Posts made in August, 2013


Bad hair.  My pants are too tight to wear that outfit.  I can’t find my keys.  I don’t have any food.  That thing I need is of course at the bottom of my oversized purse.  And I just spilled coffee on my shirt.  I hate my life.  And it’s not even 8:00am yet.

How in the world am I supposed to bring life to anyone or anything today?

Life and Death. Blessings and Curses.  Choose Life.

I am still doing the Prov 31 “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” online study (#YesToGod), and below is my example of a daily prayer, just like Lysa mentions her prayer in the book. My daily prayer is also my life verse.  It is what I use and choose to guide my interactions with others to the best of my abilities. 

Deuteronomy 30:19  New International Version (NIV)

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life…..

My Daily Prayer:

Lord, today my words will bring life

My presence will intentionally be life-giving and not poison-emitting

I let others (and myself) off the hook of my missed expectations

In learning to value myself, I end up bringing life to others

I choose to surrender and be at peace with my authentic self

Today you set before me life and death, blessings and curses. 

Help me to choose life.

So how do I intentionally NOT choose curses or death?  This is the question that sent me on a trip to Oopsland. 

My internal dialogue is shocking as it is written down.  Seriously.  You should try it.  The next time you miss a turn on a street, forget an appointment, don’t get your hair just right, or can’t wear that pair of pants because they are now too tight…….write down, on paper, what you are saying to yourself in your mind.  It is shocking. 

Would you ever say that to another person? 

I’m guessing not, but if you answered yes, we may have other things to work on first…….

My path to choosing life started with myself.  How could my words and dialogue bring life to Billie? 

Wow.  Crazy talk. 

I started asking myself, in every one of those situations above where I was incredibly down on myself……..

”How would the people of Oopsland handle this? In Oopsland it is ok to make mistakes, it is ok to not be perfect all the time.”

I was living in Perfect Isle based upon the negative dialogue going on in my mind.  Clearly, I had failed to research my directions ahead of time like an intelligent person.  Clearly I was too stupid to remember an appointment or keep my life organized like all those other successful women.  The fact that my hair looks awful is just indicative of the fact that I am a mess overall.  And of course I can’t wear those pants anymore.  I am a complete failure at controlling any of my food or exercise.  Clearly. 

So how would an Oopslander handle this situation?

They would find an alternative perspective. 

Ask myself, “Did the world end because I turned onto the wrong street?” 

“Yes, I forgot an appointment, but now my doctor had a few minutes to take a break and I’ll just make another appointment. “

“My hair has a mind of its own….clearly not my fault. “

“And the pants….well….at least I have clearly learned what I cannot eat in order to maintain my weight.  I will make a good choice at the next meal.” 

Etc, etc, etc, etc, a thousand times a day until changing my internal tongue becomes second nature. 

Start by bringing life to yourself, in order to bring authentic life to others.  I promise the life within you will multiply so much that it can’t help but spill over into every situation you are in.

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I realized three things are keeping me from wholly committing again.  I say “again” because you couldn’t have found a much more sold out person than I was 10 years ago.

Three revelations of the heart:

  1.  “If I make one more bad decision, then this whole life will just topple over.  It’s already leaning heavily because of my other bad decisions in the last decade”
  2. “If you were proud of me, my life would look different.  You would have given me a normal situation, a husband, kids, a house in the suburb.  Therefore you are not proud of me and I am fearful of disappointing you even more.”
  3. God and I made some commitments to each other:  He would be clear if he was actually punishing me, and I would stop thinking every bad thing was a punishment.  I would start believing he had good intentions towards me.  That I didn’t hear wrong, and this might actually still be his path instead of a punishment

It was the most beautiful, peaceful glassy evening on the water.  It was as if God was wooing me.  It was our date night.  So why was I hesitating?  I had been sold out before.  I did some crazy things for God.  So where did this hesitation come from?

My heart is so confused.  I’m not where I thought I would be in life, and if I had been following God, wouldn’t my life look different?  Therefore I must have heard wrong, made bad decisions, or maybe God is punishing me.

He answered me with the story of the prodigal.  Have you ever noticed as you read that story that the son didn’t wash before the father put the family robes and the fine jewelry on him. 

I grew up on a pig farm, so trust me…..the prodigal son stank.  Even dried pig dung stinks.  Big time. 

But the father dressed him while he was still dirty.  And last weekend, he was clothing me and dressing me.  He doesn’t smell the stink.  Really.  Honestly.  Even in our darkest moments, in our greatest failures, he still doesn’t care that we are sitting in the middle of a pig pen covered in that foul stink.  Even in that pig pen, he sees us clothed in robes of righteousness.  He only sees our true character and it is always beautiful to him. The repentant heart is always lifted out of the dung.

And so date night ended with me wholly committing again. 

I said #yestogod.  I am #whollycomitted.

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A safari in Africa.  Sounds in the night.  Camping in the open African air, hearing all the animals.  On this particular night, I was sitting outside, in the cool winter air on a second story deck.  It was pitch black.  I couldn’t see a thing but I knew below the deck was a river.  I could hear animals rustling in the bushes alongside the river.  I wondered what it would have been like to be the Israelites, so close to the Jordan, being told it was the Promised Land on the other side but not really knowing for sure.  Hearing something, across the river, rustling in the bushes.  Big.  Scary.  Unknown. Wondering what was on the other side. 

Would I still go?  I can honestly say it was scary on that deck, in the darkness, not knowing what was out there.  I can only imagine what they must have felt like. 

Then God said to me “Remember to cross the Jordan regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”. 

#SayWhat?

Yes, he said those exact words.  To me.  He was very insistent that I take note of this moment in time.  He told me to mail myself a postcard with those words on it for future reference.  To mark this moment. 

My tour guide of course thought I was nuts.  Who mails themselves a post card with something like that on it?  But God said do it, so I did it.  #SayWhat?

Why would he do this?

Because he knew of the MANY Jordan moments the next 7 years would bring. 

Uproot everything and move to Australia where you know no one.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Get dual citizenship with Australia.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Walk this path of sickness, as a foreigner in a strange land, even if it leads to death.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Uproot everything again, and move back to the States with no job or plan in place.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Change careers and ministries without knowing what is coming.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Fully embrace natural medicine and holistic healing.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

And the biggest Jordan of all.

You have to go to the darkest memories of your soul to find emotional healing.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Tonight he gave me a picture about my current Jordan:  Perfect Isle vs. Oopsland. It was as if I could see myself from the back, standing on the Perfect Isle side of a raging river looking toward the other side -Oopsland.  My heart is asking if it could be true.  Could there really be a land where it’s ok to fail?  Where it’s ok that I turned out just as I have.  Where it’s ok to have a crooked path instead of a straight line. 

Could it be? 

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

And so I step.  I don’t want the unknown, the sounds in the night, to keep me stuck in Perfect Isle. 

I must cross this Jordan as well.  I’ve come so far.  Will you join me in Oopsland?

 

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I’m doing an online book/bible study through Proverbs 31 with Lysa TerKeurst’s What Happens When Women Say Yes to God and this is my blog hop day.   

My “Yes To God” story should be about how wonderful it is to follow him into unknown territories and all the great things ahead. 

But what about when you follow him there and it doesn’t turn out so well?  

That’s my Yes to God story.

I am the seed that got plucked out of the seed packet as Lysa TerKeurst mentions in her teachings for her book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.  I have gotten shoved down into the muddy, icky soil where it feels very dark.  And living in Perfect Isle as I do (#downwithperfectisle)……things need to be in control, they should NOT be muddy or dirty, and plans should execute properly.  What happens when you think you are following God, and it turns into something that appears to be a failure?  Well….it’s quite confounding to a Perfect Islander.

Loads of questions start flooding your mind.  Was I really listening to God?  Did I get myself here out of free will, and now I have to stay to “reap what I sowed”?  Even if it was a bad decision, and I wasn’t saying “Yes to God”…..will he still help me?

I’ve spent too much time in Perfect Isle analyzing the “why” I am where I am.  It’s exhausting really.  Do you know what I am talking about? 

So my “Yes to God” commitment is to start believing, I mean really believing, that I am exactly where God wants me to be.  Every moment of every day is exactly what it is supposed be.    

There is nothing to analyze.  There is nothing to beat myself up about. 

I have immigrated to Oopsland.  This is a part of the Oopsland culture.  To rest for a moment, in where I am at.  To believe the everyday, mundane activities are exactly where God needs me in this moment.  To rest in the Lord and the fact that he can find me no matter where I have landed.  And that maybe, just maybe, I really am exactly where he needs me to be for whatever comes next.

How do I put my Yes to God into action this week?

As I walk through my day….I am literally repeating to myself, “This is exactly as it should be”.  “This is OK”.  As I lay down to sleep and a billion tasks that did not get finished are flowing through my head, I reassure myself “I am doing exactly what I need to be doing right now.  I am taking care of myself and resting”.  “Everything is as it should be, I am saying Yes to God”.

I have a note by my door.  Every day as I switch off the light and lock the door, I touch the note and say “Lord, Today I CHOOSE you”. 

It’s a daily choice for some.  A moment by moment choice for me to keep reminding me there is a way out of Perfect Isle.

How are you reconciling your Perfect Isle thoughts about a perceived failure?  How are you implementing your immigration to Oopsland and saying Yes to God?

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