Jan 082017
 

Hey my friends,

To be completely cliche, but know I am genuine-hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I am slowly getting back into the new groove.  Making some needed changes-for example, GOING. TO. WORKOUT.  I know this is not a new discipline to strive for in January, but once again, seriously genuine about getting my body a movin!  I wonder as you look over your 2016, what stands out to you as some old and “not so lifegiving areas” which were not workin for ya.  And then as you are “out with the old”, what new spiritual, personal health and wholeness, or areas as a mother/wife/friend/worker you can discipline yourself to in 2017?  Now is your time to shine.  His mercies are new every morning and there is hope.  for.  you.  today.

So 2 options to consider for this January 2017-get in God’s Word more and get your body moving more.  If these 2 are resonating with your Spirit but you wonder, but how.  can.  I.  fit.  this.  in my already busy, I’ve got your back my sister’s!

Check out this free 6 week women’s video devotional series, starting Monday, January 30thWOW Hour: Where Waking Up Early Is Lifegiving!  Start out 2017 with a new lifegiving habit;  6 weeks of inspiring stories to encourage and hold you and/or you and a group of friend’s accountable to be in God’s Word and exercise!  Prioritize your wholeness and health as this program will bring you peace for your mind, body and Spirit- you’ve got a couple weeks to get a friend or two to join you on this journey.  Praying for you. to. rock. this.  I will be joining you so you will not be alone!!

And below here are some of my favorite bible study methods and workouts which you can incorporate with WOW Hour or just do on your own!  Just so you know….i am praying. for. you.  So get goin’ with Jesus in 2017, you.  will.  not.  regret.  it.  Look out for the life of enjoyment and purpose you’ve got in store with a Father who we get ALL good gifts from!

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it … I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.  John 10:10

4 OPTIONAL BIBLE STUDY METHODS

  1. Dear Father, Dear Daughter MethodThis journaling method is how I structured my book, “Sing Over Me: A Women’s Devotional through the Psalms.” It is us, His daughter’s, writing to our heavenly Father, and then listening to hear what He says through His Word and Spirit to apply to our lives.
  • Pray, read (in God’s Word), then write to God. Then see if there is anything troubling your heart or mind.  Write about this to God.  As you write, be transparent.  Ask God questions about the specific situation.  Always end with what you need from God in this particular situation and the truths you know about Him and His Word.

 

  • Be still and ask God to speak. Then write down His promises- “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” 1 Sam 3:10b  Make sure you are away from distractions and loud sounds in order to quiet your heart and mind before God.  Listen until you have wisdom, an impression, a picture, a verse, or overall peace about what you just wrote to God.  Write down any scripture and/or impressions you receive during this time of listening.  Do not be discouraged if you do not seem to hear anything, God loves to spend time with us in the stillness and He refreshes our heart, mind and Spirit when we are obedient to spend time with Him-even if we aren’t aware of it.  Write down promises and encouragement you found from God’s true, living Word.  Continue to sit in silence and practice the discipline of waiting to hear from the Lord.  Persevere in this discipline of listening to God.  I know I find it extremely difficult in our busy culture to drown out the noise of my own mind, but even more reason for us do as God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God” ps 46:10.
  1. Free Flowing Method
  • Pray for God to speak to you as you read a passage from His living Word (Heb 4:12).
  • Get on your computer or grab a notebook and pen and write what comes to mind! The key is not what we write about, but that what we say is honest and from the heart.  God desires to meet us right where we are, not where we feel we should be or want to be.  He wants true intimacy with us.  Just like there is no right or wrong way to talk with God, there is also no right or wrong way to write to Him.  We can simply tell Him what is on our heart.  If we are concerned about a particular relationship, we should write about it.  If we need to ask Him for forgiveness, we can write down our apology.  If we are excited about an answered prayer, we can express our gratitude.  If a particular scripture is resonating with us, we can expand on it and dig deeper in order to apply it to our current situation.  God has made us all unique, so use your own creativity and style as you write to Him!
  1. A.C.T MethodSome of us need a structured format or plan when starting a new habit. I am similar. I thrive under others’ good ideas for how to do things!  First pray for God to speak to you and read from God’s Word, then:
  • Ask- Write down your prayer requests, God says “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
  • Confess-Your sin, repent and turn to God for His refreshment and peace (Acts 3:19).
  • Thanksgiving-To God for specific ways He has blessed you, for what He has done for you, or simply for His character traits; write down your gratitude for our Father who is the giver of ALL good gifts in this life and the eternal life to come (James 1:17) .
  1. S.O.A.P Method – S.O.A.P stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Each S.O.A.P. entry can be one sentence, or it could be pages and pages of thoughtful note taking. Each day will be different as you move through digging deeper into God’s Word.
  • Scripture-After reading a chapter(s) from the Bible, write down the verse(s) which “the Spirit highlighted”/resonated/you had a pull to read over again
  • Observation-Write down what you observed or what truth stuck out to you in these scriptures.
  • Application- Think on how you can apply the verse(s) to your day, week, life, etc. and write about this.
  • Pray-Write out a prayer to God based on how your mind/heart was renewed to God’s ways instead of your prior ways of thinking/acting and ask Him to help you apply this truth in your life.  

30 MINUTE WORKOUT OPTIONS:

  1. Sign up for and train for a race (running or walking): If you are signing up for a 5K,8K,10K, or half marathon race the Hal Higdon training plans were what I used and found helpful in my training:  http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51137/Marathon-Novice-1-Training-Program
  2. Do a workout DVD with the exercise of your choice-pilates, step, yoga, dance, boxing, Zumba, ect.
  3. Do a YouTube workout with your favorite trainer
  4. Walk the hills in a nearby neighborhood
  5. Do a Daily Burn or some other Workout program App on the computer/Ipad/phone
  6. Do a workout class at the gym
  7. Swim laps at a local swimming pool
  8. Go on a bike ride (on a stationary bike or outdoors)
  9. Lift weights combined with a step machine, tredmill or sedimentary workout machine at gym or home
  10. Dance in your living room to your favorite 7 songs

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 142016
 

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life.  Ezekiel 7:4-5

My 11 month old daughter is too much.  In a scary, oh what do we have in store for the future with this red head sort of way.  But also in a laugh my head off, can’t get enough of the “Elaine style” dance moves and sporadic scrunch up the nose, in and out quick breathing.  And if you thought I was giving her a bad break and stereotyping her for her hair color, think again.  When the Bible Study nursery workers say they tell any new volunteers, “Just to warn you, if you hold THIS one, you have to be able to take a punch”, you know there is some fire in those little veins.

This morning my 2 older daughter’s turned on some dance music.  Of course it was 0 minutes to spare before the “Mama school bus” was a leavin, but this didn’t seem to effect them in the least.  Immediately, baby #3 girl is rockin it.  (And by “it” I mean she is trying to walk, but falling looks inevitable) But the music compelled her to give the regular “6 steps and fall” a go. again. and again.  And though I admired her perseverance to “rock it”, it had to be somewhat defeating as the other sister’s “walked it AND rocked it” all around her.

Then, as if her current “rocking” wasn’t challenge enough, she added in her latest trick to the show.  The constant clap.  I am pretty sure this was equivalent to our pat the head, rub the stomach, while hula hooping sort of exercise.  And let me tell you.  This effort was astounding.  Not because of the outcome (no new walking skill was achieved).  But because of her ability to smile and love every minute of her time.  Falls and all.  I wish you could have seen the clap, clap, clap, walk, walk, fall pattern which brought not only her so much joy, but me so much love for her in that moment.  She was loving living.  And I was loving watching her-love life.

I took the older’s to school, but came right back and put on some “Jesus music”, as I like to call it.  I wanted to see more.  More “rockin the love” from my baby girl.  And I got my wish-and then some.

The first song which came on I had never heard before, but put into words my heart in this moment.  The chorus resonated deep, “Live like you’re loved”.  I began to wonder if I, like my little girl, walked, clapped, smiled and loved every minute of being alive.  I wondered if I lived like I should-With love for life.  With abandon.  With freedom.  With carefree, non anxious thoughts.  With the ability to get back up when I “fall” through failures and troubles and trials.  With gratefulness for this very breath I breathe.  With anticipation for the “next” God is calling me into.  And with courage to say “yes” to it.  All because I.  Am.  Loved.  And I.  Am.  A.  Child.  Of.  God.  And so.  are.  you.

If your life feels boring, one question-how’s that workin for ya?  If you feel insecure and inadequate, one question-how’s that workin for ya?  If you are mastered by/numbed by or comforted by addictions of food, drinks, clothes, media-one question, how’s that workin for ya?  If other’s opinions and strengths determine your worth-one question, how’s that workin for ya?  If you are going through the motions in your day-one question, how’s that workin for ya?  I asked myself these questions and came to one conclusion.  I was made to live. loved.  To live.  differently.  And this is what’s gonna work for me.  Living like I am loved is THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE.

I want to live with the roots of my Father’s love spreading down deep so I can thrive as a fruit bearing tree for His Kingdom.  As we lean more and more into our true identity and name as the “Loved One” by Jesus, “seeking first His kingdom”, then we are in for it-in a good, way good sort of way.  As we “arise shine, for our light has come” we bring hope to this hopeless, troublesome, pain filled, dark world.  And we begin to see ourselves more like Jesus see’s us- a unique creation, created by The Creator, with a creative purpose to fulfill here and now.  And this is something to clap and smile about (just as my youngest daughter did), as we are walkin and “rockin” with Jesus, as His loved child, today.

In what ways could you live differently because of this 1 truth that you’re identity is a loved, child of God?

What about God’s love for you brings a smile to your face?  How can you thank God today?

What area of your life needs God to breathe life into it?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Oct 212016
 

My daughter was dealing in what I like to call “extremes” this week.  Grade school pictures.  Happened.  And even though I tried to reassure her of the positives, her phrase to sum it all up to her Dad when first walking through the door was, “I got my school picture and it is %100 bad.”  And the bad does not stop here people.  This week just keeps comin’ at ya.

Emotions.  Oh to know and understand them.  This is the real chore.  With 3 girls under 7 in tow and home.  The 2nd “extreme”  came out while consecutively keeping a hula hooping session underway (she has watched her mother multitask and fail miserably, so I am sure her subconscious competitive spirit was in full swing).  “I came with my best friend to play the game with everyone, but when the circle came to my turn, they skipped me.  And my best friend didn’t even stand up for me.  And so I said, ‘Well, I guess you just don’t like me and don’t want to ever play with me.  You are not my friend anymore.’ ”  (Of course this is the reader’s digest version for you all.  I would be happy to expand the what was a 30 minute conversation of wading through tears and story plot if you email me.  And don’t have a life.)

The words of making up possible reasons or excuses for the others wasn’t a good idea.  The mama “Jesus teaches us…” only made the hula hooping the main event.  And the mama empathy seemed to move the slow faucet drips to a constant waterfall of tears.  So I was at a loss.  Once again.  In mothering.

But I couldn’t help but think to myself- “Man, she is definitely making a ‘mountain out of a molehill’ (don’t you love the intense analogy I used here).  If only she could see herself through the eyes of Jesus and me, to stand on truth here instead of focusing on the wounds of other’s.  Then her “NOT’s” mindest and heart could be propelled into the present and future as an opportunity to empathize with other’s in their times of woundedness and exclusion and find strength and unfailing love in the arms of Jesus.  He is the ONLY one.  ONLY Savior.  ONLY friend.  Who will never let her and us down.

As I looked on my daughter with self pity, the pride came before a fall as I found myself living in dual mindsets as her this week.  “A little birdie told me” of a conversation which happened among some of my dearest friend’s.  In which I wasn’t there.  But even though I had recently layed my heart and soul before them, without knowing it they crushed it.  Because when looking for someone to fulfill a specific role in ministry, my name wasn’t considered.  It was NOT a factor.  I was NOT considered.  Picked.  And at this point, I also, like my daughter, when to the “extremes” or the I’m “%100 bad” mindset.  I won’t deny it.  I was wounded.  And this is where Satan earns his paycheck.  I went to the dark place.  I didn’t believe God would ever use me, because He must think like everyone else and consider everyone else but me.  Because I am NOT.

Memories of 7th grade NOT being picked for the basketball team came to mind.  Of being the 8th bride in the “7 brides for 7 brother’s” Musicale (if you didn’t catch the gist there, I was NOT in the show due to their only being 7 brides and not 8.  Sorry if I just insulted your intelligence by explaining this joke, my husband tells me I am real good at doing this.)  And so.  the NOTs kept.  On.  Coming.  But I remembered what to do when “100% bad” hits.

Go.  To.  my heavenly Father.  And be.  In His lifegiving company.  And Sit.  Asking His Word to speak to me.  (Getting His download of me instead of others’.  And at this point I KNEW Satan was real upset.  So good!)  And let me tell you-I came out fully loved.  fully valued.  fully gifted.  fully rebuilt.  fully strengthed.  fully geared up to be sent out to serve.

I wonder if you are in a “%100 bad” mindset/circumstance today.  Well guess what?  When in the dark pit, there is one best thing to do.  Look up.  To Jesus.  And allow His light to shine on in.  Or maybe, like my daughter’s hula hoop, you are in a round and round and round cycle of negative/untrue/”hula hoop lies” thinking towards yourself and/or someone else and don’t know how to stop?  Will you ask God to enter into this place and guide you into all Truth?

And so I pray for you today, my sister, the same prayer I prayed for myself.  “Lord come and speak and help and renew.”  The outcome being the 100% bad mindset of “NOTs” (that other’s, ourselves and the enemy infiltrates our minds with) strangely amounting to NOTHING.  And we find ourselves humming the true song of the love, hope and purpose in the mighty name of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (The Message)  Strength from Weakness

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Aug 032016
 

It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us…..Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this-heart and soul-will ever regret it.”  It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be:  the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help.  “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”  Romans 10:3-15 (excerpts from the Message)

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.  1 John 5:14-15

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9

Only 1 out of the 4 “Daughter dates” happened. And I though I don’t have any tattoos on my body, I have this memory tattooed on my Mama heart, mind, and Spirit.  Never to be erased.

It began with some morning love.  In the form of a Mom and a Mocha, an oldest Daughter and a Drink of White Chocolate Cocoa.  Quality conversation reigned.  And the quality of it wasn’t in the topics at hand, but the ability to be oh so present.  With the eyes.  Ears.  And heart.

Our 2 part date meant a quick change after breakfast to “do nature”.  I call my daughter the “Creature/Nature whisperer” because if there is a tall tree, a stream, and God’s animals/insects present, she is all in.  Having caught the spotted creation and caught the joy of simply being in God’s creation.  Her “do nature” request was for her and I to visit the nearby stream and look for creatures.  Simple.  Was my thought.  I knew the spot where we were headed was a playground for insects, lizards, salamanders, dragonflies, frogs, butterflies-everything which made her heart happy.

I prayed out loud, with her, that God would help us find a creature (Why do I tend to pray those “already know this will come true”/”knowledge by my own insight and sight” kind of prayers?).  I went in with conquering hope because I knew odds were more than good.  For our treasure hunt to end real well.  But after an hour of muddy clothes.  Ice feeling feet.  And questions from my daughter such as, “Do you think God will let us find a creature, Mom?  We prayed.  I just want to find one creature!”  My hope was dimming.  It was one of those times where you don’t know how to answer your child.  “Come on God, come through!  One creature is all!”  I prayed over and over again to myself with a tear on my lid.

I was flabergasted.  Frustrated.  And feeling faithless.  “Let’s go to the other side and check things out girl,” I said trying to sound cheery while doubting the decision as I spoke.  As I lead the way I wondered why my response to all this had left me real emotional.  “I mean, what’s the big deal about finding a creature, right now and right here?” I thought to myself.  And then I realized why.  This time spent with my oldest was precious and hard to come by these days.  I felt it was “my time to shine” with her.  I knew it was time I may not have much of this coming year juggling 3 and with full school days.  I had placed high expectations of conquering in the hunt (for creatures, in which she so often was successful without my presence) and answered prayer front.  But now coming up with a “no go” on both accounts.  Was too much for me to comprehend myself, let alone explain.  To this 7 year old innocence.

My daughter interjected with an idea, “Hey Mom, you know how uncle prayed and people got healed on their mission trip?  I can pray and ask God to make it so my feet don’t hurt in the ice water and I can look better for creatures that way!”  She prayed real simply, a childlike faith prayer, “God, help my feet not hurt in the water.”  Then she proceeded to walk in the water with ease.  “Look Mom, Jesus helped us!”  I replied, “Praise Jesus!”  But to be honest, my heart behind my words lacked something.  Even in the face of a mini miracle of love from our Father to His child, my fixated self couldn’t let go of what I didn’t have.

But time was our enemy.  The call from the husband came and we had to call it quits.  With no creature to show for it.  Then the conversation which I felt far from equipped to have.  Happened.  I prayed for wisdom from God as I stumbled through it with such things as, “I know it’s disappointing, I know we prayed.  But we know God is good.  And He has a reason for not answering our prayer right now…..”  I remember my girl saying after what felt to be circular ranting, “Oh, like God may have not wanted us to find a creature because it would have bit us!  Right, Mama?”  “Right”, I replied as my daughter was the teacher in that moment.  My heart left heavy and faith felt dried up but I had.  To.  Trust.  In the not.  understanding.

As we picked up our bikes and our spirits to head back, I noticed a fluttering white on the path.  “Wait!”  I yelled.  “Stop!”  And there was a white butterfly in front of us.  Our one creature.  My daughter “did her thing” and slowly crept.  Creeped.  And grabbed it to put in our jar.  Faith.  Like.  A.  Child.

Our God responded to our prayer with a “Yes”.  But it was in His way.  His place.  And His timing.  He is on the throne.  And we can trust Him completely in our all.  Because He.  Is.  Faithful.

Is there something troubling you or that you currently are trying to control?  Will you remember the truth that anyone who calls “Help God, will get help” and that He “hears our prayers”, trusting God for His “higher ways”/outcome with this decision/person/circumstance?

How can you, as God’s most prized creation, glorify Him today?  What part of God’s creatures and creation can you thank Him for?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 272016
 

“Your reality is like good medicine” were the words of a song which I woke up to on repeat in my mind.  And then the song turned into a thoughts about a challenging “reality” moment I encountered with my daughter a couple Sunday’s back.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  Psalm 139:23-24

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were stil ltrying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10 

I was having somewhere between a teaching and all out frustration moment as I went over the “do’s and don’ts” church etiquette with my 7 year old daughter.  Do-“stand when everyone stands during the worship songs.”  Don’t-“Drink your tea during worship time.”  Do-“Sing the words to the songs.”  Don’t-“Talk to your friend.”  Don’t-“Go to the bathroom.”  Do-“Close your eyes during the prayer.”

Check. Did my good Christian motherly duties.  At the time, basking in what felt to be some amazing “training up my daughter in God’s Ways”, I held my head a little higher than before.  Our family row was looking.  Good.  (Oh and nothing could be wrong with this, “I’m too good for my britches”, scene.)  We were doing all the right things, at the right time, in the right way.

At this point, by the grace of God I was able to step off my pedistle and look down for one moment.  And I smiled.  Differently.  Deeper.  Better.  Truer.   Than before.  Because my smile this time wasn’t based on how other’s would see us.  Or how my daughter was responding positively to forced “do’s and don’ts”.  It was based on what I witnessed as I watched my 7 year old daughter respond with spontaneous/made up motions to the worship song we were singing.

I sang “Jesus paid it all”- her arms elongated out so wide her face was stretching right along with them.  I sang, “All to Him I owe”-her hands moved crazily all around in a circular form.  I sang, “Sin had left a crimson stain”-her clinched fists on her heart and face in despair.  And finally, “He washed me white as snow”-her clenched fists opened fiercely and broke open.  Freedom.  In.  Jesus.

This was an act of authenticity and freedom in my daughter and her relationship with God.  She was doing her own thing.  She was responding to Him.  Not because of what anyone told her to do.  Not because of what would “look good” to those around.  Simply because she was being herself.  With her loving Father.  And loving every.  minute.  of.  it.

5 questions to test your authenticity in your relationship with God and others

  1.  What are my motives in making decisions?  What is your process you go through when saying “yes” to a particular commitment, activity, decision?  Does it involve weighing in how other’s will respond to you or think of you if you say “no”?  Does it involve what you will get out of it selfishly or what you might get in return if you do it?  If so, you are not being true to yourself, them, or your God.  Respond with “yes” only in obedience to your Master God, who is the only one you are serving.
  2. Do my actions match my words?  We want to not only speak truth in love to others, but show it as well.  Are you the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting friend or just a nice voice over the phone?
  3. When was the last time you “made a fool of yourself” for Jesus?  Following our God is risky and when we step out in faith/out of our comfort zone we don’t always respond in a typical, earthly standard sort of way.  If we are never “looking strange or making strange decisions” in the eyes of the world, we are probably living more by sight than by faith.
  4. What does your time with God look like?  If it is a “going through the motions” based on “checking off” the list of devotion, bible reading, prayer based on self imposed or other’s imposed rules and standards, it may be time to mix things up a little.  Maybe it’s time to be spontaneous with God and “bust out some motions to the worship songs” or go on a coffee date or walk in nature or spend time with Him doing what you love to do with a friend.  Take time this week to get out of the “box” and do something new with Jesus.
  5. What am I afraid to approach God about?  If you can answer this genuinely, then you are at a great place.  Because the cool thing is He already knows about this and wants to love you/help you through it.  He always in “gentle, gracious and humble”.

“Reality is like good medicine” my friends (in which I always seem to find out the hard way of pride coming before a fall.)  But if we allow our loving God to search and test our hearts and motives and come to a place of repentance for our yucky stuff, then we will live in that sweet spot.  We live in the reality of our song from above, “Sin had left a crimson stain”-meaning we all are sinners, but we have hope because… “He washed us white as snow” through His death on the cross.  The Holy Spirit gives us the balming medicine to “lead us into all truth” about how we can have “more of Him and less of me”.  Don’t resist this reality and good medicine He offers!  The more we lean into the reality of who we are and why we NEED Jesus, the more freedom, peace and joy we will experience.  The more abundant life and purpose filled living we will walk in.  May your day today be one in which you run to the arms of your loving.  heavenly.  Father.  And may you run with grace to Truly. be. yourself.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 292016
 

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness..” John 1:4-5a

“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1

“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philipphians 2:15

Summer, summer, summer time!  I cannot get enough of the fact that I can go outside.  My kids can go outside.  Our dog can go outside.  But will we?  There’s the real question.  And here is the real issue with it all.  Where I now see the error of my ways-My complaining occurs rain or shine.  Winter means complaining we can’t go outside because it’s too  wet.  Summer means complaining we can’t go outside because it’s too hot.  So I publicly apologize to my Creator God who truly blessed me to live in such green beauty as Oregon and resolve not to complain.  But to make a family new years resolution in June instead of January- Be.  Outside.  And.  Enjoy.

In efforts to keep with our June resolution me and my crew have become VBS (vacation bible school)/camp hoppers.  Church programs are fabulous for providing outdoor activities for kids and I’ve got summer camp flyers comin out my ears, so we are signed up and primed up to be-Playin’, learnin’, sprayin’, laughin’, kickin’, climbin’, runnin’, jumpin’, and swimmin’ in.  the.  sun.  And we will be lovin’ every minute of it mind you.

Well, except for the not so stellar minutes which occurred 2 days ago at our current VBS sensation.

I got my middle, “live for the social”, daughter checked in in about 5 seconds and moved to check in my oldest.  We wanted her to be in a group with her older cousin so she was in with 3rd graders instead of 2nd graders.  The big kids.  Literally.  As I walked my Lucy over to her group she truly was “Lucy Little” from the book “The Little’s”.  There were 7 boys more than a foot taller and 2 girls right in there as well.  I put on my “Mom evaluating/detective hat” and made the 2 second conclusion to atleast survey the land while my thinker, analyzer, slow to warm up artist daughter entered this scene.

The previous 3rd grade teacher extrovert leader started things with a bang.  “Everyone tell your name and tell one thing you like!”She yelled out in sing song form.  And then it began, one boy blurted, “Ryan and I get to go swimming at my grandma’s pool!”  Another right after from across the circle proclaimed, “I have two dogs!”  (No name to be spoken of, but this seemed to be how the game was played.  And how it continued for the next 5 minutes.  Yell out or miss out.)  As I watched the energetic one’s saying 5 or more fun facts and my daughter being the only one not having spoken, my Mama heart was in a wounded, sad state. And then my Lucy motioned me over and whispered to me her first comment which did in fact break my already wounded Mama heart.

“Mama, I don’t think anybody see’s me”, Lucy stated with her head down.  And yep, that comment pretty much took me down.  I proceeded to try to have a “it’s going to be okay, let me make things better” talk with her about the fact that all these kids were older and therefore bigger and that she would be bigger when she is that age a year from now.  And then made sure to tell the group leader her age as well.  And as I was making sure the leader “saw” my daughter, a mini miracle moment happened.  The blonde girl from across the circle said, “Lucy, we haven’t heard what you like yet!  What do you like to do?”  And then the only other girl in the group didn’t miss a beat and grabbed my “low to the floor” daughter’s hand and said, “Hey, since we are the only girls, come over here by us and we want to show you a special game!”  (Okay, are you girls trying to make a grown woman cry profusely in a random church parking lot?!)

And at that point I knew I could leave.  Lucy.  Was.  Seen.  Lucy, who’s name means “Light” had  the sun and THE Son shining on her.

Even in her smallness.  Quietness.  Seemingly helplessness.  And  darkness.  These girls were the light and love of Jesus to Lucy.  And we need to get this- this is how our good Father works people!

He shines on you with His Son, like the sun, through the light and love of His Spirit’s work in other’s.  He see’s you.  He see’s me.  And We.  Are.  Shining.  With.  Love.

So in your day today, when you feel worn out and weary.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.  When you are angry at your kids and have no patience left.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.  When it seems everyone else around you is more talented, more beautiful, more intelligent, better disciplined, better at cooking/housekeeping/gardening, has more courage, has more creativity, has more money, is “Mom of the year”, is “Wife of the year”, “Jesus follower of the year”,  and has the “Job of the Year”, do one thing.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.

You are never to0 small.  Never too weak.  Never too forgotten.  Never so disobedient.  Never so disconnected.  Never so alone.  Then to be seen.  To be loved.  To be shined upon.  By our heavenly Father.  He is light.  And He is life.

What do you do you feel nobody see’s you?

1-Find a place to go without distractions for a little while (with kids it’s hard, but i am not below turning on a movie to have some needed time-I know I am a better Mom when I take time away from my kids to meet with Jesus.) 

2-Open God’s true Word (truthfully it doesn’t matter where in the Bible you open, just open it, because His Word is living and active and will speak to what you need) and ask our heavenly Father to speak to your heart about your true identity as His daughter.

3- Be open to receiving what God’s Word says and be.loved. in this quiet moment.

be seen.  be loved.  Be light.  Today.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 212016
 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

“Come,” said Jesus. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.  Matthew 14:30

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Reality is I am is a city girl.  Who wants to be a country girl.  And this fact is highlighted when visiting my inlaws beautiful country home.  You see me in the country is like a kid in a candy store.  I am in awe of the beauty around me and all thinking goes out the window, only acting upon this passion.  I am pretty much afraid of all animals, and there are pretty much a bounty of “free roaming” animals in the country, but God’s treed countryside beckons me and all I want to do is get in it.  My love for bugs and snakes are also in the same above category and these creepy crawlies will find you at my in laws house, and yet this fact doesn’t stop me nature heart either.  The common occurrences of prickly berry bushes and poison oak are not familiar phrases to my ears, and it’s obvious my city girl radar is nonexistent as I romp through the green.  I am unable to function real well in the country, but I keep comin back.  Because I heart nature.  And I can’t stop myself from gettin me some.

During our last visit to my in law’s,  I “got me some” as I set out on a nature run.  And I had an experience like none other.  I now know what it feels like NOT to be protected.  And it’s not a good place to be.  Let me share with you the 2 moments which made my life flash before my eyes.  It involves 2 dogs and 2 Sarah’s.

I set out on a run at my in law’s house in the country.  And I tried be smarter than before.  Other times I ran into, literally, 2 large dogs at their neighbor’s house down the road and thankfully the attacker’s were called off, but just in the nick of time.  This time my mother in law suggested I drive past the “dog house” and park down the road a ways and then run.  Genious.  I thanked her for her brain and said, “thank goodness it will be a dog free run this time.”  And I spoke too soon as usual.

About halfway beyond the “No dog zone”, a dog approached.  Actually to be specific a German Shepherd came bounding towards me in a full sprint.  In the split second I guarded myself.  With what I was holding in my hand.  My cell phone.  Which amazingly proved to be not a weapon and not helpful.  Pretty sure my heart hasn’t done that kind of rhythm before.  My fear left me at a standstill.  (Which I believe is actually a good thing based on my memory of 3rd grade dog etiquette facts.)  And then I saw people.  Oh the hope which filled my soul.  The owners voiced the command which may as well been directly from heaven, “No boy!  Come!!”  The dog was protecting his peeps instictively.  But thankfully he was obedient to their commands.  Meaning no ER run for me.

But the craziest thing emerged from this fear filled moment.  I found purpose.  God given purpose.  For me to live out the “good works God had ordained for me before I was born”.  A life giving conversation happened.

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Owner Sarah and I talked for about 20 minutes about the rough.  Of being a mom, wife, and worker.  The school which wouldn’t quit.  The mothering of 3 girls (not a coincidence I found myself in that same 3 girl zone.).  The husband working graveyard.  But by the grace of God I got to speak some Father’s love into Sarah this day.  In her busyness and lack of energy her inability to get back to church was real.  I felt a Spirit’s nudge to ask her about the church my in law’s go to.  Come to find out she went there with her girls years ago.  I told her I would be praying for her to go back and I believed God’s love for her and her family meant he wanted to do 3 things for her in her stepping out in this act of faith-1-extend her time to get all her school work done even though they spent time going to church 2-energize her and fill her up instead of drain her by taking all kids without their dad on her own.  3-Find a support network of family to love on her during this challenging season.  It was raw, real, and purposed.

You may feel too sorry for me if I shared I got chased down by another dog only moments later.  So I won’t tell you about that.  And you may get too excited about the “non coincidence purposes of God” if I told you I had another life giving conversation with another Sarah owner of this dog as well.  So I won’t tell you about that.  But I will tell you this.  2 dogs taught me fear happens in our day to day, but it is what we do with it that matters.  2 Sarahs taught me if we fix our eyes on Jesus through the fear (just like Peter could walk on water by fixing His eyes on Jesus) we will have miracle moments.  I wonder what fear may be on your heart today.  What “dog” is chasing you down and you think you can’t escape?  Do one thing.  Fix your eyes on Jesus.  Let Him protect you from the “dog fear” in His amazing love (I can guarantee He has more than a cell phone defense at His arsanal.)  And then do one more thing.  Watch for an opportunity.  To live out your Spirit given gifts of leadership, serving others, encouraging others, giving to others, showing mercy or empathy to others.

Key word here is “Others”.  My “others” were “Sarah’s”.  Your “others” may be your son or daughter or husband or co worker or child care giver.  Jesus has your “Sarah’s” for you to minister to today.  So fix your eyes on Jesus today instead of the waves of fear or “fear dogs” which are chasing you.   Do this, so you can “walk on water”, doing “non coincidance” things today and ultimately fulfill your purpose.  Trust me.  You WILL find true life and your identity as you act upon these “good works” He already thought about before you were born!

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 152016
 

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  Luke 11:13

Love never loses faith; 1 Corinthians 13:7a

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Luke 11:9

So I slowly.  Ever so slowly people-  Put on my favorite stretchy pants, shirt and running shoes this morning, and practically fell out the door.  My pace could hardly be called “running” (or even jogging to be fare) due to my extreme grogginess.  (Alright.  It also may have been due to the fact my “haven’t disciplined myself to work out body” was telling me “no” when I tried to “go”.)

As I ran, the dream I had been having when the brutal wake up happened was recalled to my memory.  It’s ironic because I cannot remember the last time I remembered a dream.  And it was even more rare because it seemed to be a spiritual dream, involving a reocurring scripture verse and sister in Christ.

I felt a Spirit nudge to text this individual about this scripture and dream.  (God has to make things clear to me and I don’t believe in coincidences-I believe in God ordained/Spirit prompted occurrences.)  How you ask?  Well, let me share.  First, I remembered the dream and it involved scripture (miracle of rememberings mixed with Truth).  And next, the first reminder on my phone from Facebook said this individual’s name with the phrase, “Let her know” attached to it.  Our God works through mysterious ways my friends.  And yes, (in spite of all the Facebook drama) even through Facebook!

The texting to my friend was my first order of business on my run (gotta love the voice command feature, however people may have given me the “you are weird” look more than once).  And then I got to thank my God for His goodness to me.  I thanked God specifically for “no rain on the run” (since the reality of the downpoor was imminent due to the wet all around me/clouds all above me and I hate running in the rain-and even more running in the rain with my dog)  I also prayed for friends and family who were on my heart.

But then I asked my Father to “speak for your child is listening” (in an effort to listen to God rather than continue my laundry list of needs and agenda) and a strange feeling came over me.  Warning-I am heading into the transparent zone so beware the upcoming statement people!  If I am being truly honest with myself, I was dealing with som yucky.  Heart issue stuff.   And yes lets call it out.  Jealousy.

I was wishing that dream I had for my friend had been for me.  I was wanting my Father God to have a Word for me.  I was needing some tangible love from Him.  Just.  For.  Me-What.  About.  Me.  (And as I write this I recognize fully I have written the word “Me” fulfilling the writing quota for the year.  Ouch.)  But this was the real of where my heart sat.

I wish my response to God’s love for another would have been different.  Selfless maybe.  Joyful and glad.  Other’s focused.  And many times I genuinely do “rejoice with those who rejoice”.  But not this time.  My faith in His constant love for me appeared nonexistent in this moment.

Having finished my run on a down note I walked in my front door, headed straight to the back door to let the dog out, and IMMEDIATELY it started to rain.  And IMMEDIATELY my heart fluttered a little as I received this good, love gift from my Father.  You would think being an Oregon girl that rain wouldn’t get to me so much, but God knows I cannot stand the wet, dreary rain run.  (And especially when the wet dog would be a reality as well.)  Now, once again this coincidance situation is back on the table.  Could it be coincidance that the rain started up right after I stepped inside and was needing to recognize some “Father love” to me? Not with the way I roll.

I may not have felt the rain, but I felt the love of the Father rain down on me this morning.  (He’s got enough to go around people!)  His love is deep.  Wide.  Long.  And doesn’t quit.  Not ever.

 May I never doubt this love rain which downpours for me.  For you.  Forever.  And may we testify to the love the Father has for us.  Because when it rains.  It pours.  

Consider what situation you are currently in and need some “Rain love” from the Father.  Would you ask Him to make you aware of His close presence and love for you?

What are you in need of?  Are you in financial need?  Physical strength?  Wisdom?  Peace about the future?  Freedom from fear or addiction?  Help to overcome an obstacle?  Love for a hard to love individual?  Purpose in the now? Whatever your need-God desires to hear, answer and love you through it.  So ask Him.  And allow His love to meet you right now.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 082016
 

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.  Acts 20:35

My daughter gave me some perspective this week.  (Why is it my kids are continually teaching me the love of Jesus, I am pretty sure that me, the parent is supposed to be the one imparting all wisdom.  And yet, doesn’t seem to be the case much of the time as I have to continually swallow yucky stuff on a regular basis, like taking cough medicine when I have to swallow my pride, my selfishness, my lack of patience and my kids are the one’s feeding it to me.  Awesome, Lord.) 

Anyway, my oldest daughter who is 7 told me a story which brought tears to my eyes.  She told me she was sitting as usual in the 1st grade line in the gym waiting for their teacher to bring them to their class to start the day.  She said a boy was sitting by her and she overheard him say to someone else that he didn’t have a snack. She said, “Mom, I felt bad for him.  I knew he would feel bad in class when he had nothing to eat and everyone else was eating something.”  She continued by saying, “So I gave him my snack.  And I gave him the cheese pretzel snack.  Not the other cheese stick and meat stick one.”  And right about here is when the tears filled my eyes with overwhelming Jesus love I just witnessed in my daughter.   (you see, you have to know the backstory to understand what a selfless act this truly was.

The truth was that as we were hurridly trying to get out the door that morning my daughter requested cheese pretzels for one of her two snacks.  She doesn’t usually make requests, but I had splurged and purchased these pretzels as an end of the year treat.  She knew it.  Didn’t get them usually.  And wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to include these special ones. )  And so now you may get the tears response to the fact that she gave the cheese pretzels, in other words her best, her favorite, her “firstfruits” to the boy, (but ultimately to Jesus because we know scripture says, “what you do for the least of these you do for me”).  My daughter concluded her story by saying, “And you know what Mom.  He was SOOOOO happy.  And that made me SOOOO happy.”  And I replied with an addition of, “And it made your mama and Jesus SOOOO happy as well!”

So once again, Jesus taught me, through my daughter, that rejoicing happens in true generosity and selflessness.  My daughter could have had a very different response.  She could have not done anything in this situation.  She could have even been a little happy in the thought that she had a snack and he didn’t.  This being the delighting in evil thing we are looking at this week.  But instead she experienced rejoicing and many others did to as she acted upon The Truth in God’s Word which says as is written above:

Matthew 10:42
“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

My daughter challenges me to give relentlessly-I see over and over the grace and gift of giving my daughter has from the Spirit.  It’s real hard to out give her and we have to simmer her down at times to not have her immediately go buy for someone once she receives a bit of money.  But I love this about her and she inspires me to be better because this is not one of my strengths/spiritual gifts.  And I love how we as the body of Christ are all given various gifts and as we work together we function real well to bring the love and light of Jesus to a hurting world.  I can even rejoice in this truth that we are not created the same, having the same gifts, and seeing the gifts God has given others should be a place of joy for His Kingdom not a place of depression or comparing.  Because I have been given gifts too, and so have you.  Going against our culture’s evil values of “greed, all out for me mindset” and taking God’s true word and acting upon it means joy.  For you.  For others.  And for our Father who see’s it all.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 292016
 

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 1:3-8

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.  2 Peter 3:18

 I am letting you in on the “real” from my week.  And I can tell you the “Best Christian Mother” awards have been given out elsewhere. Maybe it’s because on Monday my ability to hang in there for any amount of time with my daughter for the earth day bird feeder project was nonexistent.  Maybe it’s because on Tuesday my motivation to fold laundry was left back in my more “trying to be Martha” days.  It could be because on Wednesday the dinner was leftover leftover’s.  But it also might be the fact that on Thursday I spilt the coffee grounds all over the floor-twice-once in the morning, once in the evening. 

But Friday’s realization hit me harder than all the others.  I have SO felt my heavenly Father pressing me into talking to Him more in this season-I felt led to start prayer groups, have been praying with excitement, faith, and regularity regarding specific needs/people for our church, am taking time to stop the conversation with a friend who is stressed or needs guidance and pray for them then and there (no matter if it’s in the grocery store or at school) and have made efforts to include Jesus in my random thoughts and tasks, asking Him to “work out with me, cook with me, and clean with me”.  So I guess this is why the “condemnation/guilt” train of the enemy stayed longer than usual at the station of my mind and heart this week when I made this Friday’s “lack of parenting” realization.  My Friday doozy downer, whether I was too tired, lazy or whatever excuse could be used, was I had not been praying with my girls.  This “Power of a Praying Mom” hadn’t been intentional and disciplined to teach and rolemodel prayer (other than meal times) with her little’s.  So I thanked the Lord for the unexpected garage treasure Friday find of a flip and write notebook of nighttime prayers for children.  And I thanked Him for His grace as I knew tonight was the night to take on a new intentional habit of nighttime prayers with those He had entrusted to me.

I started my showing the flip and write book to my middle daughter.  And she took to it quickly.  She chose a prayer and we read it together.  Then she got to write her own prayer to Jesus (and you would have thought it was this five year olds birthday when I showed her it had a dry erase marker and eraser.)

We have been doing the flip and write prayer for a couple days now and I had another realization.  I came in thinking I had to teach my daughter’s how to pray and they ended up teaching me.  Below are the some of the prayers they wrote to God:

Day 1-You are good to me.

Day2-I love you.

Day 3-I want to be baptized in water.

Day 4-Help me not forget my (earth day) project.

Day 5-Thanks for giving me a break today (to play instead of doing the typical homework routine).

Oh the simplicity.  Oh how short.  Oh the faith.  Oh how “real”.  Oh the humility.  Oh how grateful.  Of these from the heart, whatever’s on the mind prayers.  And I know our heavenly Father is smiling.  When we follow a child like faith prayer model.

  • So whenever we receive good news this week may we shoot up a “you are good to me” prayer in the moment.
  • At random laundry folding moments or right when our feet hit the floor in the morning may we say “I love you” to Jesus.
  • May we make time to “be still and know that He is God”, inviting Him to wash us with His living water!
  • May we fix our eyes on Him saying “Help me”, when fear, anxiety and trouble begin to fill our minds and circumstances.
  • And may we continue to say “thank you Jesus” for specifics of the blessings in our lives.

In what circumstance do you need to take on some childlike faith and trust God instead of being overwhelmed and frustrated at the mess around you?

In what specific times of the day can you incorporate some 2 second prayers to God to include Him in your everyday tasks?

Are you growing in the knowledge, grace and love for God and if not, why not?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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