Truth with Love

Unless you have been on a deserted island and without communication, I’m sure you have heard about the Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decision this past week. The chatter on social media has been incessant.

I’ll be honest, I have wrestled with this post since SCOTUS handed down their decision. I questioned whether I wanted to use this platform to discuss such a hot topic. Would people really hear my heart?

But it’s still raging around in my head and my broken heart. I’m learning that the road to authenticity is written with my heart, and this weighs heavy on my heart. Like a drippy faucet, these words just keep demanding my attention.

So today, I come to you with an open heart and with words that have been prayed over again and again, asking God that my words would bring no harm and only be for His glory.

My heart is broken over the SCOTUS decision. And it’s not because I’m homophobic or don’t believe in rights and choice. But it’s broken because our nation needs healing and it begins with us.

Each. And. Every.One. Of. Us.

My heart is broken that as a nation that we find ourselves here with such dividing lines.

And yet it does not surprise me. We have been asking God to leave us to ourselves, to make our own decisions, and our choices so that we could live our own lives for so long. And so He has. He’s good like that- letting us make our choice.

But we must know that God must be God. We can’t fit Him into a box or make Him politically correct. I’d imagine His heart is broken over the continued choices of His creation to blatantly make laws that defy His Word.

And it’s not just this issue but the million ways we ride the waves of culture and turn our backs on Him. We forget that as Christians we are called to be a  light in a dark world, which often means being countercultural. But somehow we must learn to do it with love.

We are called to a life of Love. Without love and remembering that we too were once sinners, we only throw stones when we should be opening our arms to love one another.

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Yet speaking truth with love is risky.  Some will hate us for it. Some will persecute us for it. Of that we can be certain. I have been inspired by reading about Paul’s life in the New Testament. He endured so much persecution but he continued to speak truth about the gospel of Christ with love.

This has been such a hard topic for me to articulate for a million different reasons. Most of all because I have friends who feel so deeply on each side of this particular chasm. And somewhere in the middle I stand trying to hear the voices on both sides yet listening hard after what God is saying to my heart.

So I thought I’d leave you with a few links to various articles and a video that come from people with much more authority, education and leadership than I have. Their insights into this difficult topic have resonated so much with what is in my heart this week.

I pray you will watch and read them for yourself. Even more than that, I pray you will open God’s word and let Him speak to your heart on this subject. Not the news. Not your friends. Not social media. Not even this blog post and the links.

Let Him speak truth to your heart.

Focus on the family had a beautiful response about hope and God’s love.

 

Russell Moore had an eye-opening response about why the church should not cave or panic about this issue. You can read it here

Let’s seek the kingdom. Let’s stand with the gospel. Let’s fear our God. But let’s not fear our mission field. ~ R. Moore

Joel Rosenberg had some thoughts about the implications of this decision.

You can read his post here.

Heidi St. John from The Busy Mom said some things that you can read here. It really struck a chord with me as our to response as Christians.

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My prayer is that we never stop loving. Never stop serving one another. And never stop seeking God’s truth in all that we do.

May we remember His grace is abundant. His love knows no bounds.

Oh that we would share that message and remember how He saved us because He first loved us.

Blessings, Darcy

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Sunday Encouragement

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Regardless of what the world looks like and the struggles we are facing, there are some things that we would do well to be in awe of – our God is mighty and and HIS STATUTES stand firm.

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,

mightier than the breakers of the sea –

the LORD on high is mighty.

Your statutes stand firm.

Psalm 93: 4-5a (NIV-emphasis mine)

Blessings, Darcy

(Photo credit)

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Boxes and More Boxes

 

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Can we just agree that packing is the worst part of moving?

We have moved countless times in 24 years of marriage and packing is always a chore. But that is what fills my days right now.

As our moving date is just a few weeks away, the anticipation heightens that we are moving “home” (or at least a lot closer to home). In fact, my Mom texted a few days ago and wanted proof that all those boxes are getting packed.

I laughed when I got her text. Isn’t it funny how when we can’t be there to see it in person, we still want to see that it is getting done. Seeing it makes it real – that it’s happening and progress is being made.

And they are. Those boxes are getting filled one by one with our belongings. Little things, big things, things we cherish and some that are just necessary.

Some things have brought me great joy to “discover” them again – like letters from my love when he was in the Gulf War and we were dating. Be still my heart.

Others capture a memory of a loved one who has passed on.

The countless cards sent to me by my BFF tell a tale of 20+ years of friendship – enduring so much of life together.

I can’t help but think if someone else opened the boxes, they might just see all of it as “stuff.” And much of it is.

But these boxes also could tell a little story of our lives.

24 years of marriage. 4 children. Family. Friendships. Memories.

So while packing is a chore and loading it on the truck will be an even bigger task, today I’m grateful for the story the boxes tell. The things that will make our new place feel like home. And that packing them means we are moving forward into what God has for us. The adventure awaits.

Blessings, Darcy

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7 Quick Takes Friday #2

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I had so much fun last Friday linking up to SQT/7QT, I thought I would go for round two this week!

~1~

Our church had Kids Camp this week. Hannah has been volunteering until she got sick yesterday. Nate was suppose to go but he has been sick all week (he is finally getting better!). But Dan has had a blast going to Kids Camp. Yesterday, he brought home this picture. When I asked him about it, he said “You know, that story. That one where the little man is in the tree.” :-) (not really sure but it looks to me like that little man is wearing an eye patch – maybe Dan thinks he was a pirate!)

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~2~

Two more trips to get boxes for packing happened this week. Thanks to a tip from a friend, Dollar General breaks down all their boxes and leave them in carts at back of store. Quick and easy way to get boxes if anyone is need! Of course, the package store was obliged to let us take another van full of their liquor boxes yesterday. And they weren’t broken down yet so even better!

~3~

I finished week 4 of my bible study this week and am thoroughly enjoying it. This study is based on 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Two things that have stuck with me this week:

Based on 1 Thessalonians 4: 11 ~ Beth Moore says:

“Mind your own business…I’m learning that some things we simply do not want to know. Some things we cannot handle knowing and still love like we are called to love.

So much truth. Keep that tidbit handy next time you think you really think you want to know something. Ask yourself, “Do I really? Can I handle it and still love like Christ calls me to love?”

In reference to 1 Thessalonians 4:10 and Paul calling the Thessalonians to love more and more. She explains that we need to love more and more but there is an exception – God’s divine love.

“The God who beckons you to love more and more cannot love you more. Not matter how you grow in diligence and obedience, you cannot increase His affection for you…At your darkest moment, you were loved to the fullest measure.

Just try to wrap your head around that this weekend. Loved to the fullest measure. Yes, you are.

~4~

In between packing, I have watched way too many episodes of Lost this week. And y’all, I just might turn grey or pull all my hair out by the time I finish this series. Sometimes I cry. And other times, I tell my husband to just shut it off that I can hardly stand the characters some days. Don’t know why it gets my emotions running hot, but it does. Guess that makes for good TV!

~5~

We celebrated our oldest’s birthday yesterday. Still can hardly believe that he turned 19! How can I be old enough to have a 19 year-old? He is like his mother and like to keep things simple. So Chick-fil-A for lunch and then we celebrated with cupcakes. Then he had to go to work!

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My neighbor is going out of town for a few days. She asked me to water her plants while she is gone. One thing you should know about me is that I kill all manner of plants. My husband bought me a cactus early in our marriage in the hopes that at least I couldn’t kill that, but I did. I’m nervous about having so much responsibility to water these plants. I don’t even own a watering can. She had to loan me hers. I’m feeling the pressure to get it right and not kill her 4 plants in the next four days. Thank God she left me detailed instructions! My husband burst out laughing when he found out I agreed to water her plants. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

~7~

I had a lunch with a friend this week to say our goodbyes. Her family is going on an extensive summer trip so will be gone when we move in two weeks. I am no good at goodbyes. But I thoroughly enjoyed spending some time with her and am so thankful for the budding friendship that God has given us.

So that is it this week! I hope you had a wonderful week!

Blessings, Darcy

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19 years

IMG_236819 years ago today, I gave birth to our first born.

Oh, how I remember the excitement and impatience. We so longed to meet our baby boy and welcome him into our family.

Those early days were filled with diapers, feedings, and exhaustion but also such sweetness and pure awe over having been a part of creating new life.

And then time began to race. First days of Pre-K, then those elementary years, followed by middle school and the final years of high school. It seemed one year just morphed into the next until he donned that graduation cap just a few weeks ago.

As I sit in the quiet this morning, I can hardly believe that it has been that long. Where did the moments go? Have I enjoyed them enough? Will he remember that the good always outweighs the bad?

I often tease him that he was the first born and thus the guinea pig for our parenting skills. We had NO idea what we were doing and he bore the brunt of those parenting mistakes.

Truth be told, we still have no idea what we are doing some days, despite adding three more kids to our mix. I think we have just gotten a little better at winging it!

I also think we realize how quickly time goes and rigidity is not the way to celebrate the days but more creativity and more willingness to enjoy the mess. Saying yes more often than saying no. More love and laughter. Those are things we need more of as the days race by.

God blessed us with each of our children who are each unique in their own right.

But today, I am so thankful for that first-born. He is a blessing and taught me so much about love and grace.

I’m thankful that he gave me the gift of being a mother.

Blessings, Darcy

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Making Time

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Yesterday, I wrote about practicing our faith and how important it is to invest time with God through bible reading and prayer.

I’ve been thinking about this and how much it has been a game changer in my life.

But to be honest, it has been an inconsistent practice in my life. All too often, I have been too busy or too tired or too caught up in my own issues to make time for this.

I wish I could tell you it changed it over night but it started with small steps that turned into making it a habit in my life.

I do realize how hard it is to make time, especially as a busy mom (remember I have those 4 kids!) but I want to encourage you with a few things you can do to start practicing this habit.

1. Get Up Early. I know. I know. Everyone cringes at the thought of it, especially if you have little ones keeping you up at night. But I tell you it is key. You don’t always have to spend that focused time with God in the morning but I have found there is just something about it. The house is quiet, peaceful, and it’s just you and God. He will meet you there every morning. Promise.

2. Be Consistent.  They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. If you get up 30 minutes early for the next month, I guarantee you won’t even need the alarm clock anymore. In fact, I suspect the Spirit will give you a holy nudge to wake you up even earlier before too long.

3. Be Expectant. For many years this was just something I thought I should do to check it off on my good girl checklist. But hear me loud and clear, it is so much more than that. Remember that He wants to spend time with you. He loves you. Consider it your early morning date with the Creator. Even if it is only 15-30 minutes. Just begin spending time searching His word and pouring out your heart to Him.

4. Be prepared. Get your bible and whatever else you use for your quiet time. It could be a devotional book, a bible study, a journal, or a book that you are reading. I keep all my “morning stuff” together in a basket so I have it all in one place. For me, I prefer to have a devotional book or bible study to guide my time. It helps a lot when you wake up sleepy 😉 – it gives you something to focus on and direct the time until it becomes more routine.

5. Be Attentive. Commit yourself to making time for Him first. While I grab my phone when I climb out of bed in the morning, I do not allow myself to access it until I’m finished with this quiet time. I also grab my laptop but only use it for bible study tools. Somehow setting aside and giving Him my complete attention before the day begins makes all the difference in the world.

6. Just Start. Wherever you are at. Whatever you have. Most of us have a bible and an alarm clock in our homes. If no bible, the internet has great resources for online bibles. If you don’t have a devotional book or study, grab some paper and start opening up your heart and pouring out your concerns to the Father. If you aren’t sure what to read, Proverbs has 31 books so it’s very easy to read a Proverb a day for a month. Don’t worry about doing this right or wrong because there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just begin.

These have been the steps I have taken that have helped me maintain a consistent time to spend with the Lord. And in doing that, it has become a life-changing habit. You won’t be disappointed.

Blessings, Darcy

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