A Good Good Father

by frazzledmama on March 9, 2016

I have been so blessed by this song over the last few weeks.  But I always felt as though something in my heart was…hesitating to completely embrace the the statement, “You are perfect in all of your ways.”   In my mind I can acknowledge that fact.  But my heart…my heart remembers that sometimes God’s perfect ways involve pain, heartbreak, and sorrow. I kept identifying the feeling I was having as “hesitating” until the Lord revealed to me what I was feeling.

I do believe that God is a good, good father, and that He is perfect in all of His ways, and that He is faithful and loving to His children.  But I also have come to learn that those things don’t always look the way my heart and mind would portray them.   The longer I walk with the Lord and learn of Him, I see that sometimes His perfect plan brings difficulty into our lives.  But He is GOOD and He never leaves us to walk through the difficulties alone.

I no longer sing words like “You are perfect in all your ways,” and “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders” with great, wild, naive abandon. I now sing with great reverence, seasoned by experience. Yes, my soul longs for these things, but my heart knows what it may cost and my flesh trembles.

And yet, He is a good, good Father.

And yet, He is faithful.

And yet, I tremble, and I cry out with many saints of old, “I believe, help my unbelief!”

What I initially thought was a hesitation to agree that He is perfect and good, is not that at all.  It is a deepening of my understanding of God and who He is.  My idea of perfection is not His idea of perfection. When I sing “You are perfect in all of Your ways,” there is a deep feeling of reverence and awe for who He is, a deep respect for His ways that I have learned bring joy and pain, sickness and healing, loss and gain.  When I sing that He is good and perfect I can now recognize that my view of “good and perfect” are simple, basic, almost childish when compared to His view of “good and perfect.”

And so, I will sing…I will offer my praise of who He is as I beg for the faith to do so.

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Conquering the Feeling of Inadequacy

by frazzledmama on January 21, 2016

Recently I texted a friend of mine to ask how I could be praying for her throughout the week.  She replied several hours later with one simple statement,

“Feeling inadequate….big time.”

As I thought about that seemingly simple statement I realized that it reflects the inner reality of all mankind.  We are all, at our base level, inadequate.  We can never be enough.  We are not holy enough to stand before God. We are not prepared enough to be parents. In short, we are not capable of handling life’s challenges on our own.

John 15:5 says,

John 15-5

Did you see that?  Nothing. Without Jesus we can do nothing. Nada, Zilch, Nothing.

Guess what?  We are inadequate.  Big time. Every last one of us. 

The only way that we can be adequate is to abide in Christ.

Strongs gives this definition of abide:

to remain, abide

  1. in reference to place
    1. to sojourn, tarry
    2. not to depart
      1. to continue to be present
      2. to be held, kept, continually

Oohhh…that last one makes me feel warm down to my toes…to be held and kept….continually.

Sweet friends, we are all inadequate when we try to live life on our terms and through our own strength.  But when we abide in Christ and draw from His love, His strength, His mercy, His wisdom, then…and only then can we be adequate.  Actually, more than simply adequate, Romans 8:37 says that we are MORE than conquerors.  Have you ever thought about what it means to be MORE than conquerors?  We aren’t just treading water, we aren’t just getting by, we are conquering and then some THROUGH Christ. In his book Risk is Right John Piper says the following about being more than conquerors,

We are more than conquerors in our afflictions, not by avoiding them.

We must walk through various trials and sufferings on this earth, including feeling inadequate,  but as we do our faith grows.  As we see the faithfulness of the Lord, our faith grows, and the end results is not simply conquering these “light afflictions” but through them being sanctified and increasing our faith.  This increase of faith is what makes our conquering “more.”  It isn’t just making it through the tough times, it’s hanging onto our faith in the Lord Jesus through them that makes us more than conquers.

So my dear readers, cling to Lord in the times of feeling inadequate for the task set before you.  Ask Him to fill you with His love for your children, His wisdom for tough decisions, and His grace for daily life. He will never give you more than you can handle, and He will always provide what you need so that you can continue to cling to Him.

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by frazzledmama on January 10, 2016

I imagine that most of us have seen the cute little images with the acronym, FROG, like this one:


Over the last few months of 2015, the Lord has been teaching me more and more what it mean to “fully rely” on Him.

In September I started having some new health issues.  At the time, I was told that I was probably starting to go through menopause and that I should just accept and deal with my symptoms.  Can I just tell you how devastating that is for someone who just turned 40???  For a couple weeks there, I unexpectedly struggled with feelings of inadequacy, sadness, and once again feeling betrayed by my body. I will admit that I did not want to “fully rely” on God through this time.  But after days of turmoil, I chose to rely on Him and not on my body.  I chose not to covet after my fellow women who have excellent health.  Did I feel it?  NOPE.  But sometimes choosing to surrender to God and defeating the feelings that assault me day after day is the best I can do.  Some days I just don’t FEEL it.

After seeking a second opinion, I discovered that half of my symptoms were stress related, and the other half were from hormone imbalance, not from menopause.  I’ve had to take some steps to reduce the impact of stress on my body and have adjusted my supplements and things seem to have leveled out.  Even through my fickleness the Lord was faithful.

In October, I had another opportunity to “fully rely” on God.  Little Man had been telling me for months that he couldn’t hear as well out of his right ear as he could his left.  Many times this difference was noticed while using earphones or ear buds and we assumed it was faulty audio equipment.  However, he kept complaining, so I made an appointment with an audiologist to have his hearing tested.  My motivation in taking him to this appointment was purely to prove him wrong.  He hears just fine, he plays the viola for crying out loud.  You can imagine my shock and horror to discover that Little Man has a severe hearing loss in his right ear due to a growth  behind his ear drum.  The audiologist looked at me and said, “You need to take him to All Children’s. Immediately.”  At that point the room started spinning a bit and I had to sit down.  When I probed for answers, I was told “it could be nothing, it could be cancer.  Call All Children’s today.”  I prayed and sought the Lord and He filled my heart with His peace.   Later that day, after office hours, the audiologist called me to say that she just couldn’t stop thinking about that growth and she did some further research.  She really felt like it was simply an overgrowth of extra skin and gave me some websites to visit to further investigate on my own.  I can’t tell you how thankful I was for that phone call.  The Lord was helping me to rely on Him through this terrifying time.  We were able to see an ENT 2 days later.  She was wonderful and I know had much experience dealing with parents because the first thing she said after examining him was, “It’s not cancer.”  He has a cholesteatoma which needs to be surgically removed.  She went on to say that in his case it appeared to have been there since birth, and has slowly been growing and has now reached the point that it affected his hearing.  She looked at me and said, “We wouldn’t have caught this until the severe hearing loss started, so don’t beat yourself up.”  I know that she spoke those words, but they came from the Lord.  I had indeed been beating myself up….Mother of the Year and all that.   Once again the Lord was teaching me to “fully rely” on Him, even through my feelings of inadequacy and failure in my role as mother.  We have been able to secure health insurance for him, and anticipate a February surgery date.  The permanency of the hearing loss is questionable and we will wait and rely on God for answers there.

October 31st found me in the emergency room with Mr. Overkill.  You have to understand, for as many health issues as I struggle with, he has none.  Sure he has aches and pains from time to time, but he is overall in excellent health.  He had gone for a motorcycle ride for 5 days to visit some family and just unplug for a while.  When he returned home he didn’t look great. A few days later he told me that he had blood in the toilet bowl and felt really washed out….like he did after giving blood.  This went on for nearly a week.  In concern that he had internal bleeding we went to the ER where they confirmed what I already knew, he was in perfect health.  His blood work was great, his abdomen felt fine, and they sent us home to follow up with a GI doctor.  Because Mr. Overkill has a history of colon cancer in his family, saying we were both concerned was an understatement.  The Lord was teaching me again about relying fully on Him.  Through the 2 weeks of sickness and doctors appointments and procedures the Lord was whispering to my heart, “Yes, he is your husband, but he is a gift to you FROM Me. Don’t let him be who you are relying on.  He is one of the instruments I will use in your life, but you must FULLY RELY on me.”

And I tried. It isn’t easy when our emotions pull us so easily away from focusing on God’s goodness.  It isn’t easy to rely on the unseen, when the seen is standing right in front of you.  But ,it is what we are called to do.

And it is hard.

I am so thankful to say that all his tests came back clean, and the culprit for the bleeding was the 5 day motorcycle ride.

November 12th rolled around with the newest challenge for me to “fully rely” on God, This guy turned 16.

bubb 16

A driving 16 year old takes relying on God to a whole new level ;)

This morning I was reading in 2 Chronicles 16:

And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.8 Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”                      2 Chronicles 16:7-9

I was struck with the simple phrase, “because you have relied on the king of Syria and have not relied on the Lord your God.”  Because of a simple choice, one action, King Asa fell out of favor with God because he simply fail to rely on God.  And then verse 9, the Lord is LOOKING for people who are loyal to Him, so that He can show Himself strong to them. WOW!!!

Oh that my heart will listen, remember and choose to rely fully on God. 

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