Day 25: Capture #write31days2018

When I first saw this prompt, my mind went straight to the idea of capturing moments and memories, thus, the camera graphic. As I sit down to write tonight, however, I am more drawn to the verse below about taking every thought captive to obey Christ.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

My tendency is toward worry and anxiety and negative thought patterns. Over the past year in particular, life has changed in many ways, and I am on a journey to better mental and emotional health. This verse is a big part of my healing. I am learning how to stop the negative thoughts through prayer and surrendering to God.

And today I had to do that very thing, as I was nervous about a new book group I am starting and inviting to my home this weekend. I have been worried about what the ladies coming with think of our little rental house and how things will go meeting these people for the first time. New things are scary. But I was reminded to take that concern straight to the Lord. I know He has called me to do this at this time, so I can be confident that He is in it and will bless it.

I also was reminded by an old Elisabeth Elliot radio program today to do this same thing with forgiveness. She was talking about keeping a record of past hurts that people have inflicted on us. This verse came to mind as I considered how to fight the temptation to bring up those things with the people I love. I have to take those thoughts to Christ and remind myself that His blood covers all those sins, so I don’t need to hold onto them. Instead, I can choose to let them go and be free to love the people in my life with grace. May you do the same, as well!

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 20: Audience #write31days2018

The concept of “audience” has been on my mind lately, especially since leaving Facebook and Instagram for the month. Even before that, however, I had grown disillusioned with the ideas of growing an audience via social media and all that the “experts” say you are supposed to do these days to build a platform. I am tired of the constant push to hustle and the pressure to be a certain type of person in order to market myself.

The thing is, I don’t actually feel called to create a big audience for myself as much as I feel called to use words to communicate God’s truth and encouragement to others. If he wants me to have a small audience, but I actually do make a little bit of a difference to those few people, then so be it. As long as I can be obedient and faithful, I am pleased to be used by God in whatever capacity that may be.

Of course, I want to reach more people. In my humanity, I would love to speak into many people’s lives and have my words go far and wide. Who wouldn’t want to be recognized for saying something worthwhile? But if that isn’t what God has for me, then I am content to just keep writing for the pleasure of the process. In the end, my audience is really an audience of One, and He is the only One whose opinion matters.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 19: Who #write31days2018 #fiveminutefriday

Who am I? I have been doing a lot of contemplation of the concept of identity lately, especially as it relates to my identity in Christ. The relationship I have to the King of kings is truly life-altering when I live in that reality. I am a daughter of the Creator of the universe, and no one can ever take away my rights as an heir to the kingdom of God. Wow. It leaves me speechless and in awe.

How does my identity in Christ shape me in my roles as a wife, mother, friend? That is what I am working out now in the day to day. If I am secure in my position before God, then I should behave differently. My value does not come from my earthly relationships, but blessing does flow from cultivating those relationships. I should be self-less and loving, faithful and honest, not moved by fear of the future or waves of cultural shifts. When I find my security and value in God alone, I am free to fully love others as He would love them. 

I can’t say I am there yet….far, far from it! But the goal is there. And the Holy Spirit is in me, changing me little by little, as I allow Him to work in my heart and life. Praise be to God that He knows who I am and still loves me!

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

 

I am also linking up with the Five Minute Friday community today. To read more posts by bloggers on this prompt “praise” visit the link-up.

Day 16: Pray #write31days2018

Not a day goes by that I don’t pray several times for help from God. Most of the time, it’s a quick prayer in the midst of sibling conflict between my two children. But in the morning, I usually do  have time for more focussed, less desperate prayers.

However, I have found that those short send-ups for patience, wisdom and grace in moments of desperation are still meaningful. I am learning these days that I cannot control my children or the outcome of my parenting. I can only do what I think is best at the time and pray for the Lord’s will to be done in their lives. The Lord alone knows what is best for them, and I need Him desperately in these days. I am not the potter. I am here to nurture my children and to teach them all I can about making godly choices. But I am not able to determine the path they will go. This is a humbling, and in many ways frightening, realization.

So I pray. A lot. I pray that I will faithfully mother these precious souls. I pray that they will see Christ in me, even through my many flaws and failures. And I pray with gratitude that my God is big enough to draw them to Himself no matter how much I may mess up in the day to day.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 14: Ask #write31days2018

I’m playing catch-up again tonight! Here’s a late post with the prompt from yesterday…

The act of asking questions is the beginning of contemplation. When I contemplate, I ask questions of myself, of the world and of God. . . Questions that don’t always have to have an answer. . . Questions that make me think beyond my daily concerns.

Contemplation is my soul searching, my mind seeking, my heart longing for something beyond myself.

I ask life’s philosophical questions. I ask practical and pragmatic questions. I sit and think and wonder and listen.

Contemplation requires asking. It also requires silence and time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It requires an attitude of openness and of focus.

Asking questions leaves me vulnerable. Contemplation is not a proud occupation. It is humble. Contemplation acknowledges my smallness, my lack of knowledge, my need for the One Who Knows.

In contemplation I find peace, resting in the fact that I belong to the God who has all the answers to anything I ask.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”