With the holidays almost here, just a little encouragement to keep you from the trappings of perfectionism.  The definition of perfectionism is ‘refusal to accept any standard short of perfection”.   It can drive you mad!!  It is actually your own perception that drives how you view perfect.  It may come from upbringing, teaching, or your own ideas.  If we look at it, what drives it is ,I believe,  from the root of pride.  Or wanting to please or be perceived as perfect. Sometimes we don’t even see it at work in our lives and inner thoughts.  It can simply be ingrained in us by the world. 

It is a sad way to live because it is often in imperfections that something is made unique and beautiful.  We were never made to be cookie cutter humans.  Just look at our finger prints.  God gave us each one that is like no other.  Or like snowflakes or the grain of wood.  You get all that, so I will make another point.

Personally, it was my upbringing that imprinted this deep into my psyche .  It was sad as I watched my mother try to live up to her own self imposed image.  Perhaps it came from her upbringing too.  At any rate I promised myself I would try to live an authentic life and I am probably more vulnerable and open than most.  But I still have those lingering subconscious pressures I have to fight against.  

I have to work at it.  Catch myself tensing up and even more if  someone begins pointing things out.  I have to look within and regain my peace and commitment to be kind to myself and realistic about my limitations  Personally my health doesn’t permit me to do “all things”, maybe for you it is your job, energy level, finances.  These things are real and I think God wants us to have true mercy for ourselves.  A perfectionistic spirit is not realistic. It is subtly tormenting.  We can choose to be realistic and give ourselves a break.   

As a believer and follower of Christ, I also know that the enemy of our souls (the devil)  is an accuser and loves to get us to condemn ourselves.

Fortunately my family is mostly used to my imperfections and limitations.  My family is small though, yours may not be and you may have some pretty big criticizers in your midst this holiday.  I encourage you and remind you that God the Father knew we could not reach perfection or righteousness on our own so He sent His Son who was strong enough to never sin and destroyed sin on the cross for us!!  What a gift.  We are covered as we accept what He did and we try to walk in His ways – imperfectly.

So give yourself a break, determine now to reject any petty criticisms about your home, cooking, anything at all.  Protect your soul.  No criticisms allowed.  And know that you are okay and that this is a day to focus on more cherished things like….love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, patience/long suffering , faithfulness…  let these things be in your mind and heart.

Enjoy the many things about the holidays that are special to you.

You are loved. You are beautiful.  If someone else can’t see that…..it is their issue.  Let it fall off.  Protect your soul and know quietly inside that you are are a blessing.  Period.  

Much love and have a great day!

Holidays Can Be Hard

November 24, 2017

Wrote this little song a few years ago.  Holidays can conjure up good and sad feelings very easily.  Life is so full of changes.  It’s easy to want to compare things to the past.  But the healthy choice is to look forward to the future.  Life will be good again.  That’s God’s will for you.  Joy can come again!  We can make new memories.  If you are feeling down….this song is just for you.  I wrote it because at the time my heart was despondent. I felt like the Holy Spirit gave me this to perk up my own heart and give me a better focus.  The reality of life is there are good times and bad.  I pray that God helps you navigate the holidays with grace and joy!     Blessings

 

Philippians 3:13-15

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.

A THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

August 31, 2017

SATAN IS AFTER THE THRONE OF OUR HEARTS! Just exactly what does that mean?
We must ask ourselves…..WHO is supposed to be the King of our hearts? God!! (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!) We know from scripture that Satan is a thief and comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. (John 10:10)

What did he want more than anything? Isaiah records Lucifers words:

Isaiah 14:13-15
“For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

Lofty words he uttered. He wants to “sit on the mount of the congregation”. That is us.

So how does he accomplish this? Predominantly with lies and deception. (John 8:44) “…When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
(2 Corinthians 11:18)
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

He comes in stealth to take the throne of our hearts and souls. Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. That’s where it gets tricky. They are always at work and engaged in something. But according to the Word of God, anything we allow to take up our mind, will, and emotions more than God …has become an idol in our hearts. (1 Corinthians 10:14)  “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”

On more than one occasion God has called me on the carpet saying “You have an idol in your heart” Each time I was floored thinking that it couldn’t be. But when He told me what it was….I had to agree and admit that what or who He named was occupying my thoughts more than He was. OUCH!

So I simply repented and began to pay attention to my thoughts and affections, making sure they were set first on God. Our priorities in life should be 1. God 2. Spouse 3. Kids/Family 4. Job/Ministry When this delicate balance gets out of whack so do we. It can result in depression, anxiety, overwhelming stress or show up in many different ways. These are just the symptoms that something is amiss in our souls and needs to be adjusted.

It is pretty easy to fix. Just recognizing it is half the battle. Then begin casting down and resisting those thoughts that occupy too much of our being! God is a jealous God. “…For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:4) “…for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God…” (Exodus 34:14)

Actually I think it’s cool that He is so passionate about us. He certainly paid a huge price to show us how much He loves us. To prove His love for us.

I truly believe this is a season of repentance. Even on the Hebrew calendar …we are in the month that they consider a time of repentance. So I encourage each of us to examine our hearts and see if anything or anyone is occupying our mind, will and emotions more than our God. I pray you won’t be a stubborn mule like I can often be and wait until things start falling apart to get my attention! Thank goodness for His mercy! He loves us, wants us, created us…..to be His. I hope you can hear that this is truly a LOVE MESSAGE, and no condemnation. He wants you. What could be better news than that! The King of the Universe wants to be the King of your heart! You are loved!