Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2011

So many thoughts in my head this morning.  I had a couple of long conversations this week with people who are hurting so deeply.  Desperation is not a pretty thing.  I’ve been there and it didn’t serve me well in life.

I know what it felt like to struggle with relationships so much that I felt completely unloved and alone.  I put on a happy face but the truth is my inside feelings didn’t match what I was portraying outside.  I cried for someone to really love me and accept me and affirm me.  I longed to move from the critical voices in my head and the you are not good enough mentality that had become my mantra.

I went on a lifelong quest of self-improvement and personal development.   It helped but it was not enough to free me on the inside.

Somehow, I wish I could bottle up what made the difference for me and give it to everyone in the world.  But, we are each on our own journey and so many times we have to learn the lessons for ourselves.

If you are struggling with yourself or your life maybe something I share over the next few days can help.

There were a lot of changes I had to make but they all come down to one central question about what I believe.

I called myself a Christian.  I had said the sinner’s prayer at the age of three and again at nine when I more fully understood.  I really did love Jesus.  But here is what I had to wrestle with.  Do I believe Jesus loves me without condition?

My relationship with God was kind of like the girl with a daisy in her hand.  I was always on a quest to discover whether, “He loves me, He loves me not.”

When things were good, I knew He did.  When they were not so good, I thought perhaps I’d blown it and maybe He was mad at me.  So, I was always trying to be good.  Yet, my motive wasn’t out of my love for Him, it was to earn His love for me.

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they have to choose on the basis of faith.  There are just some things, no matter how great the evidence, we can’t see or understand.

Psalm 13 is an accurate picture of how most of us feel at least once in our lives.  “How long will You forget me, O Lord?  Forever?  How long will you hide Your face from me?  How long must I lay up cares within me and have sorrow in my heart day after day?”

That dilemma is answered by our simple cry, “O Lord, My God; lighten the eyes of my faith to behold Your face in the pitchlike darkness.”

We have to choose to push on in faith that He really loves us.  He has told us by His life.

I had to choices.  Does He love me, or doesn’t he?  You see, He either does or He doesn’t.  There is no in between answer.  The only way I could move forward was to answer that question.  After weighing those choices, I had to choose to believe that God loves me and walks with me.  I had to choose to call out to Him and ask Him to reveal His face to me.  I had to trust, lean and grow confident in His mercy and loving kindness.

I have to make that choice every day.  Am I going focus on His love for me or succumb to the voices of accusation, condemnation, and despair?  The more I walk in faith that I am loved, the more free I am to love others.  The more I love others, the more my life is full and free!

Read Full Post »

True Courage

David, Joshua, Ruth, Esther and a plethora of Bible and real life heroes have a common trait.  As they came to a crossroad in life, they dug deep and chose with courage.

Courage, boldness, and strength are not easy things to muster when we are faced with challenge.

Like a child playing a hiding game, we often find the best places to hide to avoid making the bold choices that will lead us to conquer whatever is before us. If we play that game long enough, we’ll find ourselves drowning in a sea of excuses for why we aren’t moving forward.  That’s definitely not the way to live a life without regret.

There is an old saying, I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail then do nothing and succeed. I don’t know of any person who has done something great or overcome some obstacle who hasn’t had to summon courage.

Throughout the book of Joshua, this theme is played again and again.  “Be strong and of good courage.”  “Fear not, nor be dismayed.”  “Be bold and courageous.”

Where does true courage come from?

Being prepared, having a battle plan, being committed is all part of winning in life.  Those things strengthen us for sure.  But true courage when faced with something that’s bigger than ourselves is more illusive.

True courage is a matter of trust. In battle the importance of trusting the commander of the forces is critical.  And if a question is raised when instruction is given, at the very least, a soldier will still obey.

When we know and accept the power of God, His good plans for us, and understand we have access to His kingdom, we can find courage.  We can choose to step out in faith and defeat the enemy, take the land, and walk in our destiny.

At Women of Faith this weekend, petite Patsy Clairmont told a story and said, “I may be small, but at that moment the tall person inside of me stood up.”

God has placed inside of us a strong and tall person.  He’s put His strength, His courage in us.   It’s up to us to call it forth.

Whether you are needing to make a change, facing an obstacle, struggling with a decision, or being called to do something to make a difference that seems beyond your natural strength, have courage.

Be Bold!  Be Strong!  Be Courageous! When you take a step in faith, God himself will take over and win the battle for you.

Where do you need to find boldness and courage today?  What can you do to take a step of faith to meet that challenge?

Read Full Post »

Time To Move

It has been such a crazy season these last few weeks for me.  There was a whirlwind of activity between my coaching practice, gathering 100 women for Women of Faith, and our home-based health business.  The phone seemed to be glued to my ear and the computer was my constant companion.

The momentum I had created was forcing me to move and I couldn’t stop if I was going to be successful.  When I got home, I was tempted to go to sleep for a few days.

This morning I read Mark 14:41.  Jesus asks the question of the disciples, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?”  He had asked them to watch with Him while He prayed in the garden.

I couldn’t help but think the disciples had no clue how big this moment was for Jesus.   He was about to embrace His destiny and it was not going to be easy.  Yet His friends were complacent and unaware of the magnitude of what was about to happen. They just wanted to sleep.

There is a season for rest for sure.  We can’t ignore our need for coming away, solitude, and refueling.  But it’s important to know when the right time is.

For example, my suitcase isn’t unpacked yet and my desk is chaos.   I still have momentum in my new healthy eating lifestyle and my two businesses.   The sun is out and I want to ignore the things that need to be done.

If I choose to ignore it today, tomorrow when my business schedule kicks in again I’ll be in disarray and it will cause me to lose my peace.

It seems to me that this is a season of acceleration.  Whether it’s in the life of your family, your relationship with God, your business interests, or your service to others, now is the time to move.

Even if it’s just a baby step, movement is important.   I’ve found movement creates momentum and momentum increases movement. When we apply the brakes to movement, we get stuck.

Whatever change you are wanting to make, now is the time.  Keep going.  Take the next step.   Don’t ignore the importance of the moment.  Wake up, you can sleep later.

Funny thing.   When I am moving in God’s direction, I  have rest in my spirit.

What change is God speaking to you about?   What is He prompting you to move in?  What step could you take today to begin to create momentum?

When Jesus walked on earth, He knew what the Father was saying.  He moved among the people and only came away at the appropriate times.

It’s our time now.  Time to make our moves according to His direction and not stop until He leads us into a season of rest.

Read Full Post »

You Are Beautiful to Him!

My heart is full of inspiration and compassion today.

So many of us walk through life listening to the accusing voices in our heads.  I can’t tell you how many times I coach someone who feels disappointed in life and hopeless for tomorrow.  There is a quiet desperation in their voice as they share that they want to reach for more but don’t know how to begin.

We are all craving the more in our lives.  The “more” we desire is more of God.

The thing that made the biggest difference for me was knowing how much God really loves me and moving from performance to gain love to resting in His love and letting Him direct my steps.

That was not an easy journey but I finally made the choice to really believe Him.  I let go of  the old ideas that I was not good enough or worthy enough.  I threw off the thought that God was mad at me if I made a mistake or chose the wrong path.  I  released my need to win approval from God or men and instead held on to His grace and mercy and the plans of God for my life.

In essence, I surrendered to who He made me and what He designed for my life and chose to take the risk to step out to bless others.  It’s made all the difference.

I had felt insecure, alone, afraid, and insignificant.  Now I am secure in His love, aware of His presence, full of love instead of fear, and finding where I belong as I pursue His call on my life.  I am FREE.  And among all my imperfections, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual I can finally say I AM BEAUTIFUL because He is beautiful and He made me in His image.

I hope you feel and understand that you are loved beyond what you can imagine and are beautiful in His eyes.

Take a minute to enjoy this video by Mercy Me.

Read Full Post »

Just returned from Women of Faith.  Great weekend of connection and so many nuggets to help us move forward in life.

When one of our group was asked what her favorite thing was she said realizing that, “Everything matters.”  I love that.

Moms especially can get caught up feeling that their lives are in stuck in the never ending circle of daily routine and little people drama.  So many moms tell me I just don’t know who I am anymore. They have some dreams that seem to be put on hold and they wonder if they’ll ever get to follow them.  They work hard but they don’t seem to see much reward for that labor.

Been there?

When Andy Andrews shared his story he really stressed that everything matters.  Throughout history, one split decision has at times changed the course of nations.  When we think about that, everything we do matters.

What if the word you speak or something you do today influences someone to make a change, or decision in their life?  What if that change or decision impacts someone else to make a change or decision?  What if  that keeps going and ten years down the road that continues and eventually the one being influenced finds the cure for cancer, invents a revolutionary product, or becomes the next Billy Graham?

What if you didn’t speak or do something because you were afraid or thought it was insignificant?

It’s a sobering thought to me to think that everything matters but in the scheme of things it does.  It can matter for now, which influences tomorrow.  Life matters, you matter, your decisions matter, regardless of  how big or small they seem.

In the Bible, we can see how the decision from the very beginning affected mankind.  We can see how tending sheep paved the way for a David to slay a giant and slaying the giant paved the way for becoming king.  We see that kind of story replayed for good or for bad in every character mentioned–Solomon, Samson, John the Baptist, Mary, and so on.  One life always affects the another.

The clothes you wash today give your child a sense of security and well being.  That matters.  The meal you cook creates a healthy body.  The story you read stimulates their mind.   The fight you break up teaches them how to handle conflict in relationships.  The prayer you pray will show them how to connect to God.  Everything you do is like planting seed in who they are and what they become.

We all blow it and none of us do everything perfectly, God will redeem those moments. Part of living a life of excellence means we look down the road and understand that nothing is insignificant in this life or in the kingdom of heaven.

What are you doing today to make a difference for tomorrow?

Read Full Post »

Don’t you just hate it when you have one of those put my foot in my mouth moments? It’s not an easy thing to avoid.

Scripture has a lot to say about the tongue.  It’s compared to consuming fire, a pen of the author ready to write, and something that needs to be bridled.  It is a weapon of cursing and a treasure of blessing and the Bible says it holds the power of life and death.

Exciting and scary thought, isn’t it?

What a woman speaks when she opens her mouth is a sign of her spiritual life.  Proverbs 31:26 says, “She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness (giving counsel and instruction). ” (Amplified)

I’m drawn to a few significant words.

1.  Skillful–A mouth full of spoken Wisdom doesn’t just happen.  It’s an art to be mastered.  It takes focus, thought,  and practice.

2. Godly Wisdom–Wisdom can come from other sources, but what’s important is learning and speaking  God’s wisdom.

3.  Law of Kindness–Note to self……one can have all the wisdom in the world but the important part of speaking wisdom is kindness when giving counsel or instruction.

When I was a young girl, reading the Bible for the first time, I read that wisdom was important and something to seek out.  I remember praying for wisdom.  Kind of interesting how many lessons I have had to learn after praying that prayer!

I know I would not be where I am today though, had I not prayed that prayer.  The blessing and treasure in sometimes difficult lessons are better than any human knowledge I could gain in school or from a book.  And they are easier to remember since they are part of my human experience.

One of the best teachers are the moments when we put our foot in our mouth by speaking unkind or wounding words, cursing or judging others, or by not knowing what we are talking about from God’s perspective.

Unlike the credit card commercial, it’s not what’s in your wallet that counts.  It’s what’s in your mouth.  What’s in your mouth will come out of your mouth when you open it.  And what comes out of your mouth is a reflection of your heart which is a reflection of the strength of your spiritual life.

If you are like me and want to speak kindly and wisely, join me in asking:

When I open my mouth, what comes out?

What could I do today to become more skilled in my speech?

What could I do today to gain more knowledge of God’s wisdom?

How could I focus on speaking and instructing with more kindness?

 

Read Full Post »

Repost: What Ya Lookin’ At?

This is a repost of one of my most popular blog entries.  Since I’m behind on posting, I thought you might like it again.

Feeling discouraged, exhausted, weary?   What mom or anyone else doesn’t? With everything you have to do, all the situations you are dealing with, and sometimes little physical rest, it’s no wonder.

Here’s the good news.  I found a key this morning in my Bible reading that might help.

In II Corinthians 4:16, the apostle Paul tells us though their outer man is decaying and wasting away, their inner self is being renewed day after day.  How is that possible?

Here’s the key!  II Corinthians 4:18:  “Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal(brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.”

It’s all in what you are looking at!  It’s easy to get discouraged if we look at our circumstances.  We can slip from being exhausted physically to emotionally and spiritually fatigued if we forget that what we see in the moment or the past, is not important.

What is important is the things we don’t see–the invisible—the purposes and kingdom of God.  When we look away from our past and present through those eyes, it’s impossible to not have hope.

Why?

1.  The things of His kingdom can’t be taken from us.

2.  The things of His kingdom last forever.

3.  The things of His kingdom produce eternal results.

4.  This life is not all there is.   We have everlasting life through Jesus.

Whatever you are facing today, look to His kingdom.  His principles, promises, and purposes will not fail.  That’s how Jesus endured the cross!  He knew that the reward in heaven would be great!  He focused on the joy. The joy was you and me!  If He thought we were worth that suffering, it is certain He’ll not withhold what we need in this moment.

What is God offering you today from His kingdom, to replace your weariness and discouragement?

Read Full Post »

Full Force

Jesus, at the very moment He was hanging on the cross, breathing his last breath, showed invincible internal strength.  That’s easy to understand when you think about Him being fully God, but not so much when you think about being fully human.

I believe that strength manifested because of the pure love He had for us.  Why else would He  stay through that brutal suffering when He had the power to stop it?

In my work as a coach and spiritual mentor, one theme keeps reappearing.  No matter what the situation or concern is, it is usually not  a matter of not knowing what to do or even having several possible solutions.  When the people I coach are stuck, it usually comes down to fear. The power behind that fear is usually directly linked to their acceptance of false truth about God, themselves, or others.

Since I primarily coach Christians, you wouldn’t think that would be the issue but it is. I struggled with my own identity and worth since childhood and the pain that brought was tortuous.  It only went away as I began to truly understand that God loved me unconditionally and accept that He made me wonderfully and full of beauty.  I had to throw off the ‘old idea’ that I was weak and worthless.  Instead I had to accept the truth that God had given me all I need and strong weapons to overcome the invisible forces (mostly the voices in my head!) that want to keep me from being who God made me.

Think about it.  If He thought we were worth that much, that He would endure death and hell, why would He leave us weak and defenseless in life.  It’s not scriptural to believe that we are not powerful and strong as His children.

Consider Psalm 18:30-40.    That is not a picture of weakness.  In fact verse 37 & 38 says, “I pursued my enemies and overtook them; neither did I turn again until they were consumed. I smote them so that they were not able to rise; they fell wounded under my feet.”

If you think about a soldier on the battle field, this is the mentality they have to have.

Our enemies are not that visible.  They aren’t usually flesh and blood.  Nevertheless, the enemies in our heads and the wounds in our souls are formidable.  If we are going to be victorious in this life, we must accept as irrevokable truth that:

1.  We have ALL of God’s love.

2.  We have access to  ALL of God’s power.

3.  We have been given ALL of God’s authority.

That’s a little scary to embrace fully because if we believe that we have to admit that nothing can hold us back from our destiny but us.  We can no longer blame anyone or anything for our lives.  We have to take back the power and with that comes responsibility.

I’ve found that to be no small thing but so worth it for the joy,satisfaction, and freedom it brings.

Rise up!  You can overcome that challenge!  You can defeat that enemy!  You can cast off the grave clothes and LIVE!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts