Ever had one of those moments when you want to throw in the towel on doing the right thing? You know what I’m talking about, when the “oh poor me” factor takes ahold and you are uttering under your breath, I try so hard to do what’s right and I end up being the one who gets hurt/ loses/ looks like a fool.

Or what about the more hurtful times  when you are honestly seeking and following what God is telling you and the situation gets a little sticky (just like you and God had chatted about)? Of course this is the time that everyone tells you what you should be doing differently.

What about those times?

What do you do when good intentions are misunderstood or misinterpreted? When seeking and following Gods lead is questioned, when you are doing the best you can, the best you know how and it still doesn’t turn out like you expected? Or what about those blasted hurtful opinions when your troubles are played out in a more public forum than you anticipated and your actions are questioned?

What do you do in the times when you want to throw in the towel on doing the right thing and get in there and fight dirty with the rest of the players. How do you keep from withdrawing to guard your heart and how do you keep doing the right thing when it is so hard? Unfortunately the road God sends us down, is at times, filled with muck and on that road, there will be other travelers and those other travelers will have something to say.

How do you stay the course that in your heart you know God is sending you on when it hurts so damn bad at times? How do you stay the course when you are road weary and ready to disappear?

Well……………………………….

Unfortunately convenience and comfort is not always a factor when we are choosing to seek and follow God.

I read this recently and it made sense to me.  Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda is not a state I choose to live in, I want to live in the “I –tried-to-do” state. Would I ever forgive myself if I didn’t even try? Stay in the game for you can’t win if you don’t play. Discouragement will come and God warns that negative reinforcement abounds. Criticism is nothing more than a “critical” mind. The truth is, no one knows ALL the facts of any situation they do not personally live in. Therefore stand on the truth “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 4:13

How do you stay the God given course you are on? One step at a time with a spirit that lets you finally see the plans He has for you. Remember, His plans are to prosper you and to make all things work for good. His love is infinite and unshakable, He is there when you cry out, guaranteed. You are the one who wants to flee, not God.

Be willing to drop the hurt that you cling to and realize that people will have opinions, of course they will but more often than not they are offered in love whether it feels like it or not. Throw down and stomp those thoughts that are detrimental to your journey. When you are road weary and want to go on permanent vacation……………Don’t concentrate on the things that hurt you, look for the things that heal you.

So when you are seeking and following God, when times are tough and the going is anything but smooth, STAY YOUR COURSE, do what God is telling you to do, because if you don’t do it, there is no one else who can. You are where you are because God put you there to do a job. He didn’t ask those watching, He didn’t wait for approval and He doesn’t expect you to get your approval from anyone BUT HIM. Have the courage to follow the one who can make the destination of the journey a reality.

And as for the ones sharing the journey with you, let them share their opinions for what they are, “a chance to love you enough to offer help”

 

Dottie

…………………..and so I ride

 

 

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Sometimes life brings us opportunities that change our perspectives.

I was sitting in my office talking with a good friend about a difficult health situation that I am facing and the difficult circumstances at work and the conversation turned to perspective, our perspective of our lives. Somehow the frustrations of my life were taking precedence over the realities I had available as the Daughter of Royalty.

God does not bring us suffering or difficult situations just for the sake of suffering, when (not if) He brings us to something that is difficult, there is a purpose. However that situation does often  have a way of changing one’s perspective.

It is quite simple really, God will give us the grace to endure………………if we let Him. He gives us all the tools we need to make it through.

I read a quote somewhere that really says what I am feeling. “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. “

That sounds like advice I will apply to my life, even when my life gets dark. God is my engineer, I will choose to stay aboard and endure the, at times dark ride.

So during this storm in my life, I choose to remember how big God is. I choose to understand that sometimes God will wreck my plans instead of letting my plans wreck me. I choose to understand that the struggle I am facing today is developing the strength I need for tomorrow. I choose to remind myself that yes, His plans are indeed better than my dream and it is only when I am down to nothing that the realization comes that God is up to something.

So today, I am changing my perspective. I will remember what is important and what is not. And I will remember that no matter what……………………………God Has This.

 

 

Dottie

 

…………….and so I ride

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There is great comfort for me in the scripture Joshua 1:9. It says to not be terrified, or discouraged for God will be with me where ever I go. There ya go, it doesn’t get much plainer than that.

But have you ever had a day when you wonder if God is paying attention? You are wondering that because you are feeling alone and scared at 2 am, you are having trouble keeping the “what if’s from running rampant, and it is all you can do to keep from sitting in the corner covered with a blanket, let alone trying to remember God’s  promises to you.

Yes, I know that our wonderful God is leading, guiding and loving us in ways that only He can. He provides all that we need, strength, peace, love, joy and hope.  I know all that, I know God is real, God is there and God can help us…………………why then do we tend to walk off into the dark all alone and stumble about in a miserable fit? Well, because we are human, that is why.

We don’t see how God is working for our good behind the scenes and He is doing this absolutely 100 percent of the time. We are human, there is no way we can understand what He is doing, why He is doing it or when it will become apparent to us.

We don’t see it because we are focused on ourselves and our situation, not on Him.

We don’t always remember it, but He is there.

We don’t always sense Him, but He is there.

Want some reassurance? Let these scriptures speak to your heart.

Isaiah 43: 1-3 and 13

Psalm 139:1-6

Jeremiah 31:3

Sometimes it is a struggle to remember that God loves me unconditionally, unselfishly, totally and completely. He created the world for me, He chose me, He died for me and He promises never to leave or forsake me.

No matter how far I stray from this truth and how misguided my attention may be, it does not change the truth of God’s love for me. I can’t buy it, I don’t deserve it and the wonderful thing is, I can’t keep Him from loving me.

So I have rightfully concluded that if anyone is not paying attention, it’s probably me.

Dottie

Something my friend Bob Welch said this past weekend got me thinking. He said, almost in passing, as we were talking about one thing or another that believing God is real and living like you believe God is real are two very different things. Yea I thought to myself, they sure are. I think if we are really honest here we all to one degree or another are guilty of treating God like a candy dispenser. Sure, we go to church, yes, we are good people, and we look like we are doing everything just right. But how much time do we spend digging into gospel and trying to gain real understanding of how God wants us to conduct ourselves in this life. Do we seek God’s will whether it is uncomfortable or not? Or we do believe in God but go about living our lives like He does not exist? Because in all honesty, sometimes just acting like a Christian is much easier than really being a Christian. I don’t think that God intended His only purpose in our lives to be making us happy. Why do we tend to think He can’t change us, or that we can handle whatever the current situation is better than He can? Or why do we flippantly think He doesn’t have the power to overcome the situation so we go off in our own direction conjuring up our own remedies and fixes? I think we can safely call this putting a bandaid on a gushing wound.  Its only a matter of time until we bleed out and are no longer able to function. Does that sound like we are severely limiting the effectiveness that God has in our lives? Does that sound like the plan God intended? In effect, are we living as Christian’s in name only? Ok, ouch, I get the point. Believing in God, and even acting like a Christian are really not the same thing as being a Christian. I believe we tend to take our Christian coats on and off just like we change our wardrobes each season. We have certain Christian garments we put on when we are acting like a Christian but when things are rolling along smoothly we slip them off until the next turn of rough weather rolls in. We pull our church clothes out of the spiritual closet every Sunday morning but rarely put them on the other six days of the week. Are we guilty of emulating Christ like behavior, you know things like being kind and compassionate, generous and helpful. But are we doing so without the work it takes to make sure our spiritual center stays strong and available. We can be kind and generous and good people, and still not be living as true Christians. If we are honest most people we know are “good people”. We can be all those things and still not be Christians in the full meaning of the word. However, we spend a whole lot of time (come on admit it, you know I am right) going through the motions of what we think a Christian should be or how a Christian should act. And you can be dang sure we are watching others to make sure they are “doing it right, more so than we are focusing our full attention on what God wants of us. A little attention to building an intimate relationship with Him goes a long way. To take my eyes off what others are doing and concentrate of His goals for me, His plans for me and His directions to me that seems like it might be more what He wants from me. I like what John Bevere said, “If we are going to be authentic and relevant, we must embrace truth and allow it to transform us at our very core. Maybe we should stop acting like Christians, and just be Christians. Dottie ……………………and so I rideImage

James 1:12 says: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life.”

 

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When you are a Christian you hear the word persevere all the time. We are not only to persevere but we are to do it with a “good spirit”. That brings the phrase “yea right” to my mind. That’s a good thought in theory but a darn sight harder to maintain when life gets tough.

We all go through those times when we have to dig deep for the stamina just to make it through the day. It takes courage, compassion and conviction to make it through any day, but the days I am talking about are the days you can’t find the motivation to be nice let alone act with courage, compassion and conviction.

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I’ll be the first to admit that on days I am being taught to persevere I fail miserably. If we are talking in quotes and phrases here, I am more the “back me into the corner and I’ll come out fighting” kind of girl and believe me, that doesn’t always look pretty.

But once again, maybe my perspective is wrong. Instead of fighting in the wrong way, and a way that gains me nothing, I might think about fighting to see that the perseverance produces character, compassion, and tolerance.

Fight the right way and let perseverance do the job it was designed to do, sanctification.

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Dottie

………………and so I ride

Living in the world we do it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the misery and hardships around us. It is very easy to become a victim of misery and get comfortable in that particular little box.

However, if we look around I am betting there is not one of us that cannot find plenty of things in our lives that are special, that are blessings and that can sustain us and even give us great joy on a daily basis.

I have written quite often about the heartache that sickness brings into the lives of my parents but I tend to forget that yes God brings hardship but He brings just as much joy, happiness and hope.  How come it is the hardships and heartaches I tend to dwell on. How come my prayers are filled with the details of the dark moments of life and just a small blip of the joy He brings to me? 

I guess it probably has to do with me not being strong enough alone to handle the heartaches and asking with a genuine need to help me to get through the tough stuff. However, God has brought so many blessings into my life that I need to take a moment and dwell there, in thanksgiving.

Two of my boys surprised me when I went to NE and showed up for a visit too. I cannot tell you the joy and singing my heart did when I pull into the motel and I am greeted by Lucas and Kelsey waving and grinning, knowing they succeeded in totally surprising their Mother! I will remember this visit forever because God made it special for me. I cannot tell you of the joy that I got when my nephew Ryan called to make sure I was still in NE and I was the first stop he made when He got to town. Having Ryan, Kelsey and Lucas to myself for an hour when we all got to Imperial was pure joy and happiness was written all over my heart. I am not sure the people in the adjoining rooms shared my enthusiasm for the impromptu late night family gathering at the motel, but it warmed this Mom’s heart.  Sharing a supper meal for the first time in years with my sister, Logan, Gordon, Lucas and Kelsey all together was amazing (the food was pretty good too) Seeing Logan wearing a UW hat instead of his usual Nebraska Cornhuskers hat was priceless!

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If I would just take a minute to reflect on the good as well as the bad I would see that God has given me new people in my life that have brought meaning and depth, He has opened new doors, provided necessary supplies at work (in a bigger way than you can imagine). It is easier to find peace in the imperfections of my life when I also find thanksgiving for the abundance of joy He provides at the same time.

 

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We all have blessings if we choose to see them!

I don’t have a lot to give today because I am weary but one thing I have been thinking of is the art of prayer. Does it work, is it worthwhile, and so on and so forth. Then I picked up a magazine at Walmart of all places and this statement jumped out and grabbed me. Well actually the whole article on prayer actually made me cry.

The article starts out by saying that prayer is confounding because if God already knows everything- and if he already has a plan in place for everyone- what can we hope to accomplish by talking to him? Well that is a great question indeed and has been on my mind.

The article goes on to explain just how important prayer is and uses James 5:13-18.

Basically the point is that this morning, all I can do is pray. Maybe, just maybe, it is all I need to do.

My Lord God, thank you for being in my life. No one is greater or more holy than you and no one has more power, glory and majesty than you. Help me to remember who you are and to keep you in the proper place in my life.

You have such wisdom, which I admit is greatly untapped by me and I ask for forgiveness for that lack of trust and ask you to help me gain it in amounts that are unmeasurable.

Help me to put no other before you and to realize that you are all I need. I admit that is hard for me , guide me to all that is You.

Forgive me Father for the things I do in my life that bring hurt to you and help me to clearly see those things and give me the strength, courage and wisdom to change them in a manner that is pleasing to you. Hold me accountable and make me understand.

I have so many blessings in my life, help me to count them one by one, rejoice in them daily and dwell there in thankfulness. Help me to look to the trials as a chance to do it again, the right way and a chance to grow closer to you.

Give me clarity and guidance as only you can. Help me to come to you and look you clearly in your holy face and see you for who you really are.

Help me to remember that with you, no matter  what the present moment holds, I can be certain joy is coming.

Father, I love you………….I trust you…………….I need you…………….I give you all that I am.

DottieImage

When all else fails…………maybe we should pray