Hello Friend! Day Twenty-five

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 NIV

Hello Friend!

Sometimes I can be very harsh with myself. If I said the words in my head out loud, I wouldn’t want me for a friend. It’s true, there is a time for tough love but when I know the ins and outs of my days and my life and I can’t give myself a break then I know I am overwhelmed and I need to create some space.

When I create space, I get very focused and start kicking the troublesome things out of my life. I buckle down. I make decisions I have been waffling on (sometimes, time is not your friend). And I purge enough so I can breathe again. I take a deep breath and restart my devotional time. I find life giving verses and find a study that refreshes my spirit. I look to God for the answers and the peace and the forgiveness I am so desperate for.

And then it all starts over again.

When I am impatient with myself, I am impatient with everyone else, too! I go through seasons of being too patient and not patient enough. If I really like you, I can be ridiculously patient. If I don’t particularly jive with your personality and I happen to be in a bad space, I have zero patience and even less tolerance for shenanigans.

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Hello Friend! If I am not intentionally in God’s Word and giving Him my day and seeking His face, you will know by my lack of “fruit”. It’s okay for you to point that out to me. When I am distracted and getting to the end of my reserves, all of these “fruits” are in jeopardy. I can see it happening so easily in others but I am not so fast to see it in myself. It’s like a slow fade until I hit the bottom and my reserves are spent.

This is a perfect season for a restart! What is it that has crept in and taken your prayer and Scripture study time? Sometimes we allow things to move into our lives but it means we need to move other things out. If you want to display the fruits of the Spirit in your life, time with God should not be the negotiable item.

Love,
Liz

Disappointment

There are many things to be disappointed about in this life. We are set up to strive for “more” with all of the promotions and ads and marketing that bombards us every day. We often chase after things, people, positions, experiences, or degrees hoping they will bring us happiness and are surprised when, after we achieve it we are still feeling disappointment.

Or maybe we have experienced disease, death of loved ones, and other things that occurred through no fault of our own and now we are left to deal with daily reminders of that loss. Life can be so hard.

What is our response when things don’t turn out according to plan? Where do we turn? Who can understand? How can our heart and mind accept the situation and move forward?

It is important to allow ourselves time to adjust to the new circumstances, of course. And that time of grieving and the process of grieving looks different with every person. Talking to a friend or counselor or pastor can be helpful. I also like to pour out my heart to God and ask for His peace and patience while I navigate through the “new path” that He is allowing me to travel. It may not be what I would have chosen but it can have beauty and peace all the same.

Sometimes I need to adjust the way I view my circumstances.

Instead of asking “What is going on here?” or “What am I doing here?” I can ask,

“God, what are You doing here?”

“God, open my eyes to see what You want me to do or see here.”

I don’t want to suffer or endure difficulties but those things can strengthen me if I am looking to Jesus for His strength and perspective. That strength not only allows me to endure future disappointments (because they will continue coming) but to be a source of encouragement to others. There are others who are also suffering and enduring difficulties and, sometimes, the only way for me to see those needs and share the Love and Mercy of God is to be in those hard places. I don’t love to be in “hard places” but I know God is there.

And He wants to be my Rock.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. {Romans 5:1-5, RSV]

May God bless you as you work through your disappointments!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: TREASURES

A Time to Uproot

Garden w
How does your garden grow?

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


Have you ever moved to a new place and tried to get to know what plants are in your yard? If you don’t know much about plants, it can be confusing because as things start to green up in Spring it is exciting. But not everything that is green is good. Sometimes the weeds masquerade as something useful but soon they choke out other plants you actually do want. Getting rid of noxious weeds isn’t always fun. But, left unchecked, they can overtake a large area in a short amount of time.

Root them out!

And while you are in the business of getting rid of those unwelcomed guests, think about other things you might need to dig out and eliminate. Allowing things like

  • impatience
  • anger
  • suspicion
  • lies
  • resentment
  • fear
  • hatred
  • assumptions
  • selfishness
  • envy
  • jealousy
  • perfection

to be a part of your life can cause an unwanted invasion. And those things can quickly choke out the good things God wants to grow in you. Digging out this junk can be a bit of work. It takes a conscientious effort to uproot and eliminate those weeds. But doing so brings more space and freedom for the other, more Christ-like, qualities to grow and flourish.

Take stock of what is growing in your life today. Sowing seeds that produce patience, love, trust, honesty, appreciation, peace, joy, kindness, goodness, faith, mercy, and gentleness will result in an amazing harvest for you and those who are in your presence. Be deliberate about what you allow to remain in your life.

Life is too hard and too short to be growing all that ugly stuff. Be intentional about what you are growing in your heart and life. As you radiate God’s good gifts they will be a blessing to those all around you!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. [Galatians 5:22-23 NIV]

On the way,

Liz

A Time to be Born

A Porch in Transylvania w
A porch baluster in Transylvania.

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


Have you ever jumped the gun and rushed something?

  • a meal that needed more time for the flavors to blend
  • a response in the heat of the moment
  • a relationship
  • an education
  • a project
  • an important decision
  • death
  • a process

We often think we have control of all of our circumstances because we can make so much happen these days. But everything is not in our control. There are things that simply take time. It is important to recognize that rushing and pushing for something to “be born” or “to happen” is not always the best way.

A time to be born.

When babies are in the womb, they need their time in that environment. The best amount of time is about nine months. Being born too early often leads to some challenges. Being born beyond that time frame can also cause complications. There is a time to be born. I remember being pregnant and thinking I just want to meet this precious little person and then we can tuck them back in so they can continue growing in their special spot. Of course, that was silly, but no matter how anxious we are for something or someone, there are times we need to wait for the appointed time.

As we are waiting for whatever it is we are waiting for it can be hard to be patient. Our heads may know that we need to wait for the certain, optimal time but our hearts have been on stand by for long enough. What are we supposed to do?

“Wait patiently.” [Romans 8:25]

“Be joyful in hope.

Be faithful in prayer.” [Romans 12:12 NIV]

Keep in mind “…. in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.” [Romans 8:28 NIV]

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. [1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV]

The time is coming. Trust in God’s timing.

On the Way,

Liz

PrayerPoint ~ Patience ~ March 6

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Patience:
1. the quality of being patient  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
I read these definitions of patience and I think, Wow! I sure have a long way to go! 
God has used many circumstances in my life to grow my patience. There never seems to be a lack of training ground in this area! And whether I am waiting on someone else to “figure it out” or I am waiting for something in my own life, allowing this Fruit of the Spirit to be evident is important. In many ways our culture encourages us to get agitated and impatient. Life takes time. Relationships take time. Complicated circumstances take time to be sorted out. It takes a very conscious effort on my part coupled with an incredible infusion of the Holy Spirit’s guidance for me to demonstrate patience. But it can be such a powerful witness to others.

A man’s wisdom gives him patience;
it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 NIV

Heavenly Father, You demonstrate such patience with humanity and you show so much patience with me. Help me to be long-suffering with the troubles in this life and patiently enduring the time the circumstances I am surrounded by. Use all of these situations for my growth in You and for an opportunity for me to share with others. In Jesus’ Name…Amen!