Buried in the Sand

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Sometimes the first thought that comes to our minds when we think of something being buried in the sand is a beautiful sunny day, on a beach, with our toes burrowed in warm golden sand.

But, being “buried in the sand” is not always a glorious thing. This picture looks silly and downright ridiculous, and when we burry our heads in the sand to avoid the tough things, regardless of the reasons,  it’s a downright ridiculous thing to do.

Out of sight. Out of mind.

Just because you are not facing it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Evasion.

Just because your avoiding something,  it doesn’t mean it’s going away.

I’ve been neglecting things in my life out of fear,  out of shame,  out of uncertainty,  out of “busyness”, out of regret.  But the neglect made nothing go away;  it made nothing better.

It. Just. Makes. Things. Worse.

I’ve always believed I was a faith filled person,  but I realize if I’d of had faith,  I wouldn’t have felt the need to bury my head in the sand.

Matthew 8:26  keeps ringing in my ears,

“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

When we stand up in faith,  God rebukes the storms in our lives.

It doesn’t matter how bad we feel. How sincere we are. How much thought we give it. If we DO NOTHING then NOTHING HAPPENS.

God does and will act on our behalf, but we have to DO what He tells us to do.

We can’t do anything or hear anything, with our heads buried in the sand.

Maybe you are like me and it’s time for you to rise up in faith and face the mess you’ve made. What you’re facing might look hopeless. Looking up might be scary. The road ahead could possibly hard and humbling, but we are are called to walk by faith and not by sight.

Maybe you’re like me and your faith seems to be in short supply.  Cling to these scriptures and know you’re not alone. You’re not the only person whose made a mess of your life and God is with us, and he will be. Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

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Take Me to the King

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?  What do you do when you’re ashamed, broken, and tired? What do you do when you wish you could start all over and do things differently?  What do you do when you can’t find the words to say?

What you do is go to the King.

He knows my thoughts and my struggles, and yet He loves me anyway. He knows my faults and failures and He wants me anyway. He knows my anxieties and hurts and He holds me close. He knows the words I can’t seem to find. He knows everything about me and yet, He still claims me as His very own.

More than ever before I need to feel the presence of my King.

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Take Me To The King
I don’t have much to bring
My heart is torn in pieces
It’s my offering
Take Me To The King

Truth is I’m tired
Options are few
I’m trying to pray
But where are you?
I’m all churched out
Hurt and abused
I can’t fake
What’s left to do?

Truth is I’m weak
No strength to fight
No tears to cry
Even if I tried
But still my soul
Refuses to die
One touch-will change-my life

Lay me at the throne
Leave me there alone
To gaze upon Your glory
And sing to You this song
Please Take Me To The King

Truth is it’s time
To stop playing these games
We need a word
For the people’s pain

So Lord speak right now
Let it pour like rain
We’re desperate
We’re chasing after you

No rules, no religion
I’ve made my decision
To run to You
The healer that I need

Lord we’re in the way
We keep making mistakes
Glory is not for us
Its all for your glory

I smile because…

Life. It is messy. It is unpredictable. It is challenging.

Yet, despite the chaos that has brought confusion to my life along with fear, hurt, and tears, I will choose to smile.

Today, I will smile.

Although I want to hide and escape the reality of where I find myself, I will instead choose to focus on the reasons I have to smile.

I smile because the joy of the Lord is my strength. I smile because I have a family who loves me unconditionally. I smile because I have the opportunity to get a master’s degree. I smile because I have a job that allows me to impact lives. I smile because I have a good heart. I smile because I won’t settle, but will always push to be better. I smile because I know no matter how far I stray or how big I mess up, I serve a God who will always welcome me back home with open arms.  I smile because I am intelligent, creative, and encouraging. I smile because I can find joy in the small things like: a pretty day, the sound of rain, and a sunset. I smile because I am not too prideful to admit when I have messed up. I smile because I know God’s promises. I smile because I know deep down I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. I smile because I have friends who love me just as I am. I smile because I am loved.

Even when it feels like the walls are caving in around me. Even when fear overtakes me. Even when I doubt and question who I am.

I will smile.

I will smile because I have hope for a brighter tomorrow.

 

The Chains that Hold Us Captive

Our country has always thought of ourselves as being “the land of the free and the home of the brave”, but everyday I encounter people who long to be free – free from the chains that hold them captive.

The chains that keep them from living the life they were created to live. The chains that hold them back from the dreams in their hearts. The chains that cripple them from moving forward.

Fear. Addiction. Insecurity. Past mistakes. Hidden sins. Adultery. Sexual immorality. Doubt. Painful experiences. Loss. Divorce. Lies. Unforgiveness. Depression. Anxiety. Hurts.

Each of these things has the power to bind us, hinder us, and keep us from living life to the fullest. Sometimes these things leave us paralyzed, feeling defeated and hopeless. Everyday I hear people ask “How?”

How can I overcome?

How can I succeed?

How can I fit in?

How can I make progress?

Although they may not say it, I know what they are really asking is “How can I be free?”

How can I get rid of this burden?

How can I escape this chain that is holding me captive?

How can I overcome?

How can I enjoy life again?

Although being free from your chains might seem impossible, I am here today to tell you that it is not. I have been set free from the chains that held me in bondage. The chains that altered the way I viewed myself. The chains that made me doubt in my value and worth. The chains that kept me from living with purpose and confidence.

I have the answer to breaking free.

I know the solution.

I know because I have experienced first-hand in my life that:

There is power in the name of Jesus to break EVERY chain.

Tonight the words of this song are on my heart, and as I sing it the faces of people that I love, the faces of people who confide in me, the faces of those I lead, and the faces of people I barely know are who I see scrolling across my mind.

I see chains breaking, and people being set free – and I can’t help but be excited. 

Under Full Waranty

My new favorite thing to do is to sit on my screened in balcony and soak in the majestic beauty of God’s glorious creation and read. Books are wonderful, but even the most biblically based books do not hold a candle to the Word of God. There is power in the Word!

Today I read a passage from the Message version of the bible that really grabbed a hold of me.  In the 11th chapter of Romans I read, “God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty – never canceled, never rescinded.”

We live in a very works and condition based society where grace is often in short supply. As long as we are doing what is expected of us and pleasing those around us everything is hunky-dory.  If you meet the expectations and needs of others you are loved and admired. But, if you stumble and fall (you know become human) then the adoration quickly vanishes. Grace and mercy are hard to be found when you are struggling through the valleys of life.

I will give to you as long as you do what I want. I will serve you if I can get something in return. This is often the mindset of our culture. As a result many people have only experienced selfish generosity and conditional love. No wonder we often have a hard time believing or understanding what it means when the bible tells us that where sin is increased, grace abounds even more. (Romans 5:20)

Gods grace, mercy, and love are not conditional. God’s grace is not in short supply; He gives extravagantly.

You are under the full warranty of the King. You have been called and no matter what you do, and no matter how many times you mess up God will NEVER withdraw your gifts or calling. Isn’t that so exciting?!

Sometimes I get caught up in the daily routine of life and let precious days slip away. There are other times where I become selfish and do what I want to do rather than what I need to do. I have even completely dropped the ball, and let laziness sneak in. When that happens I beat myself up. I get caught up in telling myself and thinking that I have messed up too many times to try to continue. I have believed the lie that God can’t use me now – my time has expired.  

Today I was invigorated with the truth that the gifts and call that God has on my life are under full warranty. If I don’t do what God has called me to do then I might miss some opportunities. I might slow down the process. I might put a kink in the hose. But, when I am ready to hop back on the horse I will not be met with rejection, I will be met with unconditional grace and a big huge “Yes!” from my savior.

 

Romans 11: 36

Everything comes from Him,

Everything happens through Him,

Everything ends up in Him.

Always glory! Always praise!

Yes. Yes. Yes.

 

I have experienced conditional love on this earth. I have experienced rejection when I did not do what someone else expected of me. I have felt the hurt and the pain that came when no grace was to be found. But, I have peace today. Peace that even when I mess up – Peace that even when others judge me and let me down –  God WILL meet me with grace and He STILL holds me in His hands. EVERYTHING ALWAYS ENDS UP IN HIM.

I am fully warranted. I am fully protected. I am fully loved.

Living then, as every one of us does, in pure grace, it is important that you do not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what He does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him. (Romans 12:3)

“How ya feelin’?”

A week ago today I stepped out my front door to see low, dark clouds rotating right over the top of my house. As I stood there not believing what I was seeing, a white cloud whipped out of nowhere forming a circle amidst the dark clouds.  My heart started racing and I began to pray for safety. Fear jolted through me. I had never witnessed anything like that before in my life.

Today, the picture is vastly different. The sun is shining across a piercing blue sky. The sweet fragrance of my grandmother’s wisteria and the birds chirping a sweet melody remind me that spring has indeed made its’ grand entrance. The danger I faced merely a week ago is but a distant memory as I soak in the pure joy of the beauty that surrounds me.

I have been guilty on so many occasions of getting caught up in whatever situation I am facing.  Allowing myself to get lost in the moment, I have made too many long term decisions based on temporary emotions. Fear, excitement, joy, anxiety, desperation, sadness, guilt, and desire ruled my actions. The problem is that all of those things are feelings and not truths.

Feelings deceive us. I don’t know about you, but my feelings have been known to change in the blink of an eye. Give me a piece of chocolate and turn on some Christian music and my emotions change. Drive slowly in front of me when I am in a hurry and running late and my feelings will change. Feelings are not dependable. As hard as it is, we should never use our feelings to guide us.

So, if not our feelings, what should guide us? Truth. God’s truth. God is never changing. His word is stable and constant. We may not be able to trust our feelings, but we can trust in God’s word.

  •  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away – Matthew 24:35
  • God’s Word goes on and on forever – 1 Peter 1:25
  • The grass withers and the flowers fall,  but the word of our God endures forever.” – Isaiah 40:8

I love this quote by Joyce Meyer: “Don’t let your feelings be a God to you.”  We cannot let our feelings rule us.  Everything in life may change and your feelings may take you on a roller coaster ride, but God’s word is a constant that you can trust. The truth of His Promises will never fail us.

I have thought a million times, I will never lose this joy I have deep in my heart. No matter what comes my way I know I am a child of God and He is holding me safely in His hands. Nothing will quench my fire and zeal.  Then there have been times where I felt so low and broken that I believed that I would never overcome the guilt and shame that crept to the surface. Unfortunately our shifting feelings can be strong, but fortunately God’s love, power, and word are stronger!

Just as the weather is drastically different today than it was last week so will our situations change, our feelings fluctuate, and our emotions get the better of us. But no matter what we experience in life we can rest on the knowledge that God’s word is truer than:  any feeling I have, anything I will experience, any situation I will face, and any lie the world would have me believe. hallelujah!

You cannot trust your emotions. Don’t let your feelings become God to you, but remember that God’s word will never pass away. The next time you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel  because your feelings are more than you can bear, remember your break through could be just around the corner.

 

Dear Father, I have relied too long on my emotions as the guiding factor in my life. I no longer want my feelings to rule me, but I want your word be the truth that I stand upon. Your word says you love me with an everlasting love. Father your word also says you have a plan to prosper me and not to harm me. When I feel the world closing in on me I pray that YOUR truth and not MY feelings will lead me. I ask that you help me not to make permanent decisions based on my temporary emotions, but that I will seek you and your unfailing word for direction. Thank you that your Hold Word is truer than how I feel. In your name I pray, amen.

Who Me?

Day: Friday, September 16th
Time: 9:20am
Place: Mom’s house
Mood: refreshed and ready

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Yesterday I had a very candid conversation with my sister while driving home from time spent praying and sorting through my life at the park. I was sharing with her what I yearn to do more than anything.  I told her what fulfills me the most and what I long to do every day. Knowing me I was probably rambling on and talking through the multitude of thoughts that have been on my mind and she just looked at me and matter-of-factly said, “”Erin, you should be a life-coach.””
 
I have thought about it before. I mean I have SEEEERIOUSLY thought about it before, and even had affirmation and confirmation from those who know me best, but I have felt unqualified.  I have had a “”Who ME?”” attitude. But this morning as I research life coaching and as I am praying for direction it brings me back to my purpose in life.

My Mission
God gave me to the world to:
Globally equip and inspire women of all ages and from all walks of life
by teaching them who they are*
and by exhorting them to fulfill the purpose for which they were created,
so that they may experience a fulfilled life.
 
An Uncovered Purpose =A Fulfilled Life = A Beautiful Life

* You have to know who you are {in Christ}, before you know what to do {your purpose}

Although the term “”life coach”” has sounded intimidating to me, if I were honest with myself I would have to admit that I have already been a life coach to many of my friends and family. There are ladies who come to me for advice, that trust my opinions and who feel comfortable opening up and sharing their fears, dreams, past, and desires with me. When I do not have the time to invest into these relationships, as I feel called to do…… my heart breaks.  My life feels unbalanced. I feel unfulfilled.

Is life-coaching intimidating to me? YES! And I know that is a GOOD thing.

Because…

If the size of your dream isn’t intimidating to YOU, it is probably intimidating to God.
-Pastor Steven Furtick

(yes, I like that quote – in case you were wondering.)
It is time to stop letting fears and doubts hold me back.

From now on, instead of saying “”Who Me?””
I am going to say “”Yes Me!””

I am going to start taking steps to reach this goal and I know that God will open the right doors at the right time and it will come to fruition.

If doubts start to creep in I am going to remember that God is sufficient and that His truths will carry me through!!

I say : “It’s impossible.”
God says : “All things are possible.” (Luke 18:27) 

I say : “I can’t do it.”
God says : “You can do all things.” (Philippians 4:13) 

I say : “I’m not able.”
God says : “I am able.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

I say:  “It’s not worth it.”
God says : “It will be worth it” (Roman 8:28) 

I say : “I can’t manage.”
God says : “I will supply all your needs.” (Philippians 4:19)

I say : “I’m afraid.”
God says : “I have not given you a spirit of fear.” (2 Timothy 1:7) 
 
I say:  “I’m not smart enough.”
GOD SAYS: I give you wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1:30)