Feb 072017
 

I was humbled this morning.  And it’s not the blatant humbling process I undergo on a regular basis when literally fall on my face and must somehow regain composure with a laugh to let others know the ER run is not needed this time.  You see, my klutziness is a given.  My defensiveness and inability to “let IT go for the sake of relationship” seems to “trip me up” and my deep, inner self-righteous self is left out there for all to see.  And it is in this “pride fall” I lay today, causing me to wish there were golf mulligans (or do over’s) in real life.

Of course we were at the happiest place on earth, oh I just realized you might be thinking of something different, to clarify we were at McDonalds play place.  I recognize my Mom points just went down the tube, but when the only other option on this rainy, no school day is cabin fever, there is no shame here to claim, “I’m lovin’ it”.

I walked in with my girl crew-one on the hip, and the school aged ones sporting an eclectic ensemble from Fancy Nancy Easter dresses to soccer socks with stars and patterns galore.  My look was somewhere in the middle of these and so we were representing fashion at its finest people!

As the older girls ran to check out the tubes, the little one and I were on our way up to order my “lovin’ it” coffee.  A haphazard looking man (finally someone on my same page) greeted us quickly with a, “If you could let me order first that would be great because I am late for a dentist appointment and I am only going to order an Egg McMuffin.”  (I thought in my mind in response, “I am sure he thinks at the looks of our girl crew that we are going to buy out the place with happy meals, but little does he know the reality of my “one coffee please” order.  He thinks he knows me and is judging me, but he has no idea.  My mental defensives was on a roll in these couple seconds.)

I wish I didn’t have to use the “hind sight is 20/20” phrase so often.  I wish the Spirit would speak with a little louder voice to overwhelm my flesh nature instincts.  Ah but my pride.  Gets.  In.  The.  Way. 

And so my response was the jaded, “I guess you can go, but all I was going to get was a coffee,” and my tone and walking away nonverbal language only lovingly complimented my words.  Gotta love how I am the poster child for this verse in this moment-“let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col 4:6.  J   Even as the words left my mouth I thought about the THINK analogy I use with my girls to check to make sure their conversation is, “True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind”.  Talk about a Mom of the Year award for hypocrisy at its finest.

I have to say I felt bad but it was too late to do anything about it.  But what happened next made me feel like the scumb of the earth.  As I went to pay for my “1 coffee” order, the gal at the register said, “Oh, actually it’s free.  The guy before you said he would pay for your “1 coffee”.  Ouch.  I was just killed with kindness-when what I really deserved was a consequence for my pride filled, defensive driven, grace lacking attitude and actions.

I could barely drink the coffee.  I once again had been “tripped up” and humbled by my inability to respond out of the Holy Spirit’s fruit of “self-control, patience, kindness, gentleness”-I mean, just pick one and we would have been good to go.

But in our times when we trip up, mess up and fall is when we most need to look at the kind filled, grace filled face of Jesus.  And understand “His grace is sufficient”.  And He still desires to use us for His good purposes, in spite of our “falls”.  So I picked my “shot to the ego” self up and went to the place I know I can always find Truth.  Grace.  And hope.  God’s Word.  Because at this pivotal point when I fail, shame is right there to suck me in.  And take me down, down.  But just like when sin and failure hit Adam and Eve in the garden and their response was to hide from God in shame, so this is where we still go today when we sin and fail.  But we must fight this desire to hide in shame and look up to the opposite of shame, which is glory.  Jesus came and died so we no longer have to live in shame, so why are we still “shaming it up when we should be glorying it up”!

When you are thinking shame, instead think, my God has given me glory!  We are forgiven.  Given grace in all the weakness.  And sent out to continue on in glory, and giving glory to His Name!

And in that very moment we are running away to hide, God grabs our hand to stop the motion, and grabs us with two hands on our face, looks at us in the eyes, and says, my beautiful daughter,

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.  Isaiah 60:1

And it is sitting in this true purpose and hope, with this book in my lap, that my heart, mind and spirit finds rest.

I wonder if a past “failure” or possible future “failure” is on your mind today.  Will you bring it to Jesus, the grace giver, and receive His “always coming” grace?  Will you sit with the “grace filled book”/the Bible today to enrich your heart, mind and spirit?

How can you extend grace and forgiveness, like Jesus extends to us, to someone around you who is more than “on the naughty list” in your book?

Talk with the Lord about someone you can “kill with kindness” this week as we contemplate on the kindness our Savior extended to us on the cross and continues to extend to us when we mess up?

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 272017
 

Somebody.  Help.  Me.  Were my inward groans as I laid on my living room floor while my phone rang.  I Literally.  Couldn’t.  Move.  The Jillian Michaels 6 week Abs workout had devastated my body.  And the run from the day before completely sealed the deal.  As I processed with my own thoughts, since that was my only option at this point, I contemplated my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions-Getting back into the 6 week Women’s WOW Hour:  Where waking up early is lifegiving.  Sure I had gotten up 1 hour early to spend time with God for 30 minutes and exercise for 30 minutes atleast 4 days a week last year at this time, but today is a different day.  And my current sprawled out posture is speaking louder than any past success.  My brain began the rationalizing train-This year presents new challenges of a toddler addition to our family.  The baby weight seems a tad more than I experienced with my 2 other girlies.  I have taken on more responsibilities as Mom, wife, student, minister, ect.  The weather is colder outside than last year.  The mid day time seems much more appealing.  I was in need of a booster shot of hope.  And speaking of shots, my rabbit trail mind went to the horrendous episode I had this week with my 1 year old getting her vaccinations.

The nurse meant well, but frankly did a terrible job.  She accidentally touched the needle while in the midst of giving the final 5th shot.  So as my screaming child just having had shots in both legs and arms is looking at me with questioning, pain filled eyes the nurse says, “Sorry, I have to go get another shot because I contaminated this one.”  Nice.  And 10 minutes later, as I have just soothed my sweet baboo to a non snotty nosed, gasping for air state, she gave her one more shot.  And this.  felt.  like.  Absolute.  Abuse.  As our day was completely shot (no pun intended, well actually it was), I contemplated why I put both of us through this pain.  And my only comfort was this fact:  The future benefits far outweighed the current pain.

All that lovely shot story to say, just like vaccinations future benefits far outweigh the current pain, so disciplining ourselves to wake up early to meet with God and exercise future benefits far outweigh the current pain.  We call exercising regularly, getting up early and prioritizing time with God disciplines for a reason.  It hurts.  But the current hurt is NOTHING compared to the INTENSE JOY, PEACE, HOPE, STRENGTH, HEALTH and PURPOSE-ultimately LIFE we get when we.  Get.  Fit.  Fit for the day-mind, body and Spirit fit.

Fit is not a destination, it is a way of life.

As I continue to lay on the floor, I am encouraged and I want you to be too.  I want you to know if you start WOW Hour this Monday, January 30th and follow through with these disciplines for the next 6 weeks, you.  Are.  Not.  Alone.  I am in.  You will have me and hopefully I will have you for some sweet accountability.  And here our some inspirations to get our minds, Spirit, and body prepared for the upcoming WOW Hour 6 week Challenge.

Inspirations as we embark on the WOW Hour 6 week Challenge:

  • From the Chronicle’s of Narnia:  As Aslan said to Prince Caspian when he said, “I don’t think I’m ready”, so I say to us, who may not feel able or ready for this 2017 WOW Hour 6 week challenge-“It is for that very reason I know you are.”
  • From my physical trainer friend:  You gotta practice to get better
  • From a wise person:  No pain, no gain!
  • From the Bible:  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1
  • From Jeremy Camp, words from the Song “Give Me Jesus”:  In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus
  • From and unknown person:  I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday
  • From an unknown person:  “It is not easy, but it is worth it,” “I CAN and I WILL” now repeat that everyday.

Join me in the WOW Hour 6 week journey starting this Monday my friends and watch as you see your mind, body and Spirit change for the better.  You can implement my workout plan of 2 Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack Abs videos and 2 30 min runs a week or make up your own 30 minute exercise routine!  Watch as you get healthy and whole to live out the ordained purpose today and in this year that God made you for!  You’ve got this because our good Father has got you!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 142016
 

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life.  Ezekiel 7:4-5

My 11 month old daughter is too much.  In a scary, oh what do we have in store for the future with this red head sort of way.  But also in a laugh my head off, can’t get enough of the “Elaine style” dance moves and sporadic scrunch up the nose, in and out quick breathing.  And if you thought I was giving her a bad break and stereotyping her for her hair color, think again.  When the Bible Study nursery workers say they tell any new volunteers, “Just to warn you, if you hold THIS one, you have to be able to take a punch”, you know there is some fire in those little veins.

This morning my 2 older daughter’s turned on some dance music.  Of course it was 0 minutes to spare before the “Mama school bus” was a leavin, but this didn’t seem to effect them in the least.  Immediately, baby #3 girl is rockin it.  (And by “it” I mean she is trying to walk, but falling looks inevitable) But the music compelled her to give the regular “6 steps and fall” a go. again. and again.  And though I admired her perseverance to “rock it”, it had to be somewhat defeating as the other sister’s “walked it AND rocked it” all around her.

Then, as if her current “rocking” wasn’t challenge enough, she added in her latest trick to the show.  The constant clap.  I am pretty sure this was equivalent to our pat the head, rub the stomach, while hula hooping sort of exercise.  And let me tell you.  This effort was astounding.  Not because of the outcome (no new walking skill was achieved).  But because of her ability to smile and love every minute of her time.  Falls and all.  I wish you could have seen the clap, clap, clap, walk, walk, fall pattern which brought not only her so much joy, but me so much love for her in that moment.  She was loving living.  And I was loving watching her-love life.

I took the older’s to school, but came right back and put on some “Jesus music”, as I like to call it.  I wanted to see more.  More “rockin the love” from my baby girl.  And I got my wish-and then some.

The first song which came on I had never heard before, but put into words my heart in this moment.  The chorus resonated deep, “Live like you’re loved”.  I began to wonder if I, like my little girl, walked, clapped, smiled and loved every minute of being alive.  I wondered if I lived like I should-With love for life.  With abandon.  With freedom.  With carefree, non anxious thoughts.  With the ability to get back up when I “fall” through failures and troubles and trials.  With gratefulness for this very breath I breathe.  With anticipation for the “next” God is calling me into.  And with courage to say “yes” to it.  All because I.  Am.  Loved.  And I.  Am.  A.  Child.  Of.  God.  And so.  are.  you.

If your life feels boring, one question-how’s that workin for ya?  If you feel insecure and inadequate, one question-how’s that workin for ya?  If you are mastered by/numbed by or comforted by addictions of food, drinks, clothes, media-one question, how’s that workin for ya?  If other’s opinions and strengths determine your worth-one question, how’s that workin for ya?  If you are going through the motions in your day-one question, how’s that workin for ya?  I asked myself these questions and came to one conclusion.  I was made to live. loved.  To live.  differently.  And this is what’s gonna work for me.  Living like I am loved is THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE.

I want to live with the roots of my Father’s love spreading down deep so I can thrive as a fruit bearing tree for His Kingdom.  As we lean more and more into our true identity and name as the “Loved One” by Jesus, “seeking first His kingdom”, then we are in for it-in a good, way good sort of way.  As we “arise shine, for our light has come” we bring hope to this hopeless, troublesome, pain filled, dark world.  And we begin to see ourselves more like Jesus see’s us- a unique creation, created by The Creator, with a creative purpose to fulfill here and now.  And this is something to clap and smile about (just as my youngest daughter did), as we are walkin and “rockin” with Jesus, as His loved child, today.

In what ways could you live differently because of this 1 truth that you’re identity is a loved, child of God?

What about God’s love for you brings a smile to your face?  How can you thank God today?

What area of your life needs God to breathe life into it?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Oct 212016
 

My daughter was dealing in what I like to call “extremes” this week.  Grade school pictures.  Happened.  And even though I tried to reassure her of the positives, her phrase to sum it all up to her Dad when first walking through the door was, “I got my school picture and it is %100 bad.”  And the bad does not stop here people.  This week just keeps comin’ at ya.

Emotions.  Oh to know and understand them.  This is the real chore.  With 3 girls under 7 in tow and home.  The 2nd “extreme”  came out while consecutively keeping a hula hooping session underway (she has watched her mother multitask and fail miserably, so I am sure her subconscious competitive spirit was in full swing).  “I came with my best friend to play the game with everyone, but when the circle came to my turn, they skipped me.  And my best friend didn’t even stand up for me.  And so I said, ‘Well, I guess you just don’t like me and don’t want to ever play with me.  You are not my friend anymore.’ ”  (Of course this is the reader’s digest version for you all.  I would be happy to expand the what was a 30 minute conversation of wading through tears and story plot if you email me.  And don’t have a life.)

The words of making up possible reasons or excuses for the others wasn’t a good idea.  The mama “Jesus teaches us…” only made the hula hooping the main event.  And the mama empathy seemed to move the slow faucet drips to a constant waterfall of tears.  So I was at a loss.  Once again.  In mothering.

But I couldn’t help but think to myself- “Man, she is definitely making a ‘mountain out of a molehill’ (don’t you love the intense analogy I used here).  If only she could see herself through the eyes of Jesus and me, to stand on truth here instead of focusing on the wounds of other’s.  Then her “NOT’s” mindest and heart could be propelled into the present and future as an opportunity to empathize with other’s in their times of woundedness and exclusion and find strength and unfailing love in the arms of Jesus.  He is the ONLY one.  ONLY Savior.  ONLY friend.  Who will never let her and us down.

As I looked on my daughter with self pity, the pride came before a fall as I found myself living in dual mindsets as her this week.  “A little birdie told me” of a conversation which happened among some of my dearest friend’s.  In which I wasn’t there.  But even though I had recently layed my heart and soul before them, without knowing it they crushed it.  Because when looking for someone to fulfill a specific role in ministry, my name wasn’t considered.  It was NOT a factor.  I was NOT considered.  Picked.  And at this point, I also, like my daughter, when to the “extremes” or the I’m “%100 bad” mindset.  I won’t deny it.  I was wounded.  And this is where Satan earns his paycheck.  I went to the dark place.  I didn’t believe God would ever use me, because He must think like everyone else and consider everyone else but me.  Because I am NOT.

Memories of 7th grade NOT being picked for the basketball team came to mind.  Of being the 8th bride in the “7 brides for 7 brother’s” Musicale (if you didn’t catch the gist there, I was NOT in the show due to their only being 7 brides and not 8.  Sorry if I just insulted your intelligence by explaining this joke, my husband tells me I am real good at doing this.)  And so.  the NOTs kept.  On.  Coming.  But I remembered what to do when “100% bad” hits.

Go.  To.  my heavenly Father.  And be.  In His lifegiving company.  And Sit.  Asking His Word to speak to me.  (Getting His download of me instead of others’.  And at this point I KNEW Satan was real upset.  So good!)  And let me tell you-I came out fully loved.  fully valued.  fully gifted.  fully rebuilt.  fully strengthed.  fully geared up to be sent out to serve.

I wonder if you are in a “%100 bad” mindset/circumstance today.  Well guess what?  When in the dark pit, there is one best thing to do.  Look up.  To Jesus.  And allow His light to shine on in.  Or maybe, like my daughter’s hula hoop, you are in a round and round and round cycle of negative/untrue/”hula hoop lies” thinking towards yourself and/or someone else and don’t know how to stop?  Will you ask God to enter into this place and guide you into all Truth?

And so I pray for you today, my sister, the same prayer I prayed for myself.  “Lord come and speak and help and renew.”  The outcome being the 100% bad mindset of “NOTs” (that other’s, ourselves and the enemy infiltrates our minds with) strangely amounting to NOTHING.  And we find ourselves humming the true song of the love, hope and purpose in the mighty name of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (The Message)  Strength from Weakness

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 152016
 

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  Luke 11:13

Love never loses faith; 1 Corinthians 13:7a

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Luke 11:9

So I slowly.  Ever so slowly people-  Put on my favorite stretchy pants, shirt and running shoes this morning, and practically fell out the door.  My pace could hardly be called “running” (or even jogging to be fare) due to my extreme grogginess.  (Alright.  It also may have been due to the fact my “haven’t disciplined myself to work out body” was telling me “no” when I tried to “go”.)

As I ran, the dream I had been having when the brutal wake up happened was recalled to my memory.  It’s ironic because I cannot remember the last time I remembered a dream.  And it was even more rare because it seemed to be a spiritual dream, involving a reocurring scripture verse and sister in Christ.

I felt a Spirit nudge to text this individual about this scripture and dream.  (God has to make things clear to me and I don’t believe in coincidences-I believe in God ordained/Spirit prompted occurrences.)  How you ask?  Well, let me share.  First, I remembered the dream and it involved scripture (miracle of rememberings mixed with Truth).  And next, the first reminder on my phone from Facebook said this individual’s name with the phrase, “Let her know” attached to it.  Our God works through mysterious ways my friends.  And yes, (in spite of all the Facebook drama) even through Facebook!

The texting to my friend was my first order of business on my run (gotta love the voice command feature, however people may have given me the “you are weird” look more than once).  And then I got to thank my God for His goodness to me.  I thanked God specifically for “no rain on the run” (since the reality of the downpoor was imminent due to the wet all around me/clouds all above me and I hate running in the rain-and even more running in the rain with my dog)  I also prayed for friends and family who were on my heart.

But then I asked my Father to “speak for your child is listening” (in an effort to listen to God rather than continue my laundry list of needs and agenda) and a strange feeling came over me.  Warning-I am heading into the transparent zone so beware the upcoming statement people!  If I am being truly honest with myself, I was dealing with som yucky.  Heart issue stuff.   And yes lets call it out.  Jealousy.

I was wishing that dream I had for my friend had been for me.  I was wanting my Father God to have a Word for me.  I was needing some tangible love from Him.  Just.  For.  Me-What.  About.  Me.  (And as I write this I recognize fully I have written the word “Me” fulfilling the writing quota for the year.  Ouch.)  But this was the real of where my heart sat.

I wish my response to God’s love for another would have been different.  Selfless maybe.  Joyful and glad.  Other’s focused.  And many times I genuinely do “rejoice with those who rejoice”.  But not this time.  My faith in His constant love for me appeared nonexistent in this moment.

Having finished my run on a down note I walked in my front door, headed straight to the back door to let the dog out, and IMMEDIATELY it started to rain.  And IMMEDIATELY my heart fluttered a little as I received this good, love gift from my Father.  You would think being an Oregon girl that rain wouldn’t get to me so much, but God knows I cannot stand the wet, dreary rain run.  (And especially when the wet dog would be a reality as well.)  Now, once again this coincidance situation is back on the table.  Could it be coincidance that the rain started up right after I stepped inside and was needing to recognize some “Father love” to me? Not with the way I roll.

I may not have felt the rain, but I felt the love of the Father rain down on me this morning.  (He’s got enough to go around people!)  His love is deep.  Wide.  Long.  And doesn’t quit.  Not ever.

 May I never doubt this love rain which downpours for me.  For you.  Forever.  And may we testify to the love the Father has for us.  Because when it rains.  It pours.  

Consider what situation you are currently in and need some “Rain love” from the Father.  Would you ask Him to make you aware of His close presence and love for you?

What are you in need of?  Are you in financial need?  Physical strength?  Wisdom?  Peace about the future?  Freedom from fear or addiction?  Help to overcome an obstacle?  Love for a hard to love individual?  Purpose in the now? Whatever your need-God desires to hear, answer and love you through it.  So ask Him.  And allow His love to meet you right now.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 082016
 

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.  Acts 20:35

My daughter gave me some perspective this week.  (Why is it my kids are continually teaching me the love of Jesus, I am pretty sure that me, the parent is supposed to be the one imparting all wisdom.  And yet, doesn’t seem to be the case much of the time as I have to continually swallow yucky stuff on a regular basis, like taking cough medicine when I have to swallow my pride, my selfishness, my lack of patience and my kids are the one’s feeding it to me.  Awesome, Lord.) 

Anyway, my oldest daughter who is 7 told me a story which brought tears to my eyes.  She told me she was sitting as usual in the 1st grade line in the gym waiting for their teacher to bring them to their class to start the day.  She said a boy was sitting by her and she overheard him say to someone else that he didn’t have a snack. She said, “Mom, I felt bad for him.  I knew he would feel bad in class when he had nothing to eat and everyone else was eating something.”  She continued by saying, “So I gave him my snack.  And I gave him the cheese pretzel snack.  Not the other cheese stick and meat stick one.”  And right about here is when the tears filled my eyes with overwhelming Jesus love I just witnessed in my daughter.   (you see, you have to know the backstory to understand what a selfless act this truly was.

The truth was that as we were hurridly trying to get out the door that morning my daughter requested cheese pretzels for one of her two snacks.  She doesn’t usually make requests, but I had splurged and purchased these pretzels as an end of the year treat.  She knew it.  Didn’t get them usually.  And wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to include these special ones. )  And so now you may get the tears response to the fact that she gave the cheese pretzels, in other words her best, her favorite, her “firstfruits” to the boy, (but ultimately to Jesus because we know scripture says, “what you do for the least of these you do for me”).  My daughter concluded her story by saying, “And you know what Mom.  He was SOOOOO happy.  And that made me SOOOO happy.”  And I replied with an addition of, “And it made your mama and Jesus SOOOO happy as well!”

So once again, Jesus taught me, through my daughter, that rejoicing happens in true generosity and selflessness.  My daughter could have had a very different response.  She could have not done anything in this situation.  She could have even been a little happy in the thought that she had a snack and he didn’t.  This being the delighting in evil thing we are looking at this week.  But instead she experienced rejoicing and many others did to as she acted upon The Truth in God’s Word which says as is written above:

Matthew 10:42
“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

My daughter challenges me to give relentlessly-I see over and over the grace and gift of giving my daughter has from the Spirit.  It’s real hard to out give her and we have to simmer her down at times to not have her immediately go buy for someone once she receives a bit of money.  But I love this about her and she inspires me to be better because this is not one of my strengths/spiritual gifts.  And I love how we as the body of Christ are all given various gifts and as we work together we function real well to bring the love and light of Jesus to a hurting world.  I can even rejoice in this truth that we are not created the same, having the same gifts, and seeing the gifts God has given others should be a place of joy for His Kingdom not a place of depression or comparing.  Because I have been given gifts too, and so have you.  Going against our culture’s evil values of “greed, all out for me mindset” and taking God’s true word and acting upon it means joy.  For you.  For others.  And for our Father who see’s it all.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 292016
 

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 1:3-8

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.  2 Peter 3:18

 I am letting you in on the “real” from my week.  And I can tell you the “Best Christian Mother” awards have been given out elsewhere. Maybe it’s because on Monday my ability to hang in there for any amount of time with my daughter for the earth day bird feeder project was nonexistent.  Maybe it’s because on Tuesday my motivation to fold laundry was left back in my more “trying to be Martha” days.  It could be because on Wednesday the dinner was leftover leftover’s.  But it also might be the fact that on Thursday I spilt the coffee grounds all over the floor-twice-once in the morning, once in the evening. 

But Friday’s realization hit me harder than all the others.  I have SO felt my heavenly Father pressing me into talking to Him more in this season-I felt led to start prayer groups, have been praying with excitement, faith, and regularity regarding specific needs/people for our church, am taking time to stop the conversation with a friend who is stressed or needs guidance and pray for them then and there (no matter if it’s in the grocery store or at school) and have made efforts to include Jesus in my random thoughts and tasks, asking Him to “work out with me, cook with me, and clean with me”.  So I guess this is why the “condemnation/guilt” train of the enemy stayed longer than usual at the station of my mind and heart this week when I made this Friday’s “lack of parenting” realization.  My Friday doozy downer, whether I was too tired, lazy or whatever excuse could be used, was I had not been praying with my girls.  This “Power of a Praying Mom” hadn’t been intentional and disciplined to teach and rolemodel prayer (other than meal times) with her little’s.  So I thanked the Lord for the unexpected garage treasure Friday find of a flip and write notebook of nighttime prayers for children.  And I thanked Him for His grace as I knew tonight was the night to take on a new intentional habit of nighttime prayers with those He had entrusted to me.

I started my showing the flip and write book to my middle daughter.  And she took to it quickly.  She chose a prayer and we read it together.  Then she got to write her own prayer to Jesus (and you would have thought it was this five year olds birthday when I showed her it had a dry erase marker and eraser.)

We have been doing the flip and write prayer for a couple days now and I had another realization.  I came in thinking I had to teach my daughter’s how to pray and they ended up teaching me.  Below are the some of the prayers they wrote to God:

Day 1-You are good to me.

Day2-I love you.

Day 3-I want to be baptized in water.

Day 4-Help me not forget my (earth day) project.

Day 5-Thanks for giving me a break today (to play instead of doing the typical homework routine).

Oh the simplicity.  Oh how short.  Oh the faith.  Oh how “real”.  Oh the humility.  Oh how grateful.  Of these from the heart, whatever’s on the mind prayers.  And I know our heavenly Father is smiling.  When we follow a child like faith prayer model.

  • So whenever we receive good news this week may we shoot up a “you are good to me” prayer in the moment.
  • At random laundry folding moments or right when our feet hit the floor in the morning may we say “I love you” to Jesus.
  • May we make time to “be still and know that He is God”, inviting Him to wash us with His living water!
  • May we fix our eyes on Him saying “Help me”, when fear, anxiety and trouble begin to fill our minds and circumstances.
  • And may we continue to say “thank you Jesus” for specifics of the blessings in our lives.

In what circumstance do you need to take on some childlike faith and trust God instead of being overwhelmed and frustrated at the mess around you?

In what specific times of the day can you incorporate some 2 second prayers to God to include Him in your everyday tasks?

Are you growing in the knowledge, grace and love for God and if not, why not?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 292016
 

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  1 Peter 3:8

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind (also translated “being like-minded”), maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Philippians 2:1-4

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:11

It was the first.  Time.  Going it alone.  It was almost like the movie, “Three men and a baby”, except minus the three men and insert “two girls, a mom” (which equals “Two girls, a mom, and a baby” if you haven’t had your coffee yet this morning).  I have heard the horror stories of going from 2 to 3 kids-“you have to switch from one on one to zone defense”, or, “now no one wants to have you over for dinner”, or, “having no time for yourself becomes the norm”, or, “now you have to divide your brain to multitask three ways, which is almost impossible” and many more.  And they are all true.  (A sincerely, heart felt hats off to mothers with more than 3 children.  Seriously.  You are my hero’s.  And I need your autograph.)

My oldest’s lunch was packed the night before to allow more time to get everyone ready for school in the morning.  Check.  The well laid out plan of attack had circled my mind over the past week as I anticipated this day-“If I get up at 6:45am I should be able to start laundry for the day, then start bowling water for oatmeal while I turn on the fire and read my Bible.  While oatmeal is going, I can run upstairs and make sure the girls outfits for the day don’t look like we are dressing for “Mismatch/backwards Day” and call out reminders for teeth brushing and bed making.  The baby “Should” sleep all the while.  During breakfast I will nurse the baby and then put her in the carseat (trying not to forget the needed binki).  And myself getting ready for the day-well, that was the part that had to be alleviated.  Sweats, sweatshirt, cozy boots, and ponytail was my new mantra.

The morning went off just as I anticipated, except for the minoot fact that my house looked like I was getting ready for a garage sale. (I guess the cleaning up part comes at some other point.)  Oh and the aftermath was a doozie as well-  I was afraid someone might talk to me and I would have to answer and if it was possible to have a word be your best friend, mine would have been “massage”.  Thankfully I had made plans to be with close friends.  Who don’t judge by outward appearance.

Our friend time together wasn’t necessarily what I was anticipating, but it was much, much better.  Instead of mustering up what I would need to repeat the morning I had for the next day, I got to muster up hope.  The word “hope” was in order for my friend.  Her daughter had been having night terrors for the past couple weeks.  For my friend, this meant getting up 20 times in the night.  No more solutions in play.  An an inability to find compassion and understanding.  Tears of tiredness, guilt of a mother, and toiled up past childhood memories of pain.  Ultimately, hope had vanished from the scene.

I thought about my morning, but it quickly left my mind as I was drawn into love expressed by affectionate compassion (like in the above scriptures), and hope for my weary, tear stained friend.  I thought about the scripture, “Love always hopes”.  And was humbled by that mornings mission to do just that.  My other friend was “of the same mind” (like in the above scriptures).  And we spent our morning listening.  Praying for a miracle to occur in hearts, minds, and sleep patterns.  And putting all our hope in Jesus.  My discouraged friend is usually the one ministering to others and had a hard time receiving our love.  She found multiple phrases to express this, “I so shouldn’t have come this morning.  I am so sorry guys.  Seriously, this is a bummer, you don’t have to keep listening to this.  Let’s talk about something else.”  But we two who had gathered with our three didn’t comply.  But were expectant for our God to meet us and answer our plea for Him to do a mighty work.  And I am so glad we did.

The next morning, I missed a call from my friend we had hoped and prayed for.  With crazy schedules over the next couple days I wasn’t able to connect, but I wondered how her night, which had typically been too many wake ups to count, had been.  I saw my other prayer warrior friend at a coffee date a couple days later and she said, “Did you hear about the night terrors?”  I said, “No, I missed a phone call from her and haven’t been able to reach her yet.”  My friend said, “For the past 3 nights her daughter has not woken up ONCE with a night terror!!!”  Wow.  Praise God.  It was a miracle.  It was a brilliant display of Christ’s body coming together in one mind-answered prayer -God’s faithfulness-love always hopes-and a good gift given by the Father to His child.  Oh-Amen Jesus!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Dec 312015
 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercyhe has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Peter 1:3-7

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 13:15

My sister in law asked me what was my favorite gift was this year.  I didn’t have to think long.  It was Evie.  My 12/12/15 birthday baby.  Having gone through 9 months of a challenging pregnancy, her long awaited arrival was sweet.  With only a couple weeks into maneauvering a family of 5, the meaning of Evie’s name (even amidst my kidney stone hospital run 4 days after her birth, lack of sleep, nursing woes, the too many billyrubin pricks, and Christmas craze/sickness which befell upon everyone) strangely rings true for me now.  “Life”.

Her life has brought me life.  Just as our God promises abundant life to those who believe and follow Him, His gift of the life of Evie to me has overwhelmed me with unspeakable peace, joy and hope at the end of this year.  In remembering our four and a half years of infertility, I am grateful to God.  For my three when I had come to accept I wouldn’t have one.  For girls when I planned on boys.  For making it clear that Evie’s life was in His timing, His control and His perfect plan-not mine.  And ultimately, that our.  God.  Is.  Faithful.  And.  Can.  Be.  trusted.  Fully.  Evie=life.  God=the life giver.  Evie=a blessed, good gift to me.  God=THE giver of ALL good gifts.

Over the past couple weeks, I believe the Lord has been bringing someone to my mind.  Over.  And over again.  (These consistent, persistent thoughts, seeming out of my typical thought patterns is typically a sign to me that God is nudging me to act in some way for Him.)  I do not know this person well.  In fact have only met them one time, but know of their story.  Their story is one of chronic pain.  Inability to live life much outside the walls of home.  Everyday reliance on family to care for and meet financial, and physical needs.  And in our one, brief moment of meeting, the word HOPE flooded my entire being.  And this word continued to appear in the days and weeks which followed our interaction-a Facebook invite popped up “A night of Hope”; our sermon series at church was on “Hope”; and scriptures, as well as songs, involving a certain word (I think you know) permeated my days.

I knew I was to contact this person, pray for this person, do something for this person but didn’t know exactly how to proceed.  That’s when I believe God made my next step clear.  Our church gave everyone a $30 gift card to pass on to a person of our choice.  To bless them this season.  This person came immediately to my mind.  This financial blessing was definitely not the way I thought the Lord would have me proceed.  I told my husband I believed God placed someone on my heart to give this to.  And He graciously agreed to the choice.

We emailed but have not been able to connect with this person yet.  But I trust His timing will be perfect.  And it is this morning in which  I have been able to lift my head briefly from the new Mom fog and get a quick swig of coffee (from our new machine which actually uses whole beans-I feel so spoiled, but I’m ok with it) and some in the Word/fix my eyes on Jesus time (while the miracle moment happened- the babe was sleeping, the girls were happily occupied and the house looked decent enough for me to feel grace/freedom from my Father for some much needed time with Him).  And this person was brought to my cloudy, rummy mind again.  And the three songs which came on K love nearly brought me tears as my heart went out to this individual.  And I actually did cry as the Lord brought to mind what my next theme verse I would be writing on was, “Love is always hopeful”.  There was that “hope” word again.

Then my moment of God time was interrupted by Evie’s newborn cry.  (The gas breaks up those sleep patterns much more often than i would like.)  I decided to put try her for the first time in the “Baby Bourne” carrier.  It had worked before for the other girlies, hoping for the best with this one as well.  As my husband helped me get her all locked in snug to my chest, I continued to find His Spirit speaking in my everyday new baby routine.  Evie fought with all her might with her little hands, feet and bobbing head to break free, but then finally relaxed.  Was calmed.  And found peace and rest in just being held.

May we, on this day before the New Year, also stop fighting.  To be in control of it all.  To know and understand it all.  To do and be it all.  And be held by our heavenly Father’s loving arms-finding true peace in our current circumstances because He is THE Prince of Peace.  Finding true rest from our anxieties and worries when we give our burdens to Him because He cares deeply about them and about us.  And finding true HOPE for our now and tomorrow’s New Year because we know He is the only true HOPE we base our lives upon, knowing His plans for us are good and hopeful (Jer 29:11).

As this is a “too be continued” story since we have not yet given our $30 gift card to the individual I believe God put on my heart/mind, I wait in hopeful expectation as to how God will show up, be glorified.  And may you be encouraged by our God of Hope as you wait in expectation as to His good gifts and plans He has for you in 2016 as you allow Him to hold you in His loving arms of HOPE today.

What trial in your life are you going down the “giving up”/”quitting” path?  Will you ask God for His strength to persevere in the hard and restore to you His hope today?

Would you be willing to ask God what area you need to submit to Him in this New Year?

 Would you take the opportunity in the beginning of the New year to lay down fears to the Father and ask Him for courage to step out in faith (not sight) in response to the Spirit’s “nudge” ( “new mission” of obedience) He is calling you to?

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 302015
 

 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and persistent in prayer.  Romans 12:12

Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  Isaiah 40:31

Oh the terror of what could have been for this Thanksgiving.  And a poem to prove it:

 It was the Night Before Thanksgiving and the Willis clan, had some various happenings that were not a part of the plan.

The pregnant Mama said, “I think that it’s time”, and the Dada monitored contractions, with each whimper and whine.

All the while the oldest daughter couldn’t seem to swallow, “I have a bad sore throat Daddy, I probably can’t do anything tomorrow.”

The Daddy tended to all his girls with ever loving care (but thinking ever silently that this Thanksgiving would split his every hair)

The morning of Thanksgiving came without a baby hospital run, but Urgent Care was a must indeed, for the Strep throat medicine time had come.

So we are thankful, yes we are, to have not ruined Thanksgiving for one and all, we praise the Lord this baby stayed inside and did not come to call.

Even though my sweet daughter had to be quarantined with only a constant stream of movies and 7-up to keep her company, Thanksgiving happened.  And the good part is that this Thanksgiving brought to light 2 character traits in my girls I had never noticed before.  2 traits I can be thankful for in them and am motivated to work on displaying these “Jesus characteristics” myself.

I admired my oldest daughter’s lack of complaining and ability to keep a positive attitude in spite of her disappointment and painful state.  I am pretty sure when I am sick my style is to make sure to let people know how badly I feel.  Over.  And over again.  I throw a great pity party also when everyone else is getting to do something fun and I can’t.  So today is the day to turn over a new leaf.  (Choosing His perspective and attitude in the final stretch of this sick, difficult pregnancy.)  To close my mouth when I want to spew complaints and pains.  And instead look to Jesus.  To provide me with joyful hope.  Strength as I wait on Him.  And patience in affliction because we are not in control.

My youngest daughter got some serious attention this Thanksgiving, being that she didn’t have to split Aunt/Uncle/Cousin/Nana/Papa time with her older sister.  And she loved every.  Minute.  Of it.  But the one inspiring characteristic she displayed and I could not get over was her persistence.  The adults were talking after the meal and she politely invited everyone to watch her dance show.  Most of the family said, “Oh good, maybe later though.”  So she waited.  Then she made the rounds again and said, “The dance show is starting, please come!”  Some came.  But she shamelessly wanted everyone to attend and so the asking continued.  And what do you know but her persistence payed off.  Everyone attended the show.  And I admired her persistence.

As I contemplate these “Jesus characteristics” in the light of my own life and in relation to how I love other’s I am humbled.  Both of the above traits come to a bottom line for me, “Love never gives up”, as it says in 1 Cor. 13:7a.

Maybe you are in a time of trial, waiting, or physical pain.   My prayer is that you would find strength and hope in Jesus today. Or maybe you know of a friend or family member who is in a troubling time.  As I was nudged by the Spirit to pray for a woman fighting the cancer battle the other day, I wept for her.  I prayed that we, as the body of Christ, would surround her and meet her physical, spiritual and emotional needs.  And my prayer is the same for you.  That in love, you would not give up on others who are sick and in trial.  Because we know, “Love never gives up”.

Maybe you have been praying for a loved one for a long time.  To come back to Jesus.  Or to come to Jesus.  But maybe over time, your persistence in prayer has dwindled.  This Thanksgiving brought my lack of persistence in prayer for those without salvation to my attention.  I thought about these specific individuals who need salvation.  And I thought about times when I was good about praying for them.  But truly, now, if I am being honest, I had given up on them.  I had given up hope for change because I wasn’t seeing it.   So just as my youngest daughter was persistent in asking others over and over and over again to attend her dance show, I need to be persistent in praying for my loved ones that they would come to the “Jesus salvation show”.  Because we know, “Love never gives up”.

What have you been complaining about that you can instead ask for help from Jesus to be patient, self controlled, and have a changed heart in?  Will you also give your worries and complaints to Him and allow Him to take them/have control over them?

Is there someone you have given up praying for?  Will you, in love, not give up and persist in prayer instead?

Who can you show the love of Jesus to today who is sick?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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