Tag Archives: learn

Jump Over Yuck

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I mentioned a few posts back that joy does not have to look like happy. What I didn’t know then, was that the Lord would quickly unlock a major key to maintaining joy in my life.

There was an ugly message waiting for me. One laced with all the manipulation and undercurrents of superiority that could possibly be shoved into a few sentences. And suddenly, my joy was on shaky ground. I was tempted to hate, to expose, and to cut off all ties. Until a friend of mine, who I was totally honest with, offered, “that won’t feel as good as you think it might.”

With the insertion of truth into the swirling chaos of my reaction, my thoughts began to slow. I chose to breath deep and still my mind. I asked Jesus for truth. He showed me Hebrews 12:2,MSG “2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.”

Suddenly, I could see that this attack was just one of the enemies weapons of mass distraction. My enemy wanted me to be distracted from the entire point of my life. Instead, God called me to fix my eyes on Jesus, consider where I’m headed, and get back on track. As I asked Him to help me, He gave me the most amazing and simple vision to overcome.

I saw a trap laid out in the wilderness, and it was camouflaged with leaves. Holy Spirit removed the camouflage so I could see the trap. He asked me, “Are you their prisoner? I say you are free. What do you say?” I decided, “I am free!” Then He showed me to walk around the trap set for me, and keep going forward. And I DID! Praise the Lord!

Shortly after that choice, I was around the one who sent the message, and I can tell you that I truly harbored no anger or frustration or hatred for them. I AM FREE! This is a huge miracle. So I asked the Lord, how can I continue experiencing this freedom as life continues flying at me?

He said to maintain JOY, you simply, Jump Over Yuck.

J-ump.

O-ver

Y-uck.

JOY!

So today, I want to encourage you. Are you their prisoner? Or are you free in Christ? Will you choose to fall into the traps set before you? Or will you ask Jesus to help you see them, so you can JUMP over them.

Let’s all choose to Jump for Joy today! Let’s triumph and rejoice together in this great freedom Jesus has bought for us with His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. He is worthy of ALL glory, honor, and praise!

Father, help us have eyes to see the traps being set for us. Help us Holy Spirit to jump over them. Help us to become more like You Jesus, never losing sight of where we are headed. Remove any distractions that keep us from the main thing. Help us to be about Your business totally, and flowing at Your rhythm and pace for our lives. We need You! We love You! It’s by Your blood, Your spirit, and Your power I ask these things in Your Holy, Perfect, Saving name Lord Jesus! Amen!

 

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Not afraid of the dark

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I found myself thinking, “I can’t do this.” And I heard the reply within my spirit, “But I can.”

I knew immediately that Holy Spirit was ready to help me. He wasn’t ever expecting me to go at life apart from Him. He is not disappointed in my limits, or my humanness. He made me. He sees me, He knows me better than I know myself.

I listen to the words being read from Psalm 139, “but even in the darkness, I cannot hide from You. To You the night shines bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to You.”

As I hear those words, I consider how often I try to hide when it gets dark. I hear the lies that I can’t be Debbie Downer, and that they are all so sick of my sad story, my pain. But the truth is, God is not afraid of the dark. He will not avoid the dark seasons of the soul. He is ever near.

A friend told me, “Lately, I’ve been thanking God for laments.” To which I instantaneously replied, “I welcome laments from others, but generally despise them coming from me.” She said, “He doesn’t just welcome them, He delights in them.” With those words my heart stopped beating for a second.

Can you believe that? As I contemplated on that thought, I chose to believe it. God never tires of hearing from me. He knows me better than I know myself.  In fact, He lives inside of my heart. He is truly the only One who can fully KNOW me. Why wouldn’t He delight in me opening my heart to Him, even if when I open it what comes out is sorrow?

Psalms 56:8 says, “You keep track of my sorrows. You have collected all of my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.”

I asked, why? Why would You collect tears? If they are that important, maybe there is something powerful in them. I imagined God pouring out our tears into the gardens of our hearts, it was the very substance that brought tremendous growth, delivering incredible fruit.

As it continued, I saw my tears being poured out into the hearts of my children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. I found myself understanding, just slightly more than before, why my life seems to require so many. Peace and resolve settled in.

Therefore today, I continue to give Him plenty to collect as an offering. I will lament to the Lord if the need arises. I will not try to hide. I choose to ask Him for help. He is showing up, and I’m finding relief.

Resolve to choose joy while simultaneously experiencing what I need to, to be real. Joy doesn’t have to look like happy. Joy is believing in my great salvation in Christ Jesus, and all of it’s benefits, which will never change due to earthly hardships.

Romans 8:18 encourages us, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.”  Joy unspeakable, not hiding in the dark, being genuine, and asking for help. Today will be victorious and my future looks brighter than I can imagine. Praise the Lord!

Just a little more, and then……

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I’m hungry. I’m hungry to create something. Something that matters. I find myself desperate to be a part of something beautiful. To create beauty. To join in. To be a part. I want to write something that will change the world as we know it. I want to paint something that will heal a broken heart and bring the walking dead back to life. I want to be great! I want to do something inspiring and amazing.

I cry out to God! Here I am! Send me. But its more like waving my arms, as in, don’t forget me. I want to be used mightily. And He smiles, turns me around, and shows me the life I already have. He shows me how He has called me and sent me. He sent me to be his wife, and their mother, their teacher, their friend, their daughter, their sister, their confidant. I am called. I am called right here in the place that I’m already in.

Why doesn’t it feel like it’s the GREAT I desire? Why does it feel so insignificant? Why do I always feel this sense of wanting something MORE? It like a constant nagging, that even though I can’t put my finger on it, what I have is not enough. Discontent. Exhaustion. dissatisfaction. He reminds me that all I have right now, began in a place of prayer. I asked for this life, for these callings. And He answered.

You see, I believe this “not enough” sickness is a ploy from our enemy to steal our joy. To steal our moments, to steal our hope. I believe that, at least for me, comparing what I am called to, to what others are called to, is one of the most exhausting parts of this cancerous not enough plague. I have decided to declare war on not enough. I have decided to embrace what I have in my hands and heart, and offer it up to God in thanks.

I choose today to sow my whole self into what is already before me. I choose to no longer wait for the great. I choose to put my full weight into the great that is now. Today, exactly where I am, exactly what I have and what I don’t, is enough. I will honor God by honoring all of the ones He has entrusted me with.

Father, please keep turning me around to see the beauty of the life before me. Help me to guard my heart and mind from thinking everyone else has it better, or simply just easier, than I do. Help me to rejoice in the beauty that is my life, status quo. I trust You with my life, with my present and future. Thank You for covering my past. I admit that all I need more of, is You. Bless me with Your presence and truth all day long today, my daily bread. I see you, and I want more of You. In Jesus’ Mighty name I pray, Amen.

Love is seek and find

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Love is seek and find

I had this funny thing happen the other day. I wanted to spend time with the Lord, but my son and husband were having a “camp out” in the living room where my Bible, devotionals, and journal were. I lay in my bed wandering if I could try something new instead of being stuck in my box of “this is how I do my quiet time.” Upon which the Lord reminded me that I had noticed an old journal and some pens in one of my bathroom drawers. What was is doing there you might ask? I have no idea. Since it was so out of place I remembered it, so I grabbed it and purposed to journal there. As I opened it, I saw prayer request from 2013, and I spent some time in awe of God’s hand as I could see specifically now each one had been answered abundantly. I praise and rejoiced and my faith was once again stirred. Next I noticed that I had written a challenge to myself- get outside more. Funny, that is still, in 2017, the same challenge. Here is what I am learning, to love myself well, which consequently aligns me to love others more, I have to honor what makes me come alive, and one of those things for me is the outdoors. I am making a choice to be intentional about getting outside and doing some outdoor activity multiple times a week.

As I am slowing down to focus on loving myself and others well, I thought it would be a good idea to read the Song of Solomon. It is a book in the Old Testament filled with love poetry between and woman and a man who are deeply and madly in love with each other. However, the book is full of seeking each other out, finding each other, and then having to seek once again. Sometimes, when one would find where other was, the other one wasn’t ready to be found. The book ends with them seeking for each other once again, not the ‘happily ever after skipping down jolly lane’ we expect from a great love story.

At first I thought this was strange but I sought the Lord to teach me something new. He began to show me how love is never finding the one you love and then staying in that blissful place forever. Love is being committed to seek and find, forever. We are always changing and growing and becoming. Along the different parts of that journey, different types of love will be required. I believe this could be a true piece to every relationship, even with myself and with God. As life flies at us, we have to continue finding new facets of God which in turn unveils new pieces of ourselves. Sometimes we find something new and amazing and sometimes we uncover something hard to process. We can choose to show up and love if we choose to invite Jesus into it all. Apart from Him, I think the notion of this eternal game of seek and find would be overwhelmingly exhausting.

I’m just beginning to embrace this notion and trying to live it out. It definitely feels less ‘wrapped up in a neat box with a bow’ than I want it to. But I can tell this type of perspective on love is more genuine than I previously expected and yet tremendously less likely to set me up to be deeply disappointed than what I’ve understood before.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about love or how you plan to love yourself well this year!

What’s new? I’m a mom of two!

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Wow! I have learned so much in just the last 14 days of being a mother to two children. I have learned how much of a waste it is to worry about things which are not in our control. I would spend all of this time thinking about my older son, and how to not let him feel left out or feel this or that- but you know what? HE LOVES BEING A BIG BROTHER! He is so satisfied in helping and being needed, it is so beautiful to watch. Truly, as Jesus taught, all of that worrying did not add a single moment to my life. God loves my son and took care of him. It is not in my control. I wonder today- what are you worrying about? Can you try handing that worry and need to be in control over to the One who knows all things and works them all together for good?

I have learned how beautiful God’s timing is, no matter how much the waiting hurts. I WAS HURTING- every second of every day for about 20 weeks straight- near the end, it was close to impossible to wake up and face the day knowing how much pain I would be enduring. But here is what happened- one of my very best friends on the planet- who was also pregnant with her second child- and we prayed to be pregnant together- had her baby on the same day at the same hospital. I could not have imagined God would give us such a beautiful gift. So wonderful, so beautiful, and something none of us will ever forget. I am now thankful for the waiting! I wonder today, what waiting are you in that might be painful? Will you choose to trust God to make something beautiful at just the right time?

And even now, as though this season isn’t new enough, my family is adding a new layer of adventure ( it’s just who we are called to be- never boring around here.) So as I face this new layer, I have to face some giants. In my own strength and power- a giant would be terrifying- and for a moment I stood paralyzed by fear- thinking I would be going backwards, and downwards, and allowed anxiety filled, fear-filled thoughts to run through my mind. Oh but Jesus! Jesus loves me! And He has reminded me of how far I have come, how far my family has come, and how we are moving forward and not backwards.  I am learning that even when something appears to look like a giant you have slain before- the battle was long,hard, and left you weary and wounded- YOU LEARNED FROM THE BATTLE! You know what to do. It won’t be the same- because YOU ARE NOT THE SAME! It is ok to face battles you have won before because you have the strategy to be VICTORIOUS! I wonder today, what giant are you being called to face, perhaps again, that is trying to intimidate you with fear or anxiety? Can you trust in the One who has given you victory before? Can you rest in knowing that in Him you will OVERCOME?

I am also starting to see just how small my measure of belief is. Sometimes I feel like I really trust God and I really believe that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE- but the truth is- I mostly believe that for all of you. When it comes to me, I still really struggle believing for the big, impossible-looking miracles to happen. Isn’t that crazy? Jesus has always shown up and shown off on my behalf and yet I still struggle. In this season, I have been blessed with a far greater experience than I could have ever imagined- so many people shared with me that this is what they saw coming for me- but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how precious the goodness of God towards me would be to enjoy. SO much better than I even hoped for. And then I saw a miracle in someone else’s life that the Lord has been saying He wants to do for me also, and I could believe for it more once I saw that it happened for someone else. BUT FRIENDS- faith is believing in what we cannot see. It is trusting in God and believing and thanking Him way before we experience it. So now my prayer is, and I am wondering if you would like to join in with me, “Lord, help me in my unbelief.”

Lastly, I am learning how to take it one day at a time. I am learning how to truly rest in each beautiful, messy, lovely, hard, joyful, and painful moment of each day. Take it for what it is, experience it, be present in it, live it. I am seeing more of Jesus when I slow down and really enter into the moments of my own life. Maybe that sounds strange- but I’ve been on the go and in a hurry most of my days thus far. There is something spectacular about choosing to really show up and be in the moments we have so graciously been given. I am learning  that a lot of the rushing and busyness I was involved with previously was a way of avoiding or denying what was happening that I didn’t want to face. Can I share, it takes courage to be present, and that courage can only come from God. I’m wondering today what place in your life are you rushing through so you can deny or avoid the truth of that situation? Can you trust Him who is, and was, and is to come to be there, to heal, to restore, to redeem? He is Faithful!

Oh, how each of our lives makes a difference. You may not believe you make a difference to anyone- but I assure you- YOU MATTER. This little 14 day old life has so dramatically changed my life and heightened my experience on Earth so far. Your life is changing someone’s world. Will you take the journey with me to continue to learn, continue to be teachable, continue to humble ourselves, so that we can become more and more and more like Jesus? Will you commit with me to learning how to enjoy the moments and get to be and have and do all that He created us for? This life- my life- your life- every single person on this whole planet’s life- is a gift- is significant- and is worth living. Jesus- have your way!