Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Public Speaking, Stay at Home Moms, Teachers, Uncategorized, Women's Ministries, Writers

Don’t pay for the Fancy Water…

On our recent trip to China {totally love that I am able to tag along with Tony on his business trips} I noticed something at each of the hotels, each room we were in had at least two free 16oz. bottles of water. With tags or coasters that encouraged the guests to take the water with various sayings…”stay hydrated” ~ “water is life” ~ “hydrate your mind”.  Although they offered these free water bottles, that  by the way, were replenished daily whether the original bottles had been drank or not, there was also one illustrious extra-large bottle of “fancy water” – a well known name brand.  But that one you would have to pay for.

So each day, the guests have to choose – drink the free water or pay a ridiculous amount of money for the name brand water.

Hey, I was just excited that all of these hotels offered the choice…and yes, I’ll take the free water. Every. Day.

Once we arrived at our 3rd hotel, and the free bottles of water continued to appear, I couldn’t help but think about the life-giving water that we are freely offered by Jesus.

How often have I gone for “the fancy water” & by-passed what the Lord is offering to me as a gift?

So what do I exactly mean by “fancy water”?

I want to be very clear here that the examples I’m about to give are NOT bad or wrong…it’s just that sometimes we place a higher level of dedication and interest in the name brand stuff.

When an author comes out with a new book, I’m clicking on amazon to buy it faster than I should. {Seriously…if y’all are interested in reading/studying just about any Christian book/devotional/study that’s been released in the last ten years, I’m sure I have it & I’ll let ya borrow it!} Sometimes I make myself stop & simply place it in my “book list” for a future purchase.

  • I’m on email lists for online bible studies and daily/weekly devotional.
  • I’m in several different bible study groups on Facebook.
  • I follow a myriad of amazingly gifted & talented speakers, authors, and singers.

All of these things are good.  All of these groups are beneficial to my spiritual growth. All of these people speak/share scriptural wisdom, and are also vulnerable enough to share with thousands of strangers via their insta-stories, what God is helping them work through in their life at the moment.

However…..

When I count on scrolling through social media to get my fill of God’s word through inspirational quotes, meaningful scripture verses, or heartfelt stories ~ I’m drinking the fancy water. 

But wait you say…social media is free! 

Yes ~ but I’m paying with my time.

I’m paying with “quick fix” mind set. 

Let’s be real, if someone were to ask you at the end of the day what the most inspirational post you “liked” that morning was…would you be able to answer them? I know most of the time I couldn’t. I might remember the basic gist of a few but not word for word.

John 4:10, “Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”

So what’s the “free water”?

It’s Jesus. It’s Him as the Living Word. It’s Him as the fountain of Living Water.  

It’s Jesus. The One with whom we will never thirst again.

When I spend my time reading the Bible ~ apart from bible study time ~ and truly dig in deep asking God to reveal to me what I am to learn that day about His character, then I am truly refreshed. 

The best moments of reading my Bible come when I am searching to know more of who God is and not “what’s in this for me” mode.  The more I know about God, about the Bible, about the story of the Bible…the more that God will reveal to me about who He wants me to be…who He has created me to be for Him.

The Living Water Jesus freely offers to us came at a great price.

It is free to us because we can never {like. Ever. Ever. Not. Ever.} come close to living a life that would earn our way to eternity. Jesus died on the cross, along with all our sin, and rose again so that we could have the gift of bring free of the death that sin brings…the permanent separation from Him will not happen to those who receive the free gift of salvation from Jesus Christ. 

John 7:38, “ The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”

Read your books.

Attend bible studies in your church or online.

Follow your fave people on social media.

Just don’t stop there. 

Actually, don’t start there either.

I’m guilty of this more often than not, so this blog is for me just as much {or more!} than maybe for you. I honestly appreciate the time you have given to read along with my musings of the day. 

Stay hydrated with the Water of Life and your heart and mind will be hydrated as well.  Enjoy the time you spend with  the Lord, praying & reading scripture.

You will come away refreshed without one iota of regret for the time spent with your free water. I promise!

Blessings,

René

John 7 verse 38

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Uncategorized, Women's Ministries

Watering in a Drought

Hello there ~ so this week, watering has been on my mind a lot lately.  Especially because I live in Southern California and we are in a serious drought!  We are truly becoming the “land of golden dreams” because our grassy lawns are now a variety of shades of gold…okay, they’re mostly brown, but I’m trying to be optimistic here! Parts of our front lawn are still green, but with only two days a week to water it, the nourishment is not there to keep up beautiful growth.  How like our spiritual lives are like that!

One of our pastors at church finished up a 3 week series on Parenting this past Sunday ~ and it was excellent by the way…thank you Pastor Bob!  Part of this last session was on the application of “watering” in terms of how we speak into the lives of our children.  Are we giving them the nourishment and encouragement that we need to with our words, actions, etc.  Let’s not go down the path of “Woe is me….I’m a horrible mom…” because that’s not what I want to focus on, so please don’t go there.  We can be a better parent, spouse, sibling, friend, etc., everyday God gives us breath but let’s focus on moving forward.  Allow me to share a beautiful visual that God gave me several years ago that has stuck with me every time I water my potted plants:

When things (or plants in this case) look as if they have lost their luster, lost their liveliness, lost their beauty, or lost their strength ~ adding in the water of God’s Word can bring back to life the most desperate of situations.

I admit, I do not have a green thumb…more like a light green thumb.  My cue to water my plants is usually when they are severely drooping over the sides of their containers.  Whoops!  Time to water! And my outdoor plants suffer a bit more because of the heat we have been having, so the drooping happens much faster.  Just this past week, I walked up the steps to our porch and I thought, “Oh great!  I’ve lost them all!”  But I decided to water them to see if I could coax them back to life with a bit of water.  A few hours later, I left the house to pick up my daughter from school and when we came home I was struck with the absolute beauty of these plants that had only a few hours before been limp and lifeless.  These spectacular plants were ALL standing tall and I think looked more vibrant too, as they soaked up the water I had given them.  I imagined the flowers that talk in “Alice in Wonderland” ~ these plants looked like they were saying “Thank you for giving me this gift!  I feel so much better!”  Okay, so it was a slow day in imagination-land for me, but the difference was truly striking as to what a bit of water and few hours had made.  I was reminded of that picture and realization God had given me all those years ago.

Trusting God to heal a relationship, a broken heart, a harsh word spoken to our children or husband, or a myriad of other aspects of our life, is a choice.  Only God is able to get into the deepest parts of those issues and heal them.  Most of the moments in my life that I have regret for (I’m a work in progress people!) are the times when I know I’ve done or said something to hurt one of my daughters. I hate that! And the enemy knows that this is huge weakness of mine, and I hate that too!  But every time I water one of my sad little plants and see the reaction a few hours later that my plants have returned to the glorious creations they were made to be I am reminded how God can do that for my sweet girls.  I am made beautifully aware by my amazing Savior, that even when I can’t, He can pour His Spirit into my girls wounded hearts and heal them in a way that I cannot even fathom.

However, when I come to them and apologize for my actions and words, which is a form of watering too, I am allowing God to use me to pour into their hearts with His love.  That is a physical way that I can nourish them and help heal our relationship.  And the older they get, the more they remind me that I need not apologize a million times for something I did when they were little.  It is extraordinary to me when my girls remind me that if we’ve apologized and forgiven each other, then BELIEVE IT ALREADY!  Out of the mouths of young adults!!

In the ESV (English Standard Version) of the Bible, the word ‘water’ is used 625 times ~ 48 of the 66 books!  The first mention of water is in Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”  I hope it gives you chills to read this verse…if it didn’t the first time, please read it again OUT LOUD and let these words wash over you in a fresh new way.  This same Spirit of God that hovered over the first waters of the earth is the same Spirit that lives in you when you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  Whoa!  Just as a plant is watered, let God’s Word pour over you and seep deep down into your soul to bring life and growth.

In John chapter 4, Jesus tells the story of the Samaritan woman.  In verses 13-15 it says, “Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”  The living water we can receive to cultivate our spiritual life, comes from the Lord and only Him.  We can look to our friends, family, or even to our work (inside or outside the home) to support us and reassure us that we are doing a great job.  But those are all temporary things.  We will not find suitable ways to foster growth if we do not first look to the Lord.

God so perfectly knows us; He can discern exactly what kind of ‘watering’ we need.  Sometimes it’s just a bit to perk us back up, other times it’ll be like sitting in the middle of the sprinklers on your front lawn for 15 minutes soaking it all in, and quite frankly, some situations it’ll be as if we are in the ocean, catching wave after wave of Him.  But it will never be too much; He will not let us drown!  Isaiah 43:2a promises us this, When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;”   Thank you Jesus for that promise!

So whether you are feeling as if you are in a drought ~ browned, burnt and brittle from the unrelenting heat of life; or if you are in lush green pastures of peace and contentment, God is right there with you.  Set aside time with the Lord and allow His Spirit to wash over you and bring you back to life.  Every day is new and every day God wants to speak into YOUR life, to water your soul with His Words.  Whether those words are in the form of blessing or correction, they are always intended to produce spiritual growth and development.  The more in tune we are with the Lord and what He wants for our lives, the more of an impact we can have on the family and friends we share our lives with. Stay watered my friend!

Blessings,

Rene’