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Learning to Dwell

Ever felt yourself wondering why you have to be the bigger person? Do you feel personally responsible to fix everything that goes wrong in your sphere? There are moments when this becomes overwhelming and we'd rather take off our cape and see if any other superheroes have clocked in. I'm learning that it's through those circumstances that God reveals to us the depths of our strength. There are times when God presents problems in our lives that force us to find answers. But who wants to be the one constantly fixing problems? 

 

I was reading John 15 before bed and read a verse that challenged me: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John‬ ‭15:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬. Not gonna lie, my initial thoughts were, "ain't nobody got time for that!" What does it mean to abide in Christ? For me, abiding in Him is how I chose to see and function in my sometimes crazy world. 

 

It's a place of peace, patience, joy, kindness, forgiveness, compassion, and love. But guess what? I like to be petty. It's one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes I'm tempted to treat people the way they treat me. I don't always want to lead in reconciliation or be the bigger person. There are times when I want to let people figure it out for themselves while I sit back and watch.  

 

Then I read scriptures like those in John 15 and I'm reminded that the world doesn't become better when I have an attitude. The world does not become better when I choose to allow other people to suffer when giving them just a piece of my time or small push of motivation could alter their destiny. 

 

More and more I'm beginning to pack my boxes from petty boulevard so that I can begin to dwell in Christ. I still may keep a summer home on the boulevard, but for the most part I want to strive each day to see this world (and the people in it) the way Christ does. 

 

I know in Him is knowledge that will show me how to be generous without being taken advantage of, wise without being critical, and sensitive on what jobs are for me versus those only He can handle. 

 

God, 

Purify my heart. Help me to live in a place of humility that doesn't exalt myself over those around me. Do not allow the overcoming of my pain to make me critical of other people's journey. Continue to make me sensitive to the hurting people who dwell in this world by establishing my heart and mind in the palm of Your hands. 

 

Signed, 

Getting Uncomfortable  

 

Join me on the getting uncomfortable to become unstoppable journey by clicking here to preorder Don't Settle for Safe and downloading the first three chapters of my new book instantly. 

 

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Here I Am

Every time I close my eyes I hear the voice of change. It haunts me until sleep takes over, but it’s waiting for me the moment I open my eyes. I try to drown it with laughter. I even attempt to crowd it with the thoughts and opinions of other people, butno matter what I do the baseline of change plays deep in my soul. I know I should confront it, but it’s easier to ignore it than admit that I’m not sure I have what it takes to change my life.

 

What if I can’t do it well? What if it’s harder than I expected and I fail? What if I open myself up for disappointment again? The voice of change has been doing a slow dance with my  fears and anxieties since before I can remember. They try to convince me that I must know the outcome before I even take the first step. It makes me feel like I can’t handle what comes next. I’m not at a crossroad. I’m at the end of one road that only intersects with a one-way street. My only options are to go back to who I was, stay where I am, or risk the unknown.

 

Have you ever wanted to just snap your fingers and be over a hurdle? Sometimes I wish that God would make my mountain easier to climb. I wish that He would give me the strength I see in others. Before I can let that thought fully live in my mind, I remind myself that God won't just give me the power that someone else possesses because I may not be able to handle the weakness that comes along with it. No, instead he places me in situations where I have to prove to myself what He's known all along: I’ve got what it takes. He makes me dig deep within and face my fears so that when I finally taste the victory of overcoming I won’t forget the preparation it took to get there.

 

Some of you have been waiting for God to reveal how you’re supposed to move, this particular blog post is not for you. This post is for the person who has known what God wants from them for a very long time, but they’ve been afraid to move. I’m serving you notice that there’s no way around it.

 

Your happiness and wholeness depends on this move. God gave you grace on credit because he wanted to increase your faith. You graduated that test, but now you’re going to have to do the work of stretching your faith by stepping into obedience. Yes, I said the “O” word. Obedience is the word that makes every rebel shudder. To procrastinate your surrender is to protest what God wants to do in your life. He will not force you to move. This next step of faith will require you to know the difference between being a slave and a servant.  

 

A slave is stripped of their will and forced to perform tasks. A servant sees the value in being connected to the master and is willing to do whatever is asked. Does that mean that servants don’t have hard days? No! Does it mean that servants get everything right? Absolutely not! But it does mean that they never quit trying because they value what the master gives in return. God won't make you a slave when others are willing to be true servants. 

 

 You’re not just going to wake up one day and have your life together. No, it’s going to take every ounce of willpower you can muster. There will be pleasant distractions that pacify your stagnancy, but they will only be temporary. You will have to force yourself to have unprecedented discipline, or you will find yourself stuck. You weren’t meant to go to bed questioning your life every night. You’re supposed to rest confidently because you know regardless of what the day holds you know you’re in God’s will. There are benefits reserved for those who are able to make the tough decisions that lead to destiny. Those benefits promise that your discipline and decision to be obedient is not just seen, but rewarded.

 

So this message is for you my friend….I can’t tell you how much time you’ll be given on this earth. I just know that you’ve got to make each moment count. The change you’ve been hoping will happen in your life will not come instantly, change this monumental occurs each second of everyday. It’s in how you choose to handle your heart. It’s in whom you choose to handle your insecurities. It’s in how you honor your body. It’s in how you treat others. 

If you’re in a toxic relationship, it’s time to start pulling your heart back. If you’re downplaying your intellect and wisdom to be accepted you’re going to have to find your voice. If you spend too much, you'll have to cut back. If you devalue the treasure of your heart, body, and soul for attention, no one will ever fully understand your worth. 

This kind of change will shake up your world. That shaking will be scary at first, but then you will realize God is only shaking off mindsets, relationships, and opportunities that you should have never clung to in the first place.

 

 

Dear God,

 

Help me to undergo the soul surgery that will change my life. Help me to uncover dimensions of myself I never knew existed. Show me who I really am not who I’m comfortable being. Take me out of my comfort zone, but lead me with Your voice and protect me with Your hand. I want to go deeper with you even if it means I have to cut some things loose. I know that I’ve postponed this moment for reasons I can’t fully express, but I’m finally saying, “here I am.”

 

Signed,

Welcoming Change  

 

 

 

 

 

**This blog was inspired by my desire to eat a cookie. Keep praying...the fat fight continues! (6 pounds down, Thanksgiving this week.)

 

Been Shattered

Originally published 9/15/2013

Sometimes I get so tired of being so strong. Every now and then I want to let the pain wash over me and set me free. I want to let the tears drown my insecurities. Feel the sting of my wounds. Every now and then I need to feel everything all at once. I need to feel the sunshine and taste the rain. I need to remember that it’s okay to not be okay.

 

I just want to be weak. For one moment I want to let it all go in your presence and feel everything I held behind this smile. In front of Your thrown at the feet of your grace I want to expose the pain. Take the love that burned my soul and the lies that stained my heart. I want to remove the filter of lies that turns possible truths into fearful lies. I want to remember what it’s like to take a person for their word. I want to feel okay to be vulnerable.

 

In the stillness of the night I let the sorrow fall like rain over me. I admit that the beautiful cul-de-sac has turned into a prison around me. I give in to those moments. Head first I dive into the pain and I soak it up. I feel all the misery that once lived under the pseudonym of hope. I cave in. Not to the fear, not to the pain, not to the bitterness, or the shame. I cave in to the truth.

 

We’re told to believe that there is one signifying breaking point. The truth is that it takes way more than one straw to break the camels back. Little by little we adjust to the pressure of being strong. We strain, we tear, we stretch, but we refuse to break. We refuse to blink and let the tears pour out our fear. The disease we bear it. The death we can handle it. The debt? No problem. The eviction notice won’t unsettle us. We take each of life’s blows on the chin.

 

How is it if He doesn’t give us more than we can bear that we feel so tired? But didn’t we take on more than He ever asked of us? When will we learn to let go of the things we cannot control and trust Him to just be Him. We’ve got it all. All the things we want and so few of the things we need.

 

When was the last time you decided to stay true to you instead of them?  

 

Don’t let pride rob you of the beauty in the ebbs and flows of life. It’s okay to not be okay. Full submission to Him doesn’t require that you have strong will. It does, however, require full trust in His.

 

Are you willing to let His strength be made perfect in you?

 

I’ve been tired for more days than I can remember now. I’m so afraid of disappointing my small world that I’m missing out on Your great touch. I need more from You than I can ever get from them. Every time I feel like I’m on my last, You refill me. Still, I know my true restoration can’t come until I admit I’ve been shattered.

 

2 Corinthians 9:12 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”