Monday, April 16, 2018

What Others Think


Last week after work I stopped at Target for dinner ingredients and a few miscellaneous items. Not in a hurry, I stopped first in the cosmetic section where I met an employee, who also happened to be a cosmologist. She was very friendly...and loud...boisterous...with a voice that traveled for anyone in the general area to hear.

And she was so. much. fun!

We chatted. She talked about products. And I let her find the correct color for me—in the Target aisle...where other shoppers were walking by and, I'm sure, could hear our conversation.

I thought about this briefly as she wiped off the makeup I was wearing. I wondered if she had attracted attention our way, but I realized I didn't care because it was fun.

A day later, I was still thinking about it...

Why are we so concerned about the opinions of people we don't know and may or may not ever see again?

Why do we worry about being judged by people who are going to judge us no matter what we do?


How often do we keep ourselves from having fun because of what others might think? 

Maybe it's...

the movie no one else wants to see, so we go alone.

the question we ask even if we fear looking dumb.

the new activity we try even though we don't know what we're doing.

Or perhaps it's whatever we later regret not doing because we let the fear of what someone might think stand in our way.

When we constantly worry about what others think, we keep ourselves from enjoying the moment we're in. We miss out on things that can make us smile and distract us from the heaviness of life.

And sometimes it's the distraction alone that makes us smile and face the rest of the day.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]


Monday, April 9, 2018

14 Verses for When It Feels Like God is Silent


I’m convinced that emotions can wreck us. On any given day, I can go from laughing to crying; feeling angry to craving connection; feeling hopeful to feeling desperate. Emotions take us all over the place, use up what little energy we have, and leave us feeling spent.

Truth can get lost in emotions…if we let it.

For a while now, I’ve felt like God has been silent. I know He’s with me. I know He hears me, sees me, and knows every detail of my days. I know that. But, sometimes I don’t feel it.

As I pray, I’ve been reminding myself that the truth and how I feel are not the same.

In my frustration, I want to demand, God, where are You?!?

Instead, I’ve been confessing, Lord, I know You’re here, but I feel like I can’t find you. Why am I struggling to connect with You?

One expresses my anger, the other cries out for help. God knows I feel both.

Anger clouds my vision and opens the door even wider for doubt and suspicion. (Both of which are in the enemy’s arsenal.) But, expressing my need for Him keeps me looking for Him, watching for even the smallest reminder that He’s with me. It keeps me expecting to see Him.

I imagine I’m not alone in struggling between truth and emotions. Fortunately, God’s Word is filled with His truth to remind us He’s with us, even when it feels like God is silent. {Tweet this}

14 Scripture Verses for When It Feels Like God is Silent

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm; you will not be engulfed in raging rivers. If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going; you won’t be burned.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

Don’t panic. I’m with you.  There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.  I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you  and wait expectantly.

My soul clings to You; Your right hand reaches down and holds me up.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What verses do you turn to when you’re struggling to feel God with you? {Tweet this}

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com/@aaronburden]


Monday, March 26, 2018

When Routine Becomes an Idol


There's something about having a routine that's comforting. We can accomplish tasks without having to give them much thought and there are few decisions to make because we're used to a regular pattern.

It's normal for us to want to get back into a routine after a vacation or summer break. It's what we're used to.

But, as with anything, too much of even a good thing can have consequences. Like when keeping the routine becomes so important it keeps us from other things in life.

When does a routine become an idol? {Tweet this}

When it takes us away from family and friends because that time is not in the schedule.

When we miss out on an experience because we couldn't be spontaneous.

When we can't see God at work because we're too focused on keeping our schedule.

When the routine is interrupted and it ruins our day, and in turn, the day of those around us because of how the interruption affected us.

When we see a broken routine as a negative reflection and use it to beat ourselves up.

Having a routine isn't a bad thing. It's when it has control over us that it becomes a problem. {Tweet this}

When our routine takes precedence over everything else or when we expect others to constantly work around us, that's when our routine has become an idol.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com/SethMacey]


Monday, March 19, 2018

6 Verses for When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough


You know those days? Whether they come often or only once in a while, they’re there—those days that make you feel like you’re not enough.

Not strong enough. Not good enough.

Less than someone else (in any or every way).

Not enough for what life throws your way.

I know those days—they are bullies who want to knock us down, and sometimes they succeed. But we don’t have to fight back alone. There is One who will help us up again and again. Over and over, no matter how many times it takes.

The truth is, on our own, we are not enough. This world gives more than we can handle, but we are not alone. Our God is on our side—and He makes all the difference. Where we are not enough, He is more than enough. Every. Single. Day. {Tweet this}

6 Scripture Verses for When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough

My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

When we let go and let God work, He works in His strength. His power and strength are more than we can ever dream to have on our own. Sometimes the hardest part is letting ourselves feel our own weakness so that we can feel His strength.

For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath. I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.

God knows His creationevery single one of us. He didn't design us to be enough on our own. He created us to need Him. To be in a relationship with Him. To trust Him and depend on Him. Knowing this, we can let go of trying to be enough on our own and be who He made us to be—with Him.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Fear and discouragement can hold us back from anything we want to do. No matter if it's something big or just getting through the day, God is with us. That doesn't mean it will be easy or problem free. But He reminds us that we're not alone in our own strength.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.

How often do we forget (or ignore) that going non-stop will wear us down? Trying to get through life without God's daily help leaves us depleted. But with God, His source of strength and energy gives us the ability to persevere. {Tweet this}

When I felt my feet slipping, you came with your love and kept me steady. And when I was burdened with worries, you comforted me and made me feel secure.

There is nothing we can't take to God. He knows our worries and frustrations. He knows when we're barely hanging on. When we keep it to ourselves, we try to deal with it all on our own, but when we turn to Him with all that's weighing us down, He offers us peace that only He can give.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

This world wants to build us up to depend on ourselves and to go it alone. The enemy encourages this. In fact, he loves this. Any time the enemy can get us self-focused instead of God-focused is a win for him because that's when we feel like we should be enough. It has us comparing ourselves to others and thinking...if we only try harder, we can be enough.

On our own we are not enough. We don’t have to have all we need to get through this life because God does have it all. When we can accept that, we can breathe a sigh of relief. {Tweet this}

And then know that as we follow Him, through faith, we are enough because God is more than enough.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]