Fearless? Hardly.

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Several years ago, I purchased a potted hydrangea from Publix, it was right around Easter time.  They were so pretty, and not knowing anything about them, I planted them.  Apparently, these were supposed to be the flowers you gift someone and then enjoy for as long as the plant lives.  Apparently one shouldn’t be able to grow hydrangeas in my area.  And, apparently, one shouldn’t expect see them blooming into the summer.

I’m glad no one told my hydrangeas that, as I have had beautiful blooms every summer since I planted them.

You may wonder what would bring me to plant them in the first place, without even considering whether or not they would grow in our climate.  The truth is, they were going to die eventually sitting in a pot on my counter or patio.  Why not put them in the ground and see what happens?

This is sort of my lease on life:  Why not try it and see what happens?   While  some would call me brave and fearless, I would disagree.  I can let my anxiety get the best of me, I can worry myself awake all night long, and I can be terrified of trying new things.  However, I’ve never let fear stop me from trying something new, or making a bold move.  I would not classify myself as careless or reckless, either.  I’m not betting the family’s future on a whim.

I can say with certainty that over the years my ability to “just ask” or “give it a try” has paid off with dividends.  If I am afraid, then what would bring me to trying in the first place?

In those moments where I am taking a bold step, or giving something out of the box a try… I’m not putting trust in the myself, nor am I trusting that the world is working in my favor.  I don’t buy into luck or coincidence, and I pay a lot of attention to gut instinct.  In those moments, I am simply trusting God and His promises.  I’m saying to the Lord, I am surrendering this to you… make it work, or move me beyond it.

The dividend of those leaps of faith have not always paid off in the way I would have wanted.  However, there have always been lessons that I been able to glean from.  I’ve learned that the “worst thing that could happen” hasn’t exactly ruined my life.  I’ve also been blessed in ways that still blow my socks off.

The Bible tells us countless times “do not be afraid”, “do not fear”, “do not worry”, “do not be anxious”… because GOD has this under control.  When He calls me to move, I move.  When there is a thorn under my skin to do something bold, I don’t ignore it.    I listen for the nudging of the Holy Spirit, I look for affirmations, and I test those feelings to His word… but most importantly:

I trust Him.  I trust what His word says:

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

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#Write31Days Challenge – Post 27 – God on My Mind

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Some days are just tough, mentally we are at our max capacity.  Our stress levels are high, our emotions are running wild, and our energy is running empty. 

Then there are the days that are just, busy.  It’s not that you are overwhelmed emotionally or even physically, but it just seems like every second of your day has been claimed by some thing or some one.

On days likes these it can be hard to put in some serious Bible Study, we either don’t have the time or the energy to put the mental energy into study.  Our prayers may be short and sweet lists, or even the sigh we exhale as we say “God help me!” as we drop our sobbing eyes into our hands.

Speaking for myself,  I know that when it comes to spiritual practices …. I have good days & bad.  There are days I can accomplish in depth study, first thing in the morning, that will carry me throughout the day.  I also have days where I am on the go, all day long, and it isn’t until those final moments I am putting my head to the pillow that I can stop and pray.

Over the years, I have learned a few tips to help keep God on my mind throughout the day.  I may not getting in 30 minutes of Bible Study or even 5 minutes of dedicated prayer time. 

  • Play worship music on the radio while in the car picking up the kids, or while bustling around the house cleaning.  Often Christian radio stations will read verses throughout the day, replay Pastor’s sermons, or interview of Bible teachers that are worth listening to as well.  Audiobooks and Podcasts are other great options.
  • Pray as you clean, over what you are cleaning.  Be thankful for indoor plumbing as you clean your toilet.  Pray over your children as you fold their laundry.  Pray for your husband’s safety while working, as you prepare to make that doctor’s appointment for him.  Volunteering at the church?  Pray on your drive for the church, the Pastor, or the ministry you are serving on.  In the Parent Pick Up line at your child’s school, pray for the school.  At the gym?  Pray for your health.  At the grocery, pray for those who are going hungry.  As you pay your mortgage online, give thanks for your home and pray for the homeless. 
  • Pray throughout your day.  Instead of sitting down in the morning going through a lengthy prayer session, instead pray throughout the day as thinks pop into your head.
  • Display scripture on walls of your house, either in picture frames or using wall decals. These can be life verses or family mission verses.  Even if you don’t have time to study your Bible that morning, you can focus your eyes on those as you move about your home.  Then can also be fun verses like the ones I have for certain rooms of the house.  In my kitchen the verse on the wall is Psalm 107:9, and in the bathroom is verse Psalm 24:4.  
  • Now this one may make you giggle a bit, however in our old house … I got really creative.   We placed a white board right across from the toilet in our guest bathroom.  Every week I would write a new piece of scripture.  We kept no magazines or newspapers in there, so the only reading material our guests had was from the Word.  We referred to it as “Coming the Throne” (I am convinced God has a sense of humor).
  • Use uninterrupted times to really speak to God.  I find that I am most vulnerable when I am totally alone, away from the noise of the house.  Some of my greatest conversations with God have taken place in the shower, or by turning off the car radio and just speaking with the Lord. 
  • Bring your Bible or Bible Study with you to waiting rooms at doctor’s offices, or even when you are lunching with a friend – particularly if you are generally a person who arrives early.
  • Turn your lunch dates with friends into something more than gossip sessions, and make that your Bible Study time.

All of that said, I would also suggest doing what you can to reduce some of the hectic activity from your life.  Lysa TerKeurst has a great book “The Best Yes” that really helps you take a hold of your life, so that you can carve out time for God, not be overwhelmed by your schedule, and learn to give your best to the things that are most important.

And finally, should you find yourself in a space where you are struggling emotionally or physically with life… please, PLEASE…. see your doctor.  There are many disorders that steal our minds, energy, drive, and make us feel like we simply CAN’T.  Have your primary care doctor rule out physical ailments, and if you need to see a Christian Counselor who can help with the mental aspects.  There is nothing wrong with seeking help or using medication to get you through, and a good Christian counselor can help you do so while leaning on the truth of God’s love.