I’m learning some cool things with God lately & right up front please know that I’m all about knowing God & having an increasingly deeper & deeper relationship with God. With these things in mind, I’m really dialed into prayer & being with God as well as working on different ways & modes of being with God. So this morning I had some nice prayer time with God – good stillness & connecting. But for me it can be tricky to keep that “level” of fellowship in the contexts of the many demands that I have on any given day. So I was talking with God about this challenge & i felt God speak to me that our fellowship doesn’t have to decrease throughout the various activities of the day – it just changes. The morning stillness gets to be adjusted to a more conversational context – chatting about what’s happening & even maintaining a continuous stream of dialogue. Don’t let your relationship with God get boxed into suffocating expectations. God has lots of ways, methods & strategies for connecting with us & we get to say whole heartedly, “YES!!!!”
I’ve been reading about how King David in the Bible wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant (God’s presence) up to Jerusalem. His first attempt to move the Ark was disastrous – a guy was killed. In David’s second attempt, he made sure that everyone followed God’s directions on how to transport the Ark.
My take away from this story is that we must always treat God with respect & reverence, never thinking that we can do things our way & ignore God’s directives, presence or preferences. We can revel in God’s presence but not at the expense of reverence 🙂
Last night I had some friends over for dinner & I really enjoyed making a nice dinner for everyone (I even tried some new recipes that weren’t too bad). As I sat & enjoyed the fellowship, my family & food, one of the things that I enjoyed the most was that our meal couldn’t be repaid.
This is my same experience with saving Moses – I get to give to babies & toddlers with a pure heart & no strings attached. It brings me great joy & happiness when I get to freely give & bless others. Somewhere it says that it’s more blessed to give than receive ,)
Ok, before you get stressed out with me about the title of this blog, here’s something good that I’m observing that can come from stress. Probably like you, I have varying degrees of stress in my life – from the quickie stress that comes from being late bc of traffic to the massive stress that can come from job & family pressures (or various other things). What I’m noticing is that the greater the intensity of the stress the more I find myself pressing into God & ultimately, it is never a bad thing to press into God nor to depend on God, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel.
So what we do with stress can often be more important than the actual stress 🙂
Lately, I’ve had some struggles with worry & if you give me the line that I’m not supposed to worry, I’ll hit you ,)
With that being said, I had a nice chat with God about this & I received some great help that you might also find useful, if not today, maybe for the future. I learned that when I worry, I make an attention decision that can undermine the closeness of my walk with God (not that God moved, but rather that I’ve compromised my trust in God). When I worry, I choose to give my attention to challenges, problems & difficulties that I’m unable to resolve. When I worry, I neglect to include God in these struggles and therefore become increasingly absorbed in them, to the point of being all consumed. And clearly, being all consumed with worry is no place I want to live. So that counter-point to worry is choosing to trust God and while this can be difficult, this decision is much better than going down the worry path. But I’m also learning that trusting God is often a continuously active decision. So let’s encourage each other to keep our eyes on Jesus and to make healthy choices to strengthen our hearts by trusting God 🙂
I often have questions about God that are perplexing. One of my friends mom died & I don’t know why. She was a very beautiful, faith filled, godly & loving person. But she died & wasn’t even 60 years old. Her death has been really hard on her family & I don’t understand why she died. There are many other situations like this that I don’t understand – and you probably have had some similar experiences & questions. Why don’t people get healed when we pray for them? Why do godly people die what seems to be prematurely? Why do we go through hardships & struggles when it seems like we are doing all the “right things”?
These questions & more are really difficult. But something I do know, is that regardless of my experiences, questions or frustrations, I make the decision to believe & trust in God. I chose to be a person of faith. I may still have questions & frustrations but I chose to not allow these things to be stronger in my life than my faith in God.
This might be a very little bit graphic, so pls be forewarned. It’s been awhile since I’ve had kids being sick in the night, but the last two nights have compensated for this shortage. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I can simply say that we should all be pretty dried out by now.
When we get in pukey seasons, these are some things that help me:
*remember that it’s a season, so there’s an end somewhere even when you can’t see or feel it
*puking often helps the stomach feel better, even though its gross while happening
*God has designed our bodies to deal in healthy ways w viruses & bacteria that want to be unhealthy in our bodies – God is the Master Designer
*I’m thankful that God gives me strength for not only work challenges but also for kids puking at 2am challenges. 🙂
Ever have those seasons where your back is against the wall & there seems to be no way out? I think Moses felt that way when Pharoah was chasing the Israelites & they were facing the Red Sea. Occasionally, I feel this way as well and sometimes when I’m in these predicaments, it’s easy to get discouraged. But here are a few things that have been helpful to me:
*keep my eyes on Jesus & off of what seems impossible (Ps 25:15)
*pray gratitude prayers, thanking God for Their amazing presence, power & solutions
*do the immediate thing that is the next step – sometimes we get overwhelmed w big things, but taking 1 step can be easier to do
*manage the people inputs in your life – faith, encouragement & confidence are essential ingredients to combat doubt & fear
Do you some ideas that have been helpful to you in seemingly grim situations? Please feel free to comment 🙂
When I was in my early twenties, I read the autobiography of Malcolm X and found it to be really disturbing. For much of his life, Malcolm was a proponent & participant of violence against the white establishment, which had been extremely cruel to him and his family. In contrast, Martin Luther King Jr was an advocate of nonviolence and steady & assertive pressure against the white establishment. Clearly, there were plenty of justified reasons for both men to adamantly oppose the white establishment, but they chose different paths. Both men were born and assassinated at similar times, but today we honor the memory, methods and practices of Martin Luther King Jr.
When we are treated unfairly in our lives, the shortcut reply is to return injustice for injustice. Such reactions seem to be the normal human reaction. In contrast, the heroes who most readily capture our attention & admiration are those individuals who decided to step out of the eye-for-eye quagmire and to live at a higher level of moral authority: good trumps bad, love trumps evil and forgiveness trumps retribution. Admittedly, these are extremely difficult choices and in my mind, we cannot make these noble choices without the help and power of God working in our hearts and thoughts 🙂
This school year, my daughter signed up to play her first year of basketball & to say that I was happy would be a massive understatement! Elated, excited, thrilled, joyful, exuberant & more would be more accurate 🙂
As the season has progressed, even though I didn’t want to admit this to myself, her interest & enthusiasm for playing basketball has waned, and this week, I had to have a stern conversation with her about finishing what we start & not quitting when we make a commitment (integrity 101). I hated having this conversation w her because I was very different than she is, in the sense of totally enjoying basketball. I was on the other end of the spectrum, shooting & practicing by myself just for my sheer enjoyment. As I’ve been thinking about this difference, I’ve also noticed that she really enjoys her piano lessons & practice – she will take her own initiative & practice even extra piano. For me, piano practice was a slippery shortcut from purgatory to hell ,)
Having said all of this, I’ve come to the happy conclusion that we are different & that’s totally wonderful! God has made Isabell different than me, in the same way that I am different from my mom & such differences aren’t bad – they are divinely inspired! So, my lesson is that God has lots of ways to express majesty, beauty & splendor, using amazing differences to catch our attention 🙂