Last Friday at our staff meeting two of my colleagues shared one of our Sanford Harmony lessons called “Pop That Thought Bubble”. We are going through different lessons throughout the 4th Grade lesson plan book in our staff meetings over the next few months and this was the first one.
This was the first question they asked: “If you were to take a guess into what that means what would you say?”
The first thing that “popped” into my head was that we can decide to change our thought patterns. When we recognize a negative thought we have the choice to “Pop that thought bubble” and move on.
1 Corinthians 10:5 states: “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”
Peter Pan said to “Think happy thoughts”
Taylor Swift said to “Shake it off”
While this idea to “Pop a thought bubble” isn’t a new concept to us, it is always a good reminder to not allow those negative thoughts to fester or to take root in our hearts and minds. We can easily go down the rabbit trail of bitterness and self deprication that leaves us empty and hollow.
OR we can take those thoughts into captivity, replace them with “happy thoughts” and make a decision each and every time to consciously pop that thought bubble!
Sometimes I wonder if the thoughts that bring me comfort and joy ever help anyone else… recently I found out that the fabulous Jamie Grace got engaged… and while I’m so excited for her next adventure in life – there was a small part of my heart and mind that struggled with the bitterness that can so easily take hold of my life. Younger, Earlier, Prettier, whatever descriptive adjective the enemy can use to make me feel inadequate or unworthy of my own love story he will try. Each time I see or hear that news; relationship… engagement… marriage… I’m genuinely happy for them but there’s always that split second (or sometimes multiple moments) of genuine struggle where I consciously have to take those thoughts captive and remember that I’m trusting in God’s timing and His purpose for my life. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10. Don’t allow the enemy to steal your joy – trust In the One Who knows the ending to the story He’s writing and have faith that its better than anything you could ever dream up. I’m preaching to the choir on this one – I need these reminders daily!
Tonight on my way home from work Jamie Grace’s first single came on KLOVE- I feel like I haven’t heard it in forever… and it grabbed a hold of my heart in the most precious way because no matter what comes next I love the way my Savior holds me each and every step of this life. He holds my heart and He holds my future in His hands. If you haven’t heard this song (or even if you have) please take a listen and be encouraged:
💖Happy Weekend Friends💖 Whatever season you find yourself in – let Him hold you each step of the way…
I had breakfast with my dear friend Allie last week and she asked if I had chosen a word for 2018 yet. Anytime I make a New Year’s Resolution it usually falls through or I end up making excuses instead of progress.
But words are different… we can empower ourselves to write a different sentence for different aspects of our lives. I have been praying for God to put my “word for the year” on my heart and this morning on my way to work I got it…
Ready to say yes
Ready to say no
Ready to let go
Ready to leap
Ready to give an answer
Ready for whatever comes my way
and the list goes on…
Whatever God has in store for me this year, at work, church, or in my personal life I want to be ready and willing to take it on in His strength and according to His will each step of the way.
Several times this past summer I have found myself staring up at the night sky praying to see a Shooting Star… whether it was up at camp or a moment stolen the last few months looking up.
I found myself bargaining with God… you know the drill, “Show me a Shooting Star so I know You heard my prayer Lord” or ” Show me a Shooting Star so I know you’ll answer this other important prayer of my heart”… all summer long no shooting stars.
Then a few weeks ago, I was walking down to get the mail, not even fully paying attention to the night sky and there it was, a shooting star across the night sky when I least expected it.
God doesn’t deal in bargaining with us. He already gave us the greatest gift we could ever imagine in sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins and conquering death so we could go to heaven to be with Him for all eternity.
And yet He gives us blessings, whether they be in the form of a work trip (Hawaii here I come🌺), a future love, a Shooting Star, a sunset, or a full time job with benefits…He answers in His time and according to His will.
I seem to forget all too often that His will is better than mine, His timing is better than mine, and His plan is better than anything I could ever hope for.
Keep the faith. Even when life throws you curve balls or you don’t know what is coming next, it’ll be okay. Keep praying and keep believing that He can work all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
And next time you see a Shooting Star, don’t wish on it, pray to the God of the Universe who made the stars and knows them (and you) by name!
Foundations will rock in this life. I have witnessed some pretty life-altaring storms this year- friends and mentors going home to be with Jesus, cancer, pain, car accidents, all those storms we never see coming and those friendships we take for granted-just gone…in an instant. One phone call, one diagnosis, one split second decision can rock our worlds in ways we never imagined.
Honestly? I don’t know how the world can cope without Jesus…I know I can’t…
This weekend we talked about Foundations. I know I’ve talked about it before but its so fascinating to me how they work. I was watching Fixer Upper tonight and one of the houses they showed had cracks in its foundation that was going to cost $15,000+ to be fixed…do you think they chose that house? No. Because its foundation was unstable. They couldn’t count on it to hold steady in a storm. And it’s Texas, there will be storms.
And in life, there will be storms. I have met people in the past whose foundations crack and their houses fall when the storm hits. I’d like to think I will always stand firm but then look at Peter…so did he and he denied Jesus 3 times. The passage in Matthew 7 tells us to dig down deep to build a foundation. It doesn’t happen quickly. It takes preparation, prayer, fellowship, community, accountability, and patience. It takes hard work. We never know when the next storm may hit but we can prepare our foundation and make sure that it is secure and ready to weather the storms.
I am thankful for the people in my life who have prayed with me and for me during life’s storms- may I always be willing to share my umbrella, sing in the rain, and cling to my Savior in the midst of each storm.
For those of you within a storm, I’m praying with you and for you. For those of you who aren’t, prepare your foundation-build your house upon the rock so when the storm comes you will stand firm.
I have had a few interesting weeks… we all pray for the things we think we want or need in our lives. In my case I have been strategically praying for the man that God has for me for a good 17 years. There have been times in my life when I thought I met him or a man that possessed most if not all of those qualities and yet here I am 30 years young, still waiting. And sometimes the waiting discourages my heart but today as I type I am overwhelmed by a thankfulness I’ve never experienced before.
I am thankful that God has answered those prayers by saying no to friendships, conversations, or any potential relationships that are contrary to His will to protect my heart. Guarding our hearts is crucial but not always easy. I am constantly taking thoughts captive and striving to think on things that are pure, holy, righteous, and lovely. I don’t want to get hurt – but I also want to listen and obey God’s Word in rejoicing always and praying without ceasing. I can only imagine Paul’s thought process when he wrote those verses in Thessalonians…he must have known how important prayer is to keep us in check… to keep us in fellowship with our Savior.
The struggle is real friends. I know this saying is the cliche phrase these days but it’s true. I struggle and yet I’m thankful that I serve a Savior Who is only a prayer away and gives us joy unspeakable.
and never guaranteed… I got another text today of a friend’s passing from a motorcycle accident yesterday and at first I’ll be honest thought for sure it wasn’t true… it couldn’t be..this was Chris- my brother in Christ, my almost Birthday Buddy (March 11th) a Disney Day going, laughter filled friend who brought me a copy of the Special Edition Beauty & the Beast when it came out just because he knew I liked it so much… and just like that… he’s gone.
How many decisions a day do I make that could cost me my life? Every time I look at my phone in my car, every time I speed, do I take life for granted so much so that I forget how swiftly life can change? I’m still in shock. My brain can’t fully process the pain because it’s still secretly hoping this is a really messed up April Fool’s joke and tomorrow we will wake up and everything will be fine.
Death is hard- we wonder if we would have chosen differently to make that phone call- to plan that movie night- to let them know we cared- but death doesn’t have certain ages- it comes sometimes when we least expect it. I know Chris is in heaven and I’ll see him again- my prayer is for you reading this that if you don’t know Christ as your personal Savior that you would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved- we’re never promised tomorrow but today we can choose to follow Jesus.
Deuteronomy 30:19~ “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live”
It has been a heavy few weeks and yet in the midst of sorrow there has been the hope of heaven with both of these precious people who have died. I know where I’m going when I die. Do you?