Archive for December 17th, 2017

In certain parts of the world women, for centuries, have balanced baskets on their heads to carry heavy loads. Don’t know about you, but if I tried this heady feat everything would slosh, splatter, and splash out the basket, leaving behind me a trail of trash.

But don’t we all balance heavy bundles of actions, reactions, and emotions in our hearts? And sometimes don’t our out-of-control lives slosh and smear over everyone in our realm of influence?

Christmas Clutter

Especially this time of year.

The last two weeks on my calendar have been so overloaded I’ve had trouble reading the times places and things I should be doing. And half-way into this over-the-top zealous plan I’d instigated, a melt-down ensued that splattered all over my husband. One word led to another and morphed into a major confrontation.

I’m sure that has never ever happened at your house—has it?

Sitting in church yesterday our pastor delivered a message from the Lord, aimed straight at my heart—How to Handle Bad Daysand he illustrated some symptoms that lead to bad days—discouragement, restlessness, and foolishness. Dr. Jeffress went on to illustrate how Elijah found himself in the predicament of some very bad days. He had abandoned his calling, lost his perspective, was tired, careless, and then he stumbled. Tears filled my eyes as our pastor drove the stake of God’s Word right into the load of my mess.

Then he gave a few certain warning signs of coming bad days…being physically and emotionally exhausted. And the Holy Spirit stirred the waters of my soul and more tears confirmed His message to me. We’re two weeks away from Christmas and the load I had tried to balance sloshed out behind me. But his next words slammed and stuck. “Sometimes…” he said, “…the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.”

The voice of my husband echoed in my ear. “Why don’t you stop what you’re doing, and take a nap? You’re exhausted.” But the Holy Spirit pulled back my veil of excuses and whispered, “Sunday is to be a day of rest.” And I squirmed. On the way to church that morning, I’d mentally scheduled my afternoon…doing catch up chores.

But the next truth was really difficult to absorb, because I’m forever rehearsing this to those who come to GriefShare—Holding onto unrealistic expectations is toxic. I knew that principle was applicable to grief, but bearing up under the mountain of unrealistic expectations I’d assigned myself was toxic too?  And tears of shame burned the rims of my eyes. “Yes, Lord.” I admitted. “I am guilty as charged—for years. Please forgive me.”

Dr. Jeffress delivered one final truth. “Believing you are indispensable.” Ouch! “And you become despondent if you believe it’s all about you.” And the Spirit of God pushed His finger into the foolishness of how far I had traveled with a basket filled with wrong thinking. Thinking if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done. But Dr. Jeffress’ conclusion brought relief as I acknowledged my guilt, accepted His forgiveness, and confirmed my commitment to change—God is responsible for events in my life and in the lives of my family—not me.

And I booked it home and took a long, rehabilitative nap!

Perhaps you’re right there with Elijah and me as we approach the final weeks of the 2017 Christmas Celebration—over committed, restless, tired, with a pathway of sloshes, splatters, and splashes littering the landscape behind you. May I suggest you read Elijah’s bad day experience in the 19th Chapter of 1 Kings and compare this with your current trajectory. Has God asked you like He questioned a frightened, overwhelmed, and undone Elijah, “What are you doing here?”

If so, what would be your answer?

It’s so easy to become ensnared in the commercial deceptions of this Holy Time of Year, and the want-to of making this Christmas special for your family. I have great news… God made this celebration special over two thousand years ago. There’s nothing we can add to make it more special except surrendering our lives to Jesus. God promised A Savior—born to die for your sins and mine—from the beginning pages of Genesis.


“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace…the zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-8 NAS).

When we admit our sin, turn away from each one, and trust Jesus’ blood is enough to save us and change our lives. I no longer languish in the sins of the past. Those blemishes and stains of yesterday, today, and tomorrow are gone—washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb of God. The only thing we’re required to do is become a conduit of His love—letting His Spirit change and fill our hearts to over-flowing with His love. His grace. And His mercy. Then allowing His unsearchable love to saturate us and soak into the lives of those He gives us to love every moment of every day.




Heart Matters 2

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