“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you charge into the restroom full speed? Do you stretch? Meditate? Pray? Grab your phone? Every morning we are presented with a new opportunity to start the day off in a way that will fulfill us or drain us.
When we choose to put the things of God first, the rest of life will come together. I can always tell when I haven’t been seeking God first. It feels like little by little, the other areas of my life begin to crumble.
We don’t have to go back to flip phones or delete social apps from our devices, but what if we seek before scroll? What if we read a scripture before taking that selfie? What if we pray before we play that game? When we take care of our spirits, our bodies tend to line up as well.
“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10 NIV
I’m so glad people can’t hear my internal dialogue. Don’t worry, I’m not thinking mean or crazy thoughts! But some of the thing I dream to accomplish or big goals I have are laughable.
But I’ve learned something very powerful over the past few years. Sometimes you just have to let it out. Sometime, you just have to say out loud what you want to do and I’ll take it a step further, you have to TELL YOURSELF that you will do it.
I could believe in heart all day that I could run a marathon, but if it stays just a thought, it may never turn into action. But when I tell myself and others that I am going to run a marathon, that confession holds me accountable to make sure it happens.
Maybe you need to tell yourself that you are a great mother, an accomplished author, a tidy person. Just taking that thought and making it a statement can change everything.
This Tuesday, I ran the longest I’ve ever run and will run until I complete my marathon in a few weeks. I’ve been training since May and while I’ve been met with a few setbacks, things have gone pretty well. My 18.5 mile run went surprisingly well and left me feeling confident and ready for my race.
I am running my first marathon with Team World Vision, an organization that my husband and I have supported for almost 13 years. I was made aware just this year that I could raise money for World Vision to provide clean water for people who otherwise don’t have access to it.
I also learned that 6 kilometers was the average distance that a person walked without access to clean water. That’s 3.5 miles of walking for dirty water to bath in, wash with and cook with.
I knew immediately that I had to be a part of this. I saw that I could run with a team in Madison, WI. When I went to sign up for the half marathon, a. Slight hesitation caused me to consider the full marathon. I had run a half before and just felt a pull to go a little further. I signed up for the full.
As I’ve been training, I’ve tried to stay focused less on my stats and paces and more on the reason I’m doing this. I want to help people who need help. I want to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Jesus said this “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40 NIV)
It’s important to remember those who can’t help themselves. It’s important to be apart of something bigger than ourselves. I’m excited to run my race at my pace and for the hundreds of people who will benefit from us coming together to help provide clean water.
If you’d like to donate, click here to learn more about World Vision.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”” John 11:25-26 NKJV
I’ve been to 3 funerals in 2 months. I think I said this yesterday but today’s verse in the Bible app seemed to be in the same vein of thinking.
Seeing people leave this earth is hard. Whether it’s at the end of a long battle with illness or unexpected, experiencing the death of a loved one is never easy. I am, however, encouraged knowing that the 3 people whose lives were celebrated had a relationship with Christ.
I know that although they are no longer here, they chose to receive the resurrection and life while they were here. It doesn’t make grieving easier but it makes going forward capable.
This has stirred a new urgency within me to be more diligent in sharing the gospel. The book of Acts says that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. We just need to share that name!
““I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 NIV
I was at a funeral today. It was my 3rd funeral in the last two months. Death has the unfortunate ability to make you reconsider everything you’re doing. Your lifestyle choices, how you spend your time, how you spend your money.
I’ve found myself being more present and mindful in whatever I’m doing. If I’m running, I’m just running. If I’m playing library with my daughter, I’m just checking out books. I’m working to make sure my mind isn’t in other places when it needs to be where I currently am.
At the funeral I was at today, the person being honored was to some a father or grandfather, to others a pastor and leader, but to everyone who made remarks and those in attendance, he was a servant. He served not only his local church, but the global church, organizing decades of trips to Mexico.
As I listened to everyone remember him and then read this scripture today, I was encouraged to be more diligent and mindful about presenting the gospel to those who don’t have it.
Jesus sent his disciples out like sheep among wolves. We have a commission elsewhere to do the same. Our job as Christians is not to judge the world and shame them, but to share the love and gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have friends that need Jesus. I pass by people everyday who need Jesus. I don’t know about you, but this sheep is leaving the pen and going to the wolves.
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;” -Psalms 103:13 NIV
The application of this word could change the world. Instead of placing blame on people or trying to figure out how they got in what they’re in, what if we showed compassion. What if we didn’t judge a single mother, but asked if she needed babysitting help. What if we didn’t label the man asking for change a beggar, but bought him a coffee and offered a prayer?
God has been so compassionate towards us. The rest of this verse says “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
God could easily bring up every wrong thing we’ve done or said, but he doesn’t. He chooses compassion. He chooses to love us. And since we are made in his image, we should extend this same grace to others.
““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7 NIV
My son is a professional asker. He has no hesitation when asking to go somewhere, do something or buy something. And if the answer is no, he will wear you down slowly but sweetly! Eventually, he usually gets what he wants (within reason).
Many people think this scripture is about money and material things. We can ask God for ANYTHING! Need peace? Ask, seek and knock. What about joy? Ask, seek and knock. How about focus to get a few things finished? Ask, seek and knock.
God is concerned about we are concerned about. I bet he wished we would come to him with everything. Not just big, insurmountable problems but even things as small as a headache.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV
As a planner, I believe God looked through the channels of the future, saw people like me and made sure this verse was put in the Bible! But I’m learning that I’d rather have God’s purpose lead and guide me than my own plan.
We can’t see what’s down the road but God can. I truly believe there have been accidents I didn’t get into and encounters I didn’t have because God’s purpose prevailed. He is ALWAYS thinking about what’s in our best interest and sometimes that is not found on our to-do list.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:19 NIV
It’s easy to believe some lies we tell ourselves. “I’ve always had a short fuse”; “I just tell it like it is, good or bad”; “I just run off at the mouth!”.
But James says that EVERYONE should shut their mouth, make listening a priority, and calm down. Well, he didn’t say it exactly like that.
How many times have your words put you in a situation you didn’t care to be in. Hurt feelings, unintended commitments, just being wrong! If we can pause and give our brains and hearts a minute to process, maybe we can respond more kindly and even more appropriately in different situations.
If I can quote another great thinker, “You can’t learn anything when you’re talking. That’s a fact of life. As long as you’re talking, you’re not listening.” Ok, it’s just Rocky Balboa from “Creed” but it’s still true! Faith in Films! Coming soon 😉
As I write this blog, I have a busy few days coming. Well, really a busy few weeks. I promise this is not a humble brag or me trying to flex a busy schedule on you, but in the next 3 weeks, I have my son’s 10th birthday, my mom flying into town, homeschool, gymnastics, blogging, podcasting, extracurriculars, my last weeks of marathon training and then running that marathon.
I don’t like busy. I don’t like a full calendar. I like lighting candles and sipping coffee. I like adult coloring and crossword puzzles. I like sitting in a blanket on my couch watching Bluey with my kids or without them. Bluey is a really great show!
I don’t like being busy because I feel like I have to choose between what I have to do and what I want to do. I have to choose what gets done and what doesn’t.
One thing that I am choosing every day is peace. I used to get really worked up when I had a busy season. I’d make lists of lists to make lists and cross out things on lists and tear up lists to make newer prettier ones. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a list! But it no longer stresses me out.
Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Every morning, I focus my mind on Christ and receive the peace of God. What does this look like for me? It’s pretty basic. Instead of worrying about the laundry that I have done, I played restaurant with my kids. Instead of trying to run a billion errands for my son’s sleepover, I asked my husband to help out. Instead of rushing through my kid’s school lesson, we went to the library and got done what we could.
I know some situations in life are thrown at us without us asking for them, but even in those instances, we can choose peace. We can make the decision before hand that we will not be overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, but be overwhelmed by the peace of God.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV
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