Fear is a trick and treat!

Fear Not !

Fearan unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat

Fear is a trick? 

Our minds think fearful thoughts – a lot!

Minds are wonderful at thinking lots of thoughts. Thoughts love to attach themselves to emotions! One of our survival emotions is fear. We see a fire and think, ” fire is hot and it burns! ” Then, we feel the emotion of fear that the fire might burn us. Of course this thought and emotional reaction happen very quickly.

Fear can be a protective mechanism but it can also become an overprotective menace! Click To Tweet

The problem is that sometimes we can feel fearful of things that are not dangerous. For example, imagine a fire is in a self-contained grill. There is little chance that the fire could really hurt us or burn us. The fire can actually help us cook food, stay warm and roast a marshmallow.Do we need to be afraid of all fire?

Our minds can trick us into believing every fearful thought is true, when most fearful thoughts are false! Click To Tweet

Heres my real life example:

This year, we made a lot of educational changes for our kids. Basically, everyone is in a new school situation. This summer, I made myself sick with worry and doubt about our decisions. I treated our school change like a life-threatening illness! What is it doesn’t work out? What if this is a bad decision? What if I make a mistake?  I felt so afraid of the changes, when in reality:

Did I really have something to fear that was dangerous? NO!

The worse thing that could happen would be that we tried something and it didn’t work out. We could make another change and find a new solution.

I carried that sick, fearful feeling around for weeks until I encountered this truth:

Fear is a treat! 

It’s okay to admit you feel afraid. Fear is a valid emotion and can be met with self-compassion.

If you feel fearful, give yourself a hug and not hammer! Click To Tweet

Stop beating yourself up for feeling fearful and do a little research on why you feel this way. Maybe there is something in your heart that you need to think about with some reassurance from God?

Fear can actually be a catalyst to make me take my anxious thoughts to God in preparation for an act of faith.

Fear can be a signal that God is calling me into a time of deeper Faith! Click To Tweet

Fear makes me dig deeper into God’s bag of treats in His word: ( look what I found!)

Psalm 34:4 says

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears!

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

Seriously, I love how generously God reaches out to people who feel fear!  I praise God for the faith I am walking in today. I have to admit, I did fear this summer- Well, okay I more like stressed my entire family out and had a complete melt down…. but the point is that now….today, I am walking in faith.

I may slip into the trick of fear, but God provides the treat of truth to give me faith again. Click To Tweet

Hey, and let’s face it ! A treat from God’s word is a whole lot less calories than the treats my kids bring home!

Blessings to you !

Tracey

 

One prayer to find your purpose

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Are you looking to rediscover a greater purpose for your life?

Purpose is often discovered on the shores of the uncomfortable.

Are you in an unexpected destination where you feel alone and uncertain of your purpose in life?

Uncharted pain does not take away your purpose in life but it can cause you to head in a new direction.

God disturbs us to help us let go of our plans and seek a fresh, deeper kingdom purpose.

And who knows?

When you lose sight of the land, you just might see the stars. #prayforpurpose Click To Tweet

 

As promised, this is one prayer for purpose attributed to Sir Francis Drake in 1577

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

When you read this prayer today, I would love to hear from you. What do you think about praying for God to disturb you ?

How do you think this will lead you to find a greater purpose in life?

Rory Story #1: What is the color of love?

What color represents love to you? slider-mission

Blue

red

yellow

 Love was blue and grey shades of sadness the night my husband discovered a boy from our church was leaving town for good.

Fear made my husband’s voice quiver.

“I think Rory is leaving for New York. His family is homeless in three days.”

Rory is a 19 year old African-American young man from our Sunday School Class at church. He was introduced to Christianity through Compassion House, a food bank and resource center that is next to our church. He went to Compassion House to get food for his family and eventually work to earn more food by helping around the place.

Rory’s family lived in the ghetto of lakeland and has struggled with poverty and homelessness for years. He has lived in abandoned houses, foster care, group homes and cars. He and his biological mother were on their own after his father died when he was 8 years old. Rory came to our church at 18 years old.

Love became deep shades of red, as this boy captured my husband’s heart in Sunday School each week.

There is something so special about Rory and his personality. He had a genuine love for learning and was an active participant in discussions. Rory was not like most of the kids in Sunday School. As he left church, he walked back to a hard life and not a privileged meal at a restaurant.  He walked back to a life on streets without security that most of take for granted.

Love was shadows of grey for Rory living in the ghetto.

The ghetto: full of  hopelessness and empty promises from those he trusted.The ghetto: devoid of true joy. It is survival. It is getting by. It is never living for more than Friday. Rory told me that when you live in the ghetto, you start to get used to believing you will never get out. There is nothing more. Good people have nothing and bad people are rewarded with  money in bad ways. They seem to prosper.

Three weeks ago, love became yellow in my husband’s heart, shining hope for Rory in a moment of decision.

Mark shined an opportunity that came with a question:

“Rory, will you stay in lakeland, Florida? I can help you here but I can’t help you in New York.”

Mark quickly left church with Rory and asked him mother to trust him to try to help Rory. His mother agreed to let us take care of him, to try to help build a better life for Rory in the future. Through her tears and some hesitation, Rory made the decision to stay in Lakeland. He came to live with us on the other side of town.

Love was orange as fear and in trepidation filled my heart-

MARK- ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!! We just sent a boy off to school and now we are taking on another one that I don’t even know! I felt a wave of panic mixed fear and impending disaster-

Love was white in my heart that day- White is safe- White is plane – White is status quo- white throws money at problems but not it’s heart!

That’s what safe white girls do!

A solution was born that Rory would live across the street at my brother-in-laws house. A safe entry to a stranger coming to live with us, unexpectedly but not completely unwanted. It was my fear that was preventing me from extending full love to this boy who needed my help, our help, our family.

He arrived with dirty clothes that we began to wash and a gorgeous smile that was irresistible. His hug left me speachless that first day.

Somewhere deep inside, I heard a voice say, Will you make him a meal? Will you just make him food?

Love became the color of grilled chicken and salad. It became the color of green beans on a plate from a can.

Love smelled like good food. I’ve smelled that kind of love before in Malnutrition Centers in Guatemala with Orphans Heart.

As I took that plate of food to Rory, I was filled with joy, more than any joy you find in a store or experience on a vacation. I heard that familiar heartbeat in my ears, the one that beats for the needy, the poor, the hungry. Yes, I know that heart beat. I usually have to get on a plane and fly around the world to help hungry kids. Now I just have to open my door.

Love became purple, a royal calling was being born and I began to see this boy with a kingdom purpose for God in this world.

This was not ordinary street kid, this was a man in the making. This boy had potential for so much more and with just a little, his life could become a lot.

My Christian speaking and writing ministry seems ridiculous in light of the tangible opportunity I had to change the color of love in my heart.

Yesterday, my brother-in-laws house sold. Rory moved into my home, into my son’s bedroom, and into my heart.

Love was green yesterday, as I shopped for groceries in the store with him.

I let Rory drive the family mini-van to the grocery store, practicing his driving. ” Miss Tracey, I am whipping’ the hoop-tie . ( that means driving the car )  He is a becoming a great driver as Mark helped him get his learners permit. He practices driving our cars in a back field behind our house. We walked in the grocery and he grabbed the cart to push for me. He remembered doing that for his own mom.

An unexpected simple experience suddenly transformed into a bond experience.  We picked out food and vegetables and yes, I even let him get sugared cereal, Frosted Flakes! We laughed in the grocery story as he pushed my cart. I felt just like I do with my own boys. My little helper just happens to be 250 pounds and 19 years old.  We laughed as we saw Black families looking at me strange and white people looking at him. As we were checking out of the lane, I noticed I was late to pick up my daughter.

Rory smiled and laughed- ” Uh Oh, I am late to pick up my little sister! ”

We headed to the car, picked up Faith, and headed home

Love is black, rich deep ebony, warming my soul and fueling my faith.

As I fluffed pillows on his bed and took laundry to be washed, my heart filled with pride as if this boy could be my own son. Rory is in my home and love is black, rich deep ebony in my heart. My faith sees this young man as a great leader and a prosperous individual.

I may never be the color of his skin but he is the color of my heart.

Today, I am thankful I didn’t stay the color of fear or the color of my safety-

I am glad God changed the color of love in my heart-

Will you change the color of you heart?

Think about my initial question:

What color is love and will you let God change that color to love someone else- ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Godly women feel overwhelmed?

Do you think Godly women feel overwhelmed?

     Yesterday, I read a Facebook post from a very mature Christian woman in my church.  At first, I saw the  scripture on thankfulness she wrote and had a quick cynical thought, ” Great, another scripture post telling me to be thankful from a happy person .” (sigh) Then, she admitted to being overwhelmed by an aging parent and the fear of uncertainty in her life. Because she told her struggle, the  scripture she shared came alive with possibilities for me when I feel overwhelmed-

Our hearts resonate with authenticity and honesty.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”― Brené Brown

 

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In a place of acceptance, we find grace and mercy to change and grow.

We need more Christian women to admit to feeling overwhelmed …

 

This is a small sample of  her post….

1 Thessalonians 5:18 — In everything give thanks for this is the will of God inChrist Jesus concerning you.

He said it says “In” everything not “For” everything! Right now for me I have been emotionally overwhelmed with my Moms recent health changes. It’s made me sad and to be real honest I have had moments of fear of what’s ahead. But this morning God used this precious man and this scripture to speak to my heart. God spoke to me ” Be thankful in these days with your Mom and in these circumstances and stages of her life that have changed! I’m not asking you to be thankful for it but be thankful in it! “Wow! In my heart I do believe the thankfulness for it comes after the storms because then we can look back and see the hand of God and we are better for it but I’m choosing today to be thankful in everything! 

Do Godly women feel overwhelmed?

yep!

How about you?

Are you feeling overwhelmed about a certain situation? Are you feeling overpowered or fearful about a some thing you can’t change?

 Would you like to share your own situation or some thoughts? Feel free to add comments and join the discussion of feeling overwhelmed

I would love to hear from you-

Risk Becoming Overwhelmed

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Summer is a hard time for me as I remember the loss of my nine year old nephew, Philip. He died from a very rare case of PAM- primary ambeobic meningitis contracted from lake water. The hot humidity in the air feels like a slap in my face every time I walk outside and feel the sting of reminders. Memories can overwhelm me.

Recently, my sister in law (Phil’s Mom)  posted a quote she found written in his last science report for school.

He penned these words,

“To me, science is so complicated that when I try to figure it out, I feel like I could get amnesia. But I am still so interested in why things happen that I enjoy the risk of becoming overwhelmed by it.”

This summer God has given me Phil’s own words to comfort my own heart and gain wisdom for the future! 

 

I must begin to risk becoming overwhelmed 

 

Risk becoming overwhelmed when I am  sad and don’t have all the answers ….

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Jeremiah 33:3

Risk becoming overwhelmed when I am afraid and fear I don’t have words to comfort my family…

“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants–from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.

Isaiah 59:21

Risk becoming overwhelmed when I am mad my resources seem limited….

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:19 

Dear God-  

Even as I write these words, my fingers and heart tremble because at times, I am so scared.

Help me run the risk of daring greatly in this life, when I don’t have all the answers, when I seem to be overwhelmed with uncertainty.

Help me trust your overwhelming power, peace and joy that will enable me to live for your great kingdom purposes.

Release my hold on my small plans to play it safe in this life-

Oh God, help me risk becoming overwhelmed…

 

Thank you Phil- I will always love and remember you ! You will always be my precious nephew!


philipbeach-213x300

 

A Practice of Prayer recycles pain

Prayer recycles paina repurposed heart

What was your plan that hit the can?  Was it a lost dream, marriage or friendship? As women it is so easy for our emotions to make us feel trashed with the fear of failure and insecurity of lost relationships.  Today, will you consider opening your hands and letting go of trying to be in control of that plan?

I know it hurts but be encouraged!

God’s purpose will be accomplished in you and through you, regardless of this situation.

Admitting to painful emotions is the first step unraveling their power.

Following my mother’s death, God revealed to me that I had to get my heart in the right place –

 In a figurative sense, the recycling bin of prayer is the place for my heart to seek healing changes not a trashcan. I began to view my prayer time as the place where I would sit to sort through my painful emotions with God, one by one. With tears streaming down, it was not a pretty process but it was life giving.  Most counselors will agree: You can’t heal from it, if you won’t deal with it!

Here’s my simple recycling prayer:

God I feel_( insert emotion)_________________ about (situation _________________________ because.( insert your feelings about the situation)

Help me to trust you with this!

 

I found the practice of confessing my painful emotions before God gave me the ability to see answers in his word.  When I admitted I felt helpless, God’s word told me God would hold me together.( Ps 57:1-3the message) When I admitted I was lonely, the words of Jesus seemed to whisper, I will never leave you or forsake you!

 

Is there a deep hurt that you have never admitted to God? Don’t be afraid to pray a recycling bin prayer before the one who can change your heart. I am a friend to remind you that God is not afraid of any hurt you give Him.  It is in the messy emotional state of feeling trashed that we often find the message that will change the world by faith.

Reclaim Joy when you want to quit! Part 2

Don’t Quit! Part 2

Here is a fun way to reclaim some motivation through a simple picture on your phone. 

Repurposing Activity: grab your cell phone during any point of the day and take a picture of something God is trying to show you to encourage you about the future. Is it a gorgeous moment in nature, the face of a child or a symbol that only your heart understands? Look at that picture as a view of his heart to encourage you daily. When you are tempted to feel fear or discouragement, use that picture and remind yourself of the truth. You might even want to post it to facebook or pintrest with your thoughts to encourage someone else!

Ask God to give you a view of success in the future and not the mess-ups of today.

Here is the picture I use to remind myself that God will help me each step of the way. Even when I make a few slip-ups!

Psalms 37:23-24

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him. Though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

photo

The next morning, after I was feeling really discouraged, I woke up early to walk in our field behind the house. This was the view I was given by the one who raises the sun each morning. I was filled with joy as I grabbed my phone and captured the fog lifting over the glory of creation. My fears, my inadequacies, my confusion are like the fog that disappears with the rising of the Son . The light of Christ exposes my desire to quit and gives me hope for His power in my future. I am called for His purpose, not my plans. As I open my heart to His calling for my family and His provision for my time, I can do everything He calls me to do.

So, what did I do?

I ran back home and began to clean the kitchen with a smile on my face and a bottle of Clorox in my hands!

All day, when negative feelings would hit my heart, I took out my phone and looked at the beauty of this picture. Each time, God was whispering to my heart, don’t quit! I posted it to my facebook and another person commented that they really needed that encouragement too.

GOD will repurpose our fear with confidence as long as we

Don’t quit!

Does God protect a heart of compassion ?

It’s late and everyone is asleep.

I know in the morning that my husband will face a situation that could radically alter our family security. Almost to the day that we launched the Freeride 836 fundraiser, a work related situation has threatened us. Corporate changes aren’t family friendly. At first I was nervous about the contrasting situation- On one hand, we are raising thousands of dollars for an orphanage. On the other hand, a change at work was taking money from our family.( a lot of it!) Faith in God has a way of presenting me with contrasting situations

Does a situation or person have the power to undo the blessings of God in our life? Even as Christians, when we face hard questions, it can be difficult to live the reality of faith. I felt this situation was directly from the enemy of our souls, distracting us with fear to rob our blessing.

Will God’s blessing still stand when my resources seem to be taken away from me?

Trying to riffle through these thoughts, I find this verse that begins to recycle my growing fear. I believe it is time to take my heart of fear out of the trash and place it in the safety of God’s recycling bin of truth.

Psalms 41:1-2

1Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.

God protects a heart of compassion with His own provision

slider-mission

He gives protection, blessings and prevents enemies from having their way with you! WOW! Corporate America doesn’t stand a chance against this verse! What’s coming against your heart of compassion? Is it fear you won’t have  job? Lack of faith in your 401K? Distress about your rent for next month preventing your tithe?

I am recycling my fears tonight with the truth that the Lord will protect my husband and continue to provide for our needs. Truth silences the voices that try to whisper worries into my ear. God will not allow the desire of our enemies to control our purpose in this world…

Will you consider this verse too the next time you hear the same garbage from the enemy of your soul?

Will you take time to recycle the fear with the truth of your faith?

Let’s stand together with the truth our lives resting secure in the hands of the one who loves us the most-

A Thankful Heart – #6

heart

#6 Fear in my heart seeks to consume me, paralyze my attempts to chase after Gods calling with abandon.
Thankfulness comes with the joy of full surrender before a God who takes my fear and increases my faith.

Fear – less , live more!!

Love always requires a risk – Love does not make you comfortable but pushes you to dare beyond what you believe you can give. The risk of love will produce a greater reward than you can imagine.