Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What kind of runner are you?????

I use to run track in high school.  I was not a good sprinter.  I was more of a long distance runner.  For the last 8 yrs, as a stay-at-home mom, I have felt that my life  functioned like a marathon and I was cool with that.  I was comfortable with it. But in the last month there has been a shift.  My weekdays feel more like a sprint.  And I'm not a sprinter, or so I thought.  Business has picked up in the lives of my husband and I.  And I still have my 2 yr old at home with me for the most part.  So I'm finding my days being so filled up; and parts of my day come so quickly, that it feels like a sprint.  What do you do when days turn into a sprints, and you thought you were just a  distance runner.  

First of all, when the shift has come from God and not by your own hand, you have to trust Him.  First trust Him.  Second, you have to realize that through the power of Jesus, you can do more than you could ever imagine.  Third, don't try to control what's happening.  Don't let it control you. But cooperate with what God wants to do through it.  I remember my coach wanted to try me in sprints and I would say "No, I'm not a sprinter".  Well, I can't tell that to God because I know that He knows what He put inside of me better than me.  God is able to call out of you, what He has placed in you; and it will come forth.

Isaiah 29:16 Common English Bible (CEB)
16 You have everything backward!
    Should the potter be thought of as clay?
    Should what is made say of its maker,
        “He didn’t make me”?
    Should what is shaped say of the one who shaped it,
        “He doesn’t understand”?

Isaiah 55:11
 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

When you have been functioning a certain way in your life for a very long time and God calls you to start to function differently, there is a paradigm shift, you have to be willing to shift priorities.  For me, with sprinting, I didn't like that I had to exert so much energy in such a quick spurt.  I preferred being more in control of when I exerted myself.  With a sprint, you had to be ready right out of the gate. That's how I feel now, when I wake up in the morning.  I am sprinting until I get my daughter from school and then I'm spent  But I still have more ahead of me to do.  There is dinner, homework, etc.  But that's what a sprint is, you put forth all your exertion out of the gate and very quickly the race is over and you can be pretty spent after that, even though it is a short race.  I believe God wants us to be able to be sprinters and marathon runners in our lives.  You may be better at one than the other, but that's ok.  I have started to make adjustments in my life according to "the type" of race God has me in right now.  I only do what I absolutely have to do, come 3pm in the afternoon.   Don't be afraid of a change in the pace of your life.  Don't be scared of the exhaustion or the exertion.  Handle it like surfing, you don't try to control the wave, but you don't let the wave control you either.  You ride it, let it take you to where you are suppose to be.  It will bring you closer to Jesus

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Band Aid just Ain't Good Enough Anymore

I was standing in my 7yr old daughter's room today, thinking about how quickly her room gets messy after her or I clean it up.  I was standing there thinking "I'm gonna come in here tonite and tidy it up. What came to my mind is that "that was just going to be a bandaid".  I ask myself the question "Are band aids ever good?".
I believe band aids can be good at times, as it can keep a situation or a scar from growing worst and from getting infected. Band aids can protect, they can also keep things manageable. There is not necessarily anything wrong with a temporary fix to a problem, except when it comes to a time where "that problem" needs a more permanent fix.

I realized, standing in my daughter's room, that the band aid of just doing some surface tidying was not going to swing it this time. I was going to have to go more in depth, throwing out stuff, cleaning out drawers, wiping surfaces, etc.  honestly, there does come a time where the band aid is just not managing the problem well anymore.

Other things in life can be this way as well.  Spiritual things can be this way as well.  Our dreams and the things God has placed on our hearts can be this way.  There are things that eat away at us, whether it be a dream we really want to pursue, and we feel like we can't, or something in our lives causing us to condemn ourselves.  We sometimes use band aids to temporarily soothe.  I don't think that's a bad thing, as long as you are not choosing something toxic to help you to manage.  I believe that there are times when God wants us to focus on certain things, and other times where He doesn't.  But even though we are not focused on a certain issue in our lives, it doesn't mean that it doesn't pop up and bother us at times, right!?  We might divert our attention from it to soothe the pain, or find a healthy distraction.  Honestly, that's not a bad thing.  But, it only becomes a bad thing when God is ready to to transform that area of your life and you are too fearful to cooperate.  When God is ready for you to take some action on that dream of yours and you are afraid that it's not the right time.  Or if God is ready to heal that wound you have, and you are scared to let Him touch it because you don't want to revisit the pain that is associated with it.

There are certain times that come about in our lives, where a "band aid" just ain't good enough anymore.  You can't "cover-up" that thing anymore you have to let it breathe.  This can be with a wound or a dream. A wound so it can heal and a dream so it can grow.  One thing I have learned about God is that He does not focus on every area of our lives at one time.  It's so important to be in tune to where the Holy Spirit is working in your life so you don't waste time being focused on the wrong things.  Remember the bible says that "where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty".  That means if you are focused on areas of your life where you are not suppose to be focused, it can cause you to live in bondage.  But if you are cooperating with the Holy Spirit and where He is focusing, you will walk in liberty and freedom.  From my experience, as you take time to get to know God, through reading the bible and how He works in your life, you will also come to recognize the Holy Spirit's movement in your life and you will have a sense of 'liberty vs bondage' in your life.  You will find that you never have to be stuck in bondage.  Once you learn to recognize these things in your life you will find yourself more empowered to choose the right path on a daily basis.

Deuteronomy 30
19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 

Psalm 65
11 You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.

Psalm 34
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

Proverbs 3:17
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace.   

There is always a path to choose on a daily basis.  We all have to remember that.  I know I forget at times and instead of choosing my path, my path chooses me; and it's never the path of peace that chooses me.  By default I will naturally fall into a path that is not pleasantness and peace, if I don't make a choice everyday.  Remember if you don't choose the right thing.  The wrong thing will choose you. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Satan and focusing on Jesus

I can assure you of something that is definitely going to happen when God starts moving in an area of your life and answering prayer; the devil will try to distract you.  When God starts moving in areas of our lives, our focus gets drawn to God.  That's what God wants, He wants us to focus on Jesus.  But many times as we start to make progress in an area, that we have been praying about, the devil comes and starts pointing out things in other areas.  The devil will use your children, he will try to draw attention to your children in ways where you start to question things that you shouldn't be questioning  He will use your house or he will try to get you to focus on what others might think of you. The enemy loves to come against any seed that God has deposited inside you, with an opposing seed. The enemy will come to you in a very suggestive way.  In a way that leaves you doubting.  When God speaks to you or shows you something, it will leave you with a sense of certainty and of peace.  When the enemy comes in to distract you, it will leave you with doubt, instability, fear, and focused on  yourself.  When God shows you something, it will lead to you being focused on God.  When the enemy shows you something, it will get your focus onto yourself.  Normally it's a focus on your perceived weaknesses or where you are coming up short.  The enemy will also try to come against your endurance by asking "how long can you keep this up".  That's a big one!!  The devil wants to derail you before you get where you're going.  Normally if you start something new in your life from God, the enemy will come in very strategically in his timing.  He will wait until you have labored enough where you could be tempted to quit, but still yet in the infant stages of what God is doing.  He will come to you when your dream is still fragile but you have labored enough where you would be tempted to question how long you can keep the labor up.  The enemy will come in right before you hit your stride, right before you are in your "sweet spot".  It is right in that rough patch where the enemy gets many people and steals, kills, and destroys dreams.  Don't let him do it to you.  When you hit that rough patch; remember it's just a "patch".  It will not be long-lived.  When the attacks you in this way, that rough patch can feel like forever, but it's not, it's very through it.  When Peter walked on water to come to Jesus, and he looked around and saw the wind and the waves, that moment felt so much longer to Peter than just a moment and he took his focus off Jesus and focused on the wind and the waves and that's when he sank.  Jesus said, "Why did you doubt".  There are times where we have to have tunnel vision that is only focused on Jesus, so we can get through the rough patches, right to our "sweet spot".  Trust me, God know where your "sweet spot" is in every area of your life.  After all, He is the one that gave you your "sweet spot" in the first place.  Be blessed!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Balence and prospering with the Lord

As I considered everything in my life, discovering a new balance;  I realized that if the Lord is sustaining something allow Him to do sustain it,  if there is something that is not being sustained, don't worry about it.
I looked up the definition for "sustain" and I got the following definition: support, hold, or bear up from below;bear the weight of, as a structure
 I also think it means a constant supply or movement of God in  area.  After I realized that, the scripture below came to mind:

Psalm 127 - Laboring and Prospering with the Lord
127 Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.

Many times there are alot of things that I'm tempted to focus on in my life.  So much I want to do with my family, ministry, business, etc.  But God has helped me realize over and over again that I need to focus on where He is focused and not try to focus on it all.  The Holy Spirit leads us where God wants us to focus.  I normally get very tired when I'm trying to focus on everything instead of just where God wants me to focus.  Try to cooperate as much as possible in the areas where God is prospering you and showing you favor.  As you do this, remember Psalm 127  says that God gives His beloved rest.   God's purpose in your life is not suppose to wear you out or stress you out.  That's where operating in grace comes in.  As you labor and prosper with the Lord, it's not like the world.  You do it under the umbrella of grace.  I have learned what operating under grace means in some areas of my life, but there are others where I'm just learning.  Business is one of those areas, where I'm learning.  I think that as we work, our mindset has to be such that we are not doing it to sustain it.  We have to work with the knowing that God is sustaining it.  I think keeping this in mind will help us to move forward in the graceful style of peace and rest.  I think when we are trying to sustain something, we don't get to step back and watch God.  I think it's through watching God sustain something despite our weakness, that we are able to exercise more of an ease in our lives.  I also think it will even help us to be more effective when we work because there will be more of a confidence in God's favor.  I believe this attitude will take the drudgery out of the work.  This is something that I have been exercising in so many areas of my life already, however the more God expands you the more you have to grow in this area, you have to allow yourself to be styled more and more in a wardrobe of grace if you are to continue to prosper and move forward.   

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Let the dialogue begin

There is power in talking about your dreams and visions with others who support and love you.  Speaking out those things that whisper within you, can totally change the course of your life.  The whispers of your heart hold power far beyond their volume.  Sometimes we go about life thinking that the loud things have power.  But it's not the "loud" things that have power in your life, it's the quiet whispers on the inside of you.  It's the quiet, consistent way in which God speaks to you.  Look below.

1 Kings 19 :God’s Revelation to Elijah

11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

That still small voice.....................Begin to start a dialogue with the "still, small voice" in your heart.  That voice never changes, you have been hearing it for years.  It's been whispering your purpose, your dreams, your vision.  In  doing this you will start a dialogue with the God' of the Universe.  Isn't it interesting that the "God of the Universe"  resides as a "still small voice" inside of you.  How beautiful is that!!!!!  I think this is God's way of helping us to understand that the power is not in the big things, the strong things, or the loud things.  

I have been having a dialogue with  my dreams and vision for my own life for many years.  Now, I see them actually taking on physical form.  Remember that the bible says "Faith comes by hearing" and "hearing comes by the Word of God".  Start a lifelong dialogue with that still, small voice that speaks to you about your purpose and your dreams; and the dialogue with you and God will begin and you will see your life start to take shape in an amazing way.  God Bless You!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Paint life "Anew"!!

There is  this life coach and her motto is "I Paint Life".  That motto has been on my heart this morning.  As I considered what we were going to do today as a family, what ran through my  mind was all the motions I was going to have to go through to get myself ready to go, kids ready to go, and get the chores I need to get done around the house.  I was going through this list in my head and then I saw myself rushing to get these things done quickly to be out the door and doing something in a timely fashion.  For some reason the vision I had of myself hopping up out of the chair and getting to it, didn't sit well with me.  During the week I am on a schedule with school, with work, with dinner, with getting kids to bed, with getting kids out in the morning.......and that's great but this morning it dawned on me that you have to have time during the week where you have to stop, sit, and think about exactly what kind of picture you are painting of your life.  You have to stop and think about what ways that picture may need to change based on different stages of your life.  You can't just go on autopilot; and that's what I was just about to do.  It's Saturday and it's the day I have the most freedom with my day and my schedule.  What do I want to do with that freedom?  What do I want my Saturdays to look like?  Do I want to do things in such a way where the day lingers a little later and a little longer?  I believe life is suppose to be a beautiful portrait of your Lord, your love, your passion, your personality, your strengths, your weaknesses, your goals, your dreams, your gifts.

If you don't take time to stop, and consider; especially as life changes, you miss out on so many of God's blessings.  You have to learn to take on a new space or a new pace.  Allow the people and
things around you to take on a new form.  Certain things can stop fitting you the way they use to. Certain things that were becoming on you, are not anymore.  There have been certain items of clothing that I kept for years because they fit me just right and I always got lots of compliments when I wore them.  But there did come a time where those items were not the right fit for me anymore and they no longer complimented who I was.  Well, just like most people, I still held on to them for a couple more years hoping they would one day be the perfect fit again, but that day never came.  The same is true with life.  Many times we have outgrown a certain wardrobe for our lives, but we hold on to it because we keep hoping the fit will one day be perfect again.  But that day never comes.  We have to let go of old ways and allow God to birth new ways of doing things in our lives.  It is spring!!  And all of nature screams that it's time to birth new things.  Even in nature God paints a new picture for the spring.  Our natural landscape changes with growth and new life.  Well, He is doing the same things with us as individuals.  Open your heart and let the great Artist paint a new landscape in your life. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Learn to "savor"

I have a word for today and the word is "savor".  This is the word I need today.  This is for me as much as it is for anybody else.  One of the things I struggle with at times is that I forget to savor what God has brought into my life.  Many times there are things that I prayed, and prayed, and prayed for and then when God delivers; I let those same things I prayed for, start to stress me out.  This is not a good thing.  The bible says that "the blessings of the Lord, make one rich and He adds no sorrow with it".  This is what I see in my life at times and in the life of others.  Lets say you pray and pray for a great house for your family.  Then God finally blesses you with a great house and you let it become a stress point in your life because you are so worried about keeping it clean and orderly.  Instead of being able to savor it, you are too busy trying to sustain it.  Then you pray to have children, but when you do give birth to that child that you have prayed for, you want to do everything right as a mom, so what happens is that your child becomes a source of stress for you. Instead of savoring your new baby, you are trying to do everything right.  Then you pray for a business that you want to start and God delivers, but instead of savoring it, you stress over it because you don't know how you are going to do that and everything else on your plate.  Lets say you are praying for more customers for your business, then when you get customers instead of savoring it, you are complaining about them.

I've seen this cycle play out in so many areas of my life and I think I'm ready to wash my hands of this.  To be honest, this is the culture of the world we live in.  This cycle robs us of our joy and peace.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, shared, and celebrated.  Honestly, I think many times when God blesses us, we feel like it's up to us to sustain the blessing.  So we put pressure on ourselves to do so and that's why we complain, because we are putting pressure on ourselves to sustain what only God can sustain.  God doesn't want us to attempt to sustain the blessings He has given us, He wants us to enjoy them and share them.  Don't get me wrong I know that life gets challenging, I know there is alot that we go through.  I know that everything we go through is not "good".  But when we don't stress ourselves out, God can take something bad and work it out for your good.  With this in mind I want to emphasize the importance, to myself and everybody else, of practicing the art of "savoring" your blessings.  It is not something that is going to happen naturally.  It requires us to stop, consider, and reflect.  You have to take a pause at times in order to place your life in the right perspective.  Keep your life aligned with how God wants you to think, so you can enjoy life the way God designed you to enjoy it.   

Saturday, April 4, 2015

God sees

A long time ago, God told Noah to build a boat ( a ark).  He told Noah it was going to rain.  Now it had never rained in the earth prior to that, so no person including Noah had ever seen rain.  This boat that God told Noah to build was to be huge.  So Noah's ark was not built in a matter of days.  Scriptures show that it probably took over 50 years to build the ark.  So for over 50 years, Noah and his family were building this huge boat for it to rain, having never seen 1 drop of rain.  But you know Who had seen the rain, God had seen the rain.  God sees!!  Sometimes we feel like we need to see a sign before we act on something.  But, if you know God is leading you, then know that He sees, what you don't see.  He prepares you for blessings and for the storms that will turn into blessings.

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