Tag Archives: guidance

Just a twinge

Last night I was reading over some things on my computer when I happened upon a very nice comment left for someone regarding something they had written. There was nothing wrong with the comment, nothing wrong with the person who wrote the comment, and nothing wrong with the person it was directed to. When I read it though I felt an instant twinge of jealousy. Why? I really wasn’t sure.

I admire the life she has. She seems to have everything going for her. The profile picture shows a happy family with a handsome, smiling husband and two kids right beside her. She has many accomplishments listed in her profile and she has traveled the world. So many things that I had planned on doing when I was younger.

When I felt the twinge I knew why, well at least partly. Then I thought about my family and all the things that I have done. If I had been in school or working I might’ve missed out on some of the opportunities that I have had. I instantly knew that I am where God would have me to be at this moment in time and I felt a sense of peace. I asked God to forgive me. Then I also asked him to bless her and her family as I know that they are right where He would have them to be.

 

The key to overcoming this feeling is to be aware of it. Don’t let it grow or it will overwhelm your emotions. I realized it immediately when I felt it but sometimes it is an emotion that comes on more subtly. It creeps into our minds and our hearts without us noticing it. We may start to feel discontent and not know why.

We may admire something someone has or something someone else’s husband has done for them. These feelings may trigger other feelings of insecurity and doubt about ourselves, our marriages, our families, and our lives. These feelings can grow and manifest themselves into bigger uglier problems like resentment, distrust, and anger.

 

Maybe you know or admire someone but you feel anxious or resentful towards them. Maybe you compare yourself to them and you feel like you are never enough or that you just can’t measure up to them. Maybe you wonder why they always seem to have all the luck. Maybe you wonder what they ever did to have or to earn the things they have.

You need to recognize that these feelings can come from being jealous. I know, I know, we don’t want to admit that we could possibly be jealous over someone else but it happens. We might laugh at someone if they suggest that we could possibly be jealous of a certain person.

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? – 1 Corinthians 3:3

The truth is that we are human and we have emotions. We feel things like no other creature on earth. We also have the ability to control these feelings. What do we do about this?

First, you need to recognize the feeling. Let yourself acknowledge it but don’t let it over take you. You can’t let it control your emotions, your actions, or your life. Accept responsibility for the emotions.

Second, take a look at why you feel the way you do. Take a step back and really look at the situation. Are you jealous of someone’s relationship? Are you jealous of someone’s appearance? Are you jealous of the recognition someone else gets from their job or other accomplishments?

Third, remember that you have the power to change the way you feel. The root of the problem lies within yourself and your own heart. Think about things you can do to improve yourself. Look at your own strengths and build on them.

Fourth, stop comparing yourself to other people. I mean it! Stop! You need to remember that what you perceive to be true is not always as it seems. Look at everything you have been blessed with and be thankful for what you have. Remember that if it is in God’s will for you to have something then He will give it to you in His time. I know how hard it can be to watch things fall in place for others when it might feel like your own life is falling apart. Just remember that everything is working together for the good.

Fifth, pray about it! Admit the feelings you have and ask God to forgive you for feeling that way. Ask God to help you develop a more positive outlook on life and to help you make positive changes in your life. When you recognize your faults and weaknesses you can ask for specific changes. God hears your prayers and He knows the innermost thoughts of your heart.

If you are struggling with jealousy God can and will help you. He can take away those feelings and He can create a new heart in you. He can help you overcome these feelings. Jealousy is a tool that Satan uses to get to you and he will use it to destroy you.

I pray every morning that God will help me to take away any feelings of jealousy, lust, envy, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness or discontentment that may be hiding in me. I may not see these until its too late and I have done or said something that I will regret later.

I ask Him to give me strength to prevent these emotions from creeping into my relationships with others. I ask him to help me remember that I was beautifully created by His own hand and that He loves me even when I don’t love myself. I also ask Him to prepare me for the changes He is making in my life and to help me accept the things that I can not change.

I trust in God and His plan for my life. He only wants the best for us and He has a plan for each and every one of us. So when you are dealing with jealousy or anything else you need to hand it over to God. He will help you just as He has helped me.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. -Song of Solomon 8:6

Turning I Can’ts into I Cans

As I stand at the kitchen island I have a million thoughts going through my head. I’m sipping my hot coffee while waiting for the muffins to finish and watching the kids play patiently. This post came to my mind and it was originally meant to give ways to encourage your children to do things when they feel that they can’t do things. Continue reading Turning I Can’ts into I Cans

God uses cracked pots

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  -Jeremiah 18:4

I know that often times we get caught up in things we believe we ought to be doing, the way we should look, or where we should be in life. Sometimes we wonder if we are too damaged or flawed to be of use anymore or to be able to do what we need to do. Maybe we have things in our past that we are not proud of, things that have chipped away at our self confidence, esteem and maybe even our reputation. Continue reading God uses cracked pots

It’s hard being a peacemaker

Matthew 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

I’m sure you’ve probably read this verse before as I know I have read it. I came across again it a few days ago and began to wonder ‘What exactly is a peacemaker?’ I looked up the definition and this is what I found:

peace·mak·er
ˈpēsˌmākər/
noun
1. a person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries.

What is peace? I know that most of us strive to find it but many times fall short. We want to be free from the conflict that surrounds us in every day life.

peace
pēs/
noun
1. freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
“you can while away an hour or two in peace and seclusion”
synonmyms: tranquility, calm, restfulness, peace and quiet, peacefulness, quiet, quietness
2. freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.”the Straits were to be open to warships in time of peace”
synonyms: law and order, lawfulness, order, peacefulness, peaceableness, harmony,nonviolence;
So it appears that a peacemaker would be someone who brings about peace. Someone who tries to facilitate an environment of tranquility and harmony. They may do this in a number of ways. They could offer their homes as a safe haven or refuge to others.
They could just offer to listen to others and help them with situations that are distressing them. They could be the one who is constantly trying to help others reconcile arguments or acting as a go between among feuding parties.
Peacemakers are constantly looking for ways to bring about harmony to every situation. They will often be the first one to admit they were wrong in a situation and they will do whatever is needed to right the wrong.
A peacemaker will most always seek ways to promote peace in every circumstance. They attempt to make careful decisions about everything they do and consider how they can prevent a potentially bad situation from becoming worse. When things don’t go well they will not blow things out of proportion and they will be quick to forgive minor offenses.
They will also be quick to show others appreciation. They will show displays of gratitude, humility, and grace that can and will immediately dissolve feelings of tension and discord. We are all called to peacemakers, just as Jesus was a peacemaker, as followers of Jesus.
Sometimes though the peacemaker can begin to feel run down, drained, and depressed. Maybe they feel like they keep getting caught up in other people’s drama. They may retreat into themselves because they feel like they can’t open up to others. Maybe they don’t want to feel like they are ‘gossiping’ if they try to talk about what is bothering them. Then again maybe their desire for peace keeps them from confronting others about bad behaviors and/or attitudes that are having a negative impact on their relationships.

If you find yourself feeling like this then turn to God. In order to be a true peacemaker you must continually ask God for guidance. You must be able to experience the peace of God in your own life before you can truly live in peace with others. When others can see the peace you have and the joy it brings to your life they will also have a desire to become a peacemaker.

If you happen to know someone who is a peacemaker then you should thank God for them. Pray for them and ask God to supply them with wisdom, strength, patience. Maybe you could say a little ‘Thank you’ and encourage them on their walk so that they can continue in their good work.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18 KJV)

Enjoy your season

We all know that there are four seasons in every year. We have Spring which brings new life and lots of energy. Everything is young and vibrant and ready to explore the world around them.

Then comes Summer. Those long, hot, lazy days that are sometimes spent on the beach taking in the wondrous beauty of the vast oceans. Watermelons and ice cream are sure favorites to help beat the heat.

After Summer comes Fall and things seem to start fading away. There are moments to enjoy like the changing of the leaves and harvests to bring in. The animals rush here and there to make last minute preparations for hibernation. Of course, we have lots of great foods like pumpkin pies and candy apples to enjoy.

Winter comes along and everything seems to grow dormant. The days seem darker and sometimes the cold is more than we can bear. If you are lucky enough to see the snow you can witness the miracle of those tiny snowflakes, each with their own unique design. Or maybe cuddle up with someone in front of the fire with a cup of hot cocoa in hand.

Just like the four seasons of the year we go through seasons also. We start as newborn babes. When we are young we are eager and curious to explore our surroundings. Taking in everything, asking a million and one ‘whys’, and taking in as much knowledge as we can from those around us.

We then go through our teenage years as we grow into young adults. We learn from our experiences. We also learn that there are consequences to be had from making bad choices. Some people struggle in this season more than others as they move on to the next season.

We become more mature. Many of us will marry and start families. It is often in this season that we begin to question our identities and our purpose in life. Let me tell that I have at times. Just remember to pray carefully over your life and what God would have you to do. Raising littles can be hard but God considers this important work and we should take it seriously.

This is probably the season where we can each learn and grow the most.Whether we have children or not we will learn to put the needs of others before our own needs. We will learn the joy of serving others and of seeing the joy we can bring to others.

If we have children it can also be one of the most terrifying seasons of our lives. When they place that child in your arms for the first time and you suddenly realize that you are responsible for that tiny life. That tiny little person will be totally dependent upon you for the first few years of their life.

This season of life can be very demanding. You can find yourself cycling through emotions of complete bliss, sadness, full of energy, or complete exhaustion. This is normal when you are raising kids, trying to balance a household, and maybe even working a job. Don’t give up as there is a purpose for every season.

Slow down and try your best to enjoy this season of sticky kisses and dirty hands. These days will pass by too quickly and you will end up looking back wondering how they grew up so fast. You will be watching your kids as they progress through their own seasons of their lives. Stop and look for something to be thankful for when the days seem difficult.

Before you know it your hair will be turning gray and your joints will be creaking and popping. You will yearn for the laughter of little ones when your house grows quiet. You will long for the days you held a sleeping baby in your arms or the smell of a newborn after a bath.

So when you are mopping your sticky floors, rocking that baby in the middle of the night, shopping for groceries, or driving the kids back and forth from practice be encouraged that this is just a season. I know how hard this season can be but please pray for patience and strength. Ask for wisdom and knowledge and he will supply you with more than enough.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Don’t feed the lizards!

Continue reading Don’t feed the lizards!

I Can’t Do it by Myself!

Original Blog Post April 20, 2016
Earlier today as the kids were cleaning up for lunch work I sent the 4 year old to tidy up the playroom. It was a mess which had mostly been created by his younger brother and himself. He went in and immediately said, ‘Momma, I can’t do it by myself!.’. I explained to him that if he would just choose one thing at a time to put away he could indeed do it by himself. He put away all the books and then he attempted to put the cushions back on the couch and chair. He couldn’t do it. I watched him try and try. He struggled but he kept on trying.
Finally he asked me for help. I was sitting here at my desk, which I had taken a picture of earlier because I planned to clean it up and post the before/after pics to one of my groups, and looked at the piles of paper. There are school papers, bills, books to read, books that need put away, sigh… I could go on and on. I got up and pulled the top down over the mess.
Then I saw the mess on top of the desk. Projects I’ve been working on, copy paper that needs put away, stacks of mail for my older kids, notes about appointments to make, and so much more. I turn to the island and start to clear it. There is a note that simply says ‘pantyhose, receipt book, tea’, seems like an odd combination but that was some things I remembered when I was in the shower this morning. Everything has been taken care of and has been crossed off so I throw it into the trash. There are several of these notes laying around the house as I have to jot everything down or I will forget.
The kids are yelling for me as someone is taking turns on the swing. My dad needs me outside to look at something. The phone rings and it is a telemarketer. My special needs son is having a melt down and as I notice that he needs a haircut, which may or may not result in another melt down. Then I remember that I forgot to do something, but what was it? Was it important?
As I stop and look around I see there is a grocery list to finish. Sales to look up. Coupons to clip. Floors to vacuum and mop. Things to dust and polish. The windows have little hand prints and smudges everywhere. The yard needs mowed. I still need to plant the stuff I bought over the weekend. My list goes on and on.
I go to bed so tired that I can’t sleep. I wake up before I’m rested to start again. My body hurts. My head hurts. My body hurts. Sometimes it just feels like too much. I feel OVERWHELMED! I just want to cry! I can’t do it alone!
I realize that I’ve been running around trying to clean up my messes and get my stuff in order but I can’t do it alone. I need to take some time and have a little heart to heart with GOD. Maybe you’ve recently been widowed or divorce? You’ve not only lost your partner but your friend. You have no one to talk to when things are going rough, or when you have exciting news. You feel utterly alone. It can be so scary. You feel confused when the person you thought you knew has turned into a complete stranger.
Life is hard. Keeping up with a house is hard. Taking care of a family is hard. Its all hard enough when you are married and have someone to share the responsibilities. When that someone leaves and you find yourself all alone doing all the work it makes it that much harder. Maybe you can ‘keep up appearances’ for a little while like I did. Then when it sinks in that they aren’t coming back you have a whole new sense of being overwhelmed. That has been me for the past month or so since the papers were filed. Now as our court date approaches I know it’s over and I feel almost as hurt and overwhelmed as I did when he first left.
So what do you do? First, have a talk with GOD. Confide in him. Ask him for the strength you need. Ask him for guidance. He is there for you!
Second, I would fix a drink or snack and make a list. Then decide what needs done first, second and so on.
Third, take a deep breath and get to work. It doesn’t matter what you do just choose one thing and get started! Try to handle top priorities first.
Make sure to take frequent breaks to re-energize. I have found that when I am upset I have a lot of energy so I try to put it to good use by cleaning or organizing. Lately though the kids have been a little crazy and it seems almost impossible to get even the basic things done.
I have my routines on my phone. When I have these days, which they have been quite frequent lately, then I pull out my phone. (You could have them on paper or wherever is best for you to have easy access for them.) I look at my list and work on it. If I remember something that isn’t normally on my list, check to see if I have pantyhose to go with my suit, then I write it down on a sheet of paper.
Letting go of perfection is another thing when you are feeling overwhelmed. Is there something the kids or someone else can help you with? Ok, maybe they won’t clean the windows the way you would but at least the windows would be clean. Maybe they don’t fold the towels like you do but you could check that off your list. Involving the kids can help keep them occupied so you can get other tasks finished.
When you come to something that is really hard then ask for help or break it up into smaller chunks. I hate cleaning the refrigerator so I might just clean the top shelf one day and another shelf the next. If I’m trying to fix dinner and the 2 year old is screaming for a drink I might ask the 9 year to get it for him. If I’m out of milk and my son says he is going to town I’ll ask him to grab some milk. Remember, if you feel overwhelmed just stop and take a breath. It’s OK to cry and scream (you may just want to scream into your pillow so you don’t scare the kids). Just don’t sit down or throw your hands in the air and give up!
Don’t forget to PRAY!

A Good Man

What would be considered a good man? I guess we all could have very different answers to that question. Our answers could even vary depending on when and where are in life.
I think a good man is one who lives his life in a way that no one could question his intentions. The way he lives his life is a reflection of who he truly is on the inside.
Recently I met a man who I believe truly is a ‘good man’. Why do I say this? He is probably one of the sweetest most humble men I have ever come across in my time here on earth. He definitely lives in a way that others would see Jesus in him.
This man is kind and takes care of others. He will help without being asked and gives without expecting to be repaid. I have met others who I thought were like this but he has helped me in so many ways that I could never repay him.
He is full of wisdom. He will take the time to listen and then help you with your problems. I can confide in him without worry of him repeating it.
Is he perfect? No, but he admits his faults and will not blame others when he has made a mistake. He is honest and genuine. He stands by his morals and his character couldn’t be questioned. He is a man of integrity for sure.
He encourages me and I’m sure he encourages others around him to be better people. People have noticed a difference in me since I met him. I am a better person because of knowing him and I thank him for that. (Really, I do thank him a lot and he hasn’t a clue why!)
I thank God for letting our paths cross and letting me know this ‘good man’. Knowing him has given me a newfound hope that our world is not as lost as I thought it was. It is a better place just knowing that there are a few good men still out there.
Hopefully everyone one of us can think of a good man around us. One that we are thankful to have in our lives as a role model, a leader, or as a friend. It can be a brother, a father, a husband, a neighbor, or maybe someone at church.
Can we all take a few minutes and say a prayer for these men of God? We need to pray that God will protect them and guide them along their paths. Pray for strength and wisdom for them to get through the many battles they will face. Pray that they will lead their lives so that others will want to come to know Christ. Also pray that God will find favor in them and will bless them abundantly in this life and in heaven. Amen.
Additional thoughts:
A good man makes you happy. Just think about it, when you talk to him or do things with you then you are left feeling happy. It doesn’t matter what the conversation is about or what activity you will have a sense of genuine happiness just being in contact with this man.
When life gets hard and confusing and you feel like you are helpless he will remind you that you are not. He will bring a breath of fresh air to reignite the embers in your soul so that your light can shine again.