On Money and the Heart

July 6th, 2015

IMG_9153

Whenever I scroll through my Pinterest feed, there’s always at least one pin related to financial matters. Some focus on ways to save money and others on how to get out of debt. That’s because money management is a real issue in our country, especially when you consider the amount of consumer debt we have. Such financial problems cause housing foreclosures, bankruptcy, and are even blamed for conflicts in marriage.

It’s true that we need to learn how to budget and manage our finances. We need to track expenses, save more, and spend less. There are many helpful tools out there that help families do such things. These resources are good and useful and we should seek them out.

But in the process, we shouldn’t fail to evaluate our heart as well…to read the rest of this post, visit For the Family, my writing home today.

 




When Everything Seems to be Changing

June 29th, 2015

IMG_7711

Everything seems to be changing.

In our culture, beliefs that were once considered common are now flipped upside down. Freedoms, morals, and even the definition of the words we use in our society have changed in recent years.

In our daily life, things are always changing too. We lose jobs, our kids grow inches in a day, relationships break, churches split apart, and the clothes we wore a year ago just don’t seem to fit right anymore.

Life is always changing.

Change can be overwhelming. Confusing. Fearful. Some changes can completely rock our world. We can go to bed at night to one reality and awaken the next to a completely different life. Such change can make us feel lost and abandoned, like we’ve been tossed overboard in the midst of a storm at sea.

Or at least that has been my experience. The older I get, the more things seems to change. I’m less surprised when it happens but I’m still left reeling. Some changes bring out the worst in me, like my tendency to want to take over and control the future or to simply curl up into a ball of despair. Change makes me hold tighter to things and people as if I could somehow keep things the way they are by doing so.

Our Unchanging God

Whatever changes you are going through right now, whether they are minor or ones that have knocked you to the ground, there is one thing that never changes and one thing we can always hope in: our unchanging God.

Scripture tells us that God never changes. “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). He is the same God that met Moses on Mount Sinai and the one who provided a shade tree for the self-righteous rebellious Jonah. He is still the God who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (Psalm 145:8-9).

Because God never changes, his word never changes. All that he has said about himself remains true forever. Everything he has told us about how the world came to be, what’s wrong with the world, and what he has done about it has not changed. No matter what the world may say, no matter who denies or defies God’s word, it remains firmly fixed. “Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89). “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

And because his word never changes, his promises for us always remain true. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). “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” (Isaiah 41:10).

The unchanging nature of God and his word are real things we can stake our life on. It is a rock to build a house on and an anchor for our soul in the midst of life’s always changing circumstances.

Because of these truths, we can say with the psalmist, “God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3).

And like Habakkuk, we can say, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Things will continue to change. Both in our world and in our daily life. Some of those changes will feel like a tiny ripple and others will crash into our life and turn it inside out. But no matter what changes we face, we don’t have to fear. We don’t have to hide. Because our anchor is our unchanging God whose character, word, and promises remain fixed forever.

Are you in the midst of changes in your life? How does God’s unchanging nature give you hope?




IMG_9153

On Money and the Heart

Whenever I scroll through my Pinterest feed, there’s always at least one pin related to financial matters. Some focus on ways to save money and others on how to get out of debt. That’s because money management is a real issue in our country, especially when you consider the amount of consumer debt we have. Such financial problems […]

046

A Prayer Journal

It was a busy, hectic day. And right in the midst of it, I received a message from someone that troubled me. The more I ruminated on it, the more I worried and fretted. I told myself to stop thinking about what was bothering me. I tried to distract myself by focusing on the details and duties […]

Hope for When Father’s Day Hurts

Photo courtesy: Lisa Tarplee Photography Holidays are intended to be special times. They unite family and rekindle shared memories. They delight and bring joy. They give us reason to push pause on the everyday and celebrate a common joy. But for some, holidays are hard. Instead of joy, holidays only bring up painful memories. They […]

4113341728_bd93f40716_m

A Prayer for Hard Days

We awoke at 4am to fly from one coast of the country to the other. Traveling is exhausting enough for one person, but as a family it seems even more so. Upon landing at the airport, my husband had to get on another plane and fly on for work. The boys and I were on […]

Chatty13websize-71

Childlike Prayer

(Photo courtesy: Lisa Tarplee Photography) Sitting in my room one evening, enjoying some quiet, one of my children burst in through the door and said, “Did you hear that?” “Hear what?” I asked. “That sound. It was a boom or something,” he said. He stared at me with eyes wide while one hand clung to the door […]

cross

On D-Day and the Greatest Battle

I grew up spending Sunday evenings at my grandparents’ house. I’d sit on their split-pea colored sofa with a book in my hand listening to the grownups talk. The newsmagazine show 60 Minutes played on the television, followed by Murder She Wrote. They merely served as background noise to my grandfather recounting stories from his time fighting […]

IMG_9087

Real Peace and Rest

Rest. Relaxation. Stillness. Peace. These are the pursuits of summer vacation. By the time summer rolls around our house, we are more than ready for it. The school year pushes us hard. Each minute of the day is spent; we barely finish one thing before we rush on to the next. We are ready for a […]

IMG_7989

Why Friendship Can Be So Hard

“We are going to meet one of my old college friends tomorrow,” I informed the kids. “Do they have children?” one of the boys asked. “Yes,” I responded and showed them pictures of the family. “Cool.” It’s remarkable to me how quickly children make friends. They barely need to meet a new child before they […]

1 2 3 185