Think

Like an old dirt road with deep ruts, our minds can steer us in a direction we are used to going…automatically without even really thinking about it. When trauma or stress or heartache happens, our minds so easily revert to learned patterns of thinking.

But there is help…there is a better way. We can think about what we’re thinking about…what we’re letting take up space in our minds and hold it captive to the truth. We can replace negative thoughts for positive…offensive for honorable and righteous…ugly for pure and lovely.

It’s not easy. Everything in us will fight against this new way of thinking but if you persevere, you will be blessed.

Here are a few scriptures to help

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭

#prayers #thoughts #positivethoughts #anxiety #negativity #jesus #encouragement #thinking #faithoverfear #jesuspaiditall #grace #devotional

Too Early

I’ve been waking up super early lately. I had been really annoyed by this as I was unable to get back to sleep when the Holy Spirit whispered so gently…”Talk with me.”

It’s quiet at 4 in the morning. The house is still, but my mind has been racing…thoughts zoom past…what if and worst case scenarios compete for my attention and anxiety snaps me to attention.

“Talk to me,” He whispers again.

Why is it so hard to pray and yet, so easy to fret and worry?

I think one reason may be that worry is easy…natural. It becomes an automatic response…prayer to God breaks the cycle…it allows interruption to the worry highway.

“I’m here with you. “

Each whispered word pierces my dark bedroom and my clouded heart.

What kind of God reaches out to the lonely and burdened! What kind of God enters the mess of a life like mine!

The God who gave His very life to save me. My merciful faithful Savior King! He desires to take my heavy burdens and be the lifter of my head.

I am so glad You’re here with me, Lord. Let’s talk. I have so much to share with You.

#prayer #holyspirit #hearme #near #wait #worry #stress #bestill

#p31obs #proverbs31 #grace #jesus #savior #jesuspaiditall #christian #faithoverfear #faithhopelove #encouragement #beanxiousfornothing #bedeeplyrooted

Rejection

Rejection really stinks…and it seems Iike I’m in a season of rejection lately…one after another for years now. For this sensitive woman, I’ve had all I can take #tbh And yet, even in this desperate, broken place, the Lord is faithful to meet, hold, and speak to me. He reminded me, once again, that He never rejects me, but accepts me as I am and loves me unashamedly! He reminds that rejection is often protection and that in it, I’m called to trust Him. He reminds me that the real battle is not against the people who have rejected me, but against the enemy of my soul…the one bent on destroying the glory of God because he wants it all for himself. Jesus reminds me that I’m to fight this enemy…not with earthly weapons, but with armor of God and the sweet and powerful weapons of surrender and peace where my hands and fingers aren’t wringing in anxiety and fear but are steady and strong! Rejection punches to the heart of a person…it hits their worth…their identity…I’m choosing to trust the Lord through this most difficult season…that He has my best interest in His heart and will bring me to a wide open space. He will open wide my mouth and fill it! I’m choosing to be brave in the waiting. How about you? #rejection #brave #armorofgod #jesus #accepts #enemy #fight #trust #worth #good #hands #waiting

Elizabeth and Mary

Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:36-37‬ ‭

I know this is true. I do, but I have to say it is easily forgotten in the chaos and hurry of the day. As stress mounts, along with bills and laundry, the almost endless list of demands seems impossible to finish. Throw homework and a stressed friend into the mix, next to “hangry” teenagers and everything seems impossible at that moment.

 

Can you relate? 

 

This Christmas season, I have focused on the story of Mary and Elizabeth. I so wish we knew more about the friendship between these two women. What was said, done, shared…I do know that Mary hurried to see her aged, pregnant cousin right after the angel appeared to her. Mary could have gone to her mother or her girlfriends, but she hurried to see Elizabeth.

She must have replayed over and over in her mind the conversation she’d had with angel. What incredible news for Mary to carry, and she carried it to Elizabeth.  Both women shared miracles…life giving miracles. What was once empty was now filled. Not only both carrying children, but these women carried the precious promises that they were part of God’s plan. What a special bond these ladies must have shared. God had accomplished the impossible in both of them!

And isn’t that like God…to accomplish the impossible in us…to take this broken sinner and make her clean, whole. In His kindness, Jesus reaches down to do the impossible, the miraculous. Mary had Elizabeth to share her journey with. Who shares in your journey? 

Both Mary and Elizabeth had to wait for their children to born. It was in the waiting that these women shared life together. For three months, Mary stayed with Elizabeth. Poor Zechariah…couldn’t speak a word. God definitely has a sense of humor!They ate, cleaned, sewed…did life together. They encouraged and cheered each other on, while waiting for the impossible to come forth. 

While we wait, where do we spend our time? Who is in our community?

 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1: 45

Praise God for the life speaking women in my life…for the community of encouragers who remind me what the Lord has spoken. That even seemingly impossible things will be fulfilled! I am so grateful for the Elizabeths in my life. For those people who direct me back to Jesus, to focus on Him and not my gigantic pile of laundry, dirty dishes, or tough circumstances.

So when life gets hard, as it often does, remember that nothing will be impossible with God!

#nothingisimpossiblewithgod #godspromises #encouragement #support #jesussisters #promises

Tights and Stuff

“Hey Mom,” my daughter said.

“The next time you’re out, can you pick me up a pair of black tights?”

I looked at her and blinked.

“Uh, yeah, sure,” I stammered.

“Thanks Mom,” Emeria replied and bounced out of the kitchen to drive to school.

She had no idea what she had just stirred up.

No memory of the horror stories of trying to put on tights, socks, or jeans when she was a little girl. I remember so clearly…I would have to prepare for the battle…take a deep breath and wrangle a bucking bronco!

Oh, my goodness…the seam, her toes, itchy…too tight…too loose. Footless tights were a beautiful discovery in our house!

She would be screaming and crying, and I would be exhausted, and it was first thing in the morning! Talk about mom fail…I couldn’t even get tights on my little girl. She was a power house in a tiny package!

Then came shoes! Lord have mercy!

Sensory issues rocked her world and in turn, rocked mine. Life was so hard for Emeria. Things like wearing clothes…which we all do (hopefully!) drove her crazy! She would run around the house screaming that her clothes were too heavy. Poor child.

Eventually, we discovered she has celiac disease and that absolutely contributed to her sensory issues. Over time, she relearned how to react to discomfort. She learned to respond rather than explode. Now, as an 18-year-old woman, she wears tights. Miracle.

When was the last time I bought her tights?

We both learned so much during those difficult years. I’m reminded how quickly time passes. I had forgotten those tough times…they seem like yesterday and yet, so long ago. How is it that I am a mom to a grown daughter?

While I was going through those days, I never thought they would end. I am sure Emeria didn’t either. Now, here today, I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. They shaped me as a mother and helped me be more empathetic to other struggling moms with sensitive children.

I am thankful for the reminder…and even more thankful for my daughter #motherdaughter #sensitive #tights #allgrownup #timeflies #mybabygirl #love #thankful #blessed #empathy

Lessons of Suffering

As much as we try to avoid pain, we all experience it, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. Just like my son’s broken arm caused him much agony, on the other side of the suffering was great healing and a stronger bone.

In His kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10-11

God always knows what we need, where are weaknesses are, and how to make us stronger in Him. He is far more concerned with our faith level than with our comfort level. He allows things to happen for our good, even though they may cause temporary pain or discomfort.

Please hear me! This is where our ideas of Jesus meet reality. Yes, Jesus is good and kind, and He is love. Yes, in heaven there will be no pain, anguish, or tears. But we aren’t in heaven. We live, as aliens, in a fallen world with desperate and hurting people. Jesus came, in the flesh, and experienced all the same things we experience: hunger, pain, death. We have much to learn from our sufferings!

We learn to comfort others with the same comfort we received in our suffering.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1: 4-5

This comfort brings authenticity to gospel. Loving others with the love of Christ allows people to see love in action. To be the hands of Christ to the hurting is a great honor and privilege.

We learn to let Jesus defend us and intercede on our behalf. Our trust and faith in Christ grow as we surrender our rights and lay down our lives, hopes, desires, for others.We learn who we are in Him and because of Him. Our identity changes from self-focused to other-focused. We let Christ define us!

Lord, help us to see pain in our lives as an opportunity to grow closer to You. Holy Spirit, please reveal any areas of hidden pain or bitterness. Make our foundations firm in Christ. ..amen

#holyspirit #suffering #comfort #lessons #jesus #others #painandsuffering #why #trust #faith #moreofhimlessofme #authenticgospel

Binder of My Wounds

When my children were little and got hurt, I would scoop them up, hold them close, calm them down, and then we’d face the big bad boo boo.

Whether it was a cut, scrape, splinter, or sting, I would always bend low, bring close, and gently wash away the dirt and fix the hurt. There were hugs and kisses. I can still feel their little heads under my chin and smell the sweat in their hair as they sat on my lap. I would rub their backs and sing songs to help them calm down.

This is Mom101. Sometimes, though, the wounds aren’t physical…and they’re too big for a bandaid and a kiss.

The other night, as I was praying for a dear friend, I was praying that Jesus would bind up her wounds and heal her broken heart. The Lord brought me the most beautiful image of a mother and her child. As the mother comforted the hurt child, I realized how close Jesus has to be to us in our troubles to bind our wounds. Just like when my children were little, Jesus is right there, bending low, ready to scoop us up and hold us close. He washes us clean…white as snow. He sings over us.

I am so thankful for this beautiful reminder of the closeness of our Savior, our suffering Savior who loves to draw us to Himself. He is an intimate lover of our souls. He understands our troubles and is so willing to fix our wounds. Jesus is, indeed, close to the broken-hearted.