Love: Requires Action

 Love is a service we give to others.

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:15

Just as faith is dead without actions, so is love without actions. In a world where “walking the talk” doesn’t seem to be common and the focus is on oneself, it can be easy to forget what Jesus had in mind when he washed his disciples feet (John 13:1-17) We show love by serving. Nothing complicated or magical about it; all it requires is action on our part and being aware of others around us. FYI “liking” and “loving” social media posts don’t count ;).

February is a wonderful month to focus on loving through serving. This month I have made it “kindness” month in my Sunday school class. Each Sunday morning my little students come to class excited to share the kind act they performed that week. We have had everything from sharing a special treat with a mom or dad to making cards and handing them out to their classmates to sharing with siblings when they hadn’t wanted to at first. It has been contagious! Some of you reading this may be in a demanding and busy season of your lives, and that’s okay! You don’t have to leave the house to serve in love, in fact that is the best place to start. Never let your circumstances or the season you are in stop you from acting in love.

Do your children see the love you pour out to them?

Is your spouse a recipient of your servant touch?

Do your friends know you deeply care?

One of the most valuable ways of showing love is through fellowship and sharing with others. Sharing our time, talents, resources and energies. Jesus was the greatest teacher, he always had time for everyone who sought him out. He was always the first to notice “the invisible.”

Are you up for a challenge?

This week as you go about your day-to-day responsibilities be aware of the needs of those around you, including those who may fade into the background. Is there anyone that comes to mind that could use some joy this Valentines day? Perhaps those who are lonely or the elderly. Those who are hurting or don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. Or perhaps one of your own children who have been struggling lately. The possibilities are endless, and I promise you… acts of kindness are contagious!

Love this,

Service = finding practical ways to show other people they matter. It’s like saying, “Hey! You’re important, and I want to prove it to you.” -Erin Davis

Services of love no matter how small, make a difference.

In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

May God bless you richly,

Amber

P.S. Feel free to click on the picture below to a 4 week free online bible study with a free printable workbook that my small group and I are starting by timewarpwife.com, it covers the 4 types of love:

  • Storge – natural affection, most often between family members such as the affection between parents and children
  • Philia – brotherly love, friendship
  • Eros – a romantic, passionate love
  • Agape – God’s love toward man and our reflection of this love

 

Picture Story

Hey Y’all, apparently I just plain ‘ole suck at keeping up with the blog when life gets busy, unfortunately I don’t have a devotion to share today but I will give you a glimpse of our past few months in pictures …

S turns 11! Favorite Gift — a new horse for her dolls.

The twins are officially Preschool Graduates! (on to kindergarten…)

 

Beach Day! Enjoying the little creek 🙂

Youth Relay Race and Kid fest …. brought home 2nd place ( C — Archer and S — backpacker )

C turns 10!!! Wiener roast with the extended fam jam and sprinkle pancakes for breakfast, why not?!

Sisterly love — melts my heart.

Sweet ice cream treats with daddy


Here on the prairies in Canada we have (maybe) 3 months of gorgeous weather, my time has been spent outside in the garden and flower beds whilst adding a touch of pink to my nose and freckles scattered upon my face, loving every minute of it.

Nothing like enjoying coffee on the patio early in the morning watching the sunrise.

Cheers to your summer holidays, lazy weekends and sun kissed skin! {Vitamin D}

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

-Amber

Motherhood Musings

In light of mother’s day this month I wanted to share some musings of mine as I have searched the scriptures on motherhood…

Continue Reading…

Guarding your ‘Yes’

I don’t know if your like me, but my automatic response to a question usually ends with my saying yes. I love helping and I love “saving” the day.

‘Yes, I can help you those days!’

‘Yes, I can bake 10 dozen cookies for that.’

‘Yes, I can pick up the slack.’

‘Yes, I can fill in for you!’

‘Yes, I can watch your kids this day and that.’

I have realized that saying yes to every good thing (and these are good things) has taken away from being able to say yes to the best things. I am learning to put safe guards in place preventing the crash and burn. I have come to know that just because there is a need, I don’t have to be the one to fill it, regardless if there is nobody else willing to step up. Someone is always going to have an opinion out there, whether I am doing too much or not enough. I’m not here to please people, there is only one approval I seek. When I take the time, pray about an opportunity and seek His will for the situation everyone benefits.

I mentioned placing safe guards in my life to ensure I am functioning at my highest performance and I would love to elaborate on those…

1.) Carving time out for God daily in devotion and prayer. This is where I find clarification and direction.

2.) They say you are what you eat. I wish this one wasn’t true, oh how I love food! I find my mental health and physical wellness directly links to what I choose to put in my mouth. I am trying to make healthy choices for optimal energy.

3.) Pulling back the reigns and re-evaluating my busyness. Asking the question- am I pouring into something that is also benefiting/pouring into others’ lives, or is all my energy going down the drain with no evidence of any fruits?

Change can be hard. Even unnerving at times, the unknown is a little scary and saying no sometimes “feels” selfish to the outsiders view. However, when we wait for those perfect opportunities to arise that we are called to do and resist the temptation by saying yes to every little thing, the results will be amazing. Our reserves will be filled and the fruits will be overflowing.

Saying no to a good thing is hard for me, but guarding my yeses has become more important. I want to be a blessing to those God has placed in my life and give them my best, I can’t do that if I am caught up in the rat race of life.

After having countless conversations with a couple close friends of mine about this very topic, I was blessed to receive this book full of life giving words-

Trading life draining obligations for freedom, passion and joy. I can feel a heavy weight lifting off my shoulders that was never intended to be there, and it is freeing.

Not to say we can’t have full busy lives, but the right kind of busy…

I hope you have enjoyed reading along as I learn what it takes to say no, and save my yes for the best.

Amber

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Creating a Quality-Rich Environment

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

Everything in and around us begs for us to choose quantity over quality. Which is a stark contradiction of what we are taught within the scriptures. We are to strive for excellence in everything we do, and sometimes that means saying yes to less. I have always appreciated the status quote ‘quality over quantity’ and have applied it to different parts of my life for many years. One of my personal examples of this is the purchase of a coat. when I am purchasing a coat I choose a durable, high-quality jacket over a few cheaply made ones that may come apart at the seams or zippers, even though owning a variety of colors/styles may sound great, in the end they fall apart and use space in the closet waiting to be mended. Which then in turn is a hindrance and becomes an inconvenience. The cost of the well-made coat may be steep as a one-time purchase, but it will far outweigh the life of the other coats made with cheap and inexpensive materials that were never designed for the practical everyday use. It has always been easy for me to choose quality over quantity when it comes to material things. Even applying it to friendships and those who are a part of my everyday life I have used this mantra with; having chosen people who I have the time and energy to pour into a relationship, creating a life-long friendship that can pass the test of time. I have come to realize that these few things are only a small part of what it truly means to choose quality over quantity…

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17 NLT)

The Bible gives us a direct link of what it means to choose quality. The Apostle Paul traveled many places and accomplished many things beyond count in his lifetime. God used him for quality, which in the end produced quantity. The thing is however, he never brought attention to the quantity of all that he had done, but the quality of his work (I Thess. 1:2-10, Eph. 1:15-21, Phil. 1:9-11). Every work we accomplish will be judged. I am thankful to see this in a whole new light, for I want to be a God pleaser rather than a people pleaser. For God is the Quality. If I choose to try to accomplish 10 tasks, I would be graded a ‘C’ on them at best. Unless I had supernatural powers, I would never be able to give quality substance to all 10 subjects at one period of time/season. However, if I can strategically choose a handful of things to focus on and give my all to, giving my best, it would feel pretty great receiving an ‘A’ (at least for effort anyway, ha!) Honestly though, it does matter that we give our best to what has been placed in front of us. Sometimes I find I have to discern the things that are standing before me, with what is supposed to be in front of me. I try not to confuse the two. Some things are there to distract us from being fruitful. It pays off to hone in on the things that will produce quality, which then in turn yields more fruits that overflow into other areas. The enemy doesn’t want us to accomplish this, so he has provided much quantity, keeping us so busy running circles that nothing of eternal value is ever accomplished. Focusing on quality ensures that Gods will is being done. The minimalism movement (which goes directly against the grain of society, yet more and more people are feeling pulled towards) has a couple great points, one of which is how to live a more simple lifestyle with the reward of living a more quality, fulfilling life. I have yet to watch the documentary on Netflix on the minimalist’s, but I hear it’s rather good. As Aristotle once said, it takes practice to make excellence a habit and when we do something often enough it becomes a natural response. I am not one to make a “New Year’s Resolution” but rather a lifestyle resolution and this year I want to focus on quality of everything I do, from teaching my kids, my relationships with others, to my coffee (I am much obliged over this one 😉 ) as well as my family’s health and eating habits.

All in all, I am choosing to focus on one or two areas in my life at a time that I can bring more quality to, and as I practice this and put one foot in front of the other it is my hope that one day I will look back to see a quantity of many quality life choices over time.

I am looking forward to the overflowing perks of creating an environment rich in quality. Cheers to 2017!

Amber