Tag Archives: be intentional

Seeing God in Mothers & Daughters

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I took a break from my write 31 for a few days. I know you’re really not supposed to, but I’ve been planning a major retreat and I was gone from Friday through Sunday. I brought my laptop with me, but honestly, just wanted to give these ladies 100% and not be distracted by trying to figure out what to write. So, I gave myself grace and let it go for a few days.

And I’m back this Monday morning. Re-entry is hard. It’s hard when you’ve spent months planning for something, and then it finally happens. Your eyes are tired and you’re trying to get back to ‘normal’ life again, with routines and rhythms and schedules. And all those things I’ve been putting off because I’ve been working on this event is starring at me today. But with early morning coffee in hand and God’s Word on my heart, we can tackle this new day!

I am amazed and overjoyed at what God did this weekend. He blessed me with the most amazing team to help put everything together and run this special mother daughter weekend. And I was also able to spend some much needed time with my daughter who is 15. And even in the busyness, it was really good to be able to see her and play games with her and just to hear her on some things. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to be intentional or it just won’t happen. Making time together, even if it’s a special date once a month, is so important. I know for me, I want to start putting once a month dates on the calendar with my kids. Time rushes through life like a thief in the night, and if you’re not careful or intentional, you miss it. But today is a new day, and I don’t want to miss it.

This weekend was so special for so many reasons. It gave me such joy to serve these ladies and their daughters and to watch them have fun together. We had games, we had a silly skit, we had late night hang-outs, a fun photo booth with a selfie-stick, we had awesome praise and worship, we have four different messages with questions for the moms and daughters to answer together after each session. It was awesome to see these moms look up scriptures with their girls. The topics were Brave Identity, Brave Strength, Brave Purity, and Brave Devotions. And to have so many different churches represented…. I loved that! To lay aside our differences and come together to grow closer to our daughters and grow closer to God. It was beautiful!!! I think one of my favorite parts was the cards. During the day we had moms writing cards for their daughters and daughters writing cards for their moms. Then at our really nice dinner, at the Isla Grand Restaurant we had them exchange their cards. There were definitely some tears in the room. It was a beautiful moment.

And throughout the entire weekend we saw God- saw Him moving and healing and setting people free of some things. And we felt His smile as these moms and daughters reconnected and enjoyed each other. The best present you could ever give your kid is your presence.They are hungry for it and even though they sometimes don’t know how to express it, they want it so much.

 

Church- It’s Not Just About Me

Good ShepherdPhoto credit: @Good Shepherd Community Church

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. Acts 20:28

This past weekend was 4th of July weekend. We went out to South Padre Island to spend time with family and watch the fireworks. We talked, we ate S’mores, some of the cousins played kickball, we prayed together, and then we were prayed for. I love our family and the way we all love each other. They prayed for us, as we are about to start Kids Camp tomorrow. There were some words spoken over our family and for the future of Big Red Ministries. It was refreshing and uplifting. We needed it. Then we drove home- it normally takes about 45 minutes to get home, but because of the holiday traffic it took 2 hours! I know. I know.

We got in around 1:30am and we were all so very tired on Sunday morning. I knew that I was going to need to wake my kids up in order to make it to church on time (on time for us). There was a struggle in my body that morning. Yes, the struggle was real. I was just exhausted. I knew I could just stay home with the kids and we could read the Bible together and the Lord would still love me. 😉 But something in me felt like I needed to be there. I can’t explain it other than the Holy Spirit. I made a decision that we were going to church, regardless of my tired man inside.

I woke the kids up and of course there was some resistance. My daughter said, “Mom, we’re all tired, right?” “Let’s just stay home today.” And thankfully I had already made up my mind or I would have been easily swayed. “Nope, we’re going,” I said.

I was running late but I learned a long time ago that God’s timing is perfect- as it was perfect on this particular morning. We rushed in, and thankfully I didn’t rush in too quick, as a woman was standing off to the left, next to the coffee, and she looked intently at me. “Celeste, right?” she said nervously.

She pulled me aside and we talked for a while. She was really struggling and I was able to speak into that thing and then pray over her. I felt His presence as we prayed. I quickly realized that this was exactly why I was supposed to be there and that this was why the enemy was trying to keep me from going to church. Which by the way, the enemy is really good at using our feelings to deceive us (just a side note).

The Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me that when I come to church it’s for me, but it’s not just for me. He has a plan that is so far beyond us just hearing hearing a good sermon (although we do get to hear some great messages). Sometimes people church hop because they’re looking for the perfect church that will meet their every need (by the way, only God does that). Some people want to sit in the pew, hear a feel good sermon, and then move on. Church is messy, imperfect, and beautiful.

If we’re only going to see what we can get out of it, then we are totally missing what church was meant to be.

And yes, I know, we are the church.

He rocked me yesterday morning, realizing that I am guilty of this very thing- sometimes I just want to get in and out. And what’s for lunch? Lord, forgive me. The very thing that the church is meant to be, connection with God and connection with others, and learning to use our gifts to serve, is exactly what we miss when we’re so focused on us and how we’re feeling.

I want to challenge you today, as I was challenged, to go to church not only to learn and grow, but with intention. Ask the Lord to lead you to someone that might need prayer, even if you are not comfortable praying with people (He will give you the words). Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to someone that just might need a hug or an encouraging word.

We need each other.

May we not be so focused on the next thing that we miss the main thing! Amen! (click to tweet)

 

Wherever You Are, Be There

Family Enjoying A Barbeque

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11

 It’s that time of year.

Graduations, endings, good-byes.

Beginnings, new seasons.

Recitals, parties, end of the year gatherings.

A little advice?

Be there. Be in the moment.
Stop rushing around just trying to get through to the next event.
Be here- with those you love.

As the school-year comes to a close, cherish those memories.
Be happy for what was and the many lessons along the way.
Feel free to camp-out in gratitude for these moments.
They’re growing up. They’re getting bigger.

The most common phrase I’ve heard all week is, “This year has just gone by so fast.”
And I’m sure we will all say it again next year.
I don’t want my mindset to be, “I can’t wait until…” Until all these events are done, until I can just do nothing, until everything is finished, until… until.

Or else I’m just going to miss this moment. And our lives are made up of these moments.

I’ll have plenty of times for pjs and slowing down later. Right now I just need to be here. Because this is what it’s all about. When I’m feeling rushed and getting ready, oh, that I would take a moment to remember what it is I’m getting ready for. I’m blessed to to see them grow, excel in school and sports, and walk across the stage. Lord, may I never take this for granted.

So enjoy those banquets, graduation parties, award ceremonies, and end of the year field trips and recitals. Because we wake up one day and wish we hadn’t just tried to rush through everything so we could work on getting other stuff done. I believe we’ll wake up one day and realize the work will always be here, the projects will always need to get done, our job will always be with us, but our family, our kids, they won’t always be this size, this age, this height, and they won’t always be with us. They will move on.

This is the important stuff.

Be there- Celebrate those you love and don’t take today for granted.

The Lord is dealing with me about not rushing through this life just so I can check things off of my list (although I realize it must be done).

I let my son invite a few friends over for his birthday. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a really long day. I got maybe 5 hours of sleep, been up since 5am getting ready for our yard sale, was out in the heat all day, and then took some huge loads to the thrift store for donations. I was a tired mamma. But I didn’t want to miss this. I wanted to be all here. Everything else (including my tired feet) could wait.

As I sat by the pool and listened to them jumping and diving and playing shark and football, I just thought to myself, this is it. Don’t miss this. Listen, feel, respond. As I sat under the moons light and felt the cool breeze on my face, my heart could have burst that night. I sensed His still small voice.

The Lord’s been speaking, saying, “Slow down, enjoy the people I’ve placed in your life.” Life is like a slow cooked meal. It’s not meant to be inhaled; it’s meant to be savored and enjoyed.

Being intentional. I want more of that. More time to sit and soak; more time spent with other people; more time to just love on my people and be loved by them and to savor events, endings, and new beginnings.

And as summer is upon us, I hope we all slow down, read a book, quiet ourselves before the Lord, enjoy our family and friends, and allow the Lord to speak to us through our experiences.

He is good. He is love. He is in the midst of the celebrations and barbeques and the get-togethers. He walks across the stage with your child graduating. He is warm and present when our child is honored for a job well done. He is at the table with us when we’re sharing our stories and breaking bread as the sun lowers. He is at the beach with us when our toes are in the sand and we’re building sandcastles with our children or running through the waves.

We can’t control time or make it speed up or make it stand still. Tick tock. The only thing we can control is our response to time. And I want to be all in. All here. In the happy moments and in the hard. I need to feel them both, because the hard moments make me absolutely relish the good. And in it’s own strange way the hard becomes my teacher in a classroom I never meant to visit.

May we live our lives giving those we love our attention- not with mere words, but with eyes and touch. May we be here, even when we don’t feel like it, even when it’s hard and our days are long. Just show up, because it’s in the showing up that He meets us. (CLICK TO TWEET)

 There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you. Deut. 12:7

Your Life is a Gift

Celeste podcast
About two years ago, the Lord put it on my heart to start a podcast. And I’ve been thinking and praying about it ever since! At the beginning of the year I felt like it was time to start. Here’s Podcast #1- Your Life is a Gift. And we hope to have them up on Itunes by next week so you can subscribe. I will start writing every Monday and Podcasting every Wednesday. This is new to me, so it is a work in progress! They will usually last between 7-10 minutes. It’s a way to get a dose of weekly encouragement, and to be challenged to be all that God has called us to be (Your best brave). So grab a cup of coffee and your journal, and enjoy! (Would love to hear your feedback- feel free to comment and share!)