Words. So powerful. Life or death. They can either propel someone forward. Or set them back. Lift someone up. Or push them down. Words are powerful!
My 5-year-old has been so intrigued with seeds! For the space of several months now every time he eats a fruit or anything with a seed, he meticulously sets aside some of those seeds to plant. We’ve had conversations about seeds…and more conversations about seeds! He knows he will get what he plants when it’s harvest time and that excites him. It’s a dynamic law of nature and science that can’t be reversed. And so, he plants away in all good faith that whatever he plants will grow! Some of his seeds have been forgotten about till months later. Others have popped up at some unique places. Potatoes by the bush house they play in. Field corn by the shed. Peas coming up against the garage. He’s constantly planting. In his mind, he already has those potatoes and peas and corn even though he has to wait for them. Other times I’ve seen him dump a container because he forgot all about it, but still he plants more. All the while it speaks to me about my faith and what I’m sowing into, particularly with my words.
For me, the foundation of all my words springs from THE words I hear my Daddy God speak to my heart. Lately, my life has felt like it is full of more questions than answers. My soul can pretty quickly feel like I’m starving if I don’t stay in touch with Him—His Word, His whispers to me. His words matter to me more than anything else!! Or do they?? I’ve struggled at times to hear Him above all the other voices and opinions. Even above my own internal doubt and fear conversations. It’s those moments I find myself so incredibly grateful for His words being thrown to me like a lifesaver thrown to a drowning woman at sea. Like a ray of light calling to hidden seeds buried deep in the ground to push past the odds and rise to the occasion of creating more life. But how do I do that as a busy mom? What does that really look like? I am the woman who used to think it had to be a set apart moment and big wide-open chunks of time. I sought out coffee shops and all the journals. Papa was awfully kind and showed up in those times…but something inside me was still empty. It was a journey for me. One where He was incredibly gentlemanly and didn’t push me.
Eventually, I began to slow the frantic rush for those big chunks of time and started paying attention to the hunger—the craving—instead. I realized He was longing to train me to hear His voice WHILE I was on the run. Mom life rocked my little boat of quiet times pretty violently, in fact. And I was a mess. A couple years ago I realized I need to come up with a new game plan. Coffee shops and babies and diaper bags and long journal devotional times don’t go well together now, do they? 😂 I even…gasp…let go of my long quiet ritualistic devotions every morning. I wanted more. I needed more.
It took letting go of the shoreline of what felt good and comfortable; letting go of my selfishness and the comfort of my ritual. It took pushing out to sea to let Him train me to hear His words in the daily, sometimes joyful and sometimes chaotic routines of mom life. But He worked with me and so incredibly gently and patiently. He let me fall and rise and find my way through by trial and error. I was terrified that if I let go of my coffee shops and journals for a season that I might never see them back again. But I knew I had to let it go. And so, I did.
Now, here I am a couple years later incredibly grateful to God for all He taught me. It looks so different than I thought it would and I love it!! I love being able to carry an ongoing conversation with Him over the hullabaloo that can ensue with mom life. I love hearing Him speak to me in the laughter of my children. Sometimes His word to me is the sunrise I stand silently enjoying with my hand curled around my warm cup of coffee while the world wakes up. Or, it’s the thought that crosses my mind and is an answer of peace to a question I’ve been asking Him repeatedly for months. Sometimes it’s the thought He sends that connects to something deep in my heart, waking up hopes and dreams. It happens anywhere. In my garden, over dirty dishes and sounds of homeschool, in my van while I’m hustling to run errands, over the meal I’m making to feed my hungry people. Everywhere. Anytime. All the time. It’s my grounding factor. The one thing I need more than anything else! And guess what? Surprise of surprises—once in a while I’m blessed with a good old coffee shop time with Him or a space to read and journal my heart out in prayer conversation with Him before the house wakes up. Those times and the words He speaks are such welcomed oases! But more often than not I hear His word over coffee grabbed quickly at a drive through or a home brewed cup re-warmed in the microwave. (I do know I need Him more than coffee, but sometimes I can hear Him better WITH coffee because, life. ☺️)
My understanding is that what He plants grows.
It won’t return to Him empty. I also understand that I get to steward the words He speaks and water them carefully and simultaneously keep all pesky critters away that would like to tear the seeds out. That means screening what words I listen to and let land. And heaven knows, there are a lot of words and opinions and voices out there. There are days I’ve had to lay my phone down because of easy access to all the words, words, words out there and just listen for and ponder HIS words to me. Whether I can catch His whispers and hear His words above all the rest of the voices makes all the difference in my life! Most days it doesn’t take much; just a few simple lines from Him will anchor my little ship and bring peace even when it’s noisy and busy. It helps to ‘be still.’ Be still. Be still and KNOW. Be still and know that HE IS GOD. Being still is not stopping all the action around me; it’s being aware of His presence and HIS voice above all the noise and action around me and letting that ground me and my responses to the activity and the noise.
I pray that you be blessed to hear His words to you above all the rest of the busyness around you. Take care of what He shares with you and it WILL grow! He promised. So just grab that seed from Him and consider it already done.
October 11, 2021
by Vera Smoker
Hi there! I am Vera, blessed wife of one and mom to three wonderful little people who make my world go round. I am an unashamed lover of Jesus, passionate about authentic relationships rooted within the identity that comes first from my relationship with Him. I’m a lover of good books, fat journals, sunsets and sunrises, long quiet country walks, and time with my family around campfires or on our front porch. Growth and mentorship are high on the list of values for me and I always thrill when I get to celebrate the wonderful journey of growth and discovery with others. The Hubs and I both love hosting so come relax with us sometime and we will chat the time away and connect over a good cup of coffee or chai!
God Made All of Me Matching Games
This set includes 16 matching games each featuring 4 vibrant real-life images with life-giving identity statements. As children place each matching card on the corresponding photo, they are speaking out words of truth and life over themselves. For non-verbal children, allow them to match the card as you speak the words over them. This fun and interactive set is perfect for engaging your little ones as they use their brain and their spirit to learn, grow and love life!
Gah. It’s good. The end of the week is almost here and I’m tired. But it’s a good kind of tired. I’ve been challenging myself to ‘stay present’ more lately and while it definitely takes more emotional energy, it’s been so rich. It’s easy to stay glibly present in good moments, but the hard ones? Those are the ones I have tended to run from.
Kintsugi has always intrigued me. When a small dish from the treasury of my Grandma’s china that had been passed down to me broke the other week, I almost tossed it right into the trash can. But mid toss I stopped and said out loud, ‘No. Verna! She knows how to do kintsugi! I want to do that with this dish.’ At that point I immediately picked up the phone and put in my request for a little help and know-how for the project which turned into a fun morning and lunch together.
In the past, and sometimes still, I can find it difficult to slow down the intake and focus on being established instead of frantically going for more. I’m learning that it’s okay to give myself permission to listen to the same message or read the same chapter over and over again; to learn and re-learn a new habit; to move in peace and let the message or lesson sink deeply into my spirit.