It’s Not You, It’s Me

Yes God, I trust you. Yes God, I KNOW that You can do great and mighty things. Yes God, I know you are who You say You are. You are the great I AM, The Creator of the universe- of all things good. You are the Miracle maker and The One who turns the impossible into the possible. You are are holy and worthy to be praised.

You are able.

 

You are awesome.

 

You are God and You are good…

 

It’s not You that I doubt God……..It’s me. I doubt myself. I doubt my abilities. I doubt my strength. 

 

And so as I started reading “Limitless Life” By Derwin L. Gray for an upcoming bible study, I start to realize the negative labels I’ve allowed to attach to myself throughout out my life…not good enough, not smart enough, not emotionally stable enough. Not, not, not….. All the things that I am not…

 

But God….all the things that YOU ARE. It’s not my strength that makes me strong- It’s YOURS. It’s not my knowledge that makes me smart- it’s Your wisdom that guides me. It’s not my feelings that need to determine my reactions- It’s Your truths that sets me free.

 

It’s YOU. Not me. And so I have it all backwards. It’s not supposed to be all about all that I am not but it’s supposed to be about all that YOU are. And so Lord I pray this simply but profound prayer:

 

Lord, MORE of YOU and LESS of ME ~ John 3:30

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Beneath The Surface

Have you ever prayed, “Lord, I want to go deeper with You….I want don’t want to stay where I am. I want to grow and move forward and run after You with a heart abandoned to You and You alone. I want to go deeper……”

I’ve prayed that many times…but I have to wonder if I really knew what I was  praying? Let’s have a look at the word DEEP.

DEEP: 1. Extending far down from the top or the surface

So when I look at this definition, I have to ask myself these questions….Have I really even left the surface yet? What does it really mean to go deeper with Christ?

When I think about going deeper and leaving the surface, I can’t help but think about all that I could be missing when I stay at the surface.

Picture yourself in the ocean. You can’t see much at the surface of the water. You can’t experience much if your just floating that the top…now dive down, dive in. I’m sure it’s scary at first because of the unknown. What will I encounter beneath the surface? And sure it’s even uncomfortable for a little while because the further you go down into the ocean, the more pressure you feel in your ears and in your head. But wow….what a whole new world. Look around, see all the beauty that lies beneath the surface that you never would have seen if you didn’t dive in and go deeper.

Just like diving down into the ocean, we need to dive down into  Christ’s unfailing , unconditional love. We need to dive down past the surface of just reading His Word and start to really live out His Word.

Friends, this message is for me and I just really wanted to share it with you. I know that I need to move past the surface of what I see in this world and dive in and really explore Jesus to the fullest. I have a feeling I’m missing so much. I’m ready to move forward. I’m ready to dive in.

Who’s with me?? Let’s go!

tropical-ocean-underwater-cnnuyn56

 

❤ Blessings ❤

Press On

Life can change so quickly. Determination can fade to hesitation. Enthusiasm can fade to lukewarmness. Confidence can fade to doubt or confusion. This doesn’t happen over night friends. It doesn’t come with warning. It’s the plan of the enemy to have you (and me) slowly fade into a place of ‘going through the motions’. The devil is VERY patient and will try and do what ever it takes to get us to become distracted with everything around us so that we pay less attention to others and Jesus.

So many thing have been trying to take precedence over my time with Jesus. My pregnancy, work, children, my own desires….. so many things in this world can come before Jesus and before you know it, time spent with Jesus becomes a little less and less and the other things we focus on become more and more. Mind you-all of the things I listed above (pregnancy, children, work….) they all do need my time and attentions as God has entrusted those things to me- but they should never consume me to the point of putting Jesus last on the list.

As I look out side on this spring day- I see no signs of spring. I see snow…and lot’s of it. Sometimes we become so wearing with just everyday life- things never seems to change or we lack excitement for life. And that to can distract us from our sweet Jesus. We start to get down, and mope because our lives aren’t what we want them to be or they don’t look like what we thought they would look like. But I know that just like the snow outside on my deck…even though it’s been around for such a long period of time this winter, that spring is still going appear.

This is but a season and even when we don’t think God is moving in these times, HE IS. Our focus must remain on Him and it must remain steadfast every day. Even when life piles up on us with distractions…even when weariness tries to set it- make intentional to focus on Him each and everyday…even if it’s with one verse that you read out of your bible- put it up on your mirror on a post it. Put it on your desk at work. Put it over your children’s beds, the fridge, the door, anywhere that you will see it. Wake up a bit early to read that devotional and really focus on the scripture. Pray first thing in the morning. Pray with your children at breakfast time….the list goes on.

You might not have excitement each and everyday but God will reward you for pressing on EVEN when life is trying to press you down.

❤ Blessings  my sweet friends ❤

Are You Living off of Yesterdays Manna?

You know it’s so subtle…. that little shift in my thinking, my motivation, my intentions.

Let me explain.

I know in my heart that I need Jesus to fill me daily. I know in my heart that I need to read His Word daily to be filled up- to be fed spiritually. HE is the one that gives the desire TO desire more of Him. It’s a prayer that I pray continuously – “Lord, give me a desire to read  Your Word DAILY  and when I read Your Word, to then walk in obedience to it. Lord, show me what You want me to see and teach me YOUR ways.”

And so there I go, awake early each morning 5 am- in the Word, receiving NEW revelation from Him, getting filled up with His love so that I can walk in His love throughout the day. When I’m in His Word first thing in the morning, being intentional about loving on Him, seeking Him and learning from Him, my day is led by The Spirit and not by my flesh.

And here comes the subtle shift…..

I’m tired at 5 am- so just for today, I’ll role over in bed, grab my phone and I’ll read my devo app- skim through the outlined scripture and say a quick prayer that what I’ve just read will stick with me throughout the day….and as fast as I read it, it leaves my mind and my heart…I get up and go about my daily routine after laying in bed 20 minutes later then I had planned.

It’s my lunch break at work… I have time to dive into the Word and really pray and seek Him, but I chose to pop online and see what others are up to on Facebook and just enjoy my ‘break’….

I get home, do the diner thing, bath night for the kiddos, treadmill, kids tucked in to bed….ahhhhhh time to relax after all of that 🙂 So I get online and see what my Online Bible Study group has been up to. I pray for them, for my friends, for my family. I tell Jesus how much I love Him. I read a great spiritual growth book. I ask God to bless the works of my hands and before I know it, it’s bed time.

All of that dear friends, is an example of what my days become if I get lazy and unintentional about spending good quality time with The Lord daily.

I frequently need to pull myself back and refocus. I need to ask myself these questions- Am I spending more time serving The Lord- in other words, am I spending more time ‘doing for Jesus’ then just ‘being’ with Jesus. Am I spending more time praying for others then I am in the Word? Am I desiring to be in God’s plans, therefore asking Him what HE wants..or am I desiring Him to be in MY plans- telling Him what I want?

Bottom line- I can’t live off of what God showed me yesterday. I can’t live off of what He taught me yesterday. Just like I can’t live off of the food I ate yesterday and expect it to sustain me for 5 days before I eat again. Spiritually I need to eat daily and I am not going to get filled up by strictly  serving Jesus. I am not going to get filled up by praying for others. I  am  not going to get filled up by skipping my quiet time with Jesus. It’s in those quiet times, alone, with Jesus and in His Word that I am going to get filled up. NOTHING will replace that time with Jesus and nothing will substitute that time with Jesus-Nothing.

❤ Blessings ❤

Seek Him in The Transitions

Hey friends!!!! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a video and felt led to share a little bit about my transition back to work and how it’s been going- of course Jesus is at the center of the huge transition…so here it is! Click here  if you can’t see the video.

Flesh & Spirit- The Battle

Here I am- again- about to share a struggle that I’m facing and have been facing every single day since….well..since forever.  “Lord” I asked, “why oh why can’t you put something on my heart to blog about that is NOT in regards to a struggle I’m having?? Why can’t I write about something so uplifting and ummm….something that’s not about (*clears throat*) ME?”

His response … “If you’re not going to be real on this blog, then you’re defeating the purpose of this blog if you omit your journey with me and the things I’m brining you through.”

Hmmm…I suppose I did (by the leading of the Holy Spirit) name this blog ‘Real Life With Jesus’…which means here I am again- no sugar coating here, just being real. Ok..so here goes!

I opened my eyes this morning to my 2 year old daughter at my bedside “mommy- dowtairs? (downstairs).”…I turned my eyes towards the clock. 6:05. Really? It took some coaxing but eventually, I got her to crawl into bed beside me. 5 minutes or maybe 10, I thought to myself…then I’ll get up and go downstairs with her. But not even 10 seconds had gone by and our 1 year old started to cry from her crib in the other room. 

So I got up…

But I didn’t get out of bed with a smile on my face. I didn’t get out of bed ‘feeling’ happy. Immediately, I called out to Jesus. “PLEASE help me get this mood to pass!” I know all too well where the day is headed when I give in to this feeling of ‘attitude’ and ‘bad mood’ if you will. I know that it’s going to come spewing out of my mouth just causing more problems. So then I quickly say good morning to Jesus but as I’m thanking Him for this day, I’m thinking in the back of my mind the fact that I haven’t gotten to sleep in for like 100 years. (Ok, obviously not 100 years but at least 4.) So then I give my head a shake and tell myself “Tara, snap out of this mood before you say something that you’ll regret.” So then I try to refocus and ignore all of the negative thoughts rushing through my mind. I’m then replaying the disagreement that I had with a loved one just the other day, I’m thinking about the laundry that needs to be washed and folded and the dishes that need to be done and the rushing around that I’ll have to do to get ready for church–that’s right folks, my lovely mood happened the morning I woke up to go to church- the day that I should be excited to go and be with my church family and lift the name of Jesus. There I was Mrs Grumpy McGrumperson.

20 minutes later, after feeding both the girls their breakfast and cleaning up  yogurt that had some how made it’s way on every surface in the kitchen, I hear my hubby and our 4 year old son wake up. I’m still in a ‘grump’ so I start to repeat over an over in my head “Jesus, help me pleeeaaaassse! Dave is getting up and if I don’t snap out of this I’m likely to start an argument over this mood I’m in.”

Then all of a sudden more negative thoughts start to bombard my mind! What is GOING ON HERE? Now I’m annoyed with my thoughts AND grumpy. Not only am I annoyed and grumpy, I begin to feel guilty and condemned. Thoughts like “what kind of wife are you? Loving on your husband and serving him one minute and the next, you’re as selfish as selfish can be- moody and short with him. You’ll never be able to submit to your husband constantly if you can’t even submit to Jesus consistently.” (let me just pause to tell you that even since I’ve began my journey of becoming a submissive wife, things come against me all of the time! Especially thoughts just like the one I just described. The Lord reminds me frequently that when we’re doing something FOR Him, oppositions will come against us- But push through, don’t stop. What ever you do, don’t give up. Our godly marriages are a threat to the kingdom of God so opposition will rise up- but God is greater the he that is in the world so don’t back down) Ok that was tad off topic , but felt led to share.

So I continue this rant to Jesus…It sounded something like this … “Jesus what is going on here? Why can’t I shake this? Why can’t I stop focusing on all this negative STUFF. Why can’t  I stop being so selfish, thinking only about me and how I’m feeling? I just can’t stop thinking about what so and so said to me. And I can’t get over how bad I feel for overreacting the other day and I can’t this and I can’t that and on and on and oooonnnnnnn.”

Finally, I was quiet enough to hear God say ( and I”m not kidding) “You talk too much.” Those are the words that popped into my head. YOU TALK TOO MUCH. You talk too much and you don’t listen enough. Ouch. (I say ouch a lot ..because sometimes the truth just hurts.) And the truth is just that. I DO talk too much. I talk too much about me (my feelings, my hurts, my needs, my desires, my reason for this, my reason for that, my opinions, my thoughts) I do this with friends and I do this with my husband and with just about anyone that will listen…and I do this with God. It’s ok to talk! It’s good to communicate! But it’s not good to talk so much that you forget or don’t care to listen and understand where others are coming from. I know God wants me to pour my heart out to Him and share every little detail, good and bad with Him….BUT am I stopping to hear what He has to say? Or am I just listing my requests to Him and pouring out my heart to Him and then walking away before I can even hear what He has to say??? Ouch again.

So I quieted my mouth and my mind long enough to allow Him to speak to me about my ‘bad mood’…and this is what He gave me…

Cast your cares upon Me and I will sustain you; I will never let the righteous be shaken (Psalm 55:22). Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.(Philippians 4:8)

Now, I’m not saying this was easy or that my mood just switched the moment I thought on these scriptures but as the day goes on and as I meditate upon that which God gave me, I know that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength…and the more I cast my cares upon Him and think on things that are excellent, admirable and praise worthy, what ever is right, and pure and lovely, I know that I’m choosing the way of the Spirit and telling my flesh to step back.

This is a daily battle that every Christian faces…choosing to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh. I know I’m not the only one facing this issue. For me, the battle right now is in learning to ‘get over myself’ …for you it might be something else. But one thing I know for sure is that I plan on winning this battle and not only surviving it but OVERCOMING it. In Christ we are ALL OVERCOMERS!! I won’t back down, I won’t let my bad moods have the last say, I won’t let the enemy have the last say, I won’t let my feelings or my moods or my mess up’s define who I am in Christ. No way.

I hope and pray that what ever battle you’re going through when it comes to flesh and Spirit, that you realize God is greater then anything that we’re facing and battling..and I pray that even when you feel like the battle is too much- remember that you ARE an overcomer!

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37Image

When You Blow It

Things were going along fine…there I was, walking in The Spirit, following God’s ways even when I didn’t  ‘feel’  like it. I felt accomplished, confident in Him, ready to take on the whole world with Jesus at my side and then all of a sudden……. BAM! Everything I’d been working towards, praying for and all the progress that I’d been making  just seemed to just fall right through my fingers, right out of my grasp.  And so then I began the daunting task of trying to pick up the pieces but I felt I’d  blown it so bad that that I couldn’t even find half of the pieces or let alone where to even begin putting them back together again. That my sweet friends, was me…just this past weekend.

As I sit here in front of my computer, I wonder, how much should I confess? How transparent should I be? So I will just start from the beginning and let my words flow onto this blog and in doing so, I pray that I can bring encouragement to others even though I am still feeling the remorse and embarrassment  of my actions.

Have you ever seen a two year old throw a temper tantrum? Well…minus the rolling around of the floor, I’m sad and mortified to admit that I reacted just that way this weekend. Every part of me wants to justify my behaviour with explaining  “WHY” I reacted the way I did. Every ounce of me wants to justify my actions by telling you what kind of week I had leading up to it or what ‘others’ did to cause me to act the way I did. Truth of the matter- NO ONE made me react the way I did. NO ONE else can choose how I will react in any given situation. The truth is – I and I alone had the choice to behave like a child of God and not a selfish little girl not getting her way. I raised my voice, I yelled and shouted to try and prove my point and when I felt I wasn’t being heard, I yelled even louder. I cried (and yelled) because my feelings were hurt. I stomped away when I felt I wasn’t being heard and would stomp right back with another a childish approach to try and be heard some more. Oh my – I’m cringing right now. Have you ever just wanted to be heard?  Most of my weekend was pity party. Most of my weekend resulted in feeling guilt and shame over my horrible behaviour.

But in all of this do you know what God is showing me?  # 1, He’s pruning me. I thought I had dealt with certain things in my life and in my heart but I haven’t. Now to go back to Jesus with all of this and ask Him to forgive me and to show me where to go from here…

John 15:2~ He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

The second thing that He’s showing me is that I’m STILL trying to do this thing called life on my own most of the time. I kept finding myself saying “I’ve been trying to change! I’ve been working on changing! What’s the point in trying to change when I just can’t change?!” So there it is… Jesus is the one who does the changing. I’m to study His word, fall more in love with Him, be obedient to His teachings and HE WILL CHANGE ME. “I” won’t change me…. this is a huge struggle for me. I constantly find myself asking God “HOW HOW HOW do I let you change me? HOW do I stop getting in the way??” Does anyone else struggle with this?

The one truth that I’ve been standing upon for a couple of years now and has encouraged me tremendously is Romans 8:1-2 ~ Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  I had gotten myself into such a state this weekend that I was only just hanging on to this truth by a thread. The enemy was probably laughing, thinking that he’d gotten me to give up. (Now I know that my choices and my behaviour wasn’t the devil’s fault. I have free will. I made my own choices. That was all me. BUT the devil DID use my behaviour, my mistake, my sin as ammunition to try and get me to give up on Jesus, on myself and on my situation. I opened the door by sinning and that gave the devil a foothold.)

This is what I chose to believe now….

*I’m still a daughter of the Creator of the universe.

*I’m still loved

*I’m forgiven

*I have to deal with the consequences of my actions but Jesus still loves me and will never leave me nor forsake me.

*God knew that I was going to have a melt down this past weekend. He loved me 2 weeks ago and He still loves me today-faults and all.

*I am not condemned

*Jesus hasn’t given up on me so I shouldn’t give up on me either…

Can anyone relate? Have you ever had a melt down…a blow up that just spiralled downward? If you have, then you’re not alone. I can tell you that I honestly feel that no one could have reacted the way I did this weekend. I’m sure I’m not the only woman in the world who has ever had a blow up like I did, but I tell ya, the enemy sure wants us to feel alone and isolated. But I for one refuse to stand behind a wall of fear. I for one refuse to ‘appear’ that I have it all together. So there you have it…a real life moment. One that I’m not too proud of…but in this real life moment, there is grace, there is forgiveness, there is conviction, there is opportunity to grow, there is mercy and love even in the midst of my mess up.

Xox Blessings to all of you,

T:)