I’m a Mess…

“I’m a mess.”

She uttered those words as though something was wrong with her. I looked at the woman standing beside me and reassured her that in someway or another, we are all a mess.

Everyone is fighting a battle of some sort.

There is a song by Citizen Way called When I’m With You….  
These are the things that I need to pray cause I can’t find peace any other way. I’m a mess underneath and I’m just too scared to show it. Everything’s not fine and I’m not okay.. 

The song goes on to say that when he is with Christ, then his real person can break through .

This song has been a huge source of comfort for me. The truth is, we are all fighting our own battles. 

The other night while playing games, my son was beating his dad and me in an intense game of Spot It. He was laughing and then said, “I need a day to feel okay and today ain’t that day.” Granted, this was in the context of losing his winning streak, but his quote has been on my mind a lot.

A lot of days, we don’t always feel okay. Whether it is worry, stress, illness, or anything that threatens to steal our joy, we certainly have a lot of reasons to not feel okay.

Thankfully, God’s love and peace and joy in our life is not dependent upon our circumstances. It takes trust to say, Okay, God, I don’t feel okay, this doesn’t feel okay, but I am going to trust You

This is where I am.. learning day by day, moment by moment, to let go of my desire to control and try to fix everything and just be okay with not being okay and trusting God instead of allowing worry and anxiety to take over in my mind.

It is a work in progress. I am a work in progress.

We are all fighting battles of some sort. We all have days when don’t feel okay. We all have days when we feel like a mess.

Trust God. Be kind to others. Listen to them for you may be the person God uses to shine some joy in his/her life. And, likewise, there are people God places in our paths to brighten our days when we don’t feel okay.

Advertisements

31 Days of Gratitude: Fridays 

It has been a long week. I have missed a few days of my 31 days of blogging, but I have been spending time in His Word, journaling, with friends, and in prayer and reflection.

This Friday morning after a long work week and one long day ahead of me, I am reminded that He walks ahead of me, with me, and alongside me on this journey.

I am grateful for Fridays…a breather from the busyness of the week.

Let’s have a Faith over Fear Friday trusting that God is walking ahead of us, with us, and alongside us.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

Shaping, Needing, Trusting…

The tears flowed freely during the service…the words of Lord I Need You stirring something deep within my heart. Maybe it’s knowing in just two weeks my precious daughter who is full of dreams and ambitions will be graduating from high school. Maybe it is the overwhelming sense of responsibility, of its all-consuming nature of my job and all the mountains of challenges I face there. Maybe it is a million other things…I’m not sure, but I do know the tears flowed freely in church this morning.

Lord, I Need You…every hour, every moment. Maybe more than anything, it was simply that I needed to be reminded of that because I have been trying too hard on my own to keep it all together at work, at home, in relationships with others. Maybe I need to breathe, trust more, seek Him first before I react with fear, anxiety, dread…maybe I need reminded that in everything  I need to seek Him first before I allow any other thought to overwhelm me.

I spent yesterday with my daughter as she registered for her college classes. I spent this morning at her Girls Christian Fellowship senior breakfast. I listened to the words of wisdom the speakers bestowed upon the soon to be high school graduates. The reminders of the promises in Jeremiah 29:11…God has the plans figured out…just be open to His leading. Try lots of things. Stay steadfast in your faith.

One of the things that really stuck out to me are these profound words of wisdom and truth…The things we love shape us, but we shape the things we love.

I reflected for a moment…the things I love…my family, my job, writing and the writing community, my church, my relationship with God, my friendships…really do shape me daily. But, I have the power to shape these things daily both positively and negatively. My reactions to situations. My moods. How I spend my time. My words. My actions. How I listen. All of these things have the power to shape the things I love.

That’s some powerful stuff.

So between these thoughts on shaping and trusting God in the plans for my life and acknowledging my need for Him every day, every hour, every moment…I know He will take care of me…and you…all of us..if we will trust and surrender and profess our need for Him.

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

Cell phone imports 461.jpg

 

 

Sunday Reflections…

Seek Him and find life that overflows…

Seek

I absolutely love this verse. Jeremiah 29:11 is referenced so many times in relation to graduates and their future. I love to keep reading, though…yes, He promises to give us a hope and future, but we need to call on Him, pray to Him, and seek Him with all our heart.

Encouragement on this Sunday as you head into another week….dream big, pray boldly, call on Your Father, and seek Him with all your heart. Lord, help our unbelief to see and embrace life that overflows with Your goodness.

Pictures Fall 2013-Fall 2014 1287

Precious Reminders

I didn’t grow up going to church. I had a wonderful friend in sixth grade who invited me to church, and it truly changed my life. It opened up my curiosity about God. Over the course of middle school and high school, I attended probably every church at least once in my small town. I would attend with various friends who invited me. I remember my fifteenth birthday vividly….all I wanted for my birthday was a Bible…a New King James version Life Applications Bible for Students with a purple cover. I still have it today. The pages are now well worn, multiple different colors of highlighter across the pages, and written messages beside verses that have spoken to me over the years. It is still my favorite Bible. I use it for my morning devotions and regularly carry it upstairs from my bedroom to downstairs to my favorite recliner. For church, I have resorted to my online Bible Gateway app…for a couple reasons….one, it’s just easier, and two, well, this precious Bible has also become the keeper of special things. Tucked inside my Bible are handwritten notes from my children, a handmade card from my husband, a letter from my best friend, and notes from church sermons. When something tugs at my heartstrings, it usually ends up tucked inside the sacred places of my Bible.

Sacred Places.jpg

The other morning as I sat in the quiet solitude of my darkened living room, I took a moment and pulled out a few of those special artifacts of my heart…moments captured in time….reminders of the blessings God has showered upon me….reminders of His goodness and all-consuming love for me. All the painful moments of my life…highlighted verses in my Bible whose words have carried me through me these valleys…precious reminders tucked inside my Bible of His never ending love, grace, and mercy.

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you may continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

Even now as I enter a time of uncertainty in my life, I know I have the promise of His love, grace, and mercy. The precious keepsakes, a tangible reminder of God’s love and promise in my life.

Sacred Places 2...things I tuck in my Bible.jpg

Sunday Reflections for the Week Ahead

I love surveys and personality quizzes…I don’t know why, I just do. I recently attended a leadership meeting for my new job, and one of the things we did was to complete a few leadership personality quizzes. The purpose? To help us understand why we do what we do and how it affects our leadership style. One particular leadership quiz we completed looked at our motivational style. Mine? Achievement oriented. What does this mean?

According to this quiz, it means I need to perform well, and I am motivated by achieving challenges that I have set for myself. I am self motivated and take great pleasure in a job well done and work best when I am in control of my own tasks.

Those who know me well know I like to be in control of my own situation and circumstances. Another classic clue to someone motivated by an achievement style? Makes to-do lists and checks off completed tasks. Bingo! This describes me to a “T.” I have “To Do” lists in my personal planner and in my work planner. I love to highlight off tasks as I complete them. I love sticky notes and have them all over the place. My crazy disorganized, organized style. Works for me….most of the time.

This whole thing about control and “to do” lists has me thinking. The purpose behind my “to do” lists is so I keep my priorities straight. I have learned in my line of work to be flexible and this flexiblity has poured into my personal life as well. The best laid out plans and intentions sometimes have to be adjusted.

For example… with fibromyalgia, I never know how I  will feel in the morning. I have a list of things to do at work but I can’t preplan a staff call off or a resident issue. I can’t predict an email from my son’s teacher notifying me of some schoolwork issues with my son that requires a parent teacher meeting. Life happens. It just does. My “to do” lists are great to help me stay focused, but I need to be flexible in adjusting life as it happens.

Besides flexibility, another lesson I am strongly learning is that of balance. Balance of work and family time. Balance of rest and work. Balance of time to myself and time with others. Where does God fit into all this?

IMG_20160117_140547005

How much time do I truly give freely to God? The morning devotions, prayers on the way to work, listening to K-Love…all that is important, but how much time do I spend on social media, texting and talking to family and friends…is there a need for more balance in my life? Does God even make my “To Do” list some days? And if so, where is He on my list? He deserves more than just the leftovers of my day,  the remnants of my time and energy.

So, as I plan my week, I want to make a conscious effort to give God more of my time and energy. Regardless of how I feel in the morning…when the fibro is flared, when I am feeling tired and overwhelmed, or when I simply would rather do something mindless like scroll through my Facebook feed, I will work to spend more time with God because I know when my priorities are in check, everything else falls into place.