faith

Friday Words of Faith – Digging Through the Archives

Since I’m going under the knife today (totally awake! yikes!) I wanted to share some of my favorite Friday Words of Faith posts over the last year or so.  I’m only having a wisdom tooth extracted so its nothing major but  I don’t know what kind of mental state I’ll be in and didn’t want to BUI (blog under the influence).  Ha!  So here are a list of some of my favorite Friday Words of Faith posts:

Wrestling Match

I Believe

Cleaning

Adoption

I hope you enjoy!

faith

Friday Words of Faith – Break Our Hearts

Last week I didn’t post Friday Words of Faith because honestly I didn’t feel like I had anything to give.  My heart was definitely full but not peace and joy and love that can be mine whenever I like as a gift from the Father but instead I was carrying anger, bitterness, and frustration which pretty much lasted the entire weekend.  I was angry about getting have to drive to my doctors appointment in a ton of traffic.  I got even more frustrated getting lost in the process as I was making a pit stop to sell some items to a lady from Craigslist as she gave me the wrong exit number.  Then I decided Saturday night to try to hang the new bathroom mirror and while I eventually got it hung I hope no one ever looks behind it as they are 8 unnecessary holes back there.  Thank goodness it was a huge mirror.  Needless to say I felt less than inspired.

My mind then went to a Nooma video by Rob Bell (if you have not read or watched anything by Rob Bell you have got to check him out.  Seriously he is one of the most inspiring writers/speakers I have ever experienced and I can’t speak highly enough about the Nooma video series.  If you are in ministry or lead a small group or just want to be challenged to think outside the box – watch them – like now!) called Store.  Here is some summary information (from the Nooma website):

We all get angry about things from time to time–some of us more often than others. For some of us, it feels like we’re constantly on the brink of losing it, where it doesn’t take much to get angry about anything. And this kind of anger can be seen everywhere we go–at work, in traffic, at the store, at home. But what is really at its root? Anger is often looked at as a bad thing, but are there things actually worth getting angry about? Maybe if we had a better understanding of our anger and where it comes from, we could learn how to channel it toward something constructive–something that’s bigger than ourselves.

Talk about having your toes stepped on and crushed.  I had a crash course in Conviction 101.  I have so much to be thankful for – life, love of the Father, an amazing husband and daughter, a roof over my head, and a roof over my head – yet here I was losing it over having to drive the actual speed limit or taking an extra 15 minutes out of my way to actually earn some money.  Seriously?  This is  what I chose to be angry about?

I love what Rob Bells says in that anger itself is not a bad thing in itself.  Even Jesus got angry.  But what do we choose to be angry about?  Is it the AIDS epidemic in Africa that is leaving millions of children orphaned or the fact that the drive-thru is moving a little slower than we would like?  Is it the continuing racism and oppression within our country that makes you angry or that you didn’t agree with the umpire’s call at the last softball game?

What could we accomplish if we all chose to use our anger to build a stronger Kingdom instead of tearing each other down?  How would the world be changed?

I heard this song for the first time last week – Hosanna by Hillsong United – and there is one line that stood out to me which says, “Break our hearts for what breaks yours.”  May that be the prayers of our hearts today.

Dear most gracious Father,

I come to you ashamed that I often times let my anger get the best of me and honestly 98% of the time its over things that don’t matter in the scope of eternity.  So I ask for Your forgiveness and Your guidance.  God I pray that you break my heart for what breaks yours.  Let me get angry over the things of this world that really matter and that I can make a difference with if only I would channel my energy in the right direction.  I pray for each and every one of the readers wherever they are today and in whatever they may be doing.  May our hearts be united in making a change in the world for You.  May we be a generation rising up to take our place with selfless faith.  I thank you that You not only hear the prayers that we speak but the words that we right and even those only found in our hearts.  It is in your most glorious name that I pray.  Amen.

Feel free to share your prayers should be feel led.


chronic illness

Friday Words of Faith: Cast ALL Your Cares

Ok.  I will be honest.  I worry.  A lot.  Personality-wise, I would definitely consider myself a perfectionist and an almost type-A personality.  I like having a plan.  I like structure.  To-do lists work well for me.

Sometimes life doesn’t work out that way.  Especially with a chronic illness.  In finding my new normal, this has been the hardest adjustment for me personally.  I like planning and I like to do things myself.  I’m pretty stubborn about it too.  Once in taking a grief and loss class in seminary, we took a survey of what factors regarding death affect us the most.  Some of the questions revolved around topics such as the thought of being in the ground or cremated, the question of the afterlife, or the loss of independence.  It was easy to see that my independence is something very high on my life and its definitely not something I want to give up anytime soon.  So chronic illness and I are in a seemingly unending battle over it.

So it has been a learning process.  I can plan but I have to allow myself to let go of the plan if my body needs a break.  I have to allow the dishes to be left undone if my time is needed elsewhere.  It has been so hard to adjust but I think that in the last 5 years I have really made progress and have learned to relax and give myself permission to say no.

And then the last diagnosis came.  Since then I swear it feels like I have unraveled.  My anxiety levels are so much higher.  I feel like I am in less control of my emotions.  The slightest thing puts me over the edge.   Almost to the point where I’ve considered calling my doctor.  But then I stopped to ask myself some questions.  Why am I so anxious?  What am I worried about?  Of course I had a long list of answers (in the form of questions) to these questions – is this my last diagnosis?  what if they were wrong?  what is it going to be next time?

Then I asked myself this question – Who is in control?  Definitely not me!  But what a reminder of WHO is!  God is in control and has a plan which includes hope and prosperity so why should I be anxious?  Am I going to have questions about my health and illness from time to time?  Absolutely.  But why should I let the anxiety steal my joy?  God’s word is full of promises that can allow us to be free from the burdens of worry and anxiety and trust that He is God.  Here are a few of my favorites:

“Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”
Psalm 55:22
“Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? . . .  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-26, 34 
 
What are some of your favorite verses (or other quotes) that keep you pressing on?