I’m currently sitting in the Angola consulate to finish my visa application & this is always a jittery experience. It’s stressful in lots of ways because it’s a really complicated process & even when I’ve done everything right, there has been an occasion when my application was denied.
So I can get stressed out as I wait or I can chose to trust God. These words, “trust God” are easier said than done. But when there’s nothing more that I can do, then I need to actively chose, even moment by moment, to trust God.
Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to coach our mental game & help us get better at trusting God 🙂
“That was practice,” I said with a smile to the Post Office guy when I swiped my credit card too soon. I was shipping a book to someone & was in hurry because of all the things I needed to accomplish that day. The Post Office guy chuckled & I was glad he saw the humor in my weak explanation for being impatient.
There are lots of things I’m not good at such as being patient, planning, follow through and loads of other stuff.
I’m not ok with just accepting these shortfalls, nor can I afford to dismiss them as irrelevant. The other way I try to let myself off the hook sometimes is by rationalizing that these weaknesses are too big for me to overcome.
Maybe you have some weaknesses that might seem insurmountable to you as well. Here are two things for your encouragement:
Think in terms of practice – the way we get better, even in small ways, is by practice, a process of continual improvement.
With the Holy Spirit living in us, nothing is impossible!
Let’s keep focused on the Helper & keep practicing!
One of the things I greatly admire about my mom is that she is continually learning & her learning isn’t limited to just small pockets of interest. She’s recently started using emojis in her text messages & she’s more than excited about using periscope in her latest social media adventure.
Learning is a BLAST, particularly when you have a good teacher – my first major at college was physics because my high school physics teacher was so amazing! Having a good teacher is half the battle in getting to enjoy learning & Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher. Truth be known, there’s no one in our lives who can teach us better than the Helper.
The other half of learning is the determination to be a good learner. You can have the best teacher on the world & learn virtually nothing if you decide not to learn or grow, full stop.
So let’s decide to be awesome learners! Here are a few suggestions about how to be a good learner:
Be flexible – decide to learn regardless of the “classroom” or the lesson 🙂
Don’t let shame or discouragement color your learning
Buy my book, Heavenly Help, and learn about the Holy Spirit, your Teacher, Comforter & Helper 🙂
These are a few of my favorite things: peaches, pho, fresh coffee, clean sheets, snuggling with my kids, a good read, a heartfelt conversation, prayer, . . . . . And one generality that holds true for all of these things is “staying fresh”. For example, I recently bought like two boxes of peaches because I know that we are coming to the end of peach season & I ABSOLUTELY LOVE peaches. But the problem is that these peaches are getting “tired” – not as good as when they’re at the peak of freshness & season. Pho is another example of keeping stuff fresh – whenever I bring home leftover pho & it sits in the refrigerator, it gets gross.
I think this is also true in our relationship with Jesus. A stale, old and tired walk with Jesus can get pretty ugly. So here are a few ideas that could be helpful in keeping fresh with Jesus:
Bible reading: change your translation from time to time
spiritual conversations: talk with a friend about Jesus and what you like about Him
take a bath: sometimes we need to wash off some dirt & road wear;
fasting / prayer: periodically, it helps me to do something extra (fast a meal or a few days, take a lunch to pray, look for someone for whom to pray
time: it always takes my breath away when I consider that God considers my presence to be a present ,)
A very nice friend asked me today about overcoming fear & I felt encouraged that I should write about this today 🙂
In relation to fear, there are lots of things that could trouble us: fear of failure, fear of getting hurt, fear of something from the past, fear of falling down, fear of the future, fear of relationships, . . . . . . The Greeks used the term phobia and attached all kinds of things to this word (agrophobia, necrophobia & my personal favorite, snake-o-phobia).
So here are some strategies that could be helpful to overcoming fear:
do it scared – I stole this outright from Joyce Meyer; she’s uber cool!
face the fear a little bit at a time rather than to look at the whole thing
consider that the devil uses fear to control us & that God created us from the very beginning to have authority, dominion & power
catch fear in the early stage so it doesn’t go stupid
choose to trust God & reject fear – yes to trust and no to fear
keep trying – failing is more like practice if we take out the fear ingredient
remember that 1 John says that perfect love casts out fear!
Feel free to add your own advice & pass this along to your fam & friends! 😀
A few of my kids went to school this morning after a heated conversation. Both had tears in their eyes & it rips me up as their mom to see this tension and strife. Which makes me wonder how God “feels” when we are yucky with each other. The truth is that any relationship worth it’s weight will have to work through conflict. So here are a few pointers to help with this challenge:
benefit of the doubt: assume the best rather than blame the worst
double standard: be mindful that you don’t just the other person by actions but ourselves by intentions
breathing space: sometimes a “cool down” can bring some clarity and options that aren’t available when we are in the heat of a conflict
be generous: seek to understand before being understood
forgive well: practice makes perfect
conclusion: sometimes the best outcome is to agree to disagree without being disagreeable 🙂
I’ve been thinking about this question because it’s another nice way to ask someone how they’re doing – how ya feelin? But here’s an interesting tweak on this question. Consider the idea that we could ask ourselves how do we feel in the sense of being sensitive, aware and attentive to what’s happening around us. Sometimes I can be downright insensitive, uncaring & inattentive not only to what’s happening around me but also to what the Holy Spirit may be trying to communicate with me. When I get in this mode, it’s easy to grieve the Holy Spirit by being insensitive. Consequently, it’s a good question to ask ourselves, “How ya feelin?”