Saturday, October 28, 2017

Disappointment Vs God's Appointment

Your Disappointment Could Be God's Appointment For Your Life

Read 1 Samuel 31 - 2 Samuel 1

Life is full of disappointment.  If you're like me, it doesn't take long into a newfound relationship to see disappointment in another persons life:  A job lost.  A relationship ended.  A child dead.  A dream destroyed.  A heart broken.  A soul wandering.  A debt overwhelming.  A spouse unfaithful.  A church torn.  I think I could go on for days and days!  I have talked to hundreds of women who experience disappointment, yet feel alone in their situation.

I experienced disappointment early into my marriage.  We were only three year in,  whenever infertility reared it's grueling head.  I had expectations of being a mother.  I grew up dreaming, desiring and never giving a second thought, as to whether or not I would have children.  In fact, I don't know of a single, little girl who aspires to be infertile someday... it's just not in us!  As little girls, we grow up playing with dolls, feeding our babies, rocking them to sleep and tucking them into their cradles at night. 

You want to hear something pretty sad?  I still have my cradle that my father made, for my pretend babies and the one he built for the babies that Jeremiah and I thought we'd have someday.

Disappointment is a tough thing because it forces me to deal with life (life as it is - not as I would have it).  By the way,  if your not familiar with Celebrate Recovery, that line is part of the Serenity Prayer.  It says, "...taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it..."  One of the best ways to deal with the disappointments in my life, is to admit that they exist.  To stop throwing a tantrum over my desires and start trusting God with the life He has for me.  To begin to believe that my disappointment, may very well be God's appointment for me.

David was disappointed.  He was tired of running from Saul.  He took his mighty men into the land of the Philistines, in an attempt to create a new life.  He lived with the Philistines for 1 year and 4 months when the Philistines decided to war against Israel.  David wanted to fight against Israel.  He wanted to follow his new friends into battle - but God protected David.  God used a Philistine commander to appoint David to go back home.  David was disappointed!  God was protecting David because God knew what was best for David.  God knew that if David went to war against Israel, that he would be a participant in his best friend, Jonathan's death.  What seemed a huge disappointment to David ended up being God's providential appointment for David's life.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Strength and Victory

God's Way Leads to Strength & Victory

Read 1 Samuel 29-30

I have struggled with how transparent I want to be on this little website.  I've gone back and forth (in my mind) and I've finally settled on this:  I'm going all in... 

I'm going to share the day to day issues of my life and, more importantly, how God has strengthened, disciplined, equipped and called me to share my stories.  These stories don't always have pretty endings - but they are real and vulnerable and true.  So, here I go! 

Let's discuss how God's way leads to strength and victory. 

Jeremiah and I have been married for 13 years.  We have always felt "better than average" whenever it comes to finances and money.  We were newlyweds whenever we paid cash for Jeremiah's truck, paid off his student loans and built an emergency fund of $1000.00 (per the instruction of Dave Ramsey).  We've never carried credit card debt and we've been pretty happy with this little situation for the past 13 years.  Now, I've been blogging long enough to understand that everyone has differing opinions. You could be reading this blog and think:

1. That's really good - I'm up to my eyeballs in debt
2. That's pretty weak - I've been debt free for 100 years and have a zillion dollars in the bank

I truly feel like we fall somewhere in the middle and it's really easy to get comfortable here.  Do you see why I've been so complacent?  It's really easy to stay average, but what if God wants me to be better than average?  What if God wants to use the events in my life to challenge, motivate and equip someone else to change?  What if God wants me to change?

I walked away from an Interior Design career that, quite frankly, didn't provide a very good income.  Now, don't get me wrong - I was working very hard, burning my candle at both ends, and turning down clients at a rate of 5+ per week.  I truly didn't have the time or energy to help all the people that needed me.  So, you might ask, what was the problem? 

The problem was me!  The problem - was that I was too nice!  The problem - was that I loved what I did so much that I did it for free!  The problem - was that I let people take advantage of me!  The problem - was people pleasing!

I'm so grateful that God helped me "get honest with myself" in 2016; to be brave enough to walk away from a career that had depleted me.  He gave me a new work - a humble, less visible & less glamorized work; but a work that produces a stable and larger income.  I'm really proud of the changes that God has produced in my life and heart.  I know that He is going to continue guiding me and moving me.  Who knows, I might even open my design practice again someday (I'll have to read EntreLeadership long and hard before I do this!)  Ha!

But for now we know that "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender" Psalm 22:7.  On September 3, 2017 - Jeremiah and I made our first step to financial freedom;  we paid our first "debt snowball" payment towards our car... now, 26 days later, our car is paid in full! 

I can't wait to share with you more and more of how God's Way Leads To Strength and Victory.  I'm praying for you... Step out... Let God change you... Go against the flow.... Let God lead... He will give you the strength... He will give you the victory...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Don't Be Foolish

Attempting to Solve Problems Without God's Help is Foolish

I was wearing an adult size 18 whenever I was in the 8th grade.  I would tell myself every summer that, "This is going to be the summer that I change."  I would start with high hopes and even higher expectations of what would transpire in the next 3 months, while I was away from my peers.  I would dream about:  how I would look, what I would do, and what they would say. I would wonder if the guys would finally notice me.  I would tell myself that if I fixed my problem (my weight) then my life would finally have value and worth.  The only problem with this plan... it wasn't God's best for me.  

I tried and tried to solve this problem without God's help.  It sent me down a path of perpetual dieting that left me tired, defeated and heavier than when I started.  I was jumping from one solution to the next in hopes of fixing my problem, without God's help.  I didn't know it at the time, but I was mad at God.  I felt like He had done a really poor job of creating my body and I could care less to have His help in fixing it.  I thought I could do a better job of changing my body then God had done creating it.

Looking back, I see how foolish these attempts have been to try to control my life.  By the grace of my great God, He is bringing healing, hope and solution to this problem of mine.  I'm trusting Him to change me.  I'm trusting Him to restore the years I spent chasing after this world's customs.  I am trusting that He will use my story to help someone else who is bound by similar chains.  

Check out how David and Saul foolishly attempted to solve their own problems.  

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