Putting The Pencil Down

Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

 God saw you before you were formed, He wrote your life in His book. We know the nature of God and we know that He does things right. There is a certain comfort in letting God handle the details of our life. There is something even more comforting in knowing that those details were hand written by God before we came into existence.

You love God, you trust God. Are you loving and trusting Him enough to live the story He has already written for you? Or are you editing, erasing and rewriting your story?

God sees in you what no one else does, He understands you as no one else does. He knows every single fear, every single like and dislike. Of course He is capable of writing our life story, He personally created the main character (you), but more than that, the main character is His child.

His beloved child.

It is the times that we forget we aren’t the authors of our own stories and we grab the pencil from God’s hands, that’s when we get into trouble. We let pride, fear, insecurity, the need to control and a million other things get in our way and we face the world and defiantly shout- I am the master of my fate! We want to know how our story ends and every single road we are going to take to get to our destination. We are most tempted to do this when the story God wrote for us isn’t going the way we want it to and we think we could do it better. So we take the pencil and we erase, omit and embellish what we don’t like and start writing our own story.

Or maybe we grow antsy when others don’t like the narrative that God has written and we are living and they are vocal about it. We often let others in our lives have the pencil and let them re-write God’s story for us This is spiritually and emotionally exhausting.

 When it comes to what others think of our life story, let them think and say what they want, as long as we are sitting back and letting God not only write our story but letting the story play out according to His plan, they can think what they want. We know the author, we love the author and He loves us.

When God writes our story we can cease striving and enjoy peace, rest, contentment. So put the pencil down or better yet, hand it back to God in a personal and humble way and watch as He pens a best seller.

Dottie

……………and so I ride

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Am I Enough? 

Am I Enough?

One of these days my life will be perfect. I will be rich enough, energetic enough, thin enough. If I were just a little bit “more” life would be great. There are days that I feel every finger is pointed at me, every wrong is blamed on me and every laugh is directed at me. Not wanted, undesirable, unaccepted, unworthy.

I am not “enough”.

How does one start being “enough”?

 Does being “enough” mean that you have worked more, exercised and dieted more, collected more possessions to earn your way to the title of “enough”?

Is there a goal you could set for yourself that when achieved would truly convince you that you were “enough”?

There is nothing that can give you the feeling of being “enough” on this earth.

That is something that only God can give you.

Remember who You are in Christ, He makes it quite clear…..YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Being “enough” is not something you can buy or work overtime to earn. You are a child of God, simply for that reason, YOU ARE ENOUGH.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 8:1

“Not Guilty, you are now free to live as the person God created you to be!

“To the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the one He loves” Eph 1:6

God has accepted us, unconditionally, wholly and completely now that we belong to His son.

And finally, who are we to argue with what God says about you, His creation?

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

 “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them.” Genesis 1:27

God respects and loves us. He made us fearfully and wonderfully. We are reflections of God’s glory. We can reflect His character in all we do.

You are “enough” because you were created in God’s image, not because of anything you own, anything you have done, and certainly not because of your physical appearance.

As long as you believe what God says is true, no one will be able to convince you ever again, that you are not enough.

You are “enough” , quit living your life making up for the feeling that you are not .

Quit the exhaustive and obsessive self improvement projects. Quit trying harder than comes naturally to you, quit exhausting yourself in your pursuit of “enough”.

Your life holds meaning because God loves you and you are His child. He created you to be more than “enough”.

God created you for victory.

Are you living in victory?

Dottie

……………and so I ride

Are you searching for what you lost or searching for what you never knew you had?

1 Peter 3:4
The loveliness that lives inside you.
“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within. The unending beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God.”

Looking for what you have lost

We as women spend our whole lives trying to define ourselves by the unrealistic expectations that we have either set for ourselves, or have let society set for us. Myself, being one of the female persuasion, often wonder why I do that? I will take my Mom’s view, my neighbors view, the latest trend on social media and televisions view on what a woman should look like. Most if not all of those opinions are based on nothing but a personal judgement and competition. No researched facts, nothing but trends and fads and what feels right at the moment. We fear looking like anything except what everyone else looks like. Once again we are looking around before or we look up for answers. If everyone else isn’t doing it then by golly, it can’t be right. I need the latest book, fashion, exercise equipment etc, then I will be whole and finally happy. If I follow this or that diet and this or that exercise program I can be proud of myself.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that you cannot invent a new kind of diet or exercise program, buy all the latest fashions, there is nothing that is going to work wonders for you long term unless you stop searching fruitlessly for what has thus far eluded you. As Dr. Phil says, how is that working for you?
If we lose ourselves to what society says we must, we are gaining nothing even if the latest program is successful. It won’t last. How many times have we lost 5, 10, 20 or even 100 pounds just to find ourselves putting it all back on and a few more to boot?
Could it possibly be that we are looking for what we need in all the wrong places? We all know the void we feel, you know, the one we try to fill with food or fancy clothes, exercise equipment that we never use. We are so inventive with the things we try to fill the void with but that is because we buy into what society says beautiful looks like and not the truth. It is important to remember where our beauty really comes from.
There are a lot of things that the void inside us can be filled with, but for the purposes of this writing I am speaking only of using food and weight loss to fill the empty place that resides in us. I speak of this because it is a subject that I have some expertise in and have in fact, lived with for every day of my life.
We are looking for what we have lost and the crazy thing is most of the time we don’t know that we have misplaced it. We feel the void but we attribute it to stress of life. This way of living is so ingrained in us that we are unaware we are on a one way trip to nowhere, or at the very least another trip to the Ice Cream Café. The thing is, after the ice cream excursion, we feel emptier than before. We feel guilt for being so weak. We feel stupid in our fat clothes. We feel there is nothing on this earth that is going to fix this for us. Well at least the last thought is correct.
There is sisters, a way forward, there are answers to finding what we have lost, if we know where to look for them. There is victory to be found.
In most cases the lives we live now are all we have ever known. We keep doing the same thing and getting the same results but expecting something different. Maybe the name of this chapter ia a little misleading. We spend our lives not so much looking for what we have lost but searching for what we never knew we had. The thing is we can have no hope of finding what has been eluding us for so long until we figure out just what we are looking for, where we can find it and how to keep it once we find it.
If we are honest with ourselves we ARE concerned with what we look like when we venture into the world. We adorn ourselves with the latest fashion, coordinating jewelry, and shoes. To be sure there is nothing wrong with this as long as it is not our primary goal. We were created to worship the God who created us. We were not created to be thin, fashion horses, exercise goddesses or anything else we try to mold ourselves into.
Romans 12:1
I have to believe that we are all looking for the beautiful, lovely, gentle and strong person who is inside us. The Bible tells us there is an unending gentle and quiet spirit in all of us. God has placed a beauty in each and every one of us that absolutely shines if we let it. The fact is, we are beautiful simply because we have been created that way. Why is it so hard for us to believe that. Why is it so hard for us to take God at His word?
Because sisters, we live in a human world that treats God’s word as an afterthought and not the unerring Book of Life that it is. Like Ronald Reagan said, within the covers of the Bible lie the answers for all our problems.
I want to open that well inside me that boils with unending gentleness and beauty. I want the loveliness that lives inside me. I want to know it is there and I want to know it will never fail me. Let’s start with what the Bible says about this subject.
In 1 Peter 3:3-4 the apostle Peter wrote the following to Christian wives.
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

I asked earlier how we can take what the Bible says about Christ living inside us and make it our own story. The answer is probably not what you want to hear and is certainly not easy to live out. However, the truth is that you simply decide to live as God would want you to. Period, that is it. You make the choice to look to God first and the world second. We decide to weave our lives with purity, reverence and holiness. We must clothe ourselves with the things God has called us to do.
I am so glad that I can look at my world with glasses colored with His glory. I stand tall knowing that I am ALL that God created me to be. God does not love me in spite of who I am, He loves me because of who I am! I can live a successful and joyous life because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

The Jesus Myth

The Jesus Myth

Life is full of myths and if you don’t watch it, they will get you!

Take diets and healthy living for example. I learned the hard way but let me tell you, you quit eating right, you quit exercising, you pay for it. You develop lazy habits, lousy eating patterns and you gain “baggage” where it isn’t supposed to be.

All of a sudden you don’t feel as good as you used to, you don’t look as good and you have to start wearing baggy clothing to hide the baggage.

So it is with a relationship with God. I found out the hard way in both these areas. Well in the spirit of the new year and the age old resolutions, I vowed to get back in shape in both areas.

I had researched (of course I had) the best way to get back to where I needed to be health wise, which translates into the easiest. All I got was confused. I read that to lose weight you had to cut out whole food groups, or cut out just fat, or cut out carbohydrates, or you could exercise and eat what- ever you wanted. Well put them all together and its simple, you can’t eat anything.

So instead I went out and bought the latest on the diet subject, all the latest, greatest, easy fix diet books, I got the video that promised if I gave them 2.2 minutes a day my body would look like a movie stars, I bought wonderful new, state of the art exercise clothes, exercise monitor and tennis shoes. WooHoo, I was set to get fit. Guess what, none of that worked as long as I was still sitting in my recliner. It takes perseverance, willpower, and motivation to get healthy, mostly it takes getting out of the recliner.

 

It is a lot like that in my relationship with God. Yes His arms are always open, and He will welcome you at any time. He will soften hearts to hear the message He brings and He will provide plenty of opportunities to build a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with Him.

However, just like leading a healthy life, you have to get out of the recliner and you have to do more than “go along just enough to get along”

It takes the same perseverance, willpower and motivation; sometimes it even takes getting a little (or a lot) uncomfortable if we want all that God has to offer us.

God, diets, exercise, quitting bad habits, if it is good for you it certainly could hurt a little bit…………….for a time. It won’t last forever and God is Captain of this ship, He will bring you into port in His time.

So get out of your recliner and start building the life you want, the life you deserve and the life God wants to give you.

Dottie

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