Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Where Do I FIT Part 2

After no further adieu (is anyone else surprised that word is spelled "a-d-i-e-u by the way?  Maybe it's just me, I have never been the best speller...yes, Mom... you can laugh!) I bring you Part 2 of FIT.

I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago with the acronym FIT on the brain or "in my spirit" if you will...knowing that God wanted to show me something for each letter.  I started asking God...what are you saying, what is this illusive acronym and why are you having me use this anyways?!  I really don't want a gimmick...I want YOU God, I want you to speak.

He did.  He took me to Ephesians 4:25 where He tells us through the apostle Paul, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

Whoa, I knew the "F" was "falsehood". Strange maybe, but we must get the revelation, dear ones!  We are called to put off the parts of us that are false to find where we FIT!  When we are restlessly layering ourselves in performance, aiming to be someone we are not, we are walking in falsehood, and not speaking truth to our neighbor!

Friends, have you ever thought of lying and/or truth-telling this way?   Finding where we belong or fit in this world, be it your school, family, work place, even church begins with being YOU.

You see, the world tells us that to fit in, we must be LIKE everyone else...  But in the bible, God's holy and everlasting word, oh there is hope for us still!  God tells us that in order to fit in, we must be uniquely us, the only one who He created us to be! The pressure is off!  We already fit His plan, His tapestry, no performance or pretending necessary!

Did you ever work on puzzles growing up...I mean the ones with actual corner, edge and middle pieces that make a complete picture when finished?  I have never been very successful with things such as these, as I cannot sit still and concentrate for long.  (Excellent trait for being a superb multi-tasker, not so good for puzzles and knitting.)

Anyhow think of each puzzle piece; everyone is different.  Even puzzles constructed by the same manufacturing mold have different pictures applied... each piece has a unique shape, placement, color and pattern.

What would happen if one tiny piece of a 1000 piece puzzle lost it's edge? How much more unique are you than a mass produced, glossed, cut section of cardboard? 

Now, consider how your Creator, your Father in heaven, designed you to fit in to the world around you.  He fit you in to be unique, but also to make His picture more beautiful...more complete. What impact.

Lord help us put off falsehood and speak truthfully to our neighbor!  Holy Spirit how us areas where we are not being authentic to the world around us!  Thank you that you designed us to fit specifically in the place you have us at this very moment.  We worship you God by being truly us today.  In Jesus's name, Amen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where Do I FIT? Part 1

I am sharing a message with some of the youth girls at our church tonight and thought I would share this with y'all as well...'cause don't we call want to belong, to fit in somewhere?  By the way...if you answer a tough grudged "no"... is it possible that you may have shut down part of your heart?  I know I have in the past. Allow God to search your heart in this area.

Sometimes the longing to fit in becomes too much, it hurts when we aren't accepted and we turn aside from that ache and become hardened.  Or, we make ourselves someone we aren't just to fit in.  Suddenly we are making compromises we never imagined and acting like someone who used to drive us nuts.

This is not just true of a teen generation!  This is not an age thing, a personality thing, a "trendiness" thing...
this is a heart thing.

Outgoing, introverted, funny, beautiful or plain, there is a longing in ALL of our hearts that yearns to know we belong...somewhere, to SomeOne.  Some of us, unfortunately and painfully, find belonging in detrimental groups and activities like drugs, alcohol, gossip groups and promiscuity.

But for most of us we fill our need by jumping head first into a cause we may believe in, we get really involved with church, our kids schools, we become the one who ALWAYS makes the best grades, we are renown as the most beautiful...etc.  You may be asking...well what in the world is wrong with that? 

I'm so glad you asked!  If that sacred activity of teaching Sunday school was stolen by one who could teach better than would you respond?  Has where you fit become WHO you are?  Are you allowing your station in life a place in your heart that only belongs to our Lord?

Does this mean we become hermits, stop being with people and serving others?  No way...on the contrary!  When we are allowing God to meet our belonging-longing, we become more free!  We are free to serve, work and love others, knowing if we aren't recieved it won't ruin us.

There is a deep longing in all of us that wants to fit somewhere, and I believe it can only be met by the Savior of our Souls, the only One who really knows us...Jesus Christ.  He is the only One who can 1. fill the longing to belong; and 2. show us where we fit into His plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

So, this is part 1 of 4 postings on the question...Where Do I FIT?  Come back for more!

Lord, Help us!  Forgive us for continually allowing our longing for YOU to be met by other people and activities.  Holy Spirit enable us to meet with our God moment by moment so we aren't pulled away by unworthy substitutes.  Thank you that we fit into your plan and your kingdom perfectly oh God...just how you made us!

God richly bless you today my dear all of you and thank you for reading!!!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Confusing Personality and Culture with Character

Recently Wes and I were on a drive through the serious back roads of Arkansas.  I ran into a seemingly frightening gas station to grab a few essentials and as I walked out, the gal behind the counter said, "See ya lata sweetheart, thank y'all for stoppin' by!"

We were not in Ohio anymore.

I went to college in Mississippi where, known or unknown by the greeter at Ajax diner, you were likely welcomed with a big smile, called some sort of affectionate name like: sweetheart (#1 choice), dahlin, shuga (my favorite), or honey.  And if you had ever in your life met this greeter before, a hug was sure to follow...oh and everyone "just loves you to death!"

When I moved to Kansas City from Oxford, MS...I was SURE no one liked me.  No one called me shuga, hugged me upon arrival at church or professed their love to me (even though we just met).  It hurt, I didn't understand.

It was in worship one day, in the midst of loneliness that God began to speak to me in my heart.  Do not confuse culture and personality with character!  Ah, thank you Lord.

What is the gauge of a friend?  Is it friendliness and activity, which can be personality or culture?  Or is it integrity, which takes a lifetime of yielding to God's will and Word?

Not long after that, I began to see the precious people around me for who they really were...regardless of how outgoing, how they received me, or how I was treated.  I believe that day God gave me just a small glimpse into how to see people how HE sees them, through the eyes of love.  Let me say, I am still a work in progress.

A person is not a better friend because they are friendly.  Outgoing. Introspective. Loud. Quiet. These have to do with how our Creator made us...not with our character.

Let's reach past the uncomfort of not being "similar" to someone or "received" by someone and look into character.  Let's look for whatever is true, noble, whatever can be admired in the lives around us!

Phil. 4:8
"Finally, brothers, 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."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Welcome to all who have ended up here...

I have felt it on my heart for about 6 months to begin blogging about things that God speaks to me through life, His word, the Holy Spirit...etc.

I come to you with absolutely no blogging knowledge (hence the standard page with no frills or personalization to speak of), no formal bible training or fancy seminary degrees; many mistakes and lots of apprehension about putting myself "out there". (still with me?!)

I am just a young (can I still say that at 29?) woman, wife, friend, daughter and mother who loves God and loves people.  I am SO thankful that He is not done with me yet... I long to know Jesus more and be led by Him daily!

He is my Good Shepherd...and He is yours too.

I hope that you find encouragement... and most of all, that whatever God has put on my heart causes you to fall into more of a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Thank you in advance for the grace where I may miss it, your responses and for reading.

Col. 3:17, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Responding to the Shepherd

 John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
There are many things I can choose (there are, of course, the overwhelmingly obvious things I cannot choose!)  I choose the temperature of my house due to the wonders of central heat and air; my hair color, thanks to my stylist and the magic of Aveda; what my 2 year old wears (for now!); my specialized Starbucks beverage of choice; even my friends and circle of influence...etc.
But really on my mind today is the fact that God actually allows me to choose Him or rather "respond" to Him in the midst of the situations He allows in my life.  Over and over.  Again and again, through the joys, heartache and pain life brings I hear my Shepherd whisper, "Choose Me, I am trust, I am goodness!  My Ways are higher than your ways, allow me to lead you into My perfect peace..."

Wes and I are reading and processing through the book "Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp right now, and he coins the term "Godward orientation"... which I love.   You see, as parents, we can provide just the "perfect" home for our children, and never address the way they orient their hearts.  Danger.

Each of us is either choosing, in the triumphs and trials of this human life grid, to respond to God...or not. We either orient our hearts to the Good Shepard in our circumstances; or we choose to turn the other direction.  

There is no neutral ground, I'm convinced. 

What our Wise Shepherd allows into our lives to strengthen us in deep places, may end in deep rooted bitterness.   
Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you...I will strengthen you and help you..."

The gifts He may lavish on us meant to spill over into humble thanksgiving sometimes end in self-reliance.   

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above..."

Jesus laid down His life for His sheep....YOU and ME for our eternal salvation; and has given us the unbelievable opportunity to consistently respond to Him, the Good Shepherd.

I suppose it is not so much our life circumstances that shape us, but rather our responses to God in the midst of life that make us who we are. 

I am on the healing road from the loss of our most recent miscarriage.  We were 10 weeks on our way to having another life to lead by God's grace. He or she had a little heartbeat, a life...and our hearts.
I don't understand, but I choose to respond my Shepherd. 
I choose to respond to Him in my loss and allow Him to cause hope to rise, to strengthen me in the in most places.  He is enough, He is present and He is good.  I choose to live in the extravagant grace He has given to me and trust Him who is worthy!

Lord help us respond to YOU and what you are up to rather than walk the other way!
It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit we can respond to you in heartache or abundance.  Lift our eyes out of our situations and to the hills to see our great Helper!  
Thank you Jesus that you laid down your very life for us, your lost sheep, give us grace and wisdom to respond back to your love and leading.  Amen!