Thursday, May 29, 2014

#268 - The Silver Lining Through the Melt-Down Days

Has it been one of those days or weeks? Have you found yourself sitting at your kitchen table, plopping your head down on the table and just letting the tears flow (or at least wanting to do that). Have you found yourself rubbing your temples thinking, "Am I good enough to do this job? Am I doing a terrible job? How can I be better when some of my natural tendencies aren't geared towards being good at _____________."

Friend, it will get better.
Isaiah 26:4a - So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him.)...
Proverbs 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her...
Do you have an area of expertise? An area where you really do feel like, "I got this. I know what I'm doing." Then on the flip side, do you have an area where you feel like your brain is on overload, smoking, just trying to figure out how to do _____________?

For me, I definitely feel like I have those areas. I feel confident in my ability to listen to the Holy Spirit. I feel confident The Lord has called me to write. I feel confident in helping my kids be great sleepers and on a schedule that is conducive to what I want. I feel confident in my ability to nurse (so far 3 kids - Tyler Jr & Trinity until 12 months, Timothy is on month 5), pump and store a large supply of breast milk in the freezer….. but then, I have my areas. You know, those areas.

Those areas in my life, like trying to figure out how to organize a desk or nook in my house so it doesn't look so cluttered. My brain and organizing…. ahhhhhhh! I'm a "wannabe melancholy" - detail oriented, organized, everything in order. Although, it feels like there is smoke coming out of my ears because my brain is working so hard to figure it out when I'm trying to think about how to organize a certain area. Let's just say, it's not a natural gift!

Potty training. (argh!) Trying to help Trinity to not get (pardon me), poop all over the toilet seat when she gets up half way through going potty, as I walk away for just a second to tend to a crying baby.

Disciplining my kids so they will be obedient the first time they are asked to do something. Helping them be kind to each other and others. Discerning when the party is over and it is time to do some work (both Tyler Jr & Trinity are sanguines and constantly having fun! Especially Tyler Jr, I think he wakes up and there is a party going on in his brain!!! He wakes up, FUN! He gets dressed, FUN! He eats, FUN! Everything is bouncing and FUN!)

Keeping the house in order… being on a schedule… getting back in a routine of working out…. yaddee, yaddee, yaddee. You name it, I have my list of things I'm working on (or need to eventually work on!).

After a recent melt-down day… I'm reflecting on the silver lining. In organizing a desk/shelf area, I found a book (who knows when or where I got it), What a Difference a Mom Makes by Dr. Kevin Leman. What a perfect book for me to pick up right now. Learning how to raise children, specifically a son, and those important roles I play as a mom. Learning why everything is always a competition, because that's how boys are wired. They need to conquer. They are programmed to want to win.

Silver lining in someone I met. As I listened to the Holy Spirit prompting me to go meet some people while grocery shopping. I brushed up on my Spanish speaking skills and found out this ladies sister may just be the person I've been praying for to do some work I need done.

Silver lining. A good night sleep can make a lot of things better. A fresh start. Sometimes you may just need to go to bed, or take a hot bubble bath. On those days where you may be trying to think of your "highlight" as we do every night at the dinner table, "What was your highlight for the day?" The days where you internally are searching and thinking to yourself, "I didn't have a highlight today! I just want the day to end." 

Tomorrow is a new day. In retrospect, you may be able to find silver lining to your melt-down day. :) Did you meet someone who will be able to help you on something? Did you get a book recommendation of an area you need help in your life?

Not finding any silver lining to your melt-down day? Can you find a book to help? In your prayer time, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to the book you need to read to help in an area you may be struggling. It's amazing that our weaknesses are someone else's strength. Can you utilize someone else's strength? I read 43 pages in one sitting (rare for me) this morning because what I view as an area I'm growing in knowledge, is someone else's strength. They can help me in my growth!
Ultimately, trust in the Lord. Commit yourself, your day, your strengths, your weakness, your pile of laundry, the dishes in the sink, the cheerios under your kitchen table to Him. Lean on Him to help you figure out how and when to do what you need to do. Hope confidently in Him and His ability to provide the people and resources for you to do your job with excellence. 
TODAY have EYES TO SEE. Be on the look-out for the resources you need, a book or person, a podcast or audio that the Holy Spirit will place in your path to help you! As you read the book or listen to the audio, you will breathe a sigh of relief as you think, "This is JUST what I needed! There was silver lining in my melt-down day after all."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Victory vs Frustration - You CHOOSE!

John 16:33 - I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
John 17:15 - I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.  
Having run in Christian circles for many years, amongst good "church people," I have often heard someone say something like, "Well, we just live in this world, we're going to have trials and tribulation. We're just going to have to get through these hard, troubled times." Have you heard something similar? It almost sounds like as a Christian, it is a license to live and wallow in despair and have the "oh, whoa is me" attitude.

In the Greek, "the world", in John 16:33 is described as the following:
kosmos - the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
Jesus here in John 16 is reminding us that he has OVERCOME the world! He is also telling us how we SHOULD be living since we are IN HIM. We are called to live in peace & confidence. If you look at the word kosmos, in the Greek, it's living alienated from God, BUT as a believer, that is not us! We do not live alienated from God. Jesus doesn't leave us in a place of tribulation, trials, distress & frustration. JESUS says, "BE OF GOOD CHEER!" Jesus wants us to not focus on what the world, the kosmos, has to offer, but what HE HAS TO OFFER. I believe Jesus does not want us to focus on the kosmos living, but in the fact that on the cross Jesus defeated, he OVERCAME the kosmos living! Jesus is telling us to BE OF GOOD CHEER.  He conquered the world! He defeated the world! He wants us to walk in confidence, to be courageous, knowing the battle out there amongst the enemy is already OURS! We have already WON because Jesus fought the battle and came out victorious for US!

What does that mean to YOU and I? What does that mean for our every day living? It means don't focus on the tribulation that "the world" may live in, but focus on what Jesus TELLS US to focus on, focus on whatever you are about to pursue, focus on the VICTORY! If you are in a trying time at work, take your eyes off the tribulation, and put it on the victory! Believe & confess victory! Jesus even conquered this battle for you! Whatever this battle is for you, Jesus already defeated it for you!

Instead of:
trials, tribulation, distress & frustration


Put your FOCUS on the VICTORY that is already YOURS! Jesus did it just for you, so CHOOSE to put your focus on what Jesus told you to focus on, being of GOOD CHEER in the VICTORY!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Speed of Your Harvest is Determined by….

Psalm 127:1a -  Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it...
Proverbs 18:16 - A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. 
What was the last thing that the Holy Spirit directed you to do? Have you done it?

The speed of your harvest is determined by the speed & diligence of your obedience.

Have you, like so many, looked around you, looked at your life and felt frustrated? "This is not where I want to be. I am not happy." Like the moment in the movies that shows the person standing there, but everything around them seems to be spinning. 

The speed of your harvest is determined by the speed and diligence of your obedience.

What is is that the Holy Spirit has been leading you to do, but you just haven't gotten around to it? Is it waking up an hour earlier in order to read your Bible and have your quiet time before getting ready and leaving for work? Did the Holy Spirit instruct you on a discipline that you need to establish in your life? If you are a writer, maybe it's writing 4-5 days/week, but you just haven't gotten around to it yet. If you feel called to paint, are you painting? If you feel led to paint a certain amount of days/hours, are you being obedient to it? If you are building or developing a new business, has the Holy Spirit led you to do a few specific tasks to get things off the ground? Are you being quick and diligent to obey, are you consistently following through on those actions each day?

I know for me, sometimes when I am taking time to listen to the Holy Spirit, I get a very specific plan in how to do things, when, for how long, etc. Other times, I get a "just do it" plan. 

Your obedience is tied to your harvest. When you close your eyes and envision the perfect life, doing the things that bring you joy, you are envisioning your dream life. And your dream life CAN happen. But living that dream life, is tied to your obedience. If you've felt led to paint five days per week (but maybe haven't been making the time to do that), maybe the Holy Spirit is setting you up to be able to sell your works which will bring you to a place where you can paint full time, in that house on the beach, all day long if you want. The Lord may have things He wants to get to you, but it is often tied to our obedience to follow through on the instructions He has given us. Those instructions that will lead you to the good life, your dream life. 

So friend, I implore you, be quick to obey the full instructions of the Holy Spirit. He knows the end result. He knows how you are going to take possession of your promise land. He knows the result of your obedience is good. Now it is your job to follow through. Obey quickly and with diligence so you can get to your dream destination, so you can live your dream life!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

#267 - MOM, You Are Enough Just As You ARE!

Happy Mother's Day! :) If you are a mom, today's blog is devoted to you!
Proverbs 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her...
Lets just say, yesterday was one of THOSE days! Many of you mom's out there maybe able to relate if you have young kids, but even for those mom's with older kids, this is for you! If you can hang with me until the end of the post… there really is a message for you! :)

Day in the Life…
It was Tyler's Day of Rest, which we both highly value our Day of Rest. The day that we can just have "me-time" to unwind, recharge & not do ANY work. The kids and I were going to HEAD OUT to run errands, always an interesting thing with 3 kids 4 years old and under, but we wanted to give dad some space & quiet. (AS I write this, on Mother's Day, Tyler went upstairs to check on Trinity, who is 2, as she was just waking up…. never a good sign when you hear bath water running. Uh-oh!)

Anyways… back to yesterday… I'm going to try not to go into too many details of our interesting day yesterday, but you have to know everything to really appreciate the whole picture!!! We started getting ready to head out around 10:30.

  • Before leaving, I had to change Tyler Jr TWICE. Our kids walk in DIVINE health in Jesus name, but some things were going around at pre-school, and Tyler Jr had the squirts. #possibleTMI
  • Tyler and Trinity were playing, and Tyler Jr shoved Trinity down, so he got a spanking. (We do time-outs a lot, but if it is something mean or deliberate, or something they know better, they get a spanking). 
  • Loaded Tyler Jr and Trinity up in the van while I'm finishing their summer schedule at the kitchen table (one of our errands - to go pay MyGym) and packing Timothy up. The door leading to the garage was open and the van door open so I could see and hear (and load Timothy right in). All of the sudden, I hear a very loud RACE CAR (van) ENGINE REV'ING! Tyler Jr had come to the front seat and was playing with nobs, and pressed the gas. This was not the first time this had happened and he was told NOT to do that, probably the 4th. I screamed b/c it scared me, Timothy immediately started crying because I was loud and the van was loud. Then I went out to get Tyler Jr. He knew he was in trouble. I brought him inside and we sat down (as Timothy is still crying). Now Tyler Jr is crying, while apologizing, "I'm sorry mommy. It will never never happen again." As a sanguine child, he always is soooo remorseful when he does something wrong. BUT, in the past the "never never happen again" doesn't always play through and truly "never happen again." As we were sitting there, I told him, "Tyler Jr, I'm going to pray and ask the Holy Spirit if you need to get a spanking for this. What you did is VERY dangerous. When you play with nobs in the van, and press on the gas, that is VERY dangerous." My flesh didn't want to spank him (because he truly did look very remorseful), but as I asked the Holy Spirit, he said yes. This was the 4th time! Need to connect the BUTT with the BRAIN! So… spanking #2!
  • Upon waking, Trinity took off her diaper and got poop smeared on her carpet, bed, sheets and door. Lovely. She was given a warning. 
  • We FINALLY left the house around 12:30!
    Do you ever have days where you FEEL like how Trinity
    LOOKS in this picture?!
  • Got back home, I laid Trinity down for her nap & went back in her room about 15 minutes after she was in there to check on her. She had taken off her diaper and got poop smeared on her carpet, bed bumper pads and rug! SECOND TIME in one day! If this wasn't about the 4th time this week….. but this time I followed through on the warning and she got a little spanking. My 3rd spanking of a child for this day! (I rarely have to spank, so this was quite an exception day!)
  • PRAISE THE LORD - we got a last minute babysitter (after the day I was having, I needed out!!) for a date night. She got to our house and said the neighbors door was wide open and their dogs (3 of the 5!) were out. 
  • I went outside to see if Ms Patti knew her door was wide open. As I was in our driveway, getting ready to go holler for her, the white poodle came barking at me. I decided NOT to go to her door because their big boxer was barking and I was getting "chased" by the poodle. Then, while in my driveway, the poodle jumped up on my hamstring and BIT ME!!!! BIT ME!!!(which is now black and blue).
REALLY?! Could the day get much more interesting?!?! 

Crying in my closet, partially from pain, partially from exhaustion, partially because my post-baby body I couldn't find anything to wear. I just wanted to get out of the house.  We left, went and ate (while in line, I got a phone call asking if Trinity had a diaper on when she went down for her nap - b/c it was off and poop everywhere - 3rd time!!!) and went to see the movie, "Mom's Night Out." 
At this point, I just wanted to unplug my brain! As long as my kids ate something for dinner, ANYTHING, popcorn, candy, chips (I didn't care) and went to bed before I got home, I would be happy! 

So… the movie was GREAT!!!! SOOOOO funny!!!! Tyler even LOVED it! It was OUR LIFE!!! The mini-van, the mom cleaning only for her house to get destroyed just hours later by kids, the mom escaping into her closet to get a break and hide while eating chocolate! I thought, "This is MY life!!!" 

When we chose the movie, I didn't know it was made by some of the same producers of Facing the Giants, a great Christian movie. SO, WHO KNEW that during a movie, I was going to be so ministered to and reaffirmed that GOD made me to be a mom, and despite the chaos at times, the messes, I was JUST ENOUGH being me! I even cried twice during the movie. 

Then… when we got home last night, looking at a card on the counter that I was getting ready to mail, I remembered. A few months ago, a girl I know was hit by a drunk driver and her 2 year old son Josiah was killed. ……………………………………………..

It sunk in. And I thanked God. She would give ANYTHING to be cleaning up poop off the carpet. She would scrub the poop with tears of JOY! If only she could do that. My Timothy's middle name is Josiah. Timothy Isaac Josiah McCart. 

So friend, despite whatever chaos may be going on in your life… maybe you've even had days like my day yesterday…. despite it all, God loves you and sees you! You ARE good enough! You were made to be the mom of your kids! And even on the roughest of days, the days you want to go hide in your closet and eat chocolate, THAT'S OK! God loves you and sees you AND you are a GREAT mom!!

I decided for me, I'm going to enjoy this time. I'm going to stay in the moment. I'm going to THANK GOD for the opportunity to be the mom of my kids, poop and all! 

What are YOU thankful for on this Mother's Day? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

God is Not Through With You Yet!

Romans 9:21 (NIV) - Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?  
Exodus 3:1 - Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law... 
Exodus 3:10 -  Come now therefore, and I will send YOU to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.
Do you ever look at your life and think, "I'm not doing anything really significant." Well, you're not alone. I believe Moses must have felt the same way for a period of time. Think about his life. He grew up in a palace, as a prince. He grew up as royalty. Then the time came where Moses realized who he really was, that he was an Israelite and his people were the slaves that his father (Pharaoh) had been ruling over his entire life. Moses could have and should have been a slave alongside them. 

As the story goes, I'm sure you remember, Moses kills an Egyptian after seeing unfair treatment, then flees the country since he knew he broke the law. And then what happened? Ultimately, Moses gets married and tends sheep. Day in, day out, he herds sheep. From the palace, a place of importance, a role of prestige, Moses now spends his days in the countryside or field, herding sheep. A role of seeming, insignificance. From the outside, this role would look like one of insignificance, unimportant, and something that anyone could take over and do the job equally as well. I would imagine that there were many days, as Moses stood in the grassy fields with his staff in hand, thinking, "Is this all God? Are you done with me? Is this all I'm called to do with my life?"

But wait! The day came. God did not call Moses to just herd sheep. God called Moses to do something special. He was called at a designated time, but he was called. Fast forward, MOSES led God's people, the Israelites out of a life of slavery, into a life of FREEDOM! What a significant imprint that Moses made on history. 

To YOU, the Mom who's driving kids from activity to activity after school, or changing diapers, or cleaning messes….. To YOU, the Corporate person, who's in and out of meetings, sending emails, returning voicemails…. To YOU, the Start-up Entrepreneur, who has a job by day and trying to launch a business by night… To YOU - GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH YOU EITHER! You may look at your life right now, and think it is not glamorous, you're not living your dream yet, and many days seem to only show a completion of monotonous activities, but friend, DON'T GIVE UP! Like Moses, his sheep herding days must have felt insignificant, but GOD had greater plans for him. And friend, God has GREAT PLANS FOR YOU TOO! 

If today seems like a not so glamorous day, continue to listen to the Holy Spirit. This may be a season of faithfulness, until the day comes where YOU are called out to do something that will change the lives of thousands. Maybe it's a ministry, an invention, a missionary, a multi-millionaire that funds the Gospel…. whatever it is that YOUR future holds, don't give up on TODAY. Just because what you are doing today may seem insignificant, doesn't mean that tomorrow, next week, or next year may not be the time that your life changes. You were called to do GREAT THINGS! But for today, be faithful. Be faithful where you are at, listen & obey the Holy Spirit, and KNOW that James 1:6 says, He who began a good work in you WILL carry it out to completion! 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Finding Fulfillment

Romans 9:21 (NIV) - Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
Ps. 37:4 - Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
Have you ever felt floppy? Like a fish out of water, just flopping. You know that your purpose, your design is not to "flop." Inside you, you feel unfulfilled, searching, trying to find what really makes you happy.

Part of unfulfillment comes when we are not following the calling and assignment on our life. We each were put on earth with things innately programmed within us to accomplish. We were pre-programed to achieve. Our calling is surprisingly easy to discover. What brings you joy? What are you good at? What feels like no work at all when you are doing it, it actually is fun to you? A mechanic loves to work on cars. Hours can go by seeming only like minutes as he tinkers away fixing and making this car hum. Just as a mechanic works on vehicles, a writer writes, a baker bakes, a speaker speaks, a coach coaches. The list goes on, someone is real estate, seeks out the real estate deals effortlessly. When walking in your calling, fulfillment is one of the first things that judges if you are following God's plan for your life.

Recently, I heard a sneak peek of an interview on The Success Edge podcast, where my brother James Ellis was being interviewed (I believe his interview will be out in May/June 2014). The pre-interview and actual interview brought to light some interesting insight that I hadn't thought of regarding Psalm 37:4. Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. 

I have always thought of this one-sided as if I delight in the Lord, HE will give me what it is I desire in my heart. Well Jamie (as we call him - he goes by James now), Jamie took a different spin on the verse which I thought was very interesting. When we delight in the Lord, GOD will place inside our hearts desires, God will give us desires. When we maybe never had a desire to pursue __________, a singing career, acting career, owning our own business, writing a book, becoming a nanny, starting a ministry, whatever it may be, but when WE delight ourselves in God, HE will place the desire into our heart.

Duck Out of Water
When we aren't pursuing what we were placed on earth to do, we are like a duck out of water. Misplaced. Unfulfilled. Floppy. If someone with an amazing voice was told they could never sing again, it would be like dumping cold water on their fire. If a writer couldn't write, it would take the joy out of where they can give the best. If someone called to be a teacher, nanny, Pediatrician could no longer work with children, the light in their eyes would go dull.

Friend, you and I were created with a purpose! We were created to pursue the purpose that God placed us on this earth for, we were created to accomplish and fulfill the calling on our lives!

I've heard by several people (Mike Murdock, Terri Savelle Foy, John Maxwell) speak about how to FIND your calling if you don't know currently what it is, and here are a few questions to ask yourself:
  1. What are you good at? What could you do to pass hours a time and it not seem like work?
  2. What makes you happy? What brings you tears of joy?
  3. What makes you cry? What makes your heart melt and draws you to compassion? 
  4. What makes you mad? What makes you furious? 
  5. What bumper sticker, when seen, makes you mad or happy? 
These are some questions to ask yourself when seeking out your calling. You really could work your entire life without working a day in your life WHEN you are doing what you are called to do! When you are doing what you are called to do, joy and fulfillment will be the end result. When you are operating in your gifts, even money will follow. No one can do better what YOU were called to do!  Friend, YOU were destined to do great things! Now GO, LOVE LIFE by using your gifts and doing those great things that you were called to do!

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