Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

What Do You See?

sock

Yes, sometimes I wear those little tiny no show socks with my Sperry’s and they come off my heel and get balled up inside my shoe. and sometimes I just leave it. because no matter how many times I fix it, it always slides back off. and then sometimes I just rip it off and throw it in the trash and go without-which I hate, but you gotta make a choice. I know….life is ROUGH.

But, really, life is ROUGH right now. It has been for the last several months. Really rough. All aspects of it. It’s coming at me from all sides. and it really doesn’t feel right to complain because I know some people have it much rougher.

For a while, I carried it around like a heavy weight on my shoulders. Anyone could see from my body language and facial expressions that I was having a hard time with something. Frankly, I didn’t care enough or have the energy to care what people thought. and maybe it’s ok, I thought, that people know I’m hurting…that way I’ll get a little extra grace or sympathy. This wasn’t a conscious thought, of course…I’m not a narcissist.or an egotist. Just someone needing help.

But now, I am in such a better place in my mind. I can walk around “overflowing with hope”, actually smiling. Circumstances haven’t changed much. In fact, in some areas things are a little darker, if that’s possible. But I have learned where my hope comes from. It does NOT come from a change in external circumstances.  It does NOT come from other people’s “help”.  It comes from The Lord.

“May the God of HOPE fill you completely with joy and peace as you trust in him, SO THAT you may overflow with confident HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom 15:13

and that “My faith does rest on human wisdom (mine or anyone else’s!) but on God’s power.” 1 Cor 2:5

and that “The Lord will fight for me, I need only to be still (rest in Him, trust Him).” Ex 14:14

I still feel myself floating down Negative Road occasionally…lamenting, feeling despair…but I recognize it MUCH quicker these days and “capture” those thoughts and use God’s mighty weapons (His word) to knock down those strongholds and make those thoughts line up with who God is. 2 Cor 10:4-5 (paraphrased)

So yes, I might walk around like everything is fine, but that silly sock is still wadded up inside my shoe. 🙂

badass

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#getoutside

#getoutside, my hashtag of the summer. I don’t ever remember a time when I NEEDED to be outside more. I’ve thought long and hard about this and tried to figure out why. Outside feels like Hope.  Freedom. Is it a need to escape current circumstances? A place to search for answers? Do I feel like I’m suffocating and need to breathe? I’m not sure.

All I know is that I am outside a LOT. Using the dog as a reason to walk around the block 2-3 times a day, laying in the hammock, sitting on the back patio, walking/running at my favorite city park (Fink Park, the best kept secret in Edmond).

“The gift of solitude is solace and peace.” Craig Groeschel in Week 5 of #struggles

What I’ve realized is that taking walks alone and just being outside has helped me connect with God in a whole new way.  Breathe fresh air, breathe in Jesus. Walking = Resting in Him.  Coming to know God better.

Another thing I’ve realized is that sunrises are AMAZING.  We all love a good sunset, and I’m intentional about getting outside to catch those, but the SUNRISE?!  Just amazing, plus the air is fresh, the day is new, full of hope and promise.

Sometimes, unless I #getup and #getoutside, “the hope of a new day is sometimes hard to see”.  (Relient K, Up and Up)

sunrises

Word of the Year 2014

pray

Every year, my pastor challenges our church to pick a focus for development for the year.   A word.   Last year, 2013, my word was GRACE.  I practiced it, meditated on it, prayed about it, even tattooed it on my wrist.  I feel like I understand so much better what it looks like to default to grace–to believe the best in others first.

So, this year, 2014, my word is PRAY.  I have, for the past year or so, stewed over the dissatisfaction I feel regarding the lack of depth in my prayer life.  I know that there is POWER in prayer and I know that I am not tapping into it to the extent I could be.

With 2 teenagers, a new promotion at work, and moving soon into an empty nest season with my husband of almost 25 years, I am weak on my own.  Impotent.  Insufficient.  I NEED the power of God.  I pray in silent whispers. I pray in battle cries.

Deeper

The theme for this week is DEEPER. Like the roots of a really strong tree.  They are DEEP.

When Jesus called Simon Peter to a deeper faith he told him, “Now go out where it is deeper and let your nets down” Luke 5:4.

When I posted about prayer last year, I might have given the wrong impression that I don’t already pray. I do pray, I just want MORE. I want DEEP, intimate conversations with God. Not one sided diatribes, or “popcorn” prayers, but conversations.

Deeper NEED

Deeper intimacy with Christ

Deeper FAITH

Deeper conversations

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Col 2:7

 

Prayer Brings Peace

It starts with a nagging thought.  A worry. A what if.  It can be something really BIG or something very small.

I can go so quickly into a downward thought spiral…a hint of worry leads to sea of raging anxiety! Oh my, sometimes I can’t even sleep, or even breathe, I get so worked up. But God says it’s as simple as presenting our requests to him, and letting HIM bring the peace.

Phil 4:7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The sweet peace of God is what you get when you bring everything to God (as stated just before in v.6). Oh, how often do I need the peace of God to guard my heart and mind??!!  Too often.  Much too often.   Which brings me back to my previous post…PRAY!!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Pray

I really want to be a prayer. Pray-er.  A person who prays.  Prayer is a spiritual discipline that I’ve always had trouble making a regular part of every day. I pray sometimes, “popcorn” prayers, and half prayers (interrupted, never finished).  And really, who is praying for my husband, kids, and extended family if I’m not?!  Nobody?!  That thought makes me more than sad…it scares me.

And not just for what I can GET from praying…I really want to crave the presence of God and intimate conversation with Him.  But, I do want to realize the POWER of prayer and I want it to affect my life and the people I love.  Not just wishing and hoping for more.  I have my own acronym for praying. C.A.R.I. and now I have a journal just for prayer. It is covered front and back with verses about prayer, quotes about prayer, reasons to pray, and colored post-it note tabs for different people. I hope it’ll help make it easier to pray intentionally and regularly.

journal

Now I’m just trying to figure out how to give God the first of my day. “I rise early before the sun is up, I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.” Ps 119.147  Every day.  To pray continually. To pray without distraction. To sit and listen.  To converse with the God of the universe and tell him the desires of my heart.   “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Ps 37:4

Do I sit somewhere specific and JUST pray (instead of multi-tasking).  Do it before my morning shower?  After?  I’m trying to start small.  5 minutes.  and easy…just read the prayers I’ve written and add what comes to mind.  I gotta start somewhere.