Tag Archive | choice

Well Adjusted?

I’ve been reading, watching and hearing a lot lately about people who LOOK OK, but in reality, they are really undone on the inside.

In the age we live in, if you have a sickness or condition that can be SEEN; say poison ivy, a broken arm, or even the need for glasses or a hearing aid, there is all the sympathy in the world.

If you have a sickness or condition that is hidden from the eyes of others; say depression, chronic fatigue, traumatic brain injury, or some other form of mental issue, people my judge you in a way in which to say “Suck it up!’, or “Just get over it!”.

If you are mostly quiet, there MUST be something wrong.

If you are loud and boisterous, you must be OK.

Neither is correct.

The hidden condition is the one I speak of today.

This post will be brief, and hopefully helpful.

Volumes can and have been written on the topic, but not by me.

This is what is on my heart today.

  • Many of us have become very accustomed to covering our inner turmoil up, by ignoring it or otherwise somehow making ourselves look all kinds of normal to the general public.

“In short bursts, one can create the illusion of virtually anything.”

Mike Rowe on being well adjusted


  • Some do choose to ignore it completely.

They seem to have bought the lie that those things will never be better for them, that healing is just a pipe dream and that it would be better to suffer alone and silently until their days are done.

  • Still others, myself included, seem to be able to keep plodding through the malaise, and eventually come up with an answer.

I call this my “Junk yard dog” philosophy.

Tenacious until I get what I need.

My personal decision was that what God told me in His word was either true, or it was a lie.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19 (ESV)

I chose to believe that He always tells the truth, and wants what is best for me.

His word never does say that I won’t be sick – the kind of sick people can see, or the kind of sick they cannot see.

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper Isaiah 54:17a (ASV)

(He did not say that weapons would not be formed, He said they would not prosper.)

What He did say was that He would always be by my side.

… for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5c (ESV)

He never even said that everyone would understand!

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

A friend of mine used these words to describe his journey;

“I just kept playing Bible roulette. (Every day) Little bits and pieces. (Of the Word)     Enough to keep me going until I could breathe again.”

Terry Simester


The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4 (ESV)

Can you resonate with these ideas?

Are you tired of holding on to the illusion you’ve created?

Have you become exhausted of it yet?

Do you just want to breathe again?

Will you let your “Junk yard dog” take over until you get what you need?

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

I hope you’ll avail yourself of the Bible verses mentioned in this post, and that you find them helpful to you in getting you along farther on your journey.

See you next time.

And remember always; You are

Fearfully and wonderfully made.

Overcoming Fear

How good is it to know that there are others out there trying to process the same kinds of things that you are?.

I was chatting with a friend the other day. She asked a question that I have considered many times over.

What was the question you ask?

“How in the world do people who do not know Christ personally, manage in their lives when everything comes unglued?”

The truth is; they don’t.

They get addicted to things like drugs, alcohol or work; and engage in all sorts of behaviors that dull, numb, or otherwise cover up their fear, and pain, and sorrow,

Our conversation put me in mind of a blog post that I made on October 3, 2011; about fear and how we face it without coming unglued.

I share it with you here.

Rocking Chairs and Tornadoes

Oct3

With all the news as of late about natural disasters, it is really difficult to

“Be not afraid.” or “Fear not.”

Some events in our lives may make us feel like we are in those disasters, even though physically, we may not be.

You know what I mean don’t you?

Are there things going on in your life that have the potential to strike sorrow and fear into you?

If we compared these disasters, what would we find they have in common?

I never gave this question much thought until I heard Nate Berkus recount his experience  of being swept away in a tsunami.                       

In the water with him were telephone poles, barbed wire, parts of trees and people’s homes …. and people.                                                   

All these things were swirling around him and beating his body, all the while he was fighting for his very life.

Is that how you feel right now?

Is the debris of your life beating you while you are struggling to keep your head above it all?

Are sorrow and fear and loss threatening to engulf you?

Do your circumstances feel like they are beating the life out of you?

   Consider this picture.

Your life is a tornado.

Debris is flying everywhere and the mayhem of it all is causing you mass confusion.

You are swirling around with this mess and there is no exit.

This is not too much of a stretch, if you are like many of the people you know.

The fact is, you may recognize some of those folks in the havoc, right along with you!

              Now push the pause button, and consider a different picture.

The tornado is still there.

The debris is still flying and the mayhem is still circling you.

HOWEVER

The difference is that YOU aren’t anywhere to be found in the mass confusion.

YOU are firmly planted in the middle of the eye of that storm.

YOU are seated in a rocking chair.

                                                 What does that mean?????

Firmly seated in a rocking chair, in the eye of the storm?

The peace of your Father God is planted deeply in your heart.

YOUR heart is full of the knowledge that He is aware and in total control.

To be sure, there still may be sorrow and loss, but YOU do not have to live with fear.

How do I know this?

First off, I’ve had my fair share of living in fear. 

Secondly, the Word of God plainly states that if you know Him, if you receive what His Son Jesus did for you on the cross, then you need not be afraid.

I believe the word of God to be true. 

Every word.

So when He says not to be afraid (found over 80 times) in the Bible,

I choose to obey.

Notice I said “choose”.  Being afraid is not a sin.  

What you do with it could be.

You get to make that choice.

The only thing you are to fear is God.

That is a different fear.

Not spooky, creepy fear, but a fear that is defined as being in awe of Him.

Here’s the ask.  For today. 

Use the following verses in your circumstances.  Today.

We can truly only do it for today.

Choose to let God be in control of your chaos.  Today.

Choose to sit in that rocking chair and relax while He takes on everything that would set your heart to fear.  Today.

This is not an easy task.  The world we live in caters to fear.  Its goal is to make us afraid.

Just look at the nightly news.  (No wait, maybe you shouldn’t)

At any rate, giving your fear to God will get easier with practice.

Note: Remember ~ Doctors practice.  Lawyers practice. Athletes practice.

Why do they do so?  To get better at what they do.

I encourage you to practice not being afraid.

Choose to sit and rest on your rocker, while God handles things.

Hebrews 13:6 (ESV) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

John 14:27 (ESV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Matthew 10:31(ESV) Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Isaiah 41:10  (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)  Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

This entry was posted on October 3, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged choicefearheartJesusmindNatural disasterrestthought lifeTornadoestruth. Bookmark the permalink.

Quiet Amidst the Chaos

April is spelled c-h-a-o-s in our house. Controlled chaos, but chaos none the less.

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is the non-profit my husband began twelve years ago in our county.

In April, it is in full swing; rehabilitating homes for those in need. Ten projects in all just for this month. Changing the lives of folks who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks.

It is a wonderful kind of busy; but the grass still grows, and other household chores don’t just disappear.

Then we add the seven grandchildren and all of their Spring programs. Since we try to support them in all of their doings, there aren’t many blank spaces left on the calendar.

April is full of preparations for beginnings and endings; school years, graduations, summer sports, and conferences in other towns to plan for the future.

My April, is not unlike your April. The sub titles are just different.

So. How does one keep their thoughts straight, schedules in line, and their brains in tact?

I’m not sure how you handle all of this, but I can try to share a trick or five that I have found helpful.

Make a list

A week before, the night before, or the morning of. Having a list of things that need to be accomplished is most helpful. This will help you keep on track.

Referring to that list, keeps those things from jumbling around in your head, and lets you know when you’re veering off track. It helps to keep your mind quiet.

Use that note taking feature on your phone or other device. When you’re out and about, jot those reminders down so you won’t forget.

NEVER trust yourself when you say “Oh there’s no way I can forget that!”

Best use of your time

Each one of us have a time of day that works best for us. If I make appointments in the morning, then when I get back, it is a real fight to get my thinking turned on.

Do you do better with the thinking things in the morning, and the physical tasks later in the day? Before you eat? After you exercise? At midnight or at daybreak?

There are as many answers to that question as there are people. Find out the answer that best fits you, an stick with it.

Get help

It is not weakness to get help. In fact, it will make you stronger.

Each of us is simply better at different things.

Are you good at making that sign you need for your upcoming project, or does it take all of your strength and several days for this task?

Enlist the help of someone who loves doing it. Your strength will be saved, and your project will turn out better than you could have imagined.

Energy, frustration and brain cells saved. Leaving you with what you need for the next task.

Take time for yourself

I call this Quietude, or quiet time. Some call it Me Time. Call it whatever you like, but make time for it.

Quiet time energizes me, and helps my insides to remain calm no matter how busy the days become.

Some ideas for quiet time;

  • A soft chair, a clean window and a hot cup of coffee. This is my favorite.
  • Low light or natural light, either works
  • Soft instrumental music in the back ground.
  • Add a book to read, or a journal to write in.
  • Sometimes, only the first one. Taking time to just BE.

For some, the thought of all that silence is terrifying. They energize in an entirely different way.

Some ideas for them may be;

  • A short walk
  • A lively conversation with a friend
  • Group sports
  • Energetic music
  • Can you think of more? (Please share)

You may enjoy either one of these, or you may be somewhere in the middle. You might even be something totally different. (If that’s you, I’d love to know what it is that helps you.)

The point is – Take care of yourself! Take three minutes if that is all you have. Twenty if you’ve got it. More time if you can find it.

It may turn out to be several times a day in smaller increments. Whatever.

Know when to say when

If we allow ourselves to drain, we have nothing left and will only be miserable. We’ll feel guilt for all the things we do not have the energy to do.

If we take care of ourselves, then we can take care of others. We can then do all of our activities with a certain amount of peace inside.

When your mind and body say no more; you may have to make some difficult decisions. Decisions that will protect you later on.

Decide to give yourself time to recharge, whatever that looks like. Decide, and stick with it.

There may be fingers coming underneath that bathroom door – but take that time anyway – You’ll be happy that you did.

Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (1)

On day one of our Bible Reading Marathon, June 30, we woke up to rain. Not just a little rain, but a lot of rain. This is never good for the opening day of an outdoor event. But in our house, we say we choose the day, not the weather, and go about our business.

The rain did relent long enough to get our spot in front of the county courthouse set up. The goal was set to read the entire Bible from beginning to end, beginning on June 30, and finishing on July 3. The first reader arrived at the appointed time, and the reading began.

Our first “Group” of readers came from a local church. There were but a half dozen of them, and it was nice to know that they felt it important enough to come and read in the rain.

Galaxy Prime Photos 2016 437  Galaxy Prime Photos 2016 436   Galaxy Prime Photos 2016 438

We did have a canopy, but the rain was coming so hard, that it was leaking on us even under the tent. We used our umbrellas under the tent as needed.  I am fairly certain that from the street, it looks like a circus tent, but the reading went on.

We simply changed our minds from grumbling about the rainy conditions, to thanking God for the rain our farmers need, and also the fact that nearly every where in the Bible that it speaks of water, the Holy Spirit is involved. Rain down Holy Spirit, rain down. (God You Reign!)

 

That first day was really full on sign ups, with only one no show, that was not weather related. (That person ended up coming back more than once after missing the first time slot!)

The rain finally did subside, and although quite chilly, the rest of the day finished with great success.

It was decided that we would not go through the overnight hours, with safety being a large issue. So after the last reader at 10:00, with a little help from a friend, we packed up the truck to return Friday morning at 6:00.

God, You will need to make up for our lost over night hours so we can finish on time.

Stay tuned for story #2, you’ll begin to see why I say our God is Ever Faithful.

 

Perfect Timing

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Today I had an opportunity to do a couple of things I really love doing.

I got to meet with an amazing group of ladies for Bible study, and then with some of those ladies, I got to participate is some pretty in depth conversation at our Directors meeting. Those women help my brain go where it won’t go on its own. What a blessing.

In the Bible study we read from Galatians 5:13-26. We talked about the lists in these verses. The first items listed are detestable, the state of our hearts. The second list was much more palatable to my senses.

After discussing the way we were born into this world, and how we get to choose to become the second list instead of the first, we could wonder why after all these years we are not further than we are.

When I arrived home, I heard this quote on the Revive Our Hearts program with Nancy Leigh DeMoss ~ One of her past mentors said it t o her ~

“Maturity.  It’s not where you’re at.  It’s the direction in which you’re headed.”

You have perfect timing God, always.

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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

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Don’t Stop !

 

 ark

I have recently toyed with the idea of building another ark, and ACTUALLY have pumped lots of water and replaced the water heater. Well, I didn’t replace the water heater but my husband and his friend did. The furnace was saved, and I am grateful.

God supplied, in the middle of all that rain, a beautiful weekend for my husband’s non-profit to have a very successful National Rebuilding Together Day. It is a day annually, when almost 200 affiliates nationwide make repairs to homes of Disabled American Vets, the Elderly and families with small children.  All who fall well under the poverty line. These are the ones that fall through the cracks, the ones with no hope.

I find my husband’s passion to be not unlike the passion of all who work in the ranks of the Erika Kate Foundation.

I am blessed to be able to participate with the Erika Kate Foundation.

To be a shining light, a glimmer of hope to those who have given up. To show even these, that they have worth, and that they matter.

The Erika Kate Foundation has a vision for providing financial, physical and spiritual assistance to families in the midst of medical crisis, working with social workers in pediatric heart centers nationwide. They let these ones know about the Hope that lives in us. Christ in us, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27.

At the beginning of April, I asked my team to please consider what they have been sowing into their passion. If the things they have been spending their time on, were feeding into that passion, or taking away from it.

Since that time, I have not only been spending time feeding into my husband’s passion, Rebuilding Together, taking care of the widows and the orphans, James 1:27, but considering what my passion for studying God’s Word, and how I might share His truths with those I come in contact with.

I have found myself distracted. I am distracted not only by my own thoughts, but by the wants and needs of others and a plethora circumstances beyond my control.

I said all that to say this;

Don’t stop. Continue to drag yourself (sometimes literally) to the places and things and people who can breathe life and energy into you.

Forget not, that God is waiting in the Secret Place for you. He is there whether you are feeling very strong, or very weak.

The people that God has put in your life, He has put there on purpose. Iron sharpens iron. Proverbs 27:17. They also carry your cot when you are not strong enough to carry it yourself.  Mark 2:4, Luke 5:19.

I know that this has been my experience for the last little while. I am confident that someone who is reading this now is facing the same thing.

Guess what? This means you are doing it right!

If you are seeking God’s face, Psalm 27:8, then these things will come upon you to make you stop. 1 Peter 4:12.

Don’t give up !  Keep seeking !

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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

 

New Observations

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Just this week I began reading the New Testament again
Just one chapter a day, not really looking for anything in particular, just whatever God might want to show me.
In chapter two of Matthew it talks about the Magi coming to visit Jesus after His birth. The notes in my Bible say that they were probably members of a learned religious class from the region now called Iran and that they specialized in astrology, medicine and natural science. Dictionary.com says that they were the Zoroastrian priests of the ancient Medes and Persians, and were probably sorcerers or magicians.
Either way, they were intelligent men, independent thinkers and men of some great means. When these men heard of the birth of the Christ child, they considered Him to be worthy of their thoughts, time and treasure.
Did they really believe that He was the Savior of the world, or did they just want to feed their extensive intellect some more? We cannot know for sure, we are however told, that they did believe Him to be the King of the Jews.
A couple of verses lit up my heart and mind during this read.
I had never before considered the REACTION of these notable men when they learned of this birth.
For one thing, women always have babies. That is what they do. This is not an oddity. So something had to light up their hearts and minds to even think to make the trip to see, and worship this … baby.
Here is what “Lit up” for me.
1. They were over overjoyed see the star that would guide them v.10
2. On seeing Jesus and His mother Mary, they bowed down and worshipped Him v.11
3. They opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts v.11b
4. They had been warned of Herod in dream and so returned by another way v.12
Here, I believe, is how it pertains to you and me.
1. God has given us His Word, His Son and the Holy Spirit. Should we not be overjoyed? A sign that He wants to guide us? Having been raised in a family that went to church every week it is easy for me to be lazy and think, “Oh that.” Bible? I probably have five of my own, and access to hundreds more. Many have given their lives for just one page.
2. We humans give glory to movie stars, sports teams, TV shows, doctors, writers, apparel, and sin. Should we not instead bow and give homage to the Holy Lamb of God, who became human so that He could take away the sin of the world? One should sound crazier than the other to us.
3. God created the earth and everything in it. It is His. Yes, it is ours as well, but only because He gave it to us. In our gratitude, I believe we should be willing to open our treasures back to Him for His use, and His glory. The Bible plainly teaches that He WILL NOT share His glory with another. We so don’t want to be guilty of stealing His glory and replacing it with something of far lesser value. It will not bode well for us to be selfish in this way. Instead, let our time and talents be used to help others to achieve greater knowledge of Him and all He has given us.
4. When we find ourselves filled with the knowledge of who He is, we can then turn a different way. Instead of always seeing the negative in a situation, we can see it as an opportunity for growth. When we see where we have been wrong, He will allow us to see how we can do things a different way. The path of our lives can be changed. When we open our hearts and minds to Him, He will show us great and mighty things that we did not know. His ways are most often completely opposite of the way we did things in the past, but that should be the fun of it. What an adventure to learn new and better things all the time!
So with all that, I’ll end by asking you these questions;
1. Are you overjoyed with your life?
2. Have you bowed your knee in worship to Jesus?
3. Have your opened your treasure box and offered your gifts back to Him?
4. Have you turned from your sin and gone another way?
5. If you have ……… Amazing, well done.
6. If haven’t ………….. Would you like to?
Just say something like this to God;
Dear God,
I lack Your joy in my life, I would like to experience it. Please show me how I can honor You and give You glory. Help me to turn over to You the key to my treasure box so that all you have gifted me with can give You glory. Help me to turn from my wrong doing, to set aside my earthly knowledge, and to trade it for Your heavenly knowledge. Help me to go a different, the way that keeps me close to You. I thank you in advance being on the path with me, and for bringing along others that will help me to see the path more clearly.
Amen.

God bless you today – For you are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.
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