During this Holy Week, I can’t help but to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice and love of God… the crucifixion of Christ. Christ who was sinless, died for our sins, to give us undeserved forgiveness and to save our souls. There is not better friend than the one we have in Jesus. I think about this absolute truth when I think of suffering. When we are in a season of suffering it’s so easy to be suffocated under the weight of hopelessness. The feeling that there is no ending is sight. But, this scripture in Peter reminds us that God restores.
We were lost and God gave us the opportunity to be restored through death of Christ. Through every season of suffering you can count on God bringing forth a season of restoration. When restoration from the Lord occurs it is in some ways greater than our suffering. Not to belittle loss or suffering, but it brings about a strength in our faith that I believe God specifically uses for his glory. When you’ve endured a particularly difficult season, and God restores you, and makes you steadfast and firm in a new season, you have a testimony to share.
Through your suffering and restoration you can bring hope to another one of God’s children. Never think that your suffering isn’t connected to a bigger purpose. As children of God we are in community and connection with the body of Christ. Your experience in suffering and restoration are significant and purposeful. Rest assure there is nothing God can not restore and use for his plan. If you have any doubt, think about Jesus dying on the cross for you, he was steadfast then and he is steadfast now, by your side always.
When you are designed by the ultimate creator there is no limit to what you can do! If you feel like you’re settling for less, you probably are! I strongly believe that when we feel as though we are not living up to our potential, that is God whispering to us…I have more for you. If we choose to ignore Him we remain merely existing and not living authentically or embracing our purpose . One sign of not living authentically is feeling uncomfortable in our skin, because we are living a design that doesn’t fit who we are in Christ. Ask yourself these few questions?
- Am I living a narrative that others have created for me?
- Am I just going with the flow and letting life happen to me?
- Am I an active participant in manifesting my vision for my life?
- Do I hide my spiritual gifts because I don’t believe I’m talented or good enough to succeed?
- Do I look at others who are living my dream and feel envious that I’m not pursuing what’s in my heart?
- Am I ignoring the doors that God keeps opening because I’m too afraid to walk through them?
If you answered yes to the questions above, I urge you to stop, get quiet and start listening to the Lord’s call for your life. We aren’t here to worry about success or failure, God put us here by design! You have a purpose to pursue that is God given and perfect for your life. When we start being God reliant and put our faith in the creator we unleash the power within us to do God’s work.
In my upcoming eBook “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout,” I talk about creating your own narrative with God as the author. Why is this a chapter in a book about burnout? Nothing dims our light, makes us more exhausted, and more discouraged than living a mundane life that doesn’t reflect who we were created to be in Christ. God has carefully planned out your life to be a bestseller, a meaningful legacy that brings him glory, but you have to believe in Him.
How do we do this? We listen, we pray, we act, we stop procrastinating, we live by faith, we stop the stinking thinking and transform our minds to be filled with the spirit and the word of God. There is so much more in store for you, but do you believe it? Do you crave for a life beyond your wildest expectations? Then you are in a win-win situation, because God desires an incredible life for you as well! Believe, follow and act on God’s plan for your life and you will be rewarded beyond measure!
One of the tips in my Ebook “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout,’ that can have a significant and transforming impact on your life is forgiveness . Be generous with forgiveness to others and yourself. Living a life without forgiveness keeps you stuck in the hurting place, but doesn’t move you forward to the healing place. Forgiveness isn’t always easy, in fact it may be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do, but it will allow you to walk through the next door in life and shut the one behind you. The key word is behind…when you hold onto hurt, anger and wrongdoing you are staying behind in a place that no longer fits who you are in the present! Sometimes the hurt and trauma is so deep that you can’t forgive on your own, that the only way it can happen is through God . Remember this, God forgave us so who are we not to forgive others? Maybe you’re exhausted because you can’t forgive yourself. Sweet sister, please, please, please know that there is nothing you did or will ever do that the love and grace of Jesus will not cover! Forgive yourself because God has already done so! Free yourself and others with generous forgiveness and live your best life.
Timeouts are not just for toddlers! Listen, kids stretch your patience like a gumby doll. Sometimes it’s just all too much right? The whining, the crying the back talk (if you have teens you get me), the constant running around, homework, housework, work-work, and everything else in between can seriously make you lose it. It’s okay you are only human and sometimes you just need to scream in a pillow, or just be alone for a minute. Or maybe you’ve already had enough and blew up, and everyone is looking at you like you lost your mind. It is time to put yourself in a time out! Why do we put toddlers in a timeout? Because it helps them to calm down. They may fight it at first, but usually after a few minutes, they stop crying, are breathing normally and have turned back into the sweet cherub you know and love. They may even say sorry in that adorable voice that makes your heart melt. Why? They had a moment to just sit and deal with their emotions. We need that moment every once in a while to regain some peace and restore our sanity!
In my e-Book, “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout,” I give practical tips on finding ways to give yourself a timeout regardless of the age of your children. One of my favorite time outs, is simply sitting in the car in complete silence. That time is delicious! Finding a moment to breathe will prevent blow-ups and will save you from regrets that come when mom is burned out!
January has been a rough month, taxing emotionally, financially, mentally and spiritually. December 31st filled me with promise for an amazing start to 2019 and if I’m being honest, it’s been anything but amazing. Financially, I had some setbacks, that really put me in a bad position and you know how frustrating that can be, right? Then, I found out an old friend of mine had passed away, in the most unexpected and awful way. It rocked me to my core and to be honest I think I’m still in shock. We were such good friends growing up and although we grew apart, I never stopped wondering about her and trying to keep up with her life, because well, that’s what you do when you love someone, it doesn’t fade away. It’s a complicated relationship, but I’ll just say, my heart was and still is broken. The sadness didn’t stop when another friend lost a dear loved one unexpectedly as well. On top of the fact that work was ridiculously stressful and I had to travel, I’ve been feeling really depleted.
I can feel the walls closing in and as they are closing my mind is going to that stinking thinking place filled with insecurity and doubt. Do you ever go down that road? It’s isn’t a fun trip. There are days where I feel absolutely useless. I take two steps forward and twenty steps back, and I want to scream, “God, what is going on?” I cry, uncle! I mean I’m trying here! I’m sure that’s the problem, I’m trying and not surrendering. How hard it is to just let go and let God? Although I know His way is the best way, and that he already knows the obstacles I will face and has it worked out, it’s still not always easy for me to surrender. That’s that pesky human ego side that fights the spirit tooth and nail.
I’ve been digesting the verse in Lamentations because it is a much-needed reminder of the Lord’s never-ending compassion and mercies that are new every morning. January has been a beast, but I can look back and see God’s compassion coming through. Whether it is Him calming my heart and mind, or a friend bailing me out of a tough unexpected financial situation, or help with my child after school, or a meal on the house from a kind person when I was traveling for work, God was present and his hand was in every situation. I didn’t have to do a thing but allow Him to work. He will never allow us to be consumed because His love is so great, so awesome and consuming! God’s love covers us and carries us. I pray that if you are feeling brokenhearted and weak that you read Lamentations and think about God’s mercies in your life…they are present, I promise you. Allow yourself to be consumed by his compassion and not your burdens.
A little while back I dived into Psalms and started to look at the character of God. Do you ever ask yourself who is God? I wanted to share this deep dive with you. I was overwhelmed by what scriptures tell us about God, His character and who He is to us. I hope you are as blessed as I was when I saw the depth of God’s love and provision for us!