Saturday, April 18, 2020

First Things First

Imagine with me for a few moments.. a good day. A day without guilt. A day without feeling inadequate. A day free of comparison. A day you wake up completely free and excited to open the blinds and begin. A day where you are comfortable in your own skin, in your own life and in your calling. How is this possible, you ask? Maybe you are tired of hoping for good days. Exhausted from fighting the same battles each day, starting well and ending with a let down...again. I know the struggles described above. I also know that good days are not only possible, they are a gift Jesus longs to watch us experience. Jesus assures us and points us in the direction to living the days of our lives well. After all, He came to give us life and to give it more abundantly. If you would give anything for a good day, I believe God led you right here. Lets look together at how to begin and live a good day- His way.

First things First- What truly makes a morning good? Research proves, the things we feed our minds and bodies first have the most profound impact on how the course of our day will go. If I begin my morning with junk food for breakfast, I seem to set myself up for unhealthy eating the remainder of the day.  This same truth holds with what I feed my mind, first. If we truly want to combat all the lies of the enemy, we must be intentional about what enters our minds becoming determined to begin our day with Jesus and His truth and Words. Matthew 6:33 puts it this way, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  One of my favorite quotes by Lysa TerKeurst says, "Exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world."

A few first moments spent with Jesus will literally change the day. In other words, we cannot open social media before we open the Word and expect our hearts and minds to be in a good place. There is nothing wrong with scrolling through social media, but doing so after our hearts are filled with Jesus, will change how we respond to what we see. In the morning moments, Jesus whispers exactly what He already knows we will need for the day. Everything from the best parenting tips to direction regarding the decisions He knows await us during the hours ahead. Jesus alone eliminates the trap of guilt and fills us with the confidence needed to conquer fillings of inadequacy, reminding us of who He made us to be with no need to compare. He sets our hearts free, giving us assurance and specific instructions to fulfill our calling to be His light within the walls of our home and wherever else our feet take us through the day.

You see, I write this because I know how very much my days depend on it. I understand the difference a few moments with Jesus first makes in my own days. Through my struggles, I know..A good morning with Jesus determines my thoughts, words and actions between good morning and a peaceful good night..

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly." - Psalm 5:3

Monday, April 13, 2020

Haven of the Heart: Way Maker

Haven of the Heart: Way Maker: "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They f...

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Way Maker

"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb." - Luke 24:1-2

Two women, very early in the morning, heading to the tomb of their Savior. Every time I read this passage, I cannot help but lean into what I imagine their conversation to be as they walked the road leading to the tomb. Surely at least one of them must have been worried about how they would roll the heavy stone away. I wonder, if the more they walked, the more they began to doubt. Just two women, no special equipment, no real workable plan for accomplishing such a difficult task. What were they thinking or planning to do when they arrived? Were they trying to come up with a good solution on their own? Did they almost turn around and go back home instead?

Regardless of what they might have worried about or even imagined, God was working. In fact, the enormous stone was already rolled away - before they even arrived. And their Savior was risen! He already had the impossible situation completely under control. Every doubt and worry the women had leading up to the tomb were already solved - before they even witnessed the miracle for themselves.

This story is one that speaks hope to my heart. I place myself in the path with these women. I too sometimes walk an unknown road, leading to what seems like an impossible situation. I lack what I feel are the necessary tools to accomplish what God is calling me to do. I feel inadequate and scared. What I cannot see is that God already has the stone rolled away before I even get there. He is already working, even while I am wasting time and energy worrying. He speaks and miracles take place. He holds unlimited resources and a purpose to do "immeasurably more than I can think or imagine." (Ephesians 3:20)

And, dear friend, this same promise holds true for you.

I'm not sure what giant stone you feel is blocking you from doing what God has called you to do or what is standing between you and sweet surrender to God's plan. I'm not sure what hurt, rejection, distraction, pain or excuse the enemy is using in an attempt to convince you to give up and go back. This I do know..God is already working. He is the ultimate way maker. Nothing is worth missing the miracle of a "stone rolled away".

 Let God do all the heavy lifting. Do not quit. Do not worry or fear.  There is an Easter Sunday morning miracle coming! 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Eyes on YOU

"Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”                                ~2 Chronicles 20:12

Where do we look when everything around us seems totally unfamiliar? Yesterday, walking into an empty Church building, Lillian looked at me and said, "Mom, nothing feels right. Nothing feels normal." I looked at her and nodded in complete agreement. 

Our world today looks vastly different than it did even a month ago. Suddenly, all the hustle and bustle of "going" has ceased. We find ourselves living in "temporary new normals" in just about every hour of our days. We struggle to find new ways of doing business, Church, small-groups, school, grocery shopping- and the list goes on. Even my email inbox is now mysteriously filled with "at home" tips and ideas. One month ago, I didn't even know what ZOOM was, and now I find myself ZOOMING everywhere; from online youth group to online coffee with friends. Now, don't get me wrong, I am thankful for the provision of these methods of communication, especially while social distancing. I am just not the best at technology. I prefer simple, old school living. I am truly an "old soul" trapped in a generation that honestly confuses me more and more every day. Just yesterday, I got completely frustrated with what should not have been a difficult task -online. Everywhere I looked, I seemed to see or find someone who was telling me how to do something "new". I was just at my wits end - too many changes - too fast. I stopped to give Chace a bath, and in the most ordinary task, God spoke volumes to my heart. Chace started slipping in the soapy water and suddenly was very scared. I noticed, as long as he looked directly at me and I smiled, he remained calm. When he started looking away from me, he was afraid again. 2 Chronicles 20:12 immediately came to my heart. 

I stopped for a moment to just breathe and give myself a little grace. God whispered something so sweet to my heart. "Take your eyes off everything but Me, my child." 

Even though we are "at home", we are still surrounded by so much distraction and even advice. Social media feeds are full of temptation to compare how we are doing life with others around us. If we are not careful, even looking across the fence at what the neighbors are doing can serve as a threat to play the comparison game.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss the lesson God is trying to teach me during this time. A lesson to "be still- and focus on Him". Look Him in the eyes. Gaze long on His Word and His way. In the midst of everything changing - God NEVER changes. I find such comfort and peace in knowing that He is one thing that remains constant in my life. I can always revert back to Him for a little normal and familiar. I am not required to set up a LiveStream or Zoom Meeting with Him. He is accessible at all times. No internet connection needed. 

If I can leave you with something special today. Give yourself grace, spend a few moments just breathing in fresh air.  Focus on memorizing a verse- maybe the one above. You can even insert the word "virus" for "army". When you start to feel overwhelmed - unplug a little while to take a walk or read. Remember, there really are no experts on how we are to spend these days. We are making history. Make your history one that leaves you forever changed for good. Oh and yes...Please remember - You Make God Smile. ♡