Tag Archives: grace

Beautifully Brave – A Tribute to Moms

Beautifully Brave - A Tribute to Moms | Faith and Composition

They call you Mom. You with the baby on your hip or the toddler at your feet. You with the towering sons or the growing-too-fast girls. Or you with the can’t-believe-he’s-in-college student or the they-have-babies-of-their-own-now children.

Mom. A simple three-letter-word. So easy in it’s simplicity that it is one of the first they learn to speak. A word not bound by economic, racial, or geographical constraints. One simple syllable.

And there are those who will tell you that the task is simple too. That the job is not to be valued highly. It’s just diaper changing, meal making, laundry folding, disagreement negotiating. At least, that’s what some will say.

But here’s the truth:

Beautifully Brave - A Tribute to Moms | Faith and Composition

You are a mom, and you are beautifully brave. You who gave of your body to give life. You who opened arms and doors to give a home to the orphan. You who loved and remember with fierce abandon the irreplaceable beauty of a fleeting life.

You are a beautifully brave mom, forever marked by the indelible imprint of a child.

You who sacrifice sleep and showers, time and talent. You who shape ideas, mold personalities, raise a generation. You who speak truth, encourage aspirations, teach compassion, model grace, exhibit beauty. You who walk through autism, cancer, miscarriage, sickness, and health. You who look past the mess and the mire to reveal the beauty within.

When reality is harsh and circumstances have a way of crushing hopes and dreams, you are a safe harbor, a shelter from the storm.

When the world threatens to steal and seduce the affections of the innocent, you go to battle for hearts and minds.

And when wings sprout and the tethers begin to fade, you swallow the heartache and release the ties that bind while cheering and supporting this miracle of growth.

Beautifully Brave - A Tribute to Moms | Faith and Composition

You are a mom in all its grit and glory, and there is nothing ordinary in this task. There are instead the beautifully brave markings of selfless sacrifice, worn-out prayer knees, hours of night watch, poured out affections, endurance through trials, and an unwavering love that holds steadfast.

So carry on brave one. Carry on through the laughter and the tears, the joy and the hardships, the majestic and the mundane. Carry on through the late nights and the early mornings. Stay faithful to this task of raising a generation, shaping hearts, molding character. For though the world may see a simple mom, we see you. 

We see you testifying to truth, extending grace, loving without reserve. We see you nurturing hearts, mending broken pieces, tending tear-stained cheeks. We see you through the monotonous and we see you in the miraculous.

For you are anything but normal. You are beautifully brave. You are Mom!

Beautifully Brave - A Tribute to Moms | Faith and Composition

For a beautiful {FREE} 8×10 printable featuring quotes from this post,
as well as a {FREE} 5×7 Mother’s Day card, click here.    

*If this post spoke to you, please consider sharing. I would be so honored! And if you know a Beautifully Brave mom, won’t you reach out to her, and extend to her the words that she so desperately needs to hear? Encourage her in this bold, brave calling! Tag her in social media, and then post to the hashtag #beautifullybrave. Because all these beautifully brave moms—you, your sister, your mom, your best friend … the unsung heroes who do this sacred task without much recognition—need to know that they are seen. They need to know that they are beautifully brave!

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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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A Word for the Weary Mom

A Word For the Weary Mom | Faith and Composition
Recently I found myself waist high and elbow deep into one of those nights. It was 9:30 pm, and there I was wrestling a two-year-old into pajamas and periodically breaking to chase her as she slipped out of my grasp and went running shirtless around the living room. My seven- year-old was tearfully venting frustration as he finally finished up the last of his homeschool work (which he’d refused to focus on earlier in the day), and my four-year-old who had been sick was in a needy emotional state.

Later, as I labored to put the two-year-old to sleep, she ran out of her room no less than four times seeking a snack, the potty, and who-knows-what. After wrangling her back for good she finally succumbed to throwing a fit on the floor.

Yeah … It was one of those nights.

And as I laid beside the youngest, listening for her breathing to finally slow and fall into a rythmic cadence, I was wracked with emotional guilt. I had directed a harsh tone at my son and daughter, the day had ended on a sour note, and I was emotionally and physically drained.

A Word For the Weary Mom | Faith and Composition
Maybe you’ve had nights like mine. Maybe you’ve days that leave you wanting to throw in the towel or write your resignation letter. I mean, let’s be honest … this stuff is hard! It’s hard if you have one child or multiples; it’s hard if your children are young or grown. It’s hard no matter your circumstances.

I have friends raising their own children while they foster additional kids. I have friends who have adopted littles from across the globe, and those who have called children with special needs their own. I have friends who are single moms and friends who feel like they’re single moms. I have sleep-deprived friends in the newborn phase and worry-wrought friends navigating the high school years. I have friends raising their kids across various economic and racial boundaries. I have friends who are young moms, and I have friends raising their own grandchildren. Their mothering stories span every circumstance, but when I look in each of their eyes and hear their individual stories, one common thread repeats: This is hard; this is fall-on-your-face, wear-out-the-prayer-knees, didn’t-expect-it-to-be-like-this-hard.

It’s hard for you, it’s hard for me, and it’s hard for every other woman who has ever loved a child with the all-consuming fierceness of a mother’s love.

A Word For the Weary Mom | Faith and Composition
It should come as no surprise, really. We sinful humans bring sinful children into a sinful world, and it’s a recipe ripe for refining, stretching, molding, and shaping in all its glory and grit.

The question then becomes how do we overcome hardship with grace? How do we love and lead our children in a way that reflects forgiveness, mercy, and compassion? How do we redeem nights you want to forget and days you’d like to erase?

In John 16:33, Jesus tells his disciples: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We are not guaranteed a trouble-free life or stress-free motherhood. We are, in fact, told to expect trouble. But we have His promise that He has overcome, and that is the promise to which we cling. We can’t love and lead with grace out of our own sheer will. We can’t teach repentance and model forgiveness out of our own ability. And we certainly can’t redeem the hard times and point our kids to Christ with our own good intentions.

We can only overcome hardship with grace when we lean on Him to do it for us.

He has overcome the world, and He has overcome …
Your exhausted, sleepless nights
Your worries that rarely cease
Your harsh words spoken in frustration
Your insecurities in this calling
Your doubts and fear
Your shortcomings and your mistakes
Your sin

He has overcome it all!

A Word For the Weary Mom | Faith and Composition

Thus, we can extend grace and model forgiveness only because He first extended it to us. We can rise in the morning and face the challenges of the day, every day, because He has already overcome. He knows what stumbling blocks stand in your way, what challenges lie ahead, what hardships you may have to endure. He knows, and therefore there is no one better to lead you.

So listen up, sweet mama! When the days are long and the nights longer still, when you want to throw in the towel and write your resignation letter, He has promised to carry you through. He is your light upon the path, your guidepost through the journey, your shelter from the storm.

Let that sink into the core of your mama heart. And as it does, as it permeates those layers and begins to take root, also know that you’re not alone in this. Because there are a host of fellow moms cheering you on.

Sometimes this can feel like the loneliest role, but you need to know that I’m in your corner, and those stretched-thin moms mentioned above? They are too. This isn’t a competition, a race, an I-can-do-it-better boasting opportunity. This motherhood calling is a sisterhood. And I’m rooting for you, sister.

So take a deep breath.

You can do the hard, stretched-thin, sanctifying work because He has already overcome it. And you can walk the journey following His lead knowing that there are fellow moms walking beside you.

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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!

Hope Rising

Hope Rising | Faith and Composition

Sometimes, the days are hard. And occasionally those days can stretch into weeks, months, even years. There are seasons that can seem bleak and hopeless. I’ve been there … a season of anxiety that seemed to pull me deeper and deeper into darkness, and I feared I might not again see the light. Circumstances and emotional instabilities have a way of robbing us of our joy.

I have a feeling some of you might be in that place today; there’s a still small voice whispering that perhaps you’re in need of some hope. If you happen to find yourself in the midst of difficult times right now; if you’re heart is bleak; or if you simply find yourself discouraged, weighed down by present demands, then hear this, dear friend. These words are for you.

Hope Rising | Faith and Composition
Hope Rising


If you’re sinking in the waves of depression, hope is rising.
If you’re drowning beneath the weight of addiction, hope is rising.
If you’re swimming in a sea of shame, hope is rising.
If you’re burdened by the ache of a breaking heart, hope is rising.
If you’re crushed by the grip of shame, hope is rising.
If you’re shackled by the fears of anxiety, hope is rising.
If love feels lost, your dreams seem dead, and your heart is a hostage, hope is rising!

Because we have
A Rescuer
A Resurrector
A Redeemer
A Mighty Warrior
A Messiah
A Savior
We have Jesus!

And he binds up broken hearts and sets the captives free. He looses chains and breaks the shackles of bondage. He turns beauty into ashes, breathes life into dry bones, and brings the dead to life.

He makes all things new!

So yes … Hope is rising.

Do not be despaired. Lift up your eyes to the heavens from whence come your help, because
HOPE.IS.RISING.FOR.YOU on the name of Jesus Christ!

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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!

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!

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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All content on F&C is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.