Category Archives: spiritual

It Is Well With My Soul….Or Is It?

The shoes are lined in paired perfection.
The white glove keeps its pure crispness.
The pillows are layered in meticulous fashion.
All is well with my home but not with my soul.

I’ve always been somewhat of a perfectionist liking things organized, my house picked up and clean and all things in order.  But life isn’t that way.

My husband tells this story that after we were first married he placed his glass on the floor by his chair to walk into the bathroom.  He returned and I had the glass washed, dried and put away.  The problem was he wasn’t finished with it!  I think he may be exaggerating a little but truth be told, he wasn’t far off the mark.

Over the years I have certainly mellowed a lot.  A couple of daughters, full sports schedules, a job and other responsibilities break that mold of perfection pretty quickly.  I’ve realized that perfection on this earth is unattainable.

However, I catch myself still striving almost on a daily basis to reach that perfection: a list of to-do’s, a bed made before I walk out the door, house picked up, dishes done, daily chores on top of trying to eat healthy, exercise, be all that I can be for my husband and family, be a good employee, volunteer, Christian and the list goes on and on.

Now I’m exhausted just thinking about it all.  But the devil is happy.  That is exactly what he wants.  He wants me to keep striving for perfection and be too exhausted to do anything for God.

If you are running on this perfection spinning wheel with me, stop!  God’s not looking for a picture-perfect house, an organized closet or an excellent result from a white glove test.  He’s looking for us – me and you.  He doesn’t want anything else except us…our heart…living for Him.

Let’s let it all be right with our soul today.  Give up striving for extreme perfection a little at a time. And maybe you can have this little song stuck in your head all day, too.  “It is well…it is well with my soul!”  🙂

A Card, A Canvas and A Celebrity.

I had several things weighing heavy on my mind and I just said out loud to God, “please show me something that will take this burden off of me.  Please.”  I walked into my office and honestly, had very little hope that the Lord was going to be so bold.

But then the picture on my desk of Jennifer Hudson’s Weight Watcher ad (which I keep on my desk for motivation) caught my eye.  “BELIEVE. Because it works.”  Of course it was referring to the tagline for Weight Watchers but God whispered to me, “I mean it.  Believe. Because it works.”  And He wasn’t referring to Weight Watchers!

I smiled and then my eye drifted to this little sign on my desk that said “when in doubt, pray”.  I smiled again.  Then God used this canvas print that I look at everyday (but have basically become immune to) to smack me right in the face.  Not literally but figuratively.  It said “The Lord has promised good to me.”

Then I laughed out loud and said, “OK, Lord.  I get it.  Believe that you’ve got it all under control.  I need to let it go and let you handle everything.  You will bring YOUR good to me.”

So I did.  And I am.  And hopefully I won’t take it back again….. or you’ll get to read another post about how I let it go and took it back and let it go again and took it back again! hahahaha

Share with me when the Lord showed up in a bold way in your life.

 

The Butcher, The Baker, And The Candlestick Maker.

Sometimes it’s hard to be at work all day when you have other things you would rather be doing.  Sometimes it’s hard to be at work when it’s nice and warm outside.  Sometimes it’s hard to be at work when your friends are teachers and have the summers off; when you would rather be anywhere doing anything else.

But here’s the deal.  If you work outside of the home, you were hired to do a job.  If you are a stay-at-home worker, you have responsibilities as well.  It’s important to fulfill that responsibility no matter if you want to be there or not.  So we need to find some way to make the most of the work day and have some fun while doing it.

So let’s take “The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick Maker” approach.

Some days we can enter our day as The Butcher.  The Butcher is someone who can chop up and cut the negativity.  Sometimes we need to be The Butcher. We can be the positive one and try to counteract the negative attitudes of others with our positive attitude.

Some days we may wish to be The Baker – the one who brings a smile to a mundane workplace.   Think about how you feel going into a bakery.  Usually just the display cases of bright icing on sugar cookies and cupcakes alone can bring a smile to one’s face.  What if you were The Baker for your workplace bringing smiles to everyone’s face?  Bringing cupcakes in couldn’t hurt either!

Other days you may choose to be The Candlestick Maker; someone who brings light.  The Candlestick Maker lights up a room when they walk into a boring meeting.  You could be that person who smiles all day and is in such a good mood that your positive light and attitude become infectious.

We have a responsibility to get our work done but no one said it has to be boring.  Let’s put a little nursery rhyme into the boring work day.  Choose which one you’ll be today – The Butcher, The Baker or The Candlestick Maker!  People can’t help but smile when they eat sugar cookies by candlelight!

 

It’s Time to Cut the Chain.

We make what people did TO us more important than what Jesus did FOR us.    – Christine Caine

I was at the Indianapolis Women of Joy conference this weekend and had the privilege of hearing Christine Caine speak.  She was a dynamic speaker.  But her message was even better.  The quote above really stuck with me.

We get all caught up in what people do TO US.

“She said this about me.”
“She had the nerve to corner me and ask such and such.”
“He cut me off in traffic so I got in front of him and went real slow.”
“She was mean to my son so I’ll get back at her.”
“He didn’t even give me a chance at that job so I’ll make him regret it.”
“They really hurt me and I’ll never forgive.”

What did someone do to you that you continue to carry around like a ball and chain affixed to your ankle?  It started out as sort of a prized ball and chain showing the world that you had been wounded.  You wanted everyone to know and everyone on your side.  You wanted the other person to suffer by public humiliation.

Then it became a part of you.  Almost a growth physically attached to you.  The wound won’t heal because you won’t let it.  You keep reopening it and letting yourself suffer in this thing that was done to you.

And maybe it deserves to be remembered and the person deserves to be punished and humiliated and pay for what they did.  I don’t doubt that there are absolutely situations that this is true.

But when we make our life about what was done TO US by someone instead of what was done FOR US by the Almighty God, we live in misery and gunk making all those we come in contact with miserable and stand-offish from us.  When we can’t forgive, God can’t forgive us.

Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Some things are hard to forget.  Some things are hard to forgive – almost impossible.  But with the help of God and His grace, we can forgive.  Look what all we have done to slap God in the face; how many times we have gone against His will or His teachings.  And He forgives us – time and time again.

I want to say this very gently……..very quietly…..very softly…..but very sincerely…..please cut the ball and chain that you have carried around for months, for years, for decades.  Let’s be free from that heavy burden and turn it all over to the Lord and let Him take care of the person who has wronged us; the one we are having a hard time forgiving.

Romans 12:19 – Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:  “It is mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Once we let go, we can walk with a spring in our step and a smile in our heart and radiate joy to all those we come in contact with.

It may take a while to get there but cutting the chain is the first step.  Concentrate on what Jesus did FOR us and let Him take care of those who did something TO us.

Here’s your chain cutter.  Let’s do this thing!