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!

Relax, de-stress & take hold of God’s best

Can I be really honest here?  I am NOT good at de-stressing.  I don’t do REST well.

I’m really great at creating checklists, completing tasks and just getting stuff done.

Out the door by 6:30 a.m. to work, come home, cook, clean, run errands, play with the dogs, fall in the bed. Do it again tomorrow.

Why Not REST and DE-STRESS?

Just sit and be still for awhile. Admonishment from the hubby.

Take time to relax, go to the beach. Advice from my mom.

And she’s not wrong…I live 30 minutes to an hour from MULTIPLE beaches.

My excuse for not resting…for not unwinding and ridding myself of stress?

I have too much to do…I’m busy.

REST is as important as work.

One of the Core Values of our women’s ministry at my church is REST.  Therefore, as a leader I am earnestly working on improving in this area.

4 Things to help you de-stress and relax

Here are a few things I have found to be tried and true…to get me focused back on Him, settle myself into a place of calm, and just be.

  1.  PRAY. This always calms me down, no matter how out of control I feel.  Drawing close to my Father this way means peace in my heart. And sometimes that prayer is is simply silence. Just to sit and bask in His love for me is everything!
  2.  READ. Not just my Bible, although depending on what is stressing me, it is my first pick. But when I just need to zone and not think about things for a bit, I usually turn to one of three book types: faith-based, history (Civil War, Native American, Revolutionary War) or mystery books. Reading is my happy place – I have always, always loved a good book and even more I just love words.
  3.  GO OUTSIDE. Take a walk, or just sit on my patio. Take in nature. Consider all of the beautiful things the Lord has made. It never fails to calm me.
  4.  WATCH/LISTEN. Watch an uplifting movie (think Hallmark or inspirational films) OR listen to uplifting music. Taking my mind to a more positive place that allows me to decompress from stress. Inspirational music especially helps shift my focus from me and the busy I’ve allowed to cramp itself into my life. 

Relax, de-stress and take hold of God's best

Give God top priority

De-stressing and taking time to let go and loosen up reminds me that HE is the reason for everything and that all I do is to be done to His glory.

If too many other things are screaming for my attention it is time to let some of those things go. I only want to pursue His best for me.

And if I feel I cannot take relax time, de-stress, time, unwind and be with Jesus time, then He cannot give me those best things. I won’t have room.

I hope one of these will be helpful for you as you learn to de-stress better.  

Hymns that inspire, revive and heal

I grew up attending church. Hymns were part of my childhood, from the simplest “Jesus Loves Me” to “Amazing Grace”.

Having a love for music, I have a great appreciation for those old school hymns.

Hurt in need of healing

Sometimes, when life has gut punched me and I find myself falling to my knees, those old hymns are the only music that will do.

Modern worship is beautiful, however, it doesn’t connect as deep in my soul as these tried and true songs do.

They bring me back to a time when things were simpler, less complicated, less chaotic and less burdensome.

They revive me. They heal me.

Hymns that Inspire, Revive & Heal

One of my favorites has always been “All Hail the Power”.

Memories that inspire

I remember singing this as a child, standing by my grandmother in a small church in rural south Georgia. I remember her slightly off key soprano…tremulous and soft the older she got.

I remember singing not just one stanza or chorus. Oh no, we would sing every stanza, every chorus…each more jubilant than the last.

No fancy organ. No drums or guitars. Just the piano. And the voices of a united congregation lifting up their Savior.

Future of Faith

I remember even then, not wanting worship time to end. I couldn’t have told you a reason why then.

I just knew it felt good to be standing there, holding her hand, singing.

It made me happy. It made my grandmother happy. It seemed it made everyone in the room happy.

And when I hear it now…it still makes me happy. Oh but now I know why!

It is the joy of being saved by grace. It is the grace that flows from His throne to my frail human form. It is awe at how marvelous and excellent He is! These hymns inspire, revive and heal our souls.