Monday, August 29, 2016

Tips for when You feel like You let Someone Down

Relationships always bring disappointment. We can't please everyone but the worst feeling is disappointing someone you care about or not feeling like you were able to help them. It could be a co-worker who has no one really or a sibling or your husband. You see them pretty much everyday and you can't do what you want to to help them.

As women God has made us emotional and relational human beings. It is our nature to want to help and give advice. But sometimes that isn't what that person needs.

Here are some tips that could encourage you to keep pressing on:

1) Be quiet and just listen

Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
Proverbs 18:2 NLT
 As females we struggle with stating our own opinions before actually listening. Instead we need to step back and just listen. If tempted to speak, send a quick prayer in your head asking God to listen with your whole mind and completely open ears. I know that this is something I struggle with a lot. It definitely can push away the other person and just make them feel more stressed and frustrated. Our goal is to be there for them and allow them to say when they want our advice. 
2) Pray Pray Pray
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results
James 5:16 NLT
Sometimes the only thing we can do is just pray. God knows their hearts and what is going on. It also can help you release your frustration and control. If they are also a Christian, ask them if you can pray with them. The key is to never give up. Prayer is powerful. 
Some things you can pray for is peace in their hearts, that God will be glorified, that you and the other person will see God work and hearts will be changed. For people not saved, pray for their salvation. Something that is hard for me is to discern when to say to them, "Hey can I pray with you now?" That is something I give to the Lord for discernment. But the point is just pray.
3) Hold onto that God loves them more than you ever can

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
Psalm 36:7 NLT
In the New International Version this verse says His unfailing love which is so powerful compare to our inconsistent love we have as humans. God's love will never ever end. We can love as much as we can even in our own strength but we will always fall away from that. God is the only one who can love this person all the time as much as they need it. Because of His love, He is a place to rest in and it is stable. Only a God like that can love that person in your life the way they need to be.
4) Put them before yourself

Don’t look out only for your own interests,
but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had
Philippians 2:4 NLT

Having the same mind as Christ will enable us to think about their needs over ours. Sometimes when someone is down and out, it is easy to get dragged down and grumpy towards them because they could be tearing you down because of their mood. Stop and think about your attitude and how it could simply help in the here and now. I know there were times when my hubbie was just tired and overwhelm with work and I chose to be happy and it made him forget about how he was feeling for a little while. There is really power of thinking of others first. 
5) Show them grace
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God
1 Peter 4:10 NKJV
Each and everyone of us have experienced the grace of God when we became Christians but that same grace is there from Him to be shown to others. Through who we are and who God has made us, we can show others the same grace He showed us. People mess up. We mess up. But when someone is struggling it can be easy to be quick to judge or get frustrated. But I like to remember how I struggle and how God shows me grace after grace after grace moment by moment. That motivates me to keep pressing on and show grace towards those who are in need of grace. Overtime that person might through God's intervention and your perseverance give themselves grace and see it through. I believe that. God's grace is that powerful

Link up with Jennifer #tellhisstory, Holley Coffee for your Heart and Jo Thankful Thursday  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Loyal - His "Loyal Love" will last Forever

Here is to another Five Minute Friday. The word is "loyal".

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.
For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up forever;
Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens
Psalm 89:1-2 NKJV

Did you know that the word mercy from this verse translates into "loyal love"? God's mercy is encompassed by His love for us. It is such an amazing feeling that David bursts out in song singing praises to God. It is established and set. And it simply started with His love. His love is what motivated Him to set up this amazing rescue plan by sending Jesus down on this earth, even while we were sinners, to die for us. We didn't deserve it. We don't deserve it but He did it anyways because of His love.

But sometimes it seems like we treat Jesus dying on the cross as if it was a one time deal. We continue on trying to live life in our own strength making what He did not important. But that doesn't change anything for God. He continues on in His mercy remaining faithful to us. Always there reminding, guiding, and directing us to the cross. He is loyal. He stands with us till the very end. We are His and He fights for us and it is all motivated by His loyal love for us.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Easiest Way Out

As humans the easiest thing to do when life brings you a difficult situation or person or a struggle with a weakness that never seems to go away is to harden your heart and withdraw. It hurts when you continuously get rejected or feel unloved by someone. It is frustrating when you feel like you have done everything right and the situation just gets harder. Or a particular sin haunts you and you feel overwhelm with it all the time, and it is easy just to forget it for a little while and go watch Netflix. No matter what it is, the easiest way as a human is just to harden your heart.

But then you have to ask yourself,

Does that accomplish anything?

Do you want to grow in your walk with God?

Do you want to be the same person that you are now in a year or so?

But most importantly does God want you to be this way?

No of course He doesn't. He wants to bless you. He wants you to see His love and purpose through this situation or person. Or as the Apostle Paul states in 2 Corinthians 12:9
"... 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." NKJV
Here are a few things that helps me to not harden my heart and withdraw
1) "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you". 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV
He wants to hear it all! Tell Him how you are frustrated! Tell Him that you want to give up. Tell Him that you recognize that it is wrong but in your flesh you just don't care. He wants to hear. Also the act of casting your care upon Him is an act of humility asking Him for help and recognizing your need for Him. It is the first step of letting go of your pride and need of control and allowing Him to help you. It is a starting point of opening yourself up to Him. He does it because He loves and cares for us.
2) Recognize that in "...Your [His] book they all were written, the days fashioned for me [you],..." Psalm 139:16 NJKV
Every single thing that happens, every person apart of your life, and everything that you struggle with is written down in God's book of your life. Even if you made a bad decision that has affected the rest of your life, it is still apart of your story. He is in control! Whatever is going on isn't an oopsy or something He missed. Every detail is for His glory and His purpose. It all comes back to wanting to bless you and make you into that person that He wants you to be.
3) "But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
People wont change as fast as you want. Situations don't go away in a blink of an eye. The weakness we struggle with doesn't go away overnight. But when you realize that God is ultimately the one in control, you can wait and allow Him to deal with the situation person or weakness. You have to keep proceeding on drawing near to Him, seeking His word, recasting your cares but allow Him to do the changing. Allow Him to work in the situation or person. Because He will renew your strength. He will help you walk through this and maybe if it is His will and in His timing, you will see what can happen.
Don't give into the easy way out of hardening your heart. Humbly cast your cares, recognize He has the best story for you, and wait on Him as He gives you strength and might see you through.
linking up with Jennifer #tellhisstory and Holley Coffee for your heart and Jo Thankful Thursday    

Friday, August 19, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Team - Do You have a Team?

Here is another Five Minute Friday. The word is "team".

Everyone needs to be apart of a team, a team of accountability and support. Everyone needs people who are there for spiritual support, emotional support and relational purposes. I have a team just like that.

First there is my parents who I love soooooo much! They are my strong support system who encourage me when they don't agree with me. We can yell it out and be ok with each other.

Then there is my husband. He is my tell-it-as-it-is team manager. Sometimes as an emotional crazy person I need someone to snap me out of it. He does just that. He brings me back to reality and the rational way of thinking. Haha.

Christine is a friend who invited me over to her house to study the Bible. She is amazing! She gives me biblical encouragement while we study the Bible together. We also pray and console each other in the different stages of life we are in.

Then there are these two ladies named Christy and Kristy ( no joke) who is always a phone call away. Anytime I just need to talk to someone, they are there. They have older kids and have been there. I appreciate their constant openness towards me.

And Stop

But I have two more people I need to add.

There is Pastor Jeff, one of the pastors at my church. I use to work with him in the youth ministry where I could see that he had a strong desire for teaching and knowing God's word. Anytime I have a question about something in the Bible that just seems sticky or unsure, I go to him. I appreciate his wisdom and how comfortable he makes you feel to approach him.

Last there is my friend Julie. Since I am a military brat, I didn't have long term friends because we moved. Julie is my friend that I have known since 2004. That's a long time for a military brat. But Julie and I are both in the battlegrounds. We both have littles and husbands with busy and long hour jobs. No matter how long we don't talk to each other when we do it just comes easy. It is so important to have someone like her because she is where I am at and I need that sometimes.

What about you? Do you have a team of people that encourage you in your faith? Or challenges you as a person? Or tells you how it is? Your team might not be as big as mine but no matter the number it is so important to have people there to encourage you and support you in this journey called life.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Lift - A Lifting up Marriage

Here is to another Five Minute Friday. The word is "lift"

Marriage is hard. Two imperfect people get married and share their lives together. When I got married, I realized that I was not the only one who had to deal with my emotions which made my emotions harder to deal with. I also learned that sometimes I need to keep my emotions to myself because it is not beneficial and uplifting to my husband no matter how much I want to say it.

But the one thing I have realized the most is that through God's grace and constant reliance on my part when my husband is down or vice versa we can always be there to lift each other up. Even though it is sometimes hard because he makes it difficult, God gives me the grace to help lift up my husband. There are even times that my husband lifts me up and doesn't even realize it. Marriage gives that opportunity and ability to lift each other up. 

Even though marriage is hard I am glad that God has given me the husband He has given to me and helps me to be the stronger one through His grace when I need to be.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Praising and Feeding on His Faithfulness

Prayer is a powerful thing! But I think sometimes as humans we pray to get our own way, telling God all what we would like to see happen. Over time when the same prayers are not answered or it feels like you are still in the dark, praying this way seems pointless or feels aimless. We feel lost. We feel alone or overwhelm. But what if we go about it a different way. 

  I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.  
I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart. 
 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears...
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.  Psalm 34:1-4,6 NLT

You notice the order David put these verses. He does not start with verses 4 and 6 by crying out to God. He starts out by praising the Lord. He doesn't stop there either but continues on saying that he constantly speaks praises towards God. 

The key is when we approach God with situations that never seem to go away or constantly making you feel alone or anxious, we need to praise Him for what He has done already. The whole idea of even praying and wanting to releasing this to Him in the first place should be a sign to you that He is working in your heart.  Hold onto that and praise Him. He is faithful and working even if you don't see it. It is all about your focus being on Him and not the circumstances.

This also reminds me of two other verses that I hold onto when it comes to praying and focusing on praising God and what He has done.
 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and FEED on His faithfulness. 
Psalm 37:3 NKJV 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done
Phil 4:6 NLT

 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus
1 Thess 5:18 NLT
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