Made to Crave Week 2 – Identity Statements

…There once was a bunny who decided he no longer wanted to be a bunny – he instead wanted to be a beaver, but… so he went to be a bear, but… so he went to be a skunk, but… on he went until he realized being a bunny is who is was… he alone, couldn’t change this.  (Adapted from the story, It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny, by Marilyn Sadler.) Its not easy being a bunny

Oh, how I live my days like this sometimes.  From the moment I accepted Christ as my savior, I became a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17-21), that creation is God’s Masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), his precious child who he dearly loves (John 1:12-13).   However, many days I feel like something so different.  Thankfully, someone’s identity is defined by what they ARE, not what they feel like, what they look like, or even what they act like.  I may not feel like it, I may not act like it – but my identity isn’t defined by how I feel or act, it is defined by the creator.   Just as the bunny could try as he may to be something he wasn’t, he couldn’t change the fact that he would always be a bunny.

Today, I look in the mirror and remind myself –

“I am a princess of the true King”

“I am a child of the One Holy, Almighty God”

“I am anointed, blessed, and accepted by my Lord”

Parable of the KingIn Beth Moore’s children’s book, A Parable about the King, a young princess runs away because she doesn’t want to clean her room. Soon she finds a group of peasant children playing in the streets and joins them; pretending she is “one of them”, she tries to do and say what they do and say.  However, she is a child of the King and quickly discovers she doesn’t fit in with them. Humiliated and dirty, she runs back to the palace, only to find the secret door she left from, locked. Her only way back in is through the front door; when she knocks on the door her father answers. The girl throws herself at his feet and begs forgiveness. The King simply pulls her into his arms and says,
“You may have acted like them, but you are not one of them. You are mine, and you will never be happy until you accept both the privilege and responsibility that goes with belonging to me.”

Beth does a wonderful job of reminding us we are a child of God, a child of the King, a child who is deeply loved, forgiven and wanted more than we’ll ever understand.  Many times the pull of this world, the cravings of this world, beckon us to follow the world.  However, we find this doesn’t make us happy, it doesn’t fill us and we are left empty and feeling guilty.   We may act like we belong to the world, but we don’t.  As Christian’s we belong to the Holy God!

Lysa’s statement in chapter 5 of Made to Crave echoes in my ears this week, “We were made for more”.  With each craving, negative thought, empty desire – my spirit has reminded me “I am made for more”… but what more?  … God!   We are his children and we should act like it!  I was made to crave God, his forgiveness, his wisdom, his love… all of Him.  Until I understand who I am in Christ, follow passionately the path God has laid out for me, and fill my desires and cravings with the Lord, then I will not truly live.

Psalm 139:13-16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Ephesians 1:4-5
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship [masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Colossians 2:13-14
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

John 1:12-13
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Galatians 4:6-7
Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

John 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Galatians 3:26-27
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Psalm 138:8
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-do not abandon the works of your hands.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:14-15
because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

1 Thessalonians 5:5
You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:5
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

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Let.It.Go – Week 3

Week 3 ~ Memory Verse

The quote the rang the most with me this week was on page 114, ” Be a thermostat, not a thermometer. Set the tone and environment in your home.”  We women do have a lot of power in setting the tone.  The saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, then nobody’s happy” is commonly known for a reason!

One thing that helps me is to remember that emotions don’t dictate truth… feelings don’t dictate reality.  Truth and reality are unchanging – regardless of the emotions/feelings we have there are truths that we must hold on to and focus on – even when our emotions and feelings tell us differently.  Maybe focusing on realities – like I’m accepted by the Lord Almighty, even when my teen (or friend) won’t always accept me.  I am beautiful and wonderfully made, even though not a hair on my head is obeying my commands, my face is breaking out, and lips are completely chapped!

Life is busy, emotions can run thin.  I’m trying to keep my focus on the moment.  Letting God sweat the big stuff.

The last couple weeks have been crazy busy – kids shared flu back and forth, when well they had activities to run to, work was crazy… just a lot going on… but I won’t focus on the crazy, but the moments that God blesses me with that are wonderful.  Today is one of them.

I’m in the mid-west so school was canceled, roads snow packed and we all had to stay home.  After a couple of hours of shoveling (we have a looonnnggg drive way and do it by hand) we had a little fun outside!  So this is what we spent our busy day doing afterwards… and why I’m late getting the blog out today and why it is so short… it is now Hot Coco time! 🙂

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Yes, we got a lot of snow, they loved building this little fort and hope the dog doesn’t try to dig them out!

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We love our dog, Sheldon, but he is a little silly!  He kept running away with the sled and even would take it and try to run while kids were on it!

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Making snow angels!

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My gorgeous “snow angel”!  🙂

Let.It.Go – Week 1

I started this Bible study knowing that I’m stressed out, anxious and exhausted… I actually thought it was because I couldn’t control the things in my world and I needed help to find a way to better control that chaos using God’s strength!  I can already see that God is leading me a different direction than I ever thought.

I’ll be honest, I’m blessed.  Oh, I have struggles – finances, occational health issue (celiac) or food allergies for kiddo, economy may impact my job… that is just part of living in this unperfect world… but much of this isn’t in my control. Most of us, if we are reading this blog, are probably pretty blessed, too.  We probably a warm home, electricity, maybe a phone we are able to view this on or a personal computer… just having the warm home, electricity and a computer makes us wealthy (in the measures of this world) compared to so many others who struggle for just basic necessities.  So if I’m so blessed, why am I so stressed out, anxious and exhausted?  I think it is coming down to a few common themes… I’m trying to control things I shouldn’t, do things I don’t need to do, and not allowing Christ to live through me but working only on my own energy. 

So, am I a control freak?  Hmm… well, in taking the little quiz at the end of chapter 1 I found my “control quotient” told me I was a 40 – bordering on being manipulative… and that I may have certain areas in my life where you pull out the stops to get my way… if I had one more point, then I would have qualified for Control-Freak alert!  LOL!  Okay, maybe I am trying to control things a little too much!  But why?

Karen Ehman said she too dealt with this and her reasons (page 22) she found true in her life:       1) wanted to feel indispensable   &   2) wanted to get own way.

Ouch.  How many times do I get tickled when someone tells me, “I don’t know how ‘you’ do it all”, or “You have such control over everything in your life”… totally feeds my ego, but it SO ISN’T TRUE!  I like that “looks perfect” feeling to the outside world, but in realityt I’m stressed out, anxious and exhausted.  I can’t control most of my life, my kids, my husband, my co-workers…  Many times I can’t even control my own mouth – I need a warning lable that says, “Caution, mouth works faster than brain!”  Sigh…

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It is time to get rid of that facade.  No more “super woman cape” for me… so where am I going to go if I can’t control my world?  Guess, I need to go to the one that created the world in the first place! 

In the study, “The Life” by Bill and Anabel Gragram, he points out that the Bible states 10 times more often that we are to live “in Christ” than it says that “Christ lives in us”.  However, we all focus on the fact that Christ is in us as Christians.  As a little child, my son knows that Jesus is in his heart… but that isn’t the whole story.  If the Bible states that we are then to “Live in Christ” 10 times more times than that “Jesus is in us”, shouldn’t we be doing it?  Do I?  What is it to live in Christ? 

Guess that is for more exploration to come. 🙂  However, I’m feeling that a good piece of this is doing what God tells me to do, nothing more, then letting God do the rest. 

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So, hand I’m going to start handing it over… I think God is leading me to just surrender to Him – total surrender.  Surrender the pains, disappointments, the hurts… surrender the expecations, my desires, my control… all of it to Him.  Allow Him to heal, mend, and grow me… and to get out of the way so He can work on others, too.  Yeah, I try to do His work – my way sometimes.  🙂  Totally surrender to Him, His ways, His desires… will you?

All things new…

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New – it is a great word isn’t it?  I love getting a new dress or a new pretty pair of shoes.  I love the smell of a new born baby or newly cut grass.  I love the feel of the pages of a new book I’m about to start reading.  New is a great feeling, especially when it is a new beginning.

Each year we make New Year’s Resolutions, for many of us only to break them only weeks later.  However, each day is a new beginning.  It is a fresh start to do things right that day.  Not to look back and relive the wrong we’ve done, but to start doing right.  God is the master of new beginnings.  He makes each of us a new creation when we come to him and believe in him.  I love the thought of my creator, removing the dirty, filthy stuff from my life only to replace it with something new and better!

Sometimes we can see exactly what God is trying to remove from our lives.  Sometimes it isn’t something we really want to give up, but it is always for the best.  In a Bible study called “The Life” by Bill and Anabel Graham, Bill stated that more than 75% of all Christians walk by feel not by faith in their Christian walk.  A bell went off, “Yep, girl you do that!”

How many times have I allowed the “gossip gals” at work to determine my identity?  How many times have I felt that if my kids misbehave, that this defines me as poor parent?  As moms or even just as women, we like to control.  We juggle so much, especially in this day in age, that we feel the only way to stay on top of it all – is by controlling it.

So what is “new” with me?  My next Bible study – Let.It.Go. by Karen Ehman.  It is an on-line Bible study that I’m already getting excited about and it only officially started today!  It is to give insight to how to let go of control and let God do it through us.  From the review it is to help us take control of our schedule, yet allow God’s interruptions, to help us learn to micromanage less and just be a mother, how to be an influence to our husband, learn to control our emotions (even if we can’t control the circumstance) and to stop pursuing the appearance of perfection and just allow God to shine through our lives.

Here is a quote from the book that I connected with:

“There exists a minuscule line between being conscientious and being controlling. A marker so fine, we women cross it without even noticing that it’s stretched out right there in front of us, waiting to trip us up.  What we must do is determine the difference between being conscientious (our part) and being in control (God’s job).”  –  Let.It.Go by Ehman, page 17.

Will you join me?  There is still time and the first chapter is on Melissa’s website if you need to start there.

http://melissataylor.org/and-more/