The Hardest Class You’ll Ever Take

skyresize.jpgThe enemy of your soul will try everything in his arsenal to destroy, dilute or distract you from God’s grand purpose for your life. He’ll try to break you and stifle your effectiveness because he knows if you figure out your purpose and take God at His word, you really can change the world.

He hopes you never apprehend the truth about being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, because he wants you to believe you aren’t and God has nothing for you. Or, he’ll try to make you believe God is not what He says and he’ll inject doubt and fear to make you submit to his low-down lies.

Because he wants you to stay broken.

To stay bitter, wallowing in self-pity, ineffective and weak, less than what you were created to be…constantly reminding you how bad it is, how broken you are, how helpless and useless your life.

We’re all broken somewhere. But in the broken places of our lives lie the beautiful, fearful fragments of purpose. God alone can glue them together anew with a fresh look and a new resolve. He alone can take the shattered and make them sure. He can drive our dream back to the realm of the possible.

We don’t know why we suffer and on the surface it seems to make no sense. We think it has something to do with us and it does, kind of. But God allows us to have all sorts of experiences for this primary reason:

He’s making us useful in the lives of others. 

Allowing us to walk through a similar circumstance so we can offer comfort, healing and hope to bleeding souls. In fact He says as much through Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:4:

 “..comforts us in all afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

It’s not as much about you and me as we’d like to think. He’s not mad and you’re not being punished.

You’re being educated.

Educated in intimacy-the hardest, most glorious thing. Think about this: the savior of the world, the maker of stars, the Son of the morning, the Dayspring from on high, the Rose of Sharon, and King of Kings-wants intimacy and oneness with you. And with me. Impossibly possible and shockingly wonderful.

He does and the thing is, He wants it only on His terms. And His terms take us to the deep, dark parts of ourselves, the perverted pride, the ugly thoughts, the cruel motives, the frightening tendencies. He dredges them up and lays them out over and over till we’re willing to say yes to repentance. Yes to forgiveness. Yes to faith and praise no matter how broken we’ve been.

Some lessons in intimacy take longer than others. I fought God for years in my season of infertility and desperate desire for another child. I didn’t get what He was teaching and I desperately wanted to drop His class! It was hard, it was painful and I hated it!

Because I couldn’t see God’s why. All I could see was the hole in my heart, the empty place He couldn’t fill. The hurt and the hollow. The bleeding need.

He kept teaching and He refused to let me drop the class. He kept at it and together we peeled back the layers and the years and the sorrow. Because He was trying to get me to see just one thing the whole time. It’s a really simple lesson. Simple and hard like all lessons in intimacy. And the lesson is this:

He is enough.

That’s what I needed to learn and He will do whatever He needs to in order for us to grasp this truth.

Anything in life I think can satisfy more than Him simply can’t. He will have nothing less than my whole heart, full of Him and empty of all else including every noisy idol I feel compelled to worship.

Nothing you desire, not the baby, or the relationship, the job, the raise, the position, the husband, the influence or recognition, none of it compares to one real moment in God’s presence.

What is He teaching you right now? Do you desperately want to drop the class? I know, I totally get it. But friend, the best thing you will ever have is Him. Whatever good thing you want, no matter how good it seems right now, can never compare because good is always the enemy of the best. He’s so much more than you think. Let Him peel back the layers and get to your heart. It’s part of the maturing process. We have to go to school before we’re useful in the world. We have to learn certain lessons. Hard lessons.

As you allow Him access to your heart and submit to deep teaching, you’ll gain intimacy with Him. As He takes you through and you find He comes through,  as you gain firsthand knowledge of His faithfulness, you’ll hear His heartbeat and He will send you out to bring comfort, healing and hope to other bleeding souls.

Blessings,

Kate Battistelli

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

Hope Runs {how God can change your life in the blink of an eye} ~ Giveaway!!

There is no way to know where your life will go.

We work and plan and love and learn and think we know what may happen in this world, and what God may put in our path. But His magic shows, again and again, that what we know is nothing, and what we live is His.

This is how my story changed:

I went to Africa to climb a mountain.

ClaireDiazOrtizAfricaBioImage

It was the end of a year of around-the-world travel. A year of running through Indian monsoons, and searching for Mexican food in Mongolia, and reading hundreds of books on any hammock I could find. A year of a strange kind of traveling bliss that overtook me.

In Kenya, a mountain beckoned, as it had before. I was a runner, and a hiker, and after climbing to the base camp of Mt. Everest several months before, I knew I wanted more. After a few days in Kenya’s capital, I headed to the guest house that had come recommended to me – a cheap place near the mountain, I had been told.

I arrived to find a stranger truth than I first understood.

This is what was true:

An orphanage owned this guest house, and the elders of the orphanage were inviting me to break bread with them. And then, life changed.

Because I felt God there, in that lunch, with those people. And I asked Him to help me see. To help me know if He had put this place – this orphanage, this home for 170 Kenyan children I had never thought to think of before – in my road to change me.

He had, of course.

To this day, I have never climbed Mt. Kenya. I lived in that orphanage for a year, starting a small running program that became a non-profit organization, Hope Runs, with a mission to help orphaned and vulnerable children.

sammy and claire low quality

And in that year of running, other things came to pass.

Because on that first day, in those first hours, I had a met a boy. A teen who looked nine or ten, but proved to be thirteen, and who had struck up a conversation with me that I couldn’t shake. Throughout my year living in that place, he was at my side.

When I left Kenya, I left with the intention to bring him home with me. And eventually, with hope and prayer and work and sweat, he made it here. And now, years have passed, and our lives are more wildly different than we ever imagined.

Hope Runs: An American Tourist, A Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption is the story of our journey.

I believe in the power of story. Not just mine, but yours as well. In honor of the launch of Hope Runs, I’m giving away a free ebook, entitled, Share Your Story. Download it here.

Hope Runs Cover

 GIVEAWAY!!! Win one of 3 Copies of Hope Runs

To win a copy of Hope Runs enter via Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

————–>>>>>(Or, buy a copy of Hope Runs and get $150 in freebies.)

About Hope Runs:

Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to illness, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with seven other children and very little food. He entered an orphanage seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.

When Claire Diaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mt. Kenya, then head back home. She entered an orphanage seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek. God had other plans.

Hope Runs is the emotional story of an American tourist, a Kenyan orphan, and the day that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It’s about what it means to live in the now when the world is falling down around you. It’s about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see. Most of all, it’s about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye.

About Claire Diaz-Ortiz:

Claire Diaz-Ortiz (@claire) is an author, speaker and Silicon Valley innovator who was an early employee at Twitter. Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, she holds an MBA and other degrees from Stanford and Oxford and has been featured widely in print and broadcast media. She writes a popular blog at ClaireDiazOrtiz.com and is the author of the new book, Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption.

Finding Balance in Real Life

balance-241612_640Balance can be such a hard word.  It seems to me as moms we are all looking for it!  We want to be great at everything and we want to always have our ducks in a row.  We want to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, perfect friend, sister, and daughter.  We want our schedules to flow and our work to be masterpieces.

But if we are honest some days we are just getting by!

We still have to live life and life can be hard. We face trials, illnesses, broken marriages or friendships.  There are moms who are struggling with depression and deep pain and just getting through each day seems to be a big deal.

Just know this! If you haven’t found the perfect balance:

IT IS OK and YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!  YOU ARE HUMAN!!

Honestly, we will never find the perfect balance on this side of heaven. I’m not going to give you a list of tips to help you find the perfect balance today.  I’m just going to give you some scriptures to hold on to when life is out of balance.   These are what I am holding on to these days!

Matthew 11:28-30 ”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

John 16:33 ”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

And this one is my favorite.  Every mom should hang this one on her mirror!

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

When you are out of balance- REST IN HIM!!

Blessings,

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

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