Hand-Me-Downs

I’ve been thinking a lot about hand-me downs lately.

I know. Large family. Hand-me-downs. Seems to go hand in hand, right?

But that’s not the hand-me-downs I mean. I’m thinking of what we’ve been handed from the generation before us, and the legacy we will hand to our children.

I readily admit I am a fighter. I grew up in a legalistic home with understood wrongs and rights, but no Biblical application to those rules. I lost my father before I ever got to know him and never emotionally attached to my mom. I suffered sexual abuse as a young teen and never received any counseling or help to process the emotions and baggage that came with. By the time I entered high school the walls of my heart were firmly in place, vowing I would always be strong enough to take care of myself because I felt I was the only one I could depend on.

But God in His grace had a plan. He kept me from many bad habits and addictions I could have turned to to numb the pain. He swooped in with a man I wasn’t looking for to show me what unconditional love could look like. He plunged us into full time ministry, making sure we would always be surrounded with the Godly mentors and examples we needed to grow up along the way.

But I’ve continued to fight the “fighter” within.

There are times it comes in handy. I fight for good mental health when everything in me wants to give up. I fight to work on relationships with my kids even when it’s incredibly hard. I live with chronic pain and I fight to do as much as I can every day. I fight to keep my marriage healthy.

I think everyone has a “fighter” within themselves. Sometimes we just have to be told that we’re allowed to fight for certain things.

Didn’t grow up going to church? Fight to find a body of believers and commit to them.

Didn’t have parents? Fight to learn how to parent in a Godly way.

Didn’t have close friends? Fight to learn how to develop close relationships.

Never witnessed a healthy marriage? Fight to understand your spouse and grow together.

No one in your home cared about health or fitness? Fight to learn good eating habits and exercise.

Grew up watching addiction destroy your family? Fight to break the cycle.

 

What hand-me-downs are you leaving your children and how will you fight for a better legacy for God’s glory?

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!

A book you shouldn’t miss…

 

There aren’t many things in life that can grow your character like parenting. To have mini versions of yourself walking around your home, daily exposing the things you dislike most about yourself is quite a unique experience. A whole gaggle of them, well, you get the picture…

And yet, God has called us to the task!

Throughout my years of parenting, I have read endless books on the subject. I did not at all feel equipped or prepared to be a mother. With every page I  turned, I hoped to find that one tidbit of advice that could finally make me feel like I’ve got it all under control. Some formula, some reward system that would be a guarantee to the perfectly raised child who would be forever grateful to their mother for their perfect upbringing. (Insert all your eyerolls and sighs…)

The last couple of years I had given up this task, feeling every book just made me feel  more confused and helpless. (Maybe that was just entering the world of raising teens!) There just wasn’t a self-help book that could provide a magic pill of happiness!

It was about this time last year that I received an email advertising a new parenting book being released. It was called Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, by Paul David Tripp. I would normally have skipped over it thinking I didn’t have time for it, but we were getting close to starting another year of meetings with our Moms and Munchkins group at church and I thought it looked like a great resource to purchase and give away a few copies to the moms. It was a cheap introductory price so I went ahead and bought one for myself as well, just in case.

551933_1_ftc

When I read the intro I was already in tears. I have read more parenting books on the market than I would probably ever like to admit, but this one is like nothing I’ve ever read before! It has drastically changed the way I view parenting and really even living the Christian life! There’s one major premise that I needed thrown in my face, I am a sinner raising sinners.

My three greatest takeaways…

  1. I am still a work in progress and I am more like my children than different. I have a lot of character to develop myself!
  2. Feeling inadequate is not only normal, but it’s the point. Parenting should cause me to run to Jesus!
  3. Every conversation and interaction with my children is a chance to point them to the cross. God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, cares about every moment we spend molding their hearts and gives us those opportunities daily.

Even if you aren’t in the traditional role of Parenting, I recommend reading this book! If you are a foster parent, a teacher, Sunday School worker, or a daycare provider you can benefit from this! Honestly, if you interact with other humans in any way, there’s no harm in reading it!

Here are a few purchase options for you:

CBD

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

If you purchase and read it, come back and give me your opinion!

May you be blessed,

Sarra