Tag Archives: expectations

Rush rush rush

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Rush. Rush from wake-up to the gym. Rush from wake the kids up to get the little one  off to school. Rush from the school to back home to homeschool the bigger one. Rush to pick up the little one. Rush home to make lunch. Rush to have “quality time” before nap time. Oh, I have to work during nap time, rush to get that all set up. Oops, the house is a wreck, quick quick, hurry hurry, clean it up before anyone comes. Rush to clean up after work, and then to get them fed. Laundry, oh theres always laundry. Did you really just spill the entire container of ____________. No we don’t glue that to walls! Now where is my magic eraser? Little brother has a stinky diaper. Is this day over yet? Wait, now I have to prepare for tomorrow. Rush to get it all ready. Rush to fall asleep so I don’t start tomorrow tired.

Rush. Somehow, it has become my lifestyle and I did not even notice the switch. You see, I am not a natural rusher. I like to go slow and take my time. Like so slow, and usually in the left lane, and I make rushing people even more stressed than they were. (It’s ok if you hate me a little more now. I get how bad that habit is. I’m in process people!) Usually, I allow things to go undone so I can cherish the people in front of me (because like all of you incredible multitasking women,God did not give me that gene.) I tend to play on the floor with my kids, create art, build towers, play silly games, and be in the moments. This is the only way I know to be.

But something happened this week. My husband took my older child with him, so I did not have to rush home and get school started. I dropped my little curly headed cutie off, said my, “Good Morning, how are you,” to all the women I wished I had time to get to know, and began rushing back to my vehicle. That’s when the Holy Spirit nudged me, “Where are you rushing to?” I literally just stopped walking, and realized, I had no where to be. (Sure I could always find plenty to do, but nothing I particularly HAD to do at a certain time.) He continued, “Go back to that woman you wished you had time to get to know, and see how she is doing.” So I did, and we had breakfast,and we cried a little (maybe I cried a lot) and it was like finding hidden treasure. I began to ask the question, “Jesus, what’s with this rushing stuff?

He gave me this acronym:

R-esisting

U-seful

S-tillness

H-abitually

He began to show me that He has been trying to teach me to be, “Patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.” Well I’m learning that to me, trouble is anything that feels dangerous because it’s out of my control, which happens to be (ahem) L-I-F-E. So be patient in life, and always be prayerful? He began to show me that rushing through all that has to get done, is a (dangerous) way of coping with the fear that you will fail at it all. He began surrounding me with women who were feeling led of the Lord to “remove a plate,” in their lives so they too, could slow, and release the overwhelm a little. So the next question was a simple, natural progression: What is stillness then?

S-avoring

T-ime

I-nstead of

L-osing

L-ife

So now I’m returning to the land of allowing the Holy Spirit to have control over my moments. I have a plan, but its flexible. Lord, here is what I think I’m doing today and who I am doing it with and for, but You get to write this story. In the midst of these important pieces being handled, if You want to send me help, help me to accept it. If You have a divine interruption, help me to recognize it and let go of my control. If I can let go of something to be more available to my moments, show me and give me the courage I need to lay it down. Help me to let go of the notion of failure/success like those are my only two options. Help me to see, admit, and embrace, that it’s always both. I’m growing, I’m becoming, and that is beautiful.

So friend, I’m not sure if rushing has snuck its way into your life too, but I want to encourage you to ask the Lord. Ask Him to show you where you are missing the beautiful in order to not fail. Or if you are being drained dry anywhere and He wants to fill you up. Maybe see if you need to slow and learn the relief of stillness. I am actually being amazed by how much more I “accomplish” when my rhythm and pace matches the Lord’s. There is no life to be found where He isn’t present, so I’m officially done trying to race ahead of Him. Join me?

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Misplaced Keys

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Lately, the Lord has been reminding me of “keys” to life He has specifically given me over the course of my life. Some things I carry with me always- and use almost involuntarily- like breathing. Others, I utilized for a season, and once that storm passed, I sort of misplaced or forgot about.

I have been sensing the notion for where we are headed as a whole, this whole entire world, I am going to need ALL of the keys He has placed in my hands. It has been so sweet and beautiful how He is taking me to find each misplaced key I have set down along the way.

Some keys that are life to me include:

– Holding each thought captive and making it obedient to the Lord.

      – To do what I have been created to do, the bring forth my unique reelection of Jesus on the earth, I cannot afford to think whatever thought agrees with my emotion. I can only afford to agree with the TRUTH found in God’s Word. Every other thought cycle causes me to spiral down- but when I think on what is TRUE- I lift my eyes up to see TRUTH Himself- and get lost (or found if you will) again in what He says is possible and who He says I am. 

-Gratitude

   -We enter into His presence with Thanksgiving. When I am not being intentional about gratitude- I often find my natural mind leads me to disappointment. When I fix my eyes on what is right and declare it- it seems that I gain momentum in finding right things. The opposite is also true. Long story short- someone always has it better, and someone always has it worse- when I could be praying or blessing others- why would I waste my time thinking about myself and all that I WISH was different? NO GOOD FRUIT COMES FROM ANY THOUGHTS THAT ARE NOT ROOTED IN GRATITUDE!

-Praise before the answer

  -David would lament before God in the psalms from verses 1-7 (just for example), and then in verse 8, he would be greatly praising the name of God! I asked the Lord once, where the transition was, because I had yet to be able to experience such a dramatic shift. The Lord revealed to me, that David knew God was faithful, and so after he poured His burdens out, before he saw the miracle, he would praise the One who now held the power to do the seemingly impossible. Now, I praise before I see God show off- because I know Him, and  I know He is faithful and trustworthy and will bring about something even better than I am hoping for!

-Saying Yes Lord.

  -This is by far the hardest key of life for me- because it causes me to die to my flesh constantly. But I have resolved that the kind of life I want to live, and legacy I want to leave, is simply being a woman who says yes to God. This hurts, but the fruit from every time I have surrendered my will to His, has been enormous- so much bigger than just me. His ways are always higher- and I long to walk in step with His spirit.

-Being Passionately Patient

  -From our perspective it seems as though God always has us waiting. But what I’ve noticed about all this waiting- is that in the waiting is the preparation. Interestingly, when I await a promise of God to be fulfilled the stuff that is buried deep in my heart when things are going my way, suddenly erupts when I have to wait. I come face to face with the yuck in there, and as it surfaces, I have a decision to make: will I allow Him to cause it to come out and refine me, or will I stuff it back down because I will decide it will be too arduous of a process and now is not the time? Well, if I am in the waiting- I guess now is the time! I am so thankful for the seasons of preparation that have come from the waiting- for if not for these times, I would  constantly be in over my head and set up to fail- oh but He loves me too much to do that to me. He loves me through the refining process, and I seem to reflect Him a little more each time! THAT IS GOOD!

-Not trying to figure out what it will look, feel, or be like.

  -I have wasted SOOOOOOO much time trying to predict the future. When something happens, I begin to project what may happen next and how that will affect this, and then this should be next and blah blah blah. However, NOTHING EVER GOES THAT WAY! Life has a myriad of variables that can be unleashed in any given moment. Who am I to think I could know what is going to happen? I have resolved ( and especially again recently) to take each moment as it comes. Living life in the moment IS SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL! I find peace and I find Jesus easier as I do not trip over my own idea of what SHOULD BE happening by what time table. I am not talking about not making goals, having dreams, and accomplishments- but surrendering those to Him, with an open hand and being flexible if He has a different way to get there. I am simply saying, I choose not to add my own agenda to what He has asked me to do or said He is going to do with, in, and through me. 

These are just a few keys to life for me- that He has specifically given me to be able to become who He has created me to be and do what He created me to do. He gives us keys to be able to unlock, open, or lock and shut doors. We need every single key He has given us to be able to stay the road He has specifically called each of us to journey. Do you have any keys to life? Any misplaced keys? I’d love to glean from what He has shown you too!

 

Matthew 16:19Living Bible (TLB)

19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!”

2 Corinthians 10:5The Voice (VOICE)

We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one trueGod. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.

Psalm 100:4The Message (MSG)

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

 

 

Delayed for the BIG STORY!

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Often times when I am in a waiting season of sorts- I find hope and encouragement in the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. (John 11:38-44)
Many years ago, the Lord showed me how Mary and Martha were close friends of Jesus and yet while their brother was dying and they sent word for Jesus to come heal him, Jesus didn’t make it in time and their brother died. Can you imagine how confused, upset, and disappointed they were with Him? They KNEW He was the healer and yet He chose not to heal. They waited and believed and the outcome wasn’t what they were hoping for. He was not on time by their standards.
I can just see the looks on their faces, wearing their hearts on their sleeves in mourning, and saying upon His return, “YOU ARE TOO LATE- You might as well just go and keep healing the ones there is still time and hope for. It’s no use for You to be here with us now.”
But Jesus, who always kept His eyes on the Father and did what He saw the Father doing, wasn’t too late in any respect. He was right on time. He didn’t respond to their urgency, but solely responded to the Father’s will. God had a better outcome then what the sisters were believing for. You see, they already KNEW He was the healer, but they got a deeper revelation. As Jesus walked into an atmosphere that was overcome with the stench of death and decay- He spoke and LIFE WAS RESURRECTED! They all became eye witnesses that this Jesus was more than a prophet and healer- He was the Resurrection and the Life!

I have always kind of just stopped there in my amazement in how the waiting, and seemingly disappointing outcome, can sometimes lead us to a deeper understanding about the infinite facets of who God is, and how getting to know Him more is worth anything. However, recently, He has been expanding this revelation of HOW GOOD GOD IS, and HOW HIS TIMING AND PLANS are for such a greater purpose than our small story.

John 12:9-11The Voice (VOICE)

9 Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10 The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11 because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.

John 12:17-19The Message (MSG)

17-19 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”

CHECK IT OUT! If Jesus would have answered the simple request of his dear friends Mary and Martha- and had come right away and healed their brother- they would have been saved heartache, grieving, and suffering. BUT ALSO- many would not have left their teachings and come to know Jesus. There would not have been a stampede after Jesus due to the testimony of their unanswered prayer being answered in a way MUCH bigger than they could have ever imagined!

Can we always understand why we are being asked to wait? Why the answer is so opposite of what we have prayed, believed, and hoped in? NO! Does it hurt? YES! But are we resolved that God is always good and I am ALWAYS loved?

Jesus not healing Lazarus had to cause his heart to ache also- He never delights in seeing any of His children suffer. But our Father is a good God and He sees the BIG STORY! And as we follow Him, He allows us to join in and become part of the answer for others who are yet to come into the Kingdom.

Mary,Martha, and Lazarus got to witness first hand the resurrecting power of God on Earth! Then the overflow of that great miracle, brought many to know and believe in Jesus. If the delay in my answer will be that big- I am going to choose to lay my need to understand down, and lift my hands in Praise to the One who gives me the honor of being part of His BIG Story! Will you join me? 

2 Corinthians 4:17GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

17 Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine.

Found in Him

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For the past nine weeks, the Lord has been asking me to wake up at 5 am to spend time with Him. I have been trying to by setting alarms, picking 2 days a week as a starting goal, going to bed a little earlier, and yet I have been totally unsuccessful. This has been incredibly frustrating and has caused such a looming sense of disappointment and failure within myself. I have even moved to have friends hold me accountable, begging them please pray that I can do this, I want to do this, but there seems to be some major disconnect, and it’s not happening. I mean, the God of ALL CREATION wants to meet with ME and I cannot get myself out of bed!!!!!!!!! When you ask people who are crazy about Jesus and they love the Jesus in you to pray, crazy ( and awesome) stuff starts happening!

On Sunday, during worship, I had this vision on Jesus and I. It was like no other experience I have EVER had. Him and I were laying on a picnic blanket together. We were sharing secrets. My head was on His chest and I could feel and hear His heart beating. I was so safe, so captivated by His presence, and nothing else mattered. It was like He was saying, ” You and I have been best friends for so long, but I want to move into a deeper relationship. I want to reveal more of myself to you. I am desiring for you to love me fully and give your whole self over. Will you let go of control and really allow yourself to fall into my love?” To be honest, this was so different than any interaction I have ever had with the Lord. But it stirred up the deepest places in me that I didn’t even know were there. I had those crazy emotions I did when my husband and I were just getting to know each other. There is excitement and anticipation and this longing to be together more. I felt so seen, so vulnerable, so pursued, so loved.

And then…….I pushed away.

Have you ever had this experience? Where you have this deep, vulnerable moment with someone and it’s amazing and then just a few hours later, you are feeling so exposed, so uncomfortable, so seen, that the reaction is to pull away so you can go back into hiding? That is how I have been treating Jesus. So He took this opportunity to reveal to me my fear of fulling allowing His love to carry me away. He has been revealing how much I am holding on for dear life and allowing the river to rush by and  the current is brutal because I am clinging to the wrong rock and getting beat up. He is asking me to let go, and to go all in with the current of His rushing river of life. He is showing me that I do not have to know where I end up, how I get there, or what it all looks like, I just have to know Him.

I must confess: I am AFRAID. He has revealed that I AM AFRAID TO BE FULLY KNOWN OR SEEN.

Yesterday I had someone come over sort of unexpectedly and my house was not at peak performance, it was more in it’s natural, lived in, state. I felt exposed and honestly looking for disapproval, or rejection, or surprise but I found none of that, I only found acceptance. The Lord showed me later in the day that I often clean up before I am seen. I only like to show what looks put together, shiny, clean, everything in it’s place. I do not like the messy to be made known. I shared this later with my friend who replied, ” I do not want you to have to clean up any part of you before you can share it with me. I love you right where you are at.”

I AM LOVED IN EVERY STATE. I can be fully known, fully seen, in any condition and still be loved and accepted. I am not sure if this is as strong for you as it is for me, but until a few days ago I did not even know I was hiding. Because I love the Lord, and I want to know Him more. Because I love you all and am willing to say what He asks me to say for your benefit- I am choosing to be seen, exposed, vulnerable. I am choosing to become more genuine, transparent, real. I am afraid to be seen, but I LONG to be seen.

In the vision I spoke of earlier, I saw myself fully melt into Jesus. You could no longer see me, just Him. It was the safest I’d ever felt and the most real image I’ve ever seen of who I want to be. That is my deepest desire; that I would be found in Him. So I have made a decision. I’m letting go of control, here and now. Loosening my grip on the pretty and perfect and choosing the real, the genuine, the messy. Where will this lead? I am not sure, but Jesus is who I Am following, will you join me?

P.S. a little progress to celebrate- it is 5:02 am and I am about to publish this post! Praise the Lord, I have broken through!

Is this good?

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A few days ago I had this rather peculiar thought process. It was about one of the hardest things that God has ever asked me to do. When He did, I literally had to lay down my life, my flesh, say YES to Him, pick up my cross and follow Him. Choosing this led me into much heartbreak, much pain, and much sorrow. Is this good? It did NOT feel good, but God is good. So back to this peculiar thought process: I realized that many of the things I had been asking the Lord for came out of this hard journey. He showed me a connection in only a way the Holy Spirit can, in a matter of seconds, how saying yes to Him for that has led my family into many wonderful blessings. If I would have said no to the Lord, the very things I count as major gifts and incredible opportunities would not be present in my life today.

Also, I am thinking of a friend who found Jesus in the midst of post-partum depression. One of the hardest things she has ever faced brought her to the One who can work everything together for good. Later in her life, the difference of knowing Jesus, and how He affected her decisions during a tremendously terrifying storm, changed generations for the Kingdom of God.

So, if the question is, “Is this good?” Perhaps we need to respond, “God is good, and He works everything together for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose!”

If you are in a storm, or He is asking something of you that ‘feels’ like it will kill you, rest in this today….. God is ALWAYS good, you are ALWAYS loved, and He brings us out to bring us in. the path isn’t always easy- but you are never alone! Say yes to Him, always choose to deny yourself and say yes. He is looking for those who will say yes no matter what! I believe you are one!

High Places

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Habakkuk 3:19
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

So what I am reflecting on today, is that when I depend on the Lord to be my strength, I will not be paralyzed by terrible things, but able to make spiritual progress. AND that in the kingdom of God, a “High” place, is a place of trouble, suffering, or responsibility? When I asked why, He showed me how loaded with opportunity those places are. The choices we make in the midst of suffering or trouble are the very defining moments that can propel us forward into our destinies, and get us Unstuck. Are you willing to go to “high” places? Are you willing to trust in the Lord’s strength to be able to make progress instead of pushing forward in only what your strength allows or just continue to stand still? Whew, so much to contemplate this day!

He does not disappoint!

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I have a desire in my heart. I get spoken to by someone who does not know this desire that the Lord wants to bring this forth. Faith is stirred up. Then I see the Lord doing a few things, boom, boom, boom. Confirmation. Hope is swelling. Then, WOW, this MUST be God because x,y, and z are all seeming to fall into place. I give testimony as to how God is moving, and BAM the momentum is halted and consequently I am left wondering why I ever allowed hope to take over the contentment I had with what I had.

Has this ever happened to you? You felt stirred up and excited about something the Lord began speaking to you about, only to be left wondering why He didn’t just leave you alone? I have to ask myself is what I was experiencing previously really contentment? Or was is complacency? Am I being honest with myself if what I thought I was content with was void of hope for a brighter future? Is it really being content or settling because I got tired of being disappointed? And if I was so tired of being disappointed- how did I get there? How did I arrive at the corner of “You have enough to be thankful for,” and “You probably can’t handle anymore than what you have to do already,” at such a young age.

I had to get real with the Lord and ask Him what was the purpose of allowing me to experience this cycle once again. He began to  remind me that my goal for the year is to move forward. I am moving forward by replacing destructive cycles with constructive cycles. This particular cycle is very destructive. This is the cycle that causes me to lose hope. When the enemy can steal our hope, our faith tends to diminish, and Hebrews 11:6 teaches us that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. This is a VERY IMPORTANT LESSON TO LEARN!

I am beginning to see what the major problem is, when God speaks to me, I start trying to figure out how what He said could become possible. Now let me tell you He only spoke to the desire of my heart, but didn’t say as to how He was going to bring that forth. Yet in my desperate attempt to be in some sort of control I begin grasping onto anything I can find to see how this could work. When those theories I have crafted fall short, remember this is NOT what God had said, is when devastation and/or a deep disappointment collide with my once soaring hope and hope plummets out of the sky and lies on the ground slowly dying.

Here is how I can mature. I can mature by staying the course He has spoken to me about. I can mature by not running with vain imaginations and becoming fixed on how I think “it” will work out. I can mature by NOT putting my faith in circumstances, results, or outcomes. My God does not disappoint. He never leaves me and He always works everything together for my good. If that is not what I am experiencing, I am learning that means I am the one with a huge misunderstanding. I am learning that when He speaks to stir up my faith and remind me of the desires of my hearts, the one which maybe my little heart got weary in the waiting but He still cares about and still wants to bless me with, I can listen to what He has to say and not add to it a deadline. I can choose not be in a rush for that desire to manifest in my life. I can trust that if He is the one reminding me of something I tried to forget about because in my weariness I deemed it “impossible” that I do not need to take the reins and then try to make it happen. The One who reminded me, will take care of the details. I was reminded this week that my only focus needs to be, “Seek first the Kingdom of God….and all things will be added unto you.”

I have chosen this week that I can stop compartmentalizing contentment and hope. Somehow, as a coping tool or maybe a self-declared limit, I had determined I needed to choose one of the following, 1) being thankful for what I have or 2) hoping for more. But as a conclusion to the ride I have been on this week, I have determined something new. I am choosing to enjoy what I have on the way to where I am going. Already there is an elevated joy and peace. The limits are off and the manipulation of my future has lessened. There is expectancy for God to be God and joy in the waiting because I already have so much to enjoy. What an awesome God we serve. He loves me enough to undo every knot that is binding me when I was not aware I was being bound. He has yet again set me free. He is so worthy of praise.

Dream BIG- don’t settle, and enjoy the journey. This life we have is a gift to be fully enjoyed, not a deadline or rush just to arrive, and where are we hoping to arrive? I just want to see Jesus, and share Jesus, and love love love….and I already have everything I need to live in that reality-everything He chooses to bless me with beyond that is a surprise and I give thanks!