pulling weeds, planting seeds

I’m not going to lie… I am really discouraged. It was one of those days I couldn’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel.. 😭 which for me is pretty bad because I’m usually the “upside” kinda girl.

I committed to doing this “what are you grateful for today” thing every day in November (you can follow that journey on social media if you want to).

But today, I wanted to sulk. Today was hard. I didn’t want to be grateful.

But, as a laid down to go to sleep… I felt convicted.

I do have a lot to be grateful for.. way more then the amount of days in November.

And especially on a night like tonight, I’m thankful for a Heavenly Father who walks with us during those rough times, whose promises never fail. I’m thankful I get to be a mom.. even though it was not fun or easy today… I know it is a gift.

We have seasons like these as parents where we are planting seeds and pulling weeds… in order to produce a fruit later. I know this, I just need to remember it. So I choose to “think on these things” as I sleep tonight. And I’m very thankful tomorrow is a new day. ❤️

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dirty pots & pans

cast-iron-skillet

I am currently reading “Kingdom Woman” by Tony Evans and daughter, Chrystal Evans Hurst. It’s been an awesome book so far, I highly recommend giving it a read.

I wanted to share an excerpt of the book that really hit home for me recently. See, we recently found out that our sweet foster son may be leaving us soon. We have had him since he was just 7 weeks old. He is almost 9 months now.

I knew this day would probably come soon, but it is still hard.

And, I am not going to lie. I go through really selfish moments during this whole fostering process. I find myself praying to God, “Why can’t he just stay with us? We would love to adopt him, Lord. He fits so well with our family. We couldn’t love him more if he was our own son! Why would you give us such a passion for this child and then have him leave?”

God always whispers back, “Trust me Jenny. I love this child more than you can ever comprehend. He belongs to me. Don’t you know that your two daughters aren’t even yours? That you don’t have control over their future anymore than you have over your foster sons?”

And it’s true.

God is in control. And I know it. So I will focus on that truth. He has great plans for this precious child, even if I don’t get to see it…. I believe in Him and His plan.

So, long story short. Times like these are just one of things that make being a foster parent hard. And sometimes, the thought runs across our minds that maybe we should just stop fostering because it’s too much. It’s too hard.

Haha, well I was having a bit of those thoughts this last week when I came across this part of the book… I thought it may encourage you today as well…

“Growing up I couldn’t understand why my mom let her pots look messy. Now as a grown woman myself, I know why. Good cooks have seasons pots and pans. My grandmothers all purpose skillet was cast iron- a veteran of many years. I think of my crock pot, it’s a favorite, even though it has a few scuffs of it’s own. If a pot or pan isn’t marked up, then that would indicate it hasn’t been used.

Let’s think of people like pots and pans. Society would say that someone who has imperfections is of less value or has a harder life.

But what about God? I think he sees the women with scuff marks are simply seasoned and therefore more available for His use because of their imperfection, inadequacy, or life struggles.

Sometimes the things we go through, or things that God asks us to do seem strange and far-fetched. Yet, when we are experiencing them we get to see God show up in a way that we never expect. Granted, we are sometimes worse for the wear, externally we may be tested, tried, and bruised- but just like those treasured pots and pans… it gives us flavor.

Living without smudges is possible, I suppose. But, I don’t think that’s what God looks for when he searches for a heart that will commit to following Him. Instead he looks for whether the woman has learned to depend on Him, whether she knows the value of commitment and faith.

One of the surest ways to stay off God’s miracle radar is to stay put in the cabinet of life in order to keep looking shiny and new. God isn’t looking for shiny and new, He is looking for seasoned faith.

Just like the pots and pans, we have to count the cost of living as a kingdom women. A kingdom woman realizes that sometimes the stove God places her on will get really hot. A kingdom woman understands that, at times, the stuff of life that she is required to cook may be very messy and leave evidence of her participation. But are we going to experience the good with the bad? Or we going to experience nothing and stay safely hidden away in the cabinet?

As I grow older and more seasoned, I am learning to fear the elements less. I am learning it is more valuable to step out in faith for God to use me then to hide away some religious, “Christian” walk where I don’t risk a bump or bruise.  I am learning to walk with a bit of life’s mess on me. Because those smudges, nicks, and scars are a testimony to God.

He looks at my heart. He looks at whether I respond to Him despite my circumstances. Not only will He meet my needs in those moments, He can use us to meet the needs of others as well.

God is looking for people who are willing to trade the shining exteriors for usefulness in His kingdom. God treasures the one who desires His purposes over an easy life. Our Father values women who love His plan for them more than they love their plan for the themselves… even when His plan may hurt.

God loves a woman who can trust that He will only let her experience the grit and grime if necessary for Him to fully use her for His glory. And he knows that she will come out of it in the end seasoned and blessed.”

Isn’t that some awesome truth? The things in our life may be hard and really hurt. But, isn’t it worth it knowing there is a bigger purpose? Id rather feel, even if sometimes it feels bad, than never feel at all.

And for those who are in a moment right now.. feeling beaten and bruised. Run to Him. Trust He can make good of it. Trust that it can bring Him glory if you are willing to be obedient to what He has for you.

What are some things that have seasoned you? How has it made you stronger in your faith? Please share, I’d love to hear your stories.