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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Jul 292015
 

“Your statues are wonderful; therefore i obey them.  The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.  Direct my footsteps according to Your Word.”  Psalm 119:129-130; 133a

The running path makes all the difference.  I am picky when it comes to where I run.  I choose the path based on multiple questions:  Am I able to run with a view of nature around me (in other words, as little cars, city noise/smells as possible)?  Am I able to have a small amount of distractions?  Do my feet have space to run without being crowded to “walk the line”?  Is there dirt or pavement beneath my feet (because I would prefer dirt)?  Is it well lit (if I am going on a night or early morning run)?

I think I am so picky about where I run because I have made the mistake of choosing poorly before and I don’t want to “go down that road” again.  One path I chose I will never forget.  I chose it because it was conveniently located right outside my husband’s office and I only had a limited time frame.  At the beginning it seemed it would be easy and comfortable since I knew the area around his office well.  But it was anything but easy and comfortable.  I ended up having to tip toe my way around multiple sticker bushes because the path had not been well kept.  I tripped multiple times because of big boulders in the way.  After this path, I was scratched, bruised and stressed.  The running path makes all the difference.

When you find your path, you must ignore fear. You need to have the courage to risk mistakes. But once you are on that road… run, run, run, and don’t stop til you’ve reached its end.
José N. Harris 

The difference between choosing God’s path and choosing the world’s path makes all the difference as well.  The world’s path may seem easy, comfortable, and convenient, but just like my “i will never forget nightmare path”, it is marked by sin, which takes us down the road of selfish ambition, depression, anxiety, and ultimately leads to death.  Eternal death.  Not a real uplifting path overall, when you see what the end of it is, but it is surprisingly appealing at the beginning of it.

I am thankful our God has a designated path for each of us.  It is marked by life and light.  It is not one without trouble and pain, but along the way there is joy.  Peace.  Purpose.  And in the end it leads to life.  Eternal life.

We get the opportunity to choose God’s running path or the world’s running path each day.  We step with our feet in obedience to God’s commands and Word or we step with our feet in obedience with our selfish sinful desires of the flesh.

I find when I am not spending time in God’s Word, this culture has a way of sneaking into my mind and heart and beckoning me to think and act for myself.  To be concerned with earthly things rather than heavenly, Kingdom things.  Jesus even reprimanded Peter at one point saying in Mark 8, “Get away from me, Satan! You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”  Because our flesh is in constant battle with our spirit, we NEED to devote time to talk with God and read and think through His Word of truth.

When we are at a crossroads and do not know what path to choose, we can also have comfort that God WILL show us His good, in fact best path.  Scripture says His Word is light.  And so we can have confidence that His light will open and close doors, in His way and timing so we are not left to choose on our own.  In times of waiting on the Lord, it is not helpful to entertain fears in the now or the future.  Waiting times are an opportunity to be who we were made to be.  A faithful servant.  To actually put our feet, mind, and heart where our mouth is and Live.  By.  Faith.  Not sure of what is ahead.  Not understanding all the closed doors.  But trusting.  That our good God is in control.  And WILL open the well lit, sweet smelling, peace giving, purpose giving path which will ultimately.  End.  In.  Life.

Are your feet stepping on a well lit path or have you taken some sinful, dark steps off of it?  Will you ask God for forgiveness for following your selfish desires of the flesh and to light up the right path He has instead?

Will you rest in waiting on the Lord in His perfect way because “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will”  Ephesians 1:11?

What fear will you give over to God today and “Run, Run, Run” to His arms of love where peace is found?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 202012
 

My mirror was my world.

I used to hate admitting this, but it was true.  Each and every morning, my mirror dictated the pulse of my day.  Amidst my complete self focus, each day was void of joy and contentment.  I noticed every. single. imperfection: I didn’t like my moles, my squinty eyes, or my cellulite and I loathed my veiny legs.  I etched in my mind everything I lacked.  I was too short, had shoulders too wide and I had thumper feet.  I left no room in my heart for thankfulness or room to embrace my Creator’s perspective.

I know we’ve all been there.  We wish we could lose a few pounds, tone up a bit, get rid of those love handles, find that stylish hair cut, erase the dark circles under our eyes and not look so tired.

But how do we change eyes that only see what’s missing, what’s negative (according to the world’s standards)… to eyes that see through His light, through His love?

God has been pouring it into me since the day I chose healing: it’s not about my looks or my status.  It’s not about what my eyes see… but about how my eyes see.  And seeing clearly starts with my heart.

But there are still mornings, as I get myself ready, I just want to give up.  When will this stop being a battle for me?

“A message from the high and towering God, who lives in Eternity, whose name is Holy: “I live in the high and holy places, but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed, And what I do is put new spirit in them, get them up and on their feet again.”  Isaiah 57:15 (The Message)

God has been faithful to me through this struggle.  And He will be faithful to you as well.

God’s healing of our heart and mind has to come through replacing our own beliefs with His truth.  His truth enters our heart through reading His Word.

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal”.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

His healing also comes when we pour our hearts out to Him through prayer.  No matter how shattered or complicated they are.  No matter how far our eyes are from His perspective.  When we lay our struggle and our incapability to see differently out there… He is able to begin transforming us.

God, I need to see me through Your eyes today… through Your love.  I feel so broken when it comes to having Your perspective on who you’ve made me to be.  Help me to let go of the exterior me.  Help me to see it’s about my heart.  Would you renew me?  Renew my eyes.  Renew my heart.  My hope in You, Lord.  Amen.

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 192012
 

Is it difficult for you to memorize things?  For me, to memorize even one sentence, a couple grocery items, or my child’s latest favorite foods seems almost too much to bear.  Whether it is a long or short term memorization need, I struggle.   The good thing about my difficulty, is I can watch a movie I have already seen a couple years ago and feel as though I am watching it for the first time!  (I am pretty sure this is the only positive aspect about it though.)

So, I am taking baby steps with scripture memory.  My daughter has a memory verse for school each week and I am doing it with her.  I repeat it to her.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Then I have her repeat it to me.  Again.  And again.  (Atleast at this point it is somewhere within my brain, along with all other random facts and feelings.)

In spite of my slowness and lack of sustainable retention, I persevere in memorizing God’s Word.  Because I know it is worthwhile.  And God’s grace is sufficient for me. 

A scripture I have memorized always seems to come to mind when:

  • I am discouraged by what someone just said to me
  • I am out of options
  • My emotions are overwhelming
  • A friend is in need of encouragement
  • I am faced with painful news
  • I am stepping out in faith
  • I experience joy

To memorize The truth is to overcome.  To overcome with God’s Spirit is to live with purpose.  We can be armed and ready for the spiritual battle that awaits us daily.

  Promises for those that mediate on God’s Word:

  1. You have direction in the unknown.  “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” Ps 119:105
  2. You have an example for how to live your life.  “But if anyone obeys His Word, God’s love is truly made complete in Him,  This is how we know we are in Him.  Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”  1 John 2:5,6
  3.  You have the ability to be successful and blessed.  “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth;  meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
  4. You can fight off temptation and Satan’s lies.  You have relavent wisdom for today.  “but the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword” Heb. 4:12
  5. You know what not to do.  “I have hidden your Word in my heart so that I might not sin against you.”  Ps 119:11
  6. You can teach and correct, as well as be equipped for His purposes.  “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Tim 3:16

Memorizing the Word helps us to remember and obey His Truth and live counterculturally.  So take a step to memorize a verse this week.  Hey, if my memory-challenged self can do it, so can you!  🙂

  • What verse have you memorized that helps you?
Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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