Holding You

A couple nights ago I was holding Jane Taylor late into the night rocking her to sleep. For various reasons I kept having to move from one room to the other, keeping her asleep, as Adam set up her bed. I was tired, but at all didn’t mind holding my sweet girl on my chest. Honestly, I could sleep that way every night.

As I moved from room to room, holding her close and keeping her safe, I got this overwhelming thought about my fellow mothers in the world. Mothers that I have never met and will never fully understand what they have been through.

Becoming a mother has given me this strong desire to protect all around us. Protect her, Adam, our home. Thankfully, I live in a town where I am not constantly running in fear. I can speak of my love for the Lord. I can wear whatever I want. I can go wherever I please. I can do whatever I need to do for the best for my child.

But there are mothers in this world, in cities and countries I honestly can’t pronounce, who move from room to room, house to house, city to city, holding their children to their chest. Keeping them safe. Doing what is best for them. They are moving out of fear for their lives. A fear I can’t begin to imagine. Those mothers weighed heavy on my heart as I held my girl that night. 

The way mothers hold their children close is, to me, the physical representation of how God holds us throughout each day and night. He covers us with His arms, moving us from room to room, house to house, city to city, in efforts to guide us to a safe destination. One that can only be found by bringing Him into our hearts.

Today I pray for the mommas out there who are doing all that they can for their children. I pray they know that God is there to guide the steps. I pray that He can help carry the fear, in whatever form it comes, and turn it into trust in His plan. And I pray for all of you to know that you are being held, so closely, each and every day by our Savoir.  

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. - Psalm 91:4

Your Go-To

 Photography by  Madi Flournoy Henderson

We all have that go-to item hanging in our closet. It could be a shirt, a pair of jeans, or even a dress. Whatever it is, we pick it because we know it looks good and feels good.  But, most importantly, we pick it because we know we look good in it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be our go-to.

These pieces of jewelry are my go-to for any occasion. Each piece has a story behind it and represents a time of celebration in my life.  It’s almost as if they provide a sense of comfort when I wear them.

 

At the end of the day, the “go-to” items in your closet or on your dresser are really just that… items. They hold sentimental value, which is special, but you can continue on without them. Another characteristic of our go-to items is that they tend to change with whatever season or period of life you are in. Something you wear over and over again in the summer isn’t going to be the same thing that you wear in the winter. Unless, of course, you live somewhere tropical. And, if that’s the case, aren’t you lucky! 

Just like the go-to items in our closet, our go-to people change, too. We all have that group or that clique that we know we can go to with anything: to celebrate, to cry, to laugh, or to grab a donut with (because who doesn’t want to do that?). There are members of this “go-to” group that you know will be with you for life. Each member holds a specific place in your heart and carries a special gift.

On the other hand, there are those go-to members of the group who enter your life for a season. During that time in your life, you are going to rely on them to walk with you down a specific path. 

 

No matter what, we all need a go-to. We are not built to take this journey by ourselves. Even Jesus walked the earth with a go-to group. He had people to pray with, eat with, celebrate with, and travel with.  He even had people to challenge Him. Doesn’t that sound very similar to your “go-to” people?

This week, I encourage you to recognize the gifts in each of your “go-to” people. Take a moment to realize what they offer you. Then, take a moment to think about what you can offer them. Check yourself! Have you been as much of a go-to to them as they have been to you? God has placed people in your life for a reason. So GO TO them!  

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirt, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:19-20

Come Together

This past weekend was packed full of events where people were coming together. The City of Franklin put on their annual Main Street Festival. Our church had Serve the City, where over a thousand volunteers went out to do just that – serve the city. Discouraged Predators fans got together and hoped that their cheers would be heard all the way in California (unfortunately, this didn’t work out so well).

While all three of these events were for different purposes, they all had one thing in common – community.

Main Street brought people together to showcase the community’s talents – whether that was through homemade soaps, ACE’s kettle corn, or my all-time favorite… distressed wood signs that say “Nashville.”  The festival showcased artists, singers, and performers from all over Middle Tennessee.

Serve the City brought people together for the purpose of serving other people. It consisted of volunteers giving up their Saturday morning to pick up trash, clean up yards, and fix up homes – all while giving back to the city they call home. Serve the City was a showcase of the change, both physical and emotional, that can happen when people come together.

Believe it or not, despite a losing effort, the Preds even brought people together. Yes, these get-togethers probably consisted of a little more food, a few more beverages, and possibly a few choice words; but, it was a place of community all the same. For our group, the Preds gathering involved the guys cheering in the living room and the girls sitting on the back porch sharing life stories and watching our talented friend design chalkboards. I honestly didn’t even realize the Preds lost until we got home later that night and noticed Adam moping around. 

 

The point of highlighting these events is to showcase our need for community. People like to be around people – especially people that encourage and challenge you. It’s important to value those people that God has placed in your life. It’s also important to recognize that community can be anywhere.

Not only can you have community at church, but you can also have community at work, at the gym, at your child’s school, or even while hanging with your friends on a casual Saturday night. And these communities give you a chance to make your mark. It can be in big ways, like organizing a platform for your co-workers to raise money for a local charity. It can be in small ways, like bringing hummus and pita chips (ok, ok… champagne works, too) to a much needed girls’ night at a friend’s house. It can even be as simple as picking up the phone and catching up with an old friend. The point is that you can build community through your work and through your love. Further, you can build God’s community when you live as an example of everything He can do. But I promise you – you can’t do it alone. You need community.

How can you contribute to building your community this week?