I am cleaning out the old blog files, looking for all of the different pieces I never got around to posting. Deleting double uploads. All that kind of organizational stuff I haven’t done in ages, trying to plan posts for this fall to make it easier with my new teaching schedule. I ran across these from over a year ago.
I think I did these within weeks of each other. At first as I looked at them I saw two conflicting messages. Then I saw how they work together.
Maybe we are supposed to follow our passion for CHRIST. Or use the things that tug at our hearts, follow the dreams that are unreasonable, commit to the things we feel we must do–IF they support the ultimate leader, Jesus Christ, and His teachings.
I can testify that as soon as I used my passion to spread the love of God my heart found peace. My enthusiasm for creating and sharing visual arts with others found an outlet that I could no longer contain, that brought me and others such joy I couldn’t help but continue.
I know people who have followed their passions for counseling, cake baking, building, music, teaching, gardening, and more–that when they realized they could take that zeal and channel it for Christ, they found the same energy I did. What passion do you have in your life that you can use to support and complement the greatest leader of all time?
We have so many chargers in this house it is not even funny. And not nearly enough plug-ins in this old house. A kid is always complaining–“I have no battery!” “Who used my device and didn’t plug it in?!” “Who unplugged my device?!”
It’s enough to drain me.
Life is a constant go, draining our energy, battery, juice–whatever you want to call it. There are a lot of ways to relax. TV, zone out to the internet, listen to music–all with technology–and half the time they just drain us even more, leave us feeling more empty. We can read a book, do a hobby, cook/bake–those are a little more fulfilling–but they all require money. We can enjoy the outdoors–which is good for our bodies and souls, mostly free–but involves bug bites and being tired and sunburned. Just saying.
The only true way to recharge with no ill after effects is to turn to the greatest power source ever. For me, there is nothing like praying to recharge my soul. Turning to God, knowing that I am loved, secure, and that He will fill me up unconditionally–that charges me. That gets me excited, yet relaxes me like nothing else.
And I don’t mean doing a bunch of service projects, or being overinvolved at church–I mean PLUGGING INTO GOD.
How about you? Do you need a recharge? Have you plugged into God lately?
Because we are imperfect, faith is always the answer. We might come up with other answers, but they probably are not the best ones. When we take that pause and ask how would God want me to react, we find the strong answers, the ones that may be difficult, but that will lead us to a better place in the long run. We find the ones that will help us move forward with love and respect for ourselves and those around us. And sometimes doing the hard this is loving. Sometimes doing what may not seem loving actually is the most imperfect, best idea that will bring about the answers truly needed.
When you ask a question, when someone asks you a hard question, let faith answer.
Ha! I made this one to remind myself that I don’t have to make perfect, beautiful art every time. I can just get some thoughts out and enjoy the process. But it is also the perfect thing to post next because I realized Thursday this week that I double posted Monday and Wednesday. I forgot I already had posts ready to roll, and wrote new ones. Imperfection, unorganization, reality at its best people.
Working full time is an adjustment for me and the kids. How I divide up my time is very different. My energy level at night is even lower than before. Thank goodness everything is within 5 blocks of us and I don’t have to race around as much!
We all need this reminder though don’t we? Imperfection is okay. Only God is perfect. And He never expects us to be at His level. He expects us to create our own magic within the imperfection. To allow our souls to have wiggle room to grow, to relax. And most importantly to turn to HIM.
It’s a good day for a list people! Not that everyday isn’t a good day to make a list–which it is, considering that I make 4 or 5 lists a day.
But today’s is special–make a list of 4 or 5 things that we can give GOD the glory.
glo·ry noun –magnificence; great beauty, high renown or honor won by notable achievements verb–take pleasure in, revel in, rejoice in, delight in
Think of something from your week, month, year that fits those definitions. Something you know came from God, it was not your achievement, but His. Things we might want to take credit for, but know that really it was all Him working His goodness ripples.
I know this move, my teaching position–the art, the at risk kids and English language learners and all the kids in between is all because He knew I needed them, and they need me, and our partnership is to His glory.
I know that my kids making friends quickly and feeling settled is all His peace.
I know that fantastic lightning storms we have here are from Him reminding us all of the power of HIS creation over anything man made.
I know that all the stories of miracles and blessings share that encourage me are all to His glory.
What can you come up with?
I am not one to pray for specific things or answers. I pray more for what I know God can provide for sure: strength, patience, peace, vision, love, all that good stuff. Because I have come to understand over the years that I am not going to get what I want right away, but in His time. But I can get immediately what God wants for my soul, the things only He can provide, the things that are always with me if I only recognize that He is by my side standing with me. Do you understand this? Let’s all take just a minute today to pray that we can feel God standing beside us feeling His power work in our souls to help us cope with the ways of humans, the truth that we are on Earth and out of control, and that we need only trust in Jesus and His plan.
Because He is standing right next to us, or right inside us, however you want to think about it in this particular moment (sometimes your level of proximity comfort level is different–it’s all good)–He sees. He knows. So let’s pray today:
Lord God–we know that you are continually with us, that you see all things. That you not only look down from heaven, but that you look right through our eyes and see all of us from the outside and in. Only you know what we need this day. We might think we know, we might think we want a certain outcome in a certain way at a certain time, but only you know how it should happen. Help us to see the world as You see it. Help us to be patient in seeing what you know is out there. Help us to have open hearts to your perspective. And grant us deep strength to handle it, for we know what You see is of such greater and vaster scope than we could ever imagine.
In your name Jesus we pray, Amen
He stands WITH me.
He stands WITH you.
He is sooooo with us–all we must do is acknowledge it.
I don’t know about you, but this right here, is soul restoring. Because I know that I am never truly alone. I know that He will give me the strength I need to keep on keepin’ on.
This is one of my favorites from this year’s calendar.
Sometimes when we are in the midst of trials, feel jailed in our own world, locked up in stress, sadness, chaos, anxiety–whatever it is–it is really hard to feel blessed and feel God. Those are the times when we might be questioning the most. And in those times we must remember God never promised to save us from trials here on Earth. Our blessings in faith will come later–we will spend this very short time on Earth in trial, but we will spend eternity in His loving arms, in peace.
We just have to look for the peace, and the little reminders from God in the midst of it all.
Just a little thought on faith today–are your thoughts of God the best ones? Sometimes we might be upset with God, and they are not. But most of the time, when I practice that pause, when I color every thought with Jesus–well, my thoughts all just start radiating God’s love. It’s like ripples in a pond. That first pebble thrown in makes the first circle–and then they just repeat from there. And keep going.
When I start my day restoring my soul with God’s word–that is the pebble. Then it is so much easier to let the ripples happen the rest of the day. The best ripples are ones that reach other people–and that is when another pebble goes in the water–because that smile or laugh in response encourages more pebbles that I will throw, and hopefully the other person will throw some too.
Yes, Lord, you are my best thoughts. And I am so thankful you color my days.
So time for a bit of honesty–I don’t actually start my day with God. First, I make coffee. It is true. I prefer a cup o’ joe while I get my Jesus on. But–since coffee is the sweet nectar of God, and I am crazy thankful He created it, and I love nothing better than a cuppa with a good friend–it works out. I get my mug, sit down with my best friend, and we DO things. Restoring, heart deep, brain provoking things. And coffee helps this process.
Do you have a routine? I have found that my routine encourages me to take that time out for God. I have found my routine refreshes me for a wonderful whole new day. Now THAT is sweet nectar. Maybe do you have coffee while you read this? That is kind of fun! Kind of like we are sitting down like friends. And Jesus promises wherever two or more are, He is there. So He is with us as well.
Oh yes, that is sweet nectar dear friends.