Intentional

#fmf

Start:

This word was made for me!  At least now it is.  A little over 5 years ago I moved to Kentucky from North Carolina.  This is only the 3rd place I have lived since becoming an “adult”.  I was in North Carolina, in the same town and the same church for 25 years, so  you can imagine how difficult it was for an introvert, shy women to move across states in her early 50’s.  Now I have to giggle as I type introvert and shy because I would say that most people that know me now, would not describe me as an introvert and shy.  But on the insides, that still describes me to a tea. Just in case you don’t know what an introvert looks like, click here… Introvert . This describes me, even now, with the exception of blood pressure(family inherited, thanks). Anyway, I’m coming to the word, yes, that word intentional.   Now I was just ripped away from everything that I was comfortable with and once in Kentucky, I was all but comfortable.

 

 

I settled in my home, found a job and decided on a church family.  Those were the easy parts, now I had to find relationships.  Even though I’m an introvert, I love relationships.  Always have!  I have people, that I would still call friends, since elementary school and I cherish everyone of them.  I have always been intentional about my relationships.  But starting a new set of relationships was more difficult than I imagined.

I’m going to detour a minute from me being intentional to encouraging others to be intentional. Things to pay attention to if you will.

  1. If you notice someone at church, work or in a social group that you don’t recognize, reach out.
  2. If you notice someone that is obviously sad, show compassion and concern.
  3. If you notice someone that is struggling to get their footing in the new surrounding, walk beside them.

Now for me, skipping past 5 years.  I had very few be intentional with me, I am so grateful for those that were.  So I grabbed hold of that word “INTENTIONAL” and ran with it.  I ungracefully flubbed things up sometimes but it was so full filling on the times I showed “Grace” with my intentionality.  I may not be the life of the party or get the most “likes” on my social media but you can be sure that walking intentional in my day to day life is a part of who I am.

I realized that I had that greatest example of being Intentional.  Wasn’t God intentional from the start, as he created everything so beautifully, created man and then created woman to be with man.   He watched what was created and was saddened, He knew then what you and I needed now.  He marks His every move with intentionality.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Being intentional is a must.  We may muddle through this life just fine without it, but we won’t sore through as was intended.

Stop:

As part of my journey with intentionality, I wrote a 5 day post on being intentional.  If you’d like to read it click here…..  Intentional

“Intentional” by Travis Greene

Thank You Lord for your plan, thank You Jesus for your love and thank You Holy Spirit for walking through it with me.  Amen!

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SIMPLIFY

#fmf

To Simplify your life doesn’t mean you have to be boring!

“Stop trying to impress people with your clothes and impress them with your life.”
― Richard J. FosterCelebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

start:

One of the best things I’ve done for me and my family is to simplify.  The word simplify to most would mean to get rid of “stuff”,  material things and busynesss.   And that certainly is part of simplifying your life.  But those things are worldly and I also wanted to simplify my spiritual.  I learned the most about that by studying the “Celebration of Disciplines “.  The book discusses internal, external and corporate disciplines, one of which is Simplicity.

My inward life must be focused on the things of God before my outward life will exhibit Him.  Simplification of life has many facets and must be intentional.  How I worship Him, how I walk through my day and how I engage in relationships all are affected by how much He is a part of my inside.

For me I had to work on my ” Boundaries ” .  This helped me know where I start and where I stop.

To Simplify is to Free yourself from unneeded baggage. Whatever that baggage looks like.

stop:

“And so I urge you to still every motion that is not rooted in the Kingdom. Become quiet, hushed, motionless until you are finally centered. Strip away all excess baggage and nonessential trappings until you have come into the stark reality of the Kingdom of God. Let go of all distractions until you are driven into the Core. Allow God to reshuffle your priorities and eliminate unnecessary froth. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, ‘Pray for me that I not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus even under the guise of ministering to the poor.’ That is our first task: to grip the hands of Jesus with such tenacity that we are obliged to follow his lead, to seek first his Kingdom.”
― Richard J. FosterFreedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World

“If you are too busy to read, you are too busy.”
― Richard J. FosterFreedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World

Love the Lord with all your might and all your soul!  Amen!

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MOTIVATE

#fmf

Ordinarily when you hear the word motivated, we immediately think about goals.  Weight loss goals, career goals, financial goals or anything else that you want to accomplish.  At least that is where my mind goes.  I know for me all those things have come to play in my life and one of them is still kicking my butt.  I just can’t seem to “get motivated” enough to accomplish my goal.  This self motivation is more interested in satisfying my desires than my needs.  I think it’s time to stop with the “self will” and focus on “God’s will”.   Stop thinking it’s in my power and start believing it’s in God’s power.

Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I actually prefer motivating others.  It comes easier to me.  I need to remember Romans 12:11 and be more fervent in the spirit and less slothful when dealing with myself.

Romans 12:11

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

So regardless of whether I’m dealing with myself or encouraging other, my real motivation is that I’m working heartily as for the Lord instead of self.

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

My word for this year is BRAVE, so with that word in mind, I’m going to use it in trusting the Lord to be my motivator.   Not self motivated but Lord motivated.

Lord, I am depending on You! Amen

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Different like Jesus

#fmf

Go….

Being a round, trying to fit in a square.  It’s hard to do!

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I have always felt different, never quiet fit in.  I’m not sure why that is.  When I was a child there was a bucket full of differences.  I was the tallest never petite. I was shy never life of the party. I was average never over achiever.   As an adult things didn’t change much.  I would find myself doing things and acting in ways that, in my mind, made me not so different.  I was living a life as a christian woman, wife and mother by this time but I didn’t fully get that those little acts of striving to be the same, were called sin.

Proverbs 1:15

My son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,

Through yet another “different” period of my life, I found myself divorced. The only one in my circle of relationships of course.  That truly magnified my difference.  I found myself walking off that path.   Making decisions that were not aligned with the path that He had laid out for me.  Making myself a different path.  That child was yearning inside, wanting to be the same as everyone else.

John 15:19

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

I was living a life of hidden sin that the world told me was okay.  It wanted me, it wanted to own my soul.  I felt as if I was a rope being pulled by each end, one being Satan and the other Jesus.  Then I was convicted.  Convicted of the sin I hid so well.  The part of me that fought to be the same now was seeing how being different was more like Jesus.  Jesus was not like the world.  He lived in it. He loved people in it. But He didn’t conform to it.

And this child wanted to be different like Jesus.

Isaiah 64:8

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

I entered my path of studying and craving Him.  I realized through a hands on project that the clay that He molded me from is meant to be different.  If you go to a potters work shop, you will see that no two pieces of work are ever the same.  Even if the potter intentionally made the same piece with the same colors and the same shape, there are always slight differences.  That is what makes hand made pieces unique.  And that is what makes me unique.

Even though I still struggle with the desire to be the same, which means fitting in, I’m grasping the desire more to be different.  To be different is to be how He made me.

Stop…

Lord, I am grateful for all that you have taught me and all that you will continue to teach.  I pray that I will fully understand how precious being different is.  I pray that I will be able to accept others for their differences.  I love and thank you!  Amen

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ONLY

#FMF post
Go….
Only can give the feeling of alone-ness.     Such as, “I was the only one in the room that feels this way”, “I was only one that showed up to the party” or “I am the only one that has been sick”.   Alone-ness, being by myself even if there are others involved.
Being the “only” can feel bad but if we consider that the Lord made “me” , the only one like “me”, then those feelings can turn into amazement.  There are many times in the bible that being the “only” ……. turned out to be a blessing.
He showed mercy on Abraham , who was willing to sacrifice his only son for God.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
When we feel alone and unable to protect ourselves, we “only” need to be still and God will fight for us.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Even in our ugliness of sin, God will save us just as he did Rahab.  But only if we are devoted to the Lord.
The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LordOnly Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.
Even if we only have a few copper pennies, God will do great things with it, if we’re willing to give.
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
The Lord my God is the only one that is my Savior.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
So don’t fret being the only one because we are only alone if we don’t invite Jesus into our lives.
Stop….
Lord I’m thankful! Amen
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Near

#fmf post

Welcome, so glad you have opened this post.  I hope that it draws you Near to our Lord as it has drawn me to him in thought.

Go:

When I think of “near”, I immediately think of good.  People who I love and the desire for them to be near me.  Drawing near to my home and near to my heart being filled with joy.  Obviously, none of us want people near us that suck every ounce of joy from our souls.

I know for me, in my current season,  my children are newly married and starting their families.  They are side tracked by life and responsibilities.  They’re doing exactly what they should be doing, by taking care of their families.  But if I’m honest, I mourn for them at times, wishing for that time back when they were near to me all the time.  I didn’t realize the emptiness that I would feel without them constantly needing me.

I know that this must be how God feels.

James 4:8

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

He created me to be near to Him.  He desires for me to need Him.  I’m sure he mourns when I get side tracked by life.  And I ask myself, does he also feel that emptiness when I don’t seek Him?  When I set my own path and don’t invite Him to be near me.

Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

My children are now living their own lives, raising their own families, doing as they should.  For me, my constant Joy will only come when I draw near to the Lord.

I pray I will be reminded each time that I’m feeling empty, that those are the times that I need to draw nearer to Him.

Stop:

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Familiar

Familiar
fa·mil·iar
1. well known from long or close association.
“their faces will be familiar to many of you”
2. in close friendship; intimate.
“she had not realized they were on such familiar terms
Go..
Many things can be familiar to us.  We have a friends and experiences from the past and current.  With social media as it is, we are able to see friends from the past and they are familiar.  We remember them as they were when we were young but now they have children and grandchildren. We can stay familiar through media.  We’re able to stay connected.
Families a lot of the time live apart.  As mine does, I only have a few close in my area.  But I’m able to stay familiar with how their families are doing and growing.  The new experiences they are having.  The joys they are blessed with and the trials they are going through.  We’re able to stay connected.
Where feelings and emotions are concerned, being familiar, is valuable.  I may not be familiar with the individual but I can connect with that person because of my “familiarity” with their feelings or emotions.  I find my ability to connect to others through our “familiar” feelings as a great blessing.  We’re able to connect.
Stop…    FMF post

1 Peter 4:12-13 

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Lord, I rejoice in You!  I am thankful and grateful for the love that You continually show to me.  I ask You to help be stay strong in my faith and not to sink into pits of sorrow.  I know that I am well blessed.  I ask You to help me be intentional in staying connected.  Help me to remember the importance of sharing life with those I am “familiar” with. I praise You always. Amen!

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Excuse

Go

To place blame on others just to take the blame off you!  That is usually what an excuse is.  Obviously there are reasons for our behaviors, particularly if when we were young and our experiences were traumatic, but there comes a time, yes a time, for us to stop with the excuses.

We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16

In my recovery, I have had to face up to many things.  Things that were done by my hands and things that weren’t.  Hurtful and harmful things!  But there comes a time in our recovery that we must speak it, face it and let it go.  Once you have let it go there is no more room for excuses.  To grow and mature as an adult this will be key to our recovery.

Stop  

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Silence

Five Minute Friday on Monday night
Go:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
When I think of silence, I think of one particular time in my life when I know, I just knew I had to be silent.  It was a time during my 2nd marriage was falling apart.  My 1st marriage had failed for many reasons and I was determined that my second one would not.  But I was also determined that this go around I was not going to be a door mat.  No one was going to run over me again.  Hence, part of the reason my 2nd was failing.
I was done!  And God spoke to me, saying be quiet, I will fight for you.  And he did.  I literally closed my mouth for 1 year and He rebuilt a marriage.  That was 12 years ago and we are better than ever.   I now have a voice but without that time of silence, I wouldn’t be where I am and God wouldn’t have had the glory.  He has given me many other opportunities to be silent and every time He comes out on top!
Amen!
Stop:
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