Monday, January 15, 2018

Thought vs. Truth


Have you ever noticed how quickly comparing yourself to someone else can ruin almost anything? {Tweet this} A good mood, a great idea, a new opportunity, an exciting adventure, a well-earned accomplishment, or even a God-sized dream.

As soon as we start looking around at what others have done, we start criticizing what we're doing. Certainly, looking at someone else’s success can be inspiring and motivating to reach for the stars, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

I'm talking about the comparisons that make us think we can't do something and shouldn't even try; when we look at someone else's accomplishments and pick apart our own.

When we believe the enemy’s lies.
  
In her book, You're Made for a God-sized Dream, author Holley Gerth lists five lies that keep us from dreaming.

Lie #1: “Dreaming is Selfish”
Lie #2: “I Don’t Have What It Takes”
Lie #3: “It’s Too Late”
Lie #4: “I Don’t Deserve to Dream”
Lie #5: “I Don’t Have Time”

Which ones get in your way? For me, the second and third are the ones I have to work the most on. I can too easily give up because someone else is doing what I dream of doing...as if one person's success takes away the possibility that I can succeed.

To fight the lies, I have to determine what is thought and what is truth. {Tweet this}

I'm happy to be sharing at God-Sized Dreams today. Please join me there to continue reading...Thought vs. Truth.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Linking up with: Moments of Hope, #glimpsesofHisbeauty, Purposeful Faith, #TeaAndWord, Trekking Thru the Week, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, #Recharge Wednesday, #porchstories, #WriterWednesday, #ChasingCommunity, #HeartEncouragement, Sitting Among Friends, Salt & Light, Thankful & Grateful Thursday, Faith 'n Friends, Grace & Truth, #FaithonFire, #FreshMarketFriday

Monday, January 8, 2018

When the New Year Starts and You Feel Lost


An uncomfortable feeling set in on December 31. I already knew my word for 2018—Enough, but unlike a few weeks ago when Enough felt like a good fit, I was getting nervous about it. By January 1, feeling uncomfortable moved to feeling unsettled. I was restless and unsure about what to expect this year and where my word Enough fit in.

We’ve been in an unresolved situation for quite a while now, but for the past 3 years, something was in the works when New Year’s Day rolled around—plans to try something new, upcoming doctor visits, insurance red tape to work through…whatever it was had me busy. This year, there’s nothing for me to work on, and it has me feeling lost.

I keep thinking there has to be something I can do, but it’s out of my hands…and I’m struggling to accept that.

Maybe that’s where my word fits in. I’ve done all I can do and it was enough. Now, all I can do is keep praying. I don’t even want to tell you that my immediate thought was, But that’s not enough! And in the very same moment, I reminded myself that it is more than enough.

I have to wait and see where God leads us and what He asks me to do next. I need to wait on Him and keep praying. {Tweet this} (Why is that still so difficult?!?) And be ready to move when He calls me to move.

I need to trust Him because I know that no matter what I can and cannot do, He is in control…and that’s always better than the control I’d like to think I have.

Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, 
“My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” 
Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.

Afterward:

After writing this post, I realized I started feeling better. Sometimes identifying what’s causing the unsettled feeling is enough to calm it down. But, what really brings peace to our restless hearts is inviting Jesus into every moment. {Tweet this} (I don’t pretend I’m an expert at this.) I do this through journaling, reading God’s Word, and of course, prayer.

If you’re hesitant to try journaling, I was too. When I finally decided to try it, I was preoccupied with perfection (no mistakes, no crossed out words, and only black or blue ink.) Eventually, I was able to let go of my need for perfection. I realized that my journal is for me, not for others to read. I have more mistakes and crossed out words when I’m upset, and when I’m upset, my journal is the place to pour that out. So, I don’t worry about that anymore. Oh, and now I love color—all sorts of colored ink, gel pens, and felt tip markers. The more color, the better.

If you’re looking for an easy way to try journaling without cost or commitment, click on my Resources page, and help yourself to my journaling printables.

How are you doing so far this year?

In Christ,
Laura


Monday, January 1, 2018

Called to Be Enough

  
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my One Word for 2017—Called—and my questioning if I did enough with it throughout the year. The day after I clicked “publish” on that post, I was still thinking about it.

As I opened my journal that Monday morning, I reread my latest entries. Two words filled the pages—Called and Enough. It’s no wonder since many of my posts start in my journal and that’s what I’d been thinking about. But the word Enough started to stand out.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’ve been reading Come With Me by Suzie Eller and had just finished a chapter about being enough. And it was then I felt my word for 2018 become clear.

Enough.

I don’t always feel like I do enough, understand enough, or try hard enough. I don’t always feel like I am enough. Maybe you can relate.

But, as I’ve been reading and thinking about it, I know…

My little is enough when I give it to God. (He makes it more than enough.)

My small steps are enough when I’m following Jesus. (He waits for me.)

My writing is enough when I offer it to God. (He will make it more than enough to reach others, if He chooses.)

When I give Him all I have, no matter how little, He makes it more than enough.

When I’m obedient to what He asks, my not enough is more than enough. {Tweet this}

As I explore being enough in 2018 I’m not quite ready to let go of being called, so I’m going to continue my Called… series.

After all, being called by God isn’t a one-year commitment. It’s a life-time adventure with Him. {Tweet this} Each year becomes a stepping stone to learning, understanding, and becoming so much more.

We are enough—just as He created us. And He calls each of us personally by name.

In Christ,
Laura

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Called…Did I Do Enough?


I've been asking God what my One Word for 2018 will be, but haven't heard an answer yet. Sometimes I don't feel a word impressed upon me until close to New Year's, so I'm not worried.

The truth is, I don't want to my year with the word Called to end yet. I don't want to start thinking about my next word and waste my last few days of being Called.

But as I think about this past year, I wonder if I've done enough.

When I first settled on the word Called at the end of last year, I felt moved by how God called Moses by name.
And by how He calls us by name.

I was excited. I dreamed of plans I would make and things I would accomplish.

But instead, I started projects I didn't finish. If I dwell on it too long, I feel discouraged and disappointed.

I feel like I haven't done enough in my year of being called. And then I realized maybe God wasn't calling me to what I was dreaming. At least not in 2017.

Instead, He called me to a year deeper and harder than I could have imagined, and I'm glad He didn't share those details with me in January.

If I had known, I might have tried to prepare myself.
But not knowing left me no choice but to depend on Him every. single. day.

I still felt Him calling me, but I was constantly unsure of where we were going or what was coming next.

Not knowing can be unsettling, but at the same time, it's where I learn the most.

It's where I learn to listen for Him, and to discern between what He's moving me to or what I'm trying to make happen.

It's where I learn that just because I don't understand the how, why or when doesn't mean He's not at work in places I can't see. {Tweet this}

It's where I learn to wait and be still, and then to move when He says move.

It's where I learn that there is beauty in the valley, and to see His blessings in the midst of difficulties.

Unfulfilled plans on my part, does not mean I've wasted the year. It just means that God had different plans, and His plans happen in His time.

If my dreams and plans fit into His big picture, then they will happen, no matter what year it is, or what my One Word is. In the meantime, I'm growing and learning with Him.

Being called by God is not a one-year commitment, but a life-long opportunity, no matter what my days look like. {Tweet this}

From my family to yours,
Merry Christmas!

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]