Operating in Faith walking in God’s Calling

Word of the Year

My chosen phrase for 2020 is “operating in faith”, to begin walking in God’s calling for me. I have verbalized God’s calling easily to others yet haven’t moved as much as I needed to act this out. As I prayed over what my word of the year should be, I felt Him impressing this phrase on my heart over and over.

Working on 2020 plans I began to think how the word “go” is tied to that. When you think about the word go, it implies action. The word begs for forward motion. And as you move momentum builds.

So if I say I feel God’s calling to go and yet remain still, how can I expect God to grant me more when I cannot handle what I have?

Walking in God’s Calling

His word speaks to this in Luke 12:48. To paraphrase, those who have been given little will be entrusted with little and those who have been given much will be entrusted with much more.

To be given more in terms of growing my blog, growing a ministry, and more importantly growing my relationship with Jesus, then I have to go.

I knew I wanted more from life this year. I knew God wanted more both from me and for me.

That last part is critically important. God is FOR me.

Operating in Faith – His love and will

Consider Ephesians 2:4 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us,”.

Or 2 Samuel 23:5. David on his death bed declares the goodness of the Lord. That He alone orders our steps, keeps covenant with us and brings about our salvation and desires.

Desires according to His will for us. What we want needs to line up with what God wants.

The goal is not to go more so I get more. God isn’t an ATM.

His calling makes me move

To succeed in God’s calling for me I have to GO! My answer to Him requires action from me.

But it can be hard and scary to go where we haven’t gone before.

Therefore my phrase for the year, “operating in faith” fits well. My going requires faith that He has my back. And God’s calling will always be backed by His word.

Operating in Faith walking in God's calling

Action Plan for 2020

There are 5 areas I feel God calling me to grow and go deeper with Him. As a result, in 2020 I have committed to “GO” in further in my relationship with Jesus:

  1. By leading more confidently in my women’s group.
  2. By reading specifically selected scripture and devotional to gain more knowledge of Him.
  3. By learning specific blogging tools to expand my ministry.
  4. By praying specific, detailed prayers.
  5. By being mindful of my words with my husband.

I’ll be detailing the how and why of my “GO” action plans to answer God’s calling in 2020 over the next month. My prayer is they will inspire and motivate you to “ GO” with God too!

Prayer

Jesus,

Let us be encouraged and empowered by your Holy Spirit to “GO” in the direction you have chosen for each of us in 2020. Give us wisdom to learn what is needed to live out our calling. Let us not fear or put off your instruction and will for us. Don’t let us be like Jonah. Fill us with a boldness to bring the gospel into every aspect of life and to do so with humbleness. Amen.

4 things I want to leave in 2019

As I stare at 2020 I realize there are things I want to leave in 2019. Leave for good. This decade has been a hard one. It has been marked by financial strife, personal health issues, relationship problems and more moves than I would like to count.

As I reflect on what the decade has taught me there are some things that I want to leave in behind and not visit again.

By God’s grace this next decade will be the beginning of my life.

Strange statement seeing as I’m 44.

Obviously not new at this going around the sun thing. However, I have let life drag me along on this journey rather than taking charge and charting my life according to God’s will for me.

I’m done settling for less than God’s best for me.

Here are 4 things I am leaving in 2019

  • Self-doubt. I am a Child if the King, an heir with Christ. As such there is no reason for doubt to enter in. I will trust.
  • Quitting. If you want change and growth you cannot keep quitting those things that are stretching you. Fear is not a reason to stop. Growing weary is not a reason. What others think about it is not a reason. Keep going.
  • Intolerance of others. I expect more from some than they can give. I judge too harshly…not out loud, but in my mind and it affects my ability to love well.
  • Fear. I have lived most of my life in fear. Worry over what I cannot control. I am relinquishing this area to God and trusting in Him that I will overcome.

I’m not going to pretend that there will not be hard things to come in 2020 or even in this new decade as a whole. However, I know that with a change in perspective and a change in attitude that this next year and decade will be better than the last.

Through prayer and planning I aim for this decade to be God focused, kingdom minded, and light filled. How can it be anything else when my eyes are turned towards Him?

I am ready to begin my life now. Welcome 2020!

You love others, but do you love you?

I have always struggled with loving myself. I’ve espoused a poor view of my body image, my abilities and my worth.

It has negatively impacted me, my marriage, friendships and even my work.

And yet I am always complimenting others, championing those who don’t see their value, and trying hard to speak life to dry bones.

About three years ago my world was absolutely rocked in the most unimaginable way.

It was at that lowest point of my life that I began to see the need to take care of myself and learn to love Ammie.

It took the wise counsel of others as well as leaning back into my love affair with Jesus to lift me up.

And I know it will be a life-long journey as trials with chronic illness and anxiety try to have their way. BUT, it is a journey that is worth embarking on.

Here are 10 Things I Have Learned to Love About Me

  1. I am a good leader. I enjoy encouraging others to be their best and giving them the tools to do so. And I’m not afraid to make tough decisions when needed.
  2. I am a good Training/Development speaker. I have had the privilege of speaking at multiple local and national seminars and conferences and have always received great feedback.
  3. I have beautiful eyes. Hands down my favorite physical feature…besides my hair.
  4. I am Beloved. This is the one thing that has helped me the most in loving myself. God, the Creator of the universe, and calls me His beloved. He formed me, knows my sinful nature, and still LOVES me!
  5. God has gifted me. I have abilities and talents that God placed in me to bring about Kingdom work. Earlier this year at our women’s retreat, we completed a Gifts Test and my top 5 were Teaching, Exhortation, Discernment, Leadership and Pastor/Shepherd. These are directly related to #1 and #2 above.
  6. I am a great furmom. I am unable to have human kids, thus my dogs are in every sense my children. And are spoiled as such.
  7. I am musically talented and sing well. I LOVE, love, love music…and am happy to lift my voice for His glory.
  8. I am an attractive woman. Now this one might sound vain, but it has taken me more than three decades to even think I might be halfway pretty. I’ve always tied my physical attractiveness to being skinny, having perfect hair, etc. I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been…and I’ve never felt more pretty. It’s the heart change that made this love attribute happen!
  9. I am creative. I write poetry, songs, make pretty floral arrangements, decorate the perfect Christmas tree, and have recently discovered I’m pretty good at creating color books and bookmarks. I cannot wait to offer these items to my readers!
  10. I am a good cook. I really enjoy cooking and baking, especially during the holidays. And I get such joy out of people savoring my food!

Loving others well is only attainable when we love ourselves well. Not a self-serving love, but a true appreciation of the beautiful, smart and kind human God has created us to be.

You bear the “Fingerprints of God”. This song says it far better than me.

Click for song

Be blessed and loved sisters!

Favorite Blog Posts…

Favorite blog posts

For those who may be new to my blog, today I thought I’d do a round-up of my favorite posts to date.

All of these were written at different points of pain or struggle in my life. Writing allows me to journal through those experiences to grow and heal. It’s been a tool I’ve used since I was a child.

Even the act of writing is soothing to me.

My prayer is that these posts will touch others and help them grow and heal as well.

8 Favorite Blog Posts

Returning to my first love
Do You Know How to Fight Right?
Hope in everything but God
Outside vs. Inside
Darkness cannot stay where there is light
5 important promises when everything seems to be wrong
Guest post on marriage on With Purpose with Lo Tanner
Not so different

If God uses any of these posts to speak to you, would you drop a comment and let me know?

Be blessed.

Lessons learned from my mistakes

It’s not comfortable to talk about mistakes that we’ve made in our lives.

Thinking about past mistakes can take us to a place that is very distressing, one that we wish we could forget.

Even the thief on the cross was ashamed in his moment of being forgiven. It is our humanity that makes it so.

Thankfully, on a very similar cross, our Lord and Savior took our shame when he took our sin.

So our biggest mistakes do not hold sway over us anymore. They cannot haunt us. Oh, Satan will taunt us with them, but friend, you don’t have to listen.

My biggest mistake

I’m honestly not sure I can point to one single thing as a big mistake in my life. What I think of, is a series of things, that given the chance I have thought many times that I would change.

Hindsight and Godly wisdom has shown me that to have changed those things though would be to change who I am today.

And while there are things that I would certainly improve, I am coming to really like who I am today.

Lessons in adversity

Lessons learned from my mistakes have been unpleasant processes. However, throughout the Bible, we see God use mistakes in people’s lives to bring about good works. Kingdom work.

It’s messy. It’s chaotic and drama filled. It’s painful.

Could God accomplish his work differently? Of course He could. But we would not grow in the same way if we did not go through the fire.

Diamonds. Pearls. Forged steel.

All go through types of adversity to reach the beautiful ending we all desire.

Lessons learned from my mistakes

3 Things I’ve learned from my mistakes

  1. Seek Godly counsel in trials, not popular culture. If the people we confide in approach problems with a worldview instead of a Biblical one, we will find ourselves spiraling deeper into an already troublesome situation.
  2. Act with patience. One thing I can definitively point to in every mistake I have made…acting rashly. Letting emotions control me. When we “listen to our heart” it will often lead us astray. Feelings fade, actions last. Be patient before making 5 minute decision that will affect the rest of your life.
  3. Admit your mistake quickly. Excusing your mistake or running from it by trying to cover it with a good story (let’s be honest, cover it with lies) will only exacerbate the issue. Take responsibility. Apologize where needed. Commit to better actions for the future.

Moving on from mistakes

Lessons learned from my mistakes are what has brought me to where I am now. Unfortunately, it may take others awhile to get past your mistakes. Perhaps some will always see you through that lens.

Take heart that your Father doesn’t.

God knows we will make mistakes. He is not surprised when we stumble. Trust Him with your sin and humble yourself before Him. He is waiting with forgiveness, grace, and mercy that will cover over all of it.