Truth to hold in times we want to hide

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“Because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19)

Today I’m telling you how I am blessed by Aliza Latta’s blog post: A prayer for the timid and terrified

My humanity keeps repeating itself and my fear comes right along with it. Even if you removed my fear, I know after some length of time I’d simply rip out the stitches from where you unfastened it, and shove it right back inside of me. (Aliza Latta – Choose Brave)

These words I read this morning express the feelings of my weekend so well.

Yesterday, at church I listened to words about guilt and sin that won’t leave, and I thought about my own fear, my own shy. Shy habits have been built into my thoughts with my repeated practice. Sometimes I look at the confident and wonder where they came from that they have so much freedom. But my Nano reminds me that confidence is something that is grown into, not something that people are born with.

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Confidence can be grown into, because with repeated practice truth can renew shy habits. Aliza’s prayer reminds me of God’s truth.

I do this so often: asking you to take my burdens, and you do. And then I yank them back and clutch them tighter than before. I trust my burdens and fears more than I trust you. Why is this? Why do I convince myself they’re comfortable?

You are not comfortable. But when I search my heart I know I would never be satisfied with serving a comfortable God. (Aliza Latta – Choose Brave)

Comfortable. It describes the place that provides the greatest ease.

When I chase shy, when I hide, this is God’s truth I have to hold: Though living in my shy fears might be the easiest place, easy is not what my soul longs for. When I choose easy, I am refusing to experience the beauty of what happens when I trust the Spirit moving through me.

May I listen to truth in the moments I’m tempted to fear and shy away. May I live confident in the joy that His presence in me brings.

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

This is Day 12 in 31 Days of Listening.

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

Words for Insecurities

I read this today. I so needed to hear it…

Were you made on purpose? Is there a unique blend of interests, desire, wisdom, quirks, insecurities, and loves that are within you? Can we agree those things are not a coincidence?

Do you believe that the Holy Spirit of God, the same one who moved over the surface of the waters and moved out of heaven onto the surface of the land, has also moved into you, to take up residence in the innermost seat of your personality? (Emily P. Freeman – A Million Little Ways)

It made me want to read Romans eight. The Message paraphrase of this passage really is beautiful and I think it explains the Spirit in us so well.

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. 

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! (Romans 8:5-11 MSG)

I hadn’t read this whole passage in the Message before tonight. It makes me want to cry. It’s often that I forget the truth and look at myself. May my mistakes there be something to glory in though (2 Cor. 12:9-10). His grace is perfect in my weakness, even in this. May He use my weaknesses. And may I look to the One inside me, and let the Person He’s trying to be in me come out.

This is Day 9 in 31 Days of Listening

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My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

When Social Media Shows Us Our Own Hearts

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a good word of affirmation. A kind word cheers up our hearts. (Prov 12:25) It adds to our health and to the sweetness of our soul. (Prov. 16:24) That’s why we like affirmation.

Maybe it’s part of what makes social media so widespread. It’s the place where we see affirmation in a physical way. And, of course, it’s a place where we see our appreciation for affirmation get twisted.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are such valuable tools for connecting with people. They’re powerful places from which to speak truth and love. And it’s also where the best of our hearts and the worst of our hearts can come out with the click of a button, a place where we meet face to face our own deep insides.

Social media is not evil. It just makes the evil inside us more apparent. And that can be dangerous but it can also be a good thing.

In online interactions, everything slows down, and we have a magnifying glass put over our own reactions to everything.

What would happen if real time interactions were slowed down to hours even days? How would you respond? What kind of emotions would you have and how would you let them affect you?

If you get no response when you put yourself out there, you are faced with your own response to that, except it didn’t happen in a hallway somewhere, it happened on the internet where everyone can see it.

Social media takes the emotions that we have in split seconds in normal interactions and lets us really see how we respond to those emotions were time to drastically slow down. It has a way of blowing up the ugly in our hearts where we can really see it.

It shows us the value we put on the affirmation of others, not to mention our own self-control with our time when we have a hundred distractions in front of us.

Online platforms bring us face to face with the sin in our own hearts. And we have a choice to make. We can ignore it, face it, or run.

We are given an opportunity to take the things we learn about our own hearts and bring them to the Savior who redeems those failures. He took that ugly on Himself just for us, and He offers us His perfect righteousness to claim over each and every ugly thing we see within our hearts.

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

Love’s Beautiful Mess

Almost a week since our new little Liesel was born. She’s my cuddle bug and she’s surprised us in how easy-going she seems to be. New life is beautiful. New life in her, new life in me.

I’m learning to rest in the new, in the fresh reminder to remember God’s benefits, (Psalm 103:2-3) to remember my newness in the newness of my daughter. She too is a precious gift who He points me to the Gospel with. For now, I look at the newness in her and remember it, she is new, and I am made new in my Jesus. The miracle of birth takes place in me as I experience the miracle of being found in my Jesus and the new creation He makes in me.

Learning to take my Nano’s advice to let the Lord be my shield. (Psalm 3) To be my shield against hormones and fears and doubts and all the senseless worries that want to fill my head. When I feel inadequate He is “my glory and the lifter of my head.”

Learning to Love two daughters together, that that’s messy, but to let it be messy because it’s beautiful… That was the theme of the Curious George movie I watched with Amayah the other night. Thankful for lessons learned even in the cute, silly ways… Loving both is messy because sometimes I have to give Liesel attention and Amayah doesn’t understand, and sometimes I give too much attention to one and not enough to the other and sometimes I just want time to slow down so I can enjoy them both better and there’s a million other worries along with that. But I can never know the beauty of Love without plunging into the beautiful mess of it. I want to give my Love fully, not cautiously, and living messy is the only way to do that. I want to enjoy these moments with my girls and that means just Loving and letting it all come out messy. And maybe Love is just that way all around… a beautiful mess.

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.