Tag Archives: faith

Don’t Believe the Lies

“What makes you think you can do this?”

“You will never be good enough to succeed at this.”

“She is so much better at this.”

We all hear those voices that plant doubt. Some of the voices come from those who are just being funny or sarcastic. Some may even come from those love us. Most, though, come from the enemy, planted in our minds to keep us from living out the purpose God has given us. No matter where the voices come from they are used by the enemy.

And it is incredibly easy to believe those voices. They may be whispers, but they are loud.

“The voices that whisper to us are telling lies. They have to whisper because they have no confidence.” – Stephen Brewster

Why do those voices have no confidence?

They are not Elohim. Those voices are not the voice of the Creator. They are not spoken from the Voice who calls even the stars by name.

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalms 147:4

They are not Yahweh Yireh. They are not the voice of the One who cares for even the flowers in the fields. They are not the voice of our provider.

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?” – Matthew 6:28-30

They are not the voice of Yahweh Ropha. They are not the voice of the One who heals.

‘For I will restore you to health And I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the LORD, – Jeremiah 30:17a

I’m learning (well at least most of the time) to stop those voices that pepper my thoughts with lies. It takes time to train your mind to recognize the lies of the enemy when they begin. But when you train your mind to recognize the lies, those voices will retreat. When the enemy sends a voice telling you that you are not good enough, push it back with truth. Take captive those thoughts that seek to destroy your confidence in the One who made you.

Your Creator will not give you words of despair. He will only give you words of life. He will only give words that lead you to the purpose for which He has created you.

What lies are you struggling not to believe?

Feeding Your Soul

Camera slung across chest I traipse through tall grass along the side of a country road. An old tree standing guard at an old country house long abandoned. My eyes searching for details yet at the same time pulling back searching for the wider angle unseen.

Colors smear across the palette. Brush tips touched with colors. I brush the colors onto canvas. Another layer covering the image that did not match that which was in my head. Yet this doesn’t bother me. I breathe deeply knowing the layer upon layer will eventually bear resemblance to what can only be found in my mind as of now.

Photos spread across pretty paper. Sketching, arranging. Making the memories somehow tangible.

Worship music plays as I go from chore to chore. My voice singing out as no one is listening save for the one to whom it sings.

Blanket wrapped around my shoulders as the fall night air chills. Sounds of night singing to its creator. Stars twinkle as I sit. My silence finding its way to prayers.

God’s fingerprint uniquely found on each of our lives. How we learn. How we create. How we feel loved.  Even how our souls are renewed.

Some activities I find myself turning at various times to give my spirit space to breathe. Having learned over the years which ones bring needed respite.

I also find my soul being fed when the smallest thing is added to something otherwise mundane. Singing along to favorite worship songs as I fold laundry or straighten the house.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

It is resting in the silence though that often brings the most refreshment. Yet if I unmask life for a moment the silence is the hardest one to bring myself to this time of the year. To quiet my mind and body long enough to reach the silence. Ironic that the thing I crave the most seems just out of reach. Usually calm schedules and routines give way to busy and people pulling at my time. I know these few weeks of activity will slow down and finding the silence will become easier. I will be able to find rest in the silence again.

And it is sitting in the silence, in the quiet, that will bring even more creativity to the other activities that feed my spirit and help my soul breathe once again.

What activities feed your spirit? Do you ever find yourself needing to rest in the silence?

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Life: Unmasked

Autumn Reflection


I sit rocking. Mums planted in narrow planters at my feet. Flowers of fall gracing my porch. Feeling the cooler temps on my skin. Autumn. Fall.

After  what seemed like a never ending summer my favorite time of year has arrived. I love fall.

Usually here in Alabama summer fights with fall. Cool mornings overtaken by hot days too reminiscent of summer. This year though the temps seem to be cooler and fall seems to be visiting a bit earlier and hopefully remaining a while longer.

The weather cools and scarves and boots and cute crochet hats can be donned in the evenings. Pumpkins and mums and leaves changing to reds, oranges and yellows invade my vision. Weekends are spent watching football. A couple of those Saturdays spent walking around the campus of our alma mater nestled in the foothills before we yell “Go Gamecocks!”

Have you ever taken the time and simply stared at an October sky? Blue so blue it hurts your eyes. Especially so after a rain storm or a hurricane. Pollutants blown away bringing a blue so deep I’m not sure I could ever capture on camera or even with paint on canvas. Have you ever soaked in that October blue?

My favorite tree, the Japanese Maple, will soon burst into flaming red.

Even the smell of the air is different. The crispness of the morning temperatures. Planning a wardrobe for the day means layers. Midday will hang onto a tinge of summer, but the mornings and evenings sing of Autumn.

Kristen wrote this week of fall being a season of sad. Of how she feels melancholy as fall arrives. (By the way, doesn’t she have the best blog name ever?)

As I read that I thought “Yes! That’s it! This is why fall is so…well….me!”

Ask most anyone who knows me personally and they will tell you autumn fits me. Fall has long been my favorite time of year. Fall colors are the colors I wear the most. Colors I feel like I look the best in. Anyone who knows me will also probably say that my personality has a melancholy bent. I’m not a happy go lucky girl. I do not get overly excited and giddy about much of anything. Even though internally I am an emotional person outwardly I am pretty balanced. Some might even think I’m sad when I’m really not. I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I am perfectly okay with this.

Perhaps this is why I am so comfortable and happy (not that you would be able to recognize the happiness) in autumn. I’m content with this space between. This space between the flurry of summer and the sleepiness of winter.

Yes. I could be described as autumn.

What season best describes you? 


 

Innocence

I walk into a classroom. A different school than where I normally substitute. Hesitant. Unsure of this new age range. This age my son seems barreling toward all too quickly.

I never worried about him growing up in this relatively small population of our city. Nor have I ever questioned his place in our schools until recently. Yet for months now I am unsure of what he will face, if he is in the best place for these later years of his education.  For this child of mine who seems to break every mold anyone tries to fit him in.

I never wanted him to grow up innocent. At least not in a naive way as I did. Don’t misunderstand. I had a good childhood, but there are aspects I look back on and wonder if it was too sheltered.

But I also never expected for childhood innocence to be so quickly pushed aside for my own child.

When he spills stories of classmates speaking of gang association at only eleven. When bullies threaten him for any number of reasons. When he refuses to wear glasses because they call him a nerd.

He calls himself an artist and they laugh. His natural defense to argue and boast. Learning to walk away a hard lesson.

It is easy for me to tell him of how they are jealous of his abilities. Easy for me having experienced it and now with twenty years of perspective. That they are afraid to be unique.

So much harder for him to know that. To feel that in his spirit. In his soul.

He is a creative. Such artistic ability from an early age. And just like many creatives he feels things deeply. Knowing doesn’t necessarily become real until he feels it. And feeling it does not always appear until we wear the lenses of age and distance.

Oh how much like me he is in this way.

So I’ve found many deep breaths are needed. Groping our way along this liminal age. No longer a child. Not quite a teen. The time where pressure builds to fit in with the crowd. To be thought of as cool.

Yet I see underneath his wanting to remain true to who he is and his abilities. So we reach to learn how to find this balance and inspire the confidence. Confidence he needs to fight the fear of being different. To stand up to those who use hurtful words to compensate for their own pain. Entreating God to give him the gift of sight to see through his own hurt to theirs. To understand them.

Yes we will survive. At times I do pray God would write instructions on the wall. Preferably in a language I understand. How to inspire him and teach him. How to educate him best.

And I pray for just a bit more time. A bit more innocence. Trying to push away this inevitable just a mite longer.

What challenges are you facing as a parent right now?

Linking up with Peter Pollock for the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival: Innocence.

His Mercies are New

I stopped to watch the sunrise this morning.

I wake early. Much earlier than I prefer. My body and mind battling. Thoughts running through my mind of tasks waiting to be done. My body wanting to sleep just a bit longer.

The winning side changing from day to day. But on this morning the mind finds victory.

Moving to my favorite chair I read the scriptures for the day. As I journal I glance back and forth from the page to the east facing windows.

Barely a hint of dawn peeks above the treeline. Slowly pink, purple, yellow begins filling the horizon.

Perhaps these early morning awakenings and restless nights are a reminder that His mercies are new each morning. His grace is always there.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

How easily we forget. Quickly our minds can lose trust in what we cannot see as we absorb all we do see.

Guilt of yesterday’s mistakes tries to steal joy and sleep.  My psyche replaying what I should have done. Yet His grace never departs.

So my listing of each gift continues in spite of what I see. In spite of droughts and hurricanes. In spite of human horrors and friends burying children. In spite of illness and children struggling.

The listing.  Reminders of His faithfulness and mercies anew each day. Reminders of His mercies and grace. Reminders to trust.

546. The hint of Fall in the early morning air. (8/29/11)

547. For words written. (8/31/11)

548. For rain. (8/31/11)

549. For making it through subbing at school. (9/1/11)

550. For motivation to cook dinner after a rough afternoon subbing. (9/1/11)

551. For a relaxing time at the pool to read. (9/2/11)

552. For cool morning temps. (9/3/11)

553. For catching the sun rise. (9/3/11)

554. For no ankle pain after a week off running. (9/3/11)

555. For an afternoon of lower temps to lay by the pool. (9/3/11)

556. For my friends at Highlands. (9/4/11)

557. For a bit of motivation to exercise. (9/4/11)

558. For waking up to pouring rain. (9/5/11)

 

 

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