The Gift of Self-Control

lysaI am coming to realize my need for self-control. It keeps me from flying off the handle at anyone and everyone. I am noticing it is a daily thing that spares me from unnecessary situations and consequences that I desperately want to avoid.

Self-control.  Just like God’s grace, it is something God uses to hold me together—even in my most broken of places.

Life in general can make us lash out even at those we love. Sometimes, we may even feel like they somehow deserve it. It doesn’t make our actions any less important. It doesn’t even excuse what we do. We are still just as accountable to God, than if it just randomly happened with absolutely no trigger.

What are our triggers that make us lack self-control?
Can you list two to three triggers?

Think of your last few days. It doesn’t take too long to
recall of an instance where you almost forgot about the gift that God
through His Holy Spirit has given you—self-control.

Can’t think of anything?
Wait until you finish reading this post, and
life comes at you in a matter of minutes.

Take note of those triggers. If you are anything like me, you have many triggers. Not feeling well, emotionally overwhelmed, bad news, what I like to refer to as an introvert crisis, and  much more.

Even though we may almost fly off the handle, we can choose differently. It is because of God and His rich grace, that we can make different choices. It’s by His grace (not ours) that we are saved. We will have our days filled with flaws, where we will say and do things we shouldn’t. It doesn’t excuse those moments, but God’s grace is so rich. We can come boldly to the throne of God and ask for His forgiveness. Right there, we are forgiven.

I can choose to use that gift from God through His Holy Spirit to help me make wiser decisions. It is in these wiser decision-making moments, that I can share God’s grace and aim to be a light to a darkened world.

As I contemplate what I could possibly share from my awareness of God’s gift of self-control in my life, God’s grace is brightly shining in my face as I look past my yesterday’s and look onward toward tomorrow. In God’s rich mercies, I am given so much. Not only am I given much, I can also pass that on and share much. I can choose to listen to others when they interrupt my quiet world. I can choose to pray for someone, instead of screaming my lungs out at them (it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for). I can choose to give love through my actions, versus going through the motions. I can take a step back, so I may offer encouragement—even when I feel like my needs are ignored. I can choose to offer my gifts or time to others, rather than keep them to myself.


Commitments: How to Honor God

Lately, something on my mind is “commitments”. I want to be a person who does and says, well what she says she will do. Chronic illness can make this quite difficult.

  • “Ohhh, I’m too sick to read _____________ today”.
  • “Ohhhh, I’m going to have to push past this (the x, y, and z of my symptoms for that particular day), and get _______________ done”.

There are a ton of those examples, and I am not the only one who has them. When battling chronic illness, commitments are hard to make. How we follow through will impact others’ view of us. I am not so much worried about how others perceived me, not like I used to be. In terms of commitments, it has to be giving God my best.

Sick or not, we all have commitments. Despite how we feel, those commitments and whether or not we are able to fulfill them weighs on our hearts.

One thing that has been really important to me can be summed up in one word: diligence. Am I diligent in the commitments that I do make? Bottom line: I want to be someone who gives God her best. I don’t want to set out and give people my best, though by setting my focus on God- that happens.

God is the only one I want to fix my eyes on. God knows my heart, my actions, my commitments, my words, my body. He knows when I have pushed to far, and when I just need to rest. With God, He knows it all. So, I don’t need to worry about being seen as lazy, etc. God knows my all. When I pray about it, choose to commitment to something, I chose to give God my all by giving Him my best. I have the chance to impact the Kingdom of God, by fulfilling my commitments. I don’t have to worry about guilt setting in, because God knows my motives, my limitations, and everything else.

When we make commitments, do we let honoring God be our motives? How do we handle it when our limitations outweigh our ability to fulfill our commitments?

Are -we- setting an example?

I am sick of being sick. Whole bearing some raw emotions about that fact, I am reminded of a particular Bible verse: 1 Timothy 4:12. My life leaves a reflection on this world. Good or bad. Positive or negative. As a lover or hater.

1 Timothy 4:12 were Paul’s words to his spiritual son, Timothy, and words we need today. They are words God gave Paul, and to us.

“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity” (vs. 11-12).

My heart may be frail. It may even break. I may even cry in that rare moment, but God is sovereign and He will use it all. He will help me to be an example to the brethren that is worth setting!

Five areas of my life to be examined:

In what I say

In what I do

In how I love

In my faith

In my pursuit of purity

God bless you all! Sick or not, we all need this lesson…When we fail, He catches us. We can:




Because of who we serve the Lord God Amighty: the holy One!


Sleep, Time, and the Good Shepherd

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sleep, Time, and the Good Shepherd

I haven’t blogged that much lately. Mostly, because I have not slept much lately. I miss my sleep. Sleep is a precious thing that I miss dearly, but I keep being remembered of Ecc. 3 where time is so valuable and used for different things. There are times and seasons for things in our lives. Evidently, there is a time to sleep and a time not to sleep… Not that the writer meant that there is a time to sleep. Sleep is a necessary part of being human. Not getting sleep is sheer torture.

I have had that sleep is the body’s way of healing itself. In some ways, I am sure the body does heal itself. I am a critic in many ways lately. Honestly, I think it is the lack of sleep… But I have always been a bit of a critic.

While I battle sleeplessness, muscle aches, and the pains that come from living with Fibromyalgia and not getting adequate sleep, God’s presence is very real to me. Even now, God’s presence is here and He is sustaining me. He is the One who holds me together, even when it should feel like I am falling apart.

In my Thursday class, we have been reading and rereading John 10 each week. Tonight, all I could think about is how Jesus Christ continues to be the good shepherd even amidst chaos and a busy life storm. Jesus may not remove the storm.

In John 17:15, Jesus’ prayer is not that we are taken out of the world but that we would be sanctified through God’s Word which is our truth. Jesus, my good shepherd, is many things to me especially when I am extremely fatigued and can’t sleep. Tonight as I reflected on John 10, I wrote this:

He does not run away. At times of great struggles, everyone seems to be running away from it all. They want to get as far away from the situation as possible. While they are running from it, Jesus is already there walking ahead and with His children as we walk through fire. Jesus knows our struggle before it happened! Jesus did not leave or forsake us! Jesus is the One who brings peace amidst the storm. It is something to be endured.. Even in hard times, we (I) can still hear His voice even more clearly in the midst of the trial. He deeply cares and treads the deep waters with us.. And, He leads us to pastures..

Jesus may choose not to remove my Fibromyalgia from me, but it’s all good as long as I have Him holding me tight. Even now, God is using me to be a light in a dark, hurting world of aches, pains, and frustration. This is a reality we have to endure, especially if we have chronic illnesses. It becomes our daily reality. Even though this kind of sets us apart from others, God is just using this as an opportunity to share Him and my faith with others. I can share what I am enduring and how I can know without a shadow of a doubt that God walks with me through this fire.

Isaiah 43:2 is my verse right now, as I continue to adjust and endure the new struggles that come my way. It is one we may not think of much unless we are in a rough uncomfortable place in our lives..

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)

I think one lesson I am learning is… the promises of Christ and the Bible are eternal, but they also are sooo much more valuable when we experience them first hand. Life is hard. Time has a meaning for everything, but everything happens for a reason. We may think God’s timing stinks, but it doesn’t matter. His timing is perfect. We do not have to agree with what God does in our lives (because our opinion does not matter in comparison to God’s). God knows what He is doing. When we take assure in this, our faith will grow leaps and bounds..


My Future: In His Hands

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Future: In His Hands

My body is frequently attacking itself. I have fibromyalgia, so that’s just one of the things my body tends to do. It is very manageable except for I just go through moments where I hurt for a couple days then I can go on and do my normal routine again. Normally, it is only a once or twice a month type of routine of hurting for a couple days, not that it is all too predictable. I am lost in this world that I can’t understand. Who am I? I have changed over the last few months. Realistically, it has not been a willingness to change, but a mandatory change brought to me by my body. Mostly the changes come from the change of how I feel, resulting in what I am able to do.

I can no longer be defined by what I do as I could easily have done before. Oh, I am the girl that does this and that… That is no longer how I can be defined, because *doing* is not something that is easily done these days. Doing things requires energy. Depending on the day will determine how well a task is accomplished. While I know there is a life worth living out there, I struggle with this idea of who am I.

I am a child of the Most High God! This has not changed.

Therefore, I know He has a task before me. While writing for a class, I found this concept crossing my mind. God put seminary on my heart before I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia. God knew I was going to have this “thorn in my side”. I am the girl who always has a plan, and this is uncharted territory for my anyway. What is next for me? I graduate in December, and I do not have a plan. My life has been a mess for the past couple months, but it is still moving forward even if I do not know what is next. Seminary is still weighing on my heart very heavily, but I do not hold the future. I do not know what is next, or what God is choosing to do next in my life.

I sit here, waiting, praying, and asking for God to guide me in the next step of my life in whatever direction God is planning on taking me. This verse kinda hit me while I was praying earlier which states it all…. Jeremiah 33:2-3 says: “This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: 3 Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”

I lack knowledge about many things.
This world and its craziness
Knowing how to live life right now
Oh yeah, and this little detail called the “future”.

But, I know what Jeremiah 29:11 says:
God knows the plans He has for me…
Plans for my welfare, hope, and a future..
He is not out to get me.
He is not trying to derail me.
But, God has the best in store for me and my life. It does not have to look picture perfect. God has a will for my life. He knows exactly what He is doing, and His will will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I just do not know what those plans are.