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

Finding Purpose in Singleness

I read a blog today titled, Singled Out.  The author wrote something that made me smile with a new realization.

 “When I meet another single Christian woman in her 30s, I automatically envision how God has used her singleness to teach her wisdom, selflessness, self-control, joy, patience, and faith because that’s what God has done in my own life.”

I love this! I don’t think many people automatically envision these qualities. And, I sometimes forget, that is exactly what being single has taught me.

While singleness has of course at times brought about feelings of loneliness, what I have learned and how I have grown during this season has been invaluable.

Our society often views singleness as a curse.  I can sometimes sense the pity from others when they find out I am single, but I can honestly say that I am content. I know that God has used this time in my life to shape me into a stronger and better woman. During this season of my life my relationship with my Savior has grown and He has been preparing me to be a better wife for the man I will one day marry.

Thank you Jesus for being with me every step of the way. For comforting me in my pain, reassuring me in my doubt, and using this time in my life to make me a better woman. Thank you for helping me become a woman with:

Wisdom. Selflessness. Self-Control. Joy. Patience. Faith.

Get Your Feet Wet

Have you ever needed a miracle? Have you ever waited for something to happen, for a prayer to be answered, and felt as though your prayers have been forgotten?

Sometimes we wait for God to work miracles in our lives and when nothing seems to be happening we often question God. I have been there. Not long ago after praying and hoping for a financial miracle, I began asking God why nothing had come through yet. I had tithed. I am active and use my time to serve others. I was expectantly waiting on God to come through and yet nothing had happened.

As I questioned Him, I looked around my house and I felt God telling me “Sell your stuff. You have the money right in front of you.” Now that was not the answer I was looking for. I love my stuff. I enjoy decorating my house and have put a lot of time and effort in to it.  And perhaps it was wrong, but I loved the compliments I got when others saw what I had done.

At first I thought – okay God I will do this. But the time passed and I didn’t sell a thing. I even began to question if it was really God who told me to sell my things, or if it was another one of my wacky ideas. However, as I began to seek God he made it abundantly clear that He was indeed asking me to take a step of faith and sell my loved belongings. I can’t count how many different messages I heard during this time that taught on this scripture from Luke – “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

I heard the song “Go” by Hillsong United at just the right times and the lyrics pierced my heart: We are sold out to your calling. Everything that we are for Your Glory. Take our hearts now. Have it all now. Let our lives shine like light in the morning. We’re giving it all away, away. We’re giving it all to go your way.

At the end of the day I love God more than I love my stuff and I want to be obedient to what He calls me to do.

Once I took that step of faith and began to sell my stuff God really began showing me that He has big plans for me and that if I will trust Him, even when it is hard and when it does not make sense, He will provide. God began to show me that if I will focus on fulfilling my calling – the burning passion in my heart to speak in to the lives of girls and women that He will take care of the rest.

God wanted me to partner with Him. He wanted to know that I was willing to go the distance. He knew I valued my home and the “stuff” I had collected. But, He wanted to know that I valued Him more. God wanted to see if I would partner with Him. To see if I would take a step of faith and be willing to sacrifice in order to obey Him and receive the financial help that I need.

God wants us to be active in our faith; after all, faith without works is dead. God wants to know that we will go with Him no matter the cost.

I read this Facebook post this morning and loved it:

God commanded the priests (while they were approaching the Promised Land) to take a few steps into the river when they arrived at the Jordan river. They had to get their feet wet before the miracle came and they entered the Promised Land. Sometimes we need to take a step of faith and not just wait for God to work first.

Time to get your feet wet!

As I get my feet wet and put my hope in the Lord, I am excited to see what miracles He is going to work out in my life. I am excited to show off to the world HOW GOOD MY GOD IS!

Be Fruitful

I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that will last…

John 15:16

After God created the first man and woman, the first command He gave to mankind was to be fruitful. God created us to bring value to the world.

This weekend at our High School Graduation the commencement message was on the importance of living a fruitful life. I love what the speaker said. “In order to have a fruitful life, put yourself in a situation where you have to trust in Him.”

Although this sounds simple, in reality it is often a difficult thing to do. We like to be comfortable. We like safety-nets. We like to know that we have things in order and taken care of. But what happens when God calls us beyond our comfort zone? When He calls us to trust fully in Him and not in ourselves?

I love the story of Abraham. It inspires me and reminds me that when God calls us to step out in faith He often does not show us the whole picture, but if we trust in Him – He will prove himself faithful.

Hebrews 11:8­9 (NIV) By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Sometimes God calls us to obey Him in areas where He doesn’t give all of the details but he expects us to trust him. God stripped Abraham of his security. He said leave your country, your people, and your father’s household. Not only did God ask Abraham to leave what was familiar, He also did not give him the details of where he was going or how he would get there. God was putting Abraham in a position of complete reliance on Him.

When we choose to trust in God and step out in faith that does not mean life will be a bed of roses. Abraham made mistakes and faced trials along the way, but just because we face trials it does not mean that we are not in God’s will for lives.

In scripture James reminds us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Abraham chose to obey God and he persevered through the trials; as a result, God delivered His promise and Abraham’s descendants became as many as the sands on the beach. Not only did God bless Abraham by giving him many offspring, He also blessed Abraham by pronouncing him righteous and giving him salvation.

God sometimes requires that we obey Him regardless of how illogical it seems. That way, we can show that we really trust Him. When we are called into a situation where we must rely on God – He will bless us to make HIS name known.

Be Fruitful

Know your strengths: God created each of us with something to offer this world so that we can live a fruitful life

Know the needs: There are many hurts and needs in this world. How can you use your strengths to meet those needs?

Make a plan: That doesn’t mean you will have all the details, “But don’t begin until you count the cost” – Luke 14:28

Step out in Faith: “Nothing is impossible with God” – Luke 1:37

Delayed Gratification

 

Hebrews 6:11-12

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

A couple of weekends ago my sister came to visit me and we were making a Father’s Day dinner for my dad. We decided on the menu and were in the process of making a pineapple bunt cake for him. But, for some reason, the cake was just not baking the way it should have been. The oven was not heating properly. Every few moments my sister would get impatient and check the oven to see if anything had happened. Finally, I said (not in the sweetest voice I have ever used), “If you don’t stop opening the oven every second it is never going to finish!”

I told her I was surprised, because it was usually me who was the impatient one. She replied with, “But I need to see right away that the cake is going to turn out right.”

Just as my sister wanted the instant satisfaction of knowing that our cake was going to be perfect, I often find myself looking for that instant gratification. Waiting is hard. Having patience is sometimes tough.   

We hear all the time that we live in a “microwave society” where we expect everything to happen with the snap of a finger. We don’t have to plant the garden, wait for the veggies to grow, and then harvest them.  We can just run to the store and get what we need. Delayed gratification is a concept hard for many to grasp.

I have heard stories all my life of how my great-grandpa cut down every single tree, transported it to the saw mill, cut it, and transported it back to his land to build a house for his family. It took persistence and patience for my grandfather to build his home. He had a dream to build his wife and 7 children a home, but in order for his dream to translate into reality his dream had to translate into work.

We want to bask in the pleasure of the final result without the painstaking efforts it takes to get there.

If I am going REALLY reach my goals I am going to sometimes have to delay gratification. I am going to have to do the tough thing instead of the fun thing. There will be obstacles that arise, but any goal worth achieving will have obstacles to overcome. If we are going to fulfill the purpose that God has ordained for us we have to have a long-term view so that when difficulties arise, we can preserve though it knowing that what is on the other side is worth all of the effort and hard work.

Sometimes we will find ourselves in God’s waiting room. Waiting for Him to show us our next step or the path we should take.

God’s timing is perfect and mine ours is not.

I am learning every day that I have to be patient and persistent. And when I find myself slacking in either area, I have to remind myself of this: A GOD GIVEN VISION WILL ALWAYS BE FULFILLED and I know that God is the author of my vision.

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“Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, which is always the more convenient season. God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.”  ~ Matthew Henry

“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.