Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Circumstances: Move.

Get out of my way circumstances.  You are attempting to block my view of my Savior.  Umm, not something I'm willing to let happen.  Sure, you might get away with it for a while, but I refuse to live with blocked vision. 

How many times do I utter the words, "Ugh, I just don't know what to do!"  Usually while I'm either running my fingers through my hair, crying my eyeballs out, pacing the floor or all three.  Has it ever occurred to you that we--me and you--make living this life too difficult? 

Have you ever found yourself wishing someone would just sweep in and take up the fight for you?  How about take up the fight and let you rest, fill you with peace, heal you, and love you while they fight for you?  Have you ever felt overwhelmed and wondered how much longer you can keep it all up?  I have.  For a very simple example (Even though it sure didn't feel simple at the time!!), I remember when all of my three girls were small and I was dropping them off at daycare before going to work when I ran into my brother.  He was bringing his children to the same daycare.  He walked over to one of my little ones and picked her up which gave him a good view of a few fingernails that needed a little trimming.  Okay, maybe they needed a little more than trimming, maybe they needed cutting, like last month.  Now, as I'm sure you can relate, I was juggling three balls at one time and if I even thought about resting, one of the balls threatened to fall in the floor and then everything would come crashing down.  I was, like many of you, a wife and mother & I worked full time.  In my juggling act, I was just releasing one ball milli-seconds before I had to catch the next.  The picture I am trying to draw is--soon and very soon it was all going to crash down around me.  I was overwhelmed. 

So, my brother has my little girl and he (not meaning any harm) says, "Does your uncle need to cut your fingernails for your mama so you won't scratch anybody?"  Yep, that was the straw.  Without intending to hurt me, he had called me out and drawn attention to something I was failing to do in front of all the super-mama's & daddy's,  all the employees of the day care & (the very worst critic of all) me!  What he might as well have said was, "Oh my goodness!  Look at these horrible fingernails!  Your mama needs to get with it.  Can't she do anything right?  Have your nails ever been cut?!  Bless your little, neglected heart.  I'm a perfect daddy and I am the best fingernail cutter, ever.  I'll take care of you sweet baby, since your mama obviously can't." 

Yes, I know.  Drastic exaggeration.  But that's what my heart did to me that day.  I was so tired.  Today I don't deal with cutting fingernails anymore but I still have "stuff".  There are always going to be things in our lives.  Sometimes they are little things, like fingernails.  Other times, they are things that sneak up behind us and obliterate us like a bomb, drastically altering life as we know it.  Without fail, we struggle to get our footing.  We trip over hurt and confusion.  We stumble over worry and fear.  We hold on desperately to control and pride.  We look for possible solutions here and there.  We may even stop and try to re-focus but circumstances fill our eyes and feelings scream in our ears.

Maybe you say, don't my feelings matter?  They are real!  And what about those circumstances, they are pretty stinkin' real too!  Yes, you are right.  Your circumstances are real and your feelings ABSOLUTELY matter.  Not just to me, but even more importantly, to your Savior.  It would be really easy to think Here she is talking about stupid fingernails but my circumstances make fingernails look like a play-doh.  I know right where your coming from.  You've got one of those "bomb-type" of situations and your desperate.  Good news:  the same truths apply to both big and small circumstances.  As long as you are focusing on them, you can't see Jesus.  Peter walked on water toward Jesus, until he looked at the wind & waves. (Matt 14:28-31)  You might have one heck of a battle in front of you.  You may even be sitting right smack-dab in the center of one right now.  You may be at a crossroads with the direction of your life.  You might have some things that seem to have no solution.  You know what?  That isn't your fight.  It isn't your fight!  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  (2 Chron 20:12)   So, is that it, do you just face eminent defeat?  Oh but no!  Because scripture goes on to say, We do not know what to do, BUT our eyes are upon You!  Verse 15 of the same chapter says, This is what the Lord says to you:  Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army (or your circumstances).  For the battle is not yours, but God's.  AMEN! (and thank goodness, right?!)

Are you tired?  Are you overwhelmed?  Are your circumstances hurting you?  Are they clouding your outlook?  God Almighty is the only answer. Exodus 14:14 says He will fight for YOU, sweet & dearly loved child, and you shall keep your peace.  He is with us right now.  He helps us.  He fights for us.  (2 Chron 32:8) 

Let's not try to do this living thing on our own.  Let's not try to make it so difficult.  That's why we have a Savior!  Let's take our eyes off the wind & waves and put them back on Him. 

Dear Circumstances, move.


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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ramblings...

Hi Friends of mine!!  I hope you all are doing just g-r-e-a-t (Tony the tiger style).  I'm really working on new ideas for Just More Jesus.  I'm thinking of ways to get the word spread.  I'm praying about it constantly and I have full confidence that God will make a way.  YOU may be a part of that so run your mouth.  Tell anyone and everyone you know.  In my efforts to spread the word, I made these videos (out of the box living for me!!) and I've gotten some really nice comments about the first video so I figured, why not make another one issuing a public "Thank You"--Which you may see below:  (If you happen to have seen the "Thank You" video on YouTube, this is the same video here.  I've only done two so far.  I've posted both on YouTube and both here.)


video

Isn't it funny that I managed to talk for two more minutes after I said I'm not gonna keep you any longer.  Sorry!!

On another note, I also should probably explain that even though that particular Sunday School class flopped, I have been very fortunate to lead other Sunday School classes and Bible Studies.  I am very grateful for those opportunities and for the sweet, dependable people who were faithful to show up for each meeting.  I am appreciative of their efforts.  I can love to teach and share God's Word but I've gotta have people willing to listen or otherwise I'm like a little girl playing school with her dolls.  So, those of you who have been nice enough to attend the classes and studies--I'm forever grateful.  If I'm going to tell a (not so positive) experience I had, I need to be willing to share a positive one.  Just so happens I actually have one (smile, wink, wink).  Right after I tried to start that class that I refer to in the video, I began, also through the church, a six week Bible study that I was inspired to write.  The first night we were to meet you can know I was very nervous.  Let's not forget that I had just had the multiple no-show experiences.  Now, please don't misunderstand me here.  I know that it isn't about numbers.  The number of people present in no way determines how the Holy Spirit shows up and works.  However, for a girl who had just come off of a rather humiliating experience with the Sunday School class, God decided to baby me a little.  We had so many people show up that we had to move to a larger room and bring in extra chairs.  Wow, how humbling.  Don't think God can't do things for you.  He can!  He does!  He's teaching us when we think we're just "living" day to day.  The lessons are there, the questions is, am I looking and listening.

In this life we are living, it's very easy to get so busy that we don't notice anything other than how behind we are at work, how tired we are, what a mess our houses are, what bills are overdue, who has a doctor's appointment & what on earth everyone in my house is going to eat tonight...BUT, I am challenging myself & you too this upcoming week.  Step outside your box.  Find a friend to say hi to that you haven't spoken to in a while, check on a neighbor, call a family member you don't speak with regularly, send a real letter to someone in the real mail (I love to get real mail instead of just bills, don't you?!), do something out of your ordinary rat race to connect with a person.  It only takes a few minutes and you have no idea the impact your few minutes may have on their life.  If we aren't careful (me included) we can get so comfy in our own lives that we cease our outside of the box involvement.  When you start getting yourself alone in your own world, you are in dangerous territory.  You become easy prey for Satan to start selling you lies.  I know this one.  Perhaps you sit on the end where you need someone to reach out to you.  If you feel that way and you realize it--please REACH OUT.  I know its hard.  I've been there (recently).  I guarantee you whatever contact you have will begin to turn your perspective.  If you can't muster up the courage to do anything else, you can go to my website www.justmorejesus.com and use the "contact me" tab to send me an email.  I will get back to you.  Promise.  God doesn't want us to be alone.  He intends for us to fellowship with each other, encourage each other, cry with each other, laugh with each other--just build relationships.  They are the ONLY thing we get to take with us into eternity. 

PS------->   I love you--but more importantly--your Savior loves you.