When You Are Ready To Quit

Recently I panicked. Completely. Everything I worked so hard to do seemed to be more than I could handle. Everywhere I turned I felt I was failing someone or somewhere. I couldn’t return phone calls, follow up on important tasks.

The weight of homeschooling, running 2 businesses, writing, and simply being wife, mom, friend, volunteer, etc seemed to come down on me like a heavy weight. The pace I’d been running was unsustainable.

Here’s what I started to do. Find my escape route. My reason out. My excuse to quit everything. This is what happens when my margin narrows. It pushes on my soul, and I feel I’m suffocating.

I asked Steve and one friend to pray with me. After my panic settled over me, His peace flooded my soul. He began to speak. The rest of the week, I took it in. I continued moving forward. I didn’t actually quit anything. I just moved slowly.

God showed me 2 things.

I’m addicted to the high moments, the spiritual mountain tops, the big wins. I love change and challenges. I feed on the adrenaline rush in these times. I need newness, and when the new wears down and the hard kicks in, I begin to squirm.

I’m afraid of success. This sounded ridiculous to me the first time I heard it listening to The Secret Code of Success. In fact I retold that part of the book to Steve pridefully. “That is NOT me.”

Turns out I have some unidentified fears. It wasn’t that I actually feared success exactly. It is that when I reach a point that feels like success, I become scared of the higher expectations I’ll need to live up to. I’m afraid of failing at yet another thing. Yet, I claim I’m not afraid to try and fail.

Here’s what I discovered. I reach a point of success, and I want the control. So if I back out gracefully, it is on my own terms. I didn’t actually fail. The pride runs deep, my friends. I’m so grateful God’s not through with me yet.

The entire week God held me in a state of peace. One evening I read The Tortoise and the Hare to Andrew. We have the version from a Chick-fil-A kids meal so many years ago. I could just sense God reminding me to keep that steady pace. It’s ok if I don’t run a sprint. I just need to keep going at a pace I can manage.

When I faced resistance I began to doubt God’s direction to me. I began asking God if He was sure.

I don’t know if you do this too. But I will know I’ve heard God. I follow the direction He’s leading, but then I want continued reassurance every few steps. When I trip or stumble I immediately believe I heard wrong. I begin to question everything I thought I knew.

When we moved to Nebraska in 2017, a friend told me to journal everything God told me during the preparation and transition. She said I would need the reminders when we settled in. We’d begin to question why we found ourselves in the middle of the country so far from everything we’ve ever known. She was right. I referred to my prayer journal often in those first 6 months.

I need to spend more time remembering and less time second guessing. It’s not that God changed what He said. I’ve just forgotten. The more time I spend in His Word, the quicker I am to distinguish His voice from the bellowing of the world.

 

I spend a little less time writing these days since I’ve followed God’s direction in starting 2 businesses. One is right here on the blog. If you click on Shop you can find much of what’s been keeping me busy.

I would be so appreciative if you supported me by sharing my shop with your friends and family.

Christmas is around the corner. Maybe your gift list includes people in need of reminders of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

My newest addition is my favorite to this point. It’s a luxurious, velveteen, zipper-closured pillowcase. The only problem is you may find it harder to get out of bed in the morning.

 

A few of my favorite items to help you journal your thoughts, prayers, ideas, lists and all the things.

Bullet Journal Planner Pens Colored Pens Fine Point Markers Fine Tip Drawing Pens Porous Fineliner Pen for Journaling Writing Note Taking Calendar Agenda Coloring Art School Office Supplies, 18 Colors

You are so often in my thoughts and prayers. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed at the community, friendship, and loyalty you offer me. It’s a noisy online world and you are still here with me. This blog is the only thing I didn’t consider quitting.

Thank you for the notes you send. And thank you for sharing with your friends and family and social media.

Blessings,

Renee

Who’s Stealing Your Joy?

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.”

Psalm 51:12

Go back with me to the eve of Christmas Eve several years ago.

The dark of night descended, all boys settled into the routines of bedtime. I escorted Andrew to his room for stories and snuggles. His open blinds reminded me to close them. I reached for the cord and stopped. “Whose van is in our driveway?” I shouted from upstairs.

No one answered back. The van in our driveway was white. My van was silver. Steve drove my van to work that day to get the oil changed. Where was my van and whose was this?

I went flying down the stairs demanding an answer. When I wouldn’t let up, Steve released a sigh, handed me a tiny box, and said, “Merry Christmas.” The tiny box held a set of keys. The keys to a brand new van. The keys I was to unwrap the next morning.

I ruined the surprise. I stole his joy.

It was a once in a lifetime kind of surprise. We are used car kind of people. Steve bought me a brand new, white Honda Odyssey. Steve’s love language is gifts. Steve receives more joy in giving gifts than receiving. Steve loves to spoil me and shower me if I let him. I’m much too practical and budget-minded, so I stifle his desires to pour out his love language on me at times.

I raced outside to see my elaborate gift. For me all the excitement was the same. This wasn’t the case for Steve. I’d stolen his joy unintentionally. And I’m much too clueless to have discovered the gift and played along because it never crossed my mind he would give that type of gift.

Have you ever faced a time you felt your joy was stolen? Not simply that you lost your joy, but it was taken right from you?

This is what the enemy is out to steal from us. Our joy.

I battle against this frequently. The enemy is constantly attempting to steal my joy. And yours.

When I teach my kids, it doesn’t take long to see the enemy’s plays.

The fight is exhausting. Fighting the same battle over and over again wears us down. The battle wages in our minds.

Do you find yourself fighting to maintain your joy?

The enemy uses his same schemes over and over again. The more we know who God is, the more we recognize when the enemy is assaulting us.

We can fight back by putting on our armor and picking up our sword. Claiming authority over the enemy in the name of Jesus. Our identity is in Christ. Our joy is found in Him. We need to pray and ask Him to restore the joy of our salvation. We need a shift of perspective. Our eyes on Him.

In case you didn’t know, I’ve written and recorded a devotion on releasing our fears and anxieties by learning to see God for who He is. It’s a practice in remembering who He is and keeping our eyes on Him. It’s called Illuminate. Download your copy today for only $5.

Find out more here and listen to a sample.

audio devotional
If you want to connect with me beyond the blog, you can find me on Instagram and Pinterest. I’d love for you to follow me there. Instagram is where I share shorter insights and daily inspiration and encouragement for the journey the Lord has you on.If you’d like to receive these blog posts via email, hop over here where you will receive some fun downloads.

And if you are looking for ways to claim the fringe areas of your home or give gifts that inspire and encourage, check out my online shop!

 

When the Seasons Change. And When They Stay Too Long.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,”

Psalm 103:2

Last winter I lived my first Midwest winter. I’ve always been cold-natured, so I was quite terrified how I’d fare. I did decent until winter seemed a bit too cozy to make its exit plan. Fall has always been a favorite season of mine, but I’ve found myself dreading it because I know the looming winter in the draft of fall’s race.

Steve offered me a perspective shift. I’m convinced we all need people in our lives who will alter our perspective. He reminded me how I moaned and groaned at the end of Southern summers. I itched to put out pumpkins, prepare soups in the crockpot, and lounge in my hoodie. Yet, it would be 90 degrees sometimes all the way until October. There were Thanksgivings we wore shorts. And I complained.

We move to the Midwest. Basically winter here is like summer in the south as far as the length of the season. Same problems.

I’m in a new season of life. Maybe you are too. Some seasons of life feel like they hang unwelcome far too long. Until they pass. Then we look over our shoulder and long to go back.

I find I reflect back on prior seasons with a sense of romanticism. Wanting to go back to a time when….Believing times were better when….If only I could…..

When my soul is crowded, there is a sense of discontentment. A longing unfilled because there’s too much clutter and noise.

I looked back at old journals, a habit I have. I found writings from previous August and Septembers. I had the same struggles then. Little time to write, shallow feeling quiet times, a longing for more quiet in my life, a need for more structure yet finding the new rhythms hard to adjust to. When I think back on past fall seasons, I don’t remember them the way I recorded them.

I remember differently than life actually happened at times.

Why am I remembering seasons not the way they actually happened? Why am I thinking I have it harder now and believing I should go back to a time when life served me better?

The Lord brought a passage of scripture to mind.

I stopped walking. I stood frozen. My heart gasped. I am an Israelite.

“If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” Exodus 16:3

How quickly they forgot what their previous life was actually like. How quickly they forgot the misery, hardship, and the goodness of the God who saved them by His mighty hand.

I’m no different.

I have seen the hand of God, the work of His miracles. I’ve watched Him care for me, deliver me, love me radically. And yet the moment I don’t feel the way I want to feel, I incline my ear to the whispers of the enemy.

The enemy throws hard his taunting darts at my head.

You’re failing.

You need to make a change.

You’ve missed your opportunity.

You aren’t important.

You can’t keep doing what you are doing.

Look at everyone else. They are doing it right.

The enemy is full of lies, doubt, fear, worry, anxiety. There is NO truth in him. Not an ounce. He’s a lie from beginning to end.

God is total truth. God is steady.

My Lord and my God. He is all I need. He has given me all I need.

I find the moment I’m too comfortable the Lord moves me into a new assignment. One that requires I lean more into Him than me. That is where I am right now. Again.

How about you? Do you find you long to sit in the place you feel most comfortable?

Lord, we confess we forget your goodness. We forget the work of your mighty hand. We forget who you are. May we remember. Lord, help us forget not your benefits. You are radically, wildly in love with us simply because you are love. You give based on who you are not what we do. Lord, we love you. Grow us in our faith. Make our minds steady and strong.

In case you didn’t know, I’ve written and recorded a devotion on releasing our fears and anxieties by learning to see God for who He is. It’s called Illuminate. Download your copy today for only $5. I truly believe it will bless your soul. The Lord has used it repeatedly in my life since writing it. I go back and listen and find He speaks fresh all over again.

Find out more here and listen to a sample.

audio devotional

 

If you want to connect with me beyond the blog, you can find me on Instagram and Pinterest. I’d love for you to follow me there. Instagram is where I share shorter insights and daily inspiration and encouragement for the journey the Lord has you on.If you’d like to receive these blog posts via email, hop over here where you will receive some fun downloads.

And if you are looking for ways to claim the fringe areas of your home or give gifts that inspire and encourage, check out my online shop!

Looking to read more books but lacking in time? Try a membership with Audible. We love it!

Books I’ve Read This Year and Why We Read Aloud

I love reading. It’s my favorite hobby for sure. If you ask my kids what I would do if I had free time, they know the answer. I’d read.

I read a mixture of non-fiction and historical fiction. But my favorite has become books for children. I guess that’s why when I read this quote by CS Lewis, I nodded emphatically along.

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” CS Lewis

When my boys were babies, thankfully iphones weren’t around. When we went to the grocery store, I put a book in their hands. They were mesmerized. At home I read to them before they were able to understand a word I read. I loved simply holding them and reading. It was soothing for each of us.

As they moved into toddler and preschool years, we’d sit for long stretches of time reading. Mostly, because I didn’t like to play. I did play. But given the option, I’d read any day.

So we’d grab piles of books and sit on the couch and read story after story after story. We’d read sometimes an hour at a time.

When they were old enough to read on their own, I continued reading aloud to them before bed. They never wanted me to stop. They seemed to get more out of this time than I realized in all the years of reading.

Here we are in high school, middle school, and elementary school and we are still reading together. When I asked Jacob recently what his favorite part of homeschool has been, he answered “that first year when we’d sit on the screened in porch together, reading books and eating snacks.”

I’ve also discovered a little secret to ending sibling bickering in the car. Audible books! We become engrossed in the story and no on argues. It’s glorious!

I thought I’d share what I’ve read this year. This isn’t a book review. But if they are on the list, I’d recommend them for the most part. Some more than others to be sure. But I have many I quit this year. Time is too short to read bad books.

Here’s a list of the books I’ve read so far in 2018.

Adult Historical Fiction

(Each book listed in this category I’d highly recommend)

The Nightingale

The Mark of the King

Before We Were Yours

Non-Fiction

(I loved each of these for different reasons. All very good!)

The Magnolia Story
Capital Gaines

Business boutique

The Secret Code to Success

 

Adult Fiction

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Parenting

(These weren’t my all time favorites but I’m glad I read them. Especially glad I read the love languages. I needed a refresher.)

Mere Motherhood

The Lifegiving Home

The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers

The Way They Learn (Not really a parenting book, but for parents to understand their kids’ learning styles. Not just for the homeschoolers either!)

Christian Living

(These both are in the life changing category for me. Prayer I’ve read twice! I never do that.)

Experiencing the Spirit – Henry Blackaby

Prayer-Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God – Timothy Keller

 

FAMILY READ ALOUDS

Where the Red Fern Grows (possibly my favorite all time in children’s book)
My Father’s Dragon
Little Women ( I actually just read this for myself. It is my childhood favorite)
Sign of the Beaver
Sword of Rhema (We LOVE this series. This was book 3.)
Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
Green ember
Ember falls
Ember rising

(The Green Ember Series goes down as a favorite in the family. Highly recommend the Audible version. The narration is incredible and really brings the story to life. This is how we read the entire series.)

The lion the witch and the wardrobe

 

School Reads

Darwinist Dilemna

Path to the Pacific

Join our community of readers by clicking here. You will receive some fun downloads to enjoy.In case you didn’t know, I’ve written and recorded a devotion on releasing our fears and anxieties by learning to see God for who He is. It’s called Illuminate. Find out more here and listen to a sample.

And if you want to give gifts or fill your home with reminders of God’s goodness, check out my new online shop!

My heart is to encourage and inspire you to follow God with wholehearted, fearless courage.

 

 

 

 

Those dreams where you find yourself naked on stage

In my dream I was the star role of a play. The lead. The first show was a smashing success. The 2nd show was one week later. I’d not rehearsed one single time in the entire week. We stood backstage, moments before the curtain went up. I panicked. “Wait! I can’t remember the opening line! What is my line?”

Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. They were prepared and calm. I was not. My mind raced trying to recall that first line. “Just give me the first line and it’ll spark the rest. I have to get this right I mean the first time went perfect.”

They all continued looking at me.

I stopped and I prayed. “God, it’s you not me anyway. Please work through me and speak through me. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say.” Then I fled to the bathroom with mere minutes left.

Because dream world is just strange, somehow I lost track of time in the bathroom. It hit me as I looked in the mirror that I might be late and they might be waiting on me. Or worse, the show might be cancelled. Is it true that the show must go on. How would they pull it off if I weren’t there?

I found my way back as the last act played out. It went perfectly without me. The back up lead was there and ready. (It reminded me of that scene in the movie Wonder.)

The director assumed I got stage fright and left intentionally. I explained that I did have stage fright. But not because I was scared to be in front of people. But I was afraid of being exposed. Of everyone watching me stumble and fail with all lights on me. I explained that I lost track of time and was so sorry. She wasn’t bothered in the least.

She apologized that I missed my opportunity. Especially since my parents had flown all the way to Nebraska. I responded that I prayed before the show and the fact that I literally lost track of time and failed to show up must mean that it was God’s plan for the backup to lead the show.

Then I woke up.

I fell back asleep and had a second dream. In this dream our family went to a party. Jacob needed to be at work from 11-2:30. We dropped the ball and didn’t get him to work til his shift was over. He received attendance points against his file due to our lack of preparation.

Then I woke up.

I took a Psych class on dreams in college as an elective. It was by far my favorite class I ever took. Dreams have always fascinated me. They reveal so much of what is going on in our subconscious life.

I could have prettied up my dreams before sharing them here with you. They totally show you the pride and self-sufficiency God is still refining. It reveals my fears of failures (though I often say I don’t fear it. I really do. It’s our secret.) It reveals my need to please, succeed, achieve.

I mean I thought the play would fall apart without me. Insert emoji with the hand over my face. Honestly, it’s how I operate far too often. I feel as though if I don’t do it, it won’t get done or it won’t get done right. This is a form of perfectionism and pride. Over the last year I’ve been praying about this and releasing it little bits at a time.

There’s another message that stands out to me in the first dream. It’s that God’s will will prevail. His plans will go forth with or without me. My failure to participate means that I miss out on the blessing. God will still do what God will do. That play still went on. I just didn’t participate. In the opportunities that God places before me, it doesn’t all rest on me.

I can release myself from carrying that weight and burden He never asked me to carry. He places paths before me. They are opportunities. I can choose to flee when fear speaks. I miss out on the blessing. God’s plan goes forth with other people. Or I can stand in confidence and choose to step out on the stage and trust Him to speak through me when I don’t know what to say. God will be glorified. But what a blessing when we get to participate with Him!

I’m in a season right now of following God along new paths. They are scary. I have to remember it doesn’t rest on me. I need only rest in Him. If I am spending time in His Word and praying, then I can simply be at rest. Step by step I go with Him confidently.

At the home school conference I recently attended, the speaker talked about being ok with the bare minimum. I’ve NEVER been o.k with minimums. I strive for beyond the bar. If I set a goal, I’m rarely satisfied to meet the goal. I want to exceed it. It’s really a poor way to live. We are constant works in progress. Praise God He’s not finished with me yet.

The last 4 months God’s been speaking to me about simplification. I love simple. My mind complicates matters. Too many choices complicates matters. My desire to not make a mistake complicates things.

But in all areas of my life, God has been saying to simplify. I find it ironic that while He’s telling me to simplify, He’s led me into starting two separate businesses at the same time. He’s really teaching me to rely on Him!

I’m noticing how when I simplify, the drive towards perfection is lessened. Maybe this is why He’s leading me toward a simpler life.

Simpler meals. Who needs drastic, gourmet, fancy variety? Honestly, my boys love taco nights, pancake night, and soup night. Why do I strive for more?

Simpler homeschool. That means tuning out the ones driven to have their kids earn everything they can. It’s being ok with focusing on our most important priorities. Simplify. Don’t add in the extra geography lesson, the extra foreign language. Let it all go.

Last year my doctor told me to be ok with good enough.

Good enough. What is good enough? Good enough for who? That is the question. You see I’m the only one driving me to do more than is necessary.

I had a revelation recently that really convicted me. I used to say that I was driven because I cared so much about people I didn’t want to disappoint them. One day it struck me. I didn’t want them disappointed in ME.  It wasn’t really about them at all. I actually cared more that they not be disappointed in me than I cared about their feelings of being disappointed.

When God brings these revelations, they are brought with such sweet mercy and tenderness, I melt. I find it hard to stand in His Presence because He is so good. He is beyond what I deserve. Why He doesn’t’ beat me over the head, I can’t fathom.

Why He doesn’t scold me and call me a selfish brat, I can’t understand. But it’s because He is perfect love. Perfect grace. Perfect mercy. Perfect justice.

He speaks. He waits. He lets us choose and fall. He picks us up. He says “I love you.” He doesn’t’ shame and guilt us. His loving kindness brings us to repentance. And it’s more than I can bear.

My drive for perfection is an attempt to take the throne and receive His glory.

So I lay it down again today. I’m sure I’ll pick it back up. I am human. I will forget.

He will still be kind because He doesn’t change. We will do it again.

I will learn a little quicker each time. I’ll offer myself grace and forgiveness. He offers it first. I’ll take His lead.

I will thank Him. For He is good and His love endures forever.

I say no to fear today. I will walk out on that stage even when I don’t know the words. His play will go on with or without me. I dare not miss the blessings of watching Him glorified.

Join our community of readers by clicking here. You will receive some fun downloads to enjoy.

In case you didn’t know, I’ve written and recorded a devotion on releasing our fears and anxieties by learning to see God for who He is. It’s called Illuminate. Find out more here and listen to a sample.

And if you want to give gifts or fill your home with reminders of God’s goodness, check out my new online shop!

My heart is to encourage and inspire you to follow God with wholehearted, fearless courage.

 

Do You Want To Get Well?

“One man was there who had been sick for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir,’ the man answered, ‘I don’t have a man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.’ ‘Get up,’ Jesus told him, ‘pick up your mat and walk!’ Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk….”

John 5:5-9

Have you ever considered why Jesus asked the man who needed healing if he wanted to get well?

Obviously the man was sick. Obviously he needed what only Jesus could provide. So why did Jesus ask if he wanted to get well?

When Jesus asked this question, the man responded with the reasons he couldn’t get well. He needed someone to get him to the water. People jumped ahead of him while he made his way. Maybe the man just gave up his will and saw only hindrances.

Maybe the man lacked gusto, grit, determination. But maybe not. I really don’t know. I’m only pondering possibilities. What I do know is that 38 years is a long time to be sick! After that long, I imagine my grit would have vanished.

Jesus didn’t simply heal the man before he asked if that is what the man wanted.

I wonder if at times we become so comfortable in our “illness” that it becomes a source of safety for us. It’s what we know. We let it define us and become a part of who we are.

When I say illness, I mean drastic variances of “illness”. Could be physical. Or it could be an illness of the soul. It could be an addiction. It could be emotional. An area of sin. It could take so many forms.

That might sound ridiculous, but I think if you consider it long enough your eyebrows may raise a touch.

I’m also not saying that if you haven’t received healing, it means you don’t want it or that you lack faith. I don’t believe that for one second. God has impeccable timing we can’t understand. He is glorified in us through sickness and in health. And also in death. Sometimes our healing is delayed while we are used in the healing of others. So please don’t misunderstand my point.

There are some things that hinder me in life that are an illness of the soul. They hold me back from full on faith trusting in Jesus. I cling to what is known, even if it’s not what is good for me. Sometimes that feels safer than Jesus.

We can accept so little at times. We are so finite. We settle for what we know rather than reach for what seems impossible. Often we fear the fall of the reach.

Oh why do we do this?

What if we reach and fall? Will He not be there to pick us up? To brush away the debris, to hug away the sting, to hold us tenderly while we mend? Do we not trust that if we fall, He is still there?

But what if we don’t fall in the reach? What if we grab hold of something far beyond what we’ve ever considered? Wouldn’t the enemy do whatever it takes to keep us stuck?

In Illuminate I used this quote:

‘“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…

“Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
C.S Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

I love this quote. He’s not safe, but He’s good. He’s the King. We must trust Him.

The verse in John speaks to our need to know ourselves. Honestly, know ourselves. As it pertains to our “healings”, do we honestly want to be healed? If so maybe it’s time to pick up our mat and walk. Maybe it’s time to believe God can do the impossible. Maybe it’s time we not only ask Him, but we ask Him to change our hearts to desire the healing. Whatever that healing may look like.

Maybe we’ve never considered that we’ve become comfortable in our afflictions (whatever form they take in our life).

We all need some form of healing. Until eternity, we aren’t complete. We are an unfinished work. Praise God for that!

I’m convinced we can all relate to this man lying on his mat for 38 years. I know I can. How many “illnesses” have I accepted and stayed in. Have I accepted the illness of bitterness because I’m waiting on the other person to do what’s right first? I need to pick up my mat. Have I accepted the illnesses of slave to my cravings? Maybe I need to pick up my mat.

There are many healings we may need, but first we need to look at our hearts and see if the desire is there first? And if it’s not, that’s where we start. We ask Him to change our hearts to desire the healing we need most. Then we pick up our mats and walk it out.

All in His perfect timing.

Those first steps may be terrifying. Our legs may shake and tremble. Remember we are using muscles we haven’t used in awhile. It’s ok. He will strengthen us one step at a time.

Maybe we change what we see as safe? Maybe we shift from safe to good? Aslan wasn’t safe, but He was good. Our King is good. May we not cling to the smallness of what we know and see and instead lift our eyes above and desire His abundance poured over us.

Lord, we confess we are people of little faith. We trust in the things seen rather than what is unseen. Lord, you are King of Kings, Lord of Lords. You are good. You are our healer. May we trust You. If our hearts find safety in our illnesses and sicknesses, may we lay them at the foot of the cross today. We open our hands to You and surrender it all. We ask for healing. Lead us by Your good Spirit. We love you.

If you are new here, welcome. I post about once a week. If you would like to receive posts via email, click over here and receive some fun downloads when you do!

If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know that my heart is to follow God wherever He leads, no matter where that is. Sometimes it makes no sense to me until I take the first step. That’s what has been happening to me. I’ve shared a little here, but a ton on Instagram. God has given me a new assignment. While I’m still writing, He led me to start a 2nd home based business. Right after opening my online shop. The timing is hilarious.

I didn’t understand at first, but now I do. My heart cares so deeply for people and helping them get unstuck. The enemy loves to hold us in the quicksand. God has been showing me how much of our physical health is linked to our spiritual health. And my desire is to help people get unstuck physically in order that their spiritual lives can flourish.

If you want information about what I’m sharing, send me an email. Or follow along on Instagram where I share several times a day.

Thank you for trusting me. I don’t take that lightly and count it an honor and pray I would lead well.

 

 

 

When God is Getting Your Attention

A friend called me several days ago and wondered if I had any suggestions for small inexpensive devotions she could give to her team at a retreat she was hosting for her business.

A tiny little booklet I hadn’t thought of in years popped in my head. I first heard about this little gem from another friend and ended up buying 20 copies of it to keep on hand to offer out as the need arose.  Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel.

She stopped by and picked up the copies I had on hand. I thought to myself, “I should read it again.” But I laid it aside and went about my business.

Last night I hosted the final session of a Bible study I led in my home. We went through Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer.  Can I just pause and say, please do this study. Even if on your own. Good gracious, it will be the thing your soul thanks you for for the rest of your life!

At the end of the video, Priscilla referenced this tiny pamphlet I hadn’t thought of in years. I’ve never heard it mentioned by anyone other than my one friend years ago. And here I sit learning how to better hear God’s voice when she mentions something that has only days before come to my attention again.

My friend sat across the room. Our mouths dropped, we met each other’s gaze with silent gasps. He had both our attentions.

Sometimes God speaks in whispers. But sometimes it’s like a shout in the ear in the middle of the night. Startling.

I climbed into bed with a full heart last night. A Bible study completed that we all stuck to through the summer. Not an easy thing in today’s busy culture. But they showed up week after week. Hungry and thirsty.

I opened that little black book and began reading. I got to a sentence that made in inhale sharply.

“Many of us have experienced Christ’s deliverance from the penalty and power of sin in our lives. Are we also letting him free us from the tyranny of the urgent? In this message he points the way: “If you hold to my teaching.” This is the path to freedom, continuing day by day to meditate on the Scriptures and gain our Lord’s perspective.

P.T. Forsyth once said, “The worst sin is prayerlessness.” Does this statement surprise us? We usually think of murder and adultery as among the worst offenses against God and humanity. But the root of all sin is self-sufficiency – independence from the rule of God.”

I stopped reading immediately. I needed to sit with this. Sleep on it. Roll around in it. Wrestle it down to the ground.

I closed my eyes. The next morning I awoke. I felt the Lord calling me into an even quieter time with him this morning.

I went to my writing room. I left my phone upstairs. I kept the lights low and opened His Word. I prayed. I asked Him to speak to me and let me hear Him. After I sat in His Word, I opened another book I’ve been slowly reading through each morning for the 2nd read through. Prayer – Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller. Absolutely amazing book.

 

Y’all. The very page I was on this particular day said this:

“Prayer should be done regularly, persistently, resolutely, and tenaciously at least daily, whether we feel like it or not. ‘The worst sin is prayerlessness,’ wrote Peter T. Forsyth.”

God had a word for me. Pray.

Last week I told my husband I felt God telling me to get on my knees. Literally. Posture into submission.

One of my greatest struggles is self-sufficiency. I know in my head that God supplies the power I need to do everything I do. Yet, if I’m totally honest, I often get from Him a touch of what I need then race forward leaving Him behind.

He gently calls me back. Wooing me to Him. Tender and sweet.

He tells me to lay down my first born drive and simply surrender it all to Him. Rest. Cease striving. Be still and know that He is God.

Is He calling you to spend more time sitting at His feet? To stop racing to the urgent demands and tend to the most important instead?

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