Tag Archives: peace

Who Took My Blankie?

My very own

Just recently I had a passionate conversation and I wished I had recorded it, however, I will do my best to repeat the magnitude of what was said.

We are born.  Not by our own choice, but God’s.  We come into this world very unaware of our surroundings.  No clue perhaps in those first few moments of taking our first breaths.  Then as if out of nowhere there is a cutting.  A sudden revelation of a separation takes place.  The life line which you had been connected to for nine or so months suddenly is gone.

Now of course in those early stages of life we don’t actually have those thoughts running through our heads as birthing is a natural process which has been happening in this earth for a very long time.  For those who have anxiety at the moment you can probably close your eyes and imagine that whole beginning scene.  Those with separation issues could also relate.  What you once knew as comfort and connection is suddenly gone. Taken away.

So let’s take this to the next level.  As children we often cling to things such as stuffed animals, dolls or the ever so popular blankie.  These items become very important to us in early life.  You share EVERYTHING with this object, things you probably never told anyone else except for maybe your imaginary friend if you had one around.  I remember my son had a favorite teddy bear.  He went every where my son went.  If it was time for Teddy to have a bath, my son would stand by the washer and dryer until the whole process was complete.  He was clearly attached.

For the purposes of this discussion I am going to use the representation of the Blankie as I move through this next phase.  The Blankie is going to represent things we cling to in life as a comfort: food, family, friends, secret sins, drugs, alcohol and the likes.  Anything which we choose to go to instead of God.  As with the Blankie, we develop a relationship with our source of comfort.  It’s the one thing we know that will never let us down, it does not have the ability to.  We know when no one else understands us, our Blankie will.  It will comfort us.  Keep us close.  Never rejecting us.  Always a true friend and confidante.

What happens when God asks us to let go of the Blankie so that He can be our comfort, our true friend and confidante?  Of course!  We panic.  We cling all the tighter to our Blankie because a fear rises up in us.  How can we trust anyone else with our Blankie?  It knows us inside and out and would never hurt us or reject us or leave us hanging.  How do we know we will find comfort after we let go of the Blankie?

It all comes down to trust.  A trust beyond all thinking.  A trust so strong you have no choice but to cling to it instead of your false comforts.  For you see, a Blankie is just a false representation of love and trust.  In the end, you can’t take it with you.  It will be burned up with the things of the past.  You will step into heaven and God will be there.  Not your Blankie,–your false comfort.

God is calling us to trust Him with EVERYTHING.  Just like we shared our entire early stages of life with said Blankie, God wants you to choose to trust Him.  He wants to be your comfort.  Your security.  You source of Acceptance.

Some of us are still clinging to our Blankies.  We are at a point in our adult lives where we are afraid of being hurt and disappointed.  We don’t want to give up the very thing which has been there all along.  Drugs, alcohol, secret sins, food, bad relationships and various other addictions are not our security.  They are not our comfort.  They are not to be trusted.  Only God. God is the only one who will never let you down.  He will be there from the beginning until the end.  You can take Him where ever you go.  You can share every secret with Him.

One final thought.  In the beginning, we are not the ones who get to choose who cuts the cord.  When it comes to our false comforts we don’t have to do anything but trust God to take them and heal us from the aftermath.  We run around this big earth thinking we have to do more.  Thinking we are the ones who have to fix ourselves before we can go to God.  Those are lies.  God will take your Blankie.  All you have to do is believe.

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Dear Lord, Help me today to trust you with my Blankie.  I choose today to trust you with my Blankie.  I believe You can be trusted.  I believe You are my source of comfort and security.  Lord let me learn that the past is behind me and You are right in front of me, waiting to heal me.  I thank You Lord for removing those things in my life which are not of You.  I pray for all those who feel stuck in their sin or addictions that they made find true comfort in You alone and be healed from their wounds.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

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I am Seed

just be

Just recently I have realized how much easier life is when I just sit and stay.  Like a dog learning new tricks I am.  To be still and quiet.   To be content with just slowing down.  Smelling the roses.  Picking up pretty rocks.  Exploring new paths.  Waiting for the sunset.  Reading a book.  Painting a picture.  Slow walks along the beach. Taking 1,000 pictures of a cricket or flowers or water.   Just the simple elegant things of life.

So many times in my life I have been way too busy with other things to even notice that God was trying to keep up with me.  Sometimes I have so many projects going at one time that nothing ever gets completed.  I get so dang excited about ideas I sometimes want to dive right in even though I still have other things in the works already.

Psalm 1:3 in the Message Bible says:

Psalm 1:3 The Message (MSG)

2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.

When I first read this, I felt such an excitement with it and then I realized we were discussing a tree here.  Something which is non-mobile.  It is a seed planted meant to just be.  To just sway in the wind.  To allow the soil to house its’ roots.  To just grow and produce leaves and sometimes grow fruit.  To just be and depend on God to feed and water it.  To just be dependent  on God to shelter and protect it in all stages of growth from the seed to full maturity.

It is only when we slow down that we can truly depend on God.  It is in the slow moments we are reminded that God is in control.  It is in the slow times we see just how good God truly is and how He really does take care of our every need.  He feeds us with the Word.  He waters us with His Presence.  He protects us from all weather conditions life throws at us.

When we stop to just be, all fear dissolves.  After we have discontinued our pursuit of taking care of our own needs, God shows up in all of His splendor and we can be content with just being.  

At some point we need to come to the realization that we are merely the seed.  We have nothing else to do but just be.  Think of seed planted in the ground.  It sits.  It waits.  It is broken.  Then it beings to grow.  It grows both above ground and underground.  We don’t see the roots as they grow and often that is how we are as humans, we hide the roots, yet above the surface everything looks good.  Our trunks our sturdy and our leaves look just right yet underneath it all, buried deep inside are roots some good some bad.

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I encourage us all today to just be.  Take some time to just sit.  Stay.  Marinate.  Accept God is in control.  Be content in the stillness of God.  Begin to know that He meant it when He said, Be Still and KNOW I am God.

Dear Lord, I thank You for taking care of all of my needs.  I thank You that I can really just be.  I desire to get to know You better.  I look forward to just being more in Your presence.  I thank You for allowing me to just be.  Lord, I also thank You that You will begin to show others what it really means to just be so they too can find peace in just being still.  AMEN

Getting to the Track is the Easy Part

track .jpg

When life knocks you right of the track you are on, get back up and head toward the track.  Yup!  I know it sounds simple, and I also know it’s not easy.  Falling is never an easy place to rise up from yet it puts you in the perfect position for the greatness of God.  It places you in a vulnerable spot on which  great victory can occur.  When we feel defeated to the core then it’s time to sing praises.  It’s time to rejoice!  It’s time for joy to bubble up from within because God is about to do something so great your mind can’t even wrap itself around the miracle.

I am battling with my weight at the moment and am getting really frustrated.  I am on the right track.  I am moving forward but the train just has not picked up any speed.  The train I am on lacks motivation.  It lags behind the rest hoping at some point to catch up and get ahead of the game.  I may never get ahead of the rest and that is exactly where I need to be to have  peace within my soul.  I need to believe that I am on the right track and at least moving forward in the right direction.  I need to believe God is directing the train and His ways are greater than mine will ever be.

Today I posted a blog in my Sparkpeople app which brought me to tears right in my office.  In one simple moment of time I felt the presence of God in my life in a powerful Father-Loving way.  He accepts me.  He loves me.  He is my strength.  He is my rescuer when I fall.  He is the only One who can pick me up, dust me off and set me in the right direction, any other voices are just distractions.

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Today, choose the let Him pick you up, dust off the dirt and set you on the path towards the right track.  He does not require us to return to where we once began the journey, however, He let’s us start right where we fell.  There are no do overs with God, just continuations towards the right way.  You are good enough for God to save you.  You have not failed to the point where He forgets about you.  You are created for a plan and purpose.

Begin today to believe in you.  Believe in love.  Believe in faith.  Believe God is who He says He is.  Allow Him to set you on the right track.  If you fall off again, choose to know it is okay, He will pick you up right where you are.  You do not have to seek help, He will come to you.  Before you even ask He knows your distress and help is already on the way. He has everything you need to stay on track, no need for inventing schemes or great plans for survival.  He alone has the answers.  He alone knows your every need.  He alone is the maker of the track you are to be on.

 

Dear God, Today I pray for all of us who are struggling in any area of our lives.  I know You are sending help already, you won’t leave us in the dust, broken and battered.  I pray peace to come today.  I pray You will heal our wounds and set us on the right track towards the plan you have for our lives.  Thank You for the work you are doing on our behalf.  Thank You for the healing that is coming.  Thank You for accepting us just as we are.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

“Hey Mom, I’m Okay”

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 MSG

safe

Just recently in my own backyard to speak, a 20 year girl was enjoying her daily run.  A routine she had found herself in to become more fit.  Though she struggles with asthma she still pushes herself to become more active.  So this was just an ordinary run.  An ordinary day.  A quick run before a night of work which laid before her.  Ordinary until an attacker appeared in the bushes behind her.

He came from behind and tried to grab her, however upon contact she elbowed him in the ribs and broke free.  After he struck her across the face leaving a scratch and a bruise, she ran as fast as she could to the safety of her car and drove away.  Moments later I received a phone call, “Mom before you freak out, I am okay.”

No mother wants to hear what happened next to their little girl.  Yes I know she is 20 now and on her own but still.  As she unfolded the events that just happened to her I was glad to here she was okay.  Since this event she has met with police officers and sketch artists and seen a line up.  I pray this person is caught and that no one else’s little girl has to go such a trauma.

Now that you know my daughter is okay let me share why I am blogging on this subject because it all boils down to perfect peace.  As I began to share the news about the incident, people were asking me all sorts of questions such as:  Why are you not more upset?  Don’t you want revenge on this guy?  Why are you not worried?  What are you going to do about this?

To be honest, it did not hit me until about two days later the list of things which COULD have happened: murder, rape, abduction….a multitude of terrible things could have happened in that one 30 second encounter.  So why was I at such peace?  Because after years and years of walking on the edge of things, I am now centered in the heart of God and He promises to watch over me and my family.  I now can walk in perfect peace knowing God took care of my daughter that ordinary day and He will continue to do so.

Fear is not of God.  Fear is something we create in our minds when we do not have the full understanding of Who God is.  I am ever so thankful God spared my daughter from any further harm that day and I know He will give her the strength she needs to face this enemy.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt my God watches like a hawk seeking to protect His children from harm.

Sleep Awake

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 1 John 3:18 MSG

rest1

Get some rest!  Time for a nap!  Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.  Slow down, take a load off.  How many times do we hear these statements?  We read them in magazines.  Our doctors tell us every visit.  We see endless television programs on it. Rest seems overrated in today’s society.  Who actually has time for it with our busy schedules?

I recently was down with an upper-respiratory flu and all I could do was sleep.  I got sick on a Saturday morning and was down for 5 days.  I think it is the first time I actually listened to the doctor and did my time in bed rest.  I knew in my head that I had work to think about, I was missing church and a had husband who needed me, however I had to overlook those things and focus on me for a moment.

I went back to work on Thursday and worked 3 full days only to find myself on Sunday unable to attend church and slept until 4:30 in the afternoon.  I felt like I missed out on a whole day yet my body was telling me it was time to rest.  I actually despise that word…REST.  I just feel like I don’t have time.  I have to blog.  I have to write book #3.  I have a hubby wanting to spend time together.  Oh, and work. And taking care of my dad and keeping track of my kids and building relationships. Did I mention church 4 times a week?  I sound like a broken shell of a human sometimes, so what keeps me going?  Rest.

Ironic as it is, rest is what keeps all of us going.  Whether it be the 8 hours at night or the 20 minute nap.  The 30 minute walk.  The 30 minutes of listening to our favorite music.  The 1 hour of prayer.  Or the 15 minutes we have to spend worshiping God on the way to work.  We as humans who have a body, soul and mind needs a pause once in awhile before we burn out and become unworthy to even be seen with.

In these next three blogs I will take a look at rest, refresh and reflect.  The reason I get through any day of the week is God.  If I do not take at least some time during my day to worship or rest IN God, I won’t make it.  Generally my rest period is my drive to work.  That 15 minutes I get for me and God.  I can tell Him anything.  I sing as loud as I want.  I am free to be me and my soul craves that!  Taking time to rest requires re-planning on our part.  Sometimes we just don’t have time for 8 hours of sleeping or 20 minutes of napping and all we can do is take a moment to commune with God no matter how brief.  I take time in the shower, my drive to work, the quiet time right before falling asleep, in the middle of my day I break out in song or prayer in my head….I just interject God wherever I can.

This brief encounter with God can make or break my day.  Where does your rest come from?  Are you one of the lucky ones who gets 8 hours of sleep EVERY night?  Do you have time in your day to nap?  Whenever it is, I pray each of you reading this takes a good look at your relationship with God and ask this simple question:  Am I resting IN Him everyday?  If the answer is no, then what can be changed so that He becomes a part of your daily walk.  We can’t just have Jesus on Sunday and make it through our week in peace.

Only Way to Go

Ephesians 2:8-10

        Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

Bridge3

 

From the moment we say YES to God He begins our road map.  Wait, even BEFORE we say yes, He has a road map for our lives.  How does that make any sense?  I am still trying to wrap my brain around God, but this is one of those things that some times just does not make any sense.  If He planned our lives out as it says in Jeremiah 29:11 and before we even born at that, then does that mean He knows that some do not choose salvation or does it mean they miss out on their destiny if they don’t accept Jesus as their savior? Sigh!  The things that go on in this head of mine!

 

Let’s just think for one moment.  What happens when a person accepts Jesus?  Well, they are now heaven bound simply because they choose Jesus as their savior.  They also have this wonderful easy button now called grace.  Another bonus is that God will always be their provider, their protector in troubled times, their comforter in the sad times and so many more bonuses here on earth when they choose the one way of God.  Here is where things can get a bit tricky for some.

 

When we are saved by His grace, it is not a license to sin or still do whatever we were doing before we knew God.  Once we step onto that bridge of grace, we should begin to have a less of a desire for the things of this world and this very strong desire to serve God.  As He renews our mind, we begin not to want to drink so much or smoke cigarettes.  We begin to have this desire for solid, pure relationships.  Perhaps we finally begin to like who we are as a person.  No matter what happens to us we will always have the grace of God and He will quickly forgive our sins when we ask.

 

So all in all, there is only one way to salvation. There is only one way to travel and as many of us discovered, the path IS narrow!  Once we finally discover that we belong to God and it is by His grace alone we will get to see heaven, then we find peace…perfect peace. We begin to see that we can face ANY storm in our path.  We find that we could walk the bridges of our lives even with our eyes closed because we have faith in a loving Father Who will take our hand and guide our every step.  Now, isn’t that some peace to hold onto?

Every Grace Counts

Romans 5:20

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.
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How many of us have family members or friends that just drive us to seek God’s grace for their lives?  I mean it seems like every time we see them, we have to brace ourselves, stay in the love of God and just listen to them rant and rave about whatever life has thrown at them this time.  Ya know those people who can’t say a nice word about anything and feel like the whole world is against them.  Or what about the ones who are in sin and choose to stay there while there lives are falling apart?  Lastly, what about the persons who think they have it all together but you can clearly see the unhappiness in their lives?
All of these people need grace…not our grace, but God’s grace.
I have several persons in my life that I feel I need to give grace to on a daily basis.  Some of this borders with compassion, yet I feel without God’s grace I could not have the compassion to love.  I know people talk about me behind my back and some may even despise me.  Some don’t get why I divorced and remarried.  Others are perhaps envious of how happy I really am.  In the whole scheme of things, it is not I who needs to take care of these situations, it is Jesus.  God will never leave or forsake me and He will take care of my enemies, I am called to love and love means grace, forgiveness and compassion.
When you combine love with grace you are able to forgive and when you forgive you can find room in your heart for compassion.  If you melt all these things together you find freedom.  With freedom comes peace.  Sigh!  What a relief to discover that the root of all we have to do is love.  God is love and it is through Him that we even obtain grace.  If He gave it to us and it freed us from our sin then why would we not want to free others around us with His grace?
Who are the persons in your life that are in need of grace?  Are you withholding grace because of offenses?  Do you desire to be free?  I urge us all to seek out the grace God gave to us to give to others.  We are called to love and sometimes that means just keeping the peace in certain relationships.  Sometimes grace needs to be from a distance and that’s perfectly okay.  Just remember grace comes from love and all the love you need is in Jesus.