livingthrufaith

a blog about life, family, and faith


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The Heart of the Matter

Every year, especially during football season, my kids will ask me why I am not rooting for a certain player or team.  And I usually get a few eye rolls when I tell them it is because of their character.  How they play the game means more to me than their stats.  How they treat their opponent or the officials, how they respond to a bad call or botched play, how they walk off the field shows me a glimpse of their true character.  It shows me a glimpse of their heart.

I’m not looking at their outward appearance.  I’m not looking at the color of their skin, the tattoos on their arms, or the jersey they wear.  I’m looking at their heart.  I’m looking at their heart because my kids are looking at the person running those plays, making those choices, and setting examples whether they own up to it or not.  I’m looking at their heart because it is my job to help form the hearts of my kids.

One part of helping to form the hearts of my kids is to teach them to look past what someone looks like on the outside and to look at the person on the inside.  In light of recent events, that means teaching them that…

Just because someone is black doesn’t make them a criminal.

Just because someone is white doesn’t make them a racist.

Just because someone wears a uniform doesn’t make them a bad cop.

Just because someone goes to church doesn’t make them a Christian.

As parents it is our job to help our kids learn to make decisions and judgments on their own.  It is our job to teach our kids what to look at and consider when making those judgments.  It is our job to give our kids the tools they need to make those decisions.

We all have kids in our lives whether they are ours or not that look to us for examples on living life.  We even have kids we don’t know watching us.  The kid down the aisle in the grocery store is watching and listening.  They are watching how you react to the person blocking the aisle or listening to the words you are saying over the phone.  Even if you aren’t paying attention, they are.

So, do you want to make a difference in this world today?

Do you want to do something to counter act the evil like we’ve seen lately?

Then let’s get to the heart of the matter.

And while we are at it, let’s teach our kids how to get there too.

Living thru faith,

Misty

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This last week a friend’s daughter, Emily, reminded me in one of her Facebook posts of these verses in the book of Habakkuk.  As I read them, I thought how these words of old have never rung more true in my lifetime.

How long, O Lord, must I call for help,

but you do not listen?

Or cry out to you, “Violence!”

but you do not save?

Why do you make me look at injustice?

Why do you tolerate wrong?

Destruction and violence are before me;

there is strife, and conflict abounds.

Therefore the law is paralyzed,

and justice never prevails.

The wicked hem in the righteous,

so that justice is perverted.

Habakkuk 1:1-4

In these days where politics has sunk to new lows, where hate appears to justify killing, where fear rules people’s lives and darkness invades where light once shone brightly, we cry out to the Lord and ask “Why do you not listen?  Why do you not do something to stop this evil?”

But hear the Lord’s answer:

 

The good news is that the Lord does hear our cries.

He will answer.

In Habakkuk 2:3b the Lord continues His answer by saying of His revelation,

“Though it linger, wait for it;

it will certainly come and will not delay.”

God will answer.

In His perfect timing.

Until then, we will continue to cry out in the faith and knowledge that He is Lord.

He is on the Throne.

He has overcome the world.

He wins!

Living thru faith,

Misty


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The Tomb is Still Empty

This week is Holy Week.

This week we remember Jesus’ walk to the cross.

This week we remember the pain and the suffering.

This week we remember the love and the sacrifice made for us on Good Friday.

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But after Friday comes Sunday…

Sunday we will celebrate Easter!

Sunday we will celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead!

Sunday we will celebrate that we no longer have to be separated from our Father!

Sunday we will celebrate that the tomb is still empty!

But, oh there is more good news!

We do not have to wait till Sunday to celebrate.

Because we know the One who paid the debt we could never pay, we can celebrate every day!

Let us always remember the sacrifice that was made for us and celebrate the joy that comes with knowing that the tomb is still empty!

Living thru faith,

Misty


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Faithfulness Like the Mighty Mountains

In October, Brian and I had the opportunity to travel to the beautiful state of Washington. It was my first time in the Pacific Northwest so we took a few extra days to spend some time with his dad’s cousins near Olympia before heading back to Seattle for a conference.

We were able to experience God’s awe inspiring creation of Mt. Ranier.

The views were breathtaking!

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I began this post soon after Brian and I returned from that trip.

But life suddenly changed directions.

Right before the trip my dad had a stroke and then within two weeks after we returned we received the word of his cancer diagnosis.  Four weeks later he passed away.

Life can change in a moment.

It usually happens when we are not expecting it – when we are looking in one direction and never expecting to have to change that direction.

But isn’t it wonderful to know that in the midst of all of life’s changes one thing will never ever change?

One thing stays constant.

One thing is steadfast.

One thing stands tall and strong like the mighty mountains.

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Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.  Psalm 36:5-6

God’s love.

His love never fails.

He is always faithful.

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He is our Father, our Savior, our Redeemer.

He is our strength when we are weak from all of life’s twists and turns.

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 Just like the mighty mountains, His love cannot be moved.

His love endures forever and ever and ever.

For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Psalm 117:2

Living thru faith,

Misty


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Just Be Held

I remember when my children were little and had gotten some kind of boo-boo, they would come running to me with arms stretched up wanting to be picked up and held.  They would sit in my lap and cry while I held them.  Soon they would stop crying and wriggle their little bodies back down.  Boo-boo forgotten and ready to tackle the world again.  They just needed to be held for a few minutes to set the world right again.

I also remember holding those little hands while walking in parking lots or through stores.  I held on tightly to keep them safe.  They held on because they knew it was what they were supposed to do; however, there were times I remember those little hands wriggling to get free, but I just held on tighter.  I loved them too much to let go.

So many times we say to just hold on to God.  And there is so much truth in that.  We have to hold on, even when we want to wriggle out of that hold to rush on to something grand and exciting.  But then God holds on tighter because He knows what is better for us.  And just like there were times my children ran off when they knew they were supposed to stay with me, sometimes we let go of that hold of God and run off without Him.  He doesn’t leave us.  We leave him, even when we know we just need to keep holding on.

But then there are those times, when life is unkind and unfair and hurtful.  Those are the times when we need to run to Him with our arms stretched up.  We need to let our Father pick us up, place us in His lap, and let Him just hold us tightly.  Those are the times when we sit and cry until we are ready to wriggle back down and tackle the world.

My family is going through a very sad time right now.  All is not right in our world.  I am walking through this time, holding on tightly to my Father as He guides me through each day.  And then there are those times when I have to climb up and cry and just be held for a little while.  Then I am ready to move forward, tackle the mountains, deal with what is unkind and unfair and filled with hurt while holding on to His hand.  And when it gets too much, I know I can let go of His hand, stretch up my arms, and just be held.

Living thru faith,

Misty


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Garbage In, Garbage Out

I have told this to my kids for years.

It typically is said right along with “Just cause you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Of course, I usually get the eye roll, the “Yeah, yeah, I know”, or “Whatever, Mom”.

Most of the time, I’m referring to some movie filled with extreme violence or horrible language or music that is sexually suggestive or a youtube video showcasing someone’s humiliation.

The whole point is that if we fill our heads and ears and eyes with garbage it becomes a part of who we are and comes out through our mouths and our thoughts and even our actions.  It doesn’t mean if you watch a movie where someone robs a convenience store, you are going to go out and do the same.  It just means if we inundate our minds with negativity, unpure thoughts, demeaning behaviors, etc. it will eventually change how we look at things and how we treat other people.

“…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in him.”  Matthew 12:34-35

I was recently reading Out of the Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker (this woman is hilariously insightful!).  The devotion that day was about filling our hearts with goodness so that we can be better mothers, but I think it speaks to each of us regardless if we have children.

“Motherhood is like a pitcher with a hole in the bottom: a constant drain on our energy, patience, and tolerance…  Our only hope to speak with kindness, to lead with patience, and to not threaten our children with homicide is to ensure that our spiritual reserves are not bone-dry.  Moms are the middle of the flow chart; the arrows of exertion flow constantly out from us, but when no arrows of strength, grace and peace are flowing in, the whole mechanism is in danger.” p. 36

I realized I was missing a piece of the point I’ve been trying to teach my kids.

There is a flip side to “garbage in, garbage out”.

While we need to be keeping the garbage out, we also need to be filling our hearts with goodness, so that we can share that goodness with those around us…

Noticing the person behind you has fewer items and letting them check out before you…

calling a friend just to see how their day is going instead of to ask for a favor…

waiting to hold the door open for a slow moving elderly lady when you are already running late…

speaking kindly to someone who was only rude to you…

These are all actions that speak out from the goodness in our hearts.

We fill our hearts with goodness by spending time with God and in His word, daily.

Taking even brief moments to rest in Him and with Him, talking to Him, and listening to Him.

I guarantee it will change how you feel physically and emotionally, how you handle the rough spots at home or at work, and it will change how you relate to each person that walks into your life, even if they are only there for a moment.

Because that small moment they experience goodness might be the one glimpse they see of Jesus.

So, yes.

Garbage in, garbage out.

But we can’t ignore the flip side.

Goodness in, goodness out.

Living thru faith,

Misty


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It’s a Beautiful Day

Some days my greatest accomplishment is making the bed.

That was yesterday.

Seriously, that is about the only thing I got done yesterday.

Although… if you add driving to pick up pizza for supper, that would make 2 accomplishments!!

Whoo hoo!! 🙂

Today is a new day.

A chance for a change in perspective.

Yesterday, I was the bug.

Today, I’ll be the windshield.

It’s a new day.

It’s a beautiful day.

Do you need a change of perspective today?

Just focus on the One who made today a new day.

Living thru faith,

Misty