Talk to Yourself

Talk to Yourself

Scared and wide-awake, I find myself lying awake in the middle of the night from a bad dream. My heart is pumping a mile a minute and every time I close my eyes the dream starts to repeat itself. I hate that. I really do.

How do you get rid of that feeling and those thoughts?

My mom gave me a great trick when I was younger. Home alone as a teenager, the phone rang. It was a not-so-nice phone call from a man I did not know. Scary, right? Except it was the time before caller ID. So when the phone rang again minutes later, I answered again.

Same guy.

I was really scared now.

I hung up and called my mom. She was miles away and could not be there in person, but her advice gave me more than that. She told me to pull out my Bible and read. She was right.

Scripture changes everything.

That day Scripture changed my heart and turned my fear to peace.

Only God can do that.

As I have grown, I have taken it a step further and challenged my children to do the same. Those moments when I am scared to death, I can read Scripture, yes. But what I find is even more helpful, is to talk to myself.

That’s right – talk out loud.

I read or quote Scripture out loud or sing a hymn (I love the theology of some of them!) and I talk to myself. It sounds crazy at first, but it’s not really. If I do things in my mind, my mind gets distracted and I’m back where I started. If I talk out loud I have to concentrate. Additionally, I think the words or Scripture, I say the words of Scripture, and I hear the words of Scripture.

If I do this enough, it seeps into my heart and soul and Jesus with His Truth brings peace again.

So I challenge you to try it today.

Are you worried about something? Anxious, scared? Try it. I promise. First, Scripture changes things – changes us. Second, we have to remind ourselves of that Truth, especially in times we start to forget.

So – talk to yourself. I dare you.

Ten Years

Ten Years

I never could have imagined I would be here.

In this moment in time, in this place, in these circumstances, I could never have imagined it.

Life can be difficult and challenging and hard. It can feel like a continuous battle more than a victory. A battle fought against my own emotions, fears, and weariness as much as it is against anything else.

Surely you’ve been there.

Yes, it’s a battle. But if I look at it another way, ten years ago I could never have dreamed I would be here. Take a few minutes with me and remember where you were ten years ago. Personally, I was almost three years into a marriage and over halfway through with that first deployment. With a new little one just turning one, we waited patiently in Clarksville, Tennessee for my sweetie to return home, while working full-time for the local municipality.

Where were you?

At a mere thirty three years of age, I had never planned on marrying some Army guy, living through deployments, and parenting solo for a while, yet that’s where I was. Today, ten years later, I sit in an apartment in Germany with two beautiful children and they same amazing Army guy. Having been through multiple deployments and even more PCSs, learning to homeschool my sweet children, and working with a ministry for military women, God has brought me a long way. Most of the adventure and growth from the Lord has nothing to do with geographic locations or deployment statistics, though.

I know very well what I used to be, don’t you? I also know where the Lord has brought me over that time. Through His grace, love, and patience, He has taught me, blessed me, strengthened me, and grown me more than I could ever have imagined. The longer I am a Christian, the more I can see what the Lord has done in me. I love it, because the longer journey gives a bigger picture of how has worked and continues to work in my life – and I am so very thankful.

Are my eyes on Him? Is my focus on what He is doing and teaching? Do I remember His faithfulness to me and am I reminding myself to continue to trust in His faithfulness? Is my life about Him or am I getting distracted by circumstances or personal feelings?

The Bible tells us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

What’s crazy is that I think sometimes this battle rages in my heart just as much as it does in the world. When I don’t feel like enough, when I remember my failures more than my successes, when I start comparing myself to those around me, I get caught up in the battle. You’ll notice that this battle is fiercest when my focus is on me. That’s where the challenge lies.

Life is about Him.

Whenever we take our focus off of Him, we get caught in the mess. I have zero desire to get caught in the mess. So I am determined, with the Lord’s help, to do this less and less. It’s a matter of relationship, time with the Lord, and the continual sanctification He does in my life. It’s about Him.

This week, my prayer is that I will remember what He has already done, trust that He is still doing it today, and walk in hope and victory because life is about Him….and He wins every time.

So, where were you ten years ago? What has He done in you since that time? How are you being intentional about walking with Him today?

 

 

 

 

This post is part of the Monday Minute Linkup at Planting Roots.

 

 

Faithful

Faithful

The one thing I want the Lord to see in me. The one thing I am so grateful for today.

HE is faithful. Always.

It’s been a year of testing and questions and new adventures and finishing deployments and…well, let’s just say it’s been a year. A beautiful, challenging, stretching, learning, growing year. Through it all, there has been one constant thread – HE has been faithful. Every. Single. Day.

I pray the Lord sees the same thing in me. Every moment, every day is there a thread that is constant in my life as well? I long for the words from Jesus, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). I want to live a life of faithfulness to the Lord.

But looking at my life as a whole can be somewhat overwhelming – I mean, it is a WHOLE life. That’s a lot on my plate.

The Lord has reminded me lately though that I am not responsible for my whole life today. I am simply responsible for today.

Obedience – it’s what He has called me to today. Obedience in the little things from words with a neighbor to time with the Lord are what I should be focused on. Knowing that stringing together days of obedience leads to a legacy of faith and a trail of Jesus. If I keep taking steps in the right direction, I end up exactly where I am supposed to be.

So today I am determined to follow Him, one step at a time, one act of obedience at a time. Trusting that if I do that every day I end up leaving the legacy I desire. Knowing I will mess up along the way, I am also thankful for His grace.

For it is His grace that looks through my mistakes and sees a heart that truly does long to serve Him.

He is faithful, my friends. Praying that we are as well.

What has He called you to do today?

 

Obedience

Obedience

So not my favorite word.

One word can bring excitement and fear, energy and weariness, hope and pessimism, joy and sadness. No doubt it does the same to you. God asks us to do some things that are crazy, hard, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. The outcomes of those things can be good or not, and we may not even see the outcome at all.

Are we sure we did the right thing? Did we do it well enough?

We all know half-hearted obedience is not obedience at all. Surely your parents told you such things…or you’ve said them to other short people.  God says the same. We’re not halfway in when following Jesus.

He expects – and DESERVES – wholehearted obedience. Regardless.

 

Regardless of:

Reaction

We encounter lots of people and circumstances in our lifetimes. Very few will react the way we want or expect them to in any given situation. The same is true when we are being obedient to the Lord. Reactions are the immediate replies we encounter.

Example: I tell my children after running multiple errands and a long day that we are back home to stay for the evening. A friend calls and needs some help. We need to be there. I tell the kids to put their shoes on so we can head out. Their reaction is the first words out of their mouths after hearing the news.

Reactions can be a bit intimidating. They can be strong, good or bad, but they are the immediate reply of our heart without thought or processing.

In our obedience to the Lord, we are not responsible for their reactions of others. We are simply called to do what God said to do.  

Response

Different than a reaction, a response is the reply after folks have had time to process information, possibly ask questions, and ponder their feedback. Responses can be just as strong if not stronger than reactions. With a response can come excuses, reasoning, research, etc.

Example: Once my sweet children are in the car and we are headed to our friends, their response is their attitude and words as we go. They’ve had time to think about what we are doing and why, ask questions (sometimes a million) and have a response to it all.

Responses too can be intimidating, especially if they are not what we expected. They are the processed output in response to words or actions of others.

Again, in our obedience to the Lord, we are not responsible for the responses of others. We are simply called to do what God said to do.

Result

This one can be the hardest. We (okay, maybe just me) have visions in our head of what can be and what the Lord could do. It doesn’t always turn out like I expected. This is where relationships could change, visions could crumble, hearts can be broken, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The results of our obedience can be hard to swallow sometimes. We long for good outcomes, encouraging directions, and good fruit, but we don’t always see it.

Example: Taking my children out again to help a friend can result in negative attitudes about the inconvenience of friends or it could instill in their hearts the desire to love others well.

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Results can be encouraging or discouraging and sometimes they can be a long time coming. Just ask some of those patriarchs they list in Hebrews 11. Most of them never saw the full results of their obedience to the Lord. We may never either. God doesn’t promise we will, though. He just says to go.

Again, in our obedience to the Lord, we are not responsible for the results. We are simply called to what God said to do.  

God has called us to obedience – wholehearted, courageous obedience – regardless of reaction, response, or result.

 

May we be faithful to Him today.

I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father. So now I urge you, lady-not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning-that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk according to His commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: you must walk in love. (2 John 1:4-6)

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** NOTE: This blog is part of a link up over at Planting Roots! Check it out here.

Feet on the Ground

Feet on the Ground

I love to dream. When I dream, I love to dream big.

It never crosses my mind to have a few ladies over for coffee. Instead, I think, “We should just have a conference and invite the world!” I used to play basketball quite a bit. I loved it. Playing all through high school, I dreamed of bigger things. My height (and my speed…and probably some other things) prevented me from playing in college. So, when I couldn’t play in college, I decided it would be even more fun to play in Africa. Makes perfect sense, right?

This is how my life goes all the time. I have an idea or someone suggests something, and I can start to dream about “big things” that little idea could become.

When we first got married, my husband would call me the “Good Idea Fairy.” The perfect name, I think. Mainly because I always have a “good” idea–good being highly relative, of course.

I do love to dream.

We do serve a God who can do ALL things. These dreams that I have could actually come true, should God decide to make them so, but He doesn’t always. Sometimes the dreams in my heart never come to fruition–how thankful I am. As great as I think my ideas are, they are not always what is best.

feet on the ground

I could dream dreams all day long, hoping and wishing for them to come true, but God.

Today’s blog is reminder to me of two things…God and the husband He gave me. I am overwhelmed by both.

God has used many people in my life, but none like He has used my hubby. The wonderful, godly man I married dreams too, maybe just not quite the crazy dreams I have at times. God has given me such a precious gift in this man, though.

To describe him in a sentence: Kyle keeps my feet on the ground and my eyes to the sky.
Kyle doesn’t crush my dreams or tell me they are nonsense, but he doesn’t jump head first into all of them either. The gift of my husband is that he looks for God at work in me and challenges me to continually look toward my Savior.

When grand ideas come, he brings me back to Jesus. “Kori, have you prayed about this? How has God led you to this or is it God who is leading?” He asks and he watches to see what God is doing in me.

Some of those dreams we have stepped into, both of us, because he has seen what God is doing in me and God has led his heart to follow too. We step in together.

When we first married, I did not appreciate his input quite as much. He held my hand down far too many times when I was so ready to jump straight in–or so I thought. That man I thought was holding me back was actually holding me in. He has kept my feet on the ground, active and involved and doing what God has asked in the place where I am, while pointing my eyes to the sky, continually seeking my Savior.

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You have them too, those people in your life that you aren’t certain are really helpful. Those friends and family that seem to just hold you back or crush your dreams. They are more of a blessing that we realize at times, a gift God has given to us.

My prayer is that our hearts will continue to dream and to seek, and that our feet will stay obedient in the place where we are. I pray God sends people who challenge us to do just that – keep our feet on the ground and our eyes to the sky.

Do you have someone who does that for you? I would love to hear what God has taught you through them!

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