Tag Archives: Frustration

Oh Momma, When You Just Have to “Give it Up”

Oh momma, are you at all like me? A bit persistent, strong-willed and stubborn. Although I am starting to get it, I have had to learn the hard way through lots of disappointments that it just isn’t worth the battle.

As my kids grew up and left home, got married and then returned for their visits during holidays and then with their children, my comfortable home began to feel a bit tight. We have a small dining area just on the other side of an island of counter that is approximately 12’ by 11’, and this where meals are taken. It sufficed for years with three kids, mom and dad. But now the table for comfortable five has had to become stretched out into the living room to accommodate 10 – 12 at times. Yikes, we are in on the living room rug!!! (Bless your hearts those who say what’s the big deal!)

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I would pray and ask, then pray and ask some more…only to get ‘for the few times we are all together we can make it work.’ I even drew out the plans to push out our kitchen and dining room to make an L-shaped house from its regular rectangle. (I love planning things like this!) I had even drawn the cupboards and was going to have just a lovely dining area with the space to safely keep us all on the tile floor for meals and include a nice large island for cooking times when my small counters get easily crowded.

As my husband drew nearer and nearer to retirement he was more and more determined that this would never happen. God and I would talk ‘cause I knew that God delights in giving us the desire of our heart, even a larger house…and sometimes He does. However, I found with every no that I was getting more and more determined to make it work.

Then God spoke to my heart and showed me that I was fighting a losing battle, and if I persisted in demanding my way (to which I thought was for the best of reasons!) that I was only going to get more and more angry at not getting my way. Wow, did I have a lesson to learn. I was going to have to resign myself to the fact that this just wasn’t ever going to happen!

It was at that juncture that I could stomp, connive, deceive and work my way into a tizzy trying to get my guy to change his mind. This would certainly drive us all nuts! Or I could give it up and…let it go. My Father was asking me to “let it go”.

I can be a fighter! I had pushed this thing and of course had everyone on my side to make it happen, but I couldn’t change his mind. I remember being very frustrated, very resentful and not feeling very nice about the whole thing.

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Have you ever been called to give something up? How difficult was it for you to just say ‘I resign’?

There are times in our life that this is the call and as hard as it can be I have learned that my world didn’t fall apart, AND that I have more peace in my heart because I gave it up. One less source of agitation between me and my husband, with less resentment brewing and stirring up all kinds of unpleasantries!

2Cor13-11Remember Paul and the thorn in his side? You can read of it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 where Paul had to contend with a “thorn” in his flesh. Reminding me of a sliver one sometimes gets. It is not pleasant. And God’s reply to Paul was merely that “His grace is sufficient for you…”

In the long and short of it, peace in my home was worth finding through my giving up my desire to be more comfortable. If the juice gets spilled on the rug, then I am going to clean it up. And life will go on and we will enjoy many wonderful family meals even if we have to eat IN the living room. I have realized that time is short. Many memories are made when we engage around a cramped dining area and that really is what counts as important.

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This is what it is really all about!

I didn’t lose the battle here…I gained, through the grace of God, a heart that is content with what I have.

Waiting, Waiting…and Waiting!

Do you like to wait? I mean, in long lines, traffic jams, water to boil, you know WAIT? I really don’t know if there is anyone who likes to wait! It is probably harder for most than not…and I think harder for men than women (maybe.) For this girl it is soooo difficult and when I want something I really want it now. But I have recently learned a valuable lesson in waiting…this is where God works on us! The waiting makes us very uncomfortable yet this is when we realize that we can’t do anything about it! Have you been there?

Over the last almost two months I have waited with baited breath to see the outcome of this website. It is hard because I couldn’t post or fiddle with the appearance or well, do a thing with this project. But what I did do was really pray. Pray for Amanda, the designer who was trying to learn about me (long distance I might add) so that she could put something together that would reflect my heart, my ministry and what I have to offer as God’s representative. You see I believe that God brought Amanda of myamandadesign along at just the right time to use her talents to help me!  She sensed that I was pulling my hair out. Okay, I think I may have posted that in a group we both belong to on facebook, where I expressed my frustration and cries for help.

You see, I like to think I can do it all and I really do try. I built my own original website and then several blogs and I thought I could do this on my own like usual. However, I couldn’t and it was a difficult place to find yourself admitting that I couldn’t. But that too was a lesson for me to learn and I believe right where God wanted me. When we think we can do everything then we are basically saying we don’t need one another with our gifts and talents. When I think of all the time I spent fiddling around trying to build my own site, knowing just enough to be dangerous, I mentally calculated way too many hours with nothing to show (or at least far from where I desired to be!) God didn’t intend for us to do it all by ourselves but to rely on one another and on Him. That is just what I began to do and I have to say it was so good to let Amanda do what she is gifted to do and bless me by the outcome of her designing!

It is a good thing that I am still learning those lessons from the field! It is my hope that you will find this website a pleasant place to visit while you are here! And I pray it would be used for God’s glory as I do what He has called me to do in ministry.

She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain…

Do you ever find yourself sick and tired of going around and around the mountain and making the same mistakes over and over again and again?  Wow, I sure do and I get so frustrated with myself when I do thinking ‘haven’t I gotten this lesson yet?’ Thankfully this has ignited my desire to draw closer to God. I knew that God had something so much sweeter for my life but that I would have to jump some hurdles to get there. 

For me, it was a matter of learning to lay down my pride, and acknowledge that I could no longer rely on my own resources to keep from making the same mistakes over and over again.  Don’t you just hate it when you are in repeat mode?  You self-talk asking God to never let it happen again and then boom, repeat.  It is embarrassing to continually do, react or forge ahead and then realize that you have been on this… Click To Tweet

My tendency to be judgmental and critical of others was not going to stop until I realized that I had to make a very purposeful choice not to look at others comparing myself with them and criticize.  My ministry was not going to go forth until I was willing to be honest with my struggles and work on allowing the Lord to refine me in the furnace of His love, being content knowing that He would use me right where I was.  You see, God really wants us to flourish and grow and go forth in His name and for His purposes.  And finally that I would stay committed to relationships with Him, my husband, children, work and friends to the best of my ability…not in my strength but in His. Line BreakWhere God was and is concerned, I had to make a choice (and daily make that choice) to spend  time with Him first and foremost!  This is where I have learned the answers to the hard things involving all my relationships.  Learning to love my husband in a fresh way unlike I never had before.  Friends, it has changed our relationship!  I suppose realizing that I cannot control anybody but me is nothing really new but God made it fresh for me as I focused on what I could do to better our relationship instead of expecting and demanding that my husband needed to change.  I am only able to change me!!!  With my children it was similar in that I could not control their lives (like I used to try to do) to keep them from learning the hard way like I had to do. They have to learn their life lessons in the same way I have, through their own choices resulting in mistakes, failures and victories!

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Work was merely a matter of being content where God had placed me.  I am not one who enjoys confrontation and a few years back we had a lot of confrontation going on and frankly I wanted out.  Not realizing that God was up to some big and exciting things that I could have very well missed out on.  So every interesting job posting that became available in town I would apply for.  But God certainly had something else in mind.  He has kept me at Psalm FM Radio to serve in the capacity of the office administration and on air since 1990. And I have now been part of a very exciting ministry including the “Vertical Connection”, my radio program.  Since 2004, I have hosted a two hour radio program to encourage listeners to draw near to the Father’s heart.

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A side note of thanks to a former employee who saw something in me that I never dreamed I could do, thank you Gene!  We just never know where God is going to take us and sometimes He takes us kicking and screaming while saying “I can’t do that!”

These tests and trials that come through our relationships with others, whether they be Christian or not, really matter to God.  We are members of a body.  We are not all the same (thankfully) and we have so much to offer each other but more importantly people are the litmus test of getting this God-walk right!  I know we are all in process and we do not have it perfect this side of glory, but, how we treat each other is crucial from the stand point that the outside world looks at us in expectation that we know how to do it right. I think the song says that “They will know we are Christians by our love…”  and we do know how to do it right. But the question is will I choose to do it the way I have been instructed and shown from God Himself through Christ? Loving God and loving others? Or will I continue to circle around the mountain again and again never taking the next step upward? 

We can always justify our actions whether anger, jealousy, injustice or whatever other reason that is out there.  But as my dear friend and I were sharing recently, the bottom line is we are responsible for making the right choice.  By doing so we deny the flesh and by doing this we allow the flow of the healing balm of reconciliation to be applied to whatever the offense was that tore us apart. Our Father and Creator, is fully aware of our short comings and struggles.  And although we will continue to make wrong choices it is certain that we will make less wrong and many more correct as we purpose to serve and spend time allowing the Lord to change who we are into the image of His Son Jesus. 

I know how hard it is, believe me, but for me I am now at a place where I have tasted the sweet rewards of my Father when I do it right and I would rather take that next step up the mountain than let my frustrations and disappointments continue to hold me back because of repeating the same mistake time and time again, keeping me at the baseline, henceforth, going round and round the mountain!

Ephesians 5:1,2

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”.

Father, You know the sorrow that plagues me when I mess up.  I can only imagine the disappointment that You must feel when I have to take the same test over and over again.  I truly have set my sites on You and I really want to show others just how much You love them by the way I live my life and treat others.  To be Your representative I ask that You give me the courage to change me and I surrender my frustrations and all that I think is justified in exchange for Your grace and ask that You would help me to humbly wear and put on Your love for others…in Jesus’ Name.  

In the Waiting…

There are too many days when I feel as if I’m at a standstill.  Not going forward but I guess thankfully not going backward, just in that holding pattern.  This frustrates me and I tend to start thinking that I must do something to make something happen.  I am slowly learning that there is this fine balance between waiting on the Lord and pushing through.  If I am not certain of what’s ahead then I best not be pushing through or I might end up where I don’t want to be or involved in something that I am not ready to be involved in.  Yet on the other hand, if I make the effort to wait on the Lord, (very difficult for me) I will reap the harvest He has planned for me.   

Isaiah 55:9 says it so well, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”   

Can I ponder all He has in store for me, probably not because my ‘heavenly mindset’ still has ties to this world.  I can dream but I really think He delights in my trusting Him enough to wait and prepare.  It is so hard for me to wait and that has always been an issue for me.  True confessions are that even as a kid, I had to peek at the presents hiding in the closet at Christmas time.  But waiting is like getting your favorite fruit before it is ripe.  If you bite into it before it is fully ripened it isn’t going to taste like it would if you had waited for that fullness of flavor to develop and mature and wow, my mouth is watering as I think of juicy grapes. But taste them prior to their ripened state…just pucker up! So you just try to patiently wait then when they are fully matured, the anticipation is realized as sumptuous!  Simply stated, God has the big picture and I do not.  Yes, His ways are far surpassing ours although we have been given the mind of Christ we have a lot to learn about developing ‘His thoughts.”  

I have come to appreciate this verse in Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”  Let me make all the plans I can and if I could draw a picture of my day without putting the Lord in the mix it would be one squiggly mix of here, there and everywhere.  When I take the time to consult the “Planner” I will have a picture with much more direct routes to the goals and purposes He has set before me.  It just sounds so easy doesn’t it?  But…let me place my heart’s focus on the Lord and the ripening process that He has me in for this hour.  Indeed, what He allows to mature will be well worth the wait and preparation and especially to bring Him glory!

Father, here is another day to walk with You and be in Your will. Let me take the journey a day at a time. Will You help me to give my day and plans completely to You?  Let me lay down my agenda and pick up Yours so that my day will account for something worthwhile.  When the end of the day comes I want to breathe a sigh of goodness knowing that my efforts were all part of Your divine plan for me instead of looking back and wondering if I accomplish anything?  Thanks, Pappa that you are ultimately in control and although you will let me sputter around doing my own thing, while wasting a lot of that precious commodity called time, You will have Your way in my life.  Today, let me choose Your way, the higher way as I trust that You will use this good day to make a difference in my circle of influence, in Jesus’ name.

Did You Make a New Year’s Resolution?

New Year 2014It is so funny how we look for a starting place to invoke change. I do not believe that most of us just wake up on a day and say I am going to quit this or that. Or, I am going to quit my job and start a business of my own (you fill in the scenario.)  Now if I am wrong let me hear from you! For most of us, change or the desire for change comes to somehow better our circumstances. We ponder what it is we desire to change for a time, and sometimes it is just a bad habit or a plaguing issue that we desire to be rid of, non-the-less it is still change. 

The New Year is always a great way to jump-start your planned changes. It might be to start a diet and exercise program. These are common resolutions. But, if you are like most people after a few weeks or say a month with no real visible change occurring, you just get frustrated and, well, quit. I think I have done this myself a gazillion times! Shoot off the starting line and fizzle out after a few weeks because of discouragement and then give it up. What is up with that? 

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Well this is my approach to the resolution thing. I have decided I will resolve to do something right every day. And yes, I do have some goals.

  • Being in the Word daily
  • Cultivating a thankful heart
  • Watching my consumption a bit closer
  • Taking my supplements
  • Exercising
  • Being Kind

This is quite simple! And if I get nothing else done but my daily Bible reading, then I have done one right thing in my day. I get to count walking the dog as my exercise and we can go a mile or more either walking out side and or on the treadmill. Suffice it to say that this would make for two right things in my day. Should I remember to take my supplements before I go to work then I can add another right thing to my day. Although I really don’t like to take supplements, I know that they are good for me and do help me to feel better. 

As for the diet thing, I wrestle with sweets/carb consumption. I know how detrimental sweets or too many carbs are for me and this can pose as one of my most difficult challenges. I have found that some days I can forgo the sweets and then there are other days I cannot get enough of them! So on the days when I can ignore sweets then I can add another right thing to my day. 

This verse in 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 is such a convicting verse for me when it comes to dieting.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

Now reading those verses can really give you some perspective on taking care of yourself, right?

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1Thes5.16-18Do you ever look at rude people and think how selfish and unaware they are of others around them? I am certain that we can all be that way at times but I do not want that to be how people see me. Therefore I have included on my list to work at being kind. There are so many folks that just need a kind word spoken into them. And who is to say that the word of encouragement would be used to change the course of that person’s day by just being kind to them? I can sometimes snap at my spouse and then wonder why he won’t communicate with me, why would he? So now I try to remember to ask the Holy Spirit to show me how to speak kindness to my husband. 

I love this verse in Proverbs 25:11 (NKJ)

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

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Then there is often the opportunity to engage in (or initiate) talk that is not positive about another person. Because I am making the choice to do “right things” I can now consciously make the decision not to go there. There is indeed much to be said for being kind. And by doing so I can then add another “right thing” to my day. 

So as I begin my day I am asking the Lord for the courage to do “right things” everyday and as many as I can. You know, even if it was only one or two “right things”, I am progressing and feeling better about a heightened level of awareness as I go about my days, weeks and months to come! I hope this might help you with your resolutions if you too easily fizzle out after a few weeks into the new year! 

Father, I confess the trap of not finishing what I start out to do. I have made hundreds of resolutions and gone bad on them time and time again. I am thanking You for shedding a new light on this for my new year! Holy Spirit, will You heighten my awareness and conviction so that I will desire to continue to do as many “right things” as I can. Let this alter not only my perspective but also the lives of those that I come in contact with for Christ’s sake!

A Sacrifice of Praise

“I really don’t want to go there!”

“What’s to praise in this situation?”

“You’ve got to be kidding; worship when I feel the way I do?”

Have you ever been at that place where you were devastated by a situation, at the height of frustration and wondering how will you ever get turned around from thinking there is no hope, and will the end of a situation ever come? I don’t know about you, but I don’t like conflict and I don’t like when things get messy because I can’t see the way out while being in the thick of it.

When I’m frustrated and put out, my first response has been to build a wall and gather my defenses. But God has shown me over the past few years that it is out of my insecurities that I respond that way when hurt or devastated. After all, who wants to admit that “I” am wrong when it’s easier to say “they” are wrong? I don’t want to admit that I am insecure.Nyborg  0037

God began to gently show me a few things about myself a few years back that He has used to teach me and grow me up a bit. But I had to get to that place where I was willing to look inwardly at the messy stuff in my heart. When we give ourselves over to His redeeming work, He then has permission to start messing with and exposing things that are deficits and have taken up residence for far too long in our hearts.

Worship has been a tremendous tool that God has used in my life over the past several years. As I would draw closer to Him with the desire to get to know Him more, I began to see myself for who I really was. As I pulled in closer to God, I saw His majesty and my yucky, messy self–just like that passage I love in Isaiah 6 where Isaiah gets the vision of God seated on the throne. Isaiah saw how unclean and sinful he really was.

Isaiah 6:5 (The Message paraphrase) reads, “I said, ‘Doom! It’s Doomsday! I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted–blasphemous even!  And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I’ve looked God in the face! The King!’”

It was a rude awakening, for sure, and that gentle revealing helped me see that the root of insecurity came from not really understanding the holiness of the God I chose to serve or my identity in Jesus Christ. You cannot walk a certain way if you do not understand or know that way. Those were some tough realizations. But then I began to sense a shift taking place in my heart as I saw myself for who I really was and then understood that Christ came to change all of the old into the new. We can have a whole lot of knowledge but never apply it.  A lot of good that does! I could see how I had become one of those weak women that Timothy talks about in 2 Timothy 3:7 “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” To put it mildly, I didn’t like what I saw but was now ready to do something about it.

Sacrifice –– it is a big word with a meaning that is sometimes glossed over. It is the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable. So is it possible that relinquishing my old behavior in exchange for His peace could be seen as my sacrifice of praise? Would I be willing to lay down my old self and offer up that praise offering, even my old, comfortable self?

Hebrews 13:15 says “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”

Is there anything stirring within your heart that needs a readjustment? If you sense discontentment then it is time to draw near to the heart of the Perfect One who will show you what needs to be offered up in exchange for something so much better!

It only takes a glimpse of the Holy One to see yourself as you really are, desperately in need of a Savior. As I glance back at that time in my life, I can surely praise His name for allowing me to be uncovered to discover that I had to let go of who I was and embrace Christ in me, the hope of glory. The “new” that is growing in me helps me to see just how great He really is. With excitement I can sing, “To God be the glory, great things He has done.” (and continues to do!)