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Would You Dare?

“I triple dog dare ya!”

 

A saying children would make to taunt you, to incite you to take the dare.  Well as a child I didn’t take the dare and as an adult I’m not much of a risk taker still.  No big bold claims, no risky financial investments, no bungie jumping or parasailing. NOPE. I like to keep my feet firmly on the ground with some semblance of control.

 

But what is control? Just an illusion, really. A false sense of security.  The risk taker is willing to surrender control, throwing caution to the wind, thus creating space to catch the current and take flight.  Yesterday I watched a majestic bird in flight.  This bird sailed, dove, rose again and swooped down and up again he went, gracefully catching a current and riding it.  He would have expended much more energy flapping his wings to set about his course.  But the bird knows he can take a risk, catch a current and allow the current to carry him as opposed to fighting against it.

 

Last night I was given a challenge, a dare of sorts. I was asked to write down the ONE thing I needed God to do for me this week.  I was asked to take a risk and take God at His word. I was asked to BELIEVE God for just ONE thing and to write it down.

 

But would I dare. An immediate panic hit my heart. I dare not utter the THING that I really wanted Him to do this week. Let me play it safe. I’ll tuck away the thing I really need to believe Him for in order to choose the safe thing.  I’d rather pick the safe thing because if the true thing that I want to offer up isn’t fulfilled but this other thing is then I won’t be disappointed.  If I pick this other thing then I won’t be let down.  Yeah, let me pick the safe thing.

 

But the Father, in His loving kindness is always close at hand and close in our hearts.  He gently tapped me and asked, “Daughter why do you doubt? More than you know I want to help you. I see the situation and I’m ready to work a miracle.”

 

Even in light of that truth, I backpedaled even further, layer reasoning on top of what the Father already uttered. So off to sleep I went, not writing down that ONE thing. But when I awoke as I do every morning a song played in my heart.  And the song this morning says, “You’re a great God. You are great. Yes you’re a great God. You are great!” As that refrain repeated over and over, my mind began to catch up with what my Spirit already knows. Indeed He is a great God and wants to move mightily in my life and in yours.  But have we tied His hands?

 

Have you, by way of your thinking, restricted God’s mobility? Do you have the Father in a straight jacket?  Have you put the Holy Spirit under house arrest? He wants to lead you, to guide you, to walk you into the fulfillment of His will for your life but are you hampering the process with your hesitation to take a risk?

 

If you’re going to taste and see….it requires you to take a bite.

If you’re going to try Me now in this…it requires you to exercise your faith.

If you’re going to walk in paths of righteousness…it requires you to take a step.

 

I don’t think I’m much of a risk taker. But when I look back over my life I see that I’ve taken many risks. As a child I went all over the city on public transportation by myself. RISK. I left all that was known and familiar to attend college. RISK. I took rides with strangers. RISK. I quit my job to become a homemaker. RISK. I surrendered my womb and as a result have bore 6 children. RISK. I allow Him to lead me daily not knowing where my life is headed. RISK.

 

So I guess I am a risk taker after all.  I challenge you. I double dog dare YOU. Take a risk. Take God at His word.

 

What is ONE thing you need Him to do for you this week? As my sister challenged me, tag, you’re it. I now challenge you. WRITE IT DOWN. Believe. And watch God work a miracle. Would you type that ONE thing in the comments so I can pray with you? I know He’s able to bring it to pass.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Grace & Truth

 

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BELIEVE: My #OneWord 2016

This image has been my phone’s screen saver for months.

 

Luke 1:45

 

I rarely look at it. When I first saw it, it resonated deeply within me because the Lord had been dealing with me on my ability to BELIEVE. So Believe is my One Word for 2016. Instead of making resolutions, for the last few years the Lord has led me to a word that is to be lived out for the year. And as much as I wanted to be done with this, as much as I want this to be a non-issue for me, I won’t run from it. I’ll embrace it knowing God is going to faithfully continue to walk me through this journey of limitless belief.

 

I don’t question MY God’s abilities. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that my God can do what he says he can do. I know my God can perform miracles. I know my God is able.

 

My question is, will He do it for me?

 

Lord will you protect my children?

Lord will you really supply all my needs?

Lord will you give me my heart’s desires?

Lord will my God dreams ever come to fruition?

 

Well, I’m still grappling with this.  While it’s been under construction for nearly six months now, the issue persists. And I’m okay with that. I’ve been learning over the past few months to not try to circumvent processes in life design for my growth and development. And the issue of believing for me is deep. Yet I thank the Lord that He’s willing to unearth whatever is hindering or hampering my ability to fully believe. He is excavating deep-rooted lies and casting on them the Light of Truth.

 

I want the kind of immovable faith and ability to BELIEVE like David when facing Goliath. In 1 Samuel 17, David made a BOLD declaration.

 

David just KNEW that Jehovah Sebaoth, The Lord of Host, would protect him and ensure the victory.

 

All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.

1 Samuel 17:47

 

Oh Lord that I would have David like belief.

 

One day God directly asked me, “Do you believe?” I answered, “I believe Lord but help my unbelief.” That belief that knows you’re able but is unsure if you are willing.

 

So I followed that up with a question for Him. “Lord, are you willing?”

 

And with a look of compassion in His eyes, He answered, “I am willing.”

 

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Luke 5:12-13

 

No longer will I allow lack of belief to suffocate God’s desire to bless me. Click To Tweet

When I doubt, it smothers my faith. It quenches that God can do and wants to do in my life. No longer will I take my own pillow so beautifully embroidered with the word BELIEVE and use it to asphyxiate God’s plans for my life.

 

If you have ever struggled with believing God, trusting God, or wavering faith, please join me in prayer.

 

Lord, the maker of all of heaven and earth, what a great and mighty God you are. You are Sovereign. You are King. It is an honor to love you, to serve you and to partner with you in building your kingdom here on earth. Lord I confess that sometimes my ability to believe is hampered. I repent for hampering your ability to do exceedingly and abundantly in my life through my lack of faith. But I thank you Lord that the prayers of the righteous availeth much. I add my faith to those reading with me now. May our prayers bombard and intercept heaven right now. I pray God that our ability to believe would not be smothered. I thank you for removing any obstacles and false beliefs that would interfere with believing your Truth. You Lord are the way, the truth and the life and when we follow and trust in you there in no need to doubt. Take our mustard seed faith, planted in your nutrient rich soil, watered by your word and make it grow into tall flourishing fruitful trees to bear witness to your glory. I thank you Lord for hearing and answering the petitions of your sons and daughters.

 

Do you have #OneWord for 2016? I’d love to hear about it and to pray for you. For more on the One Word concept, CLICK HERE.

 

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith, Grace and Truth, Dance With Jesus

Your Will, Your Way

“You can go your own way, go your own way”, sings Fleetwood Mac. The song rings in my mind as it was used a few years back in National Car Rental TV ads.

 

Yup. That’s what this world tells you.

 

Go your own way.

Do what makes you feel happy.

The world is your oyster.

WYW (Whatever You Want)

 

As a disciple of Christ I want His will to be done in my life. Yes to YOUR will Lord is a consistent prayer of mine. I’ve recently come to discover hidden in the dark recesses of my heart, in a tucked away-cobwebbed corner was a sign that said, “YOUR WILL, My Way”. Those two avenues travel in completely different directions. To bring myself into alignment, I have repented. Jesus has shed light in that dark corner and His light has permeated my ME-ness.

 

You know ME-ness.

 

What I want. What I don’t want. What I’m willing to do. How much I’m willing tolerate. What won’t cause me too much inconvenience. What works within my schedule.

 

I. I. I.

 

Me. Me. Me.

 

Can you relate? Ever suffer from of case of ME-ness?

 

Enough of self. Self take a knee and bow down to GREATER is HE!

 

With clean hands and a pure heart, I say yes Your Will and Your Way.

 

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

 

Then ME crept up a little again. And a second time, I asked if I could have my way.

 

Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying,

“O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it,

Your will be done.”

Matthew 26:42

 

He gently answered, “Instead of trying to pray it away, pray that MY grace will carry you through”. Click To Tweet

 

So again I had to declare, YOUR WILL, YOUR WAY. My best-laid plan of my way, gives way to the Lord directing my steps

 

 

A man’s heart plans his way,

But the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

 

Plans with my husband, plans for my children, plans for my ministry, plans for this blog, plans for my future…

 

There are many plans in a man’s heart,

Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21

 

I really did think I was being obedient to walking out His will. And while that was mostly true, I really desired for His will to be deliver in the way I wanted. I was committed to His will but I wanted it to come dressed in wrapping paper and a bow of my choosing. But what if the gift comes wrapped in newspaper or brown paper bags. Will we receive it or reject it?

 

Yes to YOUR WILL and Yes to YOUR WAY.  While the light that permeated my ME-ness was piercing, sharp and cut right through me like a laser, I give thanks that He loves me enough to expose my hidden me so that HE is free to BE.

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with others sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith

The Dirty Little Word

We hear the word and we cringe.

 

It evokes feelings of loss of control, being weak, giving up or giving in.

 

Poor thing, it has a bad rep.

 

But truth be told, it’s the road to redemption, the pathway to freedom, the lane to liberty.

 

SUBMISSION

 

Truth be told, it’s the road to redemption, the pathway to freedom, the lane to liberty:… Click To Tweet

 

We dove into this topic with Part I of this series The Way Of The Master. You can read that by CLICKING HERE. So here I’m picking up where I left off with the HOW. I am a person that is open to learning. But I need to know HOW to do what you’re suggesting. So here’s my take on how we can submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ.

 

Humble Crucifixion

 In order to submit, we have to acknowledge that our way isn’t the only way. We have to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers. Our minds tend to think we know a lot and pretty much have it together.

 

The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God;

it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:7-8

 

But true humility knows and recognizes that we have nothing and are nothing apart from God. And as a Believer, my life is not my own anyway because I was bought at a price so I ought to just take up cross and follow Him. When we humble ourselves, He exalts us in due time. When we submit to one another, we demonstrate the love of Christ and He is glorified.

 

True humility knows and recognizes that we have nothing and are nothing apart from God. Click To Tweet

 

Consider The Source

Recognize the authority, HIS authority in your life. When you respect a person and consider them credible, you listen to them and take their advice. My former co-worker, Mrs. Delia, patiently, lovingly spoke into my life. I considered her credible as an authority on parenting as she had successfully raised several children. I knew her to be a credible source of information on marriage as she had navigated the highs and lows of married after having been wed to her beau for nearly 50 years. And I also listened as she shared the gospel of Jesus Christ. Her love for the Lord was evident in her love, patience and compassion for others, including myself. She truly modeled Christ’s love and when I was ready to taste and see, it was she who walked Roman’s Road with me. She indeed was a credible source to whom I listened and acted on her advice.

 

Consider your standing with Jesus and His track record. A ruler divine from the beginning of time. All knowing, all-powerful and everywhere all at the same time. He kept you from disease when you were promiscuous. He kept you from hurting yourself or others when you thought you could take no more. He kept you alive when you were driving in unsafe conditions. He answered your prayers for salvation, healing, provision and protection.

 

I would say He’s more than credible.

 

Have Ears To Hear

Since we’ve already established that we don’t know everything, we don’t have all the answer and there is ONE who is credible that does, let us hear what He has to say. Hearing from God requires us to be still, minimizing internal and external distractions.

 

Be Quick To Obey

I tell my children, “Delayed obedience is disobedience. Slow Obey = No Obey.” Then the Lord gently reminded me that I had to take my own words to heart. As a journalism student I was taught to always gather the 5 W’s & the H. And I try to execute that same strategy with God…It doesn’t work that way friends.

We are not only to be hearers but doers of the Word. And that doesn’t mean DO only after you have all the answers. Besides, you’ll never have all the info upfront so get to moving. When you plan a vacation a year or more in advance, do you have every bit of information upfront? Do you know the exact weather forecast for the second day of your trip? Do you know exactly what you’ll eat on the 4th day? Do you know who will fly your airplane? NO! But you book your flight, your hotel, and your ground transportation and may even buy new clothes not knowing exactly what’s to come. So why do we demand so many answers from our Heavenly Father who knows all, sees all and loves us with an ALL-consuming love? Mmm…

Let’s learn to trust and obey friends. Here’s a little nugget on obedience.

 

 

If you’ve turned over the reins and Christ is guiding your steps, kudos friend. I’m praying for your continued obedience to take Him at His word. For those on the fence, what’s standing in the way of your total submission to Christ? Let me know so I can pray for you.

 

Submission is not actually the dirty little word after all but a means of experiencing Christ in a deep, meaningful, transformative way.

 

Take a knee and submit today.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

Happy to connect with friends spreading the Good News #DanceWithJesus, Grace & Truth

The Way Of The Master

A lone man methodically hanging laundry.

 

Unassuming yet powerful.

 

Those around him know there is something more beneath that quiet demeanor, something special, something deeper. After a personal attack, his true identity becomes known. A legend turns real. He is a master, the master. A young man falls at his feet in total surrender asking to be his pupil. He says to the teacher, “If you desire master, be my teacher.”

 

The scene is one from a movie called Ip Man II about the trials of a martial arts instructor. How striking it was to observe this student readily fall at the feet of this respected teacher in total submission. To come under this master’s authority, the pupil would receive guidance, training and instruction and the pupil had absolute faith that the master would deliver skills needed for survival.

 

It would behoove us to take a lesson from the student in this movie. Oh that we would be quick to fall at the feet of Jesus in total submission. Friends, that we would be QUICK to obey the Lord. As we fall, let us surrender our will and prepare our hearts to receive instruction from him. When the young man fell at the Sensei’s feet, he wanted a piece of the master. He wanted to learn how to be disciplined like him, how to fight like him, how to be like him. And as Christ followers, we to ought to want to look like, walk like and talk like Jesus.

 

A disciple is not above his teacher,

but everyone who is fully trained

will be like his teacher.

Luke 6:40

 

Likewise we must bring ourselves under the subjection of our Master. As I was working on last week’s post on discipline, it got me thinking about people we view as disciplined and martial artists came to mind. You can read that post by CLICKING HERE. In addition to being disciplined we view martial artists as obedient. The master is held in great esteem for his knowledge, skill and ability. The master is often seen as having quiet courage, gentle fierceness and absolute discipline and self-control.

 

Doesn’t our own Master possess all these qualities and then some?

 

Is Jesus not all knowing, all-powerful and everywhere all at the same time?

 

Is HE not the bravest of the brave?

 

Is HE not the sacrificial Lamb and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah?

 

Is HE not one who always does the right thing at the right time?

 

Submit to God and be at peace with him;

in this way prosperity will come to you.

Accept instruction from his mouth

and lay up his words in your heart.

Job 22:21-22

 

We obey our bosses, law enforcement officers, coaches, and doctors. We would do well to have at least that same level of obedience to Christ, submitting to Him wholly, without reservation. How many of you have received a prescription from a doctor, taken it to the pharmacy, paid your hard earned money and taken the pill all without asking the doctor any questions, without seeking alternative treatments, without researching the medicine or even reading the literature that comes with the medicine?

 

Yet our flesh screams in opposition to fully submitting and obeying Christ. Even now you might be mad at me and ready to close this post. Our flesh, the carnal man, the SELF that needs to be tamed is always at enmity with God, but praise Him that greater is He that is within YOU! The spirit at work in you enables you to submit to Christ’s authority in your life. If you are a kingdom citizen you come under the subjection of your ruler, Christ and you are expected to adhere to His commands. And Jesus himself showed you that even He submitted, doing the will of Him who sent Him. When you gave your life to Christ, you surrendered your rights.

 

I have been crucified with Christ;

it is no longer I who live,

but Christ lives in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me

and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

 

Many see submission as:

Bondage

Prison

Suffocating

 

Submission IS:

Freeing

Liberating

Security

Protection

 

And submitting to Him, as scary, daunting and crazy as it may seem, is a sure way to be led in paths of righteousness for His namesake. It is a surefire way to have goodness and mercy following you all the days of your life. Submitting to Him is a mark of a true disciple.

 

Stick with me on this journey because I have a feeling we’ll need to dig deeper in this topic as we fall in total submission, following the way of the Master.

 

I know…this can be a tough one. Let us pray.

 

Lord you be high and lifted up above all the earth. Father I thank you. You are good and your mercy endures forever. You are faithful and communicate your love to us time and time again. Without you God we are nothing so I thank you for your promise to never leave nor forsake us. Only You can create in us a clean heart and a right spirit and that is what we need in order to fully submit to your Lordship. Without your guidance and leadership we are as sheep without a shepherd. But praise be that you are the Good Shepherd. Let us be obedient sheep that know, hear and follow your voice as you lead is in THE WAY everlasting.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith

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Walking On Water

I am honored to share this space today with my sweet friend, Brittney Carlson. A worship leader at my church has a new song out called I Am (Miracle). Part of the chorus says, “I’m a living, breathing, walking, talking, moving miracle.” And this is what I see when looking at Brittney. I have witnessed her live out her faith. When faced with life threatening illness, I have seen her look death in the face and proclaim, “Oh death where is your sting?” Whether in a class to grow, teaching students & adults or serving, Brittney consistently ministers grace to those who come into contact with her.

 

Having grown up in a broken, dysfunctional, blended family, Brittney discovered the hope, peace, love and security that can only be found in Jesus Christ. With a heart for at-risk youth and broken women, Brittney serves nationally and internationally. This past year she resigned after dedicating 11 years to teaching at-risk children here in the states to pursue her dream of returning to Japan to share the gospel.

 

The Lord had recently been speaking to me about water. So when I read Brittney’s recent newsletter about walking on water, I knew I just had to share it with you. It was confirmation of what the Lord is calling many disciples to in this season. In fact, I was attending an aerospace convention just yesterday and a woman I just met there relayed that she too was trusting God and walking on water!

 

The spirit is moving friends!

 

So let’s hear from Brittney.

 

Stepping out onto the Water

 

But Jesus immediately said to them: 

“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied,

“tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said. Matthew 14:27-29

 

The story of Peter stepping out of the boat is always brought up in discussion on stepping out in faith vs. waiting and preparing. For the past four years I have gone back and forth wondering if it is time for me to step out in faith. Each time I decided to be smart and practical. I thought about the security and certainty of the things I had: a home, stable salary, medical insurance, retirement, benefits and more. I overanalyzed all the things that could happen to me without those things. As a result, each summer I resigned my teaching contract and each year since has been like Ground Hogs Day. For the past four years, I have moved houses and changed jobs hoping that would settle my restlessness and silence the tugging on my heart and mind, but it didn’t and it hasn’t.

 

I keep hearing God’s voice: “Come. Step out of the boat. Trust me and come.”

 

So I am.

 

So I will.

 

As of June 24th, I chose unemployment; as of July 1st I chose homelessness; as of Oct. 1st I will chose to be uninsured… I chose all these things to free myself to step out of the boat. After four years of hesitation and storms, I step out in faith, confident in God’s promises. Though like Peter the winds are strong and the voices of nay sayers can be heard… “What are you doing? What about a salary? What about insurance? Where will you live? What if you don’t raise the funds? What will you do? Maybe it is not your timing? Why don’t you wait another year? Get back in the boat! What are you thinking”… I am stepping out of the boat and trusting God to guide, provide, lead, and catch me if I start to fall.

 

I am stepping out onto the water. Keeping my eyes on Jesus. Praying for God’s help as I try to ignore the sounds of the wind and waves around me. Reaching out to Him as He reaches out to me calling me to “Come”.

 

Your Sister and Friend in Christ,

 

Brittney

 

Brittney

 

 

To learn more about Brittney and to partner with her in sharing the gospel with the 2nd most unreached people group on the planet, please connect with her by visiting:

 

www.BJC2Japan.org

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come….

 

A movie featuring one of my favorite actors, Robin Williams. It’s also one of my favorite genres of film, fantasy. Sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, man I just love movies where imagination takes flight and other worlds become reality.

 

If…only I could dream those dreams.

 

If…I could give myself permission to dream an alternate reality and dare God to bring it to pass.

 

If…I could allow my dreams to unfold long enough to reach their fulfillment.

 

My dreams come but I smother them.

 

God gives the vision and I place it under a cloak of darkness.

 

I guess what I love about my favorite genres of film is that I believe those alternate realities can truly exist. I believe that one day we could actually live in a dystopian society. I believe that one day we might be able to connect with life forms that exist in space as illustrated in another one of my favorite movies, Contact.

 

But if I could only dare to believe what God says about me. If I could only allow the dreams God has shown me to completely unfurl and see them through to the credits rolling.

 

Well now is that time.

 

I’m daring to take God at His word. He said:

 

“Then you will know that I am in Israel,

that I am the Lord your God,

and that there is no other;

never again will my people be shamed.

And afterward,I will pour out my Spirit

on all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your old men will dream dreams,

your young men will see visions.”

Joel 2:27-28

 

I will stop getting up in the middle of my life’s movie and will sit through to see what the end will be.

 

I will stop playing it safe and will take the risk of trusting God. He certainly has a good track record with me.

 

I will take my hands off of my eyes and stop peeking through the cracks of my fingers and I will stand and watch to see the salvation of the Lord.

 

I have visions.

 

I have dreams.

 

What Dreams May Come? Not sure, but let them come.

 

Now I release them to unfold.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with #FiveMinuteFriday on this word #dream

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Lean In

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook is the author of a book entitled Lean In. Lean In has become a movement designed to help women pursue and achieve their ambitions. It’s mission is focused on what women CAN do versus what they can’t.

 

With all my strength and might I’ve pursued what I can do.

~Be Super Mommy

~Submitted Wife

~Obedient Disciple

~Attentive, Available Friend

~Serving, Honorable Daughter

 

I’ve come to grips with the reality that without Jesus at the center, I can’t do a thing. In all my getting and doing, I’d be at wits end when operating in my own strength. But praise to el-Roi, the God who sees; who sees our hearts, our efforts, and our attempts then gently leads or redirects saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit’.

 

In the last week and a half, I have had so much on my mind. After a series of rejections coupled with spiritual, mental and emotional healing (you can read more of that by clicking here and here), I was left drained and overwhelmed. I was literally feeling hard pressed on every side. I cried out to God singing:

 

When my heart is overwhelmed

I pray Lord lead me to the rock

Lead me to the rock that’s higher than I

O Lord

Yes when my heart is overwhelmed

I’m asking lead to the rock

Lead me to the rock that’s higher than I

O Lord

 

When the weight of this whole world

Tries to slay me

A strong tower from the enemy

You will be for me

 

So I need to find this place

Yes the special secret place

I’m assured of Your embrace

The place I call my sanctuary

There You are

 

Lead me to the rock

Lead me to the rock

 

You are my firm foundation

My salvation my solid rock

Lead Me To The Rock

Stephen Hurd

 

While feeling boxed in, my simple meditation of “lead me to the rock” was enough. He heard me and responded saying, “Come to me. I am the Strong Tower.” And because I was so weary, once I got to the strong tower, all I could do was Lean In.

 

When you are in a tight space, uncomfortable space, unfamiliar space, seek Him. With your whole heart, cry out to Him.

 

In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. Psalm 18:6

 

He will surely answer.

 

And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. Psalm 50:15

 

He will be very gracious to you at the voice of your cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer you. Isaiah 30:19

 

So as I stood, leaning into My God, My Strong Tower, He spoke to my heart. I was going to rush to get to a meeting on time but He said, go outside and sit a while. I obeyed and sat out in the sun and breathed deeply, and was awash in His peace. I felt the warm sun on my skin, listened to several species of birds chirping and just marveled at the great and mighty power of Elohim. The day after that I was expecting company and was going to do some serious cleaning (mind you the house was already clean) before the guests arrived. Again, He urged me to come outside and sit a while to which I obeyed. And again His peace flooded me as I meditated on what was true, lovely and of good report.

 

I can now relate to these lyrics in a very personal way.

 

“Leaning on the Lord, trusting in His holy word He’s never failed me yet. Oh ooh ooh can’t turn around now. He’s never failed me yet.”

 

In her book, Sandberg says, “I have never met a woman, or man, who stated emphatically, “Yes, I have it all.'” Because no matter what any of us has—and how grateful we are for what we have—no one has it all.”

 

I don’t know what “ALL” she’s referring to but I’ll take ALL the Jesus I can get.

 

I’m leaning in…way in to Jesus today.

 

When you are feeling hard pressed on every side, what do you do?

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith Equipping Godly Women  Dance With Jesus

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I Surrender

“Yes”

 

“My Heart Says Yes”

 

“Yes To Your Will”

 

“I Surrender”

 

“I Surrender All”

 

“I Give Myself Away”

 

“Withholding Nothing”

 

These are the titles to songs I’ve sung time and time again. But as is the case with many songs we sing, we enjoy the melody, but do we allow the TRUTH of the lyrics to resonate in our hearts?

 

Do we ‘live out’ the words we sing?

 

In my heart and mind I’ve truly purposed to surrender ALL to God, withholding nothing. In my heart and in my mind I delightfully obey God. Yet I find myself in situations from time to time where my surrender has been usurped by MY wishes, MY desires, and MY selfishness.

 

I invite you all into my VERY private space for a moment. Please don’t judge your girl, just pray for me as I illustrate how I can vacillate with this issue of surrender. I am currently the mother of 5 children ages 11 and under. When I got married I planned to have one or two children, my husband and my career. After the birth of my second child, the Lord gave me CLEAR revelation that my body is not my own and was bought at a price therefore I ought to glorify Him in my body and that included my womb. So surrender my womb to Him. That means that I do not have control over my fertility, reproduction, etc. He does. When people ask, “Are you planning to have more {children}?” my answer is, “I don’t know. His will be done”.

 

While I’ve surrendered my womb to Him, there are days when I literally tell the Lord, “Dude, 5 is good. You hear me? Five is good”. Those moments when I can’t even pee in peace without the two year old barging into the bathroom, while I hear the 4 year old climbing the shelves of the pantry and the 9 & 11 year olds are arguing all the while a pot is burning on the stove. All I want to do is pee in peace. Lord help me, 5 is good.

 

Yet I look affectionately at the cute pregnant lady walking past me in the grocery store and I feel the emptiness of my womb and wonder, “Will there be another?” My children declare almost daily their longing for a baby sister. They’ve already named her and have a bed ready for her. Each month that I get my cycle is fraught with emotions of relief mixed with a twinge of disappointment. Then if the cycle is a day or two late, I may get anxious with thoughts of how it could really work. How would I manage? Do we have enough money for another baby? I’d need a new car. What about this business I am trying to grow? And on and on.

 

So you see, even after placing my womb on the altar many years ago, I’m prone every now and again to want to try to run back to the altar and pick it up and run as fast and far as I can in the opposite direction. Even if I don’t pick it up, I may stare longingly, devising plans on how to retrieve it, or trying to negotiate with God on partial surrender (which by the way isn’t surrender). As I said, pray for your girl.

 

How then do we ‘train’ ourselves to obey? How do we surrender?

 

We hold fast to the TRUTH.

We meditate on the truth.

And what is the truth?

 

Jesus is the WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE

His WORD is TRUTH

 

When the feelings of “5 is good” come up I tell myself the truth saying:

~If I keep my mind on You, You will keep me in perfect peace

~Every good and perfect gift comes from You

~Children are a blessing and the fruit of the womb is a reward

~I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed begging bread

~You will supply ALL my needs according to your riches in glory

 

Then Jesus gently whispers,

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15

 

He also reminds me that when I do what He says, He will make my way prosperous and I will have good success. In this, He knows I may be weak, fearful and uncertain so He reassures me not to be afraid but to be strong and courageous.

 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9

 

 

So I cry out to Him in prayer:

 

You Lord are the Grand Weaver. You see all the strands and intricately weave them together to fashion my story. You pull the tapestry taut as you skillfully make me a new creation. You shed, pick and beat-up as you let off and take up so that I shine without spot or wrinkle. I am weak God. The current of life pulls me in and out. But you Oh God are my anchor. I surrender what I am, to become who you created me to be. I thank you for never leaving nor forsaking me. I thank you that you will be with me until the end of the age. Lord I’m feeling squeezed on every side but I turn my pressure into praise. I thank you for ministering grace and for moving your truth from my head to my heart. Now Lord grant me your peace as I walk out the path you’ve set before me.

 

To be who He created me to be requires a daily dying to myself. As a disciple, I take up my cross daily and follow Him. And in my everyday life that translates to delightfully obeying Him with a heart of surrender. I surrender. As in the above example, while the thought of a new baby is all at once thrilling and scary, I redirect my attention back to His word.

 

A few years ago, the Lord impressed upon my heart, “True disciplesOBEY”.

 

If you are a disciple, a close follower of Christ, do what He tells you to do. Though it may be difficult, He duly equips you. He doesn’t just say, “Follow Me” then runs off and leaves you. NO. He says “Follow Me” then He leads you in paths of righteousness, His rod and staff comfort you, He teaches you along the way, He orders your steps, He knows your uprising and your going down. When you purpose in your heart, Lord YOUR WILL be done, He sends ministering angels to strengthen you.

 

He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. Luke 22:41-43

 

For me it’s an undisclosed number of children. For you it may be your job, your marriage, your mind, your ministry, your health, your children.

 

In what area(s) is He calling you to surrender?
In what area(s) is He calling you to obey?

 

I want to join you in prayer so write your thing in the comment section below. Once you admit it, then surrender it, you can move forward in delightfully obeying Him.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 
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Mama Moments Mondays Mom 2 Mom Purposeful Faith Front Porch Inspired Equipping Godly Women Dance With Jesus

 

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Lost That Loving Feeling?

Flowers wilting, balloons losing air, candy’s been eaten and stores have Valentine’s items on clearance. Is your marriage reflective of the post-Valentine’s current situation?

What do you do when your marriage has lost that loving feeling, now it’s gone, gone, gone, whoo ooh?

 

Well, first grant yourself some grace and know that you are not alone. The happily ever after romanticized love we see on TV and in movies is just that…a fairy tale. Rest assured, the feeling of being ‘in love’ will wax and wane. I think many people come into marriage believing that the amorous feeling of being ‘in love’ will last always and when those feelings are gone, they think they can walk out of their marriages. I think married people, counselors, friends, pastors, whomever is giving advice needs to paint a more accurate picture of the cycles and rhythms of the marital union.

 

This is not to say that I am not madly in love with my husband. He is my hubs, my boo, my sunshine. The dude still brings a smile to my face when I think of him. He is fun, flirty, humorous, lively, and seeks to make me happy. I often visualize us at 70, walking hand and hand in white linen on the beaches of Bora Bora and Tahiti. In fact, today I love him far deeper than I did when we first got married. But there are days….I tell you, Mmm, when the lovely dovey feelings aren’t there. Maybe he’s gotten on my nerves or made a decision I don’t agree with. What do I do on those days? How do you believe in the union when you aren’t feeling it?

 

Well, I recognize that the loving feeling is a chemical reaction. Over time you get used to it and it dulls. Recent studies show that when people are falling in love the brain releases a cocktail of chemicals including dopamine and serotonin that stimulate the brain’s pleasure center. That same research also indicates that period is just a phase and generally lasts from one to three years. When that phase is over, then what? When Eros, romantic love ebbs, here is where we have an opportunity to demonstrate agape, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. For more on agape love click here and here.

 

It makes me think of these lyrics by Earth, Wind and Fire, “Something happened along the way, what used to be happy is sad.”

 

Eros can come and go but agape is here to stay.

 

When Eros ebbs, don’t anguish over it. Remember that it is indeed just a feeling. But TRUE LOVE runs deeper than feeling. TRUE LOVE is action, not just feeling. TRUE LOVE demands honesty, forgiveness, selflessness, maturity, compassion, trust, understanding, empathy and the yielding of rights.

 

Let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

 

Marriage is something that is living and breathing and needs to be fed and watered daily. What happens to a plant when it is denied sunlight and water? It shrivels and dies. Even if the plant has sufficient sunlight and water, salt, fungus and bacteria can leech in and impact its health. When the issues of life: money, children, extended family, trust, hobbies and other issues distract or detract from the marriage, how do you keep it healthy and vibrant?

 

Brick by brick you erect a love that is built to last.

 

Intimacy

And I’m not just talking about physical intimacy here. Intimate face to face dialogue. Truly caring about what has happened throughout their day. By the time my husband gets home from work I am truly spent but I try to stay up and listen attentively as he shares what’s happened in his day. We also have short phone conversations and text throughout the day.  Physical touch is impact for us too. I find that it increases my amorous feelings for my husband. He is better at initiating this than I am. When I am cooking at the stove, he slow comes up behind me and places one arm around my waist. It is a small gesture but is filled with love and tenderness.

 

Personality

It is so vitally important to understand how your mate is wired. You need to KNOW what makes them tick, why they say the things they do and make the decisions they make. You can have a better grasp on this by knowing their personality type. For more on personalities, please visit Personality Expert, Karen Ward by clicking here.

 

Communication

Keep the lines open. Lend a listening ear. Create an environment safe for sharing by not making judgements, being critical and  doing half as much talking. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. This is one area I have to be diligent in practicing as I am prone to JUMP IN when my husband is speaking. This principle is articulated so well in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Seek first to understand then to be understood.

 

Love Language

I stated earlier that love is action. Dr. Gary Chapman has identified 5 ways in which we feel the love: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. My love language is acts of service. Run an errand for me, help me with the laundry, and I feel the love. Yet my husband likes to give me gifts. One time in fact, he was so happy to have purchased me a really nice gift.  He called and said, “Ooo, I got you something very special.”  I responded, “I hope you didn’t buy me something stupid like a Coach bag.”  Well, that was exactly what he had purchased.  OUCH!  It turned into a big argument.  He was just trying to make me happy and I had snatched all the wind out of his sail.  We’ve had to learn from each other and adapt in this area. It was a growing process but after 15 years of marriage, I think we’ve hit our stride there. For more on the 5 Love Languages, click here.

 

Commitment

You have to be resolved to go the distance. My husband has helped me to embrace this truth. I used to think marriage was filled with only blissful days (ok, I generally walk around with rose colored lenses). My husband would tell me, there are going to be hard times and when they come we will weather them together. And sure enough the hard days came. My first thought was, “Uh un, I don’t have to deal with this.” But my husband reminded me, I told you this was coming. He said, ” We are going to deal with it. You aren’t going anywhere. Now let’s figure it out together.” Praise God for his resolve.

 

Trustworthy

Are you sowing seeds of trust or distrust in your marriage? Are you lending even the slightest appearance of sketchy behavior? If something even gives the appearance of being shady, remove it. Have a baseline that’s agreed upon by both of you for what is healthy and permissible i.e. who should befriend/not friend on social media.

 

Forgiveness

You will both make mistakes. Do not deadbolt the door of your heart. Open it to forgive. Love forgives.

 

Maturity

Some days you may just want to have a temper tantrum. They did this, so I have a right to act like a brat. Waa-waa-waa. Not fair. Ok now! At least one of you has to take the high road of maturity. Feel like you are always the one taking the high road? Well you may be. That’s why you are with that one, because God knew you were capable of taking the high road. Someone has to do it. Why not you?

 

Surrender Your Rights

Love demands that you yield your rights; your right to be right, your right to have what you want, to say what you want, to do what you want. Even if you are indeed correct about a situation, there are times you will need to give up your right to BE RIGHT. True love is not puffed up so remove some leaven, be humble and back off your need to show that you are right.

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

I pray that you make decisions on purpose that will positively contribute to the health and vitality of your marriage.  For my singles, carefully consider these sayings of mine and save them in the event you too join the ranks of us married folk.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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