I’m done!!

I’m coming to a harsh realization that so many of what I’ve considered my control issues aren’t as much a control issue but a trust issue. A trusting in God issue. A false belief that somehow if I control everything around me it can always stay perfect and in the nice little clean box that nothing can touch that only exists in my mind and not in the reality of life where there is nothing that is perfect and by trying to control everything around me it only brings me unrest, stress, aggravation, lack of peace and even more than that a loss of God’s presence as I push Him out of my life by not allowing Him the control. In the process of micromanaging my life, surroundings and the lives of those around me (or should I say the illusion of control) I am robbing God. I am robbing Him of the opportunity to be the loving Father He so desires to be to me. I am robbing Him of the praise He so deserves. I am robbing Him of the rightful place He deserves in my life…FIRST! the driver’s seat, the control position. Well….I’M DONE!!!

Heavenly Father, from this moment on I will no longer rob you or deprive you of being in the driver’s seat of my life. I’m done trying to control every aspect of my life and turn it all over to You not holding on to any of it. I’m done not having faith in You. I’m done not trusting that Your Word is Truth. I’m done pulling Your Word out of context to fit my motives and to use it to control a situation but keep it the way You intended. I’m done stressing over things that are out of my control and turn them over to you. I’m done not being in peace and resting in You because something didn’t turn out the way I planned it. I’m done not worshipping You wholly for all You are and all You do even when it’s not what I thought I wanted. I’m done doing anything without You heading the path and diecting my steps. Father God, I’m done. I’m Yours!! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

That’s not my job!!

Through a Bible Study I have been doing this week the reflection verse is:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” ~ Colossians 3:23 NIV84

As I reflect on that I think how that verse applies to my life and how I can apply it even more. I typically have alot of “irons in the fire” sorta speak and get asked alot how do you do it all. My first response is that it’s grace and it is. But in addition to that I think God gives even more grace when our heart is towards Him. No matter what the task at hand whether a huge event that will touch 100’s or sweeping under my sofa that no one will probably notice but me I try to do it as if it is for the Lord because it is. And that is rewarded. God cares about all we do so why wouldn’t He want us to excel in all we do?

I can’t even count the amount of times I have heard someone say that’s not my job or that’s not my department or the biggest no one asked me to do it. I don’t get that! Can you imagine how much Kingdom business could be taken care of and how many lives touched if we did everything unto Him? If we all truly followed this verse what we were doing may not be what we considered His Business but it could be freeing up someone else to do something else God has called them to. It’s all one big circle and it may not be your job, it’s everybodies job.

The other question to ponder is if your boss where watching would you do things differently? God is with us all the time! This is another area I think so many times we get off track-we will go above and beyond when an employer is watching or we know we will be critiqued by a coworker when it shouldn’t matter. We have to be very careful that we don’t mix up the lines of man pleasing versus God pleasing. The next time you think “that’s not my job” it’s ok but do it anyway and do all you do with excellence remembering the Great Promoter is always looking over our shoulder.

 

Yard Sale Anyone

I grew up in the south where yard sales are a way of life. Most Saturday mornings, before football season starts, are spent driving through neighborhoods with pockets full of dollar bills on the look out for that next great deal. We ride by, we watch for the neon sign that points us to the next BIG SALE the one we absolutely must go to because from the discarded things of someone else’s home we will find what we absolutely can not live without, besides it’s only $1 for the as seen on tv product that is still shown on late night infomercials for $50, not taking into account that maybe there is a slight possibility that the fact it’s still in the box unused could mean its not even worth the $1. But we buy it anyway only to keep it in the box just as the previous owner and find it next year in our corner of to sell in the yard sale stuff.
Then there are the Saturdays that I have my own yard sale. Oh what a day! The whole week preceding is spent rummaging through storage boxes, toy boxes and closets purging anything that may possibly sell and someone else will not be able to live without. Boxes come in and out of the attic. My treasures are gone through every carefully, what can I get rid of and what must I hold on to because after all it makes me who I am. My things, the ones stored in those Rubbermaid containers, the things that no one sees on a regular basis but I know are there. The things that I hide away and stuff and store until just the right moment for the box to get dumped on someone else. The things that I refuse to let go even though they don’t add to me or my worth.
I’ve spent the last few weeks doing just that. Going through my “stuff” the closets of hurt, attic of regrets and weaknesses, boxes of lies that I’ve turned into truths, my past, my present, my joys and pains because it’s time to purge, time to release. Not on anyone else but giving them to God and He can do with them what He does. Its all about progress. My concordance shows progress as improvement, movement toward completion, those are the steps I’m taking. It’s not all at once, it takes time to go thru each little space and sometimes just when I think I’ve emptied the last box there’s another one in the back corner but that’s okay. I’m making progress, imperfect progress but still progress and I accept the challenge to continue striving to make that progress. 1 Timothy 5:15 says “be diligent in these matters, give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
As I continue to empty those boxes I rejoice in the fact I’m not just left with an empty box but by cleaning out all the old stuff I now have room for God to fill me with His stuff and that I am refusing to let go of.

Oh no they didn’t!!

I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I have walked away from a conversation thinking that. Then I spend a huge amount of time trying to process what I think just happened and replaying scenarios in my head like scenes from a really bad movie. Sometimes I confront the person only to find out what I heard was no where near what they said or how they meant to say it but just the way I took it because of some insecurity I had or the mood I was in.

I know it’s not just me because many times I have been confronted by people telling me the many ways I upset them or hurt their feelings when I had no clue. As “mature” Christians we are taught we shouldn’t take offense but is it really offense or a bona fide true reason to be ticked off or is it that horrible nasty “negative mind chatter”. You know the yucky thoughts that make you replay a scenario over and over again and each time you do the tone gets worse and your anger or hurt increases. Then you see the person and they act like nothing ever happened and you get even madder that they don’t justify feelings that they don’t know you have. And you walk away again-OH NO THEY DIDN’T just walk right up to me like nothing ever happened!

Our relationships should be important enough to us to ask and explain-this is what I heard is it really what you said? We will reap what we sow and I want my realtionship harvest to be of understanding, honesty and oppenness not questioning, doubt and bottled up emotions.  We can’t, I know I don’t want to, write off another person or relationship when it could have been salvaged by just getting on the same page and shutting up the negative chatter. Remember cast down imaginations! and “don’t hold anyone else liable for things that are really only thoughts in your mind”

An Attitude of Gratitude

I’ve been reading a book on emotions and not being led by emotions. It’s ok to have emotions but not let emotions have you or control you. Anyway, the chapter I just finished was on gratitude. I have been stopping and thinking of all the things I have to be grateful for. How often do you take time for that? How often is it that the things you are most grateful for are the things that you have the most attitude about or towards?

How do we work with that? Attitude diffuses gratitude! When we get to that place of attitude and annoyance we need to pause before we reach that explosion point and be grateful. Not saying be grateful for the situation whatever it may be but praise God for something. We all have something to be grateful for. In our praises walls come down!

The more your heart is in a place of rejoicing and thanksgiving the less room there is for grumpiness and attitude. I’ve been spending time in this place and pausing and remembering the things God has given me to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

Mercy cont..

I’m still spending alot of time pondering mercy and what it means, not just to me but to those in my life. The definition of mercy is “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”. So, that’s the definition, and it’s pretty deep but what does it really mean, I mean really mean to me. Historically, not alot it’s something that not only have I not felt I deserved to receive but something that I felt no one else deserved to get. If it was in my power to punish for what I perceived a wrong then I should do that…right?  and then many years ago along came Jesus and His thoughts on that…WRONG!

I have always been labeled not only by others but myself as a very black and white and merciless person. When you label or accept a label you are saying that you are the sum total of your issues. That is completely different than identifying your tendancies. When you identify a tendancy you are saying, yes I have an issue and it is a part of my equation but not the sum total of who I am.

Therefore, I may not be a merciful person by nature but I can be by obedience. Everything Jesus is I am! As long as I don’t make any tendancy or personality trait my sum total Jesus can take the equation and work with it until it reaches the total He has given me, as long as I allow it.

What are your equations that you are using as totals? Let’s re work those.

Run for Mercy

I am overflowing with such anticipation and expectancy about the Mercy Run tomorrow that I haven’t slept all night. I’ve tossed and turned and prayed and tossed some more constantly running thru my mind did I forget anything have I crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s, have I done everything I possibly could to make this event a success for Mercy? But, in reality, this is God’s event and He doesn’t forget anything! He has all the bases covered!!

In my waking moments somewhere between trying to sleep, tossing and turning and some cute Everybody Loves Raymond (before the Omega 3 supplement infomercial) reruns in the wee hours of the morning I was thinking about the name Run for Mercy. Initially, I laughed thinking such a fitting name, yes it’s a run to benefit Mercy Ministries but those running the trail will be asking for Mercy, or begging after looking at the trail. I am so happy to have the excuse of too much for me to do to run. But then my Spirit quickened at the thought of running for mercy and how blessed we are that that’s not the case. God’s mercy is right there all the time for us!!!

to be continued….