Hot Topic: God’s got it!

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!! 🙂

conflict resolution

A few of my kids went to school this morning after a heated conversation.  Both had tears in their eyes & it rips me up as their mom to see this tension and strife.  Which makes me wonder how God “feels” when we are yucky with each other.  The truth is that any relationship worth it’s weight will have to work through conflict.  So here are a few pointers to help with this challenge:

  • benefit of the doubt:  assume the best rather than blame the worst
  • double standard:  be mindful that you don’t just the other person by actions but ourselves by intentions
  • breathing space:  sometimes a “cool down” can bring some clarity and options that aren’t available when we are in the heat of a conflict
  • be generous:  seek to understand before being understood
  • forgive well:  practice makes perfect
  • conclusion:  sometimes the best outcome is to agree to disagree without being disagreeable 🙂
  • pray

Happy Monday to you!

 

Enjoy An Awesome Weekend!

“Chill out!” It seemed to me during my prayer time this morn that this was what God was saying to me. Probably both of us (you & me) have plenary of activities, demands, responsibilities & stuff going on & I can easily get pretty tense with everything. Sometimes my prayer times can be jam packed with lots of requests, venting & pressures. Today, I feel like God is challenging me to chill out & enjoy God’s company & put the stresses, pressures, demands, responsibilities, etc on pause & take a deep breath.
Let’s remember that God is in control, has a plan & loves us more than anyone else. May today’s blog be your weekend “chill pill” ,)
Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who’s stressed 🙂

a fearless tribute to my husband

Have you ever been intimidated, afriad, overwhelmed, in over your head and just simply disheartened?  Sometimes I go through seasons, situations and struggles that could feel really overpowering – dying babies with Saving Moses, evil people masquerading as helpful, discouraging words from close friends and more.  I was recently in some of this kind of quagmire and my husband & I were talking about a few things related to these struggles when I remembered something cool from the New Zealand national Rugby team:  the Haka

I showed my husband a video of the Haka & it stirred up a few things in my heart:

  • nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
  • greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)
  • Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33)
  • Jesus holds everything together (Col 1:17)
  • this lite & momentary affliction is working in me a far greater weight of glory (2Cor 4:17)

A Piece of Peace

A shooting spree in the LAX airport? I was in Brazil a few days ago when I read about the guy who went on a shooting spree in the LAX airport. Knowing that I’d be traveling home soon, I can’t say that the shooting spree thing gave me great tranquility. Hmmmmm
But as I’m traveling today, with lots of responsibilities in front of me when I land, I’m opting for a piece of peace rather than slice of stress, remembering that Jesus is my Prince of Peace & He’s got the whole world (including all of my world) in His hands. We can trust Jesus to direct & protect our steps, so let’s chose the piece of peace ,)

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 🙂

Pulling teeth :(

My son is getting some teeth removed this morning to make space for his adult teeth to come in better. My personal opinion on this is “no bueno”. Taking out teeth is a really good example of the opposite of how I feel when I’m with God during my morning prayer time. As passionately as I LOVE being with God in our quiet & still morning hours, I just as much LOATHE this tooth pulling stuff. Nevertheless, I get the opportunity to experience God in a variety of ways, if I’ll stop clenching my fists, take some deep breaths & be still. God is present in every moment, at peaceful, stressful, uncertain & neutral times. God is constant when life is not 🙂

help with being stressed

I know that many of you don’t need any help with dealing with stress.  In fact, you may be a person who is completely immunized from anything stressful so you might find these ideas to be boring.  If, however, you find yourself struggling with stress from time to time, these are some things that have helped me of late:

  • if I get jittery about the future, it’s really helped me to re-adjust my focus to keep it on Jesus, being confident that when I get to the future, Jesus will be there.  More importantly, I can be with Jesus now in this moment
  • provision challenges: sometimes God’s provisions come on a day-to-day basis.  With this in mind, I can trust that He is giving me what I need for this day and even this moment
  • while this may sound cheesy, it’s really helped me alot lately to praise & worship God just on my own without music or even a specific song but just singing my own songs and words that are from my heart
  • finally, the other day I was up really early & really stressed out;  I read an email about a friend who is going through a REALLY DIFFICULT time.  Reading about her hardship made me instantly want to pray for her – taking my mind off of me

I believe that God has huge help available for us, even in stressful times ,)

how to constructively deal with pressure

It seems to me that the holiday season increases the pressures on my life, based on many add’l activities & responsibilities (Christmas programs, special meals, house projects, present wrapping, etc).  Maybe your life has some similar dynamics & demands.  Should you find yourself in seasons that have alot of pressure, here are some ideas that have helped me:

  • simplify & prioritize:  things that aren’t as important need to drop much lower on the “must do” list
  • keep core / central relationships healthy:  make the extra effort to communicate clearly, or the stress from these relationships can be very draining
  • remember that you are deeply loved by Jesus: you are always on His mind, in His thoughts & you always capture His eye
  •  minimize the noise & clutter – if something isn’t necessary & soothing consider reducing or eliminating it
  • give yourself permission to get a coffee / tea & exhale or take a deep breath
  • take some moments each day to celebrate Jesus in your life – more ideas to follow on this point

Feel free to add some more thoughts on how to constructively deal with pressure 🙂

What if . . . . . ?

When you have something looming in front of you, something that you are almost dreading, it can be a challenging time. For me, I have a few things like this in my life right now, but thankfully God is reminding me about His encouragement in Is 64:4 & how that as I wait on Him, He will give me strength & help me w my focus & heart.
When you’re concerned about something(s) in your future, be sure to keep your eyes on God & to trust Him to walk you through the challenge, one step at a time because He’s very faithful & capable to bring us through 🙂

Focus Grasshopper :)

When I get into some stressful situations or seasons my focus can get kind whacky. In these seasons, I sometimes allow myself to distracted on peripheral & meaningless stuff or I’ll dig into a book or sometimes I ramp up my music intake.
As I start looking forward to the upcoming holiday season, I can feel myself getting “jittery”.
So what I would like to do better in these stressful seasons & situations is to keep my focus on Jesus more & less on the stress. Some ways that help me to keep my focus on Jesus better include:
*remembering some key Bible verses like Ps 55:22 & Ps 54:4 (telling myself these verses when I’m getting jittery
*be thankful – when I start to compile a “thankful list”, I often find that any stress gets lessened
*consider the immensity of God in relation to the things I’m uptight about
*church – there’s a very unique experience when I’m involved in a community that’s is collectively focused on worshipping Jesus. This helps my focus in ways I haven’t yet been able to put into words
Focus is key 😀

calm in chaos

 There are lots of things that can be stress-ers in our world – dr reports, kids, traffic, news reports, relationships, finances, job situations, school deadlines, health struggles, to name a few.  In our world, there’s no shortage of a stress supply.  On the flip side, I think we should consider that possibly there’s a shortage of peace & serenity.  I also think that genuine peace is not normally found in the external world with all of the news reports, traffic, school deadlines, etc.  I believe that genuine peace is a gift from Jesus & that it is best experienced through our relationship with Him.  In John 14, He tells us that He’s giving us His peace & it’s been my experience that when I snuggle in with Jesus that His peace immunizes me from the stresses all around me.  It’s not so much that I’m oblivious to what’s going on around me as much as His peace inside me has more gravity & strength than the external stresses.  May your day be filled with Jesus’ peace 🙂

stress relief

Ok, here’s some transparency – I’m kind of stressed at this moment.  There are alot of moving parts in my life right now & it seems that whatever topic that I focus on leaves me stressed.  I know that there are seasons of pressure times in life & we all get to learn to manage through those seasons with hopefully few, if any, casualties. 

Nevertheless, the last few days & evenings have had some intensely stressful moments, but here’s also some encouragement:  this morning in my quiet time, as I’m doing my normal Bible reading routine, the verses I read in the NT were about Jesus calming the storm (when He had been sleeping while everyone else was freaking out).  Furthermore, I read Ps 94:19, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”  Finally, the verses I’m memorizing in John start with Jesus saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled – you believe in God, believe also in Me.” 

So here’s my take aways that you might also find useful:

  • I can have peace in my heart as I fellowship with Jesus regardless of the storms occuring around me
  • When I bring Jesus into the storms of my life, He brings peace
  • There are times that Jesus wants to work through me to bring peace to stormy situations – blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God (Matt 5)

May the peace of Jesus guard your heart and mind today, my friend

hold on a second!!

Ok, revelation time: when I was growing up (and sadly enough in some recent history), I had some very “sassy” moments, to put it mildly. Unfortunately, I remember some EXTREMELY bad moments when I’ve been very disrespectful. With a little bit of maturity now (with lots of room to continue growing), I look back on those moments with regret and embarrassment. I’ve even had an extremely successful pastor gently remind me of a very arrogant conversation I had with him when I was a teenager. Thankfully, he was very gracious and understanding when he reminded me of this conversation, but I was nevertheless very embarrassed by my words and behavior.

Bringing these memories into my present behavior, I’ve come to the conclusion that respect is never out of bounds and disrespect is always out of bounds. In my generation, we have often made the mistake of presupposing a person had to “earn” our respect before we would give it. I’ve often noticed now that if I will treat people with respect, whether they deserve it or not, they usually behave in a respectful way. For those individuals who remain disrespectful even when I treat them with honor, I figure that their behavior is their responsibility and not mine. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that I’m honoring God. So if I can treat my fellow human with honor, it’s creating a lifestyle of honor to please my heavenly Father.

I have never regretted treating someone with respect, but I’m always disappointed in myself when I am disrespectful. Honor begets honor – Prov 3:35 🙂

hold on a second!!

When I was growing up, my dad would collect antique furniture & he filled our garage with his collections.  Over time, he added a shelf to the front of the garage so he could fill it it antiques, then he put in some suspended shelving from the ceiling of the garage so he could store more antiques.  Pretty soon, the paths that we used to get to the garbage cans were getting squeezed in w antiques.  And here’s the feeling I would always get when I went into the garage – suffocation.  Sometimes, I’d imagine for a brief second when I went into the garage that all of it might teeter from the little perches, strings & balanced corners to come collapsing down on me & that I’d get buried only to be possibly found by a curious parent after a few hours, if I was lucky.  After one such imaginative nightmare, I decided to only open the garage from the outside door & not try to ever go through the garage – for fear of an antique avalanche.

Now when I think about this, its kind of funny, but it wasn’t when I was living w my parents.  I taught myself avalanche avoidance techniques.  As an adult, I wish I would apply these lessons to managing my life better.  You see, sometimes I fill up my life with so much stuff (activities, responsibilities, achievements, pressures, deadlines, expectations, etc) that I feel like its just a matter of time until I become an avalanche victim.  This week is one of those times.

Here are some possible avalanche avoidance techniques:

Maybe God watches from the sidelines in amused disgust as I try to juggle everything without much success.

Maybe God waits for me to stop trying to be super woman & ask for His help.

Maybe God watches for the opportunity to teach me to say “yes” to His directives and not almost everything that passes my way.

Maybe God wants me to learn that He is the only eye in the hurricane

Maybe God wants to teach me more about living out the truth of Sabbath.

Maybe God wants me to wait on Him – to be still and know that He is God

Maybe all this flurry of activity lessens the keenness of my ear to hear His still small voice.

Maybe, just maybe, you & I can learn together & with His help, not continue to make the same kinds of mistakes.

I’m just saying, maybe we don’t have to be avalanche victims.

an idea to combat worry

i did a message Wed night on worry & it fit EXTREMELY well into what i’ve been going through lately.  To add onto it, i’ve also been studying Philip 4:6-8 where Paul talks about some good strategies to combat worry.  He starts off in vs 6 telling us not to be anxious but to offer our requests to God w prayer & supplication with thanksgiving.

Here’s my take away on this:  whatever we’re worried about, we need to take to God ALONG WITH at least one thanksgiving, something for which you’re thankful.  I think this is an interesting dynamic to keep the proper balance between requests & gratitude.  So all that being said, here are a few things I’m thankful to God for:

  • His grace – overwhelms my brokenness
  • His patience – again
  • His love – boundless & without condition
  • a fresh hair cut
  • nitrate free hot dogs
  • God’s invitations to me, throughout the day, to be with Him
  • His tenderness & willingness to help me grow
  • His immensity with gentleness

Got anything to be thankful for??? 🙂

ever worry about anything???

Today, these are some of the things I worried about:

  • Isabell having a sore throat
  • David’s bday party this weekend
  • my message on worry that i’ve been working on (now that’s funny!)
  • work & people issues
  • getting my schedule mixed up (i was trying to remember what day of the week it was at 530pm – that’s sad)
  • the baked chicken being raw (long story)
  • finances

Most of us have our list of “concerns”, worries, uncertainties, etc.  Here’s something interesting to consider, of the things that we worry about:

40% — are things that will never happen

30% — are things about the past that can’t be changed

12% — are things about criticism by others, mostly untrue

10% — are about health, which gets worse with stress

8% — are about real problems that will be faced

 

There are many places in the Bible where we’re told not to worry but to trust God.  So with this directive, what are some things that you’ve found helpful in learning not to worry?  I understand that we’re all growing & not so many of us have achieved “worry-free” living – but if you could share some of your ideas, they could probably help others who read this blog – just leave a comment above.  Thanks!! 🙂

my brain & a typhoon

I’ve been sitting here thinking about this day & reflecting about why my brain doesn’t seem very perky.  As I think about this, it causes me to consider what happened today:

  • stresser concern about Benji coughing (he woke up at 1130pm last night coughing, so I slept w him until about 2am)
  • kids getting to school late
  • tv taping – VERY important day & trying to get it done well & be helpful to people
  • work stresses
  • remembered a phone call i’ve needed to make for the past week  🙁
  • crossing guard – probably the smoothest part of my day
  • my brother-in-law letting me know he’s coming for dinner when I was planning to have pizza rolls for the kids & leftovers for Reece – yikes!
  • Senate meeting for Bell & David’s school – very smart people i get to hang out w
  • lots of thinking, trying to understand & feeling kind of stupid (although generally keeping my mouth shut in an endeavor to look intelligent)

So, this day has been typhoon-ish.  I would like tomorrow be calm-ish.  That would be a nice counter-point.  The interesting thing about this day, however, is that God really spoke w me before the day ever got really moving that He uses all things for good to those who love Him & are called according to His purposes (Rom 8:28).  My conclusion from the entirety of this day is to keep loving God & He works it all out.  The End

pressure management

You probably don’t need me to list anything that may add to the pressure in your life, so here’s something good to think about:  God has your future in His hands and you can trust Him.  For me, this was really helpful  to hear this morning in my time w Him.  From time to time, when I feel lots of pressure, sometimes I find my mind wanting to escape from the pressure.  In prayer this morning, I was kind of daydreaming when I felt God inviting me to settle into Him rather than go down the daydreaming path.  This was an interesting experience because when I was daydreaming, I was really restless.  When I followed God, the restlessness stopped & I felt a calm serenity with great depth.  In my prayer time, I stayed w God & received an internal confidence that is even lingering w me now. 

We all have pressures & stresses – from our own choices & from things beyond our control.  I’d encourage you to be mindful of how you deal with such pressures & stresses.  God designs our needs to be met in Him.