I messed up :(

I hate it when I mess up & the bigger that I mess up, the more sick I get to my stomach. I hate it when I blow it & I’ve had my share of shortcomings & mistakes. I’ve been disrespectful to my husband (and repented), I’ve been insensitive w my words & hurt my friends, I’ve made selfish decisions & been called on the carpet for being selfish, and there are many more areas where I’ve messed up.
But here’s my encouragement for us: when Lot had messed up & was living in Sodom & having a conversations w God’s angels, they took him by the hand & let him away from destruction. There have been innumerable times when God has taken me by my hand & let me out of destruction. When this happens, I’m always humbled, grateful & my relationship w God always gets deeper & stronger. Be encouraged that when you mess up, God can take you by your hand & lead you out of destruction 🙂

dealing with discouragement

We all have things & times that are discouraging – a job that falls through, a relationship that goes sour, a poor grade at school, etc.  I don’t think that anyone is immune from having some discouraging moments in life.  But the key is what we do with those times & situations.  Here are some things that have been helpful to me with the discouragement topic:

  • just because I failed at something, that doesn’t make me a failure
  • keeping my eyes on God & His promises are more helpful than fixating on the discouragement (we can’t ignore problems, but we can’t let them own us either)
  • keep going – if I’m not careful, discouragement can get pretty heavy & bog me down, so I tell myself to take one step at a time, even if they’re baby steps
  • working out – physical exercise is a great way to burn off some discouragement
  • laugh – sometimes it helps me to be goofy, it lightens me up which is helpful because I tend to be pretty serious in my normal living
  • listen deeply – I find that God’s voice can really help speak light & truth to the discouragement that can try to reside in my thoughts

May you be strongly encouraged today that you are deeply loved & highly treasured!

having some fun with failure

To me, fun and failure don’t really belong in the same sentence.  One of the only times that I’ve experienced failure and its been fun is when I bowl.  For whatever reason, whenever I bowl, I laugh my head off.  Since I don’t really have much opportunity to bowl, I’m a miserable failure with bowling & it makes me TOTALLY laugh at myself in a really healthy way.  Except for bowling, fun and failure aren’t very complementary – but here’s the catch:  they can be.

I’ve had varying degrees of failure in my life.  I’ve failed in various sports, failed in some different school work, failed in some relational contexts, failed with some financial decisions and more.  Here’s the good part of failure – its the bottom.  Furthermore, we often seem to learn more from our failures than our successes.  Success feels better than failure, but failure because of both the feelings and consequences causes us to adapt, change, grow, adjust and improve. 

Here’s the tricky part of failure:  just because you’ve experienced failure doesn’t mean that you are a failure.  The verb isn’t the same as the noun.  Sometimes, if we’ve had some catastrophic failure or a whole bunch of failures, it can be easy to transfer the action to our identity.  This is contrary to what Paul says in Romans 8:37 – that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. 

Hold your head up high when you fail.  Its an opportunity to grow and get better.  Through Jesus’ love for us, we are never failures, even when we blow it.

we follow strength but fellowship w suffering

I like what Paul says in Philip 3:10 about knowing Christ, the power of His resurrection, fellowship of His suffering, . . . .

I’ve been thinking about this alot & here’s something to consider:  i can find myself following strong people;  people who have vision, strength of personality & character & those who are strong within themselves.  I’ve been around LOTS of strong people – some politicians, Christian leaders, social leaders, etc & they’re very interesting people.

However, when it comes to connecting on a personal level, i find myself drawn to people who are flawed, who share their struggles & vulnerabilities.  I think this is because i can easily relate to someone else’s frailties & failures in some ways better than a person’s strength.  There’s a distinct fellowship & intimacy that can be experienced in hardship, weakness.  Truth be known, i think most of us find it difficult to share our weaknesses.  Our society applaudes strength, power, victory & not weakness, vulnerability & failure.  Nevertheless, we’re invited to share in the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus – bringing an intimacy w Him that is both distinct & beautiful.