Jul 012014
 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” Hebrews 12:1-2a (ESV)

It’s been almost 3 weeks of running with Jesus. Three 30 min runs each week plus the “big run” (or the “too long” run as I like to call it). That adds up to 25 hours and 40 minutes of talk time.

That’s right. No I pod of music to listen to. No books on cd. No running buddy to chat with. It’s some serious quality time of viewing creation and talking with God.

I won’t say it’s been easy breezy. Because I was pretty sure I was going to pass out on the 10th hill of my “too long” 8 mile run. Felt the regret of doing too many calf raises on a cross training day. Laid down my pride and walked when my strength was gone. And have wondered countless times how I am going to really pull this marathon off in the end.

But God has been good to me. I love that in all my doubt. Fears. Weak parts. He gives strength. Peace. And purpose.

In one of our many conversations within the 25 plus hours I asked God, “What am I running for? I feel I am running in vain. Sure, it will be cool to say I have completed a marathon, but because You laid this on my heart, I believe there is more to be gained.” I thought of all the “Run to fight diabetes”, “Run for cancer research”, and the list goes on and on. People are running. Overcoming. And finishing with purpose. “I want to run with purpose.” I said. “And not just any purpose, but Your purpose.”

The phrase “Run fast” came to mind. It was definitely not the word fast having to do with speed (getting one foot in front of the other in a bouncing rhythm is about all I shoot for.) It was a biblical fast.

Go with me for a minute to understand this challenging word fast. Unger’s Bible Dictionary explains the word fast is from the Greek word nesteuo, meaning “to abstain.” Like in the book of Esther, the Jews were called to abstain from food and drink in a time of spiritual trial (Esther:4:16).

The Bible gives examples of God’s people combining fasting and prayer. King David wrote that he “humbled [him]self with fasting” (Psalm:35:13). This spiritual discipline was used and is still used to draw God’s children into deeper communion and committment to Him. It reminds us we are not self sufficient. We can be pulled to other earthly things to satisfy instead of the true source of life. Jesus.

Through the course of multiple 30 minute runs, this “Run fast” phrase was on repeat in my mind. This seemed to be God’s answer to my question, “What is my purpose for running?” I could run to “abstain from”_____, praying for the purpose of________.

I began to contemplate what I would be abstaining from: A conversation came to mind. A was talking with an acquaintance about how it is difficult to live as a mother without going into stressing, worrying mode. She said, “I know, but that is the reality of life. There is no way to live without worry and anxiety.” My heart sank. Mainly because I believe so many of us women can fall into this trap of anxiety, thinking there is no other way. But I trust God and His Word and the truth is that we do not have to live with anxiety. He desires different for His daughter’s.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 (NIV)

I wanted to live differently than the “reality” of the world’s ways. As I run, I am praying through any area of anxiety that comes to mind. I am abstaining from anxiety/worry, for the purpose of gaining peace. I am on a Run Fast. I am praying for myself and all of my sister’s in Christ as I train for and run this marathon, that there would be a breakthrough of the bondage of worry.

Join me in a Run Fast as you train for a race this summer!  More details to come my friends.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 142014
 

Visions of family BBQ’s for summer danced in my head.  I had been gifted a patio table and chairs for my birthday/Mother’s day.  I was giddy.  We set it up (who am I kidding, my husband assembled and put it up) on our postage stamp slab of cement and it literally took up the whole thing.  But I am okay with that.

The only reality which kept me from living in summer bliss was our eye sore backyard.  No, I am not one of those women who live for, love, and find therapy in doing yard work.  I absolutely wish I had this gift.  Unfortunately most of my passion goes out the window when what I invest in dies immediately.

So I have come to detest even the thought of working in the yard.  But I have come to grips with the fact that I must get it done.  Our backyard weeds (more like large bushes/trees) had reached an all time crazy.  Today was the day.  To cut them out.  Cut them out so only what was supposed to be would remain.

I had my weeding gloves, large shovel, small shovel, bottle of water, grubby clothes, the girls in their “quiet times” and a willing spirit.  I was ready for the daunting ahead of me.  I decided to start in the middle and work my way to the right side.  As much as I cannot stand working and not finishing a project I recognized my non super woman status.  Finishing half today would be more than an accomplishment.

As I weeded my little heart out, christian music blasting, sun shining, dirt flowing, I heard a rustling inside.  At my house, when you hear a rustling it definitely involves the girls.  I couldn’t stop my productivity jive I had goin so I yelled loudly, “Girls, what are you doing?”  (Some of the scariest words I say on a regular basis.)  Silence.  (The scariest response I could have gotten.)

Of course the good mother thing to do would be to go in at this point.  But seriously, If I could only push through, cut through a foot more of weeds I would be done!  And being done trumps all.  (I recognize I have a disorder and I am working through this “inability to stop”/embrace interruptions with the Lord.)

So I finished my final patch of pain and hardwork.  And it felt good.  Real good.  I had found absolute freedom and joy in cutting out the ugly.

Next order of business was to check on the girls.  All seemed well inside.  No colored furniture.  Check.  Couch forts passed safety codes.  Check.  No food or drinks spilled all over the living room.  Check.  No candy to be seen.  Check.  My girls smiled at me as if to say, “But you are missing something Mom.”  It is a smile I have come to know well.

As I looked at these sweet, seemingly innocent toddlers I was struck out of the corner of my eye by what looked like doll hair on the kitchen floor.  I picked it up.  With a little combination of common sense, mother’s intuition, and God’s grace I asked, “Is this from a dolls head or your head?”  My oldest looked down, then up, then down again and replied, “Our hair.”

I kept my cool, so God was gracious to me again, and said, “Do you think cutting out your sister’s hair is an ok thing to do?”  Both responded with a quiet “No”.  We proceeded with the repenting for wrong process and time outs.

As I thought through this day of “cutting out weeds” mixed with “cutting out hair” I recognized an interesting distinction.  I didn’t want to cut out weeds, yet it was the right, necessary choice in order to have enjoyment of our yard.  My girls on the other hand, wanted to cut out each others’ hair, and yet it a wrong choice which only ended poorly.

Spiritually speaking, I believe I can be like my girls at times.  I want to “cut out” many things in my life like waking up early to be with the Lord and read His Word when I am tired.  Or playing dolls with my girls.  Or helping my parents clean their garage.  Or exercising.  But just as “cutting out” the hair ended poorly for the girls, so cutting out what God is calling me to in service, obedience and love for Him will end poorly.

God at times asks us to “cut out” the weeds in our life of addictions, and disobedience to His Voice and Word in order for us to experience a beautiful “yard”.  A life of enjoyment and freedom is found in cutting out the areas of sin in our life.  Let’s trust God today with our “weeds” and even though we don’t want to, allow His gentle Spirit to prune and weed us to be more like His Son.  And it will be good.  Real good.

What keeps you from doing yardwork?  What keeps you from cutting out sin in your life?

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.'”  John 15:1-5 (NIV)

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 142014
 

I was going alone.  And going alone is not something I do well.  At all.  I remember in my childhood informing my mom I “must have a buddy” to attend CanyonView summer camp.  It felt only natural to participate in soly group sports in high school.  I make sure to ask around to see who I would be able to connect with when joining a new women’s Bible study.  But sometimes our God calls us into the unknown.  And to do it alone.  This was this weeks Year of the Squirrel revelation.

I walked out the strange, uncomfortable and unexpected last weekend in response to a nudge from Jesus.  I had no expectations for how God would work as He lead me to attend my first writer’s conference.  I had all expectation God would do a work.  A good, good work.  Because when He leads us into the great unknown, there is fruit and there is joy.  Here is the proof:

Confession:  I am clutsy in nature, and even more clutsy when responding “Yes” to the Spirit’s leading.  But thankfully God knows each of our weaknesses and strengths and still invites all of His Daughter’s to participate with Him in His good work.  It was the last session of the writer’s conference.  I felt an impressing upon my heart to go up to one of the speakers and encourage her.

Confession #2:  I initially tend to argue with the Lord when He is prompting me to go and do.  I had a mental debate with Him,  “I mean, for Pete’s sake Lord, it is inconvenient timing and an inconvenient situation.  It is the middle of corporate worship, she is on the extreme opposite side of the room and everyone will look at me weirdly wondering why I am interrupting the session.”  He didn’t seem to go with my logical argument.  And…back to embracing the strange in my Year of the Squirrel, I said  “Yes” to God.

You might want to plug your ears for this next part.  Because here is where my clutsy approach happens.  I nearly tripped over half of the people as I got to where she was standing and worshiping and said, “Hi”.  (Completely awkwardly, and with no follow up.)  She graciously said, “Do I know you?”  I said, “No.” (Once again, awkwardly.)  Then I blurted out over the music, “I am Jillian”.  She waited for more.  And so I encouraged her with the one thing that was on repeat in my mind, “I so appreciate your courage to share out of what the Spirit directed you to say, not out of what you could say.” (being a published author and all).

She replied, “Thank you so much, I needed that.  I speak in 5 minutes again to the large group, would you pray for me.”  So we did.  It was a squirrel sighting my friends.  A time when the Lord led, I strangely, clumsily followed, and He showed up to bless.  All I can say is Wow.  What an honor it is to be apart of seeing our God work.  What a joy to see the intense love our Father has for His daughter’s.  What fruit happens when we are connect to THE VINE, Jesus.

Thank you Lord for pushing me to go alone.  But I see now that I am never alone. Because you are always with me.  And He is always with you too.  Say “Yes” to the Spirit’s strange nudge to you today my friends.  And I am expectant for the good work, joy and fruit that is to come.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deut 31:6

In what ways have you had to “go alone”?

 

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 242014
 

Nothing like writing a blog post in an airport.  I am having to use all my self control to not look up at the ding dings, coughs, baby screams, and loud speaker announcements.  It also goes against everything in me to not people watch (As I write this I look up to see a power walker smile as he passes me wearing a red, white and blue  oversized eagle tie.  Such strange people, right?).  As I am surrounded by strange, I believe this is only a small taste of the strange I will encounter this year.  Here’s how my 2014 began:

I was on my way to lead worship at our Sunday morning service when a squirrel ran in front of my car.  I did the humane thing and swerved while also trying not to kill myself and other drivers on the road.  It was as if the squirrel was taunting me saying, “Take my life!”  Strange.

I had to drive back to my house to pick up the fam after the 1st worship service.  In the three minute drive, two squirrels darted in front of my car with the same suicide mission of “Take my life!”  I also missed them.  Barely.  Strange.

On my third three minute drive of the morning, with my whole family in tow, no joke, three squirrels darted in front of the car.  My husband thought it was fairly normal, I knew this was too strange to not think about again.

Later in the week on one of my alone time/God time runs I asked God, “So what was with the squirrels? That was pretty strange.”  I felt the Lord impress upon me that this was going to be a strange year.  A year of continuing to submit to His will over my control and comfort.  A year of saying, “Take my life!”  Over and over again when my need to have things my way gets in the way of His way.

So I have dubbed this year, 2014, “The year of the Squirrel”.  Ready to embrace the strange the Lord brings my way.  Ready to be pushed out of my comfort zone for the sake of the Kingdom.  To say, “Take my life”, as I run in front of all obstacles.  To accept that others will not agree and look at me funny as I respond to the Lord in obedience.  I wonder if you will join me in praying for this upcoming year:

“Lord, take my life and let it be ALL for you.  May you expand my territory.  Give me a humble, servant heart.  Use my giftings for your glory.  Give me courage as I respond in obedience to the “strange” you bring my way.  And not let what other people will think drive my actions.  Confirm your leading as I dig into your Word of life.  Fill me with your spirit which is not about timidity, but power, love and self discipline.  Grow me in love for you and others today.  Tomorrow.  And in this, “year of the squirrel”.”

Philippians 1:21-25 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…”

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 102013
 

MY DAUGHTER LUCY RODE A BIKE FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY.  WOW.  TALK ABOUT A NEW EXPERIENCE.  FOR US BOTH. 

I never knew being a mom could have such joy filled moments.  My past cheerleader self emerged from my inmost being.  My face held an unchanging ear to ear grin as I watched Lucy peddle without my hand holding the back seat.  The rush was unreal.  The moment was pure heaven. (The picture doesn’t truly catch Lucy’s hour of joy riding because unfortunately my prime timing to do the only photo was after she fell.)

Don’t get me wrong, I was terrified to let her go.  And her continual panicked moan of, “Aaaaa, aaaaa, aaaaa” told me she felt the same. But we both knew letting go was inevitable in order to embrace this new experience.

Just like I had to let go of Lucy’s seat in order for us to experience her riding a bike on her own, sometimes God says it is time to let go of something in order to embrace the new plan He has for you.  The new plan comes with unknowns, and is scary at first.  There is a mourning of the old way of doing things.

We panic just as Lucy did with an, “Aaaa, aaaa, aaaaa” feeling we aren’t ready.  We don’t have the strength, ability, or confidence.  We question God’s purpose as the Spirit leads us to uncharted territory.  But this is living life by faith.  Letting go of the seat of past ways, comfort, control, and pride.  And embracing God’s new bike riding experience for us!

This theme of “new” has been on my heart and mind for the past month.  God has been preparing me for the upcoming changes with SOP (Standing on Peace).

Although it is difficult to say goodbye to the three amazing women who poured their hearts into this ministry over the past year (And I am excited for the good, good, plans He has for them), God began to give me new, specific vision for SOP.

He has given me a new heart and passion for you.  A deep desire for us as sister’s in Christ to live in wholeness; in our mind, body, Spirit and as mother’s.  And out of this desire, write SOP Devotionals to encourage and give us peace in each of the above areas. (Dear Father, Dear Daughter Devotional: Summer Psalms starting one week from tomorrow!  More details to come.  I am overjoyed to begin this journey of faith with you.)

Here is my new commitment to you, my SOP sister’s.  I, Jillian Willis, commit to:

  • Pray for you daily.  I always love to get prayer requests through my email and I WILL pray for them!
  • Be your friend.  I will hurt when you hurt and cheer you on in your blessings and victories.
  • Write only what the Spirit leads me to write.  As I seek God in prayer for each post, I believe He will provide a timely, relevant word each of us.
  • Embrace.   Acknowledge my weaknesses, while embracing “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • Read the Bible daily.
  • Be real with you.  Sharing about my goods, bads, and ugly’s as a mother, wife, and daughter of God.  I celebrate your unique giftings, as I recognize I have my own.  And I will not be weighed down by comparison and discontentment. But understand I am free to fully be who God created me to be, knowing each of us serves a specific purpose in the body of Christ and we can help one another.

We serve a God who is constantly at work and is always doing something new.

  • Eph 4:23-24 says “To be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
  • Isa 43:18-19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it spring up; do you not perceive it?”

I wonder what new things God is doing in your life?  Maybe He wants to give you a new relationship, ministry, habit of reading His Word daily, attitude, perspective, contentment in your situation, clarity for living simply and with margin, hope for your future, freedom from sin and addiction, courage to act on the Spirit’s promptings, time to talk with Him in prayer daily?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 032013
 

I KNEW I WOULD HAVE SOME SERIOUS TIME TO KILL ON MY 9 HOUR FLIGHT ONE WAY (WITHOUT KIDS) A COUPLE WEEKS AGO.  I prayed the night before the flight, as well as the morning of, that the Lord would give me eyes to see and ears to hear if someone on the plane needed a touch from Him.

I was ready for the unbelieving teenager who didn’t have an earthly father and longed to experience unconditional love.  I was ready for the gray haired woman who held on to numerous wounds from “so called Christians”.  I was ready.  I was prayed up and expectant for who and what God would bring on my travel day.

I shouldn’t be surprised when God has a different plan for me.  I had no one sitting next me on the way there and the way back.  Lord, but I thought you would have me ministering to someone?  What now?  It was as if He gently whispered,

Take this time to be with Me.

A typical day with my toddler girls (does this actually exist?) allows me to have 30 minutes or so in the Word and in prayer (during their nap/quiet time).  So this extended time on the plane was an unexpected blessing.

I read in the Word.  I read Richard Foster’s, “Celebration of Discipline” in full (If you don’t have a book for the summer and haven’t read this book, it will challenge and inspire you!)

The Lord impressed upon my heart a word and scriptures to include in an upcoming talk I felt nervous and inadequate to do.  I furiously wrote down pages of notes.

I prayed about His direction for this blog.  I prayed for my kids, my husband, you, and what activities He would have me be in this upcoming year.

Time alone with my Father was something I needed, but didn’t know it.  Time alone with Him was productive, powerful and peace giving.

A Father speaks to you, His daughter:

I desire your time.  Time to speak to you through the Bible.  Time to take away the worries on your heart and mind. Time to talk real. Providing real comfort in your sadness.  Real patience in your anger.  Real forgiveness from your sin.  Real hope in your now.  Real freedom from past hurts.  Real clarity and wisdom in your questions. And then, real filling of your deep soul.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  He reveals deep and hidden things.  I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers;  You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you.” Daniel 2:20-21b,22a,23a

What sacrifice could be made in order to have daily alone time with Jesus?  What worries are heavy on your mind and heart and need to be lifted?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 272013
 

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN MY GIRLS’ (LUCY IS 4 YEARS AND SADIE IS 2 YEARS) FIRST GO AT SWIMMING LESSONS.  LORD HELP US ALL!

I had forgotten the hard work and bravery learning to swim demands. I also didn’t anticipate the clenching-the-chair terror that comes from being a mother watching your child learn to swim.

Yesterday at the swim lesson, with a little song of “Ring Around the Rosie”, Sadie put her head all the way under the water!  And she came up with all smiles.

I let a deep breath in.  And then slowly out.

Next, it was Lucy’s turn.  Her face was shear terror, knowing what would be asked of her.  She stepped as close to the wall as she could without getting out of the pool.

The teacher’s arms reached out to her.  She shook her head and said, “I don’t want to do that!” about 10 times.

The teacher tried numerous tactics: comforting words, children’s songs, and various games.  All failed.  The last resort was used.  The force job.  The teacher grabbed Lucy’s kicking and crying body and put her under.

I’m pretty sure I scraped some of the plastic off my chair from anxiety.

But then the miracle happened.  When Lucy came up out of the water, she had the biggest smile on her face.  She had done it.  She had braved the unknown. She had conquered her fear. And there was pure joy in it.

Over the past couple years I have felt like my girls.  Like I am learning to swim for the first time.

I have been saying yes to God’s work and it has involved much new territory: running, writing, starting this blog, speaking, and leading women’s retreat worship.

All new.  All hard work.  All about learning.  All about conquering fears.  And in response to the Spirit’s voice I said as Lucy said, “I don’t want to do that!”  I went “under water” kicking and screaming.

But through this, I have found more joy and purpose than I have ever known before.  I wouldn’t live life any other way.

The Lord has brought me strength and comfort in each of these scary steps of faith with the scripture, “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” Zec. 4:6

You see, we serve a God who is constantly at work and is always doing something new.

I wonder what new things He is doing in your life?  New relationships, new ministry, new habit of reading His Word daily or talking with Him in prayer daily.

Isa 43:18-19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

The question is, are we taking regular time alone with God in order to listen to Him?  Can He get our attention amidst our busyness?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 202013
 

I WAS ON A TRIP WITH MY HUSBAND AND A GROUP OF 28 COLLEGE STUDENTS.  One of the students had the idea to take pictures in a museum, mimicking the posture and face of each large statue.  A historical king holding his sceptor, an Egyptian mummy, Mary and baby Jesus, and Greek goddess were a few.

I laughed so hard I peed my pants a little.  I felt like a child again.  There was freedom in simply having fun.

Immediately, a particular car ride (just before I left for this trip) came to mind.

I try to pray in the car for my girls on our way to preschool, or other activities.  My usual prayer goes something like, “Lord, please help Lucy and Sadie to learn about You, to be kind and loving to others, and to make some new friends.”

I recently asked them if they had anything they wanted prayer for, my oldest daughter Lucy spoke right up.  She said, “Pray that I would have fun!”

Wow.  The fun factor was not on my radar.  Sometimes I have difficulty being in the moment.  Not thinking 50 steps ahead.  Not being terribly serious and task.  Not living in freedom and joy.

As a mother, some of my greatest joys have been to see my girls laughing and enjoying life.  Laughing so hard as I spin them on the tire swing.  Laughing so hard with our game, “big bear is gonna get ya”.

A friend recently handed me the photo on this post titled, “Jesus Laughing”.  She said “Jesus loves to see you having fun.  He laughs with you.”  It makes sense that Jesus feels the same way about His children enjoying life that I do about my children having fun.  But for some reason, this was a new concept to me.

It brought happy, comforting tears to my eyes to visualize my Savior not so seriously.  Freedom and happiness flooded my soul.

Our Father says:

I desire overflowing joy for you, my child.  I love to watch you having fun.  I recognize you have many tasks to get done.  But make sure to take time to enjoy moments with others.  Freedom in Me means allowing yourself to let go of the serious face.  Freedom in Me means laughing and dancing and being silly as a child.  I created you to live with as carefree spirit.  Full of the excitement and adventure I have purposed for you.  Not bound by negativity and troubles of this world.  Rejoice with me, my child, as I rejoice over you.

“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”  Isaiah 62:5b

“The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing.”  Psalms 2:4jb

When was the last time you belly laughed?  What could you plan this week for the sole purpose of having fun?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 132013
 

IT HAD BEEN YEARS SINCE I DROVE DOWN HWY 99 TO MY HIGH SCHOOL STOMPING GROUNDS.  I was on my way to pick up a forever friend for a girls weekend.  It had been too long since we had the opportunity to deeply connect.  Kids, activities, ministry, and distance have a way of causing years to pass quickly.

The scenery around me ministered to my soul.  I turned the dial down on Chris Tomlin’s song, “How Great is our God”, and began to sing my own.  A new song.

I thanked God for the green, green trees.  I thanked Him for the blessing of forever friendships.  High School lockers, choir concerts, mentor coaches, cheerleading competitions, and science fairs.

I sat with memories of the past.  But not all the memories were positive.

Failure to be in the “cool crowd”.  Failure to make the team.  Failure to step out and love the least of these.  Failure to see myself as beautifully created by God.  Failure to see the hurt inflicted by my sarcastic words and gossiping.   Failure to stop abusive relationships.

As I wallowed in this regretful place, I noticed the turn to my high school.  There were so many new houses, trees, flowers and signs.  I almost missed the high school because I didn’t recognize the new surroundings.

But not all of the terrain had changed.  I smiled as I drove by the massive cement building which held my indoor softball practices.  Where I tried over and over to get that drop ball pitch.  With mounting feelings of anxiousness, knowing the first game was tomorrow.

Then I sensed God whisper to me, “I make ALL things new.  Not just some, but ALL.”

God doesn’t make some things new and leave some old, like my high school stomping grounds.

He has taken my past failures and sin.  He has torn down ALL these “old buildings”, and has replaced them with “new buildings”.  Which are built on the firm foundation of Christ.  New buildings spring up all over as Christ lives in me.  “New buildings” are the fruits of the Spirit in my life.

A Father’s letter to His daughter:

I am a God who is all about new.  I am doing a new work in you and in the world around you.  You are new in your mind, heart, attitude, and actions. 

You may have a tendency to be drawn to respond out of what was successful or beneficial in the past.  To rely on human tradition and expertise. 

Throw out expectations of how things have been and how they should be.  Get rid of what you know and rely solely on Me to guide and equip you.  Be ready to act out of your weak area’s.  Humble yourself and respond in obedience. 

You WILL see fruit when you are connected to me.  I WILL be glorified in my ability to move the Kingdom in ways you find peculiar.  

Get ready to learn.  I am a unique God and My ways are unique. 

Trust me.  As I  fulfill the purpose I have for you.  Trust me.  As I build a new Kingdom.  Trust me.  In new ways. 

Now walk, my daughter, in courage and strength.  As we embark on a new journey together.

 You make ALL things new.

Rev 21:5a “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make ALL things new'”. (Bold added)

2 Cor 5:17 “He is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!”

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 062013
 

“It really is too bad that some women get so moody and mean for one week each month.  Thank the Lord I don’t have that problem”, were my thoughts up until recently. Then my pride fell over my head like a ton of bricks.

It was that time again.  My ears heard my ugliness clearly.  My blatantly critical, angry, and short replies.  Unfortunately, my daughters had to succumb to my morning madness.

Lucy repeatedly asked for fruit snacks, my replies being,  “Why do you keep asking that?  I said no!”  Sadie tugged on me to come see her pillow rocket ship, “Don’t pull on me.  IN A MINUTE!”  Impatience at its finest.

My husband got a wonderful greeting as I yelled upstairs, “Do you think I could get some help?  I can’t do it all!”  When he didn’t come immediately I added, “Did you hear me?  What exactly are you doing?”

As I returned to browsing Facebook updates, I felt remorse for my unkind words.  But I was like an angry volcano.  The lava bubbling within me was ready to erupt on the next poor soul who dared approach me.

What could I do?  Everything within me screamed to get out of the house!  Burn off some steam.  So I did.

I was supposed to meet a friend for a play date, but instead said,  I will be late.  Due to my inability to function.  Trust me.  You don’t want to be around me right now.

I carouled the girls into the stroller, buckled them up and was off to my regular routine.  But as soon as I stepped out, a fierce wind pushed against me and my stroller.

It was a battle to even go walking speed.  The wind pushed.  I fell back.  I leaned my body forward and kept moving.  I covered small amounts of ground at a time, but eventually finished.

I didn’t break any time records.  But I didn’t give up.  And I am better because of it.

If I we were on a covert mission to be discrete, I could say to you, “I had difficulty “Pushing My Stroller” last week”, and we could smile understanding it was that time again.

Sometimes it’s easier to not try.  To allow the emotions to overtake me.  Or continue to excuse my behavior because I am a slave to my hormones.

The fierce “wind” of anger, is not impossible to overcome.  But I have to fight it.  Consistently.

Only with the Spirit’s help can I practice self-control, speaking kindly and respsonding patiently.  But I am not perfect.  The “wind” pushes me back and I yell at my husband and kids.

I want to push against the “wind” of anger.  I know with the help of the Spirit I can be victorious.  Not necessarily perfect.  But willing to say “I’m sorry” when the “wind” pushes me backwards.  Willing to be in the Word and offer up regular prayer for help to fight these feelings.  Prioritizing exercise to burn off some steam.

Not giving up, but giving in to responding differently.  To a new way of living.  “Pushing My Stroller” is an area of weakness that draws me to the One who gives miraculous strength.

“In your anger do not sin.” Ps 4:4

Have you had a difficult week of “Pushing Your Stroller?”  Will you ask for God’s help to fight the “wind” of anger in order to practice self control, patience and kindness? 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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