Does God Allow More Than You Can Handle?

Has anyone told you that God won’t give you more than you can handle?

I’ve heard it plenty! There was a time when I believed it. Then I buried 2 husbands and my mama in four years. God definitely allowed more than I could handle!

I’m sure you can relate! Haven’t there been seasons when the kids were little and you got no sleep and thought you were losing your mind? When someone you loved was addicted or abusive and you feared for your sanity and safety? Hasn’t there been a time of lack, sickness, or upheaval in your life that you thought would crush you?

Of course there has. That’s when God does his best work. It is in the times of upheaval that we run to him for the healing, rescue, answers, resolution or miracle that is way beyond our own control or ability.

If we could manage to manage everything in our lives on our own, why in the world would we need God?

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Are You A Hottie?

Magic of menopause.

If you have entered the magic season of life called menopause, you are likely to be a hottie. Oh, I know, we all used to wish we were hotties, with hour glass figures and smooth skin, but never in all my years did I imagine how hot I would be in my “golden years”.

Last week, Dave innocently asked me why we still had flannel sheets on the bed and I told him it’s cuz he’s married to a hottie.

If you’re a hottie, too, listen up. You need flannel sheets in the summer.

You need flannel sheets because they are so absorbent.

When your body flashes nuclear, a glistening moisture (also known as sweat in more unrefined circles) forms on my body and I need the absorbency of flannel to sop it up.

You need the flannel sheets for their warmth. 

After the glistening moisture appears, the evaporation process begins, and I am suddenly cold in 85 degree heat. You need flannel sheets to keep you warm.

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Celebrating Good Fathers

It’s Father’s Day 

I hope you have a man in your life worthy of celebrating. A father who loves and protects you. A husband who partners with you in life and ministry. A spiritual leader who guides you with wisdom.

I hope your day is full of BBQs and fire pit conversations. I hope you laugh about silly stories and old memories. If that’s true for you, celebrate that man well today. Buy the coffee cup that says #1 Dad and spend time together.

The ugly truth is that many women do not have a good father figure in their life.

Broken homes lead to broken hearts,
and broken hearts lead to broken lives.

As the Father that God longs to be to you, what is his response to your brokenness?

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Out Of Control

There is a lot in life we cannot control.

I never in a million years would have anticipated the pandemic that shuttered our country this spring. Church services cancelled. Travel halted. Department stores, beauty salons and restaurants closed.  Small businesses and independent contractors (like me) without incomes for months on end.

There is a lot in life we cannot control. We can’t control who our family is or what choices our kids make or guarantee the security of our job. We can’t control if we get sick, when our car breaks down, or if it will rain on our parade.

What we can control.

What we can control is how we respond to shifts and challenges. In Philippines 4:19, Paul writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the SECRET of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

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Listening is Loving

Funny, not funny

A man in the back row of the church comes forward for prayer. The pastor asks him what he wants. “I need prayer about my hearing,” says the man. The pastor prays passionately over the fella, then asks loudly, “How’s your hearing now?” The man replies, “My hearing isn’t till next Thursday!”

It’s funny until it’s YOU feeling misunderstood and unheard. Poor communication is compounded by poor listening skills.

Are you a good listener?

Are you a good listener or do you jump to conclusions, fill in the pauses, and hijack conversations? Can you keep your focus on the speaker while they talk? Are you in the habit of asking clarifying questions? Do you wait patiently if someone needs time to formulate a thought or find a word?

Before you answer, think about how to listen to your hubz, and your kids, your mom, and the lady next door who saves all her words for you, because she doesn’t get out much.

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3 Ways To Overcome Discouragement

Ugh. The disappointment.

Today, when my 18th event cancelled, I had a good cry. For the rest of the day, I was down in the dumps. I didn’t engage with other potential clients via phone or email. Who would hire me? was the recording playing in my head. I even had writer’s block. Who wants to read my stuff? traipsed across my mind. There was no cheering myself up. Completely, discouraged, I watched mindless television and ate 10,000 calories.

The devil’s in the details.

I’m confident that discouragement is our enemy’s favorite tactic to slow us down. Discouragement depletes your energy, self-confidence and stamina. It can be so oppressive, you don’t even want to try to find your way out.

Once I’m discouraged, I don’t need to be tempted, or deceived or attacked. I am out of commission until I find my way back to the the face of God.

Have you been discouraged? At some point, we all are. Here’s how to reset.

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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.

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God Speaks Through Nature

 

Birds of a feather

A widow in deep sorrow was sitting alone at the park. Months earlier, her husband of many years was killed in a car accident. She prayed aloud, “God, I’m so lonely and sad. The last words I said to my husband the day he died were harsh. I just want him to know I love him and I’m sorry.”

Just then, two cardinals landed on the sidewalk right in front of her, so close she could almost touch them. A gasp escaped from her lips as a tear rolled down her cheek. Cardinals were her man’s favorite bird. There they were. Not just one, but two. A pair. Mates for life.

What’s really interesting to me is “cardinal” means of prime importance. The one thing. The main thing. God wanted this woman to know the one thing – she was loved. He saw her need and answered her prayer. God whispered to her spirit. Her man knew she loved him and that she hadn’t meant those ugly words. And now she knew it, too.

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I Need Help!

Lessons learned in seasons of not enough.

Girlfriend, I have learned an important lesson in this season of not enough. Ask for help. Sounds so easy, but ugh, who wants to do it? I’m sure you’d rather be the one who comes to the rescue. The one who drops off the meal or writes the check or offers the good advice. I know I would. 

But sometimes we’re the ones who need the help. We mistakenly think joy comes only from giving, when in fact there is great joy that comes from receiving. We need to let others experience the joy of giving while we learn to receive the gift.

God gave us the greatest gift, eternal life through Jesus’ death and resurrection. And what joy we have receiving that gift! 

Call in reinforcements!

I’ve had 15 events cancel and more hang in limbo. UGH!!! I’d applied for unemployment but hadn’t heard anything back. No stimulus check in my mailbox.  With reserves low (emotional, social and financial), I needed help so I called in reinforcements.

I do not like being in this situation, but friends have paid for groceries, dropped money in my accounts, written sweet words of encouragement, lent me a listening ear and offered me great advice. While I have been sequestered in my home, they have prayed for good news in this time when I can’t share the Good News from a platform.

Immeasurable relief.

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Dealing With Delays, Disappointments and Doubts

We all have to face stinky stuff in our lives.

What do you do when the washing machine overflows? How do you react to a really negative post on your Facebook page? Can you keep your cool when your curling iron overheats and melts your hair? Imagine discovering that your car has been towed!

Delays, disappointments and doubts stink! 

In John 11, Lazarus is deathly sick and his sisters, Mary and Martha, are stuck in a stinky situation. When Jesus finally shows up, Lazarus is already dead and has been in the grave four days! 

The sisters are crying, the mourners are crying, even Jesus cries. They are still weeping and wailing at the cave/grave where a stone has sealed in the body of Lazarus.

Then Jesus makes the most remarkable request.

He says, “Take away the stone.”

Martha jumps in and says, “But Lord, by now there is a bad odor!” In response, Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

When faced with a big stink, it’s easier to leave well enough alone. To settle for what you’ve got instead of contending for all the good stuff God has for you.

At Jesus’ request, they do take away the stone and there is a stink!

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