Wake Up for Your Life and Not to It

“Wake up for your life and not to your life.”- Kat Lee (Titus 2 Minute Podcast)

I was listening to a podcast this morning and I heard this sentence and resonated with it so much.  I have always talked a lot about how important it is to wake up with Jesus.  But more recently I’ve recognized the importance of waking up before everyone else in my house to do so.  I’m really hoping this post will inspire you to do the same.

The night I decided to start waking up before everyone was about a year ago.  I had a 6 month old who wasn’t sleeping through the night and I had 5 kids home all day due to the Big “C” hitting our nation. A crazy time to decide to make this decision, no doubt. For years I had reasoned that waking up before everyone else was too much. And that I needed my rest to be a good mom and wife.  But that night as I sat on my friends couch, my heart changed. We were chit chatting with chips and salsa and blankets over our legs and she was telling me how tired she was from work, kids and life. I nodded along in total agreement. But then she told me God whispered to her “you don’t even know what tired is.” Poof! In that moment, all I could think about was Jesus carrying the cross.  I discreetly pulled out my phone and set my alarm for 5:45 AM. She had no idea the impact that conversation had on me. Since that night, I have woken up “for my life and not to me life” like Kat Lee said. I originally thought I needed rest to be the best I could be.  And I do need rest. But even if it’s 5 minutes before my first baby wakes up, what I actually need most is Jesus before everyone else.

How I’ve been able to do this and some tips to help you do it too:

  1. Be Committed- Do it no matter what. Even if you wake up late or the baby wakes up earlier then normal and you only get 2 minutes with Jesus, it’s worth it. I love how Kat Lee said on the podcast: in a basketball game, the team only gets a 30 second time out/reset and we see how often it can change the whole game for the team. Well, the same goes for our lives when we take that time out with Jesus.
  2. Phone away until you pray– This is the golden rule for me.  Starting the day with a stressful email, text or social media post is the worst way to wake up.  Starting the day with a cup of coffee and in prayer just sets the tone. And funny enough, it can often lead to a better response to those ugly things we will read or need to respond to.  We are better for it and so are our relationships. Not to mention, it can easily suck you in and suddenly you have no time with Jesus.
  3. Simple is sufficient– Our time with Jesus isn’t about what we accomplish, it’s about building our relationship with Him. It doesn’t have to be a 30 minute Bible study.  Sometimes we push off our time with Jesus because we believe we won’t have enough time and then we never end up doing anything. But you would never tell your husband or kids before they leave in the morning that you “can’t give them a hug and an I love you” because you don’t have time to watch a whole movie with them.  So we shouldn’t do that to the Lord either. Acknowledge Him first thing. Walk with Him throughout the day and then when you get time to dig in, do it then. He sees the season you are in. He will meet you where you are.

I hope this story and these tips change your whole day!

Lord, we can’t do life without You. Help us to walk step by step with You and acknowledge you always.  You are our priority so please help us to keep You First.  We love you.  Amen.

 

3 Practical Ways to Beat Overwhelm

I don’t know about you, but as a wife and mom, there are many days I wake up a bit overwhelmed by the tasks that have to get done, the conversations that have to be had and also the emotional and spiritual things that need to be addressed. I wonder how and when I should take on each and most of the time I don’t even stop to ask the Lord for His help. This leads me almost every time to worry, stress and anxiety. 

So, how do we fight the urge to rely on ourselves? 

Here are 3 practical ways to beat overwhelm:

  1. Pause and breath: In the Bible, the word for this is Selah. How often do we stop ourselves from going down the rabbit hole and just breath and take in the Lord’s presence for our life? 
  2. Do the next right thing: After you quiet your heart and mind, just get yourself to the place of doing the next right thing. This is where we rely totally and completely on the Holy Spirit and ask Him what we should do next. We stop looking at the whole picture and just look at the next step in front of us. Scripture says “your word is a lamp for my feet. A light on my path” (Psalm 119:105.) When you think of holding a candle to light your way in the dark, you only need to get the next step right to get to where you are going. So ask Him for His light to guide you.
  3. Pray:  Our lifeline is prayer. The Word says to “Pray about everything without ceasing” (Thessalonians 5:17).  Ask God to show you how to do it His way. Because our own way is never the best way. 

Here’s a prayer to get you started this morning and every morning:

Dear Lord,

Show me the way. Show me the next right thing. Light my path the way you said you would in Your Word. Show me how to be ____ wife. Show me how to be ______ mom. Show me how to be _____ daughter. Show me how to be _____ sister. Show me how to be _____ friend. Show me how to be _______ neighbor. But most of all show me how to be Yours. We ask you this in Your Mighty and Holy name. Amen. 

I believe if we start everyday with this prayer and this posture, we will cut down on the overwhelm and focus on the things that’s matter.

Tell me, what has helped you most with overwhelm in your life? 

To the girl looking for her purpose

Whether you are 18 or 80, we all experience those winds of change.  Maybe you just got out of high school, and you are wondering what career to choose.  Maybe you’re a young mom but your kids went off to school and now you are home without them most of the day. Maybe you are a new empty nester wondering what to do now that your kids have flown away.  Or maybe you retired and you’re wondering “what’s next for me?”  But no matter what phase you are entering, there is something scary, exciting, and even a little emotional when you are in this “wandering stage.”

I don’t know what season of change you are in, or which will be the next one for you. But I do know that whichever it is, it’s a good one because you have purpose and that is exciting!  But I also know that can be intimidating, so my hope is to first fill you up with God’s truth and then hopefully help you along to finding your purpose.

Truths

Truth #1: Our primary purpose in all that we do is to glorify God.

1 Corinthians 10:31- Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Truth #2: Our lives are marked by living like Jesus and Jesus lived a life of servanthood not a life of self-gratification.

Philippians 2:5-8- Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

So how do these truths guide our next steps?

For example: Sometimes we think when our load gets a little lighter that means we should just do what makes us happy, even if that means sitting on the couch and telling our grown kids to make us dinner since we did it for them for so many years. But this is where we apply the truth of the gospel we talked about above. Truth #1, when applied to this scenario, would make us realize that kind of thinking is not glorifying to God at all.  Glorifying God means we are reflecting the love and beauty of Christ. And in this situation, we would be far from it.  Then, if we applied Truth #2 to this scenario, we’d quickly wake up and realize that Jesus never had a heart to serve himself. His heart was humble and sacrificial to the point of death. Whoa, that’s convicting.

You may be thinking “living like Jesus sounds terrible!” But can I let you in on a secret? Anytime I’ve tried to live for myself or have been self-focused, I have been the most unhappy. But anytime I’ve lived my life serving others, I have felt great fulfillment.  While one is easy, it bears no fruit and often times leads us down a dark road.  And while the other one takes effort, it is fruitful, glorifies God, changes others and ourselves. And that is a reward in and of itself.

So here are 3 questions to ask yourself, pray about and meditate on, that I pray lead you to finding your purpose:

  1. God Given Roles- What God given roles has God given you recently? If God gave you these roles, then He certainly gave you great purpose in them to glorify Him. (Example: New mom, new wife, new aunt, new friend, new grandma, new neighbor etc. It’s not an accident that God placed these precious people in your life.)
  2. God Given Talents- What talents do you have that you can use to serve others? Whether it’s your family, community, church etc. God gave you talents to use for His glory and your purpose! Remember the parable of the talents? God wants you to USE THEM!
  3. God Given Influence- Who has God put in front of you? Sometimes we don’t open our eyes to see that God has us right where he wants us.  We have influence on those around us and our purpose can many times be found right there in the middle of it.  Maybe you now have time to start a neighborhood Bible study?  Maybe you have time to make more of those necklaces that you’ve been making for fun and now you can sell them at your local flea market where you will glorify God! Remember: glorifying God is reflecting His love and beauty even if you never get a chance to say His name.

These are just a few questions to get you started and on your way to letting God lead you into the purpose He has for you. Give yourself 20 minutes today to sit quietly, say a prayer asking God to show you what He wants for you, then answer these 3 questions.

Ladies, if we all let God lead our lives, this earth would look a little more like heaven. And we can let it begin with us.