My Goal For September

My goal for the month of September is to let the Lord direct my path. Too often I find myself planning out every detail of my life. Inevitably this leads to disappointment because my perfectionism makes me feel like a failure when things do not happen as I planned.

For the next month I am going to make ever effort to NOT plan.

I need to take a step back and recognize that I am not the captain of my life. God is.

I realize that when I attempt to take control of the direction my life will take I am setting myself up for failure. I am not the captain who is controlling the ship. I am the first mate whose role requires that she follow her captain wherever he may lead. This is the truth I will focus on for the next thirty days.

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your gracious Spirit
lead me forward on a firm footing.

Psalms 143:10 NLT

The Bigger Picture

Lately I’ve been struggling. In the grand scheme of things my worries and troubles do not compare to the hardships others face, yet they are mine. I am grateful to have a mother that encourages me through all my trials and heart aches. Today she sent me a beautiful email of encouragement and I thought I would share it with you in the hope that it will help you see through your struggles and focus on “the bigger picture”.
                                                                                                                                                                                             -Nicole

“Sometimes I feel like I can not hear God speak…………..and He seems silent for a long while. While other times I feel like He is speaking to me at every bend in the road and through every one and every thing.
This week has been very humbling, as this has been a week when I’m hearing around every corner. The Bible study I am currently studying with a few neighbors, and the Video Bible study my small group is following this summer, and the current struggles in my own heart, have all pointed me to one central truth: God is sovereign and He decides!

Lately I have found myself struggling with the mass confusion of the world and the awful decline of morality in people at large. I have been wrestling with the world issue of hungry and dying children  and the rampant evil evidenced everywhere you turn.
Yes, I believe the Bible is absolute Truth, flawless and eternal; but I have wrestled with God’s control over things; including things in my own life.
As I have reached midlife, I have begun to struggle  all over again with why God has not done certain things yet and why He has allowed others.
We are bombarded with so much information now, and the amount of “bad” reports and “bad” news we get on a daily basis, that I believe it is just plain unhealthy
To add to my inner battles, a friend called this am and was struggling with her family stuff and the “whys” in her own life;  why hasn’t God caused prosperity in her life, or her kids’ lives when they love and seek God, and why
does their have to be the same old struggles of old; doesn’t God give victory in our lives and take back ground?
 
Here are some of the verses God has spoken in my heart
from studying this week, where I felt God answering these questions:
 
for God alone decides the matter, HE IS THE MOST HIGH GOD,
and who am I to question the Creator of all, the creator,of my person who has given me my life and knows my inmost parts.
:
“His dominion is an everlasting dominion and His kingdom endures from generation to generation…..All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heavens and among the inhabitants of the earth. and no one can ward off His hand or say to HIm, “what have You done?”
…..for He is able to humble those who walk in pride. Daniel 40:35 & 37
 
“It is I who put to death and give life, I have wounded and it is I who heal”………….Duet. 32:39
“The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and rich, He brings low, He also exalts.”   I Samuel 2:6 & 7
 
“I am the Lord and there is no other; besides me  there is no God. The one forming light and creating darkness; causing well being and creating calamity;
I am the Lord who does all these,” Isaiah 45:5
Psalm 33:11 “The counsel of the Lord stands forever; the plans of His heart from generation to generation.”

Many are the plans of a mans heart, but the Lord determines his steps.
 
I think it’s important to remember These truths about who God is when we find ourselves wrestling with the “whys” of things in our life at any given time.
 
Proverbs 16:33 ” The lot is cast into the lap, but the Lord decides every decision of it.”
 Wow, meditate on that for a while……………Our Lord allows the place of each of our lives, He alone planned our lives, He alone gave us breath and has ordered our days; He alone has the sovereign control over the destiny of our lives, and He is worthy of praise ir-regardless of what life on earth has been like for us.
 
What I fail to grasp most is that His plan for me is part of His Bigger plan ………….. The Big Picture of His everlasting Dominion, and Eternity is what I need to stay mindful of! The bigger picture involves me being a part of others coming into His kingdom; and that is why we are here……………to transfer from the dominion of darkness to His Eternal Kingdom of light and to help others do the same.
Colossions 1:13-16 reads:
“For He (God) has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
 
I have been so humbled for asking God so many “whys” lately………………and He has gently dealt with me & my pride for asking and questioning His ways.
 
I am so grateful for a heavenly Father who loves me personally and who speaks to the questions of my heart through His living Word.
I’m much better off emotionally when I keep a perspective of His bigger picture; which includes a lost and destitute world of others, and not just my world.
…….which includes a portion of my time investing in others knowing such a gracious God, and my mind giving thought to how God is leading me to do that.
I’ve not been put here to just live a good life for me, but to glorify God  with the talents and provisions He has given me, and to in turn point to His Truth with them.
 
God Bless You! Love you!
Mom

Find Comfort In God, Not Cheetos

TrustInTheLord

Too often we forget to rely on the Lord to ease our troubles and turn toward various vices for comfort. For me comfort takes the form of food. I tend to gravitate towards pasta, baked goods and oh lets just go there…. all things starchy! While this yummy comfort bandage feels oh so good in the moment, I always feel awful when it’s over.

Why is that?

Besides the fact that I feel overly stuffed and uncomfortable, I know in my heart it is because I sought comfort from something other than my Heavenly Father. When I was a little girl my mother used to make up rhymes and songs to help me memorize things. The spelling of my name, what street I lived on and Bible verses that would stay with me to this day.

Tonight after turning to a bag of oh so delicious crunchy Cheetos which ended in my above described remorse, one of those Bible verses came to my mind.

Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Even though I was raised to seek comfort in the Lord I still have a hard time remembering to do so. My stubborn nature wants to believe that “I’ve got it” that I can “do it” all by myself. Silly, silly me.  I need to learn to turn to the Lord instead of turning to the pantry. The comfort found through his spirit is the only thing that can ease ones struggles and stresses. I find relief in the knowledge that my God is always there for me. Even when I am snuggled up with a bag of popcorn instead of my Bible.

What about you? Do you find that you turn to earthly things for comfort instead of the Lord? Leave me a comment.

Searching For A Plan

Source: Uploaded by user via Nicole on Pinterest

I am a girl in search of a plan. I have decided I need to make some changes in my life. Changes regarding how I spend my time, my future “career”, and my spiritual diet.

The last couple of months have been very difficult. I have struggled with the guilt that I am not being the kind of wife I would like to be for my husband. Do not get me wrong he is the most wonderful man, and he never complains about me working, but I still wish I could give him more of myself when we are home together in the evenings. Often I just want to be alone to veg out on Pinterest or read blogs.

Like so many others I work outside of the home nine to five and struggle daily to juggle my job, housework, cooking, and fitting in workouts. I know there are many women out there who work, take care of the home, run all their errands, and on top of that are mothers. To all you women out there you have my utmost respect. 

The simple truth of the matter is that I am young, married, working, and overwhelmed. Maybe that should be the title of this blog.  

The only way I can see getting over this nagging feeling of guilt is to make some changes.

Spiritual Diet

I know that I should start every day with time in God’s word. Devotions are great when you need something quick but it is not enought spiritual food to last you through the day. My current job is pretty stressful and I need more spiritaul food to get me through my day.

Future “Career”

I always thought I knew what I wanted to do for a career. I went to college to persue that profesion and am now working in that field. In the last few weeks through prayer and searching my heart I have decided that the profession I am in is not one I want to stay in forever. God did bless me with talents that allow me to be good at what I do, but I think I need to use those talents differently. How you ask? I have no clue. I need to spend time praying about this matter and my prayer is that God will direct me to a profession that will bring joy to my heart.

Time

Time is a precious comodity. One that I am still learning not to waste. When I come home from work in the evenings I really only have about 4 hours to play around with. During that time I need to cook, do housework, play with the dogs, exercise, and spend time with my husband. Believe me when I say those four hours go fast and I never get done with all the things I would like to. My husband is the one that usually gets shorted out on time and that is totally not how I want things to be.

Ok, so I know where I need to make some changes. Now the question is how. The only answer that comes to my mind is through God. He is the one that will help me come up with a plan to carve out more time to spend with my hubby, discover what my next “career” move will be, and minister to me through his word so that I may be better prepared to face whatever the world throws my way.

A Love Letter from God

Source: Uploaded by user via Nicole on Pinterest

Valentine’s Day is almost here. A day all about love. What we sometimes forget is that every day should be about love.  Our heavenly father has love for each and every one of us, every moment of the day.

Today I heard this special edition of the song “Times” by Tenth Avenue North and had to share it with you. It brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that I need to show love to others everyday, not just on Valentine’s Day.

Take a listen and let me know what you think. I hope it brightens your day.

A Love Letter From God- “Times” by Tenth Avenue North

21 Days

Source: Uploaded by user via Nicole on Pinterest

Today I was inspired to fast for 21 days by a sermon. The overall message I took away from this sermon was that my walk with God is not a project, it is a process.

During the month of January I have been working on a spiritual detox. I have listened to only Christian music. I have stopped using my commute to work as a time to catch up with people over the phone and have spent those 30 minutes listening to a devotion on CD and having prayer time. Now I am ready to take it to the next level.

For the next 21 days I will be disconnecting from the world and connecting with God. I admit I waste most of my free time on the Internet. Starting tomorrow that is going to change.  Instead of letting my eyes get lost on Pinterest, or facebook I will be keeping my eyes in front of the word of God and meditate on his teachings.

The last five months have taught me many things about myself. I have a clear perspective about what I feel are the important things in life. These things are my husband, my family and my friends. I have learned that I do not really care about having a “career”. This was the thing that I used to believe brought me fulfillment, but I have realized that it is not the most important thing in my life. I would rather spend meaningful time with the people I care about, so I am seeking God’s will for the next job I pursue. The last year has been a whirl wind of discovery and doubt. The plans I always had for my life now seem to lack the luster they once had.  I need clarity about what I am doing with my life. Above all, I am learning that God needs to do things in me before he can do things for me.

That is why I need to spend my free time seeking him and not the things of the world. The things that I once thought were important.

On day 22 I want to feel full of the power, presence, and joy of Christ like never before. If you are interested in starting your own 21 days of prayer and fasting check out the video of the sermon that inspired me to make this commitment. Let me know if you have every participated in a 21 day fasting and what was the impact.