Our Enemy Prowls

This past week has been a rollercoaster for me. Our enemy prowls like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I’m afraid I have felt the pressure. The spring holy day season is nearly upon us. We have only a month before Passover. The enemy always seems to step things up a notch before holy day seasons. So let me confide in you, my friends.

Struggles: I am not strong enough to give you details, but I will tell you that I have a new struggle that I’ve never had to deal with before. (Please, try not to let your imaginations run away with you. It’s not good, but what sin is?) Typically, I struggle with only my mind. This time, it’s a habit that I keep walking into. Knowing all sin starts in the mind, I’m battling with my thoughts yet again. It has been a few weeks of war and battles. Some days I win, some days I lose. Then Yahweh provided me with a very useful tool – an audio book from the library. Joyce Meyer talks about how to handle temptation. A lot of what I’ve heard so far isn’t really revolutionary, but to hear them put in this way, at this time, is huge. She’s talking about how we need to recognize where we are tempted. She mentions that we are tempted with impatience, with overeating, with being lazy, with sexual desires, and the list continues. She proposes that we pray before temptation and also pray that God reveals to us where we are deceived. We typically know when we’re going to walk into a tempting situation. We’re going to a large dinner and know we will be tempted to overeat, for example. One other thing that she talks about is the phrase “entering into temptation”. We are to pray that we enter not into temptation, not that we will never be tempted. Am I the only one who finds this revelation mind-blowing? Looking at it in this way seems to imply that unless we act on those temptations, we haven’t entered temptation. Whoa.

Work: I have been feeling lost. My jobs are incredible. I adore and treasure them. The truth is, there’s no real room for growth there. Plus, what about Jehovah wanting me in Michigan? Has that time past? I don’t believe so. I want to be so much more involved with the church. Yet, I don’t see how that’s possible. Even if I make it back to Michigan, I’ll have to work more to make ends meet. I have the time while I’m here and not there. What is it God is accomplishing? I can’t tell. I’m utterly lost and confused. I only want to know His truth.

Exercise: I have been doing Insanity for almost a month. Three times before, I have tried to finish the program. Each time, I’ve gotten the flu about a month or a month and a week into it. I’m getting paranoid about where I’m at, but I’m rejoicing in the strength I feel flowing through my veins. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Relationship: Struggles put strain on any relationship. Unfortunately, mine is no different. I have been striving so hard for growth that I don’t seem to know how to encourage another person in it. This life is hard. These struggles are real.

How are all of you doing?

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Time For You

When I started this blog, I didn’t realize just how much time I wouldn’t have. All the days I post only a quote or a video, are the days I’m too tired to try to write something to all of you. Which makes me sad because there are so many times I would love to truly talk to you. 

Here’s something that’s been on my mind:
Our minds are powerful. We have power within us. What we tell ourselves, what we believe determines the quality of our life. 
Incantations are something we all have. We all speak to ourselves with conviction and emotion. What are we saying?

For years, I daydreamed about my life – what I would do, who I would be, where I would go. I will only share some of these, for they were many and fleeting. I dreamed of working in a foreign country, playing the cello, keeping bees, working on cars, become fit, etc. 
Much of the time, I dreamed of being a motivated individual who worked hard to make their dreams come true. The truth was, I wasn’t motivated. I liked to daydream and not lift a finger toward these ideas. 
Too long, I left things alone. Too long, I let others dream and work hard to achieve their goals. Too long, I ignored my role in making things possible. 
One day, God directed me to a new thought. A new way of doing things. He taught me to focus on certain character traits I liked or did not like, and actively put forth effort to change. I didn’t create a list, though that would maybe be a good idea. I took each trait as it occurred to me. 
One of the first things I wanted to concur was my habit of daydreaming. That had to go. What replaced it? Prayer. I started to learn to pray constantly. Every time my brain started to work up a daydream, I cut it off by saying, “God, please help me. I don’t want to start this again. It snowballs into something huge and makes my brain feel cloudy. For You, I want my brain to be sharp and on its ‘A’ game. I don’t know what to say to You, but please help me think of things to tell You. Please teach me to pray constantly.” and then I would proceed from there. 
The change? My brain was sharper, I was closer to God than ever, and I was happier; more eager to continue on this new path. 

To clarify, when I say that we have power within us, I mean that God gives us power. God won’t leave us to fight battles alone. In fact, He says He will fight for us. 

My current project: changing beliefs that hold me back. Beliefs such as: “I can’t.” “It’s impossible.” “I’m stressed.”

Here’s the reality I’ve been discovering:
I CAN.
For God all things are possible and He is with me.
I’m excited about life.

Why did I replaced “stressed” with “excited”? Because stressed is a word you use when you’re breaking down. Excited is what you use when you’re breaking through. 

May God bless your efforts to plunge into life and live abundantly!

Vulnerable Building Prayer

God, you have given me a foundation and building materials. I’m afraid I don’t know much about construction. How am I building thus far? 
Recently, it was as if You asked me, “Who are you working with? Are you communicating?” Truth be told, Lord, I haven’t been working with many besides You. Even then, my communication has been lacking. I’m sorry. 
Please teach me to be excruciatingly vulnerable with You and others in order that I may grow. Please give me the comfort and peace I will desire when I feel open and raw. Please help my brothers, sisters, and I to have compassion with each other. 
Gracious, merciful, and loving Father, thank You for always being there. Thank You for all You give to us. Thank You for Your sacrifices. May we all bring You the glory and honor You deserve. 

Happy Sabbath, all.
With love,
your sister in the Faith

11.09.12

Lord, my Love
How blessed I am
To have someone
Like You

How blessed I am
There is no one
Such as You
Not one

There is no one
Anywhere in the universe
As loving as You
Or sincere

Anywhere in the universe
We can cry to You
In any distress or
Dire straight

We can cry to You
When we need 
That strength, that light
You provide

When we need
Anything at all
You are but a call
From us

Anything at all
Can be on our minds
From the depths of our souls, Thank You

Waiting

“But those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Waiting is difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if we’re waiting or allowing ourselves to be stagnant. Stagnation creeps up on us. We get comfortable where we are and don’t want to continue farther into the unknown on the less-traveled road. 

What are you doing while you wait? Are you continuing steadfastly in prayer, meditation, and fasting? I know I lapse. Even if I do pray, I don’t always pray as fervently as I once did. If I meditate, I don’t focus as easily. If I fast, it’s as though it has no meaning. 
The only “cure” I know of is praying to God. Be heart-felt and ask God to renew your desire to pray and meditate; to renew in you the purposeful fasting. 

Always, always, always, I consider God the answer. If you lack anything good, God has it. And whatever you ask for, believing you will receive, you will acquire. 

Be careful what you ask for, but don’t fear to ask. 

May God guide and protect you as you journey on.