perspective

My Dad was a Collector

My dad was a collector & where other people saw trash, my dad could see treasure – that’s one of the reasons that he was a great pastor. The Sunday after he died, my mom did a message that’s been extremely practical for me. She talked about how we have “this treasure in earthen vessels.” It’s been super helpful for me because sometimes I can get frustrated with people for various reasons. But from mom’s message I was challenged to consider if I tend to focus more on the crack pot & less on the treasure. Furthermore, it’s been my experience that when I treat people as worthwhile & valuable (treasures), they often act less foolish & more valuable.
So here’s my challenge for us: look more for the treasure & less for the trash 🙂

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

Visual Clarity

I’ve been thinking alot about having clear vision – maybe this has been on my mind because I’ve been looking for one of my kids’ glasses 🙂
Nevertheless, seeing things clearly is extremely important. The clearest & most truthful vision is when we see as God sees, from His point of view. With this in mind, I’m praying Prov 20:12 for this year – that God let’s me see & hear as He sees & hears. Human perspective is fuzzy, unclear & opaque at best, but God knows & sees the truth and I want to see as He sees for 2012 & beyond 🙂

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

perspective

 Perspective has alot to do with our decisions & attitudes.  Here’s an example:  one of my kids just told me that they’re bored.  When I suggested that we could skip the Christmas break & head back to school, they were suddenly “un-bored”.  Lots of things are a matter of perspective.  Along this line, I’ve been thinking lately about what it means to think about things from God’s point of view, based on Biblical insights:

  • How does God see the things with which I struggle in my life?
  • What is God’s perspective on the way I treat my mate?
  • What does God think / feel about how I interact with my kids?
  • What does God think about how I behave on my job?
  • What things / values are important to God?
  • How does God “feel” about the way I use my time, money & energies?

If you want to get to know someone really well, you have to do your best to understand things from their point of view.  This takes time, intentionality, honor & humility.  Getting to know someone else’s perspective tells them that they are important to you, that their values are significant & that they matter in your life.  Getting to know God’s point of view is a noble adventure, worthy of our focus & energies 🙂

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

celebrating differences

 My husband & I are discussing the different kinds of gifts that our kids want for Christmas:  the boys want air hogs (a hovering helicopter that can shoot missiles, or something like that) & American Girl doll stuff.  He’s commenting that the American Girl doll stuff is lame & I can just envision my boys remote controlling a helicopter to shoot missiles at me while I cook – not so much :/

Here are some great things about these differences:

  • they add variety – if the world were all dolls or hovering helicopters, we’d complain about the monotony
  • growing opportunities – it seems to me that we often grow the most when things are very different from our expectations & norms
  • new perspectives & deeper understanding – when I don’t dismiss differences, I open the door to understand someone else more deeply
  • genuine love – not because someone is like us, but rather because we want to see them enjoy what is not harmful & what they like
  • respect – appreciating diversity allows us to show respect & helps foster relationships

Vive’ la difference! 🙂

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

Keep Trying!!

Sometimes I think we get a little ramped up about making achievements & if you’re like me, it’s disappointing when I don’t make the progress or goal that I want. But maybe God’s objective for us isn’t always the goal or achievement but rather the strength that we develop from trying. Maybe God’s goal is to help us develop endurance & persistence. Maybe God’s goal is a deeper revelation of Who He is to us even more than any achievement, prestige, or recognition.
Maybe we would be able to see greater value in the process than in the outcome, if we pause & listen for God’s wisdom, just maybe ,)

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Posted by Sarah in living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments

stubborn or persistent???

  I always like to hear encouraging stories about how a person has been persistent & the great rewards that they experience from their endurance – some truly great people have become great, in part due to their persistence.

There is, however, an ugly side to persistence & its called stubborness.  I’ve heard many stories as well about people being stubborn & the bad things that have happened because of their unwillingness to change.  It’s interesting that the words “persistent” & “stubborn” can have similar meanings but evoke different responses in us.  So I’ve been thinking about what the difference is for me with these words & here’s my perspective:

When I am stubborn, I assert my will & desires at almost all costs.  But when I’m committed to asserting God’s will in my life (conversations, attitudes, actions, etc) over my desires, then perhaps I could consider that I’m being persistent.  For me, one word is all about me & the other word is all about Jesus.  So I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will dismantle any & all “stubborn” scaffolding in my life & replace those structures with His persistence & endurance to work out God’s will through my daily living.  Persistence gets God’s results & stubborness get’s my results :/

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

dealing with frustration

 I think our lives go through different seasons & timings.  Some of these seasons are easier than others.  But presently, I seem to find myself in a bit of a frustrating season.  It seems like wherever I look, there’s something messed up, missing or not going smoothly.  I’ve got some kid challenges – dentist adventures, back to school prep, behavior coaching, etc.  I’ve got some work challenges – some changes with how we do our work, some people changes, moving adjustments, etc.  Reece is presently leading a missions trip in Haiti, which is TOTALLY EXCELLENT for him, but adds some pressure on me.  I could continue with my list, but I think you get the gist & you probably don’t want any help to think about your own frustrations.

So here are some helpful thoughts:

  • some frustrations are temporary – when there’s a foreseeable end, it helps to remember that there will be a conclusion
  • deal with one thing at a time – when we pile frustration upon frustration they can get overwhelming;  looking at them one at a time makes them more manageable
  • lessons:  it’s important to ask yourself what ways God might be challenging you to grow in (stop procrastinating, self-discipline, time management, etc)
  • exercise:  there’s alot of merit to getting into some exercise routines to help release stress through physical exercise 🙂
  • escaping isn’t always the answer – sometimes there’s no better solution than to look a frustration in the eyes & deal with it head on;
  • prayer – this is probably my best tool to deal with frustration:  lifting up to God what’s happening or what I’m frustrated about & then listening & watching for His answers & help
May God help us to not be overwhelmed with our frustrations but to keep our confidence in His abilities, love & wisdom 🙂
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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 1 comment