Friday, January 30, 2015

Do Not Be Overwhelmed

I couldn't sleep the other night. I tried moving to a different room and reading for a while, but, it didn't work.

Although I was tired, every time my head touched the pillow, my mind went into overdrive, which then, of course, led to worry.

I fought back with any parts of Scripture I could think of...Do not be afraid...Do not be discouraged...and finally fell asleep for a few hours before having to get up again.

By that next afternoon, I was feeling overwhelmed. Everywhere I turned, something else was coming at me, resulting in another phone call to make, e-mail to respond to, more forms to fill out, errands to run, and red tape to cut though. It all added to my middle-of-the-night concerns.

Do not be afraid...

Do not be discouraged...

I needed to find where Scripture says Do not be overwhelmed. I mean, it has to, right? God knows how easily I can get overthrown and pulled under.

So, I started searching His Word for wisdom and comfort. And here's what I found...

Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. Psalm 55:1-2 NLT
A reminder that I’m not the first to cry out for help when I’m totally overwhelmed…and I won’t be the last.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3a ESV
And there it was. The comfort and strength I was looking for. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Not only did I find His promises, but I found a distraction.

Once I turned to Scripture, I was no longer focused on how I was feeling. I was completely absorbed in finding what I knew God would provide in His Word.


When I looked for Him, He was there—just as He said He would be.

This time, I remembered to seek God right away and not wait, thinking I could handle it. How about you—is He where you go first, or as a last resort?

In Christ,
Laura  

Linking up with Blessing Counters, Everyday Jesus, Thought Provoking Thursday, The Weekend Brew, Faith Filled Friday, Faith 'N Friends, Coffee for Your Heart, Recommendation Saturday, Sunday Stillness, Give Me Grace, Grace & Truth, Sharing His Beauty, #SmallWonder, Playdates with God, #TellHisStory

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trust, Praise, Let go…Repeat


As I've started the year with Renew as my One Word, I've wavered between the feeling of comfort I first felt, and the feeling of needing something to do.

Let me explain. Three years ago, I spent the year learning to trust God. It felt like the word Trust was always in the air. When I struggled, it reminded me to trust Him. When I didn't understand why life was the way it was, trust was the action word I needed. Trust was something I could practice and improve on.

Praise was the same way. When things went well, I reminded myself to praise God. When life was far from going well, I made myself praise Him. Over the year, praise felt more natural. I learned not to wait for the big things or until the end of the day, but to praise Him in the small moments throughout the day.

Last year, I learned to let go of what I want and accept God's plan. To let go and know that He has everything under control, even when I don't—especially when I don't. When I let go, I stopped struggling against Him and rested with Him.

Renew feels different. Although it's a verb, I don't feel like it's something I'm supposed to do. At least not right now. When I knew Renew was my One Word, the comfort came in the possibilities of what God might renew in my life, not in something I was supposed to do.

So, I've been pondering how to live out Renew, and here's what I keep coming back to...

While I wait on God to see what He will renew, I'm not to sit idle, but rather, continue what I've learned.



Trust. Praise. Let go…Repeat.
Trust Him in everything. Praise Him continuously. Let go of what I'm clinging to so that I can embrace His plans for me.
And then repeat the process again.

Have you ever felt like it was time to put into practice what God had been teaching you?

In Christ,
Laura 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My One Word 2015

This is my fourth year of choosing a One Word for the year. Or I should say, God choosing a word for me.

My first year was Trust and I readily accepted it. Next was Praise. I pushed back on praise because I didn't really get it. (Which is why I suppose God gave it to me, right?) But by the end of the year, I got it.

Last year was harder. He whispered Let Go...and it scared me. A lot. I asked Him to reconsider. Maybe I heard wrong. But no, 2014 was a year of letting go of so much of what was normal.

My One Word for this year?


Renew.

The word kept coming to mind around Christmas, and even though I had been asking God what my word would be, I didn't make the connection until He whispered it to me during worship one evening.

Renew. I was reminded that God can renew anything. And it felt comforting…especially after a year of letting go.

Maybe you could use the reminder too. God can renew anything—so much more than what we can even think to ask for.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20 The Message

What do you need God to renew in your life?

Your faith? He will.

Your health? He can.

Your marriage or family? He is able.

Renew...to bring back to life...to make new again.

In His time and in His way. Nothing is impossible for Him, no matter how impossible it looks to us.

Will you join me in waiting on God and watching for all the ways He will bring about renewal?

If you’ve chosen a One Word for 2015, consider sharing it with us in the comments. If you’re looking for more information on the One Word movement, go to #OneWord365.

In Christ,
Laura

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Beginnings…All Year Long

A new year makes me think of new beginnings. The move to a new calendar feels like a fresh start—a blank page with all sorts of possibilities. It’s easy to think now is when everything can change.

Then as January progresses into February, the newness wears of. The New Year’s resolutions are long forgotten and life feels the same as it was.

Or have we just stopped looking for the newness in our everyday?

New beginnings don’t depend on the change of the calendar year. God gives us a new start every day.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions (mercies) never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV (parentheses NLT)
Because of His love, a bad day or a bad year won’t destroy us. We can start again. Over and over. He offers new beginnings—but if we don’t have eyes open to see them, we will miss them.

Please join me at 5 Minutes for Faith to continue reading, where I'm talking about God's timing, His way, and new beginnings.

Happy New Year!

In Christ,
Laura

Photo credit: K. Rath 2014


Linking up with Faith Filled Friday, Sharing His Beauty, Coffee for Your Heart