Motto in a Minute: Romance Isn’t Love

While romance can be done with actions, serving is ALWAYS an action.

I’ve finally realized love is a choice shown through actions; choosing to sacrifice our desires and serve the other. Unconditional love always serves one another no matter how we “feel” because our feelings aren’t always truth. Unconditional love always forgives one another no matter what the other person does or says. This is the type of love Paul taught us about over 2,000 years ago…and I FINALLY get it.

 

(5) It [Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
(7)It [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:5‭, ‬7 NIV (emphasis my own)
The greatest sacrifice and action of all… that God sent His only son, perfect and blameless, to die for OUR sins. You, me,  and everyone… Jesus gave His life even when we didn’t deserve it. Even when people spit upon Him and scorned Him, He loved. He LOVES YOU, no matter what you have said or what you have done.

Selah

Motto in a Minute: Find Your Joy in Him

The utter joy it brings my children just to watch a snow plow burst down the road! Laughs and “hoorays” from 3 little ones at the window just brightened my tired, overwhelmed morning. Why can’t we all find joy so easily as adults?! 

But we can… in God…
in His Word, applying His Word, and in His presence.

Dwell in His presence. Dwell on positive, grateful thoughts. Dwell on His goodness. Dwell on His promises. Dwell in thanksgiving to Him.

Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
1 Chronicles 16:27 NIV

Intentionally remain joyful. Constantly communicate with God. Tell Him your concerns but also your joys and thankfulness. Stay in a state of gratitude for all He’s done for you. He gave you life. He gave you salvation so that you could have eternal life!

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16‭-‬18 NLT

Read His Word. Know what the Bible says, and follow His instructions. Apply His Word!

If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Fatherʼs commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:10‭-‬11 NIV

How simple is it to know that if we dwell in His presence, intentionally remain joyful by praying and giving thanks, and read and apply His word, that we can have joy?! We can remain in complete, true joy.

In the last verse I shared, Jesus simply stated that if we keep His commands, His joy will be in us and it will be complete! Seems so simple, but we must apply it. Today, no matter what the circumstance, remind yourself to find your joy in Him!

Selah

Motto in A Minute: Let God Heal My Wounds

Sometimes healing, and finding security where you’re insecure, is hard to do. It is something I’ve been struggling with and in some ways fighting. But the Lord’s purpose will prevail and He continues to knock on the door to my heart. He wants me to allow Him into the depths of my wounds. And as I reflect, I am reminded of this…

Jeremiah 6:14 alludes that you cannot heal a wound by saying it’s not there.

Sometimes the hardest part is to peel off the band aid and admit the wound is there. It’s up to us to not only peel off the band aid, but to also allow God to truly heal and transform us. We WILL have a story and a purpose beyond the pain and the healing if we let Him use us. But if we continue to just bandage the wounds, and hide from our story, then how can God reach other people with the same open or fresh wounds? Better yet, imagine the other lives that can be transformed and find purpose by sharing our stories if we allow God to transform us and find our purpose first.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Let’s give God our wounds. Today, as you face any hurt or reminders of your pain, say and repeat “Let God heal my wounds”.Surrender to Him and allow Him to heal every cell. Ask Him today to start healing you from the inside out all for His glory.

Selah

Motto In a Minute: Seek God’s Word to Overcome

I am so thankful for God’s Word!
 When I wake up feeling like I just don’t know if I can do it all, like I don’t know if I can measure up, like I don’t know what to do about something, like I don’t know if or when we will find deliverance… God’s Word reminds me of His love and promises for us. I find strength in Him, hope in His promises, and encouragement and guidance in His Word.

When I look at all that the people in the Bible endured and still held strong to their faith and moved forward in their callings, I am greatly encouraged. Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Paul, even Jesus, and so many more…

Whatever your current trial is that feels so difficult that you dont know how you will overcome, remember you can do this, but only with Him. Look at some of the most influential characters in the Bible and study their story. Nothing great comes without obstacles and trials. 

Today as you face obstacles and trials, remind yourself to seek God’s Word to overcome.

When we are weak, we can turn to Him for strength and give Him all the glory. Remember the One who endured the ultimate pain and trials. The One who was the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Selah

Our Past Experiences Can Refine Us

Our experiences shape us and make us who we are. They don’t define us, but they refine us. That decision, however, is ours to make. To decide to remember the crushing fall, or what you learned from picking up the pieces and standing up again.

image

Remember all the times you encountered struggles and came out victorious. Remember all the falls and failures and how they made you stronger.

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5 NIV

Sometimes we get so caught up in how hurt we were that one time, or how bad we messed up then, that we completely missed how that experience refined us.

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:4

We even sometimes unintentionally diminish what Jesus did on the cross by assuming we can’t be forgiven or move forward from what we experienced. We even tend to do this by holding resentment or choosing not to forgive someone else’s past wrongdoings.

But who are we to say that what He did on the cross wasn’t enough? Surely it was.

“It is finished”, He said. He paid the ultimate, painful price.

When we are too concerned with our past, we aren’t advancing towards our future!


If we have repented and changed our ways, then we are forgiven. Plain and simple. And if we have truly forgiven those who have done wrong against us, then there is “no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Leave the past in the past, but remember that it is only because of His love, grace, and sacrifice that we can leave it there. We can leave the past in the past, thank God for refining us, and move forward for His glory giving testimony about what He has done for us.

Selah

Stuck In A Rut: Make A Change

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a rut? Living the same routine day after day, not getting any closer to your goals, not living with any passion, exhausted and weary, moody and anxious? I know I have and it makes me question my motives, my role, and even my worth.

Then, recently it clicked. I am not able to change every situation I am in, nor can I control the behavior of those around me, but I can control how I react. Instead of settling for an unsatisfying rut, we can make a few changes to make our situations improve. Therefore, we can live a happier, more satisfying life full of purpose and passion.

 

Don’t get me wrong.  I totally understand that there are certain things and situations in our lives that we simply can not control.  Today, I want to encourage you to make positive changes to get to where you want to be. I want to help you take those first few steps towards your goals. I want to throw you a small lifesaver to help you get out of that deep water you are just wading in. Let’s not just work to stay afloat, let us strive to get out and go to new places!

 

What areas of your life are you unhappy with? What goals do you keep saying you have, but you aren’t actually acting on? Where do you want to be in a year? Five, even ten years?

 

change

 

If you want something in your life to change, then you need to make a change.  Change requires action. We can’t keep sitting around daydreaming about how nice it would be if we could just reach this goal or that.

If I could just lose 20 pounds…

If I could just get out of debt…

If I could just get more organized…

If I could just have more time…

If I could just be happier…

If I could just make more money…

And the list goes on.  Let’s stop saying “If I could…” because we CAN!

 

What are your passions and your goals?

-Write them down. Dream big!

-Put them somewhere, or multiple places, you will see them every day.

-Break them down and figure out what smaller goals you can set to reach the bigger ones.

-Give those smaller goals time frames to ensure that you are making progress.

-Reward yourself when you reach goals to set up successful progress. 

 

Remember, it is about progress, not perfection. If you are doing what matters in life and making progress, then you don’t have to stress so much. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m crawling when I want to be leaping, but as least I’m still going forward.
Rather than thinking you have so much to do, or so many unmet goals, you will feel much more satisfied and find grace at the end of a day when you know that you have made progress in an area. We must have that positive perspective to make a change and move towards our goals.

If your rut is health and fitness, get moving! Literally. Find an exercise program you love, but make sure you are pairing it with a healthy diet since most weight loss and health is dependent upon your diet. Find an accountability partner or group to set yourself up for success. I have found a great coach and accountability group. We don’t have to do it alone!

If it is debt, organization, or time management that has you in a rut, do some research! Dave Ramsey is a great resource for figuring out how to make and follow a budget. He also has tons of other financial advice.  

If you are wanting to make more money, what can you do to reach your goals? Commit to working hard? Setting aside more time? Finding a new job? Organizing? 

The resources for de-cluttering, organization, and goal setting are endless. There are tons of pins on Pinterest, videos on YouTube, podcasts… you name it. One of my favorite resources for organization, time management, and overall goal setting is Chalene Johnson’s “30 Day Challenge” which you can find at http://www.30daypush.com.

 

What type of rut are you in? What change do you need to make to be happier and more fulfilled? (Feel free to comment below.) More sleep? Maybe waking up earlier to be more productive? More quiet time with God? Does something in a relationship need to be improved?

Whatever you need to change to get out of your rut, make it happen. Make it a priority, commit, and take the first step to making a change. You don’t have to take ten steps right now, just one. One step at a time, one day at a time. Wherever you are in your life right now will NOT magically change. So if you are unhappy being stuck in a rut, you must be intentional and make some sort of change. Stop settling for mediocre, and a life of simple routine. Start reaching for a life full of purpose and passion!

 

Selah

 

 

 

 

Motto in a Minute: I am Victorious in Christ!

The motto I have transformed my life to live by is, “Progress, not perfection” written by Lara Casey in her great book “Make It Happen”. When I strive for perfection, not only do I beat myself up when I don’t reach it, but I miss out on what truly MATTERS most.

When I work towards progress instead, I am able to give myself grace along the way, and move forward keeping a positive attitude. With grace, many more days are sunny, and many more victories are won.

I challenge you to stop trying to measure up to high expectations or someone else’s goals. Just focus on making progress in the areas you are working on, and find victories today!

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV

When you get frustrated or start to feel like you aren’t measuring up, remind yourself “I am victorious in Christ!” Declare it and believe it!
Selah

Will I Ever Be Enough?

There are many times I find myself falling into self-doubt.  I measure myself up against no one in particular… Just my own idea of “enough”.  My own idea of “enough” that has been shaped by my experiences as well as the opinions of my peers, my co-workers, churches, and the media.
Am I a good enough mom? Did I spend enough time with the kids? Am I really a good enough violinist? Do I cook good enough? Do I clean enough? Am I fit enough? Am I enough for my husband?
And on and on I go…

I reflected on what “enough” actually is and I wondered if there even is such a thing.  Will I ever be enough? Is anyone ever enough?
 
I soon painfully realized that my idea of “enough” was perfection. 

I realized that the real questions I seemed to be trying to answer were “Am I a perfect mom? Am I a perfect musician? Am I in perfect shape? Am I a perfect wife?”

Insecurities arise. Before I know it, I’m trapped. I dug a deep hole of insecurity and I can’t get myself out.

Insecurity tears us up, and it’s a lie that breaks us down. 

Insecurity simply is not of God! The enemy has a way of using insecurity to push us away from who we are supposed to be. God has a purpose for each of us, and insecurity hinders our complete trust in God. When we entertain insecurity in the living room of our hearts, we believe we are not equipped or “enough” so we avoid taking leaps of faith even where there are open doors.

When we dive into that deep hole of insecurity unable to get ourselves out, there is someone who can pull us out. And that someone IS enough.

Our good Lord IS perfect. He is enough! And He lives in me. We need to remember that if we are a child of God, then we need to give ourselves the grace that He so freely gives to us. 

He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because we never will be in this life. So why do we stress over perfection? Yes, we need to strive to be Christ-like, but why do we beat ourselves up when we think we fall short of our idea of “enough” or perfection? God does not beat us up, we beat ourselves up. He loves us.

I looked up “enough”. Dictionary.com defines “enough” as “adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose”. The site also lists “reasonably” as a synonym. 

Wow. Freedom and broken chains! Nowhere in that definition does the word “perfect” appear. So if I ask myself, “Am I an adequate mother? Sufficient to love, nurture, and educate them?” Better yet… “Am I a reasonably good mom?”

When I replace my idea of “enough” with its actual definitions (my favorite being “reasonably”), I see the room for grace. I can confidently answer yes to those questions. And if I hesitate to answer yes, I remember my identity in Christ. 

I am a child of God. You are a child of God.

God accepts our imperfection. He accepts our repentance. He accepts our progress.


 So when insecurity tries to put me in a hole, I cry out to Him, and He reminds me I am His.
When we face a struggle or task for which we don’t believe we are equipped, remember to believe I can because God can, and He lives in me.

We are to strive to be more like Christ, but let’s stop beating ourselves up when we fall short. Let’s end the high expectations of perfection. Let’s give ourselves grace, and permission to reach for progress. It’s about bringing glory to God in all we do.

Selah

Motto In A Minute: Wednesday Rest Day!

I started off my week on Monday with a dreadfully long task list. There were so many boxes on my calendar to check off. It didn’t take much time before I realized that this lengthy list, on top of being sick, was unrealistic and would hinder my joy with my children that day. I had to step back and be intentional about spreading those tasks throughout the entire week instead of cramming them into one day. 
Oh, the relief I immediately felt seeing less tasks on my calendar on Monday! In fact, I declared that I would do more resting Wednesday (today) than work. I don’t know about you, but Wednesday being in the middle of the week I tend to lose motivation and look forward to the weekend. Today, I will even use supplemental learning activities and videos for homeschooling my four year old today and make it a FUN and restful day.

Even if you don’t have the freedom to make your own schedule today, give yourself breaks! I have read before that some of the most productive offices and companies are those that give their employees plenty of breaks throughout the day. They work really hard for a set amount of time, and then they have a 5-10 minute break to rest, do something relaxing or enjoyable, and then re-focus. Then they get back to work repeating the cycle of work then rest. It has been proven that this helps people be more productive in a shorter amount of time while still getting rest!

Moses rested. Jacob rested. Jesus rested. God rested. The Bible tells us we can find rest in Him.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬


“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.””

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:14‬ ‭NIV‬


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NIV


So, if you have a flexible schedule I challenge you to transform this midweek day into a day of rest! Call on the Lord! If you work full time today, then I challenge you to find a way to implement multiple breaks throughout your day to make time to REST and talk to the Lord. He will refresh you! Then, after work… leave the laundry (and maybe the dishes too) for tomorrow. REST! we perform our best when we’re refreshed!
Selah