Stressed-Less Living – Martha, Martha

I just had to giggle last night as I read Chapter 12 of Stressed-Less Living.625439_408667745895242_189186595_n

Mary and Martha.

Really!!!

I love God’s sense of humor, his sense of timing and his constant urging.

You see, it happened again this week.

God using what I hear, see and read to get His ultimate plan through my thick skull.

As I’ve mentioned before I start most mornings watching Joyce Meyers. And yesterday, guess what she talked about.

Go ahead.

Guess.

Yeah, that’s right.

Mary and Martha.

Then yesterday at a work retreat, out of the blue I was asked to prepare a special dessert for a co-worker whose last day is Friday. I wanted to say no, but my boss was there and so was everyone else in my office. So, I said yes. I had to, right?

What???? How did that happen?

Oh yeah, I know. Busy making things and bringing them in. Trying to impress those I work with. Trying to be sure everything is perfect. Being busy.

Always.

After complaining about that experience to my husband, I pick up Tracie’s book and start to read chapter 12. From the very first sentence I knew where we were headed.

And, I giggled.

That’s right.

I giggled. And shook my head. And had a conversation right there with God.

See, I’m a Martha.

I know I am.

I worry. I clean. I fret. I clean. I complain about lack of time and then invite 10 people over for dinner. And, I clean.

I told God. I told him.

I want to be a Mary.

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But I’m afraid if I don’t do, then no one will.

You know what he told me.

That’s right. He told me to choose the “one thing.”

So I am.

And those I love will be fine.

The young wives I love will pick up the slack and I will allow them to do so.

Saying no will start to come more easily.The word no made from jigsaw puzzle pieces

Choosing will become not a stressful event, but a calming influence.

And, I will try to be who Mary was.

“Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42b

Let me sit at his feet, hear his word and live the life he has planned for me. And may I, like the prophet in Lamentations say:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24
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Grace by the Book – God’s Shelter

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5IMG_0802

I don’t set out to look for trouble.

I certainly don’t want any more than my share.

But the last few months, the last few weeks, trouble just seems to surround me.

Not the kind that “gets you in trouble”.

The kind that makes my heart troubled.

I keep hearing the verse in my head.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;believe also in me.” John 14:1

I do believe. But my heart is troubled.

It’s the humanness I think.

When someone you love is sick or distant or has lost their job, their home, someone close to them. Or when it’s a friend who is having to make decisions about aging parents, prodigal adult children, health scares.

I can’t help but be troubled.

And, when the someone who is hurting is the one on Earth I love the most, I pray, I believe and I trust.

God puts me on that high rock. He protects me from the cynicism of the world. From the contempt of those who don’t know me. From friends who are friends in name only.

God shelters me and I get the visual for the verse in Psalm 91.Mother Swan and chicksHe will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
 You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday. Psalm 91:4-6

Shelter. God’s shelter. He promises it again and again in his word.

So I claim it. Like Moses. Like the psalmist sheltered like a chick. Like the people of Isreal and the early Christians.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

God’s shelter. My promise.

Amen

Grace For the Weekend – God’s Promise

For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. isaiah 44:3

There are times in our lives as parents, especially when our children become adults that we feel helpless, and sometimes a little hopeless where they are concerned. We can no longer control their actions, comfort their hurts, or cradle them in our arms and tell them that everything is going to be okay.

We have to accept that they make their own decisions, live their own lives and have their own ideas about what they want and sometimes what they believe.

Even when we’ve brought them up to know God and know that they have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.

I stumbled across this verse from isaiah this morning and all I can say is once again God knows what I need, when I need it.

This verse reassures me that wherever my children are physically, spiritually and emotionally, God has them in his hand. He is going to care for them and bless them.

That’s a promise that makes a mama’s heart soar.

So, dear friends, no matter what the age of your children, love them dearly, teach them wisely, hold on to them as long as you can, and then when you let them go.

Trust. God.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Exodus 3:14

What more could a mother need.Image

Stressed-Less Living – The Reset

Here I am in week 11 of my Stressed-Less Living Bible Study and I feel like God is not just talking to me, he’s shouting from the mountaintops to be sure I hear him. The reading on Romans 8 has been a great reminder to me of whose I am and how important I am to him. Verse 16 says it this way:

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

Got i1.

Then there’sour focus verse for this week.pinterest-pin-11-300x300

That’s been me this week. The world has closed in and circumstances have caused me to doubt that God is big enough to handle my problems. Just like Tracie says in Chapter 11, I think he’s either too busy or just not interested.

Both my husband and I got calls from our doctors that we had possible health issues that needed to be addressed.

Mine we were used to. This would be my fifth breast biopsy in the last 15 years and all had been benign so we felt good about that.

But when his doctor mentioned that his PSA level was high and we needed to discuss options, both of us were floored. He hasn’t felt well for a long time and this possibility makes sense.

CANCER.The thought terrifies me. We don’t know that this is what is going on, but our minds immediately go there. It could be any number of things but I think as humans we always assume the worst and hope for the best. That’s how I was feeling when I got home yesterday anyway.

Then I read chapter 11 and particularly Step 3 to my husband and we both knew and vowed to each other that no matter what the circumstances our faith is in God .

We both knew this was God’s message just for us. Tracie says “Remember that the Lord never grows weary, and he knows how to handle our problems much better than we do.”  And, “… it always seems that when one stressful situation reaches the maximum level, another stressful situation falls in right behind it.” WOW!!!
God so has me pegged.

I’ve hit the reset button and I pray you will too. In case you missed it or you aren’t involved in the study, here are Tracie’s steps to resetting your life.

  1. Realign your life to God’s word.Cross-Messiah_595
  2. Recognize your need for God’s help.
  3. Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances.
  4. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  5. Be faithful in your prayer life.
  6. Believe God is Who He says He is.

That last one, I’m claiming it and proclaiming it to whomever will listen.

 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others,Elijah; but still others,Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16 (emphasis mine)

 

 

 

Grace for the Weekend – Rest

We made it to the weekend! Praise God!

Whatever you do and wherever the road takes you, may God give you rest and may you be rejuvenated for the week ahead.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24DSC00094DSC00086IMG_1104DSC00055You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:28-29.P1020359315076_159025474178366_7403005_nFind time first for God.

Pursue Him with passion.

Enjoy your family and friends.

Worship with them.

Play with them.

Love them without reservation.

 

Stressed-Less Living – Negativity

What a great week Chapter 9 has provided! Although the chapter deals with spiritual vitamins and being sure that we 4100497739_4e227245e9realize the weapon we have in God, the thing that really resonated with me this week came on page 183 when Tracie says “I had been harboring negative emotions from a circumstance in my life that was completely not my fault and completely out of my control…My feelings were running my life…”

Got it! God couldn’t be speaking to me any louder if the words were laudable.

I am constantly amazed by how God uses people in my life to confirm to me the lessons he is trying to teach me. To guide me to see what he wants me to see.

Most mornings I start my day watching Joyce Meyer’s Enjoying Everyday Life. And, this week she has been speaking on negativity. A couple of days ago she shared that being negative can have an adverse affect on our relationship with God, with our family and with those people we work with and are friends with. 

I knew that.

What really got me was what she said next and I hope she won’t mind that I’m sharing it here.

Being negative means that we complain all the time and when we complain, the devil gets a foothold in our lives, and we remain where we are.

However, if we reach beyond the negative in our lives and praise God anyway, he is able to raise us up to where he wants us to be.

ySqbssUPxLBZ_0Wow!

Then, at Wednesday night Bible study last night, my pastor was speaking on Psalm 1 and the visuals in this chapter. He made the following point, “Though we have the relationship with God, we may not feel it because of the negativity in our lives.” RR

Are you kidding me???

Rhetorical question here, but how does God know this stuff?

He so has me pegged and he so knows where I am.

And I praise him for it.

I haven’t always been this negative person and I am ready to leave her behind.

Tracie again “Or maybe, just maybe, you have accidentally, gradually, and unknowingly given the devil a foothold in your heart because you failed to guard it above all else.” (p. 185)

I haven’t finished the chapter yet. And the next section is “Choose Prayer”. Also a topic pastor talked about last nigh.

Thank you Father for always having my back.

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Grace for the weekend – Relax

After a week of highs and lows,

as I’ve experienced loss, celebrated life, worked hard and laughed with my bestie,

I come to Sunday and a time to rest and relax.

May your Sunday be filled with God’s word and God’s people.

With friends and family you love.

And may you see the hand of God all around you.

Be blessed.

Lynn

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