I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

300! And Doing Good for Image Bearers.

This is my 300th post!! Woo-hoo!! Not that big of a deal to many, but to me, it is. There was a time (amidst the Deep Sadness) that I didn't think I'd ever have the ability to feel, laugh, sing, create, or write again. But here I am. Evidence of the Grace-giver. Evidence that taking the long route of living through grief, rather than avoiding it, can indeed happen. Were it not for my husband, who has loyally, lovingly, patiently, stood beside me and carried the daily burden of tears my heart bleeds....I'm not sure if I'd have a care to take part in creating anymore. Thank you, My Love. The way you always love me is indescribable. I only hope I am able to spend the rest of our days together reminding you of your worth, and how much I love you.

For the big 300, I wanted to talk about something that is very dear to me.


And loving one another.

For all the things out there that we can fight about, whether it's gender wars, religion, motherhood, or whatever else we constantly choose to bicker over.....
I would hope that we choose to have a hand in building up the Image Bearers. I would hope that we always choose acting, speaking, doing things out of love.

For all the reasons, all the causes, all the different doctrines we've made for ourselves, and even the Bible verses we can quote that support our reasons to hate, tear down, and oppress any other person(s).......the common theme I've seen throughout the story of this God I know is one of LOVE.

There's always a reason for love, the question is whether we'll believe it enough to live it out or not.
Because we all know how we speak, act, live, and love is a mirror from within our very souls.

I hope we all choose to mirror LOVE. It's always the answer. Always.

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor, 'Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,'
When you have it with you."
*Proverbs 3:27-28*

"See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people."
*I Thessalonians 5:15*

"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." I John 3:18

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
*Matthew 22:36-40*

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mommyhood and Lent.

I often find myself saying, "Hold on, Momma's busy...give me a minute....one second..."

And it's so true, there's so much to do!! With just everyday life, taking care of everyone else, cleaning, laundry, Bible studies, church, meals, ministries, homeschooling, and somewhere in there, time to rest.

But the days, the months....the years. They can FLY. Before I realize it, I look around and see my SEVEN year old son. 7. Not only that, but this summer my amazing husband and I will be celebrating our 9 year anniversary! Wow! How did it happen? I am in awe at how much love is experienced in our family....I wish I could bottle all the time up, to live in the moments forever. Over the years, I've heard so many Mommas say things about time flying---and I knew it to be true. But it goes even quicker when we're not really taking the time to invest it in our loved ones.

There is ALWAYS plenty of work to do.
There will always be deadlines to meet.
There is always another job that needs doing, another meeting to attend, another event to plan, another sink full of dirty dishes, another load of laundry to wash, another box to check.....
But there will NOT always be today.

For Lent this year, I didn't have a definitive thing to fast from. I told myself I would try to be much more intentional and attentive in taking care of my family and myself. Lord, how I fail! Every day, time after time. I am reminded of how human I am. How I am not perfect.

Then I remember the reason for Lent....to be reminded of Him, and how He is the Perfect One. He offers grace. He offers love. And He is faithful in helping me keep my eyes open to the OH, so valuable people in my life. The job I have the highest privilege of doing everyday is SO much more than a job. I find such pride in pouring myself into these precious people I get to share the same home with. They are my home. They have kept me awake through many seasons of grief. They have reminded me of the God who loves us always, and I only hope to always remind them of the same.

So not only for this season of Lent, but everyday, I am just trying as best as I know how to love, love, love on these precious guys. If I learned anything at all from the days we got to share with my Momma, it's that life is MUCH too short. It truly is a gift.....and I am trying to see each day as such. Someone once said, "Life is short, and death is long".....so very true.

Whatever season we are in....whether it be summer, spring, laughter, or mourning.....
I hope we are living the HECKFIRE out of it, with and for those who love us most.

I came across this poem today, the author is anonymous. Get a tissue.....

"My hands were busy through the day.
I didn’t have much time to play.
The little games you asked to do,
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes. I’d sew and cook.
You’d ask and I’d read from your book.
I’d tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers; turn out the light.

Then tiptoe softly by your door,
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life was short, the years rushed past,
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at my side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away.
There are no longer games to play.

No Teddy Bears or misplaced toys
No sleepovers with lots of boys.
No goodnight kiss,
no prayers to hear.
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to do"

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dreaming of a New Thing.

Sometimes finding a New Way is the only way to keep a good thing going. Sometimes thinking outside the lines that have been drawn, and the worlds that have been built, is the only way to progress.

I realize I am a dreamer. I never have really tried to fit into anybody else's mold for me. But admittedly, it can get lonely. And I've been quite discouraged over the last few years for so many different reasons. On our little vacation to Ohio, I was very much encouraged.

We visited the Wright Brothers Museum with our dear friends in Dayton. Mainly, we wanted to take our sweet boy to see it all. He is a lover of all things involving science and history....I knew he'd just learn so much. At one point, I leaned down and whispered in his ear,"Even though everybody thought they were crazy for doing something nobody had ever heard of, they kept going. And because they did, there are hundreds of airplanes in the air everyday! They NEVER gave up dreaming, even after they failed!"
They had a hand in revolutionizing the world.
They failed countless times.
They got discouraged.
They were put down by other people.
But they kept working, learning, changing, inventing, dreaming.......
As soon as the words were out of my mouth, as soon as I caught myself reminding our sweet little bean to always keep going, even if it was something new, something different...
I reminded myself.

"Keep going, Jes. Keep doing the good things, keep building up, keep loving, keep living."

I long to do something different, to strive to think progressively. I want to have a hand in helping those in need. To help end the fighting, and instead start a movement that is inviting to all of humanity, rather than exclusive and divisive. I want to live out these words:

"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

I have been hearing about a Man who changed things. He did things differently. He didn't fall in line. He accepted the foreigner, the alien. He defended the women and children. He stood up for the oppressed. Others called Him crazy, a heretic, unfaithful....but He kept doing a new thing. He calls us out, inviting us to join Him.....
So I think I will just keep working, thinking, learning, and doing. I will continue to do my best to fall on the side of love and grace.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start something new.