So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

I was bone tired—the kind of tired where two days of sleep might, maybe, take the edge off—when I got the text inviting me out. On autopilot, I began to punch an excuse into my phone.

And then Holy Spirit said, “Nope.”

But Lord, I paused my message to plead my case, I’m a single mom of a toddler, I’m in law school, I have this thing and that thing and the other thing and most of all, Lord, I am flipping tired.

I need rest. I need time to myself. And this isn’t just out with a friend – it’s out with a large group, with a group I don’t know, with a group who mostly speaks a language I don’t speak well. Lord, it is going to be exhausting.

And Holy Spirit said, “Nope.”

He reminded me He knew those things already. He knew I was tired, worn, done. He knew, and He still wanted me to go.

So I said, “Yes.”

I punched out an “I’d love to,” into my phone, and then replaced it with an “I’ll be there,” because I’m kind of a stickler about honesty. I packed up the kid and drove to the place and spent time with the people and something amazing happened.

My friend, a Muslim man who previously showed zero interest in my faith, took a seat next to me. With no context, and the abruptness of someone whose brain was itching to discuss a certain topic, he began pelting me with questions about Jesus.

In a mixture of English and Arabic, I answered question after question. I shared the whole gospel, piece by piece, to someone thirsty to know what I believed. This wasn’t an outreach or a Christian event—it was just a meeting of friends. It wasn’t a conversation I sought out or planned out or even wanted to have in my worn-out state.

It wasn’t planned by me, but it was planned.

I don’t know the rest of the man’s story, at least not yet, but the day was an important part of my story. Because on the way home, when I should have been in a brain fog from using my rusty Arabic, when I should have had an extreme people-hangover piled onto my exhaustion, I felt more refreshed and full of life than I had in a year.

Five days of sleep could not have given me the energy I felt driving home, with the toddler crashed out in his car seat and me talking to God about how cool He is.

And Holy Spirit said, “Think of what you might have missed.”

I don’t always say yes. Sometimes I stubbornly turn away from what He’s asking, and sometimes the moment to act passes before I get around to agreeing to His direction.

Mostly though, I say yes.

I say yes because of this day.

I say yes because I know I don’t have to worry about having the energy or the words.

I say yes because the joy of following Him is always worth it.

I say yes because I hear the echo of Holy Spirit saying, “Think of what you might miss.”

Stevie Swift

Stevie is a Jesus follower and single-mom to one crazy-awesome kid. She writes at www.stevieswift.com about being happily single, parenting, and Christianity. You can find her in the Pacific Northwest, putting pineapple on pizza and planning her next adventure, or on the interwebs with  FacebookInstagram, and  Twitter

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Jesus Helps Me Smile Through the Weary Moments of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler girl, color photo

“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?” My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today. RELATED: Motherhood is Hard, But Loving You is the Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and...

Keep Reading

The Guilt of an Angry Mother Meets Grace

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and son hug at home

“No one’s perfect,” I think. I’m mopping up my overspilled anger like the remnants of an erupted chocolate volcano that hit the kitchen floor.  It was the last bucking whine of “I don’t want chocolate in my milk” that did it. The culmination of about one million “I want chocolate in my milk”s ended with a sticky muddy river of it from highchair to floor.  After reasoning with my toddler, which never works well, I gave in to his adamant refusal of white milk for a chocolatey exchange. He responded to my surrender like a 2-year-old. He revolted. Little feet...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.