Thy Will Be Done…if I’m comfortable

Thy Will Be Done…if I’m comfortable

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Thy will be done.  Saying those words produces strong feelings in me.  What about you?  Are the words comforting? Do they make you ready to run?  For me, it is both comforting and alarming.  It makes me wonder what is about to happen, but also gets me excited to see what God is going to do.

Thy Will Be Done: How can this be both comforting and alarming?

From my own personal life experience, I’ve learned that when God calls, He typically starts to lead me in a way that changes my world and throws me out of my comfort zone.  I’ve always considered myself a risk taker BUT God’s idea of risk is much greater than mine and yet, it is the safest thing of all.  Because His ways are not our ways, He calls us to something more than this world has to offer.  There have been many times that He has called me away from my wants and desires even when I thought they were based on His leading.

Fighting God’s Will in South America

I’ve seen God test my willingness to follow His lead.  Maybe in actuality, I was the one testing God to see if I could conform His ways to my will instead of the other way around.

As a freshman in college, I was preparing to go on my first official mission trip.  Every week our group of 4 people would meet for training and learn how to encourage open conversation and plant seeds of hope in the lives of others.  We were raising funds and praying over the location we were destined to go.  Four months into raising funds, we learned that our plans were being changed.  Now instead of going to Argentina, which was the ONLY place I agreed to go to in South America, we were told we would be going to a town in Venezuela that was 90 miles from the Colombian border.

I pitched a fit or maybe more truthfully, I refused to go.  I went to the office and stated how we had planned to go to Argentina.  This was the only country I felt comfortable going to and we needed to get back to that place instead of wherever they were now sending us.  I didn’t pray for understanding or for God to soften my heart on this.  Instead, I dug my feet in and tried to fight to go to where I felt comfortable.  God had different plans.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

His ways are not our ways.

God knew I would never willingly choose to go to Venezuela, but He put me on a mission team destined for that very place–a place I soon fell in love with. I came to love Venezuela and it’s people so much that I returned the following summer.

God had big plans. He had been using teams for years to plant seeds in the hearts of people in Merida, Venezuela. That summer, we were able to continue planting seeds, as well as witnessing several dedicating their lives to Christ.  It was thrilling! I got to see Jesus alive and well in the hearts of fellow brothers and sisters.  The passion for Jesus was contagious and I came back living more impassioned for Christ than I ever had before.

Fighting God’s will in America

Years later, after my husband and I had “settled” into our cozy suburban neighborhood and started our family, God once again decided to change our lives.  Looking back now, He called us to something earlier, but we were just to caught up in what we wanted to truly listen to what He wanted.

When we started changing how we prayed and asked God to lead us instead of just blessing whatever plan we had, He took our lives in a completely different direction.  I’ve mentioned it before so I won’t go into details again but I will say that it was this time that God took us away from many of our physical “treasures.” He asked us to treasure Him more than our things. My perspective has definitely changed.  Now, I look around at the things we own and feel as though I am ready to walk away from it all, if that is what God calls us to do.

My Realization

Between Venezuela and many other times when I decided to fight God’s will (did I mention I’m stubborn?), I realized something about myself:

I was determined to love God with all my heart and serve him with all I had, as long as I was comfortable.  

It felt like I’d been sucker punched the moment I realized this truth.  God doesn’t want to live in our confined boxes and He definitely doesn’t want us to.  We can’t experience God’s amazing ways when we aren’t willing to walk in His splendor.

Lord teach us…

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
– Psalm 143:10

I was determined to love God with all my heart and serve Him with all I had

Will their be times of pain and discomfort?

YES! We can see this truth throughout the Bible.  Every single person who followed God’s leading in their life had some form of discomfort.  Why would we think that our lives should be any different?  Do we really think that we deserve the nice house, the nice cars and all are nice things?  Are we willing to give them up if called?  If we struggle with answering “yes” to this question, then we may be finding ourselves only living for God as long as we are comfortable.  This is a very dangerous place to be.  It’s a place that Satan can work to encourage us never to leave.

(Now, am I not saying just because we have a nice house, a nice car, and nice things that we are not living for God?  NOT AT ALL!  But I am saying if we are putting those things before Christ, even if we don’t realize it, then we really need to question, if we are living for God or living for ourselves?)

We do not need to be afraid of any pain or discomfort that will come when we are walking in God’s will! God will give us a perfect peace when we follow Him.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

Thy Will by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

Every time I hear this song, Thy Will, on the radio, I can’t help but pray that I will allow my comfort zone to fade away so that God’s will is also fully my will no matter what the cost.

Are you ready to make that same commitment?  

Don’t wait any longer to see God’s awesome power in your life!

 

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Gideon Moments

Gideon Moments

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Oh, Lord, your ways are not my ways, but I want your ways to be my ways.  Many times, however,  I struggle and fight your ways.  Does anyone else but me seem to have this issue?  I’ve had my share of Gideon moments.  I’m not always hiding out but sometimes I struggle to understand if this is REALLY what God wants.

The Struggle

I think I struggle with accepting what God wants when it tends not to go along with what I initially want.  I don’t always know what I want but there are times, I know I don’t initially want what He is calling me to do.  Can you relate?

I think that is why when I read the story of Gideon, I feel like I can relate a little.  Here I am feeling like I am not the best choice for the position God is calling me to, but feeling called nonetheless.  And I just want to make sure that I know I’ve heard God right!

Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.”  And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
Judges 6:36-40

My latest Gideon moment

It started a handful of months ago.  An idea popped into my head and I thought, “Well, that’s not a bad idea but I don’t necessarily think I need to do it.”

Like all ideas, I started to vet them out, because if they are not from God, I want to know and stop them immediately.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1

So, how do I vet these thoughts?
  • I bump them up against God’s word.  If all is good, then continue to the next point.
  • Pray about it.
  • Specifically ask if this is something God wants me to do.
  • Then ask if this is something God wants me to do now or does He have a different timeline in mind.
  • Then pray about accepting it, especially if it is something I didn’t initially want to do.  Asking for forgiveness for not following God immediately typically falls in this step for me, too.

Over the past several months, I have been going through this process.  I kept getting the green light from God, even though most of the time I would have preferred a red.  And then my Gideon moment finally came.

I did everything I felt I was supposed to do to get the ball rolling.  I obeyed.  But I wanted to make sure this was really what He wanted me to do.  I didn’t want to go against His will at all and just felt very torn. So I laid my garment out and said to God,

“You know I want to obey you. I want your ways to be my ways but I’m torn.  I’m not sure this is even going to work out because after committing to do a certain job, I realized I forgot to mention that I might be moving, I’m going out of town for a bit, and my availability isn’t flexible at all.  Lord, I have to tell them this and if it is not your will, help them to not accept my help.  Let me know once again that this is from you and I’m not doing this outside of you. Let them say yes, if it’s from you.”

Truly, with what I had to share, it would have been very easy for them to say no and I sorta hoped they would, but instead I received a cheerful yes.

My Pride

And then I cried.  I cried for many reasons, one being that right now I’m just extra emotional. (We’ve had a tough year. Even though I see and feel all of God’s blessings, it is still a little difficult.)  Then I cried because doing this means I will be away from my kids for a little bit. Last but not least, I cried because I realized my pride was standing in the way of what God was calling me to do.

It was the last that got me the most.  I always want to be open to whatever God is calling me to do, but in this case, I stumbled over my pride.

I’m thankful for God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. I’m thankful for God finding ways to show me where pride is still lurking in my heart.  He is molding me, just like He is molding you.

When setbacks happen in your spiritual life, realize He will use them for His glory and to mold you into the person He needs you to be.  He is merciful and full of forgiveness. May we all seek His forgiveness as He continues to shine light on the darkness lurking in our hearts.

May you be encouraged the next time you too have a Gideon moment. God can take you where you are and then show you why you should wholeheartedly put your faith in Him!

 

 

Just for fun, here is a hilarious song about Gideon that a local congregation created for their VBS week:

Gideon Moments (1)
Fear Is a Liar

Fear Is a Liar

April E

I grew up in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma Christian University. Right after earning my degree in Music Education I moved to Germany to do mission work for 5 years. During those 5 years, I married my husband and we eventually became parents to our spunky daughter! We settled back in Oklahoma and added an energetic son to our family! I am now a stay-at-home mom who is still very passionate about mission work, Germany, singing, family, and most of all, my relationship with God.
April E

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As a mother, wife and human being living in this world, there are not many days that pass by that I don’t constantly over-analyze what I said, what I did, my parenting choices or any aspect of my life. Many times my thoughts go negative and I believe that I’m doing it all wrong. It’s so easy to feel that way.

There are a plethora of books, blogs and opinions being shared about how to do everything under the sun. Social media sets us up for failure while comparing our life and decisions to all the “social media perfect” lives out there.

Why do we allow ourselves to feel like failures, even when we know in our hearts we are doing the best we can and we really care for our families? Well, the easiest explanation for that is that fear is a liar.

Fear Is a Liar

Fear creeps into our hearts and minds and tries to tell us that we aren’t living up to the standards the world thinks we should. Fear tells us we are failing in every way and in every aspect of our lives. Fear takes over our thoughts and feeds us lie after lie and makes us believe we will never be successful, we will mess up our children and our own lives.

The song, Fear Is a Liar, by Zach Williams talks about this topic and reminds us that fear only lies to us and takes away peace from us. I hope this is a good reminder for you, as it is to me, that God is the one who speaks truth and gives us grace to overcome our failures. Praise the Lord!

The Song

When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough

Chorus

Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar

When he told you were troubled
You’ll forever be alone
When he told you you should run away
You’ll never find a home
When he told you you were dirty
And you should be ashamed
When he told you you could be the one
That grace could never change

Chorus

Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar

Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

Oh, fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire

‘Cause fear he is a liar

A Prayer Over Our Hearts

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for your grace and your love that gives us peace and tells us the truth, that in You we can be saved and all our failures are wiped away. Thank you for helping us to fight against fear and Satan, who puts that fear in our minds. We ask that you continue to protect us against the evil one who tries to rob us of the peace you freely give us. May we always lean on you and accept your peace and strength to get us through all of life’s difficult decisions. We love you and we are so thankful for you. Without you, we would be nothing. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 

The Best Life is Only One Step Away

The Best Life is Only One Step Away

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Do you remember when you decided to follow Christ?

Do you remember what feelings overcame you?  Were you just in awe that Christ would actually die for you and take away all the wrong things you have ever done?  Did you feel unworthy but at the same time overjoyed that Jesus died just to forgive you?  When did that realization happen for you? Do you remember the events that led up to it or the time and the place? What brought you to the point of surrendering your life to Christ?

Maybe, you truly surrendered when you came back to Christ?

Sometimes, our faith journeys are initially like a yo-yo – close to Jesus and then far away.  But then He does something to bring us back to Him.  Our hearts begin to understand  more than before what it means for Him to love us and for us to love Him back.  Sometimes, this is just us maturing in our faith and our hearts growing more in love with Him day by day. Other times, it literally takes us turning back to Christ after going away.

Either way, it brings us new life in a way that we have never known. It’s exciting to see that we are never more than one step away from Christ.  We can turn our lives around at any moment.  Jesus is always there to call us back home, even if we go astray for a while.

There is nothing more joyous for Him than for those he loves (and he loves everyone) to come home to him.

 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. 
Jesus, Luke 19:10

The Best Life is only One Step Away

It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone
Mercy says you don’t have to keep running down the road you’re on
Love’s never met a lost cause
Your shame, lay it down
Leave your ghosts in the past ‘cause you know that you can’t go back
But you can turn around
You’ve never been more than
One step away from surrender
One step away from coming home, coming home
One step from arms wide open
His love has never let you go
-Casting Crowns, “One Step Away”

When I hear Casting Crown’s song, “One Step Away,”  I can’t help but praise God and thank him for letting us walk away from our shame and enjoy the name Child of God, Redeemed by His son! What about you?

The great news is that this isn’t just for us…IT IS FOR EVERYONE! God’s most amazing gift is being able to wipe away all the shame that the devil tries to pile on us, so that we can see Christ’s outstretched arm calling us to a life filled with mercy, grace, love, redemption, and ultimate forgiveness.

We are never far from God’s love and forgiveness no matter how much the devil tries to convince us otherwise.  The devil wants us to believe that we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness and because of what we’ve done, we will have destroyed any hope of forgiveness. But Christ proves that is simply not true.

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.
– John 3:16

Share Your Story

God has given us such an amazing gift in Jesus Christ and we want to rekindle the excitement in sharing the good news with others by sharing testimonies as to how He brought people to Him.

Now, the word testimony might make you shy away but in truth all it’s about is sharing your story.  How God worked in your life or is working in your life now to continue to bring you to Him and grow your faith.  In sharing these stories with others we not only glorify God and all that He is doing but we encourage others in their faith and even plant seeds of faith where none might currently exist.

So will you share your story?  Share it personally with someone today, this week, this month!

Every time you share how God is working in your life with others, you will get excited and be reminded of just how amazing our Lord and Savior is. Encourage someone to step towards Christ!

 

Angels We Have Heard on High – The Piano Guys

Angels We Have Heard on High – The Piano Guys

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Making the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

This creative rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High” by The Piano Guys is a wonderful way to enjoy the Christmas season! The five members of The Piano Guys take one instrument and turn it into several different sounds.

angels-we-have-heard-on-high-pin

Let this song remind you how God can take something ordinary and do extraordinary things with it!  Think back to that day when He chose an ordinary young girl to bring an extraordinary Messiah into this world. Look back at the wonder of the star the wise men followed. Picture the awe the shepherds must have felt as the angels appeared in the heavens, singing their praise to the newborn King.

Luke 2:8-14

 

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!

Angels We Have Heard on High

While we don’t know exactly who wrote the song or when, it was translated into its current English form in 1862. The lyrics are simple yet profound; the melody is so full of joy. It’s easy to understand why this song has endured the test of time! When you listen to this song, can’t you just imagine the joy all creation felt as they welcomed and worshiped the newborn King?

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plain
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strain

—Chorus—:

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be?
Which inspire your heavenly songs?

Chorus

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ, the Lord, the newborn King.

Chorus

See Him in a manger laid,
Jesus, Lord of heaven and earth;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
With us sing our Savior’s birth.
“Christmas is Here” — JJ Heller

“Christmas is Here” — JJ Heller

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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Christmas is Here!

I love Christmas music! From Thanksgiving to New Year’s it’s the only kind of music I want to hear. This year I got started a little early though, thanks to JJ Heller’s new album, Unto Us. She released her lyric video for “Christmas Is Here” in October and I’ve been blaring it through our house ever since. The song itself is soft and sweet but the message of the song is so powerful.

 

Here are my favorite words:

Join in the chorus, sing to the baby

Sleeping beneath the stars that He made.

Light in the darkness, hope for the hopeless

His love will never fade away .

Heaven came down from earth

To bind our wounds and wash our sins away.

Let us adore him,

Lift up your voices.

Sing it out loud,

Sing it out clear.

Christmas is here. 

Who can resist the urge to praise God for the moment that our maker came to earth to love us in the flesh? Adoring Him. For my family, that is what Christmas is about. The gifts, Santa pictures, lights– those things are all fun–but the heart of it all is celebration for all that Christ’s birth meant. Celebration for his life here on earth.

the-word-became-flesh-and-made-his-dwelling-among-us-we-have-seen-his-glory-the-glory-of-the-one-and-only-son-who-came-from-the-father-full-of-grace-and-truth-john-1_14

 

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Music is a great way to adore Jesus this Christmas season! In the car, at work, around the house–Christ-centered music can help our hearts be full of worship all the time!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

My family is loving JJ Heller’s new album, Unto Us and we think you will love it too!

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

 

 

sing-to-the-baby-sleeping-beneath-the-stars-that-he-made

 

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