Posts tagged Jesus
Clarity: It's All About the Relationship

So this is how it all happened: I was listening to a sermon by Judah Smith. By now, I'm pretty sure we've all come to the realization that I enjoy listening to Judah! (Go Church Home!) I had finished a two-hour workout, dinner with my best friend, and a lady chat, when I was heading home, and God said, listen to some sermons young lady. You know me, I said, "Aye Captain (cue SpongeBob)."

I had yet finished the sermon when I kept hearing the phrase, "die to self," in my mind repeatedly. (I think a part of it is because I know that showers are holy places and Holy Spirit speaks in the shower (and everywhere else. Okay, I'm confusing us, let me get back to this post.) I started asking, what does that mean? Where does it come from? Why do we say that as believers so often, and what does God mean by it? How do we do it? Is it something for just our relationship with Christ, or does it integrate into all of our relationships? How do we know we're doing it?

My question for myself (hopefully we all ask ourselves this) moving forward is: how am I loving my brother or sister in this? How am I dying to myself, choosing God's ways through what the Holy Spirit is telling me in this situation? Does Scripture match up with what I believe the Holy Spirit is guiding me to?

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Change Your Tone: Speak Gently to Yourself

I was upset, to say the least. I decided to trust the knowledge of the backroads and find every avenue possible to get me to my destination on time. Long story short, I was late, and the emotions came flooding. Frustrated, upset, disappointed, hurt, confused, and helpless. All these emotions were spilling out of me so much that after almost a year of not having panic attacks, one came.

Instead of telling myself, "hey Abigail, you did everything you could do to get this errand done properly and on time," I flooded my thoughts with thoughts like, "why is this happening on a day like today?" Thoughts like, "wow, only on a day that I need things to go right," "I should've done this and that," "she's going to be upset with me because I let her down when she needed me," "she's not going to trust me to get this done ever again," and of course, "I've failed her."

When you mess up, when you fall short in any way, picture your parents (or your favorite parent cause we all know some of us are way too side selective). How would they speak to you? How have they talked to you in the past when you mess up? Imagine that kind, understanding, and loving voice. And if your parents don't do that then do the bonus and imagine how God talks to you.

God knows that you're going to fall short before you do. Remember that while Jesus was on the cross he saw all your mess-ups and still said, forgive them. Jesus knew all too well about your shortcomings and sins, and he always chooses to love you. Now you get to love on you. You get to speak kindness and love and hope into your life. And this is especially important in moments when it's hardest to see the best in you.

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Chop Chop, Start Laying Them Bricks Down!

Your life has the potential to become the greatest form of art you could've ever imagined, but you will fail to become the masterpiece you were meant to be if you do not take some hits and use those punches to strengthen yourself.

Call me naïve, call me childish, call me ignorant, but I will continue to believe that the best lessons in life are the ones you acquire from the most painful and challenging experiences. The knowledge you develop and store in your soul from the struggles, trials, and tribulations you face are the ones I've realized stick.

Reflect on this year, last year, the past 10 years, or your entire life. What are some of the hardest cards life has dealt for you? What bricks have been thrown your way? Some hurt more than others; nevertheless, they seemed (and some may still seem) to have weighed you down in some way or else you wouldn't be reading this post. What have you done with those bricks? Have you carried them this entire time and not applying it to the structure of your home? Have you been looking at your life, playing the pity party, and saying, "whoa is me?" Have you been wasting these amazingly strong elements instead of using them to create a fortified home?

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A Lesson from an Imperfect Person: Treasure It All

We tend to waste our time and energy on issues wouldn't matter. We allow great people and opportunities to slip through our grasp. But instead of learning what needed to be discovered we like to cover up mistakes with guilt, fear, anger, and regret.

I want to be different. I want you to be different. No more guilt, fear, anger, or regret because they do not come from Christ. Instead, when we realize why we made the mistakes we did or why God is having us go through the seasons we're in, let's replace guilt with gratitude. Replace fear with faith. Replace anger with patience. Replace regret with wisdom.

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Don't Waste Your Time: It's an Inside Job

I want to tell you a harsh, honest, time saving, heartache preventing truth that I refused to embrace for years…until now: happiness, fulfillment, and everything that brings you to the best version of yourself is an inside job.

[…]there are way too many people in this world getting jobs, making decisions, getting into relationships, and selecting choices that they are using to fill the unbearable pain that that is caused when true peace, joy, love, and happiness is missing.

I've become very aware (I really wanted to use, but I don't want to be dramatic) of how easy it is to allow yourself to hop from one experience to another in a (for lack of better words) foolish way.

re·bound

/rəˈbound,ˈrēˌbound/

verb

recover in value, amount, or strength after a previous decrease or decline.

You've got to pause on the possible relationships, pray rigorously about that new job, and take that opportunity to the altar before you say yes. And while you do those things, listen attentively (I cannot emphasize this enough) to the Holy Spirit.

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