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Gimme a Break

 

Lately, this commercial has been running through my mind. Do you remember it?

 

 

I could just say that I’ve been eating too much too late at night–maybe too much chocolate. But I know all too well that God uses the simple things to remind me of His love for me.

 

You see, lately I’ve been too hard on myself. I’m entering a new season in my life–motherhood, and I’m feeling a little ill-prepared.

 

  • Inexperienced.
  • Inadequate.
  • Unqualified.

 

I haven’t struggled with my perfectionism in awhile, and these feelings have actually taken me by surprise. Old issue–new circumstances.

 

The first week was really a struggle for me. I beat myself up for forgetting hand wipes, for not bringing snacks and water on long car rides, you name it. All seemingly minor details blown up in the “shoulds” of my mind. I should be able to … I should know how to …

 

Then I remembered the Kit Kat commercial, especially the part that goes, “Break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar!” (You know the tune.)

 

I had to step back and take an objective look at my situation: I am a new mom. I have gone from zero children to five adoptive children–three of which are already in my home. This is uncharted territory for me–definitely a step of faith. If anything, I shouldn’t know how to do these things–I have never traveled this road before.

 

This is an opportune time for my perfectionism and unrealistic expectations to rent space in my head.

 

But I’m not letting them. I’m giving myself a break.

 

God will never let me be pushed past my limit, and He will always be here to help me come through the ups and downs of whatever situation I face (1 Corinthians 10:13). I refuse to discount the small steps I am taking. Instead, I rejoice with God every time I take a step in the right direction (Zechariah 4:10). Even more, I treasure the little rewards along the way:

 

  • Hugs and kisses from my children.
  • The way they call me “mommy princess.”
  • Their prayers thanking God for this family.

 

It won’t be easy, but I can do it (Philippians 4:13)! God is cheering me on. He is on my side (Romans 8:31).

 

Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of God’s grace and love. 

 

Come alongside… How about you? In what areas of your life do you have unrealistic expectations? How can you give yourself a break? 

 

 

New Article: “In the Fullness of Time…”

Awhile back, I mentioned that Mentoring Moments for Christian Women invited me to become one of their staff writers.

 

 

“In the Fullness of Time” is my most recent publication at MMCW.

 

I hope you will read, comment, and share.

 

And if you haven’t already subscribed to Mentoring Moments, I encourage you to do so.

 

Big hugs,
Daphne

Two Years Full of Assumptions

At a Christmas gathering over the weekend, we read the Christmas story–a children’s picture-book version.

 

 

 

Kids and adults alike gathered in the living room to listen to the reason for this joyous season.

 

As the story progressed, some children–and adults–listened intently, while others half-listened, buzzed from an evening full of treats and sweets.

 

It was an interactive story–with questions and answers–mostly from the children.

 

In the middle of the story, a child asked, “What’s a manger?”

 

Minutes later, an adult–the mother of the child who had asked about the manger–interrupted the story with another question, “What are shepherds?” My head slowly turned to them, realizing that this precious single mom and her child whom we’ve known now for almost two years had never heard the Christmas story–the true Christmas story, the story of Jesus’ birth.

 

In two years, we have increasingly spent time with them–they have become part our extended family.

 

But in those two years, I’ve mistakenly assumed they’ve known about Jesus all along.

 

Two years full of assumptions.

 

Two years empty of intentionally talking to them about Jesus–the blessed hope for all the world.

 

I felt a strong pressing on my chest as I listened to the rest of the story.

 

Father, forgive me for assuming they knew. Forgive me for not asking them straight out.

 

 

I could say that I hope my actions and words have been a good example to them of what it means to be a true Christian, but I know that my example could not possibly be good–or distinctive–enough if it hadn’t yet pointed them to Christ.

 

Father, forgive me.

 

 

Are they the only ones?

 

  • How many people, I wonder, surround me on a routine basis who I assume know Jesus?
  • How many do I walk by without telling them of the Man who forever changed my life?
  • How many are hurting and looking for hope that I have not yet offered?
  • How many?

 

Two years full of assumptions.

 

Two years empty of intentionally telling them about Jesus.

 

For me, those two years end now.

 

When will they end for you?

 

Father, help me not only to live a life that resembles Christ but also to speak more of Christ in my life. Help me to be ready to speak the Good News of Jesus–anytime, anyplace (2 Timothy 4:2).

 

Give me the wisdom and opportunities to speak up and tell anyone who asks why I’m living the way I am (1 Peter 3:15). Help me not to assume but to share Jesus freely.

 

Thank you, Father, for your love and your patience with me. Amen.

 

 

Come alongside…Who have you assumed knows Jesus? Are you sure they do? Will you set some time to talk with that person? How will you go about it? How can you share this story with others?

 

Adoption is Final

Some of you know that my husband and I are in the process of adopting. We’re in the final stages of our training and are starting to consider and pursue specific children.

 

Throughout the ten weeks of training, I’ve learned many things.

 

  • There are 107,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted.
  • If these children reach adulthood without having been adopted, they will undoubtedly face difficulties coping with life’s demands.
  • Like all children–orphans want love and acceptance from a family–their forever family.
  • Instead, they are bounced from foster home to foster home, many times for no fault of their own.
  • If they are matched with a family, the fear still lingers–they might be “sent back.”

 

Truth is… They can’t be sent back. Adoption is final.

 

Dear one, God wants to adopt you.

 

Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what He wanted and what pleased him, and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. Ephesians 1:5-6

 

Isn’t this wonderful news? God decided before the foundations of the earth that He wanted us to be His.

 

  • He chose us!
  • He chose me!
  • He chose you!

 

But there’s one other thing I’ve learned in adoption class: Adoption is a mutual selection. That’s right. My husband and I can choose to adopt a child, but that child must also choose to be adopted by us. It’s the same with our Heavenly Father. He’s already chosen us; all we have to do is choose Him.

 

Have you chosen to be adopted by Him, my friend? Have you accepted His blessing of love through Jesus Christ and become His son or His daughter? If you have, then celebrate! Your adoption is final!

 

  • If you have not accepted His love…
  • If you have not acknowledged at some specific moment in your life, “Yes, I choose to be adopted by you, God, through Jesus Christ’s love on the cross” …
  • If you have not made the adoption choice a mutual one…

 

I invite you to do so.

 

Once you’re part of God’s family, you will never be alone. You will never be fatherless. You will never be without His love. You will not be sent back.

 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

 

Dear one, take this moment to make it mutual. Say a simple, heartfelt prayer to God:

 

God, I’ve been fatherless. I’ve sought love and acceptance in many ways that have grieved you–my Heavenly Father. But no more! Today, I choose to be adopted by you. I choose to be your son–your daughter. I choose to be part of your large family through Jesus Christ. Today, I choose You–my one and only Heavenly Father.

 

Thank you that I am no longer fatherless. Thank you that I am no longer alone. Thank you for blessing me with brothers and sisters to come alongside me every step of the way. Thank you that even after I die, I will live with you forever.

 

Thank you for Jesus!

 

Love, Your new son or daughter.

 

Congratulations! Your adoption is final!

 

I hope you will join your new brothers and sisters in a Bible-believing church. Use Church Angel to find a good church wherever you live.

 

By the way, welcome to the family!

 

Come alongside… Tell us your story of your spiritual adoption. Who needs to hear that they have a Heavenly Father and brothers and sisters waiting to welcome them to His family? Will you share this post with them?

God Gave Us The Works

It’s every little girl’s dream–a princess party. We took it one step further: We made it a princess spa party.

 

  • Eight little girls.
  • Giggling.
  • Primping.
  • Getting royal treatment.

 

A hostess took their name, asked what spa services they desired–hair, nails, makeup, or the works. Of course, each little girl asked for the works. While they waited for their names to be called, they enjoyed mini scones with various jams, jellies, and preserves.

 

 

We took them back into the spa room three at a time.

  • Two hair stations.
  • A makeup station.
  • And a manicure station.

 

My station? Hair!

 

“So, what is the occasion?”

 

“We’re going to a princess party. We want to look beautiful.”

 

“Look beautiful?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Look beautiful.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m 35, and want to look beautiful. Every little girl wants to look beautiful.

 

 

As I combed each girl’s long locks, it occurred to me: These girls don’t need to look beautiful. They are beautiful.

 

Even before I started working on them, they were beautiful.

 

  • No makeup.
  • No manicured nails.
  • No fancy hairdos.

 

I looked each of them in their eyes when they came to my station. “You are beautiful.”

 

Dear one, you too are beautiful. I am beautiful. We are all beautiful in our Father’s eyes. We are His most precious possession (Zechariah 2:8), His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). He alone created our inner beings and knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. We are amazingly and miraculously made (Psalm 139: 13-18).

 

We don’t need a lot of makeup, perfectly manicured nails, and fancy hairdos to be beautiful–although those things are nice from time to time–even for little girls.

 

Our beauty comes from within. It comes from Him.

 

God gave us the works!

 

Come alongside…What have you used to make you look beautiful? Do you believe you are beautiful? Who needs to hear that they, too, are beautiful? Will you share this with them today?

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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