What More?

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 🙂

conflict resolution

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 🙂
  • pray

Happy Monday to you!

 

Enjoy An Awesome Weekend!

“Chill out!” It seemed to me during my prayer time this morn that this was what God was saying to me. Probably both of us (you & me) have plenary of activities, demands, responsibilities & stuff going on & I can easily get pretty tense with everything. Sometimes my prayer times can be jam packed with lots of requests, venting & pressures. Today, I feel like God is challenging me to chill out & enjoy God’s company & put the stresses, pressures, demands, responsibilities, etc on pause & take a deep breath.
Let’s remember that God is in control, has a plan & loves us more than anyone else. May today’s blog be your weekend “chill pill” ,)
Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who’s stressed 🙂

a fearless tribute to my husband

Have you ever been intimidated, afriad, overwhelmed, in over your head and just simply disheartened?  Sometimes I go through seasons, situations and struggles that could feel really overpowering – dying babies with Saving Moses, evil people masquerading as helpful, discouraging words from close friends and more.  I was recently in some of this kind of quagmire and my husband & I were talking about a few things related to these struggles when I remembered something cool from the New Zealand national Rugby team:  the Haka

I showed my husband a video of the Haka & it stirred up a few things in my heart:

  • nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
  • greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)
  • Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33)
  • Jesus holds everything together (Col 1:17)
  • this lite & momentary affliction is working in me a far greater weight of glory (2Cor 4:17)

A Piece of Peace

A shooting spree in the LAX airport? I was in Brazil a few days ago when I read about the guy who went on a shooting spree in the LAX airport. Knowing that I’d be traveling home soon, I can’t say that the shooting spree thing gave me great tranquility. Hmmmmm
But as I’m traveling today, with lots of responsibilities in front of me when I land, I’m opting for a piece of peace rather than slice of stress, remembering that Jesus is my Prince of Peace & He’s got the whole world (including all of my world) in His hands. We can trust Jesus to direct & protect our steps, so let’s chose the piece of peace ,)

Stress can be good

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 🙂

Pulling teeth :(

My son is getting some teeth removed this morning to make space for his adult teeth to come in better. My personal opinion on this is “no bueno”. Taking out teeth is a really good example of the opposite of how I feel when I’m with God during my morning prayer time. As passionately as I LOVE being with God in our quiet & still morning hours, I just as much LOATHE this tooth pulling stuff. Nevertheless, I get the opportunity to experience God in a variety of ways, if I’ll stop clenching my fists, take some deep breaths & be still. God is present in every moment, at peaceful, stressful, uncertain & neutral times. God is constant when life is not 🙂

help with being stressed

I know that many of you don’t need any help with dealing with stress.  In fact, you may be a person who is completely immunized from anything stressful so you might find these ideas to be boring.  If, however, you find yourself struggling with stress from time to time, these are some things that have helped me of late:

  • if I get jittery about the future, it’s really helped me to re-adjust my focus to keep it on Jesus, being confident that when I get to the future, Jesus will be there.  More importantly, I can be with Jesus now in this moment
  • provision challenges: sometimes God’s provisions come on a day-to-day basis.  With this in mind, I can trust that He is giving me what I need for this day and even this moment
  • while this may sound cheesy, it’s really helped me alot lately to praise & worship God just on my own without music or even a specific song but just singing my own songs and words that are from my heart
  • finally, the other day I was up really early & really stressed out;  I read an email about a friend who is going through a REALLY DIFFICULT time.  Reading about her hardship made me instantly want to pray for her – taking my mind off of me

I believe that God has huge help available for us, even in stressful times ,)

how to constructively deal with pressure

It seems to me that the holiday season increases the pressures on my life, based on many add’l activities & responsibilities (Christmas programs, special meals, house projects, present wrapping, etc).  Maybe your life has some similar dynamics & demands.  Should you find yourself in seasons that have alot of pressure, here are some ideas that have helped me:

  • simplify & prioritize:  things that aren’t as important need to drop much lower on the “must do” list
  • keep core / central relationships healthy:  make the extra effort to communicate clearly, or the stress from these relationships can be very draining
  • remember that you are deeply loved by Jesus: you are always on His mind, in His thoughts & you always capture His eye
  •  minimize the noise & clutter – if something isn’t necessary & soothing consider reducing or eliminating it
  • give yourself permission to get a coffee / tea & exhale or take a deep breath
  • take some moments each day to celebrate Jesus in your life – more ideas to follow on this point

Feel free to add some more thoughts on how to constructively deal with pressure 🙂

What if . . . . . ?

When you have something looming in front of you, something that you are almost dreading, it can be a challenging time. For me, I have a few things like this in my life right now, but thankfully God is reminding me about His encouragement in Is 64:4 & how that as I wait on Him, He will give me strength & help me w my focus & heart.
When you’re concerned about something(s) in your future, be sure to keep your eyes on God & to trust Him to walk you through the challenge, one step at a time because He’s very faithful & capable to bring us through 🙂