Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence-
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Another year has come and gone. New Years always seem to force people to reflect on what happened throughout the year as well as look ahead to change in the upcoming year. This year I began with my ONE word being peace. Peace is defined; FREEDOM from oppressive thoughts or emotions. For me I looked at this word as a means to finding some type of balance in my life. I accepted a job at the end of 2013 working with girls who had been rescued from sex trafficking. I had no idea how quickly I would get attached to those girls or how my passion for this injustice would fuel me. I spoke for the ministry I worked for as well as ran a program called Fields of Hope. For a year this job was perfection. I loved it and couldn't wait to get there each week. However I began to feel this uncomfortable stirring in me over the summer. I could feel God leading me to step down and move in a new direction. I remember many phone conversations with close friends asking them for prayer because I did not understand why God would fuel a passion within me and then move me out of it. What I didn't understand was that it was God calling me into a place of peace. My heart was divided and because of that chaos surrounded my heart and thoughts. I needed for God to lead me. I needed Him to direct my steps moment by moment. I was living week to week missing soccer games, date nights, writing and other ministry opportunities because I was consumed with task. Even with the girls I worked with I missed moments with them because I was fixed on the task at hand rather than the beauty of their healing. I remember sitting in the floor at work one evening and as I began to look around the room it was like it was slow motion and tears begin to fill my eyes because in that moment I realized that it was my time to walk away from that season. I believe that God stirs our hearts for change and yet we cling to the comfort or we release our grip and embrace the greater that is hidden in what we can't see. It's our fear of not being able to see Gods hand at work that often causes us to stand still. 2015 is here and after multiple car troubles, financial stress, quitting a job, leading teen girls and having girls of my own (and puberty), speaking more, learning to clean eat, embracing my dreams, writing more, my dog almost dying, our roof leaking, my microwave breaking, my dishwasher breaking, friendships blooming and so much more. I can now look and see where God was in every circumstance & the result was peace of mind, peace of my soul and peace of trusting Him with full and complete abandon. I still go and see the girls and I have contact with those who have left the program as well as beautiful friendships within that ministry and I continue to spread awareness and speak for them but it's different. I had to get out of the way in order for God to blow my mind. It is our surrender that moves the heart of God and our obedience that moves His hand and then suddenly dreams are birthed and passion is created. Peace is a word that has been a hard one because my family stays under attack and I have to be intentional with where my thoughts go. There were times this year I failed and I walked in defeat and yet other times I reminded the enemy that he has no power. Freedom comes from believing God and responding to that belief. Today I encourage you to no longer look at the what if's or the perceived failures of 2014. You are still alive and God still has a plan for your life. He wants your whole heart. Will you praise Him today? Will you cling to the truth that He is sovereign? Will you walk in obedience? We choose the direction based on our response to what He is stirring in us. Freedom or frustration awaits you in 2015 but before tomorrow comes love loud. Dream BIG. Forgive. Listen with intent and believe that greater things are waiting in 2015!
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
How many times have you heard the phrase "when it rains it pours"? I have said that to people tons of times. These last two weeks I feel like it's been raining cats and dogs. I broke my finger, my dryer broke, my dog was really sick, I still can't find my black cardigan, my car needs a few things done, Richard has some physical things going on, I'm sick on the couch and I haven't bought one gift and I haven't crumbled just yet. Now I am not saying that I haven't got teary eyed or even looked up and said God why a few times but inside I am still standing, barely but I am standing. I came across this verse in Psalm 139 last week and it has been the words that have sustained me.
Psalm 139:10 "EVEN THERE Your hand shall lead me,
very happy and cheerful : feeling or showing joy and happiness; causing joy and happiness
I love that it says causing joy. We say Merry Christmas because it's what we are suppose to say this time of year. But to cause someone joy or happiness is an intentional gesture. Look around you and yes the chaos of all the stores is sometimes overwhelming but tucked away in each place are moments that are waiting on someone just like you to bring cheer, joy and change. EVEN THERE represents every moment and every circumstance we find ourselves in whether good or bad. This past Sunday I went to a Christmas party at one of my sweet friends house and I only knew a few people there so I went in with a few butterflies. I walked in uncertain of what to expect or even how to act. As I walked through her beautiful fixer upper farm home I could feel the warmth. She explodes with such hospitality that I don't think anyone could walk out of there feeling like a stranger. I laughed, I even gazed out her window just thanking God for that specific moment and her dear friendship. I believe that for so many people it's not about the gifts however I believe that because the world likes to rush the holidays we find ourselves syncing to the beat of chaos. Our hearts desire to slow down, our families dream of it and the beauty of it all is that we get to choose. This week is winding down and the sleigh bells are being hung on Santa's sleigh and the wrapping paper is being slung across your floor you get to choose to find laughter. You get to choose to find those pockets of peace and joy beautifully wrapped within those moments YOU chose to create. You can change the world simply by choosing to change the environment you are in. Be a world changer!
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
This past Monday I joined a fitness challenge group with a good friend of mine that I have known for several years. I love the accountability and encouragement throughout the day. I have learned so much about my body over the past several years and I am in a brand new season. I love eating clean, I love who I am on most days and more than anything I am embracing what God says about me over what the mirror tells me. The area of struggle for me is exercise. I despise it in every way. I do however like working out with other people especially when the other person also hates it because we can complain and grunt the whole time together. There is something about surrounding yourself with people who are in the same place as you are in but still desire change. Some will either keep you in that place or their desire to move forward will push you out as well. No matter how bad I hate working out I have found that my endurance is strengthened, disciplined is encouraged and I feel good from the inside out. It is my disobedience that shackles. The same goes in my spiritual walk. When I choose not allow my heart to be stretched I can quickly find myself becoming stagnant in all areas of my life. Whether in my marriage, ministry friendships and the way I see my body. I have learned that bondage isn't something that occurs over night it's a slow grip of the enemy lurking in my areas of weaknesses that slowly wrap the chains of doubt, laziness & other immobilizing fears to keep me from moving forward. God never intends for us to stay in the season we are in because he knows we will get stuck or too comfortable. When we serve in an area and it suddenly becomes a chore a heart change needs to happen. When we look at our spouse without a deep desire to love them fully a heart change needs to happen. When we look at our jobs as a paycheck a heart change needs to happen. When we are lazy with our time a heart change needs to happen. You see God never intends for you to NOT need His guidance or strength, we just often choose to leave Him out of the equation. We throw our hands up and blame Him instead of becoming desperate for Him. Today I encourage you to slow down and look within the areas of bondage in your life and know that when you admit it the chains loosen and when you surrender it they will fall. Freedom begins when you no longer choose to submit to the authority of the enemy through disobedience but instead submit to the authority of the one who can set you fully FREE!
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.