When God’s Will is Wildly Different Than Ours

Of all things in the Christian life, I marvel most when the irony of God’s will completely contradicts human logic and ultimately reveals a magnificent display of His glory, a finished, breath-taking tapestry we’ve only been able to see from the messy underside.

I think we don’t get to see the wonder of God’s power very often because we are too afraid to walk in faith. I spoke recently with a young woman expecting her first child. She was hardly considering quitting her job to stay home with her newborn not because they couldn’t afford it, but because she didn’t feel comfortable when the checking and savings account fell below a certain amount.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?…you of little faith!” Luke 12:25-28

Reading the story of John Bunyan again yesterday left me in awe. He had one passion: to tell others about Jesus. So much so, that he disobeyed the law to keep preaching. And then he went to prison. For 12 years. How easy it would have been for bitterness to set in. How tempting it would have been to shake a fist in God’s face (after all, he had children to care for) and say, “I was doing this for you! Why did you let this happen?”

In fact, would any of us not have reasoned that “if preaching is against the law, I’m biblically bound to obey”? We so quickly default to our own understanding and raise it higher than God.

But his faith did not waver. And because of that, John wrote the most powerful, most popular book besides the Bible, ever read–The Pilgrim’s Progress–among many others.

But the great irony is that his voice for the Gospel has reached hundreds of thousands and that number growing, long after his life, and far more-reaching than his preaching voice.

Faith. God took John’s obedience woven with his very heart’s desire and multiplied it beyond what he could ever have imagined. He’s done that all throughout history.

I’ve watched Him do that in my own life.

I should not have 10 children. Logic told us we couldn’t afford them. People told us that too. And we couldn’t. Human wisdom would have had me back out in the work force because we had too many bills. And certainly logic would have stopped the babies. But we knew what God had said to us and we believed that He was going to show up. He did. Not before heartache and fear and being pushed to our limits, but when He did, it was amazing. If you ask me how I know He lives, I’ve seen Him do what could never be done on human terms.

I think God delights in showing Himself mighty in our lives. I think we really never get to see what true faith is until we come to the end of ourselves and our own wisdom.

Think of John Bunyan, then let God move your mountain.


2014 Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is Almost Here! (How to Get a FREE Bundle!)

Every year, the Ultimate Bundles have been a wild success. Anyone who has taken the time to check them out knows why. They are an incredible value–usually around $900 worth of great ebooks, video courses and bonuses for about $29. I mean UNREAL. (By the way, look for a new bundle coming this fall–The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle–to get the best of Christian resources for a fraction of the price.)

This year’s Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle has an added perk you are going to love: “Refer-a-Friend Promotional Code.” When you sign up to be notified when the bundle is for sale, you will get your special code.

With your special code, if you refer 1 friend you will receive $5 off your bundle! If you refer 5 friends you’ll receive a 12-session audio conference, and referring 10 will get you a healthy living bundle for absolutely free!

So when you sign up HERE, you will be notified when the Bundle is available. And with your sign-up, you’ll be given a special referral code to share with your friends. 10 friends = FREE BUNDLE!!!


Why We Must Be Theology-Loving Christians

“I don’t really get into ‘theology’ or ‘doctrine.’ I mean, I love Jesus. That’s really all that matters.”

This is a frightening reality among most Christians, and particularly Christian women. Frightening because our theology defines how we live. It informs all our decisions and thus, our whole direction in life. Theology matters.

Theology is the study of the nature of God and truth. It’s not just a cursory glance, but a delving in that shapes our life choices.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:3-5

“Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live…You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood.” Psalm 119:116-118

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge….because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6

We must make the Word of God, from where our theology is formed, absolute priority in our homes. Read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and let it encompass your lives. Too often the Bible is something from which we enjoy cherry-picking pretty verses that make us feel happy at just the time we’re discouraged. And it can do just that.

But if we view His Word only as a book from which to draw out a few verses now and then to satisfy us in a particular problem, we have largely overlooked its meaning and power in our lives. It is, in its entirety, for our “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16) to equip us for all of life.

We learn how to respond, think and act like Christians by studying Christ and the character of God throughout His Word, by understanding His holiness which leads us to pursue holiness. We learn about salvation and God’s plan for mankind and how His ways are not our ways. And if we are willing to look and study long enough, we might find we have to let die some strong elements of wrong theology we were taught since childhood.

Essentially, true followers of Christ will seek to know more and more about the nature, thoughts and wisdom of the One whom they serve. They want to know truth. True Christians will seek theology.

We ought to be poring over His Word ourselves, and passing that thirst onto our children, making it one of our top priorities. Whatever effort you are placing on math or English or science, I would encourage you to double that effort teaching God’s Word.

Take every problem, question and concern to His Word. It speaks to every area of life and it is the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path. Love theology. Don’t be afraid it.


Dear Stressed Out Mama: Words For Your Life

Dear Stressed Out, Young Mama:

This is the older me telling the younger me that I see in you, that it’s all going to be OK.

But I’ve learned some things and if I could get you to take some advice from someone a few years ahead of you, I think you would find this life more enjoyable. Maybe?

1. You don’t have to iron so much, or hardly at all. If you hang clothes up out of the dryer (or off the line) most are not too wrinkled to wear. There are the occasional pieces that will need ironed for church or other nice events, but for most things, non-ironed clothes will suffice, especially for young children. Cherish a neat appearance without obsessing about perfection. And really, ironing is just an example of all the ways we feel pressured to be perfect. Give your best, but know that your best will vary in different seasons of life. If your best, with a house full of little people, is getting them out the door with matching shoes (or shoes at all), exhale and accept it. In a different season, your best may look…better.

2. Do not let your children scare you. If you’ve already poured a drink in the pink sippy cup but “GREEN IS HER FAVORITE!” please do not change the cup. Yes, it’s a small thing. Which is exactly why you don’t need to give her the green cup. (Example from the Nanny, Emma) But really, it’s a big thing. The giving in. To love her, truly, she needs to know you’re in control, for her good, and  your strength will be a boon to her development.

3. Do not let other people scare you. One of the greatest forces in our lives is the fear of others, or what the Bible calls, “the fear of man.” Fight it. It will hinder you, impose on your decisions, and ultimately could cause you to live a completely different life than you might have chosen otherwise. Fear causes us to be ruled by the expectations of others and it’s an exhausting place to be. Remind yourself that you must answer to God. Fear Him. Live for Him. And rest in His easy yoke.

4. Savor the differences in your children, let them grow, and do NOT put them in a mold because that’s not where people belong. Push them to be their best but don’t stifle what they’re really good at, or expect them to thrive at what they’re not. Your children are like a bouquet of flowers. Every one is so different and they need the sunshine of your acceptance and love to flourish. Hold them to standards of upright character, but don’t hold them to standards of performance.

5. Slow down. This. one. thing. Evaluate often what the important things in life are and refuse to be ruled by the tyranny of the urgent. Do what you have to do, no matter how drastic, to slow down and savor life. Life is a short, fleeting space of time. The people in it are what matter. If you are too busy to give them your time, your love and your attention, you’re too busy. If you’re too busy to go on long walks or sit in the grass and listen to the birds, you’re too busy. Even the demands of our home can push out valuable time with the ones we love. Figure out what is sucking up your time and make adjustments. They’re worth it and you’ll be thrilled, in the end, that you did.

And another thing: accept that there are good days and bad days. And on the bad days, remind yourself that you aren’t stuck here. Push through it and survive it. Better days are coming. Then on those days, soar. Life is about ebb and flow and change and seasons. Grasping that reality has helped me become more buoyant in the waves.


Homemaking 101 & Unmarried: The Films. On Sale.

Do you need a “back-to-basics” homemaking crash course? Or maybe you just need a reminder to inspire you out of the lull of drudgery. Either way, I think you’ll love the Homemaking 101 DVD from my friend, Jennifer, at Family Vision Films. It is on sale right now for $11.95 just until Sunday! Get your discount with code “101sale”. So jump on over and grab it!

 

 

And while you’re there, the much-anticipated documentary, Unmarried: The Rise of Singleness is here! And it’s on sale too now for just $13.

 

 

 

 

Watch the trailer:


 


I Didn’t Notice School Had Begun (Relaxed Homeschooling)

The school bus passed yesterday and it reminded me that another school year had begun. School doesn’t begin at our house. But it doesn’t end either. I don’t have any opposition to starting school or new notebooks and new curriculum. But for us, learning is too intertwined in our lives to mark it with stops and starts. That’s just the way we roll. And it’s fine if you roll differently.

It’s hard to think outside of schedules and calendars and school years when we’ve been so ingrained in that lingo. But if we can ever just stop and look past our time tables and the way everyone else is doing it and just peel back all the stuff and remember what learning is, it gets easier.

And whether it’s Saturday night or Monday morning, we learn. We learn without deadlines to make us grumpy or timelines that compare us to others who aren’t us.

If deadlines and tight schedules are your thing, I think you should keep it. But if it isn’t, and it’s stressing you, you need to know it isn’t necessary.

Not that we don’t have order or schedules or times set aside for learning specific things, but I’ve learned that life is too precious to be crowded out by the expectations of others. Time is too fleeting to let “school” elbow our relationships aside.

I don’t want to be ruled by charts and clocks and tests and grades. That’s not real life. Life is learning about anything and everything all the time, beside the ones you love.

And if you want to know more about this relaxed style of homeschooling we do, I’ve written an book all about it: Think Outside the Classroom: A Practical Approach to Relaxed Homeschooling. I hope it brings you some peace.

This is what a customer wrote me just last week:

“Kelly – I just wanted to thank you for your “Think Outside the Classroom” book. I consumed it just a couple of hours one quiet afternoon last week and could have done cartwheels through the living room as I finished. It was so freeing!!!” -Julie


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