Jan 172017
 

 

Striving for the unattainable perfection of tomorrow is like a hampster running a wheel and going nowhere.  Fast.

I have a new grace filled, hope filled, peace filled picture as I fight for Jesus to take hold of me in my day rather than the anxiety which has plagued me in the past.  Visualize this clip:

“A little girl dressed in white, strolling on the beach with colored vibrancy from the Son/sun and blues, whites, and creams textured beneath.  She kicks up the sand, hand in hand with her heavenly Father.  He stoops down to be at her level.  And she is unaware she should have a care, because of the where-in which she has chosen to be”.

This is where I want to be.  Today.  And everyday.  On this ALL love, no expectations, only grace filled walk with my Father throughout the day.  Because I have struggled with anxiety in the past, I continue to rely on God to free me from this tendency to worry.  And because I am learning to walk in my “freedom beach walk with God”, I have a heart to pray for others in similar chains.  The Lord “puts in my path” others with my similar anxiety struggle and just this week I prayed for God to release His peace to guard the hearts and minds of 3 friends in my same boat.  So if you are in this pattern of guilt/worry/stress/anxiety hampster wheel, I.  Get.  You.  And would love to pray for you (send me an email or comment below my blessed sister).

Because sometimes, you need to stop the running to begin the thriving.

P.S.  For my friends with clinical diagnosis’ of depression and anxiety and bi polar and others, please hear this message with hope and not discouragement:  Do I believe we live in a fallen world with troubles and chemical/biological ailments that plague us?  Yes.  Do I believe we have a sovereign God who uses the wisdom and medicine of doctor’s as a part of His plan and purposes for us?  Yes.  Am I trying to say if you only do the below 3 steps what you struggle with will be gone forever? Not necessarily.  But I am saying we serve a God who is the God of all hope, a God who is faithful, and a God who is the ultimate healer.

 So Lord, today, meet my friends who have not been relieved of this biological struggle with anxiety.  Meet them in their frustration, questions, and fears in the unknown.  Thank you that you promise to never leave or forsake us.  You are the Omnipresent God, with me right now and with each of my Sister’s in Christ who are hurting right now.  Here’s the deal:  We are ready to be used by You, in all our given ailments and troubles, for.  Your.  Glory.  No matter what you choose to give or what you choose to take away.  Your.  Will.  Be.  Done.  And we praise Your Name today, because You are worthy of it.  Thank you for your true Word and Spirit which is THE Solid Rock we stand on in times of unknowns.  And we “press on to win the goal to which we are called heavenword in Christ Jesus.”  And today-we “fix our eyes on You, Jesus” for the next step we have in Your powerful Name.  Amen

3 “anxiety free/peace for me” steps with Jesus in 2017:

  1. “Your day, Your way” saying to start the day– before my feet hit the floor each morning this is my mental mantra.  Spending time in God’s Word, even if it is one verse, for 1 min before the “have to’s” begin WILL.  BEAR.  FRUIT-Lasting fruit, Kingdom fruit, lifegiving fruit, in which our God dictates the day’s happenings and we respond to His Spirit’s leading.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33
  2. REFUSE to RESUSE the worry thoughts of the enemy-When the “worry monster” begins to fill our thoughts, we say, “No way!”  Satan may be cunning and persistent, but he is more than predictable.  He tries the “same old negative, doubt filled, hopeless filled”/ areas we are weak in attacks to derail us from our “walk on the beach with God”.  WE.  CAN.  CHOOSE. what true, lifegiving thoughts we will think on today-Choose the “Way, truth and the life”/Jesus thoughts! We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 and …whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
  3. Recognize His Perfect Peace Doesn’t involve the “Being Perfect Piece”-Since we serve THE Prince of Peace, who gives to ALL believer’s freely, we need only recognize we WILL NOT find relief in looking to some “keeping up with the Jones’s” item of this world or “if I only”/comparing our bodies or personalities to someone else, or expectations for perfection in any given area.  Our identity is as a HIGHLY valued Daughter of the King and it is ONLY in receiving His “forever-like Christmas present” of peace amidst the worlds troubles which we find rest.  Pray “Jesus Your peace” in. the.  very.  moment.  you feel anxiety.  And then, “trust in the Lord with all your, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov 3:5) as He begins to bring healing and hope for your mind, body, and Spirit.  Get off the “hampster wheel” of anxiety which gets you nowhere and grab Your Father God’s all knowing/all loving “sand hand”, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34 and Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

Are you currently struggling with negative swirling thoughts or an inability to find rest and peace in the busyness of the day?  Our God wants to meet you and give you His peace, will you ask Him for it and ask another to pray for you?  

What in your life are you trying to control and it’s not working?  What can you let go of today to be able to let God be God and you practice a deepening trust in His timing and will?  (I would love to pray for you personally, but also know you are gettin’ prayed for sister, by me, whether you like it or not-“May His freedom, peace and grace be yours as you “beach walk” with your heavenly Father, today”.)

What area do you have high expectations, close to the need to be perfect in, and what is your process for handling when things are not “perfect”?  What new system can you implement to hear God’s true words of “therefore there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” and act upon this rather than the world’s, others or your own pressures you are striving for?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 082014
 

“And giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.  For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.”  Colossians 1:12-14

I began the run.  In the dark.  And I continued the run.  In the dark.  For an hour.  And this was not just slightly dark outside.  Dusk.  Or dark, but street lights all around.  No.  Not joking.  Pitch. Black.  And then here’s me.   With no other light than the dim glow from my phone. 

Alone.  Surrounded by darkness.  Unprepared.  Scary.  Dangerous.  All come to mind to describe the beginning of this run.

As I ran around my regular nature loop, continually turning my phone back on for the little light, I couldn’t think about the fact that I was alone.  My feet kept moving.  I couldn’t think about the slow, hesitant pace I was going due to fear of falling.  My feet kept moving.  I couldn’t think about the what seemed to be neverending darkness all around me.  My feet kept moving.

All I focused on.  Thought about.  With all my might.  Was my little light.  Keeping that light shining.  Keeping that light right in front of me.  All would be well if my little light didn’t go out.

It was the little light that kept my feet moving forward.  Helped me see the stick, rock and bump in the road.  Ushered me into the new day.  And in spite of the  surrounding front, behind, left and right sides of pitch darkness, it pierced through.

After I got back from my run, my family got ready and headed off to church.  I always am anxious to hear about what my girls learned about in their Sunday School time.  Can you guess what it was about?  And yes, I am sure you have an idea.  “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” was written on a glow stick bracelet as they walked out.

At this moment I had an overwhelming sense of God’s presence.  A thankfulness for the little light He had given me to run just hours earlier with.  A thankfulness for the little light I have inside of me, Jesus.  A thankfulness for His rescuing me from the dominion of darkness.

And my thankfulness turned to motivation.  To let my little light shine as I run the path He has set before me for today.  Others and myself have said, “There is no way the tiny, cell phone glow would make a difference in total darkness“, just like myself and others  say, “What difference will one smile make to the stranger?  What difference will giving away one clothing item to someone in need make?  What difference will loving an unkind person make?  What difference will saying I’m sorry make?  What difference will showing mercy when you were so wronged make?”  Well, it makes ALL the difference.

My little light showed how and where my feet should move along the path.  It also paved the way for anyone behind me.  So when we step out with our little lights of Jesus in this dark world, we end up seeing clearly the direction He has for us.  We stay on His narrow path.  We overcome Satan through Jesus’ Name.  We pull others out of darkness and into the Light.  Through our small selfless acts of love, generosity, compassion, and mercy, we bring the Kingdom of Light to this dark world.

So I have come to recognize Little Lights Do.  Make.  A. Difference.  You and I make a difference.  When we submit to God’s Word and be obedient to it.  When we say “Yes” to allowing Jesus, the Light of the World, guide our lives.  So will you join me today and act upon the Spirit’s leading, proclaiming, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 162014
 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8

I went on a run at my parents house earlier this week and I was asking God where He would have me put my time and energy this summer. “Run a marathon” came to mind.

This had to be God’s idea because there is no way I have the gifting, motivation, or need to run a marathon.  My dreamed up plans up to this point for the summer had consisted of sleeping in, going to a pool with the girls as much as possible, hit the community free lunches at the park, and have some good eats while watching Netflix in my comfy black arm chair.  I guess you could summarize my plans for the summer in one word “lazy”.

God’s word “marathon” and my word “lazy” were not seeming to gell nicely.  This is how life with the Lord seems to go.  He has a completely opposite idea of how I should spend my time.  (But I have to give Him credit, His “out there” ideas haven’t disappointed me once yet.)

My ongoing chat with God went something like this: “Sure, Lord, I have done all the race lengths before it, but my half marathon was a year ago and it was quite the booty woopin.  It is true though that running with You is a joy, but I am not sure I can do it or have the time to put into training for that length of a race!  (Also it cuts back on my eating bon bons on the couch time.)”

I pondered this marathon thing some more as I finished the run and came into my parent’s house.  I went into the kitchen and my Dad strolled in and plopped a magazine down in front of me. “Thought you might want to read this,” he said.  I picked it up and the headline read,

“Winner of the Boston Marathon gives tips for exercise and health”. Hmmmm. Coincidance? I think not.

My husband was in support of it. I bought a book and read up on the training schedule and I had enough time to train this summer. I emailed a marathon running friend about what would be the best one to do and asked if she thought I could do it, she said “The Portland Marathon is a great first one to do (so close to home!) And yes you could do it.” Check. Check. Check. All was a go.  (“Okay God, you win.”)

I realize I go through a similar cycle with the Lord every time He asks me to step out in faith. I get scared. I get a little uneasy about doing something I have never done before. I give Him the reasons this was not in my plan and why I am not qualified/equipped/smart enough/talented enough to do what He is asking of me. I ask Him to confirm and confirm again.

And every time He gently confirms through others, His Word, an inner peace, and/or other “coincidances” that this is THE way for me.

He quiets my heart and says, “It will be okay. Do not be afraid. I will help you. I will be with you and lead you.”

And I realize “Yes” is the only real option. I think back to the “Yes’s in the past and they have brought me more life, joy, peace and purpose than I could have ever known.  So I say “yes” to training to run a marathon this summer.  Expectant for how God will do a work in me.  Saying “yes” to Jesus is the only way to live.  It is living real life.

What “first” is the Lord calling you into this season?  Join me in training for a race this summer, or stepping out in a way that you believe God is directing you.  Be brave.  Be a faithful daughter.  Be ready.  Because good is up ahead!

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 012013
 

I COULDN’T TURN MY BACK FOR A SECOND.  Lucy (age 4) and Sadie (age 2) were playing in the fountain which paralleled a 5ft deep pool.  (The issue lies in the fact Lucy and Sadie do not possess any of the following: a knowledge of how to swim, a healthy fear of the water, or life vests.)

I told the girls the rule was to stay within the dark brown circle surrounding the fountain.  Beyond this circle was the unsafe zone;  in other words, too close to the pool for mom’s comfort.

Here was the pattern as I relax in my lounge chair: 

  1. One of the girls takes a step outside the safe zone.
  2. My muscles tense from head to toe.
  3. I whip up in a second to a sitting position.
  4. I yell, “Now you know that’s past the brown circle!”
  5. I hold my breath and pray curiosity doesn’t lead them to completely rebel and canon ball into the enticing body of water.
  6. I let out an audible sigh of relief when they reenter the safety zone.
  7. I lay back down again.

This cycle must have happened over 15 times.  15 times of disobedience.  15 times of continuing to care for them and keep them safe.  The key was to never turn my back on them.  Not for a moment could I read a book.  Not for a moment could I look away to talk to someone.  My eyes were fixed on my girls.

ForsakeTo turn your back on.  To abandon.  Quit.  Leave entirely.

What if my husband leaves me?  Or my mother dies? What if when my children are grown, they move far far away?  What if my kindred spirit friend and I have a falling out because of my sinThese are my fears.  Loved ones abandoning me.  Turning their back on me.

Just like I never turned my back on my girls at the pool, our God is the ONLY one who will NEVER turn His back on us.  As believer’s in Jesus, we can have confidence in an ever present God.  Friends and family will move and pass away, but God will always be there.  No matter how many times we mess up and go outside the “safety zone”, God will be there.

As I write this post on Good Friday, I am reminded of Jesus’ death on the cross;  the crazy love act which made it so God will never forsake me.  Jesus was forsaken by God so we never have to be.  (Mt 27:46)

Come to the fountain today.  Play in freedom and grace.  Rest in the promise that He will care for you and watch over you.  No matter what difficulties surround you today,  be encouraged my sister’s with this song of hope.  Knowing not for a moment did He or will He forsake you.  He is right by your side, wherever you go.

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you;  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid;  do not be discouraged.  Deut. 31:8

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 052012
 

HAVE YOU EVER RECEIVED A PRESENT THAT YOU WEREN’T EXPECTING, BUT NOW CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT? LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE PRESENT THAT ROCKED MY WORLD.

We have this ongoing debate in my family.  To have a Christmas wish list or to not.

  • 1st side: Everyone should type out what they need/want and  email it to the rest of the family.  It’s efficient, and everyone gets what they ask for.
  • 2nd side:  Everyone should use their creativity and then lovingly consider what to purchase each family member.  This is fun, has the element of surprise, and shows others you care.  (Did I give away which side I’m on yet?)

My favorite holiday by far is Christmas.  Celebrating the gift of Jesus’ birth.  Celebrating the gift of family and friends.  Giving presents to represent these gifts. There is much joy to be had in the giving.  I love the whole creative process of finding the perfect gift:

  • First, the Christmas “brainstorming dinner session” between my husband and I.
  • Second, the lightbulb moment that occurs when one of us comes up with “the one” for that particular family member.
  • Third, the buying of the gift…..online or on Black Friday. (Love the convenience of online.  However, I also love the rush of the 5am shopping surrounded by crowds of people.  I know, seek counseling.)

Unfortunately, if you asked me to tell you all the gifts I received last Christmas, I wouldn’t be able to.  But there are just some gifts that can’t be forgotten.

It was 2 years ago that I opened an early gift from my grandmother.  My thoughts were “Hmmm….. another blender.” Of course I responded with a big smile and said, “Thank you so much!”  (Don’t tell me you have never faked excitement for a gift.)

Grandma replied, “So you have heard of a Vitamix!” She must have read my mind, “This is not just any blender.  Try it once, and you will use it all the time.”  Boy was she right.

At the time, my baby girl needed all meals at soup consistency.  Done.  I went through the entire cookbook in a day making everything from soups to smoothies.  Done.  Quick, easy, no hassle blending.  Done. I never knew this Vitamix existed and now I couldn’t imagine life without it.

Just like I didn’t recognize there was a different way to blend, we also may not recognize there is a different way to live.  This different way to live is a life of Shalom or peace.  A life where everything is as it is supposed to be.  The way God originally purposed us to live.

We might be “blending” in our own strength/control.  We consider it is normal to live stressed and fearful all the time.  We are distant from God.  We are clueless that there is another way to be “blending”.

The foundation of our lives is peace with God.  He desires for us to experience life to the fullest through His gift of peace.  We just need to take the next step to receive it.

  • A VERSE TO PONDER    John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

How are you receiving God’s peace?  If not God’s peace, what are you relying on from day to day?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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