hardship

The Last Straw

Have you ever felt like you’re on your last straw? Sometimes we go through challenges, seasons & struggles that are well beyond our natural abilities & wisdom. If you’re like me, I can find myself getting quagmired in these things at the expense of trusting God. There are times when I get stuck in what seems impossible & I can get discouraged. Ever feel this way?
This morning I was having this kind of conversation with God about a few issues & I was reminded of a verse that is really helping me:
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.
So lets remember that God is more than adequate for the various “last straws” that may be happening in our lives 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, nightcare, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, 4 comments

from and through

From time to time, we all face hardships, struggles and difficulties.  Sometimes we face calamaties that are nothing less than totally overwhelming and understandably, we all want to get out of these difficulties.  Simply put, we want deliverance from  these situations.  Even better, we’d like to be spared from these things.  But as we both know, life doesn’t always stay in the utopia zone.  Sometimes we have to go through the hardship & struggle.  When this happens and we aren’t delivered from the struggle, then we can most certainly trust that God will give us exactly what we need to get to the other side – strength, wisdom, comfort, genuine love . . . . The Trinity is enough.

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Posted by Sarah in Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, 1 comment

when the journey is difficult

I’ve been thinking about Abraham lately & how God tested him in Genesis 22 and instructed him to sacrifice his only son, the son of promise, Isaac.  Thankfully, we can read the end of the chapter & celebrate with Abraham that God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in place of Isaac – God sees our needs and has provision waiting for those needs.  But I’ve been thinking about the 3 day journey that Abraham took with Isaac to get to the place where he was supposed to sacrifice his son.  If I were in Abraham’s sandals, those 3 days would have been the absolute & most abhorrent days of my life – knowing what I was assigned by God to do.   The revelation at the end of the journey was nothing less than heavenly (Abraham experienced God in an extremely powerful way) but the journey was nothing less than hell.

Sometimes the journey in our life can be an almost living hell, but let me encourage you that God is walking with you for every step and there’s a great possibility that through this journey, you will come to know God in such a heavenly way that the hell of the journey will pale in comparison to the heaven of the revelation 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, travel, 0 comments

Disconcerting thoughts

In less than a week, I’m going back to Angola w www.savingmoses.org & I have some mixed thoughts about this visit. Of course, I love the people with whom we work & I have nothing but massive respect for the daily work they do. I’m also eager to see some old friends since this will be my 4th visit & I’m getting to make some nice friendships. These are nice things but there are some not very nice things that I experience on these trips. It’s not pleasant to hold a baby who is malnourished & is struggling to survive. It’s difficult to see frenzied moms who are doing everything in their power to keep their baby alive. It’s hard for me sometimes to try & explain the needs I see to an audience that can occasionally be apathetic & cold. But when everything is said & done, despite the tremendous privation I see & the gut wrenching feelings that I experience, on these trips I sense Jesus is very real ways that I’m often unable to explain & because of Jesus’ presence, the disconcerting thoughts are not as severe. Traveling with Jesus helps me to have peace in my mind & heart

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Posted by sarahbowling in Angola, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, travel, 5 comments

Opposition & Resistance

Lately, it seems like I’ve had a lot of opposition & resistance. To be clear, some of this is self inflicted but it seems to me that many of the difficulties in which I find myself are kind of random & just the nature of remaining faithful to God. It’s easy to stay faithful when things are smoothy, groovy. But it can get tricky when we seem to be continually bombarded with opposition & resistance.
Here are some things that are helping me now:
*”now” is a key word – rehearsing the past & worrying about the future can deflate & contaminate the present
*keep going & trust that God will give you wisdom, rest & strength for each moment
*learn – take full advantage of this season to increase your wisdom & trust in God
*get strong – opposition can build strength if we don’t quit
* smile & be confident that God working out everything way beyond well as we stay in love with God & aligned with God’s purpose 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, spiritual, 5 comments

Stress can be good

Ok, before you get stressed out with me about the title of this blog, here’s something good that I’m observing that can come from stress. Probably like you, I have varying degrees of stress in my life – from the quickie stress that comes from being late bc of traffic to the massive stress that can come from job & family pressures (or various other things). What I’m noticing is that the greater the intensity of the stress the more I find myself pressing into God & ultimately, it is never a bad thing to press into God nor to depend on God, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel.
So what we do with stress can often be more important than the actual stress 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, spiritual, 2 comments

Puke nights

This might be a very little bit graphic, so pls be forewarned. It’s been awhile since I’ve had kids being sick in the night, but the last two nights have compensated for this shortage. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I can simply say that we should all be pretty dried out by now.
When we get in pukey seasons, these are some things that help me:
*remember that it’s a season, so there’s an end somewhere even when you can’t see or feel it
*puking often helps the stomach feel better, even though its gross while happening
*God has designed our bodies to deal in healthy ways w viruses & bacteria that want to be unhealthy in our bodies – God is the Master Designer
*I’m thankful that God gives me strength for not only work challenges but also for kids puking at 2am challenges. 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, 0 comments

something helpful for hardships

As a mom with 3 wonderful kids, I’m super high on my kids.  I think they’re amazing, funny, intelligent, kind, wonderful and they can almost walk on water, almost ,)  With that being said, I’ve noticed that my gentle efforts to wake them up every morning are sometimes not as effective as something less gentle – we call this the defcon 5-1 approach 🙂

While it’s unfortunate, it is also true that we sometimes learn the best and grow the most through hardship and struggle.  Even though I want to insulate my kids & protect them from every single hardship & struggle, this isn’t always what is in their longterm best interests.  Perhaps God sees us with the same perspective, knowing that we often grow and mature the most when we wrestle with hardships and struggle.  Perhaps this is why James says that we’re to be grateful for adversities – ouch!

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 1 comment

that sinking feeling

 Sometimes I try to put myself in the shoes of Peter when he asked Jesus about trying to walk on water.  I think it took alot of guts, bravado and possibly faith to get out of the boat & walk to Jesus.  The rest of the disciples in the boat were probably scared, incredulous, amazed, astounded and possibly jealous that Peter could be so bold.  Nevertheless, it would seem to me that they had to stabilize the boat when Peter was getting out of it, so that it wouldn’t tip over (ever try to get in or out of a boat without the help of a pier???).  It took some teamwork to help Peter get out of the boat.  Once he started to walk on the water, everyone including Peter were probably shocked out of their skin.  But I think that Jesus had a smirk & maybe a bit of a sly wink.

When Peter started to sink, all bets were off and everyone except Jesus started to freak out.  Seems like this is often the case with me – I love the beginning of any adventure & the rush of adrenaline  that goes with the initial momentum.  But when I sense adversity or hardship, it’s easy to get distracted from keeping my eyes on Jesus and focus on the various struggles.  That’s where the sinking feeling starts.  So here’s some encouragement:  no matter what the circumstances, your feelings, adversities, hardships, struggles and what may seem impossible, we must give ourself no choice but to focus on Jesus.  All other focuses can drown us in failure, sadness, discouragement and struggle.

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

Solving Problems

We all have problems of different sizes, challenges, seasons & shapes. It seems to me that sometimes problems come in herds – either they’re few & far between or they seem to spill out from every corner & area of life.
Some problems we can solve on our own & some problems require help because they’re beyond our ability & resources. It seems to me that when I get in these problem intense seasons that I can get myopic & only see 1 solution or answer. The problem with myopia is that there’s limited focus & for me it’s usually on the wrong thing (the problem & not God).
So here’s the short answer: God has solutions, ideas, resources & methods for resolution of which we’ve never dreamed. I’m reminded that God has more answers than I had questions & God has more solutions than I have problems 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 1 comment