Faithfulness

Faithfulness is a loyal steadfastness of trust. God is the ultimate example of truthfulness.

God’s faithful in all His ways.

Psalm 33:4

So what is a Biblical perspective of faithfulness?
As Christians, how faithful are we? –
I think it begins with trusting God and remaining loyal to what God’s Word says. Each believer in Jesus Christ begins with faith. Isn’t that so much easier to say than do? Oh, how we like to complicate things, yet when we come back around to the truth of His Word, we have this gentle reminder…

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God.

Ephesians 2:8

Although it is by grace that we are saved and not by works, faithfulness in itself is not just a thought or an idea, it is something that needs to be followed by action. We don’t just, by faith, believe in Jesus, and then simply do nothing.  As a Christian we should choose to be Christ-like in our actions and even in our thoughts. Faithfulness lies in our loyalty to trust in God’s promises and will for our lives. In that process, God influences our relationships. It overflows into who we become. His faithfulness helps lead us in confidence as we bear the fruit of it.

So what could an abundance of faithfulness look like in our lives? Personally, I have found that to trust and rely on God produces stability in my life. As I carry an inner peace that only Jesus can provide, I pray often that others can see God in my own faithfulness, not only my faithfulness to God, but to those who God has laid in my path to be a trustworthy part of their life. So how can we live out this loyal steadfastness of trust? Obviously, we can’t and won’t be perfect in application, yet I think as we open ourselves to totally trust God, we can seek answers. Part of being faithful is to list our commitments, acknowledge our part in it, and to begin to evaluate our actions in being faithful…
to our beliefs,
to our relationships,
and yes, even to ourselves.

When we choose to align to God’s will, it allows the peace, love, and power to grow more in faithfulness. This faithfulness helps lead you in confidence, which in turn, provides an inner peace with a total trust in God. So I challenge you to create a list of ways to be faithful to God’s purpose in your life. Read, pray, worship, seek your why… and then choose to live that faithfulness out loud. I dare you.


Kindness Matters

In a world that often screams stress, anxiety, depression, and anger at us, kindness becomes a beacon of hope for humanity. Kindness is more than just being nice. It’s serving. It’s serving beyond just being polite. It’s an inner demeanor which the Holy Spirit provides that reflects what’s in our heart.

Do you struggle with being kind? We all have our days, don’t we? Sometimes we just feel too busy or overwhelmed to bother ourselves with kindness. It’s in those very moments that we need to seek wisdom from God…

Luke 6:35 (totally paraphrased)
Love your enemies. Do good. Expect nothing in return.

Why? Because the God of the universe has offered the same to us!!

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve 
or repay us according to our iniquities.”
Psalm 103:10

“Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32

Oh, I get it. It’s hard to be kind when all around you others are seemingly ungrateful, often self-seeking, and even rude at times. That doesn’t mean we need to be part of the problem when the solution is so simple.

Be kind anyways.

Dear Sisters, I challenge you to take an intent look around your circumstance. At the people you work with, the people you live with, the people you do life around. Maybe it’s co-workers or a boss, a room mate, a spouse, your kids, and yes, even the strangers who pass you by on a daily basis! Guess what?! You have the power to make the world you live in be just a little bit better of a place! Your demeanor sets the tone for your environment. So don’t wait for someone to deserve your kindness but rather let the Holy Spirit help guide you to produce true kindness towards those around you.

People treasure kindness.

Think about the Pay It Forward movement, or when buying Coffee for the person behind you at the coffee shop that leads to a whole line buying for the next person in line. Can you remember a time that someone offered you a random act of kindness? I’m not even talking about the bigger things that I can personally think of like when someone paid our water bill when we were threatened with it getting shut off during a rough season in life, or the church paying our mortgage for a month while we got back on our feet, or the random stranger who paid for fairly nice dinner for my big family at a restaurant on Christmas Eve during a particularly emotional year. Those things are amazing and made a huge impression on me and those around me; however, it’s the small things that can also have a big impact as well. Patience at the check out, letting someone merge into your lane, a friendly smile, holding the door open for someone, returning a cart to the cart return for that busy mom of littles, helping load up groceries for an elderly person, offering water to that homeless person…

In a society that needs more hope, how are you going to choose to be more intentional to offer kindness? We can make a difference. So go ahead, take that extra mile, bless others, and make the world a better place.


Peace

‘Peace helps you not fall to pieces.’
Words of wisdom from my 17 yr old daughter.
Is this true for you?

FRUIT Of THE SPIRIT:  PEACE

Many people who visit our home find a sense of peace in our living environment.  Not by outer circumstances, but rather more by our inner demeanor.  I’m going to admit that being called to write about peace has been a struggle.  I even tried to pass it off on my ministry partner.  I know I have peace, but to explain the how behind it seems too simplified.

Know Jesus, Know Peace.
No Jesus, no peace.

Peace isn’t something you create on the outside, but rather it’s something you accept on the inside.  It’s recognizing Jesus’ presence in the midst of anything.  I have personally found this to be true.  Through years of childhood trauma, in the dramatic teen years, during the turbulent years of my marriage, and while choosing the chaotic life of raising 6 kids.  It’s really about choosing peace in the process.  It’s about accepting Jesus for who He says He is.

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28

Peace is not an emotion but an inner calmness that God offers through the Holy Spirit in the face of storms, trials, and in our daily life… when we reflect our actions to God’s Word and choose to submit our will to God’s leading.  I recognize that this is sometimes a difficult task, especially when we are facings struggles, enduring hurts, unsure about the future, and dealing with doubts.  This is where faith steps in.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

After all, how do we choose to promote peace but by action and attitude?  Let’s let our behavior reflect the influence of God in our lives.

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12:18

So I challenge you today to choose grace, display patience, and allow peace… in regard to others as well as towards yourself.  “Seek PEACE and pursue it!” Psalms 34:14b

 


To Survive or Thrive This Christmas?

Christmas is about love.
Specifically, God’s love for us…
as He sent Jesus down to earth.
Christmas exists because of this love.
So, how loving are we being this season?

How many of us celebrate to the verge of chaos? Us women tend to try to squeeze in every last drop of memory making into our schedule.  We have a mental list of all the things we are suppose to do during the Christmas season.  The “we-have-to’s” list at the expense of our own sanity.  The “suppose-to’s” at the cost of our emotional stability.
… as if being a Super Woman is our priority?  or are we really barely hanging on?  I hear more and more how people are just trying to survive the holidays.  That is just sad.  Truly sad.

What if?   What if we just stepped back and evaluated our plans?  What if we paused when things begin to feel overwhelming?  What if we just simply skip out on a festive time when our gut just says “it’s just not working right now”?

I can’t help but think of 1st Corinthians 13.  Those famous verses about love.  That perfect love that Jesus was, is, and always will be.  Here is a hard question as we reflect on this beautiful season of love that came to life long ago.  Are we being loving?  Are we being kind?  Are we not easily angered?  I didn’t say the answers would be easy, yet they’re worth evaluating in ourselves.

Christmas isn’t about how we make things look (hello social media), or about how much we can get done, but about how we make others feel when we are around them.  Friends, this is a beautiful season that God has blessed us with.  The hope that is found in Jesus Christ is the true gift.  Let us not waste it on hyped expectations.  Simplify where you can, be intentional where you truly are called to be.  Your (sane, calm, joyful) presence is the present to offer your loved ones most this year!  God bless, and Merry Christmas!!


Let’s Talk LOVE

LOVE.  It’s the first Fruit of the Spirit mentioned in scripture.

I’m not gonna get into what love is as that is a whole ‘nother Bible Study in itself.  And I’m not going to get into the different types of love.  What we will focus on here is the LOVE that is displayed when we let the Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts.

When we allow God to lead our lives, the first fruit we begin to bear is love.  Now I’m pretty sure this must come first as all the other fruit is created when love is at the center.  It’s like a tree, where all the new growth is budding.  Those buds represent love.  As love sprouts forth, all the other Fruit of the Spirit will burst from the fresh blooms of love.

So how do we let love pour from ourselves?  Willingness.

Personally, I created a morning habit.  I wake up and say, “Lord, who do I get to love on today?” 

Let us not miss opportunities to love on others because we are so caught up in our own lives. 

Love is beyond feelings and emotions; it is an act of giving of oneself.  Even on tough days and rough moments, carry on, and love anyways!

Is there a screaming kid out in public?  Give the mom an reassuring nod.
Is there an elderly person unloading groceries in their car?  Offer to help.
Do you know of someone facing a new medical diagnosis?  Be there to listen.
Is your spouse cranky today?  Offer grace.  (do it-it’s worth it!)
Has someone just had a baby?  Volunteer to do laundry or clean a bathroom.
Know anyone moving?  Get over there and help pack or help move big items.
Is your child melting down or having bursts of fits?  Hug them, then listen.
Has someone lost a loved one?  Just be there.  No expectations.  Your presence is enough.

The possibilities of sharing love is endless!  What are some ways you are going to live-out-loud love today?!


Stress vs. Serenity

Stress!  It’s everywhere!  Am I right?  It can easily seep into every area of our lives.  It can create emotional breakdowns, physical ailments, mental confusion, and social stress.

Have you ever noticed that when dealing with others, we are much more impatient when we harbor stress?  Or that circumstances seem so much more overwhelming when we are in the midst of stress?

What is the opposite of stress?

Peace…. calm… clarity…

So how do we wrap ourselves in serenity? Read More


Finding Self vs Selfless

The more I ask myself “Who am I?”,
the more I realize it’s not about me-
because really, what are my dreams, goals, desires in life but to follow God’s will for my life.

So….

Is it about me?

Is it….

I am amazing.
I am righteous
I am patient
I am kind
I am beautiful
I am powerful
I am productive
I am strong
???

The internet has an amazing resource of words you can fill in with positive affirmations… so many lists to fill in the blank of ” I am _______”

Yet…

I am nothing without the great I AM. 

I am

Is it “I am amazing”
or “I can do amazing things through Christ Jesus”

Is it “I am righteous”
or “I can do righteous things with God’s guidance”

Is it “I am patient”
or “I can be patient when I see things through God’s eyes”

It’s a profound realization when I recognized that most of the list that provided words for self affirmation were really words that describe God.

But be encouraged my friends, for there are some firm truths in the Holy Bible through our relationship with Christ Jesus.  Here are some spiritual truths to stand on-

I am a child of God  (John 1:12)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:7)
I am loved unconditionally (Roman 8:35-39)
I am never alone (Deuteronomy 31:8)
I am chosen (John 15:16)
I am redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
I am accepted (Romans 15:7)
I am created for His purpose (Jeremiah 1:5)

So let us selflessly remember to ‘Come near to God and He will come near to you’ (James 4:8a) as for us to truly find our self.