Journey to Him http://www.journeytohim.com Sat, 20 Jan 2018 02:46:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 https://i1.wp.com/www.journeytohim.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Site-Icon-Navy-Reverse.jpg?fit=32%2C32 Journey to Him http://www.journeytohim.com 32 32 92657754 Who Do You Say I Am? http://www.journeytohim.com/who-do-you-say-i-am/ http://www.journeytohim.com/who-do-you-say-i-am/#comments Tue, 02 Jan 2018 02:06:52 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=1609 One evening as I settle into my comfy old chair for some alone time with God, my grace-given wild imagination conjurs up Jesus sitting in a chair right next to me. I close my eyes and reach for Him. I can almost feel His hand grasping mine. I wrap my fingers tight around His, eager […]

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One evening as I settle into my comfy old chair for some alone time with God, my grace-given wild imagination conjurs up Jesus sitting in a chair right next to me.

I close my eyes and reach for Him. I can almost feel His hand grasping mine.

I wrap my fingers tight around His, eager to speak with Him. Oh, Jesus. My Brother, my Mentor, my Savior, my King and my Ruler, I begin.

Immediately my eyes dart open – insert screeching halt sound here – as He interrupts my prayer with the whispered question, Which of those titles do you struggle with the most?

Titles. We all have them. When I was married, my title was “Mrs.” To my children my title is “Mom”. Or “Birth-giver” as I’m affectionately titled in my son’s contact list. And as a manager, “boss” was the title bestowed upon me.

A title can shape our view of someone. It can define the value and importance we place on them.

And titles usually influence how we feel about them and thus how we respond to them.

Jesus must have known the importance we would place on titles. He once asked His disciples that very same question He put on my heart that night.

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15 NIV

So, let’s see… Brother and Mentor? I think I have those down pat.

Savior, King, and Ruler? Yes, God, those might be the troublesome ones. Those titles push me to press in a bit deeper.

By design, God created us to long for and follow. To glorify and worship.

Of course, His plan was that we would long for, follow, glorify and worship Him above all else.

But then things went array in the garden and our focus shifted away from God. Away from His divine design.

In us grew a rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong only to God.

Our human nature deceives us into going our own way. Making our own rules. And being our own king.

The evidence of this can be seen in our children.

I’m certain no parent purposely taught their little bundles of joy to be self-centered. Yet, as soon as the concept of ownership is understood, “That’s mine” flows from the heart of every child and spills into their ever-growing vocabulary bank where it takes root and throughout their life sprouts over and over again.

This inward focus causes us to snatch away titles reserved for God and bestow them upon others. Other people. Other things.

We place people, positions, and possessions on the throne that reigns over our lives. We allow them to take up residence in our heart crowding out God’s rightful place.

We can even be deceived into thinking we no longer need a savior, a king or a ruler. For we have become those things to ourselves.

In 1 Samuel 8 we see this longing to go our own way unfold in the early history of mankind. The Israelites decided they didn’t need God and instead wanted a man who held the title of king to lead them. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.” 1 Samuel 8:19 NIV

So, God, being ever so gracious, appointed them a king. Immediately they shifted their focus away from God and put their hope and trust in others. They began to follow kings who were just as flawed as they were.

And just a few chapters later, after things went from bad to worse, they come to the conclusion having a king other than God was not such a great idea after all.

“We have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 1 Samuel 12:19b NIV

You see, if we long for and follow others to give us only what God can give, we are left disappointed. Empty.


If we long for and follow others to give us only what God can give, we are left disappointed. Empty.
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So how can we look at God’s titles through a lens that makes it clear how we can better relate to some of His titles and apply them in our everyday life?

My Savior:

I don’t know about you, but I need “saving” every day. In the small things.

Saving from a free-flowing mouth or from negative thoughts. Saving from saying no to someone when I should be saying yes.

But mostly saving from being enticed by the fleeting things of this world. Saving from my thoughts and actions that place people, possessions, time, and tasks above God.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John:2:15 NIV

I must come to the realization that I can’t save myself. Not just from eternal death, but in the everyday of this enticing life.

My King:

In our American culture, we might find it challenging to relate to a king. Our government is not a monarchy and we live in a free society.

Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to slip ourselves into the king title. As we sit on the throne we dictate policy and govern our lives as we see fit. We follow our own lead.

But Jesus instructed us to follow Him.

He knew that we would follow something or someone.

He knew that anyone or anything that occupies the spot of king in our lives would only disappoint and leave us continually searching for a new something or someone.

He knew we needed someone to follow who was bigger, stronger, wiser and kinder than ourselves.

My Ruler:

Ruler implies “rule maker”. Making our own rules sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Yet even when we appoint ourselves rule-maker, we still struggle with keeping the rules. Why? It’s a little too easy to break rules we make. Since we own them, we can change them at will.

We tend to bend, stretch, and twist our rules when it’s convenient and fits our agenda.

And more than likely, if we are making the rules, the rules will still have a slant toward serving ourselves. That’s not our calling.

Jesus came to serve not be served (Mark 10:45). And He calls us to do the same.

He knew we would get no satisfaction by serving heaping spoonfuls of self-satisfaction on our plates.

It’s interesting that prior to Jesus asking the disciples who they thought He was, He first asked them who the crowds thought He was.

But then He changed the stakes and made it very personal. “Who do you say I am?

Jesus knew that if we didn’t keep an accurate view of who He was, we would let others slip into that sacred space. He knew that anyone or anything upon which we bestow titles reserved only for Him would fail us.

You see, a savior, king, or ruler must have pure motives if their purpose is to truly serve. They would always have our best interest at heart. They would sacrificially provide and protect. Love and serve.


A savior, king, or ruler must have pure motives if their purpose is to truly serve.
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The only one who can claim these titles with a pure heart is Jesus.

Yes, Jesus – my Brother, my Mentor, my Savior, my King and my Ruler.

Ponder

So who is He to you? What title might you be reserving for yourself instead of surrendering to God? Or what title belonging to someone or something else do you struggle with putting before God? Child. Friend. Spouse. Work. Sweetheart. Parent. He asked us to ponder these things.

Practice

A Truth: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NIV

A Song: Our God by Chris Tomlin

A Read: None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

A Prayer: Jesus, thank for revealing my need for a reverent heart. Thank you for showing me I can sometimes have a limited understanding of the titles I should reserve only for you. Help me to see you as all you were meant to be – all your titles. The one who loves me, serves me, protects me and provides for me. Yes, you are all these. In Jesus’ name, amen.

You also might like these posts: Obedience When You Think Rules Don’t Apply to You and Forget Resolutions – Find Your One Word Game Changer

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The Truth About Why We Crave Perfection http://www.journeytohim.com/why-we-crave-perfection/ http://www.journeytohim.com/why-we-crave-perfection/#comments Sun, 05 Nov 2017 22:57:23 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=1550 Have you ever wondered why we seem to look for perfection in this life? No matter how much we accomplish it’s never quite enough; we strive for the perfect life. We were made to crave perfection. We were created perfect, by a perfect God, to fulfill a perfect purpose. God wired our spirits with a […]

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Why We Crave PerfectionHave you ever wondered why we seem to look for perfection in this life? No matter how much we accomplish it’s never quite enough; we strive for the perfect life.

We were made to crave perfection. We were created perfect, by a perfect God, to fulfill a perfect purpose.

God wired our spirits with a double dose of cravings for perfection in this life.

Our first dose was at creation where our spirits were created to live with God, in perfection, in the Garden of Eden. Then He also gave us the anticipation of perfection in eternity where the Garden of Eden is restored (Revelation 21); our second dose.

However, we’re living in between these two perfect gardens where perfection does not exist.

The struggles we have as we live between two gardens are real. We have all experienced them personally, and we have seen others we love, and even total strangers, navigate through the brokenness that exists in between the two gardens.

It’s in this gap between our expectations of perfection and our current experiences that the enemy preys.

And that gap is the fertile ground where temptation to not trust God grows.

We are deceived into thinking our life, people, relationships, money, children, job should be better than what they are. Better than what God is allowing in our lives.

I admit…I struggle with fully trusting God every day and in all things. Perhaps you can relate.

Sometimes we can even become disappointed with God. We assume we know what a good God would do in our lives. Yet that doesn’t seem to align with our current circumstances.

If we have this misunderstanding of God, we will have a misunderstanding of our circumstances as we walk in this life between two gardens.


If we have a misunderstanding of God, we will have a misunderstanding of our circumstances.
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Then the enemy slithers in and places hints on our hearts that whisper, You’re right. Your marriage, friend, job, [fill in the blank] doesn’t measure up. It’s okay to want more. You deserve it.

And if we slip into the temptation, he comes back and accuses us before God for falling! (Revelation 12:10b)

This sometimes messy place between two gardens is not God’s way of being cruel; it’s His way of leading us home. But, it requires trust in Him.

You see, we need to trust first and then walk into our circumstances; not be in our circumstances and then try to walk into God’s trust.

We need to trust first and then walk into our circumstances; not be in our circumstances and then try to walk into God’s trust.

The enemy wants to isolate us. He wants to shut us up. He wants to stop us from fulfilling our God-given purpose in this garden.

The purpose God designed, that fully perfects our faith, is fulfilled through the trials and struggles He allows as we do life between two perfect gardens. (Hebrews 12:2a, James 1:2-4)

Remember the enemy has been defeated by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11a). So, do not keep quiet! Speak these truths over your heart and your circumstances.

We can blossom where we’re planted and live victoriously in this garden!

Ponder

What circumstances between two gardens leaves you vulnerable to deception? Are there areas of your life you struggle trusting God with?

Note: This insight came from a conference I recently attended, “The Word Alive”, with Lysa TerKeurst in Orlando, FL

Practice

A Truth: “They triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” Revelation 12:11a NIV

A Song: Trust in You by Laura Daigle

A Read: Unshakeable TrustBy Joyce Myers

A Prayer: Oh God, help me navigate this world between two gardens. I know the things of this world were NOT what you designed. Yet in all things You make good out of bad. Help me trust You in all things and at all times. Let my circumstances not dictate my happiness or my level of trust. In Jesus’ name, amen.

You also might like these posts: Hope for Daddyless Daughters, and  How to Have a Satisfied Heart in the Wait 

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How to Pause to God’s Pace http://www.journeytohim.com/how-to-pause-to-gods-pace/ http://www.journeytohim.com/how-to-pause-to-gods-pace/#comments Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:31:28 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=1451 For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a busy girl. A doer. In the race between the tortoise and the hare, I’m definitely the hare. To run at any other pace than full-speed-ahead was tough, even stressful. Relaxing and doing nothing felt like I was doing something wrong. Rarely was I cuddled up […]

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How to Pause to God's Pace

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a busy girl. A doer.

In the race between the tortoise and the hare, I’m definitely the hare. To run at any other pace than full-speed-ahead was tough, even stressful. Relaxing and doing nothing felt like I was doing something wrong.

Rarely was I cuddled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn just enjoying the entertainment. No, I was also busy doing something…like my nails or folding laundry.

Fast-forward to the age of technology and it gets worse.

Not only can we multitask through our activities, we can also connect with multiple people at the same time.

We can text, email, and connect on social media while we’re watching TV. Or in a meeting. Or eating. Or yes, even while we’re visiting with friends.

Multitasking and the ability to make instant connections has become the new normal. It’s a skill-set we list on our resume; a means to do more and connect more. Or at least that’s what we think…


The truth is, multitasking and social media have created distracted connectedness.
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It’s too easy to do multiple things at once so our brains have become accustomed to distracted connectedness. It has given us a false sense of connecting with others, connecting to our work, and even our relationships. And dare I say it can creep into our most sacred place, our relationship with God.

Psalm 42:2 declares “Our soul thirsts for God”, but this world’s pace of doing more can entice us to drink in other things.

So this past year, I sent “distracted connectedness” on hiatus and took a long vacation with “pause”.

I wish I could tell you it was effortless. It was not. It went against my nature and against society’s pace.

Society doesn’t reward pausing; it rewards doing.

And though it was difficult, it was worth the effort.

Let me share some lessons I learned from pausing.

Pausing helped me live in the moment. A lot of life happens in the small things; the sweet encounters with people and nature. But, small blessings go unnoticed in busyness.


Small blessings can go unnoticed in busyness.
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I found precious new time to be more present with others in the small moments of life. Pausing kept me from rushing into tomorrow and missing out on today.

Pausing helped align my pace with God’s. God’s pace is slow compared to the fast-paced world of today. He is not bound by time as we are. “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”. 2 Peter 3:8


I needed to slow down to keep up with God.
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He operates on eternity’s pace. Pausing provided opportunities to connect with Him more throughout the day. To let my mind and body slow to His rhythm. To notice His presence and His will for me that day.

Pausing improved my relationships. It helped keep my thoughts and words in check. To think before I spoke which in turn made me a better listener. It helped me give others the full attention they deserved. I focused more on what they were saying and less on what I was thinking or doing.

Pausing helped me prioritize. You can’t prioritize your actions when you’re pace is full-speed ahead. Pausing helped me decipher what was important and what was less significant. What was urgent and what could wait. And while my To-Do list didn’t get any smaller, some things on it got less important. I wasn’t rushing ahead to the next thing on my list so even my work became more focused.


Pausing allows us to notice more, reflect more, do more, and love more.
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Pausing is truly an art, but I found being disciplined in just a few things forced me to pause throughout the day. Eventually, my mind caught on to a slower rhythm.

These new habits helped me carry that calm, slow pace for longer periods of time. They kept me operating at God’s pace instead of trying to keep up with the world’s pace.

Here is a FREEBIE download of the four simple steps I put into practice that helped me learn to pause:

Four Simple Steps Printable
 

Have I mastered this art of pausing? No!

But it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress.

Make no mistake about it, our days are numbered. Let’s forsake living like we are certain we will be gifted with tomorrow and instead pause to God’s pace.

Well if you haven’t guessed by now, PAUSE was my One Word last year. PAUSE evolved from the learnings I gained when PATIENCE was my One Word. I found I was most impatient when I was going too fast.

So how does one get their “one word”? Full details in my free download, on finding and using a One Word theme. It includes resources and some potential word ideas you may want to consider.

Tips for Success Printable

Ponder

How do you intentionally pause and what benefits have you realized? Have you ever done One Word? What was your word and what did you learn?

Practice

A Truth: A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.Job 14:15 NIV

A Song: Sadly I could not find the perfect song about slowing down – please share any you know in the comments!

A Read: Too Busy Not to PrayBy Bill Hybels

A Prayer: Father, I’m so thankful you don’t change. As the world keeps getting faster and faster, you stay the same. Your calm still voice and your slow pace invite me to keep in step with your rhythm. Lord, help us to slow down – to hit the pause button on life. To join into your rhythm where there is peace and direction. In Jesus’ name, amen.

You also might like these posts: Forget Resolutions – Find Your One Word Game Changer, and  How to Have a Satisfied Heart in the Wait 

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Wedding Day Chat With My Younger Self http://www.journeytohim.com/wedding-day-chat-with-my-younger-self/ http://www.journeytohim.com/wedding-day-chat-with-my-younger-self/#comments Sat, 04 Feb 2017 23:31:47 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=1384 If you are visiting from For Every Mom, Welcome! A couple of weeks ago I watched my daughter walk down a flower-edged aisle dressed in crystal beads and lace. With her final step, she let go of her father’s steady arm and locked eyes with the man who captured her heart. She was radiant. And […]

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Wedding Day Chat With My Younger Self

If you are visiting from For Every Mom, Welcome!

A couple of weeks ago I watched my daughter walk down a flower-edged aisle dressed in crystal beads and lace. With her final step, she let go of her father’s steady arm and locked eyes with the man who captured her heart.

She was radiant. And he was in awe as he gazed upon his bride. What a beautiful sight.

I sat there … taking it all in.

For a few moments, I let myself wander back. Memories of her as a young child washed over me like a gentle breeze.

How she always lined up all her dolls in a perfectly straight row on the floor. How she dressed in multiple outfits at the same time and declared it perfect when she gazed at her reflection.

When she awkwardly tried her hand at mascara and lipstick and vowed make-up was never going to be “her thing”. And when I first noticed the smile in her heart when she met the man standing before her under a canopy of fresh greens and blossoming hydrangeas.

I want so much for their marriage to be void of conflict, hurt or troubles. To be a lifetime of perfect days like today. Nothing but fresh flowers, romance, and great expectations.

But, marriage is not a road without bumps and unexpected twisty turns.

I know – I’ve been on that road. Sadly, my road ended in divorce many years ago.


Marriage is not a road without bumps and unexpected twisty turns.
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We made a lot of mistakes along the marriage road and I struggled to get it right.

Determined to understand what went wrong I did a lot of soul-searching and had some very effective counseling. I know all too well the potholes on the road ahead so you could say I’ve learned a few things on that journey.

Things I wish someone had told me before I stood at the altar with my eyes locked on the man who captured my heart so long ago.

If I could have a wedding day chat with my younger self it would go something like this:

Determine to be determined. Begin with the end in mind. Just as you put thought, effort and planning into careers, retirement, and child-rearing, a successful marriage takes that same effort – maybe even more. What do you want your marriage to look like? Spend time talking about the characteristics of a Godly marriage, and then create habits and boundaries that will foster and protect this delicate relationship.

Don’t expect your spouse to meet all of your needs. Your spouse will disappoint you, and you will disappoint your spouse. That disappointment has the potential to steal your happiness and even impact your self-worth. Stay grounded in who God says you are so that when you meet the disappointments along the road, your confidence won’t crumble.

Embrace the unexpected. Consider looking at the unexpected as an adventure. One that entices you to move out of your comfort zone. Just like our vision along a twisty-turny road can be obscured, our vision of the marriage road can be short-sighted. The unexpected provides opportunities to grow closer to one another. Thank you, Lysa TerKeurst, for that wisdom!

Fight for the love you have right now. Marriage is a battle and there are many enemies against your success. Put on the armor of God and take the fight to your knees. Become experts at conflict management. It’s not about winning, it’s about compromising and making sacrifices. A beautiful dance of two forgiving people fighting for the same end goal.

Pray for your spouse. A lot. It might not change them, but it will change you. It will make you fall deeper in love and deeper in your ability to extend grace.

Talk to each other all the time and about everything. Attend marriage retreats and seminars in the good times. This will help you maintain focus on your marriage and learn tactics to help keep your relationship strong and growing. Seek Godly counsel if the bumpy road tosses you off the track.

Little things add up. Whether they are good little things like thank-yous, flowers, love notes, and special dates, or not-so-good little things like forgetting commitments, too much TV, or coming home late one too many times. They all add up. Too many of the not-so-good little things have a sneaky way of canceling out many of the good little things.

It is my hope I have passed these hard-won learnings onto my children over the years. And I pray the legacy of divorce in our family ends here today.

As these new hopes and old memories fill my heart, it seems like it wasn’t that long ago she was slipping her small hand into mine. I hold on tight for I need her as much as she needs me.

Then I come back fully into the present. I see a beautiful young woman whose hands are slipped snugly into the hands of the man she vows to love and honor the rest of her life.

And I, too, make a vow.

A vow to pray for them daily as they embark on this glorious journey. To entrust her to the man who holds her heart and to see her first as his wife. To point them in God’s direction with every twisty-turn for He is the only unshakeable foundation.

As they say their “I do’s” I release her into God’s embrace. And I watch Him weave their lives together into a sacred place. A place created just for them. A place in His divine masterpiece. What a beautiful sight indeed!

Wedding Day Chat With My Younger Self

Wedding Day Chat With My Younger Self

Ponder

How intentional are you in your relationships? What boundaries and habits have you put in place? Being intentional is important not just for marriages, but all relationships.

Practice

A Truth: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

A Song: Holy (Wedding Day) (click to listen)

A Read: The Mingling of SoulsBy Matt Chandler

A Prayer: Father, thank you for marriage. For your ability to join two imperfect people and sustain them on their marriage journey. For providing a solid foundation that can survive all the bumps and twisty turns along the way. In Jesus’ name, amen.

You also might like these posts: How to Have a Satisfied Heart in the Wait  and When You Need to Take a Leap of Faith

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How Time Alone in the Desert Impacts Our Faith http://www.journeytohim.com/time-alone-in-the-desert-impacts-our-faith/ http://www.journeytohim.com/time-alone-in-the-desert-impacts-our-faith/#comments Sun, 07 Aug 2016 19:27:24 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=1227 I barely made it through the front door. The tears welling up on the drive from work began to slide down my cheeks the moment I crossed the threshold and closed the door behind me. Through watery eyes, I looked around this place. This place I’m supposed to call home. But it was void of […]

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Time alone in the desert impacts faith

I barely made it through the front door. The tears welling up on the drive from work began to slide down my cheeks the moment I crossed the threshold and closed the door behind me.

Through watery eyes, I looked around this place. This place I’m supposed to call home. But it was void of anything that resembles home.

Home is where your people are; your family and your friends.

But there is no one here. Not my children or my mom. Not my friends or even my dog. No one.

Nada. Zippo.

Each night I come “home” to an empty place that does not house my children or hold my memories. There are no voices or footsteps. No chatter of friends gathering. And the dining room table is always set for one.

Three months prior to that night I was transferred to a new city on the other side of the state.

Faking bravery, I packed up my things and drove away from my family, my friends, my church, and worst of all, my young-adult children and the home we shared together.

It was more than my heart could bear, and that night it all came crashing down around me.

Feeling completely and utterly alone, I collapsed on the sofa and wept.

The ache to be home with my children immobilized my heart in a place of aloneness .

Eventually, I made it to my knees. Why, God? Why?

Why did you bring me to this place of isolation? This desert. I am hurting, Lord; I can’t do this.

Please God, I want to go home.

His whispers grabbed my heart. I am with you, and I am with your children. Fix your eyes on Me.

For months I had felt isolated. Alone. Lacking purpose. That night I was reminded of the Israelites wandering in the desert. And I decided God was allowing me to have my very own little desert experience.

The Israelites had to rely on God to provide their most basic need – food. Manna from heaven. They could not sow and reap, or hunt game. In the desert, they could not live independent of God. (Exodus 16)

And just to be sure they understood He was their sole provider, He didn’t dole out a month’s worth of manna. No, daily they had to rely on Him. And daily He provided.

In this desert season, God is leading me to more fully trust Him to provide manna for my soul during the messy moments of life.

I live on a lake in the new city and my back patio faces west. The post picture is one of the incredible sunsets God provides most evenings.

And just like the best sunsets require clouds, many times wisdom and blessings come through trials.


Just like the best sunsets require clouds, many times wisdom and blessings come through trials.
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James tells us to count it as pure joy when we go through trials for it is there that we have a divine encounter with God that transforms us.

“Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 NIV

Trials perfect our faith. They provide opportunity to grow by turning hardships into learnings and ultimately into joy.

So through every lost job and every broken relationship. Through every dreaded diagnosis and every child gone astray.

For every desert moment of our lives, God is there waiting to provide.

We need only come to Him. Daily. And take our portion of manna. And daily He will joyfully provide, in full measure, exactly what we need for that day.


We can be assured we are not alone no matter how alone our circumstances make us feel.
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I think I needed to be in the wilderness; just God and me. Stripped of every distraction. In the desert, I can see Him more clearly and hear His heart speak deeply to mine.

I talked with God, walked with God, prayed to God, knelt down before God, laughed with God, and cried with God during this desert time more fervently than ever before.

Sometimes you turn a corner on your faith journey. A corner where God reveals Himself to you in such a profound way, you’ll never need to circle back and re-learn that revelation again.

He took my hand and led me around another corner that night. Revealing His heart, growing my faith, and unfolding His plan.

And in that moment I knew I could face anything as long as I stayed tethered to Him.

I’ve been in this desert for nine months now and I’ve made a couple new friends. Of course, my heart still longs to live closer to my children. And I still flutter between both homes feeling a bit home-less at times. So no, I’m not glowing like Moses… I still need to take my portion every day.

And He shows up in the sunset outside my back patio to remind me He is with me in the desert; through the trials. Reminding me that one day we will be in our true home. Our Eden.

Where there are no deserts and no trials. And where it just might not require clouds to create a glorious sunset!

Ponder

So many of life’s trials can make us feel alone in the desert. But God is with you! He is waiting for you to slip your hand in His and allow Him to lead you around the corners in the wilderness. Please share your trials and triumphs in the comments. Our lives are a testimony and a healing balm for others.

Practice

A Truth: “And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 NIV

A Song: There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camps (click to listen)

A Read: When God Doesn’t Fix It: Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can’t Live WithoutBy Laura Story

A Prayer: Father, I am so grateful You are here with me in the desert. I know I am not alone in this place of aloneness. Thank you for taking me around the next corner of my faith journey. For growing my trust. Please continue to have the trials of this life prompt me to chase hard after You. That is the learning You have put on my heart. A learning that has now become a yearning to know You better and love You deeper. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Other Popular Posts:

Freedom from the Past

Forget Resolutions – Find Your One Word Game Changer

Father’s Day Hope for Daddyless Daughters

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How to Keep from Spiraling Out of Control http://www.journeytohim.com/spiraling-out-of-control/ http://www.journeytohim.com/spiraling-out-of-control/#comments Fri, 01 Jul 2016 23:44:42 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=1131 We’ve all been there. In “that situation”. The one that leaves our head hanging a bit low and takes the spring out of our step. It’s when a co-worker whispers unkind words. Or when a dear friend’s advice stings a bit. It’s when that promotion goes to someone else. Or when a child or spouse […]

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How to Keep From Spiraling Out of Control

We’ve all been there. In “that situation”. The one that leaves our head hanging a bit low and takes the spring out of our step.

It’s when a co-worker whispers unkind words. Or when a dear friend’s advice stings a bit. It’s when that promotion goes to someone else. Or when a child or spouse speaks cross words that deflate our spirit.

Often times, my first reaction is just that … a reaction. An emotional response that does nothing to soothe my soul, or encourage me to respond with love and grace.


I confess, the words and actions of others can bump into my bliss.
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They can tangle up my thoughts and threaten to reframe my worth and identity. And if I don’t take “that situation” to the truth-giver early on, I can find myself spiraling down to the basement of my heart to hang out with the other lies spoken into my life.

When the untruths speak too loudly, I need a quick fix. A remedy that will speak truths guaranteed to drown out the lies and quiet my heart.

I found a great way to recall God’s truths at a moment’s notice from my good-friend-I’ve-never-met, Wendy Pope. Don’t you just love the internet? Where people you read feel like friends you know!

While I can’t take credit for this ingenious idea, I can confirm it’s a great one.

It’s a spiral bound deck of 3×5 cards where verses that have spoken to me in various situations are captured. I call it my Spiral Bible. I’m not sure what Wendy calls it.

Here’s how to create your own. It’s simple and fast.

  • Grab yourself a spiral bound 3×5 index card deck at any office supply store.
  • When “that situation” happens, do a topical search in a Bible app or Bible index. Example: Let’s say “that situation” left me feeling worried. I search “worry” and find all the verses with “worry” in it.
  • Read through the verses from your search. You will find one or two that God will use to speak to you about “that situation”.
  • Write the verse on one of the cards plus any personal note or prayer.
  • I add hashtags # at the top of my entries so I can easily find that subject again.
  • I also have my One Word theme for the year written on the inside cover.

When “that situation” happens, and we all know it will, you will be armed with plenty of truths. Truths at your fingertips. Truths you can pray over yourself in that moment.

You can add some favorite verses that, in the past, have helped you get your happy back. Or you may want to wait and do your search when you’re in the middle of “that situation”. Why? Because God comes to us in a fresh way through every trial.


God comes to us in a fresh way through every trial.
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We may find a verse in our search we’ve read a thousand times, but it speaks to us in a brand-new way. Later, when we re-read that verse again, we will recall the trial and how that verse moved us from overwhelmed to overjoyed.

My Spiral Bible restrains me from reacting emotionally and keeps me from spiraling away from His truths. It puts me in a proactive posture so I can reframe my thinking and respond appropriately.

And bonus … it helps me memorize verses! I’m so not good at that.

God promises that in our weakness, His power shows up (2 Corinthians 12:9a). So it helps to have His whispers readily available to take on the world’s lies.

Speak God’s truth over yourself; multiple times. His are the real truths about who you are, and will keep you on the journey He planned just for you.

Thank you, Wendy Pope! Your great idea helps me find comfort in my chaos.

Ponder

What is your “that situation” that can jostle your joy? Do you have any favorite verses that pick you up? Please share them in the comments below so others might be encouraged on their journey. And let me know if you have a Spiral Bible or if you plan to create one!

Practice

A Truth: Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. Ephesians 6:14a

A Song: Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns (click here to listen)

A Read: Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow by Wendy Pope

A Prayer: Oh, Lord, thank you that I can carry your words of truth with me everywhere. Let me place your voice, and who you tell me I am, above any negative voices that speak into my life today. Help me to let your truths wash over me in troubled times so that I don’t spiral out of control. Place others around me who will encourage me to chase hard after your voice until my soul is soothed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Other Popular Posts:

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Time Alone in the Desert Impacts Faith

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Father’s Day Hope for Daddyless Daughters http://www.journeytohim.com/fathers-day-hope-daddyless-daughters/ http://www.journeytohim.com/fathers-day-hope-daddyless-daughters/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2016 00:14:55 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=1046 Father’s Day is upon us and sometimes that’s not the best day for daddyless daughters. I don’t remember living with my father; my parents divorced when I was a toddler. My dad wasn’t an absentee father, but there were no “Wednesdays and every other weekend” arrangements that are commonplace today. Mom had sole custody and […]

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Daddyless daughterFather’s Day is upon us and sometimes that’s not the best day for daddyless daughters.

I don’t remember living with my father; my parents divorced when I was a toddler. My dad wasn’t an absentee father, but there were no “Wednesdays and every other weekend” arrangements that are commonplace today. Mom had sole custody and my dad visited on sporadic occasions.

With a working, single mom at the helm, I grew up with too much liberty and too little leadership.

While I reveled in the freedom of a near parent-less existence, that same freedom fostered the notion that I could manage life on my own.

Feeling like an adult, I left my childhood home at the age of 15.

I had no idea I was operating with a little girl’s heart whose first love left nothing but scars of rejection, fear of abandonment and a gaping hole that longed to be filled.

Unknowingly, I hunted after people, possessions, and positions to quiet my soul. But the hole in my heart prevailed over any successes I captured.

It wasn’t long before I found myself divorced with two children, and on a therapist’s couch, did I learn that life as a daddyless daughter had been writing an indelible story on my heart.

Forging behaviors and habits that would be hard to erase. And forever shaping the motivation behind my actions.


Life as a daddyless daughter had been writing an indelible story on my heart.
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Let me share what I learned on that couch. (These behaviors can also exist in women with physically present, but emotionally absent fathers.)

Fallout of the Fatherless:

• Rejected from day one, we fear abandonment. We may guard our hearts tightly, not allowing ourselves to be too emotionally invested in our relationships.
• We can mistake longing for love so we try harder and give more than we get in return. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, we subconsciously set ourselves up for the disappointment we are certain will come our way.


Daddyless daughters don’t trust because the first one we put trust in proved to be untrustworthy
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• We look for love in all the wrong places. Often seeking emotionally unavailable or older men.
• We’re uncomfortable relying on others because we navigated life and love on our own from a young age.


Daddyless daughters are fiercely independent and frighteningly insecure.
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• We are generally people-pleasers. We can even compromise our moral code in order to be accepted and loved by others.

This was me! I had many, if not all of these symptoms. But, I masked my imperfections and continued to seek love only to be hurt by it.

Fortunately, as a young adult, I was able to spend some quality time with my father. But, just when I was getting to know him and make up for lost time, he would be snatched from my heart once again.

My father died very young … We never had the opportunity to finish “catching up”.

I didn’t get to walk down the aisle with my arm locked in his, trusting him to support my shaking legs. And my children will never know his calm demeanor and amazing wit.

With his death, I was taken back to that place of rejection, abandonment, and longing.

The pitfalls of being a daddyless daughter plagued me even when I became a Christ-follower.

My fierce independence and guarded heart made it difficult to trust God. To let Him in. To believe He truly loved me.

But one day, He stepped into my little girl heart in a very big way.

During a particularly sad evening missing my daddy, I snuggled up in my cozy chair, with my cozy covers, to spend time with God. I was burdened with the reality that although my head knew my father loved me, my heart never felt loved. Worse … any opportunity to change that had vanished.

And so I questioned God. Questioned whether He truly loved me. And if I could I trust His love would not fail me.

My eyes flooded as I poured out my wounded heart into God’s open hands.

I told Him about the empty space in my heart. I pleaded with Him to please show me that He loved me. That I was important to Him. That I could trust Him with my heart. “God, do you love me?” I cried out.

With my good cry out of the way, I picked up my Bible and settled in. My eyes landed on this passage…

“What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 

I let my heart linger there a while. The words gripping me. Holding me in a new place of assurance I had never known. The floodgates opened once more. Joy and renewal washed over me. That gaping hole was filled.

The hurting little girl inside allowed God to pick her up and be held in her Father’s arms for the very first time.

Since that April night ten years ago, I’ve never again questioned God’s love for me. Oh, I’ve questioned why He puts me where He does and why He asks me to do the things He does, but I’ve never felt unloved. Even as a single woman.

God loves us more.

More than any earthly father. More than our spouse, children and friends.

You can count on that truth. And that truth can dust away any lingering rejection or abandonment you may have parked on a shelf in the hollows of your heart.

He has not forgotten you no matter where you are on your journey! Pray that verse over yourself and believe it.

He even cares about the sparrows, but you are so much more than that to Him.

Ponder:

Father’s Day is one of the most painful days for us daddyless daughters. Won’t you let Him end that for you this year? Ask God to clear this up for you once and for all. He will be faithful to do so. He wants to hold your heart safely in His hands.

If you have experience as a daddyless daughter, please share your journey with us in the comment section. We grow when we share.

Practice:

A Truth: “How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7 

A Song: Good Good Father, by Chris Tomlin (Click to listen)

A Read: Daddy, Do You Love Me by Ariel Allison & Shelby Rawson

A Prayer: Father, thank you for loving me more. I want to be overwhelmed by your love. Remind me daily, that the proof of your love is the price that you paid. Let the tears I cry as I long for my earthly father be replaced with assurance of your love. Hold me, Father, forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Being Obedient When You Think Rules Don’t Apply to You http://www.journeytohim.com/obedient-think-rules-dont-apply/ http://www.journeytohim.com/obedient-think-rules-dont-apply/#comments Sun, 01 May 2016 23:19:12 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=994 I was driving on a lonely two-lane stretch across the middle of the state of Florida. It had been a tough week and I was more than tired. Stuck behind a semi tractor-trailer traveling at a snail’s pace, my patience was wearing thin. It felt like I would never get home. Finally, a passing lane […]

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Obedience When You Think Rules Don't Apply to You

I was driving on a lonely two-lane stretch across the middle of the state of Florida. It had been a tough week and I was more than tired. Stuck behind a semi tractor-trailer traveling at a snail’s pace, my patience was wearing thin. It felt like I would never get home.

Finally, a passing lane was in sight. I made my move.

Pressing down hard on the accelerator I picked up speed and began passing the obstacle that was between me and my bed.

And that’s when I saw him. I hoped he didn’t see me, but the flashing lights in my rear-view mirror shattered all hope.

While I think everyone needs an up close and personal encounter with a Polk County Sheriff at some point in their life, I didn’t want today to be my day.

Attempting to set the tone of this little adventure, I mustered up my best I love police officers greeting.

“Hello, Officer, how are you?”

“Driver’s license and registration,” came his curt reply.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, playing dumb.

“You were speeding.”

“I was?” More dumb-play.

“Yes ma’am,” he said.

When did my age creep into the ma’am category?

“Do you know the speed limit here?” he asked.

With conviction, I responded, “I believe it’s 65.”

“It’s 50. You were doing 75,” he retorted.

“Oh. I know I sped up…a little, but I was trying to pass that semi. I think it’s dangerous to travel behind a semi on a two-lane highway. You know, limited visibility and all. And, this is a passing lane. Aren’t you supposed to speed up in the passing lane?”

Not buying my any of my rhetoric, he replied, “Wait here, ma’am.”

Would you please stop with the name calling? I am not old enough to be a “ma’am”!

As I sat there waiting, knowing the inevitable outcome, I began to get mad. Why didn’t he understand my story? It was reasonable. Why didn’t he bend the rules for me?

But the better question was, why did I think this rule didn’t apply to me?

I am nothing if I’m not a rule following girl. But, that day I learned perhaps I’m only a rule following girl when I understand and agree with the rule.

I guess we can all fall into that trap. Not the Polk County Sherriff’s speed trap, but the trap of believing some rules don’t apply to us. That trap gives us license to talk ourselves out of compliance.

We adjust rules we don’t like so they better fit our desires and needs. We twist them into a distorted version of the original; bending them until they’re tailor-made just for us.

We can do this with God, too. We can bend and twist God’s word so it’s more aligned with our desires.

We can water it down, add to it, and subtract from it until we get just the right recipe of words to create a palatable “rule” that is sure to satisfy our taste du jour.

Thankfully, God gives us only two rules. Just two! And they are perfect for us.

(1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  (2) And, love your neighbor as yourself. Mark12:30-31

Those two rules are fundamental to our purpose. They are designed to keep us in His will so we can successfully carry out everything He will ask us to do.

Indeed, every instruction He gives us to effectively follow Him, hinge on these two rules.

His will is perfect; ours is flawed. And spinning God’s word takes us out of His will.

When we allow our will to rule over His, we can miss divine assignments and blessings reserved just for us. We can miss parts of His majestic plan. We can miss some of the best He has in store for us.

When I look back at the times I’ve fallen short of loving God fully and loving others as myself, it’s usually because it wasn’t convenient for me at the time. But,


Obedience is rarely convenient.
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Obedience is defined as “dutiful or submissive compliance”. It’s a maturity thing. It takes being intentional and disciplined. It’s comforting to know that even Paul struggled with this as well (Romans 7:15-16); so we are in good company!

We all struggle at times with denying ourselves to be obedient to God’s will. Following God’s commands and assignments, even when we don’t understand or agree with them, is a sign of spiritual maturity.


At some point, we have to grow up if we are going to grow into what God has planned for us.
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I want to be compliant with what God calls me to do. And that means doing things I sometimes don’t want to do. And not doing things I do want to do.

That speeding ticket cost me something that day. It cost me money and it cost me precious time. Certainly, it wasn’t what God wanted for me that day. But how crazy is it that He used it to grow me up just a little bit more!

Oh yes, these are the disciplines that make us disciples.

Ponder

What “rules” are you hesitant to follow? What disciplines are your big struggles? Have you overcome struggles with obedience? Please share your journey in the comments. We need your encouragement today.

Practice

A Truth“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.” 2 John 1:6

A Song: Trust and Obey by Hillsong Kids (Click here to listen)

A Read: The Heart of Love: Obeying God’s Two Great Commandments by Ted Rivera

A Prayer: Lord, thank you for reminding us that obedience, while not easy, is what’s best for us. You are infinitely greater and smarter than us. You have the best in store for us. Help us not miss your plan for our life because of disobedience. Grow this discipline in us. Give us the strength to fully follow and fully obey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Journey to Him Accepts the Liebster Award http://www.journeytohim.com/accepts-liebster-award/ http://www.journeytohim.com/accepts-liebster-award/#comments Sat, 09 Jan 2016 21:59:19 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=906   My eyes shot open in shock and awe. I kept reading. Award … Blogging award … Blogging award for me! What? Me? I’ve only been blogging for a month and a half! There are awards for this? That was my response as I read a comment on my blog from my new, and now very best […]

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Liebster Award

 

My eyes shot open in shock and awe. I kept reading. Award … Blogging award … Blogging award for me!

What? Me? I’ve only been blogging for a month and a half! There are awards for this?

That was my response as I read a comment on my blog from my new, and now very best friend Jaime Wiebel who blogs at Seeking God in All I Do.

My second response was something along the lines of … Clearly this is a spam comment. Can someone actually send spam comments from Jaime? Why is there so much spamming in blogging anyway?

But it’s legit!


The #Liebster Award is given to bloggers, by #bloggers.
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That’s really the sweetest type of award isn’t it; when you’re nominated by your peers?

This award provides an opportunity to experience the fine work of other bloggers and gain exposure for your blog as well. It also has the ability to dismantle competitiveness and envy.

I’m not typically an award recipient. And to be honest, I’ve felt a bit out of my element this past month and a half of blogging. I did all the right things … link up with other bloggers, hang out on social media, etc. But, I found most of the other Christian bloggers weren’t anything like me.

  • They’re all married – I’m divorced.
  • They’re mostly stay-at-home moms – My cherished stay-at-home days are long gone; I work outside the home.
  • Many of them, actually a lot of them, are home-schooling – Okay, let’s just say if I home-schooled, there would be a lot of recess on the curriculum!

Gratefully, I found our differences didn’t make a difference.

I have been welcomed with open arms and generous hearts.

And isn’t that exactly how God wants us to be? The body of Christ is the perfect example of how He gathers together all our differences and molds them into something far bigger than we could accomplish flying solo. A family that builds each other up, and together glorifies God.


We are all award winners in God’s eyes.
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Jaime is a prime example of the wonderful community of writers I’ve come to know. She has been a great encourager as I swim in these unchartered waters God led me to.

Here’s how the Liebster Award works:

  • You write a post accepting the award and include a link back to the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer the questions the nominating blogger provides (see my answers below)
  • Nominate 3-5 other bloggers for the award (rules vary here, but less than 3,000 followers is desired)
  • Provide a list of 5-10 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Acceptance of the award is voluntary

Here are the questions Jaime would like me to answer:

What is your favorite thing to do with your family?

That would have to be just hanging at home, sharing a meal and sharing our hearts. My children are college-aged so I’m savoring these times at the moment.

How did you spend the holidays?

With family Christmas Eve and with a couple close friends Christmas Night. It couldn’t have been sweeter.

Do you have any goals, resolutions, or a “word” for the new year?

I did One Word for the first time last year. My word was PATIENCE. I wrote about the experience in a recent post. I will never make another New Year’s Resolution again after that experience. I am still praying and wrestling with my 2016 word. It might be STILL, PAUSE or SINGULAR.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Hopefully, I haven’t found it yet!  Some favorites: Paris, Austin, Chicago, NYC, anywhere in California.

How diligent are you about documenting your life with writing, pictures, or blogging?

Organization might be my middle name, so I’m pretty good about this. I keep a writer’s journal where I document thoughts and learnings that come to me so I won’t forget. I refer back to this when it’s posting time. My blogs are me … raw and real.

Where is your favorite place to spend time with the Lord?

I can always find God anywhere in His creation if I linger there a while, but the ocean is my favorite.

Are you a part of any communities that encourage your walk with Christ?

I could not live without my small group. They are my biggest encouragers. Recently, I went through some extremely difficult times. Through tears, I told one of them I couldn’t even pray; I couldn’t still my heart. Her response, “That’s okay. We are praying for you.” Priceless.

What made you begin blogging?

God was nudging me to write and I tried my best to ignore it. But, He is relentless so here I am. The catalyst was another blog where He clearly told me I had something to say and He wanted me to say it. It became my first blog post. It is about the freedom you gain when you unmask your pain.

What is your one “secret tip” for blogging that you want to share?

Wow, I’m too new at this to have any tips. Let me think … Besides the obvious (prayer) I recently read about a tip for writer’s block that I plan to test out. It’s based on the premise that it’s easier to respond to a conversation than to start one. So, hop on a couple of discussion boards in your niche. Search for some forums where you feel you could lend some experience to the conversation. There’s your next post!

If you could be doing any job you choose, what would it be?

A full-time volunteer teaching others about life, divorce, leadership, parenting, and faith. Hopefully, my employer isn’t reading this, but if you are … I love my job!

Thank you, again, Jaime. Totally shocked, honored and blessed by this.

The bloggers I am nominating, and the questions they should answer, are listed (in no particular order) after the Ponder and Practice section.

Ponder

You are so loved by God, an award winner in His eyes. Spend some time soaking that in and responding to it. Please leave a comment on your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.

Practice

A Truth:  “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12

A Song: If We Are The Body Casting Crowns (click here to listen)

A Read: Please check out the bloggers I list below for some fresh reading material.

A Prayer: God, thank you for the community of writers I have found in such a short period of time. Help us all to maintain our focus, our diligence and our passion for this mission. Keep us in community with one another. Helping and encouraging where we can. Let this community of bloggers be an example of the body of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Katie Westenberg – I Choose Brave: The title of her blog alone drew me in. She has some great insight on living fearlessly in Christ.

Donna Reidland – Soul Survival: Donna has some great Bible studies and she’s not afraid to tackle the tough subjects.

Horace Williams, Jr – Pleasing to the Potter: All you have to do is read his testimony and you’ll be hooked.

And, should you accept the nomination, your questions are:

  1. What prompted you to start blogging?
  2. What do you love most about blogging?
  3. What have you found to be the best way to gain exposure for your blog?
  4. Can you share a blogging tip?
  5. How do you generate ideas for your posts?
  6. Where’s your favorite place to be when you’re writing?
  7. What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your blogging journey?
  8. What’s the one thing you’d like us to know about you?

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Forget Resolutions – Find Your One Word Game Changer http://www.journeytohim.com/forget-resolutions-find-one-word-game-changer/ http://www.journeytohim.com/forget-resolutions-find-one-word-game-changer/#comments Sat, 26 Dec 2015 06:54:13 +0000 http://www.journeytohim.com/?p=630 We’ve all done it. At one time or another, usually around this time of year, we decide to change some things in our life. And we’re serious about it. So serious that we commit it to paper. We make lists or even step-by-step plans. We publicly share it with others. We make an earnest commitment […]

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Forget Resolutions Find Your One Word Game Changer

We’ve all done it.

At one time or another, usually around this time of year, we decide to change some things in our life. And we’re serious about it.

So serious that we commit it to paper. We make lists or even step-by-step plans. We publicly share it with others. We make an earnest commitment to change and truly believe we will be victorious.

We have a name for this phenomenon. 

It’s called the New Year’s Resolution. We resolve to make vital changes we think will enhance our life.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute,


45% of us play the New Year’s Resolution game.
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After only one month, 25% of us drop out. The drop-out rate increases as the months slip by. In fact, they go on to suggest …


Only 8% of us are successful in keeping our resolutions.
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That’s millions of New Year’s Resolution drop-outs! And …. I am one of them.

So what happens? Why don’t resolutions work?

We start out fully committed, resolute, and all-in. We pledge that this is the year we are going to be successful.

But something goes wrong between our pledge and our performance.

And right around late February, possibly early March, our New Year’s Resolution is nothing but an unspoken thing of the past.

Some of the top reasons resolutions aren’t successful? They’re too big in scope, too vague in detail, or we just have too many of them. Last year I transitioned “too” to “one”.

I read a study on YouVersion Bible App called One Word That Will Change Your Life (derived from a book of the same name). And it delivered! It provided a game changing alternative to resolutions.

You simply select one word that you want to focus on for the entire year. Not a phrase, not a statement – one word.

When you begin to do the same old thing you used to, the thing you want to change, your One Word will step into the limelight. Reminding you of your commitment to do things differently.

So how do you get your word?

Start by thinking and praying about your One Word. It may take a while so don’t be discouraged. Last year I settled on my One Word after three weeks of prayer and wrestling! It will come to you. And then it will come to you all year long.

Your One Word can be anything. It might be an area you feel God is calling you to grow in. It might be a fruit of the spirit or a character trait you’d like to improve upon. It could even be an attribute you admire in Jesus or another follower.

Words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21a tells us they are “life and death” powerful. Our words can elevate or deflate others. Likewise, the words we speak to ourselves have power to impact our hearts and thus our actions.

Last year my One Word was PATIENCE. Something I’m typically in very short supply of!

Let me share what this past year and my first One Word experience taught me:

My triggers: I know exactly what triggers my impatience. Slow drivers, slow people, and slow processes. Prior to having my One Word, I thought impatience was just who I was. But the reality is my impatience shows up when my fast pace is slowed down by someone else.

Impatience with myself: This habit of impatience would also show up when I felt like I didn’t perform as well as I think I could or should have. I wasn’t tapping into the love and grace God wanted to extend to me when I needed it the most.

Awareness of my need to change in this area:


Awareness ALWAYS precedes change.
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 If there is no awareness, there is no change. God used my One Word to reveal I was selfishly imposing my speed and my agenda onto those around me. My impatience was keeping me from extending love and grace towards others when things outside my control slowed me down. He made me acutely aware I was moving way too fast.

Skills needed to undo impatience in my life: I learned to turn to God in my times of impatience. And isn’t that what He really wants … for us to turn to Him for everything? Had I not been focused on my One Word, I would have missed countless opportunities to commune with God. And countless opportunities to extend love and grace to others. And bonus … I learned that even during my times of perceived failures, He is not at all impatient with me.

Now, have I mastered this? Oh, heck no! But, I know my awareness and growth in this area will continue.

Your One Word has the ability to span across every area of your life. It can impact you spiritually, financially, emotionally, relationally and even physically.

Assigning a One Word theme for the year can speak life and newness into our hearts and mind.

I crossed over this learning into my business life as well. I’ve used it with employees and other leaders who want to develop their skills. I know this works.

I promise you, this is a game changer you can use on your journey and it won’t fizzle out by March!

Download my FREEBIE guide on how to have success with your One Word that includes potential words you might like.

Tips for Success Printable

Ponder

What do you want to change this year? What one word could be your theme for the year? Please share in the comments below. FREEBIE: For a free resource from the authors of One Word That Will Change Your Life, go to their site and you will find a free, downloadable Action Plan that you can use and share.

Practice

A Truth:  “The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.” Job:33:1

A Song: Words By Hawk Nelson (click here to listen)

A Read: One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordan and Dan Britton 

A Prayer: God, thank you for the gift of words. For the power they hold. I ask that you put one word on my heart that you want me to focus on this year. Help others reading this to pray and ponder on the word that is best for them. I ask that you use this word to work in our hearts and our lives. To build us up. To grow us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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