Goodbye Fear: Hello Peace

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I posed a question to my readers, prompted to ask after watching a Jeff Goins webinar, however I deviated slightly from Jeff’s instructions in that I posted my question on my Grace Lace and Polkadots Facebook page instead of sending an email to five people and I enlarged the question ever so slightly.

My question: Describe me or my writing using three words or phrases?

I was a little concerned about posing the question, you just never know what kind of response you will get. It’s a mean world out there and I half prepared myself for not so polite feedback. I needn’t have been concerned, each person who responded either through the comment box or personal message system were uplifting and encouraging.

One of the comments however hit me with powerful conviction. HESITANT was not a word I would have used to describe myself, yet I knew immediately it was true.

Definition of hesitant: slow to act or proceed (as from fear, indecision or unwillingness) taken from Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Fear, indecision and unwillingness, yep! I recognize those old friends.

What if it doesn’t work out? What if it does? Is this thing too big for me? Is it above my intelligence/skill set?

Did I make the right choice? Should I go ahead or wait a bit longer?

Not really sure if I want to do it? It looks like the right thing to do but is it really for me?

Reasonable questions, but not when they come from fear, confusion and disobedience to a directive from the Lord.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”   2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

How many God given dreams have been put on the back burner due to being hesitant to obey. I say it’s time to put away hesitancy and start trusting our Heavenly Father. He knows best and He will direct our paths, He has not given us a spirit of fear but of peace, love and a sound mind.

Fear, indecision and unwillingness are old friends that I do not wish to be reunited with. Peace, Love and a Sound Mind are my forever friends.

When the Lord puts His dreams in your heart and my heart, let us not be afraid to follow though one step at a time, one day at a time.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Feel free to share this post and encourage a friend.

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All it Took was a Text Message

Feeling overwhelmed? I was recently. Everything in life was fine, then wham! Out of the blue my emotions went from happy to verbal outrage all in the time it takes to read a text.

I had been looking forward to celebrating my friend’s birthday for several weeks. Along with several other people in the writing group we had planned to honor her during our group meeting, which was the actual day of her birthday and it was St. Valentines Day, what better day to express love to a friend and fellow writer.

My friend is a cat lover and a collector of heart shaped objects. After a fruitless search through the selection of greeting cards at a local store I decided on making my own, not that I’m wonderful in the hand-made card department but at least it would be made with love.

The weekend before the Tuesday we were to meet I set about making the card. Having once been interested in scrapbooking I still had the tools and pretty paper in my home. The card looked pretty when finished with a Hallmark heart shaped gift tag taking center stage. I wrote words from my heart to hers, hopefully conveying the respect and admirations I held for her. There was no way I was going to miss this celebration.

Or so I thought!

I heard my phone ding as I drove to church Monday evening where I was studying Lysa TerKeurst book Uninvited with some other women. The phone would have to wait until I got to the parking lot. Once parked I picked up my phone and there was a message from my daughter asking if I could look after my nineteen month old grand-daughter  on Tuesday. ALL DAY! Apparently she had a temperature in daycare so could not return for twenty four hours.

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I stared at the text while my mouth screamed NOooooooo! Wednesday, Thursday or Friday yes, but Tuesday, celebration of my friend Tuesday. Why couldn’t she have her one off temp another day? Of course I was going to help my full time working daughter out and take care of my sweet grand-daughter, family comes before birthday celebrations, right?

Knowing the right thing to do did not help with the feeling that the rug had just been pulled out from under me. One minute I was invited, the next I became uninvited through circumstances. I was in a huff, not with my daughter or grand-daughter but with life itself.

Two hours! Why couldn’t I be guaranteed just two hours once a month to do something for myself. I know you know what I’m talking about.  As mothers and grand-mothers we get pulled in every direction always putting family first. My mind continued to race even as we sang the worship song. Somewhere during the song I sensed a quietening of my emotions as I focused my thoughts towards the Lord.

As the teaching video played and Lysa talked about the goodness of God my raging emotions continued to calm. Was I suddenly happy about the situation? No, but I was experiencing peace as He was quieted me with His love and He continued to do so right through Tuesday. My grand-daughter and I had a wonderful day together.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

I will probably have to wait until I get to heaven to know why of all the days in the month my grand-daughter had to have a temperature on the Monday before celebration Tuesday. This however I do know, when my flesh is throwing a wobbly over anything no matter how big or small the deal, if I take it to the Lord and place it at His feet fixing my thoughts on Him and His truth. His love will quiet me.

Let His love quiet you today as you focus your thoughts on Him.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

Feel free to share this post with a friend or two, we all have those moments when our plans get squashed and our emotions throw us off course.

 

 

We All Want To Be Loved

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Do you enjoy a good story? I do, especially if it is one where love wins against all odds. Audiences have been held captive with stories about love, whether by the spoken word, read in magazines or books, watched on a screen big or small. Poems have been constructed and recited and songs composed and sung.

We are fascinated by love.

Parts of the world, mainly the western world, goes all out to say “I love you,” on February 14th, St. Valentines Day. Hopefully this is not the only day in the year that we will hear someone tell us “I love you.” Alas for many they have not heard these words spoken to them either in a very long time or ever, let alone on February 14th.

The disheveled woman standing on a street corner asking for food, or the teenager hanging out at the mall with her friends, the well dress career woman with the perfect manicure or the tired young mother. Which one would you choose as the unloved?

Outward appearances can tell us many things about a person but it cannot tell us the degree to which they know they are loved.

Love is not a bouquet of roses or a candlelit meal in a fancy restaurant. It is not a box of our favorite chocolates or well chosen Valentine card though all of those are welcome…hint to my husband.

It does our soul good to express words of love to affirm each other but love goes deeper than words alone. Love motivates and expresses itself in what we do and how we treat people.

I pray we will not only tell someone we love them but that our actions will speak, not always the easiest of things to do but so worth it.

The other side of the coin is this.  Family and friends can tell and show us how much they love us yet we can still feel unloved. Why is that?  Why is it deep down we don’t believe them. We don’t know their love. 

Could it be that we don’t love our self? Not in an in-love-with-self kind of way more of having a healthy love for our self. I have found only as I accept God’s love for me can I love myself. When we see ourselves as God sees us as His child, dearly beloved child, wanted, celebrated and cherished we can begin to love ourself and as we do we learn to truly love others.

“And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

 

 

 

Breathe in the Quiet: Stop the Noise

Chaos! I can’t stand chaos. It makes me irritable especially if it is accompanied by loud overbearing noise. I can block it out for a while but there comes a point when I want to hide, close my eyes and my ears, and breathe in the quiet.

I recall one such time about two or three years ago.  I was gathering with some women in a friends house to learn about an upcoming ministry event. I arrived with fifteen minutes to spare before the commencement of the meeting, some women were already there and soon we were in polite conversation.

As more women trickled in they were each greeted warmly with smiles, hugs and joyous laughter. The level of chatter increased with each new arrival, I didn’t notice it at first, it was just background noise.

Hearing what the ladies next to me were saying was getting difficult.  I was doing my best to hear but honestly I only caught half of what they said. Before long the voices in the room all merged into a blaring din, one loud crescendo of high pitch chaos.

Still, I continued to expose my ears to the noise around me….

…it got too much, I needed to get out of the noise.

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Most of the women had gathered in the dinning and kitchen area, hardly anyone was in the living room. I made my way to an empty couch and plonked myself down.  Resting my head against the back of the chair I closed my eyes and my ears and breathed in the quiet.

We live in a noisy world.

Not all the noise we hear is audible yet still we hear it loud and clear and we continue to lend our ear to the internal chatter.

At first it is an illegal whisper among many legitimate thoughts. We brush it off but here it comes again popping up in the most unlikely places.  We lend a ear to listen and it slowly becomes louder.

One illegal thought is soon joined by others and before long our thoughts are constantly attached to its power cord, travelling with us wherever we go…

…and still we listen and converse with the chatter.

“No escape,” they tell us.

But we know different. We have read the book and it tells us we can take every thought captive.

“We demolish arguments and pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV  

In Christ we can breathe in the quiet of His peace. We can rest our head against His breast, close our eyes and hear His voice speaking truth to our minds. No more do we have to listen to the lies of our enemy Satan. We can choose who we listen to: Christ or Satan. Truth or Lies. The choice is ours but choose we must.

I choose Christ.

I choose Truth.

Time to make your choice: The truth of Christ or the lies or Satan?

“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1 NIV

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His radiance