurt. He puts a stop to situations that could end not so well.

The thing is I need to be more like Maverick. I need to be more trusting of God’s path for me. Shamefully, I am more of the whining, crying, and questioning type. When I want to think my plan is the best I need to remember to open up my Bible. Story after story after story clearly paints a picture of what happens when humans want to do things their way.

We need to trust God.

We need to seek His will.

We need to let Him be the parent.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8

When I am weak

With high school football, and other sports in full swing, are you cheering and bragging about your favorite team or player? Do you boast with pride about your sports team? What about when they aren’t doing so well? Are you quieter?

What do you boast about? Do  you want everyone to know about your failures and struggles? Do you brag about them?

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

(2 Corinthians 12:9-10) This is the Mary Staggs Version of that verse: God’s favor, approval, mercy & forgiveness is all I need. God’s power works best when I am weak, stumped, discouraged, hurt, and humbled. So now let me tell everyone with a smile  about my failures, struggles, and fears, so that the mighty power of Christ – the creator of the universe –  the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and amazingly lives in me can work through me! That’s why I can, (but don’t always smile) when I’m weak, mess up, when I’m insulted, when things are hard, or when troubles overtake me. Because in my weakest moment I can be strong! What? In any temptation, trial, sickness, grief, or struggle – not me, not my brain, not my heart, not my friends, my parents or my upbringing, but my Savior is strong in me.

Listen up, HE IS MIGHTY, I (we) just need to get out of the way. God uses my struggles to get me out of the way so HE can work. It’s all about HIM. It’s about making HIS name great. It’s about others seeing God do things we cannot do ourselves. HE does it way better than I can even imagine. “Humble yourself under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up. (1 Peter 5:6) The next verse is my favorite. I’ve taught it to all my preschoolers for the last 40 years: Give all your worries and cares to God, for HE cares about you! GOD CARES FOR YOU!

He is not worried about what you have or don’t have, your size, your age, your education, your hair color, your race, where you work, or  your bank account. HE just wants my heart.

There is nothing that can separate me from God’s love,  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13) He is strong in my weakness! Now that is something to brag about.

Brag on Jesus today, be glad (the joy of the Lord is your strength) and let others see Jesus through you!

Come as you are

“God doesn’t want something from us, He simply wants us.” – C.S Lewis

I don’t sit up straight on Saturday.

I do not typically begin writing these with such a random statement. I have to say though, the Lord spoke to me the other day. When the Lord speaks, He speaks.

It was the weekend – a Saturday morning to be exact. My favorite day to wake up just before my husband does, have my coffee, and make breakfast for us. I shared this all to get the point across that those are very relaxing mornings for myself.

I don’t have to get up and hit the ground running at the sound of an alarm, and I don’t have to act like I have it all together even if I’m really just not feeling it. I come as I am. Just like the Lord wants us to “come as we are”. As I’m relaxed on Saturday’s with my hair on the top of my head in a bun, over sized T-shirt, I’m also makeup free. Lastly, I am not sitting up straight.

I can blame my years of dental assisting for poor posture, or I can boldly admit that the Lord stopped me in my tracks and reminded me of that feeling I have on Saturday’s of relaxation. To simply just be me, is how the Lord wants us to come to him. We don’t have to be proper or put a smile on to hide the mess. We can be that comfortable for the Lord. Our true rest.

I hope today you choose to come as you are. We don’t have to “fit the part”. He created our part, and we are more than qualified with him.

“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Lord, thank you for the reminders you send to us through everyday life. We aren’t here to do anything more than to simply serve you, and to love how you love. Thank you for the reminder to be natural with ourselves and one another. We can truly be who you made us to be. Thank you for the rest we can find in you. Lastly, thank you for sending your Son to walk a perfect life with the knowledge that we would never be able to. Amen.

Dupe.

You are not a dupe.

My sisters are probably shaking their heads in shame right now as I openly admit that I went to the Urban Dictionary for the correct and cool meaning of said word.

Dupe.

Duplicate.

Not an original.

You are none of those things. God made you, designed you, created YOU with His own two hands, and you can bet your bottom dollar that He is beyond proud of His work – of YOU.

You’re not an accident.

You’re not an afterthought.

And you’re certainly not [her].

You are you.

You are His.

And you are destined for great things.

Sister, all you’ve got to do is believe it.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Kate’s Cause Continued

I remember the day the doctor told me my diagnosis like it was yesterday. My mom went with me to the appointment. When the doctor gave us the news she immediately called my dad and siblings who quickly met us at the house. Not a lot of words were said between all of us at that moment, but I remember just being glad that they were with me while I nervously folded clothes that should have been put away days before.

I didn’t sleep much that night. Instead, I laid in bed and just prayed and asked God why I was going through this. The next morning I woke up with a peace that I cannot explain. I was no longer scared, and I was ready to get a plan and face this head on. From the very first day of finding out that I had cancer – having my family and friends’ support and prayers meant the world to me. Through every step – from my first appointment, chemo treatments, and shaving my head – them being there meant so much to me.

I wanted to find a way to do that for others, so while I was going through treatment I looked for a way to help. I started volunteering with a group called Cowboys Who Care. This group brings cowboy hats to children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. During my time with them, I was able to bring children going through cancer treatment to rodeos and give them a fun experience during a hard time in their life.

During my first few appointments, I was told how my treatment should go and was given the option to have fertility preservation done before starting my treatment. I was fortunate enough to be able to do this because of the support system that I have. I will even have my identical twin sister be my surrogate when I am ready for a family of my own (seriously, how blessed am I??). During this time, I learned many women would not be able to do because of the financial burden.

This is why I began Kate’s Cause. I believe that no women should have to sacrifice having a family to have the treatment that will save her life. I want to be able to offer the support that I was given to as many women as I can!

I truly believe that God gives us hard times so that we can be a light for someone else going through a similar situation. Although these times were hard for me, I never felt that He was not by my side. I believe that he showed this so much through the compassion and support of the people He placed in my life. I am thankful for my experiences because I believe that it has given me such a different perspective. I am now able to give some of the love I received back to others.

Kate’s Cause

At 25 yeas old in November of 2018, I was diagnosed with Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma of the cervix/uterus. During my first few appointments, I was told how my treatment should go, and was given the option to have fertility preservation done before starting my treatment. I was fortunate enough to be able to do this because of the support system that I have. I will even have my identical twin sister be my surrogate when I am ready for a family of my own (seriously, how blessed am I??). During this time, I learned many women would not be able to do this because of the financial burden.

This is why I began Kate’s Cause. I believe that no women should have to sacrifice having a family to have the treatment that will save her life, and I want to be able to offer the support that I was given to as many women as I can!

Please follow Kate’s Cause on Facebook and Instagram. Pray for her non-profit to continue to grow and bless women in need.

You can read more about Kate’s story in the following article:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/cowgirlmagazine.com/infertility-cancer-kates-cause/

It’s love

There’s a difference in being a sassy woman and being a strong woman.

There’s a difference in being cocky and being confident.

There’s a difference in telling it like it is and speaking the truth in love.

The difference – well, it’s love.

The more Jesus you consume, the more Jesus you radiate. The more Fruit you take in, the more Fruit you put out.

Lord, help me never to be haughty but instead to be humble. Help me to be more like you.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Turn it off

Turn it off.

Seriously. Turn it all off.

The news. The media. The worry.

The drama. The comparison. The opinions.

It’s all too much.

You owe it to yourself and to your family to unplug and unwind. Put it on the calendar if you have to – just make it a priority.

Sister, it’s ok to take a break so that you don’t break.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2

Let’s Agree

We need to come together.

Our nation.

Our community.

Our church.

Our home.

We need to come together – instead of continuously severing ties with one another because of opinions, misunderstandings, or even disagreements.

We can disagree without totally disengaging. We can disagree without devastating relationships. A disagreement doesn’t have to be detrimental. It can simply be a disagreement.

All this disagreeing is causing division.

In our nation.

In our community.

In our church.

In our homes.

And the devil loves it.

So today let’s agree to hold our tongues when need be. Let’s agree to speak the truth in love when need be. Let’s agree to listen. Let’s agree to see other people where they are at. To be compassionate and sympathetic and empathetic and kind.

Let’s.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15

Waiting

Guest Post by Dianne Timberlake

The Father is watching and waiting…

Luke 15 is a love story straight from our Lord. In this passage, Jesus tells us three parables with the central theme that God loves us and is moving to redeem the lost.

The parable of the lost son (prodigal son) is my favorite because it is also my story. It is the story of all redeemed sinners. I was lost, but now I am found. I was blind, but now I see. I have a Savior who reached down from heaven and washed my sin away with His precious blood. Amazing grace! Amazing love! Luke 15 tells us of a sinner coming to saving grace.

A man had two sons. The youngest demanded his share of his father’s estate and then spent it all in DISOBEDIENCE in another land. God sent (or allowed) a famine to come to that land, and the young man began to be in NEED. (It’s amazing what a little famine in our lives can do for our thinking.) 

The young man CAME TO HIS SENSES and remembered that his father’s hired men ate better than the pigs he was feeding (and whose food he was contemplating). He ran to tell his father that HE HAD SINNED against him and to ask for a job as a hired man.

The best part! The father saw him from a long way off and ran to hug and kiss his lost son who was coming home at last. The father had been watching and waiting. He didn’t rebuke the son or hire him to work in the fields. The father had compassion and REDEEMED THE LOST SON. In fact, he had a welcome back party. He gave the son a robe, a ring, and sandals to establish his position in the family. (The older brother wasn’t too thrilled. In fact, he was bitter and jealous, but that’s a story for another day.)

Our Lord is still watching and waiting for the lost to come home. His Holy Spirit is stirring and convicting even today. He may send/allow some tough times to encourage the lost to seek Him, but there is no sin that He will not forgive (except denying that Jesus is the Son of God sent to save the lost). Our Heavenly Father is not waiting with a big stick or a stern lecture. He is patiently waiting to forgive and redeem lost souls. Run home! The Father loves you and is watching and waiting to bring you back into His family.