On Sunday the Pastor of our church, Pastor Boyd, shared a very heartfelt message, a personal message, a message that really spoke to me...the message was one that made me feel a bit silly, and a bit ashamed really because I had been there too. Just recently in fact.
Pastor Boyd spoke about how just that past week he was feeling down about himself. He called the situation he felt, "Death by a thousand paper cuts." And then he shared how he began to throw his 'party of 1'...a pity party.
Have you ever done it? Thrown yourself a pity party??
I have. You see Pastor Boyd's message spoke very loudly to me because I was just there. Feeling very similar to how he felt. Feeling down, a little depressed, and having a silly and destructive pity party.
It can happen so easily. A few things might go wrong with household stuff, the kids might not be minding as well as I think they should, the house is an utter mess from the busyness of summer time.
...and then it happens.
I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, down, and I begin to focus on all the things that are "wrong" in my life. I begin to worry about what will happen next. And in this moment I lose focus on what is important.
The underlying theme of Pastor Boyd's message was focus. Life can get tough, no doubt about it. But are we going to let our emotions control our attitude and allow us to take our focus off God?
During the message we looked at several passages from the Apostle Paul's letter to the believers in Philippi. There were several verses that jumped off the page to me and so yesterday morning I spent time reading through the entire book of Philippians. This letter Paul wrote is so encouraging for believers.
I struggle a great deal with fear. Unfortunately, fear invites itself into my life far too often. But Paul reminds us to have confidence that Christ Jesus will complete the work He started in us. Paul writes, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6
Satan would love nothing more than for us to cower down and hide. To let the 'things' of this world get us down and for us to lose focus, to let go of the confidence we have in Jesus. But we must not give in.
I just, like Paul, want to encourage you...
Focus on the one who gives strength and confidence to face each day. You are special to Jesus and He has a purpose for your life. He will complete the work he started in you, but you have to be willing and available.
What about you? Where is your focus today? Are you letting life's circumstances steal your confidence or are you focusing on God?
Happy Freedom Friday! I am back highlighting the Principles of Liberty and today we are on #7: 'The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.'
It just amazes me how American society and our political ruling class has gotten this principle completely twisted. It seems there are many double standards when it comes to "equal rights". I don't even know if most people know what true "equal rights" means???
Our American culture has become so wrapped up in materialism; and sadly, there are many people who value things more than they do people. Many in our society have become slaves to material things. And this breeds a warped measure of how to value one's self. Personal value is then measured by how much "stuff" one has. Ideology likes this results in culture of entitlement and confusion about personal rights.
True personal worth is not measured by things, but by the One who created us. Two Scriptures come to my mind to help understand how valuable we are to God and much our lives are worth.
Luke 12:24 - Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Our Founding Fathers knew these scriptures and knew where true value of people comes from. They also knew that government's role should be to protect people's rights. A right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...freedom of speech, religion, and right to bear arms. These are the kinds of rights we need our government to protect.
Let's ponder principle #7 today and consider what the Founding Fathers intended for our government in America.
Have a wonderful day!
Please share any thoughts you have about this Principle of Liberty. Thank you.
I decided to take a break this week from the Principles of Liberty in order to give full attention to America's Independence Day holiday. I want to wish everyone a safe and fun holiday weekend. May we remember that we are truly blessed by the freedom that was fought for and won so many years ago and for all the brave men and women of America who continue to sacrifice to keep us free!
In this social media/Internet age we live so many of life's moments can be visible for all to see. It is usually our 'best' that we post. I have written before about how it's human nature to want to only post our "best of the best". I am guilty of it too; especially as someone with perfectionist tendencies.
But being a mother is a messy job. Real life is messy. Children are messy. Marriage is messy. It is reality. And our faithfulness to be obedient to God's calling as a mother and wife requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. And so much of the hard work and sacrifice is done in the 'hidden moments of life'.
I am not suggesting we should be posting all of life's moments on the Internet, ideal or messy. I do believe there is still a place for privacy. However, I think we need to remember that so often the work we do for our children, our husbands, our own lives, goes unseen. This does not mean that the work we do is insignificant. I want to remind us all that things do not have to be posted on the Internet in order for them to be significant.
The messy faces and hands you wipe clean after meals, the band-aids you place on 'boo-boos', the stories you read, the teenage tempers you settle, the lunches you make, the laundry you wash, the dishes you clean...it is all for God's glory. Jesus showed God's grace and love through sacrifice and service. The daily service and sacrifice you make in the 'hidden moments' of life are significant and are making a mark on eternity.
I am reading through Sally Clarkson's Own Your Life again and this time I am using the study guide and planner with it. This book came out in January of 2015 and it is one of the best books I have ever read. I think I read it in three weeks. I could not put it down.
The ideas Sally presents in Own Your Life are so inspiring and refreshing. Now I want to go back through and spend more detailed time soaking in the wisdom and being more prayerful about how God wants me to 'own' my life.
In the opening pages of the book Sally makes this statement,
Lasting love and influence for the gospel happen in the hidden moments of life when only God sees my heart and my faithfulness.
I believe many of us want to be a voice of change in our world. A change for better. But we often feel we will not be able to make a difference without some big platform. This is false ideology.
One thing I am learning through Sally Clarkson's writings, and digging deeper into God's word, is that we can make a difference in our world no matter where we are or what our circumstances. God has equipped each of us with unique desires, strengths, and talents. And He has placed us right where we are for a purpose and He has the ability to use us to make a difference in our world. The key is we have to be willing and available.
For the first few years of my first child's life I was fighting against obedience to God. I thought I could have it all and do it all. That I could be the superwoman I had been told I could be. That I could have the successful career, a strong marriage, well-trained children, and be personally healthy and stable.
However, all the pressures and stresses on my life became too much for me to handle. I soon realized I was attempting something humanly impossible and honestly, working against God's will for my own life. My life was a heaping pile of chaos and I was on the verge of a major breakdown.
By the grace of God my life took a major turn. God removed my desire to have the successful career I had dreamed about for so many years. About a month after I sold my business God said 'I am blessing you again'...and I became pregnant with our second child.
After being rescued from the pending major breakdown, I resolved to surrender my life to Him who gives me the very breath I breathe. I realized my calling was not outside my home, but inside. My calling was now to devote the majority of my time and talents to my children, my marriage, and my home. Many people I love and care about were confused with my decision. I had some tell me that I was giving up "so much potential".
Now, going on three years of being a full time homemaker, mama, and wife I know this is where God wants me at this season of my life. I still love working on things other than homemaking, training children and serving my husband and children. It's one reason I started this blog. However, I know that things outside of my primary calling of motherhood and marriage need to take a back seat in my life.
I am learning to appreciate the significance of the hidden moments of life and cultivate the joy God desires for me to have. God desires for you to have joy too. To make a mark on eternity right where you are.
Are you embracing your circumstances or fighting against them? What hidden moments in your life can you reflect on today?
If you want to know more about Sally Clarkson and her ministry click here. If you have not read Own Your Life, I highly recommend it.
Hi! My name is Mandy Jo.
Thanks for visiting my blog! Being a mom in this modern age is a blessing, but no cake walk. So many expectations are imposed on us and it can be overwhelming and often discouraging.