Uncategorized

Feeling Stuck?

Feeling stuck is universal for us all. Maybe you feel stuck in a relationship that’s difficult or stuck taking care of someone with a sickness. How about stuck teaching your kids from home? Or stuck financially trying your best to make a dent but it just doesn’t seem to be working. Are you stuck waiting on a vaccine? Are you stuck in winter waiting for spring?

One thing, I’m grateful our presidential inauguration is over. I was feeling pretty stuck for awhile, that in between is the pits for me. Waiting on the new while still in the old.
For me it feels like you are straddling between a boat and the shore, not all the way in the boat and not fully on land yet.

Sometimes jumping from that boat to land is a leap of faith. It’s a hold your breath, close your eyes and hope the ground is still there when you jump.

In Hebrews 12:1-2 it tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

So as we take our leap of faith, whatever that looks like for you, let’s not focus on ourselves. We know how that will go, like Peter we’ll sink. The ground will be there when you jump, because Jesus is our ground. He cannot be moved. He is here and there.

Hebrews tells us,

  1. Have hope many people trusted their faith in times just like we are living. We are not the first and we won’t be the last.
  2. Lay off your struggles with sin. It was finished on the cross.
  3. Look at Jesus. Surrender to Him. When your eyes fall to yourself, train yourself to look back up. The pressure is on the One who is in your growing and perfecting your faith.
  4. Remember Jesus endured so we could run, move and have freedom to live for Him in these in-between times.

We are never truly stuck if we have Jesus.

Slowly

He is for you

Yesterday I was picking up a book to read. Now I’m enjoying this book, but it was a challenging chapter.

I thought it might be triggering and I was worried I’d feel shame and defeat after reading it. (This is normally how I feel when challenged-shame and guilt of not being enough come to the surface.)

I thought I’ll just read the chapter as fast as I can. That will help. It will make it easier. I’ll just drink from the firehose.

But I couldn’t. My anxiety was growing and I could sense my resistance knowing it could be difficult to read.

I met with my counselor and we talked about moving slower. Still moving but slower. This is a constant theme in my life. Go slow. I know you think speed will make it go away, but actually moving through it slowly will be better. You’ll actually be able to do it. And it won’t be as hard.

I’m in between two books right now. They seem to balance each other.

The first one is “Sweet Like Jasmine”, by Bonnie Gray and the other is “Altogether You” by Jenna Riemersma .

As I struggled through the first few pages of a chapter in “Altogether You” I took a break at the next heading and put it down for the day. And then I read “Sweet Like Jasmine” and she reminded me God is for me. Jesus is here. He is here in the uncomfortable, He’s here in the good, Hes here in the struggle. He is for me.

And I’m forever grateful He’s for me. Did you know He is for you? I hope today you experience how he is for you.

Today I saw God was for me when I went for a walk and saw Autumn Crocuses. How precious. In Indiana fall is coming and leaves are falling and summer flowers are turning brown. But there among it all were beautiful purple crocuses.

Sister, He is for you.

Song “Blessing” by Kari Jobe

“In the morning, in the evening
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you”

Uncategorized

Remembering what I’ve learned.

We are leaving a lovely little town in northern Michigan and I came away with something special.

We enjoyed some time away for our anniversary and I love time like this because it helps me to slow down. To see. To experience something in an unhurried way.

• flat rocks to skip • heart shaped rocks • giant dahlia flowers • waves hitting the shore • ladybug on a rock • seagull dunking himself for a fish • all the precious dogs with their owners • riding bikes through the forest • drift wood • sunsets by the water • the sound of a harbor bell • the little lighthouse shining it’s light • clip clop of horses hooves •

I was reminded of our three kids and how they would experience the places and things we saw. They would be excited about those little things too. I’d stop and show them. I’d talk about how I feel as I experience these little moments in life.

During the busy of our days I forget that I like this. I forget, I like skipping rocks, I want to pick all the flowers, and I want to search for rocks that feel special, like they were left for me.

So I took the rocks, the pictures and talked to the dahlias each day. I asked to pet the German shorthaired pointer puppy who was laying between its owners feet.

And all of these things reminded me of how much our kids have taught me. They have taught me to slow down, to see the flower, to see the shapes in the clouds, to watch them create something new. And they’ve helped me connect with the little kid in myself.

Sometimes getting older we try to leave all our childish ways but we forget to keep the awe. We forget the simple. We press on busy as ever and we miss it. I think adulting is reminding ourselves of the things that make us feel alive. The things that connect us to one another. It really is just the little things, one after the other.

What brings awe and wonder to you today?

Uncategorized

Thinking about them

Yesterday and today I kept thinking about the women who went to the tomb to be with Jesus.

I imagine each day they have gone to sit with Jesus’ body. Weep. Maybe they feel so uncertain of what Jesus will actually do.

Was it true? Is it real? Has he come and changed me, but now left me to figure this out alone?

Oh I imagine they are grieving. Their Lord, the One who has come and set them free is dead. Are they losing hope?

“As they come to the tomb Sunday morning, theirs an earthquake. When they arrive the tomb is open, and an angel proclaims, ‘I know you’re looking for Jesus but He isn’t here. He is risen.’” (Matthew 28: 1-10)

Hope. These two women, their hope restored. Truth. He really did rise! He’s here! He didn’t leave us!

They ran. They ran to the disciples. Maybe crying, laughing, trembling.

They’d never spoken with an angel before. And He told them the one thing they were clinging onto: He is risen.

Thank you Lord. Thank you that you didn’t just die for us, but you rose so we could know a new life. Here on this earth, we can know a new life.

That’s our hope. He is risen. The Son of God came and died for your sins and my sins.

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:57‬ ‭

Through Jesus. He rose so that He could live in us when we believe!

Today our Lord is risen. Today.

We can believe what He says is true. It’s true, He rose from the dead.

Hallelujah.

Uncategorized

Walled up

One of my greatest temptations is to wall up.

You know when you feel triggered and the alarm bells start ringing and you say oh no we’ve been here before, shut the doors! It’s not safe! We need safety! Shut down. System offline.

This is me sometimes, you? I had some victory this week I’d love to share.

My security and safety hasn’t always rested in Christ, I’ve tried to rest in my ability to survive, to be self-sufficient.

In fact it is still a temptation to fall back on “walling up” when things don’t seem secure and safe. I want safety, but I’ve settled for survival instead.

And when that self defense mechanism gets triggered I keep others out and the One who can truly keep me safe out too.

God keeps me safe by coming to live within me. Teaching me, guiding me.

I felt tempted to “wall up” this past week. I was scared I’d messed up. Said something wrong and wondering if someone took what I said wrong.

I wanted to hunker down. So southern hunker. But it’s true. I felt all the doors slamming up. Like on the movies when the alarm is triggered.

My body yelled “get safe, shut the doors so no one can get it until we get through this.” But I wall out people, and I also wall out God.

I can’t hear Him, not because he doesn’t want to be close, but because I’ve taken things into my own hands.

He’s kind and doesn’t force me.

He lets me choose.

And this week I said it out loud to my husband, I want to shut down.

He sensed it, as I did. And usually it just takes over. I felt myself fight.

Talking through the issue instead of running from shame or guilt.

These times feel like miracles. It is beyond me. Beyond my ability to stay and not shut down. It was Him moving in me and allowing for me to reach out.

So as I write, I remember 2 Thessalonians 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

Our safety is secure in our Savior. He meets every need where there is deficiency.

We are safe in Him. He will show you, if but for a moment you will lay down you protection. It takes time. But He’s there waiting, believing in, and loving us.

Uncategorized

One step at a time

I keep hearing this phrase so I thought I’d write about it. Mostly because I desperately need the reminder each day.

Nothing in life has come as a quick fix. But I’m so prone to still crave and want it to be that way.

I saw a memory of Facebook last week. One that reminded of the battle we he with eczema when my oldest was little. Oh how I prayed for God just to take it away. I was discouraged. I had tried everything.

The older he’s gotten the better his skin has gotten.

But I remembered how painful it was not having a solution for him. But I can’t remember how it got better. It got better slowly. There was no miracle prayer that fixed it but slowly it’s gotten better. Prayer is important, sometimes it is a miracle healing and sometimes it’s a strengthening for endurance.

This doesn’t apply to everything but if you are in a season of waiting.

Waiting on an answer.

Waiting for a cure.

Waiting on a positive pregnancy test.

Waiting for someone to come to Christ.

For your sake and mine I wish we didn’t have to wait. But in the waiting there is preparation to be had. We don’t have to wait sitting on our hands. But as we wait we can trust and move one day at a time. Do one thing at a time.

And slowly the waiting will be over and the new will come and you’ll be looking around wondering, how did we get here?

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Uncategorized

Who can you trust?

Trust defined as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or the truth of someone or something.” (www.m-w.com)

Have you ever been hurt by someone? Then you tightened up like a clam for self-protection? Me too.

Trust is my word for this year. I don’t just want to trust anyone or anything. But I believe this word is a direct reflection of what God wants to do in my life.

Trust. Such a simple word. As a kid we know it in reference to our caregivers. Whether that was a source of trust or distrust.

If childhood relationships is an area that was particular wounding for you, you might struggle trusting God.

When our closest relationships wound us it begins to reflect how we see God. We see him through the same lenses of distrust.

However, I believe God can heal that distrust. It’s not a three step plan and your ability to trust God changes this afternoon. No this is a deep sitting with God and letting him change you from the inside out.

He has used trustworthy people in my life to grow this in me. Friends and counselors who were for my good and listened without judgement.

And for some it will be releasing this distrust from childhood that will open the flood gates of God in you, the hope of glory, the reason you can trust God and who He says He is.

May we sit with the uncomfortable, be comforted by our Savior and grow in our trust with Him.

Uncategorized

Comfort

I want you to think about the times when you were little and you received comfort.

Maybe you can’t remember a time. The bad feels too big and there aren’t any memories of comfort. Sit awhile longer and ask God to show you His comfort.

This morning, I pulled a blanket out of the dryer and thought when I was little warm clothes from the dryer tossed on me while I sat on the couch felt so good! I remember my body instantly relaxing. An exhale of “ahhh…”.

I also remember how you grandma would let us crawl up in her lap and to be held by her felt so comforting, nothing else really mattered.

So maybe when the day feels like too much, or the sleepless nights are mounting. Find a memory, something that felt good. Something that felt like comfort void of shame and guilt. And do that. Remind yourself who is with you.

The God of all comfort.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Uncategorized

Time to discover

I’m reading a chapter about boundaries. Yuck is my immediate reaction when talking about boundaries. Boundaries feel mean but I know it’s something I struggle with.

But last night I found some new phrases around boundaries that helped me and maybe they’ll help you.

  1. Boundaries help us be our true selves.
  2. Boundaries create space for us to discover what we desire, what we feel, and what we need.

I’m use to running around meeting everyones needs and then getting really frustrated when others don’t meet my needs, but most of the time I don’t even know what my needs are. Boundaries help us know where we begin and end and where someone else begins. They help us hold onto ourselves when circumstances become difficult.

What happens when we make room for ourselves?

Mirriam Webster defines discover as “to obtain sight or knowledge for the first time.”

As we come to Christ and sit with Him we can learn He saved us so we can be ourselves with Him-free of guilt and shame, knowing we are loved, completely as is. And He is there to love us just as we are and heals the parts of us that feel broken and shattered so we can be our true selves. Because “the broken things about us are not the truest thing about us (Aundi Kolber “Try Softer”).”

Sometimes it’s hard to get quiet. It is difficult to carve this time out especially if you are at work and it’s noisy, or at home and your kiddos are running around, or if you are trying to do virtual school. But remember Jesus is in you, we don’t have to go far to hear Him. And really it just takes a whisper “What do you have for me right here Lord?”

Oh He is faithful.

And maybe an easy first boundary is “I need time to think about that.”

Let’s make room to discover who we are. We don’t have to be afraid, we are loved and accepted.