Simplicity

Simplicity is a topic I’ve been reading & hearing a lot about recently.  I have also been giving a lot of thought to simplifying my life.

I can get overwhelmed so easily with all the perceived responsibilities/commitments that I have.  Some are actual commitments that are necessary to keep.  Others are only things that I have perceived to be responsibilities or things I think that I have to do.

Things that are actual commitments that I must attend to & I want to attend to include my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, what I have volunteered to do at church, my job, my relationships with my family.  These are all relationships that are important.

Things that are just perceived as commitments include Facebook, games that I play, Pinterest, hobbies, tv, books.  These are all things that set themselves up to look like commitments.

Somehow these things have become reversed.  For example, when I feel that I have to watch that tv show or check Facebook instead of spending quiet time with God or talking to someone.  Technology is such a temptation.  My phone is there.  I always think I have to check it on a regular basis or I might get behind on notifications.  I have to play my games on a daily basis or my friends might think I don’t want to play the game anymore.

The phone is handy.  Technology is helpful.  But when it starts taking the place of my relationships, it becomes another thing entirely.

It is so easy for me to hide behind a computer/phone.  I’m an introvert by nature.  I draw energy from being alone.  I often don’t always know what to say in social situations.  Being in a crowd drains me due to so much going on.  I know my fellow introverts understand.

However, there are relationships that I have that have suffered, because I don’t take time for them.

Something I’m working on is not worrying about how much I’m spending on things & work on how much time I’m spending with the people I care about.  I know that will take time & it may not always appear that way to others, but God is working in me to be a better person.

 

Philippians 2:13  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Philippians 1:6  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

I also need to work on changing my thoughts towards all my perceived responsibilities.  Those things are NOT things that I have to check on a daily basis, if I don’t want to.  It’s just a routine that I have started.  I need to start a new routine where I don’t do all of these things as often, which could leave more time for what’s important.

Romans 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you wil be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It also will decrease my feelings of being overwhelmed.  I can only do one thing at a time.  So some things may just end up going by the wayside.

It is time for some evaluation of what is part of my life and how much of a part of my life it is.

So the process has begun.

Ambassadors

Imagine with me for a moment.  The king or president of your country has come to see you or has sent for you.  He asks you to go somewhere.  He wants you to be an ambassador for your country.  He wants you to go to another country & speak with them.

So what does it mean to be an ambassador?  You would be there representing your country.  You would be representing your country with everything you did.  Your behavior while in the other country would need to represent the country you are representing.

2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

Heaven is our rightful home & the country/nation that we are from.  We are on this earth as Christ’s Ambassadors.  We are representing Heaven/God in whatever we are doing.  When we sit down, we are from Heaven.  When we stand, we are from Heaven.  When we speak or don’t speak, we are from Heaven.

God has been speaking this to me over the past couple of days.  How am I being an ambassador of Heaven in my daily life?  Wherever I live, work, volunteer, attend church, etc., would people see Christ in me?

He wasn’t asking me to be perfect or trying to condemn me for any specific actions.  It was kind of a revelation to be more aware of my actions & to do what is possible to represent Him in this fallen world, such as whatever He is asking me to do & live by the example of Christ.

 

Fear not

Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

This verse is a great help to me.  A co-worker of mine gave me a mug with this verse on it for Christmas.  It sits on my desk at work as a reminder when anxiety comes.

In this verse, there are 3 things that He is.  He is so much more, but I will just work with these 3 things for this post.

First, He is our refuge.  When we are scared or need shelter, we can hide in Him.  If we go to Him, He will take us in.  He will hide us & keep us safe.

Second, He is our strength.  When we are weak, He is strong.  He shows Himself strong during these times of weakness.  He gives us His strength to move on.  Doing life without God makes things more difficult than it has to be.

Third, He is an ever-present help in trouble.  There are really 2 things here.  He is ever-present & He is help.  I will start with help.  He will help us.  He’s not afraid to do so.  Sometimes, He is waiting for an invitation to help, but He is always willing to help.

He is ever-present.  When we need any of these things, whether it be refuge, strength, or help, He is always there.  He is always within reach.  He is with us always.  We just have to talk to Him & reach out to Him.

Psalm 46:2-3  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Selah.

No matter what, if we reach out to God, we need not fear.  We can take refuge in Him.  He will give us His strength.  He will help us.  He is right there with you, just ask Him.

Time

clear glass with red sand grainer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Who can believe that May 2018 is almost over?

This last year has flown by.  I know that is an odd thing to write about mid-year, but time has really gotten away from me this year.

It has been almost a year since I started blogging.  June 11, 2017 was my first blog.  I haven’t written as much as I would have liked.  I had plans of writing once or twice a week, but life happened & I didn’t get as much written as I wanted to.

I have learned that I need to plan & prioritize my time better.  Such as planning time to write & then following through with it.  Writing takes time & it doesn’t miraculously happen while I’m doing other things.

I probably shouldn’t be so hard on myself, but I do need to learn from it & work on it.

Writing has blessed me & I pray that God uses this blog to bless the lives of others.

So now it’s time to dive into the next year of blogging.

 

 

Faith

Hebrews 11:6  “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Giving takes faith.  Being obedient to God takes faith.  Especially when you’re barely paying the bills or if you don’t think you can do what is being asked of you.

What I’ve discovered is that it’s a fear that God won’t come through & do what He said He would do.

We must renew our mind (Romans 12:2) & get rid of those negative faithless thoughts.  Thoughts such as, if I give this money, I won’t be able to pay my electric bill.  If I go where God wants me to go, then I won’t have any friends & I won’t be able to make it or even that I would let people down.

I have an issue with overeating.  I have thought things, such as, I must eat now or I may not get food later.

All of these things really come down to not trusting God to do what He says He will do.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”

So changing my thoughts to “God will meet my needs”.  The Bible says so.

All the thoughts I’ve mentioned boil down to provision of some kind.  Whether it be financial, emotional, or some other need.

If you continue to read Hebrews 11, it talks about many different people in the Bible who had faith.  I’ve heard it called the faith hall of fame.  Noah, Abraham, & Moses are just a few that are listed.  There are even more that aren’t listed.  None of these people are perfect.  But they had faith that God would do what He said He would do.  And amazing things happened.  God came through & provided for them in the way that was unique to their situation.

So trusting God in everything is something I constantly need to work on.  God has come through for me in the past & He will do it again & again & again.  Sometimes I need to remind myself of all the times He has taken care of me in the past.  All the healing He has done in my life, everything He has done for me, & realize that He will continue to do those things because He never changes.

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

I do not own rights to the song, video, or anything in it.

Press In

Luke 22:44 “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

anguish: excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain.

earnestly: serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous

Jesus has been scared. More scared than I have ever been.

When he started feeling this way, He pressed in further to His Father & prayed about it with more intensity each time. Each moment was getting closer to his torture & crucifixion.

Sometimes when I start feeling anxious, I give in to food, technology. Practically ignoring God. It’s probably more often than I like to admit.  If I kept pressing into God & going after Him with all I got, what might happen?

In Jesus’ situation, He had to go to the cross & endure what He did, if He wanted to save us. And He did.

If there is something that I need to go through, God is there for me. I just need to earnestly press into Him. Give Him praise.  Pray.  Read His Word.  Work on changing my mindset by thinking about His Word, what it says, & how it applies to my life.

It seems like a daunting task sometimes.  But I know God will help me. He’s not going to just leave me alone.

Troubles & Trust

John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

The words of Jesus. One of the many scriptures that tell us not to worry or be troubled. There are many troubles in this world. But He tells us to trust Him. He is working things out.

There are a couple of situations going on in my life. As I am sure that there are situations in your life that are troubling you.

The Holy Spirit often reminds me to trust God.

There is one situation in particular where things did not go as expected. I am often reminded that God has already gone before me & prepared the way. He knows what is going to happen. I have to trust the process & that things will happen in His time & not mine.

God loves me. He also loves the other person in the situation. So I must let Him work things out. If he should direct me to do something, I should do it. But other than that, let Him work.

I do not own the song, video, or anything contained in it.

Perfection

Christianity isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being made perfect. The blood of Jesus makes me perfect. God sees me as perfect because of Jesus. Not because of anything that I have done or not done. There is no one who can live up to the standards 100% of the time. Only Jesus can do that.

Christianity is about God’s grace. Living in it & showing it to others. And even when we’re not perfect at that, knowing God loves us anyway.

He knew we were imperfect to begin with.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 3:10 – As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;

No one is perfect. No one. We try and follow the rules or do what God asks us to do out of love for God, but not to be perfect or live up to the expectations of others.

Christianity is about our relationship with Jesus, not perfectionism.

Our goal as Christians is to become more like Christ.  But the longer we are in a relationship with Him, it starts to rub off on us.  We start to do things His way, because we love Him & He loves us.

God is not mad at you.  He loves you so extravagantly.

I realize how much God loves me more and more each day.

Today, I am so in awe of how He picked my job for me.  When we followed His lead out to Pheonix, AZ, I asked for Him to find me a job that I like.  I didn’t want to have to keep quitting jobs trying to find the right one.

Well, He has definitely answered that prayer.  I have a job where I really like what I do.  In the beginning, it was a little rough learning all the stuff I had to learn & making it through all of the mandatory overtime.  Through it all, I kept hearing God tell me to hang in there.

He is so right.  I like my job a lot.  It is the perfect fit for me.

Sometimes it’s the little things & sometimes it is bigger things.  God’s love is evident to me all the time.  I’m not always the greatest at recognizing it.  There are times when I get discouraged & feel like I’m not good enough.  But I know that He loves me & takes care of me.  I also know that He will do the same for you.

If you deal with perfectionism, know that God loves you no matter what & He will never stop loving you.

I do not own any part of this song/video.

Patience

Proverbs 16:32 “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.”

Being patient is hard to do, yet so important.

When I am impatient, I start to think things have to come right now, which turns into anxiety that it won’t happen, which continues to frustration, etc, etc.

Today I got really impatient at work with my computer. Then I got anxious that I wouldn’t get stuff done in time. Then I got frustrated, because I just wanted to finish the task and go to lunch.

I was not doing a very good job at being patient. I finally had to have a co-worker close out my task, since the computer program froze. Then I just decided to restart my computer & go to lunch.

While I was on lunch, I talked to God about what I need to have done & how I was feeling.

He told me to take it easy & slow down. He said don’t get in a hurry when I got back from lunch.

Essentially, He told me to be patient. Which actually helped so much. I calmed down.

When I got back from lunch, I was calmer. The program I needed to work started working. Another program decided to take its sweet time about things, but God was right there with me. I stayed calm. I was able to work around it until it decided to work correctly & the day ended well.

God is amazing in how He works. His ways are the best.

I know that it is hard to calm down from frustration/anxiety. Talking to God helps get it out.

And if we listen to what He says back, a solution becomes evident. Sometimes that solution is to be patient. That can be hard to hear, but when we take it to heart & follow His lead, it is helpful.

Your Worth

Are you worried about what others think about you?  Or do you not feel worth anything?

God tells us over and over again not to be afraid. We are worth so much to Him. He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16) because he loves us so much. We are worth dying for.  Do you believe it?

Matthew 10:31 – “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

God looks after each living thing. We are worth more than the animals & everything around us.

You are His favorite.

You are worth it, because God made you so.  You are fearfully & wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)

He created you. Yes, you.

You are beautiful to Him. You are valuable to Him. Nothing can take away your value to Him. He treasures you.  No matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you.  You are priceless.

I do not own the rights to this video or song.

If you don’t have a relationship with God & you want one.  All you have to do is ask him.

Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

I could write a fancy prayer for you, but all you have to do is talk to him.  He is knocking on the door of your heart (Revelation 3:20).  Answer the door and invite Him in.