Finding Solid Ground

There are times in life when the ground beneath your feet doesn’t feel solid, fixed, or secure. It’s a scary feeling. It’s as if the rug’s been pulled out from under you and you’re left to drift through life, desperately seeking a footing.

Continue reading

Remembering What We Are

Hi. My name is Michele and I’m a perfectionist. I tend to beat myself up over the slightest “misstep” and wrongly executed “shoulds” (the “shoulds” I place on myself, mostly). I feel that my lack of perfection in all areas of my life shines a poor light on who God is; making me a “bad” Christian, and, therefore, causes me to turn my head in shame.

I make too much of myself and the role I play.

Continue reading

Living with What We Need

Jesus calls us to live a simple life, not the life of disorder and chaos.

Last spring I shifted my daily routine from exercising first thing and squeezing in a quiet time to having my quiet time first thing and exercising later. The fruit of just a minor change was amazing – my attitude improved, my outlook on life was better, I had more clarity and discernment, and best of all my relationship with God was richer, deeper, and satisfying. But sometime in the last few months my habits shifted back to my old ways and the fruit I had was shriveling up. When crunched for time I’d spend less time with God instead of exercising and I noticed an increase in anxiety, the feeling of distance from God, and uncertainty in decision-making. Thankfully after a relatively short season of confusion, God made it clear to me why I was feeling the way I was. So, I’ve committed to start my day with Him. If I don’t get to work out that day, then so be it. It’s better to miss that than my time with God. (1 Timothy 4:8)

Continue reading

When Righteousness and Peace Kissed

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
    but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
    that glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
 Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
    and righteousness looks down from the sky.
 Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
    and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
    and make his footsteps a way.
{Psalm 85:8-13}

“Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”

Steadfast love and righteousness is God the Father; faithfulness and peace is Jesus Christ the son. Love and righteousness met faithfulness and peace when Christ was here to fulfill God’s plan, to redeem our souls.

Christ connected heaven and earth.

“Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.”

When He shed His blood for us He wasn’t held in the ground, but sprung forth while God looked from the sky. God’s plan was in action, it is victorious, He only gives what is good.

It’s in the season, this very week, we celebrate when Faithfulness and Peace came to earth so we may know Steadfast Love and Righteousness. Jesus broke the divide and because of Him we have the only way to our Father.

{How beautiful is this imagery?! My heart flutters, it comes alive, at the sight.  And it will never be the same.}

Oh, how He loves us. Let’s worship Him.

Continue reading

Fighting for Peace at Christmas

This is the most wonderful time of the year.

But, for many, it’s the time of year that we have to most fight for peace.

I love the reason we celebrate Christmas (I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for Christ), but with it’s celebration, my imperfections shine through and I have to truly fight to have the peace that Christ came to give me.

This is the time of year that my perfectionism bubbles to the surface. I have to buy just the right gifts. Make just the right gifts. Decorate “just so.” Have a beautiful Christmas card (and be sure not to leave anyone out). All the while maintaining some semblance of sanity keeping “regular life” in order. Maybe some people are naturally great at this. I’m not one of them.

Every year since I’ve been an adult (oh, I miss Christmas as a child), these pressures have weighed on me more and more. But this year it’s hitting me differently. I’m feeling a tug-of-war inside that, though isn’t fun, I’m grateful for – it’s telling me that change is on its way.

Continue reading

Am I Enough?

e·nough

/iˈnəf/

  1. as much or as many as required.

    “too much work and not enough people to do it”
    synonyms: sufficient, plenty, a sufficient amount, an adequate amount, as much as necessary

For clarity’s sake, let’s rephrase the question “Am I enough?”, using the above definition: “Am I sufficient, plenty, a sufficient amount, an adequate amount, as much as necessary?”

Though the (original) question is but three words, it’s a heavy one and multifaceted. (It makes my brain hurt thinking of all the avenues it takes me down – granted, I’m a classic “over-thinker”). And I think the answer is paradoxical – we have enough to get by in this life with what God has given us (so yes, I am enough), but we don’t have enough to do all that God calls us to, to thrive, and to live the life of eternity (so no, I am not enough).

Think of it as if we are a drinking glass. God pours enough of Himself into us when He creates us so we may live, but leaves room for more. Though the water He gave may be “enough” for life, the world taints it and we have lack causing us to thirst for more. So we may be “sufficient”, but we’re not all-sufficient. Our glass has enough, but there’s still emptiness; our glass has water, but the world has tainted it. It’s what we do with this that determines our future. Do we give our emptiness and filth to Him or to the things of this world, hoping it will cleanse us and fulfill us?

Though we may be enough, we are beckoned by the God who is More than Enough (El Shaddai) so we can live our lives beyond “just enough.”

Continue reading

Trusting God with the Known

I’m convicted of how little I trust God with the known.

It’s full of the things He’s revealed to me; the ideas, thoughts, and knowledge that I’ve grown to know and claim as my own. It’s in those things that pride builds and trust diminishes too quickly. I forget that even in the known He is the Giver. Nothing I have or even think, is my own. All good things come from Him and Him alone.

But, because it’s known it’s easy to become comfortable and “secure”.

In contrast the unknown tends to be scary because, well, we don’t know what’s there.  And it gives us two options: to trust God because there is no unknown to Him or paralyzing fear (and sadly, I choose paralysis too often).

Yet, the moment He makes something known to me I tend to take it and run. I think that because it’s something within my reach, within my knowledge base, I am now the ruler and controller of it. Whether consciously or not, I try to work and manipulate it, the people around me, and my circumstances in ways that will cause this revelation to come about the way I think it should.

God isn’t the type to reveal all the details, just parts, so instead of trusting Him to fill in the “gaps” and allowing Him to lead me daily, I tend to take the pieces I have and fill in the holes however I can to make the truth “work”.

Continue reading