Among The Wildflowers

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I belong among the wildflowers…

With the sun on my back and the breeze blowing through my hair.

With the movement of every muscle,

And in every twitch and chain reaction, I rejoice, I’m alive!

Yes, with the flowers I bloom- in the hope of a fresh season,

And the anticipation of new colors.

Their beauty is simple and asks for no applause.

They stand unique but united in their purpose.

Lord how I want to be like the flowers before you…

Brave, beautiful, and full of life.

I belong among the wildflowers…

The Lens of Truth

Early Morning Thoughts…

I woke up this morning and the room was blurry. I deduced what the various shapes and objects were around the room because I see them so often . But this got me thinking…As I lay in bed praying and thinking about the day ahead, I started to realize that I needed my glasses if I was going to see clearly and navigate through the day.I might think I could see things enough to get by, but the truth is, with my own eyes I would fumble, trip over things, and maybe even miss important things altogether. And at the end of the day, my eyes would be tired from straining so hard to just see the outline of what was really in front of me. I certainly wouldn’t want to leave the familiar surroundings of my house and venture out either.

How much more does this thought apply to my spiritual life!? In the same way, my spiritual eyes need the lens of God’s truth. I might make it through my days, but with my own limited perspective, I will miss things, fumble through loving others and pursuing righteousness, and trip over my sin. And because I’m not seeing clearly what is in front of me, it would be far to easy to stay stuck in the comfort of familiar surroundings instead of stepping out to where He has called me. But God is gracious in the way He reveals His truth to us. Sometimes it is hard to take in, but I believe His ways are best-and what we would choose if we could only see things the way He does.

Let us enjoy the journey as we walk in the light of His truth, friends!

Psalm 119:160

“The sum of your word is truth,
    and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”

Ephesians 6

 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth,” 

In Him-Turn my eyes

“Oh soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness to see
There’s a light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace”
-Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

The mind set on the world can lead to such emptiness. The perspective set on the flesh drains life, while the perspective set on the LORD is life and peace.  We can’t see the whole picture from where we are now. I am trying to remind myself that it is better to look to the Lord and His promises than to look around or back at myself for answers.

In my joy and in my mourning, in my aching, and in my healing, let me turn. Through worries, fears, and sorrows, and through all things may I turn my eyes toward my faithful Savior. In Him is life, joy, and peace. In Him is everlasting, soul-satisfying love. In Him is the courage I need to face my tomorrows. Righteousness to cover my sins and redemption to work through my failures rests in Him.

Let us turn our eyes upon Jesus. And when we feel we can’t, let us cry out to Him to help lift our spirits, and He will!

Victorious Spirit through Christ,

Laura

 

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Last night I had a few friends over to my house to watch a Christmas movie and hang out for a bit. Sadly,it seemed like I had been struggling all day with anxious thoughts,fears,doubts,and condemnation. I kept trying to bring them to the Father but they kept “creeping off the alter”to bother me. A couple of hours before the get together,I decided to invite my childhood best friend to come over also.It was amazing because as soon as she texted back that she was coming,a peace settled over me. I knew I was going to be okay if she was with me. Any potentially uncomfortable or awkward situation is always better when she is with me! Following that feeling,I began to examine what exactly brought had brought it to come about. Thinking over our many adventures,some good and some bad, I was reminded of our bond,and how no matter what,ultimately we were together and for each other.We have such freedom because we love despite each other’s performance,we know each other so well,and we’re sure of one another. My precious lifelong”Kindred Spirit” and I have stood the test of time so far as we know it.And as far as I’m concerned we will won’t stop.

That’s exactly how I want to be with Jesus. I want to be flooded with peace in all circumstances because I know He’s with me and for me. I want to have walked through so much life with Him that I am sure of Him-sure of His infinite,everlasting Love despite my performance,sure that I am learning to know Him so well that I know what His will is and recall to mind His faithfulness in times past. Oh, what a Friend we have in Jesus! He is our peace and joy above all! Oh how I am learning and will keep learning until I reach eternity the depth of these truths and just how profound they are for my journey!

“What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

2. Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

3. Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.”

Joseph M. Scriven

The Remedy For “Self-consciousness”

Alright, I’ll be honest. I struggle with self-consciousness. I wonder and care too much what others think of me. Sometimes I wonder if I can lose or gain their love and approval because of something I do (or don’t do). I often seem to fear man more than God.  This can be defined as “an acute sense of self-awareness. It is a preoccupation with oneself, as opposed to the philosophical state of self-awareness”.

Thanks, Wikipedia! Ever since I was little my precious mom has encouraged me to be “others-conscious” instead of self-conscious. Making this a habit is so simple yet challenging. Nevertheless, it trains us to see others as more valuable than ourselves-which is good! Sounds like something we’ve heard before!  “It’s not about thinking less of yourself, it’s just about thinking of yourself less.” This has been and will be a lifelong mission of mine.

Recently, a friend charged me with this verse:

“Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

Psalm 34:5

Think of that! Imagine never being ashamed-never being self-conscious. I had never thought of this verse like that before.  Chapter 34 begins like this:

“I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.”

This passage tells us a couple of things:

  • Godly confidence and character starts with praising God and being thankful
  • Our confidence and boast must be in the Lord. It is a humble confidence knowing He is greater than we are.
  • Seek the LORD. Talk with Him about your joys and your fears.

Overcoming our struggles and sin starts with making a decision (sometimes moment by moment) to put God in His rightful place and to know our rightful place. Then, verse 5 says those who looked to Him are radiant. When we are abiding in the Lord, our desire for mans or even self approval decreases. We no longer radiate self, but radiate Christ. And because of that, we need never be ashamed!

 

“The Goal of Perfection”

I pictured walking with Jesus last night. I imagined Him holding my hand, and I wondered of His face. I thought through my frustrations with the day and with myself. I thought, ‘Oh, if I was just with Jesus I could ask Him to “fix me”, make me  better-more pleasing to Him.’

Then I caught myself, really He caught me. Perfection, if taken too far, can be an attempt to be my own God-to be self sufficient. Jesus took on perfection and won because I couldn’t. When I constantly try to “fix myself” and do better on my own it potentially exposes some negative things about what I’m letting myself believe:

-I believe I have to earn (or even can earn) God’s approval, acceptance, and Love. Ephesians 2 addresses it this way,

 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

-I doubt His promises.

HE will complete the good work He began for His purpose. He gives the desire and the power to serve Him and live by the Spirit (Philippians 2:13). I must believe that He’s trustworthy and a GOOD Father like He says He is and shows Himself to be! (Psalm 145:8-9, 1 John 1:5, Psalm 138:8, Psalm 100:5, **Psalm 37:23-24).

-I believe self improvement and Perfection is the goal.

Oh, how I am so easily distracted! Jesus lived and died the Perfect life for me (and you) so that I in my own strength don’t have to be perfect to know Him. *That’s the goal-knowing Jesus.* It’s much easier to walk close to someone and begin to pick up their habits and traits if you spend time just knowing them. When I make perfection my goal, it becomes what controls and defines me, not Christ. (Psalm 73:28, Psalm 16).

Someone said to me recently, “when you try to be perfect all the time, you can’t  be free to be yourself or let others see who you really are.” Because, I’m. Not. Perfect. It’s just a facade. Now, that’s not to say I shouldn’t strive for excellence in all I do. But, excellence is doing something to the best of my ability; not focusing on if it was the very best and perfect way out there. To be human is to be broken and make mistakes too, and I’m learning that’s okay.

I find myself when I lose myself in Christ. When I find Him, He teaches me who I am.

I hope these thoughts encourage you as you focus on knowing Jesus the One who is Perfect, instead of  perfection. Enjoy your journey!

Laura Beth

Victorious Spirit