Nov 052014
 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Phil 4:11-13

Just as I finished running for five hours and crossed the marathon finish line I was taken through the gauntlet of food vendors and shirt and medal pick up spots.  All I had to do was walk through it.  But my legs were not working well.  I literally looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dam as I maneuvered through each booth.  “But I just ran a marathon,” I thought to myself, “Why is the walking part afterward such so much of a challenge.  It’s JUST WALKING!”

I barely made the walk through before I met my family and quickly stated I needed their help.  I put my arms around my adopted daughter on one side and my husband on the other and I put most my weight on them as they took me to the car.  Because my legs couldn’t transition to the walk after the run.

One may say the mountain I just climbed was beyond my own ability.  And they would be right.  It is only through His strength that I overcame the mountain.  Glory to God for His work in me to accomplish what I believed to be impossible.  And glory to God for giving us assignments that are so beyond us that we end up living beyond ourselves.

This mountain assignment to run a marathon from God was not easy.  Not perfectly carried out.  Not free from spiritual, mental and emotional attacks.  But it was one thing.  Radiant. Radiant because the journey to the top is the greatest adventure beyond anything you could put together on your own.  It is mixed with unexpected hiccups, but also crazy miracles.  It is an adventure and ride like none other.  Boredom is not remotely close to your mind and heart as you are so focused on the enormous task before you.

But where I sit today is in the state after the mountain top has been reached.  The four months of training had consumed much time, energy, and focus.  But the battle is over.  The self discipline, learning new skills, relying on God for knowledge and strength and watching it all unfold is over.  And the “What now?” pulse is running through my veins.  I am left at the bottom of having climbed what felt to be this huge mountain with God and  I am feeling a bit ansy.  I find myself ready to do and unable to sit.  rest. be.  I am looking and longing for more.  My body, heart, and mind are the opposite of on a high.  My inner thoughts go,  “How could anything get better than this?  Maybe this was my big purpose God had for me and now it’s just coasting through the rest of my life.  Maybe I can kiss the rush of abundant life with Jesus goodbye.  Because I can’t see what is next.”

A Daughter’s prayer of longing:

Where do I go Lord after the mountaintop?  Help me settle in with you and learn to walk. with. you. for. the. next. step.  Be my gentle Shepherd that leads me up the mountain, down the mountain, and on the flat ground after the mountain.  Teach me what it means to walk in the realness of life with you.  Experiencing rejoicing, pain, overcoming, and aftermath.  Content to be still.  If this is what you are asking of me today.  Not living for the high of following You.  Just.  following.  You.  For Your love and purposes for me are something I can stand firmly on.   I am  privileged to be called Your daughter.  May I be found faithful to You in all this world brings my way.  And may I be faithful to You as I trust in Your ways, not my own.

A Father God’s response of fulfilling:

I am a God of more.  Your small feeling of radiance doesn’t compare with what I have planned for you up ahead.  There is a lot more where that came from.  I am not a God who leaves.  I am not a God who gives up on you.  I am relentless to love you unconditionally.  I am always ready to keep pouring out abundant life.  Abundant life happens when you are connected to Me, the Vine.  But recognize this life is never in your plan.  Timing.  Or expected strength.   Let go of looking for that next assignment I have for you.  Let Me take care of the details and strategy.  My ways will never be your ways.  My time will never be your time.  There will be highs and lows and flat areas we walk on together in this life.  But it is not about what elevation you are currently standing on.  It is about one thing.  Fixing your eyes on Me. constantly. Trust Me.  I am a God who is doing a work even in the “down time” of life.   Will you let go and release cares, worries, emotions, expectations?  Will you stop striving to earn and do and go?  Instead allow My perfect peace to resonate in your deep soul.  Rest. Refresh.  Be.  In Me.  Today.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 022014
 

“A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.”  Ecclesiastes 3:3-5

Surreal.  Surprised.  Sad.  Is the state of my soul today.  It is my first.  Time I have gone down this road.  Realization this “new” is crashing down on me whether I like it or not.  Born baby girl going off to big girl Kindergarten.  And I am undone.”

“Firsts” have a way of beckoning us to the days of yesterday.  I remember all my baby girl’s “firsts”:

Seeing her tiny self for the first time and having a one track mind.  And actually yelling my one track mind to the nurses, husband, and mother, “She has dimples!”.

Cheering on her belly laying, giraffe chewing self to take a risk and roll.  Over.

Ever so carefully sliding my fingers out of her tiny ones and being filled with an immediate ecstatic body rush as her right foot takes a step.  Then her left.  Then her right again.  All on her own.

(And I am absolutely fighting back, no, streaming down tears as I write this-Kind of like when I watch ANY episode of “Little House on the Prairie” or truthfully any commercial involving a family playing together-I know, don’t judge me.  I have what I like to call, the “Gift of Tears”.)

No longer having her reliant on me for every meal (On the other hand, still reliant on me for every meal.  Just a change in presentation.)  Watching each hilarious expression for peas.  Pears.  Prunes.  The mess was every minute worth the entertainment of my bald, Bumbo sitting baby.

What I thought would be weeks of potty training turned out to be.  Well-weeks of potty training.  But oh how it made the joy so much sweeter when somewhere in the midst of my maxed patience for washing wet underwear, the rainbow stickers motivated her enough to care.  And using the toilet on a regular basis became our “new normal”.

Laughing at her silly love for words.  Said in different forms.  Combined with others to equal complete nonsense.  Which in turn equaled nonstop fun for the whole fam.

Realizing I had an “Art girl” when the only thing to stop her from crying every time I would leave her at Bible study was to mention they had Smelly Markers.  And remembering the humbling conversation when I said to a group of moms, “And yea, isn’t it so frustrating when you have to try and wipe off crayon from your walls?”  And the response from the 10 present was a blank stare of confusion.

Experiencing my heart beating outside of my chest.  As she went down a hill.  On a balance bike.  Going past the “speed limit”.  But she survived.  Learned.  And relied upon balancing rather than her feet for stability.

I could continue on about her petite feet, too long of a toothless grin, birthday themes of rainbows and love for gardens and smelling flowers, but then I would never be present in the moments of today.  It is helpful to remember all of my Lucy’s “firsts” because they were moments of intimacy, growth, and opportunities to overcome challenges.  At that time they were “new”.  Scary.  Unknown.  Change.  I wasn’t sure how I would ever thrive or feel comfortable.  But I was sure I so needed my heavenly Father.  I looked to Him for comfort, direction and wisdom.  And He didn’t let me down.  Not.  One.  Time.  And He won’t let me down.  Right.  Now.  Either.

Mourning an end to the day of “the known” is necessary to bring us into the sunrise of the new day.  But we cannot stay here. We must recognize one day is done and another is beginning right before our eyes.

Remembering too long turns into regretting the now.  Wishing it were then.  Sad it isn’t then.  Listening to Satan’s lies that “this new will never be as good as it was back then.”  And becoming discontent and depressed becomes the reality of life with this “first”.

As I venture into my current season of “firsts”-maneuvering as a Kindergarten mother, upcoming speaking opportunities at women’s retreats, and upping my mileage in training for this marathon, I plan to rely on my God.  Trusting His faithfulness and love to see me through today.  And I have complete confidence that whatever “first” we are currently wading through, He is right beside us.  With each.  First.  Step.

So may we embrace the “firsts” coming our way in this season.  And may today be a day of gratefulness.  For all the gifts and blessings from the Lord.  For every “bursting with love heart memories.”

Let us walk confidently and expectantly for the good that God has in store for us and our loved ones.  For today is a day to “Rejoice in the day the Lord has made” (Ps 118:24).

And this is my prayer:

Oh Father, would you go with my girl today.  Stay real close.  Hold her tightly when unkind words are said.  Give her laughter with other children.  Provide her with a good friend.  Help her to learn when is the time to sit quietly and listen and when is the time to let loose.  Give her opportunities to show your love and compassion and help to others.  Help her be a blessing in that classroom.  Allow for space to grow in the giftings you have given her.  May she remember you will help her when she is anxious, afraid, or hurt.  May she experience Your love and faithfulness in every difficult and fun activity.  May this day mark the beginning of a pattern.  Of doing life with You.  May you uphold her, surround her, love on her today.  As I have come to know you ever so gently do, when we step into a “first”.  Thank you.  For the work you have done in the past and the work you will continue to do.  In her.  And in me.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 052013
 

I was driving down the freeway, alone in my car, screaming at the devil.

This sounds like a snapshot out of a film.  But this was me.  Last week.

For a split moment I feared sharing this with you.  I thought, “I’m a hypocrite.”  But then I realized, No.  This is me being real.

In my post last week, I wrote about us facing various challenges.  The Lord will strengthen us to face our challenges and they can be part of His best for us.

I absolutely believe this.  It’s still true.  But sometimes, how we work this out is not always pretty.

I’m currently struggling with intense fear and pressure about a handful of life’s changes.  My husband was gone all of last week.  His travel has been going on for years now.  It was about 2 years ago, I finally put the pattern together.  When my husband leaves, the devil works over-time on me.

This past week, I felt weak, insecure and anxious.  I was trying to focus on the Lord giving me strength.  Him giving me peace.  But my guard wasn’t up.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

The lion showed up in full force, and I was almost crushed.

He came at me with guilt, shame and comparison.  These were the lies the devil was trying to fill my mind with this past week:

  • You’re not a good enough wife.  You can’t handle the challenges that come with the one you married.
  • You should feel ashamed because you feel jealous of your husband’s opportunities.
  • You’re a bad mom because you feel weak, lose your patience, and don’t want to be with your kids sometimes.
  • You’re weak because you have zero energy to keep up with normal tasks while your husband is gone.
  • You’re a failure as a writer because you can’t live out what you write.  You’re not making an impact, so why do it.
  • Everyone else has it together.  Everyone else can handle their kids.  Everyone else can be joyful through their challenges.
  • Everyone else has more faith than you.

All of them.  Straight. Up. Lies.

Towards the end of the week, I found myself alone in my car for a bit.  It felt more and more difficult to pray as the week went on.  As I drove, I tried connecting with God about everything I had been battling.

As I began to pour out my heart to the Lord… I was filled with anger.

Anger at the devil.

In that moment, I remembered my therapist having told me in the past, it’s ok to get mad at the devil.  In fact, anger instead of apathy is appropriate when we realize what he’s trying to do to us.

I then began yelling out loud in my car at the devil.  “I hate you.  I will not fall for your tactics.  You are defeated in Jesus Christ.  You have NO power over me!”

“Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7

Through this outburst in my car, the devil’s choke-hold on me was released and I was free to finish my week.  Still tired.  But not crushed.

If you feel worried about me, please don’t.  My marriage is strong.  I love my husband.  I adore my kids.  I love the life the Lord has blessed me with.

But this spiritual battle is real.  It wasn’t pretty how I handled last week.  That’s ok.  One thing is for sure: whenever we recognize the devil’s lies, we have the power to resist him through Jesus.  

And sometimes, we need to get a little angry at the devil for the lies he tries to get us to believe.

Have you had times where the devil was trying to get you to believe lies about yourself?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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