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God Never Asked Me To Be His Assistant Holy Spirit

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The words in my head are itching to make their way out through the pounding of my fingers on the keyboard. I find myself constantly saying, “I have no time to write anymore.” Actually, I have no time for anything it seems. I have no time to take a run or a long walk. No time to write. No time to answer emails. No time to think. The more I feel this way, the more the anxiety builds up. I begin to notice something going on around me when I get this way. I rest less in Him, I try harder in me.

I sat down to write a post this morning, and the Lord brought to mind one I’d already written on this topic. I thought it fitting to share it with you today.

You can ready the original post here – I am not the Holy Spirit.

Of course, I know I’m not the Holy Spirit to my family. But you wouldn’t know it by how I act far too often. The less effective I am to change their hearts, the harder I try. The harder I try, the greater the frustration and anxiety. Because I’m powerless to change a heart. Not only that, it’s not my job. I’m taking the role from God.

Last week, I read an article on Desiring God. One sentence reached into my heart and squeezed with all its strength. Paul David Tripp wrote, “God has tasked parents with many things, but nowhere in his word has he tasked you with the responsibility to create heart change.”

It was the light bulb moment where God likely says, “You know this. You’ve walked this. You wrote this very thing. But you’ve forgotten and I want you to know this because it’s for your freedom and your good.”

I’ll stop here because I’ve said all that needs to be said in my previous post I am not the Holy Spirit.

This is resting in God. Tucking under His wing. To let Him be God. To trust in His every way. To soak in Him in order to be wrung out on the ones He’s woven you with.

For your weekend, I pray you will allow His love to rush over you. To refresh and revive your heart. To fill you with so much of Him that it pours out on the ones who fill the seconds and minutes of your days. To remember that He never asked you to be the Holy Spirit. To grasp the freedom in that.

Happy Friday!

When you feel like a kid going to camp

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I stood in the registration line surrounded by people who all seemed to know someone. The chatter was a constant reminder that I knew no one yet.  My clammy hands continued to readjust my bags and check my schedule printout.  A few deep breaths would have helped, but I kept forgetting.  The line opened up to my turn, and I stepped forward.

As I approached the kind eyes behind the counter, a group of old friends reunited in the line next to me with hugs and squeals. The kind eyes met mine, “First time here?”  Maybe my shaky hands gave me away.  “Well, hey, maybe next year when you come back to the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, that’ll be you.” I appreciated his effort, so I smiled an offering of thanks.

Do you ever find yourself in situations you feel completely out of place?  As if you don’t belong at all?

The voice of fear loves when we are in these places because we are usually more inclined to listen to its voice.  The anxiety I experienced in the weeks leading up to the conference reached new heights as I arrived that day. I didn’t know a soul there and could list 10 reasons why I didn’t belong.

For months I worked on writing a manuscript and proposal to pitch to agents and editors at this conference.  Brand new territory for me, and a recording played in my mind why the time was not now.  I had a group of friends praying for me, and I felt it all week long.

Each time I sat in the seat facing an agent or editor, I felt the presence of Jesus.  Each time I carried my cafeteria tray into the dining hall, I felt the presence of Jesus.  Each conversation I had with a new friend, I saw Jesus.  He met me each step of the way.

The moments of life are rarely about what we think.  I went to that conference to pitch a book.  It’s not about the book.

Life is about knowing Jesus more, trusting in Him, and realizing apart from Him, I have nothing to offer.

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In this life comfort and peace are felt through fingers that cling to Him.

Life is about knowing Jesus and making Him known.

Departure morning I awoke early, packed my car, and headed to the dining hall for my last cafeteria breakfast.  The nervous jitters were back, but they were different this time.  I was no longer nervous about the unknown – the messing up my pitch, or who I would sit with and talk to, or if I would get lost.

My last class ended, and I headed to the conference center book store.  As hard as arriving had been, leaving proved to be equally hard.  So I shopped for reminders to bring home.  I felt like a kid leaving camp, loading up her pockets with trinkets that would find a home in the crevice of the couch.  Lost and rediscovered years later to remind of new friends, new memories, and heartwarming moments.  I felt like that 14 year-old leaving summer camp with a pocket full of memories.

Hot tears welled up in my eyes as I drove down the mountain.  My heart ached for home and my heart  was filled by Jesus through new friends and new experiences.  I left that mountain knowing I had experienced Jesus again.  Moment by moment, He met me.  Through kind eyes at registration.  Through arms that pulled out a chair at lunch.  To the words that encouraged me to keep writing that book.  To the WWJD bracelets in my pocket for my boys. The little reminders.  The not-so-little reminders.  Manifestations of the living God.

What are some times you’ve experienced God recently?  What are some ways you realized God was meeting your needs or simply meeting with you?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 4:6-7

Finding Spiritual Whitespace Book Review

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[box] This post is part of the “Finding Spiritual Whitespace Blog Tour” which I am a part of, along with a group of soulful, journeying kindreds. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! [/box]

I’m a “judge a book by it’s cover” type of girl.  I wish it weren’t true, but it is.  That is disappointing for the wonderful books that could change my life that I will never purchase or read.  Finding Spiritual Whitespace caught my attention with the title.  Particularly the subtitle “Awakening your soul to rest”.

Who doesn’t ache for rest?  We women need rest and rarely get any.  Rest is something I have always struggled with.  I’m a list-maker, box-checking, get it done kind of spirit.  Once it’s all done, I’ll rest.  The problem?  It’s never all done.  A completed checklist is an illusive dream.  It’s a lie.

When I discovered Bonnie’s book, I knew I needed to read the words inside that beautiful cover.  But, seriously, could I really add one more thing to my to-do list?  If I sign up for this blog tour, I’m just adding to my list, putting rest a little further away.  Right?  Something continued whispering.  Read this.

I met a new friend at the writers conference I recently attended that told me she reads in every nook and crannie of her day.  In the shower even. I’m not kidding.  Fascinating.  I’ll try a version of this productivity.  I’m always up for new ways to pack in one more thing.  While my boys busied about their morning chores, I snuck away to shower and start in on the 30 minute drama that is blow-drying my hair.

Chapter 1 – “I was a little girl, standing in the middle of the broken driveway sloping down into the busy street………I stood there, heart pounding in my ears, hot tears flooding my eyes.  I cried with my mouth open, stuck in a silent howl unable to make it’s way out of my body.”  Bonnie Gray- page 25

The smell of burnt hair snapped me into reality.

Bonnie just described me.  I have a very similar memory.  A similar story.  My mind began to race.

“There was no one to comfort me.  No one to tell me why…..No one to hold me after…..Not that day.  Not that night…..And that is how I learned to take care of me.” Bonnie Gray – page 25

I couldn’t stop turning the pages.  This book is meant to be a slow read.  One that you take nibbles of.  But I couldn’t.  I had to see what God had for me in these words.  He has a message for me through the gift of words He has placed inside this author.  I stopped at the end of Chapter 1.

These words need to simmer in my soul in order to awaken it to the rest it aches for.

Is this book for you?  Possibly.  Very likely it could be just what your soul is in need of right this minute.  Summer is a good time for a soul-soaking read.  Linger long over her words and be blessed.

[box] Bonnie Gray is the writer behind Faith Barista.com who wrote a book about her inspiring, heart-breaking journey to find rest, which garnered Publisher’s Weekly starred review. I’m taking the journey to find rest through this guidebook and invite you to read it too. You can get a copy HERE.[/box]