Tag Archives for " encouragement "
I have heard people say, don’t pray for patience as if patience is a bad word. The idea is that if we pray for patience then our patience will be tested constantly. The bible says patience is a fruit of the Spirit. How can anything the Spirit produces be bad? Fruit takes time to grow and the time needed for growing is considered waiting. Are you waiting patiently? Anytime I think of waiting, I not only think about fruit growing, I imagine waiting in a doctor’s office for an appointment. Are you in a waiting room right now? Are you being told to wait?
I am no stranger to being told to wait. I’ve had my variety of struggles and hard times. Recently, I was homeless and displaced. I wanted to look for a place to live or settle for just any place to rent for me and my kids. I also wanted what God would have for me. When I inquired of the Lord for His direction He asked me to trust Him and to wait. I actually wanted proof in writing that He wanted me to wait. He was faithful and confirmed His word when I read a something I wrote from a message at church. The note stated “a patient waits in the waiting room.” As I began to think about my situation, I rewrote the note to state “patience waits, in the waiting room”.
I began to ponder the idea of a patient waiting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, waiting to be called. Once the patient is called, the patient is directed to a room where more waiting occurs as the patient waits to be seen by the doctor. Once seen, the patient may be referred to have tests done or obtain a prescription. Both involve more waiting.
My waiting room experience happened over the course of three months. I was living my everyday life- going to work, church, the gym, the grocery store and simultaneously I was in a waiting room, waiting. During this time the fruit of patience was developing. Through seasons of suffering the roots of patience were growing deep. As my trials continued, the fruit of patience was finally maturing. The greatest part of waiting for the fruit of patience was when I was able to taste God’s faithfulness and His blessings.
I was in need of a place to live. I had looked for rentals and homes for sale and it only frustrated me to see homes that were not in my budget, the wrong size, or in the wrong area. There were pressing issues at work and with my sons that needed my focus, and looking for a place to live was an additional burden. A burden that God did not want me to carry. I prayed for direction and I pleaded with God for an answer. God had already answered me. He said wait. And the revelation from the note said “patience waits, in the waiting room.” If love is patient, then love waits. If God is love, then God waits too.
During this time I had shared with my son that the Lord told me to “wait.” Later, I said, “should I be looking for a place?” and he replied to me “looking is not waiting, wait means wait.” Again, I thought to myself what does it mean to “wait”?
I was reminded how all throughout the Bible we are told to wait on the Lord. At the doctor’s office you know at some point you will be called. Sometimes we approach the receptionist to make sure we haven’t been forgotten because we’ve been waiting for so long. Yet we really have no alternative if we want to see the doctor, except to wait. While waiting at the doctor’s office, I usually bring things to occupy my time while my main focus is listening for when my name is called. I am waiting but I am not bored. There are other things I can get done while I am sitting down, this waiting time is the perfect opportunity to rest.
I could have disobeyed God and continued looking and getting bitter; instead I obeyed. I had peace about God’s instructions to me. I stopped looking and I waited. Since the burden was lifted, I began to enjoy my situation, discovering the good and the opportunities available to me. By not having household chores or expenses to deal with, I had more time to visit family and time for myself. I made a budget, I paid off necessary debt, my credit score increased and then one day out of the blue I received an email asking me if I was still in need of a home. It was a 4-bedroom home that I now own. When escrow closed I already had equity in my home.
What I learned through this waiting room experience was that it was impossible to wait well, until I had total confidence in the Lord’s faithfulness. I knew He had the ability to bring about a good resolution because I had a promise from God. Jeremiah 29:11 He has a plan and it is for good, to give me a future and a hope. My job was to believe God meant what He said. I had to stay in the position of waiting so that I was ready when He called my name.
God said He knows the plans He has for me and they are good. My outward situation seemed devastating, however inwardly I knew my foundation was my relationship with the Lord. I had been through hard times before and God had always seen me though. In similar past experiences I had always waited in fear. This time there was no fear. I had grown with God to know that He was not oblivious to what was happening in my life. I knew He had the answers and I needed to trust Him. God said wait and so I said ok.
Even though I may not know the appointed time, I know that to wait means carving out time, believing God will answer me within a specified time, and that He will help me, even after hours if necessary. God doesn’t always share how long we are required to wait. That is where faith comes in. Remember faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Having the confidence in God’s ability to bring about a good plan within His appropriate time is our responsibility. Then we will taste the sweetness of His faithfulness because we took the time to wait and we allowed patience have its perfect work in us.
Do you find yourself in a waiting room experience? This is your chance to allow more faith to develop, as you trust in Him every minute of the waiting. Remember to put your total confidence in God’s faithfulness. Know that God has a good plan for your future (Jer 29:11). He is trustworthy. He loves you, put your hope in Him again. Even in waiting- believe God and believe His word. Jeremiah 29:11 is for you.
Written By Amber Lawton
Standing at the barre, facing my reflection in the mirror, I gaze at the beads of sweat dripping down my face. “Plie, and revere,” I hear the instructor call out. I quickly look to my neighbor’s feet in an attempt to catch on to the movements. The instructor continues, “Stay there, and pulse.” I quickly scan the room of 15 women to see if I am the only one struggling. There is nothing more comforting than knowing you are not alone when it feels as if you are failing. On this occasion, however, I am not fortunate to find my ‘fail-mate’. With pensive faces, each woman continues her gaze in the mirror as we change from one position to the next. Our limbs pulse to the upbeat tempo of the music as the cheerful instructor, a petite brunette with a dancer’s body, walks the floor. “What did I get myself into?” I think, as we move to mats on the floor to do planks.
Only 10 minutes into a 55 minute Xtend Barre class and I was ready to give up. But right in that moment when I wanted to drop my body to the floor and roll over on my back I heard: ‘I DO Hard Things!’
I wish I could tell you that I elegantly continued as a graceful ballerina; as if out of a scene from the movies I could magically bend and stretch effortlessly with the rest of the class. Not quite. At almost 5’ 1” and approximately 90 lbs. overweight, I tilted, wobbled, and careened my way through the class to the very end. When the burn became unbearable, and my thoughts tried to turn to embarrassment I thought: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
For most, finishing a morning workout wouldn’t require much thought, or scripture for that matter. I am definitely not like most. Walking out of the studio I felt empowered. My thoughts turned back to ‘I Do hard Things’. Why in that moment had that particular statement come to mind? What does doing “hard things” mean to me?
For me, a hard thing was being able to try anything unfamiliar, surrounded by people I did not know. The former me would not have been able to make it out of her bedroom. Too wrought with depression, and overcome with anxiety, if she did make it to class she would have burst into tears 5 minutes in. You see lovely, I had the desire to be alive, but was crippled by fear and uncontrollable thoughts. Paranoia, skepticism, nervousness, and emotion hindered me from wanting to actually live. Living requires going, doing, and trying. None of which I had the courage to do. Thankfully God has a bigger plan for me. With the help of His word renewing my mind daily and years of therapy, I was able to take control of my thoughts. As I regain focus on what is important I am able to overcome my past and live in the present, as I become who I am created to be in the future. I am sure many of you know this is hard work, and tiresome at times.
Quite possibly these are the reasons the theme of the upcoming Life Builder Conference came to mind while I was mid-exercise in a classroom full of strangers. “I Do Hard Things” is a statement, not a question. There is a call to action in the “do”. I have no idea what is on the agenda for the conference, but with a week away I am in great anticipation for some “ah-ha” moments, and inspired revelation.
Maybe you are not like me; eager and hopeful. Maybe you are saying right now: “your hard things are not anything like my hard things.” I would say you are absolutely right! That is what makes this conference so great. If Pastor Cathy did not grab hold of her God-given courage, talents, gifts, and wisdom to build safe learning environments to unlock every woman’s potential we would not have Life Builder Seminars or this conference.
From the founder to volunteers and attendees, we each have our own “hard things” to accomplish.
So lovely, what “hard things” have you faced or are facing? Share in the comments below! 🙂
Written By Lynn Waters
It has been six weeks since our Limitless Conference, and I am still so appreciative of this time well spent. I arrived to the conference early along with many others who were excited and ready to help. Several cars worth of equipment and supplies were unloaded as we headed into the conference area. Teams of women were decorating and within minutes the centerpieces and table settings were in place, and stunning.
There was such togetherness. It was as though we were of one mind: to make the day the best ever. We all worked and set up everything in record time. Then, with tired feet, I sat in the room before the conference began and just enjoyed being there. As I looked around the room, I noticed a small detail. The beautiful flower pots and the napkins matched. Did any of you notice this? I will remember this thoughtful gesture. I had already found out that my favorite duet was going to be sung. I had asked God for that song to be sung at the conference and God answered my prayer. I had heard the first soprano and alto sing it before and I had gotten goose bumps on my arms when I heard it. The singers were anointed. So I was sitting there anticipating the song that I call the “Jabez Song” because it talks about widening your tent pegs and being limitless. I felt this was the best Life Builder Conference we have ever had.
The guest speaker discussed the term “quantum leap,” explaining that quantum leap occurs when an electron appears to “get excited” and BAM leaps to the next level within in an atom. To me the atom is God and we are the little electrons, running around and around until we gain energy then we BAM jump to a new level in God. How do we run around and get energy? We do this by focusing on God, studying our Bible and praying. As we spend our day focusing on God and His goodness, we gain energy and BAM move to a new level with God. As we focus on the goodness of God and not on our problems, we get a new perspective. We move higher, our problems get smaller, and we experience less stress.
As we get higher and higher, we BAM experience that joy that only comes from God. We don’t have the perspective of a turkey anymore. Instead, we go higher and higher and BAM we start seeing things from the perspective of an eagle. We become an eagle Christian. We begin to see our lives from the Father’s perspective. We change, our families change and our whole lives change.
If you have ever been with someone that has the joy of the Lord, you know it is from the inside and the person glows with God’s light. This joy affects all those around them. I have never seen her in person, however Heidi Baker has this joy emanating from her. It is not what she is doing- going to the wilds of Africa, setting people free, and introducing Jesus to them- it is that she is connected to God all the time. When you get this joy, this connection, it does not necessarily guarantee you a missionary trip to a remote area, however it does mean that you will mount up with wings as eagles. And BAM you will move higher and do what God wants YOU to do: what you were created to do. You will be who He has created you to be.
There is joy and overpowering gladness that envelops every cell of your being when discovering your identity in Christ. You begin to shed the negative self-perception, and others can no longer dictate your identity, potential, or worth. Suddenly, you are free to live limitlessly. Then no matter where you go, you bring people to a saving knowledge of God, heal, and set people free. At the grocery store, work, wherever you go, God will bring someone to you that needs Him. BAM you have a new life full of fun and adventure. Life is never dull for a Christian.
There is no way we can lose when we focus on God and His goodness. God is intoxicating and when you start spending time with Him, you will never want to leave His presence.