Archive | January 2016

Pause

pause

In just one pause, one deep breath, one slow down there can be peace.

….And just like that a few days slip past and I am absorbed back into the chaos and perspective and peace are in my rear view mirror.  Lesson number one for me today- relationships doesn’t take the weekend off.  Lesson number two in direct line with lesson number one- I need to stay dialed in to my pursuit of perspective and peace by staying dialed in to my relationship with God.  Lesson number three- my days are filled with me, an imperfect person, moving through an imperfect world, surrounded by other imperfect people doing less then imperfect things so why expect anything less?

I must keep my perspective on the things that matter- on GOD.  On the one perfect in my imperfect life.  Things seem great I must trust Him.  Things are falling apart I must trust Him.  Its a lazy Saturday afternoon I must trust Him.  Its a world wind Monday I must trust Him.  When my bonus is big I must trust Him. When I don’t know how we will make it through I must trust Him.

I have to build in the pause.  I have to build it in as I start my day and every hour of every day because life is going to through me crap, curve balls, distractions and sometimes even good ones.  I have to have those 10 second windows built in to remember HE is perfect.  To see things through Him.  To ask. To wait. To listen.  To hear.  It is not about my circumstances but about my reactions, about my right responses and the ONLY place I will find those is in the Pause- in the Purposeful Perspective that comes with Peace.

So as I am hurrying to do something last night that was good but not necessary, as I missed my exit and back tracked around, as I walked in to just turn around and walk out, as I grumbled the first 1o minutes of my ride back home I heard that small voice. ” Not everything that is good is worth it and did you even take a moment to pause today?”

Ps 73 21-28

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish,
    for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
    and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

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Ok to Choose

goodbetterbest

So if you know me at all you know I love to bake and every single Christmas I bake.  A LOT!  From Frosted sugar cookies to fudge, Santa surprises to chocolate covered pretzels.  Probably about a dozen various special treats and gift them to my family, friends and neighbors (and help my husband need gift exchange because he gained another pant size.)   This past holiday season I did not bake.  Nope. Not one single treat and let me tell you, you would have thought I committed the unpardonable sin.

Let me explain.

The last quarter of 2015 I realized something I have never grasped before (or maybe held so loosely too I let it slip away).  Everything that is good is not profitable.  Everything that I like to do and want to do is not always what is best. I can’t do everything.  Not everything is meant for me to do.

I tried to go full steam ahead, do all the things I think are expected of me and all the things I need to do, all the things other people should be doing and find time for the things I love then I burn myself out.  Add to that being in a desert place spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally and you have a recipe for a meltdown.  I was at capacity and on empty and realized very clearly that if I added one more thing I would be in trouble.

So I choose wisely.

I realized that the things I had no control over were out of control and the things I could control I needed to reevaluate for importance.  The cookies, a few parties, decorating, projects around the house, extra activities I hoped to do- all made the cut.

The cookies was the biggest thing.  I found myself apologizing. I cried. I felt like I was letting everyone down in falling to make this holiday tradition happen.  I mean as silly as it is now because everyone did survive without Christmas cookies (to hear my husband you would think he lost a limb and was starved to death).  The moment at which I came to the realization that to make the cookies meant sacrificing being able to stand up without excruciating pain in my knee, meant giving up sleep my frazzled mind and body desperately needed, meant letting down my kids and my husband and my poor neighbor who starts asking at Thanksgiving when I will start baking, I realized something.  In that moment I realized growth. Growth in that I put what was best for me before what was good and everyone made it out alive.  I put what was needed before what was wanted.

May not sound like a big deal but to me this is huge. I live in the place of making everyone else happy.  Not because they require it but because I do.  I have always been a Martha and I needed a Mary moment. I need to be still (well as still as I could be) and I needed to catch my breath, to eat someone else’s cookies, to be quiet and boring and rest and miss those parties. I needed to not second guess my saying No and rest in my right to choose.

Too often I get lost in the “must’s” and the “think I should’s”.  Simple answer as to why:  because I lost perspective and peace.  I stopped seeking the plan for my day in a quiet and still moment with my maker. I started borrowing from what could happen and what should happen instead of living in what was happening and allowing it to.  I filled my time with stuff- necessary or not.

Now in setting limits, expressing your needs and making clear boundaries, in choosing, sometimes others are offended. Sometimes they see it as your feelings are more important than theirs.  For me that is not what it was about at all. It was for me and continues to be because I have been to the bottom and I know what it feels like to not choose and loose myself, almost completely and finally.

What a freedom there is in living IN today. Taking moment by moment.  I am sure I sound like a broken record but there is peace and taking it as it comes and trusting and resting that my steps are order, when I have HIS perspective on my day.

choices

 

Mary and Martha
38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

*Disclaimer:  No innocent husbands were hurt in the process. My sister saved the day and made sure his waist line didn’t miss out on cookies and that there was a plate for Santa*

 

Empty?

empty

Part of gaining a new perspective and peace for me is in realizing when I am empty.

Not quite sure why I wait til the red line hovers dangerously close to the E but I do.  I hate stopping to fill up.  I will wait and push my luck repeatedly.

Same holds true for me in my daily life.  It is usually with the best of intentions. Checking off all the daily and weekly responsibilities one by one.  I will run full speed, going through the motions the same today as yesterday and then get to the E and realize I have nothing left to give.  Sometimes that E finds me turning mountains in to mole hills.  I wind up at a place where one thing happens and I find 10 more wrong.  I unload , flip out, frazzled, tired and frustrated and sometimes there are innocent victims.  It could be something as small as a cup on the table that has set there all day or I get news that feels like a sucker punch to the gut.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  I am EMPTY.  I have nothing in my tank to even allow me to handle whatever it is that is coming my way.  All the things I know to be true when I am full have slipped to the back of my mind and I am on vapors, on fumes.

This year I started back to taking time each morning, no phone, no TV, no interruptions to recharge. I have gotten back to not just a quick devotional but a time of drawing near and pressing in.  We went back to church to fuel our tank.  I have reevaluated some of the things and relationships that have sucked me dry.  I am seeking out some Me time and activities to nurture and nourish myself, my relationship with my husband and my family.  I am remember that when I draw near to HIM I am filled up.  When I run my day through HIM I find fullness of joy, grace, mercy, hope and peace.  I can take the many things that surround me and deal for in a full tank their is possibility.  There is peace of mind.

I have learned this lesson before and let my tank run dry.  Unless I want today to be like those empty days when I have nothing to offer and can’t see my way out then I need to do something different.  Each day.  Yesterdays fill is not enough for today. I need to fill up- Spiritually.  Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.  Creatively.

Fill me up!

 

Rehearsal Cancelled

Desert-Tracks

Heard a great message at church yesterday that just confirmed the things the Lord has been speaking to my heart for the last few weeks after a desert experience.  Then this morning, beautifully written, I read this… “Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur.”   I do this.  I get anxious and the need to fix and control takes over.  It is okay to look ahead and anticipate and be prepared but what is best and what is needed is for me to firmly trust, rest and be assured that my HOPE is in Him.

Habakkuk’s Prayer

This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk[a]:

I have heard all about you, Lord.
    I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
    help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger,
    remember your mercy.

I see God moving across the deserts from Edom,[b]
    the Holy One coming from Mount Paran.[c]
His brilliant splendor fills the heavens,
    and the earth is filled with his praise.
His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise.
    Rays of light flash from his hands,
    where his awesome power is hidden.
Pestilence marches before him;
    plague follows close behind.
When he stops, the earth shakes.
    When he looks, the nations tremble.
He shatters the everlasting mountains
    and levels the eternal hills.
    He is the Eternal One![d]
I see the people of Cushan in distress,
    and the nation of Midian trembling in terror.

Was it in anger, Lord, that you struck the rivers
    and parted the sea?
Were you displeased with them?
    No, you were sending your chariots of salvation!
You brandished your bow
    and your quiver of arrows.
    You split open the earth with flowing rivers.
10 The mountains watched and trembled.
    Onward swept the raging waters.
The mighty deep cried out,
    lifting its hands in submission.
11 The sun and moon stood still in the sky
    as your brilliant arrows flew
    and your glittering spear flashed.

12 You marched across the land in anger
    and trampled the nations in your fury.
13 You went out to rescue your chosen people,
    to save your anointed ones.
You crushed the heads of the wicked
    and stripped their bones from head to toe.
14 With his own weapons,
    you destroyed the chief of those
who rushed out like a whirlwind,
    thinking Israel would be easy prey.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
    and the mighty waters piled high.

16 I trembled inside when I heard this;
    my lips quivered with fear.
My legs gave way beneath me,[e]
    and I shook in terror.
I will wait quietly for the coming day
    when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
    He makes me as surefooted as a deer,[f]
    able to tread upon the heights.

 

 

P’s

pp

When I was little I hated peas. Seriously my mom and dad would have to give me and my little sister Danielle a $1 a spoon and then I would swallow them whole with a huge gulp of milk. While my sister Brooke would just eat the whole bowl, for FREE.  EWWWW

I’m older now and I actually will eat some types of sweet peas on occasion but still find my self struggling with other types of P’s in my life.  You know:  procrastination, problems, pressure, people, perspective, peace.

I am learning continually the art of perspective and the lessons are coming as fast as I can  focus/refocus.  I can’t always look ahead, plan out, control what is happening.  Too many variables.  In my readings this morning a light bulb moment- when the wave is headed at me it seems so treacherous.  If I focus on the circumstances and spring into control, kill or be kill, knee jerk reaction mood I surely will drown when that wave hits. I will most certainly blow it into something larger than it was ever intended to be.  Yet if I keep my focus in the moment firmly planted in and on GOD and trust Him with the circumstances, trust Him with the storm, then by the time the wave reaches me it is shrunk to proportions of HIS design.

Philippians 4:4-7The Message (MSG)

4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Perspective is a lesson I am learning every day.  As I continue taking moment by moment, living in the here and now and looking ahead, I have to remember continually to assume nothing, to release that which is not mine to own, to seek HIM first in all my Steps and not focus on what seems to be headed my way.  I can control nothing but boy do I think I can.  When I keep my perspective in check and on him then the circumstances of my day, the events, the interaction with people ( and traffic) are manageable.  When I change my perspective then peace follows.  And these are P’s I can devour.

(Jesus Calling devo inspiration)

 

Attitude of Adventure

adventure

noun an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
verb engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.
Very rarely have I woke up in the  morning thinking, “wow, what adventure awaits me today!”  If I am honest any adventure in my day usually had something to do with Dora the Explorer and now since the kids are grown/growing its the grand babies world of Minnie and Elmo.  Adventure is not necessarily how I see my day.
Enter the end of 2015 and start of 2016 when I resolved not to resolve.  I decided to take it moment by moment with a bent towards doing small manageable goals that for once are sustainable and obtainable.  In a world where I love to make lists and check off and get things done I can easily map out my day and miss a lot of what has happened.  I recognize that going through the motions even if a result is achieved is not always best.  Then there are the days since I started this new outlook that I feel like giving up.  Yet I am reminded again today to change my VIEW- my perspective.  To take each day as an adventure carefully planned out my guide.
Jesus Calling devotion today reads like this:

-Jesus Calling Devotion For January 13-
Try to view each day as an adventure, carefully planned out by your Guide. Instead of staring into the day that is ahead of you, attempting to program it according to your will, be attentive to Me and to all I have prepared for you. Thank Me for this day of life, recognizing that it is a precious, unrepeatable gift. Trust that I am with you each moment, whether you sense My Presence or not. A thankful, trusting attitude helps you to see events in your life from My perspective.

A life lived close to Me will never be dull or predictable. Expect each day to contain surprises! Resist your tendency to search for the easiest route through the day. Be willing to follow wherever I lead. No matter how steep or treacherous the path before you, the safest place to be is by My side.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
—Psalm 118:24

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
—1 Peter 2:21

What a great 13 days of 2016. Each day has been full of adventure- highs and lows a like.  And I have been trusting and thankful, living my days closer to Him that sustains me and has never failed me.  My trust is in HIM, my hope is in HIM.  Listen my life has NEVER been dull.  Like everyone, it is always something, but I am promised that this is the day HE made and He will direct my steps when I recognize that today is a day he made, a precious gift that once lived is gone.  When I take every moment and every interaction and see it through His eyes it really does change me and change the results of my day.
Welcome Wednesday- lets get this adventure started…………

Do the 1 thing

be who So I had a total different plan for my blog this morning.  Each morning I spend some time in the word and read a few devotions that have ministered to me over the years.  I just love it when the words for the day are so intertwined and link together.  When the word just leaps off the page and penetrates my soul.  After some time in the word this morning I opened up my Proverbs 31 email to read today’s devotion and wow-

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’” Job 37:5-6 (NIV) – See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/#sthash.8tA9L5y8.dpuf

Today’s devotion is about being who God created you to be.  A common theme maybe but as I have spent the last few months trying to find my place, own my own stuff and find a way to define what I need and where I stand and my direction, today really ministered to my heart.  The devotion goes on to say:

“So God says to the snow, “Fall on the earth.” That’s it. Just do one thing. Just fall. And then He says to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.” Essentially, He’s saying: Just do the thing I’ve actually created you to do. You’re rain … so rain. You’re snow … so snow.

I love the simplicity of that, the tremendous weight it takes off my shoulders. God’s asking me to be the thing He’s already created me to be. And He’s asking you to be the thing He’s already created you to be.

He doesn’t tell the snow to thaw and become rain, or the rain to freeze itself into snow. He says, essentially: Do your thing. Do the thing you love to do, what you’ve been created to do.”

JUST DO THE THING!  If I am snow then snow.  If I am rain then pour down!  I have reread this a dozen times.  With tear stained cheeks I realize that yet again I get so lost in all the expectations and seemingly necessary stuff that I end up dancing to a song I created instead of the play list He set apart for me.  Yes, there are things I must do but, when and why did I stop JUST DOING THE THING?  I let too many other things define me.  I get stuck in a Martha habit when a Mary heart is sometimes needed.  Oh my goodness I am moved today, moved to rediscover and redefine and reignite.  I am excited that though this word wasn’t written just for me today it found me right when I needed to be pushed to the next level.  Right when I needed to define the next moment by moment thing for today!  Right when I needed to JUST DO THE THING!

With great anticipation I step boldly……….