Suppositories Are Never Good

I’ve promised to be a real life, speak-it-like-it-is, messy blog.  This one may take the cake and take “messy” to a whole new level, though.

Suppositories are awful.  They are never a good thing.  Maybe the end result of using one is good, but the actual experience is terrible.  When Livi was little she had awful GI issues for months.  We spent hours in the doctor’s offices getting x-rays, blood work, medications, you name it, all just to try and help her get some relief.  Expect Joy Monday night ladies Bible study group was praying for poop (yes we actually prayed for poop) for months.  The prayers and the medical treatments worked and, after a while, Livi was back to normal on her GI functions.

It made me think, though.  What stuff is making us constipated in life?  When we are focused on Christ (and what joy we can experience by following His will), we have balance.  When we lose sight of God’s will, or choose our way over His way, we start to get constipated by the world.  Sometimes we have small hurdles in life that jolt us back to clean living.  Other times we have painful life lessons that bring us to our knees in reliance and submission to God’s will.

My current work schedule is my culprit.  We had some changes at the office a few months ago and the trickle-down effects mean I’m no longer balanced in life the way I once was.  I’m more heavy on work than I am on kids, family, house, God or myself.  I’m constipated by work and the only way to clear it out is by doing something intentionally and strategically to break up the dysfunctional routine and enable the body to form a new rhythm of life.

Spending time in God’s word is the best place to start.  Ask God to reveal the areas that are blocking you from having a joy-filled relationship with Him.  Spend time praying specifically for God to show you His will for your life at its present stage.  Pray for Him to show what your balance should be.  God created the body and He created us.  He knows exactly what we need to function smoothly.  Pray that He strengthen you to follow Him.

Jeremiah 10:23 – I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

1 Corinthians 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

1 Corinthians 3:16 – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Pure Exhaustion

You know those days when you sit in your car at the grocery store with the car still running, getting your stuff together, and then you start locking your car,  but you start locking it before you ever get out of the car, much less turn off the ignition?  Or those times when you are talking on the phone, trying to rush out the door all the while frantically searching for your phone, the same phone that you are talking on?  Yes, me too, all the time.

I think a lot of people can identify with this.  We run around at 90 mph all day from one thing to the next thing to the next.  We rarely stop, rarely slow down.  We run ourselves down past the empty point on our tank.  We are flat exhausted.  We have nothing left to give.

There isn’t joy when we live on empty all the time.  We are called for fullness of joy in Christ.  Not sometimes, not most of the time, but all of the time.  In our times of empty, in the times of overwhelmed, and during the “I can’t do this any longer”, we need to turn it over to God.  He wants nothing more than to fill us up when we are empty, to encourage us when we are doubting and to carry us when we can’t go any farther.

He will absolutely give us more than we can handle and then hold our hand, wrap his arm around our shoulder, and walk with us through it.  If you are overwhelmed, on empty and just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you are not alone.  I am praying for you.  God is with you.  You can fight this battle, you can overcome, you can absolutely make it through this.

Rest in the confidence of knowing that your God is bigger.  He is mightier.  His love is more vast.  And you will absolutely experience His joy when you turn your life, and this moment in time, over to Him.  Expect Joy today.

Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Isaiah 41:13 – For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Luke 10:41-42 – “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Romans 5:3-5 – Not only so, but we also glorify in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 8:17-18 – Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through him who gives me strength.

Quiet at 2am

2 a.m. is usually the quietest time in my day.  The kids are mostly asleep, and Livi has already been put back to bed after her first midnight sleepwalking.  Hubby and Addy are fast asleep.  All the TVs, cell phones, Amazon Echo’s, Ipads and computers are turned off.  Chores are done for the day, or at least as done as they are going to get.  There is silence.  Pure silence.  The first thing I do is take a deep breath and enjoy that moment of silence.

That moment is Selah.  To pause.  Right before going to bed is a great pausing point.  You’ve wrapped up the chaos from the day, made a plan for the days to come, your alarm is set and you are ready for the next day.  Before you turn off the lamp and put your head on your pillow, pick up your Bible and read.  As you pick it up, pray that God would give you wisdom to understand, and the foresight to see, how he would have you apply His Word in your life so that He may be glorified.

In the silent moments, you’re able to hear God speak to you more clearly than in the rushed, hurried, loud moments.  Even in your exhaustion from the day you will absorb more than you can imagine possible.  Your mind will meditate on God’s word all night long and into the next morning.

Start your day off right and end your day better.  Stay in the word, even if it’s in the quiet of 2 a.m. after a long hard day.  Pray expectantly.  Expect God to transform your mind with His word.  Expect God to transform your heart in the expression of His love to others.  Expect joy always in all ways.

Matthew 4:4 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Psalm 33:4 – For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Psalm 5:3 – In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

1 John 5:14 – This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Mark 9:24 – I do believe; help me overcome my disbelief!

James 5:16 – The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Winning The Lottery

Note, winning, not playing.  No one plays the lottery without having at least a tiny shred of hope of winning.  My kinds have way more than a tiny shred of hope, let me tell you.  They genuinely think each time they scratch off a scratch off they are going to win a million dollars.

My interest in scratch off tickets started when I was a kid.  My grandparents lived in Uvalde, Texas which is roughly 45 minutes from San Antonio.  We used to make the drive with my grandparents from Uvalde to San Antonio and boredom was a frequent companion.  My resourceful grandmother found a fun way to entertain us on the drive with scratch off lottery tickets.  She would buy my sister and I each $20 worth of $1 scratch offs.  Amy and I would scratch our hearts out and were through the roof excited each time we won.  During the drive, after we’d scratched our $20 worth, my grandparents would stop at a gas station and let Amy and I cash in our winning tickets for more $1 tickets.  The road trip would resume and so would the scratching.  We would keep scratching, stopping, cashing in, then scratching, stopping, cashing in until there were no more winning tickets.  My grandparents would craftily spread out the stops to ensure the excitement lasted the entire trip.  I’ve had fond memories of scratch offs, and road trips, ever since.

There’s been a huge, massive, at least 12 inches by 12 inches scratch off in my gym bag for the last month.  Totally and completely random place to have it, agreed, but nonetheless that’s where it is.  I’d never seen one this large before therefore I had to get it.  I’m not sure if it is fear of winning, fear of losing, or just being too busy, but regardless it hasn’t been scratched off yet.  On the contrary in the console of my car there in a small, normal sized $1 winning scratch off that was long ago scratched off but yet never cashed in.

This post makes it sound like I actually play the lottery frequently but I promise I don’t.  I have a low threshold for losing money, promise!

As Christians we’ve already won the lottery.  We have an inheritance that is larger than we could ever imagine.  It’s up to us not to squander it though.  Don’t let your time and talents sit stagnant.  We have to be responsible in how we use our gifts, time and talents to ensure they are used for God’s glory.  Discovering new gifts, new talents, and new ways of glorifying God can be just as thrilling as scratching off a lottery ticket.  God absolutely gives us new callings and new spiritual gifts as we continue on our journey of growth in Him.

How are you using your time for God?  What is your calling for using your talents for His kingdom?  Today is the day to scratch off that ticket, with the excitement of a child winning the lottery, and proclaim your inheritance in Him.  Expect joy and spread it through the whole world.

Romans 8:17 – and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

1 Peter 4:10-11 – As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.

Hebrews 9:15 – For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

1 Corinthians 12:4-8 – Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, …  verse 11: All these are empowered by the one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

Galatians 3:29 – And if you belong to Chris, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

 

Blank Pages

Think about the story of your life for a minute.  What has brought you where you are today?  What experiences have molded you into you who are?  What are the moments that bring you the most joy and those that bring you the most pain?

Now think about your life as a book, a novel.  When you read the story of your life do you have any blank pages?  Does the story stop here?

So often we think back on where we’ve been, what we’ve been through, what God HAS done in our life, more than what WILL come, what God WILL do in our life.

Our blank pages are our future journey of life.  The future experiences that will continue to mold us into who we are to become.  The future moments of joy and pain that will teach us more about who we are in Christ.  The blank pages are where God gets to write the story of our life, the story of the blessings he has in store for us, for all time.

Don’t fear  your blank pages, embrace them.  Pray to our creator that he will continue to guide you, bless you, teach you to be more like him and that he would write the story of your life sooooo filled with Christ that Christ living through you is the story written on your blank pages.

Turn over control.  Hand over the pen.  When you give it to God he can fill up those blank pages with more blessings and more discipleship and more ministry opportunities than you could ever dream possible.  Just give God the pen and let him fill up those pages with His perfect will for your life.

God, tonight I pray that you would help me to turn over the control to you lord.  Please help me to realize that your plan is tremendously better than anything I could dream of.  Please write the story in my blank pages and use me, use me God, to reach hurting, lost, searching people who need to find their way back to you God.  Lord I submit to your will and I know that you are a good good father.  I expect joy in my service to you my God.  I love you and give you all dominion and control over my blank pages.  They are yours to write and mine to serve.

Psalm 139:16 – Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Matthew 28:18-20 – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them I in the name of the father and of the son and of the hold spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to t he vey end of the age.”