Category Archives: Grace

For every woman with the “Oughts”

In a recent talk with a sweet friend, we lamented how we can live under the “oughts” of life rather than biblical truth. Do you ever do this? (“I ought to have these gifts, I ought to love these things, I ought to feel this way, and so on!”)

Years ago, I remember learning how to write down a “Phantom List.” A “Phantom List” is the unconscious list that runs through our minds of who we are supposed to be. There are so many women who have found this powerfully helpful!! Part of the effectiveness of writing down a “ Phantom List” is that you learn how to step outside emotion, stress, spiritual warfare, and identity struggles to simply write down thoughts. The trick is to write things down HOW WE HEAR THEM, NOT JUST IF THEY ARE RIGHT OR WRONG. Wanna try? Since it always helps to do this exercise together, here’s my latest Phantom List.  (Vulnerability, much?!)

Most Recent Phantom list
1. My home should be decorated (& redecorated!) often . (I should also love this!)
2. I should not be so sanguine! 🙂
3. I should cook better meals daily and never run through a drive -thru .( #LAZY)
4. I should be administrative and delight in bookkeeping.
5. I should be the most patient mother ever because I had to live through infertility & miscarriage.
6. I should be free of any vanity and should not care that my wrinkles seem um, bolder. (And we all know, BOLDER rhymes with OLDER! Ha!)

Now, when we step back and look at this , it shows itself for what it is -false! After writing down a few of these thoughts, begin we have to ask ourselves a couple questions: Is this item on my list  biblical truth or social pressure?  Are the areas I need to grow? Is the leading of the Holy Spirit or a fleshly desire for control? Every time I jot down a “phantom list” and compare my thinking with these questions, God gives light and freedom! When I sit with Him and ask Him to reveal what’s deeply in my heart, I’m always surprised yet always, always given peace. He is good like that. Today, we can replace “the phantom list” with the words of Christ…and just breathe. 🙂

John 8:31-32 “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

Romans 8:1- 2″Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. “
Grace, freedom

A Piece of Peace

IMG_2578Exhausted yet? Everyone is running right now. We are all breathless with wrapping up school years and starting to busily make plans for the next months. No matter what the age or stage, we are just a stressed people. What’s the source of our anxiety? (Ugh. No one likes that question!) More importantly, how do we organize our lives in a way that allows God to be God? I have to consistently step back to check my “control gauges”. No matter how we dress it up in spiritual language, our human nature will try to control all dimensions of life . It’s with conscious daily discipline that we sit before God and give Him our plans. I need to breathe, pray and ask myself certain questions.

1. Do I want God in control of my life? Do I truly believe He knows what He’s doing?

2. If my day doesn’t go my way or unforeseen circumstances occur, how long do I let myself struggle before I receive events as God’s hand?

3. Will I choose to stew through decisions or just release them to God? What Scriptures can I read to exchange my stress for His peace?

Here’s some Soul Food:

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Proverbs 3:5-8“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil; This will mean health for your flesh and vigor for your bones.

Proverbs 16:2-3 “All one’s ways are pure in one’s own eyes, but the measurer of motives is the Lord. Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”

What is it about His word that gives us peace? His power is here. He wants to gives us peace for our anxiety, wisdom for our confusion, and humility for our pride. When we lean in to Him, He responds.