Thursday, January 29, 2015

No Fear

It's been a few weeks since I've written a post....time flies when you are having fun, raising 3 kids, running a business, volunteering at church and just living life! :)

Today's post comes from a sweet moment I had with my girls last week.  Every night before bed we read from a devotional by Dannah Gresh called The One Year Mother Daughter Devo. I ordered it on Amazon Prime when I saw Dannah had written it because I absolutely LOVE all her books on raising Godly girls.  We absolutely love it and my girls always remind me when it's time to read it.

One of our devotionals last week was called "No Fear".  It was talking about trusting God with every step you take and the key scripture was from Acts 16:6-8:
Coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. 
At the end of each devotional is a section called "Girl Gab" and it gives you a topic to discuss or a project to do together.  For this devotional our project was for the girls to blind fold me then give me direction to get to a destination(or room) of their choice.  I had to trust them that they weren't going to run me into any walls or make me fall down the stairs.  I also had to believe that the destination they chose for me was a good place and not somewhere I would rather not be. Since my oldest daughter, Ellie, got a sewing machine for Christmas she was beyond excited to put the sleep mask she had made to good use!

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to walk at first because I was learning to understand what my daughter, Olivia(age 5), meant when she said move to certain ways.  But when I was confused I simply asked her to repeat what she meant in a way I could understand.  Of course the girls wanted their turn at it after I was done and we had a great deal of fun.

The coolest part was the visual illustration of how God leads us.  We may sometimes feel like we are following Him blindly because we can't always see the big picture but we have to trust that He has our best interest in mind and will not lead us into harms way.  Just like my girls had a destination in mind(they picked a different room to lead me to each time) God has a destination for us too.  We can choose to live a life full of fear which will cause us to not take a baby step when God gives us direction. I also love the reminder that it's okay to tell God we are confused and to please make it more clear to us the direction we are to go...He loves having that personal relationship with us and confirming the things He has been speaking to our heart.

When my oldest daughter, Ellie, took a turn she held her hands up and even screamed a little.  I can't help but think that is what God sees us doing when we "freak out" over certain steps we take forward. I imagine Him telling us to simply relax and enjoy the journey.  

My girls even had to get Daddy to try it out the next night.  I love that this illustration stuck with them and I pray they will remember it in years to come when they feel uncertain about the next step to take in life.  I know I will never forget it.  

I hope our fun story inspired you to trust God in moving forward even if you can't see the big picture.  Do you have any fun activities you do with your kids to help them understand God and how much He cares about them?  I would love to hear them!

Monday, January 12, 2015

I made a mistake {But it's not over}

Have you ever had a time in your life that God gave you a word about a new season you were moving into or impressed upon your heart about a new season, decision, job, opportunity, business, etc?

I've had many of these experiences in life and as I've gotten older and more mature in the Lord I tend to do a better job of hearing God and not moving until He says go.  But recently I had an experience that truly humbled me and brought me to my knees before Him.  God has been speaking to me about a change that is coming for our family for at least 6 months now.  The more He reveals to me about this change the more excited I become.  In fact, this change really has been consuming my thoughts and actions a lot lately.  I keep praying about the timing and asking God to reveal the timing of this change to me.  When that clear answer didn't come I decided to go ahead and press play anyway.  Bad mistake.  I knew the day that I made the decision that God had not given me the green light and, by His grace, was able to reverse the decision.  However, it did create some pain and confusion in the process.  While the old Rachael tried to rise up in me and wanted to run and hide under a brick, change my name or move to another city, I knew God was using this moment to teach me and grow me as an individual, mom, friend and believer.  Here are some truths God reminded me of through this process:

His Timing is ALWAYS BEST.

We all know this to be true but do we know this to be true?  I believe this in my head but do I always believe it in my heart?  If I had to be honest I would say no.  Sure sometimes I get it right but for the most part I want to do things my way and on my time.   The bible is very clear that there is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
When we try to make things happen in our time we are simply removing ourselves from God's will and his umbrella of covering and blessings.  I have learned the hard way that is not a place you want to be.

He still loves you.

I believe when we make mistakes or bad decisions that satan is waiting close by to begin whispering lies to us.  Lies that God no longer loves us and we have screwed things up too big this time.  You know the voices, if you are alive and have breath in your body you have been bombarded with these types of thoughts.  Recognize them as the voice of the enemy and refuse to listen to them.  The truth is in John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Do you think God would have given His ONLY son if he didn't love us with all of His heart, forever and always, no matter what?!  I know he wouldn't.  God knew we would make mistakes and He is prepared to walk through those mistakes with us and set us back on solid ground.

It's not over. 

Back to that word you received, the impression you felt on your heart or the dream you have.....did you blow it if you tried to make it happen in your time rather than God's time?  No, you did not blow it.  You might be taking a detour and it could take a little longer to get there(or some speed bumps along the way) but nothing is impossible with God.   Satan will try to convince us that it's too late and our situation cannot be redeemed.  But the truth in Psalm 78:35 says:

Not yet does not mean NO.

The final lie satan will try to get us to believe is that God's answer of "not yet" means no...or that we did not hear God correctly.  Stand on that word God gave you and enjoy the journey He has you on in the waiting period.  Praise Him in the storms and He will defeat your Jericho when it is time!

If you find yourself in a situation like I did, where you tried to force God's timing, just stop and humble yourself before the Lord and ask him to forgive you for not trusting His timing. Then ask Him to redeem what was lost in your bad decision.  Lean on this blessing and truth from Romans 8:28:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.   
Aren't you SO thankful for God's grace?!  Sometimes I love being humbled so I am reminded that no matter how much I mature in my relationship with the Lord I am still in need of His grace!!