What if…

Around the bend

Last night before going to sleep, I was talking to the Holy Spirit, apologizing for not consciously spending more time with him throughout the day. I heard Him say, “All is well. I’ve been with you all day long as you know and it’s wonderful, but I have so much more for you. It’s not about what you should do; it’s about what you could do.”

As I lay there ponder these things I realized in a deeper way that He is not the one holding back anything, it’s me that holds me back. He has offered me things greater than I can imagine, there are no impossibilities with Him. He’s beckoning me to trust Him right now and simply believe the things He says are completely possible for me, not just others.

Why am I holding back, why do I not seem to trust Him when He tells me these things?

I think the business of processing things internally or should I say, over-processing these things, have a way of causing thoughts about the fear of failure and the whole process of ‘what if’ thinking, like: ‘What if I fail? And, what if people find out I’m not who they think I am?” None of these are questions He asks me, so why do I ask these things? Why do I entertain these thoughts?

Fear of failure and fear of man are huge stumbling blocks of comfort-ability. They can become so ingrained in my thinking that I begin to think they are my own thoughts. They are not! This familiarity and comfortableness will keep me stuck where I am, whether I consciously realize it or not, and it prevents me from enjoying all the things He has and desires for my life. It will also prevent me from influencing, for the good, the people I come in contact with.

I believe it’s time for the limitations to come off; the governor on my accelerator needs to be removed. It’s time for me to start asking myself better questions, or at least quiet myself and hear His questions. What if I succeed, what if I’m more than who I thought I was, what if I have great influence on someone else’s life? All great questions, really.

The traditions of bad thinking have to fall; they are only holding me back. They are so safe that they have become too familiar. I also believe that if I don’t boldly jump over this line of comfort, I will begin defending my current position as if it’s the pinnacle of my life; it is not.

Please know this is not me beating myself up or coming up with one more spiritual ‘to do’ list either. No, it’s realizing my life has been laid down for Him, freely and if I really believe that, I need to show some evidence of it. The influence that I have on my relationships and the interactions with everyone I meet need to be the evidence of the more than He desires for me.

Yikes, why does this seem so scary; maybe because on the other side of fear, life truly begins?

Okay Holy Spirit, what about today?

Let Dissapointments Go

DSC02395

Okay, so I’m not going to work after all. Yesterday when I set out to do some ‘fall decoration’ shopping I noticed that the radio and the gauges had stopped working when I started the car. O no. When I removed my foot from the accelerator, they started working again. Again, O no.

I called Paul but he couldn’t come home then because he was in the middle of a landscaping job and he wouldn’t be able to look at the car until later in the evening, probably after dinner. Sigh.

I confess I had a melt-down and a big ole pity party. Nope I didn’t invite anyone else either. I am so done with car problems! I had taken the day off work so I could bake some new items for my Etsy shop in order to photograph them, and then upload everything to promote what I added. All the baking was finished and now I needed to go get some pumpkins and other ‘fall-like’ decorations.

I confess that I let disappointment have its way for about an hour. Then, I decided that if I couldn’t go to the store I would at least spend my time wisely by working online at my shop and get some things reorganized.

While sitting in my office, I started looking around the room, as I tend to do while thinking, and noticed some silk flowers up on the bookshelf by the door. They reminded me of some other things I had around the house that I could use for fall decorations. The next thing you know, I was pulling everything back out of the freezer, where I put it during my pity party, and started planning a layout for my pictures. They weren’t exactly what I had originally envisioned but they did turn out more me, if you know what I mean and I didn’t spend a dime on decorations. DSC02413

But back to the car; I was scheduled to work a double shift on Saturday (today) but didn’t see how that would happen because the car wasn’t working. When Paul did look at it he discovered that the wire thingy that connected the alternator to the power source had broken off, leaving half the bolt in the alternator and the other half in the wire thing, which by the way was melted. Very strange.

I can say is that I am blessed indeed that I didn’t break down at 10:30 at night while on my way home from work! Nope, everything was working fine on Thursday night when I came home. The trouble started as soon as I started it on Friday. It did start for me though, and I even drove it around the block once, not wanting to drive too far but wanting to see what it would do. It didn’t start at all for Paul and when he lifted the hood he noticed that the wire thingy wasn’t even touching the alternator. No wonder it wouldn’t start.

After several phone calls to local auto parts stores to see if we had purchased the alternator there, with no success, we found our receipt; it was still under warranty! This morning Paul took it out, went to the store we purchased it from 2 years ago and picked up another one, at no charge. In the mean time, I had already informed work that I most likely wouldn’t make the morning shift but would try and get there by the evening one.

Paul surprised me by getting everything installed and tested by 10:00 while I was off doing other things. I wasn’t even remotely ready for work! Woops. I called the manager to let her know that I would be in to work in about an hour but she didn’t answer her phone. I figured she would find out I was coming when I walked in the door but instead, she called me when I had only gone a few miles down the interstate. I told her the good news about the car, etc. and she said she was about to call me to say why not just stay home? They had more people scheduled than she realized and I could take some more time off. She said she knew how stressed I’d been lately because I haven’t had time to work in my Etsy shop so she gave me the day off! How wonderful is that??

That’s the story of how I’m not going to work today. Correction, I did end up driving out to go pick up my check and deliver most of the goodies I used in my pictures…..they certainly couldn’t remain here at my house! Win, win I say.

God is good, all the time, every day, and every moment. He is in the midst of everything. He kept me safe on my journey home the other night, we had favor with the parts people, we had favor with the installation of the part and I had favor at work. I am highly favored and extremely blessed. As a matter of FACT, I know you are too. I hope you realize it and see Him in the midst of everything you do and see.

And I almost forgot: I did get to take pictures of everything baked and I need to remember that there’s always a way, even when I don’t see one. It took me a little bit to get over myself and my disappointment but when I did, things turned out even better than I expected. When God meets me right where I am it’s the most wonderful, humbling experience.

I pray we can learn to get over ourselves and get out of our own way and let the King of Glory show us what He can do because it’s always better than we can think or imagine. I ended yesterday still a little bit discouraged because of the car but He is so faithful to take care of us that I should have known better. Oh well, I am human after all (smile) and that’s why we all need His grace. I fell into that grace through this. Who would have thought, certainly not me.

Encouragement – We all want it, heck, we all need it!

Encouragement – We all want it, heck, we all need it!

I’ve found that things are a little different in the kingdom than they are in the world. For instance, if I need something, I usually have to begin to give something away. If I need kindness, I need to be kind. It’s a kingdom of opposites in some ways.

What seems right to a man is death, (Prov. 16:25) Hmmm. I think this scripture may have something to do with the ‘kingdom-way’ of doing things. If I keep doing things only for me, me, me, all it will do is bring death. If I am so full of things or information and never give back or pour back out to others, I’m a virtual dead sea with no outlet. I’m dead.

So, when I need encouragement, I encourage. When I need wisdom, I first of all ask, but then I give the wisdom He’s given to me, to others seeking it too. God will always be faithful in giving to us what other’s need.

Encouragement is often like an affirmation. It’s the turbo boost we sometimes need at the very end of a project or season. When things seem like they couldn’t get any harder but still do, encouragement is the juice that will keep us contending for the breakthrough we know is just around the corner. It will cause us to stand up straighter and know that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.

So, am I right; don’t we all need encouragement? I would challenge you to purpose your day to go out and find someone who needs exactly what you need and encourage them to not give up, to keep pressing until breakthrough comes. Tell them exactly what you need to hear, use the same exact words you are longing to hear yourself. You will be amazed how refreshed you will feel. Holy Spirit may even now be whispering to you some of the things you need to do or say to bring about this refreshing to others and vicariously for yourself.

I’ve done this before with great success. This is not a formula of course because we all need different things. But it can be a tool. One day when I was feeling pretty discouraged I went into the grocery store to pick up a few things. All I wanted to do was get what I needed as quickly as possible and then go home. When I got my things and approached one of the checkout lanes, I noticed that one of the cashiers was really looking down and discouraged. I knew that if spoke some encouragement to her and simply spoke blessings over her, she would be lifted up and maybe even begin to smile; she would be encouraged.

Of course that’s exactly what I did. I began by telling her what an awesome job she was doing and that immediately brought a smile to her face. I spoke other encouraging words over her and not only did her countenance change but so did everyone else who was standing in line behind me. By the time I left the store, which was really only a matter of ten minutes, I was encouraged myself! Win, win.

encouragement-and-words-of-kindness

The kingdom of God is here, living inside of each and every one of us. It’s not supposed to remain there. It’s supposed to be shared, transplanted in dark places or even in people who have no hope left. We have the answers to all they need. When we encourage others we are bringing light into their current darkness and isn’t that where light belongs, in the dark places? Aren’t we to be messengers of hope? I believe encouragement can be (and is) a great big doorway into bringing the kingdom to earth and transforming our neighborhoods and cities; one kind encouraging word at a time.

Let’s purpose to do this and if you do, come back and tell me about it; I will be greatly encouraged too!

So go! Get out there and encourage someone, right now, today!