Oct 19, 2016

Jesus, take the wheel.....

If you have a kid that is 15 years of age or older and you taught them how to drive, I bow down on my face before you.

How come NO ONE told us how difficult it is to teach a teenager how to drive? Hmm? Not a single solitary person.

We [parents] with kids this age need a big huge gold trophy when it's all said and done. Actually, a one way ticket to Hawaii will work just fine too.

Now, you folks with littles, I will be THAT friend to you. Now you KNOW. Get ready. Go ahead and prepare your heart, your mind, your medicine cabinet.[just kidding. kind of]

As my daughter and I sat in the backseat of the car [hubby was in front] while my 15 year old  took his first drive on the express way, I learned a few things about life. [and that organic deodorant DOES NOT WORK on days like these. Thank you very much.]

The first  thing I learned was that NEVER will I be in the car when it is a driver's first time on the express way. NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN.

My nerves are shot. My wrinkles had babies. And, my heart is still out of rhythm.

In my son's fifteen year old defense, he did fine.

However, it is NOT fine, and anything but FINE, while it's happening.

Apparently, I have some control issues. Quite a few. [Janet Jackson, I feel ya, sister!]

Here is what else I learned:

It does not help to try to grab the wheel from the backseat. I may need to repeat this again so it sticks.

Brakes are not in the backseat even though your feet keep trying to push them.

It is best to not yell things from the backseat and just shut up and let your husband do the teaching.

In fact, it is best in times like these to just be quiet and pray your head off.

Did I mention that it is quite impossible to grab the wheel from the backseat? Ok.

The irony is that our family memory verse for the week is this:

 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17:28

I hate when I have to live a memory verse out right in front of my kids. HUMILIATING.[insert an eye roll here]

 I was anything but silent, and anything but discerning.

So, here is the point of this post...

It is better to be quiet. It is better to be still. It is better to pray.

This applies to pretty much all of life.

It applies to my relationship with my husband. My kids. My family. My friends.

We can get ourselves so bent out of shape when we try to control something that we have zero business trying to control. In fact, it can make us downright crazy. [points to self]

There are some scriptures to help us in this. Let's look at them...

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

I say this one a lot. Almost every time I go into a social situation, a bible study, or anything where my mouth can get drippy, I say this verse.

 I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. Isaiah 49:25

I say this one when I feel I have got to shout to the rooftops when I have been wronged. I have to remind myself to be still and let God fight for me.

"A man's wisdom gives him patience, it is to his glory to overlook and offense." Proverbs 19:11

Yep. Yep. and Yep. [still working on this one]

"But, I trust in you, O LORD, I say, "You are my God. My times are in Your hands.." Psalm 31:14-15

I had to say this a lot in that backseat watching my baby drive that big ol' car. With 18 wheelers at every angle. Good grief.

Friend, is there an area in your life that you need to trust Him more?  Are you trying to control an outcome that you were never meant to control?

Yeah, I get it.

But, all the white-knuckling in the world cannot do you any good. [and you will have sweat stains the size of Lake Michigan under your arm pits.]

Letting go and trusting our Father is the only way we can have peace. And, a much better outcome.


peace from the backseat,

jill


Oct 11, 2016

Will it really be okay?

Lately, the heaviness of the world feels like it is sitting on my chest. I feel the panic rise some days, and I have to go back to what I know. God's Word.

When this feeling comes up through my chest cavity and into my throat feeling like I will most likely suffocate, I recite God's Word. Over and over.

Immediately the panic is gone.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. Hebrews 4:12

A few nights ago, I escaped to our back porch. The sky was pitch black except for the sliver of a bright and shining moon. I gasped when I saw the moon. So bright. So captivating. So affirming.

God is light, there is no darkness in Him at all. 1 John 1:5

As I stared at the moon and heard the words of 1 John repeating in my head over and over, my heart was washed over in peace.

Everything is going to be okay.

Everything is going to be okay.

Everything is going to be okay.

I felt the same way I did when my mother would tuck me in at night when I was a scared and frightened little girl. She would always say, "It's okay baby. Everything is just fine."

The warmth of her words washed over me.

Just as the warms of God's Words washes over me.

I cannot be fearful when I am saying His Words.

I cannot be scared when His Word is being spoken, whispered into the depths of my spirit.

I cannot worry what tomorrow will bring when I know that He has tomorrow in His hands.

Do I think He doesn't know what I need? What my family needs? What our nation needs? What our world needs?

 ...for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8

It feels good to ask Him though.

It feels good to say, "Lord, is it going to be alright? Do you see our need? Do you see the state of our world? It will be okay, right?"

Just as a child asks her mother, we ask the Lord.

It affirms our faith.

It shows our dependence on Him when we can just stop dead in our tracks and say, "Lord, it will be okay, right?"

We need to talk to Him. We need to tell Him how we are feeling. We need to shed the thousand pound weight of worry on our hearts. We need to unload it on Him. He can handle it. But, we cannot.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30

The truth is, I have no idea what will happen. No idea.

But, God does.

My job is to be still, and know that He is God. And pray.

Worrying, fretting, and incessantly talking about the fears we have, is not being still. It is in fact, quite the opposite.

We are to have a deep knowing of God's Hand in all things.

Our times are in His hands. Psalm 31:15

I am reminded of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. As she sat at the cross where her perfect Son was being crucified, tortured, laughed at, mocked, spat upon...

She was still. Quiet. Prayerful.

She could have wailed, pitched a fit, made a scene, plead His case....

Yet, she sat still.

Mary had a knowing.

A knowing that could of only come from her faith in Jesus.

She knew it would all be okay.

Surely, it didn't look okay in the moment...

Yet, she knew.

She trusted God enough to know that this was not the end.

Her faith kept her still, quiet, and prayerful.

Mary was able to see the fruit of her faith just a few short days later, when she would see Jesus in His Glorious arisen state.  But, she also had to see the absolute worst of scenarios right up until then.

Our children are watching us. Our neighbors are watching us. The world is watching us.

What will we do?

Will we panic? Will be feverishly try to figure out the outcome? Will we lose sleep, worry incessantly, and drive ourselves to a mad state of mind?

Or, will we be still. Quiet. Prayerful.

Knowing, that all things work together for our good. [Romans 8:28]


choosing stillness,


jill