How to literally rest on the Word of God

May we rest on the very Word of God, turning our attention and affection to Him, the Alpha and Omega, with the first and last of our day.

Did you read yesterday’s post? If not, read it before today’s post.

So I told you my big news yesterday, but I promised to tell a little more today.

My favorite item in my shop right now is the scripture pillowcase. A place to literally, physically rest on the Word of God.

The Story of the Instruct Me While Sleep Scripture Pillowcases

When my youngest son was a little guy, we often found him asleep with his head on his Bible or the Bible laid over his chest or wrapped in his arms. It was as if he knew how desperately he needed the Word of God near him always.

My scripture pillowcases were born out of a desire to give my son something a little softer for his head while reminding him of the nearness of God.

I found myself praying over my children at night, “God, instruct their hearts with truth even as they sleep.”

I based this prayer on Psalm 16:7 “I will praise the LORD who counsels me– even at night my conscience instructs me.”

I also found myself praying key verses to help them rest into sleep. So I’d post sticky notes on their beds, nightstands, and doors.

I created a scripture pillowcase for one of my sons when he faced a particularly challenging season. That pillow became a prized possession of his.

These scripture pillows are now a staple in our home and a reminder of the One who holds us and protects every minute of our day, even while we sleep.

My desire is to offer you a tool for training up your children in the way they should go while also creating something for you to enjoy as well!

Why Scripture Pillowcases?

-It’s prettier and longer lasting than post it notes with scripture on the headboard and nightstands.
-It reminds us to remember God.
-It aids in scripture memory.
-It helps us overcome fear as we place our focus on His Word.
-Because we face a long day of the world wearing us down. We need constant encouragement from God’s Word.
-It’s a fringe spot in the home to claim for intentional spiritual training grounds.
-Because scripture centers and transforms us. The more places we have it, the better off we are.

The Bottom Line

“Mom, why are you doing this business?”

“Because God instructs us to instruct our children with truth as we walk along the road, sit at home, as we rise up, and as we lie down. He tells us to put it on our doorposts. I’m taking God’s instruction to heart. This culture is filled with godlessness and I want to give families a practical way to use God’s Words in places that might be empty.”

“Mom, tell them that.”

I smiled. This conversation happened after I spent time reading and explaining all the information to them about my why. But my simple why is all he really wanted. And he reminded me it’s all you really want as well.

So the bottom line is this. Your home is full of fringe spots ready to be claimed. You lay your head on a pillow every night. It’s the first and the last thing your eyes see. So why not have God’s Word right there?

May we rest on the very Word of God, turning our attention and affection to Him, the Alpha and Omega, with the first and last of our day.

I’m so fearful to share this with you, so here goes!

Although I belong to a gym, I’m not a big gym person. I do one thing at this gym. Kickboxing. Sometimes I branch out and take a strength class. But mostly, I take a class from my favorite instructor.

After a couple of busy weeks out of the gym, I made it back to kickboxing. The instructor stopped by to chat as she made her way to refill her water prior to starting class. I removed my jacket, revealing my sleeveless arms,  and her eyes grew wide as she gave a tiny gasp pointing to my biceps.

I thought in that brief moment, “Well. They aren’t enormous, but I am pretty proud of the growth of these old biceps.” I had increased my weights by a mere couple of pounds.

As I met her gasp with my proud nod and a slight flexing of these scrawny biceps, she said, “Oh my goodness! Your arms!”

I looked down thinking they must have grown much larger than I remembered. As I looked at my biceps, I instantly realized what had her so astounded. My almost 3 week old, sunburn turned tan which left a distinct farmer’s tan right across my bicep area.

The immediate embarrassment set in. I just played right along like I knew what she was talking about the entire time. I know you’ve been there too. Insert laughing emoji.

Oh embarrassment. Some moments are much more embarrassing than others. But none feel particularly good at the moment.

I rarely post two days in a row, but today I felt compelled to write to you. Mostly because God is showing me how my fear is holding me back, and I need to push straight through it.

What am I fearing? Embarrassment! Failure. All of it. I may fail right before your very eyes. But if I never try, I automatically fail.

I have a dream in my heart, and I’m following it.

So I’m just going to blurt it right here at you.

I’ve started a business. So now that I’ve actually told you, there is no going back. Here goes my story and my why. I’m fighting the temptation to fire hose you with everything I’m holding in. Sometimes my passion is a bit off-putting.

WHY?

I write to inspire and encourage your journey of life. My desire is to cheer you on as you intentionally step day by day with God. The same is true with my shop. My goal is to inspire families to be spiritually intentional in every nook and cranny of their life and home.

We live in a culture that is saturated with messages we don’t want penetrating and affecting our families. Therefore, we must take extra measures to saturate our homes and our lives with Truth.

I’ve found that what I place before my children’s eyes, over time, becomes ingrained in them.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. 7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol[a] on your forehead.[b] 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

In our home we take this instruction seriously.

Romans 12:2
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

I wrote a post titled Total Immersion is the Way to Bathe Our Kids in Truth. The culture we are raising our kids in is set to devour them. We have to be on the offense in our parenting. Truth must be before them always.

There are fringe spots in your home you need to claim as spiritual training grounds. That is why I’m starting a product based business full of inspirational items to have before your eyes everywhere you turn.

For today I have scripture pillowcases, inspirational tea towels, and an audio devotion. But down the road, my vision is much bigger. In fact, my favorite product is still in the design stage.

I have so many ideas in my head. But today I’m staying here where I am. The pillowcases are my very favorite. I’m sharing my story of these treasures tomorrow. I may set a record for the most posts in a week. Ever. But don’t unsubscribe. This is highly unusual for me. And my sister’s here next week, so you won’t hear a peep from me for about 9 days!

My shop is right here on my blog. It has an incredibly unique name. Renee Robinson Shop 🙂

Check it out.

 

audio devotional

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About disappointment and the moment that almost was

 

You can listen to this post by clicking the play button below.

As I pulled away from dropping my son off at his work orientation (I can’t believe I just wrote that and we are in this moment of life), I headed toward the practical, good use of one and a half hours – the grocery store. Instead of my car sliding into the open parking spot, it seemed pulled away, as if it had a mind of its own. I gave into the urge and left practicality behind.

This is so not who I am. Spontaneous and unpractical.

I pulled right out of that grocery store parking lot, and my car happened upon the coffee shop. I had a book in my car, and suddenly the thought of a cup of coffee in my silent car with only a book to keep company with seemed more than my needy soul could handle.

The drive-thru line moved at a summer pace. I was unbothered. I had an entire hour and a half. When it was my turn at the window, the wait continued. I smiled, chatty with the window worker. Who needed to be bothered by impatience and time on this beautiful afternoon? I breathed slow and deep. Sunroof open, windows down. Smells of fresh cut grass and coffee wafting in and out.

I leaned back into the headrest and released a long held breath. I was just at this coffee shop last week with a friend. A conversation popped in my head. She told me about a nail salon around the corner she’d heard great things about.

I leaned forward considering the idea. An hour and a half I’d planned to grocery shop and wait in the car for my son could turn into an hour and a half of a pedicure, book, and cup of coffee. The giddiness began to rise right on up.

She handed my coffee through the window as I offered back an exuberant thank for an insanely overpriced latte. I pulled into the nail salon, picked out my color, and took my seat. The kind man led me to a chair waiting just for me. I pulled up the legs of my jeans, lowered my feet into that soothing, smell good water, turned on the massage chair, and opened my book.

My phone rang. Jacob Robinson. I thought to myself, “That’s weird. He still has at least an hour of orientation.”

“Hello?”

“Mom, I need you to come pick me up right now, please.”

“What? Why?”

“Mom, orientation moved to another day. Please come get me now.”

I closed up the book, removed my feet from the relaxing soak and began to dry them off. I found the kind man preparing to pamper my feet. “I’m so sorry. I have to go pick up my son. I don’t have time to stay.”

Laughing he waved me on, “No worries. We will see you again soon.”

Some moments in life are right there. Right within our reach. We see it, we are touching it. It’s almost….then it’s gone. And like that it’s gone before we ever held it. Or we held for a moment, only to have to release it before it belonged fully to us.

These life moments are sometimes trivial like a pedicure and coffee. But sometimes they are the biggest moments of our lives. Sometimes they are moments we can simply accept and move through. Sometimes they seem to steal our breath and drive to move forward.

I developed a habit as a kid from divorce. I taught myself to prepare for disappointment so the sting wouldn’t last as long. As I’ve grown up, particularly in my walk with Christ, He’s invited me to stop blocking the pain, and instead let Him become for me what I can’t be for myself. My Comforter and My Healer.

As a kid blocking pain, I told myself I was okay. It would be okay. Everything would be okay. It was the only way I knew how to cope.

Christ offers something radically different. He tells us it’s not okay, we aren’t okay, but it’s all okay because He is here with us.

If I continued on my childish ways, I’d continue growing in self-sufficiency. This is the very thing in my life I’ve been slaying.

It’s anti-cultural. The messages that tell us we are enough, we are strong, we are brave. They focus on us, building us up. But I am not enough. I wasn’t created to be enough. I need Christ in every moment of my life.

Christ wants to be our everything. He wants to take our disappointment, our pain, our hurt, our loneliness. He wants to hold us right where we are in order that we can get up and move with hope.

He’s tender and kind.

When my son got in the car, I could relate to his disappointment. He had a day of similar disappointments.

I didn’t try to fix his problems. I simply kept company with him. God will be for my child what I can’t be. He will be the ultimate comforter and healer. As I’m learning to allow God into this space of my heart and my soul, I’m seeing the beauty of watching Him do the same in the lives of my children.

My tendency has always been to try to fix things for people. Mostly because I don’t want them to hurt or feel disappointed. While God will at times use me as an instrument of healing in someone’s life, I’m learning instead to wait on His voice to direct me. Sometimes He gives me words they need. Sometimes He tells me to sit quietly.

Until I’ve allowed God to be who He is to me, it’s hard for me to see Him be that to the ones I love. Releasing my need to block the pains of disappointment, I’ve opened myself more fully to God. His loving arms pull me tight. He whispers to my heart, “You are loved, Daughter. You are loved. I will care for you when you hurt. I will touch the painful sores in your soul. I will heal you and comfort you.”

It’s a process. Some disappointments and pains are easier to heal than others. Some take days, weeks, months, and years. I know He is faithful. I keep redirecting my mind to who He is apart from what He does. His nature and character, revealed in His Word, center me.

He is my Comforter.

Lord, I surrender. I lay down my desire to comfort myself. I lay down my fight to be what I can’t be. Today, I will walk through whatever comes my way and allow myself to fully feel the weight of it. Without trying to fix myself or someone else, I will turn to You and allow You to do what You do best. Thank You I can rest into You. Thank you that You will faithfully comfort every single time and wipe away every single shed tear. Amen

I’ve prayerfully created a resource for you to guide you as you journey more intimately with God. Our souls long for us to tenderly care for them. Take a 14 day journey with me through Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word. I’ve created it in such a way that you will receive 14 emails, one per day. Each day will include an audio and a print link. You can simply hit play and allow yourself to relax and listen. Or you can read if you aren’t an audio lover.I’ve heard from many Illuminate listeners that it’s become their favorite part of the day. It’s a break from the race and a redirect to the One who desires to walk with us intimately.

For the month of May I have something really special for you so you can share Illuminate with your friends and family. Once you’ve purchased a copy of Illuminate, you can purchase up to 4 copies at 50% off. Basically, get 2 copies for free! This applies to any who has already purchased a copy as well.

Simply reply back to this post or contact me directly with your original purchase date or email address and I will give you a unique coupon code.

Purchase your copy today.

 

audio devotional

 

Before Mother’s Day arrives try adjusting your expectations

At the intersection of expectations and reality can be disappointment depending on our perspective and perception.

We have a choice in how we choose to view life.

Mother’s Day on social media can bring a vast array of emotions our way. So I thought I’d share a post I wrote after Mother’s Day a few years ago – So How Was Your Mother’s Day?

I wrote this post because some Mother’s Days are simply ordinary days. We do what we do everyday. We kiss skinned knees, we prepare lunch, we read bedtime stories, we change diapers, we breakup arguments. Some of us will go to work on Mother’s Day. Some Mother’s Days will be ordinary to the fullest.

In our social media driven world, ordinary isn’t post-worthy. What seems to be worthy of the attention of the world are the pictures and captions to show a mom pampered and showered with affection. A day set aside that is not ordinary at all. A day that calls out “Look at me. I’m special.”

If we aren’t careful in our own hearts, we will miss the beautiful ordinary handcrafted for us. We will miss stepping into our ordinary with full awareness of the nearness of God.

There is no guilt and shame here. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t post our spectacular moments we want to share with our social world. This is to say that the moments we see in the lives of others do not define our own moments. They don’t judge our moments. They don’t belittle our moments. They are simply not our moments.

It’s hard to stay in our own lanes these days isn’t it? The other lane is before our eyes all day long. We have to choose how we view that lane because the reality is, we can’t focus on our lane only.

I choose to view my ordinary days as holy days. My ordinary life is His holy ground.

Motherhood is sacred. Every single drop of it.

As I wrote Illuminate, God continued showing me the holiness of ordinary life. Each moment is new life. Each moment is one that will never happen again in the exact way.

Time doesn’t have a rewind button. It moves forward. As I step with time, I step with God through mundane, ordinary life that is anything but ordinary if I choose to see the holy ground where I stand.

Step into your Mother’s Day and your everyday with eyes open to the fingerprints of God. His hand is all over your life. Even in the painful moments.

It’s easy to see God’s blessings when life is going the direction we hoped. Remember how I started this post? At the intersection of expectations and reality can be disappointment depending on our perspective and perception.

Some relationships and situations are painful, making it hard to see the hand of God. It tempts us to sit in disappointment because it isn’t what we expected. Step by step God asks us to hand it to Him, to renew our mind, and walk one step at a time.

You are held and loved by God. I felt God wanted me to remind you of this.

Maybe you should give yourself a little Mother’s Day gift today. I’ve created something that will light a path for you to begin seeing God with fresh eyes. Illuminate-Seeing God by the Light of His Word.

My boys asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day. I fired back, “A massage.” That just sounds luxuriously wonderful.

The fact is as moms, we don’t often give ourselves treats like massages and pampering retreats. So today, I want you to give yourself a gift. It’s actually a 14 day gift that will continue to give to you moment by moment.

When you order Illuminate, it will arrive quietly into your inbox. It will patiently wait on you. And when you listen, God will speak to you. I’ve prayed for your time with Him as you allow Illuminate to help you to focus your heart and mind simply on God, the lover of your soul.

It’s $10. It’s yours forever. It would make a sweet gift to yourself. You could use some encouragement and reminders of who loves you with a reckless love. Click the picture for more information.

audio devotional

 

 

Choosing Simplicity Over Popularity

Simplicity

I crave simplicity.

My standard Starbucks drink for the last several years has been a grande white mocha, 2 pumps syrup rather than the sickeningly sweet 4 pumps, with skim milk and no whip cream.

How complicated is that?

A few months ago I decided I was over the complicated fancy coffee drinks. I ordered simply a latte. No flavor, no extra shots. Just a simple latte.

As ridiculous as this may sound, my soul felt a little lighter in releasing my need for a complicated coffee drink when someone asked what they could order for me.

My washing machine broke recently. According to the repairman, the failure could have been devastating. He’s seen the same breakdown flood a house. Our washing machine nearly ripped out our water lines as the machine went into turbo speed causing the axle to break while the motor continued running.

He showed me inside my machine what grew and hid in places I’d never see. It was beyond disgusting. I wish I had a picture to gross you out with. I was so embarrassed. I rambled how I actually did clean my machine with vinegar and tried getting the mold and mildew out. I had no idea that underneath that rubber piece thick mold grew.

If the machine were fixable, I didn’t plan to fix it. The machine was gone. I’d never liked it anyway. We inherited it with our North Carolina house. It was a fancy front load machine with too many choices and buttons.

We inherited the matching dryer as well. After 2 breakdowns of that dryer, we replaced it with an old-school simple dryer. Top load, dials (no digital panel). Simple. The repairman at the time told me 90% of his service calls are on these fancy complicated digital appliances. The repairs are incredibly expensive when the digital boards go out. He recommended I go back to a simple machine. He said he never repairs them and they work much better than the fancy expensive ones.

We followed his advice and I’m in love with my dryer that looks like it walked out of the 1990’s.

When my washing machine broke, I followed the repairman’s advice. I went with a simple top load, old-school dial machine. I’m in love. You won’t see my laundry room on Pinterest, but I’m filled with joy over its functionality.

Choosing Simplicity Over Popularity

I wrote a post about letting go of Facebook. For what I do, it seems to make no sense. But you know what has happened- I feel more free.

I’m missing out on things for sure. But I don’t really struggle with #fomo. I’m kind of used to missing out.

I’m always late to the game. When skinny jeans came in style, I vowed to never slip my big toe into them. About 3-4 years after the movement, I fell in love with skinny jeans. I stocked my closet with a couple pairs. The following year someone told me skinny jeans were replaced by big bottom jeans. Ha!

When Toms became popular I thought they were the ugliest shoes I’d ever seen. That was so many years ago. I still don’t have a pair, but now I love them and have been saving up my DSW reward dollars to buy a pair. I have a feeling the day I finally order the shoes, I’ll read an article about what has replaced Toms.

I started blogging in 2009 right after my youngest son was born. Since then I’ve had 3 different blogs as I moved toward writing with greater intention and purpose. I printed blog books at the end of each year because it basically became a family yearbook. I didn’t need to journal and scrapbook as in depth since I’d recorded the highlights.

I miss those blog books. They were so simple.

In 2012 I attended my first writing conference. I attended full of excitement as I held in my hand what I thought was a fabulous book proposal. I still think it was pretty awesome. And relevant. But each publisher and agent I met with told me to get bigger first. Grow my platform. Jump on bandwagons doing what all the other writers getting heard were doing.

I left with mixed emotions. I couldn’t write in order to get popular. That’s not how I write. I’m authentic. I can’t fake a thing. I can’t write what will tickle ears or provoke for the sake of provoking a reaction. Internally the idea of building platforms didn’t sit well with me.

Over the course of time that followed, I decided I’d write however God led. If growth came, great. If it didn’t, great. Writing for me needed to remain simple.

I guess the rambling route to the point is that I desire simplicity over popularity.

Releasing the complicated to grasp the simple

I can only hold so much at one time. No matter how hard I try to simplify life, it gets complicated. So I find I have to create a habit of releasing and purging.

I have to look around my life and see what can go.

When I feel the stress of life mounting, or when I begin to lose my joy for the things that once brought such delight, it’s time I take a closer peek at what’s going on. Often I find I’m holding onto things which need to be released.

I’ve been reading through this history curriculum, which I really dislike, with my middle son. He and I used to love history together. Now we approach it with dread. Both of us. Yet, we don’t voice it to each other. In the middle of reading yesterday, I closed the book and announced we are done. He looked at me with surprise.

“You know what. We are done with this curriculum. We aren’t learning. We don’t love it. What’s the point? It just adds one more thing to our day. We are simply checking boxes. Who needs that?”

I think he thought I was kidding, so I continued. “Do you love it?”

“Well, no, I don’t like the writing style.”

“Neither do I. There are better ways to learn history. Simpler and more enjoyable.”

So out it went.

When I gave up Facebook, I wondered what would happen to my blog. Do you know the surprising thing that’s happened? My blog has actually grown in email subscribers. And I don’t spend any time formatting for Facebook. I’m not divided in posting on my blog, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I’m just focusing on what I love. Writing. Simple.

Blogs may not be popular anymore. But I’ve never been one to chase popularity.

I’m not strategic in my posting. I write as the Spirit leads me. So I’m free.

What Can You Release?

Are you holding something that adds only complication? Can you release it and choose the simpler road?

I’m finding that the more complications I release, the more free I am to reach for what really matters.

Free of scanning Facebook, I’m free to listen to my children with all my attention. I didn’t realize how much of my attention was given to something like Facebook until I let go of it.

With each step I take to choosing what is simple, I’m able to pay closer attention to this beautiful life. I’m regaining clarity.

We are at the end of our second year of homeschool. So much transition is happening as we close chapters and curriculums and anticipate the new rhythms of summer.

My promise to myself this summer is to choose simple over complicated or popular.

In case you’ve missed it, I’ve created a tool to help you simply sit with Jesus. There’s a sweet joy in letting go of the frantic pace of life for 10 sweet minutes to sit at His feet. I tend to be more like Martha than Mary, working more than sitting. Jesus loved Mary’s offering.

God is inviting you to simply sit at His feet. You don’t need a book, or a group, or an extra night carved out of your schedule. You simply need an email address.

When you order Illuminate, it will arrive quietly into your inbox. It will patiently wait on you. And when you listen, God will speak to you. I’ve prayed for your time with Him as you allow Illuminate to help you to focus your heart and mind simply on God, the lover of your soul.

It’s $10. It’s yours forever. It would make a sweet gift to someone the Lord brings to your mind who could use some encouragement and reminders of who loves them with a reckless love. Click the picture for more information.

audio devotional

 

 

3 Keys to Making Decisions and Choosing the “Right” Road

 

To hear the audio version of today’s post, click here.

When I face decisions which feel they can alter the trajectory of my life, anxiety reclines nearby. In the past I’d become consumed by making the absolute right and perfect choice. Beyond the pros and cons list, I’d play out scenarios in order to see which picture seemed most clear. Fear often spoke through these list-making sessions.

The haunting question was, “What if I make the wrong decision?”

The fact is we make hundreds of choices each day impacting the direction of our lives. We typically don’t see how big the small choices actually are.

When I choose to tell the truth rather than lie, I’ve invited righteousness to rule rather than the crushing hand of the enemy to direct my life.

When I choose to eat the broccoli rather than feast on doughnuts and soda, I’ve invited long term health rather than short term cravings.

When I choose to wake up 20 minutes early in order to read my Bible, I’ve chosen to give the first of my day to the lover of my soul rather than giving myself over to the race of life.

When I choose to hold my tongue, which is fighting to lash out, I’ve invited peace rather than chaos.

The little choices are pretty big. How do we live in our small moment choices? Are we choosing well?

But then…there’s the big ones.

A few years ago I heard a Focus on the Family episode which changed how I viewed the bigger choices in life that created extreme anxiety over choosing the absolute right one.

The guest, who I can’t remember now, said something to this effect, “God is less concerned about which path you choose than He is about who you become as you walk along that path.”

He clarified that this is when we are facing choices that are moral and in accordance with God’s will. Which job should I take, which house should I buy, which college should I attend. The choices that align with God’s will but scare us because we can’t see down the path and we want to be exactly where God wants us to be.

The statement the guest on Focus on Family made brought a deep, cleansing breath to me. It felt as if I’d been freed from the impossibility of solving life’s great mysteries. I could walk the paths I choose with confidence that as long as I’m hand in hand with God, all is well.

Buried somewhere deep inside me was this great big lie that God was standing far above me watching me squirm through the decision making process. Wringing His hands hoping I solved the puzzle and chose to walk through the door that held the prize. I would never confess that even to myself, but if I’m totally honest, I believed that God held the right answer and failed to show me which way to go. As if He was way up in the sky saying, “I hope she gets it right.”

This is such a twisted, distorted view of God. I believe it’s right in line with the view the world tends to hold of Him. Few will admit to holding views of God that are completely off-base.

The liberating statement from this Focus on the Family guest revealed to me thought-lies I harbor about the character of God. I realized that I did actually believe God withheld the right choice from me in hopes I’d get my act together and pick the right path. I also realized I must not be alone. If this guest spoke to Focus on the Family about this, I’m not alone.

My church reads through the Bible together. We read through entire books of the Bible, discuss them in small groups, listen to sermons from these readings on Sundays. Going through the Bible in small bites offers impactful digestion.

Last week I read in 1 Samuel 30 a story that I find myself continuing to think about. David and his men arrived to a town to find that the Amalekites had attacked and kidnapped everyone there. They’d taken all the women and children as prisoners. When David and his men arrived to discover what happened, they wept. David’s men were mad and bitter. Verse 6 tells us that David drew His strength from God.

At this pivotal decision making point, David refused to turn inward to himself and his natural strengths and abilities. We are told in a moment of crisis, David turned to God and found his strength.

David’s very next move after finding strength IN God was to inquire OF God.

In verse 8 David asks God if he should pursue the enemies and rescue their people.

When I read this I was struck by this question. If I’d been David I might have skipped the step of inquiring of God. Wasn’t it obvious what they were to do? Shouldn’t they go after and rescue the ones taken from them? Wasn’t that the logical choice?

But David, a man after God’s own heart, trusted in God so much that he didn’t look to the natural and logical to make a decision. He looked to God.

David listened to God’s response. God said pursue them because you will overtake them and rescue your people. This gave David the confidence, courage, and peace he needed to go this road.

 

3 Keys to Making Any Decision- the from, of, & to

  1. Strength from God
  2. Inquire of God
  3. Listen to God

When we practice the  “from, of, to” we move down any path we take with confident courageous peace. Some paths and choices we must stop and determine His will. We receive strength from Him, inquire of Him, and listen to Him.

When it’s paths that all align with His will, it’s a matter of seeking clarity then moving with confidence that we will walk with Him, not ahead of Him. Along this path we will become more like Him day by day.

What freedom He gives us in our choices. What freedom He offers in this one beautiful life.

He’s so much more than we give Him credit for.

Do you find that you, too, harbor lies about God deep inside? Lies you may never voice to anyone and you only recognize when you see how you react and respond to people, decisions, or situations?

I believe this is why God has been reminding to remember. I need to remember who He really is. When I remember, I bring to mind the truth which will shine a light on the lies that try to take up residence in our hearts. When I remember, my soul is at peace.

I’ve prayerfully created a resource for you to guide you as you journey more intimately with God.Our souls long for us to tenderly care for them. Take a 14 day journey with me through Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word. I’ve created it in such a way that you will receive 14 emails, one per day. Each day will include an audio and a print link. You can simply hit play and allow yourself to relax and listen. Or you can read if you aren’t an audio lover.

I’ve heard from many Illuminate listeners that it’s become their favorite part of the day. It’s a break from the race and a redirect to the One who desires to walk with us intimately.

Purchase your copy today. And then buy a copy for a friend.

If you have been blessed by Illuminate, would you kindly share this post with your friends and family?

audio devotional

 

There is no shame in small

Small but mighty

“Many of you want to stand on a stage in front of thousands of women, yet you’ve never led a Bible study in your own home.”

My pen stopped mid-stroke.

I sat in workshops learning how to take the messages God put on my heart to spread them to the masses, but what about the handful of people right in front of me everyday? I have to say of everything shared at this conference 6 years ago, this statement is the only thing I remember.

Give small offerings

The Lord has been telling me to get smaller and simpler. Simply small is contrary to the way of the world.

Social media is all about having the wittiest caption, the most stunning pictures.

True life is difficult to capture anymore because life isn’t lived in the moments of glitz. In fact, most of life is lived in the mundane. The 10th load of laundry, the 2nd run to the grocery store in 2 days, the sitting in the same cubicle with the same non-view, the answering the same question.

God delights in our small offerings as much as our large offerings. We all have an allotment of resources we’ve been entrusted with. Skills, gifts, money, and time. When we spend time looking for the big God wants us to do, we may lose sight of the valuable right before us.

Matthew 25:14-30 tells the familiar Parable of the Talents. I encourage you to open your Bible and read the text for yourself.

John 6:9 is the story of the boy who had only 2 small fish and 5 loaves of bread. The disciples looked around at the masses and saw the big problem while looking for an equally big solution. Andrew looked at what was right before them. It was small, but it was there. A boy with his small offering.

He offered it, and Jesus did the multiplying miracle. In Jesus fashion, leftovers abounded.

When we surround ourselves with the big or spend our lives looking for the big, we lose sight of the value of little.

If the entire world simply served their small, the world would be a different place today.

Start small

Some of us don’t start something we feel the Lord calling us to because it seems too small. I’m convinced this often is a case of comparison robbing us of the courage to move forward.

My sons started a You Tube channel. They have a desire to create fun, clean, wholesome entertainment in an online world that is filled with godlessness. I can’t tell you how hard they work on their trick shots and practicing the craft of film making and editing.

When they look at their stats, it’s easy to get discouraged. You Tube is flooded with entertainers with millions of followers and sponsors. Their favorites receive millions of views on their videos.

If they stay focused on the famous You Tubers, they devalue their own talents and craft. I reminded my son that no one has been created exactly like him in the entire world. No one. Not one.

It’s ok to start small. It’s ok to stay small. It’s NOT ok to think our small is insignificant.

Some of us will move from small to big. Some won’t. Regardless, start small and move.

Delight in small

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (The seven lamps represent the eyes of the LORD that search all around the world.)
 Zechariah 4:10

After I attended that conference years ago, I came home determined to serve small, offer small, and delight in small. I placed my trust in God to multiply and grow, but I would offer what I had. I had a home. I had Bible knowledge. I had a passion to lead women.

So I invited about 10 women to my house for a summer Bible study. I’d spent years sitting at the feet of Jesus studying. I’d never led a group. 6 women committed to that group. Women I knew well. Yet when they arrived, my heart raced right out of my chest. I felt sick to my stomach. In front of my friends.

Each week it got easier and easier. At the end of our 6 weeks together, I’d grown so much in the Lord.

A few years later I found myself on stages in front of hundreds of women. And a few years after that I found myself leading an entire women’s ministry.

My delight in the small beginning positioned me for the growth I would step into.

The small may never grow but it’s not wasted.

Not all of us move from leading women in our home to leading on a stage. Most don’t want to. And this is the heart of today’s post. That is more than ok.

What you have to offer is valuable and meaningful.

We are quick to discard the value and beauty of the small. We move onto the bigger, but the small remains. It will always be. And the world will chase the one with the most bling to offer. But there is a world in need of the ones willing to serve in the simplest and sweetest of ways.

Your small may actually be the planting of the massive in another.

When you invest in your family, it’s the greatest work you will ever do.

When you take the time to sit with your child, look her in the eye, and give your full attention, that is valuable. The world won’t see you do that. You won’t receive likes and shares. But she was seen and heard by you.

When you spend your evening in the kitchen after a long day at work and shuffling kids around to activities, you’ve invested in their health, comfort, and belonging. You’ve created a table in which you say, “Come. Sit. Be. You are loved. You are known. Here at this table.” For the child that battled the world at school, you’ve offered something no one else could. It’s small, but so mighty.

These small moments may feel insignificant, but can I encourage you today? They are so mighty.

Small but mighty.

Choose today to be small but mighty. Choose today to see the value in small. Choose today to pick up your meager offerings and open your hand. Give them out freely. Don’t compare your crumbs with her loaf of bread. Just give generously and lavishly.

Be simply small. After all, our Savior came as small as possible. God made man in the form of a baby. If our Savior could humble Himself, we can too.

I’ve prayerfully created a resource for you to guide you as you journey more intimately with God.Our souls long for us to tenderly care for them. Take a 14 day journey with me through Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word. I’ve created it in such a way that you will receive 14 emails, one per day. Each day will include an audio and a print link. You can simply hit play and allow yourself to relax and listen. Or you can read if you aren’t an audio lover.

I’ve heard from many Illuminate listeners that it’s become their favorite part of the day. It’s a break from the race and a redirect to the One who desires to walk with us intimately.

Purchase your copy today. And then buy a copy for a friend.

If you have been blessed by Illuminate, would you kindly share this post with your friends and family?

audio devotional