I shared a wonderful, restful weekend with my husband of 18 years. The plan was to do nothing; at least unless we decided we wanted to do something.
It was wonderful to rest. No cooking. No schedule. No cleaning. No interruptions. Just rest.
As it neared time to return home, back to schedules and responsibility, I could feel my peace slipping away.
The worry of being able to get everything done was attacking. I knew I could not get everything done. The worry about choosing the right things to get the most important things done was assaulting my peace.
How am I still here?
I know there is no faith in worry. It’s fear.
I know there is no fear in love.
Yet with all I know, I let fear threaten my peace and sometimes steal it.
My focus so easily slips; derailed by a passing thought.
God is my peace.
He has not slipped away. He is my resting place.
To rest I must go to Him, over and over again, sometimes...
For most of my life, I believed I was supposed to be able to do it all on my own. Well, maybe me and Jesus, but nobody else for sure.
Can you guess how that worked out?
It was okay to read books or listen to teachings, but it wasn't okay to need real people to help and no paid help. I’m not sure if that’s because it was a different category or because of my money mindset. The idea of investing in ourselves seems to be a real struggle. I know it was for me.
The biggest changes have come in my life when I invested in me.
The first time wasn't investing money. It was investing time and my heart. It was an invitation to be vulnerable and real. I chose to step out even though it terrified me. I was sure it would end really badly. However, I was desperate and I knew I needed help.
When I invested my heart and my time in that 12 week Bible Study, I had a group of women come around me and love...
Do you feel like you try really hard to check all the boxes - prayer, devotions, Bible study - and something is still missing?
As I have been doing interviews for the new Mess to Majesty 90 days of Transformation and Healing group program I have heard again and again a version of “I know this is true but I'm not sure”.
I know God loves me but I don't feel it.
I know I am called to more but I feel unworthy.
I know my life is missing depth of relationship but I can't risk getting hurt.
I know Jesus paid for everything but I still feel the same.
We are called to take every thought captive and renew our mind in Christ. We have an active part in our transformation. When we have taken a thought captive. We’ve put it aside and are thinking God's thought instead - and it's not working. We know the truth but it just won't stick.
When this happened to me in the past I would...
Why don’t I feel totally changed?
Why isn’t everything different for me?
The women at church talk about how going to this retreat or reading this book changed everything and I never experience that.
It must be me.
It turns out feeling uniquely broken is not uncommon. Especially if you experienced Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN).
In my CEN recovery training, Dr. Jonice Webb called it your “Fatal Flaw”.
“A Fatal Flaw is a deep-seated, entrenched feeling / belief that you are somehow different from other people; that something is wrong with you.” Dr. Jonice Webb
You believe there is something broken in you that seems irreparable. Something you keep secret because you think - if people knew this about me,...
Cindy began working with me because she felt disconnected from her life - her emotions, her marriage, her interests, everything - and she didn’t know what went wrong or how to fix it.
Living disconnected, watching life pass her by was not how Cindy wanted to live. Looking for answers, she read some books.
Soon she realized this was a journey she wasn’t going to make on her own. There was too much she didn’t know, too many things she needed a new perspective on.
Cindy reached out to me and shared how she was struggling. I assured her I could help because I could relate. I have been there. The Lord has brought me through. I have a passion to help others come through faster and with less pain than I did so, I have been identifying tools and sticking points for years.
Cindy and I worked through my Step into Peace Program. We started with learning to hear God’s voice. The rest of the curriculum has been helpful but these...
Celebrating is important. Even celebrating ourselves. God wants to bless us, He wants to change us. He wants us to give credit where credit is due, we can do nothing without Him. Too often that seems to translate to we can do nothing. With Him, we can do all things. Like a proud papa, He enjoys us being proud of what we've accomplished.
I love to reflect all the time, but especially at the end of a year. One of the blessings of writing our Christmas letter every year is looking back over what God has done in our lives that year.
Celebrating is a struggle for me so I’m practicing. I’m making a list of things from 2019 to celebrate and I encourage you to do the same.
Be proud of yourself.
I really enjoy sitting on the couch with only the Christmas tree lights on, preferably white. I finally won my children over from colored. The white lights are so peaceful to me.
Not often enough, the list of things to do is too long. Who still needs gifts? What will the gifts be? What about the annual Christmas letter? Gifts to send to family far away should be gone already and they’re not done either.
I’m getting better. Rest has to be important enough to make time and room for. That means other things have to be adjusted, reduced, or even eliminated.
I also realized this morning I have not been taking time to meditate on the richness of God’s gifts to me. We often say...
Holidays seem to magnify everything. Holidays in themselves are not the problem. God set up days for Israel to remember. They were holy days. (See where we got holidays and perhaps went wrong). Holy is set apart, different, special. The days were to remember Him, His goodness, His deliverance, and His promises.
It is so easy today to get wrapped up in the preparations, the presentations, and appearances. If you go to the store, look at magazines, get on Pinterest, everyone seems to have better ideas and everything more together. But really do you post your everyday reality online or do you post your best? Most everyone is posting their best for you to compare to.
See I wrote this book called Christmas is About Jesus. I wrote it because I believe it’s true. Yet every year after the black and orange and skeletons finally leave the stores,...
Are your holiday plans well underway or running away?
To have rest at any time of the year we have to plan and prioritize. Even more so at Christmas.
In the past, I have failed in many steps of this planning.
Every year I continue to simplify and learn to be more realistic in my planning, in understanding what it will really take to pull...
Giving thanks brings rest.
Fear is unsettling. Fear keeps me from rest.
Fear keeps me from being thankful because I am focused on what has or may go wrong.
Thanksgiving, actually giving thanks, speaking it out, displaces fear.
Giving thanks brings rest.
Expressing gratitude refocuses my heart where it should always be, my God.
There are no circumstances, however catastrophic or dark, that can keep me from Him. Even death itself only brings me to His presence.
Looking around there are things that common sense would say to fear, worry, fret. God says, “Fear not”.
The economy is unstable, people are afraid. God says, “Put me first and I will supply all your needs.”
People are sick and suffering, afraid. God says, “Come to me and I will give you rest. I will wipe every tear from your eye.”
People are inconsiderate, forgetful, even mean. God says, “I will never leave you”.
I will practice thanksgiving for all the good He is,...