This morning as I prepare for church, I started thinking about what we each do to prepare to go into our Savior’s house. There is just so much more than just showering, putting on make-up or getting dressed. When we make up our mind that we will go to church to worship him and to mesh with all the different people God has connected us to, there’s a spiritual shift. We can’t see it and we may not even be able to feel it, but it’s there. Acknowledging this is key, I think. When we recognize that shift, an expectation is birthed. This is not an expectation of people, but of God. In preparation for God’s leading this morning, I opened my heart in obedience and humility. God, I will go where you lead me. I will prefer your will over my own. Then I quietly listened for his word for me. His spirit in me let me know just what I needed to do. I accepted it and turned on worship music to keep my focus on God and his goodness as I physically prepared myself.
The season I have been experiencing has provided me with a consistent mantra of “I choose obedience”. This has proven to be painful and uncomfortable at times. It’s included making decisions I didn’t want to make and letting go of some things I did not want to let go of. Each Sunday (or Saturday for some) when we make the decision to go into our place of worship, we are actually saying, “I choose obedience.” Those three words carry more weight than I ever thought they could. When they are said (or thought) with sincerity and with true humility, a death of self-preference and self-preservation occurs. This may mean that you go somewhere you don’t feel like going. This may mean do some things you don’t want to do. This may mean loving some people you don’t want to love. Regardless, there’s a freedom in obedience and humility. It absolutely makes no sense in this world as the world tells us to be strong, take care of ourselves and let no one run over you at any cost. This is not how God’s kingdom works. And, to be honest, it sucks sometimes. We want to feel like we matter, like we have a voice and we have a right to be respected. But we want to feel this way among people, and this is an error in thinking for a Christ-follower. We do matter, we do have a voice and we are loved and cherished…by our Father who ALWAYS gives us just what we NEED. When we shift our thoughts and perceptions of what people “owe” us to what God provides for us, a priceless transition happens that leads us to “I choose obedience.”
Today as I continue on my journey, I humbly choose obedience. I pray that each of you will do the same. Take the time to prepare your heart in prayer, quiet time and the Word. Connect to a body of followers. Walk forward preferring God’s will over your own. I’m still feeling some of the pain and discomfort from this season, but I can tell you I have never been forsaken. I have never walked it alone. I invite you…join Jesus and me on the journey to freedom, peace and true joy. How can I pray for you to help you on your journey?
In February 2018, I enjoyed a vision board night with a group of ladies that I love dearly. We listened to inspiring music while creating our vision boards. If you’re not familiar, a vision board is a collage of images put together and displayed to help organize one’s personal life goals. It is a way to create a visual to make goals more tangible than abstract. It’s a great idea and a great tool to place your goals in front of you daily so that you may maintain your focus. We were encouraged to keep the vision boards posted somewhere as a reminder of where they would like to go. I created a vision board, framed it and hung it. The vision board turned out to be a great instrument for me personally because it was hung where I could see it every morning and night. I found myself looking at it each night and thinking about how I spent my day. What did I do today to achieve what is on my vision board? I did each night what most of us do at the end of each year. I cannot express enough how much this helped me gain perspective. …THE REST OF THE STORY
This morning my husband and I noticed something strange crawling across the front yard. As I went in closer to look, I noticed it was a hornet carrying a cicada. I have never seen anything like it before. We were completely mesmerized as we watched the hornet struggle to crawl across the yard toward a tree. We continued to watch the hornet struggle and we wondered aloud, “Where is it going?” The hornet reached the base of the maple tree in the front yard and it began to climb up the tree. Again, we wondered aloud, “Why is it climbing the tree? Does it have a nest up there?” …THE REST OF THE STORY
Sometimes we have really great days, and sometimes we have not-so-great days. It is important to maintain our sanity on all the days, but that can be easier said than done. I’m a Christian. That means I’m a follower of Christ that requires daily grace and mercy. It does not mean I always have it together and behave perfectly. On the not-so-great days, I require a little more grace and mercy. More like from minute-to-minute instead of day-to-day. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this. I’m a Christian and sometimes I do not act like it. There I said it… …THE REST OF THE STORY
Previously, I shared Episode 2 of Baggage Free Living, My Shame Story. I learned from my journey through shame that I did not have to be defeated by it. The examples and lessons I found in God’s word are priceless. You know sometimes if you really dive into the Word, you find so much that is relatable. As I said before, to overcome the shame, you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Being open to hearing what the Lord says through His word can bring the most incredible light bulb moments. …THE REST OF THE STORY
Some of you know that my focus word for 2018 is CONFIDENCE. This is the word that is at the center of the vision board I created at the beginning of the year. Most people see me as a very confident person. I’m not. I’m pushing through a lot of insecurities on a daily basis. My focus is not only a confidence in myself, but a confidence in the Lord. I’m a work in progress. …THE REST OF THE STORY
Recently, I shared about Baggage Free Living. I have lived life so I have my share of baggage. My baggage is big and it’s heavy, but I don’t carry it anymore. I love Galatians 5:1 (NIV) as it describes what I know to be true.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” …THE REST OF THE STORY