About kathleenbrdly

As a person with low self-esteem, no personal value, and lost in this big, scarey world, I struggled much of my life with fear and insecurity. This blog is a roadmap of the journey my life took to find fulfillment...kat

Leaning In

Photography of Body of Water and Mountains

 

There is a popular concept today that I have fallen in love with: “Lean In”. We automatically lean in when the wind blows so fiercely that we are in danger of falling over. A sailor leans in to the wind so that the breeze will fill the sails of the boat and propel it through the water.

 

This term denotes embracing the moment, and paying attention to the detail in body language, words, behavior and attitude, etc. in those around us. We lean in to each moment of our day and listen to God’s Spirit as we follow His directives, embracing what occurs.

 

We can learn from, grow, and effect even negative circumstances in our life when we lean in to them rather than running away from, complaining about or ignoring them. We stand on God’s Word in the power of His Spirit, and embrace each issue as it arises.

 

Looking for possibilities, we trust God in what appears to be impossibilities. We courageously seize the challenge rather than shirking from it, and we successfully accomplish all that God calls us to do in each moment of our life.

 

For instance, I noticed my neighbor struggling to start a machine he wanted to use. He pulled the cord repeatedly without success. I “leaned in” to his frustration, and prayed that God would allow his next tug on the cord to start the appliance. Immediately that leaf blower sparked into life.

 

At a restaurant, our server was grouchy and touchy and had a distant look in her eye. I leaned in to her distress, and I told her, “I just want you to know that God loves you and has a perfect plan for your life.”

 

She burst into tears, and allowed us to pray with her right then and there. She started attending our church, and attentively listened to each sermon; daily, she read the Bible that we gave her.

 

We can fearlessly lean in to each challenge we face in life, knowing that God has a perfect plan for us through each one of them. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the trial, we use the Serenity Prayer (see below) to guide us, as we utilize God’s supernatural gifts to overcome the issues ahead of us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You recommend that we stop leaning on our own human resources, and instead consult You and lean in to You before we do anything (Proverbs 3:5-6). If we follow Your plans for us and walk in Your Spirit, our intimacy with You and our faith in Your faithfulness grow. We learn to step out and fearlessly trust You in the circumstances of our life.

 

Remind us that sports figures lean in to the waves, snow slope, ball pitch, etc. by shifting their weight toward the opposing forces they experience, and we can do the same thing with our circumstances. We lean in to You, embracing Your wisdom, direction, and power to accomplish Your plans for the moments of our life. We love You eternally; and daily, we snuggle into the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 91).

 

Thought for the Day:

God is just waiting for His beloved adopted children, the Bride of Christ, His Body to trust Him in every area of our life; as we lean in to each moment of the day, and embrace the possibilities in all of them, He will lead us through a lifetime of many divine appointments and victories.

 

Serenity Prayer:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.

Advertisements

God’s Example for Us

Sunflower

 

 

Compassion is a complex emotion. Without love, there is no compassion; and without compassion, there is no true love. Compassion is the most important ingredient in a successful relationship with friends, relatives, associates and neighbors.

 

When someone reaps what they sow, it is very easy to feel like they earned their misery, and we have trouble showing them much compassion. If someone mistreats us or abuses us, we withhold love from them until we view their actions with the eyes of compassion.

 

Having compassion helps us to rise above our feelings, and to give God’s Agape love to our offenders. As God’s adopted children, we walk in holiness and humility with kindness, gentleness and patience at the core of our compassion for others (Colossians 3:12).

 

God gives us His example of showing mercy and kindness to us and others, and having compassion toward us (Exodus 33:19). He comforts us and has compassion on the afflicted (Isaiah 49:13). We cannot help but praise Him for His goodness (Isaiah 63:7).

 

When we persevere through the trials of life, God blesses us with more than we ever lost, because of His unfailing love and mercy (James 5:11; Lamentations 3:32; Psalm 103:13). God blots out our transgressions, and shows us His grace and truth (Psalm 51:1, 116:5).

 

Jesus desires from us compassion for sinners more than sacrificial offerings (Matthew 9:13). His plans for us are our delight, and His compassion enables us to live a fulfilled life (Psalm 119:77, 156). He is good to all those who trust in and honor Him (Psalm 145:9).

 

We teach our soul to praise God’s holy name by remembering the blessings He bestows on us every moment of every day: He forgives our sins, heals our diseases, satisfies us with good things, redeems our life from the pit of hell, and crowns us with love and compassion (Psalm 103:1-5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus is Your only begotten Son through Your union between Your Spirit and Mary, and we are so grateful that we are Your adopted children. You are the Father of compassion and comfort in all of our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Matthew 1:18). United with Christ in us, we have encouragement, are comforted by Your love, and share Your Spirit with Jesus.

 

In this world, tenderness and compassion make our joy complete as we dwell in like-minded unity of love, spirit and doctrine – not doing anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, we value one another in Your Body, our church family, above our self (Philippians 2:1-3). Give us Jesus’ compassion for the sick, the harassed and helpless (Matthew 9:35-36).

 

Thought for the Day:

God enables us to show one another – especially our spouse – compassion, patience, mercy, love, attentiveness, honor and respect – even if we do not relate to what they share with us, or if we fail to see the value or concern in what they need us to affirm and validate.

– Luke 6:31

 

Complete in Christ

Landscape Photo of Green Trees and Mountains

 

At times, we feel as if we are schizophrenic – divided, split, disconnected from our self and our world. We wear so many different masks, that we no longer recognize, or even know our true self, because we lost so many parts of our self throughout our lifetime.

 

Each trauma we experience displaces more of our self, and we leave that part behind – wounded, and oppressed by Satan’s lies. Overwhelmed and depressed, we choose to abandon these parts of our self in the past, because rescuing them seems hopeless.

 

At times, somber thoughts will trigger tears to flow – sometimes slow and unbidden; however often in huge torrents of heart-rending pleas for help. We have no idea how to help our self to heal, so that we can live a fulfilled life.

 

We go to self-help groups, counselors, psychiatrists for prescriptions to dull the pain of our bottomless well of internal grief, etc. but we receive no lasting help. Our soul – our thoughts, feelings and choices – is shredded and bleeding; we slap bandages on the wounds, but this does nothing to heal us.

 

When medication fails us, we attempt to heal through exercise, nature walks, new hobbies, star gazing or bird watching, relaxation techniques, mingling with strangers in local bars, or hiding under the thick blankets on our bed, etc.

 

The Good News is that God took on the form of a human being and died a horrendous crucifixion in our place to set us free from this sin-cursed world, as well as the trauma we buried deep in our subconscious mind.

 

Spending quiet time in His presence allows Him to reveal to us these hidden places that affect our words, emotions, and actions every single day. We heal by focusing on the emotion, listening to the words associated with this current pain, and asking God for His perspective on these satanic lies.

( https://www.transformationprayer.org/preparing-journey-introduction/ )

 

Prayer:
Father God, You are our peace, and You have broken down every wall that we built in our soul in order to protect our self from future pain, as well as to attempt to separate our self from the pain of our past. Jesus is our only Hope, our Shield, our Strength, our Wisdom and our Freedom into the spiritual reality of life.

 

Jesus allowed Himself to be broken and spilled out for our healing, and He wants to abide within us now and for eternity. Remind us that His presence in us is just a prayer away. Help us to take the first step of a prayer of repentance for the sins we inherited from our forefather, the sins that we committed throughout our past, and the sins we allow to govern our life even now.

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to God, except through Him” (John 14:6), and as we open our spirit for Jesus to come abide within us and to cleanse us, we can sit quietly in His presence and receive His help in recovering each abandoned piece of our soul that we left behind; we are set free from our past, completely healed of our emotional wounds, and drenched in peace, joy and hope for our future.

 

 

A Good Marriage – Forging Deeper Bonds

Landscape Photo of Riverand Pine Trees

 

Working together in our marriage as partners, rather than pulling apart as adversaries, allows us to forge deeper bonds that bring fulfillment to our relationship. Even the most devoted couple experiences conflicts now and then.

 

Ignoring the issue allows it to remain unresolved, especially if we never discuss it. Give up your ideas and his, and pray together to find a third alternative that you both agree with. If all else fails, a Christian marriage counselor is very helpful in resolving an impasse and preventing barriers between us.

 

Spending time together in serving God is also very nourishing to our relationship. A few nurturing ideas are: choosing a ministry in which we can serve together; learning in a Bible study class together; going on mission trips together; volunteering together in the community; hosting a dinner party with Christian friends, etc.

 

Have fun together. Go for walks and chat, take a picnic to a local scenic place, go to a café and drink hot cocoa on a cold night, start a campfire in the back yard and make s’mores, ride bikes around the neighborhood, help an older couple do their yardwork, etc.

 

There is an endless list of free possibilities to spend some quality time together. We married our mate, so that we could have and hold each other for the rest of our life; so remember to spend time snuggling, laughing and chatting each day too.

 

When one is sick, the other can warm a can of soup, play board games together, read the same book and share impressions about what is read, listen to the Bible online and discuss the verses, watch the same TV show, etc.

 

If we work too much, or fill our schedule with too many separate hobbies and activities, this will cause our mate to feel neglected, undesirable, stressed, unappreciated and lonely. It is vitally important to make time for one another, and not to allow our children’s schedules to get too full either.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your Word teaches us that a happy marriage is one made of a couple willing to sacrifice some of their own desires for one another’s happiness and fulfillment. Remind us that a marriage that involves a committed couple is like a tree planted by a stream; its roots are not covered with grass and dirt so that it can breathe (Psalm 1:1-3).

 

Remind us to stop to notice and to enjoy the beauties of new life during each new spring. We want to do more than to co-exist; we want to blossom as a couple and as parents. Teach us that our marriage will flourish with fruit in the growing seasons, and it will survive the coldest winters, by sending our roots deeper into Christ and His Word.

 

Thought for the Day:

If we allow our self to get too embroiled in too many worthwhile activities that separate us, we stand the chance of smothering the roots of our love; short times apart are healthy for any relationship, but our “together” time should be just that…together.

 

A Child’s Perspective

Foggy Lake

 

Seeing things through the eyes of a child is eye-opening to say the least. Jesus admonishes us with His words to repent of our sins and to consider life from the perspective of a little child (Matthew 18:3). We are never too old to have that child-like viewpoint on life.

 

We all have our “child” within us that we were, are, and always will be. We simply need to spend some quiet time accessing that fun-loving, creative, innocent, and maybe even wounded part of our self. We heal in body and soul when we surrender that vulnerable part of our self to God.

( https://www.transformationprayer.org/preparing-journey-introduction/ )

 

As a young Christian, I used to attempt to snatch God’s blessings from His hand…impatient and insistent. One day He reminded me, “Just be still and know that I am your God. Just wait on me and my timing.”

 

Ever since then, I followed His advice; and He always gives me what I need, when I need it. As I walk in His presence through all my chores and responsibilities all day and night long, He blesses me continually with direction, wisdom, and good things to enjoy.

 

For instance, right now, my entire yard is FULL of wildflowers, even though the garden that I planted is just getting ready to bloom. Many people might call them weeds, but to quote my five year old grandson Charles, “Look at all of the beautiful flowers.”

 

We, with all authentic Believers – past and present and future, make up the temple of God (Revelations 21:1-4). He dwells within us individually and corporately, giving us every good thing from His storehouse of blessings – especially when we come to Him as His child.

 

Prayer:

Father God, when we come into Your presence for salvation, You first heal our spirit through rebirth and regeneration; then You sanctify our soul; and eventually You glorify us with an immortal body. We spend our lifetime, as well as eternity, in Your glorious presence, enjoying the riches of Your love for us.

 

When we come to faith in Christ, we are no longer refugees and outsiders, but You adopt us as Your children into Your eternal family (Ephesians 1:5, 2:19-22). You unite us with all Believers in You, just as Jesus is one with You (John 17:20-21). We rejoice in our salvation, and in You, and Your love and care for us.

 

Thought for the Day:

We nourish our love for God by living in His love, and daily looking for signs of His love and mercy toward us; these little “hugs” will nurture our soul, and give us positive reinforcement of His love for us, which starts with eternal life.

– Jude 1:21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For God’s Glory

Green Tree during Sunset

 

In God’s Word, He gives us very, very good advice. One such tidbit of wisdom is to be still, and to know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). There are two aspects to this directive:

  1. Be still
  2. To know without a doubt that He is the only true God

 

God’s Word gives us many examples of people who learned this same lesson. When Elijah ran away from Jezebel’s wrath, he sat by the brook in despair (1 Kings 19:5-12). He gave in to fear, panic, distress and even depression.

 

Elijah witnessed a great miracle by God, yet he still fell prey to feelings of hopelessness and abandonment. He actually believed Satan’s lie that he was not able to make a difference in the lives of God’s people, and he wanted to die.

 

God told him to be still, and to realize that he was not the only Believer, so Elijah was not alone. God topped off that comforting word with food to eat, which sustained him on his arduous journey to the same mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

 

The Lord only uses us as vessels when we are fashioned by His hand, and not by our own making. As He strengthens us each day to do His will, He helps us to live as an instrument of His love in the world around us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, sometimes we feel helpless in our daily walk; however, we need to realize that in order for You to use us, our self-sufficiency must decrease so that You can increase in our life. Be exalted, O Lord, in your own strength, because we trust in You. We sing your praises and thank You for helping us with Your power (Psalm 21:13, 57:5).

 

When we lay aside our busy schedule and go to our solitary place to seek You, You always encourage us and give us clear direction. We can enter Your presence and worship You, and then go out into the world and listen for Your Holy Spirit’s guidance for each moment of the Day. We want Your glory to be exalted in the whole earth, and our desire is for all of creation to praise Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we sit in God’s presence, He robes us with His strength to carry out whatever ministry He lays before us; this is when we get the chance to shine for His glory, as we further His Kingdom on the earth.

What the World Needs Now

Green Fields Near Brown Mountain

 

When I use the word compassion, I am not referring to an inclusiveness or blind acceptance. However, we can agree to disagree. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinions and beliefs, and we cannot deprive each other of this privilege.

 

We simply give people space to come to God on their own volition. That is the only way for them to find true conversion, rather than a partial conviction from their attempt to please us. We facilitate this process by showing them nurturing compassion.

 

A compassionate person rejoices with those who rejoice, and feels sorrow with those who are sad or have lost their hope. Jesus is our ultimate example of this, because even while we were still sinners, He paid our ransom, and freed us from all condemnation (Romans 5:8, 8:1).

 

In situations such as divorce, betrayal, abandonment, neglect, rejection, etc. it is not always easy to find compassion in our heart for the other person. When this occurs, we simply give our self permission to feel our pain during our quiet times.

 

We gift our self with many private occasions to fully feel these intense negative emotions. Journaling our thoughts and feelings, we rid our soul of their destructive grip on our life. We meditate on God’s Word, and listen to His Spirit in order to gain His perspective on the matter.

 

Resisting these strong emotions only pushes them deep into our subconscious mind, then they resurface when some current issue reminds us of past experiences. We heal more quickly by allowing our self to completely deplete the intensity of the destructive feelings.

 

This allows us to feel, release, and then let go – practically unscathed by this horrendous experience. We change our focus from what we lost, to all that God provides for us in this new chapter of our life. His goodness is greater than anything that Satan attempts to use to cripple us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, when we look for Your mighty hand in the midst of our trials, we realize that You have everything in Your complete control. Nothing in our life surprises You. Your many gifts to us of kindness, compassion, peace and joy bring us fulfillment like nothing this earth has to offer (Isaiah 63:7).

 

You long to be gracious to us, to defend us, and to show compassion to us. You are the God of justice; and, we can always count on Your blessings for us (Isaiah 30:18). You have great plans for us in spite of our losses (Isaiah 54:10). We give You praise and glory for what You do for us and in us, each day of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Though the foundation of our life is shaken, or we lose the security we took a lifetime to procure, and the comfort of our routine is forcefully removed from our control, God never loses His grip on us, or His compassion for us; we will never let go of Him, regardless of the torrent of issues that assail us on a weekly basis, because God always has compassion on us, gives us His guidance, and leads us beside peaceful springs of refreshing.

– Isaiah 49:10