Do you give more thought and attention to the things that you can’t change than you do with the things you can change?
Grab your coffee or tea and join me!
Do you give more thought and attention to the things that you can’t change than you do with the things you can change?
Here I am writing to you from my new space today. We have moved and are still settling in. However, I am writing from my desk where I have a very peaceful environment and space. A true answer to prayer! I’m sharing it with you along with this message because I believe the two go hand in hand. Let me share with you why I think this way.
We have long known that our environment has much to do with how we feel. That means how our surroundings feel to us, what is going on in those surroundings, the relationships going on in the surroundings, and the messages spoken. So if that is the case, why are we not doing everything we can within our means to make that a priority in our lives, as well as, those who live or come into our environment? Why don’t we make a priority for OURSELVES? We know its value to us and to our future and daily lives.
Enter this present day: with everything that is going on around us, isn’t it even MORE important for us to have a place where we can feel safe? A place where our souls find rest and comfort? It sure is! It makes a big difference in how we think and navigate these times. Today, I have the light shining into my room, candles burning as rememberance of what He has done, a line of twinkle lights lit that just make me happy, a tall glass of ice tea, and surrounded by things I love. I don’t want to have my face anywhere but looking up, and as I do, then God reminds me to look around. He wants me to see what I have; what He has done for me. He doesn’t want me concentrating on what I witness in this chaotic life around me. I came across a photo I took a few years back. As I looked at it, I felt in my heart that God was reminding me that HE sees in the dark. When the fog of chaos rolls in, when the darkness is more prevalent than the light, He can see where we are in the dark! He knows where I am. He wants to be my light. He IS Light. I believe He was telling me to look to Him as the Light in the darkness when the times around me seems overwhelming. Where there is light, there is no darkness. You can go into a room that is dark, and when you turn the light on, the darkness goes away and the light enters the room.
So I make my sourroundings a continuation of that message. I always have. I spend a fair amount of time in my home, and now, even more so. Because of that, I want it to be a place of refuge for me, my husband, and anyone else that needs it as they visit, however long that may be. I want them to leave with a feeling peace that tugs on their hearts when their visit ends. I want them to be encouraged and uplifted. They may not even know what it is that makes them relax, but I do. God is here. Jesus is here. The Holy Spirit is here. AND…this house was given to us by God; without a doubt. I feel a little like Abraham and Sarah when they got a child at such an elderly age as they were. They never thought it could happen. But God. He blessed them with a child. I feel the same way. At the age of my husband and I, that God would so graciously gift us with what I feel is the best home we have had yet. Not just the home, it’s surroundings and all, but also what we have been able to do with this home. The sense of peace here. So… I know it has purpose in our lives beyond our daily living. Isn’t that how God is? He wants the best for us.
So trusting Him means that I have to trust Him all the time. Just because we have this wonderful house, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to have troubles. This is where I think we get mixed up. We think that because we are followers of Jesus, that He will then give us rose ladden paths and nothing bad will happen because He will take care of it before it does. Don’t we think like that? Yes many of us do. And so when the storm hits, we are immediately asking God why why THAT happened. He is the same God in the storm as He is in the calm. He is the same God who was with me during skin cancer surgeries as He is when He gave us this home. So… blessing = Nothing bad happens? That is NOT the case. I think we even know it, we just don’t want to reconcile it. That is our darkness. We are thinking about only the room we are in that is dark. But outside that door stands Jesus…knocking. If we open the door, the Light will come in and it’s not dark anymore. We may still have shadows at times to deal with, but He hasn’t left us in the dark without being there with us. Sometimes maybe we get battered and bruised up because we have taken our eyes off of Jesus. My times of feeling distraught is usually when I am looking more at what is going on around me then what He is doing right in the spot where I am; even what He may be trying to work on WITHIN me.
If we believe the Bible is true, we know what’s coming. That means that we need to keep our eyes on Him and let Him direct our lives more than we trying to control it. How, you might ask?
It’s not a perfect list, but it can go a long way toward giving you a more peaceful feeling each day. I’m thankful that God has given me ways to keep going and following His path instead of running willy nilly in every direction. Confusion IS fear. Nope, not going there. Satan wants to keep us in the dark; to keep us afriad. But I am much more powerful than his darkness, because I have the Light. I have Jesus right with me through it all. I can speak out the Word. If I believe it, the darkness and fear leave and He will direct my attention else where to places I can serve or encourage.
Let the Light shine into your dark place. Don’t ever give yourself over to the power of darkness in any situation. If you look at the lead picture in this post, you will see my car sits there. How approprate for the message He gave me since my car is called “The Captain”. The area is surrounded by darkness but The Captain is lit by light and headed into more light as you can see up ahead of the car. That’s my Jesus. Leading me into the light of life. I just have to get behind the wheel and drive where He leads. He wants to pull up to your door today and get right in the middle of your darkness and turn it into Light. A place of light where you can see Him walking it out with you. Only…you have to actually give Him your hands on the wheel and let Him lead. Jesus isn’t your co-pilot. He is in charge. Too many times, we take the wheel and go where we think we should go, when God wants to take the wheel and give you the ride of your life!
That is why my car is called “The Captain” because I let Him take hold of my hands on the wheel. I pray before I drive The Captain anywhere. I am willing go! I give Him my best effort every where He takes me. I might make excuses here and there along the way sometimes, but He patiently waits while I take a short detour to ask for understanding, and then I get back in the car so to speak. I find it is much better to let Him drive. I’m more likely to get to my final destination that way.
What about you? Do you need hope in your dark place? Do you know and believe He is there with you? It is my hope that this message is a voice of encouragement for you today. You CAN have hope without fear, and I also want to remind you of what you know…that your hope is with God, not this world.
Until next time…
Hello My Sweet Followers! Are you all settled in for this new year of ours? Do you have some goals in front of you for 2020? I don’t do resolutions, but I do write up goals for myself for the year, and I chose my Word for the year, which I shared with you. I hope you are doing some of the same things because we can’t change very well if we are staying in the same place we have always been. Whitney Caps says it this way, “New growth rarely happens in old places.” In order for us to become all God wants us to be, we need a place where we can learn, grow and thrive in our lives. I pray you find that place this year. I know that God has something good planned, even in current circumstances.
We have had so much snow here in the northwest but we have been cozy and warm in the Bungalow here. It has given me opportunities to read, relax, and enjoy being in the moment. I am listening and playing more music…feeds my soul. Another is one that God is working out even more in my spirit this year, and that is being mindful of the Holy Spirit speaking in my life and stay in the moment I am IN. With that said, here is what I am working out along with that mandate from God.
I have had three times during the time of my skin cancer surgery last October, that a pore has opened and bled. We have been watching it and taking pictures of it also. This week was the third time it happened and so I thought I would go into my surgeon’s office and have him take a picture for my records. His assistant took the pictures, and then told me she thought she would like to have the doctor/surgeon look at it. So I waited for a few minutes only and in he came. Totally awesome since I didn’t even have an appointment. He looked at it and told me since it had shown itself again, he thought he should do a scrape biopsy and send it in to narrow down what might be happening. So he did that and told me I would most likely hear back by Friday. I got a call the next afternoon with a result that showed positive again for basal cell cancer. They were referring me to the same Mohs surgical center that I went to before and they would call to set up a date for me to have the procedure done. I made it through the phone call. Then…fell apart. More because I knew what was going to have to take place, and there is no way to know how advanced it is without the Mohs surgery to determine how much needs to be taken to get clean margins of all the cancer. I could conceivably be in the same position with this side as the other side, and I’m not even healed up completely from that set of surgeries.
The honesty of it is that I was hurt, angry, disappointed, and not just because of the cancer. I had a bit of those same feelings toward God about it. Why? I know what He can do. Nothing is impossible with Him. He is the Healer. I believe that. I believe He can touch me and heal me completely! So why doesn’t He? Why am I having to go through this again? The answer in all honesty is…I don’t know. We have the habit of always asking WHY before we ask Him what we are to learn. I didn’t want to learn anymore this way. Not EVEN. But apparently, there is a purpose and reason for this to happen.
Once again, I have to ask myself all over again…Do I trust Him? Do I believe He knows what is best for me? You see, He has healed my nose and face pretty well over the last three months. So will He not do it again? The answer to all those questions is a BIG YES! He will. However, I still have to go through it. I don’t get a pass. He could touch me and heal me first. He could touch me and heal me so it isn’t as invasive as before. But I still have to go through it. And…didn’t He tells us He will never leave us and will walk through it with us? Another yes. So I either believe Him, or I don’t. Fear is a nasty thing and it usually starts the “what if” thoughts. It can reverse our mindset to negative and more fear. It can dull how we see things. It’s like arguing with yourself. In this case, I believe the Holy Spirit was just reminding me of where my peace lies. It is facing what IS without fear.
Here is something that happened before we left to go to the doctor’s office for the picture. If you have a iWatch you may be familiar with this. But I have my iWatch photos mirrored with my iphone so that whatever my iWatch background is, so is my phone. But that day, I got up and got ready and put my watch on. As I saw it come on, my background image had change to my special cup my son got me for my birthday. (Scars…See previous post a couple posts back). I thought that was weird that it would happen because I hadn’t been in my phone to make any changes. My iPhone image was the same as it had always been but I looked at my watch and it was that cup. I thought it was just an encouragement to me that God has got my back and it made me smile. Later that day, I’m thinking it had another purpose…to open my eyes to how I was to handle what was to come. Because come it did! God has unique ways of working with us and speaking to us IF we are willing to be aware. I have left that picture on my watch now to remind me that what is to come is under His care also. Does this mean I’m all good with it and none of those previous feelings are present? Nope not at all. I just have to turn up the volume of God’s voice in my life over my own thoughts and words, and believe I can do this again, with His help.
I was encouraged to read Hebrews recently and still doing it. There are many “Let us” statements throughout and they will really hit home. I changed the “Let us” to Let JoAnn…” and it has really been impactful in my life. In fact, I have underlined those words where ever they are written in Hebrews so I won’t forget. I have used those over the last couple of days. It really is in how we look at things and what our perspective is. I want more of Jesus and less of me. God wants that for all of us. He is calling us to be strong and walk it out in His strength. Being a Christ Follower should show up in all areas of our lives; all encompassing and never ending. It should be our life style. God is watching. Be faithful in the moment, and the next, and the next. Remember our mistakes are not one and done. So even though I have doubts, or my feelings are determining my outlook, God is right there. He knows all, from the beginning to the end. So if I become weak, He is strong. If I’m afraid, He can keep me calm and help me put one foot in front of the other. He will do that for you too, no matter what you are going through in your life.
Give it all up to him and go ALL IN! I know I’m weilding my sword like a warrior woman! I hope you will do that too this year, so that, you will see goodness in the land of the living this year! God bless your 2020 in ways you have never experienced before.
Until next time,
As I wrote in my last post, we all have the bumps in the road that shake us up. I didn’t write that post for sympathy or so others would feel sorry for me. I wrote it because we all have them and I wanted to remind you that it is human to have negative feelings about what you are going through, and that you are not alone. What isn’t good is when we decide to leave God out of the scenario. So… I shared the my personal situation with you so you could know my struggle, and that you too, can take it all to Jesus and ask Him for the strength to endure and get to the other side. God will help us get “through”.
With that said, my Mohs Surgery is scheduled. I will go October 14th at 8:10 a.m. and they said to expect a long day; it may not be, but it could be given they take some, test and then determine if they need to do it again to take more. To say that I am not looking forward to it is an understatement. However, I AM choosing to accept what is, and asking God for a one and done; that they are able to take one go at it and have an all clear, that is my hope and prayer. God is good and knows what’s best, so even in that, He may choose another route for me. I’m just taking it one step at a time.
UPDATE: I got a call this morning, Monday, that there is an opening this Thursday at 10:30 AM, and so I took it. Not sense in waiting when I can have it over with, I say. So, God is good and knows how I dislike waiting for this kind of thing. He heard my prayer and gave me an all clear for this week!
In the meantime, I am have some exciting adventures going on in our life that have kept me looking to the future of fun. We are doing some upgrades to our Big Rivers Cabins the last week or so and its
It was pretty dark in this little cabin and so my son put up white and trimmed out the window and also put tile behind the stove that is grey in color. It looks very clean and fresh.
He also faced the dark cabinets on top with white and will paint the doors and I will add new knobs and pulls to dress it up. Not quite finished, but almost!
New flooring through out and it will have white bead board on the walls and a chair railing piece on top. It will look pretty nice when it’s completed.
And finally, my rain chain has gotten put up!! I have one that will go up here on the patio I hope that is umbrellas. But this will be fun to hear and watch at the cabin!
looking pretty good. Our dark kitchen is becoming much lighter, thanks to my son. I’m happy he has secured some flooring for us to put down in one of the cabins, and we will enjoy a wonderful new kitchen nook table and chairs and a couch/sleeper. We will be up town for sure! God has been so good to provide these options for us and we have so much to be grateful for! See the balance??? If all we concentrate on is what is what we don’t like going on in our lives, then we will miss seeing all that He IS providing for us. I never want to miss the opportunity to be grateful for what He does for me and my family.
One of my latest finds is a vintage phone that I added to our Bungalow, and that has been fun! My grandparents and aunt and uncle had one in their homes and it was so fun to find one in great shape. Another little God wink for me after my news. I see God meet our wants along with our needs all the time, and that blesses me big time. If you are one that enjoys a good hunt for a shopping find, then you may also like to friend a group I set up on Facebook called, JoAnn’s Finds, and follow me as I go on my hunts for a great find in thrift stores, antique shops, or online. It’s a fun addition to the places we live and do life. I watch for items that my friends are looking for as well, which is another part of the fun! Keep doing the things which will turn your eyes to focus on what matters. It is good for us to keep the fires burning in our hearts…it keeps us pressing on no matter what is going on in what we see before us or experience. At least, that is how I roll.
Keep fanning the flame!
Until next time…
Have you ever had an experience where something you heard, watched or experienced had such an impact on you that you knew you couldn’t do anything else but to change some things in your life? I have recently changed churches at God’s leading, and I attended a class on “Belonging” to this particular church and family. However, as I listened to the pastor share his heart about what belonging to this church means, I knew immediately that I would be challenged in a BIG way! What is it that really reached down into my heart and stirred me up? Let me share some thoughts with you.
We can so easily get seduced into thinking that what we are doing and the way we are living is “ok” with God. God knows my circumstance and He will understand why I do what I do, say what I say, get mad over anything, call someone a name, say words I shouldn’t say or any number of things we justify. The fact IS? He does care. He asks us to follow Him and leave that all behind us when we accept Him as our personal Savior. I can’t look like the world and live my life for Jesus. I have to do life differently.
So as I listened, God began an excavating process and exposed things for me to change. I have lived all my life for God, but there are areas of my life I don’t like much. My challenge? How am I going to change and adjust my life so I live more fully for Him?
You see, we can get caught up on all kinds of moves and activities; so much so, that we get desensitized to our busyness and begin to justify it to ourselves. We ignore that voice that says, “That isn’t going to take you where I want you to go.” And, let’s face it, change is HARD! It’s so much easier to just ignore it. Shoot, we are so busy doing OUR thing, we don’t even hear that voice trying to encourage us to move toward HIS thing.
So what will I be working on? I will be transparent with you for a minute because I know that is the first step to changing what God wants to change in me. Here I go:
▪ I love to serve, help and encourage people. I love being involved in my church. But in my involvement, I have to be under the authority of the pastor who has a God-given vision and leave my agenda behind. I don’t think that my ideas are the only ideas. I just get excited about what could be! It’s hard for me to keep a lid on it because I’m a visionary! I get all excited about what could be done to help others in their walk with the Lord. But I’m going to work on that submission area.
▪ I’m asking God for control over my mouth, where it can be easy for things to come out that aren’t edifying to anyone.
▪ I’m putting my message that God gave me three years ago and is on my wall, back to work in my life. It says, ” To JoAnn…praying without ceasing. ~God” Oh, I pray all the time. But I have had a season of time where I have not been as consistent as I was.
▪ I’m expecting that because God is asking me to change these areas, that He will give me the grace to do it; expecting answers to prayers and needs.
▪ I am watching my associations and situations which would get me agitated or riled up. I want the things that stir me up to be God’s agenda.
▪ I will learn with God’s help to be consistently content with what He gives me and also the home where I live. Sometimes, I can get off track when I see others who have more or seem to always have “it”, as my pastor shared last Sunday. I want to be consistent in the area of “living satisfied”.
I’m excited! It’s not going to be easy. But I know God spoke, and He asked me to step up to this challenge from Him and see what He will do! I talk about the journey of my heart on this blog; this is my heart. I’m hopeful that my journey will inspire you to take up the mantle and ask God for the changes that YOU may need in your life, SO THAT, you will have both feet on the side of Jesus! Get your expectation motor started! He will take you to places you never dreamed of! I would love to hear from you! Let me know what God is working on in you! Blessings on your journey!