Ten Second Grace Period

Ten seconds seem like a sweet forever when you want something Other than what you need.

As any recovering addict can tell you, every second that you are able to stay away from the thing that you crave is a second of victory. And any God-loving addict will also tell you that every second you move closer to Him and away from That Thing That Beckons is a gift of grace.

I pray for a ten second grace period, often, throughout my day. Indeed, there have been 24-hour stretches, around here, where I probably spent more time begging God to provide those seconds than I did anything else.

Some days, you need a whole heckuva lot more than a few extra seconds to get your act in gear. Other days, it only takes a split second to make the better choice.

Or, not.

In her new book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst says you “steer where you stare”.

Today, God, grace me with a few extra seconds to fix my gaze on You. Tweet that!

I don’t know what you specifically need a grace period for, but I know that we humans? We all need one for something.  I pray you get that, today, my friend.

Oh, how I do!

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This post is day 10 in the Write 31 Days challenge.

If you’re just tuning in now, click here to go to the page that has the link to the previous 9 days.

 

Corner Turner

It drives Sweetman absolutely crazy with a capital K when he sees me turning down the corners of a page, in a book or magazine.  “Why don’t you just take a picture with your phone?”, he asks, as if I’m pinching him. “That’s so low-tech!”

He’s cute, but sometimes…

I love nothing more than picking up a book I’ve read and seeing lots of corners turned down. Those corners tell me to that there are treasures tucked within. Things I want to remember. Things I know I’ll forget as soon as I slide that book back onto a bookshelf.

Can I get an amen?

And sometimes, I need to turn a corner in life, too. For all of the same reasons.

Health, is one corner I’ve been working on turning, lately.  Now, I’ve worn down the edges of that particular curb, because, HELLO!  I’ve been around it a time or ten.

But, this last six weeks have given me a greater desire to than I’ve ever had before. The mysterious ER visit last month, not-withstanding, I believe God is making it very clear that my beloved devil dogs, though permissible, are so not beneficial.

And so, I’m choosing the courageous route to change. Again.  Because, I don’t know about you, but I find that wonderful things take place when I finally do make the turns of change.

Shedding of the old.

New horizons.

Shifts in perspective.

Appreciation for the journey.

It’s a process, turning a corner. When I put my turn indicator on, while driving, it’s not so that I can hear that annoying little clickety-clack over and over.

No.

It’s to alert the drivers around me of my intention. I’m letting them know that I intend to turn this car to the right (or left).

And, I’ve been flashing more than a few “turn indicators” in my life, lately. They haven’t all been met with acceptance or encouragement, either. And, that makes turning a corner all the harder.

But still worth the effort.

And I don’t have to do it alone.

I’m going be courageous and turn corners by grabbing hold of God’s unwavering strength.

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Those little turned down corners, in things that I’ve read, remind me that something great happened on that page. And, I’m just sure that the turned corners in my health journey will prove to be just as significant.

Yes indeedy,

Are you a corner turner, too? What corners have you been turning down lately? In books or in life!

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This is my final week of studying “Made To Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst over at Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies. I have been changed by reading this book. And although I’m probably going to be “in process” for a while about the deeply buried issues that have been dug up during this study time, I am forever grateful. The opportunity to study amidst this community of Overcomers, 45,000 PLUS strong? A gift from God, Himself! We begin our next study of Wendy Blight’s “Living So That” on April 6th.  Want to see what it’s all about?, Click here to do just that! And to see what some of the other final reflections were on this study, click the button below.

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Crazy Demons, BE OUT!

When things go stir-crazy around here, Sweetman and I have a little catchphrase we use to lighten the situation: “Crazy Demons, BE OUT!” (And for some reason, you simply must say this as if you’re from the deep deep South.)

We use it jokingly. But, once we get a moment to catch our breath, we realize The Current State of Crazy for what it is –not of God.  Our God is not a God of chaos.  This, we know to be true.

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So when Sweetgirl starts sassin’ it up or Sweetboy has a meltdown of epic proportions, we can be heard loudly proclaiming things like, “Sassy Demons, BE OUT!”

Here’s the thing, – I know full well that their Crazy gets turned on by their deepest insecurities.

And why?

Because that’s true of me, too.

When Sweetboy is in the midst of an Epic Detour down some mental rabbit hole, ultimately, he is questioning if what we tell him about himself is true.  “Am I really loved? Am I really a necessary member of this family?”.  His heart, clouded by the darkness that lingers with the growing knowledge that Autism makes him “different”, will delve deeply into All The Negative.  And we don’t want him to stay there. So we jokingly say, “Negative Demons BE OUT!”. He cracks a small grin and then tries, oh, how he tries, to go back to that dark place.  But we won’t let him. We want him to hear, again and again, that what is true is that he is loved, not for what he can accomplish or for how he looks, or doesn’t. We love him because he is ours.

In those moments, I’m often whispered to by my own Abba – “You are loved, already, too.  You are mine, too.”

And when Sweetgirl throws down in one of her spectacular efforts to Control All Things, she’s really just asking if what we’re telling her will benefit her – in the way she most desires it to. As her Crazy ramps up with each deafening “I don’t want to”, we can be heard singing, “Looney Tune Demons BE OUT!”. And she giggles and protests that she isn’t a wascally wabbit.  And we take the opportunity to remind her that her tantrums aren’t beneficial to her getting her way. That you win more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Softly, I hear my Adonai reminding me of the same. “This battle you are fighting? It isn’t for you. It is not necessary. Leave it. Follow me.”

Oh, how patiently my gracious God bears with me!

Indeed.

Teach me, God, to filter all that I take in and sift it with your Holiness. Take this broken heart of mine and make it whole with Your Truth.

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I’m linking up with the community over at the P31 Online Bible Study Blog. We continue to journey through Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst, and today, we’re chatting about how our insecurities can push us into crazy modes (and a couple of other things that try to steal our peace). Crazy Good Stuff!

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Determination for the Destination

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Sometimes, you will all at once realize that the battle you fight with yourself isn’t the one that really matters.

If you are so blessed as to be given eyes to see this truth, consider yourself blessed indeed.

It takes an act of will far beyond what I am capable of mustering up on my own to tear myself away from the current battle and zero in on the one that needs to be fought.  Is this true for you, too?

Food seems to be a constant struggle.  Eating for the wrong reasons, eating the wrong things for the right reasons, eating during emotional highs and lows – they are all battles I fight.  But, I’m beginning to see that the real battle isn’t there. It isn’t in the food. It’s in the attention that I give the food.  It takes the place of something someOne it has no right to.

And as some of you know, I have determined, recently, to make changes.

The road to Change is hard.

Recently, I was given the privilege of walking with a friend while she is fighting an altogether Other Battle. This is what I am learning: while we are all journeying toward victory, the way we arrive there will be different, person to person. The pits on my road are deeper in some places and much shallower in others.

And this I know that I know that I know to be true: the road will be paved with grace.  Oh, yes it will.

Because that’s the kind of God, the Only One, who would allow us to choose the route to our final destination. He is The Smoother of the bumpy wayward journeying. And although the battle that each of us fights in the flesh may be different, the determination that He endows us with is the same.

And when my journey goes sideways, as it often does, or stalls out, as it is prone to doing, the grace paved road is still there.  Ready. Waiting for me to place one tentative foot back onto it. To feel the sure footing that only Grace and Love provide.

And I will. Because, in taking a hard look at what needs to be seen, I realize that Change is not a destination – it’s a journey.

I’m determined to continue on the new road.

How about you?

I’m joining the community, MY community, over at P31 Ministries Online Bible Studies for our study of Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  Click the button below to get some more encouragement for your journey.

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What Do You Crave? An Invitation

Do not say chocolate. For The Love, please do not say chocolate!

“Life is not made better because we overindulge in an unhealthy choice.” -Made To Crave Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst.

Well, isn’t that the truth?

Maybe food isn’t the craving you need to overcome.  Maybe it’s that desire to spend even when there is no money to spend with.  Or you long to win at a game you have no business playing.  Perhaps you crave a drink to soothe, or a touch to heal broken places, or a feeling of excitement that’s long since gone.  I get it.  I do.  My own path to greater dependence on God is littered not only with devil dog wrappers, but also with the remnants of desires fulfilled in altogether unholy ways.

And I am aware that the people God has placed in my life, whether lovers of Him or not, are watching me.  They are watching to see what this faith in Him provides that will be of some comfort to them.  Or if My God will bring them some measure of contentment that they do not yet have.

Am I living a life that exudes a dependence on and fulfillment by this God I claim to fiercely love? Does my satisfaction of those cravings demonstrate a dependence on Him at all?

This is not a journey with a definite ending of “Now, I’m finally walking in truth and light and will never need another lesson again.”. It is, however,  one that will need constant reevaluating and course-correcting. I recognize that I’m going to need others with me as I go about attempting to do just that. Deeper dependence on God and less dependence on Other Things will require a strength I know I don’t often possess. It will ask me to mine places I don’t often want to go.

So, consider this an invitation.  I’m inviting you into this place of need.  This place where our need meets His desire to fill it. I need friends to hold me accountable, during. I need encouragement, throughout. I need to know I’m not alone on this journey.

So… what do you crave?

Would you join me? For the next six weeks, you’ll find me over here at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study as we work through “Made To Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst.  I’ll be joining approximately 34,000 others determined to understand that life is only made better when we see the bounty that already exists in our daily lives.  I’ll be tracking my progress by writing about it, here, each Thursday.

There is safety in numbers.

We are better together.

I need lots of wise counsel.  God said so.

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If this post spoke to your heart about cravings you long to wage war against, or even if you’re just curious what online Bible study is all about, click the button below.  You’ll find encouragement and lots of other invitations there.

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I Thought You Would Like To Know

Something really exciting is happening on Wednesday over at (in)courage.

Me and about 30,000 of my closest friends begin the Made To Crave Online Bible Study over at P31 Ministries this week.

I’ve got to get my unsuspecting children over to the Allergist for their annual “pricky hurty test“. Joy. Abounding.

Both of the Sweetchildren’s extra-curricular activities resume this week.

I’m still clearing out the clutter.

A writing deadline, a looming smoosh-and-squish appointment, and…

You feel me?

Aside from all of that, I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!

Do you know why? (Raise your hands, please.)

Do you want to know why? (Rhetorical question, friends.)

My rash is disappearing! It is GOING AWAY! I could do the Texas Two-Step (if I knew how)!

I thought you would like to know.

Oh, yes indeedy!

I may even be able to throw on a 3/4 sleeved shirt to celebrate the balmy 50 degree spring day we’re having here today.

Just maybe.

Tell me about your week.  Please do.  Let’s share all of our Crazy together, kay?

A Heart at Rest

You could almost hear that phrase, “a heart at rest”, and assume death.

Yes!

That!

Exactly!

Dead to the old.

Alive to the new.

Dead to the dull monotonous thud of Complacency.

Jolted alive and awake to the rapid pitter-patter of Possibility.

This study of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa TerKeurst has re-awakened passions in my heart that have lain dormant for years.  It has also quietly killed others.  And all for the greater Good.

I can hear The Truth of that Good reverberating through each strong thump of my freshly invigorated heartbeat.

And all the while, my heart is able to rest easily and securely.

One of the dictionary definitions of secure is “free from anxiety or worry”.

Yes. That is exactly what my heart feels.

For, I know, without a doubt, that my many little Yeses to God have been whisked heavenward.

Although my eyes may be finished reading and studying what it means to remain with my palms up listening for God’s whispers; and while I may yet hear confirmation, from God, regarding my time and place, I am committing my way to Him.  I am submitting my will to His.

Hearing a message confirmed and then reaffirmed that had been whispered into my heart some 18 months ago, my heart is able to rest in the knowledge that this message has been consistent.  The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Much like my God.

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As I move forward in obedience, day by day, small thing by small thing, He will honor my yeses.  He is honoring my yeses.

And that?  That is what this heart is beating for.

Oh, yes indeedy!

 It has been such a joy to study this book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, with the  extraordinary community of women at P31’s Online Bible Study this past 6 weeks.  If you are interested in learning more about Online Bible Study, click here.  If you would like to read what others’ final thoughts were as we close out this study, click the blog hop below.  

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