get out of your shell!

I love turtles. One of the coolest animals God has created. Just look at their shells... perfectly created for protection and safety.

Any time I see a turtle crawling across the road, I have to stop and pick him up. Just can't stand to think that the next car to come by may not be as careful as I am.

So... today, we had a turtle adventure. As Jeffrey and I were driving home this morning, I noticed this little guy making his way across the road in front of me. Not really caring who was behind me, I proceeded to pull the car to the side of the road and get out. As I walked up to him, he seemed to have no fear. I was expecting him to shrink into his shell like most turtles do when they sense danger. However, this one kept his head and legs out the whole time. I picked him up and held him as we finished the trip home (only about a mile).

We put the little turtle out on the back porch and let Katherine look at him and giggle like she always does when she likes something. (Sidenote... that little giggle is a sound I will NEVER grow tired of!) Then, Oreo decided to jump into the action. She sniffed him and stayed right with him... and still the turtle showed no fear. I was amazed. This was definitely the most confident turtle I have ever seen. After we watched him for a while, we let him go in the backyard. He was gone by the time we checked again.
Our turtle adventure got me thinking about how we stay in our shells so much as Christians. We're afraid of what people might think if we "put ourselves out there." When we have Christ in our lives, we have no reason to fear. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. When he calls us to do something, no matter how big or how small, he will equip us to finish the task. The only thing He asks is that we get out of our shells!

What is it in your life? What are you hiding from? Has God called you to do something, yet you are letting fear control you? It's time to just trust Him and do it... Get out of your shell!

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."      2 Timothy 1:7 

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Facing the Music

I am a mess. It's time to get real.

You know, it's easy to look fine on the outside, yet be in a bad place. When you realize (or admit to yourself) that you have been in a "slow fade" progression, you have to stop and face the music. Only God knows what is going on inside each one of us. There has been so much going on inside of me over the past few months that is far from what it should be… pretty much the opposite of the fruits of the spirit. It all comes down to an unsurrendered soul.

So, now I’m taking stock. Humbling my prideful heart. Recognizing, yet again, that the perfectionist is not perfect. Repenting. Confessing all the junk. Finding my way back to my first Love, my Creator.

For the past several months, I have been trying to fulfill something missing inside of myself instead of fulfilling what I believe God has called me to do. In a crazy mixed-up way, the very thing I thought was my “calling” turned out to be my own selfish desire… and the one I thought was my selfish desire has turned out to be where God wants me. Now here I am back where I belong...
           worshiping with my husband and supporting him in his ministry…   

                                      playing the guitar… singing… writing… praying.

God is good. He knows we mess up. He knows we get off track. He knows everything we think, say, and do. He still loves us… not in spite of who we are, but BECAUSE of who we are. Every struggle is a test. It is an opportunity for God to get glory because of something that only HE can accomplish THROUGH us.

So I am facing the music… literally and figuratively. Things I am called to do have been neglected because of trying to prove myself and coming up empty. The focus has been on the things and people, not on the GOD of those things and people. So I’m coming back around and surrendering this wandering soul. I’m going to give my all to Jesus. I’m going to correct the wrongs in my life. I’m going to sing. I’m going to play. I’m going to write. This is who I am… because of who He is.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” - Jeremiah 29:13
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if peace is what you're looking for...

So, I went for a long walk today. My mind has been searching for peace lately, which seems to be nonexistent. The "why" has FINALLY really hit me. My mind has been "stayed" on the wrong things. Read these words by John Waller (straight out of Isaiah) and then I'll talk a little more about it:

     Thou will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on You.
     Thou will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on You.
     Peace flowing like a river; peace never to be stolen.
     The peace that You give is not of this world; my mind is stayed on You.

For a LONG time now, I have been chasing my own ambitions... It's human nature, but I'm finally realizing the slow fade course I have been on... in every area of my life. I don't like what I see when I look in the physical mirror, but more importantly, I don't like what I see when I look in the spiritual mirror. My mind has been "stayed" on myself. Self-centeredness & selfish motives lead to a LACK of peace. Focusing on Jesus & recognizing His desires for my life lead to a GAIN of peace. Needless to say, there are going to be some major changes in my life, and I'll be writing more about this in the next few days.

Just want to encourage you to think about this one question: What is your mind "stayed" on? Self and the things of this world.... or Jesus and the things He wants you to be focusing on?

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You. - Isaiah 26:3

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