For the last week or so I’ve been seeking God on what I should seek to lose. I’ve considered Twitter for a second year, but really want to make a decision based on His desire for me.
One verse I forever remember from my two years in Christian private school is Romans 12:1. Paul instructs us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. Giving up ourselves for Christ. Losing that which keeps us bound to other altars.
I want to lose those things. I want to get up off the altar that wants to burn me up in its passions and offer myself to God and God alone.
So I’m seeking Him on what He wants me to lose.
Have you practiced Lent previous whether as part of a community of believers or on your own? Are you planning/considering practicing it this year?
Some questions just seem like they’d have an obvious answer. I think it’s those questions in particular that can have deeper, hidden answers.
One of the phrases that we were consistently instructed in during Dream Year was to ask big questions. Dare to ask the big questions that take you steps into your dream.
As I said on Monday I’m still wrestling out with God my dream. Tonight I had to ask a question. I’d been putting it off because I assume the answer is obvious, but it may not be.
Hopefully, I’ll have more answers.
At the airport on Friday I wanted to ungraciously tell a guy he was in the wrong numbering position to get on the plane. I was #53, he was #54, he was in front of Shawn who was #52. I became so angry, “Why couldn’t this guy just pay attention”. My angry thoughts echoed in my head, my heart became hard. The Holy Spirit was quick to whisper, “Grace”. Conviction and my anger began to battle it out.
God is teaching me grace in the little things. Things like responding to the guy in the airport. Anger should not have been my first reaction to something so stupid (and when I say stupid I mean who cares if the guy was not in the correct spot?).
I was thinking yesterday that I wish it was the end of the year and this lesson could be over. That I could be 12 months deep into it and be the person God has for me to be then. But that’s not the way life works. We don’t get to jump from point A to point Z. There are a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to go through; and in the end we still may not be at point Z.
Over the last 25 days I’ve felt like throwing in the towel. I’ve told God I don’t get it. That it’s hard. That I’m not sure what it is I’m supposed to be learning.
I know I’m not the only one. Resolutions are hard, but I think this……is a lot harder. Choosing having God give you a One Word is allowing Him to take you and completely rearrange your life, your mind, your soul, your heart etc.
I’m not giving up, and neither should you!
So…how is your One Word going?
I’m sitting in a hotel room in Nashville. Overlooking a frostbit Vanderbilt University. My mind feels as if it imploded.
Attending Dream Year Weekend was amazing, and I’m not even sure how to begin digesting what I heard. I can’t even form sentences in my mind.
One thing that was repeated the whole weekend is that our Dream (our passion) is born out of a frustration. Your comments show me just how true that is. What your heart wants to do is all because of a frustration; whether it’s your frustrated your walk with Christ isn’t what you want it to be, or because of the experiences in your own past that lead you to wanting to counsel people. Dreams that God has planted, that He has given you a hunger to see accomplished.
As for my dream – I’m still wrestling it out. I have a very general idea, but I’m unsure how it would play out in the real world. For the time being I feel the need to keep it close to the vest. To seek God concerning it. When the time is right I will share here.
For now….please pray for me. Attending Dream Year Weekend brought up a lot of questions I need to answer, and that need answers. Pray that I would have clarity in what God wants me to do. Pray that I would not walk in fear. In the last 24 hours the enemy has already begun his lies, and fear is creeping up.
And I’ll be praying for you. That God would refine your dreams and show you steps to begin walking them out.
If you could be anything, without exception what would you be?
If you could do anything, without fear of failure what would you do?
What dream is wiggling around in your heart. mind. soul?
The winner (by random number) of the copy of Gracenomics is: #10 – Matt. Congratulations Matt!
I love a good story. I think that is one reason I love reading. I love getting lost in the pages, to become almost one with the characters.
I recently finished East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I read it based solely on of the recommendation of a friend who feels everyone should read the book. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read – hands down.
It’s not just a story, but a story inlaid with story after story. It spans over 60 years, two families, & 14+ people. At the end of the book I was left in tears and breathless. It is a story of overcoming, of giving up, of right, of the VERY wrong.
So I’m wondering what my story looks like. It’s only spanned a little over 35 years. It’s been touched by numerous amounts of people. People who have influenced me to be a better person and those who have hurt me deeply.
My story doesn’t define me, it just tells who I am and who I was, and in part who I may become.
What is your story saying about you?
Last week I went off chocolates.
I did it for one main reason….I’d weighed myself and after a week of eating better & exercising I’d gained two pounds and I was peeved to say the least.
As the week progressed I realized that I’ve used chocolate, among other things, as a release. It is one of the first places I go when I’m stressed. I depend on it to help me “get through”.
I realize that chocolate (of the dark and best variety) has magical capabilities. It can lower blood pressure, the antioxidants in it are great for you heart; and is a natural mood lifter – which is probably a reason I want it when I am stressed.
But my automatic response when I’m stressed, depressed, even happy shouldn’t be to run for the bag of Lindt 60% Extra Dark Lindor Truffles or any kind of food or beverage for that matter. I recall uttering (more than likely more than once) during my very busy Christmas season the words “I’m not superwoman so I’m having a Peppermint Frappucino”.
Chocolate isn’t bad. Food isn’t bad. But if these things have become my go-to god them become bad.
I’ll share my thoughts as we progress.
There is also plenty of time to enter to win a copy of GRACENOMICS by Mike Foster.
You can enter here.
I’ve started reading through my reading list for the year. Gracenomics by Mike Foster is the first book I’ve read. In addition to being on my 2011 reading list it is one of the books I wanted to read for my One Word.
I think I highlighted more in this book than I have any other book including Crazy Love – which also blew me away.
In it Mike looks at grace through a lens called gracenomics: combining the definition of grace – the act of giving favor when it is not required – with term economics.
He says, “Gracenomics is the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of grace.” (GRACENOMICS pg. 16)
He focuses on three areas. Grace for You, Others, and the Workplace. In each area he digs in deep. Giving valid examples of how grace works. From not investing in things that tear us down and lies we’re told to how grace works in the workplace in a way that it can actually increase revenue for the company.
Through out the book Mike challenges the reader. At the end of sections he gives actions and insights and a place for you to write down your own thoughts and personal applications.
In my wrestle with grace this book was an incredible encouragement. It caused me to think more, to seek God more on what grace looks like.
I loved this book so much I want to give you a copy. I wish that I could give you all a copy because I feel it is that amazing but that just isn’t possible. I do I have one copy to give away. Leave a comment here for a chance to win. One comment per person, and the give away will end Thursday at 6pm Mountain. Winner will be announced Friday.
I’ve been think a lot about what grace looks like.
I’ve been wrestling with this for over a week.
Because honestly………–………I don’t think I really know what grace looks like. I think I had an idea – pretty pink frosting & crystal sugar sprinkles, and God is showing me that grace isn’t necessarily pretty, that sometimes grace gets down and works with kneading fingers in the mud puddle and comes up slightly tarnished.
I can’t seem to pour out the words of my heart. These wrestlings….they hide and rumble around like a thunderous Monsoon night.
I fight to make sense of them myself let alone share with you.
Some days it seems like grace looks like patience. Letting go of heavy sighs and grumbling thoughts about the person or thing slowing me down. The cashier taking their time at Walmart. The old(er) man cutting across into the left turn lane after I’d already moved over. In those moments the whispers of what grace looks like say patience.
Often He speaks that grace is forgiveness. Letting go of hurts, of wrongs. This is going to be a long process. Pruning. Purging. Stripping. This is the hardest part. A necessary one. It is one, that if I’m being honest part of me doesn’t want the change. Part of me wants to remain content with unforgiveness, of not learning that part of grace.
I really have no idea what I’m going to look like at the end of the year. My prayer is – of course – that I will look like grace. That my actions will drip of grace like morning dew.
It is incomprehensible that there are more slaves in the world today, than at any other time in history.
Today slavery encompasses more than just servitude in a home or picking crops. Today – young girls (and boys) are kidnapped for prostitution. Women, men, children are forced to labor for at most pennies a day in fields and factories – so you and I can pay less for a candy bar or t-shirt. Children are kidnapped to become soldiers.
I’m not discounting the history of slavery that tore our world asunder. The crimes committed are tragic and inexcusable.
So many men and women fought to abolish slavery. What a giant step backward we’ve taken. The work of men like William Wilberforce & President Lincoln and women like Harriet Tubman & Anne Knight seemingly all in vain.
There is obviously a huge problem. A problem that continues to be overlooked despite gaining more media attention.
You can help. Spread the news. Join the fight.
Learn more! Below are organizations and people that are actively fighting to end human trafficking.
Invisible Children – Is fighting to raise awareness of the rebel war in N. Uganda where children are kidnapped & forced to be child soldiers.
Not For Sale – Is an organization fighting to re-abolish slavery world wide.
Scarlet Cord Ministries – Kamrie is a young lady raising awareness and fighting the sex slave industry. Last June she organized a movement to pray over the length of the World Cup, in which thousands of girls were taken to South Africa for prostitution.
Streetlight Phoenix – Streetlight is a Phoenix, AZ local organization that helps rescue girls that are in the sex slave industry.
Breanna’s House of Joy – Breanna’s House of Joy is an orphanage in Thailand that helps keep girls from the sex trade.
Free To Work – Free2Work promotes transparency by rating major brands based on their policies to address this human rights issue.
Love146 – Love146 is fighting to end child sex slavery & exploitation across the globe
She Dances – She Dances provides healing, hope, and a future for girls who are victims of human trafficking in Honduras.
Children’s Hopechest – Fighting & raising awareness of child sex trafficking in Moldova & Russia.
A21 – Fighting human trafficking in Eastern Europe.
I sometimes try so hard to get people to like me. To make sure they continue liking me. I go out of my way. I over do it.
It’s completely unhealthy. Yet lies, skeletons in my closets, various pieces of baggage have written in my emotional DNA that it must be so.
Yesterday, Tracee had an insightful post. She asked, “If you believed that God is for you, than what would your life look like?” I immediately knew my answer. It had come up in a conversation earlier in the day. And it continued to play out in my mind the rest of the evening and late into the night.
“If I truly accepted, believed that God is for me, I wouldn’t believe the lies of those who necessarily aren’t.”
Honestly, I can admit that I’ve struggled with God being for me. Because why would He want any part of a sinful, arrogant, prideful, judgmental person like me?
The lies I’ve been told, the hurts that run deep – they affect my relationship with God.
The truth is, though, that God IS FOR US! He is 100% all for us!
In Romans Paul encourages. He starts with, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” and he wraps it up with a pretty bow, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:18 & 31) God knew. He knew that we’d suffer. He knew we’d fight emotional battles and physical and spiritual ones. So He laid it all out for us: “I AM FOR YOU! If you can’t trust that anyone else is, I am. “
So I’m doing my best to rest in this. In His words. That He is for me. That the lies are just that lies. And hopefully (prayerfully) over time truth will hold firm in my heart and the lies from my past will fade away. Affecting not only my relationship with God, but my relationship with my friends for the better.
I’ve joked on Twitter that God is already trying to work in me my One Word: Grace. But it really isn’t joking, because He is already moving and has been for the past few weeks. Sending things my way. Reminding me in situations to exercise grace rather than impatience or anger or frustration. What an ideal time to start: Christmas.
It’s like He really wants me to learn the art of grace and He doesn’t need to wait for the count down at midnight.
Today this post from Catalyst’s blog was waiting for me in my Google Reader. He is speaking. He longs for me to be like Him. He is pouring out His grace on me so that I can learn to have grace.
My memory verse for January:
Colossians 3:12-13 (New Living Translation)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
In 2010 I didn’t choose a One Word. Instead my life and emotions took hold and my emotions decided my Word should be fear. Fear seemed to take up residence in so many areas of my life. I felt at times as if i was being defined by fear. It took hold of me in areas it never had. So I decided I needed to be defined by a different word. A word completely opposite of fear: Trust.
For 2011 I decided that I wanted to choose a word ahead of time rather than let one decide to define me. The more I prayed about it the more I felt I was called to learn to live in a state of grace. I am extremely impatient with people. I often refuse to give them the benefit of the doubt. I so often fail to have grace on them, but choose to bestow my silent judgment.
Here are some of the things I’m planning to do over the next 12 months that will hopefully help me become this definition:
Memorize Scripture. I used to be “really” good at memorizing scriptures when I had to for school. Now that I’m an adult. Well…. So one of the things I want to do is to memorize verses that speak of having grace & grace being upon us. I am planning one verse/passage a month. So that is 12 passages by 12.31.11. Here are the verses in no particular order:
At the beginning of each month I’ll share which passage I’m memorizing.
Read books. [links are Amazon Affiliate] There are a lot of really smart people out there. People that God reveals Himself to and gives them an understanding of spiritual things. These really smart people write books. I am planning to read the following books over the next year:
If there are any others you would recommend please let me know.
Tomorrow I’ll share my verse(s) for January.
The winner of the Story canvas is: Bethany.
Congratulations. Please email me your address to prudy[at]prudychick[dot]com and I’ll get it out to you.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.