Don’t Feel Loving?

If you’ve stopped feeling love, the first step is to remember what it is like to act with love and then do it.  The Bible has the perfect verse to keep handy in these times.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galations 6:9)

I know I go through waves of not “feeling” like loving some of the people around me. Can you relate? Are you suppose to be loving that person? Spouse? Parent? Child? Sibling?

Don’t skip over this as you grow in your walk with God! I know it’s hard, but I bet God is putting someone on your heart who applies…”we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. The more we are learning, getting closer to God, the more He will give us chances to be the loving people we are meant to be.

The challenge today is to pray that God will help you be more loving to whoever He put on your heart. Don’t expect a response from them. Don’t do it because you want anything reciprocated. Do it because God does it for us every day. When we are unlovable, He still loves us. Our goal is to be the best “lovers” of God and His people that we can be. Sometimes that means humbling ourselves in relationships and becoming better at loving.

Pray for your relationship with God to grow. It will! As that happens, you will automatically see those relationships around you change.

What I learned today…I can’t let a busy lifestyle rob me of growing in my relationships. Life is all about relationships.

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Worldly vs Eternal Families

If you gave a party for ALL of your aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, what would it be like and what would you do?

(Mine would look like a hot mess, and I would TRY my best to love everyone regardless of the arguments breaking out.)

What does the word family mean to you?

What are some of the benefits of being in a family?

What are some of the responsibilities?

How are the people in your family the same?

How are they different?

God’s family is like yours in some ways. If you gave a party and invited your church family, it would probably look a lot like the family that God gave you. Why? Because we are all broken. We are all someone’s daughter or son, mom or dad, brother or sister. Someone in your church family could act exactly like the ones do at your home party, but you know them in a different context.

If someone was looking at your life as a Christian, would they want to be a part of God’s family? That is a HUGE question for all of us. I remember hearing an old song growing up with a verse in it that said, “They will know we are Christians by our love”. Does someone know you are a Christian just by the way that you act? They should!

Do your best to watch your actions and words this weekend. INSIDE your house with your family, at church AND out in the world.

Be a great influence with your behavior.

“You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.” Ephesians 2:19

What I learned today…Everyone I look at, every day, is a brother or sister. They were made on purpose, for a purpose by God. I need to start loving and respecting EVERYONE more.

 

Describe Yourself in 3 Words

I live in a house FULL to the brim of testosterone. With a husband, 2 teens and a tween, it can get loud and rambunctious to say the least. At their ages, it’s a time where they could tend to retreat in to their own “social” worlds within their rooms.

I have to consistently and intentionally draw them out to talk. It doesn’t work all that often. What does work, is forcing them to have time together with the family. Now I NEVER thought I’d have to force people to hang out with me as I always thought I had a bit of fun in me. According to my kids, that doesn’t seem to be true.

As I “forced” them to hangout this last weekend, we did the usual. I’ll ask them questions. It could be anything from “What is your favorite color right now”, to “What is your favorite movie of the moment”. This weekend, I took a stack of TABLETOPICS with me as I wasn’t in the mood to come up with my own questions.

One of the questions was Describe Yourself in 3 Words. Have you ever done that? Have you done it recently?

Are You Tired?

Time to review things I don’t like about myself, and if their valid flaws (valid, meaning my accountablitiy partners agree) it’s time to clean them out of my life.

Flaw I’m concentrating on?

I am TIRED. Sure I could lay out all the reasons why, but you don’t want to hear it, do you? Why? Because I bet you are tired, too.

Tired Physically
Tired Emotionally
Tired Mentally.
Sick kids.
Medical issues.
Busy schedule.
Tough relationships.
Rough work day.

We stretch and bend then stretch and bend again. With our busy lives, busy schedules and worry about EVERYTHING…

How do you behave when you are tired?

I am short tempered, easy to get angry at little things, only want “me” time, feel like the whole world is against me, etc…etc….

Don’t get me wrong, I know how to “behave in public” when I’m tired, but not when those doors close at home. Am I alone?

When I’m tired, I tend do things like…. I yell at my kids over little things and shove my husband away PLUS push all his “buttons” so he feels as crappy as I do.

My kids have gotten used to the ever on-going prayer request on our morning trip to school of, “God, you know I’m tired. Help me get through the day. Please help me control my temper in the morning”.

Yes, it’s good that I’m acknowledging it to God and my children. There IS a great lesson in those prayers coupled with asking my kids for forgiveness for my bad attitude.

HOWEVER, I heard the whispers of – that’s not enought – during my prayers yesterday morning. My kids do not need to listen to me give excuses of “I’m tired. Tough day at work. I was up with YOU all night.” or ___________ enter whatever reason I have here.  They need to know Mom loves them and can over-come the tiredness to be a bigger person and CHANGE my attitude.

So my prayers have become, “God, you know I am tired. I ask you to help me to change my attitude and enjoy the blessings YOU put around me. Help me show more joy than exhaustion today. In YOU I can find rest. Through YOU I can find strength.”

Starting today, my goal is embrace the tired. It’s part of my life in this season. It’s not going to go away. So I will be changing my attitude in it. I’m going to start the process of teaching my children being tired is NOT an excuse to be mean, short tempured or quick to condemn.

That through resting In God’s Word. I can find the strength and peace I need. If I take a couple minutes a day to talk with God, read a verse or two and enjoy time with HIM, even if it’s 5 minutes, HE can give me anything I need to become that better mom that I long to be. That mom that doesn’t use the excuse of I’m Tired, for bad behaviour.

What will you be looking at to Clean out of your life today?
Today I’m praying for my fellow tired people. May you overcome the excuse and find time to REST in HIM today.

Today I learned…again…I need to take time to rest in Him.

My Biggest Temptation

I don’t know about you, but my pride is constantly tested. I know it’s an easy way for the enemy to get a foothold into my life so I have to be constantly aware of it.

In my position at work there are so many amazing opportunities to help others learn, grow and get connected. It is a HUGE Blessing…and a HUGE-er Test.

I, Julie, want to be a part of everything, know everything going on, have a say in everything…but that is not what God asks me to do. He asks me to steward what He has given me.

The other day, I wrote this while I was being tested.
My morning looked like this….
Get in at 7am, pray and prepare for the day.
9am – Encourage and train 3 amazing Volunteers coming in to help with paperwork that is very time sensitive
10:30am Run to a Leadership Meeting
11am Team Meeting to discuss budget, plans, etc..
11:30 Run to catch the end of another Leadership Meeting and pick up lunch for Amazing Volunteers
12:30 Start preparing exciting new conference that will enable Ministries to run more effectively
1:30 Strategize a new process for getting the next generation serving on a larger level
Then do everything else that is normal with a day at the office, before running to grab kids for appointments, dinner plans, etc…

What a FUN – PRODUCTIVE – AFFIRMING – ENCOURAGING DAY!!!

Instead I was in at 7am to pray and prepare for the day and got a call from the school saying one of my kids was injured(Yes, again). Me, in my selfishness, first thought – NO!!! Not today!!! I get to be in “leadership” meetings! I get to share my thoughts and needs in team meetings. Me, Me, Me.

My SECOND thought was, my poor child!!!

Not a pretty thing to admit. I am SELFISH. I want to feel important. I was dumb enough to believe that FEELING important in situations around me matters.

On the way to pick up my son, I prayed.
I prayed for God to take my pride.
I prayed thanks for His perfect timing of interruptions.
I prayed for the ability to trust in Him and His plan.
I prayed for Him to constantly remind me, it’s NOT about me. It’s about HIM.
I thanked Him for letting me know through His Word (the Bible).

Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

God already thinks I’m amazing. A Masterpiece! I don’t need to prove anything to anyone around me. I just need to feel secure in HIM. I have to remember day to day, minute by minute that I have been created anew in Jesus Christ and He planned for me to do good things.
Because I couldn’t do what I WANTED today doesn’t mean anything.
HE has my back. HE knows what I need.
If tomorrow He took away my positions, my leadership roles  my family, my health..He will still be there. My identity needs to be as a Child of God, not a good worker, successful,etc… etc…etc…
I needed to NOT be there for some reason. I needed to be with my son at the first appointment, and then wait PATIENTLY for the second appointment.

He’ll be okay. He’ll heal and feel better.
I’m thankful –
Though the day didn’t turn out in the “fantastic” “fruitful” way that I had imagined… I learned a way to heal that drive to do more, and can rest in the lesson God taught me today.

What I learned today…God already knows I’ll have interruptions in life. They are okay and meant to grow me. I can relax in Him and how He made me, knowing He planned for me to do good things, and I will. In His time.

Keepin’ It Real

This will probably be TMI (To Much Information) for you, but in the spirit of being honest on this blog, I’ll review my day on Friday.

I woke up a bit late and tried to hurry to get the kids out to school quickly. I ended up behind schedule so, thankfully, my husband took the boys.

I arrived at the meeting I had scheduled on time. It was VERY productive for the first 1.5 hours, until I had gotten a call that took the remainder of our time, so I had to reschedule when I could finish the rest of the tasks that didn’t get accomplished.

From there, I ran back to the office to go over a game plan with a co-worker regarding a difficult discussion that has to happen with one of our amazing volunteers. As soon as I had finished the prayer to end our time together, my phone let me know my girlfriend had arrived to drive me up to another friend’s husband’s memorial. My heart broke as the room filled to remember this husband who left 3 beautiful kids and an wife who inspires me with her faith.

When the memorial was closing, I noticed my phone had 12 missed calls and a boat-load of text messages. The first text I saw was from my son asking me to please hurry and call the school. The second from a woman on my team stating the school had called and my oldest was hurt.

I quickly called the school to find out my son had been hit by a door and had a black eye, which was swelling shut, a fair amount of blood and he was very dizzy. I asked if they had tried my husband to hear had been trying to reach him for an hour and a half!

Needless to say, I hurried out of the memorial, to pick up my son. On the way I checked to see where my husband’s phone was…at home! After calling it a few times, I started praying, “Lord, please have him be okay. He isn’t answering, and I ask that he is healthy and not hurt.”

I arrived at the school, found the nurse and saw my son. It looked like he had been punched in the eye…so I asked WHO “door” was. The nurse replied that she had verified it was a door that had hit him, so I nodded, and took my son to the car.

On the way to the car I asked, again, “Who is “door”. He let me know that they were messing around and his friend accidently knocked him in the face with a spear. Yes…you read correctly…a spear. (Another Mom Of Boys moment.)

We arrived home and I ran inside. Music was blaring, so I yelled for my husband. He replied, “Hey!”. He looked completely healthy and happy so…I…

Let’s hold on a second so I can let you know…I used to talk like a trucker. I would cuss anytime and all of the time. Until I read in multiple areas in the Bible it is not something we should do. So I stopped. I still say things like “Crap” and throw in a “freaking” every now and then, but I have changed a thousand fold. My kids would FREAK OUT if they heard me cuss, as it just doesn’t happen in our house.

Now back to the day…

After my wonderful husband, who wasn’t hurt on the floor, no where near his phone, responded, “Hey!”…I yelled, “WHAT THE #@$*! Our son is hurt and the school has been trying to call you!” Again, needless to say, my son had a look of shock on his bruised and bloody face at hearing his mom let loose.

My poor husband ran down to find his new phone had “no interruptions on” and he had no idea anyone was trying to get ahold of him.

I set my son up on the couch with ice and love, then had to run back out to visit a wonderful volunteer in the hospital before heading back to work. As I was pulling out of the drive-way, my husband came out to give me a kiss. I rolled my eyes, like “Are you KIDDING ME?!?” to which he replied “Aren’t you glad I don’t have a broken neck from putting away Christmas decorations and falling?”.

Sigh, perspective. Yes. I was very glad he was okay. I had prayed asking God for him to be okay and not hurt when I got home. Instead of praising God for everything being okay, I let my anger and mouth get the better of me.

The rest of the day, I did my best to shake off the frustration that kept nagging at me and kept reminding myself of all the prayers I send to God, that He answers without me thanking Him. All the prayers that He answers, that I have already forgotten about as there is something new I need, or I’m frustrated with, or I’m focusing on.

What I learned today… I am fickle with God. I need to remember to consistently give Him thanks for all He does for me. I am so thankful I can go to Him with my good and bad. And I HAVE to not slide back into foul language.

Colossians 3:8 “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

Stuck in Routine

Balboa

Sometimes it is easy to get stuck in routine.

When you go from rushing from one place to other, it is so easy to take some time just sitting on my tush watching TV – which I LOVE.

Of course, then I feel like I have wasted the hours away…and I have. I have taken my precious time to sit and watch other people on TV spend their time traveling, adventuring, living life together!

In the Bible when God rested on the 7th day, it wasn’t because He needed it, it was to be an example for us.

For true rest we must first go to Him. If He can breathe the world in to existence, He can absolutely give us the opportunity to feel rested at ANY time.

This morning, after some time thanking Him for all He has done and is doing in me, I decided to do something out of the ordinary. I woke the family up and told them we were going to go to breakfast. Needless to say for a couple people it was a push to get them moving. AND they weren’t very happy about it. BUT once we were all in the car, my husband and I started singing our favorite songs from the 90’s and the mood shifted.

We drove down to Balboa, which only took around 20 minutes, and had breakfast at Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier. It was gorgeous!!!

What a way to start our day!!! We were there and back by 10am and still have the rest of the day to enjoy.

 

What I learned today…

Feeling tired? Open your Bible and rest in Him.

Feeling stuck? GO SOMEWHERE!

Take time to get in the car and go on an adventure. It could be to a park, a pond, a lake, the beach, a field…anything. Just think, if I were on vacation here (near your home), where would I go?

Go and enjoy your day!