Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"God won't give you more than you can handle." NOT

Has anyone ever said that to you when your sharing with someone that you're feeling overwhelmed?  I used to say that.  I don't say that any more.  Where in the Bible does it say "God won't give you more than you can handle."?  There is a verse, 1 Cor 10:13, that says something like that, however, that's about fleeing temptation.  NOT what I'm talking about here.

I'm not talking about feeling overwhelmed because you took too much on for the day.  I'm talking about feeling overwhelmed just because you can. Maybe you don't have days like that, but when you're struggling with an anxiety disorder there are often days like that.  I'm talking about when you're feeling like you've got too much on your plate (like dinner, and laundry, and picking up kids, and, and, and,), whether is just a normal day with too many expectations laid on you or it's in the midst of a trial/hardship and someone says, "God won't give you more than you can handle".

Really?  When my mind is healthy I have days where I can't handle/balance everything.  I especially can't handle everything when He brings trials and tribulations into my life.  When my mind is unbalanced I can't even handle doing the laundry, going to the grocery store, making dinner.  So this is what I think of that saying.   That's a load of

.


NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY THAT.  In fact, I believe it says the opposite.  Doesn't it often talk about "your burden is heavy" "Lay your burden down"?   You know that saying "I've got a full plate today."?  I feel like I have a load of sloppy spaghetti hanging off the sides of my plate with the side dishes already fallen off to the floor.  Broccoli bouncing off the kitchen floor, garlic bread falling in mid air about to land butter side down.  And why does it feel like I get a small dessert plate some days to carry my load when I need a stinkin' vegetable plater divider thingie to help me compartmentalize and organize.  (See picture on side.  What DO you call those things anyway?) And that's how I feel when my mind is HEALTHY!

As hard as it is sometimes, it is GOOD that God allows us to have more on our plate than we can handle.  Stick with me here.  This is what happens when He does that.
1.  We learn that we're not all that and a bag of chips.  Or as my friend Gwen says, "We think we're hot snot on a silver plater when really we're just cold boogies on a paper plate".
2.  We come to the realization that we NEED God;  His strength, His comfort, His peace, His wisdom, His discernment.
3.  We need to be reminded that we can't do all things but He can.
4. Our faith is made stronger
5.  We see God move and provide for us (sometimes we can't see this until the storm has passed)
And most importantly we come to the realization of two very important things that answer the "Why does this hard/bad thing have to happen to me?" question.
6.  God will NEVER allow something to happen that won't, in the end, bring His name glory.
And
7.  God will NEVER allow something to happen UNLESS it's going to shape us (those of us who have a relationship with Him) and mold us into the image of Christ.   Or for those of us who don't have a relationship with Him, help us realize we NEED to be in relationship with Him.




He loves us enough to bring us to the end of our rope, asks us to let go, and helps us realize we do, in fact, need a Savior.  Why do we need to "cling to the end of our rope" as the world says....














when it's HE who is already holding us in the palm of His hand.
 We just waste energy when we try to cling to our rope.
Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you;  Do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand".






Imagine if we never had hardship.
1.  There would be no reason for relationship with God.
2.  We would never experience His Grace and mercy, His comfort and strength.
And most importantly,
3.  We would never experience His loving kindness through forgiveness.

Now, granted a break from hardship would be nice.  A break from a broken world, broken relationships, broken minds.  But for now, I'll just choose to find my rest in Christ alone (Great song to listen too especially the first verse in relating to this subject. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENtL_li4GbE )and throw my spaghetti and sides on His plate, For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30  "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light".

So what do you say?  Let's stop saying/thinking "God won't give me more than I can handle"  and let's let go from the wearing clinging to the end of our rope, and drop safely and securely into the hand of our loving savior......and find rest.  Who's with me?

Friday, August 26, 2016

I Am A Beautiful Mess

Do you believe that about yourself?  That, even though you're a mess, you're still beautiful?  

I don't.   Well, I didn't.  I kind of do.  I'm working on it.  That's where I am with that statement.

I don't know about you, but I STRUGGLE.  In my mind.  It's a cotton pickin' mess.  With O.C.D. and anxiety it's like world war 3 in there depending on the day, the moment. I don't know what your struggle is, it might not be mental illness but I KNOW it's something, because we all struggle and we're all messy.

When I'm in the midst of a bad M.M. (mental moment, which could last 5 minutes or 3 months) I see no beauty in myself.  Right?  I know you can connect with this.  (I choose to believe I'm not alone in this, though this is often not talked about or ESPECIALLY not shared on social media.)  Then the automatic tapes in my head go off, and they are never uplifting.  


 "Look at you. You can't even hold it together over spilled food on the floor."  "What kind of mother loses her temper with a 4 yr old just wanting a hug while she's cooking?"  "You're a failure."  "You're not able...."  "You're inadequate."  And the list goes on.  

Messy



Why is it that "messiness"/unhealthiness comes so naturally but we have to INTENTIONALLY practice beauty?

And so, once again, I am brought back to the cross of Christ.  Now THAT is messy.  Ugly. Disgusting. Grotesque. BUT, it is also Saving.  Grace.  Mercy.  Beauty.  Without that "mess" there'd be no hope.  I just don't want to, can't,  live that way.  Literally.  If I stayed in the state of messy without practicing beauty I would......well.....let me just say it.  I would kill myself.  There ya go.  Ultimate mess.  One thing we would never want people to know we've thought about, or dare I even say, planned/tried.  Without the hope of beauty all there is, ultimately, is death to bring what we think will be relief.

It's a lie.  It's a lie.

Here's where Beauty comes in.

And so I fix my eyes on Truth.  (For those of you who will want biblical proof message me and I'll share the references for these.)

I AM VALUABLE.  

I AM a MASTERPIECE. 

I was MADE WITH A PURPOSE.  

I AM STRONG and POWERFUL in Christ.

I AM BEAUTIFUL.

I AM A BEAUTIFUL MESS.

I don't want to leave that last one out.  I need to take a new look at it.  Instead of looking at "Mess" as a negative I can choose to look at it as a positive.  It's within/because this "mess"  that I can 
1.  reach out and connect with other people. 
2.  catch the lies in the mess and practice truth.
3.  gain wisdom and strength by going through the mess (trials/adversities).  

Here's to today.  Will you chose to pick/focus on Beauty in the midst of the mess today with me?

Below is a link to You Make Beautiful Things By Gungor.  Please take time to listen to it and be encouraged.

This entry is for my Pop (my father-in-love).  I haven't blogged in months because I think, "Who would want to learn from this Mess?"  You often tell me how you miss reading my blog when I don't write for a while.  Thank you for your encouragement and for believing in me.   I love you Pop.




Monday, March 9, 2015

I am a gem.


Every gem has flaws in it. Its beauty and flaws are what make it unique. If you can't handle the flaws then don't invest in the gem.

Do we expect too much from our friends?  I know I do sometimes.  You don't realize what your expectations are in a friendship until one of them isn't met.  Maybe we don't realize it, but we sometimes expect our friends to 
*  make us happy
* support us
* be available for us when we need them
*  dare I say "read our minds"?  (know when we need these things or are expecting the above things without us telling them/asking for them)
*  call us/stay connected with us the way WE want/need to stay connected

When they fail to do the above things (and trust me, they will)  our expectations of them are not met, they "fail us"  and fall off the "important stool"  WE placed them on in our lives.  (someone look at your neighbor and say,  "idol")  People are GOING TO FAIL US.  Though we are gems and have great things to invest in each other's lives, we are gems with flaws and those flaws WILL come out and we can chose to let them bite us in the butt and hurt us, or we can chose to love the gem despite the flaw.

 It's hard to go through life without having expectations of others.  The thing with friendships is that we SHOULD go into a friendship having no expectation to receive anything.  We should be thinking "what can I give this person?"  "How can I be an encouragement to this person"...NOT thinking "What can she give me?"  "How can he encourage/support me?" .  If both sides went into friendships like this and kept it that way, we would not have our expectations crushed so much and, at the same time, we would both receive encouragement but NOT be crushed when the other person lets us down.  

The only person we should place our expectations on/in is the One who can fulfill our every NEED (notice I'm not saying "want"), the one who is a PERFECT FRIEND and that's Christ.  He loved us when we were totally unloveable!  
*  Romans 5:8 " But God showed His love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us"  He had NO expectations of receiving ANYTHING from us.

He tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for  you souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 

In whom do you place your expectations?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm a messy tree

I'm finding out lately that my roots are all over the place.  I'm a messy tree.  Have you heard these phrases: "Where are your roots?", "I don't want to grow my roots here."  God has been teaching me what my roots are plugged into.

They say that you can see what your idols are by looking at where you spend your time, thoughts, and money. I'm learning that my roots are often plugged into my idols rather than Truth.   What are your roots plugged into?  I've been catching myself saying, "I don't want to grow my roots here in Quakertown, or in PA, or in the USA! (insert adult temper tantrum picture here).  I want to grow my roots in Madagascar!"

So this week I've been looking at my roots and what they are plugged into, from the little to the large. Any time I find myself irritated because my expectations aren't met  I find a root planted in an earthly THING, whether it be time, money,
ice cream (ever get irritated when you can't have the thing to eat that you've been looking forward to all day or is it just me?).

My roots need to be planted in Truth, a firm foundation that will never die.  The only thing that will never fade away my friends is the WORD of God.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

1 Peter 1:24-25a  For, all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass.  The grass withers, and the flower falls off,  but the WORD of the Lord endures forever.'"

Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my WORD will never pass away.

And so it is that Jesus is teaching me another hard lesson.  My roots,  ALL OF THEM, from the largest to the smallest NEED to be planted IN Christ, NOT a thing, not a place, not a dream, for ALL those things will wither away and perish.

Colossians 2:6  So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives IN him, ROOTED and built up IN him, strengthened IN the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 "But blessed is the one who trusts IN the LORD, whose confidence is IN him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its ROOTS by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit".

And so I was challenged by the Lord to take note of what my roots were plugged INto.  Yes, I do have roots plugged into God, but He is showing me that not ALL my roots are plugged IN Him.  Roots can wander when they are thirsty.....I need to plant them IN the Living water and not things that will fade away.

So, I challenge you today....make a list (for some reason I find this more compelling.   When you actually SEE  all the things your roots are planted in it's very humbling).  Maybe for you it's your favorite hobby (exercising, knitting, hunting, music), maybe it's your work, for some it might be their relationships (children, spouse/wanting a spouse, friends), maybe it's an addiction, maybe it's your "rights".   My list (though not complete for it would take up a LOT of space) is below, starting at the smallest going to the largest.....for even small roots grow large eventually, so they also need to be plucked and redirected back INto The Word so they get their thirst met by "LIVING WATER".  Let's start the process now.  Help us Jesus.

Hebrews 1:1-2a Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race  marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

1.   Turkey Hill mint chocolate chip ice cream
2.   alone time
3.   getting my expectations met (do it my way, do it now)
4.   friend time with no children
5.   dates with my husband
6.   Madagascar

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dealing with the obnoxious soccer mom

OH my word.  So I was at one of my boys soccer games the other week (randy and i take turns going since it's uth group night and we need to be at both places at once) and there was a totally obnoxious soccer mom there.  Now, for those of you who don't like reading negativity about others please keep reading......it's not what you think.

This woman was the epitome of "soccer moms".  You know the kind, tall, bleach blonde hair from a bottle, and oh yeah, NOT ONLY was she a soccer mom, she was a GOALIE soccer mom..... the kind who has the kid with the cool soccer gloves, mohawked hair.......  She was yelling all game long (thankfully it was all positive)  even jumping up and down when they were close to the goal.  It was so bad that I was embarrassed for her.  I actually took a picture to show you how bad it was.
Yup.....it was me.  I SWORE I would NEVER be a soccer mom.  And here I am.  Mini van, two boys with mohawks, one with goalie gloves, soccer chair, bleach hair (ok, well THAT changes like every few months to a new color!), loud voice.....UGGGGGG!  sigh, well, at least I'm not yelling obscenities just words of encouragement! Oh what we become for the love of our children!



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Morning .... already? Getting out of bed


Getting out of bed is the hardest part of the day for me.  I lay there and dread the fact that I know I will let God down, I will let my husband down, I will let my children down, I will let my friends down, I will let down myself.  I will fail.  Sounds depressing right?  No wonder I have a hard time getting out of bed!

How can any body want  to be with me?  I can’t even stand to be with myself some times.  How could Jesus want to die for me in order to be with me?  ME. 

It’s hard to understand why God has allowed me to deal with depression, OCD, anxiety.  Why would He want me to suffer this way.  How can this,  this, be good for me, come from a “Good God”?  

I’ve been struggling with this, and I know I’m not the only one, as one of my friends said the same thing to me the other day.  In my heart of hearts I know/believe that God is good and therefore, that all He does is good.  I just don’t understand how.  How can He use me when I’m feeling like this?

Do you hear the focus of my first few paragraphs?  I’ve made it all about me and my feelings.  God can and will use me for His glory.  He also tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that “His plans are to prosper us, not to harm us.  To give us a hope and a future.”  Do I trust that?  Even when I can’t seem to get myself out of bed?

God gave me a new picture a few months ago about me and my feelings.  I am a bus.  The bus needs a driver.  I need to let that driver be God.  I need to be in the second seat, right behind Him, so I can hear Him as He guides me, teaches me.  But what I’m finding out is that  all to often it’s my feelings that are driving my bus.  Now, feelings are very real, but they are not truth.  Only God is truth and that is why He needs to drive my bus.  So, every morning I finally remember this and I tell my feelings to “get to the back of the bus.  God’s driving today”.  Then, I force myself out of bed, pray as I walk through the house for God’s strength, God’s focus, God’s joy and I chose to move forward in victory, whether I feel victorious or not.


OH MY WORD!!!  I just finished writing this and went on Face book.  Here is what I watched!  You’ve GOT to watch this!  It’s exactly what I was just writing about!  HA!  I love it when God does that!  Here's the link.
Our pastor just preached about goodness as an attribute of God this past Sunday.  Please listen to it.  It spoke so deeply to my heart and I pray that it will speak just as deeply to yours.  
Pastor Jeff's sermon

Thursday, October 3, 2013

If I truly understood.


October 3 1013

How would my life look different if I TRULY understood who God is. I've been chewing on the verses from Ephesians 3 off and on for over a year now.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.


I'm realizing that we need to be praying this over ourselves, each other, and over the church as a whole. We're not going to understand it unless God brings the understanding. It's too much for our mortal minds to fathom.
How would I look different if I truly understood the depth, the highth, of this love that surpasses knowledge? It would effect how I view myself, others, HIM! Now obviously perfection doesn't come until we are standing before Him, but am I asking Him to help me understand the knowledge of His love, to be EFFECTED by this knowledge and to change the atmosphere around me due to this knowledge?
And so today I pray this over myself, my family, the church....you. How will you allow this knowledge to change the atmosphere around you?