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.

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!

Anxiety and God

Anxiety and God. This topic is one I’m trying to get more comfortable talking about. I’m learning how to define it in my life and how to normalize it for those around me.

And I’m learning how to cope with it.

I used to think that people who dealt with this particular issue just needed to get over it. Perhaps they needed to pray harder.

Then, what I was not able to understand in others, began to happen to me.

Anxiety.

Though mine was triggered via a traumatic event, looking back over my younger years, I can see traces of it throughout my life.

Anxiety’s Effects

Social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety are the two types I deal with.

Add these to a list of other chronic illness issues and life can feel really overwhelming some days.

Just getting dressed and getting out the door can feel like an insurmountable task.

Two choices emerge here. Let anxiety defeat me. Or let my God help me defeat it!

God’s Power In Us

We must remember that the power of the Holy Spirit, the very power that raised Jesus from the grave…LIVES IN US!

No matter how hard the day gets, I know that He is able. His word stands. His promises are true.

And that is my landing place. The safest space I know.

Anxiety and God

Scripture To Beat Anxiety

Here are some of my go-to verses when the anxiety tries to displace the light:

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” ( 1 Peter 5:6-7 KJV)

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 HCSB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6 HCSB)

“But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain.Selah” ( Psalm 3: 3-4 HCSB)

“I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety.” ( Psalm 4:8 HCSB)

Standing in the shadow of the cross, my world shines brighter.

Yours can too.

Letter to my 16 year old self

About Others

16 year old me. I sure wish I could tell you some things that would have made your high school years easier. You were so insecure, longing to belong, and had no idea just how beautiful and smart you really were.

I’d tell you that those sideways glances and whispered conversations going on around you…are not always about you. And that even if they are, you shouldn’t let it bother you.

Those people’s actions say way more about their character than it does about you.

I would tell you not to tell people that you thought were your friends about that date. In fact, I would tell you not to go on that date at all.

Don’t apologize for being beautiful, bold & brave..png

About Yourself

That you will wish you could take back some words that you say and things that you do. So don’t say them and don’t do them.

I would tell you it is better to be ridiculed for not doing the popular thing. And that being yourself, uniquely creative and bold, is the best way to be.

That those who cannot handle your uniqueness are not your people. Find a different circle where you are valued. Not used.

I would tell you not to be afraid of your gifts. To use your voice. To take that chance.

I would tell you to spend more time with your family. That in less than 10 years your precious Daddy would be gone and you would wish you had more time.

About God

I would tell you that you are so very loved. That no matter what you do or say there is a God that you speak of, yet don’t intimately know yet, that knows you very well. 

He loves you so much He died for you.

And if you will let Him in now, He will take all the burdens you carry away. You don’t need to be strong enough to bear it all. That’s His job.

And you can just be. Be a kid. Stop trying to grow up so fast. Relax. Love yourself.

You are going to be with you for a long time.

 

Not so different…my friend Peter and I

Different ages Different Places Different Faces Same need for the Savior PIN

There are many characters in the Bible to admire and model one’s life after.  The characters I like best though?

The ones that are completely flawed and messed up. Like David. Like Paul. Like Peter. 

Like me.

I can relate to the trials and temptations they go through. I can empathize with the negative thoughts of self…whether I am really called to do this work or if God should have called someone else.

Peter especially resonates with me. He was faithful, yet doubted. He was eager to learn more about Jesus’ teachings. He was given to angry outbursts and rash decisions.

He swayed back and forth between proclamations of undying loyalty and outright denial.

And he was forever changed by the saving grace of the risen Lord.

As am I.

I see myself in Peter. I want to learn as much as possible about who Jesus was and is.  Who He says I am. And I yearn to serve the Lord’s “sheep”. 

Yet there are times when my selfish nature rebels against the quietness of the Holy Spirit. I want to scream the truth at people in my frustration for them to understand.

At the same time, I do not want to be labelled religious or “one of those” Christians. 

Though I myself proudly declare to be a “Jesus Freak” on social media and to those closest to me.

Like Peter, I sometimes wonder if God knows what He is doing, what He is talking about. I may not verbally rebuke (Mark 8:32, Acts 10:14) the Lord as Peter did, but the questions running through my mind voice the inability to trust as fully as I want to.

It’s the same thing. I am Peter. He is me.

We ALL are broken sinners, in need of a broken for us Savior. (CLICK TO TWEET!)

In Peter I am reminded that no matter how much I mess up the Gospel, God can and will redeem it for His glory.

So thankful all we really have to do is ask and believe. Jesus has taken care of the rest.