Personal Blog by Rhonda Crowdis Hardisty

Write-31-Days-prompts-2017Linking the Five Minute Friday and Write 31 Days for the month of October. So, for today’s prompt, “tell”, I just want to tell you about the writing challenge and invite you to join me in writing just 5 minutes each day using the list of prompts attached.

I want you to know that God has given us each a story. Whether you think it is worthy of being heard is irrelevant. God has given you a story. Your life from the day you were born until the day that you leave this earth for heaven is your story. You were given that story, good or bad, happy or sad, to share with others. You were given a life filled with up and downs, things you are proud of and things of which you are ashamed. Every minute of every day is a story of how you made it though circumstances and opportunities to become the person God intended for you to be. He gave you light and wisdom, darkness and confusion, to support your choices and lead you through each day. Every step that you have taken whether forward or back has been a piece of your journey. So many people have been in those same places and believe that they are alone. They think that no one would understand or that no one would believe them. They do not know that they have a story that will support others on a similar journey until you use your voice and speak up for yourself, which is also a way of speaking up for them. This world is full of hurting people who are hiding behind a past that dims their light. Tell you story, shine your light, be a voice for the voiceless.

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be567957528e84687badebce4412acea--worship-quotes-worship-godWorship is connection with our Creator and heavenly Father. It’s engaging with Him on a personal level in an effort to thank Him for all that He is and all that He means to us. Worship is recognizing from your heart that He is the Holy One. He is the Almighty God. It is falling into the open arms of our Savior and thanking Him just for being. It is accepting His invitation to come to Him unashamed of who we are and what we have done. It is access to Him and all that He wants for us. Worship is raising your arms to acknowledge Him for who He is. It is bowing our hearts and raising our heads in honor of Him who is all, has all, knows all, and yet still loves us with every part of it. It is acceptance of His wisdom and plan for us. It is believing that He who created all did not make a mistake when He created us. It is understanding that He loves every piece of us and seeks to show us how lovely we are even in the places where we only see ashes and dirt. Worship is His was of breathing life into us while we express our gratitude to Him for everything we are unworthy of receiving. Worship is relationship with God.

Connecting today with Five Minute Friday and Write 31 Days for 31 days of Five Minute Free Write Challenges during the month of October. Won’t you join me?

IMG_3174This first thing I think of when I hear the word Mom is that we all need to learn to forgive ourselves for what we perceive as our failings in motherhood. We also need to forgive our own mothers for the places where we feel they have failed us. We must remember that we are only human. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in our children’s lives, but we are not God. We are sinners by nature and therefore we will have times where things do not go perfectly according to our plan, but that does not mean it’s not still part of God’s plan. We will have times when despite our good intentions we fail miserably. Just as God provides us grace for our failing, we must also provide grace for ourselves and our own moms.  All moms wonder at some point if they are making terrible mistakes with their children, but we press on in doing the best we can with what we have. In those places where you give yourself grace to make mistakes, you learn a little bit more about the heart of God for your children. Our mothers were once right where we are, making choices in our best interest to the best of her ability with the skills she had learned to that point. I think this is why Grandmothers are usually such amazing and inspiring people in our lives. They have already walked in our shoes and made the mistakes we have yet to make. They speak such grace into our lives from years of experience and sacrifice for their children and families. They were not perfect at motherhood either. We will all one day sit at the feet of Jesus and learn the answers to why things happened the way that they did, but until then, give grace to yourself, your mother, your friends, your families.

bccc54c1a573f027ba3ccefaa112afd3In focusing on enough this year I have seen that my value is not in how many steps I walk or how often I win the “workweek hustle” on FitBit. It is not tied to being the first car in the parking lot or the last one left at work each day. It is not in how many Starbucks stars, LulaRoe leggings, or tubes of LipSense I collect. It is not even tied to getting my preferred seat at church on Sunday mornings. My value is not in the percentage of times I win at Words with Friends, not even when that friend is my brother 😉 It is not in how clean I keep my house or car, how well behaved others believe my children and grandchildren to be, or how neat I write in cursive. It is not in the price of my house, car, or other material things. My value is in who God says I am and who He made me to be. He is my Father and I am His child. He loves me unconditionally regardless of any of these things.

The biggest thing that I am learning in this focus is that my “enoughness” is not based on how well I was parented or how well I have parented my own children. I keep being brought back to this and having to remind myself that even though there are pieces of both that were not and are not perfect, they are best left to God as I, myself aside from Him, do not have the tools to take them on. This does not mean that I am any less of a daughter or mother. It just means that I need to learn what areas of my life to turn over to God and let go. No matter how often they return to my sight and thoughts, they are not mine to pick up again unless and until God gives me that skill set and tells me to go slay those giants.

Linking with 5 Minute Friday today.

20140326-jennieallen-setothersfreeI’m reading Jennie Allen’s book, Restless, in which she talks about how our hearts are restless for more because we were not meant to live forever in this world. Our purpose here is to live our story and then tell it so that others may benefit from what we have lived and learned. I have been struggling with a nagging thought that I am meant to tell my story in a greater way and with more depth than I have ever told it before. I have always felt like each step of my life was a stop along the way to more: more of God, more of life, more love, more faith. However, along with more comes fear and uncertainty. I am realizing that my fear is tied to the idea that I am not enough: not good enough, not strong enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not experienced enough, not deserving enough. The great thing about this type of fear is that it can be overcome with the knowledge that we do not need to be enough because He is enough. God is enough. I never before realized that I do not have to be enough because God is enough. My purpose has not been to get to the point where I am enough. I will never be enough. God designed us to need Him. He is our enough. He came to be life through us. He doesn’t expect us to be enough on our own. In her book, Jennie says that He chose us to do His work because He knew we would never be enough. We are a vessel that He designed so that He could fill us up and pour us out. Our purpose is to let Him work through us. Our purpose has never been to be good enough or strong enough to handle anything on our own. We are made in His image for His purpose. How freeing is that to know!

Linking with Five Minute Friday today. The prompt is Purpose.

 

822ce3305f783476cd8dc1d7b00946cfWe often think of God as our safe place, our refuge, our shelter in the storm, but isn’t he also the one who asks that we step out of our comfort zone to love Him and his people? Isn’t He the one who asks us to be brave and have a reckless faith? He asks us to believe in the unbelievable, and reach for the seemingly unattainable. He wants us to seek Him at all cost; to step out in faith, believing that He will do things that we feel unsafe asking Him to do. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that he has not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. This power in Him makes it safe for us to take steps without fear. His love gives us courage to accept those callings that our flesh feels danger in carrying out. A sound mind gives us clarity in understanding that while He is our safe place, our refuge and our shelter not only when we are sitting in our homes reading our Bibles, but even more so when we are walking out our faith in uneasy places. He keeps us safest where we are most vulnerable; where we share His love with others.

Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is safe.

49284-she-took-a-deep-breath-and-let-it-goThings happen in life over which we have no control. It’s the way we respond to those things that determines where we will go next. The song Just Breathe, by Jonny Diaz says, “Breathe, just breathe. Come and rest at my feet and be, just be. Chaos calls but all you really need is to just breathe.” It reminds us who is in control and that the only response we should have to whatever is happening in in our lives is to just be with Him. There are times that we just need to take a deep breath, breathe in who God is and breathe out all of the negativity in our lives. Just breathe. My middle daughter has a tattoo on her wrist with the single word “breathe” to remind her of just this simple act that we can easily take for granted. Breathing is a part of who we are, it is something that we do without thinking, but if we stop and concentrate on it, let it soothe us, it can be as easy as taking a long deep breath to calm our selves and remove ourselves from the chaos that surrounds us. He is waiting. Just breathe.

Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is breathe.

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