The Worst Advice

Our small group is doing this study, “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman.

I’ve only watched the first lesson, and I’m hooked. He asked “Are you a fan, or a follower?” and I have to admit, I’ve resigned to sideline christianity. Prayer is not the first thing I jump to, but rather a last resort. I do everything I can to solve everything that comes my way and only ask for God’s help or direction when I just cannot figure it out. And even then, it’s more of a whiny request than a faith filled prayer.

Then, toward the end, Kyle was talking about a single father whose life was transformed. He went from fan to follower, was always serving and giving and was actively reflecting the light of Jesus to all the people he encountered. The change was so profound that the man’s mother requested a meeting with Kyle.

Instead of “Thanks for helping my son come to know Jesus intimately,” the woman requested that Kyle help the man see that he had “taken it too far.” He was too devoted, too into Jesus, and that he had lost the sight of “healthy balance.” (Forgive me, I’ve paraphrased some of her words.)

I stared at the video – I was baffled, and I cried. I remember someone telling me just a few years ago that church was my crutch, I was going overboard and taking things too far with the whole God-thing. I was being extreme. And I got mad at first, but then that advice started to change my view on things. I stopped going to church. I stopped praying so much. I didn’t want to be extreme, or to hide at church, or to use God as a crutch. I didn’t want people to see me that way. I don’t know why, really – but it seriously damaged my relationship with Jesus, and my reliance on God.

I know it won’t be overnight, but I am praying that once again, my hiding place will be God, that my life will be marked by service, and that my crutch will Jesus. I pray that not only will I say “God is in control, Jesus is enough,” but that I will live it in every single thing I do, every day, for the rest of my life.

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The Woman on the Painted Horse!

My amazing friend, Angela, is an author. And her debut novel is going to be released in 12 days…on March 19th!

To celebrate with her, I am sharing the giveaway with you:
The Woman on the Painted Horse Giveaway

You can enter to win prizes, and follow her to find out more about her debut novel, The Woman on the Painted Horse, along with her subsequent books. She’s definitely an author you don’t want to miss! (And I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend!)

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One Word

Pastor Craig challenged us to think of one word this year, something God put on our hearts, to really focus on achieving/incorporating into our lives. It took me the rest of Sunday evening, and into the night to think of my word. Just as my sweet husband drifted to sleep, my word hit me…

“Contentment!”

Startled awake, I think he told me that it was fine, but why right that second? Goodnight hunny.

I’ve been hesitant to share my word, because then you might know if I’ve failed.

I’ve been hesitant to share my word, because then you might know I’m tempted to want too much.

I’ve been hesitant to share my word, because then I might have to commit to it.

Well, my word is contentment. See, it took me those hours, and asking over and over again, because I was trying to come up with a word for the budget that wasn’t “budget.” I have a budget. Sticking to said budget…different story. And I can’t always point the finger at someone else for not following the plan. I like to go eat with the hubby when the kids are gone. And I can justify just about any spending I want to do. And when I can’t, the hubby is quick to say something that justifies it, and you know, he’s the smarter one, so I just go with it!

After really thinking about a not-budget-budget word, I thought I might go with health. I mean, I need to lose the pounds. I need to exercise. I need to eat right. I need to do all of that, and I struggle with it. Then I went back to budget. Then parenting. Like, maybe I could try to be supermom this year and make crafty lunches, and really expound on our lessons, and read a hundred pages in a book every day, and mop every floor in the house, and cook three meals, with multiple courses, every day. And I could throw “wife-ing” in there, and fold the laundry and… I started turning my word into a to-do list – the same one that haunts me daily for all of the things I miss and mess up.

I’m sure God said it while we were at church. And while we drove home. And while we sat on the couch. I sure asked at those times, and others. Or maybe He waited because He knew that I had to get quiet enough to listen. And when I did, He told me that I need to focus on contentment.

I was excited at first! Yes, contentment! I could see that in the budget, if I was content, I wouldn’t spend, I would live within my means. I could see contentment in my health. If I am content, I won’t overeat to cope with a stressful day. If I am content I can take the time to exercise. I could see contentment in my parenting, making me more patient, more devoted.

Then, God slowed me down, and told me to just be content, to allow my gratitude for the blessings I have, and the joy from Him overflow. And then…

Jesus is enough. The rest of what you have is a blessing, responsibility, or both, that I have given you. But with or without any of those things, Jesus is enough.

Do you have a word that you are focusing on this year?

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