We often look at the things in our lives that cause us pain, regret and even chaos as punishment from God. We blame Him for the seasons of our lives that don't feel good or stretch us into frustration and giving up. We question His motives, let go of dreams and walk in defeat because of it. Today as Fall begins I am praying you feel the seasons of your life shifting. No matter what season you are in God isn't shocked by it. He is isn't scared of the outcome and He isn't pacing over what to do. He has you and He is and will hold you as tightly as you let him. I remember when my girls were little they would get hurt and Rebekah would want all the attention in the world from me pretending to be hurt too to rocking her and spanking whatever it was that causes her pain. She needed the comfort of me just being there and on her team. Rachel would run to her room and cry and wouldnt want you to get near it. She would get mad if you tried to put anything on it and if it wasn't a pretty band aid well she wouldn't wear it. They both responded so differently. As I look at how I respond to certain things in my life I often do the very same things to God. From wanting to gain teammates and support in some seasons and yet in other seasons we want no one around me including the truth of who God is or what He is trying to teach me. Today you may be wounded and you need me to say that I am sorry and that everything is going to be fine. However if I am going to be truthful being "ok" may come in a different way. You see IN Christ holding to Him becomes enough and yet when we step away from our faith in pivotal moments we tend to crumble when things don't go in the way we need them too and we blame God rather than clinging to Him. I have known for years that my calling is to speak into girls and women's lives about who they are IN Christ and even more about the freedom that awaits on the other side of those anxious thoughts that we all have and yet I have walked in bondage and refused to speak because of those insecurities and that paralyzed my dreams for a very long time. I believe that as believers it's so important for you and I to keep our focus off of the dream, the circumstance , the season of drought and the pain and on to God Himself. Because it's IN Him that ALL things are made New and Its IN Him that all things work together for the good. Are you walking IN Him today? Let your faith be an anthem to those who have none. Respond in surrender not in fear. God has you and He has your life in His hand and He loves you more than you love that dream or that thing you so desperately need "fixed" it's time you press in & leave the results to your Creator.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
When I was a little girl I loved playing with my sister. I was older and which meant I was wiser (right Tiffany) and so I would dictate our games and the things we would play. One of my favorites was pretending to be teenagers we were 8 and 10 and I would be "Becky" who had her drivers license and she would be "Sherry" my younger but cool best friend. We had cool names and we were super popular, had cool clothes, and cool jobs at Mcdonalds. We would literally pretend like this for hours and as time would pass for our mom to pick us up we would still try to be in character when went home. Looking back those days on that farm with big cows, big trees, a big barn shaped my view of what peace was and I had no idea. Today it's overcast skies and the once green leaves on my trees are now changing Into bright yellow. Fall moves something in me. It calms me and I believe it has and continues to shape my view of peace. This year I chose peace as my one word and little did I know I would spend this entire year seeking for it. Peace is defined by Webster as freedom from disquieting or oppressive emotions or thoughts. I can't escape to the farm and pretend to be someone else (that would be weird) and fall will eventually be winter but I have discovered over these last few weeks that peace is not just a feeling of comfort or just a feeling of relief it's beyond that. It's hanging on the monkey bars as a kid with a grasp that is callousing your hands to the point of burn as you try and bring your strength from a place of determination that's inside you to your arms and then you just let go. Our hearts are filled with passion and "Oh my God what are you doing" moments. We beg God for strength to get from one circumstance to another and then after a while we just let go. To me that letting go has brought me such peace this week. I have wrestled with God for over 2 weeks on something that I had to make a decision on and I didn't understand it and I still don't fully but the freedom of choosing bravery over disobedience has been the peace that ultimately brought me into a place of rest. God and I had some tough conversations at my kitchen table at 3 am and I realized that the more I sought Him the more I fell in love with His word. It became about Him and not me. His word and His presence has been like honey to my ears and heart this week. I can't wait to be with Him and why is that? It's because I emptied out and I just need Him. When we have our prayers answered and our marriages, finances and dreams are all in tact it's easy to forget the God who gave all of that to us. His faithfulness is forever and wrapping our hearts around His faithfulness should move us to surrender. It should move us to look past ourselves and selfishness within and soak up the presence of a God who never forsakes. He provides. He heals. He loves. He forgives. He births dreams and He also protects. He protects you and me from things beyond what we can see down the road and because of that we have to to seek Him alone and nothing else. This past Friday I sat on the front porch of my sweet friends Niki's farm. We drank coffee, ate pumpkin muffins with Nutella on top, prayed over each other and we just talked. My heart was so full when I drove away and as I looked in my rear view mirror a calm came over me and I thought wow that's peace. God you quieted those thoughts that rage within me, you calmed my anxious heart and you cleared my path so I could walk in obedience. I followed through and now I have no idea what my next step is but who cares because my next move has to be IN Him and I trust Him to lead me. It's ok to come to Him with brokenness because He is the God who makes ALL things new. Many of you are on the fence with your marriages, jobs, body image, having sex with your boyfriend, cutting, addictions and so many other defeating thoughts that have covered your restless mind and today God wants you to hear that FREEDOM comes from seeking Him. Nothing else will satisfy or move you into peace but Him. Let go today and dive into His word with a surrendered heart broken or not because He awaits with exactly what you need.
Psalm 143: 8
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.
This morning I am sitting at my table and its so quiet. I have a little worship music on in the background but its low and yet its as if you can hear a pin drop in my house. I can hear the dryer turning, the fridge working and the neighbor beside us working in their yard but stillness is still very much present. I truly believe its the intentional posture of our hearts and minds that not only allows us to move into a place of rest but also positions us to hear something from our Creator. To say I am obsessed with the book The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst is an understatement. I have promoted that book so much that we can't keep them at our merch table at Revolution on Sundays. I love seeing ladies walking out carrying them. I believe this book is going to revolutionize our schedules, marriages, dreams and families. I am learning to be intentional with my YES and it has helped me to also be intentional with MY moments with my family. I am giving more eye contact to my girls when they are unloading their days (even if I could care less about who likes who or how a teacher drives them bonkers). I sat at the dinner table last night barely holding my head up because I was so sick but I wanted to hear about Richards day and as he told me all about it my heart smiled because it was a moment for us. He works a full time job as a psycho therapist and also a full time lead pastor at our church. I now work two nights a week and so our date night is gone and we have to be so intentional with lunch dates, and moments just like last night. Ladies its not how well you schedule its the surrendering of your schedule that leads to obedience and then to the fullness of your relationship with Jesus first and then the fullness of your family and other relationships. My friendships are fuller when I am intentional with my time with them. My dream becomes one step closer when I am intentional with my time. Because God gives us free will He also gives us the choice to fall into the beauty of taking one step at a time in Him or taking a lot of steps stumbling to the demands of everyone and everything around us. I am reminded of Isaiah 6:8 this morning.
"and I heard a voice of the Lord saying, "whom shall I send, and who will go for us ?" Then I said "HERE I AM! SEND ME." and He said "GO, and SAY...
You see when we clutter our minds and schedules we miss opportunities because we miss the whisper through the noise. God doesn't always speak in a loud voice because He needs for us to quiet our hearts and minds, lean in and just listen for a while. The word influence is defined by Webster ; act or power to change or affect someone or something without forcing them. WOW God has called many of you to speak, some to write, some to be a mommy to multiples, for you maybe you are a teenage girl who feels that pull to change your school. Know that the Creator of the universe has already chosen and equipped you to carry it out. The word chosen is defined; an object of choice or divine favor. This simply means God has given you favor and will equip you with exactly what you need to carry out what He has called you to do. The Best Yes for you may mean you need to start saying some pretty tough NO's to things that are only keeping you from hearing Gods voice in this season of your life. 1 Corinthians 12:2 (MSG) says "You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols". Ladies we are influenced daily through social media. We want things to change in our own lives to the point that we seek out help from things we cant really obtain without feeling defeated or depleting our self worth because we can't carry out what others can. This verse resonated with me so much because I know that with my own struggles it started with the small desire for more that grew into an idol of worship. Maybe today you need to sit down and allow the presence of God to rearrange the things in your heart so He can take the lead. He wants YOU, nothing more and from that moments will come that will fill your heart so full. From praying in the stillness of your home, kissing those kids goodnight, hugging your spouse just because, honoring a friend by having them over, sending that package of goodies just because or speaking up at school. All are things that require action and I believe that when you move into a place of surrender it will move you into a place of obedience which will unlock a passion inside you that will move you into action. Its time you let go of the RUSH and simply be you.. ALL of you.