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Hiding Place

Do you remember playing hide and seek? My children and their friends played hide and seek not only in the house but around the entire block. I remember them hiding under beds, in closets, cabinets, trees, and under furniture in an effort to be the last to be found.

With all that is going on in our lives and in this world, if you are like me sometimes you want to find a place to run and hide, not due to fear {well, sometimes due to fear} but to quiet my mind from all of the noise. A place where there are no notifications and reminders sounding an alert on my phone or a calendar filled with things to do. A place where the mental hamster wheel inside my head isn’t spinning with information and things that need or should be done. Thinking back on all the places my children use to hide. I’m reminded I cannot not fit into those spaces…lol. Yet there is a hiding place for me that is better than any place my children use to hide, where I can get away from it all and just be still.

With the uncertainties currently in the land the words of David in Psalms 32 came to mind. David likely wrote these verses during the time he was on the run from Saul who was hunting him in order to kill him. He was hiding in caves, but he knew the true source of his safety was His God. Due to the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) people are deciding if they should or feel as they are forced to hide in their homes. As David referred to the Lord as his hiding place. We too should refer to and rely on The Lord as our hiding place, where we can get away from it all and just be still.

Just like God helped David when he was forced to run and hide, He longs to help us when we feel like we want to run and hide. The Lord is our hiding place! He knows our sins, frustrations, fears and fatigue from racing through life. He calls us to come to Him. When we hide away with and seek Him, it gives us a chance to slow down and sit in His presence where we can confess not only our sins and faults but our frustration, fears and any concerns. When we hide away and seek Him, He reminds us of His protection and guidance so we are able to sing songs of victory in spite of what transpires around us.

Do you feel like running and hiding today? I say run and hide! Enjoy hide and seek like children. But instead of running to a tangible hiding place run and seek to hide in the loving arms of Father God.

PEARLStoPONDER: When was the last time you played hide and seek?
 
Psalm 16:1-2-- Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 27:5-- For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Psalm 32:7-8--- You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. SelahI will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Isaiah 41:10-- fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John 16:33-- I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
 
 

Can You Really Hear Jesus Speak to You?

 
“Charlie Brown!” I waited in the doorway for a moment expecting to see my beagle running to the door wagging his tail in anticipation of getting a “treat.”

As I waited, no Charlie Brown. So, I stepped back into the house discerning that he would come running to the porch and aggressively hit the door informing me he wants to come inside.

Silence. “Charlie Brown??!!!” Still nothing. I go look out the window that overlooks the backyard. I can’t get a visual. Maybe he’s on the side of the air conditioner unit. I step into the backyard. “Charlie Brown!!!!!”

Ugggg! “He went on a field trip!” So, my search began. After a short walk I spotted his green and blue coat, his nose blissfully buried in some bushes. Gently I call, “Charlie Brown.” This time he finally responds to my call.

Beagles are known for their “selective hearing.” Bred as scent hounds they never “intend” to ignore their masters. But the minute they get catch a smell their ears seem to lose all reception.

As I was calling my beagle it came to mind how he knows and responds to my voice. This brought to remembrance the verse “my sheep know my voice” (John 10:27). Jesus announces that He is the good Shepherd. He loves His sheep, cares for them and leads them. He calls His sheep {me/us} to trust His plan and to follow Him. I looked at my beagles trusting eyes and thought about the blind trust he has in knowing we will take care of him and he is willing to follow us wherever we go.

How well do we know the Shepherds voice? And how willing are we to blindly follow His plan? Do we have selective hearing when it comes to the voice of the Shepherd?

Although Charlie Brown knows my voice there are times when he chooses not to respond. Unless he discovers there is a “treat” involved. The Shepherd calls our name. How often do we not respond or use selective hearing to decide whether to respond based on if the Shepherd has a “treat” for us?

Just like beagles are prone to be taken off by the scents of their nose. We too are taken off by the many other voices that compete for our attention. Our own ideas and insecurities, cultural values, social media and well-meaning family and friends.

What I learned through experience, the best way to tune out these other voices and not be taken off track, is to understand the Shepherds voice rarely shouts. Instead it’s a gentle whisper. It’s not always an audible voice, yet it is a clear message accompanied by peace even if the instruction in the message is not easy. Make time to intentionally tune into and learn the voice of Jesus by quietly sitting and listening.

The Shepherd loves us and wants the best for us. When we ignore His voice or disregard His call, we miss out on opportunities to better know, love and serve Him. When we tune into those other voices, we become distracted and are taken off the path of following Him. Thus, doubt of knowing His voice creeps in leaving us with doubting self. Because the Shepherd loves us sooo much, when doubt creeps in you’ll hear that gentle voice calling your name……….”Cynthia”{inset your name}. Giving us reassured confidence to take another step in trusting His plan.

PEARLStoPONDER: Is selective hearing and the desire for “treats” keeping you from hearing Jesus speak to you?

John 10:27--- My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Psalm 79:13--But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Psalm 100:3--Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
 

Gratitude

This blog is a reflection of the 364 days and the 50 blogs I’ve written thus far. When I began to blog, I was experiencing so many different seasons in life. Some great, some good, some bad and others were ahhhhhh what am I suppose to do moments. During those moments “I” felt as if I did not have another woman that I could genuinely confide in who was in that season at the same time or had successfully weathered that season. During those times 364 days ago, I would find myself complaining that God had not given me a mentor to talk to on a regular basis. {God has a sense of humor…I had no idea the assignment He had lined up for me}. All I heard was “rely on me.”

As I began my process of blogging, I often did not know the origination of the content. I just relied on God. Each time I sat down to blog I would hear The Holy Spirit saying I need you to be transparent. Being bluntly transparent was challenging at first. But after a short wile I began to see why God had not put a mentor I could readily access in my life. He wanted me to be able to use my great, good, bad and ahhhhh moments to mentor others and take the focus off of self {me}.

I must admit I am forever grateful that I get to be open and transparent with women I know and don’t know. The time I use to put in focusing on the “why” of a moment or season has now become times of joy in those moments. The excitement of experiencing different seasonal moments and challenges just so I can share my experience is sooooo gratifying and very humbling {I know that sounds weird to be excited about challenges} because I get to give to you what I use to long for.

During these 364 days of blogging I have been so excited to sow into you. But you know what? I realized I have been receiving something I wasn’t expecting, an outpouring of kindness!  Often, I have been caught off guard when a woman comes up to me hands me a yellow or pink gift bag, smiles then says, just because or I was thinking about you; random gifts on my desk, unexpected text or emails as God’s confirmation that I’m handling my assignment well. Your blog comments that give me encouragement on those moments of ahhhhhh. The hugs, or genuine eye to eye contact are a few acts of kindness that brings me to tears.

My heart and spirit are overwhelmed with gratitude!!! Thank you for being a part of my God given assignment, and supporting me for 364 days. I pray my transparency and words will keep you tuned in.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Take the focus off self. We can{should} all encourage, empower and equip another woman to help her withstand any circumstance she encounters. Our experiences and challenges are not our own.

Psalms 9:1-2-- I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Colossians 3:17-- And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
 

The Grace of Aging

Has there ever been a time when you walked past a mirror and did a double take? Has there ever been a time when you got on the scale and just shook your head? Has there ever been a time when you had the perfect outfit picked out in your head, put it on and it does not fit!?

Yes, I have looked in the mirror notice my face has wrinkles, my hair is thinning and weight that clings like saran wrap and judge these as undesirable. But then I ask myself who and what am I comparing myself to? And why am I comparing?

All of us at some point will have the “has there ever been a time when” moment. Those moments use to freak me out to the point I was stressed out! But one day in that moment I was convicted. No matter how much I was stressing out about aging, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Because aging is part of God’s perfect design. So, I threw out my preconceived notions about the negative aspects of aging as well as no longer wrecking my brain with trying to research “age defying” products and adopted a new perspective. Once I changed my perspective the stress left.

As my relationship with my own body deepened, I learned to enjoy the different experiences that come along with aging, stopped reminiscence about being younger, and truly enjoy my current age. I feel much calmer and confident within myself now. I worry less about what the fashion is {while still being cute..lol} and more about feeling comfortable and happy with what I am doing and who I am in God’s image. I also loooove seeing how other women find their way of expressing themselves during this season.

Although I have learned to enjoy aging and appreciate the grace extended. I must be honest. A normal aging body seems to have become the aberration, and the perfected, sculpted and forever youthful appearance has become the norm — or at least the sought-after norm. Please don’t mistake my honesty for saying women should let themselves go. What I’m saying is society oftentimes portrays flawless images of women who reveal their “tricks for staying young” thus sometimes causing us subliminally to not like what we see. Every woman age differently! What works for one may not work for you!!! So be careful not to allow what you think is another woman’s flawlessness to overshadow and down play your flawlessness. Because we are all flawed yet flawless in God the Creators eyes.
 
Learning to fully understand and embrace that attitude is everything in aging gracefully affords us the chance to be who God created us to be in that season of life. Aging gives us a chance to fulfill long awaited goals and dreams, focus on what is in front of us and not what is in the rear-view mirror. We don’t have to become marginalized or reduced to sitting down. It’s a perfect time to become role models showing younger women what it’s like to age gracefully without the pressure of having to be flawless.

 Embrace the wisdom as an older woman. Let’s celebrate older women and encourage younger women, for what they have weathered in life. I want to see older women, free to show up as themselves with wrinkles, fat or not, graying hair or not, and everything else that comes.

The more focused you become on enriching the lives of others, the more sense of purpose you’ll have. The more you begin to explore new interests, the more engaged with life you’ll become. The more you begin to tackle long-postponed projects, the more empowered you’ll feel. All these things put into practice will result in a heightened enthusiasm for life. The more energized and optimistic you feel, the more you’ll be moved to express your gratitude to God. Thank Him for this wonderful life you’ve been given. An attitude of gratitude, more than anything else, will help determine whether you grow old gracefully — or just grow old.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Be thankful for God’s grace in aging. Embrace your flaws as if they are flawless!

Job 12:12--Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.

Proverbs 16:31--Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

2 Corinthians 4:16--So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Titus 2:3-5-- Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
 

Crave

When you crave, you’re Continually Reaching After Various Enticements until the eager desire is met.

Have you ever searched and searched to satisfy a crave? No matter what you try to substitute the crave with, the other option just doesn’t hit the spot. Have you ever thought about the intentionality we put into going out of our way to seek to satisfy that crave? We don’t even put a lot of thought into the distance traveled or money spent to acquire what we need to satisfy the crave.

As you’re reading this blog there is probably something that’s enticing you to satisfy a crave right now. Don’t be embarrassed, we all get them. Sometimes to a fault of indulging in craves that are not good for us…but I’ll move on. When this crave happens our minds run through several scenarios as to how to obtain that crave. However, there are also times when we try to ignore the crave.  So, what happens when you ignore a crave? More than not the crave doesn’t go away, it lingers as if there’s a small voice whispering in your ear that continually entices you to reach after it until it’s conquered. The funny and truth is we are not settled nor satisfied until we feed that crave.

We all get cravings of different kinds. But when spiritual craves hit, do we entertain it with the same magnitude as we do natural craves? When the crave hits to study or pray does a light bulb go off in your head that leads to a desire to ignite a continual effort to feed that enticement or is the desire ignored? Do you stop what you’re doing with an eager desire to intentionally reach after and feed the crave with no thought as to how far you’re willing to go {not just in distance, but intime} or the how much it will cost {cost doesn’t always mean monetary}? Are you willing to elude time when you are indulging in the joy of feeding your spiritual crave?

These questions aren’t being asked to make you feel bad about having a crave or the distance traveled to obtain the crave, because I have them as well and have driven a distance to satisfy my crave. The questions are asked to intrigue your thoughts about natural and spiritual craves and the effort you put into each of them.  Thus, I never want to put a great amount of exertion into satisfying a natural crave and not the same amount if not more time into satisfying my spiritual crave.

What crave entices you the most?
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Do you long for and have an eager desire that craves to feed your Spirit?

Psalms 42:1-2--As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

Psalms 63:1--O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalms 119:81--My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.

Isaiah 26:9--My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.

2 Peter 2:2--Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.
 

Keys

 
Life comes with challenges, some unapologetically difficult to navigate. There are seasons in our life where we feel as if we’re barely hanging on. This season can encompass discouragement, failure, fear, unfulfilled dreams and many disappointments that cause faith to waiver and doubt in trusting God’s promises. The harder the season and the longer it lingers makes it difficult to stand causing hope to be lost.

When these seasons occur, our mind can become confused. We believe we will make it, yet the circumstance of the season says I don’t see how.

So, how does one manage to navigate through the difficulties of any season? Is it possible to be rooted and grounded in the turmoil of a stormy season? In order to adapt to weather in any season keys are needed.

Keys grant access to understanding something that is beyond our reach by leading us to the source of knowledge. The following five keys are essential for any season:

The First Key: “blessed is the one who TRUSTS IN the Lord.”
Learn and be willing to trust that the Lord is who He says He is and that He will do what He promised He would do.

The Second Key: “whose confidence IS the Lord”
Your confidence must rest in knowing that God is bigger than anything you will ever face thus He has our best interest at heart.

The Third Key: “be like a tree PLANTED by the water.”
Tress are firmly planted thus equipping them to withstand the worst of storms. We too, must be firmly planted and rooted in God’s word so that it might empower us to stand when the storms come.

The Fourth Key: “does not FEAR”
Knowing who we are in Christ, and accepting that truth will help eliminate any fear that arises in our lives. Once you embrace the fact that you are a chosen daughter of the King, fear must leave.

The Fifth Key: “does not WORRY.”
This key hinges on all of the other keys. When your trust and confidence are in the Lord, you are planted in His word and intentionally living a fearless life, there is no need to WORRY and therefore you can stand firmly.

Remember, you are God’s girl and He has given you everything needed for life and godliness. His promises to you are from everlasting to everlasting, written throughout His word. From Genesis to Revelations He has given you the keys to be victorious and face any season. Thus, you are equipped and empowered to stand {withstand} any storm!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Is it time to remake your keys?

Jeremiah 17:7-8--Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Proverbs 14:26--In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
 

The Rising of the Sun

As I open my eyes every morning and see the early morning sunrise peeping through the blinds in my bedroom, I think about the magnificent God I serve. Sometimes I’ll go to my kitchen window and gaze out at the sun realizing my naked eyes can’t take the power of the sunrise Yet, I can’t seem to look away.

The power of the brightness of the sun brings to mind the power our God has and the power that we have at our disposal. If only I would consistently tap into that power.

The sun rises each day. But I often take for granted the rising is orchestrated by God. Being honest I sometimes also take His power for granted in my daily realities of life. There are times when I spend more time trying to figure and work things out in my own power and not fully relying on the ultimate power source of God. Thus, my actions don’t match what I say I believe.

Have you ever taken a moment to truly realize God’s magnificence in the rising of the sun? One day I did just that! Oh, what a joy that engulfed me. In that moment I gained a deeper understanding of His power and glory in my daily life. Oftentimes we only acknowledge when God’s magnificence manifest after a storm in our life. Yet we tend to forget to recognize and acknowledge His magnificent power and glory are present every day of our lives.

Regardless of what the day looks like, the sun ALWAYS rises! It’s brilliance and magnificence are ever present, even on the drabbest and overcast days. Just like God’s brilliance and magnificence shines even when you can’t see it.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: The sunrise is a constant reminder that the naked eye cannot handle its power and is a reminder to be intentional in grabbing hold of God’s daily glory and power.
 
Lamentations 3:22-23--22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[b]his mercies never come to an end;23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Psalm 46:1--God is our refuge and strength, a very present[b] help in trouble.
 

Positively Pressed

Positively Pressed
 
I’m pressed!!! Usually when we hear these words it brings to mind someone being forced or stretching themselves beyond their limit to get something done, or trying to beat the clock. When in this state stress can be the companion of press.

What does your press look like? Is it comprised of the overwhelming stressful thoughts of OMG I need to hurry, not one more thing on my schedule!!??

Life is happening right before our eyes. We have things to do, places to go, families to tend to and careers to build. With all those things to do we often neglect or barely squeeze in time to nurture our spiritual life. If you’re like me the initial thought of press comes with a sigh and a statement something like this…..let me go ahead and do_____________.

There are times in my life when I am pressed. When pressed, I become very stressful and my body reacts in a negative way. I was complaining one day {to myself}. After some time, I became convicted because the Bible tells me not to complain but in everything give thanks. Yet I was grappling with things {I felt} that were pressing. I asked God to show me how to turn my view of press from negative to positive. Immediately the woman with the issue of blood came to mind. I began to think about how she forced and stretched herself beyond her limits, her tenacity in trying to beat the clock in that she was determined to touch the hem of Jesus garment before He left the Galilee region to speak to another crowd. As an outcast and socially isolated, not to mention she interrupted Jesus on His way to heal the mortally ill daughter of Jairus. I’m sure she endured some stress her in her press. But because Jesus was the focal point, she didn’t allow stress to engulf her nor did she complain.

The woman with the issue of blood equipped me {in so many ways}to change my perception of press. Although situations and circumstance causing the press may be negative my attitude toward it doesn’t have to cause stress especially once I learned to have faith to come to Jesus for direction and resolution.

 The woman with the issue of blood felt crushed, was under pressure, pressed and oftentimes felt as if she was in a dark place. But did she recognize being crushed, under pressure, pressed and in a dark place put her in a powerful place? A powerful place for transformation, healing and redemption to happen.

Our press may not be as serious or long as the woman with the issue of blood. However, the press can sometimes be the pressure we need to realize God is squeezing us beyond our limits that reduce us to the point where we have no other choice but to call and reach out to Him.

PEARLStoPONDER: Some of the finer things in life are pressed to produce the most beautiful outcome. How are you viewing your press?

Luke 8:43-48-- 43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
 

Growth Is Intentional

Growth Is Intentional
 
When you’re unhappy on the inside you usually take your frustrations out on those close to you. How many days, months, and or years have you spent feeling bitter, being angry with or feeling sorry for yourself?

Have you or are you allowing others to stop you from growing? Are you in a place in your life where you say “I need to stop being angry with and feeling sorry for myself and I know I need to grow in this area?” Yet you find yourself continually doing and thinking that “same” thing in the area you say you need to grow.

I thought back to a situation that made me bitter. I know being bitter is no good for me because it stunts my growth and is contrary to God’s Word. The funny part is, I know what it takes to overcome bitterness. But I’m human and it took me a while to shake this, because at that time I wanted to shake someone. {Just being transparent}.

I found myself asking myself why am I allowing bitterness to make a home thus causing my growth to be stunted in that area? Why is it so easy to grow in some areas, so difficult in other areas and why can’t I just pull the trigger on making  this change?{at the time I was experiencing this bitterness I had no idea God would use my test to be a testimony to help someone else….lol}.

During one of my frustrating moments in prayer I asked God to show me where the hinderance is. As God often does, He gives me my answer in an analogy. God’s answer to me: “you must be intentional in feeding what you want to grow otherwise if you don’t feed it expect stunting, or worse deterioration. In order to grow past bitterness, you must feed it.” What???!!! Feed the bitterness? Was my reply. “Yes, be intentional in feeding it with the nutrients that are beneficial.”  I can see the perplexed look on your face..lol. I was perplexed too. After that prayer I didn’t’ receive any more explanations. For weeks all I heard was growth is intentional. Then the light bulb went on. Ahhh… I can either feed the negativity of bitterness or I can feed the positivity of bitterness with the thought process of love, revised expectations, patience and mercy.

I thought about the food I put in my body and the intentionality used to ingest the best nutrients. The best nutrients will yield positive effects that will lead to correct growth verses unhealthy nutrients that will yield negative effects and the possibility of stagnation and deterioration.

This analogy took away the excuse or belief of saying I can’t grow and equipped me the with knowledge that the only thing stopping your growth is the lack of intentionality.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: What are you feeding yourself?

2 Peter 3:18-- But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

2 Peter 1:5-8--And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

I Just Cannot!

I Just Cannot!

No matter how much I want to I just cannot take on the burden of someone else’s battle! I can be a support, but the battle belongs to them.

If the battle is intended to bring them to or make them closer to God my help or 2 cents will not change the battle or the duration of the battle.

As women we all want our children to thrive in life. And oftentimes it’s very difficult to see them go through any type of discomfort or engrossed in any type of battle. But have we forgotten the discomfort and battles we experienced, endured and overcome is what has equipped us with the strength and knowledge we have today?

If you’re like me we want to jump in and rescue our children. So, one day I had to asked myself. Is their battle really that devastating or is it my perception of the battle? HMMMMM???

One of my prayers for my children was and is for God’s protection, allow them to have a right relationship with Jesus Christ and whatever they do or go through let God get the glory. Yet, when God began the process of using my children for His glory I began to complain. In prayer I was convicted of asking God “why do my children have to go through……?” I had a dialog that went something like this…God why are you rebuking me for asking why? His response (days later), did you not ask me whatever your children do or go through let me get the glory? Ouch!!!

At that moment it clicked and I audibly told myself “I just cannot!” I must trust God’s plan and understand God needs to mold them. The molding process is not pretty or clean and involves some discomfort but the end result is God’s masterpiece. However, in my human {motherly}mind I was still grappling with how, if or what can/should I do to help my children during their battle. In the midst of one of my grappling sessions, the following story came to mind.

There was a woman who had a child. Her child was born for a specific purpose for God’s glory. This woman had to hear her child being ridiculed, she had to watch them being belittled and physically harmed. Yet, she not one-time questioned God for the pain her child was experiencing. I’m sure internally this woman was enduring turmoil that was unexplainable. However, she realized she just could not take on the burden of her child’s battle. I’m quite sure there were days where she wanted to interject verbally and physically to protect her child. But she understood she just could not because no matter what she would have said or done was not going to change the battle her child had to endure. The best thing the woman did was to take her feelings and concerns to God about how she felt and how she should cope with her child’s battle.

The woman I’m speaking of is Mary and her son is Jesus. When I think about the strength she had in knowing not only her sons’ purpose, but the things he had to do to fulfill that purpose gives me great comfort in those times when my children had battles that I felt were too much for them. {To be honest the battle was too much for me}. Don’t get me wrong I am in no way comparing any battle to that of Jesus Christ. What I want to point out as a woman are three characteristics of Mary that I gleamed hope and strength from that allowed me to say I just cannot! Because I {learned to} understand my children’s battle is bigger than me.  
 
 
1. Mary’s meekness gave her strength and control.
Luke 1:38--  Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”
 
2. Mary’s belief in the Word of The Lord was shown in her acknowledgement through her reverent adorations and praise.
Luke 1:46-47-- 46 Mary said,“My soul praises the Lord’s greatness!47 My spirit finds its joy in God, my Savior.
 
3. Mary was real. Mary was not divine but just as real as any other mother who experience joy accompanied with moments of sorrow and despair.
Luke 2:48-- When his parents saw him, they were shocked. His mother asked him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been worried sick looking for you!
 
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Don’t make someone else’s battle your burden. God does not need your help!
 
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