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!




Monday, November 17, 2014

StUfF!




I have stuff.  

Stuff sitting here and stuff sitting there.

Sometimes it feels like even my stuff has stuff.

Sometimes the stuff piles up when we aren't looking and all of the sudden its everywhere.  And its not only the physical stuff its the emotional stuff and chaotic thoughts that can clutter our mind.   It's hard to accomplish anything in that state of mind. With the holidays approaching I think we need to clear out some of the clutter.  Physical and emotional.  

Because there is no peace in the clutter.

Because clutter makes us anxious.

Because a cluttered mind and anxious thoughts are actually a trust issue with God and we need to work that out.

Isaiah 26:3 says:

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.

A cluttered mind is never at peace.  So I have to ask myself in these moments what my mind has been steadfast on? Has it been on God because I trust Him or has it been on my circumstance that is seemingly too big to handle?

We need to trust God with our circumstances and with our hurts and with our emotions.  We need to ask Him to help us work through all the clutter and find peace.

So this week lets clean out our physical and emotional clutter.  You know sometimes the physical is a side effect of the emotional and sometimes the emotional is a side effect of the physical.  Its hard to keep clear thoughts when looking at piles of stuff around you and its equally as hard to tackle the stuff around us when our minds are a jumble of emotions.

How do we accomplish this task you ask?  Here are 3 simple steps to take right now because the holidays can be there own mix of chaos and clutter and we want to go into this season clutter free!

1.  Spend time with Jesus everyday. Don't skimp on this or let the clutter around you distract you from it.  The enemy would love for "things" and a huge "to do list" to distract us.  Don't let it.  Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier if you need to or just manage your time differently making time with Him a priority above all else!  A cluttered mind is usually a mind full of lies from the enemy and the only way to combat that is time in God's Word.  Truth overcomes the lies. Every. Single. Time. He keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are stedfast and trust remember!

2.  Has your mind been in a twirl over a certain situation or relationship?  Most of what we worry about never even happens.  Spend time this week figuring out what you need to do to remedy the situation and then do it.  If you need to just release the thing to God and let it there then do it.  If you need to confront someone and deal with some hard stuff then do it.  Just do the thing and stop letting it hinder you.  Your family will be so happy you did.  They don't want you to go into the holidays an emotional mess over something.  Trust God with the situation.  Pray about it.  Do what you can and then LET IT GO!

3.  Now for the physical clutter. Get 3 trash bags (give away, throw away, put away) and pick one area of clutter that has been bothering you the most and attack it.  Set your timer for 15 minutes and see how quickly you can fill the bags. Do this everyday until things are back under control. We are so blessed and we have way more than we need.  Bless someone else.  Live with less.  Simple really is better and its a valuable thing to teach our children.  Teach them to give!  You will feel so good when its over.

I know we talked about some stuff today.  If I can pray for you or if you have any questions on what we talked about today please email me:

choosetoday@msn.com

I would love to hear from you!

Be blessed!






Monday, November 10, 2014

The Game Changer




I sit at lots of sporting events.  If I had a dollar for every time I sat on a bleacher, wrapped up in a blanket at an ice hockey rink, or huddled under an umbrella at a soccer game I would be rich.  I don't even particularly love sports but I love my babies and so I sit. And I watch. And I observe things. 

There is something that I have observed more than once at these events. I'm sure its something you've seen too.  It invokes groans from the crowds.  And arguments with coaches. You know what I'm talking about...

A bad call.

The ref clearly sees something differently (or doesn't see something in most instances) and he makes a call that isn't right.  And it makes you angry.  And it makes you want to fight to make it right.  

You can see it on the face of the players.  They become deflated. Their attitudes change.  The way they play changes.  And unfortunately sometimes it becomes the changing point in the game.

You know life can be a lot that way too.  We are playing the game. Working hard.  Doing what’s right when all of the sudden there is a bad call.  A game changer. 

Somebody hurts us.

The diagnosis comes.

The job gets lost.

There is betrayal.

A child makes a bad choice.

And they are just a few of the big things.  Game changers can come in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes its just a bunch of little things that finally push us over the edge. 

In those moments we have a choice.  Having a choice is powerful.  We can choose to succumb to the game changer and give up or we can choose to trust that even in this God has a plan.  

The enemy wants us to choose to give up.  If we are in Christ he can't take our salvation but he will do anything he can to convince us that God is not good. That God is the ref that made  the bad call. That He doesn't really have our best interest in mind.

If we start believing these lies the games changes. We start losing ground. We become defeated before the game ends.

We need to decide today that no matter what the call is we are all in for Jesus.  That He does love us and that He does have our best interest in mind.  

You know there has already been a defeat that has taken place.  The enemy has already been defeated.  He does not have the right to keep messing with us like that so don't let him. Remind him right now that even though there has been a bad call God loves you and He is for you so you will not give up.  

John 16:33 tells us in this world we WILL have trouble.  It doesn't say that we might.  It says we will have game changers but takes heart Jesus has overcome the world.

I don't know your whole story.  I don't know exactly how it all plays out. But I do know how it ends girls and it is good.  He is coming on a white horse.  Our prince is coming.  He is coming for His bride.  Are you going to be ready or will you have already given up because of that one bad call?

Don't give up my friend!  And if I can pray for you in any way please email me!

Be blessed!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Let It Go





In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul. ~Psalm 94:19

Tuesday I drove up to Jersey City, New Jersey loaded all of my sons things onto the back of a pick up truck and drove to Brooklyn, New York.   Now if you don't already know this when you go from Jersey City to Brooklyn you go through the Holland tunnel right into the city. My hands clenched the steering wheel of the borrowed pick up truck as I prayed nothing would fly off the back. 

This was the third time in 2 years that I have moved this child to a strange, far away place and left him there.  There was so much anxiety in the moving, the driving, and most of all the letting go. I could just feel the multitude of anxieties rising within me and a war raging in my mind.  What if this isn't a good move?  What if his neighbourhood isn't safe?  What if his roommates aren't good? What if, What if what if…..

I live my life in the "what if's" sometimes. And let me tell you there a multitude of what if's that we wrap ourself in. Fear, anxiety, stress,  and struggling to control the uncontrollable can consume us. The "what if's" can make us crazy but what I have come to realize is that when I am consumed by those thoughts there is actually a lie I am believing about God.  Somewhere buried deep within that thought process I am believing that God won't come through.  That He isn't trustworthy.  That He doesn't care.  That He can't take care of me or my family. That He isn't enough. When I refuse to let go I may think I am being godly but really I am just trying to be God.

In that moment of anxiousness I had a choice to make.  I could let go decide to let the truths I know about God control my thoughts and actions and let His comforts delight my soul or I could choose to keep believing the lie. I chose to let go and believe God.  In doing that the situation often doesn't change but how I handle it does.  I can have joy amidst the most stressful of situations and I can have the comfort that God wants to provide for me. All I need to do is reach out and take it but we can't reach out if we are holding on tightly to our need to control. We can not continue to grip tightly to control and grab onto God and His promise of comfort.

So this week hang on loosely.  No matter what situations you encounter let His comforts delight your soul.  Know that He is enough and trust that He will provide and He does care! 

We don't need to control everything all we need to do is allow God to have control of our everything.

Be blessed!