Every Life a Story

 

My name is Sarra Hudson. I am a human interest addict.

Like, serious junkie.

I’m the kind of person that walks into a library or book store and is immediately depressed at the thought that I will never get through every story on the shelves.

I love a good story. Fiction or nonfiction. Written word or documentary on Netflix. I love it all!

Interviewing people face to face, and hearing how their life has unfolded and what they’ve learned along the way is a balm to my soul.

Sometimes walking through a crowd of people I wonder what each person passing me would have to say about their greatest triumphs and joys. Or what their biggest regret in life would be and what it has taught them. I’m a firm believer that every person has a story to tell.

So why is it so hard to tell our own story?

Sitting at my computer to share the lesson I took from the day or something God has revealed to my heart is paralyzing. I just can’t seem to conjure up the words to say it correctly. Or my point seems lost in rambling. I can sit and look at the blank screen, unsure of where to even start. Sometimes I type out a few sentences and then quit, immediately doubting that what I have to share is worth even putting out there.

Why do we find it so hard to open up and put on the page who we are and where we are at in our journey?

I don’t think it’s coincidental that Jesus spoke in parables. I think He knew how our heart responds to a good story and the life lessons we can glean from them. But not everyone understood what He was trying to say. Even those closest to Him didn’t always get the point, and they would later bring up His parable in private conversation.

In Mark 4, after Jesus shared the Parable of the Sower with the crowd, the disciples asked Him to explain.

 “When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,

“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
    and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’

Those nearest to Jesus, listening to His every word, didn’t always understand what He was preaching at the time. It would be sometime later that many of His lessons to them would be recalled and applied.

So why do we feel that every life lesson we share should be life changing for every reader, when even our Lord didn’t minister to the heart of every person in every parable?

Our life is playing out in a story. And what we have to share may not apply to everyone at that moment. But if we feel we are led to share our testimony, if we feel someone at some point can benefit, we should gain freedom in writing it out and giving our words to the world.

If we wait until all our lessons are learned and our lives are put together, someone else will be sharing our story after we are gone.

I recently came across a movie quote (even though I don’t recommend the movie), from Sandra Bullock’s character in 28 Days. I shared it with my daughter as she graduated this year, and goes off to begin a new story of her own.

“Don’t be someone else’s slogan. You are poetry.”

Our journey is ours and ours alone. No one can dictate how we have felt about, responded to, or the lessons we’ve taken from each and every event on our timeline. But we were also made for community and being open enough to share our lives with others, written or verbally, is part of our faith journey.

Every person has a story. And I’m dying to hear yours!

Surrender the Mom Guilt.

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I have recently been on a journey of surrender.

I have the privilege of leading a women’s ministry at our church. I love the time I get to spend with other moms, encouraging them to pour God’s Word into their children and equipping them to do that well. I also try to encourage them that there are no perfect moms. Our children will make mistakes along the way and, as hard as it may be, we can’t own every one of those mistakes and toss them on our ever-growing pile of regrets.

The problem is I don’t always take my own advice. As a mom I feel I take so many of my children’s mistakes personally and I spend more time on the defensive trying to build bumper pads between my kids and the evils of the world than I do simply loving them and showing them Christ.

I didn’t grow up in the ideal home. My dad passed away when I was very young, and I’ve never had a close relationship with my mom. Even more evidence of God’s humor that He asked me to be the mother of such a large family! I feel completely inadequate to do this job and do it well.

Having a large family has its benefits (besides the mounds of Mother’s Day cards and infinite hello and goodbye hugs and kisses!). Spiritually, it has emptied me of myself in ways I never could have imagined. We have seen God’s hand of blessing in ways too numerous to ever completely write down.

But because of my background,  I’m realizing more everyday that having a large family has also multiplied my fears and anxieties. I live in constant fear of never being enough, never leading my children to Christ, and worst of all (to my emotional momma heart) my children hating me and having a severed relationship in their adulthood. When I start thinking about one of my child’s mistakes, it grows in my head so fast. In a matter of minutes the smallest of errors has inflated into a full blown crisis like dumping a box of water beads into a swimming pool!

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus walked intimately with his disciples. His students. His friends. And there are many references throughout scripture that tell us, especially nearing the end of His time on earth, that He knew one of them would fail. One of them would not choose the right path. But never once is there a reference to Jesus’ panic. He didn’t try to take Judas aside and show him the error of his ways. He never even calls him out by name when He knew specifically Judas was the one. He did the same as He had done throughout the rest of His time here. He loved him. Why? Because he knew the story was God’s, and the ending, no matter what it was, would be for God’s glory. 

We moms don’t need to run around with a pitcher of water trying to put out fires. We don’t need to wrap our children in bubble wrap or tape blinders to the side of their head. Our kids are going to mess up. They’re going to say and do things that show the sinful parts of their heart (just like we do). But we can rest on the promises of God. He loves each of our children more than we do.

And you know what? The coin has a flip side.

Recently one of my children, whom I’ve prayed for earnestly for a very long time, bared their heart in front of a group of people and gave God glory for some work he’s doing in them.

Can’t even type that without a flood of tears….I’ll need a minute…

I was so proud. My heart sang.

But I didn’t pat myself on the back for finally winning a blue ribbon.

I was praising Jesus and thanking God for His goodness.  You see, not only can we release ourselves from our children’s failures, we also don’t get to claim their victories. 

James 1 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

I don’t have the ability to change my children’s hearts. Only God can draw them to Himself. I’m simply to walk in obedience and do my part to plant and water seeds.

God gets to claim the W.

 

 

 

Our Personal Judge

Not long ago, a member of my family was charged with a crime.

It is one thing to review our Judicial System on paper or study it in high school or college classes. It is quite another to watch it play out in person, especially with a loved one involved.

This week was the sentencing hearing, when my family member would hear the punishment they would serve for their crime. My loved one felt they’d been treated unfairly by the system, and condemned it for being impersonal. They felt charges were brought without the whole picture being taken into account and they were being singled out as an example.

The details of the case are not important, but what the judge said to my loved one in response was profound.

This judge graciously looked at them and said, “This is the part where I review your individual case. Sentencing is not automatic. There isn’t a chart that gives what you are charged with and what you will serve based on your charges. Any machine can spit out an automatic sentence. I’m a real person who can review this and decide what is best for you and your future going forward. This is what I love about my job, and is the benefit of the very system you condemn.”

My mind was instantly drawn to the image of God as Judge in His word.

“In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.” Ecc 3:17 (NLT)

God is the final judge we will all face at the end of our time on Earth. And, as the judge that I witnessed in person, He has no choice but to hand down a guilty sentence upon those who have sinned. That’s you. That’s me. Everyone.

“For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Rom 3:23 (NIV)

God does not rejoice in declaring one of His creation condemned. He doesn’t abuse His power and give unjust punishment. It is the consequence of sin. It is a heart condition we are born into and can not escape.

BUT…

Glory! There’s a second half to that verse!

“…and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Rom 3:23 (NIV)

There it is. Our personal, caring, compassionate judge. Willing to review each individual case and find a loophole to dismiss the charges!

And a loophole there is! Christ!

“For it by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works so that no one can boast.” Eph 2:8-9 (NIV)

God is His infinite wisdom had a plan! A way to dismiss the charges completely!

Nothing I can do will render me innocent. No good deed. No cash gift. No meal served. No perfect marriage or responsible children. No perfect church attendance. No list of things I did or did not do.

Nothing.

It’s a gift. All we have to do is believe that Christ went to that cross to cancel our debt. He paid our ransom!

And when our time on Earth expires and we stand before the Judge, if we have accepted this gift of salvation, we are not seen as guilty. God sees only the blood of Christ covering each and every sin, and ushers us into eternity with Him.

Condemnation is heavy. The tension was thick in the courtroom that day. It’s heart wrenching to see a loved one condemned and sentenced. How much heavier would it be to stand and be judged in the presence of God?

I was thankful for the reminder of the saving work of Christ so that I will never have to know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring!

Being a mom is rough. Seriously.

And people really need to stop using the word “only” in front of how many kids they have when we’re having a conversation.

I had no idea what I was doing when I had one kid.

And I still don’t…

But, today one kid said, “Thanks for being a good mom.”

And I said “You’re welcome.”

And so today was good.

Also, weather above 50 degrees is the bomb after spring has taken 37 years to come…

 

 

 

Here goes nothing…

 

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So my husband got me a blog for Mother’s Day this year. I’ve thought about blogging for years, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I find it terrifying. I love reading books about people. I devour good human interest stories. I believe every person who’s ever lived has a story to tell. Throw in a significant time in history, and I am there! I like meeting people and swapping life stories. I even enjoy being able to speak to groups and relate what God has brought me out of or is carrying me through, but this?! This is a whole different ballgame. It’s like texting. On STEROIDS!

First, it’s out there. Anywhere. Someone in Hong Kong can pull this up on their computer and read about my life. Not that they would want to or stay long, because they’ll quickly get bored, but they COULD if they wanted to. That’s crazy. Everything I put here is for the general public, and I can’t say as I’m always a fan of “public”.

Secondly, like texting, there’s no emotional window to what you’re saying. Words can be misconstrued and taken out of context and really, things can just get out of hand if the person on the other end is looking to be offended, i.e. “public”.

Third, I like to interact face to face. I have no clue if what I’m saying here will be useful or will bore the world to death. I prefer to see people yawn and I know I should now stop talking. Not happening on a blog. I can go on forever and there will be no facial cues to stop me! It could get ugly!

So anyway, here it is and here it will be. What will be here?

My story of redemption. It’s easy to share my love for Jesus because of the depths from which I was saved. It was ugly. I have a life I did not deserve, but I also have a Savior who reminds me daily how much He loves me despite it all.

My family.  There’s a lot of them. I have an amazing husband. (I can still say that, this blog hasn’t tanked yet.) He’s a Worship Pastor, a hard worker, and a super great daddy. (We’re the 2.) We got us a big brood. Five girls and five boys. (They’re the ten.) There’s always a life lesson happening here. I’ve got three teens in this house, that’s enough to teach us all we’ve got work to do! If you love chaos and brokenness, this is the blog for you!

My life. With twelve people living in one house, every day is an adventure around here! I have some kids who attend public school, some who are homeschooled. I also have preschoolers and toddlers who may or may not be able to tell you their numbers and colors. Don’t ask. I love to serve through women’s ministry, worship music, and sometimes teaching. I always say I wish I had raised some awkward, unsocialized homeschoolers, but I didn’t. Our kids are just as social as we are. They love to be out and involved in everything. There are no dull moments around here, and it isn’t often you hear someone saying “I’m bored”.

That’s it. I think. I truly have no idea what God has in store for this area of my life, but, if nothing else, I’ll have a better record of the happenings around here to remember later. Because we know these kids ain’t all gettin’ a memory book!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sarra Hudson