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WANT CHANGE? START WITH YOUR BLIND SPOTS.

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I remember when our youngest child was in driver’s training, and as he practiced driving in his momma’s car, I kept reminding him about the blind spots. I would instruct him that you can’t drive safely if you aren’t aware that you have blind spots in every vehicle. Then I pointed out to him that it was his job to discover where those blind spots were at and his responsibility to make the necessary adjustments.

Similar to each vehicle that we drive, we too have blind spots in our identity and character. And it’s still our job to discover what they are and it’s our responsibility to make the necessary adjustments if we are going to travel through this life and our relationships in the healthiest and safest way possible.

CAUTION: If we continue to live with our blind spots, we will always feel insecure and hesitant. Not to mention, the ignorance of our blind spots could be damaging to ourselves or others. What if we are causing pain, embarrassment, discomfort, or even avoidance of spending time together? How sad that we are unaware of it. But even sadder is that we don’t have the option to make changes because we aren’t even aware of them yet.

NOTE: While these blind spots are unknown to us, they are apparent to others.

Facing our blind spots has the potential to breed confidence. It is an amazing thing to become aware of a personal weakness, choose to grow in this area, make intentional changes, and experience the difference those changes make. This confidence gives us the courage to grow as a person and address even more areas in order to navigate through our lives and relationships far more maturely and effectively.

“So, how do I find out what some of my blind spots are when I can’t see them?”

I’ve been waiting for you to ask that.

You go to those who know you best. (Remember that your blind spots are visible to others.)

You go with a teachable heart and ask those who are closest to you to help you become aware of your blind spots. Here are some possible questions to use as you ask for honest feedback:

  • Are you aware of any of my habits that could be perceived as annoying to others?
  • What are my prejudices?
  • As I interact with people, how do I usually leave others feeling? Respected, valued, subservient, invisible, incompetent, etc.?
  • Where am I most inconsistent in my behavior?
  • What do you see as my 3 greatest character traits?
  • What 3 areas of weakness would you suggest I work on?
  • What strengths do you perceive  that I have but I am not using or exploring or growing in?

 

Once you get the feedback —

1) Have a soft heart & open ears. If you are like me, you will need to ask God for this. Ask the Holy Spirit to protect you from becoming defensive and justifying yourself for each of the answers cited. Make sure you communicate your genuine thanks to each person who took the time to help you grow by giving you an assessment.

2) Choose 1-2 blind spots that you want to change or grow in. Share them with one trusted person who would be good at keeping you accountable to your desired growth.

3) Make a plan. Without intentionality, you will have wasted all the effort and time taken so far. Write down two specific and measurable steps you can take to address your blind spot. (If you have chosen two to work on, do this for each.) Make yourself accountable for your plan.

*If this is too challenging for you to do on your own, then incorporate your accountability partner to help you with steps #2 and #3.

My prayer is that in the very near future you will be able to say, “I WAS blind, but NOW I see, and I have CHANGED!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I WAS A SINGLE WOMAN WITH THE WRONG LIST

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I began journaling in college and fell in love with it instantly. What a cool place to translate my heart and thoughts onto paper, especially when I was having trouble sorting out what my heart was really feeling or what my mind was really thinking.

I even used my journal to dream – especially about my wedding or what kind of a man I wanted to marry. It wasn’t long before I drafted The List…What I Wanted In A Man. Being quite organized and analytical, I began the list with the “must have” qualities, continued with the “it would really be cool if” qualities, and wrapped it up with the “bottom line.”

The List was surrounded by pages of magazine ideas for my future wedding gown, some dried rose petals (I do have an artsy/creative side as well), and an article I found, Proverbs 31 For Husbands. 

No, this blog isn’t about what was on The List because after 28 years of marriage, I can tell you that it was the wrong list!

While it is great to have your eyes set on the type of spouse you long to marry, it is far more important to have your eyes turned towards a mirror, the Mirror of Truth. I believe you need to be far more concerned about yourself than your future spouse. You should be focusing on whether your own emotions are healthy and your own spirit is mature…that your heart is in a place prepared to commit to unconditional love and God’s covenant of marriage.

Singles, please hear this loud and clear:

Healthy people attract healthy people.

Mature people attract mature people.

Your emotional health and spiritual maturity need to become The List. Evaluate where you are at in both of these arenas and begin to take steps towards growth according to what you find. Let me help you get started:

EMOTIONAL HEALTH

  • Are you aware of what causes you stress? Do you understand the root of your reactions to stress?
  • How do you resolve conflict? Hit it head on, avoid at all costs, ignore? Are you successful at resolving conflict?
  • Do you make yourself vulnerable with those whom you deem trustworthy? How quickly do you trust others?
  • How effective are you at expressing your feelings, opinions, or beliefs? Is every conversation a competition, an opportunity to build relationship, something you suffer through, or a way to talk about yourself?
  • What kind of emotional baggage are you carrying around? Do you know? Have you processed through each piece?
  • Would you consider yourself free to give love and free to receive love? What makes you hesitate or uncomfortable?

 

SPIRITUAL MATURITY

  • Do you consider yourself an insecure person? Or are you confident in your Christ-given identity? Do you know what that new identity is?
  • What priority do you place on sending time with God alone? Are you a student of His Word or a reader? Do you love to dialogue with God daily?
  • Do you struggle with fear, worry, or self-righteousness? Does Satan have a stronghold of sin over you?
  • Are you consistently involved with a group of believers? Is there mutual encouragement, prayer, and accountability?
  • Have you discovered your spiritual gift given to you at salvation? Are you using it to build up the body of Christ?
  • Are you able to serve others? Can you put other people before yourself? How do you do that on a consistent basis?
  • Do you know how God has hard-wired you? What your purpose is and how He wants to use your uniqueness to bring him glory?

 

*Please hear this caution as well – health and maturity don’t equate perfection!

 

As you create your new list, remember that you are wanting to grow in these areas. You want to be purposefully moving in forward motion towards your goals. You want to be able to say that you are getting healthier and healthier…more mature and more mature. But you and I will always be a work in progress; God just asks that our progress makes us look and act more like His Son, Jesus.

My prayer is that you throw away any wrong list you have created on paper or in your mind and focus on the one that counts – where you are at emotionally and spiritually and who you are becoming in Christ.

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3 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL IF GOD IS YOUR TRUE LOVE

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Valentine’s Day is known for being a celebration of true love. It’s a time when we lavish love on those we care about. We give gifts to express our affection.

What do you suppose God might want for Valentine’s Day this year? After all, He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. So what would He want as the Recipient?

I think the answer is simple – He wants “all” of each one of us who call ourselves His followers. He wants “all” your heart, “all” your soul, and “all” your mind.

 

Does He have your heart?

The heart represents the center of man’s inward life–the place of human depravity or the sphere of divine influence. You are created to be influenced by God in the deepest part of who you are…the throne of your motives. And God desires all of your heart.

Jesus warned us about getting caught up in thinking that loving Him meant being concerned with the outside of us and how we behaved, while ignoring our hearts and its evil intentions. He clearly instructed us that He is concerned with changing us from the inside out. Christ desires to start with our heart. He wants to begin with your core.

  • Do you ask God to continually keep your heart soft towards Him?
  • Do you try to change your behavior by changing your outward actions first? Or do you try to change your behavior by changing your motives, working from the inside out?
  • Have you ever asked God  to make your heart beat for His Name & His Glory alone?

 

Does He have your soul?

The soul is synonymous with your emotions, attitudes, and will. Your soul is exposed in every breath you take. When Jesus commands us to love God with all our soul, He is saying to recognize His presence in every breath…it’s a full-time command.

Can you not see how much easier it is to breathe out love for God when life is going your way? And can you not relate to how much harder it is to exhale your love for God when you feel like you are literally struggling for air to survive? My exhales have been known to be filled with anything but love at times. For it is in the storms of life that our souls are tested.

God also warns us about trading our souls for what this world has to offer. This world can only peddle vain things for the moment. It cannot and never will be able to offer forgiveness, mercy, or security–the very things our souls crave.

  • Are you exhaling love for God in every situation? Even as you walk through storms?
  • Where is your soul doing its shopping? Are you buying your things in the “world market” or straight from God’s truth?

 

Does He have your mind?

Your mind is your intellect–the place where knowledge and understanding are analyzed and manipulated to bring about a conclusion or decision. To love God with all your mind means that you align your conclusions and decisions based upon the written Word of God in all situations.

Our thoughts precede our actions; therefore, the battleground is in the mind. That’s why the apostle Paul instructs us to be mentally “transformed” (Rom.12:2) until we have the “mind of Christ.” (Phillip. 2)

If God has your mind, then you live at the highest level of integrity, the highest level of morality, and the highest level of motivation. Your behavior doesn’t contradict your thought life.

  • Is God’s Word your absolute authority? For everything?
  • Which do you think first – culturally or Biblically?
  • Are you a student of the Bible?

 

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“Is God your true love?”

God never expected a perfect gift from us, but His commands in Scripture make it clear the direction we should be moving towards and growing in. Even as we struggle, our love for Him should be marked by going deeper in some way.

For this and every Valentine Day to come, God desires a soft heart moved by His Spirit that chooses to breathe out love in spite of circumstances and keep its mind anchored on the truth of His character.

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