Selfish Ambition… and a “C-D” :o)

>I am a nut about personality tests!! Every time I come across one that I haven’t taken before, I have to see what new thing I can find out about myself! 🙂

At Center Grove, we have a class called “PLACE”. When you take it, you’ll find out quite a bit about yourself, including personality type, spiritual gifts, abilities, passions, etc… everyone should take it.

My personality type is a “C”… analytical, conscientious… but I have almost as much “D” in me… drive. Basically, I am a competitive perfectionist. Does anyone else find it ironic that I am a “C-D”? 🙂 Anyway, the combination of these 2 personality types can be good, as long as they are controlled by the Spirit. However, if they are controlled by the flesh, they can be a very dangerous thing.

As I have seen the “D” in me come out strongly over the past couple of weeks, I have sensed it controlling me more and more. The competitive drive leads me to go after something that I want… and sometimes, it comes out as wanting my way no matter what it takes.

We all have desires, and as we learned last night from Dr. Corts, we all have a “glove” that fits us perfectly. When you want something in life (maybe your “glove”), there comes a point when you have done all you can do to try to “make” it happen, and you have to just LET IT GO and let God work. If HE wants it for you, He’ll make it happen! BE STILL!

This morning, I cried out to God to break me of this “selfish ambition” that I have been allowing to control me. It’s not about me, it’s about Him, and if something is not glorifying Him… it should not have a place in my life. My best friend asked me not long ago, “if it’s not God’s will, do you really want it anyway?” Hmmm…NO! I just have to remind myself of that sometimes…

What is controlling you? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to control your “personality type”? Or are you letting selfish ambition creep in and guide your thoughts, words, and actions? I want to challenge all of us to really dig deep and check our motives BEFORE moving…

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. –
Philippians 2:3

www.growwhereyoureplanted.org

after the mountaintop

>It’s been one of those weeks where I need this reminder, a simple song with a powerful message:

Falling on my knees in worship
giving all I am to seek Your face
Lord, all I am is Yours

My whole life I place in Your hands
God of mercy, humbled I bow down
In Your presence at Your throne

I called, You answered…
and You came to my rescue and I
wanna be where You are…

My whole life I place in Your hands
God of mercy, humbled I bow down
in Your presence, at Your throne

I called, You answered…
and You came to my rescue and I
wanna be where You are…

In my life, be lifted high
In our world, be lifted high
In our love, be lifted high
“Came To My Rescue” – Hillsong United

Nothing that we “accomplish” is of our own strength… God is in complete control of everything. This past Sunday, we were on the mountain. God showed Himself so clearly, yet today I confess that I have let “self” get the best of me… I am so thankful for His grace. I am so thankful for His unconditional love. Even when I mess up, He still loves me and accepts me the same.

www.growwhereyoureplanted.org

hopeless romantic…

>I love romantic comedies. I would venture to say that most females (including myself) live for the “magic moment” in these movies… you know, when the perfect-looking “Ken” and the perfect-looking “Barbie” just “know” and then they kiss. Here are some of my favorite magic moments…

  • 27 Dresses – “I cried like a baby at the Keller wedding.”
  • 13 Going on 30 – after they jump off the swings
  • You’ve Got Mail – “I wanted it to be you SO badly!”
  • A Walk to Remember – “I think I might kiss you.” “I might be bad at it.” “That’s not possible.”

And the list goes on and on… Especially today, on Valentine’s Day, I have wanted to watch whatever romantic comedies are on TV!!! Why is it that we like to watch stories about other people’s lives so much??

Obviously, real life is not like the movies… I am a firm believer that Hollywood is one of Satan’s biggest schemes. We can let ourselves get so caught up in the “perfect world” we love on the big screen that we miss the incredible life God has given us… I have been guilty of this many times in my life.

Just a challenge on Valentine’s Day to really think about and appreciate what you’ve got. I am a perfectionist (sometimes to the extreme), so this reminder is as much for myself as it is for anyone else… If we demand and expect too much perfection, we really can miss what is right in front of our faces. Life is hard, but God is good, and we all have SO MUCH to be thankful for! I don’t know about you, but I want to be the “hopeless romantic” toward the wonderful man God has blessed me with!!

Practice Makes Perfect

>Make sure to read the thoughts below the song…

“Grace” by Laura Story

My heart is so proud;
My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me
as great things I have done.

But now You gently break me
and lovingly You take me.
You hold me as my Father
and mold me as my Maker.

I ask You, “How many times 

will You pick me up 
when I keep on letting You down?” 

And each time I will fall 
short of Your glory;
how far will forgiveness abound? 

And You answer, “My child, I love you, 
and as long as You’re seeking My face, 
you’ll walk in the power 
of My daily sufficient grace.”

Sometimes I may grow weak
and feel a bit discouraged,
knowing that someone, somewhere
could do a better job.

For who am I to serve You?
I know I don’t deserve You.
But that’s the part
that burns in my heart
and keeps me hanging on.

I ask You, “How many times
will You pick me up
when I keep on letting you down?”

And each time I will fall
short of Your glory;
how far will forgiveness abound?

And You answer, “My child, I love you,
and as long as you’re seeking My face,
you’ll walk in the power
of My daily sufficient grace.”
You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I’m learning
what Your grace really means.
The price that I could never pay
was paid at Calvary.

So instead of trying to repay You,
I’m learning to simply obey You
by giving up my life to You
for all that You’ve given to me.

I ask You, “How many times 

will You pick me up 
when I keep on letting You down?” 

And each time I will fall 
short of Your glory; 
how far will forgiveness abound? 

And You answer, “My child, I love you, 
and as long as You’re seeking My face, 
you’ll walk in the power 
of My daily sufficient grace.”

When looking for a song to sing, I really try to seek what God wants for me…I feel so blessed that He allows me to sing for Him. There was a time that I sang for myself, and He has given me a second chance, as He has about so many things in my life…I have said this many times this week: “If ever there was a song that is my testimony, this is it.”

As I was frantically trying to find sheet music, accompaniment, or at the very least some chords for the song I WANTED to sing this week, God literally put this one in my lap. It was one of those things you can’t ignore and can’t get out of your head. One of those God moments that gives you chills.

Today, little Jeffrey asked me, “Mommy, can we listen to ‘How Many Times Will You Pick Me Up?'” Hmmm…. my little man had been listening to Mommy practicing. I thought about how “practice makes perfect” and how “little eyes are watching” and how ingrained in our minds things can become. Jeffrey knew the words because he had been LISTENING to it OVER and OVER again. What a life lesson from this precious little guy…

A good friend told me just last night that the Word has to become so much a part of our lives that it is ingrained in our minds and hearts. What if I focused on God’s Word as much as I focused on practicing my song last week? What if my heart truly sought His heart? How many times will He have to “pick me up” when I keep on letting Him down? As I continue down this road of life, I learn more and more that practice really does make perfect…

“Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” -Psalm 119:11

www.growwhereyoureplanted.org

Glass Half Full… A Perspective Change

>

Some of you read on Facebook that I have had a “perspective change”… Here is a little about the mental transformation that I have experienced in the past week or so:

The “Glass Half Full” mentality… I’ve never really had it. I’m the one who picks apart the movie after I see it… the constant critic. Instead of seeing the overall beauty of something, I will see the details that really don’t matter in the big scheme of things. Pardon the cliché, but I miss the forest for the trees. Yes, I am a detail person; and yes, we need detail people in life, but I have come to understand the possibility of being a detail person and still seeing God’s big picture.

In one area of my life, I have been battling a constant frustration with things not being done exactly the way I think they should be. We all have situations in our lives like this. My mind has been constantly critical, keeping me from remembering one very important fact: GOD IS ULTIMATELY IN CONTROL! He is going to have His way, and there is a REASON for every little detail. Even when I think things could be done better, He always knows. God has truly walked me through several very obvious instances where He has shown me just how big He is… just how REAL He is!!! In about a week’s time, my focus has gone from “this needs to be changed” to “how is God going to use this in the big picture?” As He has become more and more real to me, an inner joy has started to grow, allowing me to experience more passionate worship.

God has chosen to work in me and through me, but also IN SPITE of me. In spite of my imperfections. In spite of my “last-minute” ways. He has placed me in a position of total submission… And by the way, all of those little details I work so hard to try to get right MYSELF? He already has them planned out. God is so good!

So, all this to say, I am now able to see my glass as half full. God has placed me here to be His vessel, and He allows me to experience every situation in life so He can teach me. God doesn’t need a “teaching moment.” EVERY moment is His, and He is constantly reminding us that He is in control.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 55:8

One Call…

>One call can change your life.

Fortunately, the call I got Monday afternoon was not as devastating as it could have been. Over the past few days, my mind has been processing the “what if” possibilities of Katherine falling all the way down the stairs at her sitter’s house. As you can see from the picture, she is fine, with just a few scrapes and bruises. The understanding of what could have been is almost too much to bear, but it awakens me to the stark reality that God has a reason for allowing this to happen.

The gamut of emotions my heart has worked through has been endless… pain, frustration, anger, fear, gratefulness, utter joy that she is still here… along with the overwhelming obsession to watch her every move, not wanting to take anything for granted ever again!

Yes, I know the cliche, “these things happen,” but I also know that things happen for a reason. This was a wake-up call for me, one that I have needed for a long time. God is calling me to get my priorities right.

Don’t wait until you receive that “one call” to wake up… Let God become the priority He wants to be in your life… And while you’re at it, let Him reorganize your other priorities as well.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

Mommy Break

>Oh, the joy of Starbucks…

I’m sitting here at my favorite place to relax, just enjoying some “me time”. It’s amazing how a $4 cup of coffee and my computer can give me the feeling of so much freedom, as if there aren’t dishes to wash, laundry to take care of, and mouths to feed.

I have always been a loner, even venturing to take short trips by myself. There is a feeling of deprivation if I don’t get at least a couple of hours to myself each week. 🙂 But how does this time need to be spent? It’s different every time. Sometimes I write, sometimes I spend time with God, sometimes I read and sometimes I just like to enjoy the time with my coffee.

We all need a “mommy break” sometimes. I believe it helps us to become better mommies, because we are able to break away for a while and see what we really have waiting for us at home. It helps me to appreciate the fact that God has blessed me immensely, and my precious family deserves the best that I can give them.

Stir Constantly

>As is becoming a tradition in my household, tonight we planned to do our Christmas baking… fudge, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, chocolate mint squares, sugar cookies, and snowball cookies… Sounds like a big fun mess, huh? Well, tonight ended up in a bigger mess than just some powdered sugar on the floor and food coloring spilled on the counter.

When making fudge, there is a sugar mixture that must be boiling hot when it is poured over the chocolate chips. Cooking this mixture is a very delicate process, and the recipe says to “stir constantly” while it is heating up. Well… not realizing the REASON for this rule (thinking the mixture would just get a little tough to stir), I turned my head for a moment to eat a pumpkin muffin and heard this loud sizzling behind me. Scared to death of what I was going to find, I flipped around to see the sugar mixture boiling over on my beautiful glass cooktop! Smoke immediately started pouring, and I mean POURING, throughout the kitchen and into the living room. I panicked and screamed for my husband, who has now realized that I am not a good person to have around when there is a disaster.
If you have a glass cooktop, you know that sugar is the ONE thing you have to clean immediately to avoid ruining the surface. Long story short, I now only have three burners. Yet another reminder that there are reasons for directions, especially those that include very specific rules.
The same is true in our Christian walk. God has reasons for the directions He gives us, even though sometimes we think we know better than He does. I don’t know about you, but when I go my way, it usually ends up in a “boiling-over” mess. Staying close to our Heavenly Father is the only real way to know what He wants from us… and the best way to keep our fellowship sweet is to “stir constantly”…