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 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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Feb 092016
 

Love perseveres….1 Corinthians 13:7b

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Romans 5:3-5

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

It is time to air out some dirty laundry.  Throughout my childhood the word “perseverance” may as well have been the word “Olympian” because both were non existent in my life.  I distinctly remember trying a variety of sports/activities/hobbies on for size.  But there was a common thread which determined whether my interest would dwindle or ignite.  The difficulty and amount of work required.  When I learned piano lessons involved hours of practicing outside of the actual lesson, I told my Mom this wasn’t for me.  Neither was ballet, or gymnastics, for the same reason.  In college, I knew I wanted to do a music major, but when Theory class came around, I quit.  The class was extremely difficult and so I considered other options which were easier to me.  As an adult, the above word has been evident in my life.  Although mainly because I was forced into it.

My most recent “must persevere moments” have been due to our now 7 week old baby girl.  The last nine months before she was born, I puked.  Nearly every day and usually multiple times.  But I had to persevere.  When she has been screaming non stop for 15 minutes and my only wish is for 2 hours of straight sleep at night, I have to persevere.  The above two are “forced perseverence” opportunities, but the one I am currently struggling with I have brought upon myself.  One word-Weightloss.  Getting rid of the baby weight involves self control in my diet, hard work with the “Daily Burn video’s” each morning, and an ability to continue doing it even when the scale proves disheartening.  This last Thursday I was ready to go back to my childhood piano playing mindset and let the baby weight stay.

I cried to my friends as I told them of my weeks of work and the scale showed only 1 pound less.  My discouragement was at a 10.  My hope was at a 0.  My heart needed much.  And so they prayed.  For strength to continue the hard work.  For help, healing and comfort from the Father.  For my spirit to be lifted with quick results.  Ultimately-they exemplified how “love perseveres”.  Because they cared for me, they would not let me quit.  But they would let me be encouraged through their caring prayers of hope.

And through their prayers the Holy Spirit comforted my deep wounded soul.  And I know nothing is impossible with God.  And so I continue on this difficult journey.  It may take more time than I would want.  It may take more work than I would want.  It may take more mustering up of discipline and self control than I would want.  But I trust God.  And His Word.  And know through this perseverance, there is character and hope on the horizon.

What are you currently needing to persevere?  Will you ask friends to pray with you to help you endure?

Who can you give encouragement and hope to in order to show you love them and are with them in their struggle?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 052016
 

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31

(Love) it always hopes…1 Corinthians 13:7b

God is faithful.  Always.  In the character of who He is.  And in the action of answering prayer.  This particular answered prayer was unique.  It not only stretched me more out of my comfort zone than I had been stretched up to this point, it has initiated and defined what I believe the Lord has called me to for this year of 2016.

I had mentioned in an earlier post about someone God had laid on my heart to pray for over this past Christmas season.  She was practically a stranger, who I had only met briefly at my husband’s work function.  I had heard through the grapevine that she had a sickness which she had been struggling with for years.  The disease meant complete fatigue the majority of the day and normal, everyday tasks felt to her like she just completed a marathon.  My thought was that I would get her email and send her an encouraging note saying I was praying for her.  But as the Lord continued to bring her to my mind to pray, I felt more and more sure I was to go visit her and pray with her.  And with the nail in the coffin comfirmation of our church “gift card for someone God lays on your heart to give to”, I knew there was only one option.  So, I got her email and asked if I could come over and pray with her sometime.  Thinking I could get a, “Well that’s weird we don’t even really know you”, response, I was pleasantly happy with, “My eyes welled up with tears with this email.”

We played email tag for weeks trying to get a day/time that would work.  I got a little frustrated and had a conversation with God about it.  “I thought Christmas would be the time she would need to be encouraged.  Or even Jan 1 at the very start of the new year.  What is the deal Lord?  I thought this was a priority to you?”  I know the Lord loves my times I make Him aware of the timing on things.  Or how circumstances aren’t as they “should be”.  I mean, I recognize He is the creator of the universe but really, I do have to keep Him in line/take control every now and then.  The Lord quieted my “go, go, go, do, do, do” spirit with a, “I am in control.  My timing is perfect” speech.  He uses this speech a lot with me and wouldn’t you know, it works every time.  I gave this prayer time back to Him.  Soon, a date and time was set.  But I have to admit.  I was real nervous.

Stepping out in faith to respond to what you believe God is calling you to do always involves faith.  Funny thing right?  We aren’t able to see exactly how things are going to turn out.  We don’t have all the “why” questions answered.  It doesn’t feel solid and sure.  It is uncomfortable and a stretch in usually more ways than one.  And this was one of those times.  I was connecting with practically a stranger.  Asking to go to their home.  And going to pray, not knowing why or exactly what to pray.  This sounds like a recipe for humiliation cupcakes.

But when I get that “peace that surpasses all understanding” and for me, the quickening of my heart and mind to an idea/action which is completely not my own, I do my best to throw all “logic” to the wind and act on it.  In faith.  Knowing the One who gave the idea/action is faithful.  Welcome to crazy adventure town when following Jesus.

I asked my prayer warrior sister in law if she would come along to pray also.  She was up for the ride.  We went, we prayed, we cried, we thrived.  All because God had a pot of love a cookin’ for not only the one receiving the prayer, but also the ones saying it.  Below are a few mini miracles which happened on this rainy Tuesday night.  These are my hurting Sister in Christ’s words:

The gift card  given to me was kind of a message from God. I don’t have the ability to earn an income, so when I’m given money for various reasons; Birthday, Christmas etc, I hold onto that money tightly. But one night my mom and I were out shopping and I had been debating whether or not I should get a certain person a gift. Then I thought God says he’ll always provide and holding on tightly to money is bad idea, so I felt compelled to get the gift even though for me it was a little expensive. Then guess what? Gift card to the same place I had bought the gift 🙂
Also, when Jillian was praying for me, she started to cry, and then I knew she understood. I didn’t even realize I had been in such want of someone recognizing my pain and battle until that moment. It was so comforting to be with someone who understood, to not have to wonder if they believed me and be able to put my guard down. I know God put that understanding in her heart because the only other person who sees me that well is my mom. When she prayed, it was like she was reading the walls of my heart. She prayed that one day I could run and dance through a field, free and unweary. This really got to me because I desire that specifically in my heart. And actually drew a picture of myself running through a field about a year ago now.

So what a start to the New Year.  I believe this year God is calling me to a year of restoring hope to the hopeless through the power of prayer.  Hope in prayer.  Prayers in Hope.  And wouldn’t you know what this above Sister in Christ is named?  You guessed it-Hope.  A prayer for Hope/hope changes a heart.  Glory to God!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 172015
 

Love never gives up. 1 Corinthians 13:7a 

I felt nudged by the Spirit to start a women’s prayer group.  Five months prior I had stepped out of my Worship Pastor job, various ministry commitments, and truly any activity which required me to be present.  My pregnancy sickness left me couch ridden and unable to do much of anything else but simply survive the day.  But a new dawn had risen.  I found myself able to leave the house and clean my house.  Now all which was needed was to have people over to my house-and thus, our Refreshed women’s prayer group began.

Never lead a prayer group before.  So as I charted this new territory, I once again had to rely on the Lord for the “how to’s”, “how come’s”, and “how can I’s”.  And I have absolute confidence in His ability to calm my fears and lead me as a Good Shepherd whenever I start something new.  This confidence comes from remembering His past faithfulness in Every.  Other.  Unknown circumstance.  And starting this “Refreshed” women’s prayer group has been no exception to this truth.

Last week everyone in our group cried at some point during our sharing/times of praying for one another.  (Of course this is not too earth shattering since we are all mother’s and I am pretty sure once you become a mother part of the job description is to cry at the drop of the hat when someone’s feelings are involved.)  We were praying for our children by name.

The tears came for one blessed mother as she said one of her children’s name’s and attached the word, “Lost”, in regards to how to parent her.  This mother explained further that for two years she had been unable to do school drop off’s without her child crying and clinging in desperation that she didn’t want to go.  Day’s and week’s and month’s of trying to problem solve this.  Day’s and week’s and month’s of a mother’s feelings of guilt and shame as other mother’s seemed to watch with eyes of judgment.  Day’s and week’s and month’s of feeling inadequate and unable.  And after day’s and week’s and month’s of no change, she was fed up.  Giving up.  And had used up-all.  her.  faith.

So this is where our group of six stepped in with our faith.  We had faith for her.  We prayed fervently for a change in this child.  We prayed fervently for wisdom which only comes from above for our dear friend.  We had hearts which were bursting big with belief in our God to do the impossible.  We were asking for a “mini miracle” which was 2 years and coming.

As my friend was walking to her car after our prayer time together I felt Spirit nudged to call out to her and say, “I have GREAT HOPE for you my friend.”  And I did.  And this stemmed from this amazing truth from God’s Word that, “Love never loses faith.  Love believes all things.”

The next day our group of six got a text from this “Lost mother”.  Here is what she wrote (I have this mother’s permission to tell you her story, however I am using different names to protect their privacy.):

So listen to this….Here is a picture of my girls walking into school together.  Yesterday, Julie almost had a panic attack and I had to walk her inside the building to her classroom.  Julie has never had the confidence to walk into school by herself, I’ve walked her in since Kindergarten (and she is in 2nd grade this year).  You guys, I don’t have words.  From yesterday to today it is an absolute miracle.  The power of prayer is incredible.  I’m at a loss for words.

We all have voiced times of worn, troubles with marriages, mothering, health, and friendships, and prayer needs so beyond us we don’t even know how to put them into words.  But we do not battle alone.  We understand as God’s Word says in Eph 6:12, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world” and that one of our biggest weapons is to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions…. Eph 6:18a”.  And so we continue to pray for one another.

I can’t tell you of ALL the other testimonies which came out of the above prayer time and other prayer times we have had because it would be pages and pages long, but I can tell you our group of six is a group which does not major in the minors.  And we see “major’s” as any situation we are living in fear over or believe to be an impossible to change in our own strength/control.  We see “major’s/mini miracles” as victory in Jesus over our own or other’s changed mind’s and hearts and actions.

We can each testify and give glory to God because we have witnessed over and over strongholds torn down.  Chains broken.  The impossible becoming possible.  Supernatural healing happening.  All due to the faithfulness of our God.  And the power of prayer.

And out of this the Lord has changed my heart and mind to see clearly two reoccurring themes.

1.-God is faithful-God really does hear and answer prayer.

2.  We are to never lose faith- to believe all things are possible through Jesus when we pray for our loved ones.  Prayer is a powerful weapon.

Who in your life is having trouble “never losing hope/faith” and you could in love and faith stand in the gap for them and pray with them?

How can you incorporate more prayer into your daily schedule?  Will you ask Jesus for courage and confidence in His Spirit to pray when fear/worry arises in you and your loved one’s lives?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 282015
 

Have you ever been apart of something that was so beyond you and your ideas/giftings/norm that the only explanation was God?  Well, the below story- is my testimony- to give God glory.  (Don’t let the previous rhyming lesson your desire to read on.)

Self-seeking versus Kingdom seeking moment-#3-My brother-It was another being moment with God and as I prayed through the highlight real of those in need around me, I was compelled to pray for my brother.  Sure, he could use prayer, but there were no urgent/needy requests at the surface, so I pressed into the Spirit for the specific words to pray.  I saw a picture of him leading worship at his church on Sunday.  Today was Saturday.  I prayed for his upcoming worship gathering the next day, even though this was not an uncommon thing for him to lead (since he is the worship pastor).  Then I believed I was supposed to text him to encourage him in this.  I texted,  “Praying for your anointing during your worship time tomorrow bro!”  (At this point I wasn’t exactly even sure he was leading/on a team, but responded to what I believed to be the spirit’s prompting.)  After I sent the text I looked back at that word “annointing” I used.  Curious.  I was prompted in my spirit to use this word, but this word was not in my regular wheelehouse of encouragement phrases.  But we are called to live by faith. In obedience.  To what we believe our God is asking of us.  No matter whether it feels silly, doesn’t make sense, or wouldn’t be our traditional way of speaking or acting.

Truthfully I lose track of what day it is these days because everyday my main goal (other than “being” with Jesus) is simple, “try not to throw up as much as you did the day before”.  But somehow as my mom was saying a prayer over our breakfast, it popped into my head that today was Sunday.  Then immediately after this Einstein realization the same picture of my brother leading worship filled my mind.  I felt compelled to pray again for his worship time.  So I did the “add on prayer” after my mom was done (don’t judge me, I know I am not alone in this!) in a quick asking of the Lord to bless my brother’s worship time this morning.

The next day it was evident why I had had the promptings to pray for my brother.  My brother called in pure excitement.  He had lead worship like any other Sunday.  But this Sunday was different.  A guest speaker asked if he could speak a word he believed the Lord had for the “piano player”, my brother.  The speaker said he was “annointed” by God to play music for many, many people.  In a time when my brother is at a crossroads, the prayers, text, prompting to use the word “annointing”, speaker’s word played into my brother feeling affirmed, loved, and led down the path God has for him.  Wow.  I am amazed.  How God would love me enough to let my sick self play a part in His heart for my brother.  What an honor.  To pray with Kingdom thoughts other than our own.  To act on Kingdom promptings.  To be with the Kingdom Maker.  To experience the joy of participating in and witnessing Kingdom miracles.

Oh Lord, may my self needs and ambitions die today.  May your will be done here as it is in heaven.  May I seek You.  First.  Thank you for the gift of simply being in your presence.  May your agenda, ways, words, thoughts, attitude, character and Kingdom be first on my to do list.  Today. 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

What thing, activity, or person(s) are trumping seeking God’s Kingdom/will in your day today?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 252015
 

Do you sometimes get caught up in thinking your doing for God is what counts?  Does the being with God and loving/seeking His presence become simply a “side effect” of the primary mission to do for Him?  When all is stripped away.  All our spiritual giftings.  Good outreach services.  Times of praying and counseling others to Jesus.  Times of giving to those in need.  When ALL THE GOOD we have done and are doing is taken away.  Will our foundation still be rooted in loving God?  And are we okay with this being enough?  This question of “am I enough for you God?” is what the Lord has been answering for me today.  (A quick peak ahead to His answer to this question for each of us, His children, it’s always “Yes”.)

Self-seeking versus Kingdom seeking moment-#2-Serving by being This morning verse about the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28) which are made by God and bringing glory to Him by simply “being”.  We are not of value to God by what we “do” for Him, we are of value to Him simply because we are His children.  Our primary job is to stay connected to Him.  Yep.  That’s it my friends.   And in a season of feeling incapable to perform any typical household/job/motherly duties, being homebound in pajama’s all day and with seemingly all spiritual giftings on the shelf, this truth from God’s word was LIFE to me.  As I did what I could do-be.  with.  my.  Father- I felt the Lord nudge me, saying, As you stay connected to me, you can pray for those I lay on your heart.  This was a new mission for me.  One in which I gladly took on, for a way to get beyond my “self”.

Later that day, I was reading through the chapter in Ephesians that included the “verse of the day” on my fabulous Bible Gateway phone app (I love this because I can read a scripture in multiple versions and have my bible with me wherever I go).  Many of the verses were lifegiving for me, but one took me completely off guard.  And I got giddy.  Because it was Holy Spirit birthed.  My brother’s name blinked on and off in my mind like one of those florescent Vacancy hotel signs as I was compelled to read and re read, and re read this particular verse.  My mission was clear-pray for my brother and extend to Him this lifegiving verse I believe God had for him.  Wow.  Praise God.  Prayer actually changes things.  Don’t ever by into Satan’s lie (one that I had begun to entertain) that “You are only useful to God when you are at full health, full energy, full spiritual ability.  Praying is just for those on the sidelines.”

My friends, we have bought into Satan’s lies that to be busy for God is to be with God.  We need more people to lean into loving God rather than loving the work for God.  We need more people to confidently step into the game in which praying without ceasing means winning the game.  We need more people to find deep rooted trust in God even when life’s circumstances are a mess.   We need more people to grasp in their entire being the TRUTH which is this-To receive true joy, freedom, peace and purpose in life is to focus on one mission- Being.  With.  God.

Let’s be with God today.  For that purpose alone.  Let’s allow Him to love our tattered, worn, people pleasing, control seeking selves.  Let’s allow Him to renew our minds with His perspective and refreshed, rest filled balm.  And as He does this, let’s throw our arms around Him in love.

Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin… Matthew 6:28b

What would you have to change in your life in order for “being with God” to take priority?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 102013
 

MY DAUGHTER LUCY RODE A BIKE FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY.  WOW.  TALK ABOUT A NEW EXPERIENCE.  FOR US BOTH. 

I never knew being a mom could have such joy filled moments.  My past cheerleader self emerged from my inmost being.  My face held an unchanging ear to ear grin as I watched Lucy peddle without my hand holding the back seat.  The rush was unreal.  The moment was pure heaven. (The picture doesn’t truly catch Lucy’s hour of joy riding because unfortunately my prime timing to do the only photo was after she fell.)

Don’t get me wrong, I was terrified to let her go.  And her continual panicked moan of, “Aaaaa, aaaaa, aaaaa” told me she felt the same. But we both knew letting go was inevitable in order to embrace this new experience.

Just like I had to let go of Lucy’s seat in order for us to experience her riding a bike on her own, sometimes God says it is time to let go of something in order to embrace the new plan He has for you.  The new plan comes with unknowns, and is scary at first.  There is a mourning of the old way of doing things.

We panic just as Lucy did with an, “Aaaa, aaaa, aaaaa” feeling we aren’t ready.  We don’t have the strength, ability, or confidence.  We question God’s purpose as the Spirit leads us to uncharted territory.  But this is living life by faith.  Letting go of the seat of past ways, comfort, control, and pride.  And embracing God’s new bike riding experience for us!

This theme of “new” has been on my heart and mind for the past month.  God has been preparing me for the upcoming changes with SOP (Standing on Peace).

Although it is difficult to say goodbye to the three amazing women who poured their hearts into this ministry over the past year (And I am excited for the good, good, plans He has for them), God began to give me new, specific vision for SOP.

He has given me a new heart and passion for you.  A deep desire for us as sister’s in Christ to live in wholeness; in our mind, body, Spirit and as mother’s.  And out of this desire, write SOP Devotionals to encourage and give us peace in each of the above areas. (Dear Father, Dear Daughter Devotional: Summer Psalms starting one week from tomorrow!  More details to come.  I am overjoyed to begin this journey of faith with you.)

Here is my new commitment to you, my SOP sister’s.  I, Jillian Willis, commit to:

  • Pray for you daily.  I always love to get prayer requests through my email and I WILL pray for them!
  • Be your friend.  I will hurt when you hurt and cheer you on in your blessings and victories.
  • Write only what the Spirit leads me to write.  As I seek God in prayer for each post, I believe He will provide a timely, relevant word each of us.
  • Embrace.   Acknowledge my weaknesses, while embracing “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • Read the Bible daily.
  • Be real with you.  Sharing about my goods, bads, and ugly’s as a mother, wife, and daughter of God.  I celebrate your unique giftings, as I recognize I have my own.  And I will not be weighed down by comparison and discontentment. But understand I am free to fully be who God created me to be, knowing each of us serves a specific purpose in the body of Christ and we can help one another.

We serve a God who is constantly at work and is always doing something new.

  • Eph 4:23-24 says “To be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
  • Isa 43:18-19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it spring up; do you not perceive it?”

I wonder what new things God is doing in your life?  Maybe He wants to give you a new relationship, ministry, habit of reading His Word daily, attitude, perspective, contentment in your situation, clarity for living simply and with margin, hope for your future, freedom from sin and addiction, courage to act on the Spirit’s promptings, time to talk with Him in prayer daily?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 032013
 

I KNEW I WOULD HAVE SOME SERIOUS TIME TO KILL ON MY 9 HOUR FLIGHT ONE WAY (WITHOUT KIDS) A COUPLE WEEKS AGO.  I prayed the night before the flight, as well as the morning of, that the Lord would give me eyes to see and ears to hear if someone on the plane needed a touch from Him.

I was ready for the unbelieving teenager who didn’t have an earthly father and longed to experience unconditional love.  I was ready for the gray haired woman who held on to numerous wounds from “so called Christians”.  I was ready.  I was prayed up and expectant for who and what God would bring on my travel day.

I shouldn’t be surprised when God has a different plan for me.  I had no one sitting next me on the way there and the way back.  Lord, but I thought you would have me ministering to someone?  What now?  It was as if He gently whispered,

Take this time to be with Me.

A typical day with my toddler girls (does this actually exist?) allows me to have 30 minutes or so in the Word and in prayer (during their nap/quiet time).  So this extended time on the plane was an unexpected blessing.

I read in the Word.  I read Richard Foster’s, “Celebration of Discipline” in full (If you don’t have a book for the summer and haven’t read this book, it will challenge and inspire you!)

The Lord impressed upon my heart a word and scriptures to include in an upcoming talk I felt nervous and inadequate to do.  I furiously wrote down pages of notes.

I prayed about His direction for this blog.  I prayed for my kids, my husband, you, and what activities He would have me be in this upcoming year.

Time alone with my Father was something I needed, but didn’t know it.  Time alone with Him was productive, powerful and peace giving.

A Father speaks to you, His daughter:

I desire your time.  Time to speak to you through the Bible.  Time to take away the worries on your heart and mind. Time to talk real. Providing real comfort in your sadness.  Real patience in your anger.  Real forgiveness from your sin.  Real hope in your now.  Real freedom from past hurts.  Real clarity and wisdom in your questions. And then, real filling of your deep soul.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  He reveals deep and hidden things.  I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers;  You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you.” Daniel 2:20-21b,22a,23a

What sacrifice could be made in order to have daily alone time with Jesus?  What worries are heavy on your mind and heart and need to be lifted?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 202013
 

I WAS ON A TRIP WITH MY HUSBAND AND A GROUP OF 28 COLLEGE STUDENTS.  One of the students had the idea to take pictures in a museum, mimicking the posture and face of each large statue.  A historical king holding his sceptor, an Egyptian mummy, Mary and baby Jesus, and Greek goddess were a few.

I laughed so hard I peed my pants a little.  I felt like a child again.  There was freedom in simply having fun.

Immediately, a particular car ride (just before I left for this trip) came to mind.

I try to pray in the car for my girls on our way to preschool, or other activities.  My usual prayer goes something like, “Lord, please help Lucy and Sadie to learn about You, to be kind and loving to others, and to make some new friends.”

I recently asked them if they had anything they wanted prayer for, my oldest daughter Lucy spoke right up.  She said, “Pray that I would have fun!”

Wow.  The fun factor was not on my radar.  Sometimes I have difficulty being in the moment.  Not thinking 50 steps ahead.  Not being terribly serious and task.  Not living in freedom and joy.

As a mother, some of my greatest joys have been to see my girls laughing and enjoying life.  Laughing so hard as I spin them on the tire swing.  Laughing so hard with our game, “big bear is gonna get ya”.

A friend recently handed me the photo on this post titled, “Jesus Laughing”.  She said “Jesus loves to see you having fun.  He laughs with you.”  It makes sense that Jesus feels the same way about His children enjoying life that I do about my children having fun.  But for some reason, this was a new concept to me.

It brought happy, comforting tears to my eyes to visualize my Savior not so seriously.  Freedom and happiness flooded my soul.

Our Father says:

I desire overflowing joy for you, my child.  I love to watch you having fun.  I recognize you have many tasks to get done.  But make sure to take time to enjoy moments with others.  Freedom in Me means allowing yourself to let go of the serious face.  Freedom in Me means laughing and dancing and being silly as a child.  I created you to live with as carefree spirit.  Full of the excitement and adventure I have purposed for you.  Not bound by negativity and troubles of this world.  Rejoice with me, my child, as I rejoice over you.

“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”  Isaiah 62:5b

“The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing.”  Psalms 2:4jb

When was the last time you belly laughed?  What could you plan this week for the sole purpose of having fun?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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