Bold(ER)

Bold(ER)

I feel like today’s culture is very “you must agree with me or you’re stupid”. Anywhere you look people are arguing over opinions as if they are facts. People talk about “their truth” and it almost appears as though truth is something that can be changed based on whoever is speaking. 

God says differently than this. In the Bible, God has laid out how we are meant to live, do marriage, be parents, trust in Jesus and everything we need to know. However, the world will tell us that God is wrong and God is bad. The truth is we live in a very sinful world where the enemy is running rampant. In fact, he has the world’s culture hating God and not believing he exists. All of the evil in the world is blamed on God because he “allowed” it. As Christians, we know that isn’t true and that isn’t how God works. “If God is all powerful, why does he allow -blank- ?” 

As Christians, we know the answer is Free Will and we know that even in the bad times, God works to make the evil good. Every bad thing I’ve gone though has allowed me to grow, learn or shape who I am today. Sometimes, the end of the bad ended up being better than before the bad. God is amazing and powerful. 

As Jesus followers though, what are we doing to proclaim his name? What are we doing to share the good news? I know I struggle with this. I am almost afraid to admit that I love Jesus because I’m afraid of what whoever I am talking to will think of me. I’m afraid I will lose credibility or that I’ll be thought of as intolerant or whatever else is thought of when it comes to Christians. 

I want to be bold. I want to speak my faith without fear because when you get down to it, the opinions of others do not matter. When I return home, I want to hear “good job good and faithful servant.” I don’t want to have to answer for my fear of what other people thought. 

There is a way to speak our faith and that is to speak it plainly, letting God guide us in our words. The bible tells us that He will give us the words when we speak. Let’s walk in boldness of our faith instead of fear of what others might think. 

Write it Out

  1. Do you worry about what others think?
  2. How can you put a bolder step forward and share your faith?

Devotional Thursdays- Redeemed

Redeemed

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. -Isaiah 43:1

Google tells me the dictionary definition of “redeem” is: compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something).

I can’t speak for you, but I’ve been consistently told a lot of bad things about myself by people who were supposed to love me. I was constantly told the same bad things by family on a daily basis during the years where my inner voice would be formed. My inner voice is mean to me. M-E-A-N. It’s really awful. It is something I have to battle daily because if I make a single mistake, it’s full out war inside my head. If I ever think that I am becoming a burden on someone, all the old things that were said to me play on repeat in my mind. 

You are lazy.”

“You will never do anything.”

“It’s always your fault.”

“You need to calm down, this is why we cannot have _____”

It’s enough to make anybody think they weren’t ever wanted.

How do I battle it? How do I battle the human flaws that remind me I am weak and need something bigger than myself? 

I start with Isaiah 43:1. God has redeemed me. Jesus’ blood is compensation for my sins. His blood paid the price I could never pay. I start there because it is the most important truth. I have been redeemed. I am a child of God’s. He has called me by name and I belong to him. 

It’s all right there in black and white.

Write it Out

  1. What bad tapes play in your head? 
  2. What truths can you use to battle the lies that play like records in your head?

The Change You Didn’t Ask For

I talk about change a lot. At least, it feels like I do. It is probably because my entire life has been about change and learning how to adjust. I’ve basically been wingin’ it since I was a child. It is probably why I fight so hard for control, despite the 20+ years of knowledge that tells me that I have absolutely zero control. 

This past year has been full of changes for my family. This past year has been full of changes for me personally. Every time I think we are in a groove, the tide changes. It is like every week has something new or changing or something. It’s been a very interesting year.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this post where I talked about how God dropped a huge realization on me. I am living a life I prayed for. I asked God for the parts in my life that weight on my heart and god provided them. All the change I was enduring was to be given the life I was asking for. The life I’m living now is allowing me to pursue my calling and I can help provide for my family. I have time with my son and my husband that I never got before. All these things I asked for and prayed for and didn’t believe it was possible for me.

Now I am living it. My prayers were answered and all these changes have been good. While it has taken me a while to adjust and accept it. Part of me still misses the old. I’ve let it go when God made me realize that I prayed for my life that I am living. Even adjusting to change I asked for, it was hard. It was not something I woke up to and said “okay, this is my life, cool!” 

If it is hard to adjust to change that you asked for, that you wished or prayed for, do you think it is easy to adjust to change you didn’t ask for?

Absolutely not. 

Two hours after I made my instagram post about what God was doing and how He answered my prayers, my husband called me and told me things were about to change again and it wasn’t something we asked for. This change actually goes against everything we wanted. 

My husband started a new job with a new company and now he is being moved to another part of the company. This change comes with a new schedule from the one we had just adjusted to. Plus it came with a pay cut, which means we needed to readjust our budget AND figure out a way to get childcare for Little Man. 

Never have I prayed for this. In fact, with the timing, I started questioning everything I was just thankful for. I asked myself, “Did I hear God wrong?” I wondered if I was really in God’s will and all the things I was just praising Him for. This new and the change literally had me questioning everything. I felt wrong and like things couldn’t just be right for two seconds.

Then the smallest thought, the smallest voice came from my heart. “What if something better is coming?”

What. Huh?

Then I let it sit around a little bit. What if God is moving us to something better? While we are currently at a pay cut and slightly stressed about childcare, there is a plan in place with this new position. A plan that is better than our original plan with his previous position. Then, after this news on Thursday night, I spent all day Friday getting everything together to enroll Little Man into a preschool, and it all worked out. I found one we could afford, there was room, I got all the paperwork I needed from the doctor in a few hours. It all felt right. I spent the entire day running around (Little Man also had an eye exam and needed glasses) but it all worked out and I felt at peace all day.

Peace that I never feel when I am running around like that. Peace that never really happens to me. Peace that didn’t match up to my understanding.

That’s the kind of peace that God gives. The kind that doesn’t make sense. That is when I knew I was in God’s hands and I was finally letting go of control over this.

So I’m going to trust God and His Process…

Even when I don’t understand

Even when I dislike it the current situation

Even when it is hard

Even when it hurts

Even when I feel like giving up

Even when I want to quit

God has never not shown up for us. God has never abandoned us. God fulfills his promises. 

Devotional Thursdays- The Promise Keeper

“Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled”.- Joshua 21:45

Promises used to be the way I trusted people. If someone told me something and I doubted them, I would make them promise it. That is the only way I would believe they would follow through. It was my personal form of a lie detector. I don’t know how I got to believe that promises were the ultimate form of truth telling but promises equated to swearing before a court of law. I just happened to be the judge, prosecutor and the bailiff making you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

A lot of those promises I held onto like a lifeline were broken. I was constantly let down without so much as a sorry. My one form of telling the truth was used against me by people who wanted me to believe them while they were lying to my face.

Being an adult taught me forgiveness and the cruel realization that as people had hurt me and lied to me, I’ve done the same to other people. I tried my hardest to not break promises but I’m sure I have broken them. I’ve probably broken promises to people who knew how highly I placed promises. 

I’ve stopped relying on promises. I’ve learned to just be a woman of my word. If I say something, I mean it. If I say I’m going to do something. I do it. Jesus tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no. What we say matters.

Just like when God promises us something, He means it. While I’m human and make mistakes and have broken promises, God never has. He is the ultimate promise keeper. 

Write it Out

  1. Do you easily trust people? 
  2. Do you have your own version of a promise? 
  3. How can you start trusting more?

Stillness

Be still, and know that I am God- Psalm 46:10 //  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

I have patience for people. I am not patient for anything else. I would sooner go to a store and find a similar item I wanted before ordering it online. I’m currently working on changing this habit of mine but I’m making a point. I don’t like waiting. I don’t like waiting for answers or solutions. When situations arise, I turn into Vanilla Ice. If there was a problem, yo I’ll solve it.” 

I tackle problems and situations like a linebacker. I come with plan a’s and b’s and through half the alphabet. I come up with these plans, these numerous solutions, in minutes. It’s actually a little terrifying how quickly I have so many potential outcomes. It stresses me out. When there are a lot of options and plans, there is a lot of room to pick the wrong one. Which is a real fear of mine, picking the wrong plan, solution, decision, something. I am afraid of being wrong. I’m working on it. 

However, God says something completely opposite of my natural instincts. Throughout the Bible we have story after story of God telling his people to be still. Stories of godly men who retreat and spend time with God in times of hardship instead of rushing to fix the problem. Stories showing me that I need to trust in God and his promises instead of trying to control the situation. 

Recently, God showed me how waiting is beneficial and his way. My husband got a new job and his schedule was changing and we needed help with Little Man while I was at work. I started talking to friends and I came up with SO many plans on how to have someone with Little Man. I had plans from A-Z in trying to come up with a solution. None of these plans included asking the person who would end up being the one who hangs out with Little Man. On our date night, hubby suggested grandma. I immediately called her and left her a voicemail. The rest of the night I stressed about all the plans because what if A-Z doesn’t work out and what if hubby’s plan didn’t work out?

Grandma called me back later that night and was thrilled to help us out. What a blessing! She not only would help us with Little Man so we could both work but she was so happy to do it. 

If I had just waited and allowed some time to pass, I could have saved myself a lot of stress.

Write it Out!

  1. Where are you trying to force an issue where God is clearly saying to wait?
  2. What do you do when you stress out? Try and solve the problem to ask God?