Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Giving Up When You Are Almost There

I give up.

Too soon.

Too often.

Patience has not always been my thing.  I want what I want and I want it when I want it. And when I don't get it I give up.  

I've been thinking a lot about this over the last week. 

My dad went into the hospital last week a very sick man and a week later after a major surgery to repair his heart he is back home.  Just a week later.  That's crazy!  

A week made a huge difference in his life.  

I wonder how big of difference a week or a month or a year could make in my life when it comes to something I have been praying for and instead of persevering I gave up right on the edge of receiving my answer.

I ask.  I wait.  I don't see the answer.  I become discouraged.  I give up.  

This is the cycle I live.  






But then last week I started thinking about hanging on. I started thinking about how life changes ever so quickly and just when we least expect it. I really started thinking about the difference a week makes in a situation. And then I read Hebrews 10 and it talks all about perseverance.

Hebrews 10:35-36 tells us:

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 
How about you?  Have you thrown away your confidence?  Have you given up on something you didn't receive an answer about? 
Can I encourage you to hang on just a little while longer? 
That passage in Hebrews goes on to say "In just a little while He who is coming will come".  
Did you catch that?  
In just a little while.  
I don't know how long your "just a little while"  will be.  I don't know how long mine will be but I am determined to hang on.  To be a woman who perseveres. To make God bigger than my problem.  To lean in and to trust His promises.  
Who knows maybe the answer we have been waiting for is only a week away!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mary did you know???

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." ~Luke 2:34-35

Did Mary have any idea the pain she would endure? Did the words of Simeon really sink in at that moment as she held that precious eight day old baby in her arms? I don't know but for some reason I can't stop thinking about it. Maybe its because I know the pain I have felt as a mother has been greater than any other pain I ever endured. Maybe its because lately I have felt some soul piercing pain as one of my children is struggling and yet I know that it doesn't come close to the pain she would endure.

I have read these verses over and over in the last few weeks. I can't seem to get Mary out of my mind. I know that Christmas is a wonderful time and I know, praise Jesus, He had to come. I know without the birth there would have been no cross yet I think of Mary.

Mary your child is destined
Mary He will cause the rising and falling of many
Mary He will be spoken out against
Mary He will reveal the thoughts of many hearts
Oh and by the way Mary He will suffer and because He is your child and you love Him a sword will pierce your own soul too

Whoa....almost seems like too much doesn't it???? But she trusted and she endured and what didn't kill her physically she was given the strength to survive. She could have been driven by fear but she was driven by faith. 

So what's your "too much to handle" this holiday? 

He'll get you through it. 

You will be stronger. 

You will be changed when its all said and done if you let Him change you.

Losing total control of a situation can be a very sweet gift because it puts you in a position to really see God move.  It can put you in a place of total trust and dependence that you may have never experienced before. It is where our faith grows and our eyes can be opened to the wonders and miracles of God.  

As I sit and type this I am getting ready to leave for the hospital where my dad is having open heart surgery.  I am in a place of having no control. I know right now I have a choice.  I too can be fear driven or faith driven.  I'm choosing faith.  I'm choosing at this moment to trust.  

We choose to have faith.  We choose to trust.  We choose to give up total control.

What will you choose today?

Please let me know if I can pray for you in anyway and if you think of my dad, please say a prayer for him!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Overlooking Wrongs ?!?!?!?!?!

We've all had it happen.

No one is exempt.

We read something.  We hear something.  Something is said directly to us and all of the sudden the hair is standing up on the back of our neck.  We get a lump in our throat and the need to defend ourself takes over.  And even of we don't actually defend ourself the offense is taken and we build a wall and bitterness takes root.  We twirl what was said or what was done around in our head like the spin cycle on the washing machine. It consumes our thoughts.  It takes over. At least until the next time something is said or done and then it starts all over again.

What do we do when this happens?  

I mean the Bible talks about turning the other cheek and overlooking wrongs but how do we actually do that?  And why would we even want to?

Here are three things we can do when our feathers have been ruffled:

1.  STOP.  The first thing we can do is stop what we are doing and get alone and wrestle the thing through with God.  He's big enough to handle it and only He can give us the peace and the wisdom we need in the midst of an offense. 

An offense is defined as annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles.  

You see that word perceived?

Many times it is just our perception of what has been said or done that has us offended.  It's not actually the intention of the other person to hurt us.  We need to have wisdom in these situations. 

Sometimes people speak out of their own pain with total disregard for those they might hurt with their words.  When we can't see past our own pain its hard to protect those around us.

Getting alone, praying, and thinking things through before we lose our temper can go along way in healing and not causing further damage to a relationship.

2.  GO. After you have stopped and prayed for wisdom maybe God will call you to go and to talk to the offender.  You see we have very creative imaginations.  We make up in our mind all kinds of reasons the person said what they said or did what they did. Sometimes we need to just let them know what they said has hurt us.

Chances are they didn't try it or had no idea it would hurt us.  I wonder how many relationships have been broken over something that was said and the person who said it really had no idea what happened.  They didn't even know they said anything to hurt us.  

Give people a chance to make it right.  I have a friend who I love dearly but when we first met I was in her words "rude".  Had she not come to me and told me how she felt and given me the chance to make things right we may have never become friends and what a loss that would have been.

It was also a good chance for me to not be offended by her perception of me and to think about the way I can come across even if its not my intention.  

3.  RELEASE IT.  The final thing we can do is just release the thing.  Give God all our hurt and pain and move on.  Because you see sometimes even after we have stopped and prayed and even after we have brought this hurt up to the offender we can still feel pain. 

Reconciliation doesn't always happen the way we think that it should so we have a choice to make.  Stay hurt and become bitter or let it go and move on.  The choice is ours.

Christ is coming back for a unified church.  We are commanded to love.  To throw off bitterness.  To seek peace. If we want to be obedient followers of Christ sometimes we have to do the hard thing but take heart friend we will be blessed and honored for it.  The day will come when all hurts and offenses will be taken away and none of it will matter anymore.

The enemy wants to steal our joy and he loves more than nothing else for us to be offended and to become bitter.  It makes his job of stealing, killing, and destroying much much easier when we are in the state of bitterness.  Let's choose not to give him any ground here girls.  Let's be strong, courageous, and trust that no matter what. God has our backs!

If I can pray for you in anyway please email me!  It would be my honor to do so!

Be blessed!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Being Thankful in a Pinterest Perfect World

I pin lots of things.

I scroll through Pinterest when I am waiting in a waiting room for an appointment, when I'm sitting waiting for a game to start, when I just don't feel like thinking….

There is really nothing wrong with Pinterest itself. I have had a lot of Pinterest successes. New recipes my family has loved like this one for spaghetti bread. I've also found some really cool gift ideas and in general some really useful tips.

The problem isn't with Pinterest.

The problem is with me.

The problem comes when I try to perfect every pin I find. When I want my house to look exactly like my Pinterest board. When I want my kids to behave exactly like the parenting tips said they would if I followed them. I want my meals to be perfect and my clothes and makeup to look just like the pins. I want to show up at parties with the perfect gift in the perfect wrapping wearing a perfect smile.

And when it doesn't turn out that way I get angry. Dissatisfied. Envious of those I think have it all together.

In a state of envy and dissatisfaction I see everything around me in a negative light. I forget about the successes I have had. I forget about the blessings I do have. My quest for perfection leaves me empty every time.

Psalm 119:96 says:

To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.

There is a limit to perfection here. We can't be perfect. Our homes can't be perfect. Our kids can't be perfect. Our marriages can't be perfect. Our gifts, our meals, our hair, our clothes, our makeup CAN NOT BE PERFECT!

But God's commands are boundless. We can love God and love others without limit. We can be kind without limit. We can show grace without limit. We can give without limit.

Now I'm not saying to ban Pinterest unless of course you can't be on it for the good you can get from it and it leaves you wanting and dissatisfied every time you are on it.

I'm saying we are already enough without it.

We need to do what God calls us to do. 

He has an individual plan for each of us and my plan doesn't look like your plan. Ephesians 2:10 tells us we are God's masterpiece just the way we are with or with out a Pinterest perfect moment and not only are we a masterpiece but we were created to do good things he prepared ahead of time for us to do.

I don't know about you but I don't want to get so caught up in the quest for perfection that I miss that.

So as we come into this Thanksgiving week let's all be thankful for what we already have. 

Let's do what God calls us to do. 

Let's love like crazy in spite of what else doesn't get done the way we wanted it to.

And if we do all that and we still get a Pinterest perfect moment here and there than that will just be the icing in the cake!

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Be blessed!