There is always pie…

My friend, Anita, makes these amazing apple pies. No one really knows how she does it, but they really are the best. I’m not sure she exactly knows how it happens because it’s just magic in her kitchen. She combines several recipes to achieve the apple perfection. Her husband gets one every birthday, and Chris has snuck in a few requests on his birthday over the years. One Christmas, she brought her pie for a gift swap and it got ugly really quick! Adults fighting over pie!

A while back, I was a little stuck in life and really just feeling sorry for myself. Self pity is not a good look.  God reminded me of Anita’s pie: How she puts in the best ingredients, takes pleasure in the process and is so generous to offer her apple heaven to her friends and family.  I think God is a really good pie maker too. While lost in pie thoughts, I realized I was living like the pie was going to run out! Apparently, I believed that God had this heavenly pie in the sky with limited pieces, and I had better make sure I got a slice! 

Ugh, when you live like this, like the pie is running out, you live scared. You live frustrated and bitter, but mostly scared. Scared you will blow it, always watching others slices, worried about the security of your slice or afraid you may get no slice at all.

A friend once prayed for me and told me I was struggling with an “orphan spirit.” What the heck did that mean? Well, it meant that I was living like the pie was going to run out. Like I had to race and scramble for my seat at the table and then fight for my slice. She was right and all these years living like an orphan had taken its toll. It wears you thin, and makes you tired, and anxious.

God has been showing me lately that I don’t really trust him or his word. Gut punch! Like really believe it deep down, way into my bones, like know that it’s true, always true, and it’s for me. Because if I really, truly, deeply trusted Him and believed his word, I would know his pie never runs out. After all these years of following him, it’s painful to admit that I missed this. That I missed the truth that there is always a seat for me at the table, and the offerings are plentiful and beautiful and custom designed just for me. And for you! You might not even like apple pie. That’s okay, because he’s got your favorite chocolate cake at your seat!

Today I was reading in John 14 and these three verses struck me:

Vs 1 – Do not be troubled. You trust God, now trust me.

Vs 2 -There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home.  

Vs 31- Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.

God has been ministering to me all morning from these verses. He is saying, “So, Kimberly, do you trust me? Do you trust my word is true? That there is plenty of room for you? That there is more than enough for you and all my children? That the pie won’t run out? Get up, sweet girl, let’s go and leave this orphan state! You are a child of the king and it’s time to leave here! We have things to do!”

Oh, friends, these are good words from the Father! They bring such rest! He has pie for us all!  We don’t have to live as orphans, we can run knowing he is good and has more than enough for his precious children!

“No, I will not abandon you as orphans-I will come to you!” John 14:18

Laundry

There’s something I love about laundry (and Costco granola) but anyway, laundry, yes…I don’t enjoy putting it away, but the process of making the dirty clothes clean just feels right to me. As my friends and loved ones know, I am not one to clean, in fact, I hate cleaning. It is NO fun to me, and I only do it out of necessity (aka, when Chris looses it and I have to). I like things to be clean; however, the process of cleaning, is well, just awful. But laundry, I love! It’s very predictable: things go in dirty and they come out clean. Laundry is measurable and feels so productive: 10 pieces go in, 10 pieces come out. (except for those socks that always go missing) and I can get a lot done in a small amount of time.

With laundry, things go in smelly and wet and dirty and come out fresh and warm and soft. It’s just wonderful! And then there is the folding. The clothes are sorted and smoothed out and stacked and then everyone gets their clean clothes. For me, it is a very satisfying thing I do for my family. Weird, I know. Again, I am not a chore lover, but laundry makes me feel productive because it’s predictable.

If only life was like this, right? Productive and predictable, alot accomplished in a small amount of time, sorted, smoothed and stacked and done! If only, but I am in an unpredictable state these days. I have entered the workforce after 8 years at home, my days have changed and my schedule is a little unruly. Speaking of unruly, I have 3 boys that are anything but predictable or productive. They are all over the place, making noises and smells, running in the house, refusing to do homework, doing cartwheels in the living room, tracking in mud. And every day is different. Nothing is the same.

Unlike my lovely laundry, sometimes the smelly, wet, dirty things of life don’t always come out fresh, warm and soft. Sometimes they stay smelly, wet and dirty for way too long. 10 goes in and sometimes only 2 come out. Life is unpredictable and can seem unproductive. And God is teaching me to embrace it all.

I looked into Sam’s big, blue eyes today with a new perspective. He was reciting his ABC song, and for just a moment, I saw his future. I saw that how I love him, speak to him, and teach him, impacts his future. That it matters. My mom impacted my future. What she poured into me, how she served me, protected me, taught me the gospel and introduced me to Jesus, all of that was for my future: here on earth and for eternity. It mattered to her.

Today I felt a great sense of purpose looking at Sam. For a long time, I have selfishly parented thinking about myself and how frustrating it was that the smelly, wet, and dirty things weren’t getting fresh, warm and soft like my precious laundry. The smelly things of my life, the unpredictable things, were frustrating me and keeping my eyes on me. But as I stared at Sam today, I became a little more okay with the unpredictability. I became okay with just sitting and grinning while he sang the ABC song, because I knew he saw me…he saw me watching and listening…he saw my big grin…and it made his sweet heart feel fresh and warm and soft. And it mattered.

Sometimes laundry has stains, and we have to scrub a little harder or soak a little longer, or call a friend to get stain advice…so that what goes in comes out fresh and warm and soft. That’s it, that’s the productivity and predictability I am looking for in life…especially in this season of parenting…to know that these sometimes smelly, wet and dirty boys will be okay. That the world won’t get to tight of a grip on their hearts and minds and ears and eyes…that all the prayers and words and warnings and hard conversations…that all this stain fighting will work…that they will be washed white as snow by the precious blood of the Savior who my mom introduced me to…that they will meet Him too and come out of this spin cycle of a world all fresh and warm and soft.

This unpredictable life of motherhood wears me out sometimes. But it’s for their future and it matters and I get to steward that. I get to help sort and smooth their stacks and point them towards God’s good plan for them. 

Botox or God?

“The priests could not continue their work because the glorious presence of the Lord filled the temple”. 1 Kings 8:11

Let’s read that again, because it informs this whole post and is informing my whole heart right now.

“The priests could not continue their work because the glorious presence of the Lord filled the temple”. 1 Kings 8:11

Mind racing, restless nights, teeth grinding, morning headaches, tight shoulders, clenched jaw, swollen gums. The Dr. says it’s TMJ and Botox in my jaw muscles will help. But I know these are all physical symptoms of a spiritual problem: hands closed tightly around whatever future and life I think I deserve, what I think is best.

Pride. He’s been my new bff.

Productivity, significance, achievement- all fuel my exhausted brain. Do you hear voices? Sometimes I do. They say, “Let them see, let them know you are something. You deserve to be noticed. It means you have worth and contribute.” All this is exhausting. But what do you do when the clients don’t come and the chair sits empty, the boys are crazy and life moves slower than you thought? What do you do when the door is shut and you know it’s meant to stay closed for now? What if no one ever noticed again? What do you do when The Voice whispers, “Wait, sit still, watch with Me, do you trust Me? Do you want Me more than what you want?” What do you do when patience and waiting and the unknown simply tighten your grip on what you think can control?

What is the lie? What is the stronghold that keeps me clenched up, unable to rest, to release, to rely on the God of the universe? He whispers again, “Kimberly, do you love Me enough to trust me with you?” What would it look like to let go, to open the closed fists, to breathe, to surrender to the unknown, surrender to His pace and to wait patiently for His hand to move instead of mine, to not be able to continue because His presence is so thick.

What does it look like to be overwhelmed by the presence of the almighty God, so much so that you can no longer work, but only worship? Mary knew it, sitting at His feet while Martha stayed busy. Martha missed it: the presence of the living God in her own living room.

What does it require of me to open a door so He can fill the space, invade it even,  and consume it in a way that I am prostrate, and chains are broken and unclean lips are made pure? Do I want that? Will I let Him do that?

In his presence there is fullness of joy and at his right hand, next to his Son, are pleasures forevemore (Psa. 16:11). 

I want to get acquainted with His right hand. If there is pleasure forevermore there, why, why would I look elsewhere, need anything other than Him? “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God  I love. Here’s my heart, Lord take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.” Seal it for what? For Thy courts. It’s for Him, His glory alone, not mine. There’s the lie- that any of this life is about me.

Lord forgive me, that any eye would look on me, other than for your glory. The redemption of me, the marriage I make, the boys I raise, the client chair in my office-is just for You, to make You shine brightly.

What if the most important act in this moment, in this season, is bringing Him glory? What would that change in us? What does that look like for us?

That’s the question, “What in my life invites your presence and brings you the most glory?” Then let’s do that. Let’s lay it all down, stop the working, the voices-because He is so near, all we can do is worship. Live a life of surrendered worship, whatever that means. Even if it means, the chair stays empty, the door stays shut, and no one sees but Him. Can I do that? Am I willing? 

Somehow, somewhere I stepped on the throne and thought I needed a crown. I seemed to forget the crowns are laid down in his presence and all that can be said is “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Rev. 4:10-11). 

Take a listen: When You walk into the room by Jesus Culture

Slow and Steady

They say “slow and steady” wins the race but what about “scared and stubborn”? What happens to those of us that don’t learn the first time, or the next, or the next? What happens when the same lessons keep showing up and you just can’t learn what is trying to be taught? What happens when letting go of what feels so true and right and comfortable is too difficult and so you just stay stuck?

I was reading back through my journal today, reflecting on what all has happened in 2018, looking for glimpses of  growth, success and movement forward. There were some of those, but what struck me was the repetition of many prayers and verses that kept landing on the pages. From one month to the next, the same requests to God and he continued to give me the same responses. I seemed stuck. 

I saw that I was scared in my prayers and stubborn in what was required of me. Scared to let go, to trust Him in the waiting, in the staying put. And stubborn in not wanting to let go of my way, my plans and my agenda.

So what happens now? Do I just keep writing the same worn-out prayers and having Him respond with the same truth-filled verses? How do I get unstuck, how do I move forward in growth and success?

As I prayed through what felt like grounded feet in really thick mud, I kept landing on the word ‘trust’.

Trust- to place confidence in, to surrender to, to entrust, to give into the hands of, to permit, to allow…

Psalm 37:3 “Trust in the Lord and do good.”

Psalm 37:5 “Commit everything you do to the Lord, Trust him and he will help you.”

Prov. 29:25 “Whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.”

Psalm 91:4 “I will cover thee with my feathers and under my wings shall thy trust.

Rom. 15:13 “You will have joy and peace as you trust in him.”

There are some messages floating around out there telling us to work harder, that we are the authors of our success, that we can make it happen. And yes, it is important to work hard and stay focused, but it seems God’s economy tells us something different. God adds another beautiful layer to our work. God’s economy tells me to let go, to rest, to surrender the results to Him.

Instead of holding on tight and digging in my heels, I am to open my hands and trust him with the outcome. Instead of taking my dream and making it happen, I am to lay the dream as an offering at his feet, to give it back to him instead of running ahead. Oh how hard that is.

What a paradox, that the hardest thing is to let go and rest.

However, if I operate in complete trust, if I trust He is who He says He is, letting go becomes the easiest thing I can do. The pressure is off. It’s no longer up to me, but up to the Creator of the universe, Abba Father.

What a breath that creates for me, for us! How unstuck I would feel if I functioned in trust.

My word for 2018 was Rest. I have battled and worked so hard to learn rest. (Did you catch that? I have even made the word “rest” about work!) And here, as 2018 is drawing to a close, he is faithfully showing me what it means to rest. It means to trust: to place confidence in, to surrender to, to entrust, to give into the hands of, to permit, to allow…But will I? Will I lay it all down, rest under his wings and trust him for the results?

Slow and steady, with him by my side, I will win this race because “He is my God and I am trusting Him.” Psalm 91:2

In perfect timing today, a sweet friend reminded me of these lyrics from my childhood:

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

 

 

Glory to Glory

5 years ago today. 5 years ago today he left us. 5 years ago today he ran for the first time in a long time. He ran into the arms of the one who loved him more than life itself. 5 years ago today he finally had no pain, he breathed deep and rested, finally rested.

But, 5 years ago today my heart broke, my spirit ached, my faith weakened, my miracle left me. All the prayers for healing, all the mustard seeds I’d offered to God, the mountain I begged to move, left me. That’s a holy, hard thing, to know dad’s miracle began but to be left behind wanting your own.

I’ve been working on that lately, working on my broken faith. I thought I had dealt with it, processed it like a good therapist does, but it’s been creeping up lately. The memories, the things we saw that we shouldn’t have seen. The pain he endured that was so unjust, the way his body was ravaged so unfairly. It’s been creeping up and I can’t quite handle it like I want to. God, in his wisdom, is bringing it to the surface because he is good enough to want me whole.

That’s strange, isn’t it? That God would reveal in me my angst toward Him, my questions, my doubts that He is good? Why would He do that? Why would He expose something that doesn’t honor Him? That’s brave isn’t it? He isn’t worried about his reputation. He could leave all this buried in me, keep it under the covers, but He is a cover lifter, as I have said before. He’s a light shiner, He breaks up darkness, even when it might reveal that we aren’t sure if He is good.

Don’t stop is what I want to tell you. Don’t stop moving towards holiness, wholeness and having your broken places mended. It’s holy, hard work. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it and God can handle the wrestle. We are wrestling now, me and God. I am wrestling with Him on my broken heart, my faith that was chipped at, the miracle I believed for but didn’t receive, the medical trauma dad endured, we all endured. I have doubts and tears and He can handle them. He is so good to not let them consume me. He is so good to bring them to the surface after 5 years because he wants my healing, my own miracle.

He’s kind like that, he moves us from glory to glory. Don’t stop. Dad never stopped. He always found the fight in him to keep going, until he just couldn’t anymore and then he stepped into His glory. Glory to glory. That’s how God works, at least that’s what I am learning.

Sometimes glory doesn’t look like what you think though. Sometimes glory looks like old memories coming back, tears, time in the counseling office, time writing down the words, more tears, hard conversations, bold conversations with God, telling Him your angry and you aren’t sure if you believe Him when you’ve believed him for 32 years. More time with the counselor…And then there’s glory.

Out of the wrestling, there’s glory.

Like when dad finally stepped into glory after all those years. All those years of wrestling with his body, wrestling with fear, wrestling with his maker, he finally stepped into his glory. Glory to glory. Please don’t stop. Don’t stop moving towards the One who can handle it, who can handle you and your wrestle and all your broken places.

Just please don’t stop. 

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

Watchtowers and Waiting

This week I have been reading back through my journal from the past year.  It has been a blessing yet also very humbling: A blessing because I can see God’s faithfulness and his hand woven through all my many prayers and circumstances throughout the year. But also humbling because there are still areas of my life that haven’t changed, still places that lack faith, still spots in me that need more pruning, still hurts that need healing. He is not done yet, and I am not done. However, if I want to move forward I MUST press in. I MUST find the time to steal away to be with him, to give him the space to do his holy work.

I was reminded of a Bible story this week and I thought I would share. It is from Habakkuk 1-2. We see in chapter one that Habakkuk is complaining to the Lord.

He says, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen!”

Have you ever felt that way? I did as I read through my journal and saw those prayers that seem to stay on repeat without the answers I want.  

Habakkuk then states in 2:1 “I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint.”

Watchtowers were used during biblical times as places of safety or security during war. They were high and set apart so that guards could keep watch for the oncoming enemy. Habakkuk is bold in his questions to God, then he steals away to a quiet place to watch and wait for God’s response. I love this. I love Habakkuk’s wisdom and confidence. His wisdom to get away from the noise, his confidence to complain and cry out, and his confidence in knowing that God will answer his complaint in his waiting. On Sunday, the pastor said, “Our bold requests stir up the bold responses of God.”  

The Lord does respond to Habakkuk in 2:2 “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time…it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

So, what do we see here? What can we learn?

  1. We must be bold in our asking. There are only a few weeks left of 2018. What’s left to press into? What more do you want God to do in you? Through you? Be bold in your asking and watch for his bold response.
  2. Steal away to a watch tower. Find the place where you are not distracted, where you are protected from the enemy, and ready yourself to hear from God, and wait.
  3. Right down the vision so you and others can then run!  God will honor the time you devote to him and he will respond to you. Posture yourself with ears and hearts to listen. His response will require you to act. I noticed many of my unanswered prayers stayed that way because I did not act on the vision God gave me to write down!
  4. Trust him in the waiting and watch with him.

Steal away, watch what he does, record it, steal away, watch, record. Repeat. What a beautiful rhythm.

I am praying for you friends, praying that you find that sacred space to sit with him, lean in and catch the vision, his vision for you!

P.S. Some of you have asked and here is the link for Regina’s mentoring ministry and the story of how her journaling impacted mine: http://titus2mentoringwomen.com/2017/11/intentional-journaling-the-words-journal/

Par-a-dox

Par-a-dox- “a situation, or person, or thing that combines contradictory features of qualities.”

“I will not be made sad by the very ones who ought to give me the greatest joy.” 2 Cor. 2:3

Ugh, we had a tough night. It’s been a tough month really. Such a paradox. I read this verse this morning and it jumped off the page. Like Paul was in my head. He has had to discipline the church he loves so much. He disciplined because he loved, and he tells us in verse 4 that he was “heartbroken. I cried over it. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I wanted you to know how very much I love you.”

I’ve always been told parenting is physical exhaustion on the front end and mental, emotional exhaustion on the back end. I am feeling…every….ounce…of the back end today. Feeling the paradox- the one who ought to give me the greatest joy has made me sad. He is halfway to 22 and over 60% of his way to 18. (I had to do some math for that one.) He doesn’t need our physical help anymore. But there is a mental, emotional investment that has to be made on behalf of his heart and that…is…hard…work.

It is harder than tying his shoe, pouring him a bowl of cereal, cleaning his face or picking out his clothes, all the physical mom tasks that pile up and leave you physically exhausted. I know how to do all those things and do them well. But this, this heart health, this training, this preparing him for the man he will become…is hard. It makes my brain tired, it requires too much head space, and it keeps me on my knees. And he didn’t even do anything too terrible. But we see glimpses of pride, disrespect and anger, and we want to see humility, honor and kindness.

And so like Paul, the one who should bring me much joy has made me sad. The discipline has left me heartbroken. I have cried over it. I didn’t want to hurt him but I want him to know how very much I love him…I love him so much that I will not let him get away with pride, or disrespect, or anger towards his family…I love him so much that I want his heart ready and aware of what it takes to be the best version of him, to become the man God intended. That’s the call I have on me now and it makes me tired because I’ve never done it before and I want to do it right.

Life is full of paradoxes. The gifts of life can feel like white elephants. The food I love can make my body sick. Social media can make me feel connected yet leave me envious. The people we love the most can leave us angry and wounded.

“For I cried out to Him for hope, praising Him as I spoke.” Psalm 66:17

This Psalm was written after a victorious battle. This warrior has seen death and “fire and flood” and “great abundance.” He has seen the paradox of battle – the pain of fighting for something you believe in and the joy of victory.

He has cried out to God and praised him at the same time.

The holy things and the hard things can co-exist.

We can cry out to God and praise him in the same breath. The things that bring us the greatest joy can also bring great pain. There is still a great battle going on friends. A battle for our souls, a battle for our hearts, and battle for our minds. It can leave us tired and weary, but it is so worth the fight.

Paul, with his weary, worn out battle-ridden heart says, “but thanks be to God, who leads us along in Christ’s triumphal procession…” 2 Cor. 2:14

Thanks be to God, we are not alone. Thanks be to God, Christ is a victor. Thanks be to God, I am being led alongside Him.

Alongside the one who lived the greatest paradox- the divine in a human body, the king of everything born in a dirty manger, the one with holy, healing hands using them as a carpenter and to touch the sick and broken things.

Life is a paradox, the hard and the holy are one. The hard things lead us into the holy things, keep us on our knees, crying out for hope, praising him as we speak.   

God’s Heart

Do you trust me? Really trust me? Do you believe I formed you exactly how I planned? Do you believe I hold your future in my hands and I always have? Do you believe I already formed your future? You past is the future I created when I breathed my breath in you.

Did you know that, did you know that the King of the world breathed His breathe in you….on purpose?

So many things intended for you long ago, your past, but the future I gave you when I formed you. Do you doubt that my plans are good for you? Do you believe that you can get in the way of my plans? Pride, that’s pride my child, to think that you could halt my plans for you. I am Almighty God. Why do you doubt my concern for you? Do you know that I see you, I care for you, I delight in you?

I am a Promise Keeper, a Truth Teller, a Heart Healer and I hold you close, so very close.

I am full, complete and I offer that to you, not a shattered, unplanned or unorganized life. If you choose me, if you listen to me, I offer you whole, pure and good things. Can you trust me with what I have chosen for you, your life, your people?

Do not think you know better than me for I am the Master Planner and I plan all things well.

I hold your heart.

I see the broken pieces, the empty spaces and I long to breathe life there if you will let me, child. Please let me.

Something broke you, long ago. You don’t even know, but I was there, I was there when your heart was broken. This is a broken world, and my children get hurt and they don’t even realize it. The enemy is a heart breaker and he wants my army bruised and battered.

But I am the heart healer and I am putting you back together child. Piece by piece. Piece by piece. It takes time, it keeps you close. Trust me with my timing as I put you back together. It draws you deep, deeper into me. Stay in my shadow, draw near as I put you back together.

I have plans for you, my love, good plans, and I will use your brokenness for my glory, to draw in my other loves. I do not fail. I am Good. I am Glory. I am Forever. I am your Father, your Abba, your Papa. I haven’t forgotten you.

I am closer than you know. Breathe me in.

Fancy

35 hours of training. That’s what I had to get to renew my counseling license. 35 hours of sitting at a table surrounded by smart, insightful and caring people. People that go into the trenches and help the hurting, I mean really hurting, people.

It has been amazing…and terrifying. It’s been almost 8 years since I sat professionally with a wounded soul. It’s been almost 8 years of raising the boys, caring for my home, my husband and the family we made. And now it’s time to go back, go back into the trenches with the hurting…and I am scared.

I am scared that I don’t remember anything. I don’t remember what to say or recommend when you tell me your marriage is falling apart or you can’t stop the voices in your head or your teen won’t come out of their room. However, if you need a baby wipe or some cheerios, then I’m your girl. I can get a stain out for you and I can fit 6 of you in my dirty car and get you wherever you need to go. But if you need me to walk you thru your trauma or your tragedy or your trial…that’s a different story. And you want to pay me for this? No way. No way can I take your money because I’m really a mess too, and I surely can’t tell you how to climb out of your mess. The inside of my head is scrambled, so why would you want me to help you sort out yours?

So, 35 hours of training and even more hours of doubt and fear. It’s really been a battlefield here the past few months…a battlefield of my mind…can I do this, should I do this, what will I say, can I really help?….but I’m doing this…

I landed in 1 Corinthians this week…not by chance I know. Paul is speaking to his church friends in Corinth. They are in a mess. There is diversity and disorder among the congregation. There is confusion and conflict on what to believe and who to believe, questions over spiritual gifts and how to use them, really just a mess…and I totally identify with them.

Here are some really good words that Paul has left us. If your head feels a little jumbled or worn out, well…

I Corinthians 1 (NLT)

Vs 7 “You have every spiritual gift you need”

Vs 9 “He always does just what He says”

Vs 24 “Christ is the wisdom of God”

Vs 25 “God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength”

1 Corinthians 2

Vs 3 “I came to you in weakness…but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you”

Vs 6 “I do not speak of the wisdom that belongs to this world…the wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God”

Vs 12 “God has given us his Spirit so we can know…”

Vs 13 “We do not use words of human wisdom, we speak words given to us by the Spirit”

Vs 16 “We have the mind of Christ”

And my favorite: 1 Corinthians 4:20 “The Kingdom of God is not just fancy talk, it is living by God’s power.”

All this time, I have been anxious, wanting to be fancy. To be a fancy pants, a wise and respected therapist in my community and among my peers. The fears of failure and looking like a stay-at-home fool among the tenured and educated have hit hard. Well, I think I will just be a fancy pants for Jesus and live using His words, His wisdom and His power when I sit with His children. He will equip me and give me EVERYTHING I need. He will do the same for you friend.

Thank goodness His kingdom is not just fancy talk, but it is living by His power to fulfill His plan and His purpose!

Bold Words

Our words hold power, power to bring death or power to bring life. Revelation 12:11 states,They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their testimony.” Our secrets lose power when they are brought into the light. It is a hard thing to speak the bold word, the secret place, the thing that wants to stay hidden.

Today we have bold, brave words by a guest blogger, Diana Reis, and they are good, good words: 

Those that know me well know I don’t usually like to be so bold or put myself out there in this way, but this chapter in the book, Girl Wash Your Face, was so important for me & I feel led to share.

I’d say that since I was pretty young (way too young), I learned to cope with things through drinking. You name it…stress, anxiety, worries, shame, fear, insecurities, boredom, whatever. When things got tough, this was the easiest thing that I could turn to. It was an instant fix to whatever problem I was facing. Trouble in my teen years, have a drink. Need confidence in an uncomfortable situation, have a drink. Challenging changes in my 20’s, have a drink. Failing first marriage, have a drink. Stressed because life has thrown me too much, have a drink. Overwhelming day with the kids, have a drink. Mad because you caved in and “solved your problem” by having drinks, have another drink.  (You get the picture). I could always pull myself out of it so it didn’t become too big of a problem…however, when things got to be too much for me, this was my “easy outlet” for many years. It’s crazy too –  because when you wake up, those problems and troubles are still there…just slightly worse now because you don’t feel 100% from the night before.

It took me too many wasted years, days, nights and weekends to finally realize this unhealthy path I kept taking myself down. Like she says in this chapter “drinking is so hard to walk away from because the action is just so easy”. The great thing about going through tough stuff is that it builds up your immune system. But if you keep medicating it, you can’t learn how to cope with it…whatever that IT is. “The difficult seasons we walk through are how we learn to build up strength to manage any situation.”

I have learned different and better ways to deal with my stress and anxiety. It wasn’t easy and took a lot of mistakes and failures to get there, but I did. It doesn’t mean I’m perfect now and have it all right. I’m human and still learning every day. I will still make mistakes along the way, but now I have learned that when things feel like they are too much –  I can read, pray, run, laugh, exercise, be with friends, have coffee, play with my kids, etc. I finally got tired of how it was affecting so many areas of my life. It’s ok to have a glass of wine and relax…but it doesn’t have to turn into a coping mechanism. “Food, Water, shelter, healthy relationships…those are things we need. Anything else you insert into that category becomes a dangerous crutch – and you don’t need a crutch if you are strong enough to walk on your own. — Fighting through those hard times is how you get tougher; it’s how you become the person you were meant to be.”

I don’t know what struggles you may be dealing with or how you may be negatively  coping with it, but for me it was having the self awareness to acknowledge my unhealthy habits I had created for myself. “You’re never going to move past a problem if you can’t even admit to having it in the first place.” Once you can admit it to yourself, remove the temptations from your life. Those can be different for everyone. It can be food, alcohol, phone use, porn, smoking, etc. Create new and positive habits to put in their place. It can be one of the best things you do for yourself. “Obviously real struggles run so much deeper than simply having access, but it’s much easier to fall into those temptations if they’re sitting right in front of you.”

Hopefully me sharing this can help someone else somewhere with something in your own life. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of our “why”. My why is: my kids, my husband, my health, my relationship with my Heavenly Father, my friends, my future, my small group students, & my family. What is your why?

Check out the song –  “You Say” By: Lauren Daigle

💕 #GirlWashYourFace #RachelHollis