Liar! The Gloves Are Coming Off!

Do you ever have thoughts of beating up the devil?  

Yesterday morning as I was sitting reading my bible, he started dropping horrible lies in my head.  “If they really cared for you, they wouldn’t treat you like that.”  “You are of no worth.  Your dreams can’t come true.  You don’t have the drive.  You don’t have the connections.”

It’s in those moments that we have two choices.

1. Agree with what the devil is saying.  Take the little lies and internalize them.

2. Identify them as lies and don’t pick them up as your own.

We know that the devil condemns, but God corrects.  The devil will say over arcing things like, “you are not loved.  You are of no worth.”  But God will say, “You see how this situation unfolded, you know there was a more loving way to react” or “you see this thing you did, what does the Bible say about that?”  God is loving and kind.  He does not attack us or our entire character.  He addresses specific situations, attitudes, and issues that need adjusting.

So when the devil was lying to me yesterday, I just had to keep my shield up.  I kept looking for the truth.  Is this how God would talk to me?  NO, he wouldn’t.  Then out of nowhere I saw myself kick the devil in the devil parts (I always assume he’s equipped like a man and would still be hurt by that specific self-defense move) and punching him in the face.  And you know what, I’d like to do it again!  Cause he’s a LIAR!  He sucks…literally!  He sucks the life out of people leaving them a shell of what God intended for them to be.  And I REFUSE to let him suck the life out of me!

So, devil…I wanted to let you know that you are mean and you say ugly things.  You better step off or I’m gonna have to beat you down cause I have no time for your nonsense.  The mama bear in me is coming out so JUST BACK OFF!

 

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What’s Your Perspective?

Last Thursday I was able to attend the ladies bible study at my church where my dear friend Lauren was speaking.  Her message was too good to not pass on!

We have been reading in Deuteronomy about Moses and the Israelites.  Each of them had a different way of looking at what was going on while they were on their journey to the Promised Land.  Lauren presented the thoughts of an Israelite mother who didn’t understand how she was going to feed her kids or how to deal with the stresses of mobile living.  Weren’t they better off being slaves?  At least then they had food!  How about Moses’ view of these whiny people who seemed to always have a complaint.  They had seen some of the largest miracles in their journey, but yet they were still so unfaithful to God!  And what was God’s perspective of these people?  Their unbelief caused a longer journey than God had for them.  It caused Moses and the other generation to never cross into this Promised Land.

They were all experiencing the same situation, but the perspective from each person was so different.  That happens to us as well!  You can have three people walk through the same situation and all come out of it with a totally different take on what happened.  This happens because we all have different filters through which we see the situation.

Here are 4 filters we all have that shape our perspective:

1. Our personality (who we are definitely determines how we view our circumstances)

2. Our past events or experiences (each of us have lived out different situations that have formed and shaped who we are)

3. Strongholds in our lives (past hurts, family issues, our past that has become a stronghold)

4. Our personal beliefs (views of God and how He works, views on life)

 

Our table then had some time to chat about three questions.  They were:

1. How do you respond during stressful situations?

2. Are there any things that affect your perspective? (past hurts, personality, beliefs)

3. What benefits have you seen in your life when you have asked God for His perspecitve?

 

The conversation that followed was so inspiring.  We’ve all walk different paths and have so many different experiences.  These experiences have shaped our lives, but there are common threads that help us understand one another.

I’ve always been amazed at the common thread of fear or insecurity.  It seems to run rampant in people of our generations.  There are far too many people that have a past hurt that has plagued them for years holding them back.  I so badly want to help them walk our of that hurt so they can find themselves in a whole place where God has healed their wounds.

I’m also amazed at the large amount of trust and faith that I hear as people tell their story once they are on the other side of whatever they have gone through.  Some have lived through a stressful situation and come out on the other side with greater faith than before.  That faith has strengthened their ability so that next time (come on, you know there will be a next time!) they need to walk out their faith, they are able to do it with a bit more certainty.

Each of us has a story and that story has developed our perspective.  How has your life’s story helped form who you are today?

 

If you want to hear more from my friend Lauren, she has a ministry called Held Ministry and she blogs here.

It’s All Worth It

Where do you find your worth?  

God has really been messing with me on this topic lately.  I have found myself without a full “worth” bucket.  As that bucket has felt empty I’ve honestly struggled to keep up with the rest of life.  I know that sounds crazy, but it’s so true.  I don’t care to meal plan, grocery shop, clean the dishes, or wash the floors because in my mind those things doing prove my worth.

My worth has been found in what I can contribute.  I want to help others move forward.  I want to help them move past their hurdles towards the dreams and goals God has given them.  I want to know that what I am creating and doing has a long-term effect on lives.

So right now I’m retraining myself.  I must focus on finding my worth in other things…such as the joy of my kid’s company, the loving eyes of my husband, and a sweet word from the Holy Spirit as God shares a small word with me.  These things fill my bucket and bring joy into my heart.  These are also the things that never change.  They are my constants and my most favorite things.

So where do you find your worth?  Are you finding worth in the right place?  If you are not being filled, what can you do about it?

Let God remind you of the great things you have in your life.

What About A Cow?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your first reaction was to TOTALLY trust God?  Honestly, the only way I came into our present situation trusting God was because He prepared me with a sweet moment that turned out to be a promise.  In October of 2013, life was going good.  We were killing our Dave Ramsey budget and paying off debts (yay!!!).  So I was totally taken back when I heard God say, “Cattle on a thousand hills, Jill.  Cattle on a thousand hills.”  I knew exactly what He meant.

For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.” Psalms 50:10

He owns it all and He alone would be our provider.  We were going to need to trust in Him.

A month later when we were seeing Bryce’s work slow down significantly.  I was reminded of that moment in October…He owned the cattle. For the last 6 months those words have carried me.

So here we are today and I’m struggling to want to PUSH things through and make things happen.  I know it’s totally me wanting to make something happen.  I’m fine with that.  I know my personality.  I’ve chased after every job posting I can find…it’s exhausting!  But you know what I haven’t done recently?  Asked God what job He wanted us to pursue for Bryce.

Today I stopped for a few moments and tried to clear my head.  I tried to create an open space of trust so that I could hear Him.  That, today, is my act of trust because I know there is NO better place to find myself.

This is the reading today from Jesus Calling.  I’m telling you that book slaps me upside the head nearly every day!

B&W

What things do you need to release to God?  What fears are paralyzing you because YOU WEREN’T MEANT TO CARRY THEM?!?!

God, please show us your ways.  Show us the things we need to put down.  We trust you.

Have You Found Your Best Shade?

My husband and I have had a lot of hard conversations lately.  We have a son getting ready to go into 4th grade next year.  It seems like that is a big step for him so we are working to get him prepared.  Our son, Mr. L, has also had some rough conversations with us lately.  The one that stands out to me the most is that he feels different from everyone else in his world.

These days different is praised especially when it comes to being the real you.  However, in a school setting different = defective.  I HATE THAT!  I hate that in his precious mind that he feels defective.

Let me remind you of some ways he is different.  He is smart, yet creative.  He’s a leader who is determined.  He is a sensitive feeler.  He is a gifted planner.  He is an extrovert who loves to engage other people.

He is a mix of traits and characteristics so wonderful I can’t imagine how they are all contained in one body.

With all these strengths, we know there are also weaknesses in ourselves as well.  These weaknesses are effecting his school work and learning.  So we must stand beside him and work to find the proper solution so that he can be the best he can be.

To a boy who already feels different we have to very carefully explain WHY we are going to be actively working to help him in areas that are taking over his learning at school and interaction with his teacher.  We thought through the words ever so carefully.

Here’s what we finally came up with:

We are looking to find just the right shade of each color that makes up the masterpiece that is Mr. L.  Each time we need to find a newer, better shade it is because it will only enhance the picture being created.

We want him to know that he is loved and who he is may be different, but it’s not defective.  If you could just see the picture I see being painted by his life you would know how amazing he truly is.

So paint your picture.  Take a moment to sit back and evaluate your color choice.  Is that the best shade?  Could it us a little more of one color or the next?

What A Week Will Bring

I’ve been thinking a lot about goal setting the last few weeks.  For me a life without goals = no purpose or destination.  I know that kinda sounds dramatic, but it isn’t.  I’ve come to realize I most likely have some sort of attention issue.  At times I wonder who in America doesn’t with all the distractions we have but I know for certain if you look at my track record and past that I have a problem with…squirrel!  Yeah, you’ve got it.

It didn’t take long after that realization (and a few tears) for me to set a plan in place.  I know that if I have a hard time concentrating long term that I must break them down into smaller goals.  I’m determined to use this for some good instead of be mad and hurt which lets this be a deficit.

So…my new habit I’m going to implement (with the help of my trusty partner in life who is extremely disciplined!) is weekly goal setting for myself and our family.

That sounds kinda nuts, right?  Weekly goal setting for your family!?!  Isn’t that a little overboard?

Well, no!  Because we will be able to find more wins in a shorter timeframe because we will have smaller goals.  These smaller goals will lead to bigger wins as we reach our bigger goals.  Come on now…doesn’t that sound amazing!

Goal without a plan

So here are my goals for this week:

Personal Goals: to set my goals (check!), read a nutrition book for the boys (so we can start setting proper food goals for the family), write 2 blogs, spend time daily praying for a specific breakthrough that God has promised, sell more stuff to lighten the load at the house (you know we all have A LOT of stuff!), and complete all the projects I currently have for work.

Family goals: eat dinner together as a family each night, read with the boys for 20 minutes each day, go to Lego Club and get books for the next week, school Mr. L on multiplication goodness, limit screens to 2 hours a day, and do 5 loads laundry.

Crazy simple goals, right?  But I can cross those off and feel like I’m moving the family and myself forward to a healthier and happier destination.

Are weekly goals a good idea for you at home or at work?  What goal or goals could you implement this week to help you reach a bigger goal?

Creature of Habit

Last night the 4 of us had a fun night out with friends. We rolled into our driveway around 12:30am.  (Side note: I was super surprised that 50% of the houses we passed had someone still awake inside.)  Now if you know me, you may that was a late night for me.  I’m a solid 10:30pm-6:30am lady.  So it was of no surprise this morning when I woke up at 6:30am.  Even my crazy boys were awake!

This is a habit I created a couple years after getting married.  I spent the first 6-12 months of our marriage sleeping ALL the time.  Honestly if I wasn’t working I was watching ER or sleeping.  After college I was absolutely wrecked.  The last semester I was taking 21 credits, doing a senior project, working 3 jobs, and planning a wedding.  It was nuts.  So I give myself a little grace for that period of time.  HOWEVER, I know that I could have done so much more with my time.  I had such an opportunity to start my married adult life on the right foot, but I had no idea how to get there!

I came to realize that if I wanted things to change, I had to change my habits.  That’s where my strict bedtime came in.  It’s actually a source of many jokes in our house but I’m a better person and a better mom if I just do this.

Maxwell Daily Routine Quote

The truth is there are many more habits I need to put into place to be successful and reach my goals.  I’m working right now on writing out my big goals so that I can create habits that will drive me to achieve them.

So…what are some habits you do that are helping you reach the goals and dreams you have for your life?  What are some habits you need to start doing to help you move forward?

What’s Your Type?

I LOVE personality tests!  Love, love, love them!  I love them so much that I love studying the thinking behind the test itself just to understand the outcome even better.

I’m not gonna lie, I still have my results from a personality/career test I took at the end of my high school career.  It’s really fun to see how I haven’t changed…yet life has changed so much!  It’s interesting to me that even in my younger years when I was confused and insecure, the core of who I am was is still the same.

There are so many different personality tests out there.  Myers Briggs, DISC, and StrengthsFinder are the most common with each giving you a different style of result.  I believe the results from each test can be used to help bring clarity to who you are and how you work best.

So which test is your favorite?  Have you used one in your workplace, church, or with your family?  If you were using one of these in a team or business situation, which one would you recommend?