Archive: November, 2010

A Secret and A Give Away

Today I’m going to share a secret with you about me. Later I’m hoping you’ll decide to share something with me in return and if you do I’ll give you a chance to win something fun!
Sound good?
Okay, so you might not have noticed this about me, but occasionally…
I
am
crazy.

And don’t be mad, but I’m going to go boldly beyond that and say that you get a little crazy sometimes too.
Agree or disagree, but it is true that our girl brains work in excessive over-time and on maximum overload. Criticizing. Accusing. Condemning. Ourselves. Far. Too. Often.
Pointy dagger shaped thoughts are set to go off in rapid-fire through our minds. Bombarding us with lies. They come in the form of…
you should haves
how dare yous

and not good enoughs

Just to name a few. And we believe them. They consume us when we’re driving. Showering. Working. Trying to sleep. Constantly. They follow us around, twist us up and we hate it, but we take it. Over and over they stab at us. Making us bleed.
Turning us crazy.
And in order to survive with a single ounce of sanity in the midst of all this madness we must have a personal defense method. A girls very own got-to-take-it way of escape. I know we all desire to hold every thought captive to the Lord. But we wouldn’t have a need for that desire unless it was something we struggled with, right?
When I find myself all caught up in crazy I stop and pray. I read my Bible, talk to a godly friend or listen to good Christian music. Doing these things moves my mind into a necessary slow-down allowing me to release my wild thoughts to God. He sorts me out. Shifts my thinking. He roots out my untruth, grants me the clarity I need to detect it and the strength to reject it. Then He awards me with His truth to replace it and the irresistible urge to embrace it.
After that and sometimes in the middle of that I write. Writing it somehow connects all the jumbled up words and fragments flying through my head together in a way that points to God and transforms me. And even still my issues sometimes resurface for another go around. But we’re all making progress on our journey with Jesus, right? Fortunately we have free and limitless access to the most loving and incredible Counselor available. We all are in desperate need of little divine brain surgery. Agreed?
Okay, so it’s your turn! Godly girls want to know… what’s your method? How does God reign in your madness and give you the power to tame it?
And, for a little extra thinking motivation I am giving away a copy of Matthew West’s new CD “Story of Your Life” to one randomly selected person who leaves a comment. If you’ve got it already I am certain there is a sweet sister (or brother) in your life who would love to receive it as a gift!

*Winner announced tomorrow!

Ruin My Day

Satan is poised to pounce when I am vulnerable.

He points out the flaws I already know I have.

His humiliation pushes my head down.

His accusations of past mistakes pierce my heart like a knife.

His nasty voice is like fingernails screeching across a chalkboard.

His contemptible words are weapons against me.

His sticks and stones sometimes break me.

He tricks me into thinking God doesn’t care.

He can ruin a perfectly good day in a single blow.

But not today

Today, I refuse to let the Adversary shove one more dismal tear down my face.

The razor-sharp stones he slings will not touch me.

Today, I’m going to resist his nasty attempts to shake me.

He won’t break me.

I figured out his twisted game.

I’ll foil all his plans.

I’ll take away his match before the flame manifests…before he burns me.

I’ll shield myself with the armor of God so I can stand against him.

God will wash the Devil’s rotten influence from my mind.

He will wring Satan out and hang him up to dry.

Someday, I’ll be living in a heavenly mansion on streets lined with gold. And all he will ever be is a snide, slithering snake that will burn in his own slim for all eternity.

So make a note while you’re on the prowl, You will not ruin this grace girl’s day… not today!

As you start a perfectly good Monday, just know the Adversary is cruising around looking for a cowardly way to spoil everything.

Don’t underestimate him.

Be alert.

Draw near to God.

Let God guide you and guard you.

You don’t have to be strong enough or brave enough. God alone will give you the strength to resist temptations lurking in a pile of unsorted laundry, a stack of dirty dishes, or a child in need of an attitude adjustment.

What things can you do to fight off Satan’s attacks today?

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

~ Luke 4:7

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

~ 1 Peter 5:8

Written Just For You,

The Drive


I drive down a long stretch of highway.

I spot Jesus on the side of the road.

I stop.

He asks, “May I ride along with you.”

I reply, “Sure. I’ll pop my trunk. Hop on in!”

I’ll hide you there so no one else will see. That way when I pass by my friends, you won’t embarrass me.

If perhaps I hit a bump in the road and blow a tire, you’ll be there to change it.

Jesus shrugs and shakes His head in disappointment. “I’m not getting in the trunk.”

I suggest maybe Jesus would prefer the back seat.

We can engage in “small talk.” However, since I’ll be driving, I won’t be able to see your face. The windows will be rolled down so I won’t be able to hear you that well either.

Jesus says, “I don’t want the backseat.”

In a frustrated sigh I say, “Okay Jesus, you can be my passenger.”

In the front seat everyone will see you. We can talk with less distraction. You can even hold the map so we won’t get lost.

“Well, what do you think?” I say with pride.

Jesus is still not happy with my suggestion. He says, “Stop the car.”

We pull over.

Jesus walks around the car and opens my door.

He lovingly says, “Step out of the car and give me your keys.”

At this moment, we have a choice to either embrace Jesus or drive away from Him.

When we hand Jesus the keys to our life’s journey, He is no longer just a spare tire. He is no longer just a casual conversation. He is no longer just someone who pumps the gas or holds the map.

When we step out of the driver’s seat, Jesus controls our destination. He sets our pace. He determines when we stop and when we go.

Now, we are committed to following Him wherever He may lead.

We are no longer ashamed to be seen with Him.

We realize He is worth it.

When Jesus knocks on the window of your heart, how will you respond? Will you hand over the keys or will you keep on driving?

”A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps,” (Proverbs 16:9).

In Between Places

I pay bills, schedule appointments, spray for ants, start a grocery list, unload the dishwasher, pick up kids, and scrub sticky orange juice that spilled two weeks ago off the refrigerator shelves.

I do all these things, yet sometimes I feel invisible.

I wonder if anyone even notices the woman behind the rubber gloves and sponge.

Does anyone realize there is actually a woman underneath this mom-chef-wife-chauffer exterior?

I am squeezed. I am pressed on every side. I want to give up.

I don’t think I am strong enough.

Sometimes, I think God may have picked the wrong woman for this motherhood gig.

I am somewhere in between being noticed and being ignored.

Somewhere between touch overload and not touched enough.

Between self-control and out of control.

Between recognizing Truth and believing a lie.

Somehow I am unseen.

God taps on my heart and reminds me I am not alone.

Even though I am unseen by an earthly audience of many, I am so very noticed by a heavenly audience of One.

I recognize God’s reassuring presence in those inconvenient and uncomfortable “in between places.”

He draws near and whispers,

I will never abandon you in the “in between places”.
I will meet you there.
I will keep you company.
I will acknowledge you.

You are worth noticing.

Suddenly, I don’t feel so alone and invisible in the between places.

We don’t find ourselves in these places by accident.

We are right where God wants us…

In the middle of His love,
Curled up in His grace,
Gripped by His plan, and
Tightly held in between His merciful arms of love.

So sweet sister if you find yourself in a place like this today, remember you are not alone. God sees you serving your family, drag racing to school and back, scrubbing that stain, and obeying His commands…

and He is pleased.

“Am I only a God nearby,”
declares the LORD,
“and not a God far away?
Who can hide in secret places
so that I cannot see them?”
declares the LORD.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the LORD
.

~ Jer. 23:23-24

Written for you with love,

Recalling His Purpose

My husband warned me that 2010 would be a challenging year for us. He was right. At first it was a little gradual rocking of our boat, but we seemed to manage pretty well. But over the last few months the tumultuous seas quickly took us from bad to worse.

I confess. I’m tired. Dark circles have deeply etched themselves in under my eyes. A few extra pounds have made their home in all the wrong places. And last week I lost my ability to stay above the incessant crashing waves.

It never fails; when I get like this the rants of my flesh seem to target and force themselves upon my weakened soul. I selfishly evaluate my complaints. Pride festers. I carefully weigh my rights. Entitlement sets in. And at a time when my responses are completely crucial to our stability they became dangerously destructive.

This weekend it all came to a thunderous head. My husband and I had what Lysa Terkheurst would call a “growth opportunity,” that’s positive talk for a verbal throw-down. It wasn’t pretty. But despite me,

God

still

works.

I think sometimes we have to make the wrong choices to clearly see the right ones. As soon as my purpose fell under the attack of unwanted busy-ness and unruly fleshy-ness I got the Spiritual sense knocked out of me. And only after I began to hear myself speak did the Spirit allow me to recall just what it was that I had lost sight of: God’s purpose.

I am His.

“He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

My troubles began when I took my eyes off of Holy and Righteous Him and started to worry about poor and pitiful me. He created me for His pleasure and His purposes.

I am a wife.

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” Ephesians 3:22 (NIV)

I am to submit and support my husband no matter what our circumstances are. Regardless of his decisions or how hard it all is. I am to sit content under his authority with complete trust and respect for him as if he were the Lord himself.

And, I am a mom.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

My children are always watching. And especially when I am following the whims of my flesh they are soaking it all in. I am their example of how to love and serve their earthly father and their Spiritual Father. He’s entrusted me with this awesome responsibility.

Truth is I have no purpose outside of His plans. His purpose is solid. Unchangeable. Unaffected by the devouring waves of a raging storm. When I’m steering the boat in my own strength and set on my own course the surging sea will surely swallow me up, but when He is my compass and my anchor my soul is unshaken by the dark and deadly waters.

Can you relate? Have you ever lost sight of His purpose for your life? How did He get your attention?

Scraps or Surplus?

This post will seem radical to some. However, it’s nothing short of how we as Christians should be living.

A couple of weeks ago, our Mothers On Mission ministry gathered up lightly used clothes for a local elementary school. I stood in the lunchroom surveying the neatly organized, second-hand clothes. I’ll admit, a little root of pride began to sprout deep within my heart. Clothes, hats, scarves, and coats of all sizes were donated to help kids in need. That’s when God began to press on my heart. He pressed so hard it made me uncomfortable…and it will you too.

God spoke a question to my soul that day. Am I tossing away my left-overs to the poor? The answer is yes. Am I donating my family’s scraps so I can rid my home of excess “stuff” that I didn’t need in the first place? The answer is yes. Am I donating “things” to make me feel good about myself or to truly help others? This is a personal inventory I need to take.

The question isn’t, “How much can I spare, but how much can I give?” I don’t think when I stand before the Creator of the Universe, He will say, “Kelli, I don’t think you kept enough for yourself.” Do you?

God doesn’t desire or deserve my leftovers. I believe He doesn’t want us to give our leftovers to people in need either. Christ in us will move us to give generously, abundantly, passionately, boldly, and sacrificially. Christ in us will compel us to give more than we think we can afford. This kind of giving kicks us out of our comfort zones and into a life of complete biblical surrender.

This is what I want, don’t you?

I love when God challenges me this way.

Do you follow Jesus or are you a follower of Jesus?

If you are a follower of Jesus then let’s ask ourselves, “What would happen if we stopped donating our left over time, left over money, left over clothes to the poor and began giving our surplus? Our best? Remember, God loves “a cheerful giver.” The giving can’t be out of religious duty. It must be out of our absolute delight in serving Him.

Instead of tossing out an old blanket because our tastes have changed, what if we gave away our newly purchased Pottery Barn comforter? What if we left the warmth of our homes tonight and headed downtown to hand out blankets to those shivering in the cold? I am doing this soon. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Let’s call our “what-if’s” into action today–because we are not promised tomorrow!

He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,even the princes of his own people!
Praise the LORD!

~ Psalm 113:5-9

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
~ 2 Cor. 8-9

Written with conviction and love,

Trunk-N-Treat





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