Impatient Frustrations

IMG_5077I was in line at a local fast food restaurant. The lines were long but usually this place was fairly quick. My blood sugar had dropped and I needed food to bring it up. And I was hungry. There was a car in front of me taking their sweet precious time it seemed. When they finally moved forward, I took my place in front of the speaker. As I waited, I watched as 3 cars went through lane 1 and I still hadn’t heard a voice come through asking me what I wanted. I was beginning to get impatient so I went ahead and pulled forward, thinking there might be something wrong with that drive-thru lane. I sat and I sat, creeping forward one car at a time.

After about 15 minutes, I was mad. I could feel it rising up in me and now it was full blown. I pulled out of the line and went inside only to find more long lines. Now, not only did I miss my chance outside because of impatience, I would have to wait even longer. The wait inside was about 10 minutes but it felt more like 30. I tried to calm my nerves as I ordered. This guy taking my order didn’t know what was going on and had no control over it anyway. After he had taken my order, I calmly asked for a manager. As I waited for my food, I explained to the manager what had happened. I wasn’t rude or demanding. I just informed him about what had happened in case there really was something wrong. And then I turned to leave before I had a breakdown.

My impatience had caused me even more waiting and as I left the restaurant and tried to calm myself down, I realized that in my frustration, I had only made things worse for myself.

As I sit here now, I think about that incident and how much it is like my impatience with God sometimes. God is doing a work in me. I am seeking Him more and more and wanting to serve Him. I have been through so much in my life and I want to share my story with others so that God can be seen, His grace evident, and He can work through bad situations.

But in some situations, He calls me to wait. He calls me to stop thinking with my head and lean into Him. He wants to refine a few things in me or line a few things out somewhere else before I move in certain areas. He wants me to be PATIENT. In His time and in His way, He will show me how and when to move, what steps to take, what part of my story to tell, and where to go.

And I will wait to see what He is going to do!

When Life Screeches to a Halt

Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.

I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

Sometimes, by no decision of our own, things just slow down for us. Sometimes, life skids to a screeching halt and leaves us wondering what to do. It may be something serious, like a death in the family, or a bad medical diagnosis and everyone all around us is continuing but we feel frozen in time, like the world is spinning out of control. Or it could be that life just physically halts, as in the case of winter weather that keeps us from leaving our house.

As I sit on my couch drinking a cup of hot coffee, my view is of a snow filled ground that has been the cause of me staying at home from work today. I can’t leave my house because my dirt backroad is ice and snow covered. My children are with their dad this week and my husband is out of town on business. So here I sit, alone. Life seems to be standing still.

Of course, when there is time on my hands that I wasn’t expecting, I start thinking. Occasionally, my thoughts take me to negative places I shouldn’t go and I have to get out my bag of coping mechanisms to combat those thoughts. Spending time with Jesus is at the top of that list along with getting up and doing something that takes my mind off of the negativity. Writing often accompanies these moments as well.

Today I turn my attention to Jesus, and my loneliness suddenly disappears. My mind is turned toward Him and He gently urges me to consider others and move outside of myself.

I am reminded to “Be still and know that He is God.” When life halts, we have a unique opportunity to think on the things of God and praise Him for His hand in our life, whether we can see it at the moment or not. Life for me in this moment has come to a screeching halt because of weather but for so many others, life has been turned upside down by situations out of their control.

It’s harder to “Be still and know that He is God”  in moments filled with fear and pain. So as we go through our day, let’s remember those of us whose world have been turned upside down recently and pray for them. Their life as they knew it has halted. They may be struggling to regain composure and deal with a major turn of events. They may be struggling with their faith in God in the midst of an uncontrollable situation.

When life is busy, we must make the time to ‘Be still and know that He is God.”

And when our world comes to a screeching halt because of something so insignificant as the weather and we are tempted to complain about it, let’s make sure we make the time to focus our attention on God, listen to His word in our lives and pray for others.

So today, whether you are stuck at home or not, let’s:

  • Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)
  • Be still and know that God is my only source of true joy (Psalm 43:4)
  • Be still and know that God is the true healer (Psalm 103:3)
  • Be still and know that God will heal (Psalm 30:2)
  • Be still and know that God will provide (Philippians 4:19)
  • Be still and thank God for what He is doing (Isaiah 43:19)
  • Be still and thank God for the opportunity to slow down and enjoy His presence (Psalm 16:11)
  • Be still and trust that ALL things are in His hands (Romans 8:28)

Will you join me?

The Mighty Move of God

Now therefore stand still and see this great thing

that the LORD will do before your eyes. I Samuel 12:16

My mind is a jumbled up ball of the goodness and greatness of God. I can hardly contain myself. I have to hold myself back so I don’t sound like some crazy religious lunatic and just run people off. I have given my life back to God and He is MOVING in it. Not only that, the church that He has positioned me in seems to be in the very same place I am. God is MOVING in our church. I can feel it rising up all around me. I am having a hard time writing this out because my heart knows what it happening but my mind is struggling to put words to it. 

About a month ago, after my declaration of my one word for this year (Fearless), I met with an old friend not having any idea that it would be more than a casual lunch date. She shared with me something she was dealing with and wanted us to pray about – FEAR. Fear is paralyzing and we both personally know that well. We ran out of time before I could share with her what God had been doing with me so we vowed to meet again.

Later that week, at the urging of the spirit, I went to the bookstore to look at any Christian books on fear that I could find. There were several I had found online that looked promising but when I went to the bookstore, I felt strongly that Joyce Meyer’s “The Battle Belongs to the Lord” was the book I should read. And I was working it out with my friend to read along with me. We decided to meet for lunch to discuss the first 3 chapters.

The Sunday before we met, our Pastor shared with us that his wife has been diagnosed with cancer. Our church was in shock but immediately responded as he has been teaching us – with WORSHIP and prayer.  You know what? Joyce Meyer’s first three chapters talk about exactly what to do in these situations and it includes exactly what our Pastor has been preaching about. What makes this life changing is that there is scripture to back it up and that it isn’t just the word of people. It is the Word of God.

Do you see how God orchestrated all of this? How all of this is a puzzle that I had no idea was being put into place until now. I have a strong feeling that He’s not finished putting pieces together yet either. And this is just the last month of my life! I could write a book about the pieces He put together when I didn’t see how it would fit over the course of my life!

I am on my knees and in awe of the One who moves in mysterious ways. He has a way of working things out for His people in ways we never expected.

There are battle blows dealt toward us on all sides but we battle back. On our knees in battle position. From there, we trust that God is moving and will continue to move. We  passionately, precisely, and persistently pursue Him. Because we know that all things are in His hands and in His perfect plan.

And I will fight alongside my sister doing this study with me as well as my church family. Because I have never been so determined to SEE HIM MOVE even more.

Watch with me and see what He is going to do. Come alongside me and see for yourself what the excitement is all about. It’s been so long… well maybe never… since I have felt His presence like I do now. And I want as many of you to experience it with me as possible.

One Word for 2015: FEARLESS

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I waited patiently for my husband to answer my question. It’s a question I ask often. In fact, almost every time I have a decision to make. “What should I do?” This morning after he had answered for the third time “whatever you want to do”, I told him I needed to know what he thought. I wanted to know what he would do if it were him. He proceeded to very calmly but firmly inform me that I just needed to make the decision. That there really was no wrong answer and I should be confident and just decide one way or the other depending on what was best for my children and me. And then “own it.”

Then I was reminded of my word. My ONE WORD for this year is Fearless. When I was praying about what God wanted me to focus on in 2015, He spoke clearly to me. I didn’t have to wait long at all. I was in my bedroom and Lance walked in on me tearing up. He asked me what was wrong and I told him absolutely nothing, that God had just revealed to me to focus on being Fearless this year. I immediately understood why and it moved me deeply.

It’s something with which I’ve always struggled. My fear of failure, making the wrong decision, and what other people are going to think. My heart has been judged often and I have let that fact determine the outcome of my decisions too many times. Often, my decision is based on what the majority of other people in my life think I should do. Or even the small amount of people that will cause me the most grief if I happen to make the wrong decision.

Fear can affect my life in many areas but this is the area in which I have had the most trouble letting go. I have spent many years living my life based on what other people tell me I should do instead of seeking God and His Word. I fear making the wrong decision but I more often fear others not agreeing with my decision. I fear my heart and intentions being judged incorrectly.

I also fear failure. I try so hard to be a good Christian, mother, wife, employee, daughter, and friend. But I never achieve the level that I want to be. I always fall short. And I beat myself up over it. But God ‘s presence in my life covers all failures, all sins! I cannot quit and I have to keep trying to be the person He created me to be and fulfill the roles He’s provided me to the very best of my ability. The fear of failure can keep me from trying sometimes but I must keep pushing forward.

God says in Isaiah to FEAR NOT for He is with me. He will strengthen me, help me, and uphold me with His righteous right hand. He is the One I should go to for every decision I make in life. I want to seek Him first, intently, and open heartedly.

This year, 2015, I will make a conscious effort to let God take away my fear. I will daily give my anxiety to Him and I will do my best to completely put my faith and trust in Him. He knows what He’s doing with my life and the lives of those I love. I must trust that it’s in His hands and not fear what may come.

Last year, my ONE WORD was discovery. I spent much of the year learning who God truly created me to be and I came a long way in that journey. I still have some work to do but He has shown me so much this past year.

This year, along with continuing to discover more about myself, I will do my best to not live my life out of fear nor make decisions based on fear. That is my prayer and my word for 2015. What is God calling you to work on? Do you feel Him leading you to a specific word to focus on this year? I’d love to hear it!

God Still Speaks

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. Psalm 77:14

I need a miracle in my life. A full out, no doubt about it, God given, miracle. I’ve been praying about it for a while  now and just keep holding on to hope that it’s going to happen. Above all, I want God’s will to be accomplished and sometimes it’s hard to swallow when His will is not OUR will. But this… THIS… has to be something God would want as well.

At times I lose faith. The pain that I incur from the situation that needs God’s hand is almost unbearable at times and I just wonder if it will always be. But this morning in church service, He spoke to me. It was as clear to me as anything I’ve ever heard.

The words of the song we were singing was  “The ground began to shake, The stone was rolled away, His perfect love could not be overcome, Now death where is your sting, Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated”. I love worship and with my heart completed immersed in worshiping God, I sang these words. I wasn’t even consciously listening for His word in my life at that moment. I was just loving Him with my words, my heart, and my actions. But at that moment, He decided to encourage me and into my heart He spoke,

“Look at what I did, for YOU, for all of mankind. If I can do this, surely I can provide you this miracle you need in your life. And I will”

Normally, this word would have caused me to shake with emotion and break down in a fit of tears, but today, I was totally at peace. Oh, there were tears, but He held me together. At this moment, I believe He wanted to show His emotional strength in me. He showed up in my life and gave me  the encouragement I needed to keep going, keep praying, keep trusting Him.

Through it all, God will prevail and His plan will be carried out. He has the power to do ALL that He has said He’s going to do and will overcome the world. He will overcome evil.

He is going to provide this miracle in my life and I am going to keep trusting Him for that. When? I don’t know. How? I don’t know. It may be in a completely different way than I can even imagine, but He will.  My life is in His hands and He will provide.

Is there something in your life in which you need a miracle? Though sometimes His plan is not our plan or desire and things don’t always happen as we would like, there are times when a miracle is needed and granted. Trust in Him, no matter the outcome, for He has all of his children in His hands. He’s working this out for us and for His glory.

And when a miracle is granted, give Him the glory. Let’s show the world the power our Father has and the love He gives us that is like no other.