small things, Big Difference – One Word 2015

I do not like resolutions and or huge goals….why? Because I feel like I will fail before I even start. So, while listening to Pastor Craig Groeschel speak in this video “small things, Big Difference”, I have learned that I need to figure out “what do I want most over what I want now?” (good question, eh?) 1 Cor 9:24-27 (go read it), we are running to WIN!!! *the Eternal Prize*.  We need to run with purpose. So….What do YOU want most??? YOU! Yes YOU!!

  1. One Word: Small beginnings
  2. My One Discipline: thoughts, think on these things. A sentence, Bible verse(s), something to help you remember your ONE WORD
  3. Build others up: Use Godly words. The power of God’s disciple, being faithful in the small things. Seeing the small things that maybe no one else sees. Power verses to remind you of God’s work in you.

Seek small things
Seek discipline
Seek God for One Disciple
Use that forward momentum
Have an impact in this world!!!

2015:

My one word for this coming year is JOY.

The reason I chose this word is because in 2014, I hadn’t felt much joy.  I had a very hard time finding much joy.  It wasn’t that I was sad all the time, I just didn’t feel content.  My head was constantly going with all the things I thought I “had” to do.  In the meantime, I had numerous people ask me, “what brings you joy, Julie?” After thinking on this question for quite some time, I couldn’t even come up with a list on one hand. Then I did some praying and meditation, JOY was the first word that popped into my head. I will be working hard incorporating more joy into my life, in all areas: relationships (family, friends, professional contacts, etc), college, and my college work, volunteering, writing, looking for work, and my adventure in locating new housing.  I will attempt to find joy in just about anything and anyone I come into contact with.  I have my small notebook ready to go.

My power verses:    I want to memorize these.

Psalm 98:4 (NIRV) Shout to the Lord with joy, everyone on earth. Burst into joyful songs and make music.
Philippians 4:4 (NIRV) Always be joyful because you belong to the Lord. I will say it again. Be joyful.
Psalm 86:4 (NIRV) Bring joy to me. Lord, I worship you.
John 15:11 (NIRV) I have told you this so that my joy will be in you. I also want your joy to be complete.
Psalm 94:19 (NIRV) I was very worried. But your comfort brought joy to my heart.
2 Timothy 1:4 (NIRV) I remember your tears. I long to see you so that I can be filled with joy.

joy-wordle2

Cloud 1

Grace

Even though we talk about it, it isn’t always understood.  One thing that’s clear is that Jesus embodied it.  He was “walking grace.”   His welcome extnded to everyone, regardless of their position, pedigree or performance.  His invitation to the world was “Come as you are.”

Grace is getting what you need not what you deserve.  Grace is “unmerited favor.”  We are go.  We are forgiven.  Because we are forgiven we can go and sin no more.  We go out in truth.  Grace and truth equal Jesus.  Our job is to live like Jesus.  It’s a balances act of living the grace and truth.

So what is God saying?  We need to let go of our stones.  Our stones or rocks of revenge or ridicule.  Let them go.  Let go of the sin.  Let go of the words you may have said.  Let go of the grudges you are holding.  Forgiveness is available.  Jesus loves you more.

 

25th day of Thanks

 

Thankful.  Thankful. Thankful.

So many things to be thankful for today.  I had some clarity today and for that I am thankful.  I can’t really elaborate on that other than I can say I thank God for “a-ha” moments and for getting my bearings straight.  I also am thankful for K’s understanding nature and she didn’t freak out on me when plans got changed at the last moment.  She just kinda went with the flow.  I know that is hard for her sometimes but she just rolled with it and for that I am very thankful.

God has blessed me big time with so many things.  My daughter has a huge heart.  Kind and soft.  I have heard that from so many people, especially her teachers at school.  I see is so very often.  God is so good.  And for that, I am thankful.

 

 

Days 17 and 18

Smooshing yesterday and today together.  My K-bug is sick so was unable to post lastgive-thanks-wordartweb night.  I am thankful for tylenol and lots of water.  They are what helps most when nothing with mom hugs do.  Lots of TLC and tylenol.  That is what the prescription has been for the past couple days.  Trying to keep her temp down and get her feeling better.  She is home from school today.  Her temp is running normal right now.  I hope it maintains that way.  I am thankful that God gives me the knowledge to know how to help her when she is not feeling well.  Ah the joys of motherhood. 🙂

Gods at War

dkidiscussion.blogspot.com

dkidiscussion.blogspot.com

Our heart tells on us!  Our actions tell what our heart is saying.  Where ever our heart is, that is where Jesus wants to be.  Are you ready to give your heart to him?

This is what the sermon last week was about.  I am finally in a spot where I can think and concentrate enough to write about what I was thinking about last week.  Good thing I took good notes while listening at church huh?

The title of the new series is : Gods At War.  Week 1:  What’s your IQ?  Pastor Phil first talked about idolatry.  The last post I wrote about something idols of food and acceptance by people back on October 29.    Idolatry is taking something that is not God and putting it in the place where God alone belongs.  This is a battle we have everyday.  We all have “sneaky idols”.  You know those ones that don’t really seem like idols but secretly we know that the could be.  (anything that competes with your time with God)  For me a few of those things are shopping, “things” or stuff, food, money, my daughter,  friends.  We are all worshipers by nature.

In Exodus 20, you know, where God gives us the 10 commandments….what is the first one?  You shall have no other Gods.  There it is.  Big and bold!  He is telling us first off and foremost….I’m the only one….Got it?  ME! God!  NO ONE ELSE BUT ME – GOD!!  He wants us to put HIM first.  But….we don’t…not always.

Our sneaky idols drain us.  They keep taking from us.  They keep us wanting more and more.  And they give less and less back to us.  We try to do things perfectly or get the perfect clothes, the perfect house, the perfect house, raise the perfect kids, and on and on, thinking this will make us happy.  Until….the next big thing comes out.  Then we want more.  We come out unhappy and unfulfilled.  We are always one purchase away from happiness.  Our idols will always disappoint us.  Always.

In the second commandment, God wants us to not make any other gods.  Our God is a jealous God.  Jealous in the sense that He loves us so much, more than anyone or anything, that he doesn’t want to share us with anyone or anything.  It hurts Him when we wander way and give ourselves to other things.   God wants us to guard ourselves from our  impatient disobedience.

We wait for God to show up.  We feel he let us down.  We wait.   That is why we choose other gods.  Other idols.  We get tired of waiting.  But He is waiting:  to teach us a lesson.  But we settle for something else.  “When the going gets tough, *a golden calf* will appear at the scene”.  Don’t settle!

Joshua 24: 14-15   14“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Idols and what not

So I wrote about my soul on Sunday……..my soul being cluttered.  One thing that clutters my soul is what I guess, to be honest, is called idols.   I wouldn’t say that I worship these things, but I do spend way too much time worrying about them and dwelling on them.

Do you worship idols?  Spend too much time thinking or dwelling on?

My idol, the thing I crave, is for other people to want me. Not in an inappropriate way, although I can see how some women would head that direction. No, I want others to want my presence and value me as a friend. I simply want people to want me around. I crave that so much that it hurts. When that need isn’t met I feel lonely and unimportant.

In high school, I had a group of girls that I ate lunch with, played volleyball with and who would consider me as part of their group.  We got along fine and I’m still in touch with a couple of them.  We didn’t do a lot together on weekends and after graduation, we all went our separate ways. Does this always happen?

Looking back logically, I know that I had a boyfriend here and there. I spent plenty of time with my family and I attended a different church than the rest of them, so it makes sense that my name didn’t always pop up when they were making plans.

They didn’t leave me out on purpose, but at the time their oversight solidified my feelings of being welcome but not wanted. I craved the acceptance of others more than I knew at the time. I wanted my friends to want me.  I wanted them to miss me when I wasn’t there. I wanted them to make plans around me once in a while. Occasionally I wanted them to act like their plans would be ruined if I couldn’t come. I wanted to feel like I was a vital part of the group.

I never did.

Those feelings of being on the outside carried over to my college years and well into adulthood.

I still crave acceptance. I want someone to look for me when I’m at church. I want someone to miss me if I’m not there. I want someone to think of me when I’m not with them. These things all sound romantic, but they apply to our friend relationships as well. It sounds juvenile, but when we have unmet needs during the early years, sometimes we can’t move on until we address those issues.  As with any other emotional need, no person can fill it. Only God can make me feel valued the way I need to.

Only God can fill that hole.

Another idol I crave is food.  I am reading a book called “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst.  This book is not a how-to manual or the latest, greatest dieting plan. It’s a book to use with whatever healthy eating plan you are using.  It’s  a book and Bible study to help you find the “want to” in how to make healthy lifestyle changes.  It’s a challenging book to read.  At lease for me, it’s challenging.

In just the introduction, it talks about having the “want to” to change.  My want to is there…sometimes.  I want to, but then I take it back.  I have to be willing to give it all over to God.  Everything.  Period.

“Getting healthy isn’t just about losing weight. It’s not limited to adjusting our diet and hoping for good physical results. It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change—spiritually, physically and mentally. And the battle really is in all three areas. Spiritually. I had to ask God to give me the desire to be healthy. I knew a vanity-seeking “want to” would never last. Shallow desires produce only shallow efforts. I had to seek a spiritual “want to” empowered by God Himself. So, I asked. I begged, actually. I cried out to God. And day by day, God gave me just enough “want to,” laced with his strength, to be satisfied by healthy choices.” (p.6)  The other two areas are physically and mentally.  Physically, I have to be willing to move…get off the couch and get moving.  And mentally, I have to remember God’s promises.

Do you have an idol, some deep desire that you long for so much that it overtakes your desire for God? It could be something good; a happy home, a secure future, friendship, children; but the thought of never having it makes your faith slip a bit.

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.” —Ezekiel 36:25

It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

Why am I so angry?

©www.managetogrow.com

©www.managetogrow.com

What a big question!  There are so many little things….I don’t think there is just one big thing….

I have always told myself and others probably, that I am not usually an angry person.  But lately I would have to say that isn’t necessarily true.  Although, MEA break and K being at g’ma’s did help some to get things back into perspective.  (add a short stint hospital stay on the mental health unit too)

So I sat down this past weekend and made a list.  Everything on the list wasn’t huge.  They were little things.  Some seemed really insignificant but they ticked me off to a point.  

  • not finding enough quarters to do a load of laundry
  • the fridge needs to be cleaned out….again
  • the dishwasher needs to be unloaded and reloaded
  • my closet needs to be cleaned out
  • k’s clothes need to be gone through…again
  • I want a vacation and there is no money for one
  • i have more month than money…again
  • the apartment is dusty…those dustbunnies keep moving
  • the balcony needs cleaning off….those metal bunkbed parts need to be in the recycling bin
  • I feel fat
  • my foot is still in the boot and I can’t do all the things I want to do
  • my apt manager wanted the extra storage closet, so now I have all these empty boxes that i had in there, in my kitchen and no place to put them….

So, what do I do with that?  My list is longer….it actually took up the front and part of the back of a piece of notebook paper…..

What can I learn from this?  I have been reading a book called Soul Shaping by Jeff Brown.  I think I have mentioned this before.  Here is another quote from him, ”  We are much too hard on ourselves. Really we are. We beat ourselves up, we ‘should’ on ourselves, we compare ourselves to others, we postpone self-love until we reach a stage of perfection that is impossibly unrealistic. We are so hard on ourselves, but how are we to know better? It’s not like there is a book that lays it all down. Its not like we downloaded perfection. We are still writing that book, writing it with the blood of lessons learned, writing it with ink that is forged in the fires of transformation. We are learning as we g(r)o(w). So lets give ourselves a break. Often. Kindly. Gently. Really. It’s a huge thing to grow beyond the parameters of our familiar ways of being. Berating ourselves won’t get us anywhere. A little self-love will go a long way…”

Self love?  Me??? Love myself?  Oh there are way too many things to count to NOT love….. but let me bring another train of thought about self love…..

The Bible talks about the law of harvest.  It’s the season of harvest now right?  My brother and brother-in-law are both in the fields.  (both are farmers).  What you reap is what you sow, right?  My brother plants soybeans and corn.  So then he reaps both soybeans and corn (well this year…was  not a good year for corn…so he made silage).  But you get the picture.  So if you plant, say poison oak, you will get poison oak…but who goes around planting poison oak???  NOT ME!!  But I have happened upon it!

Poison oak is kinda like anger.  Sometimes you just happen upon it.  Like poison oak, if you touch it, it festers.  It itches, and you want to scratch it.  Anger sometimes does that too.  I know it festers.  It does that in me.  I don’t acknowledge it right away and something little will set me off like a ticking time bomb.  It’s like picking a scab.  Then it oozes all over.  I know, YUCK!!!

Anyways, in the book of James, chapter 3 verse 10 says ” Praise and cursing come out of the same mouth.  My brothers and sisters, it should be that way.”  And in the same chapter verses 17-18, “But he wisdom and that comes from heaven is pure.  That’s the most important thing about it.  And that’s not all.  It also loves peace.  It thinks about others.  It obeys.  It is full of mercy and good fruit.  It is fair.   It doesn’t pretend to be what it is not.  Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed.  If they do, it will produce a crop of right living.”

WHOA!!!  Plant some peace….I will get peace???  hmmmm

©Stock Photo © Vasily Merkushev

©Stock Photo © Vasily Merkushev

So maybe if I stop hollering at K, she will stop hollering at me?  Maybe if I approach her with loving-kindness and peacefulness, she won’t get so rebellious with me?  hmmmm  Maybe if I give myself a break with my foot being in a boot and acknowledging that well, I just can’t do all the strenuous things right now, that it’s ok?

I’m the one who let K start the habit of getting by with not doing her chore.  I’m the one who didn’t follow through with consequences.  I let it slide.  I am the one who chose to play on facebook instead of cleaning out the fridge or doing the dishes right away.  ugh!!

All these little things add up.  I have to say, if I tackle my list, little by little, I think maybe I can tackle my anger bit by bit.  Ya know?

I probably will get discouraged as I find myself doing so very often.  But I have to keep reminding myself that God is in this with me.  Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads.  I will give you rest.”  God loves me no matter what.   No matter where or what I am doing.  I make mistakes just like everyone else.  I know Jesus got angry.  God was there with him too.

So back to the poison oak….I might want to pull it out…but I have to put on my gloves so I don’t get it all over and get itchy.  God’s love is my glove!  I will “attack” K with love.  I will attack my anger and frustration toward myself with a little more loving kindness as well.  I hope you can do the same.  Take some time to love yourself a bit in the process……