Lately the phrase “Nothing lasts forever” has been stuck in my head and invading my days. Not necessarily in situations that I love and want to stay in, and not in a negative “I’m so sad that this moment won’t last forever” kind of way, but more for comfort and for clarity in so many uncertain, uncomfortable, and uneasy situations.
It’s something that brings me such peace to think about — the fact that there is nothing in life that will last forever. No hardships, rough seasons, or times that aren’t fun. It’s easy to get trapped in the moments. Feeling stuck in a bad place or moment. What helps me so much is remembering that the season that I’ve stepped into isn’t forever, and that it’s just that – a season. So I can breathe easy knowing that my heart and my mind are safe in the hands of Jesus because the season that I’m in, that I feel like I’m “enduring” isn’t something that will last forever. Whatever season I’m in is a chance that I get to choose how I respond and react to moments that will soon turn into memories.
Matthew 6:26-27 – “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Recently I’ve been focusing on these verses in Matthew 6. It’s such an inviting, peaceful, and reassuring feeling knowing that my Jesus has tomorrow all figured out. All the mess that I’ll be walking through, the fear that I will feel, the dreams that I will unveil…He sees it all and He knows how to handle my life. All I have to do is be still and know that He is God and He is good.
“Let this encourage those of you who belong to Christ: the storm may be tempestuous, but it is only temporary. The clouds that are temporarily rolling over your head will pass, and then you will have fair weather, an eternal sunshine of glory. Can you not watch with Christ for one hour?”
– Williams Gurnall
For about two years, I had a predisposition toward fear. I felt powerless to the consequences of transition. Change felt unsafe, so I coped. I partnered with anxiety to anticipate areas of potential pain. Then, I attempted to control the outcome of everything I could get my hands on. Forfeiting wonder and an appetite for adventure, I settled into the role of “risk-manager.” I’d get a new toy and leave it packaged to guarantee it stayed safe from harm. As I grew up, I attempted to do the same thing with my heart.
Control is an ineffective and destructive method of survival; it’s the way of the orphan.
Control gives a hollow guarantee of a specific outcome. It validates the underlying belief that change is bigger than us.
I’ve since come to understand the goal is not to build fortresses around our lives so we become immovable against the winds of change. We are not orphans who need to rage against transition in fear, fists in the air, dependent on control for comfort. We are sons and daughters. We can bravely accept the invitation in the shaking. Change creates opportunities to understand what things currently hold value in our hearts.
Change is the pause between the ending of one sentence and the beginning of the next.
Change is the pause between the ending of one sentence and the beginning of the next; the space between “glory” and “glory” where trust occasionally waivers. It’s the moment of truth, when the lights come on in the rooms of our hearts and uncover what we believe to be true about ourselves. May we lean in closer to find our definition through His voice. Change permits us to course-correct when we realize that winds of other voices have bent our sails away from “True North.”
Shifting is an inevitable part of the human experience. Movement means we’re alive. The winds of change will come, sometimes as a hopeful breeze and other times as a storm. But fear not, He is in the wind. He is unchanging, so we don’t have to be. We can anchor our hearts in the Immovable One.
According to the dictionary, peace is defined as: freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. While that may be a definition of peace, it should not be the definition we use when we face difficulty.
Through many seasons of my life, I’ve seen a great number of transitions in my home, family, friends, everything. I believe that peace is the reality of Heaven within you. As believers, the Prince of Peace dwells inside of us, giving us direct access to Heaven. So often, we forget to tap into our God given attributes, such as the fruits of the spirit, but when we do there is a rush, overflowing. Peace does not mean everything in life is going to be still, it means that despite the ebb and flow of circumstances, peace washes over you, like a river. Peace reassures you that you are safe in the middle of everything.
There is a story about some art students who were asked to paint a picture of their definition of peace. One student painted a very calm sea with a boat resting atop of it and another student painted a small bird sleeping in its nest during a raging storm. When asked about why they chose those interpretations, the student who painted the bird said, “peace isn’t everything being okay, it’s knowing that you’re going to be okay even though there may be danger roaring around you.”
In Matthew 8:23-27, Jesus sets the perfect example of peace. In the middle of the storm, He sleeps, knowing that the wind and the waves of the storm will not overtake Him and the disciples.
‘Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!’ Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. ‘Who is this man?’ they asked. ‘Even the winds and waves obey Him!’’We can take a lesson from the disciples: cry out to God when you feel overwhelmed. When we feel like we are about to be swallowed by the sea of our circumstances, call His name. He hears us. He has the power to calm every storm or He may just hold our hand as we navigate the choppy waters.
In the middle of the storm, we can partner with insurmountable peace. He can give us the courage to say "it is well with my soul." The disciples give us the example of crying out when we feel lost, and Jesus shows us that because we are children of The Most High, we can simply tap into what He has placed within us. As people, we are prone to forget the power we have through Him, but that is why there are so many beautiful examples of it. When we forget, we are reminded that we have exactly what we need when we are living in His presence. We have peace like a river, gently engulfing us in His love, carrying us into the truth of safety.
I am a true music-lover, I listen to lots of music, play my own music and even come from a family of musicians! Throughout my life, I've listened to many different music styles different artists, different bands, and I've come to realize something. We all know that books are teachers, science books, writing books, history books, the Bible and every other book we read, but what we may not realize, is that songs and singers are teachers too. Songs communicate a message, either good or bad and, in my opinion, leave a stronger imprint than books do. Singers impact us in many areas as well, in the way we talk, act, dress and style our hair. We as girls tend to take in many small details at once and make the puzzle with the pieces. We tend to look at every single detail, and make an effort to make our appearance the same. I remember, a while back, that after seeing a few videos of a singer that I really liked, I began an attempt to mimic her dress, her tone of voice, her actions and her music style, and I can honestly say that she was one of the people that have influenced me the the most - both musically and spiritually. She had officially become a role-model of mine. I was thinking about the impact her and her music have had on me, and I began to wonder why did she leave a bigger imprint on me more than anyone else ever did? Why did she effect my dress, voice and actions more than my own mother? I think that the reason I looked up to her the most was because of her music. Her lyrics were found on my lips everyday, all the time. Even when writing letters to friends or journal I always found a way to fit a little her words into everything I say or write. I came to realize that if these Christian authors, singers, and actresses who we look up to would give us the most Godly example that they can, dress in the most God honoring, God glorifying way they can, talk and act in the most Christlike, Jesus-following way they can and try to stay away from this worlds dirt and grime, that we would be stronger as Christians. We are naturally followers, but we were made to be leaders.
What do you think of when you hear that word? Pests? Monsters? Monkeys? Or do you think of best friends, fun times and unforgettable memories?
What do most people think of when they hear the word 'siblings'?
We've been talking a lot about evangelism and talking to people you don't even know, but, our first priority should always be to our family.
God has placed us in a family to love and cherish and be cherished. Many times we tend to focus so much on evangelism and ministry and other things, which is not wrong, but when we make that our top priority that is when it becomes wrong.
I have found that siblings can be the best treasures you can ever have! Yes, there will be many challenges and annoying times, but you are an overcomer!
Siblings are fun and funny (the picture above is two of my siblings=) but they can also become an irritation, and, who likes being irritated? What do most of us do when we become irritated? We usually respond irritated! I know this is hard, but God wants us to respond to these irritations with love and patience, and this is something that I really struggle with because it is hard! God gives us these "irritations" to strengthen us and help us grow in patience, love and a bunch of other good virtues.
Here is a way that I find very helpful to gain a better relationship with your brothers and sisters and it's to include them in you projects. A few days ago, I was re-decorating my room. My little brother and sister (whose illustrious faces are in the photo above) were playing on their bed and wanted to help me decorate my room! I really didn't think it would be a good time for them to help me, actually, to be honest, I didn't want their help because I thought they would be more of a bother than a blessing to my manufactures, but, after a while, I realized that even if they were no help, (which that dread they disproved), it would be a good time for them to become better friends with me! So, I let them help. They helped hang posters and give ideas of where to hang the posters and my brother even gave suggestions of which posters to hang! It was an awesome time with my little siblings that I would have missed out on if I had not let them help me!
God is watching us, He's watching to see how we will respond when He brings irritations. Remember, when you feel irritated, stop and pray for God's help, He will turn the bitter into sweet.
Here is a video of my little brother, Nathaniel, (AKA Tanny), dancing at our Christmas in the Park witnessing adventure, I hope you enjoy it!
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