Archive for March, 2014

easy street

“But easy street is a dead-end street.”

Philippians 3: 17-19 (The Message)

I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and don’t you forget it!

In February 2012, I started a journey to get healthy and feel better about myself.  My twins were not quite one year old yet, and I felt horrible.  I had no energy, I felt fat, and did not know what to do. I hated seeing myself in pictures and videos.  That was when I saw a friend of mine on Facebook who had experienced a total transformation over a period of several years.  It was when I saw a photo of her and said “WOW”, that I knew she had found something.  Her spirits were high; she was so encouraging to others; she seemed very content. 

In my first four weeks of my first Team Beachbody challenge, I lost 22 lbs. and 28 inches off my body… I felt great!  It has been up and down since – an early morning workout is hard to maintain when boys are growing and stages are passing (teething, sickness, growth).  But, I can still say that I weigh less than I did before having my first son over five years ago.  I still have a long way to go, but I am down two sizes in pants in the past two years.  I feel healthier than I ever have, but I still struggle with being happy in my own skin.

Isn’t it amazing how some kid’s comment in middle school can stick with you the rest of your life?  Why do we remember these horrible comments said in a pre-pubescent ignorance?  Why do these words stick and God’s words do not?  Isn’t God more trustworthy than the kid we rode the bus with when we were 12?  

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

 “For you formed my inward parts;

You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 

Wonderful are your works,

 And my soul knows it well.”

Psalm 139: 13-14

Oh, soul, if you know it so well, why do you forget it so often?  Why do circumstances get in the way of the Truth?  Why do others change in my mind what I know to be true of God?  How can it be, that one small word can have such a lasting impact on my heart and my mind?

“Home is the tr…

“Home is the true wife’s kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful. She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors. These are hers, and no other one’s.”
– JR. Miller

Hospitality

This week I’ve been doing a lot of reading and studying about hospitality.  About opening our home to others.  As most of us do, we have a “Martha Stewart” pie-in-the-sky ideal of what that should look like.  The invitation goes out.  We have time to plan and prepare for the one(s) we have invited.  Or, we have a group that comes each week and we serve and show our hospitality at that time.  Reality then sets in and life happens, the invitation never gets sent in spite of all good intentions.  The small group we wanted to invite over once a week never happens.  It all falls through and our ideal is never realized.

So many times when I read about opening up my home to others, I cringe.  Not because I don’t want to, but because I have three little men who like to stir things up all the time.  I clean everything up, organize all the toys while they’re asleep, and they just mess them and the whole house up again the next day.  We try to contain it in a couple of rooms, but as they get older, they want to be where we are, not confined to one or two room alone.  Or I’ve washed the kitchen floor this morning, and by the time I get home at 5pm, it’s dirty again…how does that happen.  How do I get ALL the clothes washed, folded and put away, and come home to a mountain of clothes again?  And don’t get me started on the dirty dishes.  

So my cringing inside is more about the state of my house, than the state of my heart.  AND, I have come to realize that people are always in our house.  From the babysitter who comes straight from class to go straight back to class…I have a hot meal on the table waiting for her when she arrives…to my husband’s computer business customers who come to get their computers fixed, but end up staying a couple hours confessing and talking with my husband…asking his advice, drinking a water or a coke (or even some dessert my son and I have made).  My husband and I joke later about these customers, that they think he’s a priest and they’re going to confession…or that my husband is their best friend.  But truly, they needed somewhere to go, someone to talk to, and my home and my husband were a safe haven for the moment.

I have even started to employ my oldest son who is five to take people their drinks or the plate of food I have prepared for them.  He looks at me funny each time, but he does it.  My asking him was not a conscious thought to “teach him hospitality”.  I just wanted him to serve our guests; when I now sit down to think about it, subconsciously, I wanted to teach him a servant’s heart…show him what it means and how it feels to serve others. 

So, in reality, what I thought I was not doing well, turns out to be my own overly-critical state of my mind.  The hospitality we are showing is not the planned invite to dinner once a week, or the planned weekly meeting in my house.  Ours is more spontaneous, but fits our family and our home.  

Household duties

“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” ~Proverbs 31:27

This verse is exactly where I am right now.  About a year and a half ago (or a little more than that), I was convicted of my idleness at home.  It wasn’t that I was not doing anything – I was overwhelmed by the fact that my family grew from three to five overnight.  I was overwhelmed by going back to work after only 8 weeks home with my twins – jumping right back into the ring…starting to travel immediately.  It was heartbreaking.  I was overwhelmed by the fact that financially, I could not stay home with my boys. 

I’m still overwhelmed at times, but now, I know God is with me.  At the time, for about a year and a half after the twins were born, I wasn’t taking care of my home well, I wasn’t cooking well, I was only able to go to work and take care of the boys.  Now, I’m learning to balance and juggle.  Sometimes I have better days than others, but at least my house looks like I care about it again, and I’m trying to get everything done.  I remember, during this time, reading Proverbs and realizing that my taking care of my home, my serving my family, was serving God.  I changed my perspective from the earthly one…that I’m not doing this for my family, but for God.  The job of a mom and a wife can be a thankless job at times.  We are constantly serving others, even to our own detriment at times.  We eat last, sleep last.  Even, everyone else gets their doctor/dentist appointments, but we forget about ours.  I recently went a year and a half without rescheduling a dentist appointment that I had to cancel.  That’s the life of a mom who is working with God to manage her household.

Even A Girl Like Me

A Preacher's Kid... Prodigal Daughter... Sinner Saved by Grace... Redeemed...Recovered...Renewed

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Tricia Lott Williford

Author and Speaker

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There are 5 sisters. She's the middlest.