Category Archives: Sisterhood

Finding Rest Through Surrender

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Are you struggling and in need of rest?  As mothers, we spend our lives taking care of others. So how do we find refreshment and rest for our own bodies and our own souls?

In Matthew, Jesus said,

Matthew 11:29

New International Version (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I’ve been thinking about what that means during this season of recovering from surgery and walking through some difficult changes in my life.  It’s caused me to stop and think about whether or not I’ve taken His yoke, or if I’m wearing a yoke of my own design.  One thing’s for sure: when I wear a yoke of my choosing, it’s not a “easy” or “light.”  It’s burdensome and heavy.

God wants His children to learn to conform to His heart for them. He wants to carry our burdens with us. More often than not, I’m discovering that whenever I struggle under the weight of a trial in my life it’s because I’ve been unwilling or unable to surrender to the season of life that the Lord has me in.

In the verse above, we can see that Jesus extends an invitation to rest—and He gives three things we must do in order to find that rest from burdens we carry:

  1. Come to Me: God wants us to come to Him first, before we do anything. Before we take on a project or say “yes” to another weekly activity.  He wants us to come to Him.
  2. Take My Yoke: Don’t take God’s good idea for someone else’s family on yourself.  Jesus taught us that that His yoke is designed just.for.you; for your soul alone. 
  3. Learn from Me: I think Jesus’ gentle reminder here was intended to keep us from relying on the teachings men rather than getting into God’s Word and seeking after Him personally.  As we have seen over and over, people fail.  But God doesn’t. His heart is that we would seek Him first.

So why do we still struggle, even after we’ve come to Christ?  Here’s the key:  Jesus said in John 15:4,

“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.”

It’s the abiding that gets us most of the time, isn’t it?  Surrendering and laying down our will for His is something we must do. It’s an act of the will. When we choose to remain in Him, we find rest.  Rest is found in remaining in Christ when things get tough.  This doesn’t mean thing will be easy—but I’m here to bear witness to God’s unfailing mercy and the peace He gives that really does “pass all understanding.”

If you’re struggling to find a way to surrender to the Lord today, remember that He’s waiting for you.  The God of the Universe is waiting—just for you.  We are loved by our Creator!

Surrender is a daily thing.  Ask the Lord to help you abide in Him today, busy mom.  Ask Him to help you learn what surrender looks like.  He wants to carry your burden with you.

Stay surrendered and find rest,
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Heidi St John Firmly Planted Family Devotional For All Ages

A Friendship That Lasts

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Proverbs 17:17
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Have you ever struggled with loneliness or maintaining friendships? Over the years, I have noticed how sensitive I can be (and I wrote about this recently).  I wrote specifically about the dangers of social media, because thanks to the Internet, we can see things that we were never able to see before: that party that we didn’t get invited to, the women’s ministry team that went out for lunch and I saw pictures of it but never received an offer to join in.

As women, it’s easy to take those things and internalize them. I’ve noticed too, that women in mid-life often struggle with relationships.  As the children grow, the demands on our time change. As the family grows, the dynamics change. The demands on my time are so much greater now than they were when all of our children  were little.  I have five  young children at home and my oldest children are in their early twenties.  The older ones are going through their own sort of growing pains, spreading their wings—and they need me in a different way than the little ones do—all this means that at the end of the day, I’m very tired—and I have less time now for things outside my immediate family than I once did.

Have you been there too?

I’m so glad for friends that understand seasons of life.

As the years pass, I find that the friendships I cherish the most are with those women that I can run and visit with at the drop of a hat.  A dear friend of mine who I may or may not hear from for months at a time will give me me a call just to say, “Hey! I was just praying for you!  Tell me how you’re doing.” Those friendships last.

They last because we choose to believe the best about each other, rather than the worst. We believe the best for each other, too.  If you’re struggling with a friendship today, I want to encourage you to ask the Lord to give you His eyes for your friend.

As many of you know, I have a mantra.  It is “No Drama, Mama!”  I really believe that the Lord would have us extend grace to each other.  If you have a friend who is not “hitting the mark” in your relationship today, ask the Lord to give you His perspective. As Him to give you grace for your friend for that moment and then see what He’ll do.

True friendships are worth it.  They’re worth investing in and they will survive the tough seasons of life.

A friend loves at all times,
heidi

Heidi St John Firmly Planted Family Devotional For All Ages