Free to Be Me

SweetfreedomI was sitting at my desk today, doing a little freelance design work and listening to my daughter sing as she works on her assignments for school. As I worked, I looked out my window, as I often do, to just think and enjoy the beauty of the day. I quickly noticed our neighborhood hawk friend soaring high above the tree line this morning. He pays us a visit often, but today in particular, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was completely uninhibited and enjoying his life. I watched him expertly maneuver his wings to soar through the sky with beauty and grace. As I watched, I began to think about the freedom this hawk has. He has the entire sky to fly and there really are no limits to where he can go.

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3 Steps To Overcoming the Overwhelming

overwhelmedDo you ever feel overwhelmed? Like you can’t get it all done? I know the feeling right now. We have decided to sell our home to accelerate our debt-free living plan….yay us! Our church is moving into a new location…..PRAISE GOD! I started a new direct sales business. Add in setting up 501C3 for church, missional training, being a mom and wife….I’m pooped. All this has happened in the last 2 weeks and needs to be completed by July 1. Needless to say, I am struggling a bit to keep my sanity.

We have all had times like this in our lives. Times that are super exciting but super overwhelming at the same time. So how can we keep perspective when the task at hand seems impossible. Here are a few simple steps that will help you when you are feeling like you just can’t manage what life has thrown at you.

You Are Not Alone
While you may feel like you are on this journey all by yourself, we must remember we are not. God is right there holding our hand through the good, bad and ugly. Here are some amazing scriptures to remind us of this special promise to us.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40:28

Make A Plan
Okay, so I heard a statistic the other day about planning and planners in general. It said if you put a pen to paper you are 80% more likely to accomplish the task. So my friends, take that pen out and start writing it down. Write everything down that needs to be done. I love lists! It helps me stay focused and manage the unmanageable. I love the feeling of checking something off. I literally can feel the load being chiseled away. Here is a trick I use to help me get started. Some may call it cheating, I call it encouragement.

When making a list, I strategically add a few things I have already done that needed to be done. That way, I can immediately check things off. That simple act tells my brain that the task at hand is actually possibly. It’s going to take some God sized strength to get it all done so you need to remember: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Eph. 6:10.

Delegate
There is no rule that says you have to be the hero and do it all. Find people to help you. Get your kids and husband on board. Recruit friends and family. Make it fun!!! People are often willing and ready to help if we just reach out to them.

So, what has you overwhelmed today? Are you emotionally burdened? Is there big changes for your life on the horizon like me? Are you looking to change jobs? Let’s talk and lean on one another as we face these challenges together.

 

When Life Stinks

liveWe have all heard the phrases “Life is Hard”, “What don’t kill you, only makes you stronger” and “Suck it up, buttercup!” While there is a lot of truth in those little phrases, the reminder is not very helpful when life is beating you down. My family has been beat down for the past couple of years. I am not going to go into all the details but there have been many days where we just wanted to give up and run away. It’s been hard, real hard. Quite frankly, impossible. There have been times when we felt sorry for ourselves and questioned God’s goodness. We have felt hopeless and helpless. In our human nature, bad stuff is hard to understand. However, we have come to realize God has a plan in this beautiful mess and we have learned so much along the way.

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I Looked to God This Morning

This is from a dear friend and employee of mine. I love how she captures the heart of the Believer in her beautiful poetry. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did and are encouraged that this new day you are living was divinely created by a God that loves you very very much.

The Still Small Voice

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I looked to God this morning
And thanked Him for this day.
I asked for Him to guide me
In all I do and say.

The promise of beginnings
Amidst our new farewells,
Greets renewed assurance
When questions would assail.

I know my Father loves me.
He cares for one and all.
Oh Father, ever with me,
May I be faithful to Your call.

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Dropping In

boatFor the past few weeks in my missional training, we have been asked to think about evangelism and what that looks like. We have been asked to compare evangelism and discipleship. We have been asked to challenge what we have always thought about both topics. We have been asked to really reflect on the ministry of Jesus and how he evangelized and discipled. And to be honest, its been kind of a crazy ride on this thought journey for the past couple of weeks for me. Read More »

Making Yourself a Priority

relaxI am absolutely the worst at taking time for myself. I have about a million things going on in my head at any given time and hundreds of people who need me. I don’t mind being needed and I love the many roles I have, but that can be taxing on a person. I feel like I never have time to just sit down and chill because of all the things that need to be done. My brain says “If I relax then I am going to have to do twice as much tomorrow.” If I am honest, I am a person that doesn’t really know how to relax. According to my counselor husband, that’s not a very healthy place to be mentally or physically.

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Open My Home?

homeI love my home! It is the first home we ever built, and planned for it to be our forever home. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. We had it built the way we wanted it and it meets our needs, plus some. When I was a kid, my family’s home was the hang-out house on Sunday nights after church. All our friends came over and we just had fun, lots of fun, just hanging out. I remember we had this second-hand couch that had a broke cushion (the cause of many friend fights). Because it was junk, my mom didn’t care if we abused it. My sister would get on the arm of that thing and do all these crazy moves, “The Surfer”, “The Crane,”  and  “The Skateboard.” We would laugh until we cried and our sides hurt. Mom would usually order a pizza or we would have some off brand doritos. Anybody remember “Bravos” in the early 90’s! My family didn’t have much money, so the feast was never spectacular, but we had love and that’s all a bunch of teenagers needed. We built our home with my childhood in mind. It’s way too much for the three of us, and I am reminded of that every time I clean. But, we wanted to provide a place for our sweet girl’s friends to come hang out and to be able to entertain our church family as well.

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Begin a Missional Lifestyle

Untidy cluttered woman wardrobe with clothes and accessories.So you don’t just wake up one day and decide, “I am going to be missional for the rest of my life.” There is a lot more to it than that. To tell a loving world about Jesus through our actions takes commitments and life change. While waking up and deciding that missional living is a good idea, certainly is a start, you will need to dig deeper to truly begin the journey. Last week I shared in my post A Life On Mission what missional living meant, how I became a huge fan of it and an invitation to join myself and my church on this journey.

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A Life On Mission

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My husband and I have been in ministry most of our lives. I am a pastor’s kid and I married a pastor. Some might call that a gluten for punishment, I call it an amazing life. My husband has been the Senior Pastor of our congregation for over 9 years now. Through that time, we have definitely had some ups, downs, transitions, sadness and joy in the ministry. However, the most amazing thing that has come from shepherding a congregation is what we have learned about the heart of God,  ourselves and people in general.

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Patience

My daughter is a collector.  She also loves the outdoors. So her favorite items to collect are things from nature. We have had bags of leaves, tubs of rocks and acorns, precious acorns to name a few. About a year ago she found some really large acorns around our house while she was on another one of her “digs.” As always, she put them in a bag to save. Well, we noticed a few weeks later that the acorns were sprouting. With huge excitement in her eyes she declared she was going to grow oak trees for all of her family. So we carefully planted the sprouted acorns into little cups and began to water. Day after day, she watered the little cups of acorns in her window. Day after day, the acorns stayed the same, not much change. About 6 months into the process, I broke the news to her that I didn’t think we were going to get trees from our acorns. After all, they had stayed the same for the past 6 months and I was really tired of looking at cups of dirt. So we pulled them up and, much to our surprise, a lot had been happening underneath the dirt. An elaborate root system was forming. We quickly covered them back up and she kept on doing what she was doing. About a month ago, we began to see something green, and now we have a baby tree living in our sunroom.

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