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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Press on….

Three weeks ago I decided to spend an intentional hour each morning reading and praying before my household woke up. I wanted to draw deeper, and closer, to God. I also just needed His strength, provision, and Word in some areas of my life. I was already getting up early and reading the Bible each morning, but my prayers would oftentimes be short and quick because I would be thinking of getting to the computer and checking in on the world. I wasn’t truly giving my whole mind to the time I was spending with Him. I wanted to put a boundary on myself, and be honest and faithful to God with my time.

Boy, it’s amazing the things that have come against me in the past 3 weeks! Exhaustion, sickness, busyness, depression…..oh my goodness! When I set out to do this I had no idea the lengths the enemy would go to to keep me from my appointment time with God. I think the toughest to battle against has been the exhaustion. Each morning, as another night would go by without the sleep I needed, it was harder and harder to drag myself out of bed in the morning. What took me only 20 minutes to read 3 weeks ago is now taking me almost twice that because my eyes can’t hardly focus on the page.

But I find myself one night away from my 3 week goal. I must say, even with the struggles, I have loved it. I love the quiet of my house, and I love getting to know the Word better. I love the story. I’ve had so many times in my life when just the right scripture has been read at the exact moment I needed it to be. This time has been no different. Encouragement is only a page away…..

Why do I say all this, late at night, when I should be in bed so I can get up tomorrow??? 🙂

I guess as a word of encouragement to press on. When we decide to draw closer to God, the enemy has a hissy fit. He really doesn’t like what we are doing at all! And he’s going to put all sorts of blocks in our way to try and make us stumble. Those things we wish were never in our lives again…suddenly start popping up. But it’s in those times of struggle that we need to draw even closer to our God. We need to lean in to him, like you would lean into a strong wind. If we let all the little things get to us, or get down at ourselves for failing at the task, then the enemy has won.

I myself don’t want to give that to him, so I put my foot down! I say, “BE DONE!” and “BE GONE!”

So if you are struggling, tired, depressed, sick, whatever….what are you waiting for? Are you tired of being beat up yet? Then PRESS ON! Keep going. Don’t let the little things get you down. Don’t even let the big things get you down. Why not?

Because God has got them ALL under control…..big or little.

Press in to Him…..and see how He will meet you where you need Him most.

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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Crohn's Journal

 

Faith

It’s said in the Bible that if you have just a small amount of faith, anything is possible. I grew up with that verse, knowing it inside and out. And yet, I don’t think I really believed it until recently. I don’t know how the change occurred….what happened that flipped the switch inside of me to suddenly believe God for what He says in His word. But I do. I just…..trust Him.

And yet, I find myself in a quandary. I find that I can believe for the big things, but sometimes have trouble for the little. A month ago I looked at a friend who was paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak after suffering a stroke, and said, “You are going to walk out of this hospital, and you’ll be fine.” I believed it to the core of who I was. There was no question in my heart that God would heal her. Ten days later she walked out of the hospital, and you wouldn’t know it by looking at her that anything had happened. God healed. Period.

I can believe for the healing. I can believe for the big things. I know God is going to take care of our house situation. I know that His plan is at work in our financial situation. I know that it’s going to be okay. I know that this Crohn’s is already taken care of by Him. I know all these big things are under His hand, and so I don’t have to worry about them. I DON’T worry about them.

Where I struggle though, and where I’m praying through right now, is to believe God in the small things. Namely….relationships. I’m asking God to strengthen my heart in the belief that He will fill that need within me.

It seems like such a trivial thing, when compared to praying and believing for healing or a roof over your head. I mean….HELLO!…..it’s just people, right? You can live without them, right?

And yet, I find myself surrendering over and over and over again the people in my life, and my “right” to relationship.

God made us for fellowship. He made us for relationship. He made me, for goodness sakes! Why is this so hard for me….to believe that He is going to work all things for His good in the relationships in my life? That He is going to put the people in my life that I need?

Because I have been hurt by people. We all have. Each and every one of us can point to at least one person that stuck a dagger in our heart so deep we never thought we’d ever get it out. Betrayal, rejection, anger, pain….these are all things that happen in relationship. People hurt us. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

So, that’s where my struggle with faith is, and what I’m praying for, right now. I want to believe God and have a deeper faith that He will fill me with the relationships that He knows I need. Not the ones I want……those come from my heart and, while not necessarily bad, might not be in His design.

But to have faith and believe that He will supply me with ALL my needs….including the deep need in my heart to be known….takes a whole lot of work. It means being patient while He sets up the situation. It means being alone for a time……probably one of my greatest fears. It means depending on HIM, and only HIM, to fill my heart and my needs. Yes, He puts people in our lives to be in relationship with, to grow us, to minister to us. But in the end, what I’m learning, is that only HE knows my need at any given moment, and only HE knows how to fill that need. Sometimes it will be with a friend who sits and listens. Other times it will be in silence and prayer with only HIM to listen.

Either way……I’m learning to trust Him in this. I’m learning to let Him fill me up. I’m learning to trust Him in the people He puts in my life, and the level of relationship He wants me to have with those people.

I believe for the physical needs so easily.

Lord, help me believe on that same level, and deeper, that you will also take care of my heart needs.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Crohn's Journal

 

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Task vs. People

I took a test quite a few years ago that was supposed to tell us if we are task-oriented or people-oriented.  It might (or might not!) surprise you….but I came up high on the “task-oriented” side.  Back then, I was totally driven by the goal at hand….what needed to be done to accomplish a task, regardless of who was in the way.  And, if I’m honest, I’ll tell you that I still come home to the “list.”  Give me a problem and ask me to find all the points necessary to solve it, and I’m good to go.  Hand me a list and ask me to follow it to completion, and I’m heaven.  My brain just tends to relax when given a task that I can organize through and complete.  In my core nature, I am a detail person. 

But…..I’ve worked very hard over the years to be more balanced in the task vs. people debate.  I realized years back that it’s not all about the end, but also what’s encountered in the middle, that counts.  People matter, and I want to be sensitive to the people side of things.  So many times we (and I’ve been guilty of this in the past) can go so fast towards a goal we forget about all people we encounter along the way.  And yet, if we slow down and take a moment with someone that God places in our path at that exact moment, the blessing received (or given) can often be more satisfying than completing the task at hand. 

The one thing that bothers me the most about this Crohn’s is the lack of energy.  Yes, I can push my way through just about anything, and not many people will see the tiredness in my eyes at any given moment.  But what I really dislike is that, in those moments of extreme tiredness, I go back to the “list.”  Sometimes it is the only way I can make it through the day….to create a list of things to get done and work my way through it.  Last night, my daughter hugged me and her heart was tender.  The past two days have been filled with exhaustion, and lists.  I could feel her heart, and she needed mommy to be done with the lists.  I stopped, took a moment, and reconnected with her heart.  The exhaustion of this disease got to me, but in the process I forgot to take care of my kids’ hearts. 

Not a big ouch, but still…..

It just reminds me that, even with being tired or not feeling well, I cannot ignore the people that are given to me at any given moment.  We do not know when they will be called home.  Yes, I can still work on my “lists” in order to get done the stuff that needs to get done.  But I need to be sensitive to the hearts of those I encounter.  I need to wait on God, and listen for His voice, guiding me in the direction He needs me to go at that moment.  He’s not going to send me around the world when I am already exhausted. But He can and will use my heart, my smile, my words, my….whatever in order to accomplish His goal in someone’s heart.

I’ve learned a better balance over the years of task vs. people.  Now….it’s just allowing God to use both of those in my life, for His glory.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Crohn's Journal