Each year for the last several years I have chosen a word to be my “theme” for the year. This year I chose SIMPLIFY. On January 1 I woke up feeling a little unsettled. And I kept singing that song, “I surrender all” over and over. I don’t even really like that song. Why am I singing it?
Did I have a dream? Why is that song and that word so heavy on my mind? As the morning went on that word SURRENDER would not go away. So I stopped my morning routine of “work as fast as you can to be productive” and just sat….quietly…and prayed.
I asked God why I had that word on my mind. And I believe He revealed to me that SIMPLIFY is my word for the year but I needed a second “S” word and that was SURRENDER. I felt Him telling me that I have made my life so complicated by trying to control so many things that the word SIMPLIFY was a natural choice for a word to help me improve. But the natural choice word needed a spiritual choice word – SURRENDER.
I need to surrender my worries, my control, my manipulation of trying to make things turn out how I think is best for everyone; my obsession with trying to protect everyone from harm. God told me to SURRENDER in order to SIMPLIFY.
So this year my word for 2018 is actually an equation. SIMPLIFY+SURRENDER=PEACE.
Yes, Lord, I’m going to try really hard to SURRENDER ALL so that I may have a more simplified life in order to feel Your peace every day.
Have you ever loved something so much you just wanted to tell everyone about it so they could be excited, too? Maybe it’s a new household hack you saw on a TV show or a new product that makes your life easier and saves valuable time.
Maybe it’s a new recipe that is healthy yet tastes good (I doubt it but maybe! hahah) Maybe it’s an essential oil or vitamin that has cured an ache or ailment.
Whatever the case, you want to tell everyone about it even though you aren’t selling it! You know that if people would just give it a try, it would sell itself and they could be excited, too. You want everyone to have the same good experiences that you have had, but until someone uses the technique or product, they can’t see the benefits personally.
That’s how it is with Jesus. We can live the life, tell others about Him, reap the rewards and share the blessings but until someone can personally experience Him, they will never know the awesome joy and reap all of the benefits He has for them.
If we live our life for Jesus, people will see there is something different about us. They will want to know our secret to joy. We don’t have to work hard to “sell” Him because once someone hears about Him and gets to know Him, He just sells Himself. No Jesus. No Peace. Know Jesus. Know Peace.
How does a car know to send you a dashboard warning that driving conditions could be hazardous?
Technology just amazes me. The sensors on my car knew that it was drizzling rain and that the temperature was close to 32 degrees. It knew that those two factors together should produce a warning message to let me know to be careful while driving because ice could be possible. Although I didn’t see any signs of ice, I was thankful for the warning to be cautious.
I was thinking how awesome it would be if every time we started to make wrong choices, a little neon light would flash before us warning us of the dangers ahead. Then I remembered a conversation I had recently where the person said, “deep inside my gut, I know it just isn’t right.”
There it is! Our conscience. The Holy Spirit. God’s leading. We do have it. I believe that deep down inside, our human technology processes when the environment, the conditions, the choices we have to make are hard and together with our right-versus-wrong temperature, our inner conscience gives us the warning.
Keep your eyes wide open today, your heart on guard and don’t let the devil’s dangerous conditions steer you off course. Drive with caution through your day and let God lead you safely through the icy patches.
Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor.
It’s off to the races everybody out the door.
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life.
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can.
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand.
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life.
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say
Just breathe, just breathe.
Come and rest at my feet.
And be, just be.
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe.
What wonderful words from the song, Just Breathe by Jonny Diaz. This is just the first part of the song where the pace of the song is ramping up, music getting louder and pounding of piano getting harder. As you listen to the song you feel that all-too familiar heart-racing feeling of going ninety miles an hour exactly as he describes.
And then he gets to the chorus and there is no fast or hard pounding and no hurried feeling. But rather just a soft piano with a whisper of a voice and you can almost physically feel your body melt into the “Calgon take me away” mode of peace.
That’s Jesus. That’s Peace. Our days are chaotic. Our feet hit the floor running. We go ninety miles an hour. But if we can just breathe. Deeply. And rest at His feet for 10 minutes before we get the call from Mr. Chaos, I promise the day will feel much smoother.
Try it today. When chaos calls, politely hang up and just breathe!
Remember, a backdrop of commotion is the best place for the peace of God to be put on display. So if the enemy has been wreaking havoc all around you, and the chaos he’s instigated has seemed to swallow you whole, don’t be discouraged. Our God can and will anchor your soul, tethering it to the security found in His gospel, the good news of His beloved Son. Hangon.Peace is on the way! – from Armor of God Study by Priscilla Shirer
There are days I wake up in a good mood. There are days I wake up worrying about something. There are days I wake up feeling depressed. There are days I wake up feeling tired and lazy. There are days I wake up energized and ready to hit the day running. I never really know how I will wake up but I strive to make the day a good one and stay positive the best I can.
Recently, I was in a great mood as we were going to visit our daughter in college and take her out to dinner. I was very excited to see her. In the next minute, I got to thinking about all the things I should be doing at home and got a little anxious. We also were running about 15 minutes later than I told her that we would be there and I was getting a little stressed. Read More
The other day I saw a nest of 3 baby birds. I got the binoculars out just so I could watch them. They were asleep for a while. Then they woke up chirping and opening their mouths because they were hungry. Pretty soon the momma bird came over with some worms to feed them. The momma bird seemed to stay around to protect them after they were awake until they settled down in a peaceful state again.
It reminded me of how we are a lot like those baby birds in our lives. We seem to be going through life peacefully and then some sort of problem comes our way and wakes us from that peace. We cry out to the Lord and he comes over with some spiritual food to help us. It’s at this time when we need scripture reading, prayer and worship time to help get us through the tough times. Read More
Have you ever been in a hurry to get to a destination and you are stopped by sudden traffic? I hate that. It seems that you are crawling at a snail’s pace – or maybe the snail is crawling faster. A few years ago my husband and I were on our way home from a weekend trip in Gatlinburg, TN and we got caught in a 4-hour traffic jam from a semi trailer chemical spill. We were at almost a complete stand-still for 4 hours. People were running out of gas and pulling off the side of the road. Others were raising the hoods on their cars to allow some air to flow to cool down the engine. It was 4 lanes of traffic and no exit in sight. No where to go. We just had to be patient and sit. Fortunately we had snacks, a cooler full of water, a tank full of gas and magazines to read. Read More
This morning I was doing my Bible study and I came across these verses: Psalm 47:1-2: “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!” Read More