James 1

James 1 is packed with some gooood stuff. What I  reading and thinking on today:

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:19-27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What have you been reading in the Word lately?

I Am Thirty

Yesterday I rung in my 30th year and what better way to do that than with a stomach bug? I have four kids and a husband. The stomach started earlier in the week for us and worked its way through one by one until yesterday when it hit my husband and myself…on my 30th birthday. 

I will spare you the details, just know, it wasn’t pretty. Never have I wanted a birthday to pass so quickly. 

This is life with four kids five and under am I right? Nothing is sacred or special anymore. It is filled with gross. They are blessed with cuteness or else I might be mad about my day being taken from me. 

Getting real, this is honestly not a surprising way for my birthday to come. Last year I began deciding that I was going to make some serious life changes. Self improvement type things within my own person. My 30th year was going to be a year of change and boy am I getting it. 

I started the year with what some may consider a mental break down. A collision of stress and anxiety topped with a few health issues. These health issues have continued and finally coming to head with the stomach bug. The mental side has been on a healing path due to some much needed counseling. Thank Jesus for those people! 

It has been a very up and down few months to start my year. It has felt discouraging at points but overall I feel as if this is encouraging. My plans for change will not be thwarted by set backs. I will press on. I will get back up on my feet and keep striving for what I want out of this year. 

The good, the bad, the ugly, the glorious, the beautiful…my path is constantly going in a new direction and my person is changing with each turn. I don’t ever want to stop changing and becoming the woman God has called me to be. 

Are you in a tough place? Seeing the light is hard in the darkness, but with Christ the light is always there. Are you dealing with unbelief? Check out Mark 9 when you get a minute, especially around verse 23…a father asking Jesus to heal his son. Jesus but it will happen if a person believes it will happen. My favorite line right now is what is next from the Father. “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Come on Jesus! We can ask him anything…even to help us overcome our unbelief in HIM! Thank God for how awesome he is. Loving us in such a way where he can and will restore our belief in who he is. 

So today, take a breather and raise your eyes to heaven and remind your heart to believe. Ask for your heavenly fathers help to believe. 

A Slave to Fear

When God wants to speak to you, it may not be in the conventional way of saying words into your ears. He speaks through many avenues. Over the past few years, I have dealt with the darkness that anxiety brings. It has been a hilly road and I have no doubt that it will continue to be so. 

Over the past week my anxiety levels have been running at high speed, chasing me into physical ailments and shoving me into the walls of my mind. If you have ever experienced these feelings, then you know. If you haven’t…then you can’t possibly understand. 

I become paralyzed by fear. Irrational fear. I can not even pinpoint one fear, I have them all. In the past few days, God has clearly spoken to me through the avenues of worship, His word and confirmed them by lovely, godly women in my life. 

No Longer Slaves by Bethel

1 John 4:18-19

I have been a slave to fear but the Bible tells me that perfect love casts out all fear. Therefore, I am no longer a slave to fear.

How powerful is that image? A slave. Someone bound to someone else or in this case something else. When I am living in fear, I am not living in the pure love that God has so freely given me. 

As I said, I don’t doubt that anxiety will completely leave me today and maybe not tomorrow. Why? Because I live in the world and as long as I am here, there will be trials. The trials make me stronger and bring glory to my Father. He is a good, good Father. 

I hope that you have found some encouragement in my words. If you struggle with anxiety and feel completely alone…well my dear friends know this…you are absolutely not alone! 

Low Times

Then there are the low times. You know the days. Your life is good. Your heart believes it and your mind is sure of it, yet the low times can tear you down fast. When it happens, you are completely shocked and caught unawares! I was sipping my coffee and reading my devo when nothing happened and my day was turned inside out. 

So what took place? How could my day possibly turn into shambles? 

Life. This the only answer I can come up with. I am a person, walking the human path, and on this journey are the struggles, the hormones, the unbelievable. My reaction can mold the end result. I can sulk. I could cry. I may eat a tub of cookie dough while doing the first two. I will even fall into a sleep stupor to avoid my own thoughts. 

I had done all the above, but some days…I get it right. I sit and yell at God, “why?!” I cry to Him. I shout at Him ABOUT Him and the unfairness of my emotions. I meditate on the music He sendsover my radio. He has His arms open and He beckons me to Him. I sit and He holds me. He whispers in my heart’s ear about the love He has for me. He reveals the areas where indeed His hand was moving me and He encourages me to keep going. 

He does not turn me away. He accepts me. He graciously molds my mind and heart. 

Today…today I am thankful He loves me. 

Sit Quietly

My dad puts together a yearly collage of our family videos from each year. It is one of the few TV watching experiences that my 16mo old twins will sit through. So as they sit and watch themselves and their cousins, I sit and drink coffee. 

Twenty minutes of uninterrupted coffee sipping and reading. Often times I scroll through social media sites and see friends with their families doing amazing adventure type stuff. For a moment, I rage in angry jealousy but then I set the thought down and thank God for the life I lead. I remind myself “my life is not their life.” 

Truthfully, I want it that way! I don’t honestly desire to live someone else’s path for even a moment. If I did, then I wouldn’t be in mine and the thought of that is heart breaking. I love my husband, my children, and my family. I sort of deal with my house and I am thankful to be driving a mini van everyday. (Seriously, mini vans are the shiz.)

In high school, I used to tell my friends “if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence it is high time you watered your own.” I still believe that! 

Take a moment to think and if there are areas you would like to experience change, then make a change. Life is fluid. We are not doomed to a situation or one way of thinking. If we didn’t have hope…a hope to change, then what would we have? 

We are not stuck. No one holds us back more than ourselves. Take a breath, ask God for guidance, and jump. 

Happy Friday!