RESOLVE, no resolution

An end and a beginning…   RESOLVE (from dictionary.com):   Noun:  A firm determination to do something. Verb:  1.  To settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter)             2.  To decide firmly on a course of action.   I have never really gotten into making New Year’s resolutions.  They stress me out a little.  I have tried to make resolutions, but I usually fail within the first week, if not the first couple days.  This is probably because the days leading up to January 1st are usually crammed full of indulging in whatever it is I plan to give up or change.  As I anticipate the day that the changes are supposed to start, I want to soak in the moments where I am allowed to eat all the sweets I want, be as lazy as I want, or avoid responsibility altogether.   I indulge with an imitation freedom.  I tell myself something like, “This will be changing in 2 days, so live it up now.”  It feels a little freeing in the moment.  For a short period of time, I allow myself to have no boundaries or restrictions.   I run forward in arm-stretched-wide freedom, refusing to acknowledge that I am really running deeper into a cage and further from freedom.   God gave us rules.  He called them laws and he calls them love.  God gave us boundaries to protect us, not cage us.  Yet the temptation is to sit within His loving boundaries and gaze beyond the fence.  Satan puts up these beautiful mirages, trying to lure us out of the boundaries.  The longer we stare at the mirage, an untruth begins to weave itself into our hearts, slowly convincing us that we are currently in a cage, that freedom lies in giving in to our desires, instead of saying “no” for the 100th time today.   When we are told “no” or tell ourselves “no,” but keep gazing toward the thing we can not have, the chains of whatever sin we battle have not been fully broken. […]

Live and Learn

I had hopes and expectations for this Christmas season.  I started Christmas shopping and preparing my house way earlier than normal.  My plan was to be all done with Christmas preparation by December 1st.  (I know.  What was I thinking?  I dream big.)  Well, it is December 16th, and I still have several loose ends to tie up.  I am not ready.  Grrrrr…   I had these lofty plans because I really wanted to have the clarity of mind and free schedule to look for opportunities to help others.  I did not want to get caught up in the American-craziness that has become Christmas.  I wanted to reflect on what this season is all about, and I wanted to put my actions where my heart is.   I have felt like an epic failure because it is the week before Christmas and I am still struggling to get everything done.  I have been so caught up in the material preparation that I have not been able to look for ways to help others.   Then in comes the quiet voice.  You have done both.   I had to ponder that one for a moment.  I haven’t paused to ask God where he wants me and my family to help others, so how have I done both, God?   I have been too busy.  I had a picture in my head of what it would look like to put my actions where my heart is this season.  I thought maybe I would drive around with my kids all bundled up and we would stop at a driveway that needs shoveling.  Maybe I would hear of a need and be able to anonymously drop something off to that person.  Those were the sorts of pictures in my head.  I was hoping to look off my radar for a special opportunity.   Instead, the opportunities that have presented themselves have been on my radar, and thus, they went unnoticed until God opened my eyes.   My uncle Ron is in Ann Arbor because he has a genetic mutation from something he was exposed[…]

Looking Forward

I asked the Lord this morning, “How can I put into words how I have been feeling?”  I felt drawn to the computer to wrestle it out.  Here is the product of that time.   There are a lot of things I used to look forward to as a kid.  I used to look forward to my birthday.  I used to look forward to Christmas.  I used to look forward to a new school year starting.  I used to look forward to horse shows.  I used to look forward to when I was older and could experience for myself what I saw others experiencing:  to be able to drive, to finally have a boyfriend, to go to college, to get married, to have a child…   I used to look forward a lot.   We use the term “look forward to” as a term of anticipation.  When we are excited about something that has not yet happened, we say, “I am looking forward to _____”   I find that I do not have as many of those “I’m looking forward to” moments anymore.  Things like birthdays and Christmas change as you get older.  I still miss what Christmas (and my birthday for that matter) used to mean for me before becoming a believer.  I really looked forward to the gifts and the special moments spent with my mom.  I looked forward to the feeling of being loved and special that came from receiving gifts.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, but now that I know and believe that Christmas is really about Jesus, that is a little disappointing.  I do not look forward to celebrating Christmas as much as I did before I began a journey with Jesus.  Doesn’t that seem backwards?  Shouldn’t I look forward to Christmas MORE now that I know why the holiday really exists?   Yes, I think I should.  And I do look forward to Christmas for all the right reasons far more than I ever did.  Christmas used to be just about the material stuff.  Now I clearly see that Christmas is really[…]

T-shirt, New Car, and Publisher’s Clearing House

Is it biblical to want God to prove to me that he loves me?   I know God loves me.  At least, I believe he loves me.  So why is my heart seemingly unmoved by that reality sometimes?  It feels wrong to admit that hearing “God loves you,” does not always make me feel anything.   If I really know and believe God loves me, why do I want more?  Why am I longing for something else?  I think maybe I believe he loves me, but I don’t KNOW he loves me.  But I think he wants me to know.   He meant for his love to be personal.  He does not dole out his love like confetti on New Year’s Eve – falling from the sky landing a little bit on everyone.  More accurately, his love is doled out like a publisher’s clearing house prize.  He comes to your door and individually gives you the life-changing prize.   I have opened the door and accepted the prize, but there is still some wrestle.   Jesus has proven his love for US.  The publisher’s clearing house prize was that he sent his son to earth, and that prize is offered to every person who walks the planet.  Jesus walked the earth and showed us how to live.  He faced all the trials that we face and walked through them in total victory by remaining dependent on his Father.  When the time came, Jesus walked to the place that he would be executed.  He allowed people to treat him horribly and ultimately, he left the physical body that he had been in for 33 years by dying.  He died to satisfy the righteous wrath of God.  God has every right to be mad at all of us for the bad choices we have made.  Thankfully, instead of acting on this right, God sent a part of himself to earth to absorb the wrath that is due to us.   So God HAS proven his love for US.  Why is that not enough sometimes?  I think the difference comes with the words[…]

8 Seconds of Being Like Jesus

Is it possible to act like Jesus without becoming like him?  Can we behave well, but not have the substance behind it?  I think so.  I think I’ve done it for a long time.  I know the right things to say and do, but my heart is not always in the right place when I say or do them.  Am I alone here?   If the point of walking this planet is to become more and more like Jesus, how does that actually happen?  We can study Jesus’ life and try to model our lives around him and ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?”  But even if we start acting like Jesus, does that mean we are really becoming like him?   Have you ever noticed that the more you hang out with a friend, the more alike you become?  You tend to gesture similarly or laugh similarly and even think similarly.  I have caught myself laughing with a friend and been struck by how similar our laughs sound.  But then I might take note of my laugh with a different friend, and it sounds a little different.  Or maybe we pick up on little phrases that a friend says, and they stick with us.  We tend to become more and more like the ones we spend time with.   God even warned us about who we choose to spend time with:  “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33).   Becoming more like Jesus can only happen by spending more time with Him, by being in relationship with him.  I can do and say things the way Jesus would, but what if I am like a Pharisee?  What if the outside looks good while the inside is rotting and decaying? (Matthew 23:27).   I can say to my pregnant friend, “I am so happy for you,” because that’s what Jesus would say.  But do I mean it?   A couple weeks ago, I had a friend announce she was pregnant and my first reaction (outwardly) was extreme excitement.  I jumped off the couch and hugged her (and I’m not[…]

Welcome to unwaveringhope.com!  I am so glad you are here. This space was created when my life story was not following the path I expected.  For years, infertility was the main topic of my wrestle.  These days, I find myself sorting through the mental chaos of mothering, wife-ing, friend-ing, teacher-ing, daughter-ing and what-is-my-life-purpose-ing.  As I try to steady my thoughts and park them in a healthy place, God has made one thing clear:  maintaining hope in Him is the key. Check out my blog for a window into my story.

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