Monthly Archives: March 2015

What the Cross Means to a Tired Mama

 

What the Cross Means to a Tired Mama | Faith and Composition

There are piles of laundry to be washed and folded, and sticky spots are scattered upon the kitchen floor. The little one tugs at me as the older two call my name from another room. I’m juggling dinner preparations and stepping over discarded crayons. This life as mom is all-consuming. The needs can seem overwhelming, the tasks countless, the work relentless. And the pressure to do it all, to be everything to everyone can be a heavy weight indeed.

There is so much doing, being, striving. And the result of it all can often be deferred hope, intangible peace, elusive rest. It feels that way for me sometimes. Maybe it feels that way for you now. It certainly felt that way for a ragamuffin group of first-century people following a man named Jesus.

Because they believed He was the Messiah. They trusted Him to bring rest, rescue, redemption. He rode into Jerusalem and the people shouted: “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9)

They laid their cloaks on the ground in a spontaneous processional as their future king entered the city. He who would be their promised Messiah.

What the Cross Means to a Tired Mama | Faith and Composition
But then Friday … Jesus is seized from the Garden of Gethsemane, given an unfair trial, and condemned to death by crucifixion. Peter, the one Jesus named “the rock”, betrays his Savior not once, not twice, but three times. The rooster crows.

Jesus is mocked, beaten, nailed to a cross and hung between two thieves atop a hill known as the skull. At noon, darkness shrouds the land, and three hours later, Jesus cries out: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?.” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ) (Matthew 27:46).

He gives up his spirit. The earth shakes. The curtain rips in two. Hearts are shattered. Death seems victorious. And the hope of rescue and redemption hangs nailed to a Roman cross.

Joseph of Arimathea wraps Jesus in linen and places him in a tomb cut from a cave. A large rock is rolled in front of the entrance; Roman soldiers seal the tomb and post a guard.

Terrified, Jesus’ followers scatter. They don’t know what’s coming.

The sun sets, day two dawns, then day three. Women walk to the tomb with spices in hand. They have heavy, despaired hearts and a task to do. Sadness has eclipsed worship; despair has conquered hope; death appears to have triumphed over life.

But then an earthquake shakes the ground beneath their feet and an angel appears with a message so ripe with the promise of redemption that it’s nearly unbelievable: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matthew 28:6 NIV)

And suddenly these women who were on their way to Jesus’ tomb to perform a grave task find their work miraculously interrupted by unfathomable grace.

What the Cross Means to a Tired Mama | Faith and Composition
As they rush back to tell the other disciples, they meet the resurrected Christ, fall to their feet and worship him (Matthew 28:8-9). Because that’s what an encounter with the resurrected Jesus does. It replaces work with worship. There’s no more doing, no more being, no more striving, there is simply fall-on-your-face worship.

For tired mamas, for exhausted parents, for everyone … the cross gives us the undeserved gift of grace and asks nothing in return. Strivings cease and redemption bursts forth in its place. There is no working for salvation, no trying hard to earn it, no striving for eternity. There is instead the simple act of receiving the gift of grace and worship that arises from the depths of a grateful, rescued heart.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

So this Sunday, when there is church to visit, children to tend, dinner to prepare, eggs to hide, remember that the thing that matters most has already been accomplished. The lamb was crucified, blood was spent, God’s wrath is satisfied, the law is justified.

Death couldn’t keep him, and the grave couldn’t hold him. It is finished! He has risen, He lives, and there is nothing you or I must do to add to the finality of that sacrifice. We simply receive the gift of grace and worship out of a heart that overflows with gratitude.

That’s the good news of the cross for you, and that’s the good news of the cross for me. It’s good news today; it’s good news on Easter; it’s good news for all time. Grace. All is grace.

This post originally appeared on April 18, 2014. The photos featured here were taken a few years ago when we visited a monastery during a trip to Maine. For a free Easter printable celebrating the resurrection, click here!

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Now available on Amazon

For more content like this, connect with me on FacebookInstagramand Twitter! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

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Friday Favorites | March 27, 2015

Friday Favorites, March 27, 2015 | Faith and Composition
Sweet friends, I am literally giddy with excitement that I will be attending the HopeSpoken conference this weekend. I have heard nothing but rave reviews about the event, and this year’s conference sold out fast! I was a little late on the draw, and couldn’t snag a ticket. But a few days ago, the lovely Bonnie Rush of A Golden Afternoon hosted a giveaway for one conference ticket. By some strange combination of grace and sheer luck, I won the ticket. Thank you again, Bonnie, for hosting such a gracious giveaway!

I can’t wait to share the details with you, and I am excitedly looking forward to filling up on Jesus and getting the chance to fellowship with like-minded women, many of whom I’ve befriended through blogs and Instagram but have never personally met. It will be such a blessing to finally get to meet so many of these women face-to-face.

In honor of HopeSpoken, I’m featuring four conference vendors/contributors to share with you for today’s Friday Favorites. Each of these ladies creates products of impeccable artistry, and they have a beautiful heart for Jesus. Go check them out!

1. Better Life Bags exists to empower women through the creation of gorgeous custom bags. Based in Detroit, they employ low-income, often first-generation-immigrant women to craft the bags, thus giving these women a skillset and an income. Love their mission!

2. Thirsty Hearts Design is a little Etsy shop by Angela Poston that will breathe life and hope into your heart and your home. I especially adore her art prints and her wood signs. 

3. The Felt Flower Shop creates jaw-dropping floral creations out of felt. The succulent boxes and wooden letters are absolutely darling!  

4. Joyful Papery brings beauty into the everyday with her hand-lettered paper designs. Her sweet sentiments and watercolor creations create a contagious sense of joy.

Have a great weekend, friends! I’ll be back soon to share about HopeSpoken and to talk a little bit about Easter!

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For more content like this, hop over and connect with me on Facebook and Instagram! If you’re new here, welcome! To receive more encouraging content AND get a free printable, simply enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C! Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content on F&C is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share it. Just please include a link back to the original post. Thank you!

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet | Faith and Composition

Today I’m excited to have my guest book reviewer, Katie Atkins, back with us. Katie has previously shared a review of “Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full”. And today she’s back with us to give her thoughts on the moving book, “Every Bitter Thing is Sweet” by Sara Hagerty. Welcome Katie! 

As I approached my sixteenth birthday, I was confident in my path. I had my plans laid out for the future, plans for success. I was dating a great guy, my family life was rocky but stable, and my dreams were right at my finger tips. Oh how time changes things; within a few months of my sixteenth birthday my parents were in litigation for a divorce, my great guy had broken my heart, and I was fighting to stay on top of my homework, not really giving my grades a second thought. When my world stopped working, it was so easy to be resentful and harbor anger towards my God. It was the simple path to dwell in my bitterness each and every day. As I read Sara’s story in her book, Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, I was taken back to that place and reminded of God’s imminence.

What does it look like to know God’s nearness when your world stops working?

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet | Faith and Composition

Sara Hagerty found Him when life stopped working for her. When her faith was challenged by life’s circumstances she looked toward God, called out to Him, and allowed Him to fill her. Through her infertility she sought her Abba Father. Through the adoption process she chose to adore her God. When her husband’s business went under she trusted in the ultimate provider.

Sara writes of the days that were easily sinking her deeper and deeper into the unknown; the days that the chaos of life was overwhelming. “But God is showing me that His aroma can rise up out of and even over the chaos. His word is seeping into my heart as I scrub dishes. Thoughts of His nature quicken my pulse when I am still in sweatpants, while the children chat over breakfast cleanup or lunch preparation. Adoration is working its way into my life, here.”

In this book, I was reminded that “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Proverbs 27:7.

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet | Faith and Composition

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just be hungry for my God for a season. I want to live in hunger for Him daily, moment by moment. I want the kind of hunger that draws me to Him. That fills every bitter circumstance with the amazing opportunity to know Him more and more. This is what brings me straight to the sweetness of His presence daily.

As a mom, I struggle with allowing my circumstances to dictate my day, allowing my feelings of the unplanned to sink me into a bitterness that drags my mood and emotions down. But Sara reminds us that God sees us.

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet | Faith and Composition

“He saw me. He knew me. He knew my ‘now’ moments—unexpected meltdowns, my day gone awry, this life bursting, and my feeling I could barely manage. He didn’t stand distant, but He spoke in: I see you.”

Sara’s story was a reflection of mine in so many ways. Her desire to know God in an intimate way, to adore Him with all of herself is a mirrored reflection of my heart cry to the Lord. May I remember that Jesus is big in my small, unseen moments. Glorious monotony. He came for these very days.

Click here to buy “Every Bitter Thing is Sweet”

Katie Atkins is a Christ-follower, work-in-progress. She is a wife to an incredible husband and the mom of two amazing children. While not a professional writer, she enjoys putting pen to paper and sharing her story with others. Katie loves to read (anything and everything), she seeks out ways to be adventurous with her kids, and after 12 years of marriage, she is learning to cook. She works each day to live out the words of Philippians 3:12-14 with all that she is. She blogs at Treasuring Christ Daily.

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A Little Announcement …

Announcing Baby 4 | Faith and Composition

It’s been quiet here the past couple weeks, and for good reason! I have hardly been able to muster the energy to keep my family fed and sane, let alone make time for additional activities. Truth be told … I have been exhausted!

The reason is a good one, indeed! We’re expecting baby number 4!

I made the announcement public on Instagram recently, so if you follow me there, you may have already heard. But I wanted to share the good news here too; I wanted to share our joy with you and give you a little glimpse at a quick photo shoot we arranged to tell friends and family.

Announcing Baby 4 | Faith and Composition

Truth be told, I know having four children is going to be challenging. I know the demands on my husband and I are going to multiply, and I know this new little life will stretch us and mold us in ways yet unseen. Every time you add a child to your family, there is a learning phase, a season of growing and stretching as the baby fills spaces in your heart you barely knew existed. I know it will be the same with this one. I know there will be long nights and early mornings; there will likely be a few tears as we all adjust to the new normal, and I suspect I will have moments where I feel small and insignificant, times when the endless diapers and round-the-clock feedings are hard and the sacrifices feel a bit unseen. That’s often part of motherhood during these fleeting little years.

But I also realize how immensely blessed we are to be welcoming another little baby into our family. Truth be told, we weren’t planning, and yet God knew. In some ways I can’t believe it, and in other ways it feels undeniably natural, like this is the family God has intended for us all along.

Announcing Baby 4 | Faith and Composition

Please pray for us during these next months as we prepare to welcome this new little baby into our family. We have a lot of changes coming up, in addition to the demands of part-time homeschooling, the logistics of running a household, the requirements of three kids seven and under, and the plans I have for this little space. Juggling it all could prove to be quite the challenge, and yet more importantly, I want to ensure that I am slowing down a bit to savor this season of preparation.

Announcing Baby 4 | Faith and Composition

Thank you for your continued support here! Your readership and your comments always encourage me and buoy my heart. I look forward to sharing more with you as we journey towards becoming a family of 6!

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Now available on Amazon

For more content like this, connect with me on FacebookInstagramand Twitter! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!