That Time I Prayed to be Invisible

My mother and I were in Birmingham for an event. We arrived on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon. I parked my car in the parking garage and we made our way to the venue two blocks away.

After enjoying the teaching and the music, ten thousand women exited the arena to make their ways to their vehicles. My mother and I turned to the right and began to walk and no one (not a single woman) followed us.

I don’t know how 9,998 other women all knew to park in the opposite direction. All I know is that my mother and I were left to walk alone, in the dark, to a parking garage two blocks away. Between us and the vehicle were abandoned buildings, empty parking lots and several men wandering the streets.

In that moment, all I could think to do was to pray that we were invisible. I asked the Lord that, if any of those men had any evil intentions, they simply would not see us. Now, I’m not saying that God made me invisible (although I’m not saying He didn’t either.) I do believe that God blinded the eyes of any potential enemy that night.

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I told that story at a recent women’s event to illustrate the power of prayer. I had forgotten about this incident and it came to me at the last minute. I couldn’t help but laugh as, as we walked those two blocks, I kept repeating, “It’s fine. They can’t see us. We’re invisible.”

Here’s the thing, though. I totally believed that God could do it. And, if I’m honest, it isn’t the first time I’ve prayed such a thing. Sometimes, at night, my spirit will feel unsettled and I’ll pray.

Lord, if there is anyone currently roaming the streets with ill intentions, let them not even take notice of our home.

God, if my children are out in public and the enemy is on the prowl, draw his attention away from my babies.

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It’s a prayer I’ve prayed often but never mentioned to anyone. It’s not exactly the parenting advice people expect.

What advice would you give for raising children in this broken world?

Oh, I just pray we’re all invisible.

Yeah. Hmm.

BUT – I found the coolest verse today.

Are you ready?

Wait for it…

Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked. – Psalm 64:2

I wanted to do the slow clap after reading it. Essentially, y’all, David just prayed to be invisible. Do with it what you will.

You are loved. ❤

Stacy

 

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Ten Tips for Navigating Motherhood

13226801_1107791052625520_6856197906297404978_nI found myself sitting in the bathroom eating a candy bar last night. I had the shower running to give the illusion that I was doing something productive. I know that some of you just cringed at the thought of eating in the bathroom. I regret to inform you I just don’t care about stuff like that. I also don’t care if the McRib is made out of real meat or if my children are wearing matching socks. I do, however, care that Toby from This is Us is not really overweight. I feel lied to now that I know he’s wearing a “fat suit.”

I just choose to not get worked up over certain issues. As I sat there alone with my Almond Joy, I was thinking about a conversation we had in Sunday School on the humility of Christ. How was He able to not get worked up all the time and to maintain humility when the people treated Him so poorly? Here’s what I think. Jesus was completely confident in who He was as God and in His ability to do what God had sent Him to do. It didn’t matter if the people mocked, questioned or refused to believe. He knew He was God.

People who are confident in who God created them to be and the task God has given them to do can be humble. They don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room. They don’t feel the need to air all of their thoughts on all the things. Humble people hear other people. They are not threatened by the opinions of others. So, when that mom sees your photo on Instagram and is all, “I can’t believe she doesn’t

roses1have her child rear-facing; he’s only thirteen,” you can smile and move on with your life.

I’m about to tell you something that will set. you. free. You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited. You can humbly decline the invitation when you are confident in your God-given mothering instincts and abilities. 

You can handle this mothering gig, my friends.

You are loved. ❤

 

 

Ten Tips for Navigating Motherhood

  1. Have a heart that is humble.

  2. Have a faith that is firm.

  3. Be careful with criticism.

  4. Choose the Word over the world.

  5. Have a character that is kind.

  6. Let go of guilt.

  7. Embrace grace.

  8. Follow Christ – not the crowd.

  9. Be more concerned with authenticity than appearances.

  10. A side of yogurt makes any meal healthy.

 

Trusting God’s Provision

Lack of provision is my biggest fear.

It seems, no matter how many times God provides for my needs, I fear that this time may just be the time that He doesn’t come through. It’s a constant cycle of me fearing, God providing, me repenting, only to end with me fearing once more.

Here I am in Exodus following the children of Israel through the wilderness. I hear their grumbling and, for the first time, recognize it as fear. He freed them, but would He protect them? He protected them, but would He feed them? He fed them, but would He remain with them?

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Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you…” – Exodus 16:4

The Lord promises His provision. He tells them that, come morning, they would be filled with bread. You would think that they would have rushed out at sunrise to gather up the bread. God had never failed to keep His word to them.

Yet, they seem to look around hesitantly. They see something on the ground, but it isn’t something they have seen before.

When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. – Exodus 16:15

As I read those verses, I just kept thinking that we do not always recognize God’s provision. Perhaps, it’s because we have our preconceived notions of how we thought He would provide. God’s way of providing often includes something new. Maybe it’s a new job that we didn’t even want. A new city. New friends. Sometimes, God may take away something that was no longer working for us in order to provide something better. It can be scary. We have to ask ourselves, “Do we want God to provide or not?”

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Make no mistake; God will provide.

Just don’t be afraid when you look around and think, “What is it?”

Recreating the Garden of Eden in 2014

I see y’all with your resolutions and your One Word declarations. I read about your plans for Scripture memorization and blessing counting and, to be honest, I feel like a bad Christian. In this season with all of its freshness and new beginnings, I’m just feeling a little dry. Ella Bible

So, I begin at the beginning and I remember. We were only dust, dry and frail, before God breathed.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. – Genesis 2:7

That was the beginning of life. We were physically formed, but we were breathed into existence. Here I sit, feeling like life has sucked the breath right out of me, and I want it back. I don’t want dry bones. I want God breath. But, how?

How does one go about recreating the Garden of Eden? How is it possible to go back to the place where God filled a person with his holy breath? Then, I see it.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. – Ezekiel 37:4-5

Sarah BibleThere, in the valley of dry bones, the word of the Lord brought with it the very breath of God. And the breath of God brought those dry bones back to life. It was the Garden of Eden all over again. New life. New breath.

The Spirit of God has made me;
    the breath of the Almighty gives me life. – Job 33:4

No weight loss or diet resolution can bring dry bones to life. No commitment to being better organized can ever breathe life back into us. Only God has the life restoring, spirit refreshing, body energizing kind of breath. So, how do we get it?

All Scripture is God-breathed… – 2 Timothy 3:16

Just open the pages and take a deep breath. If you read through the Bible in a year – great. If you memorize a verse a week – fabulous. Those things will be icing on the cake and icing, my friends, is a really good thing. 🙂 But, if you feel like you are just a bunch of dry bones walking around, I would encourage you to just open the pages of Scripture and allow God to breathe life back into you. It is what he has done from the very beginning.

Just breathe.

That seems like a good resolution for 2014.

Y’all are loved and adored.

 

The Key to the Simple Life is: More

In case you haven’t noticed, we are living in a world of weary people. Folks desire the simple life but, instead, find themselves striving and stressed. Ironically, this seems to be most apparent during this season of peace and good will toward men. We think it is necessary to buy everyone the perfect present. We have to make great grandma’s Christmas candy and it just won’t be Christmas unless we put out every single decoration and lighted whatnot that we own. coffee

Maybe, you think you’re just stressed because of the season and, when it’s over, you’ll be okay. You forget that you were just as dissatisfied with the way life was going back in July as you are now.

The problem you’re having is nothing new. The struggle for fulfillment is pretty much the theme of Ecclesiastes. King Solomon was the richest, wisest, and most accomplished man around and he had this to say about life.

All things are full of weariness; – Ecclesiastes 1:8

He was weary with his life.

the eye is not satisfied with seeing, not the ear filled with hearing. – Ecclesiastes 1:8

He was unsatisfied and struggled with contentment.

there is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9

He was bored.

See, nothing much has changed. If we are honest, we tend to be a weary, unsatisfied, bored people.

Maybe you feel that way. You go through the daily tasks. You do what you are supposed to do. But, at the end of the day, you just feel like you’re missing something. Life seems complicated and you long for something, well, less. Something simple. The irony is that, in your search for simple, you add more stuff. You think you need more organization, so you buy a new app for your smart phone. Nothing says simple like something homemade so you pull out the cook books looking for something. Forget the fact that cooking stresses you out.

You think you need to read another book.

Follow another blog.

Find another hobby.

Before you know it, your search for simple has become anything but simple.

Believe me, I know. I have been seeking simple for months. I haven’t completely found it, but I did discover a huge clue right here in the book of Ecclesiastes.

I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after the wind. – Ecclesiastes 1:14

All is vanity. Fleeting. Here today and gone tomorrow.

Striving after the wind. Grasping for things we can’t keep. Desperately reaching for things only to have them slip through our fingers.

The key words in that verse, however, are under the sun.

All of the above descriptions (weary, unsatisfying, boring, vain) describe a life lived under the sun. This is a phrase used to describe a life lived apart from God or his leading. Solomon wasn’t saying that all of life was vanity and striving. He was saying that all life lived apart from God was vanity and striving.

So, what was missing? King Solomon had wealth and women and fame and education and possessions. He had everything that he could provide for himself and, yet, something was missing. There was this elusive thing which he could not give to himself.

JOY.

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment. – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

A life lived apart from God is an exhausted and unfulfilled life.

The first step to a simple life is to replace our striving with joy. And, oddly enough, the key to the simple life is more. More of him.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy. – Psalm 16:11

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I’m working on a January series for the blog called Seeking Simple. Each week, I will look at a different area of our lives that needs simplified and, hopefully, give some practical tips that will help. I’m still working on it so, if there is a particular area of life you would like addressed, send me a note – servantslife (at) gmail (dot) com –  or leave a comment on this post.