Don’t Spend Your Life On What Doesn’t Matter

There has never been a time like we live in now.

In my daughter’s public junior high, they don’t use textbooks, students can access the information online and they communicate homework and reminders thru texts. Small children maneuver (and own) Apple products instead of toys. Pinterest has changed the lives of women (who don’t like what their husband is watching on TV) everywhere. It’s becoming rare not to see someone attached to a phone or a device of some kind.

In this technology age, there are more distractions bombarding us then ever before.

I’m not against these advances and enjoy many of them, but the risk of wasting our time and our life on what doesn’t matter grows with every distraction.

We live distracted lives and we allow it because it’s become the norm. And it’s not like it’s sinful, right?

“Sin isn’t only doing bad things. It’s turning good things, into ultimate things.” -Jason Johnson

The risk is turning something good into our main focus, which in the end is bad.

And when our focus becomes stuff or devices that help us organize, acquire, manipulate, our stuff, we make them our idol. Idolatry is spending your life on what doesn’t matter.

God shows us mercy by allowing things to disappoint us, it’s there in the letdown where we discover the power our stuff has over us.

Focusing on things that don’t matter will always lead to disappointment. Whether it’s obsessively decorating our house (I’ve been there) or shopping and shopping and shopping for more, more, more (been there too), in the end, when the buzz is gone, we still want more and the temptation to “redecorate” or “restyle” magnifies.

“Remember you have one life. That’s all. You were made for God. Don’t waste it.” -John Piper

We were made for another world and this one will never truly satisfy. It only brings temporary satisfaction and we hunger for something more sustainable.

It’s when we find the passion of our lives, the passion that exalts Jesus, that’s where we are satisfied.

Free 8×10 Printable: Do Not Waste Your Life
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Together for Adoption in Atlanta next weekend!

I’ll be there. Will you?

For When the Crazy Takes Over

We rescued our cat fours years ago from a shelter after a devastating hurricane hit our area.

We are not cat people.

But apparently we have bleeding hearts and so we responded to a desperate email from the shelter that was going to destroy hundreds of animals abandoned or found during the storm.

It’s been four years and our dog still hates our cat. I mean there is some serious animal hatred here, people. They randomly knock over furniture, spit and claw and cause havoc.  The last two years with our trips to Africa and running a non-profit from our dining room-turned-home office and the Mercy Shop in our garage, our life has gotten busy and hectic and fuller and well, crazy.

Crazy is our normal.

It’s still hard for this Type A mom to write those words. But it’s true, there is constant crisis and God uses our circumstances and His dream to stretch me every day. Plus, throw in three growing kids, jobs, etc, our pets are low on the totem pole.

So, back to the cat. This might be going somewhere, I haven’t decided yet.

Lately, we have been traveling a lot, speaking on behalf of Mercy House among other things and to put it lightly, our cat upped the ante.

He has defiled my favorite chair three times.

In desperation, I actually Googled why is my cat pooping on my chair?

It took me to an article called If Your Cat is Pooping On Your Chair, It’s a Serious Sign of Distress.

I couldn’t make that up even if I wanted to. It went on to say that loneliness and stress were factors.

Now, look away animal lovers: I cannot afford new furniture every time we travel because our cat has anger and loneliness issues. So, after a lot of talking and Googling, we made the tough decision that it was time for our cat to find a new home. One without a dog or a maternity home.

But when it actually came time to give him away, our kids begged and pleaded to give him another chance. Here’s this innocent animal in a pet carrier inside my hubby’s car and my kids are hysterical in the driveway. They promised to show him attention, to guard my chair with their life, to make our pets a priority (basically give them food and water). Suddenly, I even found myself advocating for this dumb animal.

We turned him loose in the house.

They spent the next two hours creating a cat habitat, making pom pom toys and brushing him. It was hilarious and heartbreaking. They went from “we have a cat?” to “our life is about that cat.”

It was sweet.

And really, really crazy.

Just a regular day around here…and probably just the beginning of our cat problems.

That night when all the chaos calmed, I hugged my husband tight and said, “I’m glad the kids talked us out of it. I’ve always been a fan of the underdog, um cat.”

Oh, and I ordered this infomercial chair alarm for $19.99 from Amazon. Because y’all, I love that chair (which has remained odor and poop free since we gave the cat a second chance).

So, really this post has nothing to do with a cat (who is now purring in my lap as I type this), but it’s really about second chances, refocusing, and not letting the crazy completely take over.

The end.

And if you made it to the bottom of this ridiculous post, you have been rewarded with this hilarious quote by a woman I know would look at my crazy and be all “Pshaw…that’s nothing!”

8×10 Printable Mom Quote

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It All Comes Down to This {Free Printable}

I keep messing up this parenting thing.

I’ve had probably one of the most difficult weeks yet as mom. I’ve been a mom for TWELVE years, y’all.

{Dramatic pause}

Not only did we have an outbreak of eczema, poison ivy and impetigo (oh my), we also didn’t have water in the house, a broken tub and new challenges with our non-profit. And out of respect for my kiddos, I won’t air all our dirty laundry, but all three of my kids are going thru a challenging time. And I ache when my kids hurt, you know? (I also try to fix things that aren’t broken and lecture too much, but that’s for later).

It’s probably not a coincidence that I’m flying to Indiana tomorrow to speak on being a Light in the Home, about parenting, marriage and family, huh?

And boy, have I beat myself up about that.

Pray for me? And I’ll pray for you.

Parenting isn’t for wimps.

I just keep giving it all to Jesus: my strong-willed preschooler, my sensitive son, my overachieving tween,  my broken bathtub (sob), my control.

When it’s all said and done, I find peace in the words of Erma Bombeck (seriously!)

I may fail every day, but no matter what, I’m going to keep trying.

I’m thankful He specializes in messes.

{Yes, it’s a FREE 8×10 Printable}

Because it really all comes down to this.

My Everything

You’re Worth More {Free Printable}

Two girls, ages 9 and 10, trapped in slavery, trafficked by evil men. Unfortunately, their story is common. There are 1.2 million children trafficked each year.

If you follow Mercy House on Facebook, you’ve watched this amazing event unfold. Six months ago Mercy House was referred a 10 year old child, being abused in unspeakable ways. Although we exist to help pregnant girls, we wanted justice for this child. We couldn’t turn away and we tried to rescue her, but were stopped at every turn.

Maureen and I have grieved for this child. I’m a momma to a girl nearly her age and I just cannot fathom her pain, her life.

Last week, we had another opportunity with the help of two Christian groups we work with to rescue this child. We were able to get her and another child trapped in this ring and are financially supporting these children as they begin a new life! It was a day God ordained and all the right pieces fell into place. Please pray for justice in this situation.

There are so many details that can’t be shared, but only one matters: God cares about the least of these. His eye is on the sparrow.

And while our problems pale in comparison, I think our enemy wants to convince us that we aren’t worth being pursued by God. There are bigger problems, people in worse situations, and even though that’s probably true, it doesn’t change our worth.

I was reading in Matthew about birds. I love how God makes it plain enough for people like me to understand:

“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

You’re worth more than this:

He not only knows every detail of your life, He cares about them. He cares about that crazy dream, that trial with your kiddo, the big fear that keeps you up at night, the lonely marriage you’re in…every detail.

You’re worth more than a million canaries.

He knows. He cares. He is there, in the details of your life.

I don’t know about you, but I need this Word from my Father:

[Enjoy this free 8×10 printable as a reminder]

Your Worth

photo source