Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life


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How to Save Time and Energy {Trust}

We waste time and spin our wheels when we worry. By making small daily choices to draw near to God with our worries, we can learn to trust. 4 Steps to dealing with anxiety.

Worry! We worry about our finances, our jobs, and how we’re going to find time to get to the grocery store since it’s already 5:00 p.m., and the fridge is empty. We worry about our kids, our parents, and what we’re going to wear to the party this weekend. I ought to know. I’m an expert at it. I work myself up as if I could solve my problems by fretting.

But God’s Word tells us it’s useless to worry. Jesus asked his disciples, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt. 6:27)

Now that you put it that way, Lord, I guess I’m wasting my time and spinning my wheels when I worry.

What if I could learn to channel that time and energy into trusting God?

David had plenty of problems. King Saul went on a manhunt for him. His own son rebelled against him. In Psalm 131, he reflects on the uselessness of getting stressed out over matters too big to solve on our own:

We waste time and spin our wheels when we worry. Psalm 131 and 4 steps to trusting God.

David also learned the discipline of calming and quieting his mind. Wouldn’t you love to learn that? Wouldn’t it be great to hand anxiety over to God in exchange for His peace? What if we trusted God like a child trusts a faithful father or mother?

Honestly, we probably can’t learn that today. (At least I can’t.) But we can make progress. By making small, daily choices to draw near to our Heavenly Father with our worries, we can learn over time to let Him calm and quiet our fears.

The next time you feel anxious, try these steps along with me:

1) Remember God’s Promises.
Read them in scripture and repeat them to yourself.

2) Praise Him for His greatness. Ask God to enlarge your picture of His power and love.

3) Pray. Ask God to provide what you need or to intervene in your situation. Ask Him for wisdom to understand if there’s anything you can do. If He shows you something, do it. If not, rest and put your hope in Him.

4) Choose to trust in His perfect love. He’s a good Father, always at work for our good. When doubts pop up in your mind, choose trust again and again.

We waste time and spin our wheels when we worry. By making small daily choices to draw near to God with our worries, we can learn to trust. 4 Steps to saving spiritual energy.

We don’t have to waste precious time and energy replaying worries in our minds. God has the solution to every problem and the power to meet every need. We’ll find renewed strength as we practice putting our hope and trust in Him.

Now it’s your turn: Are you a worrier, like me? What helps you to lay your fears to rest?

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I’m linking up with Arabah Joy’s Grace & Truth, Susan B. Mead’s Dance with Jesus, Faith Filled Friday, and Deb Wolf’s Faith ‘N Friends.

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2 Simple Truths That Can Help You Overcome Discouragement

Two simple truths title graphic

The stranger at the door probably wondered if I had a few screws loose or just needed hormone therapy. I’d rushed to make dinner for my family, put on something cute, and drive 20 minutes to join a new ladies Bible study. When I rang the doorbell, a confused man answered the door.  The group was meeting somewhere else that night, but no one had let me know. The poor man looked even more confused when I started crying.

I overreacted, but the clincher was they’d changed the meeting night the week before without calling me, so I’d already missed the first study…

Have you ever gotten stuck in discouragement because one itty bitty thing sent you over the edge?

Follow this link to join me at Abby McDonald’s place where I’ll share how God turned this story around, as well as two simple truths that help me get past discouragement.

While you’re there, take a peek at Abby’s blog. Abby is one of the most talented writers I know, and her October series, “Living Life Unstuck,” will encourage you.

living life unstuck

Linking up with Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesdayKelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup,   Holley Gerth’s Coffee for your Heart, and Grace and Truth.  Check out these communities for more encouragement.

Did you enjoy this post? Subscribe to get fresh servings of Faith Spilling Over delivered to your inbox. Enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

Photo Credit: Melika

 

 


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A Trustworthy God in an Uncertain World

a Trustworthy God

In my young crazy days as a new bride in El Salvador, I forced myself to learn to drive a standard shift car in crazy Salvadoran traffic. I was terrified, but I reasoned that a woman of faith gets behind the wheel even when she’s scared. I wanted to be a woman of faith, right?

One evening when my husband was out of town, I had the brilliant idea to practice driving alone. Continue reading


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Sticking with God in the Face of Doubt

sticking with God

Last month, my son left for college. Talk about a roller coaster! I couldn’t wait for him to go, and I cried after he left. Now that he’s officially left home, my role as a parent will change. I wonder, “Did I do all I could as a mom? Maybe I should have taught more life skills, or spent more time reading aloud when he was a kid. I should have limited his screen time more.”

Doubt comes at us all from all directions.

We start work on a new project, but we wonder, “Did God really call me to this? What if I mess this up?Continue reading


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When You Don’t Want What You Get

Finding God in your everyday

Welcome to “Finding God in Your Everyday,” an August blog series. Each Tuesday a different writer shares a story highlighting how God shows himself to us in our everyday, messy lives. This week’s guest is Kristi Woods, a friend with a knack for telling a good story that relates to our spiritual lives.

 

When You Don’t Want What You Get

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. 

Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Luke 22:42 NLT

 

The day bubbled with excitement. Family and friends from miles around gathered with both their presence and their gifts. It was wedding day.

I always had a strong will, a desire to “get what I wanted.” It often created internal turmoil. Wedding day and its subsequent gift opening were no different.

Paper ripped. Ooo’s and ahhh’s filled the air. A cooler, towels, and cookware were revealed. Silverware was as well. I look back at the generosity and can certainly say, “We were blessed.”

But there was one gift that didn’t fit my trivial desire: the silverware. Its nice, somewhat common pattern didn’t match the registry. I was disappointed.

Receiving the unwanted is sometimes life’s reality. Getting what we don’t want is, at times, exactly what we need.

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Mom taught me to be gracious, and I was…on the outside. In the shadow of graciousness, I tucked the new pattern into our silverware drawer and put the utensils to use. Only later did I realize what a perfect fit the new silverware was.

I thought I wanted a sleek, contemporary pattern. It ended up being a horrible solution for my family. It didn’t fit well in either my husband’s or my grip. The nice, sleek pattern slid right out of our hands, and so did the food! So much for function. So much for good.

The pattern that birthed disappointment became the appointed one. Although it wasn’t what I expected or thought I wanted, the gift-giver knew better. (I dearly love that gift giver, by the way.) The silverware was just right for our two-person family; we loved it and used it well.

It’s often best we don’t always get what we think we want – silverware, ministry, talent, or otherwise. It’s best to get what God desires.

Setting his face like flint, only speaking and acting in the Father’s will, Jesus submitted. He trusted. His feet stepped forward in our Father’s will, taking his place upon the cross and showing us the way. Joy found Jesus and us on the other side.

A rejection now can feel heavy, nearly overwhelming, somewhat like the wrong pattern of silverware. But it might be the needed “gift” of strength-building for that which is coming.

The gift of a loving and truthful, albeit slightly hurtful, word from a precious friend might not be a choice selection, but it’s often what our ears and heart need for the race.

Jesus’ death didn’t seem such a glorious gift at its onset. However, his resurrection and ascension proved powerful and beyond compare.

I long to be like Jesus. You too? Having a heart that pumps with trust for my Father’s will and offering an open hand for whatever “silverware pattern” he sets in mine – that’s how I long to be.

The fork and spoon reaction now brings a cringe. It was trivial. But walking in our Father’s will is anything but trivial. Let’s challenge one another to walk there.

Lord, Your way is right and brings life. Show me how to walk in trust, how to have an open hand for your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now it’s your turn: Have you ever gotten something you didn’t want and later realized it was what you needed?

Woods Family_0154

Kristi Woods loves a warm, sunny day and to write, read, and talk all things Jesus. She’s passionate about seeing women walk deeper in their relationship with the Lord and clicks her words of encouragement onto the screen of KristiWoods.net regularly. Kristi, her retired-from-the-military husband, and their three children survived the nomadic military lifestyle and set roots, along with their furry, rescued pets, in Oklahoma. Connect with Kristi on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

I love linking with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup, Holley Gerth’s #CoffeeforYourHeart, and Grace and Truth.  Check them out for more encouragement.


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When We’re Lost, Jesus is the Way

Jesus is the Way

When I stepped into my neighbor’s house, twenty veiled heads turned to stare at me. I froze. I wished the ground would swallow me up. Everyone got quiet as all eyes fixed on my husband standing next to me. He was the only man in the room.

Without blinking an eye, our hostess smiled and asked, “Perhaps your husband would feel more comfortable in our television room?”

She whisked Jose off to another part of the house as I walked into the living room and began greeting the ladies in a language I barely knew. I thought I might faint. When my neighbor had invited me to her son’s circumcision celebration, I’d assumed it was for couples. How could I have missed the fact that this was a party for ladies only…

 

Today I’m guest posting for Holly Barrett’s #WomenWhoInspire Series. Follow me over to Holly’s place to read about an important lesson I’ve learned from living in the Middle East 14 years.

Also joining in with Kelly Balarie’s RaRaLinkup and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory Community.

Photo credit: Melika


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Even Control Queens Can Learn to Let Go

Control Queen

I’m a recovering Control Queen. (Don’t you think Queen sounds better than Freak?)  I like to plan and organize. Unfortunately, I can butt heads with anyone who gets in my way. Just ask my family. I’m perfectly willing to schedule and plan their lives for them, but would you believe they have their own ideas?

  • I made an elaborate chore chart, and my kids went AWOL on it
  • I wanted to dress my daughter in pink frills, but she likes casual cool.
  • When we moved into this house, I was excited to use the third bathroom as a storage closet. Who wants three bathrooms in an APARTMENT when you have no closet? Apparently my husband did.

I’m embarrassed to confess that I get stressed out over itty-bitty issues like these. The bottom line is I want my own way. I want control over my own life (and sometimes over the lives of those closest to me).

I like to run the show and call the shots, but that’s God’s job, not mine.

Sometimes life slips out of my control in a big way, and God reminds me that He’s the one in control.

Like the time our landlord gave us four days to vacate our apartment.

Or the time I waited with my husband 3 hours out on the pavement outside our local emergency room in Izmir. We found out Jose had had a mini-stroke. He needed to stay in the hospital, but they had no available beds. So he spent the night on a reclining chair in the emergency room. (Nope, you don’t plan stuff like that.)

When life spins out of control, two simple facts encourage me.

1.  God holds me in His hands.

Job scripture

How amazing to think that no detail of our lives escapes God. We have a secure place to rest. We can let go of the stress of trying to run the show ourselves. God has control over our very breath.

2.  I can trust Him because He loves me.

Psalm 13 5

Life can take scary, unsettling turns, but we can trust God’s perfect love for us. As we look back over each trial, we can see He redeemed it and used it to shape us. He’s had our good in mind all along. He’s doing a transforming work in our hearts as we learn to step down and let Him be God.

Here’s my Recovering Control Queen Manifesto:

When I let go of control, I’m free to be transformed as I let God take control.

 

When I let go of control over smaller issues, I’m more fun to be around.  I’m a better mom when I’m not stressing over my daughter’s decision to be a vegetarian. I’m a better wife if I choose not to comment when my husband puts on that same old sweater to go to a party.

Letting go of control over small daily issues is good practice for learning to release life’s bigger problems to God’s oversight. Letting go brings freedom. I’m free to rest. I’m free to trust. I’m free to let God change me. And so are you.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have any Control Queen tendencies?

I’m excited today to link up with Suzie Eller’s #LifeFree Thursday. Also linking up with Grace & Truth and #DanceWithJesus. Check out these communities for more encouragement.
LIVEFREETHURSDAY

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Photo Credit: Melika