No word from God will ever fail. Luke 1:37
So what do you do when you just want to sit in the corner and pout? I think we all face those times when we feel like we aren’t enough…we don’t do enough…we come up just short of the goal again and again. And what about those times when we realize we’re committing the same sins and making the same mistakes and running back to the same bad habits like their magnetic power just sucks us in!
I’ve been struggling lately and I’ve avoided writing about it. I suppose I don’t want folks to know I’m coming a little unraveled on some days. Truth be told, being joyful and grateful has taken a lot of work lately. I speak and teach and write but it all seems like it’s just not quite right…like I’m close but not quite there. I mention this only because it usually seems that when I feel something, somebody is struggling with the same thing too.
I wish I could say I took it all to prayer and God gave me great comfort and consolation. Actually, he’s led me to some great words but they taste like vinegar! I wanted him to make it all feel better but these words are pretty stiff and I’m going to have to sit with them for a bit. I know he’ll change my heart…after all his heart is perfect, mine is the one that needs some work! Maybe these words were meant for you too…
*We’ve got to have the courage to ask Jesus to help us stop finding our sins so attractive!
*My daughter, if the Cross was not felt, it could not be called a Cross. Be certain that if you stand beneath the Cross you will never be lost.
*True peace is found when having or not having doesn’t matter.
*Faith helps us know that even if we can’t see a positive outcome, we trust that God has our greater good beyond these crosses.
*Humility is planting seeds and being unattached to seeing them growing or harvested.
*We dilute grace in our souls the minute we begin to calculate how good we’re doing.
*The deeper we seek God by cutting out worldly attachments, the more we are free to cooperate with His most perfect will.
*We sometimes feel uneasy and uncomfortable because it takes more energy to be around people that don’t fill our cup.
*We are called to forgo our desires to wallow in our difficulties, because someone else often needs our love and attention.
*Our lives will be much happier when we accept all things in our path as an opportunity to love God and love others.
*Worldly achievements and human honor or approval are the goals of man, not the Father.
*The continued getting up and trying again is the rhythm of the life that makes us Saints.
A Seed To Plant: Pick one of the statements and pray with it for a week.
Blessings on your day!
The peace of God will guard your minds and hearts. Philippians 4:7
Have you ever had one of those crazy moments when you nearly did something completely ridiculous and then stopped and said, “WHOA, I better step back and take a breath, I’m loosen it”? I had that moment last week. It’s been a little hectic lately but God is good and I was clippin along with everything he was asking me to do and then came the God thump. It came when I was in my kitchen which is the place that centers me in the chaos. In my kitchen, I am happy because I love feeding people; it’s good for my soul! It brings me joy when people enjoy what I serve them and it always gives me a time to pray for my family and those who will eat what I’m whippin up in my kitchen. I love the feeling of serving that bubbles in my heart when I’m busy in the kitchen. When the God thump came, I was making a batch of cinnamon rolls for somebody who needed a little lovin and a little lift. Like usual, it was late and I was trying to cram one more thing into the day. I had the dough all rolled out and it was smeared with warm butter and sprinkled generously with brown sugar and in a quick twist to the cupboard I grabbed and was about to sprinkle a big ole dose of cinnamon on top of the sugar. Thank goodness the thump came and I paused a nano-second to realize that I was about to plaster the buttery, sugary dough with CHILI POWDER instead of cinnamon. After finishing up with the appropriate spice, and putting the rolls in the pan, I decided to close the kitchen and just be still.
As the rolls raised and baked, I had a chance to sit still and I asked God for a dose of peace as thick as the brown sugar I’d just piled on those rolls. He obliged, and I sat there and soaked up the gift of his peace. It gave me a chance to think about how nutty the pace of life can get. It gave me a chance to think and pray about how we use our time. I’m very grateful that I don’t get rattled easily but I began to do some thinking about how we handle stress. Just for fun, I googled stress and one of the first thing I found was a list of the top 100 books on stress. Top 100; I was floored…if there were 100 on top, how many more were under that 100? Next, I found 33 Scripture verses about peace. There was the answer! We were ingenuously created with an amazing immune system. That system works round the clock fighting off germs, and other microscopic stuff to keep us in balance. We have a stress relief system like that too. That system goes into action when we tap into God’s peace. In John’s gospel Jesus tells us his peace surpasses the worlds peace. It is greater, deeper, more conquering than anything we can get from a book. It comes with free, instant delivery; it always fits perfectly and it is precisely customized to fit all your worries, fears and anxieties.
There is a prescription for strengthening your peace system. It’s a three step process; take a dose of scripture reading, follow it with some quiet stillness soaking up the wisdom of those words and repeat! Nowhere in scripture does it tell us to go forth and be crazy. The book of Genesis doesn’t say that on the eighth day God created stress and worry. Those things are not of God and anything that is not from him is something we can ask him to help us avoid and remove. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get all tangled up in it and forget to remind myself that it’s not his, but he will sure take it away if I ask him. It will require sitting still and applying the three steps, but for me, it’s a much better thing to do than making cinnamon rolls with chili powder.
A Seed To Plant: Write yourself a note right this minute scheduling the time today you will strengthen your peace system and do those simple three steps. It will be the most important thing you do today!
Blessings on your day!
…“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15
I got a video today of my grandson walking behind a push toy. He’s not even 9 months old yet and I watched and listened to his little footsteps plodding behind that toy cow. As I laughed proudly at his accomplishment, my mind went racing back in time. I’m getting old and my brain can’t always remember the three things I needed to run into the store and grab, but as a mom, there are some events that happened years and years ago that I remember like it was yesterday. One of those events happened on a snowy January afternoon LOTS of years ago. I had successfully gotten all three little Wohlfert’s down for a nap and I plunked into the chair with a cup of coffee to just enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet before I started to tackle the kitchen, which looked somewhat like the aftermath of a tornado. About 15 minutes and one cup of coffee later, I began to feel guilty for just sitting around and I was mustering up the gumption to get to the kitchen when a loud, slow, steady sound began approaching. I remembered being startled and frozen with fear because I could not identify the sound. I kicked off the blanket, sat down my coffee cup and carefully walked toward the sound. As I peered around the corner I realized the noise was being made by my two year old son Jason. There he stood in the middle of the kitchen floor, wearing nothing but a diaper and his daddy’s new cowboy boots. The sound was him trying to walk in those boots which went nearly as high as his diaper. I’m still not sure how he even hiked his pudgy little legs into those boots and managed to walk at all. I also wondered where his clothes were and how he’d managed to get out of bed and sneak downstairs all the way into our bedroom closet and find the boots.
I’ve listened for the sound of my children’s footsteps for nearly twenty five years. I listened for footsteps to come into my room in the middle of the night to complain of a sick tummy or sore throat. I’ve listened for the sound of footsteps on Christmas and Easter morning creeping toward the living room to see what goodies might await them. I’ve listened for the sound of footsteps into the kitchen to ask for food or into the office to ask for help with homework. Probably the most prayerful waiting came at the stage of life when I waited for the sound of footsteps that carried teenagers safely into the house at curfew time. With each sound of footsteps there is emotion. Sometimes it’s excitement or anticipation, sometimes it’s joy and sometimes it’s flat-out sheer relief!
I read this verse in one of my morning prayer books last week and I’ve been pre-occupied with the sound of footsteps since then. I remember my mother-in-law (who is the mother of 10) talking about the distinct way each of her kids entered the house late at night. She could identify each of them without even being able to see who had just come home. I think our footsteps say a lot about us. Do we have an angry stomp or a lazy shuffle or are we so frazzled and rushed we nearly run everywhere we go? Sometimes we can even tell by the footsteps what a conversation is going to be like as a person approaches us.
I wonder what my footsteps sound like. I wonder what people expected to hear when they noticed my footsteps approaching. Do they expect good news or whining? Do they expect to be lifted up with something positive or drug down with something negative? I realize it’s a pretty silly little prayer but I found myself asking God to help me make sure my feet were the feet that brought good news! It’s been my challenge this week to make sure that if someone heard me coming they could expect to hear good news; God’s good news of love and compassion and truth.
A seed to plant: Listen to your footsteps. Make it your personal challenge to bring the Good News to three people in the next 24 hours. Ask God to put beauty in your footsteps each morning before your feet even hit the floor.
Blessings on your day!
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