When Something’s Gotta Go..

I’ve been in what feels like one of the most overwhelming times of my life. Some I can share with, others I can not. I know who to safely unload with and who would rather not hear it any more. Do you have those people? The ones who get a glazed over look in their eyes, like “here we go again”. Stop with those people. Love, but don’t share. They are done with hearing it.

Take it to God, find a good friend who never gets tired of you. Unload and reboot. When schedules are crazy, relationships are strained, kids are going back and forth, and work pressure is on, something’s gotta give…

I had one friend remind me that anxiety gets the best of us when we are taking on too much in advance. The “what ifs”?? “What about whens”? I have them. And, I was wisely reminded to take this day, our daily bread. One day at a time. We can’t change the past or “fix” the future, only live in this day. So, that’s where I’m starting. With today.

Today, I miss my girls. I already feel like I miss half their lives being a working and divorced mom, but last week my oldest was away at school and I haven’t seen her since. I cherish my time with them, yet when I get them back, they are tired, grouchy, hungry, annoyed with each other. Sounds like a pleasant time, huh? Still…I miss them.

When the pressure cooker of life is whistling like a freight train, we can’t throw our hands up and quit. Even “quitting” won’t fix certain things. For me, what’s gotta go is my concern of what others think of me. Add that like a cherry on top of our already stressful lives, and it’s bound to come tumbling down. Or I am, in a heap.

So, that’s what the Lord is leading me to today. “Take it out of the equation, Darla, because that’s the ingredient that will do you in.” Just like everything else He’s asked of me, I cannot do it on my own, He’s gonna have to help me. And, because I know He’s a loving Father, I will depend on Him to. I have reached my limit Lord, take it from me.

Something’s gotta go..

 

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Peace, Be Still.

storms

In the midst of the storm……Jesus was in the back, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up. They said, “Teacher! Don’t you care if we drown?” He got up and ordered the wind to stop. He said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down. And it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Don’t you have any faith at all yet?” They were terrified. They asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:38-41 (NIRV)

Do you ever wonder why He was sleeping? Me too. Didn’t He know they were scared? Why didn’t He come to their rescue before they cried out? I’d be frustrated too! Jesus, You KNEW! Yet, You slept……until I woke You. As a human, He slept. As our Savior, He never does. He slept in peace. He woke in peace. He calmed in peace. He spoke peace. He IS Peace.

I have no idea how many times Jesus has come to my rescue before I even knew I needed Him to, but I have no doubt that He has. I have also cried out to Him many times wondering why He won’t come or “wake up” (like I want Him to). Now, I trust He hears me each time I cry out, but His answer will come when and how He says it will.

In financial storms, can He calm? In relational storms, can He calm? When a friendship falls apart, can He calm? Yes. He is our calm before, during, and after the storm. Cry out and trust that He hears. That is faith. Only through Jesus can we sense peace in the midst of a storm…..and maybe even get some sleep like Jesus did.

Let’s remember that in His humanness, He may have slept, but in our humanness we may not. Let the sleepless nights and anxious days be a powerful and prayerful reunion with Him. May His Presence alone bring you the peace you crave. He is mighty. He is personal. He is with you.

Diagnosis: Panic

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The phone rings. The phone doesn’t ring. The news is not what you expect. The news is what you do expect. Our hearts race, mouths go dry, every heart beat is amplified in our ears. Fear. Fight or flight. Sheer panic sets in. This is an all too frequent condition that I deal with. Panic. Even seeing the word provokes what it means to me.

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. Isaiah 41:10 (MSG)

Can I tattoo this on my forehead? Who’s with me? So, when I feel attacked or misunderstood, don’t panic. When my manager wants to “talk”, don’t panic. When the doctor arrives who seems hell-bent on criticizing me, don’t panic. When my daughters come home with news about something, anything at their dad’s house, don’t panic. When he refuses something seemingly ridiculous, don’t panic. When my plans fall through. When I can’t be two places at once. When I don’t get the reaction I want or expect. When it takes me two hours to get to work because of traffic, don’t panic. When these things happen, my first instincts and emotions go haywire. I want to yell and scream…”It’s NOT RIGHT!!” But, that won’t change any of it whatsoever. What will? Who can?

Although, my heart may pound and my mouth feel parched, my knees will hit the ground. My heart will cry out for relief. For guidance and the self control necessary to prevent the tidal wave of emotions crashing all around me from taking me down along with the ones I love. And, I will let the tears fall when they come. Tears are safe. Tears are cleansing. Tears are proof that we are alive. Because, life is hard and seems extremely unfair sometimes. Only with God’s perspective can we trust that the hard stuff is not because of His lack of love, but rather to draw us closer to Him. The closer the better.

I can’t make people do things. I can’t make people not do things. I can’t defend a misunderstanding if someone is convinced otherwise. I can’t change people’s minds. I can’t make someone care if they don’t. I can only pray and ask for the help that He promises me.

I still struggle with anxiety and panic, but I know the best prescription for this diagnosis is written in Isaiah 41:10. So, today I will take my medicine. My Ultimate chill pill. And, another one tomorrow….My guess is I need it every day.

A Time for Everything…

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I woke up with a beautiful breakthrough from God this morning. There is a time for everything under heaven. There is a time to struggle and a time rest. A time to share and a time to keep. A time to give and a time to receive. A time to sleep and a time to wake. There is a time for change and a time to accept our humanness. A time to teach and a time to learn. A time to seek approval and a time to act. A time to hold on and a time to let go. A time for spiritual warfare and a time to just be held in God’s arms of grace. A time for strength and a time for weakness. His grace is sufficient.

Jesus died for us because He knew we couldn’t live a perfect life like He did. He knew our limitations. He knows every struggle and temptation we face, and knew we would fall short. We all fall short. He died to cover us. His love is enough. His love allows us to admit failure, weakness, and imperfection. We are all saved by the grace of God alone. We have never been nor will ever be perfect, only perfectly loved. In our struggle to be obedient, we can lose sight of His grace and why He died for us to begin with.

When I find myself struggling with imperfection and worry, I need to remember this. I am perfectly loved by my Heavenly Father exactly as I am today, tomorrow, and I always have been. Weaknesses and all.

This morning I have a smile on my face and peace in my heart because of His sacrifice, not my own. Not because of what I’ve done or will do, but because of what He’s already done for me. Because He knows my struggles, desires, and needs even more than I do. Because I’m loved no matter what. This is not my war to win. He’s already won it.

There is a time to cry and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad and a time to dance with joy. There is a time to throw weapons down and a time to pick them up. There is a time to hug someone and a time to stop holding so tightly. There is a time to look for something and a time to consider it lost. There is a time to keep things and a time to throw things away. There is a time to tear cloth and a time to sew it. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak. There is a time to love and a time to hate. There is a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:4-8 (ERV)

Amidst all our seasons in life, it is ALWAYS a good time to rest in God’s love and grace. We can’t earn it, only receive and be thankful for it. Thank God for such a time as this….

Worrier vrs. Warrior

warrior

I shared this title idea with one of my coworkers this past week and she agreed that it would be a great one for most of us. I have been a tried and true worrier my whole life. If worry were a disease, I’d be riddled with it. “What could I have done or said differently?” “This must be MY fault.” “I should have fixed it or stopped it or done whatever I tried to do differently.” Any time a problem comes my way I tend to immediately blame myself. It’s gotta be me. What’s wrong with ME?….

When God says “Be Still” this calms my nerves. This phrase reminds me that rejection may have been the most loving option, not the least. This phrase reminds me that sometimes it’s not what we COULD have done but what God DID do that sent that particular situation in that particular direction. This phrase reminds me that no matter how much we fear we may mess things up, He is STILL in control.

Sure, we make choices and may suffer consequences, but like the perfect parent He is, He still loves us. Sometimes the choices are made for us and we tend to take that VERY personally. Once again….WHY ME?? We need to fall towards His love and not away. Give the situation back to Him and remind ourselves that it’s just too heavy for us to carry.

What makes a worrier?  Insecurity, lies, paranoia, stress, questions, rejection, FEAR!

What makes a warrior? Prayer, peace, truth, confidence, strength, power, SURRENDER!

Waving the white flag of surrender makes us the warriors we need to be to live in this world. It’s HIS way or the highway, not mine. We shouldn’t be afraid to make choices, we shouldn’t be afraid to try, we shouldn’t be afraid to fail. The desire to live our lives to honor Him is the best we have to offer. It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. He doesn’t expect perfection.

Living loved is the best defense against worry. He wants us to live loved. Living consciously aware of His love throughout the day will take the sting out of disappointments, rejection, and worry. Living loved can remove the fear of trying, failing, and trying again. Knowing that we were loved in the past (when it happened), are loved today (while it’s happening), and will be loved in the future (even if it happens) is a warrior’s perspective.

I don’t write as an overcomer to worry, it’s still a daily struggle for me. I write to remind myself of these truths because I desire to live as a warrior too. Let’s fight (surrender) together. Oorah!