It’s amazing what a day of frustration brings out in a gal. My daughter, although only 4 months old, seems to be on the opposing team some days. She has begun to cry and whimper when I put her down. This is not supposed to happen. My friend said, “We warned her this would happen” to my daughter in a sing-song-y melodic way. (You know how people speak through children and babies? It’s the most passive-aggressive way of communication I’ve ever encountered at times.) Ahhhhhh, there’s that guilt I’d been missing for an entire 12 minutes! I can feel already that this is something I’m gonna have to give to God right away or it’s going to build into something monumental where I need pills. Stress and anxiety is the leading cause for doctor visits these days and I’d be right there behind the guy with OCD…can you imagine having OCD, I mean real OCD in this world?? How horrible! This world is so chaotic and out of order—it doesn’t get any more disorganized than our everyday lives! Ok, back to task. Instead of getting a prescription filled for those ever-popular pills, I’m going to turn to God’s Word.
Matthew 6:34 tells us not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble on its own. I absolutely love this and let me tell you why. Jesus knows! Jesus knows it’s not a cake walk here on earth! (Where did I get that expression, anyway? Is a cake walk that musical chairs game the elder ladies played at our little town’s homecoming? I’ll have to check on that.) And, task at hand: Jesus isn’t saying we’re not gonna have trouble. He’s not saying there aren’t going to be worries and stress and anxiety. He’s telling us we don’t have to worry about our worries! Everybody, deep breath, hold, now release. Isn’t that great? For those of you unfamiliar with breathing, take a breath in, through your nose as that’s where blood is oxygenated, for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 6. Sounds simple, right? Then why is there a line at the pharmacy? Because we forget to breathe! It slips our mind that we as God’s children have the wonderful benefit of not bothering ourselves with the concerns of tomorrow! We don’t become anxious, we pray. We don’t have the answers, but God does.
I started scheduling time to pray not long ago. And if someone asks me to pray, I just might surprise them by grabbing their hand and praying right there. (I’m a new mom juggling a baby, a husband, and a house. What are the odds I’m going to remember to ask God to heal your big toe later?) We are to be a praying people. If I say I’ll pray for you and truly believe that what I ask for will be yours, how could we possibly take that lightly? I finally realized that prayer is HUGE. Prayer is our ticket to peace of mind and tranquility. We can trust God that He is going to do exactly what He’s got planned and His plans are always for good. We patiently wait for Him to do what He’s going to do and in the meantime, we don’t scratch our heads, picking at our fingernails, and dance around like we have to use the bathroom. We rest in the knowledge that he takes care of birds, for cryin’ out loud! (Matt. 6:26, 28) He provides the sparrows with what they need to survive. He’s going to take care of us too, no matter what the situation looks like. Period. So quit doin’ the pee-pee dance, pray about it, then…breathe. And if you’re really advanced, you can throw a smile on your face too. =)
Well today’s one of those days I’m up, I’m typing, and that’s about it. I don’t know what I’m supposed to type, but God and I have somethin’ goin’ where I say, I’ll stay up and write if you get up with me. (I have a wonderful image of God Himself with a nightgown kissing me “Good morning!” on the forehead.) I have my piping hot tea (wonder where that term came from…) which has very recently replaced coffee for me. I’m trying to be ok with that. Coffee smells wonderful and tea, well, smells like wet dog. I don’t much care for it, but coffee doesn’t seem to be great for my system. So, here we are, sitting with a cup of Morning Thunder. Yick.
I have been dealing with, rather poorly, my hormonal side lately. I feel so incredibly moody I can’t hardly stand to be around myself. I’m up, I’m down, I love you, Get that ugly mug outta mine, you’re awesome, you’re driving me crazy, I just want to sleep, Get goin’! Let’s kick this into high gear! Do you ever feel like it’s exhausting being you? I decided to read relevant Scripture and would you know it? I haven’t picked up my Bible since 2 days ago. How does that happen? Distraction! I get ready to, then I see that the table needs wiped off because of some goo. Before I do that, however, I have to clear it and oh, there’s a bill that didn’t get opened. Boy, we really need to start opening our mail the second it comes in. After all, what if it was something really important? Doh! That bill for the internet is due! I’ve gotta get that out in the mail today. Wait, where’s my checkbook? We should really start payin’ that bill online…it’d be better for the environment. I wonder how many trees it takes to print one state’s bills per year. I should look that up. Shoot! I meant to look up Bluetooth pieces for Pop. He doesn’t have a computer and they can’t find the piece he needs. They told him they never had those at the Verizon store, yeah right! That’s where I got it! Geez, where’s the quality customer service these days? That’s SO aggravating! And Pop really shouldn’t have to deal with that, he’s getting older. Oh boy, I don’t even wanna think about losing him. That would be so hard. We’ve been through a lot together. He’s one of my best friends…now, where was I? Oh my, it’s time for lunch!
You may laugh, you may totally agree, but this is truly how too many of my days go. Not only do I not get my Scriptures read, but I never get around to looking up how many trees die due to my complacency regarding bill payment.
Christians have a lot of lingo. I had never thought too much about it until I heard someone ask a friend of mine on Facebook, “Who’s the enemy?” I think many times we believers think we’re in some kind of elite club that only the righteous can join. (Ouch!) “Oh, you don’t knooooooow what the abundant life is all about? Well, pity for you.” Yikes! I don’t think this is what God had in mind. We have to make sure that our voice is not only heard, but understood. What if someone had the answer to your medical condition, but in explaining it, they used words you couldn’t comprehend? What if we were filled with God’s love, but didn’t know how to show it? What if we couldn’t be ourselves because we were too busy being who we wanted others to think we were? Let’s take off our masks, put down our martyr costume, and just be real. I used to cuss, drink, smoke, and the list goes on a little longer than I’m comfortable typing out! But God (2 of my fave words ever) changed all that! He took me from a deep dark place of depression and hurt to a place of peace and salvation. He grabbed me up from that dark pit and set me up on a pedestal so I could have conversations with Him! Anytime I want to look back or down from where I came, He lifts my chin up to show me that life is not only no longer a temptation, but it’s beneath me. Maybe that’s where we Christians begin to feel righteous or rather self-righteous. We can’t let that happen because others’ lives depend on it. God places us in certain situations and around specific people for a reason and it’s not to look down our noses at them. We are not too cool for anyone. Jesus is my Hero. I got to thinking how people don’t really use the word “saviour” if you’re not in the church. It’s just not an everyday word. He’s my Hero. He doesn’t have a cap, lasso, power gloves, or a lantern of any kind, but He swooped in and saved me from that horrible darkness nonetheless. He saved me. He can save anyone. We can’t forget that.
Recently during our Prayer and Fasting time I heard someone say they simply wanted a closer walk with God. I truly believe God woke me with this message on Jan. 14, a Saturday morning. On this particular morning, my 3 month old daughter was also sick and I didn’t think I would remember it. I don’t believe in coincidences and finally know with all my soul that the enemy is out there to stop us at every green light we get. This is an effort to keep our foot on the gas pedal.
7 Days to a Closer Walk:
1. Count your blessings all day long.
2. Spend 10 minutes listening for God.
3. Read the Word every hour.
4. Turn off the TV and turn on the praise music.
5. Spend the day watching what comes out of your mouth. If it’s negative, consciously change it to a positive.
6. Pray for everyone you come into contact with: cashiers, family, the postman, the individual smoking on the corner, etc.
7. Spend some time in God’s creation.
Love is not self-seeking. (1 Cor. 13:5)
Selfish ambition brings its bitter fruit. (James 3:14-16)
Jesus condemned James and John for their self-seeking attitude, and he call us to humble service. (Matt. 20:20-28)
Jesus calls us to self-denial. (Luke 9:23-25)
Think of others. (1 Cor. 10:24)
Follow Jesus’ example by thinking of how to please others. (Rom. 15:2-3)
Don’t just think of yourself. Be like Jesus, think also of others. Be self-giving. (Phil. 2:3-8)
These are some of the Scriptures that go along with yesterday’s post. God called us to love each other. We are to keep others at our level. What I mean by this is: we are no better than anyone. We are no worse than anyone either. Humility is not hanging your head each and every place you go, but more about putting others in a place of respect. I think this is a key concept in today’s world. (Rodney Dangerfield comes to mind…) Jesus respected others. Even though He was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, He respected those around Him. He not only didn’t come across as pushy, He emmitted love and respect from every angle! God help us, if we strived to love others, as opposed to putting ourselves into a position of judgment, think what we could accomplish. Today I’m going to keep the simple sentence: “God is love” in mind and see how my day changes. We are not to sit in the seat of judgment or mock others and this is so difficult in today’s world, where sarcasm rules. God still reigns however and I truly want to strive to make the world a better place because of Who He is and who I’ve become in Him.
Why social networking? To cultivate and create those realationships that we no longer have time to have. Facebook is an outlet for many to de-stress. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my Facebook, perhaps too much. I say this because I constantly have funny ideas or thoughts to put on there, much like I did prior to the social network site. However, NOW I have a place to vent or share! Everyone gets to hear my thoughts! Everyone can laugh because of me! What power! What a revelation! What…self-centeredness. Ouch. God says____________. (I’m leaving this blank so that we can both take the time to find out what His Word says on the matter.) Take the time to nourish your relationships the old-fashioned way: a card, or even better, a letter! A visit-Yes, a VISIT with someone where you don’t say, “Well, I can’t stay long, sooooo….” A telephone call just to check to see how someone’s doing. A hug with a question of “How are you doing today?” Then, ok, ready, wait for and listen to the answer with follow-up questions! The devil works on distractions and I find that the lack of social skills, i.e. how humans used to interact with others, is a very effective attack. United we stand, divided we fall. I don’t know how many times I’ve read statuses like, “Reply to this if you care, but I’m sure you won’t.” The depression and the loneliness God’s children and unbelievers feel is palpable! Why? Because we are not taking the time any longer to make sure people are ok. Our lives are busy, yes, but are they too busy for the reason we’re here? Jesus is the reason we get out of bed. Jesus is the reason we have the money to buy groceries. Jesus is the reason we have the family we do. (*this could be an advantage or present a challenge or perhaps “growth opportunity” for you!) Jesus is the reason we are able to look not at the bad in the world, but the beautiful inner workings of God’s most awesome plan! There needs to be balance. There needs to be a day or a couple hours a week you use facebook, but also take the time to ask God what He wants you to do, where He wants you to go, and who He wants you to visit. You’ll see amazing changes take place in both your attitude (or maybe lack thereof. Teehee!) and your outlook. Don’t let a social network be what pulls you away from Who should be the center of our socializing!
Task at hand. The words of the day are TASK AT HAND. TAH if you will or if you’re of the generation that requires acronyms for all phrases. I will focus. I will be diligent. I will get things done on not my, but God’s To-Do list today. Everything He tells me to do, I’ll do. I’ll even ask Him if He wants me to do something before I do it. Isn’t that how we’re supposed to live? What does it mean to be living? Do we have to be gallivanting with world travelers? The first thing that always pops into my mind when I think of “really living” is jumping out of an airplane. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the exhilaration of the experience. In fact, I never have and I never want to. (Boy I hope that’s not on God’s To-Do list for today.) I’ve always somewhat wished I could be that person…wind in my face as I sail down a slope with a snowboard attached to my feet, or racecar driver going 187 mph as if it were 55 and no more, or, or, or, me. I wish I could be me. How about that? In essence, we spend waaaaay too much time wishing we could be like someone else. Even if the words never come out of your mouth, “Man, I wish I was more like him/her. I wish I could do the things he/she does,” our actions speak louder. We sit on the sidelines waiting. We sit and wonder how life would be different if we weren’t, well, us. What a slap to the face of our Creator! “I’m not sure I like who I am, God. I don’t think I could ever do great things because, well, look at me! I think you’re doin’ a GREAT job with her, but come on! I could never do anything like that!” Never? Ever? These are words God uses when He describes how He couldn’t give up on us and how His love cannot quit and how we are His treasure, not thorns on an otherwise beautiful rose. We are precious to Him and that is why we must look to Him, nothing and no one else to determine who we are or how we should act. What do YOU want me to do today God? What first step can I take that will lead me into Your divine direction for my life? What can I give up so that You can resolve the issues in my life? What can I fast from that will allow me to show You how close I wanna get to You? You are my everything. Who am I to tell God to hold on? To wait one more day, one more month, a decade? What do we need to shuffle around in order to make God the center of our day? (Thanks Donna Hammonds!) What could I do without You? Where would I be? Who would I turn to? Do we always have to know where something leads before we embark on the journey? True faith requires taking a step before you know exactly where you are going. True faith requires us focusing on the TAH with our God in the center of it all.