struggle

The Ugly Jogger

That would be me, hands down. When I take a jog outside, I suspect that animals scurry, the lithe alert melts down & it feels like my body is in perpetual revulsion mode. So why go through such suffering & cause others to writhe in agony?
Ok, over dramatic, but you get the point.
I jog on occasion for a few reasons:

  • I want to control my body rather than my body control me
  • Move it or lose it – I want to stay active for a long time & without action, this desire will turn into a painful delusion
  • Mental clarity – when my body is tired from physical exercise, oftentimes my mind becomes more alert & keen
  • Paul said that physical discipline is profitable, even if just a little bit – 1Tim 4:8

Sometimes what doesn’t feel or even look good, is still good for you ūüôā

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Succeeding in Adversity

All of us face adversity of different sizes, shapes, seasons & intensities. From what I’ve learned, it’s not always possible to avoid adversity, so shat to do? Here are some thoughts to help you have some success in the midst of this stuff

  • Focal point: focusing on the adversity seems to make it bigger, focusing on Jesus helps to keep the adversity in the right perspective
  • Practice: think back over the past struggles you’ve come through & remember that the current adversity is practice ,)
  • Get Help: more than professional help, all of us need divine Help & this is exactly who the Holy Spirit is, so be sure to ask for Help!
  • Time: decide to outlast the adversity, one day at a time
  • Prayer: agree with some friends to prayer for their struggles & that they can pray for you as well – this one helps me boatloads!

Be sure to pass this along to some friends who are going through some tough stuff ūüôā

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Posted by Sarah in busy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 2 comments

sitting with a friend

Job 2:13, “Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that¬†his¬†pain was very great.”

These friends that sat with Job in silence for 7 days were the same friends who were not very gentle in their words to him for many chapters throughout this book.  Nonetheless, it gives me great pause to think that these guys travelled for several days to be with Job at the lowest point in his life.  When they saw how despondent he was, they sat with him for 7days without saying anything.

Their behavior really challenges me to consider if I’m this kind of a friend who could sit quietly with a friend in their greatest time of suffering. ¬†This is the idea of keeping company with someone even when they aren’t very pleasant or enjoyable. ¬†It begs the question, “Am I a ‘fair-weather’ friend, or am I reliable in the skinny / thin times?” ¬†Consider Matt 26:38 & Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

It seems to me that we aren’t very comfortable sitting with someone when they’re suffering or struggling, but sometimes, keeping company with a friend in a hardship¬†is a tangible expression of genuine love.

I like what Mother Teresa said, “‚ÄúNot all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.‚ÄĚ”

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, listen, living, relationships, saving moses, values, watch, 0 comments

Messing Up

I don’t like to mess up, full stop. I used to berate myself when I made mistakes, so I would often experience shame & guilt. Maybe you have some similar challenges or know someone who struggles with this as well. Here’s some hope:
Peter – I think Peter’s greatest shortfall was when he denied Jesus, not one time but three. In Luke 22:61-62 it says, “The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, ‚ÄúBefore a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.‚ÄĚ 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.” Thankfully, this isn’t the end of the story. In John 21, we read that Jesus went the extra mile to meet up with Peter after His resurrection. They had a very powerful conversation on the beach & Peter affirms three times that he loves Jesus. Jesus reconciles where we’ve messed up. 

Thomas – good ol’ Doubting Thomas (that’s an identity I’d prefer to skip); here’s the guy that brings doubt to the party when everyone is exuberantly proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection! John 20:25, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.‚ÄĚ And that’s exactly what happened. Jesus met Thomas at the point of his unbelief & helped him overcome this hurdle. 

Both Peter & Thomas were reconciled to Jesus despite their failures. Messing up isn’t the conclusion when we come to Jesus with the broken & dysfunctional in our lives. Reconciliation is one of the glorious results of redemption!

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, values, watch, 1 comment

Bumble & Fumble

My daughter really likes fashion & style, me not so much. Truth be known, if my clothes match on any given day it’s evidence of divine intervention. But for my daughter, matching & style are as easy for her as breathing – almost mindless. This leads me to appreciate that what is easy for her seems almost impossible for me. And this is every bit as true for you as well because I have no doubt that you are agile & gifted in stuff that is totally baffling to me. 
So rather than berating someone for an inability, let’s find & celebrate their strengths. Bumbling & fumbling is just evidence that God has gifted us in ways beautifully distinct & creatively unique. Thanks to a great friend who helped me see this today ūüôā

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

do you need help to forgive?

When I think about forgiveness, you don’t have to convince me that I need to forgive – I’m already on board with that. ¬†The tricky part for me is the actual¬†forgiving. ¬†Here are some tips that might help you:

  • forgiveness isn’t a feeling. ¬†Consider the Corrie Ten Boom quote, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
  • forgiveness in the greek means “to let go or release”: ¬†when we forgive, we release the hurt, bitterness, judgment & pain
  • proficient forgiveness requires practice
  • forgiveness must be kept fresh – stale forgiveness can grow putrid in our emotions and thoughts
  • Here’s a cool & short video that could be helpful: ¬†forgiveness
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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, values, 0 comments

Jesus Chix: just love

There is a chick who followed Jesus who always takes my breath away: Mary of Bethany. I love watching her because of her devotion to Jesus & her authenticity. The first time we read of her, she’s sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him – a place reserved for men who were learning from a teacher, not women who weren’t deemed as worthy to receive education nor instruction. Mary should’ve been helping Martha in the kitchen, doing domestic stuff. But Jesus applauds Mary & says that “this one thing won’t be taken from her.”
Mary’s devotion to Jesus is tested when her brother Lazarus dies, even though Jesus could have prevented his death. Mary is extremely upset by Lazarus’ death & it seems to me that she let her emotions prevent her from seeing her brother raised from the dead (John 11).
The final time we read much about Mary is when she is washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying them with her hair & anointing Jesus with costly oil. Her love & devotion to Jesus were nothing less than authentic & extravagant. May I love Jesus as Mary did

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, 0 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

ever been mad at God?

In my opinion, a relationship that has any degree of depth needs to be able to work through conflict, tension, disappointment, misunderstandings, challenges, etc. ¬†I sincerely believe that the deeper the relationship, the more we must be willing to work through such struggles & I don’t think that our relationship with God is any different. ¬†I think that our relationship with God is as deep as we are willing to wrestle: ¬†no wrestling, shallow depth; much wrestling, much depth. ¬†My examples for this thinking are in Job & Jacob who strenuously wrestled with God, not without some impairment.

So with this in mind, when (not if) we get mad, disappointed, frustrated, misunderstand God, let’s not sweep these feelings & thoughts under the carpet. ¬†Let’s maintain an open & honest dialogue with God because the depth with God is worth way more than the dialogue, conflict, etc ūüėÄ

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

Easy doesn’t always mean essential

I’ve been thinking about going through some difficult times & situations which aren’t very fun. If you’re like me, I tend to want to avoid these difficulties. However, when I think about Joseph in Genesis, he went through some extremely ugly situations – sold into slavery, unjustly accused, imprisoned, ignored & more. Nevertheless, even though he went through lots of “uneasy” & uncomfortable, he didn’t quit & decide to take an easy path.
But many times, what is not easy, is essential to realize God’s potential for our lives. So if you’re in a non-easy season or situation, be encouraged that God is cultivating your potential for something really amazing!!

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