If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. ~James 1:5-6, The Message
Sunday, November 29, 2015
I’m sure we aren’t the only ones who DVR our favorite TV shows. One of our favorites is NCIS, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs being one of our favorite characters. Agent Gibbs has a series of personal rules that he frequently quotes to his team when they struggle with various things. And sometimes they quote Agent Gibbs’ rules back to him.
One of the most recent rule quotes caught my attention. Rule #28: When You Need Help Ask. How often in life do we need help, but never ask? We always want to do things ourselves. Why? To prove we can do it? Because we want to be a grown-up? Because we want to be independent?
No! I do it all by self!
When our oldest daughter was just a toddler, she decided that she could do things on her own. We would try to help her and she would push our hands away and claim, “No! I do it all by self!” Of course, we would let her try. When she would discover that she couldn’t “do it all by self” we would step in and help her. But things would have gone so much smoother, and quicker, if she would have just let us take care of it.
How often do we do that with God? Our heavenly Father wants to help us with things, but we’re always pushing His hands away claiming, “No! I do it all by self!” We don’t want Him in our finances. We don’t want Him in our relationships, or friendships. We don’t want Him in our schools, our homes, or our government. We don’t even want Him in our lives sometimes.
But what happens when things start to crumble? We could complain about it. Many people in fact do a lot of complaining. But would that or does that change anything? No. The answer has been in Rule #28 the whole time: When You Need Help Ask. It’s the same with God. When you need help ask Him.
God loves helping us. He wants us to ask. He wants us to come to Him, boldly, believingly, and without a second thought. He needs to be our “Go-to Guy” for each and every decision, problem and issue no matter how big our small, or how ridiculous we think it may be.
He’s Always There
The best part about God is that when we go to Him and ask for help, He is there. Period. He’s there. He doesn’t counter our questions or requests with another question, condemnation, or ridicule. Nope. He doesn’t laugh. He takes each of our requests seriously. He doesn’t say, “Well, you made your bed now lie in it.” He doesn’t say, “You brought this on yourself.” He’s not like that.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Today I took out a little time to Shabbat. I took a break. I stopped what I was doing so I could just breathe. I took out some time and just spent my Shabbat with God. I talked to Him. I listened. And the most amazing thing happened; He talked to me.
To Shabbat means that we cease
We stop. We resist the urge to continue. Shabbat means that we just basically stop all activity and get quiet. Face it, we have become so busy in our everyday lives that we neglect to stop for one moment in time to just be quiet and listen to God.
Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything. ~Psalm 46:10, The Massage
Some people say God doesn’t speak to people anymore. That’s a lie. He does. People don’t hear God anymore because people don’t Shabbat. Not long ago I attended a ladies event called “Breathe Night.” It was a time for us to get together and just…well…breathe. To take some time off, relax, visit.
One of the things laid out for us at this event were coloring pages. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I love to color. But I don’t color like most people color. I go outside the lines. On purpose. Coloring gives me a time to relax. It lets me breathe. It allows me to let go of inhibitions and just be me. Coloring lets me Shabbat.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. ~Philippians 4:6, The Message
When I color, my mind shifts into neutral. When I’m in neutral I begin to hear that still, small, but wonderful voice that ministers to my soul. I hear Him. I listen. I breathe. There are all kinds of coloring books for adults out there today. But hey, you don’t have to go buy an adult coloring book. If you have kids, use one of theirs. Many times I’ve colored Thomas the Train, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, princesses, cartoon characters, it doesn’t matter. It’s not about what you color. It’s about Shabbat.
Stop. Cease. Resist the urge to continue.
Shabbat isn’t about coloring, either. Shabbat is about stopping in your tracks and spending some quiet time with the Lord. In whatever way that ministers to you the most, do it. It’s about taking a break. Take some time out today. Read your Bible. Listen. Watch the leaves fall from the trees. Color. Cuddle up in your cozy place and just get quiet. God will meet you wherever you are. If you give Him a moment of your time, He will come and talk to you.
Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own. ~Jeremiah 33:3, The Message
The enemy wants to speed you up. Don’t let him. Instead, Shabbat. When you do, I guarantee that you won’t regret it. Give yourself time to relax, adjust, unwind, to just stop and enjoy this beautiful life God has given you.
Shabbat! You just might learn something.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
What’s Your Book About?
When people ask me what my book is about, I often go blank. Not because I don’t remember, but because I find it difficult to fully explain exactly what’s in it. It’s complicated. Yet, it’s so simple that I make it complicated.
“What’s your book about?”
“Um… healing. It’s about my journey after being healed of over forty years of depression, intimidation, and mental and emotional abuse.”
They usually back up, a look of ‘oh great, she’s a wacko’ on their face. Seriously, it is about the healing but it’s about so much more than that.
It’s About So Much More Than Healing
Walking Healed is about God wanting to work in the lives of His people. Yes, it’s an account of my journey. However, there’s not much about me in the book. I try to convey different thoughts throughout the book that connect to my healing but also give the reader an insight into how God wants to do this in their lives.
This book is written for those who are dealing with depression, intimidation, verbal abuse, addictions, or whatever else they may be going through that prevents them from living the abundant life that Jesus died so we can have. That’s what it’s about. It’s also for those who, in their minds think they’re being helpful when in reality they’re causing more hurt than help.
I was approached by a man not long after the launch of Walking Healed. He had been talking to my husband then looked pointedly at me and said, “Actually, I really wanted to see you. I have something to say to you.”
At this point, I wasn’t sure what he wanted to say to me, but after he finished talking with my husband he turned to me, “I read your book.” His eyes became misty, but he continued anyway. “I thought I was buying it for someone else. Turns out, I was buying it for me. Because of what you wrote, I was able to salvage a relationship. So thank you. And I’m going to give you a big hug.”
It’s moments like this that I realize God is doing a vast miracle in the lives of those who read this book. It’s not about me at all. It’s about what God did in and through me and what He’s doing in those who are reading. Without Him, there would be no healing. There would be no book. There would be no one else’s life being changed.
It’s A Journey
Walking Healed is a journey. It’s my journey after being healed. In the book I do talk about different things I have gone through, that many other people may be going through. I had to become very transparent and talk about some things that were not pleasant for me. In no way did I degrade anyone, but I did talk about the verbal abuse that I suffered from many family members, teachers, peers, and others. It had to be said. No names were mentioned so really no one knows to whom I was referring.
Life is real. Life is hard. We often go through things that cause us hurt and distress. We suffer. It’s a given. This world is not our home. It may sound cliché but it’s the truth. This is why I call this a journey. If becoming transparent enough to share what I’ve been through and how God helped me out of it helps someone else, then I’m glad I did it. And I would do it again, and again, and again.
Keep Telling Your Story
There are also people who don’t want to hear my story. That’s okay. Some wish I would stop talking about it. To that I can only say, keep wishing. It’s not going to happen. A very wise and Godly man once told me, “Don’t ever stop talking about your healing. Your story needs to be heard because it gives encouragement to others who need to hear what you went through. So keep telling it.” I take his advice as much as I can.
People are going to get mad because, “she’s talking about her healing again.” Yes I am! Because, not everyone has heard it. If you happen to be standing close enough to overhear me start telling it again and don’t want to hear it, just walk away. The person I’m telling it to may just need some encouragement, to hear how God wants to touch their life.
Special Book Offer
If you haven’t read Walking Healed and would like to, I’m offering an electronic copy* of it to anyone who responds to this post. I’m also offering a signed paperback copy to the first five people who email me at email@example.com. The holidays are fast approaching. Walking Healed would make a great gift.
*If you choose an electronic version please indicate which format you prefer; Kindle, Nook, or PDF