Archive for October, 2010

The Power of Choice

Since the beginning of time, woman(and man) has had the power to choose.  No matter how far we run from it in life, the question we will ultimately face every time is “What do I choose?”

What do I choose to do with this suffering?  What do I choose to do with this decision?  What do I choose to do in this relationship?  What do I choose to do with God?  What do I choose to do with this habit? The list goes on and on.

The Mary and Martha story in Luke 10 is often talked about in terms of Martha’s choice to take care of the “serving” and Mary’s choice to sit and learn at Jesus feet.    Sometimes Martha get’s a bad rap.

I don’t believe for a moment that Martha didn’t love Jesus or that she was doing what needed to be done.  The problem was her focus and attitude.  According to Luke 10::41, she was troubled and anxious about many things.

Sounds like a momhood to me!  An endless to do list.  A check off list of expectations.  A pile of laundry, bills, not to mention Johnny’s homework, or Julie’s girlfriend chaos.  No wonder she is anxious and troubled.

But, here’s the good news!  In the next verse, Jesus speaks some very powerful words that illustrate the power of our choice.

“There is need of only one or but a few things.”  When we are faced with the choices of life it always comes back to keeping it simple.  In any given situation, Jesus gives us the key to making the right decision or the good choice.  Here it is.

“Mary has chosen the good portion, (that which is to her advantage), which shall not be taken away from her.”

Do you get that?  Mary chose what would be good for her, what would bring good to her, and what could not be taken from her.

She knew that sitting and learning from Jesus would bring life to her when the dishes and the food and service, though necessary, was less important. Sometimes paper plates are enough!

Whatever you are facing in life remember this:

1. The first step in making the right choice or decision is to sit with Jesus.  Learn from what He says, who He is, and what He does.   Listen for His voice in the stillness.

2.  The second step is to make sure your choice empowers you.  (works to your advantage)  A good choice will always make you better. It will bring you good things in the long run.  Things like peace, freedom, positive outlook, love, and joy.

3.  The third step is to choose the thing that can’t be taken from you.  Don’t settle for something that is temporary.  Effective choices are those that bring lasting results.  They create a life that is solid in any circumstance because they are based on sacred principles that have eternal results.  For example:  You can have a change in your financial circumstances (loss of job, setback, unexpected bills) but your choice to walk in faith, giving to others freely, believing for God’s provision will create an atmosphere of abundant blessings that can’t be taken from you!

God has given you the power of choice.  No one else can choose for you.  What will you choose today?  I hope you choose life in whatever concerns you!

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I’ve been married for 39 years now.  You could best describe my husband and I as salt and pepper.  We are so different in the way we think, our personalities, and our strengths.  It’s been an interesting ride to say the least!

One thing is certain.  We have influenced each other.  It has been interesting to see me,  this spontaneous, firecracker, fly by the seat of her pants woman, put much more effort into making a wise, solid plan of action or think before I do something.  And lately, it’s been rewarding to see my quiet, thoughtful guy begin to say what he wants and watch him intereact with people more.

The point?  When you live with someone, watch someone, communicate with someone often, you find yourself learning and taking on some of their qualities.

Many of us want to feel satisfied.  The key to satisfaction is found in Palm17:15.  ” As for me, I will continue beholding your face in righteousness (rightness, justice, and right standing with You); I shall be fully satisfied, when I awake to find myself beholding your form and having sweet communion with You.”  One translation says “when I awake in Your likeness.”

If you are seeking satisfaction in some area of your life, consider this.

1.  What would God do with this situation?  What is the right thing to do?

2.  What does God say about this concern?

3.  What is God nudging me to do?

When we stop and look at the face of God in the middle of whatever we are dealing with in life our perceptions are often changed.  When we choose to follow His direction and be like Him with His help, we will find ourselves making good decisions.  When we talk and walk with God, we will find ourselves satisfied and full.

Like happiness, satisfaction is a choice.  It’s our choice.

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Yesterday was a day of loss.  Early in the afternoon, I received news that one of my Moms On Mission gals had lost her son in a tragic accident.  A little while later I heard of another mom who lost her 2 month old baby.

I can’t imagine the pain these moms are going through.  Words could never express enough comfort for their broken hearts.

Only God can bring that kind of comfort.  II Corinthians 1:3,4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy and the God who is the source of every comfort, consolation, and encouragement.  Who comforts us in every trouble, so that we may also be able to comfort those who are in any kind of trouble and distress, with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

When we are going through trials, we can be sure that God is the source of our comfort.  We can also know that God will use the situation to help us comfort others.

Please pray for these moms.  If you have lost a child and received God’s healing and comfort would you please leave a comment for these dear women.  I will share them with them.

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Time to Unwrap

A few years back I had an unusual experience.  I had a vision that I was in heaven.   One of the first scenes I saw was myself as a little girl with all kinds of gifts in front of me.  Each package was wrapped in glistening white paper and beautiful red ribbon.  There were big gifts and little gifts, and every size in between.  Jesus was standing there and his eyes were twinkling, as he smiled from ear to ear.  He never spoke but I heard, “Look at all these gifts I’ve given you.  I can’t wait for you to open every one.  I can’t wait to see how you like them and what you do with them.”

It was  profound moment.  I was reminded again as I read today, John 1:16(Amplified).  “For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received (all had a share and we were all supplied with) one grace after another and spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift (heaped) upon gift.”

Notice a couple phrases:

  • Out of His fullness–God is full.  He is abundant.  He is the source of supply.
  • All–God does not offer His supply to a select few.  They are for everyone!
  • Received–We have already received, been supplied with.  Past tense!  Done!

Why is this important?  Embracing these truths can change our attitudes, actions, and our very lives.  When we believe these we move from a place of doubt, discouragement, and lack to a place of trust, hope, and expectancy.

Think about the area you are most concerned about today.  What could change if you believed God had it supplied you with what you need physically, emotionally, and spiritually?  What could happen if you believed He has already given you the answers?  How could you influence the outcome you desire if you acknowledged and opened up the gift, grace,  or blessing He has for you?

Will you pray this prayer with me?

“God, I know you already know what I need.  According to your word, you have an abundant, full supply to meet it.  I receive your gift of blessing, grace, and favor.  I ask that you would show me the gift you have given for this situation and help me activate it by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I acknowledge that I have all I need in you.  I commit to focusing and trusting in your provision rather than on the problem.  In Jesus name, AMEN!”

It’s not that the need hasn’t been supplied.  It’s that we haven’t unwrapped the gift!

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Safe and Secure

It’s been quite a week! Broken marriages, lost jobs, feelings of hopelessness, abandonment,  not to mention wounds of the past that create haunting voices screaming, “I’m alone.  I’m unloveable.”  These are the stories of a few of them women I’ve talked to.

What can be said?  What can be done?  Sometimes the pain people feel seems insurmountable not only to them, but to people like me who want to help them fix it!  But I can’t fix it.  And sometimes they can’t either.  So now what?

What do we do with the tribulations and trials?   Whether we can change the situation or not, the answer is very clear.  The answer lies in the promise of God.

John 16:31 (Amplified) says it plainly.  “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence.  In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer (take courage, be confident, certain and undaunted)!  For I have overcome the world.  I have deprived it of  power to harm you and have conquered it for you.

These are the words of Jesus himself!  In the middle of the hard times of life we can have peace.  We can rest securely and feel safe because the worst of life really has no power to stop us and hold us down.  Our trials do not define what we are or can be.

God didn’t promise a life free from difficulty.  He just promises that we can overcome any obstacle through Him because He has already conquered it!

Women especially need to feel safe and secure.  We will find that kind of refuge as we sit in the middle of the storm, looking to Jesus.

Are you anxious today or in the middle of a storm?  What could happen if you stopped for just a moment and imagined Jesus conquering what ever you were dealing with?  It’s not your imagination!  He has the answers.  Call on Him.  Cast your care on Him for He care for you!

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Ouch!That Hurts!

Pain, trouble, anguish, grief.  These words are all used in John 16:21 to describe a woman giving birth to a child.  Whether you are a natural mom or an adopted mom, I’m sure you can relate to those words.

Those words apply to life as well.  When you  think of those words what emotions come to mind?  Depressing, hard, difficult, unwanted are just a few that I think of.

Take another look.  Here’s what the last part of that verse says.  “But, when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers her pain, because she is so glad a child has been born.”

When we are going through life there are many reasons it gets hard.  Sometimes it gets us down.  What difference would it make if we truly understood that pain is never for nothing when we look at it through God’s eyes?

We all experience emotional contractions in life.  These take the form of broken dreams, bad experiences, bad choices, loss, and any obstacle that is in our way.

Here’s the exciting news!  God never wastes anything!  His plan and purpose for us has been established before we were ever born!   What does that mean?

It means God takes everything and works it for our good according to His purpose for us!  If we really understand that, we can experience the pain without letting it stop us or define us.  We won’t get stuck if we keep our eye on the prize.

What’s the prize?  Here’s a few of the things pain can birth in us:

  • Clarity–pain can help us discover what we really want.
  • Refinement–pain can work off rough spots in our thinking and character.
  • Motivation–pain can move us toward a better choice or habit.
  • Fulfilled vision–pain is part of the process of birthing a dream.

Where are you experiencing pain today?  What could you look toward to help you get through the difficulty of the moment?

Jesus knew pain.  He was willing to go through the pain of the ultimate sacrifice of giving His life.  Why?  For the joy of seeing you reconnected to the purposes of God for you.  Purposes of good not evil, an abundant life instead of mere existence, a child of God, who walks in authority, overcomes in adversity, and does even greater things than Jesus did.

Go forth in JOY!

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It’s Perfect!

When we are honest, don’t we all want perfection?

For so many years of my “momhood”  I was paralyzed because of the voices in my head that screamed, “Can’t you do anything right?”

I would also be anxious when the circumstances of my life created an imperfect world around me.  I wanted the perfect marriage, perfect kids, perfect relationships, perfect church, perfect anything and everything!

Any of that sound familiar?

One day, I found myself so overwhelmed by the imperfectness of my world, I sat in the chair and could not move for a whole day!  Depression was setting in and I knew it.  I had to do something. I did.

I surrendered my control.  Didn’t recognize what I was doing then, but as I look back I see several important things the act of relinquishing my control over “perfection” to God brought.

Psalms 138:8 says, “The Lord will perfect (complete or end) that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving kindness, O Lord endure forever–forsake not the work of Your own hands.”

Here are some thoughts to consider:

  1. God does not forsake us.  We are the work of His hands. The scripture is clear that God works in us, through us, and with our concerns, each time polishing us a little brighter to reveal Him to the world.
  2. God is merciful, loving, and kind.  His yoke is easy, His burden light. God is not a hard taskmaster.  His only desire for us is born of love.  His yoke is the yoke of resting under his guidance and protection, listening for His Spirit in us and surrendering ourselves to Him.
  3. God is a God of Completion!  He never starts something He does not finish. This means God will help you work it out or even supernaturally bring to an end the things that concern you and your life.

If you are struggling with something that isn’t perfect in you, others, or your life overall rethink perfection.  Acknowledge that God alone is perfect. Believe His promise to care for you and to perfect (complete or end) what concerns you. Commit your cares to Him, placing them under His control instead of your own.

Life is perfect when we understand no matter what happens, He is in control of the perfect ending! 

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What woman doesn’t want security?

I remember so many times as a young wife and mother feeling the pangs uncertainty and anxiousness.

Relationship questions about my marriage, my parents, my church plagued those early years. Things like: Does my husband really love me? Did I make a mistake?  Will I ever have the mom I want?  If the church believes what they say they believe why don’t they act in love to one another and the world?

Those questions were complicated even more by my own lack of identity and self-worth.  Always trying to measure up to someone else’s or my own perception of what being “good” meant.

What do you turn to in your insecurity? There are a lot of things we hide behind, trying to make us feel less insecure.   Perhaps you turn to shopping, food, a better house, car, or toy.  Or maybe it’s to a man, hoping this time your needs will be met and the void will be filled.  Maybe it’s to a job, education, or career.  Or is it some religious thing you do to make you look better, putting on a happy face when you are dying inside?

Security is an internal issue.  There is one sure thing that brings us security!  It’s the foundation of Jesus Christ.  Consider the words to this old hymn.

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.

It goes on to use words like: “to one hope she presses”, and  “shall never perish, her dear Lord to defend, guide, sustain, and cherish.”

A house will stand in the storms of life according to the strength of its foundation.  We will too.  And the good news is that we just have to choose  a relationship with Jesus as the foundation we build our life on.  It’s a sure thing!  It’s offered to everyone, no matter what!

His love for us is everlasting and undeniable.  When we build our lives on that belief, we become unshakable and secure in any season.

Feeling insecure today?  Run to the arms of Jesus.  Sit with Him, cry with Him, and listen closely as He reminds you of the love He has for you.  Everything else can fail, but Jesus and His love for us is certain.


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I was surprised by the discussion that took place on the Moms facebook page last week.  I had asked the questions:

What are some of your biggest mom or woman frustrations? What do you do to regain your footing when you are frustrated or anxious?

The moms that commented that their biggest frustration was unwarranted/unasked for advise about how to raise their children.

In my book and workshop, Moms on Mission, Discovering Destinies, a conversation about living by expectations takes place in the very beginning.

Not just expectations on parenting but the expectations we have of ourselves, others, and even God.

Why is it important that we don’t live in the land of expectations?  As one person put it, expectations are pre-meditated resentments.  That might be obvious but let’s unpack that a little.

Realistic expectations are important because they give us a target to shoot for when we are reaching for a goal.  But living in false expectations creates a breeding ground for disappointment.

Think about it.  Expectations are all about our beliefs.  For example, if we expect our husbands or parents to fill our emotional needs, we will likely be disappointed and end up resentful and wounded.

If we believe that God’s love is conditional or stronger based on our performance, we will be frustrated with ourselves and find ourselves hiding from God because we don’t measure up.

Our expectations of others can affect our relationships.  We can feel disappointed or discouraged.  When we react from that place, they can feel personally attacked or uncomfortable with us.

Finally, if we expect unrealistic things about ourselves we can find we are less confident, insecure, and listening to all the negative voices in our heads, beating ourselves up when we fall short.

Here’s a couple of healthy expectations.

1. Expect yourself to maintain a personal, open, and intimate relationship with God.

2. Expect that God unconditionally and passionately loves you and has a plan and purpose for your life.

3.  Expect yourself to live according to  your unique passions and purpose

You can’t release your song through someone else’s expectations or passions. You have to sing your own song and live your own callings. Living for or in someone else’s view of how it should be is denying all God created us to be.

Tell Moms how you’ve let go of unrealistic expectations of God, yourself, or others.

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Me and God

Ever feel like all you wanted was some help?  TEAM is the buzz word for almost anything today.  I know my biggest challenge has been understanding I can’t and shouldn’t go it alone.

But where do we go as moms and wives to find team?  There is a lot we can do to bring our husband, children, and even extended family and friends onto our team.  But in the end, there is only one we can really depend on.

II Corinthians 6:1 says we are fellow workers or co-laborers with God.  God is longing to be on our team and have us on His.  Do you know the great thing about having God on our team or being on His?  Ephesians 2:10 has the key.

We were made by Him to do the works He planned before we were created. There is a big discussion in the theology world about predestination.  I don’t really care about the answer.  What I do know clearly from the scripture is that our good works have been predestined.

What does that thought change?  For me it changes my belief that what I do even on a daily basis is unimportant.  It changes how I look at time, priorities, and relationship.  It changes how I look at God’s plan for my life. It changes how I look at me.

God is on your team, whether you believe in Him or not.  The question is do you want Him there? Do you trust that His plans and good works for you are predestined  and that they can’t be stopped?  What would happen if you believed that God + You=Success?

Whatever battle or frustration you are struggling with or whatever dream you are trying to accomplish  I hope you’ll not try to face it alone.

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