Holes in my shoes

This morning, I woke up ready to take on the day!  Seriously, things were going off without a hitch and we were on time and life was good.  I took the big girls to school and then came home to begin getting A ready.  She looked quite cute in her little ruffled leggings and super sweet twirly dress.  She even picked a cute chunky necklace and a big pink bow to put in her perfectly placed ponytail.  I went to the kitchen to finish making her lunch and told her to put on her shoes and grab her backpack.  She came to me in a bit of a panic because she couldn’t find her folder.  We looked for a bit and then decided maybe one of her sisters had accidentally grabbed it as they all keep their backpacks in the reading nook side by side.  Our folder search ate up any spare time and before I knew it, we were on the verge of running late.   I quickly ushered her into the car and we sped off to school.  Upon arrival, I struggled to help her grab her nap mat, backpack, lunchbox, Ted, and her quest box (why does a 4 year old need this much gear for MDO?!?!?!).  We fought our way up the stairs and into class and her teacher commented on how pretty she looked.  I noticed she had a little breakfast left on her face so ushered her to the sink to wash her face before kissing her to tell her goodbye.  There my perfectly dressed little princess stood before me smiling as I glanced over her to proudly bask in all her head to toe adorableness.  That’s when I noticed it…

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There before me were her big toes gleaming out staring me in the face.  I could immediately feel my smile contort into an open mouthed gaping state of shock.  I froze absolutely horrified and began to panic.  You see these old glittery toms had become her “play shoes”.  She would slip them on and frolic outside to play for hours.  Recently, I had noticed her dragging them along the concrete as she rode her scooter and thus had ripped holes in the toes.  I told her to throw them away and that I would get her a new pair.  I trusted that she had but they’re her favorite shoes all broken in and comfy like that and so I guess she couldn’t bare to see them go.  I began to explain the situation to her teacher and vowed to return shortly with a less beggar looking pair.  I drove home in a hurry eager to grab some decent foot ware and return them to my little darling.

As I left the school for the second time after delivering suitable shoes, something hit me.  I have holes in my shoes too.  Not literally.  Metaphorically speaking.  My life is imperfect.  I often fall short of the mother, the wife, the daughter, sister, friend, and Christaian that I want to be, that I know God wants me to be.  I sin and disobey and cling to things in my life that are broken because they are “comfortable”.  When God tells me, “throw those things out, they are not good for you, I have something better for you”, I ignore him.  I look past those holes because grabbing a hold of something new is scary.  Sometimes new shoes leave blisters until they’re broken in you just have to get through that initial pain before they become your new favorite shoes.  Sometimes it’s easier to put a patch on the holes in those old shoes than it is to risk the blister of the new ones.  But God wants us to have new shoes.  He wants us to be the very best that we can be and he wants us to remember that he’s there with us through that blistery transition period.  I want to encourage you today to look at the holes in your own shoes.  Those broken relationships, that self inflicted criticism, those judgements, those addictions.  Lay that worn down pair of shoes at His feet and exchange them for a shiny new pair.  Exchange them for healing.  Remember, they won’t feel perfect the second you put them on for the first time.  They’ll be stiff and may cause blisters and that’s okay.  It’s just part of the process.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  psalm 147:3

 

 

Today’s youth group-tomorrow’s adults!

I sit in the same section every Sunday at church. On the far right 1 row behind the teenagers/youth. Some people are annoyed by them but not me, I’m absolutely fascinated by them. Something about sitting behind them encourages me and gives me hope for the future. Why? Because it’s a place where otherwise macho jock teenage boys will hug each other as brothers in Christ. It’s a place where teens will huddle around a friend laying hands on one another in prayer. It’s a place where the popular trendy looking girls embrace the not so fashionable ones as their sisters. Watching teens with arms extended high to the Lord fills my cup. They aren’t ashamed of their faith, they embrace it. They don’t sink into their seats for fear of looking “uncool”, they jump, they shout, they sing, they dance, they praise! These kids aren’t here because their parents dragged them there, these kids are truly on fire for the Lord and it shines! This is encouraging to me because the world has set them up for spiritual failure. Everything on television, in music, movies, and magazines seems to be advertising sin. Satan entices our children with every temptation that is meant to drag them down to the fiery pits of hell with him. He wraps that sin up in a beautiful red ribbon and it’s hard to resist, especially when you aren’t well equipped. My girls and my nieces aren’t teenagers yet but I know that day is right around the corner for us. I’m so blessed to have many amazing teenage girls that I’ve adopted as my nieces over the years. I’ve loved watching them grow into beautiful, amazing, intelligent, caring, compassionate, God-fearing young women. My heart breaks for them when I see them struggling with some of the “normal” teenage girl dramas and heartaches. I try to reach out and encourage them to the best of my ability because it’s MY responsibility as cooky adoptive aunt to pour into their lives. It’s MY responsibility to show them the love that God has for them. There are a million and one people and influences swirling around them daily pulling them in the wrong direction, giving them destructive “advice”, pressuring them to sin so they need just as many influences lifting them up and encouraging them in the word. We are living in a world where kids who don’t know the Lord are committing unspeakable crimes against other teens and themselves. Our high schools are filled with young pregnant girls, STD’s, drugs, suicide, crime, teenagers with no accountability for their actions whatsoever. I want to encourage each and every one of you whether you have teenagers of your own or not to lift our youth up in prayer daily. Pray a hedge of protection over them and their friends. Pray that they will be so filled with the spirit of the Lord that satan can not sway them. Pour into their lives and be a good listener. Drop unexpected encouraging texts and emails. They need to know that the price of sin is death and that Jesus brings life. Remember that today’s teenagers, are the leaders of tomorrow. If we don’t cover these kids in the blood of the lamb and teach them right from wrong, if we don’t nurture and encourage a Christ centered life, we are not only doing them an injustice but we are sabotaging the future of our nation, of our world. Our teenage girls are especially under attack. Society tells them they aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, popular enough. Society will teach them that they need the love and attention of a boy to make them feel complete. But, we need to teach them that they are the daughter of a King and their heavenly father thinks they are beautiful and perfect and loves them more completely than any high school boy could even fathom. It’s up to us to raise and encourage God fearing women who will go on to raise and encourage another generation of God fearing women. It’s up to us to pour into those teenage boys and show them how to love and respect a woman just as their heavenly father loves the church, his bride. It’s important that we teach them to love others despite their differences. Schools are filled with so many cliques and so much division, we must teach them to close in those gaps and come together as a family of Christ sharing one simple goal. Love God, love others. Rejoice in the truth and not delight in evil. If we all pour into these tweens/teens and show them to follow Christ, help them fall in love with Him and his word, we can change the world. These kids are our future. Invest in your future! ❤ Be the light! ❤

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
Proverbs 11:14

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:5