This day is the epitome of our faith. Everything that Jesus went through was for us. Not only because He is good, but because He loves us. He could have said no but he chose to endure for us. Whatever you are going through He went through it too. His suffering was not in vain and ours is not either. Reach out to Him, he understands.
We talked yesterday about setting intentions and not necessarily sticking with them. You all know that I like microwave growth. When I set out to do something I want the “new me” to emerge quickly. If I decide I’m drinking 70oz of water a day, I want to do that now! Change doesn’t work that way. My therapist told me about the stages of change when I was becoming frustrated when I slipped back into old habits.
Check out the guide above because it has been very helpful.
What stage of change are you in? Are you thinking about changing but haven’t made any moves yet? Have you started to make changes but nothing has really stuck? When I thought about what stage I was in, at the moment I was in the relapse phase. I don’t want you to get hung up on the words relapse. Its not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the change you are trying to make doesn’t involve anything dangerous. For example, I have been working on not over extending myself, that means being able to say no and not just doing things because I feel obligated. When I notice my calendar has started to get full again and I don’t want it to be then I have relapsed. Or if I say I’m not going to get on social media for 21 days, then I binge Twitter and Instagram when the insurrection happens, I relapsed.
Unfortunately, for many missing the mark is a part of the change process.
Sometimes you have to go through the relapse process several times before you are able to make the change stick. I think the relapse phase is important it shows you can not make the change on your own. It is a good reminder that you not only need God’s help but possibly an accountability partner to help you stick to what you want to do and check on you to make sure you don’t get off track.
The best goal I kept in 2020 was insuring that I posted every Friday. The main reason I kept that goal because I asked my friends to hold me accountable. I didn’t want to let them down. You also need community to help you with your goals but we will talk about that more next week.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.Ecclesiastes 4:10
Look at the chart and determine where you are in the change process. Remember to give yourself grace and if you need help find someone you trust, and ask them.
We are at the end of January. Is it just me or did January go by fast? How are you doing on the goals and intentions that you set? I know mine have ebbed and flowed. I told you how I needed a reset the first week of the month. lol.
January 19 is the day that most people give up on their new years resolutions. Or in our case, goal setting, life style changes, intentions, whatever you want to call it. Its called Quitters Day which I think is a bit harsh.
I had planned on having this posted on January 19 but look at me, I’m not on top of my stuff either. It happens though, so I’m not going to dwell on it.
I’m going to keep pushing. I’m studying Exodus (right now and something I never thought about is that Moses had to go Pharaoh at least 5x before Pharaoh agreed to let the Hebrews go. I always thought more about the miracles and how Pharaoh didn’t seem to care about his people. If I was Moses I would have been over it! He kept going though until he wore Pharaoh down. That’s the kind of energy I want to have toward my goals. No matter what gets in my way, even when that thing is me, I will keep pushing anyway. There will be setbacks, distractions and days you just don’t feel like it.
I think on those days you should push just a little. Often times when we don’t want to do something and we do it anyway, we feel better. There are not many activities that I do that when I pushed I leave feeling like I should have just stayed on my couch watching Hulu or Netflix. If you had a bad day at work, or you are exhausted then take a break. You aren’t going to make good use of your time if you push in that state. Don’t stay there though. The next day get back on it.
That’s where the problem comes in when a one day break, becomes two or three, or four and before you know it you have missed a whole week. Don’t get down on yourself. We talked about progress is better than perfection. You just have to start again. We are going to talk about stages of change next and you will see this is just a part of the changing process.
I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite verses.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin-Zechariah 4:10
No matter what it looks like, keep pushing! You got this!
This post was originally published on July 5, 2018. I thought it was relevant to my post last week about enemies. I just got back from vacation this week and I don’t have anything ready. I could push myself to post, but I’m not. Check out this oldie but goldie. I am working on Progress over perfection. See you next week!
I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.
Psalm 41:11 NIV
Who is my enemy? I used to read this literally, that this was talking about a actual enemy doesn’t triumph over me. For a long time I didn’t think it applied to me. I was well liked, it sounds nice but I don’t need this actual piece.
When you start asking questions like who is my enemy then you notice it is saying something deeper. If the world is my enemy then I have some work to do.
How can the world triumph over me? By making me think things of this world are acceptable to God. TV, social media, movies, magazines, etc.
People get mad because the bible doesn’t explicitly say you can’t do certain things. Children need you tell them exactly what they want you to do. God is your parent he wants you to start figuring things out for yourself. He kind of was literal if you think about it. He said don’t be transformed by the things of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
I deal with this on a daily basis. Trying to not to conform. I don’t always do so well. I don’t want to be a nun. What is the balance? Have you found it? I think the older I get the easier it is, but it is still difficult. The method is easy, closer you are to God easier it is to be like him. The action is what is harder.
Saints walked with Jesus. You can’t cut up when you standing right next to the person who knows your intention. You can’t run or hid from. God he is compassionate. We don’t have to be saints, he will be with you any situation if you invite him in.
When I originally started this post it was about how to focus on God, just generally. There are tons of verses in the bible about focusing on God to have peace, joy, hope, etc. I already do many of the things needed to focus on Him. Having a daily quiet time, praying when I’m upset instead of talking to my friends, reading and studying his word. However I recently had a trying week. Zooming all day can be The worst!
I really just felt off, I had received some news that wasn’t sitting with me well and I didn’t know how to handle it. I did all the things I mentioned above but there weren’t really working. I needed to know what I should do when things are not all peachy. When I didn’t get the answer I wanted in prayer. When I didn’t feel like having a quiet time. What do I do then?
1. Do something constructive– Watch a movie, read a book. Practice some self care. Whatever you do to make you feel good. Keep it constructive though. Having a glass of wine might make you feel good but if you have too many you won’t get a chance to deal with how you feel.
2. Write down what is bothering you-I just do a brain dump. Just a list of everything that is bothering me to just get it out of my head.
3. Identity how you are feelingbut don’t stay there-I ask myself a few questions. How I am feeling. Why do I feel this way? Is it based on fact? Am I imagining worse case scenarios?
4. Find verses about how you are feeling-The bible app has great tool under the Search option where they have emoji faces and it has different emotions. Each category has ten emotions listed under it. So I am sure you can find how you feel.
5. Don’t lean on your own understanding.-Even when we have all the facts, God is bigger than facts. Trust that God can handle whatever situation you are in.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
I did a post before about who are my enemies. I didn’t think to deeply into who are my enemies. I was thinking literally, because at the time I was having a hard time at work with one of my coworkers. I recently looked up the definition of enemy and the what stands out to me is that is says “thing” not necessarily person.
Enemy-a thing that harms or weakens something else
This made me think more closely about what harms or weakens me. Who or what are your enemies? A few of mine are pride, self doubt, negative self talk, guilt, shame, fear, overthinking.
I know that these can be caused by the devil. He suggests things for sure. I also feel that a lot of these things are caused by me. No matter who what they are caused by I have the power to stop them.
You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Leviticus 26:7 ESV
I like that I will chase down my enemies and they will fall by the sword. Chasing suggests power, control , victory. If my enemy runs up on me, I can chase them off with my weapon, my sword. What’s my sword? The word of God. When Paul says put on the full armor of God. He says grab the sword of spirit. The word of God is our only offensive weapon against our enemies. We can attack our doubts, our insecurities, our fears! We can chase them away. We don’t have to listen to whatever pops into our head. We don’t have to agree.
His enemies will not defeat him, nor will the wicked overpower him. I will beat down his adversaries before him and destroy those who hate him. My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him, and by my authority he will grow in power. Psalms 89:22-24 NLT
God is giving us power to fight our enemies. The devil is so sneaky He is strong but he is not stronger than God. Your enemies are strong too. They have had years to grow because we have been feeding them by giving them attention. But God is giving us power. As we continue to let go of things that don’t serve us this shows us that we are helpless against our enemies. We are not alone in this fight. Whatever enemy we are not able to chase away God has our follow up.
Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer-Its a great book.
I do. I am. My week started off pretty rocky. It certainly started off rocky here in the United States. How did it start for you? You may have had some intentions that you were not quite able to stick with. I know I had planned on not getting on social media which I was doing fairly well with and then that exploded. lol. I saw several posts on people’s dry January plans had gone belly up or their fast on MSNBC was a wash.
It can suck to start something and so soon get off track but remember the good news. God’s mercies are new everyday. We can start over. I started today. I put timers on all my social media apps and I am replacing that with more writing and reading. I feel lighter.
So don’t get mad if you haven’t been able to attack your goals the way you wanted to. Start over. Its better to start again then get mad at yourself for messing up. I pray for my country, the United States and for you as well that we are all able to hit the reset button.
I hope your new year is starting off well. I was reading Ephesians in the Life Application Bible I got for my birthday. (love it, highly recommend)
In God’s love we lack nothing, have nothing to lose and nothing to fear. We have the fullness of God available to us.
Life Application Bible, p.2052
When I saw this, it really spoke to me. This is the exact energy I am taking with me into 2021.
I pray that you are able to receive this and get it down in your bones as we start 2021. I pray it takes root in your heart and can sprout wings. Once we truly embody this, we will be unstoppable. No longer held down by our fears or even our own expectations. We will be able to live free as God truly intended. In Jesus name, Amen.
God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. Psalms 18:32 NLT
You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 AMP
You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Isaiah 26:3 AMP
Jesus answered him, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” Matthew 19:21 AMP
This is four different ways that God looks at being perfect. None of them say never making mistakes, not giving yourself grace, procrastinating because if every thing isn’t just right you won’t do it.
It says make my way perfect which means guide me, show me, take the lead. It says integrating godly values into your day to day life. Are you integrating Godly values? The only perfection that God wants us to have is perfection in character. He want us to be spiritually mature. That doesn’t mean knowing all the answers or making everything just right. Being spiritually mature means you are leaning on God for support. It is recognizing he is in control. It is being humble and allowing him to guide your steps, not you making all the decisions.
These are the things we should be striving towards. Being perfect is all about being in control, not asking for help, not showing weakness but God wants us to want him. He doesn’t expect us to do things on our own.
Perfectionism smacked me in the face this week. There is a reason that that people say God laughs at our plans. My perfectly laid plans just blew up in my face.
I was trying to take family photos for Christmas and my son did not want to cooperate. At. All. I was so mad, all that work, I did for nothing. But in the long run does it matter? No. He is a toddler in the making. We will have opportunities to take pictures again. I was more concerned about what picture will we send out for Christmas cards and what will I put on my Facebook page
Perfection is definitely more worried about what others will think than what God will think. Worrying about the opinion of others will be our downfall every time.
The holidays can be a time were perfectionism rears its ugly head. There is a lot of pressure that comes with Christmas, perfectly clean houses, perfectly dressed children, perfect decor, table settings etc. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to get it all done. Its not necessary.
I told my friend the other day, I am letting go of perfectionism. I am not taking it into 2021 because it doesn’t serve me. It doesn’t serve you either. All it does it make us more anxious and feel judged. I am over it! The only perfection I am striving for is humility.
When perfection rears its ugly head, ask yourself these questions:
Is it necessary? Will this matter in the long run? Am I more worried about peoples opinions?
The word I am focusing on this week is hope. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
I spent so much of my life waiting on things. I had to wait 7 years to get married. I had to wait 7 years to have a baby. I see now why I had to wait on those things but I certainly didn’t understand it at the time.
The bible talks a lot about hope. A few of my favorites:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.” Jeremiah 17:7
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
This Hebrew verse is one that I relied on a lot when I was trying to get pregnant. It talks about holding on to hope because he who promises is faithful.
I can remember month after month waiting on God and not knowing why it was taking so long. What did he want me to do? I would start on the downward spiral of losing hope. What if this never happens? Maybe I don’t deserve a baby.
Something would always stop me though. As bad as I felt I never stayed that far down for too long. I knew if I lost hope I would have nothing to cling to. There would be no where else to go.
I felt like I couldn’t lose hope because I knew even though it had not happened yet that God could do it. I didn’t come by this feeling overnight. I did a lot of research. I asked God to take this desire away if he didn’t want me to have it. If it wasn’t in his will, then take it away because it hurt to bad to continue to be disappointed month after month.
Feeling like you are losing hope?
Ask God to grow your faith in the places of doubt. Have him show you in little ways how he has been faithful.
Make a list of all the things God has done for you this year.
Ask Him if your dream or desire needs to be tweaked.
Find verses about your situation in the bible to build your hope back up. There is nothing new in the world your situation is in there. I have written down so many verses about infertility and being a mother.
Hope is powerful. It doesn’t have to be big. When you feel your hope fading just ask God to help you in your unbelief. He understands. He wants you to reach out. Anything is possible even if you only have a sliver of hope, hold on to it. Remember what God has done for you before and know that he can do even more than you could ever imagine.