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Archive for July, 2018

You are more than enough to Him..png

Less than six puts you at risk. At risk for disease and diminished returns at work, home and play. At risk for depression, hypertension and inattention. At risk for a long list of unsavory outcomes and issues.

They are the one in three. Are you? Am I?

Have we joined the I-can’t-sleep-there’s-too-much-to-do party? Paced ourselves against the clock as if it’s an enemy rather than a friend. Enslaved ourselves to perfection, production, or performance.

During my college years I strode from one building to the next bearing an invisible backpack crammed with the weighty effects of self-doubt, unworthiness, and inability. Over and over, I’d shove those burdens deep within the confines of that imperceptible pouch.

Fearing Someone or Anyone would notice, I forced myself to achieve. To prove that I could accomplish. To justify my worth.

Motivated by the overwhelming fear of not being enough, I allowed for recovery only after rigorous, compelling dedication to study.  Sleep and rest were optional and I had the ulcer to prove it.

If the clock is your master, friend, have you considered what might be driving your desire for unattainable faultlessness? Unreachable achievement? Matchless efficiency?

Some may placate their incessant need for control through industry. Others might feel worth notice only through accomplishment–whether it’s a perfectly polished home or an unfading smile that refuses to allow vulnerability with friends or family.

If you are the woman driven by the need to be enought, can I remind you that you are more than enough to Him? Click To Tweet

If you are the woman driven by the need to be enough, can I remind you that you are more than enough to Him? You were more than enough for the heavenly king to lay aside His crown and exchange it for flesh. You were more than enough for an innocent Sovereign to endure every insult and accusation at a mockery of a trial. You were more than enough for the Lamb to sacrifice all in order that he might claim you as part of the fold. You were more than enough, Daughter, for the Father to rise triumphant–living proof that death has no hold on either Him or you.

When we deny the accusatory whipping boy of perfection or set aside the relentless  burden of responsibility and invite God to take it upon himself, then we’ll step into the rest he has promised.

Will you move into the place of holy peace today, friend? Jesus is calling. Click To Tweet

Will you move into the place of holy peace today, friend?

Jesus is calling.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:29-30 MSG)

 

 

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A heart overwhelmed by anxiety loses sight of the beauty in the everyday and forfeits soul rest,.png

I am a worrier. In fact, worry consumes more of my time than it should and traipses after me day and night. When my loved ones travel cross country? I fret. Will a careless driver hit the car somewhere between Colorado and California? When I drop my children at school in the morning? I worry. Will a madman introduce terror to young children and their teachers? When my college student discusses his plans to serve and share Jesus in far off countries rife with persecution? I chafe inwardly. Will my son be safe pursuing His call?

If you’re a worrier, you understand. It’s a battle to maintain balanced thinking in a wildly-out-of-control society. Still, scripture urges us not to “worry about tomorrow” because “each day has enough of its own troubles”. (Matthew 6:34)

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. Click To Tweet

The Message reads like this, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

A neatly packaged three point mini-sermon, this verse outlines three habits that eliminate worry.

Focus on God What is He doing in our lives today? In this moment? Is there a lesson for us to learn? A calling to fulfill? A blessing to be noticed?

A heart overwhelmed by anxiety loses sight of the beauty in the everyday and forfeits soul rest, peace and joy. Click To Tweet

A heart overwhelmed by anxiety loses sight of the beauty in the everyday and forfeits soul rest, peace and joy. But we are face-to-face with a Father who longs to remove our burdens and take them upon Himself. He is equipped to carry each concern. To do the heavy lifting. To be God.

Forgo Fear Dwelling on the what-ifs shifts our focus from the possibilities of today to a mindset mangled by fear and opens the door to the Enemy’s wily ways of deceit. When fear takes hold we forget the greatness of God. We reduce Him to the size of our problems rather than comparing our troubles to the immensity of His power and perfect love.

When fear takes hold we forget the greatness of God. We reduce Him to the size of our problems rather than comparing our troubles to the immensity of His power and perfect love. Click To Tweet

Because “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18), we can rest in His love. We loosen our grip on the idea of control, immerse our minds in the Word of life, and practice being in His presence. He is able, friend, to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Find Strength in Him Worry draws us inward rather than upward. But, our answers aren’t discovered within. There, we experience anxiety. Discouragement. Even despair. Instead, our sure solutions are found in the One whose strength is displayed in our weakness. The One who forges paths in places where none existed before, brightens the darkness with Light, and presents mercies anew each day.

He is the Almighty God, friend. The Messiah who overcame death is more than able to manage our worries.

 

Action Steps

  1. List the 3 areas of your life that cause you to worry the most.
  2. Ask God to reveal His heart for these three areas. Write down the specific ways He wants to enter into your situation and concerns.
  3. Post Bible verses that remind you of God’s strength around your home or carry them in your bag. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.
  • Romans 16:25 (MSG) All of our praise rises to the One who is strong enough to          make you strong, exactly as preached in Jesus Christ…
  •  Isaiah 33:2 (NIV) Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every       morning, our salvation in time of distress.
  • Psalm 55:22 (NIV) Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will        never let the righteous be shaken.

Grace and peace,

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It isn't about how fast you live. It's about how well you live. -Rick Warren.pngOur lives may be off-balance, out of balance or even hang in the balance. We may be overworked, overwrought, and overcommited. Still we slide into the pew on Sunday, paste on our best imitation-of-an-I’ve-got-it-together-grin and pretend everything about our lives is just as it should be.

Never mind that our calendar is overloaded by children’s activities. Regardless of whether or not the door into our home seems more like a turnstile than a gateway to a welcoming environment. No matter the debt threatening to overwhelm the last of the savings, the constant demand of technology to work off-hours and all hours, or the level of information vying for our attention, increasing worry and eliciting stress.

Perhaps we are known as the human race because we refuse to slow down. We take on the next project, person, or problem without considering the limiting measures in each of our lives--time and… Click To Tweet

Perhaps we are known as the human race because we refuse to slow down. We take on the next project, person, or problem without considering two significant limiting measures in each of our lives.

Time and talent.

Limited by Time

Scripture reminds us, “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5 NIV)

And, “…let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12:5 MSG)

Why the limits when we strive, strain and struggle to be productive? To do ministry. To serve, supply and support.

God knows our hearts are vulnerable. After all, how many of us have bought into the lie that doing equates living? That accomplishing equates worth? That production equates … Click To Tweet

Because God knows our hearts are vulnerable. After all, how many of us have bought into the lie that doing equates living? That accomplishing equates worth? That production equates perfection?

When our calendars lack white space, our time and resources are given over by default to that which might be good, but may not be the best. What is it that we’ve inadvertently exchanged for involvement in the pursuit of online connection, appearances, or the-ever-challenging-issue-of-pleasing-others?

Perhaps we neglect our physical health. We allow ourselves less sleep, work longer hours and eat breakfast leftovers from our toddler’s high chair tray.

Some of us shrug off the state of our emotions–certain we’ll address those inconvenient needs when its necessary. Meanwhile we’re bombarded by Pinterest perfection and false Facebook connections. The news assaults us with its relentless reports of terrorism and trafficking, disaster and death. We begin to wonder if the next generation of people will be able to change anything.

Others of us struggle to maintain our spiritual health. Church becomes another necessary activity that crowds a full week. Prayer becomes more penance than priority. Time in His presence suggests our absence in another area of life and worry wedges its way into our thoughts despite best efforts.

Limited by Talent

As a young college woman, I enrolled in Introductory Art. Though I made multiple attempts at creating a still life art piece with chalk, I failed miserably. Despite my best efforts to sketch a self-portrait, I drew instead something akin to The Scream. A diligent student, I lacked any talent for sketching–despite my optimistic outlook and my professors patient coaching.

The Father did not create each of us to possess the same skills or talents. We are designed to be people who need.People who need each other.People who need a Helper.People who need… Click To Tweet

The Father did not create each of us to possess the same skills or talents. We are designed to be people who need.

People who need each other.

People who need a Helper.

People who need Jesus.

In being incomplete, unable or ill-equipped we begin to perceive the importance of the Church. Of the Holy Spirit. Of Jesus’ perfect love, peace and mercy.

Friends, we will never be the perfect wife, mother, or woman. He has limited our natural abilities in order that we might rely on Him–the Almighty who is the “one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all.” (Ephesians 4:6 MSG)

Can I share a personal struggle? Maintaining balance is a challenge for me. It may be difficult for you, too. But the truth is that an over-the-top, out-of-balance life is not just unhealthy, it is unholy. Psalm 127:2 explains, “It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?”

Our time and talents may limit us, but He is limitless. We can rely on Him to meet the needs of our dear ones. To attend to the smallest detail of our lives. To pour Himself out for us when we have nothing left to give. And because of His inexhaustible power, we can rest in peace.Let's choose the best rather than the extraneous and living instead of busyness.#noteverythingisprofitable#choosethebest#notjustbusyness Click To Tweet

Can we agree to set aside our burdens today? To meet with the Master? To prioritize and analyze? Let’s choose the best rather than the extraneous and living instead of busyness.

Grace and peace,

Tammy

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Hello friends,

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my new friend Kelly Balarie, author of  Battle Ready-Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously. If you’re looking for a great summer read that is both thought-provoking and hope-evoking, one that encourages women to put on the mind of Christ by cultivating a warrior mindset, this may be your new favorite.

Kelly leads us through 12 life-shaping mindsets–from possibility to positivity, identity to eternity–that will help prepare us for the battle that often wages within. Gird up, girl!  Cinch on the belt of truth, grab the shield of faith. Let’s be battle ready today!

Peace and grace,

Tammy

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If a baby bird never moves out of the nest, she’ll never fly. If a toddler never takes that one inch forward, fearing falling, she’ll never walk. If a woman never takes a small step, she’ll continually stay, nowhere.

A small step out of move-out faith is mission-critical.

Why? Faith brings to life what we cannot see, but desperately hope for.

Where do you stand on the faith-scale? 1-10?

Do you see new life arising from your hopes, hunger, and hardships, or are you simply staying stuck, where you are?

You know, my life has been lived as a big struggle. I’ve gone through an eating disorder, depression, a health scare that threatened to take my walking legs, financial debt struggles, heart-breaking, joy-stealing relational problems, companies going under self-doubt. The list goes on-and-on…

Nearly every time, in these situations, I thought:

There’s no way out. This is impossible. I don’t know what to do.

I am going under. I don’t have the (time, ability, resources or wisdom) to get through this.

God won’t really be there for me; He’s got better things to do.

I am stupid for letting this happen.

No one understands.

I’m all alone.

If faith is hope in what we cannot see, I’ve lived hopelessness. If it’s “impossible to please God without faith,” no wonder I felt so displeased with myself. If God says, “everything is possible for those who believe”, I suppose I haven’t believed.

The inclination here is to be angry at myself saying, You always mess up. You always fall short. You never do anything, right.

But this is not how God speaks to me. This is not being Battle Ready.

Instead, God restores me by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

Knowing this prepares my mind to walk into fearlessness, boldness, and purpose.

God’s grace welcomes in new faith. This is a vital, becausefaith is our greatest battle weapon. It takes us places, it tames our trials and it forges us ahead, like doubt never can. Click To TweetSo, how do you walk out life-changing faith? Here are a couple of tips from my vast arsenal of faith-building, doubt-reducing, and life-changing thought-strategies I’ve discovered on my many battlefields of hardship…

5 Small Steps To Building Battle Ready Faith

1. Envision Jesus one step ahead of you. If you know God is at the place you’re afraid of, how much more can you trust He’s preparing it for your arrival?

2. Hear in your mind, continually: God really cares for me. The more we believe God sees us, the more we’ll believe He’ll see us through.

3. Taste His victory history. If you remember how you felt when God came through last time, you can almost taste him doing the same thing again. Let your mouth water for His “new thing.”

4. Inhale the reality, God is with you. Sure, there may be bumps in the boat. This doesn’t mean Jesus is sleeping. He’s fully aware of all your going through, the path He has you on, and your perfect escape with Him.

5. Hold a light schedule. If you clear way in your schedule, you’ll make room to experience God’s Word in such a way where it can begin to dwell in you.

Pick up your shield of faith. When the enemy throws an arrow at you, like a random email that makes you feel sad, a rejection from a friend that leaves you disappointed, remember: God is with you, for you and He is on your side.He is working out something in you and for you, that's even better than you expected. Click To Tweet

You can become battle ready and live victoriously.

You can prepare in advance rather than emotionally responding and reacting to the hardships that you face.

God will give you peace as you learn His wisdom and strategies.

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About Battle Ready : Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt & Live Victoriously

“The best time to be strengthened against the Enemy’s tactics of doubt, disappointment, and devastation is before he makes his first move toward us.  We all desperately need the biblical guidance and preparation found in Battle Ready!” Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries

Battle Ready is a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. You’ll gain practical wisdom, like how to

· make new habits stick in just five steps

· disarm the seven most common attacks that plague women

· exchange self-limiting thoughts for purpose-driven, love-releasing thoughts

· implement thirty-second mind-lifters that deliver peace

· create boundaries so you live life full of what matters

Buy Battle Ready here:

https://amzn.to/2l5qQrw

To get Battle Ready freebies – printables, devotional reminders, a customizable daily Battle Plan and the “Find Your Battle Style”quiz, visit:

www.iambattleready.com

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To order the companion Battle Ready Daily Prayer Journal that will help you practically change your thoughts, then your life, visit:

Kelly Balarie, an author and national speaker, is on a mission to encourage others not to give up. Through times of extreme testing, Kelly believes there is hope for every woman, every battle and in every circumstance. She shares this hope on her blog, Purposeful Faith, and on many writing publications such as Relevant, Crosswalk, and Today’s Christian Woman. Kelly’s work has been featured on The Today Show, 700 Club Interactive, Moody Radio and other television and radio broadcasts. When Kelly is not writing, she is chilling at the beach with her husband, a latte,  and 2 toddlers who rightfully demand she build them awesome castles.

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