Greater Than Ourselves

Sometimes, you just know everything is going to be okay.

Your college age daughter may dump her clothes by the door, but she is home for the holidays. A clean house is not important.

You willingly spend almost six hours in the car to attend the funeral of your friend’s dad because you know she needs you and there is no other place you want to be at that moment but there supporting her.

God keeps reminding me of the joy in the everyday stuff of life. Life is not easy. It’s messy. It’s sad. It’s just plain tough at times. 

Working with elders has taught me an important life lesson at a young age. The things that matter in life are the meaningful relationships we create along our journey. Every day, we have the opportunity to touch lives through our words, actions, and love. 

As I sat in the funeral today, I felt part of something greater than myself. I witnessed the impact one man had on multiple lives. For many reasons, I am thankful God has blessed me with the joy of this friendship and the opportunity to know this family. Only God could have allowed our paths to intersect.

In the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 instructs us to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Sometimes, we get so caught up in trying to figure out God’s will for our lives. I think it is spelled out pretty clearly in those verses.

Rejoice…pray…give thanks…in all circumstances, not some but all.

What if we truly lived by those words? We aren’t perfect people, but we can love other imperfect people. 

My friend is teaching me this very thing…love others well. Her dad’s life and love for others over his years was so evident today.

As I reflect on our drive home, these thoughts come to mind.

1. Life is hard but filled with meaningful life lessons if we are open to the everyday moments.

2. People need us. We need people. Everyone is fighting a battle of some sort. Be kind. Listen more than talking.

3. Rejoice…look for the everyday blessings. They are there.

4. Pray about everything.

5. Thank God. He is working even when we can’t see it.

6. When we trust God with our lives, He will bless us.

I felt it today…the love of others, the love of God. 

Life is greater than ourselves.

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31 Days of Surrender: Saying No is OK

I am learning it is okay to say no. Saying no means saying yes to something else. That something else might be rest. It might be family time. It might mean writing time. It might mean quiet. When I say no, I am making a choice.

I used to feel this pressure to be “Super Mom”…working full-time, Girl Scout leader, soccer coach, church board committee president, school helper…and completely and totally exhausted emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

God has used my illness. God has used the words of close friends in my life. God has used the unfiltered, genuine words from my children. God has used His Word. God has used all of these things to remind me that sometimes, I just need to say no. Saying no is okay.

This afternoon, I received a text message. Some of my friends from church invited me to dinner tonight for a girls’ night out. My GI issues are flared up today. My nerve pain is in full force today. I just want to and just need to be home. I need to rest. I declined their invite with no reservations. I know it is okay if I stay home and do nothing but what I want and what I feel like doing. I know they understand.

I believe God wants us to rest. We were not created to be super humans on the go all the time. Work zaps a lot of my energy. I need to find balance between work and personal time which means I need to say “No” sometimes. I must make choices.

I need to surrender to the pressure to be “Super Mom” and realize and embrace that saying no is taking care of myself. I have been an “on the go” kind of person since I was in high school, so it has taken me twenty years to realize this, but I am learning there is freedom in saying no, and that is okay. If I don’t take care of myself, then I am not honoring God.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT

Saying No

The Bread of my Life

It has been a while since I last wrote a blog entry. I simply have not felt like it. I have felt pulled different directions lately…not in a bad way, but in a reflective way. I began this blog as an outlet to release the feelings, the anxiety, and the frustrations that come from having to deal with daily food issues…the ups and downs of not feeling well, the frustrations of not being able to just eat whatever I want, and the anxiety of social food events. Food issues once were my focus. They once consumed me. I still struggle with them. I still get frustrated at times as I drive by the local ice cream shop in my town advertising my once favorite sundae as the daily special. I still overindulge in chocolate at times. I have colon issues and reflux at times and lie in bed unable to sleep because I ate dinner too late.

This stuff is all relative, though. The past few months, I have been challenged…challenged to grow deeper in my faith with God by changing my heart, surrendering, and learning to trust. God has used my desire to write and my food issues to show His faithfulness in providing a best friend who “gets” me. This writing partner and accountability partner is challenging me on this spiritual journey to grow deeper.

So, here I am…I have so much I want to share, so much to write about. I want to blog again. So, what about faith, hope, love, and food? I believe it still fits…God has just transformed the meaning for me.

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

John 6:35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty again.”

I choose to embrace faith, hope, and love. And, I choose to embrace Jesus as the food of my life. No longer enslaved by the grip of anxiety and fear of food issues, I will embark on this journey of seeking a deeper spiritual connection with my Creator, the bread of my life. I invite you to join me on this spiritual journey of seeking to know Him more fully and deeper…to truly taste and see that the Lord is indeed good.

relying on God