Thursday, December 20, 2012


A Quote by Contemporary Christian Artist Mandissa:
"Yesterday I tweeted this Taylor Swift quote: “If you go too far down the rabbit hole of what people think about you, it can change everything about who you are”. Earlier today, as I tried to find this link to my NPR interview, I ran across a couple of comments. One guy said I sound like a nice woman but that my "music is disgusting...over-produced...fatuous...slick and tacky". Ouch! Earlier this week, on this very Facebook page, I was pretty insulted by a few comments as well. I have to be hurts. Typically I am incredibly encouraged by most of what I see, but I am thankful for the lesson that God is teaching me right now. My value (and yours, too) must come from what God says. Listening and believing what others think about you will drive you crazy. It is easy to become prideful when you hear good and discouraged when you hear bad. I believe that God can get our attention, edify, bring conviction, and correction through others, but defining ourselves by what others think is dangerous. I just thought I'd share what God has been speaking to me about this week. You should know that while I value what you have to say in response, I won't define myself by it. ;-) -Mandissa" 
This morning I read this post on Facebook by Mandissa.  Oh how I admire that woman!  She has been in the spotlight for her weight struggles, comments made to her while  on American Idol by Simon Cowell and of course, from the above post, from people who don't like her music. I admire her strength and her boldness in sharing. 
 I pray for that strength. 
God has been showing me that my strength is not something I can muster up on my own in a time of need but from Him and in Him alone.  Now, before you roll your eyes and say "duh, everyone knows that"  My response to that is this:  being able to quote it , know it and do it are different things. When you go through a tough time, nine times out of ten you will try and figure it out on your own, call a friend and talk it out, or these days Tweet it or make it your Face Book status. Not too often in our humaness is our response to go straight to the Lord.  I'm finding out that being me is important to God.  The gifts He has given me, He desires to be used. The strengths He gave me , He desires to shine, The words and actions He brings to my mind, He desires to be spoken and shown. When I dwell on those truths, that I am important to God and how He created me is important, I find strength and with it comes the fruit of the Spirit. Think about that.... When you rest in the truths that You are important to God, that He loves you the way you are, when you rest in that, the outcome is blessing others with the fruit of the Spirit and having that inner strength to not allow others to define you, change you or decide your value.
Your faithfulness grows, your gentleness increases and your self control blooms.
May God touch your heart today with His love for you.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [k]belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" NASB


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When others turn away....

Our Creator is not a fair-weather friend. He will not abandon us in our anguish. It doesn't matter if you're one of those ugly criers whose face gets all red and blotchy. It doesn't matter if your nose and mascara run. It doesn't matter if you become a big, whiny "woe is me" baby.

God still won't walk away. He won't roll his eyes at your drama or throw his hands up in exasperation. He holds us the entire time our shoulders are heaving. And much like a new mom keeps track of every peep her infant makes, so our heavenly Father counts each and every tear that rolls down his children's cheeks: "You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle"

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Read this and had to repost....

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind. —Ephesians 4:17

Sometimes I feel like the world is made up of two kinds of people: people pleasers (those who go to great lengths to be loved and yet never feel they deserve it) and people who are never pleased with anything (who can't seem to see beyond their own wants and needs).
Pleasers learn from a very early age—in part through parenting or lack thereof—to bury their own feelings, to accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong, or to think they should be able to fix any troublesome situation that arises for their loved ones.
On the other hand, people who are never pleased with anything tend to be just the opposite: their feelings are the most important in any situation, they are never to blame for anything that goes wrong, and they would never bother trying to fix what is not their fault.
Those who live in what the apostle Paul called "the futility of their mind" spend more time trying to know what others want from them than they do in pursuing knowledge of God. When we spend all our energy trying to earn another person's affections, trying to do all we can do and being all we can be for another human, our lives are sucked up in an endless vacuum.
We were created for more than a desperate search for approval and acceptance, for more than a life of fear. God told his children in Isaiah 43:1, "Now this is what the Lord says. He created you, people of Jacob; he formed you, people of Israel. He says, 'Don't be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are mine'" (ncv).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

All first borns raise your hands!

First Child: perfectionist, reliable, conscientious, a list maker, well organized, hard driving, a natural leader, critical, serious, scholarly, logical, doesn’t like surprises, a techie.smarter, better educated, earns more money, favorites, make good counselors, teachers, pastors, mentors and physicians, goal setters, high achievers, responsible, rule keepers, determined, detail people, more verbally articulate,less impulsive, better performers in school, need to achieve, need to please.

So, some of you first borns will look at the list of qualities and pat yourself  on the back.  You may be saying to yourself " Yep, that's me, an achiever, always coming out on top!" You thrive in an environment that lets you constantly win the daily battles.  You love the thrill of a day where you fought and won, you had the answers, you could cross everything off your "to do" list with that red pen ( to make a point of course), You face each day very conscience of everything going on around you, all that needs to be done, and though sometimes do it. You stay focused, your eye is on the goal.You want everyone to step up to the plate, your serious when you need to be and critical too..not to be mean because your heart wants everyone to succeed,but because you need everything to be just right. You teach, you lead, you counsel. You want everything to be perfect and you expect it.

Some of you first borns are looking at this list and your stressed, your emotional, weary, tired and wondering if you can keep it up. You want need rest, yet you don't know how to. There is so much to do and so many that rely on you that to stop is out of the question.  You feel such a strong need to please others, such desire to be an over achiever to perform at your highest and best every day. And then there is that little voice inside of you that little place in your heart that wants to stop and not worry about everything and everyone.

I've been in the latter group. I've carried around unneeded stress and issues. I have allowed the weight of the world to rest on my shoulders. I've faced each day as if the happiness of everyone depends on me...It is a hard place to be and a struggle...

God does not want us first borns to walk around with the weight of the world on our shoulders, He has made us strong and given us these wonderful strengths.  But He also wants us to rest in Him and remember that He is in control and the problems that we face, the issues that arise were not meant for us to solve on our own. We have to remember Who is ultimately in control. God will never help us to be anyone other than ourselves, so we need to stop putting the added stress of being everything to everyone on ourselves.

As first borns, we need to learn to laugh. We tend to be so heavy about everything, taking everything so seriously. I know I do this! I expect perfection from myself in every area of my life: My sin:I see it as unforgiving. My gifts: I see them as something I better be exercising every day or I fail others. My growth in God:I see it as if I miss a day of reading my bible I've failed God...... We carry around such heavy burdens that maybe if we found joy in Christ, joy in the day the Lord has made, we would find the load a little lighter.

As first borns we need to learn to lay our burdens down  and not perceive them as needing to be handled on our own. We need to remember God cares for us and isn't leaving us out here on our own to fend for ourselves. I am learning to look at my daily to do list and say to myself what are the things on here that will be okay if they are done today, tomorrow, the next day, week or month? What if I didn't get to an item on my to do list at all? Would the world fall apart?? We need to lay everything down and depend on God to help us do what we can do. 

As first borns we need to stop being over achievers and thriving on our success as if they were all our doing. Half the things on my list are for my own personal self satisfaction as an over achiever and really play a non vital role in my day to day tasks. God doesn't just give us strength to get things done-He is our Strength.  He doesn't just give us victory -He is our Victory. We need to remember that apart from God we can do nothing and give Him all the credit in our successes.

Jesus was a first born, He should be our role model on how to handle all life throws at us.  Getting away by ourselves, praying, letting others teach and we listen and watch. He walked away from opportunities to teach and preach because it wasn't what God the Father wanted Him to do. So why if in God's infinite wisdom he had Jesus walk away from opportunities, do we think we can't? Not everything is for us to handle first borns, God did not make us that way or for that purpose. 

So from one over achieving,list making ,organized, perfectionist first born to another..Let's take time for ourselves, pray, get away from the crowds and the demands, listen, watch and rest.  And if you need to, find yourself  a garden to meditate in or get on a boat and relax... but take your cue from Jesus and remember He did give you the gifts and strengths you have but not to exercise them 24/7. He also created you to enjoy His creation, so go...enjoy..Rest and don't be weary. Be encouraged, don't worry. Be yoked with God and remember His burden is light and with Him we will find rest for our souls....