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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Jan 272015
 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Today marks a day of change.  Fittingly, it is also the month which beckons it-January.  I had lost my self discipline somewhere along the way these last months.  All my “must have’s”, God driven passions have been put on the shelf.  But not today.

My inner commentary went something like this:

Writing.  Hmmm.  I know God would have me to be writing.  But I can’t seem to fit it in my day now with my new part time job.  And it would be a lot of work to start another book.  And it would mean getting up real early.  And I’m real tired in the mornings.  And it would mean getting up in the dark nonetheless.

Running.  Hmmm.  I know I previously found such life and intimacy with the Lord on my runs.  But I am watching my eating habits now and so I don’t really NEED to run for the weight loss benefits.  And I could sleep longer if I didn’t.  And my race is completed.  And running in the coldness is not a joy.  And it would mean getting up in the dark nonetheless.

Having a regular first fruits quiet, prayer, and God’s Word time.  Hmmm.  Sure I used to give God my firsts by talking to Him and reading His Word before doing anything else.   But with my new Pastoral position, I find myself reading God’s Word and praying with others sporadically during my day, versus having a regular-early- set time.  And I don’t want to “put God in a box” and say waking up with Him is a NECESSITY to do life with Him.  And my God is with me all the time and I shouldn’t HAVE to talk with Him privately at the beginning of EVERY day.  And I could sleep longer if I didn’t.  And it would mean getting up in the dark nonetheless.

So there is my mental list of excuses.  For NOT being obedient to what I believe God would have me to be doing.  To be honest, I was doing good for awhile.  My self discipline ranked real high.  Getting up early was part of my routine, it was never easy, but I had consistency.

I began to wonder where my consistency turned to complacency.  And here is what I think-I believe the game changed when I started listening to and acting upon my selfish, sinful desires rather than Jesus.  The rationalizations and excuses for NOT won out.  I chose flesh desires over Spirit desires.  I am a weak one, my friends.

And the enemy plays to my weakness.  Some themes from above came down to this, it is hard to obey Christ when:

  • I am afraid of the dark.
  • I have to get up early.
  • I don’t have accountability.
  • My life is undergoing change in routine.
  • The comforts of my body have to be put aside.
  • Regular self discipline is required.
  • Selfishness must be sacrificed.

Knowing my weak areas helps me to recognize when I am choosing complacency over consistency in Christ.  Knowing my weak areas is not something to be shameful of, instead, it is the reality of our human nature.  But the reality of my human nature does not mean I must succomb to it.  Because “when I am weak, then I am strong”.  Jesus in me is stronger “then he who is in the world”.  I have the ability to fight and win these spiritual battles when all the above weaknesses arise.  Always knowing, “there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus”, there is grace waiting when we are disobedient to the Spirit’s leading.

It gets me every time when I realize the enemy’s lie/selfishness tactics have worked.  I mean, it’s not like he is using new strategies.  He began with questions, self doubt, lies, playing to the desires, and a way to rationalize disobedience with Adam and Eve’s fruit eating episode.  And he continues to use what worked then, on us now.

The rub is this:  We will constantly battle an enemy who’s plan is to “kill, steal and destroy” us.  But-we serve a God who loves us SO beyond anything we could comprehend.  And, in turn, has fabulous, life giving plans for us here on earth.  It will not be easy to sacrifice our own selfish desires, while embracing God’s voice above other/our own, discomfort, risk, trust in Him, faith without seeing, a lack of control, hard work and self discipline.  But it is WELL.  WORTH.  IT.

Our loving Father says to us:

You need not fear the dark, my child.  Because I am with you in the dark.  When you feel bad-I am here.  When you battle selfishness and flesh desires-I am here.  When self discipline seems unattainable-I am here.  When excuses and rationalizations seem to reign, I am here.  When needs are beyond, I am here.  When rest is needed, I am here.  When waiting, I am here.  When hope seems far off, I am here.  When plans seem destroyed, I am here.  When weakness turns to strength, I am here.  When then enemy cowers in defeat, I am here.  When my Spirit equips you, I am here.  When my Word speaks real truth, I am here.  When mourning turns to dancing, I am here.  

When darkness turns to light, I am here.  

Come.  Walk with Me.  In the light.  My sweet child beloved. 

  

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 222014
 

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:4-5

There are times when I am focused on the task at hand and times when my mind is swayed by everything else around me.  It was a time when the latter was evident-the word “concentration” was far from my reality.

I was running on my regular nature path.  But for the life of me I could not stay on it.  Let me explain.

I saw a florescent wad of cloth off a couple feet to my left.  I was strangely drawn to it.  Who knows, maybe I had left it on a previous run?  I followed my curiosity to the field beside me. I found it was a boy’s shirt.  Truly not life changing.  Or even slightly exciting.  And most definitely didn’t belong to my girl power kiddo’s.

I was able to move on from this sighting fairly immediately.  I was about to get back on the path when something else mysterious caught the corner of my eye.  It was a deer.  Now this was a little more exciting-an untamed animal in the wild.  And I was mesmerized.  By its calm, staring demeanor.  And if this wasn’t enough of a little piece of heaven, another deer came to join.  And then another followed right behind!   I stood only three feet away from three deer and breathed in and out slowly with eyes fixed on the group.

After the deer party ran into the woods, I headed back to the path to run.  But surprisingly there were multiple other distractions that took me off the path.  Once for roadkill (curiosity getting truly getting the best of me this time), and a sprinkler (happened to turn on with the perfect timing so I received two showers instead of my typical one for the day).

In all of my inability to stay focused on the running route at hand, there was one thing which kept bringing me back to the path for which I had come in the first place.  One thing that helped me refocus on running.  One thing that was so beautiful, there was nothing I could do but respond with action.

The Brilliant Sun.  Rising to mark the new day.  Lighting up the entire sky with brightness.  And when my mind and feet had wandered off the path, this sun beckoned me to look up.  It was as if it was almost daring me to stare into the light because no other shirt, deer, or distracting circumstance below held a candle.  And strangely looking into the light jolted me out of my Curious George moments and reminded me of what I was here to do.  Run.  on.  the.  path.

It is the same way with the light of Jesus.  God shines His light on our path-behind.  before.  in the very present.  And it beckons us to follow.  Anytime we fix our eyes on Jesus, the light of the world, our current “off the path” distractions cannot compete.  Any “off the path” things such as sin, worry, dark places of depression, family crisis, financial issues, trials, busyness, lies, doubts, or insecurities to be seen clearly for what they are.  Satan’s plan to kill, steal, destroy and distract us from God’s plan and love for us.

Turning to focus on the light of the Son gets us out of our mundane, anxiety driven, sin bound, weary minded, restless, fruitless selves and reminds us of our identity, love and calling in Jesus (just like focusing on the sun reminded me of the run on the path I was meant to do).  The light of Jesus reminds us that He will use our difficult circumstances and weak areas for the good of His Kingdom.  That His Word gives specific guidance to our now.  And that no darkness can overcome it.  No matter whether you are currently on the God’s path for you, just stepped off the path, have been too busy to recognize if you are or aren’t on the path, have never been on the path, can’t remotely even know where to begin to get back on the path, our God see’s.  And holds out loving arms of grace to each of us.

So let’s look to the Son/”Sun” today and be welcomed onto His path of light and life.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Aug 252014
 

I was in a slump. In a funk.  Not in the mood to go on a run.  (This happens more than I would like to admit.)  Resistance.  Reigned.  It was oozing out of my deepest soul.  

But on a positive note, I was sporting my new “no chaffing” spandex.  The morning was a perfect temperature with a slight breeze.  My husband was good to go to watch the girls while I ran.  So why the intense battle within me to stay home instead of run?  To resist what I knew to be a life giving, spirit filling, and energy feeling activity?

My mind was playing the “discouragement, pitty party, and lies track”.  It went something like this:  “You have already been consistent for two months now on your training schedule and you deserve a break.  You are weary and tired and all this work is probably in vain since you won’t be able to actually complete a marathon anyway-what were you thinking taking on this big of a challenge?  There is no harm in missing one run.”

Even though my mind was overwhelmed by these tempting thoughts to stay home, I thought about this whole running thing being an obedience to God in the first place.  How He confirmed through a peace in my Spirit, His Word, a Marathon runner’s magazine “randomly” given to me, and the support of my husband that this race was this was God’s will for me in this season. And I had a newfound motivation to put those new “no chaffing” spandex to use.  Good use.  They were not meant for sitting on the couch at home (And oh how I have wished that simply putting on workout attire would miraculously help me achieve weight loss/exercise goals.).  They were not meant to sit in a drawer.  They were were meant to run in.

It seemed like a small victory.  But it actually was a big one in overcoming this mental battle.  I went on my run.

I began to think about how easy I succumb to listening to the “Discouragement track” Satan loves to play throughout my day.  Unfortunately he uses this tactic almost every time I am faced with the choice.  To obey Christ. Or not.  I began to analyze the themes of this track.  And came to a revelation.  Even though the words of the discouragement track are contextually different, the message remains the same.  And when this message plays, it is a red flag to me.  And I choose to see God’s reality and truth behind the lies.  Then I am then ready to fight off the enemy’s attacks.  And be an overcomer in Jesus.

Here are the “D” messages of the “Discouragement track” and it is a red flag I need to fight off this attack of the enemy:

  • I Deserve to do what makes me happy and comfortable.
  • I begin to Doubt my ability to carry out God’s plan.
  • I believe a Detour won’t make a difference.

Here are the “D” messages/scriptures of truth to overcome the “Discouragment Track”:

  • Deserve thought-God promises to give me everything I need in this life and I know serving Him requires putting my selfishness aside.  I am truly free and joy filled when I am following Jesus.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”  Phil 4:19

“I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Galations 2:20 and

  • Doubt thought-I love the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”  We can expect we will be stepping out in our inability to follow Jesus because it is in our weak areas God is glorified.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Phil 1:6

  • Detour thought-It is so easy to rationalize ourselves out of being absolutely obedient to God.  We think partial obedience is good enough.  But partial obedience is disobedience.  And in my life (with my directionally challenged self) a small detour on the road many times leads to getting completely lost.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” I Corinthians 15:58

Live today with the confidence that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!  Run to and for Jesus in whatever temptation, trial, or question you find yourself in today.  And know you are an overcomer in Jesus!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 222013
 

I TWEAKED MY LOWER BACK. DROVE 3 HOURS WITH THE GIRLS IN THE CAR. FORGOT MULTIPLE ITEMS FOR THE TRIP.  CHILDCARE PLANS CHANGED.  I BROKE DOWN ON THE HIGHWAY DUE TO A FAULTY BRAND NEW TIRE.  I WAS LATE.  I WAS DONE BEFORE THE WEEKEND OF MINISTRY EVEN BEGAN.

By God’s grace I arrived at the women’s retreat in one piece.  But, I did not come in full strength.  I felt unprepared and mentally exhausted.  Not to mention, extremely angry and frustrated with my circumstances. I was ready to give up.

The verse,  Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.  (Zec. 4:6),  filled my mind as I walked through the cabin doors.

I asked the women on Friday night, “What obstacles stood in the way of you being able to come to retreat?”  Every woman I spoke with told me of at least one major difficulty she had encountered on her way to or as she signed up for the retreat.

Through the Lord’s strength, all of us sister’s overcame the enemies obstacles.  Through His Spirit, women were drawn to Jesus.  I give Him FULL credit and glory for our sweet time of salvation, healing, growth, and renewal.

God’s presence changes me.  And being with my sisters changes me.  Everytime.  Over the weekend, I had my: perspective altered.  Burdens and worries lifted.  Joy and hope restored.  Mind renewed.  Purpose confirmed.  I had the opportunity to pray, listen, worship, cry, and laugh with new and old friends.

But I didn’t take care of one key component: myself .  In my excitement to serve and fear to miss opportunities to show Christ’s love, I burned out.  I broke down in tears before leading worship Saturday night due to extreme exhaustion.

James Bryan Smith in, “The Good and Beautiful Community” teaches, “We need to have balance when it comes to the issue of serving others and taking care of ourselves.  I have many Christian friends who are so focused on serving others that they neglect their own needs, and sometimes the needs of their families.  We need to be aware of the condition of our own souls and bodies, and to take care of that first, without feeling any guilt about it.”

And so I learned something about myself. It is in everyone’s best interest if I take time out to replenish, to fill my cup.  And I can do this without stress or guilt because I am not the Savior, Jesus is.  And I take my orders of who, when, and where to show His love. 

Even Jesus took time away from His mission to make sure His needs were taken care of.

Jillian’s 5 ingredient recipe for her own personal sanity and wholeness:

       Ingredient                               Amount

  1. Sleep                                   Atleast one 4 hour block of sleep each night. (With a newborn)
  2. Prayer and the Word      Continual prayer and a daily alone time in the Word.
  3. Time with family             Weekly quality time with my husband, close friends, and girls.
  4. Exercise                              Go for a run a couple times a week.  I have more energy, and less stress.
  5. Use of spiritual gifts        Daily, weekly, monthly obedience to the Spirit’s voice in serving others.

After He (Jesus) had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  Mt 14:23

What is your 5 ingredient recipe for sanity and wholeness? 

What specifically will you do this week in order to be at balance with God, yourself and others?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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