Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stand still

Want to ramp up the number
of anxiety attacks you are having?
Simply write a blog post
where you tell others
how God is helping you conquer it.
Yep, it's official...
the devil can read.

A family member's run-in
with a major illness
A daughter who needs
surgery in the coming month
Feeling completely inadequate
at running a business
and not being able
to find qualified help
Being in a new relationship
and working not to fall back
into old, self-defeating patterns
as well as learning to be comfortable
with the new patterns...
and those are just the things
that I don't consider
every day
run of the mill

Anxiety makes me
want to do something.
I want to make things better
but without an immediate fix
all my flesh can do
is focus on the source of the stress.

Praying for others works wonders,
but that doesn't leave me stress free.

Thankfully, I know
God is helping me
not backing out
not giving up
not turning away.
I know that
there is nothing for me to do
all of my building anxiety
is over battles long ago won
by a God to whom time means nothing.
Even though I haven't
walked through it yet
He has been there and knows
how each story ends.
My deliverer, my comforter, my provider,
in Him will I trust.

I know I don't have the energy or power
to fight these battles on my own,
but I do know Who is.
I am thankful that
He who is in me
is so much greater
than the one who is in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 
1 John 4:4

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. 
2 Chronicles 20:17

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My provider

Someone offered me
a stable job in management
with a company vehicle
and a regular paycheck
with a salary
a company vehicle
with less work
than I do right now
and a company vehicle.
I might have already mentioned that.

For a fleeting moment
I considered the possibilities.
All of the things
that I am struggling
to become better at
would be less of a problem
as I would no longer be the boss.
Less worry
More money
More stability

I told her I would pray about it.

I was pretty sure
I already knew
the answer I would get
in prayer
when I mentioned it to a friend
who said to me
"Is this business a business,
or a ministry?"
There is my answer.

As great as it sounds
to have for myself
a steady paycheck
a stability I've never had
a company car,
I know Who
my provider is
and His plans
for me require
a little more trust in Him
and a little less "knowing"
the check will be
in the bank every Friday.

I have a long way to go,
I know that.
But God is good
and His plans for me
to love and help and serve
His people
are so much better
than I can imagine.

(Which is really fantastic because my dreams
at this point are pretty awesome.)
And I know
beyond all doubt
that He will provide
so that I can do these things
for Him.

"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? - See more at:,-The-Provider#sthash.BHpNQNGn.dpuf
 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. Psalm 145:13-16
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? - See more at:,-The-Provider#sthash.BHpNQNGn.dpuf
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? - See more at:,-The-Provider#sthash.BHpNQNGn.dpuf

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I see something
in front of me
that I know I want,
something that could be
an answer to more prayers
than I can even count.
But I am not rushing ahead.
I am not making rash decisions.
I am praying.
"God if this isn't
what You want for my life,
let me know
make it clear
take it away.
As much as I want
what I think I might see
I know for sure
that Your way is always
the best way...
even if that means
giving this up
in order to continue
the path you have carved for me."

I once told God
that if His plan included
remaining single forever,
I would probably walk away.
What a selfish, ridiculous
thing to say, right?
It wasn't that long ago.
And while I felt assured
at the time
that singlehood was not
His long-term plan,
I had resigned myself to knowing
it would be a long, long time.
Tonight I find myself saying,
"Please don't let
this possible new relationship
continue to flourish
if it isn't Your will.
Help me see clearly
if I need to end this
or let him do it.
Either way...
I only care that this is your will"

The most mind-blowing part of this prayer, is not that I said it... it is that I meant it. 

(added 1/27/13)
Now I'm thankful
I got the answer I wanted.
When I completely gave
myself to God's will
and His timing
He reminded me
He is listening
and He cares
about the desires of my heart...

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
 Psalm 37:4

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Praying for you

Many of my life's
big changes
have come as a result
of a seemingly smaller change.
A new habit or thought
belief or reaction
here and there
have made all the difference.

I used to see or hear
that someone I knew
was going through
something tough
and I would always say
"I'm praying for you."
But the truth
was far from that.
What I really meant was
oh, that's sad,
but I know that I
can't do anything about it.

I wasn't praying for them.
I was barely praying at all.
I was more concerned
with my own crazy life
than I was with praying for others.
I knew their pain was real,
but so was mine
and nobody understood.
Of course, I didn't trust
anybody enough
to really share
what I was going through either.

Too deeply entrenched
in anxious worry and pain
to even think
that a heartfelt prayer
might mean a real change,
forgetting the miracles I had seen
and forgetting the miracles I had received
I began a spiraling cycle
of anxiety and stress
followed by bad choices
meant to make myself feel better.

It did for a time.
Until I had to face
the repercussions

and those brought more stress.

Trying to stop the spiral
with sub-par coping skills
only increased
the fear and anxiety.
I tried praying.
Despite what a friend said
about the impossibility
of 'praying wrong.'
I knew it was...

I have asked for help with this, I have asked for blessings on that. I have asked for mercy here and forgiveness there. I have asked that You give me all of these things that I need. I have thanked You for what I have and praised You for being Who You are, but You still let panic grip me like this when You could clearly take it away. What lesson am I to learn here? Just tell me so I can move on!

And He reminded me,
quietly, but clearly,
"your anxiety is because
you are making it
all about you."
It's sad how many times
we humans have to relearn
that lesson.
Sometimes daily,
usually more often
we have to be reminded.
"It's not all about me."

Then God gave me a new coping strategy.

When fear and anxiety and panic
start to build within me
I still pray.
Only now, I pray for you.

Every time I send a heartfelt prayer
for someone who is in need of one
I remember a little less about
my anxiety and a little more about
how awesome the God is
who can do for you abundantly
more than we can ask or dream.

So I am not only sharing a strategy to combat anxiety, I am writing this to say thank you! Know that the next time you share a burden with me or ask for prayer... you are not asking for a favor. You are giving me the opportunity to continue to win these battles with the enemy who would much rather see me practically incapacitated from stress and anxiety than asking God to abundantly bless my friends and enemies alike.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Trying to make sense of all of the noise that I need to process to continue to move on and grow into the person that I am supposed to be is proving to be even more difficult than I expected.

Over the years, I've heard dissonant lessons from all sorts of different places. We all do. Each lesson is a string of notes that embeds and repeats itself in us. These lessons about my self-worth, about my own and other people's trust-worthiness, about motives, morals, lies, and so many other things have changed the chords I hear and the notes I pay attention to as I've strained to listen for the right composition.

It's not just about looking to the wrong sources for answers. Even people I know and respect throw in some sour notes at times. I want to ask them how what they just said or did meshes with what I heard from them just the day before... but I don't. Why? I'm afraid I'm wrong... maybe my ear isn't tuned to the right key. I don't know yet.

I have been clear that I am attempting to change my life's song... and in seeking out and relying on healthy friendships, reading about integrity and boundaries, spending time with God, and trying to listen for the right music, I have learned so much this year. The problem is that most of the things that I have learned are either partially or wholly inconsistent, not only with what I thought to be true in the past, but also what seems to be true right now... probably because I haven't quite perfected the filters I am supposed to be using to hear that music.

I'm not sure which knobs I am supposed to change on my own soundboard. I'm using a mix of the old settings and the new... never quite sure what I am hearing or what I am supposed to be listening for. I have very little idea about who or what to turn up or down or even turn off completely.

I was challenged recently to ask God to show me what is real.

I don't know if it's even possible to really know what is real. If that kind of clarity were possible, life would be much easier. Knowing people's real intentions, real trustworthiness, knowing my own... wouldn't that make all of my decisions easier... too easy?

Asking God for a reality check is risky... I never know how He is going to present it. I'm a little afraid it won't be a fun lesson.  But, having the ability to clearly decipher the calming melody and His intentional harmonies from all of the dissonant noise that leaves me feeling confused and frustrated has to be better than my current method of picking notes from the noise at random... and trying to make them work together. 

I caught myself switching from the metaphor of music to something more visual as I was typing and had to go back and fix a couple of sentences. If there is one thing I have learned from all of this, it is that I can't walk by sight. I have to be listening for the direction that I need...