It Will Cost You Something … The Blessed Life

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
(Luke 9:23 NIV)

 

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It will cost you your comfort zone. It will cost you what the world defines as “balance.”

It will mess you up, change the way you shop, and stop you in the street to pray for the hurting.

It will cause you to talk with strangers and “outcasts” when before you would have walked on by.

It will cost you harder work than you’ve ever known—for no pay.

It will cost you sleep because you will go to the hospital in the middle of the night to pray for a complete stranger.

It will cost you time because it will drive you to your knees to know the author of this ridiculous love. It will drive you crazy if you can’t stay up all night, reading the words He has written out for you, because you are so hungry to know Him more.

It will cause you to move to a new town to change the atmosphere because you know that the atmosphere changer goes with you. You may go to 7-Eleven to pray for strangers because you aren’t satisfied with living in your comfort zone anymore.

It might cost you the comfort of your hometown because you move to Africa or Peru or become the mom of many orphans or mentor a woman being restored.

It will cause you to stop speaking your mind so you can encourage when you see nothing to encourage because you know how God sees people and you know His vision is better than yours.

It will cost you all of your money because you will want to give it all away.

It will cause you to plant churches (or prayer rooms).

It will cause you to believe in miracles when no one else has any hope. You will use your words to bring life because you know that at the very word “Jesus” spoken out of your mouth, sickness, darkness, depression, and demons will flee.

It will cause you to worship Him publicly even when you can’t even sing and speak to a group of 1,000 when you didn’t prepare and don’t know what to say.

It will drive you to stay up late working on homework because you have tasted the fruit of your hard labor.

It may cost you your own dreams and sleep so you can help your sisters meet the dreams God has laid on their hearts.

It will cause you to have ZERO tolerance for slavery, debt, and anything that steals, kills, or destroys, and it will cause you to war day and night over these things.

It will cause you to be sick at what’s going on in this world, and you will refuse to be passive in the pathway of sin.

It will cause you to shine your light from the hilltop. You will never sink into the valley because your God is worthy!

It will cost you time to encourage yourself in the Lord when everyone else is coming against you.

It will cost you ALL of your time because you will seek the Lord so regularly that you don’t know of a moment when you are not in His presence.

It will cause you to overlook mere offenses and see through people to know the motives of their hearts because the author of this great love gives you His eyes.

It will wreck you and change you.
You will never see the same way again.
It will cost you something—really, it will cost you everything.
But what a trade!

What a life! What a blessed life! I wouldn’t trade it!

Love,
~ Sheri

Trying to Reach Perfect

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In the past year of dance, I’ve learned that you cannot—I mean cannot—reach perfection. If you knew how many times I have tried, but I only make it 80% of the time.

My dance teacher is the best teacher I’ve ever had. She has taught me so much. She has taught my class to do our best, no matter what. Maybe you’re tired, shut down, sweaty, or hungry. That’s okay. She doesn’t mean for us to push our hardest and then pass out. She says,

“Don’t stop because you have failed a couple of times. 
Keep trying. Don’t quit.”

I’m not saying I’m very good at dance, but this lesson can apply to anything, like trying to make a friend or going to a gymnastics meet. “Don’t stop because you have failed a couple of times. Keep trying. Don’t quit.” This applies to everyday life.

I have a confession for you:

I’ve almost cried about the other 20% of my time in dance. I can’t even squeeze my core for more than two combinations. Hey, if I ever get on pointe, I would be shocked. I don’t plan on it. I’m only eleven, so I’ve got time.

I’m just saying, “perfect” isn’t even a word for human beings. The only person who can use the word “perfect” is Jesus.

 

Love,

KK Grace

 

One Tool to Get into Your Child’s Head

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Pillow talk.

Did you know that our children’s minds review their day’s events every night? Every night in their beds, they review and contemplate everything that happened that day. Now, you have one of two options as a parent: you can stay up late as your child is processing and talk to him or her, or you can choose a tool called pillow talk.

Pillow talk is a journal passed between the parent and the child. At night, when children are processing the day, they can open up their journals and write down the greatest thing that happened to them, what part of the day was most disappointing, and that sort of thing. Children remember the good, but they also have regrets at the end of the day that they process at night—regrets about poor performance on a test or disappointing behavior or the way they treated someone. They also consider their wounds.

Actually, your children can end up monopolizing your time until the wee hours of the morning if you let them. I have many friends who stay up all night long with their children because that’s when their hearts are most vulnerable and open.

It sounds great in theory, but if you work or homeschool and need to be productive during the day, you cannot function properly without sleep. If you’re married, your husband may want some of your time, too. I believe if you stay up all night, every night, with your kids and make yourself available to them at every beck and call, two things happen: one, you lose intimate time with your spouse; and two, your kids don’t learn to process for themselves and communicate in a healthy way at an appropriate time. Plus, if you’re OCD, you need the time when your children are in bed to reorganize and cleanup for your own sanity the next day.

Rest is an important part of healing, but I also don’t want to miss out on my time with my kiddos. I don’t want to miss out on their sweet, vulnerable hearts at the time when they’re processing. So what do you do? Do you clean and sleep or have late-night talks with your kids?

I personally cannot live without sleep. I’m exhausted by the end of the day. I’m ready for everyone to go to bed. I want to be horizontal. I don’t need to close my eyes, but I need to be horizontal. I found a tool that lets me into my children’s hearts and allows me to sleep: pillow talk. It’s a journal for the kids and me, and it’s a fun game.

I write a note to my child. I write what’s on my heart. I may write about something I’m disappointed about or an apology for some way I behaved towards her. I write about my life, being vulnerable and transparent. It may not even have to do with my child. Then I write some questions, such as, “Is there anything that has been bothering you lately? Is there an area in which I can encourage you more or an area where you’re feeling discouraged?” The answers don’t have to be long; they are meant to help us have useful, quality conversations the next day when we’re awake and alert.

I slip this under my child’s pillow for her to read at night. It gives her something productive to think on and helps steer her thoughts. I may even put in a positive message of encouragement, a Bible verse, or a picture. Sometimes I draw pictures. I’m a horrible artist, but I draw pictures for my children’s entertainment. We sneak the journal beneath each other’s pillows and see if we can get in there without getting caught. It’s a lot of fun.

When it’s under my pillow, I read it and am able to see inside my children’s hearts. The next day, I pull them aside and make sure I have some one-on-one time to discuss what I read. It’s an open door to have healthy conversations with them at a time when we’re all rested.