Tag Archives: relationships

Pick Me!

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Ever been unhappy with a job?  Dissatisfied with where you are in life?  Not fully on board with your boss?  Feeling unappreciated?  Work load is too much?  Feeling like you can’t just go in and do your job and then leave it behind to go home and enjoy life? Too many hours each week? Physically stressful? Co-workers causing drama?  A never ending barrage of events? All of the Above?

Well, some of those things applied to my job of 30 years.  I started at McDonald’s when I was 16 and I worked there until about a month ago. Over the years this job had its ups and downs.  Deep down I know that ketchup ran through my veins.  I had been in the business long enough to know how to deal with almost every type of customer and crew member.  I loved the busy days.  The satisfaction of good numbers.  The thrill of seeing happy customers.  But….

In 2012 I became a General Manager and things began to change for me.  I had challenges I had not faced before.  I was now the one in charge..of a whole store.  I did schedules and inventories and hiring and firing and paperwork and meetings and training and customer service and customer complaint calls and the list goes on.  I was on call 24/7 in case something happened at the store meaning I could not turn my phone off “just in case” and it was permanently attached to me wherever I went.  As time went on I took on more stress than I probably needed to.

At the same time, I began to love the people I worked with.  They were on my prayer list.  Some called me mom.  I was building relationships and sometimes we even talked about Jesus.  When God began to lift the grace from me to work in this capacity of General Manager I began to question His motives..yes, God’s motives.  I argued that if I went on to something different who would be here for these people?   Where would my ministry field be?

I had back surgery in November and I get a huge dose of disconnect.  The store was not allowed to be in contact with me as this was a work related accident.  So for three months I was off work…the longest EVER in my life for not working.  I had plenty of time to write, rest and live in His Presence.  A very relaxed and stress-less situation.  I was pretty happy-go-lucky and I loved it.

When I went back to work the stress returned.  It was almost like I had been a free roaming horse who just got bridled for the first time.  As I tried to mesh my new free lifestyle with work again I felt so frustrated.  This being on call 24/7.  The people not wanting to come to work.  The drama.  It was too much.  I just wasn’t filled with enough grace to do this type of work again.

Tomorrow I will fill you on the rest of the saga.  But for now just know this:  Sometimes God lifting the grace is the very thing which catapults you into your promise land.

Dear God, Thank You for lifting grace at times.  Thank You that You always offer me a safe place to be.  Help me to see You and what You are doing on my behalf.  Thank You for knowing every detail of what I need in my life to move into my promise land.  Thank You that with every twist and turn of my life you will be right beside me.  Help me to stay so close to You that I can feel You breathing.

In Jesus Name  Amen

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Givin’ Up

 

Zechariah 8:11-12

“But things have changed. I’m taking the side of my core of surviving people: Sowing and harvesting will resume, Vines will grow grapes, Gardens will flourish, Dew and rain will make everything green.
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So what do you do when you are at the end of a rope?  What is there to do when all of your hope is lost?  What do you say when all of the words have voided the premises?  How many times to you run into the same brick building without it even budging?  This is how I felt sometimes in my new marriage, not because of the union of two hearts, but because there was conflict with blending families.  
If you have not noticed yet, there is an age gap between John and I..like 19 years.  I had two grown children when I entered into this second marriage and this made for some rocky waters to walk on.  I cannot pretend to have any clue the thoughts or feelings either of my children had, but I know they had doubts and questions.  Everything happened in such a rush that I did not take the time to look at all of the pieces of the puzzle before I tried to but them together.  Not knowing the whole picture to begin with also made it more difficult.
As I watched my son hug my husband on our wedding day and welcome him to the family, I was filled with joy, yet concerned for my daughter.  It took lots of prayer and surrender but now my daughter and husband get along quite well.  He is learning his boundaries as a step-dad and my children are receiving of the love he has to offer.  We all know that he will never take the place of a dad in their lives, but we hope strong relationships of trust will continue to grow.
Giving up is not really just shoving things aside and forgetting about it ever changing.  Giving up is about surrender.  When there is nothing left that you can do…give it up.  If you come to a crossroads and neither option really looks appealing…give it up.  If you find your self in a hopeless situation that you cannot control…give it up.  If you begin to grasp the understanding that all of our lives are in God’s hands then giving up is easy to do because we trust in His plan for our lives.  We need to learn how to stop giving it our all and self-destructing in the process and give it to Him so that we can be all that we were designed to be as His children.

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.

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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?

Thinking Like an Elephant

Luke 17:4

Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”
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So, we have been wronged over and over and over in our live times and we are called to forgiveness.  Sometimes we grow weary in the process yet we know in our hearts that it is the right path to take.  Do you know that when you are forgiving someone, you are in actuality releasing yourself more than anything else?  Forgiveness allows you to no longer be bound to any issue you have with another person even if that person is continuing on in sin.  Now, this of course does not give the other person permission to run amuck  all over your life by doing the same offense over and over and over, however each time it happens, we are called to forgive.  But do we have to forget is the million dollar question.
In my opinion no, we do not have to forget.  We may become like the memory of an elephant and never forget what offense was committed against us.  In doing so we forgive and store away in our minds the incident so if it arises again we may use wisdom not to react perhaps in the same way we did the first time.  Take for example you have an argument with your spouse.  You get upset by something they was said about your past.  You talk things over and both come to the point of forgiveness and you go about your day knowing that all is well.  Then a week later the same issue arises and because you remember what the reaction was last time, you can respond in a different manner resulting in a different outcome.  This is using wisdom to avoid insanity.  This stops the issue from being on a merry-go-round and happening again.
Forgiveness sometimes can be the hardest thing to do in our Christian walk.  So many of us have been hurt by past relationships or abused in some way or another.  Sometimes forgiveness is the last thing we want to do because we feel the other person does not deserve to be forgiven and this leads to bitterness which will eventually come to destroy parts of you.  It is better to quickly forgive than to stand in sinking sand and suffer in the end.  Forgiveness allows us to lean on God to a deeper level especially when we feel no urge in us to let some people know they are forgiven.  For me personally I would rather get the hard part over so that I could be open to the next level in God.  I don’t have any desire in me to hold on to things which will hinder my walk with Jesus.  I want to be free from bondage.  Jesus came to set us free and I want to stay that way.
Do you have persons in your life you need to forgive?  I encourage you to stop for a moment and search your heart.  It does not matter if you think the other person deserves it or not, don’t you want to enjoy the freedom?  Sometimes the forgiveness is just a simply act of obedience while other times it may take all that is within us to let it go.  Just know that we are called to forgive and it is by this one act that we continue to stay free.

Unmerited Favor

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

 Matthew 18:15 NLT

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So what do you do when someone does something wrong to you and seems to not want to have anything to do with fixing the issue?  What kinds of emotions are running through your mind?  First your anger rises and then bitterness might set in.  Then comes the explosion of emotions that you really did not want to happen.  Pretty soon you probably have said or done some things that really were not so pleasant and a complete misrepresentation of the new you in Christ.

 

This type of incident just happened to us.  John took our car to a dealership to get a deal on an oil change.  When we then discovered after four days of driving it that the oil light came on,  John popped the hood and found the car to be 3 quarts low on oil.  Upon further investigation it was discovered the dealership had placed the wrong filter on the car at the time of the oil change.  Now, needless to say John and I were a bit steamed.  The final payment on the car was just paid.  We really had no way of getting a new vehicle if the engine blew up in this one, so we were a bit angry when we called.

 

John spoke to the manager and she said for us to bring it to them and they would take a look at it.  Well, that was not how we wanted it to roll.  We wanted them to come get the car, knowing the dealership was in another town 30 minutes away.  We did not have money for a tow charge.  Some words were exchanged and we even threatened to get a lawyer for it seemed as though the dealership really was not going to doing anything. So John bought the right filter and put oil in the car and had decided to just not deal with it.

 

How many times do we do that with relationships?  We figure it’s just not worth dealing with because nothing will be resolved.  John waited a day to cool off and then drove to the dealership where he first apologized and asked for forgiveness.  When he took the time to humble himself about the situation, then God could step in and show us just what favor was all about.

 

John left the dealership with a full refund, a 3,000 mile warranty on the engine, a new oil change with the best oil and the satisfaction that some times it takes humbling ourselves and repenting for our actions for God to do something awesome in our life.  This goes back the one commandment Jesus left us with, love your neighbor.  When we begin to let go of our own issues and accept that people make mistakes everyday, then we can be open to that love.

 

Is there some anger in you today?  Have you pushed aside something that you feel won’t ever change?  Maybe today, search your heart.  Choose right now to look at some situations in your life that perhaps need some humbling.  As for John and I, we are a work in process and sometimes we have to just take a deep breath and trust God to take care of all of our circumstances so that we can be ready to love and forgive others.

Unburying the Bones

Psalm 69:5
O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you.

Today, John and I visited a friend’s church and something the pastor spoke of resonated in my spirit that I thought I would share and elaborate on for today’s blog.  How many of us have sinned?  (no need to raise your hands, we all have sinned and fall short of the glory..it’s just a starter question) Now, how many of us have sinned and asked for forgiveness and really let it go?  Furthermore, how many of us just take our sin and bury it somewhere inside hoping it will just go away?  How can we ever pretend to think we are really hiding anything, especially from God?

Just like a dog receiving a bone and taking it outside, burying it and then digging it up because they think someone has discovered where they had buried and then they move it to a new location and bury it again.  Over and over sometimes they complete this process.  Sometimes they  dig it up and eat it, then it is gone forever, but most times they bury it and forget it is even there at times, leaving it to surface after a heavy rain or a good raking of the yard.  Then they are in a panic because the bone is now exposed and everyone will see it.

Can you see how this is related to our own sin?  We commit a sin and instead of going to God right away and asking for forgiveness, we bury it somewhere deep inside hoping to just forget about it.  Then we hear a sermon or we talk to someone and we get convicted by the Holy Spirit and it sets us into a panic.  We get worried someone has seen our sin, so we go looking for where we buried it and move it to a new location deeper inside.

Then there is the sin we bury so deep within us that we even forget it is residing there, until a storm in our life comes or a new stirring comes and it is revealed.  Sometimes these things surface in new relationships and we have a choice to leave the sin exposed and deal with it or continue to hide it.  No matter what the sin is, it does us no good to bury deep within ourselves for we never know when it will resurface itself in our lives.

If we would only learn to just surrender the sin we have committed right away to God and let it be gone forever, by doing this we could have so much more freedom in our lives.  Instead of being consumed by how we are going to keep our sins hidden, we could be focused on creating new right relationships not built on any hidden guilt.

Do you have some hidden bones?  Are you ready to dig them up and give them to God?  Did you know that He already paid the price for the sin with the death of His Son on the cross?  I know I have some bones to toss out, I am ready to swallow my pride and let them go.