WFMW: Lessons I Learned from My Daughter

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I’m happy to welcome this week’s guest post from Kristin for my new Wednesday series Yes, Works For Me! Please welcome her and be encouraged by her yes to God and continue to link up what works for you.

My only daughter is a bit of a hoarder.

She is three and fiercely independent, and apparently has a problem sharing her things. She will makes piles with all of her favorite toys in the middle of her room, add a bag of chips and her new beach towel and she is set and her room is off limits!

I will “encourage” her to go and clean her room. And since we are all friends here and I am sharing a bit of my reality…she doesn’t listen to a word that I say. She instead will “encourage” me to clean it for her. Ahem - it is a time of training for both of us.

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She is holding tightly to those things that she thinks she can control, testing boundaries and seeking to find her place in our family.

And I realize that I am no different in my Father/Daughter relationship with God.

I did the whole “accepted Jesus in my heart” prayer when I was a pre-teen. I heard a woman’s story of redemption, and her call to pray a simple prayer. I said the prayer with expectation but didn’t feel a change.

I figured I must have done it wrong. So each time I had the opportunity to say that prayer, I did…I assumed that at some point it would “take.”

My teenage and early adult years weren’t easy – whose are really?! But I didn’t have a relationship with God because I didn’t feel worthy. My life was always such a mess.

God wants us right in the middle of our mess because it’s the perfect place for Him to shine through our imperfections.

I walked through life knowing I was a hypocrite.

So I worked really hard at trying to “get it together”. Instead of embracing the failures as opportunities for growth and thanking God for the grace He gives me, I tried to just be better, do better, act better…because maybe then I would earn the right to be one of His.

That merry-go-round is exhausting isn’t it?!

I had to come to a place of brokenness, where I knew that I wasn’t capable and I had a just the littlest bit of hope that maybe God was.

The most breathtaking moments often come when we discover we have nothing left, but everything we need. This deep brokenness feels like the end, but it’s actually a new beginning

Discovering a relationship with God has been life changing.

Saying Yes to Him even when I still make mistakes, even when life doesn’t look like I think it should, has given me such a deep understanding of grace.

I too am learning and growing and testing the boundaries of my faith. I have found that as I honestly seek God that He takes my broken, my mess, and He makes it beautiful. And that my friends, has been worth the journey!

Saying yes isn’t really about doing it all. It’s about saying yes right where you are.

picKristin Anne Smith is a wife and mother, but most importantly, a daughter of the King. Redeemed by His Grace and so very grateful for it. Through the past 16 years she has walked some hard roads. But despite her choices and at times lack of faith – God loved her anyways. Kristin blogs at The Riches of His Love  and is the Managing Editor / Contributing Writer at God-sized Dreams.


WFMW: Say Yes to Rest

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I’m happy to welcome this week’s guest post from Kris for my new Wednesday series Yes, Works For Me! Please welcome her and be encouraged by her yes to God and continue to link up what works for you.

It’s my surroundings that do it to me.
When God asks you to be quiet, is there any other answer than to say “yes”?

It’s been a month since I hosted Refine {the Retreat}. I knew the week before I left for it, that upon my return home, I would be entering a quieter season.  Exhausted, I looked forward to the promise of rest.

For the last 3 years I have been hard at work. Between writing and publishing 2 books, and planning a retreat, all while homeschooling my 4 children and serving in my role as wife, mom, chauffer, chef, and laundress, there has been little quality down time. I have poured out in every capacity and the reality is, I am crazy-tired, and spiritually thirsty.

As inviting as it sounds, as writer, quiet seasons can be a bit scary. Writers write, that’s how they can call themselves writers.  In this fast-paced, never sleeping world of social media and lightning speed technology, there is great pressure to produce. Now. And often.  But God has clearly spoken to me on this, and asked me to take several steps back, to lay my pen down–to listen for His words, rather than spouting my own.

All I can say is “yes”. My saying yes to God’s invitation to rest is scary because I fear being forgotten in the circles I’ve worked so hard to be a part of. When one disappears from the frantic clamor of the online world, it can sometimes seem as if they were never there in the first place. It’s like a hole that just closes over and leaves little trace of their previous presence.

I’ve spent 3 years connecting with people, building and investing in relationships, trying to find a community to call “home”. Saying “yes” to being quiet feels like walking away from all of that.

A friend reminded me the other night that God’s call to rest is a gift. She said this isn’t punishment, but reward for my labors.  The serpent tells me that if I’m not out there laying planks in a platform, that I’ll never amount to anything as a writer. The enemy would have me burn up and puff flat out of breath, while striving to achieve by my own strength.

But God has another plan.

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God asks us to say yes to the things that ultimately are for our best interest–no matter how counter intuitive they may seem.  God’s plans are for kingdom glory, not personal gain. God’s invitations are for prosperity and proclamation of the gospel, however unconventional His methods. His ways are not our ways.

I’m saying yes to obscurity and silence, because whatever God has to teach me is more important than whatever I think I need to say.

I’m saying “yes” to listening, to resting, to a new kind of quiet. I don’t imagine it will be easy, especially for a do-er like myself.

But I want God more than anything.

So, yes, Jesus. I’m listening.

 

Author Bio:

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As a sequin-wearing, homeschooling mother of four, Kris is passionate about Jesus, people and words.   Her heart beats to share the hard, but glorious truth about  life in Christ. She’s been known to take gratuitous pictures of her culinary creations, causing mouths to water all across Instagram. Once upon a time, she ran 10 miles for Compassion International, a ministry for which she serves as an advocate. Kris is the author of, Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, and the follow up, Companion Workbook. You can read more from Kris at kriscamealy.com


WFMW: Saying Yes to the Messiness of Motherhood

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I’m happy to welcome my first guest post for my new Wednesday series Yes, Works For Me! Please welcome her and be encouraged by her yes to God and continue to link up what works for you.

It’s my surroundings that do it to me.

Every. Single. Time.

After a long day spent in the trenches, and a quick glance in any direction, it’s easy to understand how overwhelmed I feel. Whether it’s the laundry piles stacked high or the massive amounts of toys strewn across the floor of my home, the disorder that encircles me? It’s becoming too much. And it’s in these said moments I speak of where my spirit deflates, my whole mood darkens, and the last place I want to be is home. It’s in these instances where I’m so focused on the clutter before me, I can’t see past it. I can’t see anything except my mess.

So, I shut my eyes and tune it out. I attempt to disregard its presence. I close the doors within my home in order to block it from sight.

Because it’s easier to say “no” instead of “yes.”

It’s easier to grow discouraged by the clutter rather than embrace it–the hoards of crayons that were never put away, the dirty dishes that keep piling up, the beds that remain unkempt. It’s frustrating, friends. It’s completely overwhelming. It’s constant.

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It has this worn-out mama ready to run for the front door, and retreat to the hills. It finds me desiring to be anywhere else but here…anywhere else but stuck in my mess.

However, maybe it’s time to take a different approach–to take that ever-present and oh-so-consistent chaos and alter our way of thinking towards it. Maybe it’s time we start accepting it instead.

Yes, you heard me right.

If we just took a few deep breaths and prayed through the frustration–past the commotion…if we asked God to meet us right in the middle of all that confusion and chaos. That’s right–in the midst of the laundry, the dishes, and the half-eaten candy wrappers left on the floor. In the minivan that’s corroded with spilled sodas and Happy Meal toys—and in the yard where chewed-up pool toys and deflated balls reside, sprawled across the lawn. What if we invited God into each one of these instances—if we asked for His help in managing such trials?

As for those visions we have of running from the mayhem, what if they found us running to Him instead…for all of it? The good, the not-so-good, and even the downright messy?

What if the rolling of our eyes ceased, the furrowing of our brow halted, and the frown that seems like a permanent fixture upon our faces, slanted upward instead?

What if you and I figured out how to say “yes” to our mess?

With His help, I believe we can, sisters. I believe we can trade in the chaos for contentment, the problems for peace, and the discouragement for delight. I believe we can change our way of thinking by seeking the blessings to be found.

And I believe it’s time.

Remember, mamas:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

-Phillipians 4:6-7

Tell me about your mess. Tell me the hardest part in dealing with it? And then tell me the areas in your life where you can say “yes” more…

Author Bio: Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a wife and mother of three who enjoys writing about anything and everything under the sun, but especially loves to instruct, motivate, and guide other moms with practical advice and tips. Jenny is a contributing writer for The MOB Society, and The MOM Initiative, and is the author of the recently released guide for all mamas titled, “Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time.” To find out more about Jenny or to follow her blog, visit www.jennyleesulpizio.com.

Yes, works for me!


WFMW: DIY Inspiring String Art

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[Beginning next week, I will be featuring your yes stories every Wednesday. Please continue to link up helpful links that work for you. I hope it's a yes or two.]

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Put a yes in your mess.

And create something new and beautiful.

 

#yesinmymess #rhinestoneJesus #releasestomorrow #!!!!!


WFMW: #IDHTBPTBB

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Or It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful.

I’ve been reading The Nester’s blog and using her design hacks for years. She even helped me float my couch once. She was one of the first people to read my new book and she carried it all the way to Africa.

For years, she has said #yesinhermess.

Although, let’s be real–her mess looks so much prettier than mine–all pastel ish and color-cooridanted. But she’s the real deal and her brand new book is as beautiful as she is.

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It’s sitting on my coffee table right now. Bookmarked with a feather because I’m learning ALL THE THINGS. It’s a gorgeous book that tells the story of saying yes right where you live.

It comes out next week and if you preorder it, you can get this lovely printable free: (click here for details on The Nester’s blog)

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I’m already updating my gallery wall. And I’ve moved a chair. Okay, two.

It works for me!