Category Archives: Family

When God Sings Over You

Copy of There is Room for YOU (1)

Not long ago in the darkness of night, I sang over my daughter. Not because she had accomplished anything remarkable or because she did anything to deserve it. On the contrary, I sang over her because she was sick. I smoothed her hair, held her close, said a prayer and sang a song as my husband cleaned vomit off the floor.

As I sat on the bed, holding her close I was reminded of Zephaniah 3:17, which says He rejoices over us with singing. I’ve always loved that verse; the picture of God singing over us has always been a tender, intimate image. Yet that night, with vomit at my feet, I suddenly understood the verse in a whole new light.

0M9A1135

My daughter had nothing to bring that night, nothing to offer me, nothing to give apart from her broken, sick, vomit-scented self. There was no cause for celebration or song, and yet I sang over her simply because I love her and she’s my child.

And this is the same way God promises to sing over us! Zephaniah 3:17 follows verses in which God is detailing Israel’s brokenness and disobedience. Zephaniah 2:7 says: “But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did.” Israel had NOTHING to bring that was cause for song. In fact, on the contrary, their corrupt actions deserved rebuke and discipline … certainly not rejoicing. And yet, GOD, in his great mercy and faithfulness restored Jerusalem, removed her punishment, and rejoiced over her with singing!

0M9A1134

That night as I sat with my daughter, singing over her sickness and her emptiness, I realized that this is what Zephaniah 3:17 looks like in our own life. We come to God in our sin and our filth and brokenness with our tattered rags and our disobedience and our vomit-scented selves, and even then … especially then … He restores us and rejoices over us with singing!

We don’t need to clean ourselves up. We don’t need to mend our tattered rags or pick up our mess. We don’t need to reassemble the broken pieces or cobble together the shattered parts. His singing over us isn’t dependent on ANYTHING we do or anything we bring. Instead, He sings over us simply because we are HIS, and He loves us.

I don’t know about you and your circumstances. I don’t know about your mess or your broken parts or your shattered pieces. But I know this: the same God who sent His son to die on the cross for YOUR sins is the same God who rejoices over you with singing just as you are simply because HE LOVES YOU!

You are His, and He is singing. I pray you have ears to hear His song today!


Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! 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!

To the Mom Who Fears She’s Missed Her Calling

A WORD FOR MY SON-2

To the mom who’s tending babies and teaching toddlers and training teens … to the mom who gave up goals and dropped dreams and put aside plans … to the mom who commits herself to the pouring out and the selfless sacrifices and the unseen work … to YOU … please allow me to tell you something:

You have not missed your calling.

74729670.JPG

I know sometimes it feels that way. But the 1,000 selfless sacrifices you make every day for the good of your children is the Gospel at work. And right there in your home as you love and teach and serve, you are fulfilling the Great Commission. You aren’t just raising the next generation. You are making disciples. You are bringing up Christ followers.

And there’s no greater calling than that.

 John the Baptist never performed a miracle, and yet when he spoke of him Jesus said: “Among those born of women, there is no one greater.” (Luke 7:28). John lived his life pointing to Christ, and humanity is changed for it. How might the world be changed simply because you live your life pointing your children to Christ?

dazzle-2

G.K. Chesterton said, “The business done in the home is nothing less than the shaping of the bodies and souls of humanity.”⁣

 Your daily tending to the needs of your children is a tangible shaping of bodies and souls. You who are literally the hands and feet of Christ are doing work that will ripple throughout eternity. You are called to this high work. It’s not your only calling. You may have other giftings that will play out in different spaces and at various times. You may have other places to use your talents; there may be other areas God will use you for His glory.

But your motherhood role is perhaps your most important calling.

So no dear mama, you haven’t missed your calling. You are living in the midst of it right now. Motherhood is the Gospel at work in every moment of every day, and IT CHANGES LIVES FOR ETERNITY.

Don’t ever think less of it.


Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! 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!

 

  

The Hope of Hospitality

HopeOfHospitality

“How does hospitality affect justice?” His question echoed across the quiet living room, swelling and then settling among our friends seated there. I looked at my husband quizzically as my own thoughts began to take shape. 

Hospitality + Justice. I’d never considered them equal parts of a pair.

Then a voice broke through the quiet. “I need your prayers,” she implored us. “I want to show hospitality, especially with the holidays coming, but I’m stressed about all the work and the preparations … how do you show hospitality without stressing about it?”

And that’s when it hit me … we have replaced hospitality with entertaining, and I’m not sure we even see it.

I love the idea and the execution of hospitality … open arms and flung-wide doors inviting people to take a seat at the table. I enjoy the preparation and the presentation. But what if there’s more to it? What if hospitality is more about healing hearts and less about entertaining events?

Hospitality. It’s a funny word, really. Five syllables and nearly as many vowels. It has both weight and depth, and it rings with meaning. The original Latin word—hospitalitem—translates as “friendliness to guests”. Later it appears in Old French as “ospitalité” and is interpreted to mean the intentional act of hospitality and a physical hospital. 

It’s a word that conjures up images of open homes, flung-wide doors, welcoming arms, nourishing meals, and a healing refuge. Hospitality is especially poignant this time of year, as the darkness lingers a little longer and we welcome the arrival of the holiday season and all that it entails.

During this season especially, we long to give and receive hospitality, to create an environment conducive to the expression of it. And often in doing so we fret and fuss in an effort to get it right—the food, the house, the table, the gifts.

But what if in all our fretting we’re getting it wrong? What if our experience of hospitality isn’t hospitality at all? What if hospitality is less about hosting and more about our hearts, less about a tablescape and more about an actual place of escape … from fear, sickness, loneliness, homelessness, poverty. 

HopeForHospitality2

What if hospitality is the vehicle through which justice is served? What if it’s a tangible picture of rescue and redemption? What if hospitality is the means through which the heart of the Gospel grows hands and feet?  

Jesus exemplified true hospitality when he healed the sick, fed the hungry, wept with the mourners, ate with the sinners, loved the unlovable. His hospitality wasn’t a method of entertaining, rather it was the means through which he gifted grace. THIS is the hope of hospitality.  

How would our expression of hospitality change if we ascribed to this THIS definition? And how would it affect our families, our neighborhoods, our communities? I challenge us to find out. So this holiday season—and always—let’s be a people who seek not to set a perfect place setting, but to leave space for the sick, the lonely, the outcast, the poor. And when the pressure, the stress, the expectations of the holiday season become heavy, may we remember that true hospitality is shown not in how we host, but in how we seek to gift grace.

/ / /

Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more content like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! 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!

The First Year with You

how to let go on the first day of kindergarten-8

One year ago … one year ago I awoke early in the inky black, pre-dawn hours with a sharp labor pain. I urged my husband awake, thankful that my mom was visiting to keep the four older kids, and we quickly got into the car. The clock read 1:19 am. At 1:52, we arrived at the hospital, grateful that midnight labor made for little traffic. Just one hour later, our fifth child made her debut. At 9 pounds, 9 ounces she was my biggest baby, my strongest little warrior … 

And yet her lungs were weak.

Shortly after her birth, they whisked her off to NICU, and my heart followed right along after her. What I thought would be a few hours for observation turned into a three-day NICU stay. Our daughter had a pneumothorax, a condition where a lung sac bursts, causing air to get trapped between the inner and outer walls of the lung, making it difficult to breathe. Her little body labored for each breath.

I can still picture the scene as my husband first wheeled me into the NICU. He pushed me towards her bassinet; she was swaddled and sleeping soundly with a mess of wires and tubes attached to her little body. 

It wasn’t the scene we’d hoped for. No parent does. But it was our reality. And in the midst of it all and the fog of postpartum pain and exhaustion, there was miraculous peace. We prayed and prayed that her lung would heal on its own, and praise God … it eventually did! 

IMG_0035

But it took three days … three days that felt very much like three long, heavy weeks. When the pediatrician told me I would likely be discharged before her, I broke. I’d held it together until that moment, but every tenuous thread of strength came crashing down when I realized I might leave the hospital with empty arms while my daughter remained in NICU.

By the grace of God, that didn’t happen. Our NICU nurse advocated for us to to stay in the Special Care unit. This was a private room that allowed my husband and I to room-in with our daughter the night after I’d been discharged. This act of provision alone was such a gift to us. I pulled her into my bed that night, wires and all and didn’t let her go. She was healing, and she was finally nestled right where she should be. I was so immensely grateful! 

She was discharged the next day, and her much-anticipated homecoming was met with great fanfare. Our fourth-born, who hadn’t yet had a chance to see her baby sister due to age restrictions in the NICU, was the first to hold her when we arrived home. They have been nearly inseparable ever since.

IMG_0011 

Now, one year later, we are eternally grateful for the gift of Lily … the surprise of the pregnancy, the experience of her birth, the healing of her lung, and the immense joy that she brings to all of us! 

I never fathomed I would be a mom to five kids, and yet every single one of these children were written into the fabric of my heart before they even came to be. And now, one year later, we simply can’t imagine our family without her. Her presence gifts us with light and laughter, goodness and grace, beauty and blessing … every single day! 

Happy birthday, sweet girl! May you always know how loved and cherished you truly are.  

/ / /

Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more content like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! 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!

ROOTS AND WINGS – How to Let Go on the First Day of Kindergarten

how to let go on the first day of kindergarten

Yesterday. You started kindergarten yesterday. You walked into those doors a baby, your hand clinging to mine, my heart clinging to the knowledge that this is the first step in a long process of letting go. Letting you go. Giving you wings and space and freedom. And I pray I’m also giving you roots. 

I look at you, and I wonder if I’ve done enough, said enough, prayed enough, loved enough. It’s only kinder, they say. But I know better; these last five years … they were just a blink. The next will be too. Then you’re 10, then onto 15, and before I know it … you’re 20. All of this unfolds before me in an instant as I prepare to walk you inside. 

You cleave to my hand and whisper that you’re nervous. My heart lurches too, but I don’t tell you. For in that moment you need to muster bravery, and I’ve promised to be brave for the both of us. For when your courage falters, you can borrow mine. You can always borrow mine; because what you don’t know is that you’ve been inspiring courage in me since before you were born. 

So although I don’t tell you I’m nervous, what I do tell you is this.

How to Let Go on the First Day of Kindergarten-3

You were created for a purpose by a purposeful God, and though my mama heart wants to cloister you away, the world needs you … your creativity, your heart, your light, your goodness.

There may be moments in your day when you feel lonely or sad, a bit lost or scared. Don’t sink into those feelings; instead, allow them to remind you that others are feeling the same. Then go … go to the lonely, the sad, the lost or the scared and befriend them. Muster your courage … the bit you’ve borrowed from me if you feel you’ve misplaced your own … and welcome them into your fold. 

I can’t utter these words as I drop you off, but I whisper them in a prayer. And then I leave … and it feels a bit like parting with my heart.

The hours creep by …

How to Let Go on the First Day of Kindergarten-2

And then it’s 3; and your blonde braids come streaming down the stairs, your face lit by a smile and the faintest hint of newfound strength. You did it. I did it.

I enfold you in a hug; your small frame melting into mine. This is kindergarten … these roots, those wings and the beautifully brave tension of clinging tight while letting go. You unfold yourself from my grasp and clasp your hand to mine. We did it! And those roots sink a bit deeper as your wings stretch a bit wider. 

/ / /

Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more content like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! 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!