our poverty and the poor widow

i wrote this little devotional for a MOPS meeting the other week. then the mops meeting got canceled because of snow. then i felt like God kept working on my heart about it, making me dwell on it and think about it. and then i’ve felt the Lord’s leading to share it here, with you all. i hope you don’t mind all the mom references if you’re not mom, i still think it speaks with the same relevance. God has been teaching me a lot about what it means to be poor and needy…but not in a way you’d first think::


 Mark 12:41-44

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.  And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

The poor widow gave out of her poverty. Yes, Jesus is talking about her finances, but I think this can also speak about other “resources”. Sometimes I think of only myself with regards to those other resources-emotional, time, energy etc… How often do I hoard my emotional resources and think I don’t have time to meet with someone or commit to something?

I hold on to my schedule like the Pharisees held onto their gold. Giving only the extra. Or my personal to do list, or my plans for the day. BUT out of her poverty, the widow gave.

I think a lot of us, as moms, or even just with how busy we all are in today’s world, consider ourselves “in poverty” with our time and energy. We perceive and feel  like we are so exhausted we only have a tiny bit to give, and we hoard for ourselves as much time as we can. We even hear beloved speakers talk about “taking care of yourself first!, take care of number one!” and, I think that’s important too, don’t get me wrong, but I just want us to be careful as we think about it…

The thing is:

  1. God works the most when we are at the end of ourselves- when we give out of our poverty. When we are living in His strength and not in our own. (“The Lord is my strength…” Psalm 28:7) That old idea that the Lord doesn’t give us more then we can handle is false- He gives us more then we can handle, He brings us to the end of ourselves, so that we lean more into HIM.
  2. God cares more about PEOPLE than about schedules or plans. When we give time(especially when it feels like we don’t have any) to PEOPLE- to our children, to our family, to friends, to other moms, to strangers- that is the most valuable thing! God sees that gift just like Jesus saw the widow’s gift.

AND, I’m not saying that you should say yes to every little thing that someone(especially strangers) asks of you. I’m just wanting to remind you that our time is a resource just like our money. We need to think about it rightly.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

We need to use our time wisely and also remember- it is not ours. God knows our days and He has given us PEOPLE to fill those days.

Little ones we need to pour out our time on like a burnt offering.

Our Big boys who so often get ignored because of our to-do lists, we need to serve them with our time and love.

Friends and strangers who demand our attention or who just want someone to listen to them, it is a burden sometimes to take the time to be with them and listen, but God’s love is for His people, and I am just reminded that people is where God asks us to spend our time, to pour out our time for.

God places people in our life to serve with time, with energy, with love.

In college I remember a friend and dear mentor who taught me this lesson. (shout out to Rachel! love you!) She said if she was ever interrupted from homework to be with someone or be in a meaningful conversation with PEOPLE, she would let go of her plans and schedule and trust that God has brought this person into this moment and it’s more important than homework. She would trust that God would provide for her to have time to finish her homework-He knew she needed to get done- even if she had no idea how. And guess what, He always did. She always got her homework done and somehow time would grow and allow for what she needed to accomplish. It was the people who were important and she knew that deeply. I held onto that in college and it proved true for me too. And now  I want to remember that daily, I want to remember it when a little one interrupts me, when a friend calls for a long conversation, when I’m just too tired to serve again.

God blesses us when we give our time to His people.

He sees our time and energy offering, even if we feel poor and needy.

Here’s the thing though, we can’t do this with our own resources or ability. 1 Cor 1:8-9 says “we are under great pressure far beyond our ability to endure…but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead…He will deliver us.”

And Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…You will find rest for your souls.”

If you feel stretched and exhausted and like you don’t know how you can pour yourself out anymore, Go to Jesus. He alone can be the one to fill us. Having a blank schedule and no little people pulling on us won’t fill us up- even though the world tells us it will.

Let me repeat that, having a blank schedule and no little people pulling on us, won’t fill us up. that will not restore us the way we want to be restored!

Only Jesus can. Only through time in His word and praying.  Like Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” {now, if only i could actually do that… because i don’t know about you but i’m not waking up 3 hours before my babies every morning…!} 

I am challenged, and I want to challenge and encourage you to think about your time and how do you use it as an offering to the Lord. Do you see it as a burnt offering? Do you see yourself as “poor and needy”?  May these verses encourage your heart:

 

“Incline your ear O Lord and answer me, for I am poor and needy” Psalm 86:1

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3

“For you have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy person in his distress, a refuge from the rain, a shade from the heat.”  Isaiah 25:4a

thanks for listening friends.

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

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we rock tummy time

 obviously after the 4 month photos everyone is convinced Cora rocks tummy time. but in case you need more convincing. here’s a few more images of her just rocking it.   yup. you’re a rock star Cora! 

xoxo-kimberly renee

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her baptism

Sweet little girl was baptized a couple weeks ago. it was sweet and beautiful that her daddy was the one to do it!

i know there is so much confusion and disagreement about infant baptism, but i really liked what the pastor(ahem, my husband) said that morning. i just thought he explained what infant baptism signifies so well! i wanted to share it with you:

” …baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by

Jesus Christ Himself. By the act of baptism, a person becomes a part

of the visible church of God, for it is a sign and a seal of the covenant

of grace for believers and their children. As a sign it proclaims God’s

forgiveness and our redemption in Jesus Christ. And as a seal, God

marks us as adopted children of our heavenly Father. It indicates our

engrafting into Christ, our rebirth, the remission of sins, and our ability

by the power of the Spirit to walk in newness of life. (Book of

Worship 3-2)

For infants in the Old Covenant, circumcision was the outward sign

used to indicate that a child was part of the visible church. However,

in the New Covenant, under Christ, the sign of circumcision is

replaced with that of baptism. When an infant is baptized, it does not

save. It signifies instead that God’s pursuit and work in our lives

begins before we are ever aware of it. And it also seals the infant

within the covenant promises of God, being raised not as a stranger to

the Gospel, but being taught the good news of free and gracious

salvation in Jesus Christ, a privilege to those within the church.”

“It signifies… that God’s pursuit and work in our lives

begins before we are ever aware of it”

i mean, that, right there is where we praise the Lord for God’s pursuit of each one of us. we can not save ourselves. amen?! 

Cora isn’t being raised as a stranger to the gospel. we pray that every day the gospel is evident in our home and in our church. the gospel means that, daily,  we recognize that we are sinners and need Jesus’ saving work on the cross.

in our  home, in our relationships with each other, in our parenting… we are not perfect. we need Jesus. may it be so clear to our girls as they grow up.

  

thank you for letting me share that special day with you all!

xoxo-kimberly renee
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Cora at 4 months

last week sweet sweet baby Cora turned 4 months old. 4 months. i know i’ll keep saying this, but i can’t believe it! it’s going so fast!

my sister, Becca, was here to help me get the photographs. it was fun to share that with her. also to have her help getting Cora to smile was such a treat. can you come back every month for photos? 

let’s just get this out of the way, THIS PHOTO:  

it’s my favorite photo for today. i am so in love with this sweet thing.

Corinne at 4 months:

  • blows lots of bubbles
  • is 15 lbs 14 oz. (77%)
  • is 26″ tall (94%)
  • rocks tummy time!
  • watches her sister with an eagle eye
  • is actually pretty serious and it’s hard to get a smile, let a alone a giggle. but those giggles are the sweetest ever.
  • she is ticklish already!
  • is SO chatty. (put really only in private, she’s introverted i can already tell. lol.) she wakes up and just starts talking and singing and gets louder and louder and louder!
  • plays so well in her little play gym and on her bouncer seat. she is very good at grabbing things!
  • she rolled over last night. (technically a few days after she turned 4 months old, but oh my word, i couldn’t believe it)
  • drool monster

making noises and spitting. ha. so are we done with this thing or what? ok mama, i’m done with tummy time.

i love her happy grin  kick kick kick we are excited!   bubbles! nonstop! 

we love you sweet sweet girl.

xoxo-kimberly renee
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when auntie amy and uncle chris come for a visit!

my sister Amy and her husband Chris came for a visit last week. the little miss has been talking about all the things we did and how “far far far far away” they life. there are just so many fun things that happen when they come!

like we wear our best jewels to Longwood gardens, you know just to enjoy the sunshine: we go for walks in big meadows…and make them take turns carrying us:

 we sit and have long discussions on a bench among the branches:   and smile: and we have photographers to get a family photo. WHAT. oh and the girls just wouldn’t look. too many other people to look at:   and we have someone adoring to smile for:  and stare at:  and someone to dress up:    awesome uncle award goes to: and of course, ALWAYS, our auntie takes us shopping:  and help us with tummy time:

and take us to lots of fun places. don’t they look related in this photo?::  it’s pretty much the BEST when auntie amy and uncle “Criss” come to visit.  and now we have our other auntie becca coming this week and we’re so excited to be spoiled some more! haha.

thanks for coming to visit you guys! you are adored!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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goodness from the other day

 the other day i was reading my bible during our “blanket time” and Sophia made me see something profound.

blanket time is glorious thing. we set the timer for 25-30 minutes and she has to sit on her blanket and “read” her books. i get that time to sit and have a little quiet time and just have quiet in my morning.

sophia isn’t perfect at it. but we’re practicing daily so she’s getting better!

anyway, the other day she walks over to me with a little book in her hand, she says, look mom! i have these! and she points to the other books in the series on the back of the book that she owns. she is pretty proud of the fact that they are hers. she is bragging to me about it.

i just laugh and say yes dear and direct her back to her blanket.

i laugh because of course she has them because we bought them for her. or because someone else did. she did nothing to actually acquire these things. and she seemed so silly bragging about it.

but then i realize. how often do i do that? how often do i say, “look at what i have! look at what i’ve done!”

when NOTHING is mine? when i did nothing to deserve or acquire or earn the gifts that i have?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17

EVERY single thing in my life is a gift. my family, my friends, my house, my mind and creativity, my very breath, my salvation. all of it, a gift.

 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

thank you Lord, for your good and perfect gifts. even little reminders of Your gifts through a little three year old.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8

amen.

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

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things a 3 year old says

she turned 3 and life just won’t ever be the same.

i pull my hair out with this one most days. she’s the sweetest little trouble maker and disobey-er i know. i love her to pieces.

and she says the funniest things that i want to remember for always.

things like:

    • “Baby Cora (or some days Tora) wake up-ing?”
    • “i LOVE pink, Mom”
    • “i LOVE purple, mom”
    • “Reeeeely thirsty mom, time to go inside and drink applejuice.”
    • “having tea time, mama? can i have some hot cocclate?”
    • “marshamallomallows” you really just have to hear it for yourself:

  • “COW CUP!”
  • “poopaste” (for toothpaste. yes, she really does say that… the t must be hard lol)
  • “no! cocclate milk! no water!”
  • “i need my oils.” (because yes, i have taught my daughter that essential oils really do work lol)
  • “let me hold her! i hold baby Cora mom!” two seconds later as she tries to push her off, “all done now! right now!”
  • screaming from back seat, “you are song mom! you are! you are!” (the new song by  jj heller called The Well)and then as soon as i play that she wants “coffee in the morning! coffee in the morning!” over and over and over.  i finally had to take jj heller out of the cd player for my own sanity.
  • “GOSH, mom.” -um ok threenager.
  • “see ya later, mom! going to Nana’s!(or a trip! or vacation! or the beach!)” life must be pretty boring around here.
  •  “i sad. i miss daddy.”
  • “you’re my ffend”
  • “mom, and then?… and then? … then?” the girl wants the WHOLE plan man.
  • “watch somfing?” or “…nap time then i wake up and watch somfing.” -obsessed with being able to watch something. a movie or a show it doesn’t matter. she’s technically only allowed one “somfing” a day during the weekend… unless mama is loosing her mind.
  • “but mom, i luv you!” as she tries to get out of getting in trouble for getting up for the upteenth time after i’ve put her to bed. baby i love you too, more than i can handle right now because you’re so cute and just.so.much. and really you just need to go to bed!!

 

 i can’t stand it. the days feel so long sometimes but i can’t believe she’s 3.  she is so much fun and such a delight and such a treasure. i am SO blessed with her in my life. i know this and thank the Lord.

xoxo-kimberly renee

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