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.

MTC_Missindeedy_Grab_Hold

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!

2

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.

OBSBlogHop

Advertisements

Pity Party Like an Olympian

Watching all of the amazing Olympic athletes at the 2014 Winter Games, it’s easy to be swept up in their dreams of gold.

My own dreams of being the very best me that I can be, physically, financially, and mentally, take flight.

The dedication necessary to make it to that level of achievement is obvious. Not just because these athletes have made it to the pinnacle of their careers, but because you know how much sweat equity has gone into arriving there. Among other things.

And it fires me up.

Until, of course, I hit a bump in the road.

Because I’m dedicated like that.

As soon as an injury (to body or pride) sidelines me, or an illness (of mind or body) makes getting back into the race on my schedule impossible, I have a pity party. Like an Olympian.

Oh, yes indeedy!

When that pity party finally winds down, though, I get good and angry.

And that anger? That’s exactly what clues me in to the fact that I’m relying on my own strength to succeed.

It’s usually right about then that I realize how desperately I need to get down on my knees and bow my head in reverence to the One who gives me every ounce of determination that I have.

That anger is a reminder to recall each and every benefit that God has already given to me. Whether I’m near to reaching my goal or am even able to take another earthly step in its direction.

Psalm103_2_Missindeedy

My heart, once so eager to succeed in it’s own strength, is no longer. It becomes eager, again, to please The Only One who can give me the strength to carry on.

These truths renew me. They empower me to move forward as loved, redeemed, and ultimately, more than a conqueror.

And one who’s not ready to quit just yet.

I’m linking up with the community at P31 Obline Bible Study to continue our discussion of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  Click the button below to join us!

OBSBlogHop

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.

1Corinthians14_33_Missindeedy

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.

MTC_CH7_Missindeedy

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!

OBSBlogHop

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.

Together_Missindeedy

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.

OBSBlogHop

Table For Two, Please

One of my dearest friends loves to eat at restaurants. She’ll bring her favorite book and politely ask wait staff if she can “rent the table” for a little longer, when she finishes eating.

When I get the privilege of meeting her for a meal, I can always count on two things.  The first is that she will arrive before me.  I try to get there on time – I really do; but she knows me well. The second thing that happens, without fail, is that as I round the bend in the restaurant to get to our table, I find her hunched over whatever book she is currently reading, devouring a page. It makes me smile every time.

Her enthusiasm for reading is infectious.

And I can identify. I feel a lot like that whenever I get alone time with my God to read His Words.

Carving out the time in my day to do that is no easy task.  And, I’m sure that’s true for many of us.  But, it’s also critical.  Renee Swope reminds us, in her book, “A Confident Heart”, that we can’t “find” the time to spend with our Jesus.  We have to make the time.

Find_Time_ACH

And He can help us do that.  We need only ask Him to.

Even if we work outside the home and have family responsibilities. Even if we work the night shift, or struggle under the weight of unemployment, or suffer with a long-term illness. Even if we are double-dog tired by days end. Whatever your “even if” situation is, when you ask Jesus to clear the way for more time to spend with Him, I can promise you, He will! He’s just waiting to be asked.

Maybe, that’s why I love spending time with Him.  He doesn’t force me to come to Him. He invites me to.

He’s inviting you, too.

Who doesn’t want to accept an invitation like that?

Jesus_Invites_Us

The time that I carve out to spend with God is indeed at a table; but not at a restaurant table.  No. My kitchen table serves as the place where I can lay out His Good Word and my pencil and notebook and concordance and notecards and…

It’s a production, you see.  I want to be able to look up any word I don’t understand.  I need to be able to write any thoughts that He may bring to mind about my current thinking or behaving.  His truth needs to be underlined or starred or re-read out loud. Sometimes, I feel the need to re-write some Truth to be placed in a location where I can easily see it again and again.

And I just can’t do that in a restaurant.

But I most certainly can at home. For it is in those precious quiet moments, without distractions that I am able to hear Him speak soothingly to the hurt places and joyfully to the dark places and softly to the hard places.

And that table? It is always a table for two.

Join me over at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study today. We’re discussing chapter 9 of “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope.  And the topic?  #WhyWorry I don’t know about you, but I stand to learn much about that!  Go be encouraged.

OBSBlogHop

Two Steps Right

A little change in perspective is so good for the heart sometimes, isn’t it? I am no dancer.  The Nana called me “Grace” growing up and it surely wasn’t because of my ability to be graceful.  Not even remotely.

But life is, I’ve found one great Dance.

I have found myself doing a little dance that I don’t like, lately.  Maybe it’s one you can relate to?

Make a To Do List, dosie-doe;

Work to accomplish it, around I go;

Measure myself by another’s stick

Dip and loop, feel downright sick;

Guilt and Shame weigh down this heart,

Drag myself back ’round to start.

But, lately?

Lately, I feel my Dance Instructor teaching me some new dance steps. Steps that require less of my effort and more dependence upon Him. Moves that don’t involve me watching “the rest of the class” to see what they are doing and follow suit.  No. He wants me to move the two steps right that will be best for the dance He’s created for me, only.

He started planting these moves in my heart some time ago – around the time that He reminded me that I am never going to be enough – without Him.  That I am never able – without Him.  That I am never alone; or – without Him. He’s been modeling these steps in His Instruction Manual for thousands of years. But, at the time that I first read them, I wasn’t concerned enough about what He said to do.  I was looking more towards my fellow dancers.

Not now.

No.

Now, I am looking at my Teacher and I am eagerly awaiting the next dance moves that He meant for me.  You see, I have found that my heart is filled with a new confidence in His ability to direct my moves and steps.  They are so much more graceful – with Him.  They are far more powerful – with Him.  They are accomplished far more easily – with Him leading.

I know, now, that my Dance Instructor loves me with an everlasting love.  I know that His mercies are new every morning that this clumsy dancer needs a fresh start.  I am sure, now, that if I fall, He will be there to help me up.

And that dance that I spoke of before?  It is a thing of the past.  As my heart continues to gain confidence in my Dance Instructor’s love for me, I trust Him and dance with abandon.

For Him.

With Him.

In Him.

And, although I may never be called “graceful”, I will be called Loved.  Redeemed.  Worthy.

Yes indeedy.

And I can dance to that!

How about you?  Do you find your heart racing for all of the wrong reasons lately?  May I encourage you to sit, rest, and look to The Master Dance Instructor again?  He longs to direct your steps and make them straight. Oh, how He does!

Today, I am linking up again with the community over at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study.  Weekly, we meet together to discuss “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope.  Click the button below to see what other heart confidence is growing as we study together.

OBSBlogHop

Doing It Scared

There are just so many things.

So many things that I, daily, do scared.

Want a “short list”?

  • Attempt to walk in heels higher than an inch
  • Cook
  • Wear anything white
  • Exercise

And then there’s the more serious stuff:

  • Parent
  • Believe in the promises God whispers through His Word
  • Speak up on others’ behalf
  • Make choices about media, attention and adoration
  • Trust that it really is all Good for those that love Him

And, friends?  That’s the Short List.

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about how super-confident others perceive me to be.  And yet, how very little confidence I truly possess. (I do believe some folks confuse the Gift of Gab with the trait of Confidence, but that might well be a different post for a different day.)

I can’t help but wonder if God is allowing me glimpses into all of these things I hold so fearfully in my heart because He is preparing a way for my heart to gain more confidence. True confidence.  In my heart. Where it needs to be.

Proverbs 31 Ministries is beginning their next Online Bible Study on October 13th.  It’s called…

Wait for it…

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. 

AConfidentHeart_medium

Can I even tell you how God-orchestrated this study seems to be for the current health of my heart?

Will you consider joining me? And a “couple” of other women from around the world?

Click here to sign up.

And if you’re doing it scared, know that we’re in this together!