Friday, August 7, 2009

She Speaks, She Waits, She Trusts

Last year, I attended the She Speaks Conference with hopes of being "encouraged, equipped and empowered" to pursue my writing dreams. I read all the tips I could find to make the most of the experience. I prepared for months - reading, writing, and praying for God to speak to me about why He called me to attend and what direction to take.

I anticipated God's answer to be detailed and writing based. I expected a revelation of what book I should write or what should be the main topic of magazine articles I would submit. Although the conference exceeded my expectations, the events of the past year clouded the vision God unveiled. At times, I not only questioned the direction but also the plan.

This year, I volunteered at She Speaks as a hostess for women meeting with publishers and agents to pitch their book proposals. I prayed for God to use me. I sought to support and reassure the women in pursuit of their calling.

As I shifted the focus from myself to benefiting others, God blessed me. The women's courage and strength of purpose energized me. It ignited my faith to keep dreaming, believing, trusting and even waiting.

Last year, God called me to attend She Speaks to advance my faith to a new level of trust in Him. This year, He moved me to serve Him at She Speaks to remind me His light is shining even behind the clouds. Now, I patiently wait for further glimpses of God's plan. I no longer need the exact directions to fulfill God's purpose for me. I simply need to continue to seek Him daily and move as He calls.

Trust in Me with all your heart, and I will guide you. Proverbs 3:5-6


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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yes to God Study - What's the Worst That Could Happen?

Click on the link above to learn more about Lelia Chealey's study of Micca Campbell's book an untroubled heart - finding a faith that is stronger than all my fears. This week's study covers Chapter 8: What's the Worst That Could Happen?

When our downstairs toilet began leaking from the base, my husband checked the overflow valve in our front yard. When he removed the cap, raw sewage erupted and spewed all over our lawn.

We directed all our attention to solving the problem. As my husband attempted to remove the waste, I thought, "What caused this? It didn't all come from our house." When I called the city to report the situation, they said there must be a blockage to the main source.

What an ironic depiction of life. Difficulties come at us from outside sources. The cr@p builds up until it consumes our focus. We concentrate on the mess, obstructing our connection to the main source, God.

How do we flush out the line and remove the barriers? By shifting our focus from our obtacles to God. "We don't need to despair as long as our hope is in God. Hope helps us see the God of restoration instead of being paralyzed by the mess of destruction."

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yes to God - Can a Dress Teach Us to Trust?

This week's study covers Chapter 6: Learning to Trust. Click on the link above to learn more about Lelia Chealey's study of Micca Campbell's book an untroubled heart - finding a faith that is stronger than all my fears.

Micca wrote, ".....I couldn't see past my fears. Therefore, I couldn't see God, let alone trust Him." Last week, I focused on God and progressed in conquering fears. This week, stressors threatened my peace. Doubts attacked my faith. My vision blurred. Could I refocus on God to battle my anxieties? Would I really trust God?

As I dressed for work yesterday, I thought, "I wish I could get just a couple new spring outfits." With our budget limited to necessities, I saw no way to satisfy this desire. I reminded myself to concentrate on our needs. I thanked God for providing for us during this difficult time.

After arriving at work, a co-worker handed a bag to me. She said, "I went shopping in my closet for you." The restroom became my changing room. As I gazed at my reflection in the beautifully fitting spring dresses, my sight cleared.

God used my co-worker to clothe me in the certainty of His provision. Though I saw no way, God already made a way. If He does this in such a minor circumstance, imagine what He can do in the major struggles. "When you and I are secure in God's provision, there's no situation that can destroy us."


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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yes to God Study - Family Matters

This week's study covers Chapter 5: Family Matters. It focuses on building a strong foundation for your home and relationships through reliance on God. Click on the link above to learn more about Lelia Chealey's study of Micca Campbell's book an untroubled heart - finding a faith that is stronger than all my fears.

Extreme changes in weather and colds trigger my daughter's asthma. Fall and winter brought asthma episodes with increased frequency and severity, including multiple trips to the emergency room. The triggers also activated my fears and anxiety. I fight not to pass this on to my daughter because I do not want her to feel controlled by her asthma at anytime. I found myself becoming dominated by my anxiety and fears.

In this chapter, Micca's asks, "Where are you today? Are you restless in your cares or are you resting in His care?" Too often I am restless in my cares. I strive to balance my concerns and contain my fears, just as we strive to balance the medications and manage the asthma.

Recently, I struck a better balance by casting my cares to God. During the extreme weather changes over the past ten days, I prayed for my daughter's health. I wanted the weather to calm, but I prayed for a shift in the internal atmosphere of my spirit. I asked God for peace and wisdom, trusting Him to get us through whatever happened.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)
I did not feel as anxious. I slept better. More importantly, I traded fear for faith. I trust God to remove our fears as we build a stronger faith.


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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yes to God - Fear Factor

Click on the link above to learn more about Lelia Chealey's study of Micca Campbell's book an untroubled heart - finding a faith that is stronger than all my fears. This Bible study prompted me to rejoin the bloggy world. In many ways, I'm starting over. I'm joining the study with Chapter 2 : Fear Factor.

Much of the anxiety I faced through recent challenges stemmed from feeling out of control and consumed with worry.
"We act as if everything depends on us. We wouldn't dare admit that we are in over our heads. We want to appear in control. But God never meant for you and me to be strong in and of ourselves. We were meant to show His strength in our weakness as He provides for our needs."
I admit I am not in control, although I often try to be or wish I were.
"One of the hardest things to do is to give up control and trust someone other than ourselves. Again, we misunderstand the benefit of a surrendered life. It's not about giving up; it's about gaining the power and presence of God living His life through us."
I do not need to be in control. After losing my job this summer, I did not know how we would make it. God knew. During my first week of eligibility for unemployment, I started a new job.

While we were without health insurance, my daughter had a severe asthma episode that required transportation to the emergency room by ambulance. Although employed, I took a significant salary reduction. We struggled to meet everyday expenses. How could we cover medical bills? God made a way for the bills to be covered in full.

In the midst of difficulty, why can it be easier to believe False Evidence Appearing Real than God's truth? Trusting in the sometimes unknown, unseen plan of God can be harder than believing what is visible and seems to be true. In hindsight, God's provision is clear.

While continuing to face uncertainity, I look to the future through the lens of the past, remembering God supplies just what we need, just when we need it. "Faith in God's provision is our anchor that secures a life free from fear."
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Safety Saturdays #21 - Going to and from School Safely

Safety Saturdays
This week features more Back to School safety tips from The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC).

Their online publication Know the Rules ... For Going To/From School Safely offers tips to help parents and guardians prepare their children for a safer journey to and from school. You can also download the publication in English or Spanish.

If you missed it, check out last week's Safety Saturdays post for information on NetSmartz® Workshop's back-to-school campaign to raise awareness of the importance of Internet and real-world safety.

Did you learn any new safety tips from this information? Do you have any additional back to school safety tips to share?

Next week, Safety Saturdays will feature a NetSmartz® video, "Beat the Tricks," to help teach kids about tricks adults may use to get them into dangerous situations. If you have any specific questions about this topic, let me know through a comment or email. This will help me provide more information in the post.

I appreciate your feedback. Please feel free to leave a comment anytime, not just Saturdays. If you are not familiar with blogging, you can still leave a comment below. Just click the anonymous button and type your comment in the text box provided.

Check out all the Safety Saturdays posts for more safety tips.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yes to God Tuesdays - Renewal

As we near the end of the study of the book by Lysa TerKeurst, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, I could write more about What Happens When a Woman Does Not Walk in Faith. Anxiety, tension, and anger resulted from my focusing more on our situation than on God over the past several weeks.

As I reawaken my trust in God and revive my blog writing, how appropriate to rejoin this study online in the resurrection stage of faith in the book.
Lysa writes, "He [God] may not resurrect all of the circumstances in your life, but He will resurrect a deeper and more secure trust of Him if you will let Him."
I looked closer at two words from Lysa's sentence - if and will. If implies a condition on which something depends. Will means choose or desire and implies intention.

I applied Lysa's words to my current situation:

Although God has not yet resurrected my family from the struggles of unemployment, He desires to renew a profound and immovable trust in Him whenever I choose to step aside and allow it.
I stand in God's way by attempting to assert my will over His. Ironically, the word will stems from the Greek word for hope.
"So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
This is my prayer for my family and for anyone reading this. May God bless you abundantly.
I invite you to click on the "Yes to God Tuesdays" picture above to visit Lelia's blog to learn about the next book we'll be studying. I hope you will join us, even if you are not a blogger.

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