Oct 072014
 

“So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”  Phil 2:15-16

The alarm clock went off at 4:40am.  Which didn’t seem to matter since the sleep had been hit and miss up to this point.  I couldn’t believe today.  was.  THE.  day.

It had been four months of big time reliance on Jesus.  To get my booty out of bed in the morning and run.  To meet and speak to me on each run without music or other media filling the time.  To strengthen my body, heart, and mind to persevere when my body was in pain and my mind told me I couldn’t do it.  To provide me with prayer running buddies along the journey (I was amazed at the 20 different sister’s in Christ God brought to my side when originally my plan was to have just one running buddy-His ways are not my ways, but they are always better!)  To get me to this very day.

Race day.

It was surreal.  As I pulled on my most slim looking, tummy hiding, zipper including, lack of chaffing, favorite pants.  As I lubed up all areas to avoid potential pain.  As I looked in the mirror and brushed my teeth and thought to myself, “Is there any way I can get out of this?”  I realized something.  Just as Jesus had gotten me all the way up to this point, He also would get me through the now.

I can trust Him. 

It was five and a half hours of physical, mental, and spiritual battles as I ran my first marathon.  But Jesus met me on the run.  And there were three “JP tears” (Tears mixed with joy and pain) moments that pushed me to finish.  the.  race.

JP Tears Moment #1-I was only two miles in.  My mind went to crazy town thinking of all the ways I was inadequate.  Unable to go the distance.  Feeling tired already and knowing I had 24.2 more miles to go.  Things looked bleak.  I asked God for His peace to cover my mind, body, and Spirit.  And He gave it to me.  I looked up, fixing my eyes towards heaven for help, and what do you know was around the corner?  A gigantic George Fox University billboard ( my husband is a professor at George Fox University) and it said, “It’s your time to shine!”.  I cried.  Right there.  At mile two.  JP tears flowed because I knew God had whispered a little of His love to me in that very moment.  Confirming I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And that I could do this with Him.  And through the tears I said a offered up a one second prayer, “Thank you God for your graciousness to me”.

JP Tears Moment #2-The cool breeze of the morning was no longer.  The sun was beating down with an upcoming long stretch of hill and no shade.  There was a sign which pointed the half marathoner’s to the left and the full marathoner’s to the right.  The half marathoner’s were one mile away from the finish line and the rest of us were, well, how do I say, not.  (I highly considered jumping over to join the relieved face crew of runner’s going left.)  It was a moment of need.   As I passed the depressing “this way to finishing the half marathon sign” I heard someone yell, “You can do it Jillian!  You are strong, you got this!”  I felt a renewed sense of purpose and motivation to trudge on.  As I scanned the bystander’s to see who had so been so timely to call out my name on my bib, another stranger yelled, “You are lookin’ good Jillian, way to go!”  Then came the JP tears.  There was something so special about hearing my specific name called outloud.  Who cares whether it was a random stranger-It was a gift from God.  It was healing.  It was inspiring.  It got my feet to keep moving when everything else in me screamed “Quit!”.  It was a turning point of pushing through pain and doubt.

JP Tears Moment #3-I saw my family four times on the run.  I was anticipating their smiling faces as I grew closer and closer to each of their designated viewing spots.  Time seemed to stop as I caught a glimpse of them.  (Of course my glimpse didn’t start until I almost could touch them since my vision is quite hilarious without my glasses on.)  Then came the JP tears.  I had loved ones supporting me.  I had loved ones taking time away from all of what they could be doing to be present with me.  I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for each of them.

I was overcome this day.  With pain.  Unexpected joy.  Gifts and strength from above.  But most of all-I was overcome with the fulfillment of finishing. the. race. 

Knowing my training and hard work was not in vain.  Seeing the faithfulness of my God, once again.  And recognizing whether on a literal run or running the race of life, I wouldn’t have it any other way:  Looking to.  Giving glory to.  Including.  Listening to.  Loving-Jesus on the run is the only way to live!

So my friends- “Arise, shine, for YOUR light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).

Persevere in obedience and faith in Jesus as you “run your race of life” today!  Remember your work and obedience to Jesus is not in vain.  You will not regret bringing glory to Him in every word you say, job you do, and person you serve.  Enjoy the journey filled with “JP tears”, unknowns, and acting in weakness and faith.  Because He see’s you and is shouting out your personal name as we speak-In an effort to love on you, strengthen you, comfort you, and inspire you to overcome all trials, pain and obstacles-enabling you to finish your race strong!

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Aug 252014
 

I was in a slump. In a funk.  Not in the mood to go on a run.  (This happens more than I would like to admit.)  Resistance.  Reigned.  It was oozing out of my deepest soul.  

But on a positive note, I was sporting my new “no chaffing” spandex.  The morning was a perfect temperature with a slight breeze.  My husband was good to go to watch the girls while I ran.  So why the intense battle within me to stay home instead of run?  To resist what I knew to be a life giving, spirit filling, and energy feeling activity?

My mind was playing the “discouragement, pitty party, and lies track”.  It went something like this:  “You have already been consistent for two months now on your training schedule and you deserve a break.  You are weary and tired and all this work is probably in vain since you won’t be able to actually complete a marathon anyway-what were you thinking taking on this big of a challenge?  There is no harm in missing one run.”

Even though my mind was overwhelmed by these tempting thoughts to stay home, I thought about this whole running thing being an obedience to God in the first place.  How He confirmed through a peace in my Spirit, His Word, a Marathon runner’s magazine “randomly” given to me, and the support of my husband that this race was this was God’s will for me in this season. And I had a newfound motivation to put those new “no chaffing” spandex to use.  Good use.  They were not meant for sitting on the couch at home (And oh how I have wished that simply putting on workout attire would miraculously help me achieve weight loss/exercise goals.).  They were not meant to sit in a drawer.  They were were meant to run in.

It seemed like a small victory.  But it actually was a big one in overcoming this mental battle.  I went on my run.

I began to think about how easy I succumb to listening to the “Discouragement track” Satan loves to play throughout my day.  Unfortunately he uses this tactic almost every time I am faced with the choice.  To obey Christ. Or not.  I began to analyze the themes of this track.  And came to a revelation.  Even though the words of the discouragement track are contextually different, the message remains the same.  And when this message plays, it is a red flag to me.  And I choose to see God’s reality and truth behind the lies.  Then I am then ready to fight off the enemy’s attacks.  And be an overcomer in Jesus.

Here are the “D” messages of the “Discouragement track” and it is a red flag I need to fight off this attack of the enemy:

  • I Deserve to do what makes me happy and comfortable.
  • I begin to Doubt my ability to carry out God’s plan.
  • I believe a Detour won’t make a difference.

Here are the “D” messages/scriptures of truth to overcome the “Discouragment Track”:

  • Deserve thought-God promises to give me everything I need in this life and I know serving Him requires putting my selfishness aside.  I am truly free and joy filled when I am following Jesus.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”  Phil 4:19

“I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Galations 2:20 and

  • Doubt thought-I love the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”  We can expect we will be stepping out in our inability to follow Jesus because it is in our weak areas God is glorified.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Phil 1:6

  • Detour thought-It is so easy to rationalize ourselves out of being absolutely obedient to God.  We think partial obedience is good enough.  But partial obedience is disobedience.  And in my life (with my directionally challenged self) a small detour on the road many times leads to getting completely lost.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” I Corinthians 15:58

Live today with the confidence that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!  Run to and for Jesus in whatever temptation, trial, or question you find yourself in today.  And know you are an overcomer in Jesus!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 172013
 

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let downthe nets for

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Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such

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a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

“ ~ Luke 5:4-6

This scripture kept me company 5 years ago when we were considering the purchase of our first house—an old farmhouse in Oregon I had been dreaming of for 4 years. Despite the seeming impossibilities, I felt a strong challenge to believe that God would give it to us. Something this abundant required more faith than I’d ever had to muster before.

It is a vulnerable thing to open ourselves and wait, nets hanging there, for the thing we really want. Letting down our nets requires letting down our guard.

This is especially true when we’ve been working the same stretch of water for a while. At the time we bought the house, I sensed I would need this kind of vulnerable and tenacious faith not just for the move, but for the next season of life.

Fifteen years into marriage and ten years into parenting, sometimes it’s hard to keep expecting a fresh experience of the goodness of God. In addition to my own challenges, I have been buffeted recently by waves of pain in other people’s lives—broken relationships, mental illness, substance abuse, cancer. This stage of life feels like deep water, and it’s no quick easy jaunt to the shore. The stakes are high and evil is real. Sometimes we are sputtering and taking in too much water. Other times we are treading water in the dark…weary, not sure

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what we can count on.

Sometimes when we aren’t experiencing the “catch of fish” we hope for with our kids or our spouse or other situations, it’s tempting to get anxious and controlling—we rev our motors and push for what we think needs to happen.

Or we can have the opposite response: life wears us down and we are tempted to settle for what we can see—we drift to a place of resignation.

But faith, faith is the narrow way between prideful pushing and resentful resignation.

In the deep water, where we feel disoriented and vulnerable, God doesn’t ask us to motor or to drift.

He asks us to let down our nets.

I have candles on the windowsill above my kitchen sink, and sometimes when I don’t really have words anymore for a worn-out issue, I light a candle. I let my prayer just burn there for a bit while I do dishes or other chores. I hold out to God whatever the tangle is, along with my own heart in its vulnerability. Lately I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what comes of it…

What are some worn out issues in your life? How could you tread the vulnerable path of faith?

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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