Training Me for Godliness {POTF}

 

But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Tim. 4:7-8, CSB).

Tonight, I was blessed with the opportunity of attending the women’s Bible study at my home church. It is always a joyous time to be with the girls: to eat dinner, to fellowship, to learn, and to discuss. Only tonight, was a different kind of night for me. While I typically always eat dinner with the girls, tonight I just had to “run away” and eat quietly in one of the classrooms. I just couldn’t see myself eating with the girls in a way that would truly honor the Lord.

How could I say such a thing? I have some profoundly interesting food restrictions, and they were having pizza as one of their meal options. I just didn’t feel strong enough. So, I hid away – where I forced myself to eat my allergen free (and plant based) food.


I want. . . I need to be trained in godliness like Scripture says.

Godliness needs to be a part of every area of my life. Even in eating when it’s hard and I would rather have that slice of pizza – that just might leave me devastatingly weak and in POTS agony for days.

My dear friend, what is the Lord speaking tenderly to your heart about?


While in food isolation, I just soaked up Ecc. 5:1-2. Which was exactly what I needed – and the Holy Spirit knew it was what I needed. The Scripture talks about quietly coming to the Lord’s house, but there’s more to it.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God (vv. 2a, NIV).”

My problem at Bible study wasn’t so much my words, rather the temptation to hastily put dishonoring things into my mouth (because of the Lord’s direction). My heart likes to hastily act upon things, and I need to be careful. I don’t want to hastily make decisions – neglecting my godliness training.

Oh friend, how we need to fight for our relationship with Jesus! I don’t know what you are facing, but if we don’t fight for this relationship – other stuff will easily get in the way. My desire for allergen food can easily overshadow my desire for more of our Lord Jesus.

Friend, we need our Lord Jesus. We need Him to help us. We need to remember our need to train for godliness. One of my favorite Psalms uses this description: “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze (Ps. 18:34, ESV).”

God is faithful and will help us, as we continue to draw nearer to Him through our relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. I invite you to join me and keep drawing near. As you draw near through Bible study and prayer, the Lord will fill you with His Holy Spirit and show you what to do!

In Him,

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That One Compliment {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

In high school, a teacher called me something that I have never forgotten. It was one of the greatest compliments I could ever receive in my life back then. I was awkward, detail obseessed, and a passionate worker when solo. Yet, all that stood out was one word – conscientious.

The mind of the prudent is ever getting knowledge, and the ear of the wise is ever seeking (inquiring for and craving) knowledge (Proverbs 18:15, AMPC).

Conscientious. It continues to be something I think on, and encourages me in my endeavors. I want to work well. While I can work well with giving less, I want to become a woman of God who strives to give Him her best.

As women seeking to inspire, let’s become prudent women who love Jesus and continue to pursue Him.

As women who understand what is right, we need to make knowledge of God and His Word our highest priority. For the conscientious woman, she will want to not only gain the knowledge but seek to apply it to her life as well.

Nearly three years ago, we learned the value of prudence. For the God fearing, we need be careful, not careless, in order to avoid pitfalls.  Our relationship with God through Jesus Christ is worthy of all required efforts to live a lifestyle – where our decisions are significant; we know and do “what would glorify God,” and have a lifestyle where “God would be honored.”

Those who do what is right, will seek to better themselves. They will look to the Proverbs and other books of the Bible to learn and grow in their relationship with our risen Lord.

While each had their failures as they were human, Abigail and David were seen as a couple who both displayed prudence before they got together.

  • Abigail was a prudent woman who was quick to soften the conflict, possible disaster against her imprudent husband.
  • David was seen as prudent in words long before his reign as king. It was right up there, with his musical capabilities.

Friends, let’s become prudent people. This characteristic will affect not only our own lives, but the lives of others around us. It can become tempting to consider and overwhelm ourselves with all the changes we need to make, but let us focus solely on the most important change we need to make – which is to have a heart desire to listen to and act upon God’s instructions for our lives.

We need a heart’s desire for Jesus, friends.

It has been several years ago since I received my conscientious compliment, but I hold it dear to this very day.

I want to be known as the girl who loves Jesus and gives Him her best. That is a legacy worth having!

In Christ,

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New Year’s “Hang Over”

Tonight is New Year’s Eve. I made a plan last week to go out to a little party thing. Today, I tossed and turned about going. The habit of living fearlessly is something we can all pursue. I do, for the most part, try and keep on the fearless mask. However this whole “fearless” act I have going on, well I was not that for a good part of today.

I am one of those people whose personality traits include: introversion and being highly sensitive (otherwise known as HSP).

Obviously, it sounds easier to stay home at this point. Right? I mean, I could have used pouring rain as an excuse. I have loads of excuses, besides the valid one of “people freak me out” (a whole new level of honesty, I know). I really do love people, friends, family, random strangers I connect with, as long as I have room in my human interaction cup.

I literally have nothing to offer anyone if my human interaction cup is full

Excuses Versus . . .

I had a moment of realization tonight. I do things like attend social gatherings, when part of me struggles with it, because I want to honor God with my entire life. If it wasn’t for God, I would not push past the fears or moments of struggling to face the world when my spirit is hung over (detailed explanation below). It’s pretty simple for me. They say you need a “why,” for goals and such.

Here is my why: I don’t want to miss out on opportunities to bless God, because I was too afraid. So, I wrestle between being fearful versus fearless. On one side, I have introversion where human interaction can literally suffocate my spirit. And on another, I have the hindrance of being a highly sensitive person where too much stimulation causes me to run away and never return if given the option.

I want Jesus, my King, to be lifted high in my life. And I know, God can do miraculous things – even when I am scared out of my mind.

… Jesus is why I can step out of my comfort zone and face peopling, even when my spirit screams “I am done for the week. I need silence!”

The Hang Over

With peopling and being overstimulated (noise, lighting, people, reacting more deeply, etc), I face something I call a “hang over”. It is simply from overwhelming my spirit. My spirit becomes intensely weighed down, that it is hard to interact with anyone in a meaningful conversation or watch a favorite show without adding to it. My spirit is just scattered, beyond overwhelmed, and struggling to just get through it. My spirit, in some ways, becomes paralyzed. Everything becomes difficult. That is the best way to describe it to a non-introvert.

… And, the answer is “recharging”. I have to take a “time out,” and allow myself to recover. I have to allow myself the time and space to process and recover from the past few days or weeks of human interaction and a heavy load of stimuli.

Jesus Christ, my Beloved Savior, is the One who walks me through this process of welcoming the new year and process through the past few days or weeks.

 

Choosing Jesus: Choosing Transformation

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One of the rules I want my life to be governed by, is a life of participating in Sabbath. Its benefits far exceed its risks of maintaining an overly busy lifestyle. This is a choice I make. Some weekends, that choice is more difficult to maintain. But, it is still a choice.

In Order to See God

… work in my life, I have to allow God to infiltrate the choices and habits we maintain in our daily lives.

This is the time of year, where we all seem to reevaluate the lives we lead. Are they lives of spiritual success, where we have made concrete decisions to follow Jesus through the choices and habits we have formed this year?

Why

… are such “rules” for living needed?

the choices we make.
the habits we cultivate.

… can bring us closer to Jesus Christ and the transformation we experience in Him!

These decisions and habits, Calhoun in Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, describes as a rule for life. These things we make the decision to do, ensure our spiritual success.

We need to start to implement these influential disciplines into our lives, and allow God to bring the fruit from such choices, habits, and actions.

These choices and habits allow us to draw closer to Christ and join God like never before. “The spiritual practices of a rule provide a way to partner with the Holy Spirit for personal transformation (p. 35).”

Benefits

The choices and habits we form today, help us to reach where we want to go tomorrow or next year. Calhoun encourages his readers to “take stock of your desires, natural rhythms, limits, and times of closest connection to God.” This is great advice, because these choices and habits we cultivate will bring us closer to God.

It’s in these places that God can work, the greatest, as we give ourselves more wholly to Him.

Some examples of these choices and habits can include:

  • Beginning our morning in prayer.
  • Confessing our sins before bed.
  • Honoring God, by spending the first part of our day exercising physically and spiritually. I tend to exercise when I first wake up, and focus my attention to talking with God and working out the difficult things in my life. That is my time of giving them to God, while I am physically exercising.
  • Staying engaged in the Word of God and community of other believers.
  • Surrendering wandering thoughts to God. (see p. 37-38 for more)

Question

Think about your life right at this moment, how can we begin to give more of ourselves to our beloved Savior? We need to consider how God wants to help us grow in our relationship with Him through His Son Jesus. Let’s be intentional, because we know all too often this whole “failing to plan, planning to fail” has played out in some area of our lives.

Two Questions

  • What concept of following Jesus are we most wrestling with? Perhaps. honoring the Sabbath (free of social media), daily in the Word of God, or reaching reconciliation with other believers.
  • How can God begin to allow us to experience a personal transformation, as we apply His Word?

Activity

We need to “pay attention to the experiences, practices, and relationships that draw [us] toward God (p.37).” Let’s be intentional in continuing to seek God, so we don’t ever risk reaching a spiritual plateau.

When we seek to become physically healthy, we are aware of the risk and watch for it. We need to do that when it comes to our relationship with God.

It.is.so.much.more.important!

Though physical health is important, our relationship with God far exceeds the importance of monitoring ourselves against a physical plateau.

How can we keep watch over our spirits, to make sure we keep growing and becoming more consistent in our relationship with Jesus?

If we want to grow spiritually, we need to consider our choices and habits that are in place today – and what we would like to no longer see in our lives. We need to be proactive, and begin to surrender these areas to God today. Let’s not delay.

This week, starting with Sabbath, let’s place ourselves in Christ’s Presence deliberately and see what additions and subtractions we need to be making in our lives. Let the Holy Spirit be the One to lead you, in your choices and habits. Let Him begin to govern more of your life through developing God-honoring habits.

What My Heart Says – Part 2

Recently, I shared a tool in my chronic illness toolbox to make my life easy (or easier, I should say). It’s new to me. I have felt led to try Whole30 before, but never actually did. Not until 22 days ago. But, the plan I am utilizing – isn’t strictly Whole30. It is a combination of Whole30, Low-Histamine eating plan.

Why?

Because this works!

I know, I need accountability to keep going.

Otherwise once day 30 hits (Monday!), I can tell you exactly how it will go. Because I have had “moments” of it’s-no-big-deal-I-can-have-that-on-a-technicality-scale. No. I need accountability.

Thankfully for me, I have facebook friends who are on similar journeys. A couple friends I have known for quite a while actually, have made a facebook accountability group.

At This Point…

I should give you my “why’s”. Why am I doing this?

  • Because I am sick of feeling like junk every time I eat something I shouldn’t.
  • Because I am sick of not knowing what’s actually wrong with me.
  • Because I am sick of being unhappy, for lack of trying (Food affects our mood. It affects depression and anxiety).
  • Because I want to be healthier.
  • Because I want to be able to keep up with those I love (especially the kids in my life).
  • Because I want to have the energy I need.
  • Because I want to be able to serve God on a more active level.

Then, there is one more. Perhaps, this is the best of all reasons.

I know this way of eating is something God is calling me to, and I need to be obedient. I can’t keep praying for healing, yet ignore the directives God is giving me for my life.

How can I say “no” or continue to walk in defeat, when God has readily given me the materials I need to write “success” over every aspect of my life?

The Catalyst

It’s not just about the eating.

It’s not just about the exercise.

It is about honoring God in every single aspect of my life. It is about walking this narrow path, where I seek after God and choose to honor Him. Despite my wants, it’s about gaining a heart of devotion. A heart that chooses God over every other option I have in my life.

This is the “why” of my life. Why I am choosing to make this decision to stay on this path, and get accountability to help with the journey. This is why I want to eat healthier and figure out what works for me. And, why exercising is a part of “the plan”.

Whole30 -&- Low Histamine (The Diet)

The Link.

I am learning there is so much that can be made, with the foods I am given access to (and it can taste just as good if not better, than its counterparts). And, these are things that I don’t have to worry about – making me worse. I don’t have to concern myself about a bad food reaction, when I follow God in eating this way. I am learning this is the path God wants me to walk in.

This is God choosing to hear and answer my prayers (and the prayers of many who placed themselves in His Awesome Presence and bring my needs before the Father).

This is how God is choosing to heal me. Through learning what foods leave me without any (or less) negative effect(s). It is about gleaning understanding about how foods affect me, and learning to heed the warnings they offer.

That’s what this is.

Here to Stay

On this journey of Whole30, I am learning a lot more than I thought I ever would. I am experiencing more transformation than I thought I would, too. While the scale may show a minimal loss, I have lost much on this eating plan.

Here are my Top 5.

  • Decrease of symptoms.
  • My blood pressure is within normal (ish) range now, when it had been as low as 50/30 for months.
  • I have energy (and can stand!)
  • I am perhaps the happiest I have ever been.
  • Depression and anxiety levels are much lower now.

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