Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Do Something that Unless God Shows Up, You will Fail

Sitting, waiting, what's next God?
Do Something that Unless God Shows Up, You will Fail
Say what??? I don't know if you took a look at that title and had the same reaction I had when my Pastor said this on Sunday...
Can I be honest? I kind of get annoyed by radical preaching at times because I think to myself- "this does not apply to me'". I'm not going to Africa tomorrow to save orphans, I can't sell all of my stuff and just live in a shack and see what God does, that is not my calling. I am a Working Mom, I have bills, I am not very adventurous and I like control. COME ON GOD- are you really talking to me?

Taking risks is not my thing- nope, nada, zip- want NOTHING to do with it.

I like comfort, predictability and I want my "t's" crossed and all my "i's" dotted before I make ANY big decisions.

What is that phrase- "if you always do, what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always gotten..."
I don't like that phrase EITHER. But it chirps into my mind every single time I start to feel STUCK.

You know that feeling- like things are comfortable, but there is no growth, nothing deep inside that is blooming. I know that we are called to grow in our faith, but I think that sometimes I'd rather spend time trying not to grow because it feels safe. Such a lie. As I work on staying safe, noticed I said- "work" (because it takes effort, it I exhausting), I feel more anxious, I feel restless and needy, I feel unsettled...

So I have to ask myself- what needs to change? And then I hear my Pastor say- think of something-that UNLESS God shows up, you will fail (be embarrassed, lose, etc...) and then do it.

I met with a dear friend that same night who asked me a hard question about a big decision I have been pondering-
"What is motivating you to hold back Liz? Is it fear or faith?"
My answer: TOTALLY FEAR.

Taking a step of faith is really hard but I need to do it if I want to grow. I have learned that this year more than any other year of my life. I have been doing scary things and have been surviving and then surprisingly thriving (yes-I must have assumed doom and gloom, right? of COURSE I am thriving because God is SO awesome when we will just do what He asks of us) because of my steps of obedience. 

First it was organizing an event at my new church, then another event, then another, (I survived one, so I kept going! ha!), then it was starting a Bible Study, then it was expanding this blog.

And I will tell you as a seriously wimpy Jesus-girl at times-
God. Showed.Up. Every. Single.Time.

Like a Daddy giving his little girl a push towards jumping off that diving board, he got me moving and then...
 I jumped and felt the rush of the water all around me, came up for air and wanted MORE!

However, with each new step- the "fear factor" is still there and my "safety nets" become smaller and less sturdy.

I don't believe God calls us to total abandonment of all sense...or does he? In some seasons, in some situations, in some choices?

And I know what your next question is because it was mine...
What if I fail?
What if God does not show up? 

All I can say is this- failure is better than STUCK and God ALWAYS shows up, even if it is in helping you get back up stronger and more courageous-perhaps because He has something even bigger in store and is waiting for you to show Him your willingness (like the high dive!). 

I don't know where you are at sweet friends...

Go for it girl!
Maybe, like me, there are some dreams or adventures God has been stirring in your souls that maybe scare you half to death but at the same time make your heart pound for the first time in a long time?

I want to encourage you to ask God-

"...is this a time for total abandonment?" And then find that one thing that unless God shows up, you may indeed face failure...and do it."  And then tell me about it!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Perspective and Peace for the Working Mother

These are 5 Things Time Has Taught Me:

1.) TAKE A DEEP BREATH. This one skill is 90% of parenting.
The hard times and the bad decisions- most of them- are not life threatening.                                                                   
Many of the beautiful, mundane, glorious, nuanced, obvious things of life should be savored by breathing them in. In the good and in the bad, take a deep breath.

2.) COUNT THE BLESSINGS. When a precious friend woke up Easter morning to discover her three year old had died in the night for no apparent reason,  I was at a loss for words. The worst possible thing was-Now. Here. Today. She began, instinctively, to count her gifts. The birds outside the window. A beautiful sunrise. A gift from a good friend.
Whether you are in the worst possible place and need to get through, or the best possible place and need to remember, count your blessings.
It will change who you are in the very best of ways.

3.) GET OVER IT. Life is not fair. Kids will misbehave. Spouses will be certain they know every single thing about every single thing. Money will vanish into thin air. Piles of clutter will mount.
But through it all God is good and forgiveness is a balm to a wounded soul.

I see so many people stuck in the cemented conviction of the lack of willingness to just Let. It. Go. You will always be better for forgiving. Always.

4.) LEARN A NEW WAY. A motivational tape I listened to decades ago said, “You have, right now, exactly what you want.” I didn’t really get it. Since then I have figured out it is another way of saying what matters gets done, what doesn’t gets excuses.
Maintaining a death grip on the way you have always done things might not kill you physically, but I have seen time and time again relationships suffocate, dreams wither, and beliefs shrivel unnecessarily when there are solutions and change waiting.

All you need to do is bring willingness to the table to collaborate with a better way.
5.) SURROUND YOURSELF. With people who are better than you at some things; who believe in you emphatically; who laugh at themselves and help you to laugh at you; who want–desperately–to do life with Jesus, family and the world well; WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN PERFECTION, except at the Cross.

Start today to sow seeds of growth, connection and triumph. Surround yourself with people who are doing the very same thing.

God is good. Motherhood is good. Life is good.

More about Robin: 
Check out this amazing ministry-Brighten a Corner
I am still not sure if it was God’s voice or indigestion.

Nearly 13 years ago I went to a Women’s Ministry conference, had some pizza for lunch, and thought God was telling me to start a ministry. So I did...
All these years later Brighten A Corner, which is a mini Extreme Home Makeover, is still around doing our thing. We have completed dozens of projects, used hundreds of volunteers and have a total value of service approaching $2,000,000.

God continues to takes my breath away.

I laugh, fully aware of the fact that I am wholly unequipped to do what I do.
The only thing that I have going for me is tremendous faith, mixed with (now) years of experience, and the ability to convince an incredible team of people to join in.
Through it all, the madness of ministry, the mundaneness of motherhood and challenging family issues- including (but not limited to)-a child with special needs, a son who went to war on the other side of the world, a mother in law with dementia, a father in law with Alzheimer’s, an exhaustingly unstable income and a feisty personality...I have learned several things to share with you about motherhood and I hope that they have given you perspective and peace as a Working Mom.

Robin is the wife of a manufactured home selling, airplane part inventing man who keeps her in stitches and mom to three precious kids who keep her on her knees.
She loves planning ministry projects other people think are crazy and teaching weekly Bible Study at a local restaurant that serves the world’s best pastrami sandwiches. In her spare time you will often find her volunteering at her kids’ school, watching 80’s TV on DVD, and unsuccessfully trying to get organized. In real life, she is mostly a mom, a terrible house keeper, mediocre home-schooler AND a fabulous cheer leader.
You can find Robin blogging at: Robin's Corner.