living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Lifted…

dock canva x     Recently I saw a video depicting the weight we so often carry around with us. A little girl appears on the scene and scoops up a big rock, lifts it over her head and let’s it fall into her backpack. She is happy, she does this a couple of more times still smiling.

In the distance young children are jumping into a lake, laughing, carefree…

As time goes on she is no longer happy about adding rocks – big or small – to her backpack. She hears the laughter out by the lake.

Others come along contributing their bricks and stones to her backpack. Barely able to walk she makes her way to the dock watching the other children. A little girl motions her to join them. She shrugs her shoulders asking how? Her new friend helps her take her backpack off dropping it behind her, they run to the dock’s edge…

backpack canva x

The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:14 NIV)

Do you have a backpack full? I did and I didn’t even know it. After all these years I finally realized that is my way, I pick up everybody’s brokenness because I want to make it better.

But we can’t carry our own broken pieces let alone other’s. So I took a day, I gathered rocks and markers. I thought through what felt heavy and wrote on rock after rock. Then I set out to water’s edge to where I first felt cool water and sand slipping out from underneath.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10 NIV)

rocks pixa

I pulled out a rock lifted it to Jesus and said ‘You are stronger, more capable, and are healer’ and hurled it as far as I could. ‘You are forgiver, more understanding, and accepting’ and away went another. Giving each to Him who carried all our burdens to the cross so that we would never have to be weighed down again.

Oh, if we could grasp our freedom in Him. In our backpack He only puts what He made us for: smiles to lighten another’s load, kind words to touch a hurting heart, joy in spite of circumstances, love big enough to shine His light, peace that only finds its way to us through Him, gentleness when the world is harsh, His Holy Spirit filling us up and lifting us far above all we perceive to be ours to solve…

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. (Proverbs 12:25 NIV)

Gulf 1-16 Me x

 


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October 8, 2014 I’ll Go With You…

reaching hand1    It’s always more fun to go someplace with a friend. It’s always more comforting to go someplace we’re a little anxious about with someone who cares. I recently went to the doctor’s office with my daughter (yes she is all grown-up) not so much because she was fearful, but because I was. I wanted to be there and hear the doctor. When she had called to tell me about the appointment my first response was “I’ll go with you…”

Years ago I started attending an annual conference a couple of hours from my home. The first time I was unsure what to expect and even what workshops to attend, how to navigate the vendor hall, or where to eat. I asked a friend if she was interested in attending, she immediately said “I’ll go with you…”

A few years back when my mother passed away our lives were crazy busy – we owned two businesses each of us running one and both of us working on both. My mom was a nine hour drive away. I called my husband to tell him that she was in the hospital and probably wouldn’t make it. I wanted to tell him that I could go by myself, but in the fear of the unknown ahead I knew I needed him. The first thing he said was “I’ll go with you…”

When our stomachs tell us fear is with us, when our breathing becomes sighs, when the fears are not ‘what ifs’ but actuals, we need someone who will go with us…

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10HCSB)

God’s Words are true for you – you will never go by yourself. He has told you “I’ll go with you…”

 


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October 2, 2014 Define Brave

Living Courage (6)   This lovely lily is included again today because it speaks courageous – just as this lily sprang strong and tall among all the lily pads surrounding it, so too with God’s courage we can ‘stand tall’ in all that is surrounding us…

Today’s question: What is your definition of brave? of fearless? In order to be more of something or to feel something you must know what it is. Is it: 1. not always doubting yourself, 2. being able to face conflict, 3. confidence to speak in public – maybe it’s none of these, or maybe it’s all. To reach the place of Fear…Less first decide what it looks like for you.

It might help to think of people you know, people from history, people you admire that you consider courageous. What characteristics do they exhibit making you think of them as brave?

Wouldn’t you be surprised to find out they, like you, have their own doubts or insecurities or anxious moments? Remember, although we are created in the image of an awesome and mighty God, we are frail humans subject to what sin has wreaked throughout time. We can try to pull up our bootstraps as the saying goes, we can try to imitate others, we can read this blog or books on the subject – but until we recognize, call on, and accept nothing less than the true source of courage, we will continue to step in fear and not step in bravery.

I’m reminded Jesus told us to “Consider the lilies, how they grow…” (Luke 12:27 ESV) Are you not much more valuable, stronger, equipped, and loved than even the beautiful things of creation?