HELP!!!! I have three children & from time to time, I get these texts, calls & messages. Most of the time, they need me to drive them somewhere, buy them something or listen for venting purposes. One of the things I’m learning is to think about solutions that are internal rather than external.
It seems to me that it’s a common perception that our needs & struggles are externally resolved when the real solution lies on the inside with how we see & think about things.
Here are some things to consider:
Do I not like my neighbor because they look successful or because I’m insecure?
Is that co-worker really that obnoxious or are my internal judgements looking for reasons to justify my cold disdain?
Does that person get under your skin because they touch the internal hotspots that need divine attention & healing?
Before we think in terms of external solutions, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to adjust our internal assumptions.
All of us have prayers that we are waiting for God to answer. Such prayers can be related to job, school application, health diagnosis, relationship challenges, kid stuff, finances, etc. It seems to me that waiting can be a problem for us, so here are a few ideas for your consideration, while you wait:
Take this opportunity to let your trust in God grow – Prov 22:19
Increase your prayer focus – Phil 4:6
Do little things to make progress – Gal 6:9
Let’s stay encouraged that God is answering our prayers!
“I’m bored!” My kids are on Summer Break & I’d like to avoid the “I’m Bored Syndrome” that can occassionally creep into the Summer days. I definitely remember these seasons as a kid, so I’d jet outside & do lots of different things like bike riding for a few hours, learn new tricks on our trampoline, continue exploring the canal behind our house and find varieties of mischief. As an adult, I get bored sometimes with the mundane & hanker for some adventure.
If you find yourself “bored” even though you might be busy, here are some ideas to make the boredom evaporate:
prayer: there are so many adventures in prayer, that I always seem to be learning & discovering new things, probably because God is so infinitely creative
exercise: taking a walk, going swimming, bike riding, gardening, enjoy a walk with a friend
look up and imagine: ever remember laying on the grass in the Summer & imagining the clouds to be dragons or horses, frogs, castles, birds, . . . . I used to make up stories to go with the clouds, like my own fictional narrative & very entertaining
memorize some Bible verses & maybe even a chapter: occupy your mind with the ultimately creative and engaging Word of God 🙂
try some new recipes – Summer is always a blast to try new cooking stuff: grilling, fresh combinations of various veggies & fruits
Have you ever been mad at God for seemingly not coming through with one of His promises? Have you ever prayed one God’s promises fervently & it didn’t turn out like you had prayed?
This happened to me a few years ago on a group trip with my mom. We were leading a team of maybe 200 people in Romania & I had ardently prayed that no one get their airline ticket nor passport stolen / lost (pre- 9/11). Sure enough, one of travelers had her ticket & passport stolen. I spent the next 24-36 hours trying to get her a replacement passport & the US embassy wasn’t helpful. I felt like an awful failure when I let Sheila know that I wasn’t able to get a replacement passport & that she would likely have to stay several days in Romania & work with the embassy on her own for the passport thing.
Needless to say, I was really ticked off with God – didn’t answer my fervent prayers, didn’t keep His promise, failed at a point of great need, etc.
I was totally lit for several days until I learned that Sheila made it safely back to the US without a passport, just a Xerox copy of her passport (before the 9/11 attack). I was entirely dumbfounded, stunned & altogether speechless. When I tried to challenge God about keeping His word & promises, He totally arrested me with this question: Sarah, which method of answering your prayer was more glorifying to Me – the maintenance way that you asked or the miracle solution that I orchestrated?
Let’s be mindful that God’s ways & methods far surpass anything we could imagine, suppose or propose. God does more & better than we can ask or think!
This is a picture of my friend Sheila & I this last weekend 🙂
Sometimes life is stressful: bills, decisions, planning, obstacles, expectations, future, work, relationships, etc. I find that in my life, there’s kind of an ebb & flow to this stuff – seasons that have more stress & pressure in contrast with less stressful seasons. No matter if you’re totally stressed out & you feel like you want to jump ship or if you’re in a really chilled time, enjoying a less pressure season, God’s got it:
the wisdom to help you make decisions.
the resources to supply various needs in your life.
the peace to calm your anxious mind.
the solutions to various problems that you may be dealing with.
the relationship help that you need for various hot spots.
the healing for your broken heart &/or physcial body
God’s got it!! Your needs can never outstrip God’s provisions. Your problems can never exceed God’s answers. Your brokenness can never overwhelm God’s healing. God’s got it! So let’s continue to align our lives with Jesus’ words in Matt 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you!”
God’s got it!!
And don’t forget to check out what Saving Moses is doing in December – it’s A-Mazing!! 🙂
The eastern part of the US has been overwhelmed with snow this week, creating massive amounts of chaos, hardship & even some death. I saw a picture from inside a persons house with the door open & snow all the way to the top of the door!
Generally, we don’t like storms for lots of reasons (harmful, destructive, inconvenient, etc). But I’d like to propose that sometimes storms solve problems. Take for example Jonah’s storm – the storm solved his problem of disobedience. Or the storm when Jesus walked on the water. This storm helped Jesus’ disciples to get better at believing & move away from doubting. Sometimes storms can give us some very helpful solutions. Here are a few pointers that might help you with getting solutions from storms:
*focus – keeping our eyes on & confidence in Jesus helps us not to become storm victims
*solution oriented – is a storm a helpful way to reorganize your priorities?
*future – after the storm, consider that God may have brought you to a place of hope & promise 🙂
The bad news: I’ve had a problem with parking tickets, in the past
The good news: I figured out a solution to prevent the parking ticket “challenge”
The quick story: I never have change for parking tickets & I’ve struggled to figure out how much time to put on the meter when it can accept a credit card. Most of the time when I earned a parking ticket it was because I didn’t have enough money on the meter.
Solution: fill up the meter to its maximum regardless of how long I plan to stay. This fixes 2 things at the same time – no parking ticket & blessing someone after me with some free parking.
Moral of the story: being stingy is expensive ,)
More and not less!!!! As humans, we have this thinking that more is better than less. We want more time, more money, more success, more achievements, more recognition, more help, more, more, more, more, . . . . . . . I’m not sure that we ever have a really clear sense of “enough” and perhaps this is by divine design. Perhaps we can never get enough because we are divinely designed for Infinte and thereby never genuinely satisfied with that which is finite and limited. Think about your desires and how they may be shaped by God for God. Perhaps your desire for more is only met in an authentic, ongoing and deep intimacy with your Creator, the Triune God 🙂
Rejection is a tricky topic because sometimes our perceptions aren’t always accurate. But whether rejection is real or perceived, we have to deal with it constructively or it can be extremely destructive. So here are some suggestions:
*focusing on rejection usually seems to only make it worse or to be magnified in our thinking – better to bring it to Jesus
*consider the roots of rejection, if it comes from yourself or from something external
*rejection is always eligible for redemption (Joseph, Jacob, Jesus & more)
*forgiveness is a necessary ingredient for rejection to be redeemed 🙂
My boys woke up fairly early this morning & we’ve been sitting together reading a little bit. They were just discussing between them what we could make for breakfast, given what we’ve had over the last few days (french toast, bacon, pancakes, etc). They’re thinking of making cinnamon toast & I’m pushing for scrambled eggs for a protein boost. Nevertheless, there are many different options for today’s breakfast 🙂
The same is true for God’s provisions in our lives. I’m learning that God’s provisions for me come in lots of different ways. Here are some of the varieties of ways that God provides in our lives:
time (unexpected cancelled activities, something takes less time than expected)
wisdom (creative ideas, insights, solutions, etc)
energy (strength in what has been draining)
quiet & still (these can be very rejuvenating)
encouragement & direction (even in small amounts & with 1 step at a time)
God’s presence – for me, there’s nothing more sustaining than when I am with God
So if you’re in a season that seems short on supply, perhaps it might be an interesting exercise to reconsider the various ways that God does supply for us 🙂