In the spirit of LISTENING for God’s voice to speak, when I am in the car by myself I am trying to listen to sermons so that God can fill my brain with His Word and Truth rather than allowing the stillness and quiet to let Satan fill my mind with questions and concerns.

Today I had to get a CT scan of my head and I felt like it was the perfect time for my head to be filled with TRUTH!  So I decided to listen to part 3 of “The Power of the Same” by Steven Furtick.  This particular week’s message title was “This May Take A While.”  I highly recommend listening to the whole set of messages, but I wanted to share this thought:

I am not going to be inconsistent in the friendships that matter, so that I can be consistent with the relationships that really don’t count.  And it isn’t because I don’t want to be friends with everybody, but I realize that I am not The Vine.  And to stay connected in a meaningful way to some people, I can’t be connected to all people.

These thought has been hitting me over and over these last few weeks as I have been leading some women through the book The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst.  I have to be consistent in what really matters.  I have to protect the relationships that really count.  I can’t people-please.  I can’t go through life in a rush.

I MUST slow down and be consistent with the friendships that REALLY matter.  So today I will focus on blessing my husband and my kids.  I will call my mom, just so she knows I love her.  And I will check on a friend who I know is hurting.

How can you be consistent with the relationships that count??

If you want to listen to this sermon series, go to http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/the-power-of-same

Love is (part 3)

It has been my goal to look at the Bible’s definition of what LOVE IS and hold that up to my definition of love.  Yes, God’s definition will win out in my life every time.  However without an intentional look at what God says love is, I will continue to love my way and not God’s.  In August I looked at love is patient and love is kind.

Today I want to explore:

envy

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what Merriam-Webster says that envy is– “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage”.  So to be envious I have to have painful and/or resentful thoughts/attitude toward someone that enjoys something that I want to enjoy myself.

Now, I typically don’t see myself as an “envious” person.  I try very hard to be thankful for all the things that God has given to me because God has blessed me and my family a TON.  But I don’t believe that envy applies only to material possessions.  I believe it goes along with relationships and time and a host of other things.

I have noticed that sadly I do find myself thinking “Oh, I wish my husband would express his love to me like that…” Or “Oh, I wish I still had that close friendship with…”  Or “Oh, I wish my children and I could…”  And those are envious thoughts.

Thoughts of comparison usually lead to envy and envy is not love.  So how can I stop the envy??  I believe it comes down to a few things:

  • being thankful for the things God gives me, whether that is a relationship or a material blessing
  • being thankful for the season I am in with relationships that God has given me
  • trying to be the person that God has made ME to be
  • not allowing myself to mindless scroll through Facebook and Instagram because this can lead to envy.  Pastor Stephen Furtick says “We struggle with insecurity (and I would add envy) because we compare our behind-the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”  You don’t often see statuses or pics of people’s bad days and this is where social media gets me in trouble.  Seeing the “highlight reel” and wishing for THAT rather than knowing that “real life” is happening but not being shared!  Actually Pastor Furtick preached a great message about this very thing.  You can find it at:  http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/the-hope-of-glory  The message you want to listen to is Part Four- The Problem with Pinterst.

I hope you will continue to join me as I learn to love God’s way.

 

 

A Scripture for this School Year

So I just read a great blog by the wonderful Lysa T.  If you have kids headed off to school this year, you should read it too. Here is the link: http://lysaterkeurst.com/2014/08/before-they-go-to-school-have-this-conversation/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_campaign=0&utm_content=303165

Anyway… I wanted to share with you the scripture that I will be praying for my kids this school year. And yes, my “kids” include my firstborn, Andrew, as well as all the other “kids” that have come in my life, our foster kids past and present, youth group kids, etc.

Galatians 1:10 says “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Dear God, I pray that You will dwell in the hearts of my kids this year. And that Your presence would be so evident that You are the only person they are trying to please. Help my kids to not fall into the people-pleasing trap. Because when that happens, they are no longer striving to be Your servant. Also, God, please help me, their mom, to strive for Your approval only. In Jesus Name, Amen.

What verse are you praying for your kiddos this year??

Love is (part 2)

I am trying to take a slow look at what God says love is. Last week I looked at how love is patient. Today I am going to look at being KIND.

Love is kind. To be kind means to be “indulgent, considerate or helpful.”

I like to think of myself as a helpful person. However when it comes to those I say I LOVE the most, sometimes I wish they would be more “kind” to me. I wish they were more considerate and helpful to ME. But that is selfish thinking and not loving at all. So I guess this week I am trying to be more considerate and less selfish. More helpful to those I love and being content with whatever help may be offered my way.

I want to leave you with a quote I found online:

Kindness. One of the greatest gifts that you can bestow upon another. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without expectation of something in return.

My Mess

Well blog friends- my silence is typically not a great thing. It typically means that I have too much stuff going on in my brain and I can’t get it out on paper (or otherwise).

Currently that would be an understatement. I have so much stuff swarming me that it feels great just to make it from day to day. To get accomplished what I need to for today. And then I will start again tomorrow, getting just what I need done for that day.

What I am reading is messing with me; the sermon series and group study we are doing at church is messing with me; what God is speaking to my heart is messing with me.

What I do know is that God has brought me to a messy place. The beautiful ugly is that He is with me in the mess. And more importantly He has great plans for me, whether it’s through the mess or around it. But I am promising to Him that on the other side of this mess, I will be closer to Him and looking more like Him than I did before.

Much love and messiness-
GJ

Romans Project- Week 3

This week’s verses are:

Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5, 6 NIV)

I just love it when God stops me dead in my tracks with His Word. That kind of a pause moment just happened. But, of course, there is some backstory to it…

I began to get fully committed to memorizing God’s Word because I want to dwell on God instead of some of the negative things that I can’t control. Well, this afternoon some of those “negative things I can’t control” were showing themselves and so I went to my memorizing spot in the kitchen and started working on this week’s verses some more. I couldn’t even get 5 words in…

Through Him we received grace… I know in situations I can’t control, my first response needs to be grace. But man, is that hard!

And why do I need to show grace? Because of the end of this section… I have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. If I want to be the Jesus girl God is calling me to, grace needs to be first response, not my last.

Praying that as you read and memorize God’s Word, you will allow it to go further than your brain. All the way down to heart. Where it changes who you are.

Kairos Moments

So this week I had (what my husband tells me) is a KAIROS moment.  As defined by Wikipedia, kairos is “an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment.”  It is a moment when you have to make a decision to do what God wants or what you want.  And these decision can change the trajectory of your life.

My kairos moment came when I overbooked myself.  AGAIN.  I have a problem doing this sometimes.  Now if the decision is grocery shopping and coffee with a friend, it’s no big deal.  But this overbooking was a big deal, at least to me.  I had committed to running in a 5k Biggest Loser Walk/Run Challenge with a group of friends.  And I had also registered for myself and my Girly-girl to go to the Pure in Heart Conference.  Come to find out, they are both happening at the same time.

Now I realize that probably 90% of you are thinking, duh, the conference.  But to me, it wasn’t so easy.  I have been on this journey toward a healthier ME and doing this 5k is something I have been looking forward to for months.  Also, it was going to be a chance to get away with a few friends for a weekend of fun.

But this conference is a chance to show my foster daughter that Jesus loves her and what God has planned for her heart.  This is a huge opportunity for us to get away, with a few other moms from our church, and spend time together.

So again, the answer should have been obvious to me.  (It was to my husband.)  But I struggled with it for several days.  I wish I hadn’t but my selfish heart and my Jesus girl heart were competing with each other.

I am thankful to say I made the choice to follow God and go to the conference.  And God has already blessed this decision in several ways!!

I guess the lesson I learned and wanted to share is even though being obedient can sometimes be a struggle, I know God will bless this decision.  I can’t wait to see where God changes the trajectory of my relationship with my girl!  And I am praying that it will give me more momentum and confidence to making even greater changes for God in the future.