When You Feel Like a Tychicus in a World full of Pauls

We live in a world where everyone wants to make it big. There are singers who sign up for a talent show, get the most votes and are hurled into stardom. Let’s just say they didn’t live out the songs that they wrote (shout out to Hank, jr.) Folks can become “internet famous” simply by being outspoken or opinionated. Everyone wants to be the star.

Please don’t read bitterness into these words. I have enjoyed some of the singers and I read some of the bloggers and it’s all good. But do you know what else is also good? The person who serves faithfully behind the scenes. The ones who get the job done day after day. For every one person in the spotlight, there are a dozen working in the shadows and they probably feel anonymous.

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As I sit here with the dishwasher humming, the clothes dryer turning and an endless list of mundane things that still need to be done, I’m thinking of one person in Scripture that you’ve probably never heard of before. Let’s just say that, if someone asked for your favorite Bible character, you probably aren’t going to say Tychicus.

I was reading in 2 Timothy and one tiny verse stood out to me.

“Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.” 2 Timothy 4:12

Just a simple statement but it made me wonder. For all the times that I have read Paul’s letters, knowing full well he was in prison when he wrote them, I’ve never really given a thought to the person who delivered them. Tychicus didn’t do what he did for the glory. Do you know how I know? Paul’s name is mentioned over 190 times. Tychicus? Well, depending on what translation you use, his name shows up about 5 times. The only thing ever mentioned about Tychicus is that he was delivering a message for Paul to other believers.

If we listen to the world, we may begin to feel discouraged. It’s easy to think that, just maybe, the letter writer is more important than the letter carrier. Perhaps, that mom out there with her latte and her own Youtube channel is doing more for the world than you are with your Folgers and the Disney Jr. channel.

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What you do matters. Just like Paul knew that he could trust Tychicus to get the job done, God gave you a job and He trusts you to get it done. He trusts you to rock the new baby in the wee hours of the morning, to go to the therapy appointments, to fight tirelessly for what your child needs, to be the boo boo kisser, the breadwinner or the grilled cheese maker. It all matters!

Paul sent Tychicus because he knew he would go and that he could be trusted with Paul’s precious messages. You and I have been called to be mothers because God knew that we would go to the ends of the earth if needed and that we could be trusted with God’s precious gifts.

You don’t need to be famous; just be faithful. Don’t try to be a star; just be a servant. At the end of the day, if the only person who knows your name is the God who breathed the stars into place, that’s more than alright.

But now, God’s Message,

   the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,

   the One who got you started, Israel:

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.

   I’ve called your name. You’re mine.” Isaiah 43:1 The Message

You are loved. ❤

Stacy

4 Ways to Kick Fear to the Curb

Someone once said that one of Satan’s greatest tricks is to make you believe that you are whatever you fear you are.

Do you fear being alone? The enemy is going to make you feel that you truly are alone.

Do you fear that you’re invisible? He’ll do everything he can to reinforce that feeling.

For many of us, one of our greatest fears is that we may be bad mothers. It always seems that someone else is doing it a whole lot better and scrapbooking the whole experience while carrying a monogrammed handbag.

I can’t be the only one that has been awake at night wondering what I could do tomorrow to undo all the mistakes I made today. {The best I’ve ever come up with, by the way, is caffeine and chocolate.It doesn’t undo anything but it sure makes a mama feel better.}

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Whatever it is that Satan is whispering in your ear, here is the only thing you really need to know. Satan is a liar. If the voice in your head speaks things that are death to your spirit, you can know that it is not of God. 

You’re not alone. You’re not invisible. You’re not a bad mother.

However, there are things in this world that cause little seeds of fear to plant themselves within our hearts. If we don’t deal with those seeds, they can become big problems which crowd the peace and joy right out of our spirits.

How should we respond when fear rears its ugly head? When we get that diagnosis? When there is more month than money? When friends walk away? When jobs are deleted? When hearts get broken and dreams get dashed?

We could lie.

Everything is fine.

I can handle it.

We could hide.

We could stay in our pajamas and binge-watch Parenthood on Netflix. We can skip church and cancel plans with friends.

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The enemy would love for us to lie and hide. The problem is that lying and hiding never take away the fear. It only covers it in shame. What should we do when we feel the anxiety creep in and the tension take over?

Let’s look at Genesis 32: 7-12. {Go ahead and read it; I’ll wait.}

In verse 7, we see that Jacob is greatly afraid. He’s not nervous or a little anxious. He isn’t uncomfortable. He is GREATLY AFRAID. Can you go there for a minute? Think of a time or situation that has had you feeling that  way.

Now, watch Jacob’s response.

4 WAYS TO KICK FEAR TO THE CURB

  1. Turn to God. “And Jacob said, ‘O God…” (Genesis 32:9.) What if our first response to fear was prayer?
  2. Acknowledge your place before God. “I am not worthy…” (Genesis 32:10.) What if we didn’t try to solve our own problems and, instead, realized that we were never meant to go it alone?
  3. Confess your fear. “I fear him…” (Genesis 32:11.) What if we didn’t play the I’m-okay-you’re-okay game?
  4. Remember God’s promise. “But you said…” (Genesis 32:12.) What if we stopped focusing on our fears and, instead, pondered God’s promises?

Remember, sweet friends, that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18.)

You are loved (with a perfect love.) ❤

How to Pray Scripture Over Your People

The world is so complicated that, at times, it’s hard to know what to pray. In those moments, learn to pray Scripture. I have several that I use as general guidelines when I pray over my family – certain ones for my children and others for my husband.

This is one that I pray over my babies because it covers many things that we, as parents, tend to want for them: God’s presence, provision, and protection.

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Psalm 20 (A Mama’s Paraphrase)

Child, may the Lord be quick to answer you when you are struggling, hurting or lonely. May the name of God protect you when you aren’t even aware that you need protection.

May He send you help when the enemy seeks to do you harm and may His angels support you when you’re too weak to stand.

May He remember all your acts of obedience and regard with favor your pleas for forgiveness.

May He grant your heart’s deepest desires and give you success wherever He leads you.

Your mama will shout for joy over your salvation and I will praise God for what He has done in your life.

My child, God knows how to protect what is His. You be faithful to listen because your God is faithful to speak. There is no hole so deep, no mistake so grave that His mighty right hand can not save you.

Some people around you will place their trust in money, power, government, popularity, or prestige. Not us, dear one. Our trust is in the name of the Lord our God and nothing or no one else.

You watch because, in the end, they will all collapse and fall while God’s people rise and stand tall.

O, Lord , save my children and answer them when they call.

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You are loved.

Mom Talk: Trick or Treating with an Easter Basket

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23 NIV

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I am super proud of myself because all of my children already have their Halloween costumes AND candy buckets three full weeks before Halloween. To fully appreciate this you would need to understand that, last year, I forgot the buckets and sent my kids door to door with old Easter baskets.

Trick or treat! (Also, He is risen). Whatevs – in my day, it was perfectly acceptable to use an old pillow case. You know what, it held WAY more candy than a plastic bucket with a handle that breaks before you get to the end of the street.

It was a confusing time and more than one person commented on the unusual choice – as if I had the two options before me and decided to go with the blatantly inappropriate one. Sometimes, a girl is just doing the best she can, y’all.

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When you see that mama at the store and her kid is screaming in the buggy and folks are giving her the stink eye? Yeah, she’s doing the best she can. No one needs to comment on how her kid would never act like that or that child should be at home taking a nap.

The other day I saw a woman at the store and she had two kids dressed in boots and jeans like it was about to be a blizzard, two kids in shorts and flip flops like they were on their way to the beach and one child still wearing what she slept in the night before. That poor woman – fine, it was me – was doing. the. best. she. can!

So, if some sweet child knocks on your door and says, “Trick or treat,” while holding a frilly basket decorated with Easter eggs, just give her some candy for crying out loud. And, if you are one of the ones who choose to hand out oranges or toothbrushes or mints from the Olive Garden (true story,) we will know that you’re doing the best you can.

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It’s all any of us can do – the best we can. Our kids may still make bad choices. We will still make bad choices. We will wish for do-overs and have to settle for grace overs. We will say things we regret and regret the things we didn’t say.

Here’s my promise to you. When I see you fall, I’ll lift you up instead of laugh. I’ll listen to you instead of judge you. We can love each other without looking like each other. I will try to understand even if I’ve never stood where you stand.

We can do this thing together doing the best we can.

You are loved. ❤