Monday, January 23, 2012

Tansforming My Perspective

I have to admit that I have put my theme for the year out of my mind lately. Struggling to make it through the day, and simply take care of my family consumed my mind. Yesterday at church Russ preached on Daniel 3 (Bible version of the Veggie Tales Shad, Rack and Benny story). We looked at how we need to decide who we will serve, seek out relationships that will strengthen that decision, and how we need to make sure we choose something worth living and dying for. I felt like it was a great sermon for my daughter to hear. I didn't know that God was laying the ground work to remind me of something myself.

Since I've been struggling with loneliness lately I decided to read a devotion on it. It could only help me, right? Today's reading was Daniel 3. This devotion just gives you a passage in the Bible to read. It doesn't have some rosy little narrative to go with it. It is simply letting God talk to your lonely heart through His word.

So, Daniel 3. Three men thrown in the the fire, but four can be seen walking around. God didn't leave them alone. Remember that Footprint in the Sand poem/story? God hasn't left me alone. I'm not alone. He is here with me. He is loving me, caring for me, carrying me through this time. Here is my version of Daniel 3:28,

"Praise be to the God of Sherry, who has sent his angel and rescued his servant! She trusted in him and defied the world's command and was willing to give up her life rather than serve or worship any god except her own."

The world says that I need to be happy, get my validation from others, and be surrounded by people all the time. I can not serve that theory any longer. It is time for me to get out of the way, and allow God to transform my perspectives. I am not alone. God is with me. If I have a season of being alone more, that means that my Father is seeking me to transform me in some way. How my mood changes when I look at this season as my Father actively perusing me! I worth so much that He is chasing after me! God is simply doing just like the lyrics of the Jason Grey song, "tell me once again who I am to you, that I belong to you."

God is showing up in a big way in my heart right now. I pray that you are allowing Him to do the same in yours. He is pursuing you just as he is me. You are His beloved as well. Let Him tell you again who you are to Him.

Please let me know how I can pray for you. We are not alone. Decide what you will serve, who you will listen to.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Morning Soundtrack

In my head is an endless play list of songs going. The soundtrack to my life. I don't sing well at all, but I can hear a song once and almost memorize the entire thing. I love music.

Sometimes, God uses the strangest ways to speak to us. Often times He uses my soundtrack to speak to me. This morning as I was getting ready for church I asked my daughter if my outfit looked stupid. As a 13 year old girl, she knows more about fashion than I do. Why do I even care what I look like? It has taken 2 hours to get ready already. I am fighting fatigue and pain today. Overwhelming fatigue. I have had to sit and rest after doing the smallest thing. Very frustrating. I just want to look pretty today. People say that doing your hair and makeup help you feel better. I guess people aren't always right.


When I come back in my bathroom what song comes on? Beautiful by Bethany Dillon. How it spoke to my soul this morning. I have been struggling with loneliness lately. When I don't feel well I tend to distance myself from everyone. Everyone is too busy with their own lives to really notice. It's true: out of sight, out of mind. Do you like my pity party I am having? Nice, huh? Well, I'm so glad God doesn't let me dwell on myself too long. This song, Beautiful, talks about trying to keep every one's attention. It says "thought I could be strong, but it's killing me. Someone hear my cry, I'm dying for new life. I want to be beautiful. To make you stand in awe. Look inside my heart, and be amazed. I want to hear you say, who I am is quite enough. Just want to be worthy of love, and beautiful."

God hears our heart's cry. He doesn't just leave us there in our brokenness. The song ends by turning the focus off of herself and on to God. "You make me beautiful. You make me stand in awe. You stepped in side my heart, and I am amazed. I love to hear you say, who I am is quite enough. You make me worthy of love, and beautiful."

What am I putting my focus on? Am I chasing what matters? Why am I constantly looking toward the world and others for validation? I will never get what I think I need. I will never find that acceptance, and unconditional love. However, God sees what man cannot sees. He sees my heart, and only He can complete it and make me beautiful. I hear Jesus calling me to live like I'm called. I haven't been lately. I've been too focused on my own afflictions, and feeding my depression. I want my soundtrack to be nothing but praise songs to Him.

It is all about perspective. Time to turn my focus off of myself. I'm sure I will have to tell myself this over and over and over again today, and tomorrow and the next day. It is a never ending process. Sanctification isn't easy. It's quite painful and uncomfortable at times. I know this place is not my home. One day I will have complete healing, and will dance before my Jesus without pain, and without being self-conscience.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year-New Theme

Last year on the radio I heard a challenge to choose a word to be your theme for the year. After a month of thinking and praying about it I settled on the word hope. I tried to find a good definition of it. I tried to focus on what I was putting my hope in. I tend to feel hopeless, so I tried to spend the year countering those feelings with God's truth. Our pastor at family camp defined hope as not just having a desire for God to do something, but also expecting Him to do it. That rocked my world. I quickly realized I wasn't expecting God to really do great things in my life. Don't get me wrong. I know that he can. I just wasn't expecting Him to.

Boy did my life change when I started expecting Him to show up. I put my hope in that I would find some healing here on earth. He lead me to a new chiropractor that did some allergy testing. I eliminated some things from my diet, and started treatments for my allergies I didn't realize I had. I have overall felt much better. I still have pain, and some flares, but they don't seem as bad. I feel my mood has also improved from all the changes and treatments.

I put my hope in the fact that He would transform my discontented heart at church. I was happy, but something just felt off. He brought us into a new season being missionaries in our town. Now, we serve at Kaleo Community Church.

Now, it is a new year. That means I need a new word or theme for the year. After searching my heart I realize my focus needs to be on transforming. I want my heart, soul and mind transformed into more of Christ's likeness. I'm not happy being like I am. I know He wants more of me. I want Him to do like the song says, "consume from the inside out". God wants to transform us. I want all my insecurities transformed into faith in my heavenly Father.

There are so many things I truly want transformed. I want my quiet time transformed. I want my marriage to be transformed. I want my family transformed. I want my relationships with my family and friends transformed. I desire greatness! None of these relationships are bad. Please do not misunderstand. I don't want to settle for good, when God can transform these things to greatness!

So, I am coupling last year's theme with this year's. I have the desire, and I expect God to use this year to transform all aspects of my life.

What is your theme for 2012? What do you want God to do in your life? I would love to know what word is going to be your focus for the year.