Do not be afraid of a life of sacrifice…
I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts then there is no hurt, only more love.
— Mother Teresa
Funny, Not Funny
Faithfulness is a funny word to try to wrap our minds around and then at times, not very funny at all.
Like the faithfulness of newborn baby diaper “blow-outs”. Whew, I mean, I was laughing and even with tears a lot of the time, but I think that was more of a stress release?
There’s the faithfulness of how one particular son of mine always NEEDS to use the restroom as soon as it’s time for him to do the dishes…
(I’m not actually trying to only think of examples that have to do with bathroom topics, I guess it’s just a big part of my life with half a dozen kids? Ok, don’t worry, keep reading, I’ll stop there.)
Yeah, the word “faithfulness” can bring a flood of thoughts quick as lightning and for many it’s a powerful word because it immediately touches raw nerve endings that send more bitterness of pain than anything funny, and I’m not talking about the bathroom again.
Faithfulness is suppose to mean true, but in many, many cases it has been abused. Faithfulness means to be reliable, trustworthy and steadfast, but manipulators have told us to be “loyal” and twisted what love really means, really looks like. Is this word recoverable?
Can we wrap our mind around something pure, something true, when we hear the word faithfulness? Or is all that is left a mocking and hollow echo of what it once was? I believe we have a hunger and thirst to be faithful, to be dedicated, but apathy is easier when we’ve been hurt, by others or by ourselves or by lies.
There’s a great need for faithfulness in motherhood, and there’s hardly an uglier lie than the one that hangs over us and says, “You can’t. You’re not enough. You don’t even know how.” We must know this: it’s much less about us, and much more about the One Who is Faithful and True by definition. He can build faithfulness in us, author it, form it, and inspire it.
It’s Not About Us
We had a large bonfire blazing and glowing against the dark in our backyard several weeks ago. The warmth broke the chill of the winter night in the sweetest way, the way you remember. However, even when the fire was at it’s peak, our children were at their day’s end. It was time to get them tucked in. There’s a slim chance of putting an end to that much fun without tears — so we let everyone help put it out! We passed around the buckets and rakes and hose.
You should’ve seen all that steam. We’re talking eight strong against one fire, can you see it? Finally, the crackling stopped, and we had a literal mote of water encircling. The silence under the dark, clear sky rivaled the raucous of the flames we were enjoying moments before. Stillness, deep breaths and an ending; I could feel the chilled breeze on my face again.
Got the kids inside, brushed their teeth, said no to a late night movie, said yes to a story book, said no to hide-n-seek in the basement, said, “Come back in here!”. Thirty minutes later one of the kids looks out the window and says, “Fire! the fire is back!”. Yay! more buckets and rakes and hose and…
Got the kids inside, wrangled in bed, said no to using the underside of the bunk-bed like monkey bars, said yes to lots of wet kisses, said no to,”one more last drink??”, said yes to a glass of wine with Jay. Two hours later I took a look out the window and guess what? Fire, the fire was back. I wondered if there would be more to that cool breeze. Sometimes chill seems so cruel. Sometimes it’s the very tool that brings us back to life.
Seeing Under the Heap
The word faithfulness has been sullied, covered over and confused to us. We look to others and ourselves, but we don’t know. We don’t know how to kindle flame again, how to start fire with bitter wind?
The wonder is though: it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what we know or see or understand. The design is beyond us. Though manipulators think they control, though nations rage and though we’re not really sure anymore what it means to be “faithful”, the good news is that it’s much less about us and everything about the Faithful One, our Father in Heaven.
I don’t know what your experiences are with true faithfulness, lack or goodness. So, here’s a seed for your garden: the source is God, not people. This is where I’ve gone the most wrong. I want to expect faithfulness from others in wholeness and I want to see it in my life fully ripened. This is not a wrong desire, but it is a misplaced hope if I expect maturity without trial or perfection outside of the definition of humility. We need mercy, for one another and for ourselves. This is the faithfulness God desires in our lives.
The great news is, it’s here, it’s available. There’s a way to live from our hearts with passion and grace, a way to find wholeness even if we have suffered from hearts who don’t seem to have the first clue, yet. Even if we’ve never seen it modeled. So don’t doubt, pray, ask for vision.
I do not pray for success. I pray for faithfulness.
I do not think there is anyone who needs God’s help and grace as much as I do. Sometimes I feel so helpless and weak. I think that is why God uses me. Because I cannot depend on my own strength, I rely on him 24 hours a day. — Mother Teresa
Don’t believe anyone is beyond His Holy Breath fanning that ember. Remember, sometimes it feels like a chilly wind. The ember IS there, He made sure of that. It’s called His image and we’re all made from the same material. Don’t only look to ourselves to produce this or others to be perfect in it, look to our Author.
In my pouring out, let me be entirely Yours—caught by You, found, seen.
Then, would You fill me again? I desire to be filled with Your Holy Spirit and be a vessel in Your hand, pouring out the blessing You are. Thank You that You lead me gently! May I see the reality of You in all—so that my life will speak that You are all in all.
—Excerpt from Day 9 in Pray, Like a Woman in Labor 14 Days of Prayer for Mothers (my first book!)
Seeking the Faithful One with you,
Hey guys, my name is Raynna. Bringing courage and kindness to my fellow moms is my goal. God has big plans for us, we’re changing the world while we serve our families, and I’m not even kidding. In fact I’ve never been more serious about anything in my entire life or free! God gives the gift of freedom to not only live with passion where He has planted us but also to see that because He is able, we are able. In our weakness, He is strong. This is true. Want some company on your journey to live to your full potential where God has called you? That’s why I write! Subscribe here to get my updates directly in your inbox. Also, check out my book where I invite you to seek this worldview I’m writing about here through prayer.