Showing posts with label fear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fear. Show all posts

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Prayer of the Doubter

God, You are good. You are have always had your hand of protection and provision upon me and my family. I have seen You do miracles that would be considered great to many and in some that would be considered tiny. You have shown me great mercy and love, even in times when I was least deserving. You reign Most High over all. 

Yet God, I still struggle to see You at time. I struggle to remember Your goodness and faithfulness. I struggle to understand that You are bigger than my circumstances. I struggle to know that You love me in my weaknesses. I struggle to look to You first, instead of trying to carry the burden alone. 

God, I am sorry for my lack of faith. I am sorry for taking my eyes off of You. I am sorry for allowing the things around me to consume me with anxiety. I am sorry for failing to give You the glory and honor You always deserve. 

God, my God, I need Your help. Help me to set my eyes on You, Lord. Help me narrow the gap between my head and my heart. Help me to rest in Your promises. Help me to have more self control when it comes to my emotions. Help me to hide Your word in my heart. Help me to set aside the things in this world and of my flesh and become more like Jesus. Help me to remember to place my concerns at the foot of the cross and to leave them there. Most of all, Lord, help me in my unbelief. 

Amen

There is a great sermon from Pastor Rob Schneider titled The Struggle of Faith on 9/7/2014 on the website http://www.calvarysbc.com/media.php?pageID=6

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stuck - Poem for my oldest daughter

I wrote this poem based on what my daughter was experiencing being a biracial child in Ferguson, MO. She feels stuck. We are trying to form open communication to help her with her feelings. All of this is written off of what she has told me when we were talking, so while the format is mine the feelings are all hers. 

STUCK

All I see is black and white, literally and figuratively,
And I forget to see all those in between.
What does that make me?
Stuck
I see blacks angry at the whites for mistreatment,
And whites unable to understand the pain.
What does that make me?
Stuck
I have been exposed to so much hate,
And have to pretend to be brave for my sisters.
What does that make me?
Stuck
I was only a little girl with big dreams,
Now I don’t know who I am supposed to be.
What does that make me?
Stuck
I feel like a black girl in a white community,
And like a white girl in a black community.
What does that make me?
Stuck
Ferguson is the city I love,
and a place that I fear.
What does that make me?
Stuck



Friday, August 31, 2012

Living the Unfulfilled Christian Life

So many Christian's face the times when the fire in our hearts begins to die down and the overwhelming feelings of emptiness and sadness  begins to grow. We begin to drown in the mundane. As a wife and a mother, I often struggle with this. I am constantly trying to keep up with the cooking, cleaning, diaper changing, laundry, and the budget. It feels like a never ending cycle of stress and constant disappointment. The days melt together and the hours pass by slowly. I begin to feel robotic and even though there are no major things I am completing I am constantly and completely emotionally and physically drained. So often we can get distracted by everyday things such as work, family, and financial stressors. We lose a piece of the fire we once had that burned so bright for God and we sacrifice our time with God but save time for mind numbing activities, such as watching junk on television. 

I remember being first saved. I remember the feeling of being unstoppable with God on my side. I remember the excitement to tell others about Him. The need to learn more and more about God and His many attributes. I remember the feeling so thankful for all He had sacrificed for me and for loving me right where I was. It seemed like the feeling would never die. But like wind against a mountain, mundane activities can slowly wear us down. 


We don't have to live an unfulfilled life. We all have a God sized hole in our lives that can never be fulfilled by anything other than God. So why are so many Christians living an unfulfilled life, when they have God?  There are many reasons that someone might be living an unfulfilled life, the reasons I am going to address are sin, unmet expectations, fear, self pity, laziness, pride, a sense of entitlement, and the boxes we try to place God in. 

Sin can and will cause a drift between you and God. It separates us and keeps us from hearing what God is telling us to do. Choosing to live in sin slowly decays us and desensitizes us. As I watched The Godfather for the first time I was shocked at the violence and language, which all seemed to stick out substantially to me. Each time I watched it again I began to notice the violence and language less and less, because I was becoming less sensitive to it. In the same way sin can slowly seem acceptable or at least not stand out as being quite so unacceptable.  


Several years ago when I was in marriage counseling, the counselor had mentioned that the majority of times anger and sadness stem from unmet expectations. When I had become a Christian I had thought that life would be easier. I didn't think that everything would be perfect, but I in now way thought that I would be facing all the struggles that I had. I expected to no longer struggle with my flesh and sins. Another expectation that went unmet was the expectations I placed on other Christians. I expected others to be open and honest about their struggles. I expected others to be mature, loving, and non-hyprocritical.  It took a long time to learn that I need to have grace and love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. We also don't see or understand the spiritual war that is going on around us. If we do not expect to be in a war, then we will not wear our armor to protect ourselves. 

When I speak of fear I don't mean the fear of spiders or escalators, even though both can be terrifying for some. I speak of the fear of rejection if we tell others. The fear that our needs wont be provided for. The fear that we are not equipped or good enough for what God tells us to do. I have been struggling with this. I know that I am in God's will by staying home with my daughters,  but the fear of our financial situation often leads me to consider going back to work. Fear is often where my head and heart don't agree. I know that God can, will, and has been providing but I fear that we wont be able to pay the bills and will be out of some basic needs. I often think that I need to step in and do God's job. I face this also with the well being of my children. I know that God can and will care for them, yet I still have growing concern for their health. Having faith is not always an automatic thing, sometimes I have to make the choice to believe and have faith even when it is hard. Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 

Self-pity can be like a slippery slope, once we decide to step onto it we can begin to slip further and further down and it can be difficult to get our footing. Sometimes we can confuse this with expressing our concerns to God or with venting with others, but the difference can be found in the attitude of the heart. It is acceptable for us to voice our concerns to God and to each other. God already knows our thoughts, so being honest can only open communication and soften our hearts to allow God to change us. Who am I to say that I have been persecuted, when there are people in other countries that are killed and tortured for believing in Jesus? Who am I to say that I am poor, when there are people in other countries that eat mud patties? Who am I to say that I am ill, when there are people in other countries who are dying at such young ages? God does care about all of our concerns but I should not live in self-pity and withhold the glory from God. God has been convicting me of this in regards to my home life. I often will have self-pity and make myself a martyr for all the work I do around the house. I have been praying, before I clean, that I may have a heart to serve my family and to glorify God in all I do, even in the laundry. I have found that, even though I still struggle, God does help me with my attitude and often I don't feel overwhelmed with it all. 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Laziness can lead to feeling unfulfilled. Not the laziness in regards to worldly tasks, but lazy in relationship with the Lord. We put so much effort into things that are so mundane and trivial but often the time with God is the first thing sacrificed. Often Christians will ignore God and place Him on the back burner until they need something. I have been found guilty of this myself. We can not expect to give God so little of ourselves and still receive so much of His provision. When I began going to my church, a women there said something that struck me. She said that twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work. I have often felt convicted of the fact that I sometimes wont make the time to read the Bible and pray during an alone time everyday but I can sit in front of the television for hours and not get anything out of the program. 

Anytime we think we know better than God, it is just bad. Pride is a hungry beast that wants more and more, it is never satisfied. If God tells us what to do and we ignore it or disobey, then we wont feel fulfilled. No more can a young child tell her parent what is best for her, than we can tell God. Proverbs 11:2 "When pride comes, then comes disgrace,but with humility comes wisdom."

Even though we are blessed to live in a democracy that believes in giving people rights, it can also be a hindrance. We are raised with this false sense of entitlement. I have the right to have nice stuff. I have the right to have a spouse that treats me right. I have the right to hold a grudge. When we become a Christian we give our rights to God and let Him guide and lead us. We are to take up our crosses. We are to forgive others, give to the needy, place others above ourself, and become Christ-like. 

When we put God in a box, we are not able to fully see His great power. Why should the God of the universe live according to human standards? Through seeing and embracing Gods awesome power we are able to worship and glorify Him more. We are able to live a life of victory and not defeat. We don't have to live by the constrains of this world because our God is bigger than this world. John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

So how can we go from living the unfulfilled Christian life to a fulfilled one? First, we must be honest with ourselves and God. We must ask Him to help us with our attitudes and with the things that are playing factors into our being unfulfilled. Second, we must worship with a heart of thanksgiving. I love the expression "fake it till you make it." By writing or keeping a list of so much that we are thankful for we can refer back to it to thank God. Praise Him for who He is. Third, memorize scripture. Write the word of God onto your heart so that you may be able to call upon it when you are struggling. Forth, surround yourself with fellow believers. When your light grows dim stand close to other believer's light so that yours may become brighter. Finally, set aside the time to spend with God. Only God can fill that whole and repair the damages done through other efforts. 




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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 2

Describe 3 legitimate fears and explain why you fear them..


1. I just realized today that I have a fear of my husband losing his job. In the last year my husband has shown up at home early twice unannounced. Each time I was hit in the gut with a terrible feeling. Just upon seeing his face after he opened the door, I knew that he had lost his job. I felt so overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. I feared not being able to pay the bills or provide for the girls. His new job has him coming home at random times when they are not busy. When he walks in the door my heart and thoughts start racing. I know in my head that God is in control and that he has and will provide for us, but my flesh pulls me into a place of fear. 


2. Depression, anxiety, manic depression, and other mental illnesses run strong in my family as well as my husbands family. Since my oldest daughter is so much like me, I fear her possible struggle with mental illness. I remember the feeling of being in the deepest darkest place ever. Being only seven years old, we have already seen a few red flags such as her mentioning suicidal thoughts. I so want to take away any possible pain she may have. I know that it is my job to teach her to trust in God, to control her emotions and actions, and to communicate anything that might concern her. 


3. Spiders... they are creepy, they are quiet, they have eight legs, they are spiders.. Need I say more? Little spider or big spider it doesn't matter. They all scare me. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge/ Day 1

My blogging friend posted a blog where she is doing a 30 day blog challenge. I decided to try it out. 



1. List 10 random facts about yourself.



Day 1: List 10 random facts about yourself...


1. I am creeped out by loose teeth.
2. Platypus is a secret word I use with my hubby when I need to get out of a situation. 
3. I secretly love Star Trek
4. I love the smell of citrus scented household cleaner.
5. The second time I hung out with my now hubby, I knew I was going to marry him. 
6. I hate the sound of styrofoam. 
7. My belly button always smells bad. 
8. Sunlight makes me sneeze. 
9. I am pail and am allergic to most sunscreens.
10. I always laugh when I fart or when I hear someone else fart, even when I am alone.