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Struggle Bus

Struggle Bus

To listen to the podcast, click here.

How crowded is your Struggle Bus?? It’s not a matter of if you’ve been on the Struggle Bus, it’s how often and crowded has it been? As much as I would like to see life through rose colored glasses, Jesus specifically said, “You will have troubles. Take heart, I have overcome the world.” 

Truth be told, I was on the Struggle Bus not knowing what to write. I had an idea, but it wasn’t coming together. I might have moaned and groaned a little while struggling.

It’s not the first time I’ve been on the Struggle Bus and won’t be the last. The crazy part is, the Struggle Bus is where growth occurs the most. 

Teenagers. That’s a Struggle Bus all on its own. Being a teenager, teaching a teenager, raising a teenager is a guarantee of challenging moments. 

Like most teenagers, I struggled with figuring out who I was and the type of person I wanted to be. I spent many nights on our front porch swing contemplating the teenage woes of life. In the midst of the front porch swinging, at the age of 17, my heart and eyes were opened to the knowledge that Jesus was, is and always will be my best friend. As a young girl, heading into her senior year of high school, this Holy Spirit encounter was a milestone in my relationship with Jesus. While on the Struggle Bus of identity, I found a deeper level of identity in Christ. 

Substitute teaching is not for the weak hearted!! During my short lived substitute teaching career, I dreaded covering high school classrooms. I have great admiration for high school teachers. The great high school teachers have a knack for reaching teenage dysfunctional minds and producing intellectual students. It’s truly magic!!

I thought surviving the toddler years was going to be the life of me. The teenage years are a whole new level. I am currently walking with my own kids through the teenage years. All three have been raised under the same roof with the same expectations. Yet, all three have experienced the teenage years uniquely. It causes mental and emotional whiplash often. I turn to parents who have already walked their children through the teenage years and realize they survived, so will I. Their kids survived, so will mine. 

Mary was 15 when an angel appeared to her. Let’s pause there for a minute. Have you had an angel appear to you lately? As in a direct messenger for God? This is not something that happens all the time. In fact, it might freak someone out. Fear and doubt corrupts the message that came directly from God. And, why would He choose a 15 year old virgin girl, who has little to no social status to carry, birth and raise our Jesus? Okay, unpause; after overcoming her own shock and disbelief, she says, “God, I don’t get it, but show me what You want of me. Your will be done, not mine.” “Lord, Your way is better than mine, lead me and show me Your way.”  “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I know You do. I will rely on You.” In the midst of being on the Struggle Bus, Mary stayed in tune with Christ. 

At the age of 15, my greatest concerns were how much playing time I was going to get on the basketball team and anticipating getting my driver’s license so I could drive myself around. Nowhere near my brain was the thought of being a mom, let alone the mom to the King. Having an angel, a direct line to God, show up at my door and say, “Guess what? You have been chosen to be the mother of a King.” Stepping on the Struggle Bus now.

The question is, how do I get off? I have experienced three different exits. The first one is not so pretty. I have been so consumed by my woes of life I miss the path that is right in front of me. A good swift in the rear end or a back of the head slap sends me stumbling off the bus to gather my footing. “Okay! Okay! I’m going! I’m going!” 

Have you had a friend that has walked beside you through thick and then, sayas what needs to be said, and then yanks you off the bus? Yeah, we all need one of those. I have a tendency to dig my heels in and not want to budge. Some of you are shocked, I’m sure! Then comes the statement of truth, said in love, “Molli, you do realize you’re only delaying the inevitable, right?” “Okay, fine, off we go!” 

During a transition in careers, I knew what wasn’t working anymore, but didn’t know what was going to come next. I was confident the transition was the right next step to make. But, what the next step was leading to, I was unsure. The banter was going back and forth in my brain for several months, do I or don’t I? Getting off this Struggle Bus took great courage and a leap of blind, confident faith. I knew He would lead me to the right place at the right time, I just couldn’t see the path to get there. That was nerve racking! I like to have a plan and know the destination. I was confident in the plan, but took confident, blind faith in Christ to lead me to His destination. Ready or not Lord, here I go! And off the bus I went!

Mary struggled for a minute, but didn’t stay long. She heard, understood and accepted God’s plan for her life. 

If you are currently on the Struggle Bus, search Him out at the next stop. Step into His arms of grace, take a hold of His hand, and follow His lead. He is your exit plan off the Struggle Bus.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me, We are in this together, exiting the Struggle Bus together, in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

People Movers

People Movers

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Anyone’s inner child get excited when an escalator is in sight and you are going to ride up or down it?? No, just me? I feel like royalty surveying her kingdom as I ride up and down. No matter the cause, I do enjoy a nice escalator ride! 

What about the people movers in airports? The people movers are like a preview to an upcoming flight. Feeling like I’m flying as I pass people left and right, thinking, “See ya! Wouldn’t want to be ya!” Ya gotta let the inner kid out every now and then, right??!!

If you will notice, I mentioned the riding of the escalators and people moving. I did not mention my graceful transition on stepping on and off either of them. 

I must have been sleeping in when God was handing out grace. If you’re out and about with me and I’m looking around, admiring the scenery, I will probably grab your arm to prevent stumbles. The sidewalk has a tendency to jump up and grab my feet. Or a post moved right in my past and I might run into it. Have you ever thought you had climbed down all the stairs, except there is one more and you almost faceplant? No, just me? Okay. Thankfully (knock on wood) no broken ankles. 

Since I struggle with coordination, the timing of getting on and off moving objects is a little tricky to say the least. 

After a few stumbles going up an escalator and a couple of stubbed feet getting off, I think I have mastered the transition. Gently lift one foot as the escalator gently guides the transition. It’s a similar technique with the people mover. Gently lift one foot, ready to plant it, when the other foot is at the end of the people mover. This technique is not fool proof or 100% accurate. Stumbles still occur. But no faceplants!!

Periodically we go through transitions in life. You’re cruising along the people mover when it comes to the end and you have to take a step to move forward or stay frozen in place. What are you going to do? 

There are pieces of what you are transitioning out of that you don’t want to let go of. There are pieces that you look forward to grabbing a hold of in the new adventure that awaits you. Do you stay where you are, frozen in what is known and familiar? Do you take a leap of faith and trust that there is more that awaits you? 

I’ve traveled through a transition of being married and sharing a life with someone for 20 years to being the sole provider financially, emotionally and spiritually. I have walked, crawled and stumbled during the last four years. Yet, through it all, God guided each step and the transition went as smoothly as possible. During that time, God laid upon my heart to tell my story. He then added the idea to write devotionals. About a year and a half ago, I wrote out my ideas on post-it notes and placed them on my bedroom wall. Periodically, I’d read over the post-it notes, rearrange and add new ideas. 

It was time to transition the post-it notes to my notebook. Fear not, the devotionals will come to fruition. I consider this the next stage in the project, not the end. If I were to be honest with you, it did hurt a little and the wall looks bare. 

We all have grandiose ideas of what we could do or be. Honestly speaking, how often do we follow through and see the idea to completion? Not often enough. We start out with gusto and nothing can get in our way. Time passes, life happens and some things get pushed to the side. We lose momentum and our ideas start to collect dust. I have looked and stared at my wall of post-it notes long enough. It’s time for the next step. As I was taking the post-its off the wall and putting them in my notebook, a few tears leaked out. It was a moment of transition. The realization of moving from the wall to my notebook caused me to snag my foot on the floor (or my comforter, literally!) and open my eyes to the reality of the next steps.

Does the notebook end up on a shelf and collect dust? Or am I going to wear it out as I flip through the pages gathering more thoughts, ideas and a plan of action? It’s up to me. Am I going to stand frozen in what I have or am I going to take a leap of faith and take it to the next level?

I have seen people look at the escalator and choose to take the stairs instead. We all have a choice. What choice are you going to make at the end of a cycle and the beginning for a new adventure?

There is no right or wrong. No matter the choice we make, Christ is ever present to guide our footing. There is no face planting with Jesus. Maybe a few trips and stumbles, yet, He is always there to pick you up and help you take your next step.

Next time you use an escalator or people mover, have confidence in your footing and balance. As Christ is your stronghold, your next step is the right one.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this transition together, in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Twu Wuv!

Twu Wuv!

To listen to the podcast, click here.

“Mawage. Mawage is what brings us togethah today…… wuv, twoo wuv will follow you forevah…..so treasure your wuv….” – Princess Bride. A comedy from 1987. Oldy but goodie! 

It’s a typical romance comedy. There’s a girl and two boys fighting for the girl. Which one does the girl love and which boy is going to get the girl in the end? Well, I like happy endings, so the girl gets the boy she loves and the boy overpowers the other boy. Twu Wuv wins in the end!! Throw in funny one liners and you have your comedy. It may be a little hokey for some, but with the right sense of humor, you’ll have a good laugh and a happy heart by the end. 

Towards the end of the movie is a wedding scene. The not nice boy is forcing the pretty girl to marry him. The wedding is in a beautiful cathedral church and the priest is in his finest robe. The priest’s lack of the correct pronunciation of the words adds comic relief to a tense situation. Spoiler alert! The ceremony gets interrupted and she marry’s her twu wuv in the end.

Prince Humperdinck (the not nice boy) tries to force his love, overpower opposition and demand his way. Westley (the boy who gets the girl in the end) loves gently, does not pressure yet sacrifices his life for the one he loves. He was patient and waited until she was ready. He was kind even when she did not understand why he was being so kind. His love for her gave him joy that produced peace in knowing that one day he would marry her. He was patient when she pushed him away and forced him to leave. He was gentle when they reconnected. Protected her when they were in danger. He had self-control and patience when rescuing her from Prince Humperdinck. Does any of this sound familiar?

God gave us the ultimate gift of love in His Son. That’s not all. Jesus loves you and me. Not just any love, but a deep, love you forever, don’t want to live my life without you kind of love. He doesn’t want to live without you!! He loves you so deeply, He desires and delights in you. 

A few years ago, I was talking to a mom with adult children. We were talking about raising teenagers. At that time, I was hoping I would survive the teenage years.  She nodded her head in agreement and commented, “Love them through the dumb.” I laughed at first, then let the meaning sink in. Teenagers’ brains are not fully developed until they are in their twenties. Until then, they make unusually dumb choices. We just need to love them through the dumb and pray they come out alive on the other side. 

I’m pretty sure Jesus is loving us through our dumb and protecting us until we get to the other side! 

When asked, “What is true love?” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 is a known answer. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. Faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.” The Fruit of the Spirit overlaps this description of love; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. There is no law against these things. 

Love is more than an emotion. While love is an action, it’s also the core of who you are. The core of the abundant life we are created to live. Take a moment and reread the above paragraph. Go ahead, reread it! I’ll wait. 

We have been gifted and graced with the wholeness of God’s love bundled up and implanted within us. Love is easy when life is going well and you have little adversity around you. Love is a decision and choice when life is hard and we don’t think we have it within us to love. Love within us is anchored deeper when we love as Christ  loved us. 

Love is …….. (fill in the blank)

Twu Wuv comes from our Heavenly Father, embeds within us and expels through us as we live with a purpose to love as He loves us.

Thanks for sharing this moment with me. We are in this together, in love, in Him. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.