Saturday, June 21, 2014

10 Things I Have a Love/Hate Relationship With

1)  Waking up early
2)  The Disney movie Frozen
3)  Chocolate
4)  Cleaning my house
5)  Doing laundry
6)  Running
7)  Sharing my raw feelings
8)  Being in the military
9)  Honolulu traffic
10) Writing

What do you have a love/hate relationship with?

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
Galatians 5:17 (NLT)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Releasing that one thing

Joining the Five Minute Friday folks with Lisa Jo Baker for 5 minutes of unedited, raw writing.  Today's word is...
Such a difficult concept to grasp. Why can't it be as easy as it sounds? Releasing that one thing...
Maybe for you that one thing is-
worrying about his future
controlling the kids behavior
anxiety about the presentation
anger at his revealed secret
envy of her good fortune
hate for his poor choice
disappointment in yourself
guilt for that last purchase
the mistake he made
the mistake you made
the lego you just stepped on...again
the inability to release
"Just let it go," they all say.
"Stop letting it hold you back."
"Release it to Him".
It's just not that easy.

"Yes it is," they argue.
I know it is. The bible tells me so.

I believe in Him. Don't I?
I trust Him.  Don't I?
But, I still struggle.  I still can't let it go.
If I really believed and I really trusted,  shouldn't I be able to just...
release it?
I am not alone.  He knew I would struggle with releasing my one thing. He forged ahead, struggling for me. He is by my side as I muddle my way through. He applauds my mini-victories- when I do  release it, even if it's for only a moment.
Every moment focused on him is a moment of release, and those moments count.  He released His spirit in hopes that I would release that one thing. He knew I would forsake Him by not releasing it. He forgives me, so I need to forgive me.
When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. John 19:30 NLT

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Today I fell apart…. and Jesus picked me back up

Do you ever feel like things are piling up in life?  Like you’re a waitress at a busy restaurant and you have too many plates on your tray.  Then, all of a sudden, the kitchen adds one more plate for table 7.  Then, the whole thing comes toppling down.  I’ve heard of people experiencing this occasionally in life.  They get entirely too much on their tray of life and eventually, something has to give.  I tend to experience this on a weekly or monthly basis.

On Monday evening, I had a complete meltdown…

In the middle of Honolulu H1 westbound traffic at 5pm…

Going 7mph…

This is fairly typical for my Mondays.  I wake up ready to take on the world.  By mid-morning, I discover how much I need to accomplish and I become overwhelmed.  By mid-afternoon, I’m scrambling to plan out how I am ever going to accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished.  It’s not until I’m sitting in Honolulu traffic that the conditions are just right for me to fall apart.  Sometimes the melt-down comes in the form of anger and frustration, sometimes an overwhelming sense of hopelessness followed by an evening of being curled up in bed having my own little pity party. 

As I was sitting in traffic, these were my thoughts-

Can these cars be moving any slower?  Why can’t anyone in this state drive in the rain? I have a paper due at 7pm and it’s already 510pm – how am I going to get it done?  It’s already a week late and she won’t accept it after tonight.  How am I going to pay those 3 unexpected bills?  I can’t believe Dave had to fill up the Expedition again already – should have never bought that gas guzzler.  When is God going to answer my prayers about how to help my Dad?  Has He already answered and I missed it.
And then it happened. 

The tears started streaming uncontrollably.  I called a friend and told her I was overwhelmed.

She said these words to me –

“Breathe, Michelle, breath.  It will be okay; say a little prayer, turn on the music and worship Him.  Use this time that you are stuck in traffic to sing His praises…”

So I turned up my worship music. 

And I said a little prayer.

And I cried.  And cried. And cried.

Then I was home. 

That night, I got down on my knees by my bed and thanked Jesus for everything He had given to me.  I thanked Him for helping me finish my paper and for being patient with me.  I asked that He continue to teach me lessons and to forgive my ungratefulness and anger in the wake of the storms.  

Before I want to bed, these were the thoughts that came to mind-

I am victorious.  In the wake of troubled seas and torrential storms I need only to stand in victory because He will guide me through every turbulence in life.  I don’t need the wisdom to get through.  I don’t even need a map.  I need only to trust that He will see me safely through.  Keep my eyes focused on HIM, not on the circumstances and when I feel my gaze drifting away, fight the urge.  Today I broke down in tears in the car on the way home from work.  I fell apart.  And then He picked me back up and I was okay again.  I learned today that it’s okay to fall apart, because He is always there to pick me back up.  Tonight ,as I get ready to go to sleep, I feel victorious.  Nothing has changed except that I feel peace.

Will I continue to put entirely to much on my tray?  Probably yes

Will I fall apart again?  Absolutely yes

Will Jesus be there to pick me back up?  Yes... And I will feel peaceful again.

My devotional Tuesday morning was based on Isaiah 26:3 and Corinthians 4:18- a devotional I could have used Monday morning.  Well played, God.  Well played.

 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!”
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)