Saturday, December 27, 2014

Make peace

IDoing things in a way that make for peace at home, does not always feel like an option.  Many times I put pressure on myself in ways that make me uptight instead of peaceful.  This affects my husband and my kids.  I am becoming more and more sensitive to it.  Sometimes I feel like I have to pressure myself.  I'm not sure if that's true. I truly get the most done when I'm inspired/motivated, not pressured.  Trying to get stuff done by putting pressure on yourself, is like walking on a treadmill.  You are walking but your are going nowhere.  Pressure never results in relief, it only produces more pressure.  Some people think that pressure and guilt help you get things done and change for the better.  But really the only thing they are good for is to show you how much you need the Holy Spirit.  You will find in the bible that the Holy Spirit inspires, He doesn't "pressure".  Making peace comes from being "inspired" by the Holy Spirit, not being pressured  by yourself or others. If you need more inspiration in your life pray for more of the Holy Spirit in your life (Luke 11:13). And remember pressure leads to stress, and stress leads to disease.  The Holy Spirit leads to inspiration and inspiration leads to peace, health and wholeness.  Letting the Holy Spirit lead you might not get things done as fast as you want them done, but it will lead to something much greater then just an item checked off you to-do list

Monday, December 22, 2014

Is your box too small?

We all have our own boxes and parameters in which we live our lives.  This is not a bad thing.  Healthy boundaries are a good thing.  They are from God.  In the bible, the Israelite people had boundaries.  God gave all the tribes except the Levites a section of the land that God gave to them as an inheritance.  That means that there were borders for their tribes.  We all know that children behave better when there are healthy boundaries in place for them.  Children actually feel more secure with healthy boundaries in place.   Just like our children;  we, as children of God, feel safe within the boundaries that God has laid out for us.  However, we begin to grow just as our children grow.  As our children grow, they get more and more freedom and not as many boundaries.  The box that they live in gets bigger and bigger.  When they were little, certain boundaries kept them safe.  But as they grow, those same boundaries can become toxic to them and hinder their growth.  I believe the same is true as children of God.  I believe as we grow in Christ, the boundaries that once kept us safe, can become toxic for us and hinder our growth.  That's kind of where I'm at right now.  The box that I lived in, the boundaries that once gave me a sense of safety, are starting to feel very unsafe for me.   The scripture below really speaks to this for me:


1 Chronicles 4:10
10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.

The thing that I really hear in this scripture right now, is that Jabez is relating God enlarging his territory with him causing pain.  Almost like he is saying, God spread out my boundaries so I don't cause pain to others.  I believe that when we start to grow and our boxes become to small or our boundaries become to tight, if we don't participate with God's expansion, we will cause others pain.  When we restrict our growth, it causes others pain.  Sometimes we restrict ourselves for those that we love and we think we are protecting them by doing that, when really what happens is we begin to cause them pain because we are unhappy and not feeling like we are walking in our purpose.   Our box starts to make us sick and many times that gets taken out on those closest to us.  Many times in protecting those we love from our own "purpose, we end up hurting them.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Your lack

This whole issue of holding on to stuff has been on my mind.  I am
Finding myself in need in a couple areas. It seems the more I hold on to what I have, it seems the more I lose.  Do you know that this applies to more than money. This applies to "time", "energy", etc.  Lately I have been thinking about how Jesus remedies our "lack".  "Well, Jesus I feel like I don't have enough time to do what I need to do.  What do You say to that?".  I hear Jesus saying "Give away more time."  Don't get me wrong, there are times when I know, taking more timeout for yourself, is the answer.  But I feel like Jesus is telling me right now "if you want to get more, you have to give more".  If I don't give more, then even what little I have will escape me.  We are not able to preserve what we have. It is hard to give more when you feel like what you have is not even enough.  The way God works is that you have to invest what you have to multiply it.  

1 Kings 17:8, 10-16 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’” So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah. 

Luke 19:12-26 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’ ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Taking chances

Many of us as women are not giving ourselves permission to "just be ourselves". We
are bombarded with different expectations of what a Godly woman is suppose to be and look like.  We have a lack of regard for individuality. It's healthy to ask yourself at times " who told me I had to be this way". God asked that similar question to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  He said to them "Who told you that you were naked?"  Many times the things that make life stressful are expectations on yourself that have not come from God


Monday, December 15, 2014

A new Calendar!

I was marking some things on my calendar that I have coming up and I went to turn to the next month and I realized I had finished my 2014 calendar.  I really couldn't believe it!!  I feel like I just bought that calendar and I'm already finished.  This year has been an emotional one.  Lost my grandma and my dad this year.  My dad passed just a few months ago.  My Christmas spirit hasn't been at it's normal height this year.   I haven't been as reflective as I normally am to prepare for the year ahead.  I think today, through the prayers of those around me, I feel like turning to find that my calendar is done that it's time to anticipate great things in the New Year.  God has done some great work in my heart this year.  Money is one area.  I just don't spend like I use to.  He has blessed me with this desire to not want to use credit cards.  I found He has given me what I need to stay within a budget.  It is something I rejoice in because it's an area that I have covered in much prayer over the years.  Getting away from spending compulsively.  As I go into 2015, what lies on my heart is the question of "How does God want me to give?".  "Where does God want to expand me?"  I have been reading the book of Joshua and these were some of the earliest battles of God's people.  One of the things you see is God's people conquering and taking over "territory" after "territory".  In 2015 it's about going into new territories of life and taking them over

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Covenant relationships


Our commitment to others.  Many of us wonder how to live under the umbrella of God's favor and blessings.  I love God; and being in a relationship with Him is extravagant for me in and of itself, but I to have wondered how to live under the umbrella of God's favor and blessings.  Don't get me wrong, I have a good life right now.  But something in me says there is more. More peace, more joy, more abundance.  Recently the word I heard in my spirit is "covenant".  I have heard it before.  God functions within covenants that He makes between Himself and His people.  A covenant is like "a promise".  It's like an agreement between 2 or more parties.  Many times we think we can earn God's blessings by doing good.  But that is not how God operates.  I find that in the current climate of our culture, relationships are becoming of very little importance.  People don't nurture and build relationships anymore.  The texting, facebook, and other forms of technology and social media break down the fabric of what it takes to build real, lasting relationships.  With that being said, the obvious consequence is not really understanding what it means to build a relationship with God.  Understanding that all God's blessings come through a relationship with Him that is based on His promises.  As I reflect on the book of Ruth and what Ruth said to Naomi when Naomi was starting her journey back to her home.  The words that Ruth spoke to Naomi where covenant words, they are similar to what God has said in the covenant He made with His people in the Old Testament.  Ruth committed to a relationship with Naomi; to dwell with her and join with her people, and make Naomi's God her God.  This was a lifetime commitment Ruth made and God blessed her abundantly because of her covenant with Naomi.  With divorce rates sky high in our culture, it's obvious that we are no longer a people built on covenant type relationships.  Because of this, there is much turmoil in our world today and in our families.  But as believers, I think it's a great time to examine the relationships around us and our relationship with God.  Personally I am praying that I can live a relationship/covenant based life. Lord help me and all who want to go in this direction, in Jesus name.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Freely love??

God has really been speaking to me about "freedom" in various aspects of life.  He has been showing me how freedom is necessary to experience true love in any relationship, including our relationship with Him.  This translates into our marriage, how we treat our spouse, our kids, and how we experience love ourselves.  I recently came to a point in my life where I just wanted to love freely.  I just became tired of all the shackles that kept me from being free in this area.  But more importantly, being free to love with the gifts that God gave me to love with.  I don't love like other people love and neither do you because we are all individuals created in the image of God, but because we are all different, we all show love differently.  Many times we don't allow ourselves to be free in that expression.  We think we have to love a certain way or something is wrong with it.  Your love is not going to look like my love and that's ok because it's just as powerful and affects the lives of others just as deeply and people are in need of you loving them through your special gifts given to you by God.  Ruth has been on my mind lately.  I have been reading from the book of Ruth in the bible.  This woman allowed herself to love her mother-in-law Naomi freely and boldly.  Not even caring what her mother-in-law thought of it.  Look at this dialogue below between Ruth and her mother-in-law (this was after both Naomi's sons died leaving their wives behind as widows, Naomi's husband had also died):

" Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.”
So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, 13 would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!”
14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15 And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
17 Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”
18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.

I think most would look at this text and say "Oh, Ruth was such a good person and so noble".  But I don't think Ruth was good or noble.  I don't think Ruth was trying to be good or noble.  I think Ruth was "free".  She had grown to love Naomi very much and this was how she desired to express that love, so that's what she did.  This really stuck with me.  It's not the devotion to her mother-in-law that stuck with me, it's what freedom empowered her to do.  To freely love, it's important to accept who you are with strengths and weaknesses and understand that God gave you certain gifts and you can only love through those gifts. The bible says every good and perfect gift is from above.  Gifts are given to us by God and they are channels through God's nature is expressed.  God's nature is love.  The bible says that God is love.  Love is the most important area to be free in.  Ruth being free, is what led to her being a virtuous woman.  Freedom came first.  Remember that

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Is discontentment bad?

I did not previously feel comfortable with the idea of questioning whether discontentment could be from God at times.  There is a scripture that says "godliness with contentment is great gain".  That scripture kept me from exploring whether or not discontentment has a purpose in my life.  As I read further into the context of that scripture, I believe Timothy is speaking more about material things.  But I'm starting to think when it comes to the conditions of our hearts, that some discontentment is from God.  There are certain areas in my life where I would like to experience much more joy.  I believe there is so much more to be had, then what I presently experience.  I believe that God has placed it on my heart that there is more.  It seems God won't allow me to be satisfied with mediocrity in any area of life.  But there is one particular area where my heart refuses to settle for anything less than the joy and blessings that God intended.  That area is motherhood.  There are lies that Satan has spoken in our culture about motherhood that has totally changed the way we perceive and govern ourselves in it.   My dad passed recently and one big thing God showed me through my dad's life is that He answers prayer and never to give up praying for something, no matter how long it takes.  The prayer I have about motherhood is something that was deposited in my heart very early on in my motherhood journey.  I know it's from God and I know He will answer my prayer, for an abundance of joy and freedom.  Jesus came that we may have life and have it in abundance.

Being released to "Freely love" in 2016

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