Drama Drama Drama

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Galatians 5:15-16 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

I was recently watching a show where the main character finally found some peace among her peers, declared, “what is the fun in that?” and purposefully stirred up strife for her entertainment. It got me to thinking, how often do we use drama in our lives for entertainment?
Something is done to you so you fester and spread it to everyone else, DRAMA.
You are not liking the way another lives their life because yours is so together, so you talk bad about their choices, DRAMA.
You are uncomfortable in a room so you use the opportunity to point out another’s issue, DRAMA.

Drama Drama Drama a process that many live their lives in and I must admit there were seasons I was right along with them. Of course, I have moments now, but living in the constant drama is no longer a choice in my life. When someone lives in the constant upheaval that drama stirs up, you choose to partner with anxiety. There is no peace. There may be moments of quiet, but it doesn’t take long for the drama to raise its ugly head again. 

  Some sources of Drama:

  • Gossip
  • Judgment
  • Criticism
  • Negative Talk
  • Slander
  • Stirring up strife

 

When you take part in drama you are  in opposition to what the Lord wants to accomplish in your life and the lives of others.
Drama leads to walking in competition, controversy, rivalry, and dispute.

I am talking about stirring up drama for drama’s sake, simply for your entertainment or to be the center of attention. But if you are truly having an issue with a brother or sister in the church that has harmed you or sinned against you the word says to follow the steps in Matthew 18:15-18

How to avoid Drama Drama Drama in your life.

  • Pray about it: First and foremost, pray about the situation that is mulling over and over in your head, before you do anything else.
    You can start by praying for your own heart in the situation, taking your eyes off of your own opinion and seeking the Lord’s view on the situation. Then pray for the person you are feeling less than lovely about. 
    Avoid talking the ‘issue’ out with a friend or a peer and let the Lord who is the master fixer be the one to work on the situation.
    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
  • Examine your heart: “Is this really my business?” 
    What is the motivation in your concerns for another person? Do you really desire to see a situation fixed or do you lean more towards being right? Is your judgment self-motivated? Are you seeing the situation the way the Lord would see it or with self-righteous eyes? Does sharing another’s shortcomings with everyone else help their situation improve? Does He need your help to fix them?
    There are times that we are to take things to our brethren to encourage their walk with the Lord. But we must not underestimate the work the Holy Spirit is doing in another’s heart. We all started somewhere. We all have faults and flaws. If we are constantly nagging and spreading gossip about another’s issue, your motivation is not in the right place. It is you trying to do the work in them, rather than letting the Holy Spirit.
    Lastly with this thought… while examining your own heart, don’t assume that you know theirs. Often there is a work going on in that life that you have no idea of.
    1 Thessalonians 4:11and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,
    Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
  • Go to Leadership: If you have prayed and taken the matter directly to the person you are struggling with and still feeling like an issue needs to be dealt with. Take your heart in the matter to your pastor or leadership. 
    They may see things from a different perspective or have some insight on a peaceful resolution. Make sure though, that you truly want to work on the situation and are not just wanting to produce gossip.
    Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.”
  • Be a PeacemakerTo stir up drama, it only entertains for a moment but that drama has a lasting impact on the hearts of all involved. The definition of peace is freedom from disturbance. Quiet and tranquility.
    We are blessed to live a life of quiet and tranquility and bless others when we leave them in peace rather than drama mode.
    God calls the peacemaker blessed! I want my God to call me blessed, to call me his daughter.
    Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 
  • Guard your tongueWhen you are with a gathering of others, are you improving the atmosphere with your words, or are you shifting it to the uncomfortable world of DRAMA. You may be comfortable in a drama-filled situation, even entertained by it, but you leave the environment full of anxiety and head shaking rather than life-giving.  Resist sharing the short-comings and personal details of someone else’s life.  We grew up chanting to our peers when they were hurtful, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
    Are you building one another up in their absence? Are you speaking what you believe and hope for their life rather than the situation they are in?
    This statement still rings true, it is perfectly okay to grace people with a smile and silence if your words will become bitterness to an atmosphere.
    Science has proven that our thoughts, negative or positive impact on our health. If we speak out the negative won’t it impact those around us?
    What if we determined to only be LIFE GIVING? How would that affect others in our life?
    I myself have over shared with a cry of ” please, pray for this situation,” not with a motive for drama, but in reality drama or not, I was still wrong. I should have just taken that prayer straight to the Lord, not changed the atmosphere of others with my ‘concerns’, and certainly not live with the regret of oversharing.
    Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
    1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

    Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
        and those who love it will eat its fruits.

  • Walk in kindness and forgiveness– If you are walking around in anger at what another is doing in their lives, or judgment for their choices, you are not walking a life of forgiveness. If you are spreading all of their business around, you are not walking in kindness.
    God calls us to be kind and to forgive. It seems simple in theory but when we are seeking drama for our entertainment it is so easy to walk in self-righteous mode and not be walking out what He calls of us at all. To ‘vent’ our frustrations of another for nothing more than entertainment sake is hateful, not kind, hurtful, not life-giving and certainly not forgiveness. 
    When I am tempted to judge another, God often has to remind me of what He had brought me out of. How far He has led me from my past and how He alone restored my ways. 
    It is a process. I am still in process. So why should I expect anything more of them?
    Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

    Matthew 18:21-22  Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
     
  • Walk away: If you are finding yourself tempted to gossip, stir up strife, slander, or any other forms of causing drama, pray for strength and walk away. If you are stuck in an atmosphere of another creating drama, excuse yourself and walk away. It is better to walk away and say nothing than to sin against your heavenly father by harming his church with your drama for entertainment.

    I know this is a heavy topic. I know that many walk daily in drama drama drama, not even realizing what they are left with a life of anxiety and strife and often don’t even know the root of it.
    So I leave you with this thought, I believe it sums the topic up nicely.   
    It is impossible to tear down and destroy when you are being a light and building up. 


    Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

 

Unwavering Part 2

You have faith in your GPS. You put in your destination with a confidence that your GPS will get you to your desired location. Even after that one time your GPS took you on a trek into the unknown and rerouted you over and over only to end up in the middle of a suburban neighborhood and not the desired hip restaraunt you were hoping for, the very next journey you still trusted that GPS  and entered your desired destination point again. You hoped in that GPS to do what was required of it. 

As I was writing part one of unwavering, the words unwavering faith kept resonating in my spirit and I decided to dive deeper into that topic. Through prayer and study, God pointed out to me how quickly we trust in things, other people and even ourselves, but how do we trust God in the same way?
God calls us to have faith in Him.

Mark 11:22- And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.”

The Greek word for faith is Pistis meaning trust, to believe, have faith or rely upon.

Let us look at the word unwavering: Steady or resolute- fixed, firm, constant, steadfast, enduring, abiding, unyielding, relentless, tireless.

I am one that must admit I have walked with Jesus as my savior since childhood, but I have not walked in unshakable faith. My doubts through crisis have risen up often.
So how do I continue to walk with Him when my doubts rise?
The answer I believe is to keep walking it out. Rely on Him, even when doubts try to rise. Believe in Him even when I do not see the results that I think I should see.

Unwavering means to be fixed, firm and constant, can’t that apply to our actions as well as our thoughts?  Even when I doubt with my thoughts, my heart is fixed on Him. I am firm in my belief that I can go to Him. I am constant in my cry out to Him. 

It IS okay to ask the Lord to help our unbelief. The very act of asking puts our faith into action. We are trusting Him to answer us. 

Mark 9: 23-24 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Just like the GPS gives us instructions and we follow those instructions to get to our desired location. The Father gives us instructions to remain in Him. He teaches us how to walk, how to abide, how to grow, and how to reach our final destination (heaven). 

We can not please God without faith. 
Hebrews 11:6- And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Faith is the requirement to walk with God, for in order to walk with Him we must trust in who He is,  we must believe in Him. His word is true and all that is written in the word is for our benefit. 

My final thought concerning unwavering faith is that faith is a choice. You consciously decide that you will believe in something or someone. 

 In my personal situation, my faith in God is absolutely merited. I have seen His work, I have experienced His comfort, His miracles, I have the very breath of His life in me.

Persistence is the key to walking out my faith and remaining in Him.
Luke 21:19- By your endurance, you will gain your lives.

So today I leave us with this… let us walk it out…Steady, resolute, fixed, constant, steadfast, enduring, abiding, unyielding, relentless and tireless.
Give a listen: Faith

Mountain (1)

 

Unwavering Part 1

Blog- Unwavering (1)

When I was a small child, I had a teacher write on my report card; “She is like a butterfly, flitting from flower to flower.”
For years, I looked at that as a positive, seeing a beautiful butterfly gracing everything with her presence as she touched her soft wings to it.

I laugh at this memory as I still dance around with my head in the clouds and a song in my heart.

However, self-evaluation recently allowed me to see myself with a teacher’s eyes.
She was saying in a polite way, ” I wish your child would land and complete her tasks before moving on to the next.”

There are times, I jump on my dream entirely too early. Then I get discouraged and I move on to something else. This is something I have known about myself always. I dream it way before it is time.

There is a treasure in knowing when you do not see fruit because you are planting on unhealthy soil and when your fruit just hasn’t bloomed yet.

I have sat alone in an empty building wanting to share my heart for joy in the mess, to other ladies and week after week for six weeks nobody came, my heart was broken so I gave up working in women’s ministry, even though that holds a huge part of my heart.
God will put a dream in my heart and I will jump on it, without preparing myself for the fact that it may look completely different than what I am believing for.

Out of insecurities and preservation, I move on. When I see no fruit with my own eyes, I give up.

But what if I had waited one more week, maybe someone that needed to hear how to ease anxiety and obtain joy would have walked through those doors.
Or perhaps, just by being willing and diligent I would have unlocked something new in the journey I had yet to see.

I have been writing this blog for some time, this is the most diligent work I have ever practiced in my life ( besides worship team), this is the only time I have remained unwavering. Yet, I was ready to pull the plug recently. I feel my ministry within this blog is non-existent as I can’t see it, and I ask the Lord, “Why do I continue this work if I don’t get anywhere?”

The Lord gently reminded me, “this blog is for you, and the work I am doing in you that is not complete. Keep being faithful, remain unwavering with this one.”

God has made promises to me. If you are listening he has promises for you. He has called us to remain faithful. Keep pursuing, keep hoping, be unwavering in your pursuit.

What dreams do you need to pursue and hold tightly to?
Even if it does not look like we expect, If He has called you to it, He is faithful to make sure you reap your harvest!

His faithfulness is unwavering. He knows the plans, the purposes and if He has placed a work for you in your heart, keep at it, don’t let the DREAMS flitter away.

 

 

The Sparrow

Sparrow Blog Instagram: awakened_arts

The Sparrow has been on my mind so much lately. In fact, I drew this Sparrow weeks ago when I gave one of the characters in my Middle-Grade book that I am currently writing a mark of a sparrow.
I find it interesting as I looked up sparrows, once I knew my main character bore the mark, that a sparrow often symbolizes joy. This is perfect, as it lines up with the call of my character in the story.
Here I have had sparrows on my mind, and they can often symbolize the very gift of Joy the Lord has given me to share with others.

Today I discovered, I have a new Facebook friend that calls her ladies, Sparrows. I asked her why the sparrow was so relevant to her and she stated;
“Knowing that when God takes care of the Sparrows as they didn’t value much according to man; HE would always take care of us the same.” (Valerie Miller)

Luke 12:6 –  Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
This verse turns my mind to think about one of the causes of depression. Not knowing our worth. Not seeing ourselves through the eyes of the creator. How often can we look at nature and think it is so beautiful, or look at a young animal and think how precious, yet we can not look at ourselves with the same value?
Has not the masterful creator held you with a great value?
How can you look upon the face of His wonderful creation and only see the lack?
He only sees the great value, not the flaws.
He sees your full worth and call.
A call He set aside only for you to do, and if the enemy can entrap us in feeling like we have no value, then we hold back from doing all we are created for.
What if the sparrow, saw her wings, but never understood their value?
What if she never put them to use because she thought they lacked worth?
She would be a target for prey as she would sit vulnerably and not fly away.
She would miss the beauty her wings would bring her as she took flight, soaring over the earth.
What are you missing out on today, because you are not seeing your full value of your gift?
What part of yourself are you hiding because you think it lacks worth, that another needs to see in order to find their own?

Today my friend is the day you see yourself in the eye of the creator.
Far more valuable are you to Him than even the sparrow who is remembered and cared for.
Ask Him today, to see yourself with new eyes. Hold fast to what you are shown and take flight!

Matthew 10:31- “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Song: His eye on the sparrow 

 

Joy Despite the Pain is Not Denial but a Necessity!​

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Joy despite the pain is not denial but a necessity. These are the words the Lord spoke to me days after the darkest, lowest point in my life.
Let me back up just a bit, before that revealing moment.
In 2010 I had been through the darkest valley I had ever known. I was a church-going, woman of God, that loved my family, loved my husband, loved my kids and my friends and all of a sudden, it wasn’t enough. I won’t go into the details that lead to this valley at this time. Just that I was in one.
In this valley of death, I was ready to end my life. I began to cut people away from me. I didn’t see it at first. In the beginning, it was because someone wronged me, and chop, they were out of my life. Then it was someone wasn’t around for me the way I needed them, and chop, they were out of my life.  Then it became a chopping block for no other reason than I was done with people. I wanted to hide away. I wanted to end all my physical pain that was blinding and no end in sight. I felt worthless, I felt hindering to others, unwanted (because I didn’t want myself) and unloved (because I could not love myself). I only saw my lack and hated myself for it. I truly hated me and the mess I was in.

The baffling thing is, on the outside, I seemed to have it all together. I was strong, I was faithful, I was serving, I was blessed… BUT
Suicide and major depression are not spoken of in the church very often or perhaps even not at all. Women are going to church Sunday mornings with a smile on their face, all the while dying inside. They feel guilty for dying inside, they feel weak and unworthy for feeling this weight they can’t explain.
Some will keep that mask on their face until, like me at that moment, they are ready to end it all.

I was sobbing in the bathtub, I had been told some very negative things by doctors, ” you have to live this way, the pain will not kill you, you don’t want to get better if you won’t try XYZ,”  lets forget I had tried A-W and was exhausted and broke. I was blinded by the opiates they had put me on for the pain and I was just done. I had it planned. Submerge in the tub inhale deeply and end it. My husband knowing something was off, sat on the other side of the bathroom door, banging on it begging for me to let him in.
I stopped crying answered in a very calm voice, ” I am fine, I just need some time.” He stood on the other side, quiet.

At this moment, I was not thinking of my worth, I was not thinking that my family needed me, my family loved me, all I could think was to end the pain both physically and emotionally. I dreamed of the feeling of nothing.

With a final heart plea, I said, “God you promised me joy, where is it.”

It was THE most defining moment in my life. He answered my spirit and said, ” you have joy, you just need to find it.”

My despair cleared and for the first time in 10 months, I had hope stirring in me. I had no idea the journey I would embark on, but that moment with my savior, truly saved my life.

In this process, Writing for Joy was created. I still hurt, I still was broken, I still had limits to my abilities, but as I sought God on what was robbing my joy, each day a bit more joy filled the holes of empty in my heart. One day while still walking in physical pain, but feeling joy again in my heart, I heard God speak clearly to me, ” Joy despite the pain, is not denial but a necessity.” This became my new mantra in life. I was still waiting for physical healing but in the meantime, I was learning my circumstances did not have to dictate my joy.

You see I needed this joy to survive. It did not matter that I was walking and have been walking for years in pain, the Joy is still mine. Through this process, God taught me how to regain it and obtain it.

I still have days the darkness tries to come in. But He gently reminds me, that Joy is my gift, waiting fresh each morning.

Now there is action that I take, to obtain and maintain my joy.

I have a feeling, that this blog and all these years of learning after the brokenness will be my beauty from ashes moment.

I will begin to write my new book: Joy Despite the Pain is not Denial but a Necessity

My heart is to speak into the heart of others, that have been hiding behind the mask, walking in the ‘normal’ every day while dying inside little by little. Not because they want to hide, but because perhaps they don’t even realize they are. Or maybe, just maybe, they don’t realize that they are not the only ones.

This scripture above in my heading is so relevant to me, as in the darkest season I had been bedridden in pain, He says to me RISE UP and I will speak to you and He has been so faithful both physically and spiritually. So I RISE UP and no longer walk in shame of where I was, but in JOY that I can use my story, to touch the lives of others that may be blinded in the pain at the moment.

Remember!! Joy despite the pain is not denial but a necessity.

 

Living in Thanksgiving

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We are getting ready to move from a home that has been a sanctuary in a dark time in our lives. The property around us is beautiful and we will be moving into town, where our views will not be acres of trees and greenery. I had always wanted to stay in one location and raise my children. We lost our home in the fall of the economy and this rental was our Godsend at just the right time and we have been able to spend the last six years here. So many great memories but the newest chapter of our lives as empty nesters has us moving.
It is in this transition that the Lord has shaken me in new ways to live in thankfulness.
He has me focusing not on what we ware leaving behind, but to be thankful in all that we are gaining.
Many times in the transition of life, I have looked at the have not’s instead of the what I have.
We are called to thank the Lord in all circumstances. When we walk out our lives living in thanksgiving, we walk in the plan of joy for our lives. Our sites are on all we have and not what we lack.
What if instead of a well of thanks for the big things in life, we walk in a well of thanks for everything in our life, big and little?
I can choose to rise each morning with thankfulness on my lips or walk in the negative.
It begins with the heart change. For out of our hearts our mouth will speak.
I want to be living in thanksgiving, not just a moment but a lifestyle.
I will rise and know I am blessed.
He is worthy of my thankful heart!
It is in the walking in it, that it becomes my everyday.
Living in Thanksgiving will become my habit, not my moment.

Thank you Jesus : Worship Song

Hope

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Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

How do I hope when I am surrounded on all sides? When the darkness comes in and clouds my mind. I am tempted to succumb to my weakness and lack rather than rising in His strength. How do I overcome? It is not by might, but by His spirit. It is connecting to Him in Spirit by praise and worship. It is in surrender, for in losing my old self, He clothes me with new life. And so…

When HOPE and EXPECTATION rise in my spirit fear, anger, hurt, insecurity and all forms of darkness are shaken out of my sites. Joy and peace become my covering.
Trusting in the Lord is the key to my hope.

I will sing of His wondrous love that saved me from my self.
I will rejoice in His overwhelming grace that covers all my shortcomings.
I praise Him in the morning, His mercies are new each day.
I take my eyes off of my moment and look to my helper, my comfort, my strength.
My moment will pass, but He is ever constant, faithful with every breath I take.
A keeper of promises.
A healer of disease.
Mighty fortress in times of trouble.
Provider for my needs.
The Hope will rise and overflow from my soul.
For the God of all Hope has said it will be so.

With Everything~ Worship song for my day