Committing to God whatever we do and letting go of burdens

Do you ever yearn for easier times? With big looming unknowns ahead, any time before yesterday seems easier lately. I have several major topics in my life right now that could go one way or another, and each direction would take my life in a very different path than the other option. Lovely, right? It’s times like this when I see how much of a coward I’d really like to be, ha. I could turn on some Norah Jones, light a Bath and Body Works Leaves candle, and make a latte, pretending that none of this is really happening. oh, to be Miss Scarlett O’hara.

But, I mark days off the calendar hanging over my desk and step a day closer each time to the unknown. This morning, I was reading during my quiet time with God, and came across several verses that jumped out at me. I took pictures of each of them to write down later and mull over. The first one I wrote down was Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”

Letting go of burdens

I don’t really know why this particular verse originally jumped out at me, but I kept staring at that word “commit.” Commit to the Lord whatever you do…what does that even mean, really? I cleaned up the house and did some laundry, all the while, this verse was in the back of my mind. Commit? I finally ¬†had a chance to pull out my Strong’s concordance, and what I found was interesting. The word translated commit there actually means “roll.” Like to roll a huge stone. I appreciate that almost every time this word is used, it’s in reference to something large…something looming needing to be rolled.

We sometimes say to “give it to God” like it’s an easy thing to do. Sure, I’ll just dump these big questions out at the foot of the cross like the church says to, and walk away like I didn’t just dump out my entire future in a messy pile. But, it isn’t always easy. We as Christians aren’t always great about giving each other the credit about how difficult it is, but God still does. Roll it to Him. It’s heavy. It has sharp edges or rocks sticking out in some places that have left you with scratches and bruising. It may be a long distance from where you are now to where you need to be to fully roll it to him, and it’ll be hard to finally push it off your shoulders. But you can do it. He promises to take it and protect it.

My one year old has a love of carrying heavy things around. She struggles under the weight of her burden, insisting that she can do it, all the while making sure we all know what she’s doing. “Heavy! Heavy!” she says to us. But, eventually, she can’t handle the weight of it anymore, and finally asks me for help. And every single time, I take what she’s holding with one arm, because her heavy burden is light in my strength. How much more so our heavy burdens in God’s strength?

What about you? Carrying any burdens that you could roll to Him?

Happy Spring! –Printable Bucket List

It’s spring! It’s spring! It’s spring!

Are you as pumped as I am?? We have been outside so much, but we are still homeschooling. Actually, no one tell my children that schools across the nation are out this week for spring break. We’re still trucking hard through the week because our last day of school is April 2! ha. Homeschool perks.

So, I LOVE list making. List follow-through, I’m not a huge fan. But the actual list making part, I adore. I have lists for everything. My FAVORITE lists to make are when the follow through part of it will be even more fun than the list making. So, for the last 4 or 5 years, I’ve been making seasonal bucket lists for my family. It is fun and helps us to stay intentional about enjoying our year instead of looking up one day to realize a whole season has slipped past us. I made our new Spring Bucket List this morning, and I thought I’d share it with all of you! I print ours out and post it to the fridge. Even if I didn’t have kids, I think I’d still be making a bucket list because they’re so fun to check off!

So here it is! Happy Spring ūüôā

(You can save it from the image, or click on this pdf link to print >>Spring Bucket List)

Spring Bucket List

Word of the Year Study–Beginning to apply it

Hope you’re all trucking along with your word of the year! Has anyone found any tunnel words? What I mean by tunnel words is a word that you have to go through to arrive at your real word. Like, my word is “renew” but first, I’m learning a lot of lessons lately on “intentional,” which shows me that renewal is not something that will just happen. ¬†Last year, my word was “love” but my tunnel word was “humility,” which showed me how I cannot love someone as the Bible calls me to without laying myself down first.¬†

So, after you dig into the meaning of your word and settle in on your focus, the next step is find the verses and apply them to your life. I’ll tell you, you can read the Bible all day every day and pray that the Holy Spirit just makes it sink in, but if you are not closing the book and applying it to your life, then you’re on a slow train and it may or may not arrive where you want it to.¬†

In the last series post, I listed some verses where my word came up. I grouped them in categories beginning with “What can be renewed?” The first verse that I listed was Ephesians 4:23 which is “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” So, my first focus was renewing my attitude and thoughts. ahem, still working on it, too by the way.¬†

Word of the year

I asked myself, “how can I renew my attitude?” ¬†I wrote down any thoughts or verses that came to mind. I googled “renew attitude.” I read blog posts, scholarly articles, and Bible commentaries. Honestly, this step should not be something you spend a week on. This part is your year. As we go through each step, I hope you’ll keep coming back to this and learning how to apply your word and the Bible to your life.¬†

So, let’s say your word is commit. What can you commit to? What will it require of you to commit? What could it cost you? How can you take a step toward committing to something today, even if it’s something small? What does the Bible to commit? For one example, Proverbs 16:3 says to commit your actions to the Lord. So, what would that look like today? next week? next year?

Let’s say your word is “enough.” What does the Bible say about enough? well, it says that His grace is enough in 2 Corinthians 12:9. If His grace is enough, so you are enough, what does that mean for today? How can you step into that today? What decision can you make with that as the backbone?

Is your word  something like rest? be still? quiet? What does the Bible say about that? Is there a verse that shows you how? Take a peak at Psalm 131 and see what you think. What can you do with that today?

 

Find a verse with your word, and step into it. Own it. My verse was Ephesians 4:23 if you remember, but I have my first step in verse 22. It tells me to “put off my old self.” So, that’s my focus. Becoming aware of sin and confessing it. Growing in fruit of the spirit, and praying that He’ll keep pruning these damaged buds off so that His fruit grows instead.

You have your first step in applying your word to your year! Have you learned more about yourself, God, or your word in the last few weeks? I’d love to hear how your word is going in your life!¬†

4 Simple Ways to Stay Intentional with Your Spiritual Life

My word, life gets crazy and complicated. Let’s just nod at each other knowingly and pretend that I’m not behind on posting Friday Word of the Year series and I’ll pretend you would have read them and loved them. Also, while we’re pretending, let’s pretend I’m NOT eating Lucky Charms cereal for lunch right now. Do NOT judge me, people. I buy them once a year for St. Patrick’s (for the kids, of course) and I secretly LOVE them. Love them, I tell you.

So, it’s been BEAUTIFUL outside which always translates to “I’m behind on my household chores.” We also went out of town over the weekend. (One day, we can meet at a coffee shop and I’ll tell you the story of that trip over a latte. I’ll need two shots in that latte to get through it.) ¬†I came home to lots of laundry, cleaning, some women’s ministry duties, and so on. Life..basically. Chaos drifted into chaos and I’m still sitting in it.

It’s really easy for me to let the busyness creep in and rob me of the important relationships in my life. I can be so busy that I speak to my children throughout the day and never once truly look into their eyes. I can communicate with my husband all week, but never really¬†talk.¬†And, I can let my¬†busy schedule make my faith into nothing more than a religion.

But, I cannot let the chaos overcome the order that God has placed in my spirit. I have to establish order. I have to look at His Word and see what He did and does, and then, I have to mimic.

STAYING

So, when life threatens to implode on you and your prayer time is slipping between your fingers…when you keep kicking yourself that you don’t the relationship with God that these other women seem to have and you want so badly…Establish order.

Those times when our earthly relationships begin to slip, we take the offensive and get intentional.¬†If your marriage was on the rocks and you guys just weren’t communicating anymore, what would be a step in the right direction? Date night. Texting during the day. Phone calls on the way home from work. Squeezing every second you can. //¬†Yes, Heather, but what if my heart isn’t in fixing that marriage? My advice? Talk up your spouse to others. Talk about him (IN GOOD WAYS) and look for the good in Him. ¬†Sometimes, apathy is the driving force behind a lackluster spiritual life.

We know all that. We applaud that! We¬†know the right steps to fix marriages…we may not always¬†do them, but we do know them. And, we¬†know that our relationship with Christ is represented by marriage. But we don’t treat them the same.

Even in friendships or relationships with our children, we notice the space and step into it. My advice for saving your other important relationship, the most important one, is very much the same.

  1. Set an alarm on your phone for a time of prayer. Set several alarms. (I have several alarms set on my phone. They change from time to time, but they remind me to pray for my children, husband, gratefulness, and so on.)

  2. Make a playlist of songs you truly worship to and play them. Sing them straight to Him. They are worship. All acknowledgment of who He is and who you aren’t, is worship.

  3. Talk to friends about Him, even if it feels awkward at first. Look for His good.

  4. Go to church and/or a Bible Study, somewhere that you’ll be hearing and talking about Him.

So establish that order. We must bring in some guardrails for our heavenly relationship just like we would for our earthly ones.

Walking With God- When we keep running past Him

 

Moses walked with God. Abraham walked with God. Issac did too.

Joseph walked with God. Enoch walked too.

“walk” has become a church word. “How is your spiritual walk?” It’s kind of everywhere. However, in our culture, a culture where everything is fast and even running is a new trend, we don’t really see the “walk” as a walk. We RUN. And we fall a lot. Then we stand there motionless, too tired to keep running.

It’s easy to look out into life and only see your own. But, as you read through God’s Word, it’s obvious that God works in years, decades and decades…generations. We see our own end as¬†the end, and the pressure is on. But, what if we weren’t really supposed to be running? What if we weren’t expected to be Mother Theresa or Beth Moore or any other person we look up to anyway, but particularly at the age we are now? What if life must happen, for OTHER lives…not for this one?

More than that, what if we stopped focusing on our long road of running up and down too many hills that we’ll never really achieve? BUT, what if we focus on someone else’s walk?

I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.-Leviticus 26:12

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.- Revelation 2:1

What are those golden lampstands? They are the churches! There were seven at the time, more now..obviously. God walks among us! That word translated to “walks” there means to come full circle, repeatedly. He’s present. But, if we’re running, we might just miss the chance to walk with him.

I have this image in my head of us all on this mad dash of serving in His name, and Him standing there getting pushed right past as He slowly makes his way and shaking His head as we all talk to one another about how we just can’t seem to connect with Him. “I’m serving, and helping, and loving, but I just feel like I’m going through the motions. I can’t seem to really connect with Him and feel like He’s really there with me.”

I know for me, that’s happened so often and the whole time, He was waiting. Waiting to the side of the mad dash with a gentle smile. He knows us…He knows humanity. He was human too, ya know. He knows the temptations we face to keep dashing about for affirmation. He doesn’t judge us or push us off for it, He’s just waiting for us to look up from it all and look past the crowd to see Him waiting and calling us out alone.

Ready to stop the running and walk with him? It’s okay to rest, ya know <3