learn

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

Need some joy???

I had 2 interesting conversations recently with the same person. In one of the discussions, this person was very small, ignoble, petty & rather distasteful. Shortly thereafter, I had another conversation w the same person & they were strong, confident, secure, generous, noble & enjoyable. In the 1st discussion, the person was complaining about something that was inconvenient & rather trivial. In the 2nd conversation, the same person was in a volunteer role that was a completely generous contribution to improve the lives of several important people.
What’s interesting to me is how this person presented himself & even how he felt about himself. It seems to me that when we are selfish & gripey we tend to dislike ourselves more. On the other side, it seems to make us feel really good about ourselves when we are being generous, helping & empowering others. A simple key to a joyful life can be found by helping others 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

Jesus Chix

I am both nervous & excited for this weekend because I get to hang out on a retreat with some really cool chix from our church.  Of course our retreat will be lots of fun, with plenty of laughing, great friends, insightful conversations, delicious food, little if any sleep & most importantly, lots of Jesus!  We’ve been praying, planning & working for this retreat for no less than 4-6 months so I have a keen anticipation of what God is going to do.

And here’s the honest truth of what I’m most excited about – we get to talk in depth about the women who interacted with Jesus, learning from them & growing deeper in our relationship with Him.  I’m excited for the Holy Spirit to reveal to each of us some new areas of intimacy to explore with God because Jesus is nothing less than wholly irresistible!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Holy Spirit, living, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

being friends with God

 I’ve been looking at John 15 & Jesus talks about being friends with God.  In verses 13-15, Jesus points out some interesting thoughts about being God’s friend:

  1. the greatest expression of friendship love is when we lay down our lives & allow God’s preferences to be our priorities
  2. friendship with God isn’t a co-equal friendship – Jesus says that we are His friends if we obey His commandments
  3. in our friendship, we get to hear what’s on God’s heart & in God’s thoughts
  4. God has chosen us to be friends – God has pursued us
  5. Out of our friendship, there’s lots of lasting fruit

Being God’s friend is a great privilege with indescribable rewards!!

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

Goodbye & Hello!!

Today is our last full day in Cambodia. We have been here a week & it has been quite amazing. I love that I could have my family with me on this trip. I love that our church could connect with such wonderful people & ministry at New Life Fellowship with Pastor Jesse McCaul & his uber cool team. I love that I got to catch up w some of my friends & have some great connection & chats. I have loved this trip for a plethora of reasons.
This trip has been particularly significant for Saving Moses because it’s the 1st time I’ve been able to see nightcare up & running. Nightcare is how we take care of the infants of sex workers while they work. I think that probably one of the most powerful revelations of this trip has been the 100% need for nightcare. I heard stories about what happens to these babies while their moms work that would parallel the atrocities of various genocides in history. The longer I’m here, the more passionate I become about the need for nightcare.
We get to come home tomorrow, but part of me will stay here. Nightcare with saving Moses is all about the tangible & continuous expression of Genuine Love. Please help!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Cambodia, family, Holy Spirit, living, missions, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, 0 comments

the difference between failing and be a failure

 I know that it’s July & most of us are enjoying the lovely Summer heat, but I’ve been thinking about snowboarding, my favorite winter sport 🙂

All of my family skis & I’m the only one who snowboards.  When they measure the success of a day skiing, they’ll often talk about the few number of times that they fell, or that they didn’t fall at all.  In contrast, when I was first learning to snowboard, I stopped counting how many times that I fell because I can’t count that high ,)  But all of those times falling were nothing more than stepping stones to help me to learn a sport that I now thoroughly enjoy.  I still fall from time to time when I snowboard & now when I fall, I make sure that it’s a REALLY GOOD FALL 😀

So my point is that failing doesn’t make us a failure unless we quit.  There are alot of things in which we can fail in life & these things are often the exact places where God would like to move the most in our lives with beauty, grace, poise and redemption.

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

Something important for mistakes

We all make mistakes – some are little & some are massive! Of course there are lots of consequences that we have to work through from our mistakes & we can certainly take away some great lessons. But let’s be careful to leave behind any shame from our mistakes & only take with us the constructive lessons that we learn. This is really important because shame can distort the constructive lessons & turn the mistakes into black holes. So with our mistakes, let’s take the lessons but leave the shame 🙂

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

Culture lessons

I’ve had the massive privilege of getting to travel alot in my life & this privilege means that I’ve experienced a really WIDE ARRAY of cultures & diversity. It’s interesting that what we Americans get uptight about for culturally acceptable isn’t the same for many other cultures. For example, it’s TOTALLY uncool to pick your teeth in China, but not a big deal to pick your nose – interesting differences.
Here’s my point, the true culture of Christianity according to John 13:35 is genuine love. As a follower of Jesus, my native culture is genuine love – water to my gills, air to my lungs, light to my eyes & touch in my heart. I want to live in genuine love, bringing my native culture throughout each day & interaction.

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

Painting Lessons

Well, I’m in the middle of painting 2 of our kids rooms & we’re having some fun learning how this whole project is supposed to work. There are some interesting parallels between painting & God:
*progress requires patience & boy am I grateful that God & others are patient a me as I grow, spill, have failures & learn
*slow work tends to avoid fast & messy mistakes – ceilings, corners, edges all require more precision & care
*its ok to get messy – still trying to get paint off of my hands, arms, legs, hair & the kids. Thankfully God cleans me up better than my best efforts
*you can paint over mistakes – paint has great redeeming qualities with mistakes, but nothing is more efficacious than Jesus’ blood
*keep trying – we’ve got another room to do & I know that I’ll learn even more about this process & I’ll continue to get better 🙂
*painting will not be my fall back career, unless I plan to go on a long-term fasting schedule ,)

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

eat your veggies ,)

 I had an interesting conversation this morning with my daughter about some of the required reading that she needs to do over the Summer.  My conversation reminded me of the books & short stories that I had to read in school that I didn’t like.  To be truthful, I didn’t like Herman Melville nor Edgar Allen Poe, among others.  But my point with my daughter was that it’s good to push ourselves with new things – otherwise, we can easily get stuck in little, tiny, small lives of virtually obsolete diversity.

Maybe this was the mistake that the religious leaders of Jesus’ time made.  Maybe they were more comfortable with their legalism than with loving people.  Genuinely loving people can get messy for sure, but remember that Genuine Love is based more on the giver than the recipient 🙂

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