Sunday, February 12, 2017

When Anxiety Lingers . . .

Stomach's tingling,
Head's fogging,
Energies are dwindling,


Anxiety just knocked on the door, again.

Anxiety is an unwelcome visitor,
like the one who comes and doesn't want to leave . . .
The visitor that comes up with a variety of creative and logical 
reasons why they must stay a little while longer.
A little while longer can add up to weeks, months, even years ~
All we did was open the door, a little, and Anxiety was home.

Anxiety invades our space and situations,
It insists on controlling our decision making,
It reminds us of all the things that can go wrong,
It tries to define us, to tell us who we are.
And, persuades us to believe the worse.

"You can't do this!"
"You don't have the skills!"
"You already failed."
"The worse is going to happen!"
"It's all over."

Anxiety's boss is FEAR.
Fear's job is to keep us in our corner.
And, as long as we comply, 
FEAR leaves us alone.

The moment we decide to
move, or imagine, or consider a way out,
FEAR sends its minion, Anxiety,
to keep us in our place.

Philippians 4:6-8 
is one of my life verses. Recently, I was inspired to take a look at it again, 
consider the message and grab onto it for dear life.

Here's what it's saying to me, 
and hopefully to you:

Is anything impossible for God?
Is anxiety's arm longer than His?
Our Father is a good One!
And, He has not forgotten His promises!

Even while we're in Fear's corner,
Even while paralyzed,
Even when nothing is changing,
He whispers, 
"I AM going to get you out of this!"
 And, when I do, you will be able to say, 
'Look what the Lord has done!'"

Even then,
He begins to deposit a NEW PLAN!
His plan, in all probability,  
may look differently than what we imagined,
but it will be far better because He planned it, 
not us.

When do the words of a book change the author's purpose, 
or the lyrics of a song change the songwriter's vision?
God is the author and the finisher!

This is what the LORD says!

for everything.

and the 
cannot be explained or understood 
or even reasoned away,
will come to the

It will also GUARD 
our hearts and our minds
from Anxiety's and Fear's influence and persuasion.

in the name of 

Anxiety doesn't have the last word, God does.
God's an expert at building highways 
even in places where there is no way.
God's got this.
 Even when we don't see anything happening, 
or hear anything, He's still working.  

This is a FAITH walk, and the good news is, we don't need much.  All we need is faith the size of a mustard seed to move God's plan into action.  
Before we see changes in our circumstances, there must be a transformation in our hearts. We must return to those times when God was first before anything and everything ~

. . . return to the time when we sought Him with all of our hearts and asked Him to invade our lives, our circumstances, our wills, 
we kept knocking on the door of His heart,  relentlessly,
until God moved!  

And, if by His sovereignty, our circumstances don't change,
Anxiety will finally be evicted and Peace will be home.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Great Adventure Part 2

 "Get ready, we're leaving on our road trip in a few days!",
said my husband upon my return from California.
Two road trips in less than 1 month, one west and the other north.
Too good to be true, but true nonetheless!

Great Memories

Pictures from my road trip up the east coast, July, 2016

(Better late than never!)

Mom-In-Law at the Lincoln Memorial

New York City

Thursday, January 5, 2017

P-R-A-Y in 2017

Prayer is a struggle.

Not the drive through prayer,
or the 911 "I Need This Right Now" kind.  
These happen almost instinctively.

Or the "Pity Party Prayer",
(no description necessary). . .

Or, my favorite, and almost intuitive kind,
"The Instructional Manual",
where we tell God what He needs to do!
(Hmm, Hmm)

No, I'm talking about the "Daily Deap" kind!!
I'm talking about "deap" conversations with God.

The kind where He speaks and I listen!

The kind where His presence and His Word
cleans the atmosphere and attitudes.

The kind where there's a sweet and easy transfer of power.
My will diminishes; His takes center stage,
mending , transforming and renewing.

The kind where His Word builds a dwelling place in the core of me, removing all the dross, clutter and debris left behind by disappointments, failures and regrets . . .  

. . . replacing those places with joy, peace and His presence.  
Hope is restored, and LOVE is sealed.  

And, when I rise, I am no longer the same person who knelt.   

"DEAP' prayer requires two things that are almost impossible to muster up these days:  time and intention.

In spite of the struggle, in this new year, it is my hope that the Spirit of the Lord enable me to find more time for the "deap" kind.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Getting My Journaling On

It's October and it's almost unfathomable to think the holidays are almost upon us. Before we know it, we'll be saying good-bye to 2016.  I know I'm getting a little ahead of myself, nonetheless, for me 2016 will be memorable.  It marks the year faith art journaling would be introduced to me and take my private time with the Lord to an entirely new level .  

The moment I stumbled upon it while surfing through Instagram some time in January, I was all in!  Instantly I knew I'd love it!  Am I an artist?  Not really, well no ~  Do I know what I'm doing?  Not always ~  Do I have all of the fancy pens and supplies?  I've collected some over the last 10 months.  Do I Bible Journal every day?  No.  But, I'm absolutely changed by it.  

I never know what my pages are going to look like.  I just take out my supplies and fill in the blank page.  I enjoy just starting and seeing what happens.  Some pages I love, others are a work in progress, nevertheless, 
I fully enjoy the process. 

This following picture is a page I did while reading through the Illustrated Faith
I Am Strong Devotional Kit.  The devotional teaches "Kawa" is the Hebrew word for "wait" in Isaiah 40:31.  It means "entangled".  When I think of "entangled" I think of leaves and roots all connected, living and working together.  As I entangle myself in all that God is doing, then, even when prayers don't get answered on my time table, or changes come in unexpected ways,  or I find myself losing strength, I can be assured that I will not faint.  My hope still beats.  

As an extension to Faith Journaling, I've also been bit by the creative planning bug.  I picked up the Happy Planner at Hobby Lobby, and a few planner accessories.  It's fun, refreshing, and I look forward to the times I can just get away and create, plan and worship, all at the same time.  I don't complicate it or expect my creations to be perfect, I just take out a few supplies and stamps and let it roll.

When I first learned of faith journaling I asked a few girlfriends to jump in with me.  I was a little hesitant because I wondered if people would think I was a little odd.  "What would a grown woman be thinking, inviting other grown women to color in their bibles? Doesn't she have anything else better to do?"  I took the plunge anyway, despite my fear.  To my surprise, I did get some biters.  We have a small group that meets every other month.  We choose a verse, reflect on it, then take out the art supplies to color in our bibles,
as some would say.

We're all different, and certainly Bible Journaling and Creative Planning is not for everyone.  I completely understand and respect that.  If you, however, are a little curious, below I've included a small list of some of the online Faith Journalers that have inspired me.

A special thank you goes out to all the online Faith Journalers and Creative Planners that have inspired and filled my life with something I never knew I needed.  Make sure to check out my Pinterest Board to see more of my inspirers.