4 Ways to Overcome Adversity

Overcoming adversity

I grew up in a little town that boasted a large playground. Don’t picture colorful plastic structures with safety rails and seat belts.

The 14’ slide was a narrow piece of metal pitched at a (nearly) 90 degree angle. The swing set shuddered and lifted off the ground as we built momentum.

The teeter-totter was so long and high that if you were on it with a mean kid, you could get launched into next week or dumped on your keister so hard it knocked the wind out of you.

Monkey Bar Moments

And we had metal monkey bars. The kind with two ladders and a crossbar. Conquering those monkey bars was a rite of passage. When you could make it all the way across without falling or stopping, it meant you were a big kid.

At first, I couldn’t even reach the cross bar from the ladder’s top rung. Eventually, though, I got myself up and with practice, traversed from end to end without assistance or plummeting to the asphalt below.

My life is still full of monkey bar moments. I reach for dreams and goals seemingly too big and lofty to attain. I fall and fail at relationships and employment opportunities. Howl and cry over busted ministry ventures and weight loss flops. Yet, I press in and press on with my Creator to build the muscle, find the confidence, acquire the skill sets and obtain the wisdom to meet the challenges and make the changes.

Read More

Safely Landing On God’s Leading

The big adventure.

When I married Adventure Boy (Craig) he came with an airplane, a motorcycle and a riding lawn mower. He said, “Babe-a-licious, (cuz that’s what he called me), it’s absolutely ridiculous for you to own a vehicle you don’t know how to operate. So, I’m going to teach you to fly!”

That sounded like more fun than it was. Part of the required training to get a private pilot’s license includes stalling the engine till it feels like you’re falling out of the sky, making dizzyingly tight turns without losing a foot of altitude, doing so many takeoffs and landings your ears permanently plug, and learning to navigate by triangulating topical maps.

But, then there was night flying. Oh, Friend, there is nothing quite like floating above the earth’s twinkling lights with the moon hanging above you. It’s quite glorious.

Following procedures. 

Nighttime landings at small airports require pilots to rely on their instruments and the runway lights to guide them down safely. If you come in too low or too slow, you splat. Too high or too hot, you overshoot.

If you execute procedures correctly, you’ll follow the path of white runway lights to safety. (Don’t follow the blue lights, those are just for taxiing.)

There’s no room for improv or personal preference. There’s no margin for bad judgement. You must do the training and follow the procedures to stay safe.

The same principles that get pilots on the ground safely hold true for landing safely inside God’s will and leading.  For a reminder about discerning God’s guidance or leading, click here for a quick review.

Read More

You NEED To Hear This Today!!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I really LOVE being a mom, but I have a love-hate relationship with Mother’s Day. Do you? 

I tell you all about it in this video. I’m sure you’ll find your story here too. Watch it today then tell me about your Mother’s Day experience.

 

Whether you are a mother or not, celebrated or not, YOU have a Father in Heaven who loves and adores you! And, he asks you to be a Life-Giver for him. 

I would love to know what about this video resonates most with you. Leave me a comment below about your Mother’s Day experience. 

Creating New Normals

What is your new normal?  

In the midst of a nationwide quarantine, there are gobs of suggestions to ride out the days till life returns to normal.

  • Exercise
  • Scroll Facebook or Instagram
  • Watch television
  • Organize closets
  • Clean everything in sight.

One of the ways I’m coping with this crisis is by reading my Bible. It’s one of the best ways I know to connect with God, recall the myriad ways He rescued His people, redeemed dreadful situations,  conquered enemies and multiplied miracles.

Why the Bible? 

The Bible is engaging, historical, comforting, educational, transformational and entertaining but I haven’t always thought that way.

When I first started following Jesus in my 30’s, the ladies in my small group told me to read the Bible, but sheesh, such a big book. Where do you start?

My Study Bible has 2335 pages – not counting the maps or the concordance.

2335!

That is a lot of pages.

If the Bible intimidates you with its thees and thous and dosts or seems overwhelming just by virtue of its girth, take heart. 

Read More

How I Kicked Trouble In The Teeth

Count it all joy?

Mr. 4-Ever and I had been in the car for 5 minutes of a 12 hour trip when a car pulled into our path and Dave had to make a quick adjustment to save our lives. Unfortunately, I was drinking a large bottle of frappuccino and when he made his heroic maneuver, and I spilled half the cold, sticky, sugary drink down my front. It splashed into my hair, dripped off my necklace, and soaked my top down to my bra!

Count it all joy?

Earlier that week, on a trip to Florida, I felt something hard in a mouthful of pudding. When my tongue kicked the hard thing out onto my hand, it was the crown from my front tooth! I was 1700 miles away from my dentist with a scheduled speaking event the next day.

Count it all joy?

The same week, an email from the publisher started with,
“Hi Dave and Robyn, I’m sorry to tell you that the truck carrying 5000 of your “The Widow Wore Pink” books to the distribution center caught on fire and ALL of them burned.

Count it all joy?

Girls! Do you have days, weeks or seasons like this? How do you face bad news and big inconveniences?

Stuff happens. And when it does, God’s Word says to count it all joy.

Read More

3 Ways To Stop Beating Yourself Up!


Do you beat yourself up for making mistakes?

I was at the grocery store last week and purposely chose a check-out lane manned by one of my favorite cashiers. Alice is fast and friendly and packs my stuff like an engineer.

But as I looked over my receipt on my way out of the store, I realized she hadn’t credited me for a $5.00 coupon.

I wheeled my cart back to Alice’s lane and explained the sitch. Her face fell as she flipped through coupons in her drawer. “Is this it?” she said sharply as she thrust the coupon at me. “It is, thank you,” I said, “Sorry for the trouble.” As she turned away from me, she snarled to herself, “I do everything wrong!”

Whaaat the … ? Moments earlier, we’d had a very pleasant exchange. I’d chosen her. Smiled at her. Complimented her. Affirmed her. Then boom! It had all shifted over an innocent oversight. 

I was shocked, but then, it wasn’t all that long ago, I might have reacted the same way.

What you DO is not who you ARE.

Read More

Super Bowl Sunday & Sacred Moments

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!

My team didn’t make it to the big game, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t watching the Super Bowl. The fridge is stocked with salsa and cheese slices. Wings and pork butt are in the smoker. Beverages are chilling and extra ice is on the back porch. Friends have been invited and reminders have been sent. The bathrooms are clean and the rest of the house is … tidy.

We are ready!

Even if you don’t succumb to football frenzy, you can probably relate to my excitement. Think about the anticipation and preparation of organizing any party, or redecorating a room in your house or planning a vacation.

Don’t you look forward to it? Of course, there is the organizing and preparation and the clean up, but the outcome is worth it, right? Parties and remodeled bathrooms and family vacations are the result of a thousand decisions to culminate an exceptional experience.

Read More

What Do You Want To Ask God?

 

Do you ever wish you could ask God a question? Maybe clarify what to do about a specific situation taking place in your life? Would you like direction toward your calling? Perhaps you’d like relationship or parenting or employment guidance. 

The Bible is flawless, but what if your situation isn’t specifically addressed in it? I’ll talk more about this next week, but to get you started, what do you do when you want to know:

  • Whether to stay in your job or take a new one across the country?
  • If you should buy this house or that one?
  • Is homeschooling really be the right path to educate your children?

None of these issues are specifically addressed in the Bible. 

The only reasonable solution is to ask God to direct you through listening prayer. And he will. Priscilla Shirer says, “Do you really think God loves you enough to die for you but doesn’t love you enough to talk to you?”

I’ve created a quick video on listening prayer to teach you how to hear from God. Watch it then do the exercise. When you’re done, leave me a comment about how it went, and what you heard.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s A Wrap!

It is finished! 

Can I confess that when the calendar rolls past the holiday there is a certain relief that falls on me?

The pressure is off to send one more card or shop for one more present or bake one more cookie or attend one more holiday gathering. Curiosity is satisfied and expectations were either met or disappointments dealt with. 

It is finished. I’m grateful and even a little relieved. So where is the wonder and joy? 

Unexpected emotions.

For some, this Christmas was unexpectedly different. The death of a loved one left an empty space at tables and in hearts so vacuous that facing the cheerfulness of the holiday was nearly impossible.

Military families with service men and women serving far away from home secretly hoped for a surprise visit like something out of a television commercial. (I know I crept downstairs on Christmas morning hoping to see an Eli-lump on the couch. Sigh. Just throw pillows.)

Empty nesters sleep in on Christmas Day, missing the pre-dawn promptings from children eager to open presents under the tree.

Snowbirds celebrating Christmas in the south are unexpectedly sad, feeling the absence of family members, silently missing the familiar cold and snow.

College students back home for the holiday are more excited about reconnecting with friends and time away from studies than celebrating Christmas. The childlike wonder and surprise is missing.

The monumental expenditure of creative energy and resources can bring out the crazy in the best of us. I’m guilty of losing sight of Jesus in the crush and sorrows of Christmas.

Christmas is over, but Jesus remains. 

When the shepherds were told of Jesus’ birth, there was a good deal of excitement. Anticipation of our Messiah generated spontaneous travel plans, making arrangements for the sheep, getting cleaned up and their hair done (presumably) deciding what outfit to wear (perhaps) baking and creating gifts to bring to the party (maybe)? Ok, that’s a stretch.

Wonder and Joy

What we do know is the shepherds were filled with wonder and joy. A wonder and joy that could not be contained. The Bible says, “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  (Luke 2:17-18) Enjoying the Presence of God will fill you with wonder and joy, too. All. Year. Long. 

Following the example of the shepherds, I’m going to find Jesus and be with him. In spite of changes and losses and angst about what next year holds, I’m going to take some time to recapture a bit of lost wonder and joy.

What’s next?

This week, I hope you’ll ponder and remember Jesus is the reason for Christmas and celebrations all year long. All the traditions and parties and gifts are just accessories to remind us that Jesus was born, and He came to save us. To be with us.

Sit in Jesus’ presence and be filled again with wonder and joy. I find Jesus in my Bible study. In my prayer closet. In my dreams and at my church. Where will you look for him first?

Leave me a comment where you connect best with Jesus to recapture your wonder and joy. 

30 Day Thankfulness Challenge

,

 

God works in mysterious ways

No doubt, God’s ways are far above my understanding, but He is often quite OBVIOUS in His direction. For the past several weeks, nearly every book, magazine article, podcast and Bible study lesson has touched on thankfulness.

Now, I like to think of myself as a thankful person, but apparently, God is raising the barre on my quota. He’s impressed on me to start a thankfulness journal. For one minute a day (I set a timer) I write what I am thankful for.

Initially, it was a piece of cake. It doesn’t take much effort to fill one minute with home, hubby, health, kids, etc., but now on day seven, the flow is slower. You can test me in this. I’d love the company.

Thankfulness rewires your mind. 

As the flow of things to write on my list dwindled from a stream to a trickle, I realize God is using this journal to cause me to deeply reflect on my blessings. 

Honestly, girls, God is wooing me and maybe to you, too, to appreciate what I have and not take it for granted. To chuck the “What have you done for me lately” attitude as I pray for more stuff and overlook what I already have.

Follow the example of Paul

Paul says in Phil 4:6, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.” 

What he practices a lot is thankfulness.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” Col 3:15

Read More