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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Jul 302014
 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

My oldest daughter has had a “go to” book since she was old enough to sit up and flip pages.  This book is currently, and has for years sat on her nightstand.  We call the book, “The Dog Book”.  (Probably fairly self explanatory.)  You have a dog temperament question, you want to know what breed just walked past you, my daughter most likely will be there for you.

This next statement may sound strange to you so gear up.   I feel like I am a dog-A Bloodhound.  To be exact.  When I run.

As I train for this marathon, I feel compelled to do it without the help of an I-Pod or audio books.  Which makes some serious time left to my own thoughts, along with spending time with God.  In this journey there is one truth I have found:  Because my senses are not tuned in to music, a book, or talking to someone, they are perked up elsewhere; Making me and the Bloodhound more alike than I would like to admit.

For all of you dog lover’s and my daughter Lucy, this may be a recap for you, but for the rest of us, here is a little Bloodhound synopsis from “The Dog Breed Information Center”:

“The Bloodhound thrives on the hunt rather than the kill. It takes great pleasure in tracking and has been used to hunt animals, criminals, runaway slaves and lost children. Today this slow mannered, rich sounding breed is both tracker and companion. Although it has a pleasant temperament, it is not easy to obedience train, most likely largely due to the fact that it gets distracted from human command, more interested in all of the exciting strong smells around him.”

The ways the Bloodhound and I are alike:

  • Heightened senses of smell, sight, and sound.
  • Easily distracted by surroundings.
  • Doesn’t follow human commands.
  • Wired to find lost people.

It is crazy to notice what I am tuning into on my “free of noise” runs instead of tuning out like I normally am in the mode of doing in my day to day routine.

Eyes-I am taken back by a field of brilliant magenta flowers on my left.  A prestine, manicured lawn on my right.  A pop can where it shouldn’t be.

Ears-  The city sounds of cars whizzing by.  The “out of the city” sounds of bird songs.  The “Good job” from another runner not “tuned in”.

Nose-The city smells equalling the gaustly combination of car exhaust, Burger King, garbage and chinese food, with a hint of freshly made donuts.  The “out of the city” smells of lilacs, cow manure, and hay.

Just as the Bloodhound has difficulty following human commands and is honed in to finding the lost, so should we, as Daughter’s of The King, display these personality traits.  We follow Jesus’ commands, and not people’s commands.  Following Jesus means following Jesus.  And not other’s.  Following Jesus means doing life different.  From the typical American woman, mother, wife, employee.  From the way we respond to difficulty and trials.  From the way we interact with others.  From the way we show unconditional love.  Forgiveness.  And Compassion.

When we become too engrossed in distractions around us and forget to use our “Bloodhound” makeup, we can become tuned out to the Kingdom mindset and life.  When we have some time to be without-The noise of music, tv shows, technology, phones, Apps, Ipods/pads, facebook, Pinterest, email, online shopping/games-we remember our true selves within.  Our true identity, our true mission, our true makeup in Christ.  And our “Bloodhound”/Kingdom/Heaven focused heightened senses come out strong.  And we find ourselves in a strange place of rest.  Refreshment.  And Rejoicing.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 282013
 

I HAVEN’T BOUGHT NEW UNDERWEAR IN PROBABLY 11 YEARS.  BEFORE YOU BECOME COMPLETELY DISGUSTED, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND I HAVE RECEIVED SOME NEW PAIRS IN MY STOCKINGS AT CHRISTMAS AND SOME NEW TO ME PAIRS ON INFINITE LOAN FROM MY MOTHER.  So it’s not as if I ONLY wear my oldie but goodie’s.  But here is the truth:  my oldies are worn.  Worn out.

I knew it was time to buy some new undies when my husband said, “Wow, those are some nice underwear.  I think it’s time for those to go in the trash.”  He had been dropping some hints about them over the last 5 years, but for some reason it wasn’t until this comment that I was ready to take action.

You would be proud of me.  I used half of my JC Penny gift card to purchase brand spankin’ new undies last week.  And I threw away my oldies.  My family can rest easy now.  No worries of seeing me in the tattered and torn underwear I purchased 11 years ago for my wedding.  I have to admit it felt good to be out with the old and in with the new.

Last week I had multiple days where I felt worn out like my oldie undies.  But one day stands out in particular.

My Day of Worn

  1. I woke up to my girls were screaming at each other. I ran to tackle the issue at hand.  Completely undressed, Lucy and Sadie had poured cups of water, ALL the toys, and hundreds of stickers all over the room.  The cream of the crop: Lucy had peed the bed.  They were tugging back and forth over one sticker.  Worn.
  2. I sent both girls to time outs and began cleaning the huge mess.  Worn.
  3. I began the regular routine of breakfast, coffee, and cleaning up the kitchen, while taking extra vitamin C to fight off a sore throat.  Worn.
  4. I wasn’t able to go to Bible Study to be filled up spiritually and emotionally due to my girls being sick.  I hadn’t been out of the house in a couple days.  Worn.
  5. I was on my period.  I was grouchy.  My motivation to be the positive, patient mom was more than gone.  Worn.
  6. We were out of lunch meat, milk, and laundry hadn’t happened due to sickness.  Worn.
  7. I hadn’t had time over the past week to write, read my Bible, run, or spend time with friends.  Worn.
  8. Both girls had been up in the middle of the night=no restful sleep for me.  Worn.
  9. I broke down and cried.  Worn.

Through my tears, God comforted me through His Word.  Come to me, all you who are burdened and I will give you rest.  Mt.  11:28

I don’t replay my Day of Worn in order for you to feel bad for me.  Reality is: I know you could tell me a similar but unique to you Day of Worn you had once, twice or many times this month.  I write about my worn to say I am with you, sister.

The Day of Worn is when we must cry out to Jesus.  Because it is in the worn that we can so easily draw into ourselves and forget to even ask for help.  But I have found He meets me so deeply in the worn.  He provides exactly what I need to continue on.  To get beyond me.  To praise Him in it. 

Just like I got rid of my worn out undies to bring in the new ones, we also can say goodbye to our worn self to embrace the new.  Our situation won’t necessarily change, but when we fix our eyes on Jesus we bring Him into our worn.  And through the power of His Holy Spirit we can find rest, help, strength, hope, joy and peace.  Jesus makes ALL things new.

“Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God.”  Author unknown.

Ps.  42:5  “Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

If you are experiencing a Day of Worn allow this song “Worn”  to minister to you.

What was one part of your Day(s) of Worn?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Oct 182012
 

Huge mound of laundry to fold. Beds need to be changed. Hampers overflowing. Sink full of dishes.

Need to figure out how to recover the money I spent via paypal on running shoes that never came and how to reimburse myself for medical expenses from my new flex account.

Two soccer games today, birthday party for a friend, wedding reception. Maisy needs a bath.

Plane tickets and hotel for conference in a few months. Need to order more reusable lunch baggies and the next history book for the kids. Behind on responding to email! Need to schedule time to see my mom.

Aaron doesn’t have any work shirts—need to iron. Haven’t exercised all week! What am I going to make for dinner?

“Recollection is the gentle art of prayerful gathering-in…one calls back the scattered, fragmented self, strewn about one’s world

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like trash on a windy day.”[1]

Re-collecting. Collecting ourselves again. We are pulled in too many different directions as we try to keep all the plates spinning at once. It is the nature of managing multiple lives. It would be unavoidable even if it were only food, clothing and shelter we

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cared about.

But when it hits us lying awake at night that it’s little souls we are tending, well then it seems like we will never adequately cover all the bases.

The logistics and great responsibility of mothering scatter us far and wide in mind and body. And then we go and fling ourselves around further, from the mall to facebook to coffee dates to a hundred projects, in our hunger for connection and significance. Our little souls are needy too.

It is so hard to pull back, isn’t it?

I have a “recollection” candle on the kitchen sill…blue like the ocean, with little rocks around it from my favorite beach.

I light it regularly, take a deep breath and ask for help. My sprawling tentacles and all they are seeking are drawn in slowly. I become smaller, tighter, able

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When the moon draws back the waters, there is an empty stretch of beach underneath. The

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practice of recollection uncovers an empty space inside…it can be hard to bear. But we light the candle and we try. Over time we discover that it feels good to have room inside.

“In returning and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength.”[2]

Each kid picked out a “recollection candle” of their own this fall and we are trying 15 minutes of prayer and reading before school in the morning. I light their candles and they go in their rooms and close the door for some alone time with the Holy Spirit. Little bearers of fire, learning to bear the quiet.

What problem or project are you cycling on that you could let go, withdrawing your attention and energy in the interest of recollection?


[1] Loretta Ross, Letters from the Holy Ground, p. 136

[2] Isaiah 30:15

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