Jan 082017
 

Hey my friends,

To be completely cliche, but know I am genuine-hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I am slowly getting back into the new groove.  Making some needed changes-for example, GOING. TO. WORKOUT.  I know this is not a new discipline to strive for in January, but once again, seriously genuine about getting my body a movin!  I wonder as you look over your 2016, what stands out to you as some old and “not so lifegiving areas” which were not workin for ya.  And then as you are “out with the old”, what new spiritual, personal health and wholeness, or areas as a mother/wife/friend/worker you can discipline yourself to in 2017?  Now is your time to shine.  His mercies are new every morning and there is hope.  for.  you.  today.

So 2 options to consider for this January 2017-get in God’s Word more and get your body moving more.  If these 2 are resonating with your Spirit but you wonder, but how.  can.  I.  fit.  this.  in my already busy, I’ve got your back my sister’s!

Check out this free 6 week women’s video devotional series, starting Monday, January 30thWOW Hour: Where Waking Up Early Is Lifegiving!  Start out 2017 with a new lifegiving habit;  6 weeks of inspiring stories to encourage and hold you and/or you and a group of friend’s accountable to be in God’s Word and exercise!  Prioritize your wholeness and health as this program will bring you peace for your mind, body and Spirit- you’ve got a couple weeks to get a friend or two to join you on this journey.  Praying for you. to. rock. this.  I will be joining you so you will not be alone!!

And below here are some of my favorite bible study methods and workouts which you can incorporate with WOW Hour or just do on your own!  Just so you know….i am praying. for. you.  So get goin’ with Jesus in 2017, you.  will.  not.  regret.  it.  Look out for the life of enjoyment and purpose you’ve got in store with a Father who we get ALL good gifts from!

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it … I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.  John 10:10

4 OPTIONAL BIBLE STUDY METHODS

  1. Dear Father, Dear Daughter MethodThis journaling method is how I structured my book, “Sing Over Me: A Women’s Devotional through the Psalms.” It is us, His daughter’s, writing to our heavenly Father, and then listening to hear what He says through His Word and Spirit to apply to our lives.
  • Pray, read (in God’s Word), then write to God. Then see if there is anything troubling your heart or mind.  Write about this to God.  As you write, be transparent.  Ask God questions about the specific situation.  Always end with what you need from God in this particular situation and the truths you know about Him and His Word.

 

  • Be still and ask God to speak. Then write down His promises- “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” 1 Sam 3:10b  Make sure you are away from distractions and loud sounds in order to quiet your heart and mind before God.  Listen until you have wisdom, an impression, a picture, a verse, or overall peace about what you just wrote to God.  Write down any scripture and/or impressions you receive during this time of listening.  Do not be discouraged if you do not seem to hear anything, God loves to spend time with us in the stillness and He refreshes our heart, mind and Spirit when we are obedient to spend time with Him-even if we aren’t aware of it.  Write down promises and encouragement you found from God’s true, living Word.  Continue to sit in silence and practice the discipline of waiting to hear from the Lord.  Persevere in this discipline of listening to God.  I know I find it extremely difficult in our busy culture to drown out the noise of my own mind, but even more reason for us do as God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God” ps 46:10.
  1. Free Flowing Method
  • Pray for God to speak to you as you read a passage from His living Word (Heb 4:12).
  • Get on your computer or grab a notebook and pen and write what comes to mind! The key is not what we write about, but that what we say is honest and from the heart.  God desires to meet us right where we are, not where we feel we should be or want to be.  He wants true intimacy with us.  Just like there is no right or wrong way to talk with God, there is also no right or wrong way to write to Him.  We can simply tell Him what is on our heart.  If we are concerned about a particular relationship, we should write about it.  If we need to ask Him for forgiveness, we can write down our apology.  If we are excited about an answered prayer, we can express our gratitude.  If a particular scripture is resonating with us, we can expand on it and dig deeper in order to apply it to our current situation.  God has made us all unique, so use your own creativity and style as you write to Him!
  1. A.C.T MethodSome of us need a structured format or plan when starting a new habit. I am similar. I thrive under others’ good ideas for how to do things!  First pray for God to speak to you and read from God’s Word, then:
  • Ask- Write down your prayer requests, God says “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
  • Confess-Your sin, repent and turn to God for His refreshment and peace (Acts 3:19).
  • Thanksgiving-To God for specific ways He has blessed you, for what He has done for you, or simply for His character traits; write down your gratitude for our Father who is the giver of ALL good gifts in this life and the eternal life to come (James 1:17) .
  1. S.O.A.P Method – S.O.A.P stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Each S.O.A.P. entry can be one sentence, or it could be pages and pages of thoughtful note taking. Each day will be different as you move through digging deeper into God’s Word.
  • Scripture-After reading a chapter(s) from the Bible, write down the verse(s) which “the Spirit highlighted”/resonated/you had a pull to read over again
  • Observation-Write down what you observed or what truth stuck out to you in these scriptures.
  • Application- Think on how you can apply the verse(s) to your day, week, life, etc. and write about this.
  • Pray-Write out a prayer to God based on how your mind/heart was renewed to God’s ways instead of your prior ways of thinking/acting and ask Him to help you apply this truth in your life.  

30 MINUTE WORKOUT OPTIONS:

  1. Sign up for and train for a race (running or walking): If you are signing up for a 5K,8K,10K, or half marathon race the Hal Higdon training plans were what I used and found helpful in my training:  http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51137/Marathon-Novice-1-Training-Program
  2. Do a workout DVD with the exercise of your choice-pilates, step, yoga, dance, boxing, Zumba, ect.
  3. Do a YouTube workout with your favorite trainer
  4. Walk the hills in a nearby neighborhood
  5. Do a Daily Burn or some other Workout program App on the computer/Ipad/phone
  6. Do a workout class at the gym
  7. Swim laps at a local swimming pool
  8. Go on a bike ride (on a stationary bike or outdoors)
  9. Lift weights combined with a step machine, tredmill or sedimentary workout machine at gym or home
  10. Dance in your living room to your favorite 7 songs

 

 

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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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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Apr 082013
 

CONFESSION:  I AM NOT A WOMAN WHO GETS GIDDY TO SEE COBWEBS, STAINS, AND DIRT REMOVED.  I am not a woman who enjoys the thrill of buying large or small bins for everything to have its rightful place.

I just get by.

I have my daily chores in order to alleviate mold, mildew smells, accidents as a result of toys and clutter, poop stained toilets, and dishes/laundry deprivation.  I vacuum and wipe down the floors when we are having people over.

If you place one of two different words in front of the word cleaning, my brain immediately receives the signal to encounter feelings of anxiousness and procrastination.  The words are:  Deep or Spring.

Deep cleaning and spring cleaning seem like insurmountable mountains.  These are jobs for the courageous.  Jobs for the highly trained organizational experts.  Jobs for the motivated.  Or at minimum, require a buddy.

This morning I was forced into the tedious process of deciding what stays and what goes in the girls clothes and shoes.  (Many of you are feeling guilt and shame right now because you haven’t thought about or are not anywhere close to doing spring cleaning.  PLEASE, DO NOT fall into this lie and trap of Satan shaming you.  Try and be open to God’s message of grace and love through this analogy.)

How did I know it was time for spring cleaning?

  • I bought the girls new summer clothes and shoes and my stuffing technique was no longer working.  (When ALL the drawers won’t close, there is a problem.)
  • I picked up Sadie (2 years) the other day and noticed her toes were sticking out of the soul of the boots! 
  • Someone commented about the cuteness of Lucy’s (4 years) Bermuda shorts. (Unfortunately they are full length leggings.)
  • Sadie was somewhat limping and said, “Mama, I don’t like these shoes.  I need a Band-Aid.”  (Sure enough, the sandals had given her a blister because they were too small.)
  • Sadie chose 18 months sized Rudolph pj’s to sleep in.  (Not sure how these were still in her drawer!)

As much as I agonize over spring cleaning, I understand it must be done.  And as much as I hate to admit it, I absolutely appreciate the benefits of thecomfort, peace, sanity, and overall well being it brings my family and I.

In the face of spring, I couldn’t help but ask this question in regards to my spiritual well-being. What “spring cleaning” needs to occur in my spirit and soul today in order to live in wholeness?

What old “Rudolph pajama” is still in your drawer?

  • Unforgiveness of a friend or spouse
  • Excessive food/drink for comfort
  • Worry over finances
  • Fear of the future
  • Being in control instead of allowing God to lead your day
  • Allowing anger toreign and speaking unkind words to your children or husband
  • Having an attitude of discontentment with your job, church, or overall circumstances
  • Giving glory to yourself rather than to God
  • An unresolved conflict with a friend or family member
  • Looking to others for self worth instead of God
  • Not being able to say you’re sorry
  • Living to meet your needs
  • Telling lies in order to make life/relationships easier
  • An inability to love a particular family member
  • An attitude of Self righteousness or pride

Spring cleaning of the soul is a dreaded task, but is well worth it.

Getting rid of Lucy and Sadie’s old clothes allowed room for the clean, new, exciting ones.  In order to fit the “new clothes” of freedom, peace, hope, and joy that God has for us, we must get rid of the “old clothes” of sinful attitudes and hurtful behaviors which are taking up space in our “drawer”.

What specific attitude or behavior in your life is robbing you of living life to the fullest?  Of living life in wholeness and authenticity?

2 Cor 7:1 “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (italics added)

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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