If I died tomorrow, would I have done enough?

You know that moment where you lose the breath from your lungs, your heart stops and reality hits you square in the face?

I had one of those (again) recently. The first 2 occurred a few months ago. When my husband was in a horrific traffic accident that shut down the interstate for 9 hours.

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Thankfully, my sweet Andrew made it out with a few scratches.. That’s it. We were about 4 months into our marriage and God handed me a big plate of reality. Life is so fragile, and we’ve only got 1 chance. I thank God every day for another day here together with my best friend and encourager.

Unfortunately a sweet sister in Christ of mine didn’t have the same outcome as I did, and this was the 2nd wave of reality that hit me. Her and her husband were both in a traffic accident together, and her husband went to be with Jesus that day, leaving her here to wait with us. They were married just under 6 months. Again, another heaping plate of reality shoved in my face.

This 3rd one.. I about can’t take reality anymore.

A fellow blogger passed away after being involved in a traffic accident. I never met this particular woman in person, but followed her through the social channels, always noticing how beautiful her smile was. It was infectious. She was engaged to be married to her sweetheart soon, and my heart aches for her fiancé, family and close friends.

It’s as if God is constantly reminding me that life is a gift. It’s completely uncertain as to when we’ll be called Home. It also just so happens that all 3 of these events all were involved with traffic accidents and this is why it’s hitting so close to home for me.

I drive around 70 miles one way to work. About an hour on a good day. I do this every day except for when I’m traveling. I’m on the road about 10 hours a week. I’m not complaining. I know this choice is completely all mine.

And here’s what I struggle with. I’m not scared of dying. I know I’ll be welcomed into my Saviors arms and rejoicing with my Lord.

I’m scared of leaving something on the table. I’m scared of not doing enough.

He has reminded me more than once that He has the ultimate control and has our best interests in mind. He knew us in the womb and had His plan for us, wrote out in a roadmap of our life.

Am I doing enough to show my love for Him? Am I using the talents He blessed me with to advance His Kingdom? Will I arrive at the gates with a “Job well done, my servant” as my greeting?

I’ve been praying for a long time for Him to help me to understand how I can faithfully serve Him. How I can advance His Kingdom and encourage His children? What does this look like in my life? — I almost feel as if I’m on the edge of my seat with the answer, but He’s just not quite ready to reveal it to me yet. Or maybe, it has been revealed but I need to be reassured by Him that this is truly His will.

Maybe this blog, my writing is it. Bringing glory to Him through my words.

The truth is, I think I’m scared of what He might be calling me to do. Feeling poorly equipped with limited resources, inadequate. I need to pray for the confidence and courage to carry out God’s will for my life. I need to pray for increased trust in everything. His timing, faithfulness and will for my life.

Here are my parting thoughts…

If I left my worldly dwelling to go Home tomorrow, would I have done enough to honor Him? To show His love? Would there be any question is His mind that I loved my neighbor as much as myself?

How do we do that without ceasing?

How can we use our talents to honor Him daily?

Love to all- Nicole

Loving your Mother

I have a confession. I’m not the person you think I am.

Fake

On the outside I’ve been smiling, going through life like I had it all together. Through my parents divorce, I tried to brush it off saying things like, “Oh it’s okay, things are great. Mom and Dad actually get along better now apart. (which is oddly true)” People would ask how things were going and how the family is doing, and I would respond well. We’re doing great.. everyone seems to have found a new normal and moved on.

Those things are all true, but below the surface secretly… I was not okay, I was wounded. People would even ask me personally, how’re you doing? And.. like a sinner I would brush it off, say I was fine (lie). The truth is, my relationship with my Mom had been extremely rocky. In my mind everything, all of our conversations/yelling matches ending in tears..were all her fault. She’s the reason why we don’t get along. She is the one in the wrong.

I was refusing to understand where she was coming from, refusing her apologies and just plain shutting her and her feelings out.

For almost 2 years I had been asking God to change my Mom. For the majority of my life, my Mom and I haven’t been the pair that are best friends. There was a period during my dark years in High School when she was- she was all I had, but ever since I can remember we haven’t seen eye to eye on things.

For 2 years I’ve been asking God to change her so that we could get along and understand. So that we could be that Mother/Daughter pair that was best friends and spoke several times a week, took trips together and shared those special moments together.

Change of Heart

So.. after 2 years of praying that same prayer. I gave up. I started asking God to change me. To love her unconditionally and to honor her as my Mother.

Exodus 20:12 – Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 

Ephesians 6:1-4 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”- which is the first commandment with a promise– so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

God has changed my heart. It was almost as if a switch went off in my brain, love your mother it whispered. Of course I loved her in this dark time we had.. but I wasn’t showing her that I loved her.

I think back to the past 2 years..I had been a judgemental hypocrite. I am a sinner.. and not perfect, but I expected my Mom to be. It’s so true in the fact that the evil one will take any hold he can to drive a wedge through love and family. God has pulled me back again by his reigns and reminded me of how broken I truly am, and how much I need his Son. I’m not saying that I have a perfect relationship with my Mom after my surrender of prayer.. I’m saying it’s a lot better.. and filled with more love and understanding. I was carrying around a bitter heart, full of poison.. but it’s been washed away by the blood of an Awesome Savior.

Unveiled

My mom is the strongest woman I know. She’s been through a lifetime of battles and is fighter. She’s beautiful, talented and smart. She was the Mother that God needed her to be to me. I’m so ashamed that I let the evil one have such a strong hold on the relationship that I had with her. — More proof that I need Jesus and I can’t do this life on my own.

The veil has been torn from my eyes over the past couple months. He’s been using several examples for me to understand this monumental concept. His Word and my Husband. How is it that I deserve such an example as my sweet Husband? I’m unworthy of Andrew’s unconditonal love. He is such a wonder, and I’m humbled that I was chose as Andrew’s life partner. To navigate towards eternity with this Godly, loving and patient man is a complete honor. I’m so blessed.

God has instilled in me the most compelling part of His story. Just love… as He loves me.

Mark 12:31 -The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

 Love everyone. period.

Mom- isn't she beautiful?

Mom- isn’t she beautiful?

It’s so easy in this world we live in to compare, to judge, to be hypocritical, angry, bitter and negative, but God’s greatest commandment is to love! Soon these things will be replaced with praise, joy and everlasting love. Please pray with me to fight this uphill battle of love.

Set aside difference, bitterness, grudges and misunderstandings and choose to love. Jesus was crucified by those who claimed to love Him, and He still chose to love them unconditionally.

Love to all (I mean it) – Nicole

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