It’s OK


If you are a perfectionist like I am, give yourself permission….to be imperfect. Sometimes I find that I need to tell myself that IT IS OK, in order to accept reality. It’s ok if you have to say “I’m sorry,” or you get disappointed by something, or even fail. That isn’t the end. You can get back up again. 

Sometimes it is hard to let go of trying to be perfect, because we want to control the outcome. But the honest truth is, we really didn’t have it in the first place. So let go. See it as freedom. It might be scary, but it is worth it. 

And remember that more than likely, you aren’t the only one with struggles. If you admit yours, you will be amazed by the others who will tell you, “ME TOO!”  

Holding My Tongue, Even When it Hurts.


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Words can hurt sometimes. Especially from someone close to you, but even from someone you might not know very well. 

My child had some words for me tonight, that at first felt like a punch in the gut. 

But before I reacted, I tried to take a second before I spoke, and think. 

Sometimes we might not even be the underlying reason someone says something nasty to us. There might be a deeper issue that needs to be dealt with. And we might just be right in the line of fire when they choose to act out of that place of hurt. Even though it might feel good for a second to say something nasty back, it probably won’t help anything.

So why not choose to speak words of life? Or say nothing at all?

If we could control our tongues, and think before we speak, there might be understanding that comes to us about someone, even if we don’t know them that well. They could of had a bad day, possibly fearful about something, going through a rough patch in life, or have a hurt that they can’t let go of, so they react out of it. 

It hurts to have something said to you that is nasty. You have every right to feel that way when it happens. But before you snap back, ask the Lord for help holding your tongue, and ask Him to help you deal with the hurt, and give it to Him instead. And who knows what kind of an impact you might have on someone if you choose your words wisely! 

This is something I need to remember every single day. I may not be the reason someone is angry and says hurtful things. But I can choose to be the one who will make them wonder, “why did they choose to hold their tongue when they didn’t have to?” You may end up pointing them to the One who can heal their pain. 

Changing My Perspective


Sometimes I find myself wondering…

Why did this happen to me? 
I deserve better than this! 
How could I be treated like this? 

It isn’t easy to keep a healthy perspective living in the culture we do. We live in a consumer driven society. Entitlement runs throughout. Expectations aren’t always realistic. 

Following Jesus, entitlement doesn’t exist. Jesus didn’t promise us that we would be treated well because we deserved to be. He actually tells us that we will face hardships. Jesus deserved more than we could ever imagine, yet he still suffered for us, so we wouldn’t have to. 

I am amazed at what I read about Jesus in Philippians 2:5-8. Paul says that our attitude “…should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!”

Wow. Jesus, God himself, who actually should be entitled to all glory, “made himself nothing.” He did not complain that things were unfair, or wonder “why me?” He knew the purpose He was here for, and subjected Himself to the suffering willingly. There was no sense of entitlement on His part. And as believers, we are to have an attitude similar to this. 

So where does this leave us?

 Our perspective should actually be one of gratitude and thankfulness. Life filtered through this lens will help us seen the blessings we have been given. And even though life might not go as we plan, we can hold it with an open palm, and say “even though I am going through this Lord, I thank you for….”, this will help us keep the right perspective, and maybe not be so disappointed when things didn’t go as we planned. 

I Have a Hard Time Picking What to Wear…


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I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to wear today. I wanted to be comfortable, but look cute, so I picked out what I felt like was. Later I started having doubts about my choices, and was toying with the idea of going to my room and trying on something else. This starts a vicious cycle for me, with me being frustrated, and still not satisfied. 

Who am I trying to impress, or where am I trying to get my worth from?

Lately, I have been trying to live out of the full approval that I have in the Lord. Living in freedom is far better than carrying the chains of trying fill a void through ways that won’t satisfy.

I am realizing that sometimes I try to be good enough to meet my own unrealistic, perfectionist expectations. 

Why isn’t it enough that the one who created me lavishes his love over me unconditionally? Why am I so hard on myself?

Giving myself grace is not an easy thing. I feel like I am constantly battling my inner voice that tells me to keep trying until I find the next thing that will satisfy me. 

Who knew that self-acceptance could be something I could struggle so much with. Even as much as feeling accepted by others. 

But this I know….if my creator and redeemer can look upon me with love, and call me his own, then I should be able to trust what he says about me. Not rely on my own skewed view of what makes me worth something. 

Praying that this truth would sink deeply down into our souls and become what we believe. 

Praying that each one of us would be able to see ourselves through the eyes of Jesus. 

What He Sees…


We are a society that is too hard on ourselves. Setting impossible standards that can never be met, sending us toward failure. We get discouraged wondering why we aren’t good enough, or why we can’t be like someone else who seems to have it all together. And start beating ourselves up, wishing somehow we could make more of ourselves. The lies pile up about who we are, and we start to believe them. Devastating our souls, and depleting our sense of worth. 

What if for a moment, instead of listening to the noise of the world and our negative self-images, if we asked the Lord what He sees when He looks at us. I think that we would be overwhelmed with the answer.

He would tell us about the amount of love He had for us while we were being created, a love so great that we can’t comprehend it. As we were being created, each detail that went into us, to make us unique, like no one else in history. Giving each one of us our personalities, strengths, desires, and passions. That He created us in His image, with a special plan for each one of our lives. Nothing about us was a mistake. 

That He already knows each one of the mistakes that we would make, and that it would be ok. He would use those mistakes, so that we could learn from them. And to not be afraid to live fully, because he would be with us always. That He would equip us for everything that comes our way. 

And remind us that there will be things that will try and take our focus off of Him, and tell us lies of getting satisfaction through other things than Him. 

Finally, He would remind us again of how precious we are in His site, that His love for us would never change. That he went so far as to die for us, to show us His love. 

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:17-19

I pray that we would remember this, that it would drown out everything else that tries to tell us our value. 

The Calm Parent… or Not


I love gaining insight. Whether listening to a podcast, a speaker, or reading a book, I love to come away with understanding that I didn’t have before. Tonight I was listening to a podcast about parenting and defiance (something we all deal with as parents I am sure), and as I listened to the speaker, I came across a quote that I just thought was so profound. The quote was, “A parent who is not calm themselves, cannot calm their child down.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. Granted, I do have a bit of a temper, and can be a little hot-headed, but how many times have I lashed out at my children when they haven’t listened to me, or whatever it may be, and made the situation that much worse. Me getting worked up, and reacting out of that DOES NOT calm my child down at all. If only I would just take a step back and take a moment to breathe, how much better would the situation go.

Another point was brought to my attention as I was listening to this podcast. There is one thing that can cause us to act this way to make a situation much more stressful, for parents and kids alike, and that is fear. If I really think about it, it is so true for me in my parenting. You come to that point with your child who isn’t doing what you want them to, and the fear kicks in. Whether it is fear of not being in control, a mistake, screwing your kid up, or just not knowing what to do in the moment, it can be what drives us to over-react. When you are fearful, it is almost impossible to remain calm. But I don’t want this to be what defines my parenting.

The solution for me is this…….Jesus. It seems to be a common theme in the bible, the Lord telling us not to be afraid. And a lot of times, He commands it, not just politely asking us if we will. The story for me that comes to mind is when the disciples and Jesus are in a boat at sea, and there is a storm that comes up. I can’t imagine how fearful the disciples must have been. But Jesus was sleeping, and they had to wake him up. And when they wake Him up, all He does is speak, and He is able to calm the storm. If the same God who tells me not to fear, is the one with just words, is able to calm a storm…..I want to listen. Not that I will respond perfectly every time one of my kids starts acting out, but that when I feel the storm coming on, that I would take a step back, and ask the one who calms the storm to help me navigate through the situation. And that I would make it a habit to be aware of when fear is taking over, and focus on the one who diminishes it. With His help, I believe I can learn to stay calm in my parenting.

The Calm Parent…Or Not

I love gaining insight. Whether listening to a podcast, a speaker, or reading a book, I love to come away with understanding that I didn’t have before. Tonight I was listening to a podcast about parenting and defiance (something we all deal with as parents I am sure), and as I listened to the speaker, I came across a quote that I just thought was so profound. The quote was, “A parent who is not calm themselves, cannot calm their child down.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. Granted, I do have a bit of a temper, and can be a little hot-headed, but how many times have I lashed out at my children when they haven’t listened to me, or whatever it may be, and made the situation that much worse. Me getting worked up, and reacting out of that DOES NOT calm my child down at all. If only I would just take a step back and take a moment to breathe, how much better would the situation go.

Another point was brought to my attention as I was listening to this podcast. There is one thing that can cause us to act this way to make a situation much more stressful, for parents and kids alike, and that is fear. If I really think about it, it is so true for me in my parenting. You come to that point with your child who isn’t doing what you want them to, and the fear kicks in. Whether it is fear of not being in control, a mistake, screwing your kid up, or just not knowing what to do in the moment, it can be what drives us to over-react. When you are fearful, it is almost impossible to remain calm. But I don’t want this to be what defines my parenting.

The solution for me is this…….Jesus. It seems to be a common theme in the bible, the Lord telling us not to be afraid. And a lot of times, He commands it, not just politely asking us if we will. The story for me that comes to mind is when the disciples and Jesus are in a boat at sea, and there is a storm that comes up. I can’t imagine how fearful the disciples must have been. But Jesus was sleeping, and they had to wake him up. And when they wake Him up, all He does is speak, and He is able to calm the storm. If the same God who tells me not to fear, is the one with just words, is able to calm a storm…..I want to listen. Not that I will respond perfectly every time one of my kids starts acting out, but that when I feel the storm coming on, that I would take a step back, and ask the one who calms the storm to help me navigate through the situation. And that I would make it a habit to be aware of when fear is taking over, and focus on the one who diminishes it. With His help, I believe I can learn to stay calm in my parenting.

More Than Conquerors


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I was having one of those days. It may not be the worst of situations, but no matter what it is, sometimes you just feel a sense of helplessness. I find myself thinking things like “how am I supposed to deal with this,” or “I don’t think I have the energy,” and even “why does this have to happen right now?” Life can just seem down right impossible sometimes. And when I feel this way, everything in my daily grind tends to take more effort than it needs to. Trying to get by on the strength that I don’t have left.

This is not the way that I want to live. Yes, trouble, difficulties, and stressful times will come my way, but they will not end me. I do not want to give my circumstances power over my life. When I have been knocked down, I want to get back up again. And I want to have the endurance to finish my life well. This is all possible through Jesus.

Jesus is one who knows exactly what I have been through. He was rejected, mocked, scorned, abandoned, and died a horrible death. He came down to where we are, because he loves us so much. And death could not keep hold of him. He conquered it and rose from the grave. This was all for us. So that we could live as conquerors, even when hard times come our way. It doesn’t mean that things will always be easy, but we have access to this same power that raised Jesus from the dead. When life seems impossible, we can live with the assurance that difficulties will not be the end of us. The outcome has already been decided.

How should we live then?

When life gets tough, we can be reminded through scripture……

“He knows everything, nothing is a surprise for Him.” 1 John 3:20

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“He will meet all our glorious needs according to His riches in Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“For we don’t have a high priest who doesn’t know what we go through. But He was tempted in everything we have been, and yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Colossians 2:14

“Jesus is the same forever.” Hebrews 13:8

And these are just a few verses that tell us of the hope we find in Jesus.

It is important not just to read these verses, but to believe what they say. The more we read these verses, and memorize them……the more we will start to believe what they say. And when doubt starts to creep in, pray over verses that are familiar, and ask the Lord to give you the ability to believe what it says. They are more than just words, there is power in these verses. Power to remind us of what we are capable of through the Lord. More than we can even imagine.

Again, we are not alone in our struggles either. When we feel that life is getting to be too much, be honest with the Lord, tell him your needs, and ask for his help. Surround yourself with friends that you know would pray for you when you are facing trials. All it takes is even a simple text message or call to ask. And many times what we forget is there may be someone who can relate to what we are going through. Sharing your life with others makes the burden less heavy when there are others to help you carry it.

Fearing what may happen is no way to live life either. I know for myself, I have spent too much time thinking,“what if” and wasting my life away because of fear. I have begun to realize that when I look back at each hard place in my life, there has never been a time when the Lord wasn’t faithful. He has gotten me through every trial I have faced, and always provided for my needs. Remembering what he has done for us also gives us the assurance we are not alone, and that we will make it.

Don’t give up, push through the hard times. Realize that those times will come upon us, but remember the one who has already conquered it all. There is nothing that surprises him, or anything that is bigger than him.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” 
John 16:33

More than Conquerors.

I was having one of those days. It may not be the worst of situations, but no matter what it is, sometimes you just feel a sense of helplessness. I find myself thinking things like “how am I supposed to deal with this,” or “I don’t think I have the energy,” and even “why does this have to happen right now?” Life can just seem down right impossible sometimes. And when I feel this way, everything in my daily grind tends to take more effort than it needs to. Trying to get by on the strength that I don’t have left.

This is not the way that I want to live. Yes, trouble, difficulties, and stressful times will come my way, but they will not end me. I do not want to give my circumstances power over my life. When I have been knocked down, I want to get back up again. And I want to have the endurance to finish my life well. This is all possible through Jesus.

Jesus is one who knows exactly what I have been through. He was rejected, mocked, scorned, abandoned, and died a horrible death. He came down to where we are, because he loves us so much. And death could not keep hold of him. He conquered it and rose from the grave. This was all for us. So that we could live as conquerors, even when hard times come our way. It doesn’t mean that things will always be easy, but we have access to this same power that raised Jesus from the dead. When life seems impossible, we can live with the assurance that difficulties will not be the end of us. The outcome has already been decided.

How should we live then?

When life gets tough, we can be reminded through scripture……

“He knows everything, nothing is a surprise for Him.” 1 John 3:20

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“He will meet all our glorious needs according to His riches in Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“For we don’t have a high priest who doesn’t know what we go through. But He was tempted in everything we have been, and yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Colossians 2:14

“Jesus is the same forever.” Hebrews 13:8

And these are just a few verses that tell us of the hope we find in Jesus.

It is important not just to read these verses, but to believe what they say. The more we read these verses, and memorize them……the more we will start to believe what they say. And when doubt starts to creep in, pray over verses that are familiar, and ask the Lord to give you the ability to believe what it says. They are more than just words, there is power in these verses. Power to remind us of what we are capable of through the Lord. More than we can even imagine.

Again, we are not alone in our struggles either. When we feel that life is getting to be too much, be honest with the Lord, tell him your needs, and ask for his help. Surround yourself with friends that you know would pray for you when you are facing trials. All it takes is even a simple text message or call to ask. And many times what we forget is there may be someone who can relate to what we are going through. Sharing your life with others makes the burden less heavy when there are others to help you carry it.

Fearing what may happen is no way to live life either. I know for myself, I have spent too much time thinking,“what if” and wasting my life away because of fear. I have begun to realize that when I look back at each hard place in my life, there has never been a time when the Lord wasn’t faithful. He has gotten me through every trial I have faced, and always provided for my needs. Remembering what he has done for us also gives us the assurance we are not alone, and that we will make it.

Don’t give up, push through the hard times. Realize that those times will come upon us, but remember the one who has already conquered it all. There is nothing that surprises him, or anything that is bigger than him.

 

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Have I asked for help?

I was thinking today after I talked with a friend. There are times when I feel so scatter-brained, like I can’t control my thoughts. That makes it hard to pay attention to others when they are talking to me. Plus being in a room where there are a lot of people creates a huge distraction for me. At church today, I asked the Lord why is it so hard for me to pay attention, and stay focused on others while they are talking? It was as if I heard the Lord ask me, if I had asked for his help in this area. Don’t think that I have much. I need your help Lord. But it needs to be a continual thing throughout the day, not just a do-it-once type of thing. Each moment focused on you. Being present in the world, but in the back of my mind knowing you are with me as I go throughout the day. Not just in this specific area, but in every area of my life may you be acknowledged. I need that, especially being a pastor’s wife and mom. Most of the time as well, I want to hide at the church, so not everyone knows who I am. But what if I am called to more than just blending in, and not being known. What if I am to seek others out, and get involved with those around me. What does this look like? What can you do through me Lord? And being a mom to my kids, give me the strength and energy Lord to pour into my kids. I struggle each day, especially right now to give them my best. I feel like I have no clue what I am doing each day, yet I am going to be responsible for 4 of these little ones in a couple months. I don’t want to scar them. I need wisdom to raise them in this world. Help me to remember you during the day Lord, because I need you.

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