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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Apr 292013
 

I HAD A LOWER BACK INJURY FOR THE PAST COUPLE WEEKS.  IT DEFINITELY PUT A CRAMP IN MY RUNNING STYLE.  When I started having intense pain, everyone said I must stop the regular routine of being a “do-er” for it to heal.

It was only after the injury I realized how much improper bending and lifting filled my day.  How my street running could be taking a toll on my body.  How bath time, cleaning up time, park time, grocery shopping time all strongly rely upon using my back.

I had to humble myself to ask for help.  Over and over again.  To lift a tiny basket of laundry.  To put my girls in the swing.  To bring in the groceries.  To take out the garbage.  To carry a bag up the stairs.

I hated saying multiple no’s to lifting up my girls for a snuggle.  I wouldn’t dare say it aloud.  But I was thinking it:  I am not getting old!

It was a challenge to know when to start running again.   I was desperate to have it back in my schedule, because running “fills me up” to be a better mom, wife and joy filled woman.  My back wasn’t hurting for a day.  I thought I was ready for the run.

I didn’t want to tell my husband of my plans to begin running again because I could see the future.  He would say it was too soon.  Unfortunately he put two and two together when he saw me.  In my running gear.

My Husband:  You aren’t planning on going running today are you?

Me:  Oh.  Well.  Yea I was.

My Husband:  You know you could injure your back permanently or make it much worse if you don’t take time to let it heal completely.

Me: Uh huh.

My Husband:  You can do what you want, but I don’t think it is wise for you to go for a run.

Me:  Uh huh.  (Looking down.  Sad face.)

I was frustrated with my husband.  I was tired of living with this hurt.  Someone was to blame.

As time passed, I calmed down from my disappointment and recognized it wasn’t that my husband was enjoying depriving me of something I loved.  My injury was not his fault.  And his saying “no” was actually a reflection of his immense love and care for me.

Just like my husband was looking out for my best interest, so our God is looking out for our good.  But just like I didn’t like to hear “no” from my husband, I don’t like to hear “no” from God either.

Me:  Why aren’t you taking away this struggle Lord?  You know the desires of my heart, why am I still unsatisfied?  Why can’t things go back to normal?  My patience is all used up.
God:  Remember my unfailing love for you.  Remember I am here beside you to comfort and help you.  It pains me to see you hurt.  I know it is difficult when I answer “no”.  When you don’t understand why this is happening.  When you can’t see the future.  Trust me.  My plan for you is good.  Nothing in your life will be wasted.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Jer 29:11

Are you a friend that tells another friend if they are doing something that is detrimental to their overall health?  Are you willing to hear a “no” from the Lord and trust He has your best interest at heart?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Dec 102012
 

In order for us to live lives of freedom, peace, and wholeness, we must have restoration from our past trials.  Restoration Defined:  ” The act of bringing back into use, bringing back to a former state of health.  Restitution of something taken away or lost.”

I got up at 5:50am to go on a run on the treadmill.  I realized I was sick.  I quickly ran to the bathroom to puke.  Great start to the day.  The Stomach flu took my husband and I both down.  On the same morning.  We begrudgingly took turns as to who could go take a nap and who was somewhat supervising the girls.

Mom and Dad graciously took our girls for the evening so my husband and I could just lay on the couch.  And not move.  My energy was gone.  My appetite was gone.  My health had been taken from me and I was utterly useless to the world.  All I thought about was myself.  And how miserable I was.

Doing life without dealing with a past trial/holding onto anger and bitterness from it, is like going through life with the flu.  We are unable to function at our peak, since we have had energy and joy taken away from us.

Our decisions are self focused rather than God and others focused.  We are unhealthy in mind, body, and spirit and our “sickness” is contagious to others.

Whether we like it or not, our unresolved trials creep into our present relationships and influence our decisions.  If we have never dealt with a past hurt, we are still living in bondage from it.

I know this step towards restoration of a past trial is not an easy one.  It wasn’t for me.

Through the years I struggled with infertility, I had days of trust and distrust in God.  But I came to a crossroads.  Either I could hold onto my anger, and do things my way/without God, or give my trial and pain to God and let Him take control of my life.  I chose the latter.

I clinged to my heavenly Father for comfort and strength.  I trusted in His unfailing love.  I held onto His promises in His Word.  That He had a hope and a future for me.  That He would use my trial for good.

And I can testify today that He is faithful.  He is the restorer of my soul.

When we surrender ourselves and our trial to God, He restore us.  He brings us back from sickness, to a place of health. He says we no longer have to hide away our brokeness.  He gives life again to all that we once lost-our self worth, our trust in/love for Him, our trust in/love for others, our ability to minister to others.

And we can testify that God is love.  God is good.  And nothing is impossible with God.

Take Him up on what He is offering you today.  Restoration.  No strings attached.  Only allowing our God, the Restorer, to bring you back to a life of health and healing.  Break the chains.  Live with peace and joy in Him.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:10  And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Chrsit, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Dec 042012
 

I learned something about myself this week: when it comes to not having control of my body – whether it be weight, body shape or the health of it – it is really hard for me to trust the Lord.

The Lord has absolutely been healing my mind and changing the way I see my body by giving me His eyes.  But when all control of my body is stripped away, I struggle.

Over the past few months, I’ve been having some health issues.  Nothing overwhelmingly major, but frustrating and inconvenient nonetheless.  I’m on a special diet to ease symptoms (which is another post – so overwhelming!), I’m completely fearful of any further doctors visits, and I’m at times discouraged how it affects my quality of life with my family.

This past week I began feeling a little more desperate for healing and a little more anxious that something more might be wrong with my body.

My husband could sense my discouragement, confusion and suffocating fear.  He lovingly sent me off to exercise with no pressure to figure out dinner or put the kids to bed.

As I began sweating out my anxieties, the flood gates opened and I began weeping hot, desperate tears.

And I recognized this scene was very familiar to me.

At one time, I was desperate for healing from my eating disorder.  At another time, I was desperate for healing from pre-cancerous cells in my body.  Both times, my faith was small, limited and brittle.  Both times, I was sent spiraling out of control – to the point of depression each time.  Because I thought my God wasn’t as big as the threatened illnesses.

“For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.” 
Psalm 116:8-9

I realize when it comes to my body, I want control.  I want to dictate what it looks like, feels like and how it even functions.  This is the area of my life where my hands are in a white-knuckling grip.  And I know God is pleading me to give it to Him.

I climbed off the elliptical machine and laid flat on my back on the floor.  I laid my arms out, palms facing up toward heaven and I prayed.

I prayed a prayer of release.  For the ability to let go of the control and simply trust Jesus.  For my faith to increase.  For the Lord to help me with my unbelief: He is able, He is good, He is in control.  For the ability to learn from this.  For Him to be glorified through this.  For another chance to experience His peace amidst a storm.

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  Mark 14:36

I have been praying this open palmed prayer all week.  With hands literally open to Him.   Before I get out of bed each morning, when I feel the anxieties arising during my day and again as I lay in bed each night.

I know I’m not alone in this.  I am so thankful for my husband and all the girlfriends who have encouraged me this week and reminded me of the Lord’s faithfulness.  One of my girlfriends shared the “coffee corner” verse with me and I’ve been meditating on it all week:

“The Lord Almighty has sworn,
‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
and as I have purposed, so it will happen’.”  Isaiah 14:24

Are you having to trust the Lord with something that is not in your control?  How are you releasing your grip and keeping open palms?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 272012
 

Four years ago I thought my life was over.

My husband and I had been married for nine months.  I was finishing my third year in my dietetic program.  And I was pregnant.  The news hit me like a freight train.  I spent the first six months of my pregnancy just trying to accept and make room in my heart for our baby.

I mourned all the newlywed things we wouldn’t get to do: travel, go to concerts, go to restaurants at ten o’ clock at night.  I was also convinced I would lose any resemblance of looking pretty forever.

But here was the major fear that crippled me: I wasn’t actively living out my past eating disorder, but I knew deep inside my mind that I was far from healthy.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Psalm 73:26

I chose to desperately pour out my heart to God.  Telling Him my fears, my anger, my inadequacies, and trusting Him to heal me became my reality.  Part of God’s provision for me during this time was to go back to my therapist during my pregnancy.

Little did I realize the beautiful gift God had in store for me.

“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see – how good God is.  Blessed are you who run to Him.”  Psalm 34:8

Not only has my little girl brought me so much joy, love, and laughter… God has also brought an immeasurable amount of healing to me because of her life.

It’s an incredible comparison: how we love and view our children is a glimpse of how God loves and views us as His children.

Since my daughter Harper was born, God has brought this comparison to mind daily.  It has challenged me in the way I view myself, the way I speak of myself and the outpouring actions stemming from those beliefs.

On so many occasions, I have looked at myself in the mirror as I get ready, noticing my stretch marks, my circles under my eyes, my less-than-Victoria Secret-like breasts… and then in walks Harper.  Looking up to me.  Emulating my every move and attitude.

And I am caught dead in my tracks.

It is only a matter of time until my daughter will see through this facade.  One day she will see how my glance in the mirror is one full of self-hatred rather than self-acceptance, judgement rather than grace, the world’s standards rather than God’s.

How can I help my daughter see herself the way God sees her, if I can not even see myself through His light?

I’ve cried over this question.  Prayed over it.  Been desperate over it.

God has made me see my need for new eyes.  And He has given me a beautiful new perspective.

  • When I think, speak or act out something about myself that reflects self-judgement, self-hatred or what the world says I should be…  God reminds me of Harper.
  • I ask myself: how would I feel, as her mother, if I heard Harper say this about herself or do this to herself?
  • For example: If I find myself focusing on what I think is an imperfection in myself – something I might close my eyes and shake my head at or think “I don’t like that.  I’m not good enough”…  I then imagine if I observed Harper doing or saying the same thing about something she didn’t like about her body.
  • I’ll tell you the truth: there has never been one time, when picturing Harper treating herself the same way I treat myself, that my heart wasn’t absolutely broken and crushed.

THIS is what God has given me.  A perspective to see how His heart breaks over His daughters rejecting, criticizing and wishing away exactly who He has created them to be.

I invite you to try thinking of your daughter (or another little one) the next time you think, say or do something negatively towards yourself.  Would you act in the same way towards yourself if she were watching or emulating you?  Through this, did you get a glimpse of how God sees you?

Meditate on this verse today:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:13 & 14

Admin

Admin

© 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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Oct 232012
 

One of the biggest saving-graces in my life is that someone believed in me.  Believed for me when I could not.  Believed in my recovery.  Believed in my healing.  Believed in my heart.

Dieting and self-awareness were my glass prison.  I lived under the delusion I had found happiness if I could maintain the perfect weight, size or eat the right foods.  I could see the world around me.  I could see the vibrancy of color that defined everyone and everything around me.  I could see the things I was suppose to enjoy.  I could see how those around me did not seem to have contained spirits.

But this glass prison I lived within did not let me live outside those suffocating walls.  I could not breath-in the freshness of everyday.  Only the stifling air of condemnation and defeat.  I did not know how to live a life in color.  Only grey.  I did not know how to live freely.  Only to live by rules, parameters and self-checks.

Sometimes we have no idea how small our perspective is.  How our definition of happiness might only be a sliver of what is possible.  How we might be living a story marked by fear and sadness, rather than by life and freedom.  So often we don’t believe God could possibly have a greater story for us.

It wasn’t until God graced me with a person in my life who believed in me, that I began to see.  See the walls.  See the grey.  See the defeat.  See that things could be different.  And see how God wanted me to heal, grow and help others.

Maybe you need someone to believe in you today.  Believe for you…  That you are so much more than you can see.  You are beauty, ready to blossom.  You are soulful, ready to be un-contained.  You are parts, ready to be whole.  You are life, ready to live.

Today I want to give you the gift of belief.  The belief you might need to crossover into healing… to begin stepping into truly living.

  • I believe you are NOT the lies you hear in your head day after day.
  • I believe you are beautiful, graceful and lovable – even in the moments you can’t catch a glimpse of it.
  • I believe your heart is worth expressing, because your heart is worth knowing.
  • I believe you are enough.  You don’t have to be like anyone, look like anyone, or live up to some earthly standard.  God sees you.  And loves you.  Exactly how you are today.
  • I believe you have an unquenchable strength burning within you.  Able to face pain, heartache and the longest of paths to healing.  Even when you think you don’t have anymore… Everything is possible with the Lord.
  • I believe freedom is within reach.  Because our God is crazy about redeeming us and offers us freedom from our pasts, from our wounds, from our broken identities.
  • I believe your insecurities and vices do NOT define you.  But provide you with a doorway and an empathy to reach the wounded.
  • I believe God’s story for your life is bigger than your struggle…

Which one of these beliefs did you need today?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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