What Does it Mean to Rest in God

What Does it Mean to Rest in God

What if resting in God isn’t an escape from pain but a posture we take through the pain?
When mom and dad died I had this supernatural fight in me to stay faithful to God and grounded in His truth (in spite of what my eyes were seeing). Girl, I put on that full armor of God and I went to battle every single stinkin’ day (Ephesians 6). I fought hard and I fought well by God’s grace. While many were questioning God, I had laser focus on what was eternally important. The fight got long, excruciating and exhausting but I saw God’s grace all over the place reminding me, “I’m still here” and that’s why I could take another step. I guess you could say my fight was to see Him and not the reality that was in front of me, which screamed “hopeless”.

 

Time went on and I got to move out of this constant place of war and into a place of rest but I don’t know what to do with it. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever known how to rest in God. I feel like a baby whose mom switches from milk to actual food for the first time and I’m saying to God, “what on earth am I supposed to do with this?! Why do I want to change what I’ve been doing, especially since it’s been of help to me? I’m scared to rest in You. What if you allow more pain? I’ve rested before and look what happened? Why are you calling me to rest when all I know is to fight?” As I kick and scream He gently reminds me that my fight morphed into fear and anxiety and my trust in him has turned into doubt of His goodness for me. I’ve been a proclaiming Christian for a long time but have I ever really known what it means to rest in God? If I’m not resting in Him, am I really trusting Him? There is a broken belief about Him, and I don’t know where the break happened. Naturally, in true Maria form of wanting to take control, I try to find the break so I can go back and fix but I can’t. Plus, every time I do attempt to fix the break, fear wells up and you can find me crying (quite literally) and screaming NO! Here’s the deal, our broken beliefs about who God is can NOT be fixed by us and must be fixed by Him. In my failed attempts to fix what is broken, I’ve exchanged his gift of rest for fear and worry and I need a Savior. Sometimes, I’m such a mess there is nothing I can do but keep the posture of calling out, confessing, repenting and asking “please Lord, not again…not another tragedy. Please don’t teach me about your goodness like that again.” I wait and I trust that He is faithful and able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine being that someday, I will know what it means to rest in Him as I stay faithful. I can’t do this one on my own, I can’t save myself from my unbelief but He can and I trust He will.

 

Lord, help us not to return your good gifts of grace in exchange for anxiety, fear, and worry of the unknown. You are a good God and I ask that you show me just how good you are. Help me know what it means to receive your good gifts yet to still hold loosely to this world.
His Word covers our “what ifs…”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Colossians 3:2,3 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him …”

 

Learning to rest in Him & lean into His goodness,

Maria

Telling the Truth

“These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.” 

Zechariah 8:16 (NIV) 

Main Truth: God calls his people to be truth tellers.

I’m simple minded. I’m not a crafty mom by any stretch of the word. I like easy, simple and low effort when it comes to spending time in God’s Word with my kids. You can dress this devotional up dress or down what matters is the meat, God’s Word. Even more beautiful…you don’t have to be put together, have a tidy life or be the world’s best mom to tell your kids the truth of God’s Word. God’s Word (alone) is what saves lives. As moms, it’s easy to get distracted by what this mom or that mom is doing and compare, complain and grumble. Here’s the deal, though, all of that is a distraction, distraction from just telling our kids about what is really important…God’s true word (Hebrews 4:12). Please don’t let this be a distraction but an encouragement that training your kids and telling them about God doesn’t have to be anything more than it is … we can just loosen our lips and tell them what God’s Word says. He is the one who changes hearts, we just need to tell them about the Truth (Ezekiel 36:26).

 

Here is how we spent our devotional time, on being a Truth Teller, as a family:

 

  1. Open in prayer: I let each pray. If you kids are young (like mine) I use this as a time to teach them how to pray. I don’t know about you, but sometimes we forget that they don’t know what they are doing until they are taught and this is the perfect time to teach and train them how to pray.
  2. Read the main truth: I don’t spend a lot of time dancing around this part. I tell my kids what I want them to know and that’s that God calls his people to be truth tellers.
  3. Open to the verse: I back up the main truth with God’s word by openning my bible to the verse, allowing them to see the verse in the Bible for themselves. The purpose is to teach them (at a young age) to look with their own eyes and read the truth.
  4. Sing: my kids love music so I incorporate song by making a song out of our main truth. We sing it about three times or as long as they will tolerate. 🙂
  5. Craft: we made our popsickle stick lips to reiterate the main truth.
  6. Repeat and Role Play: *see video below 🙂
  7. Pray: we closed our time in prayer specifically asking God to help us remember to be truth tellers
  8. Apply: we began applying our main truth into our day and even carried our lips around as a reminder

 

Moms, I have loved this craft for the visual reminder alone. Recently, one of my kids was having a hard time being truthful and all I had to do was hold up the lips s. Isn’t that just like us, though? Sometimes we get so caught up in living life our way that we forget truth until someone, who loves us, holds it up and says, “remember”.

 

“Train up a child int he way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” 

Proverbs 22:6

Video

Offering of Thanks

Offering of Thanks

Heavenly Father,

I spend a lot of time in fear and pain. Today I’m actively choosing to thank you for your faithfulness (as fearful and unnatural as it may feel). Here is my offering back to you … just a warm up list of all the ways you provided for me personally during a grievous loss. Please keep opening my eyes to more of your faithfulness. Help me to let go of pride and arrogance in thinking the “little things” aren’t really from you or that they don’t really matter. Instead I ask you to open my eyes to see them as personal, intimate ways you are seeing and loving me, your daughter (Psalm 139). I ask that you keep opening my eyes up to thankfulness in everything. You say you can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

 

 

Offering

  1. birds chirping
  2. kids screaming, arguing and laughing … life in my home!
  3. the smell of fresh flowers on my kitchen table
  4. a blanket of green, from all of the trees, in my backyard
  5. fresh brewed coffee
  6. sunshine beaming in my kitchen window
  7. the stillness outside after a thunderous storm
  8. kids playing quietly while I write my thanks to you
  9. a loving, tender husband & partner
  10. my children, new life
  11. intimacy (verse loss of relationship) with God through (to date) the most terrible time of my life
  12. surrounded by women who loved the Lord and continued to help lift my head when I no longer had the strength (Philippians 4:13-14)
  13. the life of my siblings still here
  14. restored relationships
  15. ability to not have to work during that time to free up more time to be with Brother
  16. not having to worry about finances on top of grieving my parents
  17. Austin and Brady surviving the plane crash, the life that shot through our veins to remind us you are still here
  18. you never left us (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  19. you are restoring devastation, even still (Isaiah 61:4)
  20. sunshine to remind me of your presence
  21. a quiet place to be with you while Austin was in rehab
  22. girlfriends to fellowship with that know the pain of losing a good mom who was a good friend
  23. peace knowing mom and dad are in Paradise and it is well with their souls (Luke 23:43)
  24. because of their dwelling, it can be well with my soul. I can grieve them in a good way.
  25. my grief comes from a place of deep love & I’m forever grateful
  26. I get to grieve a dad! I got to have an earthly father … something I gave up on as a child but you didn’t. Your gift giving is rich!
  27. training from my parents for this very day (without them even realizing it). Thank you for lighting a fire in them to be so laser-focused on training up their kids in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6)
  28. a marriage that has depth … depth of love as he’s seen me at my worst and loved me through it, stuck with me through it and still, to this day, would choose me again. Thank you for his life and keeping it here with me.
  29. a passion for your word that was ignited during all of this
  30. a passion and drive to know you fully…
  31. and a brand new awareness that I didn’t fully know you yet (Psalm 119:18)
  32. their death brought me new life with you … any doubt or question is removed and I know where I’ll be when I die (Revelation 7).
  33. you ancient words that are still true and relevant and continue to bring life to my dry bones (Proverbs 30:5)
  34. consistency in you in a time that was full of chaos, change, fear, pain (Hebrews 13:8)
  35. when fear overwhelmed & doubt flooded my mind & questions of the future, I could rest because I know your promises are true. My God is sovereign and works all things out for the good of those who love him … regardless of how I feel about that (Romans 8:28, Isaiah 55:9)
  36. I have a rich heritage in you and, because of this, I can look forward with hope (Isaiah 61, Revelation)

 

 

 

 

 

thank you,

your daughter

Dear Fatherless Friend