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Being Drug behind Our Calling

Since I was a teenager, I knew I was called to be a mother and raise godly children. There was no doubt in my mind that was the task God had given me in life. Still to this day, I believe with 110% certainty.

As I stepped into motherhood, I soon found out this task was extremely difficult. The more children I had the more difficult it got. I was simply surviving life. I was exhausted and overwhelmed by my blessings but I just kept pushing forward because well…it was my calling. I was made for this wasn’t I?

I would pray for rest but I refused to slow down because there was always something to do. I would pray for help but I wouldn’t release control of expectations. I was frustrated and I was angry and I was overwhelmed. I felt defeated all too often because I would constantly fail to meet my expectations and I felt lonely because I felt like my husband didn’t meet my expectations. It was a miserable state to be in.

But God in his kindness and gentleness sent road blocks along my path to catch my attention. He taught me to focus on Him not my calling. He taught me to work from His strength and not my own. He taught me the crucial need for rest and letting go of my expectations for my life, for myself, and for my marriage. I began to adopt a much slower pace of life. My calendar may have many things on it but the intensity of each task has slowed. I can trust that everything does not have to be completed right away. That it will all be handled in his timing. It has opened me up to enjoy life to enjoy my family and to live in the present with an eternal mindset rather than just living on the edge of survival.

Walking with Christ in your calling VS Being Drug Behind your Calling‬ ‭

Mindset While Being Drug Behind Your Calling

  • It has to be done ASAP
  • I’m tired but I have no time to rest there is too much to do
  • It needs to be done NOW
  • I’m alone if no one is with me
  • I’m overwhelmed with stuff to do
  • I’m so busy
  • I’m just surviving
  • Everything else can wait but I have to complete this task
  • If only people would understand
  • I can’t do this anymore
  • The calling comes before the quiet time with the Lord
  • I must push forward no mater what
  • I’m afraid of failing

Your Mindset While Walking With Christ in your calling

  • “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭
  • “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭
  • ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”” Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭
  • “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm‬ ‭23:1-4‬ ‭
  • “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭
  • “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm‬ ‭27:14‬
  • “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.” PROVERBS‬ ‭28:26‬ ‭
  • “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6

The greatest feeling is when we have surrendered up control and begin to rest in the Lord presence. We begin to experience peace, contentment, strength, perseverance and joy. We go from simply surviving to keep up to stepping intentionally on the path the Lord has for us. This change does not come easily and it is not a one and done thing. It is a every day surrender sometimes a minute by minute surrender but we can be assured if we are walking with the Lord he cares for us the entire way. He does not push forward while dragging us behind him.

Daily Reminders

Internal Transformation Brings True Change

Some thoughts during my morning quiet time:

If my circumstances were different my marriage would be better. If my husband/wife only ___________ (full in the blank) then my marriage would be better. You could do the same for children, parenting, family, careers etc.. We focus on external change, thinking if we could simply change circumstances or people we would somehow come to a place of joy, peace, and contentment. However, if we really look at what we desire joy, peace, and contentment these things are only found in God alone. No external change in our life will supply those needs. Only internal change by the Spirit truly produces those fruits.

So instead of saying “if only my _________ would change.”, we said “Lord, change me, my heart, my mind to produce joy in my marriage, peace in my life and contentment in all circumstances.” How then would our perceptions of those around us look? How would we feel about our marriages, our children and parenting?

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Lessons

The Predator and The Prey

Have you ever watched on National Geographic, a Lion pride stalk and kill its prey? You sit there watching the poor prey animal and thinking run little zebra run like the wind, but the lions stalks silently. The prey may hear the soft rustle of the grass as the lions inch forward giving them a head start but many still remain with their head down until the lions pounce and it’s all over.

This gruesome scene of the unsuspecting prey and cunning predator is all to familiar to the spiritual attacks we receive from Satan and his gang of followers. The question that really has me pondering on is “am I the unsuspecting prey?” Do I live life with my head down oblivious to the stalking predator watching me and waiting to pounce? Do I just go about my work my daily life not thinking too much of possible spiritual dangers? Am I the zebra so involved in munching my grass that I have wandered away from the protection of my heard? Have I got so caught up doing good things that my focus has shifted from God to my work? These moments of slight deviation from the Lord puts us ripe for the unsuspecting pounce.

But what if we worked with our eyes open? What if we remembered that when we follow God we will be attacked so we remained alert. We wouldn’t escape an attack but we would be able to defend from it. When we keep our eyes on the Lord and our mind and heart set in truth we will be able to hear the rustle in the grass. We will be able to sense the tension in the air knowing we are being stalked but always on alert and ready to defend with the word of God. We would be able to identify paths that would take us into harms or temptations way.

So, as a believer, how are you living life? Are you staying alert? Ready for the attack? Or are you living oblivious and only realizing you are under severe attack after the enemy has began to pull you down?

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:6-9

Letters of Encouragement

Living Life Eyes Wide Open

I never felt like I fit inside any social box, even from a young age. I always got along with most everyone and could relate to them in one way or another. As I grew in my relationship with the Lord, I found I was never meant to be in any of the boxes. I was not created to fit into a man made mold because I was created to glorify Him with every part of my existence.

This morning an outpouring of thankfulness came from this understanding. I hope it will give others the encouragement to ask God to free them from the boxes that we place ourselves, others and God in.

My mind and the natural mind of humans wants to think in terms of boxes. We want to categorize ourselves and label ourselves. We want to separate and organize and try to make sense of our known world. And what we don’t know we still try to place in boxes of what we do know and neglect what we don’t understand. Instead of pursuing knowledge (that is the knowledge of God) that we lack understanding in, we dismiss it as trivial, unimportant, or too lofty. We dare not not ask for understanding or if we are bold enough to ask, we fight the transformation it requires to understand.

Lord, we will never totally understand and know you with this finite mind but one day in glory we will know you as we are fully known. I rest assured in my life that all I am and how you have designed me and what you have gifted me work in tandem with one another. Every weakness an opportunity for growth. Every circumstance opportunities of preparation to do the work you have called or will call me to do. Good or bad all working toward your end your goal. I cannot see every single connection in its entirety but I know it exists by this simple truth. You are an omnipotent God. You have ordained everyday ahead of me and you know the deepest depths of every woman and man on this earth.

I do not know what lays ahead, but I am empowered and I know it is for my good, whether it feels good or not. Nothing is coincidental all situations and circumstances tied and linked to a greater plan. I am just partied to that greater plan. I desire to live eyes wide open to watch the master creator put together and weave lives to one another to further His kingdom. I want live life knowing I am not simply here to exist but God has purposes and plans for me, great or small. I want to live life surrendered to the Lord, so that I am free to take part in his blessings and glory in my life. Lord I thank you for freeing me from the box that I knew I never belonged in.

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My Body’s Testimony

Now that I’m on this wonderful journey of being healthy spiritually and physically, God has shown me why it is so important to allow my outside match the inside.

In 1 corinthians 9:27, Paul says, “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

This verse hit home for me. I had not really connected that my physical appearance would be a testimony of my preaching but it most certainly is. I say to my child,”I must discipline you to instill good habits and good ways” yet I myself, am not disciplined in my ways to maintain a healthy body. I say to my children, “you need show self control over your body” yet I can’t seem to demonstrate self control, when my hand is headed to my mouth with food. I tell my children, “let’s not be lazy or a sloth” but I choose to be lazy and not get up to exercise. I say to others, “trust in God” but my stress eating is clearly out of lack of trust.

He revealed that even though my mouth spoke truth, my body spoke another truth, the truth of what was in my heart. I had allowed my physical body to try to disqualify me for the prize. I allowed it to be a hypocrite. I had held my comforter, food, as an idol in my life. I went to him and offered my body! I have been unfaithful to my faithful God!

However, in the Lord’s mercy and grace He has begun to fill my head with truth and weed my heart of lies that have ensnared me for so long. He has begun to take this broken and battered heart and body and transform it to his likeness from the inside out.

If you struggle with your body, I pray that you humbly come to feet of Jesus and ask him to reveal what is in your heart. Allow him to transform you so that you can be a true living sacrifice body and mind.

Scripture

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24-27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/111/rom.12.1-2.niv

Daily Reminders

A Journey Towards Being Physically and Spiritually Healthy

I struggle deeply with stress eating and being physically unhealthy. Many would say, “you just have to get up and do it” and yes while that is true, I not only want to be healthy physically but I want to be healthy spiritually. God has been laying heavy on my heart about the connections between my physical health and my spiritual one and how both can effect the other.

I am not new to the health and wellness scene. Growing up I was very active in sports. Although I ate poorly, it didn’t matter much because I ran it all off. Once I quit the routine sports, my unhealthy eating habits caught up with me. It wasn’t until after my first son was born that I decided to quit making excuses and get back to healthy. I ended up dropping 75lbs in roughly 8 months through healthy eating and exercise. I continued to keep the weight off after my second child was born and then until my last trimesters of my third pregnancy. It was in that third trimester of the third child that my circumstances began to reveal some serious problems within my heart.

Well, I would love to tell you that I surrendered over to God and I went through my valley time having learned all that I needed and I came out better for it…but that wouldn’t be my story. No, I went through my valley kicking and screaming. I was stressed and I blamed any and everything for it. Instead of surrendering, I held on to my ways and I paid dearly for it within my own body. The more time passed the more miserable I became and every issue began showing up in my body. I then got pregnant with our 4th child and the baby weight just added onto the issue.

Instead of turning to God about my stress I just self medicated with food. The endorphins that were released, when I ate, took the edge off an otherwise crazy day of raising and homeschooling kids. In other words, I had turn to food as my comforter rather than my God.

However, over the last few months, God walked me back into that familiar valley I had once walked. The pressure was on and the stress of my life heightened. My body began to severely suffer. My hair started to thin, I gained 10lbs in a matter of months and the scariest for me, my “female body clock” began to malfunction and be delayed. That’s when I took one long and hard look in the mirror at myself. I did not like what I saw physically but I knew my physical problems were only manifestations of my spiritual issues. Even more, I was sickened at the thought of my daughters looking into the mirror and being frustrated and miserable with their bodies, because of a sin I had not surrendered over myself, so that I could teach them a new way.

So begins my health journey. Not so much a weight loss journey, because that will come in the end, but a journey towards honoring God with my body, heart and mind.

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The Rhythm of Life

This morning, the Lord gave me a beautiful visualization for the need for rest in my home.

Our life, is like a single instrument within an orchestra. We each have our individual pieces to play through the spirit. The Lord is the composer and conductor. The sheet music the word of God and the spirit the musician. Although, we have the sheet music laid before us we must keep our eyes on the conductor to keep us at the right tempo. Our daily lives are apart of this larger rhythm. We have periods of notes played but we also have periods of rest. The rest although no note is played, is crucial in development of the song. We will play high notes and we will play low notes, we will play long and slow and holding a note that seems to take an eternity but other days we will play so quickly it seems we are falling behind, but then in the midst of our day and our notes we will have the crucial rest.

We must keep our eyes on the conductor not letting our gaze be distracted by our fellow instruments or the crowd (the world) watching us. We must allow the spirit to draw the notes from us allowing the highs, lows and rests so that a beautiful sound is produced. If we take control and remove our eyes from the conductor, we will become lost within rhythm always a step behind or too far ahead. We will miss the crucial rest and become frustrated in the long and low notes and speed through the high notes.

Then there are the days you will seem to feel as though your piece to play is inconsequential. That your few notes or your rests are of no value but even in a great composition the rests build suspense and the loud clang of cymbal or soft trill of a violin that breaks the silence can alter the entire perspective for those listening and watching the beautiful piece unfold.

So dear friends, wherever you may be within the composition study your sheet music and keep your eyes upon the conductor. Allow the Lord to draw the beautiful notes from you so you can see your part in the greater piece being played.

“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:1-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬