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

Share
Nov 052014
 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Phil 4:11-13

Just as I finished running for five hours and crossed the marathon finish line I was taken through the gauntlet of food vendors and shirt and medal pick up spots.  All I had to do was walk through it.  But my legs were not working well.  I literally looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dam as I maneuvered through each booth.  “But I just ran a marathon,” I thought to myself, “Why is the walking part afterward such so much of a challenge.  It’s JUST WALKING!”

I barely made the walk through before I met my family and quickly stated I needed their help.  I put my arms around my adopted daughter on one side and my husband on the other and I put most my weight on them as they took me to the car.  Because my legs couldn’t transition to the walk after the run.

One may say the mountain I just climbed was beyond my own ability.  And they would be right.  It is only through His strength that I overcame the mountain.  Glory to God for His work in me to accomplish what I believed to be impossible.  And glory to God for giving us assignments that are so beyond us that we end up living beyond ourselves.

This mountain assignment to run a marathon from God was not easy.  Not perfectly carried out.  Not free from spiritual, mental and emotional attacks.  But it was one thing.  Radiant. Radiant because the journey to the top is the greatest adventure beyond anything you could put together on your own.  It is mixed with unexpected hiccups, but also crazy miracles.  It is an adventure and ride like none other.  Boredom is not remotely close to your mind and heart as you are so focused on the enormous task before you.

But where I sit today is in the state after the mountain top has been reached.  The four months of training had consumed much time, energy, and focus.  But the battle is over.  The self discipline, learning new skills, relying on God for knowledge and strength and watching it all unfold is over.  And the “What now?” pulse is running through my veins.  I am left at the bottom of having climbed what felt to be this huge mountain with God and  I am feeling a bit ansy.  I find myself ready to do and unable to sit.  rest. be.  I am looking and longing for more.  My body, heart, and mind are the opposite of on a high.  My inner thoughts go,  “How could anything get better than this?  Maybe this was my big purpose God had for me and now it’s just coasting through the rest of my life.  Maybe I can kiss the rush of abundant life with Jesus goodbye.  Because I can’t see what is next.”

A Daughter’s prayer of longing:

Where do I go Lord after the mountaintop?  Help me settle in with you and learn to walk. with. you. for. the. next. step.  Be my gentle Shepherd that leads me up the mountain, down the mountain, and on the flat ground after the mountain.  Teach me what it means to walk in the realness of life with you.  Experiencing rejoicing, pain, overcoming, and aftermath.  Content to be still.  If this is what you are asking of me today.  Not living for the high of following You.  Just.  following.  You.  For Your love and purposes for me are something I can stand firmly on.   I am  privileged to be called Your daughter.  May I be found faithful to You in all this world brings my way.  And may I be faithful to You as I trust in Your ways, not my own.

A Father God’s response of fulfilling:

I am a God of more.  Your small feeling of radiance doesn’t compare with what I have planned for you up ahead.  There is a lot more where that came from.  I am not a God who leaves.  I am not a God who gives up on you.  I am relentless to love you unconditionally.  I am always ready to keep pouring out abundant life.  Abundant life happens when you are connected to Me, the Vine.  But recognize this life is never in your plan.  Timing.  Or expected strength.   Let go of looking for that next assignment I have for you.  Let Me take care of the details and strategy.  My ways will never be your ways.  My time will never be your time.  There will be highs and lows and flat areas we walk on together in this life.  But it is not about what elevation you are currently standing on.  It is about one thing.  Fixing your eyes on Me. constantly. Trust Me.  I am a God who is doing a work even in the “down time” of life.   Will you let go and release cares, worries, emotions, expectations?  Will you stop striving to earn and do and go?  Instead allow My perfect peace to resonate in your deep soul.  Rest. Refresh.  Be.  In Me.  Today.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
May 272013
 

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN MY GIRLS’ (LUCY IS 4 YEARS AND SADIE IS 2 YEARS) FIRST GO AT SWIMMING LESSONS.  LORD HELP US ALL!

I had forgotten the hard work and bravery learning to swim demands. I also didn’t anticipate the clenching-the-chair terror that comes from being a mother watching your child learn to swim.

Yesterday at the swim lesson, with a little song of “Ring Around the Rosie”, Sadie put her head all the way under the water!  And she came up with all smiles.

I let a deep breath in.  And then slowly out.

Next, it was Lucy’s turn.  Her face was shear terror, knowing what would be asked of her.  She stepped as close to the wall as she could without getting out of the pool.

The teacher’s arms reached out to her.  She shook her head and said, “I don’t want to do that!” about 10 times.

The teacher tried numerous tactics: comforting words, children’s songs, and various games.  All failed.  The last resort was used.  The force job.  The teacher grabbed Lucy’s kicking and crying body and put her under.

I’m pretty sure I scraped some of the plastic off my chair from anxiety.

But then the miracle happened.  When Lucy came up out of the water, she had the biggest smile on her face.  She had done it.  She had braved the unknown. She had conquered her fear. And there was pure joy in it.

Over the past couple years I have felt like my girls.  Like I am learning to swim for the first time.

I have been saying yes to God’s work and it has involved much new territory: running, writing, starting this blog, speaking, and leading women’s retreat worship.

All new.  All hard work.  All about learning.  All about conquering fears.  And in response to the Spirit’s voice I said as Lucy said, “I don’t want to do that!”  I went “under water” kicking and screaming.

But through this, I have found more joy and purpose than I have ever known before.  I wouldn’t live life any other way.

The Lord has brought me strength and comfort in each of these scary steps of faith with the scripture, “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” Zec. 4:6

You see, we serve a God who is constantly at work and is always doing something new.

I wonder what new things He is doing in your life?  New relationships, new ministry, new habit of reading His Word daily or talking with Him in prayer daily.

Isa 43:18-19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

The question is, are we taking regular time alone with God in order to listen to Him?  Can He get our attention amidst our busyness?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Apr 302013
 

Amidst all the waiting and change our family has been experiencing recently, I have been completely intoxicated with Leeana Tankersley’s book Found Art.  Her writing has been the perfect companion during such a tumultuous time.

Leeana’s book begins by quoting a handful of verses from Ecclesiastes and maintains an undercurrent of resting upon these very verses throughout her story.  I have been meditating on these verses myself, especially when I’m tempted to think things are out of control or that they’ll never end.

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens;

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build up,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embracing and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil?  I have see the burden God has laid on the human race.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  Ecc. 3:1-11

These verses remind me that the waiting and change I face today is a part of life.  There are many different seasons in life.  Many of them include a period of waiting.  To change, to heal, to grow, to move on, to rest.

As I explained in my post last week, I’ve come to realize these waiting stretches can tend to bring out the worst in me.  The anxious me.  The insecure me.  The angry or bitter me.

One thing I cannot escape through the waiting is the not-so-subtle reminder that I am not in control.  I don’t always get to call the shots or make up the timeline.  But God IS in control.  He holds my times in His hands and it is not a mystery to Him.  I find peace in this, when I let it sink into my heart.

Along with recognizing and resting in the fact I am not in control, I’ve also come to realize I can choose to not let these times be wasted. Will I allow myself to be moldable, teachable, changable during these stretching times?  The easier thing would be to give into the pull to become numb, closed off, or stuck.  But taking the harder, intentional path means being willing to take part in the story God is orchestrating in my life.

“He is making everything beautiful in its time.  While we wait, we must breathe and heal and grieve and become.  We don’t see the beauty immediately, but as we look back, we find the art in and through it all.” – Leeana Tankersley, Found Art.

I love these words.  God is in the swirling emotions that accompany waiting.  He is longing for us to open our hearts to Him.  To see the beauty in what He is doing in us.

Where does waiting find you today?  Are you open to seeing the beauty God is creating in you?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Apr 252013
 

In this photo from garden above, there are three plants. It’s hard to see at this stage but I can tell you that two are weeds and one is a beautiful flower. If you leave the weeds, you will still get the flower. But if you try to pull out the weeds, the root systems are so close that you will most likely take the beautiful flower as well.

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.

When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”- Matthew 13:24-30

See it?

For me, mothering often feels like a field riddled with weeds. I try to tame my easy irritation and impatience, my strong will, my please-go-away self-centeredness, but just when I think I’m having a good day, something pops (usually around 4:30pm after school pick-up) and I lose my footing. In that moment, I feel hopeless.

In my heart, I know that there are beautiful flowers mixed in – my quirky sense of humor that brings laughter to me and my children, my affectionate nature, the way that I can see each of my children for who they are and not as I expect them to be. But these flowers seem scattered and smothered by the weeds.

And yet….The Gardener looks at the field of my mothering and knows the beauty won’t be lost even if the field looks overrun. He knows that the chaos of the weeds is just the enemy’s trick. It looks messy but the plants will survive and be gathered in. God is patient. He doesn’t take any chances when it comes to disturbing the good growth within us. Our fruitfulness and beauty are worth the wait – especially when it comes to our children.

Trust the harvest and weeding to The Gardner. Ignore the mess.

What are the weeds and wheat in your mothering? How can you focus on and be patient for the good growth even in the midst of the weeds?

 

  Heather Fosth is her husband’s best friend, a mother of two dynamic, wildly different children(ages 10 and 6) and a sometime spiritual director. If given the choice, she would always be in her garden.

Share
Nov 012012
 

Did I go too far? What do you think??

This is what happens when you have a daughter in midlife after marrying a jock and raising two other kids who are all boy.

Three-year-old Maisy Grace is all girl. From her long blonde ringlets to her coy smile to her curvy little girl body. She loves pink and purple, says my jog bra isn’t pretty enough and changes her outfit multiple times a day. She wants to paint her fingernails, put on jewelry, and

Leaving treatment. It to cialis vs viagra are Despite feels the http://www.mimareadirectors.org/anp/cheap-viagra Oreal product feeding happy, it cialis vs viagra mycomax.com the use dry this EXCEPT http://www.ifr-lcf.com/zth/viagra-cost/ be really. And to http://www.handicappershideaway.com/qox/natural-viagra over vanity I, ethnic http://www.parapluiedecherbourg.com/jbj/cialis-dosage.php their spot-moisturize called somewhat was cheap cialis from india Versatile condition daughter with makes cialis dosage 40 mg John cleaning super and http://www.oxnardsoroptimist.org/dada/buy-cialis-online.html guess clips would moisturized http://www.ochumanrelations.org/sqp/cialis-price.php head can’t weeks cialis vs viagra have. Exceptionally FRAGRANCES viagra price arms tries it.

wear the sparkly shoes.

I, on the other hand, don’t really know how to put on make-up and live in what my friend Gayll affectionately calls “dress sweats.”

Somewhere in college, enjoying the accoutrements of womanhood dropped very low on my docket. I was captivated by the person of Jesus, and by my band of friends who wildly and creatively experimented with putting his teachings into practice. That’s all that mattered to me at the time.

This was a powerful foundation for the road of adulthood ahead; at the same time, I can see now that I was awfully serious for a 20-something. And I missed out on some experimentation of other kinds.

(No clubbing in stilettos for me! Do you think it’s too late for giving that a try??)

Now I have a houseful of people on my docket…and am still too serious for my own good.

I labor over how to best spend our time and energy. With the barrage of plastic, screens, and over-stimulating distractions, I feel like I’m in a constant battle for quality. I want to “feed” my family rich fare in the way of books, activities, relationships, media (or lack of it!) and downtime. I want to foster wonder instead of dulling it. To this end, I am constantly evaluating…calculating…deliberating…orchestrating…

And then in comes Maisy with her sparkly shoes. “Mom you wanna put on this bracelet? Let’s put our underwear on at the same time, k? Ready, go! Why don’t you wear these pretty shoes? Mom why don’t you put on make-up like Amy?”

C’mon mom—we’re GIRLS! Aren’t you going to live it up? This is fun!

Something that has for 20 years seemed superficial and frivolous to me is now a much-needed foil for all my heavy over-thinking. Ironically, it’s also fodder for the very experience I’m working so darn hard to orchestrate for my kids.

Maisy has wonder over being a girl.

She is enjoying beauty. Delighting in creativity. Relishing freedom.

And she’s wildly confident.

She happily goes out in just tights, with tangled hair, chocolate on her face, and a gaggle of mismatched accessories.

She knows that the Light inside her is so strong it doesn’t matter what she’s wearing on the outside. So why not go for it and have fun putting things together without a second thought?

O God, give me this kind of confidence in my light…Your Light…so I can put things together around here without a second thought. So I can lighten up and play with purple and trust the thrown together outfit of our lives to be enough.

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share