A couple weekends ago, at church, Pastor Steve challenged us to tithe regularly. He even went so far as to have us sign a card letting the church know our intention to tithe in the next 90 days. Now, I’m not new to tithing, in fact, I believe pretty strongly in it. However, I’ve gotten out of the habit and had been thinking about it a lot lately. So when it was brought up in church in such an official way I knew it was time to make a committment. So I did.
Now, I’m not going to lie, this last week has been very financially stressful for me. I feel like money has been tighter this week than it has been in quite a while, and that’s saying something! HOWEVER, this morning I was talking to my co-worker who has a small side business and she was telling me about this weekend. She sold more high dollar funiture items in two days than she’s ever sold in that amount of time before. And while I thought that was great, I wasn’t quite getting where she was going with the story. Then she reminded me of their tax situation. Aparently their annual raises brought them just over the tax line where they owe taxes this year instead of the other way around. BUMMER! But it’s not just a little bit of taxes, it’s an amount that makes you GULP when you see it. Especially since they weren’t expecting it. So when she sold that much furniture in one weekend, the obvious message was one of God’s provision. She was so excited about it this morning that her enthusiasm was contagious.
Later this afternoon as I was sitting in the orthodontist office with my son Gabe for a “pre-braces” appointment, I was quoted an amount that made me GULP. And as I sat there silently worrying how in the world was I going to make this work out, I remembered her story.
God will provide.
The peace came and I calmed down for a bit.
But when we checked out of the office they quoted me our monthly amount that will start at the end of this month and my peace fell away. Then I went to put gas in my thirsty car and checked our account to find less there than I had expected, GULP, Peace was gone, and Worry was back. Sigh…
And thankfully that’s not the end of my story for today because God is good, and faithful and just.
When we got home I opened the mail to find a letter from Pastor Steve thanking me for my leap of faith to tithe. I had forgotten all about that today! You see, my signature on that tithing card at church is a spiritually binding contract between me and God… and the Enemy knows it! He knows that God’s word says,
“’Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!’ You ask: ‘How do we rob You?’ ‘By not making the payments of the tenth and the contributions. You are suffering under a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing Me. Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,’ says the Lord of Hosts. ‘See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.'” – Malachi 3:8-10
I have committed to tithing and a blessing IS coming.
The blessing of the Lord makes rich; and He adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

Categories: Insecurity | 1 Comment

Never Enough

Do you ever feel like you’re never enough? Like no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you work, it’s never enough? I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel that way… often. And honestly, right now I’m really tired of feeling that way.
I’m never going to be pretty enough, I’m never going to be a good enough mom. I’m never a good enough wife. I’m not a good enough teacher. No matter what I do it will never be enough. At least not in my eyes.
But there is one person who you will always be enough, Jesus. In His opinion, just the way you are is enough for Him. Or did you not know that you are His workmanship. You have been created in His image, not perfect on your own but perfect in your union with His perfection.
It’s incredibly easy to get down on ourselves when we’re functioning in our own power, especially when we are functioning in our own power for a long period of time. Eventually we run out of steam, usually far short of the goal throwing our imperfections and our “not enough-ness” into perfect view. We can’t reach the goal without Him. And we were never meant to.
Our “not enough-ness” was crafted into our being from the very beginning! He didn’t make us to be self sufficient, He made us to be dependent on His Grace!
Paul ran into a similar situation that I think, I know, I needed to hear today.
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Can we get to the point where we’re OK with not being enough for ourselves, where His Grace is sufficient for us? I have times when I have the confidencde that Paul speaks of in this passage. And then I have the, knees on the ground, moments like this. I relapse. But Jesus recovers me. Praise God! He loves us!

Categories: 2 Corinthians, Insecurity | 4 Comments


Hey guys!
Long time – no see! : ) And here I am after all this time with a confession to make, I’m a fool. For a very long time I’ve been actively avoiding my writing table, almost as if it would bite me. And honestly, I know why. It’s because the writing process hurts sometimes. I sit here with pen and ink and pour out my soul upon the page only to offer it up to an audience of… well, it’s supposed to be only one, but it never is. I’m supposed to write because it’s who I am and it’s what He made me to do, not because I have an audience of thousands.
A year ago I sat on the edge of my bed weeping and gave a dream to God… I gave my will to God. Every day I had sat, with poised pen and wrote about the Word of God. It was a GREAT GIG! I was constantly surrounded with research and wisdom on love and grace. To say that I was encompassed with “positive vibes” would be an understatement. And yet it came to an end when I got a job in a middle school. I sat on my bed and told God, “If it’s Your will Lord, I will never step on a stage again – bigger than the stage of a teacher in a classroom. And I’m OK with that.”
You see, HE made me a teacher. HE put that in me, and it’s precisely the reason I wrote, why I write. Because a teacher’s gotta teach, teach, teach, teach, teach. And a writer’s gotta write, write, write, write, write. So I, shake it off, shake it off. (smh. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Yup, still a goofball – I know.)
And yet it’s the truth. A teacher just has to teach. If it’s what God has truly created in us, then eventually we have to just give in and do it or we explode!
And leave it to God to squeeze me, through my circumstances, until I explode the ink of my soul upon paper. Just like He created me to do. Looking back through this week, I can see Him poking holes in the wall I had built up against writing that created a dam with a resevoir behind it.
Although I have yet to step “on stage” as a teacher in this last year, I am very pleased with the work that has taken place in the audience and backstage as an instructional assistant. I have put in  100% of my effort like I do in all things. And I have seen a return. A smile – just a simple but pure genuine smile – is a VERY powerful tool. As is a genuine love for people and helping them heal.
I have loved watching troubled students find their way down this path we call life. It’s HARD and heartbreaking and yet there is good in it. Especially when we have purpose. Am I where I want to be? No. Am I where I’m supposed to be? Yes. So am I happy with where I am? Yes. Most of the time anyway. It helps to remember that, like a skyscraper under construction, even though I’m not finished, or “there yet”, I’m still a skyscraper.

We are GOD’S workmanship, created to do good works, which GOD prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10

Your worth isn’t about what you do or don’t do. It’s not about how many books you write or how much you make to stand on a stage and talk for twenty minutes. Your worth, my worth, comes from GOD – and God alone. Go and be His workmanship today. He created you to do good works, go teach, or farm, or work on computers, or write, or cashier for Him TODAY. It’s what you’re made for.

Categories: Ephesians, Insecurity | Leave a comment

Standing Firm in Security

Jeremiah 30:1-31:40

“They will be radiant because of the LORD’s good gifts – the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone.” Jeremiah 31:12

At work yesterday I had a man who tried to tell me that I hadn’t activated his PayPal card correctly at the register. And I have to tell you, six months ago, before working prayerfully through Beth Moore’s book So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us, I would have caved and shriveled like a raisin under his accusations. I would have agreed with him that I had done something wrong and I would have beat myself up about it for the rest of the day too. But no longer!

I think that may have just been my final exam for the Security class I’ve been taking! I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I HAD done it correctly. The Dollar General system is set up to be as foolproof as possible. If I HAD done it incorrectly it would have set off more alarms than a five alarm fire. I could have stood there and argued with him about it and made a big ole scene in front of the drawing crowd of people waiting behind him in line too. But I could plainly see that no matter how calmly I explained to him that there was no way I could have done it incorrectly; he wasn’t going to believe me. And like Jesus says, don’t throw pearls to pigs and don’t argue with a Pharisee! So I didn’t.

I took out my MANAGER’s key, calmly refunded his money and wished him a good day. The next lady in line is a regular customer of mine so she KNEW how hot I was. She said, ”Breathe girl” as she placed her purchases on the counter. I smiled. I love my customers. They’re good people. I thanked her and told her how glad I was that she had been immediately after him. She complimented me on my ability to stay calm in the face of that adversity and that I handled it with decorum and professionalism. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had survived the pressure. Satan had not won, I had. And as I stood there and counted out her change from my drawer I breathed my prayer of amazing gratitude to the Father for His Truth freeing me from the Shrinking Violet Syndrome I have suffered from all these years. That man’s doubts of my abilities to perform my duties can not take my security from me. Period. I refuse to allow someone’s misconceptions of my abilities to rob me of the peace that passes all understanding that Jesus died to give me. And even if I HAD processed his card incorrectly, even that can’t steal my security and peace. Not if I don’t let it anyway. I’ve come to realize that it’s all just a decision that we make BEFORE HAND and then again in the moment when it happens.

I’ve always loved Isaiah 7:9: “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” I believe that it is critical for us to know what we believe and why and then take a stand according to those beliefs. That’s part of why I feel it’s so important that Christians READ THE BIBLE FOR THEMSELVES so that we can take that opportunity to form a belief system that is genuine and sincere because we’ve formed it through a genuine relationship with Christ. However, this verse has taken on a deeper meaning for me today in the hindsight of my security test. Not only do we need to stand firm in our beliefs of who Christ is in our lives, but we also need to stand firm in what we believe He says about US! I need to stand firm in my faith in myself just as much as I need to stand firm in my faith in God. Otherwise I will not stand at all.

God has given us the blood-bought gift of security in Him and when we stand firm in the belief of that security we too will be radiant!

Categories: 365 Life, Insecurity, Jeremiah, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Leopard Print is God’s Favorite

Jeremiah 12:1-15:9

“Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots?” Jeremiah 14:23

I love the truth of this statement don’t you? We can’t change the color of our skin, a leopard can’t take away its spots, an elephant can’t become a mouse and a dog can’t become a rabbit – although why they would want to do any of that is beyond me! I just got back from a trip where I drive past a small community theater located inside a church building. They had two signs out front today. The first was their normal sign that always lists their current play, today it read: “God’s Favorite” in black letters with red dates under it for show times. The second sign was leaning in front of the first sign and it said: “Auditions Today” in black letters with an arrow pointing toward the building. I really wish I had had time to stop and take a picture because it was a sight for my record books Friends!!! They were holding auditions today for God’s Favorite!!!! You know, six months ago, before I started working on this whole insecurity thing I think I would have about driven off the road to get there and audition first to be God’s favorite. Today I know that I don’t have to do that, because I already am.

A leopard can’t change its spots; that’s the way that God made it and that’s the way that it will stay. God made you to be His Beloved Child: the receiver of His adoration, needer of a Lord and Savior and lighter of dark paths for the lost. That’s the way that God made you and that’s the way you will stay. There’s nothing that you can do, there’s nothing that you can say, there’s NO WAY that God is going to turn His back on you and forget all about you. There’s no way that He CAN do that, because if He did then He would have been lying when He said that He would never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) And it is impossible for Him to lie. (Hebrews 6:18)

He also said, and,

Which of you being worried can add even a single moment to your life? None of us. Just like we can’t change our skin and a leopard can’t change his spots, worry does absolutely nothing to improve our lives. Nothing. While I have been working on rejecting Insecurity for the past six months (through a methodical reading of Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us) a parallel has emerged that I wasn’t expecting. Worry. I didn’t realize how closely tied Worry was with Insecurity – until now. The two go hand in hand together playing Red Rover with our emotions calling us to “come over” only to clothesline us when we get to the other side. Insecurity breeds Worry and Worry breeds Insecurity, it’s a vicious cycle.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a worrier filled with insecurity. I’ve always been worried about what other people thought of me, and how they would react to me. I desperately cared if they liked me or not, I wanted EVERYONE to like me. And if I thought that they didn’t like me, well then I would try to change my spots in order to help them like me. I never thought about the fact that if I changed in order to make them like me, then they wouldn’t actually like ME then would they? That completely defeats the purpose of making friends now doesn’t it.

But therein lies the beauty of a friendship with Jesus. He doesn’t love you for who you pretend to be, in fact He doesn’t like that person very much at all. He LOVES the real you, the you that’s deep down in the core of yourself. The one who struggles with insecurity and how people see her, He loves the girl who had braces for four years and was teased mercilessly for them while her classmates had perfectly straight teeth and gorgeous hair that stayed wherever they put it and never got frizzy… or maybe that was just me… Anyway! He loves THAT person, the one deep inside that’s wounded from childhood and desperate for someone to just love her the way that she is; not caring what she looks like or what she sounds like. He loves you, not for what you can give Him but for what He can give you. My darling, He GAVE you those spots, why would you want to change them? They’re His favorite because YOU’RE His favorite. When He knit you together in your mother’s womb He looked at you and said, “It is good, she IS fearfully and wonderfully made” and He wants you to know that full well!!! Leopards can’t change their spots because those spots are part of what makes them leopards! And leopards are cool! (I have a LOT of leopard print stuff in my house…) While a leopard’s spots are part of what makes them the leopards God created them to be, your human weakness is part of what makes you who God created you to be. Why would you want to change that?

Categories: 365 Life, Insecurity, Jeremiah, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Beautiful Mess

Song of Solomon 1:1-5:9

“Behold, you are beautiful, my Beloved, truly delightful.” Song of Solomon 1:16

OK, so I was supposed to be writing my review of Chapter 4 of Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us on Saturday… but I forgot. I was inspired after watching Mom’s Night Out to write a Mother’s Day post, so sue me. 😉 (Seriously, Go watch that movie!!!!!) So I’m writing my review of Chapter 4 “Good Company” today instead.

I have to admit, I was a little overwhelmed when I first picked up my Bible and read the first half of Song of Solomon. Not that I haven’t read it before, I actually spent a decent amount of time in that book while writing True Intimacy with my husband. But it’s been a LOOOONG time since I’ve cracked open those pages and I’d forgotten how… steamy they were. Wooo! Those pages are not for the faint of heart are they friends? And then I picked up Beth Moore’s book and SHE was talking about sex too! Freaky!

Chapter 4: Good Company is all about the people in the Bible that show insecurity through their words and actions: Eve and her choice of fig leaves, Sarah and her choice of allowing Abraham to take her handmaiden as a wife, Leah and Rachel in their baby battle over Jacob’s heart, Moses and his insecurity over the role God chose for him to play in the salvation of His people, Saul and his insecurity over the role God chose for him to play in the ruling of His people, Paul and his insecurity in his status as an apostle (no doubt because of his previous role in the persecution of the other apostles). The list went on and on.

If at the end of Chapter 3 I was chattering my teeth in fear of the insecurities I was sure I had; by the end of Chapter 4 I was raising my sword and shouting a battle cry over them. I am not alone in the camp of insecurity! And what’s even more amazing to me is the role that insecurity has played throughout the lives of many of the founders of our faith.

Our spiritual ancestors have struggled with this very same enemy. Some didn’t fare so well, but others, like Paul, conquered this enemy with ruthless abandon. On page 54 Beth says that, “Insecurity lives in constant terror of loss. Insecure people are always afraid that something or somebody is going to be taken from them.” Paul was a BIG name in the synagogues of his time. He persecuted the early Christ followers with such ferocity that his name was almost synonymous with death. If you knew Paul was after you, you cringed in fear. Period. He was ruthless.

But then one day Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and literally knocked him off his high horse. Jesus asked him why he was persecuting Jesus. And it was in that moment that Paul saw the error of his ways. He immediately turned from the persecution of the Church and became a member of the Church. He became an apostle and began going through the countryside preaching the name of Jesus. People were stunned by the change in his attitude toward Christ. Here’s this guy who had been out to kill anyone who taught in Jesus’ name, now he’s out teaching in Jesus’ name! Paul brought many many many people to salvation through Christ. But his past followed him.

While he had seen the error of his ways and had changed, people were very wary of him. Understandably so! But his past mistakes certainly played a part in his future security among the apostles. If you look at 2 Corinthians 11:5 he calls them “super-apostles” and affirms that he is in no way inferior to them. His mere defense of his position points us in the direction of assuming that he himself is fearful of his inferiority to them!

In the same way, our past can certainly play a HUGE role in our present insecurities. But it doesn’t have to! Our past can cry out to us from behind and beg for our attention. It can claim to us that we have shortcomings because of it, but WE have the choice to decide whether we’re going to listen to our past or not. It’s like Beth says on page 57, “The beauty of Paul wasn’t his superhumanity but his unwillingness to let his weaknesses, feelings and fears over ride his faith. Like us, the fiercest enemy he had to fight in the fulfillment of his destiny was himself.”

We each have a destiny to fulfill. God has created you for a PURPOSE, you have a calling. Moses was called to be God’s tongue, in SPITE of his “slowness of speech”. God CHOSE Moses. Moses was God’s first choice for the job. God believed in Moses’ ability to do what God called him to do because that’s what God had CREATED him to do. It was Moses who didn’t believe in himself. (See Exodus 3:1-4:17)

God CHOSE Saul. Saul was God’s first choice to be the first king of Israel. But when Saul’s coronation day came he was nowhere to be found! When they consulted the LORD as to his whereabouts they discovered that he was hiding in the baggage! Saul didn’t believe in himself and his own ability to be king. His own insecurity of his ability to be king was amplified even more when David came around and started winning battles and inspiring women to sing songs. Saul’s insecurity became such a problem for him that he literally lost his mind over it. Saul allowed his insecurity to incapacitate his ability to do what God had called him to do.

One of my favorite quotes from Paul is 1 Corinthians 15:10 “by the grace of God I am what I am. And His grace towards me is not in vain.” Paul never forgot what he had done to his fellow man. But he never let it stop him from achieving everything that God had called him to do either. God’s grace, His LOVE, covers over a multitude of sins. We make mistakes. It’s part of being human! But just because we’ve made mistakes doesn’t mean that we should give up the farm! God has called you to something that He made you for. He CHOSE you for a special task that you would be the only person fully suited to accomplish it. Sure, someone else can do it, but should they? We can’t let our shortcomings stop us from believing in ourselves enough to push forward and accomplish the goal that God has set for us to accomplish. I think Beth says it beautifully on page 57 when she says, “Human flesh and blood have no weakness so strong that God’s strength is made weak.”

Hallelujah sister, YES!

I’m sorry folks, but there is nothing in me that is strong enough to undo what Jesus has done for me! There is no weakness in me, no insecurity so strong that can overpower the power of Christ through me! Jesus paid it ALL. And while flesh and bone may fail, Jesus doesn’t.

My friend, you may be a mess, but you are a BEAUTIFUL mess with a beautiful message! You may be going through a massive test, but you will have a massive testimony! YOU are the Beloved of God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth and nothing in all of creation can separate you from the Grace that is in Christ Jesus. And it is by the Grace of God that you are what you are! You are CALLED, checkered past and all. You are CHOSEN, messy weaknesses and all. You are LOVED with a ferocity that is beyond any and all human comprehension. You are BEAUTIFUL to Him who called you. You need only to BELIEVE IT FOR YOURSELF! Be unwilling to let your weaknesses, feelings and fears over ride your faith. Be unwilling to let the worst of you get the best of you! God created you to be more than a conqueror! So go out there and conquer!

Categories: 365 Life, Insecurity, Jesus Loves YOU, Song of Songs | Leave a comment

Book Report on Chapter 3 of So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us

1 Samuel 26:1-30:31

“For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” 1 Samuel 30:24

Last week I sent out a book reading plan for Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. In order to keep us all together, even if you’re not reading along, I wanted to post something on each week’s reading. And maybe we can even get some conversation going in the comments.

Chapter 3: She Doesn’t Look a Certain Way

“According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the first definition of the word insecure is this: ‘Not secure.'” – p. 29

-What is one area in your life where you feel “not secure” and you’d like to say, “So Long”?

+That insecure feeling that I’ll never be enough, have enough, do enough, say enough, etc.

“Making assumptions about who struggles with insecurity and who doesn’t based on what they appear to have going for them suggests how little we understand the nature of insecurity and what feeds it.” – p. 31

-If you could change one thing in your life that you feel would “fix everything” what would it be? Why?

+My fear of failure!!!!! It keeps me from even trying, and that’s just not right. That and I would have more money, cause you know, money fixes everything right? 😉

“We all fear that we aren’t who we are pretending to be. The more careful we are about what we’re projecting, the more driven we tend to be by fear.” – p. 33

-That’s a powerful statement! Do we pretend to be someone we’re not? My mind immediately jumps to the possibility that I’m pretending to be more than I am. But upon further inspection I’m realizing that, for me at least, it is more often that I pretend to be much less than what God tells me I am. Simply because what He tells me I am scares the tar out of me.

Child, Beloved Heir to the One True God; Creator of the UNIVERSE, that’s a LOT more responsibility and clout than I feel like I have in this world! Yet His word tells me that I have power and authority over angels and demons! ME!?!

Beth says on page 35 that “believing that everything God says about us is true” is the answer to dealing with our insecurities.

-What do you think?

    +YES!!!!!!! Now to just DO IT!

Beth talks a lot about physical appearance in this chapter, big surprise. This culture puts TONS of pressure on its females to be attractive and remain that way. Yet it’s standard of what is attractive is completely unattainable. Even the models of physical perfection aren’t physically perfect enough for the standard! And then, if we throw on top of that, the level of moral perfection religion demands; we’re sunk! And that’s not even mentioning financial standards, athletic standards, and relational standards.

This culture’s standards are so messed up that it’s simply impossible to completely fulfill them. But perhaps that’s a good thing because it points us to the One person telling us that it’s OK to be imperfect. It’s OK to miss the mark, not that we should stop trying to hit it, but rather we should stop hitting ourselves and each other when we miss it. Jesus took those hits for us so that we could be spared them and I’m fairly certain it would upset Him greatly to know that we’re punishing ourselves for a crime He already took the punishment for.

In today’s reading David’s army was split into two groups. There was one group that went out to battle and another group that was worn and weary and couldn’t press on any further so they stayed with the baggage and kept it safe. When the battling group returned, some among them didn’t feel that the others should reap the benefits of the battle. David, the man after God’s own heart, didn’t agree with them. It was his belief that their job of guarding the luggage was JUST as important as conquering the enemy at hand.

In the same way, Jesus knew that we simply weren’t able to battle the enemy, so He did it for us and shares the spoils of that victory with us! Isn’t He just SO GOOD!?! 😀

So what about you? Are you reading So Long, Insecurity too? What did you think about this week’s reading? How do you feel about my take on it?


* Moore, Beth. So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. 2010. Tyndale House Publishers.

Categories: 1 Samuel, 365 Life, Insecurity, Jesus Loves YOU | Leave a comment

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