Hello Friend! Day Thirty

Hello Friend!

I know I have written about hospitality before but it is such an important offering to humanity. I find I have less of a capacity for it when I am in a rush, with a million things to do. That just isn’t acceptable. I want to do better.

Hospitality is a warm welcome. And, beyond that, it can look as different as the people extending it.

We all have areas where we work and play and wherever there are humans, there is a need for hospitality. A smile, an offer of assistance, a willingness to stop and greet someone and offer a word of welcome. That is hospitality in a basic, though essential, form. It is important for people to be acknowledged and welcomed, especially if they are in a new place.

Where have you felt the most welcomed? What have you done to welcome others?

Take note of hospitality you are shown in the coming days. And consider this post a challenge to be aware of others in your space and make an effort to be welcoming.

See you during Lent!

Liz

Hello Friend! Day Twenty-nine

Hello Friend!

Sometimes my self – control is noteworthy. Other times it is pitiful. It’s almost like I have to schedule it into my day. It needs my focus and attention.

How are you with self – control? Have you found outside accountability helps? Or, if you set your mind to something you are able to stay focused and achieve your goal?

Usually my need for self – control is related to a goal I have set. I have to say “no” to some things in order to see the results in those goal areas. Unfortunately, I seem to always get distracted. I might be a little busy and then I forget I even have the goal unless I have it written down, provided I haven’t misplaced the paper. And it always helps if I have someone on the outside waiting for me to follow through.

I think of all of the fruits of the Spirit I get the most frustrated with my lack of self – control. Depending on what we are talking about, my stick-to-it-iveness struggles. I need Thankfully, God loves me in spite of my flaws. And He knows my heart, even if I don’t achieve all my goals this side of Heaven.

Have you found the key to your self – control challenges? What makes you more likely to have success?

Love,

Liz

Hello Friend! Day Twenty-eight

Hello Friend!

I love to be around gentleness. It warms my heart to be in a store and overhear a mom or dad lovingly explaining something to their inquisitive child.

While there are times that strong/harsh words are necessary, I feel like they should be used as a last resort. I don’t like all the stress and tension that travel with harsh words. It can cloud a room.

It can cloud a life.

It is easy to poke back when someone is trying to rile you up, so it is important to have control over your emotional responses. There are people who just love to cause a stir with their words. And if you poke people just for fun, I am not sure we will be friends.

Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit!

Think about your method of correction and conversation. Are you intense? Are you calming? Are you harsh? Are you gentle?

Love,

Liz

Hello Friend! Day Twenty-seven

Hello Friend!

What does faithfulness look like to you?

I see it when an adult child tends to an aging parent or when there is illness and disability within a family and, together, they are able to manage the needs. I see it in friendships that cross time zones, cultural barriers, generations, ideological differences, and continents. However, people do fall short. God never does.

In spite of all I have done or not done, there is God — abounding in love. Slow to anger. Justified, loving. His mercies are new every morning. And that, my friend, is faithfulness. He loves me. He loves you. Always.

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15 NIV

Where have you been faithful? Who models that for you?

We will always fall short. Those in our lives will always miss the mark, somewhere along the line. A part of our faithfulness to God means we extend His grace to others. Our behavior can give others a glimpse of how His love and faithfulness can look.

Love,
Liz

Hey Friend! Day Twenty-six

Hey Friend!

I love to be around people with high integrity. It always tugs at me to do better … to stretch myself a little more. I don’t always do the right thing, unfortunately. Sometimes, I am in a mood. Or distracted. Goodness doesn’t always seem to flow out of me naturally.

Of course, there is sin in the world. There is evil and ugliness and death and destruction all around us. And it is easy to let those negative things impact my behavior. Being able to be near goodness is something that inspires and encourages me. When I am around honesty and innocence and purity, it makes me thirsty for more.

I am blessed to be living near two little bundles of goodness. They are about as near to perfect as they can be and I get to see them quite a bit! Neither one is very fussy and when they smile at me or fall asleep in my arms, it feels like goodness to me.

When I get a glimpse of beauty on Earth, I know it is from our Creator. God is beauty, honesty, goodness, and true perfection. His Word is a consistent source of encouragement for me. When my roots are in God’s Word, goodness will grow!

Find spots of goodness and beauty. Cultivate it in your life as much as you can! Some have the gift of finding the beauty in their everyday life, and some have the gift of making beauty. If we bloom where we are planted, we can inspire others with goodness and beauty.

Love,
Liz

Hello Friend — Day One

Hello Friend!

I know you are in a challenging spot. Sometimes it is hard to reconcile what you believe and what you are experiencing and what you hope for. I know your mind is working overtime and your heart feels squeezed. I’m sorry you are in the middle of it all! I will pray for your discernment as you sort through your circumstances. Here are some things that have helped me!

Step Back: When I try to look at the big picture of whatever I am facing it gives me a new perspective. If my heart is unsettled with something, I try to take a break from my efforts. I might be trying too hard. I might be doing the wrong thing. If I don’t have God’s peace in what I am working on I have to consider that I might be in the wrong place. Yes, there are always hard things in life but I am not sure that God asks us to be in a place that consistently compromises our physical, mental, and spiritual health. If I have a difficult time backing up, sometimes talking with a friend can help me gain a valuable perspective.

Step Aside: Sometimes I actually get in God’s way! Of course, He can work around me but if I am impatient and spring into action I might interrupt something He is working on. Just because I can solve a problem doesn’t mean I am the one who needs to. There are times that God is growing a strength in others for the tasks ahead of them. When I dive in and “help” I might actually be hindering an important growth step for them.

Step In: When I am in front of a situation that calls my attention I need to discern if I should go forward. Just because God allows an opportunity to grace my path it doesn’t mean it is one I need to take. It is important to seek His guidance as I make a move to go “into” whatever phase or circumstance He has allowed into my life. Just because it is difficult doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it and just because it is easy doesn’t mean I should!

Step Out: I often wonder what God is leading me to next. What is the next thing I need to do? It might be outside of my comfort zone — am I ready for that? What will He teach me in this next experience? Am I ready to learn and grow? Sometimes it requires I “step out” in faith that He will meet my needs.

Step Up: When I offer up my situation to God it reminds me that I am not the one in control. Sometimes I simply get sucked down into the muck — and that is when finding the energy and the strength to give it to God can get difficult. Stepping up to God’s throne should always be my first move!

I am so thankful you are in my life!

Love,
Liz

Tools

Do you have projects in mind and the tools to accomplish them but never get around to the project? My guess is that project never really moved up high enough on the priority list because even if we don’t have the right tools, we can figure out how to get a job done.

Of course, life happens and things we hadn’t even imagined can propel up the priority list in the blink of an eye. Life and circumstances are always changing and something that actually may be a priority gets pushed aside until “later” but sometimes later doesn’t come. We don’t always get to do the things we want to do.

I have come to believe that having the tools isn’t the key. Using the tools is the key. We all know of the guy who has all the big, cool tools. At first glance, you might even be envious. But if he has no time to use them, then it just seems sad. What is the point of having “all the stuff” if you can’t enjoy it?

I will admit, in certain areas of my life

(A): I have the tools;

(B): I have the knowledge of how to use them;

(C): But, I don’t have the gumption/time/energy/ability/___________ to use them, therefore

(D): I don’t have the results I want!

Owning the tools is not enough. Having the knowledge is not enough. Making the effort, etc. is not enough. It seems like there is a need for all three to even work towards the goal and even then there is no guarantee the project will be successful!

  • Feeling like you can’t move forward because you don’t have the tools?
  • Stuck in some phase of a project?
  • Suspect you don’t know enough to move forward?
  • Lack the time or motivation to tackle the situation?

Let’s not blame it on the tools.

If you are feeling stuck in a place where you don’t have “progress”, think about why that is. Pray about what might be holding you back — it may be that this area you think is “progress” isn’t a good idea.

Sometimes our priorities have changed.

Sometimes our life direction has changed.

Sometimes it is fear of failure.

Sometimes the goal is outside our ability and so it hurts our brain to even think about tackling the job.

By taking an honest look at our priorities and our abilities we can re-evaluate them. Still stuck? Have a conversation with a trusted friend, counselor, or pastor.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. [Romans 12:3-8, NIV]

God’s peace as you prioritize!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: COMPLAINING