God is still in control

Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot. Proverbs 25:19 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/pro.25.19.NLT

I was reading Proverbs and came across this verse. It immediately made me think about this election season. I think no matter who you are planning on voting for tomorrow that we can all agree this election season has been a mess.

I try not to get too political on here because God shouldn’t be about politics. I am drawing a line in the sand here though. I am praying fervently that we receive a new president after all the votes are counted.

I hope my prayers and the prayers of many Americans are answered but if they are not and Donald Trump continues to be my president, we will be ok.

We will be ok because God continues to be in control. He knows who the president is and what he is capable of. I don’t put my confidence in any president, any elected official, any job, any Human. My confidence is in God. He is the only one who keeps 100% of his promises, 100% of the time..

Those who put their hope in the Lord won’t be disappointed. Isaiah 49:23.

It is better to take refugee in the Lord than to trust in man. Psalm 118:8 ESV

I’m not saying I am going to be happy if Donald Trump gets elected, IM NOT. I know the the consequences are real and even if my day to day is not impacted by his decisions, others will be and that is enough for me to be concerned. However, I know God’s plan for those who believe is ultimately good. I have to lean on that and not my own understanding or my feelings.

GO Vote!

October wrap up

Words we focused on this month were

blameless

righteous

free

These are all good concepts to think about, to put into practice week by week. God wants all of us, any way he can get us and putting pressure on ourselves is only hurting us. God is not condemning you, he wants you to be free and seek to have relationship with him.

We talked about do we need to say anything and is the Proverbs 31 woman still relevant?

We also were reminded that comparison is the thief of joy and how to start putting feet on your prayers.

I won a Blogger award!

As we enter the last two months of the year remember, you still have time to do whatever it is you want to do. You just have to get out of your own way.

I am so glad today is October 31. That means Thanksgiving is on its way and we can move right into Christmas. Happy Halloween!

Ways to go from planning to action

I hear a lot of people who talk about they read something good in a book, or heard it on a podcast or YouTube video but they don’t know how to execute it in real life. It can seem overwhelming when you have learned a lot of information but you are unsure how to implement it. Here is a list of things to try. The list is long so you can figure out what works best for you, it may be on thing or a combination. Keep trying until something sticks!

Write it down-Hearing something is not always enough. Jot a note in your phone, in a journal, somewhere you can reference back. Your brain remembers things better when you write them down.

Do one thing at a time– You probably hear good stuff all the time. You can’t do all the things, at the same time. Pick one good thing you heard and see if it works.

Carve out time with yourself -How busy are you? Have you set assign time to get things done? Are you exhausted after work? What changes do you need to make to give yourself more free time?

citrus and style: How to Make Time for Yourself in College
Citrus and Style

Change your thought process– even if you have started and stopped before, believe that this time will be different. You are different. You are coming at this with renewed energy and focus.

Treat yourself how you would treat a friend-Give yourself a break. Remember you are doing the best you can.

Set timers/alarms on your phone-this is a great way to get an external reminder. I set an alarm on my phone for 3pm everyday to write. I don’t need it anymore but it was great in helping me establish a routine.

Put post its up in your house or car to remind yourself of the things you learned

Make a Note to Do Great Things! — The Memo
Being Mary Jane

Get rid of distractions-Set blocks on your phone for notifications. I put my Instagram and Facebook on a timer and when my time is up thats it. My friend just completely deletes the app off her phone. Whatever it takes.

Get to the root of the problem what are you afraid of?

The fear of success and the fear of judgement are REAL — Brigitte Linford

Only person stopping you is you. Do you think that it won’t Really happen? Is what you want Gods plan or yours? You may need to double check. Do it despite how you feel, the more you do it you’ll start to get used to it.

The key thing with all these strategies is being intentional. Its waking up everyday and deciding that I am going to do better than the day before. You already did the first part which is the research. You were able to look into resources, that’s a good thing. Celebrate that small win. Now you just have to do the next step. The harder step, which is putting in the work. I believe in you. You got this!

inspiring red carpet GIF
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Comparison is the thief of joy

Such a true statement. People always talk about not comparing yourself to other people. Easier said than done but you can work on that. It’s obvious why you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people so I feel like its easier for me to not do that. How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to the person you used to be? How often are you comparing yourself to the person you thought you would be?

These two questions are the one I have the most trouble with. I have drastically cut back on comparing myself to other people by cutting down on my social media usage. However, its really hard to stop comparing this self to my former self.

I look at old pictures in my phone, like man I wish my skin still looked like it used to, even though back then, I thought my skin looked bad. I’m sure we can identify with this meme. I have certainly been there. Or how I used to party and have such a great time out and now every time I go out its wack. You can compare how one friend treats you compared to another friend or you can compare how your boyfriend treats you vs how he treated his ex. Its all comparison.

Image result for i wish i weighed what i weighed when i thought i was fat
Image result for comparison quotes

I like this quote by Iyanla Vanzant. I never thought about it like this before but its very true. Quickest way to put yourself down is start comparing. When I try to compare myself to where I am supposed to be vs where I am, its a recipe for disaster. Its so unnecessary too. If I wasn’t supposed to be in the space I am in, I wouldn’t be here. Nothing is by coincidence. God laid out every day of my life before I was born. Remembering that brings me great comfort because I know, nothing is happening to me that he is not aware of or has not ordained.

Image result for psalm 139:16

The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He doesn’t want to us to be happy. I feel like sometimes I am doing ok and I feel bad out of nowhere, its because the devil wants to knock me off my block. I’m not going to let him though. I am not accountable to anyone but me and I am perfectly fine where I am. My story is mine alone. It doesn’t matter where I was or where I am going as long as I am content right now. The past has already happened and the future will get here in its own time.

Beyond righteousness

I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:8‭-‬11

We are studying Philipians in the Wednesday noon bible study class I go to at church. This verse really spoke to me. I have been thinking about this concept for a while since I started my identity in Christ.

I spoke the other day about being truly Free. Being free is really about going deeper with God than just following the rules.

I used to focus a lot on following the rules. On making sure I was doing everything I was told to do. In some ways that is easier, you have a checklist to follow and you just do it. Relationship doesn’t necessarily play a role in that.

As I learned more about my identity in Christ, I realized its bigger than just following rules. Not just being blameless, but truly unlearning what I thought was right and really pursuing to know who God is and once I know truly who he is, I can better know who I am as well. I’m in a good space, but then I saw this verse and realized I still am missing something.

I am missing power. I know the power is there, waiting to be tapped into. I know God has great plans for me. He gave me the tools to do the things he called me to do. The bible says we have power and authority and victory. I’m not talking prosperity gospel stuff, but just genuine power to change the trajectory of our lives with Jesus help. If Christ was raised from the dead and we have the same power. Is there anything we can’t do?

When you look at things this way, I can do all things through Christ takes on a whole new meaning. Philippians 4:13

Joyce Meyer says that a lot of Christians will make it to heaven but they won’t have much fun on the way. The bible says that God wants us to live life to the full. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

The thief has stolen to much from me already. I never knew what I could really do, because I allowed him to take my past circumstances and use them against me, to limit what God could do because I didn’t realize the power I had.

Don’t let the thief take anything else from you. Tap in the power you have. Use it live life abundantly. If you are doing anything other than living life abundantly, you are short changing yourself and not receiving all God has for you.

Free

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:7 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/eph.1.7.NLT. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/jhn.8.36.NLT I have been studying my identity in Christ and one of the things that we have is freedom. I’ve looked at it literally like free from sin which is true but lately I’ve taken another look at it.

How to get out of your own way

I’m free to be me. I’m free to be the person God made me to be. I’m free from my past, from mistakes, from other people’s opinions, from my own expectations, from having to be perfect. None of it is necessary. I’m free to fail if need be. I’m free from timelines. I’m free from who I used to be, how I used to think, how I used to live. I’m free to go out and live life to the full. I’m not weighed down by anything.

If we can get that in our in head and in our heart, we will go far. We would be able to accomplish anything we went out here to do.

Take this with you as move through out the week. When your own expectations try to stop you, or you feel afraid, remind yourself you are free. Nothing can hold you back but you.

Do you need to say anything?

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
Proverbs 19:11 NLT
I know this is something I need to work on. I never thought I was a sensitive person and I still don’t think so. My hormones are definitely all over the place considering I just had a baby, a little over 30 days ago. I think people forget that. I probably am more sensitive and I already think too much so the last few weeks have been challenging. I was pretty upset with family members for certain comments they have made or jokes. I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it and then this scripture popped in my reading. I felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks.

fight punch GIF by Harlem Globetrotters
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God doesn’t believe in confrontation all the time. Everything you are thinking doesn’t need to be said. There is something to be said about letting things go. I have never seen this verse in the bible before but I understand the sentiment. It takes a big person to let things go. It’s like turning the other cheek in an argument which is much harder for me because I used to like to argue.

This scripture is also good to keep in mind when we are thinking about being a good partner. My husband often reminds me that I don’t need to say what I’m thinking. I’m getting better. Now if I could only control my face. One thing at time Lord, one thing at a time.

Straight Face GIF by memecandy
a common facial expression I make. Giphy.com
Say What Excuse Me GIF by Election 2020
another one of my faves. Giphy.com

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 NLT

Update: I wrote the above words about a year and a half ago. I still agree with this sentiment. Probably even more so now then I did a year ago. I have been working on controlling my tongue, not only monitoring what I say but also how I say it. I know this is something that I am going to need constantly work on. My mouth often moves a lot faster than my brain. I am better than I was in high school or college but I know I can do better.

I think now more than ever we need to be careful of what we are saying and how we are saying it. Everyone seems to be ultra aware and ready to pick a fight over anything. I am not saying to not stand up for injustice. I am also not saying to question peoples intentions. I am saying to pick and choose your battles. Especially with your loved ones. Our patience always seems the shortest with the people who know us the best.

The next time your MIL questions the cleanliness of your house or your grandpa says you look fat, or your husband asks you a question he Knows the answer to, think before you respond.

How relevant is the Proverbs 31 woman today?

I told yall I had beef with this Proverb. It just seemed so unattainable.

Holly Logan fight strong comic kick GIF
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However, after reading it again it doesn’t focus on the work of a woman as much as I thought, it more so focuses on her character.

I guess we get caught up in her actions more because most of us want some kind of action plan. Tangible steps that we can do in our day to day lives to live better. Its much easier to change when you give me a checklist of things to do. However, God doesn’t really work that way. He want’s us our hearts to be right. Once our hearts in the right place, our actions will follow.

How can I apply this today?

Reminder: This isn’t a checklist of things to do but more so a guide to let you know how to live.

We shouldn’t take this literally. Most of us don’t live in places where we can go inspect fields and plant vineyards. I am not sewing any clothes nor do I have a ton of servants I can give housework. I believe this is a stance on not being lazy and trying to make good use of your time. This is a good reminder not to use your free to time to binge Netflix and surf Instagram.

Most bible scholars would say that this is a compilation of many women not just one. This proverb was written by a king named Lemul. He was just writing what he saw his mom, and probably her friends doing. When I start looking at it that way, it changed my perspective. Its bogus to expect one woman to do ALL of the things in this Proverb.

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10‭-‬12

To me these are some of the most important lines in this proverb. I think any woman can get behind this. I certainly want to enrich my husbands life.

It also was not written to women, it was written to men to know what to look for when they go find a wife. People get mad all the time (and I agree with them) that you hear a lot in church about people preaching to women about how to be a good wife but not to men about how to be a good husband. I think knowing that this Proverb was really written to men makes sense. The bible tells us that a man that finds a wife finds a good thing.

What would I want my son to say about me? I want my son and my husband to be proud of me. I want to provide a good example so my son knows what kind of woman to look for. I want him to know what values are important. I want my son to know that beauty on the inside is more important than beauty on the outside. I want to greatly enrich the life of my husband.

The Proverbs 31 woman is very relevant, if we use her (them) as a guide I believe we can get something good out it. If we use it as a checklist, its only going to make us angry and frustrated.

Putting blamelessness into practice

https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/blameless/

I wrote a post about being blameless before I left on my trip with my girlfriends. I had a great weekend.

Waterfall at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The weather was gorgeous, had delicious food, desserts and drinks. We didn’t do a lot of interacting with the public, just each other. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and have no regrets.

on a bridge

When I got back home my mojo was off. One I was tired. Makes sense we definitely relaxed but we didn’t do a lot of sleeping. I felt all week like I was going through the motions. My devotional time was short, I didn’t feel like exercising, I didn’t drink my water, I barely made my bed. I was just off. I couldn’t put my finger on what the real problem was, it was definitely deeper than being tired. I wasn’t being blameless. I had basically had a weekend of binging all the things I don’t really do in excess anymore. Did I feel guilty? Not really. My recovery time was off. I felt like it took me almost a week to get back to my normal routine.

on a quick walk

How could I combat that? What do I do next time? I should pray more. I prayed the first night there but not so much the rest of the time. We are the only ones that can separates us from God, he doesn’t move We do. He knows what we’re going to do before we do it. So we might as well talk to him about it.

Update: I wrote the words above weeks ago. Right after I got back from my trip. I did feel a little guilty once I sat down and thought about it some more even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. I didn’t take my own advice though. I didn’t ask God to help me, I just avoided him. That’s not what we should do. God wasn’t upset with me. I was upset with myself. I was upset at an image that I THOUGHT I should be. Not who I actually had to be. I put all this pressure on myself.

God wants us to talk to him no matter what. Relationship and the state of our heart is more important than arbitrary rules.

Blameless

One of the first things you see in the post, How to live a blessed life, is about being blameless. What is blameless though? I always thought blameless was never making mistakes or being a perfect Christian. However that’s not true.

Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Psalms 15:2 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.15.2.NLT

Blameless means no willful sin. Not intentionally going out and acting reckless. Not knowing the right thing to do and deciding to do the wrong thing anyway. It’s about integrity. How you live when nobody is watching.

I would also say blameless is not just about not doing the wrong thing when we know the right thing to do. Its more about when you do the wrong thing you talk to God about it, ask for forgiveness and move on. Shaming yourself and feeling guilty is not being blameless.

Some examples of blameless people in the bible, Noah who got drunk and passed out in his yard. Our guy David from the Psalm we talked about earlier. He slept with a mans wife and then killed him to try and cover it up.

Those guys did bad things but their hearts were always after God. Their intentions were to please God, even if they made some mistakes.

Let’s all try to be a little blameless this week in not only our thoughts but our actions as well.