Unexpressed

God must be a baseball fan.

Right after I gave birth to my third son, the doctor suggested that I must be going for a basketball team.

My immediate thought was, “I’d rather have a baseball team.”

Not because I wanted nine sons. But because I like baseball better.

Some thoughts are better left unexpressed.

Anyway … God must be a baseball fan, too. Because He decided to start the Bible in The Big Inning.

Excerpt from Dr. Debi Smith, Ephesians 5 Romance: the Truth about Love

Perhaps You Should Just Give Up

You don’t understand. And you don’t have any idea how this situation could ever work out for your good. You’ve run out of advice for God, which has been thinly disguised as fervent prayer.

  • You are desperate for change.
  • But your mind is muddled & tired.

Then you remember Who He is.

  • He binds up the brokenhearted.
  • He resurrects your lost dreams.
  • He specializes in the impossible.

He is your Hope. You have no idea how He works. All you have are His promises. They are in your personal spiritual bank. And you don’t know how that works either. So you just give up & let Him handle it.

For no word from God will ever fail.
LUKE 1:37

Crushed

Have your heart & your dreams been crushed by an unexpected turn of events?

What if God is in the midst of rescuing you from your version of His Dream for you?

We all have dreams. Ideas about what we want our lives to be. That’s how we were created: To dream. With God.

  • But so many times, we run ahead — plotting, planning, producing — full-speed into something that is far less than what Our Heavenly Father has planned for us. And we get ourselves into trouble. Big trouble.
  • We grasp & control, cry & despair. And we forget that God Himself has us — and His glorious plan — in process.
  • Even so, He never wavers in His desire to see us become all we are meant to be.

No matter where your heart & your dreams are today, Your Heavenly Father is saying to you …

I know the plans I have for you. They will stretch you. They are stretching you now. My plans are for your good and the only way you will be truly happy. Trust me. You are more dear and precious to me than you realize. I put those desires in your heart, and I am the only one who can fulfill them. Walk closely to me. You cannot screw this up. You cannot even delay it when you become fearful because I’m at work in your anxious times, too. Do not let shame rule over you. Do not listen to those lies. I will turn your mourning into dancing. You will face challenges, and you will overcome them all. Watch me. Watch what I do next. You’re going to love this one!

Build a Better Marriage

A strong marriage needs a confident & compassionate leader & a woman who knows the power of her influence in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Setting a goal always begins with knowing where you are now.

Ask me how!

Be Still & Know

“Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44), will come at you with a thousand negative probabilities, but you always need to remember that a probability has no power. It only becomes powerful when you believe the lie and collapse the probability into an actuality.”

“We feel the pull of the sensory information coming in, but we don’t have to go there. … Our five senses activate an emotional response almost immediately, but if we don’t take the time to process them, the unprocessed emotion will dominate.”

“Our minds need time to understand what our spirits already know.”

~ Dr. Caroline Leaf, Switch on Your Brain:
The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, & Health

The Lord says, “Be still & know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.” PSALM 46:10

Two Responses

We all try to stand strong. Keep a stiff upper lip. Not to be needy or negative. But the truth is, we are all vulnerable. God created us like this. Although it feels like (& is often judged as) weakness.

So what do you do with vulnerability? Not only yours, but other people’s?

There are only two ways to respond to vulnerability. One creates connection & empowers people to become more like person God created us to be. The other response kills us. Dying a slow death in a painful process.

Empathy. We all need it. Even men. In case you are wondering.

Empathy is feeling with someone. Even if that someone is you. Allow the hurt, sadness, & fear to be experienced & expressed. Recalling what you have felt & being willing to sit with another in the same emotional state is perhaps the most precious gift you have to give.

“You know what you have — Jesus, your great High Priest with ready access to God — don’t let that knowledge slip through your fingers. You don’t have a Priest who is out of touch with your experience. He’s been through vulnerability & testing Himself. So walk right up to Him & get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy. Accept His help.” HEBREWS 4:15

Shame. The destructive response.

Shame is an emotion we all experience. But it doesn’t have to become a lifestyle. You don’t have to carry these thoughts with you:

  • You’re not good enough.
  • Who do you think you are?

Shame focuses on who you are. It’s different than guilt, which focuses on your behavior. Something you have (or haven’t) done that you wish you didn’t do (or wish that you did do).

  • Guilt is productive because it can motivate change.
  • Shame is debilitating because it tells you that you cannot change.

Are you unknowingly shaming others?
Perhaps the same way you have been shamed?

  • Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone.
  • The “it sucks to be you” mindset.
  • Superiority. Lecturing.
  • Giving advice.

Yes, we are vulnerable creatures. Shame can destroy us. Whereas empathy destroys shame & sets us free to receive God’s goodness. Jesus made it possible by taking on our shame in Divine Exchange:

“Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.” ISAIAH 61:7