Tag Archives: peace

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

My dream is for us all to dream big and go after our dreams with everything we have.

Regardless of how exciting dream chasing is, life will always be full of boring moments. We all have basic maintenance things we have to do each day. We have to clean our homes, feed our dogs, and fill our cars with gas over and over again.

Personally I find it tedious to wash my face and brush my teeth every single night. I choose to be faithful in these little things because I know that they are important in both the short and long term.

tooth and toothbrush

These maintenance moments are some of the basic building blocks of life.

Sometimes God leaves us in a place of boring repetition because He has us in a holding pattern. Regardless of how boring our lives may seem, people around us are watching.

There will suddenly come a moment when all of your steadiness will pay off. Your consistent choosing to have a joyful attitude in the midst of plain normal life will open up the door for a “wow” moment.

You never can tell when your faithfulness will open the door for you to make a forever impact in someone’s life.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9

Slow and steady wins the race!

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I Want to Be a Tree Part 3

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1:3

I love trees, but I’m not a tree hugger in the environmental sense. Trees are a poetic inspiration for me. I love to look at them in pictures and in real life.

One of my spiritual daughters has heard me talk about my love for trees so many times, that she has started to tease me about it. She suggests that when I die, I should be cremated and planted with a young tree so that I can physically become a tree!

Consider Psalm 1:3.

  • He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Firmly planted makes me think that someone took the care to plan where the tree was placed. Being close to streams means that the tree’s root system has underground access to life giving water.
  • Which yields its fruit in season At the right time fruit happens. The tree doesn’t have to strain to produce fruit.
  • And its leaf does not wither; Because this tree is planted in fertile soil and in a strategic location, it stays healthy all the way to its tips.
  • And in whatever he does, he prospers. The person whose life is rooted like this tree will have success in whatever he does. Everything he touches will prosper.

Take time to consider your root system today. Ask Holy Spirit if there is any gardening He wants to do in your life. He knows exactly which nutrients and which environment you need so that you can stand firmly planted.

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Swirly spring Tree - Illustration

Psalm 1

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I Want to Be a Tree Part 2

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:2

There is nothing like the Word of God. It is the start to everything good in life. Blessings come all over us when we start off each morning and end each day thinking about God’s words.

Think about Psalm 1:2.

  • But his delight is in the law of the Lord, I love the Word of God! I am growing in my love for the Word of God.
  • And in His law he meditates day and night. I remind myself of God’s ways at least twice a day. I ask Holy Spirit to help me understand His words as I contemplate them.

 

We all know what it is like to have a tune stuck in our head. What if you were to choose which song got stuck instead of leaving the soundtrack of your mind to chance.

When I was a kid “scripture songs” were very popular. People would sing scripture verses word for word. Recordings were made of these songs so that people all over the world were able to learn and sing the scriptures together.

Putting scripture to music is a great way to store up God’s words in your memory. I find that verses that I learned to sing as a child “randomly” pop up in my mind all the time. I am able to sing the songs, even silently to myself, as I go about my day.  This is one of my favorite ways to meditate on His law. What a blessing!

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Click here to read Part 1 of this series!

I tried to find a Psalm 1 song for you, but I couldn’t seem to choose one that I thought would appeal to the majority of my readers. If you know a good one, please share it with me!

 Click here to check out the Joyce Meyer teaching I have been enjoying this past week.

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I Want to Be a Tree Part 1

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How blessed is the man who does not walk

in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Psalm 1:1

Years ago, when my kids were very young, I got into a habit of starting my day by watching a popular morning show on t.v. At the time, I had four small kids. Getting out of the house was a major production. Watching this show made it possible for me to experience some of the outside world without all the hassle of actually going anywhere. I enjoyed the news updates and the playful way that the hosts related with each other. They also featured advice on a variety of topics. Some of the advice was helpful; some of it was mixed with ungodliness.

One day the Lord reminded me of Psalm 1:1.

 

  • How blessed is the man (or woman in my case) who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, This reminded me that God’s word has all of the perfect advice that I need to live my life with the maximum amount of blessings.
  • Nor stand in the path of sinners, I will be more blessed if I do not spend the majority of my time hanging out with sinners. I need to spend time with unsaved people so I can be a light to them, not to absorb their mindsets.
  • Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! Though it can be entertaining to listen to stories and jokes about other people, joining in making fun of others is not the path to the blessed life.

I still watch morning shows occasionally, but overall I have learned that moderation is best. There are some things that go on in the world that are simply better for us not to know about. There are blessings galore for the person who does not look to the world for wisdom.

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Phantom Worry

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The city that I live in seems to be in a competition with Chicago for the title of “Windy City.” We regularly get high winds blowing in over the flat prairie. The wind has made our home life interesting.

  1. When we have a combination of snow and wind, we almost always end up with a 2-3 foot snow drift covering our driveway. The crazy thing is that the yard will be nearly snow free. For some reason the way our house is situated causes the wind to pick the snow up from the yard and drop it into the drive way.
  2. We have had two trampolines over the years. The first one blew away in the middle of the night. The wind picked it up and carried it all the way down the street, past 5 or 6 houses, and dropped it into a pond where it presumably still is today. As the trampoline traveled down the street, it left pieces of itself along the way in the neighbors’ yards. We had to pay $160 to repair our neighbor’s fence. We tied the second trampoline down firmly, but it eventually wore out from use so we got rid of it.
  3. A few years ago my parents gave the kids a basketball goal for Christmas. It was the kind that you put sand in to weigh it down, as opposed to the kind that you cement into the ground. Even with 300 pounds of sand, the wind regularly blew it over. We had to be careful to not park the car near it on windy days. Eventually one of the metal rods that held the goal up, snapped clean through because of the pressure from the wind.

When my husband and I woke up one recent windy morning, we had the same thought. We both experienced a moment of worry, only to breathe a sigh of relief when we remembered that we had nothing left in the yard to blow away.

We laughed together, and Christopher said, “That was like phantom worry.” It was kind of like the stories you hear about amputees who still feel sensations from their missing limbs. Or maybe what more of us can relate to, the feeling of your phone vibrating when it really isn’t.

It made me think, how many of the things we worry about are even reality. Maybe a huge portion of our worry is only a matter of habit. What do you think?

Click to view 24 sec. video from Author’s fair

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Do You Think I Should Practice What I Preach?

 

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Recently I went through several days of extreme sickness. I literally did not have enough strength to hold my head up and had to lie down for five days straight. I actually felt worn out just from lying down existing. Turns out I had a severe sinus infection or possibly bronchitis.

I am feeling much better now, but I’ve got to tell you, that was hard.

I have had to really practice what I preach lately. There is just something about not feeling well physically that tears away at your emotions.

I am getting better, but I have had to choose to put my focus on positive hopeful things more than I normally do.

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I want to encourage you to join me in picking what to think about.

Let’s harness our thoughts starting right now so that we can live in peace today!

Be Still and Know Song by Mark Snider

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Your Natural Default

Did you know that you can live in perfect peace?  Did you know that fear and worry are tools of the enemy to keep you from your destiny?  I am so tired of the enemy tricking us into thinking that fear and worry are some kind of normal emotions.
It seems to be socially acceptable to worry about our kids or family members.   That’s nuts.  Fear and worry are evil spirits that we can choose to stand against or to agree with.  It is a battle.  We need to see it for what it is and fight.  Let’s not agree with the enemy and let him have place to rule in our hearts.
Ok, where to begin:  we have to be aware of our self talk….the voices in our head.  Every single thought you have is not your own.  The devil whispers lies constantly and we have to practice recognizing them and not agreeing with them.
It is great to have a healthy friend or spiritual parent to tell your thoughts to.  They should be able to help you decide where the thought is coming from.  When we agree with God’s thoughts towards us, we grow in peace and joy.  When we agree with the enemy, we open the door for him to come in and destroy our peace.
Holy Spirit is our Friend and Helper.  We need Him so much.  As we take time to value Him and soak in His presence, He fills us up.
The enemy will do everything he can to keep you from living in peace. Quieting the heart does not come natural to everyone.  Living in peace is a skill that you can practice.
As children of God it is our nature to love.  It is not our nature to live in fear.
Practice until peace and joy are your natural default.
 Please comment one fear that you are choosing to let go of today!
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Do You Matter?

Do you ever feel insignificant? The world is a big place and it can be easy to blend in.

I want to remind you today that YOU MATTER!

  • The way you walk into a room matters.
  • Your presence matters.
  • Your smile matters.
  • The words that come out of your mouth matter.

You can literally shift the atmosphere around you wherever you go!

  • People need you.
  • They need what you have to offer.
  • They need the wisdom you have gained from your many life experiences.

Put your peace and joy on so you can show up powerfully.

Don’t be afraid to show up in other people’s lives.  Don’t sit down and shut up.

 


 

 Click here to listen to the song for today!

I have given you a purpose for living my child,

I have called you by name,

I have chosen you to do something special for Me.

No one else can do it just like you can,

For the gifts I have given to you,

they are unique, my child.

So don’t go your own way,

And don’t serve your own plans,

For I,  your God, will cause a new day to dawn,

Just rise up and walk

And listen to my voice.

(Peter Warren)

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Friendship & Betrayal

 

Have you ever been betrayed? In order to be betrayed you have to have loved and trusted someone deeply.

It is stunning to me that Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas would betray Him, but it did not hold Him back from including Judas in His inner circle and risking His heart.

I think that if I knew ahead of time that someone was going to betray me, I would not even introduce myself much less bring the person into my inner circle.

Jesus is so different from me. He blows my mind. He keeps His love turned on towards all people 100% of the time.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. (John 6:64b NASB)

Jesus’ life illustrates this truth: even if you do everything absolutely perfectly, you will still experience rejection.

Perfection does not equal acceptance from the people around you.

You might even say that the more Christ like you become, the more you may experience rejection.

Jesus walked in confidence because His sense of self worth did not come from His companions.

When the Jews wanted to kill Him He said,  “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing. (John 5:19-20 NASB)

Jesus’ identity was completed wrapped up in what the Father thought about Him and in living according to His Father’s wishes.  

You won’t be healed of your rejection by analyzing the source of your rejection but by looking at the source of your acceptance. (Bob Sorge)

Your Father loves you with the same exact love He loves Jesus with. Make living your life in Him your highest aim and the acceptance or rejection from people will lose its hold on you.

 

Any pain you have stored up in your heart from betrayal belongs to you. You can choose to own it and to let it go. Choose to let it go today!

I bless you to live in peace.

P.S.

Our family watched a movie this week that I would love to share with you. It sucked all of us in because it is a fascinating true story.  I also liked it because it shows brothers laying down their lives for each other.

I checked it out for free from our public library, but here is the link to check it out on Amazon:

The Good Lie

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It’s a Bad Moment When You Wreck Both of Your Vehicles at the Same Time

I have no idea how I can drive through a messy snowstorm and make it home unscathed, only to wreck both of my vehicles in my own driveway a couple days later when the weather is totally fine.
I do have a few lame excuses for how it happened:
  1. Our car had been at the mechanic shop for a couple days and I got very used to it being gone,
  2. I was in a hurry to get all the kids and all of our stuff into the van and to church on time,
  3. It was pitch dark outside so when I glanced at the driveway all I saw was black,
  4. Normally on Wednesday nights Christopher would have taken the car and headed to church by this time, but he was in Brazil preaching in a bunch of different churches.
None of these excuses make what happened much easier to bear. The fact of the matter is I just plain forgot that the car was in the driveway. I put my van into reverse, slowly backed up, and crunch! I paused. I was puzzled.  What in the world was that? Crap, oh yeah. 
Judah and I both got out of the van and looked around, but it was so dark out that we couldn’t really tell how much damage had been done. We got back into the van and headed to church.
The fact of the matter is no matter how much damage was done it just wasn’t worth losing my peace. I knew it was an important moment for my kids too. They needed to see mom not freak out over something that was clearly not a fun situation.
It may cost money to have the vehicles repaired, but money is just money. God provides what we need, and we use what He provides to take care of our needs.
Of course I would prefer not to spend money on repairing both of my vehicles, but hey, it is what it is.
The fact that this is the third time in my life that I have backed into a parked car should be laughable. I may not be laughing at it yet, but I am choosing to let it go.
Life is too short to stress over things that are not a matter of life and death.
Word to the wise: don’t park your car behind me!
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