July 11, 2021 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Lori Freeland –

Let’s be real.

There’s a season for everything, right? Even rest? So why does it feel like rest is something to be equated with lazy?

Do you wake up wondering how long until bedtime? Wonder how you’ll get everything done by the end of the day? Do you rush to finish things early in the morning before your energy level tanks below barely registering?

Maybe you’re a ragged mom, who spends more time in the car than at home. Why can’t someone just hurry up and invent a washer/dryer set that fills itself, washes, and switches loads?

Perhaps you homeschool numerous kids in multiple grades and spend your life repeating K-12. The good news is fourth grade math gets easier every year you practice it. At least remember to cheer yourself on for the A’s you’re finally making now. Fractions are hard.

Could you be a desperate-to-be-published novelist lost and obsessed in her fantasy world, staying awake until four am to churn out pages because that’s when it’s finally quiet?

Or maybe you embody all three like me.

I push myself too much. Feel guilty when I don’t. Terrified that if I let go for a second, everything will fall apart. No more clean underwear in the drawers. No homework graded and set up for next week. No name on the cover of a book. Not my name, anyway.

But I can’t run full-speed forever. None of us can.

Enter rest.

Not retirement-like rest. Just a few hours off here and there. I’m talking about rainy days spent in smelling the roast cooking in the crockpot. Weekends used for recharging myself and reconnecting in my relationships. Nights curled up with a good book in my footy pajamas and some hot tea.

After a while, rest, like sleep, loses its optional status. I have to do it. Or I pay the price. My body gets rundown and my mind spins in confusion. Might as well take rest on my own terms.

I expect to find guilt in the cutting out process, but I know it needs to be done. Otherwise, in twenty years I’ll look back and wonder what happened to my life.

Do you know what makes it easier for me to rest? Knowing even God took a break. And He is far stronger than I am. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:1-3).
That slashes more than a fraction of guilt over carving out some down time.

Just so you know, I’m typing as fast as I can to get these thoughts on paper before I have to run out the door, yet again, to drive some kid to some thing and then go back and pick him up.

Things Change

June 20, 2021 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Lori Freeland –

Love you—the text read.

And I was doing better too. Hadn’t cried in over 22 hours. My eyes were just to the point of deswelling and the gigantic gaping ache in my heart slowed to a smaller, more tolerable throb.

Kyle’s text negated all that.

Not that I didn’t want to hear from him, because I did. But knowing he was so far away—an unhuggable, unreachable distance—made me want to wrap my arms around him even more.

Things change. Time grows our children. Life opens up new doors. I know this. I expected this. I even wanted this.

But still—change hurts. Even when it’s good.

Last weekend, my husband and I moved Kyle, my oldest child, to college. Four hours away. It’s what’s supposed to happen. I birthed him, I raised him, and I loved him—and now I let him go. It’s the clichéd natural order of things.

Only letting go is not that easy when you actually have to do it.

When you have someone in your life for eighteen years and you worry about him, pray and anguish over his relationships, his heart, and his health for 6570 days, 22 hours, 37 minutes, and 15 seconds, he’s kind of stuck to you. A part of you.

And that’s not easy to shake.

My role in Kyle’s life has changed. I know that. But it’s going to be a journey. At least for me. He’s having the time of his life and I’m glad.

I’ll let you know how it goes for me and what God teaches as I transition from hoverer to distant advisor.

Love you—I reread the text. Wiped away a tear. And straightened my shoulders.

Love you more—I texted back.

Some things won’t change and for that I’m grateful.

Have you ever have trouble letting someone go?

Integrity. You in the Dark.

June 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Faith Articles

By Lori Freeland –

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a dark room. No windows. No doors. Not even a sliver of light leaking through. Now pretend there’s a group of people locked in there with you. They’re counting on you to show them the way out.

Are you radiating an inner glow, a natural shine that lights up the room, chases away the shadows, and draws people toward you?

Did you cheat and bring a flashlight, faking your brightness with batteries and an artificial beam? Are you blinding the people counting on you, burning their eyes, and ruining their vision?

Maybe you blend into the shadows, meshing so well with the darkness no one even knows you’re in the room. You’re untraceable, even with night goggles, leaving the crowd to believe they’re on their own.

Integrity is who you are when no one is looking. Integrity is who you are in the middle of a black room where you could choose to stay hidden. Integrity is you, in the dark.

Jesus radiated integrity. He was exactly who He claimed to be, all the time, even when He was alone. He embraced light. He exuded light. He was light.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12 NIV).

Pick up your integrity, step into Jesus’ light, and go illuminate the world.

The Power of Prayer—Never Underestimate It

April 8, 2021 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Lori Freeland –

My son came home yesterday and greeted me with a few of the most terrifying words a mom never wants to hear. “I almost got killed at the El Dorado intersection in McKinney this morning.” Then he gave me a hug and walked on past.

“What?” I followed him down the hall, my heart racing ahead of me, already up the stairway and in the next room. Didn’t matter the incident was hours old and my tardy visceral response did nothing but hike my blood pressure.

Kyle turned and proceeded to tell me he’d been waiting to turn left, completely missed the guy going straight—you know the guy with the Right of Way?—and he had to swerve, hit the curb, and almost popped his tire.

After I leashed my heart and stuck in back inside my chest for optimal performance, I sagged against the stairs. My first thought? The prayer I’d murmured over him this morning before he’d walked out the door.

The same prayer I played on repeat day after day since he’d slid into that car alone and I whimpered as his tail lights disappeared down the street.

Thank you, Lord for hearing me when I pray!

Don’t ever underestimate, devalue, or ignore the power of prayer. God is listening to you—sometimes you just can’t feel it.

“Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth” (Psalm 54:2 NIV).

“But I cry to you for help, LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you” (Psalm 88:13).

Fine Lines—Just Walk ‘Em

March 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Lori Freeland –

This week I found myself thinking a lot about fine lines. While walking a fine line is a tired cliché, the words paint a clear picture that fits with my current mindset. Imagine a child following a thin shadow line down the sidewalk step by careful step, a little wobbly, yet just making that next move forward one small shoe at a time.

Here are a few of my fine lines. Can you relate?

Trust myself. Yes, I need advice. On many topics. Being a kind wife and a focused mother, keeping strong finances, crafting an engaging story, and editing and tightening my articles. Other people ahead in the journey offer wisdom I haven’t gained and skills I haven’t mastered. But I need to listen with my ears open and decide with my heart closed. I can seek out opinions and that’s what I’m going to get—opinions. There may be a small percentage of truth in even the worst advice and I try to find it. But then I need to come back home, close the door, and sift through the information alone. In my heart, I will find what’s right for me.

Love my work. For me it’s my writing. If I’m not madly in love with my story, why should anyone else be? But I can’t love it so much I close my ears to solid advice. That’s a fine line if I ever saw one! Love it, but let it go. Still working that one out!

Release my children. No, not into the wild, but my natural inclination to yell “duck and cover,” throw my body over my kids, and protect them from the world may not be the best plan to grow them into the people I want them to be. The statement, “This hurts me more than it hurts you,” finally makes sense now that I’m striding in my mother’s slippers. When my kids hurt, I ache. I’d do anything for my little and not so little people. But that may damage them the most. Failure is the first step to success. And to endurance. Real life requires both.

Set myself apart. As a Christian, I am to be different. Set apart. A light in the dark. But if I lock myself in a brightly lit room, how will I know if my light is on? I need to step into the dark and check my batteries. I also need to remember the point of my light isn’t to clear the room; it’s to provide a safe warm place for people to come together and support each other. I need to remember, “But the greatest of these is LOVE” (I Cor. 13:13 NIV emphasis mine). But means stop and go the other direction. I can sit and judge others all day. I’m not winning anyone to Christ that way. Relationship over ranting. I can do that one!

What fine lines are you walking today? Leave a comment and share!

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